October 15, 2012
NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES,*FN1 PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
IN THE MATTER OF A.C., A MINOR.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Middlesex County, Docket No. FN-12-77-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 27, 2012
Before Judges Koblitz and Accurso.
Defendant A.V., the mother of minor A.C., appeals from an October 5, 2011 order terminating the Title 9 abuse or neglect litigation after a Title 30 complaint seeking termination of parental rights was filed. A.V. contends that the July 5, 2011 permanency plan, which called for reunification, or alternatively, termination of parental rights, was contrary to her son's best interests. The Division of Youth and Family Services and the law guardian maintain that this issue is rendered moot by the filing of the termination complaint. See N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.P., 408 N.J. Super. 252, 255 (App. Div. 2009), cert. denied, 201 N.J. 153 (2010). In light of A.V.'s voluntary surrender of her parental rights on June 19, 2012,*fn2 we dismiss this appeal as moot. As a general proposition, "[a]n issue is moot when the decision sought in a matter, when rendered, can have no practical effect on the existing controversy." N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. J.C., 423 N.J. Super. 259, 263 (App. Div. 2011) (citations omitted). "However, an appeal will not be moot when a party still suffers from the adverse consequences . . . caused by [the prior] proceeding[.]" Ibid. (alteration in original) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
We will consider the merits of an issue notwithstanding its mootness if significant issues of public import appear. Joye v. Hunterdon Cent. Reg'l High Sch. Bd. of Educ., 176 N.J. 568, 583 (2003). No such issues are raised in this appeal.
Dismissed as moot.