Nancy Litwak recently obtained a 7-0 ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court in connection with one of her pro bono cases, in which she served as Guardian ad Litem appellate counsel for two minor children who had previously been adjudicated abused and/or neglected.
Nancy argued before the Supreme Court in Raleigh on March 22. The specific issue before the Court was whether the Court of Appeals erred by holding that the Respondent-Appellant Father failed to preserve his constitutional argument regarding the right to parent.
The Court filed its opinion on May 6, authored by Justice Philip Berger Jr. Therein, the Court found that the Respondent-Appellant Father could - and did - fail to preserve his appellate argument that the trial court erred by granting guardianship without first concluding that he was an unfit parent or had acted inconsistently with his constitutional right to parent. The Supreme Court rejected the Respondent-Appellant Father's attempt to argue that such constitutional argument is automatically preserved. Rather, in line with the State's rules on the preservation of constitutional issues, a parent's argument concerning his or her paramount interest to the custody of his or her child may be waived if not first raised in the trial court.
The full opinion can be found here.
Nancy has served as a volunteer appellate attorney with the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program since 2019. For more information on the Program, see here.