An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA02-1081
            
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NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
        
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Filed: 5 August 2003

In the Matter of:

LINDSEY MARTIN
                                Wayne County
and                                Nos. 01J102, 01J103
                                          &n bsp;             
TAYLA BROOKE MARTIN

    Appeal by respondents from orders entered 4 February 2002 by Judge Lonnie W. Carraway in Wayne County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 21 May 2003.

    No brief filed by petitioner or Guardian ad Litem.

    Annick Lenoir-Peek for respondent-appellant Linda Martin.

    Angela H. Brown for respondent-appellant Glen Martin.

    Peter Wood for respondent-appellant Scott Farmer.

    MARTIN, Judge.

    Respondents Linda Martin and Glen Martin appeal from the termination of their parental rights as to Lindsey Martin, and Linda Martin and Scott Allen Farmer appeal from the termination of their parental rights as to Tayla Brooke Martin. According to the evidence, Glen and Linda Martin were married on 17 May 1992 and Lindsey was born to the couple on 19 May 1992. There was plenary evidence presented that both Glen and Linda Martin were addicted to and used heroin, and abused other illegal drugs, prior to Lindsey's birth and continued to do so thereafter. There was also evidence that they had both tried to stop using heroin in the years afterLindsey's birth and had attended a methadone program, but had never succeeded in breaking the habit. The Martins lived in Wayne County in a mobile home they owned, and Glen Martin provided financial support for the family through construction jobs or a wallcovering business in which Linda Martin helped him for a few years.
    In the summer of 1999, Linda Martin became involved with Scott Farmer, who also used heroin. She moved in with Scott for some months, and became pregnant with Tayla Brooke Martin. She left Scott Farmer's residence during the pregnancy and moved back in with her husband, but returned to Scott's residence not long before Tayla was born on 21 July 2000. Lindsey Martin moved with her mother on each of these occasions. Linda Martin testified that she was on methadone during her pregnancy with Tayla and also used heroin, which Scott Farmer procured for her, intravenously. Hours before Tayla's birth, when Linda Martin had been sent home from the hospital and was in severe pain, Scott Farmer prepared a dose of heroin for her and either he or she administered it. After the birth, Linda and Tayla returned to Scott Farmer's home. On 23 August 2000, the Wayne County Department of Social Services (“DSS”) substantiated neglect as to both children and removed them from the care of Linda Martin and Scott Farmer. According to the neglect petition, DSS became involved with the family because traces of illegal drugs were found in Tayla's blood and Linda Martin's urine at the hospital. Linda Martin's twin sister Brenda Thornton also testified that she called DSS on 23 August because she had observed, upon visiting her sister at Scott Farmer's home, thatboth Linda Martin and Scott Farmer appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
    DSS placed Tayla with Linda Martin's older sister, Phyllis Ginn, and placed Lindsey with Glen Martin. On 14 September 2000, Glen Martin arranged for Lindsey to stay with Brenda Thornton while he entered a drug rehabilitation facility. After two weeks, Lindsey was placed with Glen Martin's niece Lisa Mathias and remained with her family through the termination proceedings. At some point during the termination proceedings, Tayla was moved to a placement with Nancy Callentine, a relative of Glen Martin's.
    After placing Lindsey with Brenda Thornton in September 2000, Glen Martin stayed in drug rehabilitation for only a few days and his testimony indicates that after leaving the facility, he resumed his heroin habit and used cocaine on occasion. Testimony by various witnesses and the results of drug screens performed by the methadone clinic on Linda Martin indicate that she used heroin and sometimes cocaine on many occasions after August 2000 and was discharged from the methadone program in March 2001 for failure to meet its requirements. Josie Allen, the DSS worker in charge of the cases before this Court, testified that Linda Martin came to her office only twice before the spring of 2001, and although Glen Martin came more often, the frequency of his meetings with Ms. Allen declined until she had no contact with him in December 2000. Linda Martin's visitation with both children was sporadic; despite efforts to establish a schedule with the Mathias family, Glen and Linda Martin would miss visits with Lindsey and request visits offthe schedule, leading to visitation being planned through DSS. Glen Martin worked on some construction jobs and Linda Martin was not employed during this period and neither paid child support.
