IN THE INTEREST OF K. G., A CHILD.
MCFADDEN, P. J., BRANCH and BETHEL, JJ.
MCFADDEN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
In the Interest of K. G., 343 Ga.App. 345 (807
S.E.2d 70) (2017), the mother of K. G. appealed the juvenile
court order granting a petition for permanent guardianship of
the child. We affirmed the order. Id. Now, the
child's attorney-guardian ad litem appeals on behalf of
the child. She argues that the juvenile court erred by
granting the petition because the court failed to adequately
accommodate the mother's disability, a hearing
impairment, but the record does not support her argument. She
argues that the juvenile court erred by finding that the
appointment of a permanent guardian is in K. G.'s best
interests, but clear and convincing evidence supports that
finding. So we affirm.
Failure to accommodate the mother's hearing
child's attorney-guardian ad litem argues that the
juvenile court erred in granting the permanent guardianship
because the court failed to adequately accommodate the
mother's disability when it denied a motion for
continuance and when it modified the mother's case plan.
Neither example demonstrates that the juvenile court failed
to accommodate the mother's disability.
hearing that occurred after the guardianship petition was
filed, two American Sign Language interpreters were present
for the mother's benefit. See OCGA § 24-6-654 (a).
At a July 22, 2016, hearing (at which two interpreters were
present) the mother's counsel moved for a continuance on
the ground that she and the mother had only had an hour to
discuss the case with an interpreter present. The attorney
had been appointed almost two months before as substitute
counsel for the mother's previous attorney.
attorney for the permanent guardian opposed the motion for a
continuance on the ground that the case had been pending for
more than two years and the child still lacked permanency.
The juvenile court denied the motion for a continuance,
noting that the court would hear one and one-half hours of
testimony that day and that the case would resume four days
later. The court told the mother's attorney that the
court "will afford you whatever opportunity you need
between now and then for the interpreter services. All you
have to do is ask."
will not disturb a juvenile court's denial of a motion
for continuance absent abuse of discretion." In the
Interest of K.A.P., 277 Ga.App. 794, 798 (2) (627 S.E.2d
857) (2006) (citation omitted). Under the circumstances here,
K. G.'s attorney-guardian ad litem has not shown that the
trial court abused her discretion in refusing to continue the
hearing. Nor has she shown how the court's exercise of
discretion failed to accommodate the mother's disability.
extent K. G.'s attorney-guardian ad litem argues that the
mother's rights were violated by a modification of the
case plan, the argument fails. As we noted in our prior
opinion, nothing in the record demonstrates that the mother -
or anyone else - objected to the modification of the case
plan. In the Interest of K. G., 343 Ga.App. at 350
(2) (b). See also In the Interest of D. E., 269
Ga.App. 753, 756 (2) (605 S.E.2d 394) (2004) (objection to
reunification plan not raised in the juvenile court was
K. G.'s best interests.
G.'s attorney-guardian ad litem argues that the juvenile
court erred by finding that the appointment of a permanent
guardian was in K. G.'s best interests. In relevant part,
OCGA § 15-11-240 (a) provides:
the juvenile court shall be vested with jurisdiction to
appoint a permanent guardian for a child adjudicated as a
dependent child in accordance with this article. Prior to the
entry of such an order, the court shall: (1) Find that
reasonable efforts to reunify such child with his or her
parents would be detrimental to such child or find that the
living parents of such child have consented to the permanent
guardianship; (2) Find that termination of parental rights
and adoption is not in the best interests of such child; (3)
Find that the proposed permanent guardian can provide a safe
and permanent home for such child; [and] (4) Find that the
appointment of a permanent guardian for such child is in the
best interests of such child and that the individual chosen
as such child's permanent guardian is the individual most
appropriate to be such child's permanent guardian taking
into consideration the best interests of the child. . . .
G.'s attorney-guardian ad litem argues that the trial
court erred in finding that the appointment of a permanent
guardian was in K. G.'s best interest because there is a
bond between her and her mother; the mother is capable of
meeting her needs; the mother completed her case plan goals;
the mother was having regular unsupervised overnight visits
with K. G.; and the mother was attending medical
evidence supported the juvenile court's finding. As we
observed in In the Interest of K. G., 343 Ga.App. at
349-350 (2) (b), the evidence showed that the mother had
not completed her case plan and it supported the
juvenile court's conclusion "that K. G. had
experienced chronic neglect [and] that the mother lacks the
necessary skills to be able to meet the child's severe
needs and the ability to ensure that K. G. receives the
essential services to which she is entitled."
Id. at 350 (2) (b). Further, the child's
guardian ad litem (as opposed to the appellant ...