Winning Appeal: In Re K.S.

by | Nov 7, 2020

The Law Office of Mark L. Hayes recently prevailed in In re K.S., No. COA18-763 (N.C. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2019) after the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s order eliminating reunification as a permanent plan for its client’s child.

After a history of domestic violence, Mr. Hayes’ client’s children were placed with foster parents and determined by the State to be neglected and dependent juveniles in December 2015.

In July 2016, the trial court assigned reunification with Mr. Hayes’ client as the permanent plan for the children and adoption as the secondary plan. However, in April 2017, the trial court entered an order changing reunification as the second option, and later in the year, after another order, the trial court ultimately placed Mr. Hayes’ client’s child under guardianship and eliminated reunification as a plan.

The Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s judgment that reunification should be eliminated as the permanent plan for the child and remanded for a new order containing the required findings of fact under the statute. The Court agreed with Mr. Hayes that the trial court did not show that reuniting Mr. Hayes’ client with her child would be unsuccessful or against the child’s health and safety. In vacating the order in favor of Mr. Hayes’ client, the Court also concluded the trial court failed to answer nearly all the necessary questions before it could have ordered reunification as unavailable for Mr. Hayes’ client.

Please been advised, however, that success in this case should not be construed as an indication this firm will be successful in any given future case, and you should consult with a license attorney to determine the viability of your own case.

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