    In October 2000, Scott Farmer failed to appear for court dates, was arrested, and entered a DART drug rehabilitation program on 3 November, and Linda Martin then moved back in with her husband. On 16 November 2000, both children were adjudicated neglected and dependent based upon admissions by Glen and Linda Martin. Glen Martin took a paternity test on 12 December 2000 which indicated he was not Tayla's father. On 30 December 2000, Linda Martin took responsibility for an auto accident caused by Glen Martin; she did so because he had no driver's license at the time. Because she did not pay the $6,000-$8,000 in restitution ordered for the accident damage, her driver's license was revoked and remained so through the termination proceedings. Glen Martin was incarcerated on 17 January 2001 for a conviction as an habitual felon based on three convictions for possession of heroin. The Martins' home was re-possessed in March 2001. After entering prison, Glen Martin corresponded frequently with both Lisa Mathias and Lindsey through letters. Glen Martin was in prison during the termination proceedings and not scheduled for possible release until 2007.
    At some point after Glen Martin went to prison and Scott Farmer was released from the DART program on 31 January 2001, Linda Martin and Scott Farmer became involved again, living together at his residence. Scott Farmer testified that he was told by DSS inAugust 2000 that he had no parental rights to Tayla because he had neither legitimated her nor acknowledged paternity. Scott Farmer submitted to a paternity test in December 2000 after Glen Martin was excluded as the father; the results of the test confirmed that Scott Farmer was Tayla's father. Josie Allen, the DSS social worker handling the cases, sent Scott Farmer a certified return receipt letter advising him of the results in early February 2001. The return receipt indicates Linda Martin signed for the letter. She testified that she gave the letter to Scott Farmer two weeks later. He testified that he responded to it two weeks after that. Ms. Allen testified that Scott Farmer did not call until after 8 March when DSS was permitted to cease reunification efforts. Scott Farmer arranged an appointment for 3 April 2001 to work out child support payments, but failed to attend the meeting. He was incarcerated on 18 April for probation violation and remained in jail through the hearings due to felony charges for acts allegedly committed 1 April. Scott Farmer testified that he bought and used heroin twice within weeks of his release from the DART program and bought heroin for Linda Martin once during that period. He pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious breaking and entering and, at the time of the termination proceedings, was scheduled for release from incarceration in mid-2002.
    DSS filed petitions to terminate parental rights as to both children on 27 April 2001, alleging that Linda and Glen Martin had neglected and continued to neglect Lindsey Martin and Linda Martin and Scott Farmer neglected and continued to neglect Tayla Martin. Linda Martin managed to stop using drugs in April 2001 and had a negative voluntary drug screen in June 2001. In April, she lived with Brenda Thornton for some weeks. She then moved into her parents' home for some months. While living with her parents, she held a part-time job for five weeks at a local convenience store, but was fired for insubordination and failure to account for cash shortages. She was asked by her mother to move out. After that, she declined to tell her family or DSS where she was living and did not provide them with a way to contact her in case of emergency. The hearings on the petitions for termination of parental rights commenced 5 September 2001. At one of the hearings in late October, Linda Martin indicated that she stayed at the Salvation Army after leaving her parents' home, but had since entered into a lease for a suitable home and had started a job selling mobile homes with a local company. She testified that an uncle paid her rental deposit for the home and that she had been advanced $150 by her boss and was guaranteed $325 per week as a base salary, with the chance to earn commissions. After April 2001, Linda Martin completed parenting classes and attended multiple Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and group and individual counseling sessions, though her testimony indicated that her attendance began to drop off in October due to her new job and the many court hearings. At the time of the termination proceedings, Linda Martin testified she had begun making child support payments for each child, but was behind one payment for Tayla. Other testimony and evidence necessary to an understandingof the cases on appeal will be set forth in the opinion below.
    After receiving testimony and evidence over eleven days of hearings, the district court entered orders terminating respondents' parental rights as to both children, respectively. Respondents gave timely notice of appeal.

