In the Matter of Kaseem R. (Anonymous), appellant. Docket No. D-735-12
Steven Banks, New York, N.Y. (Tamara A. Steckler and Raymond E. Rogers of counsel), for appellant.
Jeffrey D. Friedlander, Acting Corporation Counsel, New York, N.Y. (Mordecai Newman of counsel; Christina Chung on the brief), for respondent.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., RUTH C. BALKIN, L. PRISCILLA HALL, SANDRA L. SGROI, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
In a juvenile delinquency proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 3, Kaseem R. appeals from an order of disposition of the Family Court, Queens County (Lubow, J.), dated January 18, 2013, which, upon a fact-finding order of the same court dated September 14, 2012, finding that the appellant committed acts, which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of assault in the second degree, adjudged him to be a juvenile delinquent and placed him on probation for a period of 12 months.
ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the order of disposition as placed the appellant on probation 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 on probation 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). However, since there may be collateral consequences of the adjudication of delinquency, the appeal from so much of the order of disposition as adjudicated the appellant a juvenile delinquent has not been rendered academic (see Family Ct Act § 783; Matter of Dorothy D., 49 N.Y.2d 212; Matter of Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d at 1068).
The appellant was alleged to have intentionally caused a school administrator to suffer physical injury by kicking her. At the conclusion of the fact-finding hearing, the Family Court found that the evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant intended to cause the complainant to suffer physical injury and that the complainant suffered physical injury. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the presentment agency (see Mater of David H., 69 N.Y.2d 792, 793; Matter of Racheal M., 108 A.D.3d 770, 771; Matter of Ashley P., 74 A.D.3d 1075; cf. People v Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 621), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant committed acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of assault in the second degree (see Penal Law § 120.05; Matter of Imani Mc., 78 A.D.3d 705, 706; Matter of Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d at 1068). Moreover, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see Matter of Hasan C., 59 A.D.3d 617, 617-618; cf. CPL 470.15 ), 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 Stanley F., 76 A.D.3d at 1068-1069; 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 ; Matter of Darnell C., 66 A.D.3d 771, 772; cf. People v Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633).
The Family Court has broad discretion in determining the appropriate disposition in a juvenile delinquency proceeding, and its determination is accorded great deference (see Matter of Racheal M., 108 A.D.3d at 771; Matter of Paul T., 107 A.D.3d 726, 727). Here, in light of the seriousness of the appellant's conduct, as well as his refusal to take responsibility for it and his need for monitoring, the Family Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in adjudicating the appellant a juvenile delinquent (see Family Ct Act § 352.2), rather than directing an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (see Matter of ...