Terms of the settlement were approved on Friday by Superior Court Judge Rosemary Ramsay in Morristown, Advokat said. The names of the girls and their mother were redacted from the settlement and the grandmother’s name is also being withheld to avoid identifying the victims.
On Sept. 20, 2007, the girls’ grandmother initially contacted the state agency formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services because she had “major concerns” that her adult daughter’s actions were placing her granddaughters “in danger,” Advokat said in his statement of the case.
The grandmother also told DYFS that her adult daughter was addicted to Oxycontin, Advokat said.
DYFS initiated an investigation, but the daughter “refused to cooperate,” did not allow the granddaughters to be interviewed, and DYFS “failed to pursue the matter further,” Advokat said.
The grandmother contacted DYFS again in October and November, telling of how her daughter was also using opiates and Perocet and it was also reported to DYFS that she had been arrested for writing bad checks, Advokat said.
Still, the adult daughter again refused to cooperate and would not allow a DYFS worker into her house, Advokat said.
Finally, on Dec. 7, 2007, the Montville Police Department responded to a call at the family’s home and discovered that the mother had “violently assaulted and beaten” the older daughter, then 7, the attorney said.
The mother inflicted “life-threatening injuries” on the older girl, including bite marks on her left ear, and banged her head against the bathroom mirror, Advokat said.
The mother made the older daughter clean up her blood with her pajamas and told her “she does not love her anymore,” Advokat said. The mother banged her daughter’s head on the floor, inflicted scratches on her forehead and back and gave her daughter a bloody nose, according to the attorney.
In addition, she choked the younger girl, Adokat said in his statement of the case.
“The kids started bleeding because she had him them so much,” Advokat said. “They had bruises all over their back.” The mother, under the influence of drugs, had been “hitting their heads against the sink in the bathroom,” he added.
However, those injuries could have been avoided “if DYFS had reacted in September or October or November, earlier than they did,” Advokat said.
The mother was charged with aggravated assault and child endangerment and was incarcerated after pleading guilty, Advokat said.
Following the mother’s arrest and incarceration, the girls were legally adopted by their grandmother and they “are doing okay now,” Advokat said