55 A.D.3d 1019 871 N.Y.S.2d 396 In the Matter of ARTHUR O., Alleged to be a Juvenile Delinquent. Steven E. Ratner, as Assistant Otsego County Attorney, Respondent; Arthur O., Appellant. (And Another Related Proceeding.) 2008-07835 Supreme Court of New York, Third Department October 16, 2008
Christopher Hammond, Cooperstown, for appellant.
Carl F. Lodes, County Attorney, Cooperstown (Steven Ratner of counsel), for respondent.
Before: CARDONA, P.J., PETERS, ROSE, KAVANAGH and STEIN, JJ.
Appeal from an order of the Family Court of Otsego County (Coccoma, J.), entered December 19, 2007, which, among other things, granted petitioner's application, in a proceeding pursuant to Family Ct. Act article 3, to adjudicate respondent a juvenile delinquent.
During the police investigation underlying this juvenile delinquency proceeding, the 13-year-old respondent was placed in custody and interrogated in the presence of a caseworker from the Delaware County Department of Social Services (hereinafter DSS). Two weeks earlier, respondent's mother had voluntarily surrendered his care and custody to DSS because she was unable to control his behavior. After respondent and the caseworker were advised of respondent's MirandaMiranda rights and they signed a written waiver, respondent made incriminating statements. When respondent then moved to suppress his earlier statements on the ground that the police had violated Family Ct. Act § 305.2(7) by failing to notify and advise his mother of his rights, Family Court noted that DSS was legally responsible for his care and denied the motion. Respondent was then adjudicated a juvenile delinquent.
On his appeal, respondent raises the possibility that his mother's surrender of custody to DSS had not been legally effectuated. He contends that his statements to police should have been suppressed as a result because DSS may not have been legally responsible for his care as required by Family Ct. Act § 305.2(7). This claim, however, is unpreserved because respondent failed to assert it in Family Court ( see Matter of Edward B., 80 N.Y.2d 458, 462, 591 N.Y.S.2d 962, 606 N.E.2d 1353 ; Matter of Daniel JJ., 31 A.D.3d 930, 930, 820 N.Y.S.2d 647 , lv. denied 7 N.Y.3d 714, 826 N.Y.S.2d 180, 859 N.E.2d 920  ). Were we to consider it in any event, we would find it to be without merit because the mother's testimony at the suppression hearing cast no doubt on her surrender of custody to DSS. Moreover, the record reflects no facts from which the police could reasonably be expected to question whether the DSS caseworker was respondent's legal custodian ( see e.g. People v. Salaam, 83 N.Y.2d 51, 56-57, 607 N.Y.S.2d 899, 629 N.E.2d 371  ).
We are similarly unpersuaded by respondent's argument that DSS was an ineffective or improper custodian because its caseworker had not developed a sufficiently protective relationship with him and acted in conflict with his interests by advising him to tell the police what had happened. There is no evidence that DSS acted against respondent's interests ( compare Matter of James OO., 234 A.D.2d 822, 823, 652 N.Y.S.2d 783  ). Nor, as we noted in an analogous situation under CPL 140.20(6), is there any requirement that the police make a subjective determination as to whether the relationship between DSS and the juvenile is sufficiently supportive when they have otherwise complied with the specific requirements of the statute ( see People v. Gardner, 257 A.D.2d 675, 676, 683 N.Y.S.2d 351 , lv. denied 93 N.Y.2d 924, 693 N.Y.S.2d 507, 715 N.E.2d 510  ).
ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs.
CARDONA, P.J., PETERS, KAVANAGH and STEIN, JJ., concur.