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Linda Martin

    Respondent-mother Linda Martin argues the trial court erred in (1) admitting into evidence photographs taken several years prior to DSS's initiation of these neglect proceedings, (2) finding and concluding she had abused her daughter Lindsey when the petition did not allege abuse, thus failing to give her notice that abuse was at issue in the case, (3) terminating her parental rights when she had substantially complied with the district court's previous orders by the conclusion of the termination proceedings, (4) concluding that it was in the best interests of Lindsey and Tayla Martin to terminate her parental rights, (5) finding and concluding that she would probably remain dependent on heroin for the rest of her life, (6) finding and concluding that the conditions which brought on the initial petitions for neglect and dependency had not changed, and (7) denying her motion for directed verdict at the close of evidence. After a thorough review of the record and evidence, we affirm the orders terminating respondent Linda Martin's parental rights.
    Linda Martin first argues the trial court erred in admitting into evidence certain photographs because they were takenapproximately eight years earlier and thus were not relevant to the issues in the present case, or that any relevance they had was far outweighed by the prejudice they would engender. The photographs depicted Lindsey alone or Lindsey with Glen Martin nude or partially nude in sexually suggestive poses, Glen Martin placing his tongue in Lindsey's mouth, and Glen Martin pointing a knife toward Lindsey in a stabbing motion. Even assuming the admission of these photographs was error, an issue we do not need to decide, we hold that their admission was not prejudicial.
    The district court found that one of the photographs:
        . . . constitutes the preparation of an obscene photograph as set out in N.C.G.S. 7B- 101(d) and that both Glen and Linda Martin committed, permitted and encouraged the commission of the preparation of this obscene photograph. That Lindsey Martin is an abused juvenile as defined by N.C.G.S. 7B-101(1) and that Linda Martin and Glen Martin abused the juvenile as set out herein.

On this basis, the trial court concluded Lindsey Martin had been abused by Linda and Glen Martin. However, the district court also found and concluded that Linda and Glen Martin had neglected Lindsey. According to G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(1), a court may terminate parental rights upon a finding that “[t]he parent has abused or neglected the juvenile.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(1) (2003) (emphasis added). Therefore, the district court had adequate grounds for terminating Linda Martin's parental rights without relying on the finding of abuse and thus the admission of the photograph found to demonstrate abuse was harmless.
    As to the other photographs the district court consideredrelevant, it found “[t]he cumulative effect of the last seven pictures show [sic] a lack of respect for Lindsey Martin to be reared properly, a lack of respect for her dignity and privacy and their cumulative effect constitutes neglect by both Linda and Glen Martin.” Even assuming, arguendo, that the admission of these photographs was error, the findings based on them were certainly not the sole basis for the conclusion of neglect. There was, as will be discussed below, substantial evidence of more recent neglect by Linda Martin from which the district court made detailed findings and these findings provide sufficient support for the district court's conclusion of neglect and termination of parental rights. Therefore, the admission of the photographs found to show neglect by the court was harmless.
    Next, Linda Martin contends the finding and conclusion of abuse constitute reversible error because the petition did not allege abuse and the lack of notice that abuse was at issue in the case violated her right to due process. However, the district court also found and concluded that Lindsey had been neglected by her parents, an allegation for which Linda Martin had adequate notice. Because the conclusion of neglect alone provided a sufficient basis for termination of Linda Martin's parental rights, see G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(1), any error arising from the district court's finding and conclusion of abuse despite the absence of an allegation of abuse in the petition is harmless. This argument is overruled.
    Linda Martin next argues the trial court erred in terminatingher parental rights when she had substantially complied with the previous orders of the district court. She points to the court's instructions in its orders issued 16 November 2000, 8 February 2001, and 8 March 2001, that she receive substance abuse treatment, attend NA/AA meetings, and submit to random drug tests. Although she admitted to using heroin and other illegal drugs until April 2001, she asserts that based on her “turn-around” since that time, including ending her substance abuse, attending, and even chairing, NA and AA meeting groups, and obtaining employment and a suitable residence for her family, it was “premature” for the district court to terminate her parental rights. Linda Martin cites no law in support of this argument. N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(6) (2003). This argument is similar to her fifth and sixth arguments, which assert the district court erred in finding and concluding that she “will, in all probability, live the rest of her life being dependent on heroin” and finding and concluding “the conditions which caused the initial petition of neglect and dependency to be filed have not changed and there is a high probability of repetition of neglect.” Therefore, we will address them together.
    A proceeding to terminate parental rights consists of two stages. Under G.S. § 7B-1109, the district court must determine in the adjudicatory phase whether the petitioner has shown by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that at least one of the grounds for termination listed in G.S. § 7B-1111 exists at the time of the proceeding. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1109(e), (f) (2003). G.S. § 7B- 1110 governs the disposition phase, providing that if the districtcourt determines one of the conditions authorizing termination exists, it must order termination unless it determines in its discretion that it would not be in the best interests of the child to terminate parental rights. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1110(a) (2003); In re Carr, 116 N.C. App. 403, 448 S.E.2d 299 (1994) (best interests determination within district court's discretion). Neglect is one of the grounds for termination of parental rights. N.C. Gen Stat. § 7B-1111(a) (2003). A neglected juvenile is defined by G.S. § 7B-101(15) as:
        A juvenile who does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from the juvenile's parent, . . . ; or who has been abandoned; . . . ; or who lives in an environment injurious to the juvenile's welfare; . . . . In determining whether a juvenile is a neglected juvenile, it is relevant whether that juvenile lives in a home where another juvenile . . . has been subjected to abuse or neglect by an adult who regularly lives in the home.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-101(15) (2003). Linda Martin points to certain changed conditions as evidence that she is not likely to repeat her past neglect of her children in the future. This Court has recently stated that:
        [w]here, . . . , a child has not been in the custody of the parent for a significant period of time prior to the termination hearing, the trial court must employ a different kind of analysis to determine whether the evidence supports a finding of neglect. . . . “The determinative factors must be the best interests of the child and the fitness of the parent to care for the child at the time of the termination proceeding.” Although prior adjudications of neglect may be admitted and considered by the trial court, they will rarely be sufficient, standing alone, to support a termination of parental rights, since the petition must establish that neglectexists at the time of hearing. Thus, the trial court must also consider evidence of changed conditions in light of the history of neglect by the parent and the probability of a repetition of neglect. In addition, visitation by the parent is a relevant factor in such cases.

