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Division of Child Protection & Permanency v. M.B.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

May 23, 2013

DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
M.B., Defendant, and K.P., Defendant-Appellant. IN THE MATTER OF MK.B., MC.B. and MR.B., Minors.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 30, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Bergen County, Docket No. FN-02-104-12.

Adamo Ferreira argued the cause for appellant (DeGrado Halkovich, attorneys; Mr. Ferreira, on the brief).

Jody A. Carbone, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent (Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney; Andrea M. Silkowitz, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Ms. Carbone, on the brief).

Craig D. Robin, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for MK.B, MC.B. and MR.B., minors (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, Law Guardian, attorney; Mr. Robin, on the brief).

Before Judges Yannotti and Harris.

PER CURIAM

K.P. appeals from an order entered by the Family Part on August 8, 2012, finding that she abused or neglected her child, MK.B. We affirm.

I.

On August 19, 2011, the Division of Youth and Family Services (Division) filed a verified complaint against K.P. and M.B. seeking care and supervision of their children, MK.B. and MC.B.[1] K.P. is the mother of these children, and M.B. is their father. At the time the complaint was filed, MK.B. was two years old, and MC.B. was nine months old.

The Division alleged that on August 16, 2011, K.P. and M.B. were riding in an automobile with MK.B. and B.C.M. The Division claimed that the police stopped the car and marijuana was found in the car. The Division also claimed that M.B. smoked marijuana before he drove the car. The court entered an order dated August 19, 2011, placing the children under the Division's care and supervision.

On September 22, 2011, the court entered another order continuing the children under the Division's care and supervision. The court ordered M.B. to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and to submit to random drug/alcohol screenings. The court restrained M.B. from driving with the children in the vehicle. The Division filed an amended complaint on November 7, 2011, after K.P. gave birth to another child, MR.B.

The judge conducted a fact-finding hearing on June 11 and 12, and August 8, 2012. At the hearing, Officer Kyle Zyskowski of the Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) police department testified that on August 16, 2011, he was on safety detail, on a ramp in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Zyskowski was checking for motor vehicle safety and equipment violations. At around 6:54 p.m., Zyskowski observed a black Range Rover approaching, with very dark tinted windows and no front license plate.

Zyskowski stopped the car. As he was approaching the rear of the vehicle, Zyskowski smelled a strong odor of marijuana. He approached the driver's side of the car and asked M.B. to roll his window down. K.P. was in the front passenger seat, and B.C.M. was in a rear passenger seat. MK.B. was also seated in ...


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