Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ex parte Carter

Supreme Court of South Carolina

March 21, 2018

Ex Parte: Mickey Ray Carter, Jr. and Nila Collean Carter, Movants, Of Whom Nila Collean Carter is Petitioner. In Re:John Roe and Mary Roe, Respondents, L. C. and X.C., minors under the age of seven years, Defendants. Appellate Case No. 2017-000806

          Heard January 31, 2018

         ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

          Appeal from Charleston County Edgar H. Long, Jr., Family Court Judge

          A. Mattison Bogan, of Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, for Petitioner.

          K. Jay Anthony, of the Anthony Law Firm, PA, of Spartanburg; Emily McDaniel Barrett and Thomas P. Lowndes, Jr., both of Charleston, for Respondents.

          PER CURIAM

         In this adoption matter, Petitioner Nila Collean Carter sought to revoke her consent to the adoption of her two biological children. Throughout the resulting procedural morass, Petitioner was never provided an opportunity to be heard on the merits of her claim before the adoption was finalized. We issued a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' unpublished decision affirming the family court's denial of Petitioner's motion to set aside the final adoption decree pursuant to Rule 60(b), SCRCP. Ex Parte Carter, Op. No. 2017-UP-043 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Jan. 13, 2017). Because Petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion was timely filed and sufficiently alleged extrinsic fraud, we reverse and remand this matter to the family court for further proceedings.

         I.

         Petitioner and her ex-husband Mickey Ray Carter, Jr.[1] are the biological parents (collectively "the Carters") of two children-a daughter born in 2009 and a son born in 2011. The Carters were married in May 2010, and by early 2014, the couple was experiencing financial and marital stressors. Given the difficult circumstances facing the Carters and the unavailability of extended family support, the Carters began discussing private adoption as an alternative that they believed was preferable to the children being placed in foster care.

         Petitioner reached out to attorney Emily McDaniel Barrett, who arranged the adoption on behalf of both couples.[2] From the beginning, Petitioner insisted on taking an active part in the adoption process and explained that she wanted an open adoption because that was "the only way this won't destroy me. I need them to know how much I love them."

         In April 2014, the Carters each signed a consent to adoption of their two children by Respondents John and Mary Roe ("Adoptive Couple"). Four days later, the adoption action was filed. Notably, the documents signed by the Carters included a provision waiving service and notice of the adoption action.

         Eight days after the adoption action was filed, the Carters each executed a notarized document titled "Withdrawal of Parental Consent to Adoption" purporting to revoke consent on the basis of emotional duress. Thereafter, the Carters sought through many avenues to withdraw their consent.[3]

         The South Carolina Adoption Act provides that:

Withdrawal of any consent or relinquishment is not permitted except by order of the court after notice and opportunity to be heard is given to all persons concerned, and except when the court finds that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the child and that the consent or relinquishment was not given voluntarily or was obtained under duress or through coercion. Any person attempting to withdraw consent or relinquishment shall file the reasons for withdrawal ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.