An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA05-379

NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 7 February 2006

IN THE MATTER OF: C.L.,                        Buncombe County
        Minor Child.                        No. 03 J 296

    Appeal by respondent-mother from judgment entered 27 September 2004 by Judge Rebecca B. Knight in Buncombe County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 16 November 2005.

    Renae S. Alt for Buncombe County Department of Social Services petitioner appellee.

    Carol Ann Bauer for respondent appellant.

    McCULLOUGH, Judge.

    Respondent-mother appeals from a district court adjudication and dispositional order. We affirm.

FACTS
    Respondent is the mother of a female child, C.L. In the spring of 2003, C.L. was fourteen years old and was living with respondent-mother. C.L. had been dating a fifteen-year-old boy, J.W., but the relationship ended in early 2003. In March of 2003, while at respondent-mother's house, J.W. informed respondent-mother that he was experiencing problems at his home. Respondent-mother invited J.W. to spend the evening at her home. From that point forward, J.W. began living at respondent-mother's house.
    Between March and August of 2003, respondent-mother engaged in a sexual relationship with J.W., which consisted of sexual contacton a near-daily basis. C.L. was in the home during at least some of these sexual encounters, and during at least one sexual encounter between J.W. and respondent-mother, C.L. knocked on the bedroom door and asked respondent-mother if J.W. was in the room. On a number of occasions, J.W. became violent with respondent- mother. C.L witnessed these episodes of violence, became noticeably upset, cried, and asked J.W. to stop acting violently.     On 9 December 2003, the Buncombe County Department of Social Services (DSS) filed a juvenile petition alleging that C.L. was a neglected juvenile. A hearing on the petition was held on 7 June 2004. On 27 September 2004, the trial court entered an order in which it adjudged C.L. to be a neglected juvenile and made the following dispositional rulings:
        2.    [T]he best plan to achieve a safe, permanent home for [C.L.] within a reasonable period of time is reunification.

        . . . .

        4.    [T]here shall be no unsupervised contact between [respondent-mother] and C.L. or any minor child until she completes a sex offender specific evaluation.

        . . . .

        7. [Respondent-mother] shall submit to a sex offender specific evaluation and comply with any recommendations from that evaluation.

        8.    [Respondent-mother] shall submit to a psychological evaluation and comply with all recommendations from that evaluation. . . . [T]hese evaluations are critical to assess the risk of harm to C.L.[,] and the court must have this information to address that risk of harm.

Respondent-mother now appeals.
I.
    On appeal, respondent-mother first contends that the trial court's adjudication and dispositional order must be vacated because it was entered more than thirty days after the adjudication and dispositional hearing. We do not agree.
    Section 7B-807(b) of the North Carolina General Statutes provides that “[an] adjudicatory order . . . shall be reduced to writing, signed, and entered no later than 30 days following the completion of the [adjudicatory] hearing.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B- 807(b) (2005). However, the late entry of such an order, standing alone, does not necessarily require that the order be invalidated. In re E.N.S., 164 N.C. App. 146, 153-54, 595 S.E.2d 167, 172, disc. review denied, 359 N.C. 189, 606 S.E.2d 903-04 (2004). An appellant must demonstrate both untimeliness and resulting prejudice for this Court to order a new hearing. Id.
    In the instant case, the adjudicatory hearing was held during the week of 7 June 2004, and the adjudication and dispositional order was entered more than ninety days later on 27 September 2004. Though the trial court's delay was certainly inadvisable and improper, the record reveals that no prejudice stemmed from the untimeliness.
    The corresponding assignment of error is overruled.
II.
    Respondent-mother next challenges the sufficiency of two findings and one conclusion made by the trial court in theadjudicatory portion of the order. We conclude that the challenged determinations must be upheld.
    In juvenile cases, as in all cases, this Court's standard of review is whether there is evidentiary support for the trial court's findings and whether the trial court's conclusions are supported by its findings and are consistent with applicable law. See In re D.J.D., __ N.C. App. __, __, 615 S.E.2d 26, 32 (2005). The evidentiary support required for a juvenile adjudication order is clear and convincing evidence; and this Court must test properly challenged findings by the trial court against this standard. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-805 (2003); In re Allen, 58 N.C. App. 322, 325, 293 S.E.2d 607, 609 (1982). Clear and convincing evidence is evidence which should fully convince. In re Smith, 146 N.C. App. 302, 304, 552 S.E.2d 184, 186 (2001). Even under this heightened standard, “[t]he trial judge determines the weight to be given the testimony and the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom.” In re Hughes, 74 N.C. App. 751, 759, 330 S.E.2d 213, 218 (1985). The trial court's conclusions of law are reviewed de novo by this Court. In re J.D.C., __ N.C. App. __, __, 620 S.E.2d 49, 51 (2005).
A.
    The first finding with which respondent-mother takes issue is adjudicatory Finding of Fact No. 33, which states: “[A] social worker interviewed C.L. at school in September 2003. . . . [D]uring this interview[,] C.L. appeared confused[;] she cried and asked the social worker for help for her family.” This finding is premisedupon the testimony of a social worker concerning an interview with C.L. at school. Specifically, the social worker stated that
    [C.L.] showed a lot of confusion during that interview. She was, of course, very nervous and very upset. She asked me to help her family. I told her I was doing the very best that I could. I tried to be reassuring and supportive for her, but she was very, very upset. She was crying.

