S.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs. v. Berry, 2022-UP-420

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
PartiesSouth Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent, v. Crystal Diana Berry and Anthony Bishop, Defendants, Of whom Anthony Bishop is the Appellant. In the interest of a minor under the age of eighteen.
Docket Number2022-UP-420,Appellate Case 2021-001200
Decision Date21 November 2022

South Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent,
v.

Crystal Diana Berry and Anthony Bishop, Defendants,

Of whom Anthony Bishop is the Appellant. In the interest of a minor under the age of eighteen.

No. 2022-UP-420

Appellate Case No. 2021-001200

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

November 21, 2022


THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

Submitted November 18, 2022

Appeal From Greenville County Thomas T. Hodges, Family Court Judge

Kimberly Yancey Brooks, of Kimberly Y. Brooks, Attorney at Law, of Greenville, for Appellant.

Rebecca Rush Wray, of South Carolina Department of Social Services, of Greenville, for Respondent.

1

Megan Goodwin Burke, of Greenville, for the Guardian ad Litem.

PER CURIAM

Anthony Bishop (Father) appeals a family court order terminating his parental rights to his minor child (Child). Father argues the family court erred in finding (1) he failed to remedy the conditions that caused Child's removal and (2) termination of parental rights (TPR) was in Child's best interest. We affirm.

On appeal from the family court, "this [c]ourt reviews factual and legal issues de novo." Simmons v. Simmons, 392 S.C. 412, 414, 709 S.E.2d 666, 667 (2011). Although this court reviews the family court's findings de novo, it is not required to ignore the fact that the family court, which saw and heard the witnesses, was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and assign comparative weight to their testimony. See Lewis v. Lewis, 392 S.C. 381, 385-86, 709 S.E.2d 650, 651-52 (2011).

The family court may order TPR upon finding a statutory ground for TPR is met and TPR is in the children's best interests. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-2570 (Supp. 2022). The grounds "must be proved by clear and convincing evidence." S.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs. v. Parker, 336 S.C. 248, 254, 519 S.E.2d 351, 354 (Ct. App. 1999).

We find clear and convincing evidence showed a statutory ground for TPR was met when Father failed to remedy the conditions that caused Child's removal. See § 63-7-2570(2) (providing a statutory ground for TPR is met when "[t]he child has been removed from the parent . . . and has been out of the home for a period of six months following the adoption of a placement plan by court order . . . and the parent has not remedied the conditions which caused the removal"). The family court issued an...

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