IN RE: Catawba County
I.N.P. No. 99 J 109
J. David Abernethy, for petitioner-appellee Catawba County
Department of Social Services.
Attorney Advocate Mary R. McKay, for petitioner-appellee Guardian ad Litem.
Brannon Strickland, P.L.L.C., by Anthony M. Brannon, for respondent-appellant.
Carolyn P. (respondent) appeals from a permanency planning order entered by the trial court on 23 June 2004. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the trial court's order.
The minor child (I.N.P.) was born on 2 September 1996. On 11 March 1999, the Catawba County Department of Social Services (DSS) filed a petition alleging that I.N.P. was a neglected and dependent juvenile. In an order entered 31 August 1999, the trial court adjudicated I.N.P. to be a neglected and dependent juvenile and approved I.N.P.'s placement with respondent. After both of I.N.P.'s parents relinquished their parental rights to I.N.P.,respondent (I.N.P.'s paternal grandmother) adopted her in the summer of 2000.
DSS filed another petition on 24 March 2003 alleging that I.N.P. was an abused and neglected juvenile. Following hearings on 23 September and 6 October 2003, the trial court adjudicated I.N.P. to be a neglected juvenile in an order entered 22 October 2003. In the same order, the trial court ordered DSS to take custody of I.N.P. and to cease reunification efforts with respondent. Although respondent attempted to appeal the 22 October 2003 order, she failed to timely perfect that appeal.
On 4 May 2004, the trial court held a permanency planning hearing. In its order entered on 23 June 2004, the trial court ordered that I.N.P. remain in the custody of DSS and that another permanency planning hearing be held on 24 August 2004. From the trial court's permanency planning order of 23 June 2004, respondent gave written notice of appeal. Because the permanency planning order on appeal is not a final order, we dismiss this appeal.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1001 defines final orders from which appeal may be taken in a juvenile matter to include:
(1) Any order finding absence of jurisdiction
(2) Any order which in effect determines the action and prevents a judgment from which appeal might be taken;
(3) Any order of disposition after an adjudication that a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent; or
(4) Any order modifying custodial rights.
N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 7B-1001(1)-(4) (2003). An order which changesthe permanency plan (for example from reunification to termination of parental rights) falls under § 7B-1001(3) and may be appealed. In re Weiler, 158 N.C. App. 473, 477, 581 S.E.2d 134, 137 (2003). The order appealed here did not change the plan for the juvenile's permanent placement, as the district court had previously entered two orders directing that reunification be stopped. See In re B.P., __ N.C. App. __, __ S.E.2d __ (COA04-498 filed 19 April 2005). Thus, the order appealed did not change anything with regard to the juvenile's permanent plan and is not appealable pursuant to § 7B-1001(3).
Judges MCGEE and LEVINSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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