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Folk v. Chugunov

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


December 3, 2010

FOLK
v.
CHUGUNOV

Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Johnny Lee Baynes, J.), entered December 1, 2008. The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $300.

Appellate Term, Second Department

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

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on December 3, 2010

PRESENT: WESTON, J.P., GOLIA and RIOS, JJ

Jonathan Folk, Respondent, v. Bogdan Chugunov, Appellant.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff brought this small claims action against his neighbor, seeking damages on the ground that defendant had moved plaintiff's fence post without permission. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $300. Upon a review of the record, we find that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (CCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]). The decision of the fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 [1990]). Furthermore, the determination of the trier of fact as to issues of credibility is given substantial deference, as the trial court's opportunity to observe and evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses affords it a better perspective from which to assess their credibility (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]). This standard applies with greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court (see Williams, 269 AD2d at 126). As the record supports the Civil Court's conclusions, we find no basis to disturb the judgment.

Weston, J.P., Golia and Rios, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: December 03, 2010

20101203

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