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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Abuse & Neglect – Separate Placements

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Abuse & Neglect – Separate Placements

The trial court found that, after four-year-old “Amelia” told the respondent-Mother that ten-year-old “Nathan” had touched her inappropriately, Mother “hit [Nathan] with a belt, bottle, and pan which resulted in [him] requiring medical treatment for his injuries.” Medical providers found that Nathan had “red raised linear marks the size of a dollar bill on both of his forearms and a large hematoma on the left side of his head,” and “marked tenderness in his right flank.” We reject Mother’s contention that Nathan merely sustained bruising from spanking.

We affirm the trial court’s adjudication of Nathan as abused and Amelia as neglected, as well as its decision to keep Amelia and Nathan in DSS custody in separate placements.

Where the trial court properly adjudicated Nathan as abused, and where Mother failed to obtain a recommended medical examination for Amelia for possible sexual assault, the trial court properly adjudicated Amelia a neglected juvenile.

Although the trial court must consider whether DSS’s efforts toward reunification are reasonable during permanency planning hearings, there is no such requirement at hearings to continue nonsecure custody.

Given the allegations of inappropriate touching, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the children should remain in DSS’s custody in separate placements.

In re A.G. (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-211-23, 11 pp.) (John Arrowood, J.) Appealed from Cumberland County District Court (Cull Jordan, J.) Patrick Kuchyt for petitioner; Jacky Brammer for respondent; Jennifer Sinclair and Heather Williams Forshey for guardian ad litem. North Carolina Court of Appeals (unpublished)

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