IN RE: Fannie MOORE

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

IN RE: Fannie MOORE, respondent, v. Judith McCLENOS, appellant.

Decided: March 29, 1999

MILLER, J.P., RITTER, THOMPSON and JOY, JJ. Hal B. Greenwald, Yonkers, N.Y., for appellant. Richard S. Birnbaum, White Plains, N.Y., for respondent. Cooper & Daniele, P.C., White Plains, N.Y. (Theresa M. Daniele of counsel), Law Guardian for the child.

In a child custody proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the mother appeals from an order of the Family Court, Westchester County (Cooney, J.), entered May 14, 1996, which awarded permanent custody of her son to his paternal grandmother.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

 Contrary to the mother's contentions, the record supports the conclusion that “extraordinary circumstances” existed (Matter of Bennett v. Jeffreys, 40 N.Y.2d 543, 544, 387 N.Y.S.2d 821, 356 N.E.2d 277;  see also, Matter of Benzon v. Sosa, 244 A.D.2d 659, 663 N.Y.S.2d 938;  Matter of Carosi v. Bloom, 225 A.D.2d 692, 639 N.Y.S.2d 486), and further, that it was in the best interests of the child for him to continue residing with his paternal grandmother, where he had lived for virtually his entire life prior to the custody hearing.

 The analysis of the various factors to be taken into account in deciding a custody question is best made by the hearing court, since it is in the most advantageous position to evaluate the testimony, character, and sincerity of the parties (see, Matter of Louise E.S. v. W. Stephen S., 64 N.Y.2d 946, 488 N.Y.S.2d 637, 477 N.E.2d 1091;  Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167, 451 N.Y.S.2d 658, 436 N.E.2d 1260;  Matter of Antionette M. v. Paul Seth G., 202 A.D.2d 429, 608 N.Y.S.2d 703;  Matter of Coyne v. Coyne, 150 A.D.2d 573, 541 N.Y.S.2d 448).   Accordingly, the hearing court's findings are entitled to great weight and should be set aside only if, unlike here, they lack a sound and substantial basis in the record (see, Eschbach v. Eschbach, supra;  Matter of Antionette M. v. Paul Seth G., supra;  Matter of Carosi v. Bloom, supra).

 Since the mother failed to demonstrate that good cause existed to relieve her assigned counsel, the court did not err in declining to appoint new assigned counsel for her (see, Matter of Child Welfare Admin. v. Jennifer A., 218 A.D.2d 694, 630 N.Y.S.2d 379;  see also, Matter of Mooney, 243 A.D.2d 840, 663 N.Y.S.2d 676;  Family Ct. Act § 262[a][v] ).

The mother's remaining contentions are lacking in merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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