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DecisionsFinding of neglect against mother reversed

July 29, 2020

The case is Matter of Avrie P. (Meliza T.) and the family lawyer for the mother apparently must have done a pretty good job at trial and on appeal because the Appellate Division found unanimously that, on the facts of this case, there should not have been a finding of neglect.

The Court held that the mother used force as a last resort when her ten-year-old child fled the home to play in the park and was bored at home. The mother chased after her, shouting for her to come back, but the child refused to do so. Attempting to return to her five-year-old son who she left at home, the mother pulled the daughter by her arm, attempted to drag her home, and pulled her hair. The medical records and caseworker observations corroborate that the daughter’s injuries were minor.

Further, though not ideal, the mother’s choice to run after the daughter and leave the son at home did not fall below the statutory minimum degree of care.

That last part is key – because findings of neglect only properly lie where parental conduct falls below the minimum degree of care.

About the author:

Founder and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg LLC, Middlesex County, NJ. With an unwavering commitment to guiding individuals through the complex and emotional landscape of divorce and family law matters, Bryan stands as the founding attorney of Law Office of Bryan Greenberg. Backed by years of legal expertise and a deep understanding of Middlesex County's legal landscape, Bryan is dedicated to offering compassionate yet pragmatic solutions to every client's unique situation. Through insightful blog posts, Bryan shares valuable insights, tips, and advice on navigating the challenges of divorce and family law, helping individuals make informed decisions during these critical life transitions. For comprehensive legal guidance and empathetic support, turn to Bryan Greenberg and the team at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg.

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