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In re Darnell G. (Anonymous)

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

May 15, 2013

In the Matter of Darnell G. (Anonymous), appellant. No. D-13399-11

Steven Banks, New York, N.Y. (Tamara A. Steckler and John A. Newbery of counsel), for appellant.

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, New York, N.Y. (Kristin M. Helmers, Jolie Eisenberg, and Victoria Scalzo of counsel), for respondent.

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., RUTH C. BALKIN, THOMAS A. DICKERSON, JEFFREY A. COHEN, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In a juvenile delinquency proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 3, Darnell G. appeals from an order of disposition of the Family Court, Queens County (Lubow, J.), dated April 16, 2012, which, upon a fact-finding order of the same court dated January 12, 2012, made after a hearing, finding that he committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crime of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, adjudged him to be a juvenile delinquent and placed him in the custody of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for a period of 12 months, less the period spent in detention pending disposition. The appeal brings up for review the fact-finding order dated January 12, 2012.

ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the order of disposition as placed the appellant with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for a period of 12 months is dismissed as academic, without costs or disbursements; and it is further,

ORDERED that the order of disposition is affirmed insofar as reviewed, without costs or disbursements.

The appeal from so much of the order of disposition as placed the appellant with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for a period of 12 months has been rendered academic, as the period of placement has expired (see Matter of Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d 1067, 1068; Matter of Vanna W., 45 A.D.3d 855, 856; Matter of Sydney N., 42 A.D.3d 539, 540; Matter of Christian M., 37 A.D.3d 834, 834). However, because there may be collateral consequences resulting from the adjudication of delinquency, the appeal from so much of the order of disposition as adjudicated the appellant a juvenile delinquent, and which brings up for review the fact-finding order, has not been rendered academic (see Family Ct Act § 783; Matter of Dorothy D., 49 N.Y.2d 212).

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the presentment agency (see Matter of David H., 69 N.Y.2d 792, 793; Matter of Starsha R., 96 A.D.3d 952, 952; Matter of Ashley P., 74 A.D.3d 1075, 1075-1076; Matter of Eddie J., 68 A.D.3d 870, 870), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the appellant committed acts, which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crime of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree (see Penal Law § 195.05; Matter of Starsha R., 96 A.D.3d at 952; Matter of Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d at 1068; Matter of Darnell C., 305 A.D.2d 405, 406). Moreover, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see Matter of Danielle B., 94 A.D.3d 757, 758; Matter of Quamel D., 78 A.D.3d 1050, 1051-1052; cf. CPL 470.15[5]), we nevertheless accord great deference to the opportunity of the trier of fact to view the witnesses, hear the testimony, and observe demeanor (see Matter of Danielle B., 94 A.D.3d at 758; Matter of Kalexis R., 85 A.D.3d 927, 928-929; Matter of Macye Mc., 82 A.D.3d 892, 894; Matter of Darnell C., 66 A.D.3d 771, 772; cf. People v Mateo, 2 N.Y.3d 383, 410, cert denied 542 U.S. 946; People v Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495). Upon reviewing the record, we are satisfied that the Family Court's fact-finding determination was not against the weight of the evidence (see Family Ct Act § 342.2[2]; Matter of Starsha R., 96 A.D.3d at 952; Matter of Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d at 1068; cf. People v Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633).

RIVERA, J.P., BALKIN, DICKERSON and COHEN, JJ., concur.


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