After the court's affirmance of an abuse/neglect determination, defendant – with new appellate counsel – moved for reconsideration, claiming: (1) the court did not adequately review the record as evidenced by its short, three-paragraph opinion, and (2) the court ought to reopen the record so defendant may now assert arguments that prior appellate counsel was ineffective.
In finding no merit in the first contention, the court rejected defendant's theory that suggested the size of an appellate opinion reflects the time and effort expended by the court in considering the record and the issues. The court found that the second argument presented a novel question as to how a defendant in an abuse/neglect matter should pursue a claim of ineffectiveness of appellate counsel. The court determined that a reconsideration motion in the appellate court is not an inappropriate method but – because Rule 2:6-11(a) provides only a ten-day window for seeking such relief – the appellate ineffectiveness argument could also be pursued by way of a Rule 4:50 application in the trial court. Because the ineffectiveness arguments posed here warranted further factual development, the court remanded the matter to the trial court.