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New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency v. M.R.G.-M.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 8, 2013

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
M.R.G.-M., Defendant-Appellant IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF M.P.R. and M.R.G., minors

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 16, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County, Docket No. FG-04-122-12.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Jason A. Frank, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lewis A. Scheindlin, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Jennifer A. Lochel, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, Law Guardian, attorney for minors M.P.R. And M.R.G., (Melissa R. Vance, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Yannotti, Ashrafi and St. John.

PER CURIAM

M.R.G.-M. appeals from an order entered by the Family Part on September 10, 2012, terminating her parental rights to two of her children, M.P.R. and M.R.G.[1] We affirm.

We briefly summarize the salient facts. On November 6, 2009, the Camden City Police Department informed the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (Division) that M.R.G.-M. left Michael, Jeremy and Mary at home alone, while she went to a court proceeding with Diane and Margery.

The three children were home alone for about an hour before a bus arrived to take Michael and Jeffrey to an after-school program. The boys informed the bus driver that Mary was alone in the house. The bus driver called the police, who contacted the Division. The police arrived at the home. They called M.R.G.-M., who reported that she was "minutes away." M.R.G.-M. explained that there had been a "miscommunication" with the babysitter. The Division determined that the allegation that M.R.G.-M. neglected the children had been substantiated. M.R.G.-M. agreed to a back-up child care plan, to address situations when her regular babysitter was not available.

On August 12, 2010, the Camden police informed the Division that M.R.G.-M.'s five children were found in the home unsupervised at 1:00 a.m. At that time, Margery was four years old, and Mary was two years old. The oldest child was twelve years old. A police officer contacted M.R.G.-M. at 1:05 a.m., and she told the officer that she was on her way home. The Division's caseworkers arrived at 3:00 a.m.

Jeremy told one of the caseworkers that M.R.G.-M. left at 10:00 p.m. She called at 1:00 a.m. and said she was walking home. M.R.G.-M. did not return, and the caseworker removed the children on an emergent basis. The Division filed a complaint in the Family Part, alleging that M.R.G.-M. had abused or neglected her children.

On August 13, 2010, the Family Part judge entered an order awarding the Division care and custody of M.R.G.-M.'s five children, and required that she show cause why the children should not remain in the Division's care and custody. M.R.G.-M. did not appear on the return date of the order to show cause. The judge entered an ...


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