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New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency v. J.L.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 25, 2013

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
J.L., Defendant-Appellant. IN THE MATTER OF GUARDIANSHIP OF Q.G., A Minor.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 16, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Passaic County, Docket No. FG-16-52-12.

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

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Andrea M. Silkowitz, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel and on the brief).

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, Law Guardian, attorney for minor Q.G. (Hector Ruiz, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Before Judges Reisner and Ostrer.

PER CURIAM

Defendant Jane L.[1] appeals from a December 20, 2012 order terminating her parental rights to her son Quincy. We affirm, substantially for the reasons stated by Judge George Sabbath in his oral opinion placed on the record on December 20, 2012.

I

The facts are set forth at length in the trial judge's opinion, and need not be repeated here in the same level of detail. To summarize, Jane has been diagnosed with psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) and depressive disorder NOS with borderline intellectual functioning. She is developmentally disabled, with an I.Q. of 66. She has never held a job, has no stable housing, and can barely care for herself. The Division presented expert testimony that she is completely incapable of safely caring for a child and there is no prospect that she will be able to do so in the foreseeable future.

We recently affirmed Judge Sabbath's earlier decision, arising from a separate guardianship trial, terminating Jane's parental rights to her four other children, based on her inability to care for them, her refusal to accept services from the Division, and the absence of appropriate relative placements. J.L., supra, slip op. at 19-27.

Defendant's son Quincy was born on September 14, 2011. He was immediately removed from defendant's care, due to her demonstrated unfitness to care for her four other children. Defendant identified F.G. as the child's father.[2] The child was initially placed with F.G., and the Division provided a twenty-four-hour homemaker service (ECAP) to assist him in caring for the child. That placement was conditioned on Jane not living in the home and not visiting the children unless an ECAP worker was present. Jane refused to sign her consent for Family Preservation services, which would have entitled her and F.G. to parenting classes and additional assistance in caring for the child. The Division removed Quincy from F.G.'s home on an emergency basis, due to concerns that Jane was caring for the child when the ECAP worker was not present, and because F.G. threatened to flee with the child "to South Jersey . . . so DYFS cannot bother me anymore."

The child was placed in foster care, after the Division was unable to locate any relatives who were willing to care for him. After Quincy was placed with a foster parent, defendant refused the Division's offer of therapeutic visitation. She told the case worker that she was "not interested in any services" from the Division. In addition to rejecting therapeutic visitation services, defendant refused ...


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