Respondent-mother contends that no finding could be based upon this evidence because it was excluded by the trial court pursuant to an objection by counsel. However, our review of the transcript reveals that no portion of the above-quoted testimony was excluded by the court. Accordingly, Finding of Fact No. 33 is supported by competent record evidence and must be affirmed. The corresponding assignment of error is overruled.
B.
    Respondent-mother also takes issue with adjudicatory Finding of Fact No. 39, which states:
    The minor child is a neglected child pursuant to [N.C. Gen. Stat.] § 7B-101(15) because the minor child does not receive proper care or supervision due to repeated exposure to domestic violence in the home between [respondent-mother] and J.W. and because [respondent- mother] made no efforts to protect the minor child from this violence. Further, the minor child is a neglected child because she lives in an environment injurious to her welfare due to . . . domestic violence . . . in the home, in her presence, causing her to be emotionally upset and putting her at risk of injury and because the minor child was residing in a home where another juvenile was subjected to sexual abuse by [respondent-mother] [through] multiple instances of sexual intercourse between [respondent-mother] and [J.W.] causing a substantial risk of emotional and physical injury to the minor child, C.L.
Respondent-mother alleges that the factual determinations contained in this finding are not supported by evidence in the record.   (See footnote 1)  Our review of the transcript reveals that the judicially determined facts set forth in Finding of Fact No. 39 are supported by (1) J.W.'s testimony that he and respondent-mother engaged in numerous sexual encounters and his admission that he had become violent with respondent-mother in C.L.'s presence, and (2) the testimony of a social worker concerning how C.L. had been negatively impacted by J.W.'s relationship with respondent-mother. The corresponding assignment of error is overruled.
C.
    Respondent-mother also contests adjudicatory Conclusion of Law No. 2, which states:
    [T]he [c]ourt finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the minor child, C.L.[,] is a neglected child pursuant to [N.C. Gen. Stat.] § 7B-101(15) based upon the evidence presented at trial that the minor child does not receive proper care or supervision due to repeated exposure to domestic violence in the home between [respondent-mother] and J.W. and because [respondent-mother] made no efforts to protect the minor child from this violence. Further, the minor child is a neglected child because she lives in an environment injurious to her welfare due to the . . . domestic violence that occurred between March and August[] 2003 in the home, in her presence, causing her to be emotionally upset and putting her at risk of injury and because the minor child was residing in a home where another juvenile was subjected to sexual abuse by [respondent-mother]. . . causing substantial risk of emotional and physical injury to the minor child, C.L.

Respondent-mother contends that this conclusion is unsupported by the evidence presented to the trial court.
    Pursuant to section 7B-101(15) of the North Carolina General Statutes, a “neglected juvenile” is
        [a] juvenile who does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from the juvenile's parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker; or who has been abandoned; or who is not provided necessary medical care; or who is not provided necessary remedial care; or who lives in an environment injurious to the juvenile's welfare; or who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law. In determining whether a juvenile is a neglected juvenile, it is relevant whether that juvenile lives in a home where another juvenile has died as a result of suspected abuse or neglect or 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) (2005). “In order to adjudicate a juvenile neglected, our courts have additionally 'required that there be some physical, mental, or emotional impairment of the juvenile or a substantial risk of such impairment as a consequence of the failure to provide “proper care, supervision, or discipline.”'” In re Stumbo, 357 N.C. 279, 283, 582 S.E.2d 255, 258 (2003) (citations omitted).
    In the instant case, the trial court's conclusion regarding neglect is supported by the evidence which is specifically referenced in the conclusion. Specifically, the record tends to show that respondent-mother regularly engaged in sexual congress with a juvenile, J.W., while her daughter C.L. was in the home andthat, while in the home, J.W. acted violently towards respondent- mother in C.L.'s presence. The record further indicates that respondent-mother's interactions with J.W. caused C.L. to become confused and upset.
    Accordingly, the trial court's conclusion that C.L. is a neglected juvenile is supported by the record and is consistent with the law. The corresponding assignment of error is overruled.
III.
    Respondent-mother next contests the trial court's dispositional rulings which, inter alia, (1) require her to submit to a sex offender evaluation and to comply with any resulting recommendations, (2) forbid unsupervised contact with C.L. pending completion of the sex offender evaluation, (3) order respondent- mother to submit to a psychological evaluation and to comply with any resulting recommendations. Respondent-mother properly concedes that these rulings must be reviewed by this Court under an abuse of discretion standard; however, she maintains that the trial court's dispositional decisions are arbitrary and unreasonable. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-903 (2005) (leaving dispositional alternatives to the discretion of the trial court). We conclude that the trial court's dispositional decisions are directed at preventing a recurrence of the inappropriate sexual behavior and incidents of violence that resulted in the adjudication of neglect. As such, we discern no abuse of discretion, and the corresponding assignments of error are overruled.
    Affirmed.
    Judges HUNTER and GEER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).


Footnote: 1
     We note that “[t]he determination of neglect . . . requires the application of the legal principles . . . and is therefore a conclusion of law.” In re Helms, 127 N.C. App. 505, 510, 491 S.E.2d 672, 675-76 (1997). In her argument concerning Finding of Fact No. 39, respondent-mother does not challenge the trial court's application of legal principles; rather, she only alleges that the finding is unsupported by competent record evidence.

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