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In re Turner

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


October 7, 2010

IN THE MATTER OF DENNIS I. TURNER

On appeal from the Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development, Agency No. CS01381946A.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 29, 2010

Before Judges Fisher and Simonelli.

In this appeal, Dennis I. Turner (Turner) argues that a levy imposed by the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS), pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.53 and N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.57, on $4677 in his bank account was improper and that OCSS erred in administratively reviewing the matter by failing to set it aside.

The record presents no doubt that Turner owed the levied amount in child support arrears because Marievelyn Turner, who had custody of their two children and to whom Turner was obligated to pay child support, had received public assistance in that amount which had yet to be reimbursed by him. Later, with that debt still outstanding, Family Part judges here entered orders that changed custody of the children to Turner and terminated his obligation to continue to pay child support.

Although there is no dispute about the debt and the circumstances mentioned above, Turner argues that the levy should not have issued because, on February 5, 2008, a Pennsylvania court entered an order that suspended Turner's obligation to pay arrearages, and because a later entry on a Pennsylvania child support website declared that the case had been "closed." Turner contends that the final agency decision rendered here, in which his attempts to avoid the levy were rejected, was erroneous because it failed to give full faith and credit to the Pennsylvania order.

We find insufficient merit in this contention to warrant further discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We add that there is nothing in the record on appeal to suggest that the Pennsylvania order should be interpreted as vacating the debt owed to OCSS. Suspension, which is the operative word contained in the Pennsylvania order, is not the equivalent of termination or cancellation as Turner appears to incorrectly assume. In addition, the record does not reveal that in referring to arrears the Pennsylvania order was intended to encompass Turner's debt to OCSS or, even if so intended, that the Pennsylvania judge had sufficient information about the nature of the debt to OCSS upon which to base such a determination. Moreover, assuming it was the Pennsylvania court's intention to cancel the debt owed to OCSS, there is no evidence to suggest that OCSS ever received notice or had an opportunity to be heard in response. Under these circumstances, OCSS was fully justified in concluding that the levy should not be set aside.

Affirmed.

20101007

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