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State of New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. M.E.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 24, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, [1] Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
M.E., Defendant-Appellant, and R.P., Defendant-Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 4, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Passaic County, Docket No. FN-16-125-11.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant M.E. (Arthur David Malkin, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent Division of Youth and Family Services (Andrea M. Silkowitz, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Melissa Medoway, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for respondent R.P. (Robert McGuigan, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, Law Guardian, attorney for minor (Caitlin A. McLaughlin, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Before Judges Fisher, Alvarez, and Waugh.

PER CURIAM

Defendant M.E. (Mary[2]) appeals the Family Part's September 2, 2011 order finding that she had abused and neglected her son E.P. (Ethan), as well as the April 25, 2012 order approving a permanency plan calling for Ethan to live with his father, defendant R.P. (Ron), in Florida. We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

Mary and Ron are the biological parents of Ethan, who was born in October 1999. Ethan is Ron's only child. Mary has two older daughters who are not involved in this case. Ethan currently resides with Ron in Florida.

Mary first came to the attention of the Division in 2003, when it received a report alleging neglect of Mary's children. Between 2003 and 2008, the Division received seven additional referrals involving allegations of abuse and neglect.

In 2009, the Division sought care and supervision of Ethan and one of his sisters in response to another such referral.[3]Ethan then moved to Florida to live with Ron and remained in his care until May 2010, when Ethan was returned to Mary, who had completed parenting skills and anger management classes. The 2009 case was closed in July 2010.

On January 20, 2011, the Division received a referral that Mary had been arrested for violating a restraining order by threatening her daughters' father, R.R. The underlying restraining order had been issued in June 2007 when Mary allegedly stabbed R.R. The warrant leading to her arrest in January 2011 was issued when she allegedly tried to run R.R. over with a car and threatened to kill him.

Mary brought Ethan with her to court on January 20. At the request of court staff, Division worker Carolina Cardenas came to the courthouse and spoke with Ethan. He told her he had not witnessed the alleged incident. Ethan also told her he got along with both his parents.

When Cardenas asked if she could do anything to help Ethan or his mother, Ethan responded that his mother had trouble controlling her anger, which he related to depression following the death of her father. Ethan told Cardenas that Mary ...


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