Appeal by respondent-mother from an order entered 12 March
2007 by Judge Bradley B. Letts in District Court, Haywood County.
Heard in the Court of Appeals on 20 August 2007.
Ira L. Dove, for petitioner-appellee.
Rebekah W. Davis, for respondent_appellant.
Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice, by G. Wriston Marshburn,
for guardian ad litem.
On 25 April 2006, the Haywood County Department of Social
Services (DSS) filed a petition to terminate respondent-mother's
parental rights. DSS alleged that: (1) respondent-mother had
neglected the juveniles within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-
101(15) and pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(1); (2)
respondent-mother had willfully left the juveniles in foster care
or placement outside of the home for more than twelve months
without showing that reasonable progress under the circumstances
had been made in correcting those conditions that led to the
removal of the juveniles, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-
1111(a)(2); and (3) the juveniles had been placed in the custody of
the petitioner and for a continuous period of six monthsimmediately preceding the filing of the petition respondent-mother
failed to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of care for the
juveniles although physically and financially able to do so,
pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(3).
On 12 March 2007, the trial court entered an order terminating
respondent-mother's parental rights. In this appeal, respondent-
mother does not challenge the trial court's reliance upon these
statutory grounds, nor does she assert that any of the trial
court's factual findings are unsupported by the evidence.
Respondent-mother asserts only that the trial court abused its
discretion in concluding that termination is in the best interest
of the juveniles. She has not assigned error as to any of the
trial court's findings of fact or conclusions of law.
Pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Appellate Procedure 10(a),
the scope of review on appeal is confined to a consideration of
those assignments of error set out in the record on appeal in
accordance with this Rule 10. N.C.R. App. P. 10. Where no
exception is taken to a finding of fact by the trial court, the
finding is presumed to be supported by competent evidence and is
binding on appeal. Koufman v. Koufman
, 330 N.C. 93, 97, 408
S.E.2d 729, 731 (1991). Therefore, we presume that all of the
trial court's detailed findings of fact are supported by the
evidence and thus they are binding on appeal.
II. Termination of Parental Rights
After an adjudication that one or more grounds for
terminating a parent's rights exist, the court shall determinewhether terminating the parent's rights is in the juvenile's best
interest. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1110(a) (2005). The standard of
review for the trial court's decision is abuse of discretion. See
In re Allred
, 122 N.C. App. 561, 569, 471 S.E.2d 84, 88 (1996). The
trial court's order may be reversed for abuse of discretion only
upon a showing by a litigant that the challenged actions are
manifestly unsupported by reason. Clark v. Clark
, 301 N.C. 123,
128, 271 S.E.2d 58, 63 (1980). A ruling committed to a trial
court's discretion is to be accorded great deference and will be
upset only upon a showing that it was so arbitrary that it could
not have been the result of a reasoned decision. White v. White
312 N.C. 770, 777, 324 S.E.2d 829, 833 (1985).
Here, the trial court made extensive findings of fact in its
order determining the best interests of the juveniles. The trial
court made multiple findings relating to respondent-mother's issues
with domestic violence and anger management, the effects on the
juveniles, and respondent-mother's failures to complete treatment
and comply with DSS's case plan or the trial court's prior orders.
Additionally, the trial court specifically stated that it had
considered the six factors enumerated by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-
1110(a) including the age of the juveniles, the likelihood of
adoption, whether termination would aid in a permanent plan for the
juveniles, the parental-juvenile bonds, the quality of the
relationship between the juveniles and the new placement, and other
relevant factors. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1110(a)(1)-(6). Among the
trial court's finding relevant to these factors were: 112. [T.L.M.'s] and [T.J.M.'s] placement is a
pre-adoptive home where they have been placed
since January 2007. This is the second foster
home placement for these children in the last
year. The foster parents indicate they are
also willing to take [J.K.J.] into the home,
upon recommendation of the child's Therapist
and completion of his [Reactive Attachment
Disorder] evaluation. [J.K.J.] has had his
first initial intake and recommendations were
made for further evaluations.
113. The permanent plan for the children is
adoption and termination of parental rights
would allow maintaining their placements in a
114. [T.L.M.] and [T.J.M.] have been observed
by the Department of Social Services with
their current foster parents. The foster
parents have a realistic view regarding the
issues these children have been and will be
facing in the future, and there is affection
displayed in this home.
115. It is Social Worker Mesimer's opinion
that the Respondent Mother's bond with the
children is not a healthy bond. . . .
116. [J.K.J.] does not exhibit any bond with
either of his Parents. . . . The child has
refused to come to visits with his Mother, on
one occasion standing in the stairwell
screaming and refusing to come upstairs, and
having to be carried upstairs to the visit.
. . . .
133. On 25 October 2006, Ms. Barnhill observed
a visit between [J.K.J.] and [respondent-
mother] for two hours. No bond between the
child and his Mother was observed.
. . . .
153. The conduct of the Respondent Parents has
been such as to demonstrate that they will not
promote the healthy and orderly physical and
emotional wellbeing of the juvenile[s].
154. The juveniles are in need of a Permanent
Plan of Care at the earliest age possible,which can be obtained only by the severing of
the relationship between the juveniles and the
Respondent Parents by termination of the
parents' parental rights.
The trial court's order demonstrates that it was the result of a
reasoned decision. White
, 312 N.C. at 777, 324 S.E.2d at 833. We
discern no abuse of discretion in the trial court's order
terminating respondent-mother's parental rights. Accordingly, we
Judges STEELMAN and JACKSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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