The First Department, affirming a neglect finding, explained that appellant was properly found to be “a person legally responsible for the subject child:”
A person legally responsible for a child is defined as the child’s “custodian, guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care at the relevant time.” A “[c]ustodian may include any person continually or at regular intervals found in the same household as the child when the conduct of such person causes or contributes to the . . . neglect of the child” (Family Ct Act § 1012[g]). A person who “acts as the functional equivalent of a parent in a familial or household setting” is a person legally responsible for a child’s care … .
The determination of whether a particular person has acted as the functional equivalent of a parent is a discretionary, fact-intensive inquiry which will vary according to the circumstances in each case. Factors to be considered include the frequency and nature of the contact, the nature and extent of the control exercised by appellant over the child’s environment, the duration of appellant’s contact with the child, and appellant’s relationship with the child’s parent … .
Appellant testified that he cared for the younger children every work day by taking them to school and picking them up, preparing meals, cleaning the home, preparing the children’s clothing, grocery shopping, and providing financial assistance to the household. The school social worker and appellant both testified that M.W. lived in the home in September 2014, when the incident took place. Although appellant later changed his testimony concerning her residence, the court properly credited his initial statement and found that he was a person legally responsible for M.W. Given her age, she did not require the same hands-on care as the younger children, but his testimony reflected that he contributed to the functioning of the household of which she was a part and had frequent regular contact with her … . Matter of Keniya G. (Avery P.), 2016 NY Slip Op 07752, 1st Dept 11-17-16
FAMILY LAW (APPELLANT PROPERLY FOUND TO BE A PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD, CRITERIA EXPLAINED)/NEGLECT (APPELLANT PROPERLY FOUND TO BE A PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD, CRITERIA EXPLAINED)/PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD (FAMILY LAW, NEGLECT, APPELLANT PROPERLY FOUND TO BE A PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD, CRITERIA EXPLAINED)