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Late Appeal of DYFS Case Denied by NJ Court


by in Civil Appeals, Criminal Appeals

In this recent NJ DYFS guardianship complaint, the court held that the defendant’s late appeal should be denied where the child in question had already been adopted.

DYFS v. J.C. and T.S.L./In the Matter of J.D.L.C., ? N.J. Super. ?, 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS 24 (February 11, 2010) – Motion for Leave to Appeal termination of parental rights out of time denied.

“The judgment in question was entered on August 18, 2008, and the child was adopted on July 17, 2009 — nearly sixteen months and more than four months, respectively — before the filing of the motions at hand.

Notwithstanding that we liberally grant such motions in guardianship appeals, see N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. R.G., 354 N.J. Super. 202 (App. Div. 2002), we conclude that defendants’ extraordinary delay coupled with the child’s adoption requires denial of defendants’ motions….

We find OPR’s delay in seeking leave to file a notice of appeal to be unreasonable even when judged by our expansive approach in guardianship appeals. Considering the overarching goal of permanency for children caught up in such litigation, it would simply be unconscionable for this court to permit an appeal at such a late date….

The policy that adoption creates a new family unit without fear of interference from the child’s natural parents would be disserved if we were to permit the filing of defendants’ nascent guardianship appeals at this late date.” (Richard Foster, A.D.P.D., for J.C. and T.L.S.)

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