DYFS Cases Cannot Continue when the Court finds No Abuse or Neglect, Absent Parental Unfitness


The Appellate Division has now disapproved of the common practice of trial Courts keeping DYFS cases open for “monitoring”, when the Court finds that DYFS did NOT prove abuse or neglect.  In DYFS v. T.S, the Court held that trial Courts cannot simply infer from testimony at the Fact Finding hearing that there is a need for DYFS “to provide services to the family or the children”.  If DYFS cannot prove abuse or neglect, DYFS must apply for a Order under Title 30 and prove parental unfitness, endangerment, etc.

Importantly, the Decision rebukes the routine of “unnecessarily obligating parents to participate in programs and undergo testing because they are routinely ordered”, noting that such cookbook services “may unnecessarily limit a parent’s ability to focus on meeting the child’s needs.”

Defense attorneys can now be armed with strong language in a published decision, stressing the need for tailoring Court Orders to the problems facing families.

One thought on “DYFS Cases Cannot Continue when the Court finds No Abuse or Neglect, Absent Parental Unfitness

  1. Iam the dad and was ppr ex took kids to emer. hearing to a family court judge, seeking full custdy, judge said no, to give the kids back to me. She did not and took them to DYFS in Gloucester county kids said they did not want to go with me as the were fearful. the division took kids gave to ex. and I was to have no contact at all with them. case investagated by a different DYFS work, everything was decleared unfounded…The judge still order the kids to live with the mom and I have no contact with them at all. for unfounded allagations under title 30…whatever that means. The investagater stated in her report to the courts “unfounded” but they still took kids gave to ex. now I have tests and a bunch of things to do before I can see my kids… for unfounded allagations?? anyone having any thoughts u can email me at pep9058@aol.com thank you

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