North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms TPR Order After Father’s Appeal
“Child custody cases are difficult to handle because you’re talking about taking a child from a parent, or quashing any hope that a parent will regain custody of their child,” Mr. Hayes commented. “The deck is stacked in favor of the Department of Social Services on appeal because the grounds for terminating parental rights are so broad. I once appealed a ruling that the child was neglected because the parents had purely verbal arguments in the child’s presence, and I recall thinking that by that standard every child in North Carolina is neglected.”
In In re F.L.C., Z.L.C., Mark Hayes represented a father from Ashe county who was appealing two orders. The first order relieved the Department of Social Services from its obligation to facilitate a reunification between the father and his children, who were in DSS care. The second order, which followed, permanently terminated the father’s parental rights, which freed the foster parents to adopt the children. In an unpublished opinion, the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s rulings on both the reunification order and the TPR order.