In re Shermer, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 576 S.E.2d 403, 407 (2003) (citations omitted) (emphasis in original). Although there was evidence that Linda Martin had changed certain relevant aspects of her life after April 2001, the district court's findings indicate its concern that she nonetheless did “not have the present ability to care for” her children. The findings indicate that other witnesses felt she was not able to care adequately for her children, that she had recently been asked to leave her parents' home and did not thereafter provide DSS with any contact information, that her driver's license had been revoked and she had developed no plan for getting it back in the near future, that she only recently obtained employment which she failed to verify, and that she had failed in the past to maintain stable employment. Linda Martin did not assign error to the findings that she had consistently failed after 23 August 2000 to visit with her children on a regular basis. She also did not assign error to the findings that she had neglected her children prior to their removal from her custody by, inter alia, leaving drug paraphernalia such as syringes where Lindsey could and did find them, using heroin while pregnant with Tayla, and sleeping in her bedroom during the afternoon with the door closed prior to Tayla's birth, leaving Lindsey unattended after school, and leaving Lindsey alone to care for Tayla in thefirst weeks of her life. There was clear, cogent, and convincing evidence adduced at the hearings to support these findings.
    In terms of her challenge to the specific finding that she would probably never recover from her heroin addiction, there is evidence in the record that Linda Martin's heroin abuse began between 1984 and 1986 and continued until April 2001. Although there was evidence that she tried to get treatment at points after Lindsey's birth, primarily through a methadone program, even her own testimony, which the district court found was not very credible, indicated that she never managed to stay off heroin for more than a “couple years” at a time. Therefore, there was clear and convincing evidence of the likelihood of her relapse in the future.
    Viewing the evidence of the recent changes Linda Martin made in her life in light of the evidence of her history of neglect and drug addiction, the trial court did not err in finding Linda Martin had and would likely continue to neglect her children, thus establishing grounds for termination of her parental rights. Her contentions that she did not willfully fail to make reasonable progress toward correcting the conditions of neglect are founded on cases that deal with termination of parental rights pursuant to G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(2), a provision not employed in this case, and do not address specific findings or conclusions. These arguments are overruled.
    Next, pointing again to evidence of her recent improvement, Linda Martin contends the trial court abused its discretion inconcluding it was in the best interests of Lindsey and Tayla to terminate her parental rights. An “[a]buse of discretion is shown only when the court's decision 'is manifestly unsupported by reason or is so arbitrary that it could not have been the result of a reasoned decision.'” Barton v. Sutton, 152 N.C. App. 706, 710, 568 S.E.2d 264, 266 (2002) (quoting State v. McDonald, 130 N.C. App. 263, 267, 502 S.E.2d 409, 413 (1998)). Given the evidence of Linda Martin's illegal drug use and neglect of Lindsey and Tayla, her history of relapse, and her continued instability after April 2001, we cannot hold that the district court's decision was unreasonable or arbitrary. This argument is overruled.
    Lastly, Linda Martin argues the district court erred in denying her motion for a directed verdict at the close of evidence. “In an action tried without a jury the appropriate motion by which defendants test the sufficiency of plaintiffs' evidence is by motion for dismissal” pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Neasham v. Day, 34 N.C. App. 53, 54, 237 S.E.2d 287, 288 (1977); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1A-1, Rule 41(b) (2003). “The question raised by defendants' motion to dismiss made at the close of all the evidence is whether any findings of fact could be made from the evidence which would support a recovery for plaintiffs. If such findings can be made the motion to dismiss must be denied.” Neasham, 34 N.C. App. at 55, 237 S.E.2d at 288- 89. Our review and holdings as to Linda Martin's previous arguments regarding the findings, conclusions, and disposition of the district court more than adequately answer this argument. Weaffirm the district court's order terminating Linda Martin's parental rights to Lindsey Martin and Tayla Brooke Martin.
Glen Martin

