January 18, 2008
DAYSI L. FLORES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
RAUL FLORES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FD-09-1479-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 22, 2007
Before Judges Collester and C.S. Fisher.
Defendant Raul Flores appeals from a judgment of divorce entered on July 26, 2006, awarding custody of the parties' three minor children to plaintiff Daysi Flores and permitting monthly telephone communication between the defendant and the children. Defendant makes the following arguments:
POINT I -- THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE DIVORCE AND TERMINATING APPELLANT'S PARENTAL RIGHTS. (Partially Raised Below.)
POINT II -- THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S REQUEST FOR ASSIGNMENT OF COUNSEL. (Raised Below.)
Defendant's appeal is based upon the mistaken premise that Judge Maureen B. Mantineo terminated his parental rights. No such order was entered. In fact, defendant's parental rights remain intact together with his right to communicate with his children by telephone.
There is no basis for defendant's argument that there should be joint legal custody of the children. Since he is ineligible for parole until 2027, such an award would be both impractical and contrary to the welfare of the children. See Beck v. Beck, 86 N.J. 480, 488 (1981). In these circumstances sole custody was properly awarded to plaintiff.
Defendant's remaining argument that he was entitled to appointment of counsel is without merit. This was a civil action which did not subject the defendant to a consequence of magnitude such as termination of parental rights. The remaining arguments of defendant are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion. R. 2:11-3e(1)(E).
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