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New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. K.B.

May 2, 2008

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
K.B., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND J.P., DEFENDANT.
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF I.B., A MINOR.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Union County, Docket No. FG-20-88-06.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 7, 2008

Before Judges Collester, C.S. Fisher and C.L. Miniman.

The Division of Youth and Family Services (Division) commenced this action, seeking the termination of defendant K.B.'s parental rights to her daughter, I.B., who was born on January 24, 2006. Following a non-jury trial, Judge Douglas M. Fasciale rendered an oral decision and entered judgment in favor of the Division.*fn1

In appealing, defendant K.B. (defendant) argues that the decision to terminate her parental rights was against the weight of the evidence and that the requirements of N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1(a) were not met. We find no merit in defendant's arguments and affirm.

A trial was conducted over the course of five days. At trial, the Division called a case worker and a psychologist to the stand, and offered numerous documents into evidence as well.

Defendant did not testify or call any witnesses. At the trial's conclusion, Judge Fasciale rendered an oral decision. He thoroughly described the application of his factual findings to the four prongs of N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1(a), which require that the Division prove by clear and convincing evidence that:

(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 . . .;

(3) The division 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. ...


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