    Respondent-father Glen Martin argues the district court erred in (1) making findings of fact unsupported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence; (2) concluding, based on these unsupported findings, that he had neglected Lindsey Martin and thus there were grounds for termination of his parental rights; (3) failing to grant his motion for mistrial after it was disclosed that an attorney who represented him on criminal charges had recently joined the law firm of counsel for the Guardian ad Litem; and (4) admitting the Guardian ad Litem report from September 2001 into evidence when it contained hearsay statements by declarants unavailable for cross-examination. After a thorough review of the record and evidence, we affirm the orders terminating Glen Martin's parental rights.
    In his first argument, Glen Martin asserts that several of the district court's findings are not supported by clear and convincing evidence. He first challenges the finding that “the only reason Glen Martin, based on his past history, is not presently abusing heroin is the fact that he is incarcerated.” However, Glen Martin did not assign error to other related findings that he “has a serious addiction to heroin,” which he “started using . . . in 1975 or 1976 and has continued [to] use . . . until he began serving his present prison sentence,” that after placing Lindsey with family in September 2000 he stayed in drug rehabilitation for only six days,and that he “was using heroin on a daily basis” and “experimented with cocaine” prior to entering prison on 17 January 2001. He also did not assign error to the finding that he was “high on heroin” when he visited with Lindsey the evening before beginning his present prison sentence. These findings, as well as the one to which he assigns error, are supported by clear and convincing evidence in the record, including Glen Martin's own testimony.
    Glen Martin next contends the district court erred in finding that “as a result of Glen Martin's heroin addiction and his incarceration resulting from his heroin addiction, [he] is incapable of providing for the proper care and supervision of [Lindsey] such that the juvenile is a dependent juvenile within the meaning of N.C.G.S. 7B-1111[(a)](6) and there is a reasonable probability that such incapability will continue for the foreseeable future.” This finding relates to “dependency,” but does not relate to neglect, a separate ground for termination under G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(1). Only one ground for termination is required under G.S. 7B-1111(a). Because Glen Martin was also found to have neglected Lindsey and failed to correct the conditions leading to the prior neglect at the time of termination, we need not address his argument as to the finding of dependency.
    Glen Martin also challenges the findings that (1) prior to his incarceration, he acted in such a way as to evince a lack of concern for Lindsey that amounted to neglect and (2) he abused and neglected Lindsey Martin. The first argument is essentially a repetition of Linda Martin's arguments regarding the photographsfound in their home and the lack of notice that child abuse would be at issue in the case. Our disposition of Linda Martin's arguments relating to the photographs and the finding and conclusion of abuse applies to Glen Martin's arguments as well.
    Glen Martin next contends that “[a]side from the old pictures . . . , there was no evidence anywhere in the transcript or otherwise that suggested Glen ever lacked concern for Lindsey.” Citing In re Phifer, 67 N.C. App. 16, 312 S.E.2d 684 (1984) (parent's alcoholism alone insufficient for finding of neglect; must have evidence of adverse impact on child from alcoholism), he asserts that his past drug use is relevant only to the extent that it adversely affected Lindsey. We note that Glen Martin did not assign error to the findings that he assaulted Linda Martin, an offense to which he pled guilty, in front of Lindsey on one occasion; that he told Lindsey to run from police officers when the van in which Glen Martin, a “'drug buddy,'” and Lindsey were riding was stopped; that he and Linda Martin took Lindsey to Raleigh with them at 4 a.m. on many school mornings to get their methadone treatment, negatively affecting her alertness in school even though they could have made other arrangements for her care; that Lindsey found drug needles in the Martins' home at least once; that Glen Martin visited with Lindsey sporadically after she was placed with the Mathiases; that he never paid child support for her; that he visited her while high on heroin; and that he committed offenses of felony possession of heroin while she was in his care for which he was later convicted. Several of these instances demonstrate theadverse impact of Glen Martin's drug abuse on Lindsey. See In re Clark, 72 N.C. App. 118, 323 S.E.2d 754 (1984) (distinguishing In re Phifer on the basis of evidence of adverse impact). These findings were supported by clear and convincing evidence and that same evidence supports the findings which he challenges. These arguments are without merit.
