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Antrom v. Division of Youth and Family Services

February 13, 2008

REGINA J. ANTROM, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES AND FORMER COMMISSIONER JAMES M. DAVY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, L-915-05.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 7, 2008

Before Judges Sabatino and Alvarez.

Plaintiff, Regina J. Antrom, appearing pro se, appeals from the dismissal by way of summary judgment of her claims against the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), as well as the Division of Youth and Family Services former Commissioner James M. Davy. We affirm.

Plaintiff's name was placed on the Child Abuse Central Registry in 1991. N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.11. That year, three foster children were removed from her care because of substantiated physical abuse, although she adamantly disputes this claim. One of the children was returned to her care over a year later. In 1999, she reapplied to become a foster parent, and was then advised of the Registry listing. From November 1999 to February 2005, she sought to delete her name from the Registry, including the filing of an administrative law proceeding. For reasons not contained in this record, on February 28, 2005, DYFS wrote to plaintiff and advised that the 1991 report of child abuse was not substantiated. Antrom's name was thereafter removed from the Registry.

The following month, in March 2005, plaintiff sued DYFS and former Commissioner James M. Davy for $10,000,000. She seeks $10,000,000 in actual damages, as well as unspecified punitive damages for violation of her due process rights. On November 3, 2006, the court below granted DYFS's motion for summary judgment based on statute of limitation defenses. Thereafter, plaintiff filed for reconsideration. As a result, the motion judge directed the parties to submit additional information as to whether the Registry listing was available to the public, and whether there was a potential claim for damages for a continuing wrong actionable until the plaintiff's name was removed from the list in 2005. Upon consideration of the submissions, the motion for summary judgment was granted. As stated by the court below:

The [c]court is satisfied at this juncture that the - - the application before the [c]court is one that is squarely founded upon the issues of the statute of limitations.

Plaintiff has indicated, and there's little dispute, that she learned about being placed on this registry in 1999, that the action, the notice claim, was not filed until April 1, 2005.

The [c]court expressed some concern at the initial oral argument as to the possibility of a continuing violation, if in fact, the information contained within the DYFS list, was disseminated to the general public.

We have received the January 19[], 2007 correspondence from the division, indicating that, in fact, that list is internally held and not disseminated. And if the information was released, there would be ways to track who the information was released to.

It was never requested from any outside party, nor was it released to any outside party. And, in fact, there was no damage flowing from the placement on the list to the plaintiff, as a result of the internal nature of the list.

It appears, and the [c]court is satisfied, that no one, other than the plaintiff, herself, was aware of the fact that she was on the list, other than the members of the division, itself, that contained the list.

I'm satisfied that the expiration of the statute of limitations prevents any further prosecution of this claim. The ...


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