Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Division of Youth and Family Services v. K.H.

April 11, 2008

DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
K.H., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF K.M.H., A MINOR.
DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
V.C., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF K.H.M., A MINOR.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Middlesex County, Docket No. FG-12-68-07.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 27, 2008

Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Messano.

In these consolidated actions, defendants K.H. and V.C. appeal the April 20, 2007 judgment of guardianship that terminated their parental rights to K.M.H., their son, and awarded the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (D.Y.F.S. or the Division) guardianship of the child in anticipation of his legal adoption. K.H., the father of K.M.H., raises the following issues for our consideration:

POINT I

THE ORDER TERMINATING THE [FATHER'S] PARENTAL RIGHTS MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE [D.Y.F.S.] DID NOT MAKE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO REUNITE THE CHILD WITH HIS FATHER; INSTEAD, [D.Y.F.S.] PROVIDED EXTENSIVE THERAPEUTIC HELP AND OTHER SERVICES ONLY TO THE FOSTER FAMILY.

POINT II

THE ORDER TERMINATING THE FATHER'S PARENTAL RIGHTS MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE [D.Y.F.S.] FAILED TO PROVE THAT THE CHILD'S HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT WERE ENDANGERED BY HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER.

POINT III

THE ORDER TERMINATING THE FATHER'S PARENTAL RIGHTS MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE [D.Y.F.S.] FAILED TO PROVE THE FATHER IS UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO ELIMINATE THE HARM FACING THE CHILD.

POINT IV

THE ORDER TERMINATING THE FATHER'S PARENTAL RIGHTS MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE [D.Y.F.S.] FAILED TO PROVE THAT TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS WOULD NOT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD.

V.C., the mother of K.M.H., raises the following points for our consideration:

POINT I

THE JUDGMENT OF GUARDIANSHIP SHOULD BE REVERSED AND THE MATTER REMANDED FOR A SUPPLEMENTAL HEARING BECAUSE THE TRIAL [JUDGE] ERRED IN DENYING DEFENSE COUNSEL'S MOTION FOR AN ADJOURNMENT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BONDING EVALUATION.

POINT II

THE JUDGMENT OF GUARDIANSHIP SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE [D.Y.F.S.] FAILED TO PROVE THE SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH PRONGS OF THE "BEST INTERESTS" TEST BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE.

(A) [] DEFENDANT WAS ABLE TO BECOME PARENTALLY FIT IN TIME TO MEET THE NEEDS OF K.M.H.

(B) [D.Y.F.S.] FAILED TO MAKE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO OFFER SERVICES TO THE DEFENDANT.

(C) THE TRIAL COURT'S FINDINGS THAT TERMINATION OF DEFENDANT'S PARENTAL RIGHTS WOULD NOT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD IS NOT SUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE IN THE TRIAL RECORD.

The law guardian representing K.M.H.'s interest has opposed the relief requested by defendants. We have considered the arguments raised by both defendants in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We affirm.

I.

K.M.H. was born to K.H. and V.C. on August 27, 2001.*fn1 The testimony at trial revealed that on September 12, 2001, defendants executed a fifteen-day informed consent that resulted from a referral made to D.Y.F.S. by a paternal cousin who reported that K.M.H. had been left in her custody by defendants. At the time, defendants were homeless and living in a van. After investigation, D.Y.F.S. returned K.M.H. to the custody of his parents and maintained an open file on the family for the provision of services.

On April 2, 2002, D.Y.F.S. received another referral alleging that both parents were drinking and frequently fighting causing K.M.H. to be upset and cry. Investigation revealed that the South Brunswick police department had indeed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.