If you’re a sports fan like me, you probably like sports movies. And if you like sports movies, you know the famous line from Jerry Maguire, “show me the money!” That line has some application to abuse, neglect, or dependency cases – specifically when a court is going to order custody or guardianship of a child who has been adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent to a person who is not the child’s parent. The Juvenile Code requires that the court first verify that the proposed custodian or guardian “will have adequate resources to care appropriately for the juvenile.” G.S. 7B-903(a)(4), -906.1(j), -600(c).* Continue Reading
Who signs an A/N/D/ petition and whether it is properly verified determines if the court has subject matter jurisdiction over the proceeding. Without subject matter jurisdiction, the court has no authority to act and any judgment entered is void. In re T.R.P., 360 N.C. 588 (2006). Because subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at any time, even for the first time on appeal, and it cannot be waived or consented to, a county could discover weeks, months, or years after the action is commenced that all its orders in the action are void. This is problematic for many reasons.