    In his second major argument, Glen Martin asserts that because the findings discussed above are not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the conclusion that Lindsey is a neglected juvenile within the meaning of the relevant statute and has been neglected by him must be reversed. We have determined, however, that the challenged findings were supported by clear and cogent evidence. Because these findings show Lindsey did not receive proper care or supervision and lived in an environment injurious to her welfare, they support the legal conclusion that Lindsey was neglected by her father. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-101(15) (2003). Therefore, the adjudication of neglect was not error.
    Glen Martin also asserts the district court abused its discretion in terminating his parental rights at the disposition phase, pointing especially to testimony characterizing him as a good father and evidence that he has been corresponding by letter with Lindsey since his incarceration. Given the evidence of neglect and the likelihood of repetition of neglect, we cannot hold the district court's decision was unreasoned or arbitrary. Barton v. Sutton, supra.
    Glen Martin next argues the trial court erred in denying hismotion for a mistrial after it was disclosed that the attorney who had represented him on the charges for felony possession and habitual felon that resulted in his conviction in January 2001 had since joined the firm of counsel for the Guardian ad Litem. Glen Martin cites G.S. § 15A-1061, which provides in pertinent part:
            Upon motion of a defendant . . . the judge may declare a mistrial at any time during the trial. The judge must declare a mistrial upon the defendant's motion if there occurs during the trial an error or legal defect in the proceedings, or conduct inside or outside the courtroom, resulting in substantial and irreparable prejudice to the defendant's case.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1061 (2003). Glen Martin asserts that the failure to adequately investigate for conflicts resulted in “substantial and irreparable prejudice to his case that could not be cured.” The resulting prejudice alleged is that information known to Martin's criminal attorney “may have tainted” the opinions contained in the Guardian ad Litem's report to the district court, leading to a “possibility of irreparable prejudice” to his case. Thus, Glen Martin does not assert that actual prejudice occurred, just that it might have occurred. “Whether to allow a motion for mistrial is a decision committed to the sound discretion of the trial court, and its decision in this regard will not be overturned on appeal unless an abuse of that discretion is established.” State v. Ward, 354 N.C. 231, 248, 555 S.E.2d 251, 263 (2001). A review of the portion of the transcript dealing with the disclosed conflict indicates that counsel for the Guardian ad Litem came forward to disclose the conflict the day after learning of it andthe district court questioned him on the record regarding whether he had either spoken with the attorney about Glen Martin or seen the file on Glen Martin's criminal case, which he answered in the negative. Based on the record before us, we cannot hold that the district court abused its discretion in denying Glen Martin's motion for mistrial.
    Lastly, Glen Martin argues the district court erred in admitting into evidence the Guardian ad Litem's report to the court because it contained hearsay statements by declarants who were unavailable to him for cross-examination. He concedes the report was submitted for consideration in the dispositional phase of the termination proceedings. Unlike adjudicatory inquiries, which are bound by the North Carolina Rules of Evidence pursuant to G.S. § 7B-804, dispositional hearings “may be informal and the court may consider written reports or other evidence concerning the needs of the juvenile.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-901 (2003). Glen Martin cites no case law or statute imposing limitations on the district court's consideration of a Guardian ad Litem report containing statements and information obtained from third persons in determining the best interests of the child, nor does he point to any specific “unreliable” or “prejudicial” hearsay contained in the challenged report. This argument is overruled. We affirm the district court's order terminating Glen Martin's parental rights to Lindsey Martin.
Scott Farmer

