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N.C. Court of Appeals Clarifies The Meaning Of “Visitation” In Custody Case

Mark Hayes, the lawyer for a Wilmington mother in a child neglect case, successfully argued to the North Carolina Court of Appeals that a Skype “visitation” did not satisfy the parent’s visitation rights as guaranteed by statute.  The visitation portion of the order was therefore vacated, and the case was remanded so that the trial court could conduct a new hearing in which visitation would be properly set.  The Court also affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the child in the case had been neglected.

The Court reasoned as follows:

“[R]espondent-mother takes the position that communication via Skype is not visitation as contemplated by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-905(c), and that the trial court’s order effectively denies her visitation with T.R.T.  We agree.  The trial court did not permit face-to-face visitation, but instead allowed respondent-mother to communicate with T.R.T. via Skype . . . . As a result, we remand this case to the trial court for additional findings and conclusions relating to the issue of visitation.”

The full decision is available at LINK.  http://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=2&pdf=MjAxMy8xMi05MDUtMS5wZGY=

Posted on: 23 Jul, 2013