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Ronald Michelli and Mary Michelli v. Donald Hogg and Eileen Hogg (Parents of Gillian Hogg

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


January 18, 2011

RONALD MICHELLI AND MARY MICHELLI,
RESPONDENTS,
v.
DONALD HOGG AND EILEEN HOGG (PARENTS OF GILLIAN HOGG),
APPELLANTS.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Second District (Robert A. Bruno, J.), entered December 3, 2008.

Michelli v Hogg

Decided on January 18, 2011

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 This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 January 18, 2011

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., TANENBAUM and LaCAVA, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiffs the principal sum of $1,149.25.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiffs commenced this small claims action to recover for property damage to their automobile. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiffs the principal sum of $1,149.25. 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 (UDCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]).

The decision of a 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]). This standard applies with greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court (see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d at 126). 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 the credibility of the witnesses (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]). We find that the record supports the trial court's conclusions and, accordingly, find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Nicolai, P.J., Tanenbaum and LaCava, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: January 18, 2011

20110118

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