    Respondent-father Scott Farmer first argues the district courterred in granting petitioner's motion to amend the petition to terminate his parental rights to Tayla Martin to include an allegation of abandonment under G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(7). We need not address this argument because the petition also alleged neglect as grounds for termination and the district court found and concluded Scott Farmer neglected Tayla Martin. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B- 1111(a)(1) (2003).
    Scott Farmer also argues the district court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence as to the allegations of neglect and abandonment. Due to our resolution of his first argument, we need not evaluate his argument as to the allegation of abandonment. Respondent Farmer also argues the motion should have been granted as to the allegation of failure to support under G.S. § 7B-1111(a)(4), but the petition does not appear to contain any such allegation, nor was there mention of such allegation in the transcript of the proceedings or order entered by the district court. Thus, we review his contention only with respect to the allegation of neglect.
    As explained previously, a motion under Rule 41(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure made at the close of evidence in a bench trial raises the question of whether “any findings of fact could be made from the evidence which would support a recovery for plaintiffs.” Neasham, supra. Thus, respondent Farmer's argument amounts to a general contention that the evidence could not support a finding and conclusion of neglect; it is not addressed to specific findings and conclusions in the district court's order,nor did he assign error to any specific findings or conclusions in the order. N.C. R. App. P. 10(a), (c)(3) (2003); Neasham, supra (review of Rule 41(b) motion for dismissal did not require evaluation of specific findings and court would not overlook defendant's failure to assign error to specific findings).
    Respondent Farmer argues that in order to support a finding of neglect for purposes of terminating parental rights, there must be evidence of neglect at the time of the termination proceedings, especially where the respondent-parent has not had custody of the child for a significant period prior to the hearing. In re Young, 346 N.C. 244, 485 S.E.2d 612 (1997). In conjunction, he appears to argue that because he never had custody of Tayla, he could not have neglected her in the past. He also contends the evidence of his substance abuse is not sufficient to support a finding of current neglect without evidence of adverse impact on Tayla. In re Phifer, supra. We reject his arguments.
    The record contains clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that respondent Farmer, if not a legal parent at the time, acted as a “caretaker”, see G.S. § 7B-101(15) (2003), for Tayla during her weeks of residency at his home after her birth and that during that time he did not provide her with proper care and supervision and placed her in an environment injurious to her welfare by using heroin, provided her mother Linda Martin with heroin, left her at home with her mother who often slept during the day and could not be awakened by Lindsey and thus left infant Tayla to be cared for by an eight-year-old. See In re Blackburn, 142 N.C. App. 607, 543S.E.2d 906 (2001) (illegal drug use and inappropriately leaving child in care of others considered evidence of neglect). Respondent Farmer cites no law stating, and we find it illogical, that a neglectful caretaker who later assumes legal parental status gets to wipe the slate clean. Moreover, between November 2000 and 2001, he was convicted on various dates of possession of stolen goods, four counts of breaking and entering, injury to personal property, two counts of worthless checks, and violated probation resulting in his incarceration in April 2001. Some of these convictions are based on acts committed while Lindsey Martin lived in Scott Farmer's home but before Tayla's birth and the evidence indicates Scott Farmer used heroin with Linda Martin during that period as well. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-101(15) (2003) (in determining whether a child is neglected, it is relevant whether the child lives in a home where another child was neglected by an adult who regularly lived there); In re Blackburn, supra (repeated criminal behavior and lawlessness considered evidence of neglect).
    There is evidence that while in the DART program, respondent Farmer made an effort to acknowledge paternity of Tayla. However, he testified that he resumed heroin abuse in the company of Linda Martin after his release from DART and visited with Tayla only about four times in the two and a half months between his release and his incarceration, though his visitation with her was not restricted. Evidence of past neglect must be viewed in light of the history of neglect and probability of repetition of neglect. In re Shermer, supra. Because there was substantial evidence inthe record from which the district court could find and conclude Tayla was a neglected juvenile as to respondent Farmer, the motion for dismissal was properly denied. We affirm the district court's order terminating Scott Farmer's parental rights as to Tayla Brooke Martin.
    Affirmed.
    Judges HUNTER and GEER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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