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New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. W.W.

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 26, 2010

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
W.W., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF T.G.S., S.L.S. AND C.M.S., MINORS-RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Mercer County, Docket No. FG-11-23-08.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 23, 2010

Before Fuentes and Simonelli.

Defendant W.W., the biological mother of Tammy,*fn1 born March 2005, Sally, born February 2006, and Christina, born December 2007, appeals from the final judgment of the Family Part terminating her parental rights to her children.*fn2 Defendant contends that plaintiff Division of Youth and Family Services (Division) failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence the four statutory prongs contained in N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a. After reviewing the evidence presented to the trial court, and in light of prevailing legal standards and the arguments presented, we affirm.

We will not recite in detail the history of the Division's involvement with defendant. Instead, we incorporate by reference the factual findings and legal conclusions contained in Judge Blackburn's comprehensive oral opinion rendered May 29, 2009. We add only the following comments.

We are satisfied that commencing with the Division's first contact with the family on March 28, 2005, and continuing up to and including the commencement of the trial over four years later, the Division provided multiple opportunities for defendant to reunify with her children, two of whom have special needs, and to address her unstable and inappropriate housing and medical and mental health issues. None of these interventions proved successful.

Judge Blackburn carefully reviewed the evidence presented by the Division, and thereafter concluded that it had met by clear and convincing evidence all of the legal requirements for an order of guardianship. Her opinion tracks the statutory requirements of N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a, accords with In re Guardianship of K.H.O., 161 N.J. 337 (1999), In re Guardianship of D.M.H., 161 N.J. 365 (1999), and N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.W., 103 N.J. 591 (1986), and is supported by the record. Rova Farms Resort, Inc. v. Investors Ins. Co. of Am., 65 N.J. 474, 484 (1974).

We reject defendant's contention that the Division failed to provide any services to her. The record reflects the numerous services offered to defendant. Her continued non-compliance with those services resulted in the court relieving the Division of its obligation to provide reasonable efforts to reunify her with her children.

We also reject defendant's contention that the Division discriminated against her because of her morbid obesity and diabetes. Undisputed psychological evidence reveals that defendant lacks stability in her life, and that she has emotional difficulties, limited insight, very poor judgment, and intellectual limitations. Undisputed psychiatric evidence reveals that defendant has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder with self-defeating personality trait, borderline intellectual functioning, post-traumatic stress disorder, depressive disorder NOS, and psychotic disorder NOS. Defendant's intellectual functioning and personality disorder cannot be changed with currently available treatment modalities and render her incapable of parenting any child.

Affirmed.


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