An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA03-778


Filed: 4 May 2004

                                        Johnston County
D.D.T.G.,                                    No. 01 J 50
    Minor Child

    Appeal by respondent from order entered 25 March 2003 by Judge Jacquelyn L. Lee in Johnston County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 19 April 2004.

    Jennifer S. O'Connor, for petitioner-appellee Johnston County Department of Social Services.

    James D. Johnson, Jr. for Guardian ad Litem.

    Antoan Whidbee for appellee Keith Tyrell Graham.

    Susan J. Hall for respondent-appellant Gwendolyn McCain.

    HUNTER, Judge.

    On 19 April 2002 the Johnston County Department of Social Services (“petitioner”) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of G.M. (“respondent”) to her son, D.D.T.G. (“the juvenile”). Respondent filed an answer on 9 September 2002 and appeared with counsel at the hearing on 27 November 2002.
    The juvenile was born out of wedlock on 25 December 2000 to respondent and K.G., who relinquished his parental rights to the juvenile. On 13 February 2001, petitioner received a report that the juvenile was not receiving proper care, was residing in a home that was filthy and unfit for human occupation, and was not gaining weight. The juvenile was hospitalized for a nutritional andmedical assessment as to why the juvenile was not gaining weight. Immediately upon hospitalization and with consistent feedings, the juvenile began to gain weight. Despite repeated instruction, neither respondent nor an alternate caregiver were able to demonstrate appropriate techniques for care of the child. The juvenile was returned to respondent's home, where he again failed to gain weight. Respondent continued to demonstrate an inability to care properly for the child. During the last home contact by a home health nurse, respondent could not identify to the nurse the last time the child had been fed. Consequently, petitioner took the juvenile into its custody on 6 March 2001. Thereafter, although respondent attended parenting classes, she was unable to demonstrate that she learned or understood anything from those classes. She failed to complete the adult basic education program and she failed to regularly attend scheduled visitations with the child. She missed twenty-two of forty-four scheduled visits with the juvenile, including a seven-week period of time from August 2001 to October 2001 when she did not visit the juvenile at all. During visitations, she was given instruction as to how to hold and feed the child. Within fifteen minutes after the lesson, respondent could not demonstrate any understanding or retention of what she had been taught. It was determined that in order for respondent to retain custody and care of the child, she would require another adult person to stay in the home to assist her with caring for the child. A person was located to stay with respondentbut the arrangement did not last because of respondent's lack of cooperation.
    At the conclusion of the hearing, the court found that the following grounds for termination of respondent's parental rights were supported by clear, cogent and convincing evidence: (1) the child is neglected; (2) respondent willfully left the juvenile in foster care for more than twelve months without showing to the satisfaction of the court that reasonable progress has been made in correcting the conditions which led to the removal of the juvenile from the home; and (3) respondent is incapable of providing proper care and supervision of the juvenile such that the juvenile is dependent within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-101 and that it is reasonably probable that such incapability will continue for the foreseeable future. The court further found that it is in the best interest of the juvenile that respondent's parental rights be terminated. From this order respondent appeals.
    Respondent brings forward three assignments of error. First, respondent contends the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the petition failed to allege as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1104(7) (2003) that the petition had not been filed to circumvent the provisions of Article 2 of Chapter 50A of the General Statutes, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. We disagree. Dismissal of a petition is not compelled merely because the petition does not contain such allegation. In re Humphrey, 156 N.C. App. 533, 538-39, 577 S.E.2d 421, 426 (2003). The respondent must show that she was prejudicedas a result of the omission. Id. Here, respondent cannot show prejudice. The petition alleges that “this petition has not been filed to circumvent the provisions of G.S. Chapter 50A, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, and the Court would have jurisdiction to make a child custody determination, pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 50A-3.” The petition therefore directs the respondent to Chapter 50A of the General Statutes, which is entitled “Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.” We conclude that this allegation substantially complies with the requirement of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1104. Therefore, this assignment of error is overruled.
    By her next assignment of error, respondent contends that the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because petitioner failed to file an affidavit required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50A-209. This statute requires each party in a child custody proceeding “in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit” to give information as to the child's present address or whereabouts and where the child has resided within the previous five years. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50A-209(a) (2003). The purpose of this information is to assist the trial court in determining whether it has jurisdiction. In re Clark, 159 N.C. App. 75, 79, 582 S.E.2d 657, 660 (2003). The statute expressly provides two alternative methods for furnishing the information, either in the first pleading or in an affidavit. Here, the petition to terminate parental rights states that the child was born in Johnston County on 25 December 2000; that the child was taken into the custody of petitioner and was placed infoster care on 6 March 2001; that legal custody of the child was awarded to petitioner on 24 October 2001 by order of the Johnston County District Court; and that the child was in foster care in the custody of petitioner when the petition was filed. Based upon the allegations of this pleading, the court could determine that it had jurisdiction. This assignment of error is also overruled.
    Respondent's final assignment of error contends that the court abused its discretion by concluding that respondent willfully left the child in foster care for more than twelve months without showing to the satisfaction of the court that reasonable progress had been made in correcting the conditions which led to the removal of the minor child. We note that although respondent also assigned as error the court's finding of the two other grounds supporting termination of parental rights, respondent failed to bring forward and argue those assignments of error in her brief. Consequently, these assignments of error are deemed abandoned and the findings will not be disturbed. N.C.R. App. P. 28(b)(6); In re Leftwich, 135 N.C. App. 67, 70, 518 S.E.2d 799, 802 (1999). Since a finding of only one ground is required to terminate one's parental rights, In re Taylor, 97 N.C. App. 57, 64, 387 S.E.2d 230, 233-34 (1990), it is not necessary that we consider respondent's challenge to the third ground found by the court. This contention is dismissed.
    Accordingly, we affirm the order terminating respondent's parental rights.
    Judges WYNN and McCULLOUGH concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

*** Converted from WordPerfect ***