State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-1105

§7B‑1105.  Preliminary hearing; unknown parent.

(a)        If either the nameor identity of any parent whose parental rights the petitioner seeks toterminate is not known to the petitioner, the court shall, within 10 days fromthe date of filing of the petition, or during the next term of court in thecounty where the petition is filed if there is no court in the county in that10‑day period, conduct a preliminary hearing to ascertain the name oridentity of such parent.

(b)        The court may, inits discretion, inquire of any known parent of the juvenile concerning theidentity of the unknown parent and may appoint a guardian ad litem for theunknown parent to conduct a diligent search for the parent. Should the courtascertain the name or identity of the parent, it shall enter a finding to thateffect; and the parent shall be summoned to appear in accordance with G.S. 7B‑1106.

(c)        Notice of thepreliminary hearing need be given only to the petitioner who shall appear atthe hearing, but the court may cause summons to be issued to any persondirecting the person to appear and testify.

(d)        If the court isunable to ascertain the name or identity of the unknown parent, the court shallorder publication of notice of the termination proceeding and shallspecifically order the place or places of publication and the contents of thenotice which the court concludes is most likely to identify the juvenile tosuch unknown parent. The notice shall be published in a newspaper qualified forlegal advertising in accordance with G.S. 1‑597 and G.S. 1‑598 andpublished in the counties directed by the court, once a week for threesuccessive weeks. Provided, further, the notice shall:

(1)        Designate the courtin which the petition is pending;

(2)        Be directed to"the father (mother) (father and mother) of a male (female) juvenile bornon or about__________________________ in


                  County,            ,


___________________________________________ ,respondent";


(3)        Designate the docketnumber and title of the case (the court may direct the actual name of the titlebe eliminated and the words "In Re Doe" substituted therefor);

(4)        State that apetition seeking to terminate the parental rights of the respondent has beenfiled;

(5)        Direct therespondent to answer the petition within 30 days after a date stated in thenotice, exclusive of such date, which date so stated shall be the date of firstpublication of notice and be substantially in the form as set forth in G.S. 1A‑1,Rule 4(j1); and

(6)        State that therespondent's parental rights to the juvenile will be terminated upon failure toanswer the petition within the time prescribed.

Upon completion of theservice, an affidavit of the publisher shall be filed with the court.

(e)        The court shallissue the order required by subsections (b) and (d) of this section within 30days from the date of the preliminary hearing unless the court shall determinethat additional time for investigation is required.

(f)         Upon the failureof the parent served by publication pursuant to subsection (d) of this sectionto answer the petition within the time prescribed, the court shall issue anorder terminating all parental rights of the unknown parent. (1977,c. 879, s. 8; 1987, c. 282, s. 1; 1998‑202, s. 6; 1999‑456, s. 60.)