Tuesday, June 17, 2014
05/05/14 NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY VS. M.C
NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND
PERMANENCY VS. M.C
On a father's appeal of a judgment entered against him a fact-finding hearing in an abuse or neglect action commenced pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21 to -8.73 and
N.J.S.A. 30:4C-12, we reverse. Construing N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b), we conclude that in a case, such as this, where there is no finding of actual harm, N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4) requires a court to consider competent evidence establishing that the conditions that posed a risk of harm have been successfully remediated between the time that the Division of Child Protection and Permanency intervened and the time of the fact-finding hearing. We further conclude that if evidence of successful remediation by the time of the fact-finding hearing is undisputed and if there is no evidence establishing, or permitting a reasonable inference of, likely repetition of the conduct or circumstances that warranted intervention, the evidence is insufficient to support a determination that the child "is in imminent danger of becoming impaired."