An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA03-1281


Filed: 4 May 1004

T.B.,                        Cabarrus County
T.B.,                        No. 01 J 34-35
    Minor Children.

    Appeal by respondent from an order entered 31 October 2002 by Judge Martin B. McGee in District Court, Cabarrus County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 19 April 2004.

    Kathleen Arundell Widelski, for petitioner-appellee Cabarrus County Department of Social Services.
    Scott B. Lewis for respondent-appellant.

    McGEE, Judge.

    T.B. and T.B. (the children) were born on 25 August 1997. D.A.M. (respondent) is their mother. The Cabarrus County Department of Social Services (DSS) filed a juvenile petition on 22 February 2001 alleging that the children were neglected juveniles. DSS alleged that on 21 February 2001, the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Department had arrived at respondent's home and found the children alone in the home, the front door unlocked and a stove burner left on. A non-secure custody order was entered the next day and the children were placed in the custody of DSS.
    In an order filed 27 July 2002, the children were adjudicated neglected and dependent juveniles. DSS filed a motion in the cause to terminate respondent's parental rights on 29 August 2001. DSSalleged that: (1) respondent had neglected the children; (2) the children had been in the custody of DSS for a continuous period of six months preceding the filing of the petition, and respondent had willfully failed for such period to pay any portion of the cost of care for the children although physically and financially able to do so; and (3) respondent was incapable of providing for the proper care and supervision of the children such that they were dependent children, and such incapability will continue for the foreseeable future. The trial court terminated the respondent's parental rights in an order entered 31 October 2002. Respondent appeals.
    Counsel appointed to represent respondent has filed a purported Anders brief in which he states that he "cannot in good faith brief any of the issues set out in the Assignments of Error" because they are "without merit." Counsel asks this Court to conduct its own review of the record for possible prejudicial error.
    "'An attorney for a criminal defendant who believes that his client's appeal is without merit is permitted to file what has become known as an Anders brief.'" In re Harrison, 136 N.C. App. 831, 832, 526 S.E.2d 502, 502 (2000)(quoting State v. Mayfield, 115 N.C. App. 725, 726, 446 S.E.2d 150, 152 (1994)). However, this Court has declined to extend the procedures and protections afforded by Anders to civil cases, including termination proceedings. Harrison, 136 N.C. App. at 832-33, 526 S.E.2d at 502- 03.
    Nevertheless, in the exercise of our discretion pursuant toN.C.R. App. P. 2, we have reviewed the record to determine whether the evidence supports the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. We find that the trial court's findings are supported by clear and convincing evidence and therefore affirm the trial court's order terminating the respondent's parental rights.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge BRYANT concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

*** Converted from WordPerfect ***