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Division of Youth and Family Services v. M.W.

February 8, 2007

DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
M.W., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF M.B., A MINOR.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Essex County, Docket No. FG-07-101-06.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 23, 2007

Before Judges R. B. Coleman and Gilroy.

M.W., the biological father of baby girl, M.B., born May 28, 2005, appeals from the order of the Chancery Division, Family Part, entered on June 9, 2006, terminating his parental rights to M.B. The order also terminated the parental rights of L.B., M.B.'s biological mother, who had defaulted in the action.

Termination of parental rights is authorized when found to be in the best interests of the child. N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.G., 344 N.J. Super. 418, 434 (App. Div. 2001), certif. denied, 171 N.J. 44 (2002). Such actions require proof by clear and convincing evidence. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. L.C., 346 N.J. Super. 435, 439 (App. Div. 2002). Termination actions brought under N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a, are decided under a four-part "best interests of the child" standard first enunciated by the Court in N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.W., 103 N.J. 591, 604-611 (1986) and now codified in N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a.

On appeal, M.W. argues:

POINT I.

A. THE DIVISION'S EVIDENCE DID NOT PROVE BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE A FINDING THAT THE HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHILD HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ENDANGERED BY THE PARENTAL RELATIONSHIP.

B. THE DIVISION DID NOT PRODUCE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE FINDINGS THAT M.W. WAS UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO PROVIDE A SAFE AND STABLE HOME FOR THE CHILD AND THE DELAY OF PERMANENT PLACEMENT WILL ADD TO THE HARM.

C. THE COURT'S FINDINGS THAT THE DIVISION HAS MADE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO HELP THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE REMOVAL OF THE CHILD AND THE COURT HAS CONSIDERED ALTERNATIVES TO TERMINATION OF [] PARENTAL RIGHTS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE.

D. THE COURT'S FINDINGS THAT TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS WILL NOT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ...


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