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Spiegel v. Spiegel

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE DIVISION SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT


December 8, 2009

IN THE MATTER OF ALLA SPIEGEL, RESPONDENT,
v.
FELIX SPIEGEL, APPELLANT.

In a child support proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 4, the father appeals from an order of the Family Court, Rockland County (Warren, J.), dated September 29, 2008, which, inter alia, denied his objections to an order of the same court (Kaufman, S.M.) dated July 31, 2007, as modified by an order of the same court (Kaufman, S.M.) dated January 22, 2008, denying his application to draw an adverse inference against the mother, granting those branches of the mother's application which were for an award of child care arrears and unreimbursed medical expenses for the children, and directing the father to pay her the total sum of $15,717.50.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

FRED T. SANTUCCI, J.P., CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, L. PRISCILLA HALL and SHERI S. ROMAN, JJ.

(Docket No. F-89-07)

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the order dated September 29, 2008, is affirmed, with costs.

Contrary to the father's contentions, the Family Court correctly denied his objections to the Support Magistrate's order. The Support Magistrate properly declined to draw an adverse inference against the mother for her failure to produce her current child care worker to testify, as testimony from that witness would have been cumulative (see e.g. Austin v Carstens-Elliot, 39 AD3d 443; Clements v Lindsey, 237 AD2d 557).

In reviewing a determination of the Family Court, great deference should be given to the determination of the Support Magistrate, who was in the best position to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses (see Matter of Kahl-Lapine v Lapine, 35 AD3d 611, 612; Matter of Musarra v Musarra, 28 AD3d 668, 669; Matter of Mahoney v Goggins, 24 AD3d 668, 669; Matter of Penninipede v Penninipede, 6 AD3d 445, 447). The record supports the Support Magistrate's finding that the father was responsible for the total sums of $14,717.50 in child care arrears, and $1,000 in unreimbursed medical expenses for the parties' children (see Matter of Kahl-Lapine v Lapine, 35 AD3d at 612; Matter of Penninipede v Penninipede, 6 AD3d at 447).

The father's remaining contentions are without merit.

SANTUCCI, J.P., CHAMBERS, HALL and ROMAN, JJ., concur.

20091208

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