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New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. G.V.

October 25, 2007

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
G.V., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF A.V., G.V., AND J.V., MINORS.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FG-09-291-05.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 2, 2007

Before Judges Winkelstein and Yannotti.

Defendant G.V. appeals from a judgment dated July 25, 2006, which terminated her parental rights to A.V., G.V., and J.V. We affirm.

The Division of Youth and Family Services is authorized by N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a to seek the termination of an individual's parental rights when such relief would be in the child's "best interests." N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. P.P., 180 N.J. 494, 505-06 (2004). "The grounds for termination of parental rights are codified in subsections (1) through (4) of N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a, and are designed to balance parental rights and the State's parens patriae responsibility to protect the welfare of children." Id. at 506 (citing In re Guardianship of K.H.O., 161 N.J. 337, 347 (1999)).

Parental rights may be terminated when the Division establishes by clear and convincing evidence the following criteria:

(1) The child's safety, health or development has been or will continue to be endangered by the parental relationship;

(2) The parent is unwilling or unable to eliminate the harm facing the child or is unable or unwilling to provide a safe and stable home for the child and the delay of permanent placement will add to the harm. Such harm may include evidence that separating the child from his resource family parents would cause serious and enduring emotional or psychological harm to the child;

(3) The [D]ivision has made reasonable efforts to provide services to help the parent correct the circumstances which led to the child's placement outside the home and the court has considered alternatives to termination of parental rights; and

(4) Termination of parental rights will not do more harm than good.

[N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a.]

The criteria "are not discrete and separate; they relate to and overlap with one another to provide a comprehensive standard that identifies a child's best interests." In re ...


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