NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff-Respondent,
K.M.C., Defendant-Appellant. IN THE MATTER OF J.L.M. and S.A.M., JR., minors.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 5, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Ocean County, Docket No. FN-15-38-11.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Michael J. Pastacaldi, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Andrea M. Silkowitz, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Julie B. Christensen, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, Law Guardian, attorney for minors J.L.M. and S.A.M., Jr. (Phyllis G. Warren, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, on the brief).
Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Haas.
Defendant K.M.C. appeals from the Family Part's March 22, 2011 order, following a fact-finding hearing, determining defendant abused or neglected her son, S.A.M., Jr. (Simon),  by failing to properly address the child's serious medical needs.Defendant challenges the trial court's finding that this conduct constituted abuse or neglect under Title Nine. The Law Guardian supports the judge's finding that the Division of Youth and Family Services (Division) met its burden of proving abuse or neglect. Based on our review of the record and applicable law, we affirm substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Mark A. Troncone in his oral opinion of March 22, 2011.
Defendant is the mother of Simon, who was born on September 11, 1995. Defendant lives with S.A.M., Sr., but the couple are not married. They have a daughter, J.L.M., who also resides in their home.
The Division has been involved with the family since 2003. Both children have serious medical and mental health issues. With regard to those issues, the Division first applied for care and supervision of the children in May 2007 because defendant and S.A.M., Sr. were not taking J.L.M. to her mental health treatment sessions and failed to appreciate the severity of her condition. Both children completed psychological evaluations at that time and were diagnosed with psychiatric issues requiring treatment.
As a result of her evaluation, a recommendation was made for J.L.M. to attend a treatment home. Defendant failed to provide the necessary insurance information and other documentation. Therefore, the Division obtained custody of J.L.M. so that she could attend the program. J.L.M. completed the program in January 2009 and returned to the home. Thereafter, the Division continued to receive referrals concerning J.L.M. and it continued to attempt to assist the family in making sure she received the proper treatment.
The Division received a referral in November 2009 from Simon's gastroenterologist's office, the Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Program at the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital, indicating the child had been diagnosed with impaired liver function and failure to thrive. The child needed to have lab work performed every four months in order to monitor his condition. However, Simon had last attended a doctor's appointment on December 8, 2008 and had had no lab work done since that time. The referent further reported that ...