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2004-UP-434 - South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Martinez
THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

South Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent,

v.

Burnette Martinez & Ruben Martinez and Child, Hamelia Martinez, DOB  11-27-88, Defendants,

of whom Ruben Martinez is Appellant.


Appeal From Dorchester County
 William J. Wylie, Jr., Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-434
Submitted June 8, 2004 – Filed July 23, 2004


AFFIRMED


Amy C. Sutherland, of Greenville, for Respondent.

William R. Hearn, Jr., of Summerville, for Guardian ad Litem.

PER CURIAM:  Ruben Martinez appeals the family court’s order terminating his parental rights to Hamelia Martinez.  We affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:  South Carolina Dep’t of Soc. Servs. v. Vanderhorst, 287 S.C. 554, 561, 340 S.E.2d 149, 153 (1986) (When a court terminates parental rights, the paramount consideration is the best interest of the child or children.); South Carolina Dep’t of Soc. Servs. v. Broome, 307 S.C. 48, 54, 413 S.E.2d 835, 839 (1992) (The appellate courts may review the record in a termination of parental rights case and make their own determination whether termination is supported by clear and convincing evidence.); Hooper v. Rockwell, 334 S.C. 281, 297, 513 S.E.2d 358, 367 (1999) (However, due deference may be given to the decision of the family court judge who saw and heard the witnesses and was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and their testimony.); S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1572(3) (Supp. 2003) (The family court may terminate the rights of a parent if termination is in the child’s best interest, “the child has lived outside the home of either parent for a period of six months, and during that time the parent has wilfully failed to visit the child.”); S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1572(8) (The family court may also order termination of parental rights if “[t]he child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months[.]”); Doe v. Baby Boy Roe, 353 S.C. 576, 581, 578 S.E.2d 733, 736 (Ct. App. 2003), cert. denied (April 8, 2004) (“[A] ground for termination exists once a child has languished in foster care for any fifteen months within the most recent twenty-two month period.”). 

AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., STILWELL, J., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


[1]        We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.