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2009-UP-106 - SCDSS v. Doe

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.

Courtney M., Rowland G., John Doe, Defendants,

Of Whom Courtney M. is Appellant.

In the interest of: I.M., a minor child under the age of 18.


Appeal From Oconee County
 Billy A. Tunstall, Jr. , Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-106
Submitted February 2, 2009 – Filed March 2, 2009   


AFFIRMED


William Wallace Culp, III, of Greenville, for Appellant.

Kimberly Renae Welchel, of Walhalla, for Respondent.

Nathan Mather Clark, of Seneca, for Guardian Ad Litem.

PER CURIAM: Courtney M. appeals the family court's denial of her motion for continuance of a termination of parental rights hearing to have a guardian ad litem appointed.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities: S.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs. v. Powell, 278 S.C. 79, 79-80, 292 S.E.2d 299, 300 (1982) (stating if a person has never been determined incompetent by a court and the record raises serious questions concerning mental condition, the family court "should at the outset determine whether the party involved is sufficiently competent mentally to proceed without the appointment of a guardian ad litem"); Cherry v. Thomasson, 276 S.C. 524, 280 S.E.2d 541 (1981) (holding this court does not have to ignore the fact that the trial judge, who saw and heard the witnesses, was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and assign comparative weight to their testimony); Nasser-Moghaddassi v. Moghaddassi, 364 S.C. 182, 189-90, 612 S.E.2d 707, 711 (Ct. App. 2005) (explaining in appeals from the family court, this court may find facts in accordance with its own view of the preponderance of the evidence; however, the appellant is not relieved of her burden to convince this court the family court committed error); Bowers v. Bowers, 349 S.C. 85, 561 S.E.2d 610 (Ct. App. 2002) (stating this court's broad scope of review does not require us to disregard the family court's findings).

AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., CURETON, A.J., and GOOLSBY, A.J.


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