SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
April 5, 2011
Appeal from a judgment of the Justice Court of the Town of New Windsor, Orange County (Richard W. Thorpe, J.), entered June 16, 2009.
Reed v Sycamore Gardens
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 April 5, 2011
PRESENT: TANENBAUM, J.P., MOLIA and IANNACCI, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $300 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover, among other things, the sum of $300, representing a deposit she had paid to defendant upon executing an apartment rental application. Defendant counterclaimed to recover for breach of contract. After a non-jury trial, the Justice Court awarded plaintiff the sum of $300 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim.
The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusion could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 ). This standard applies with greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court (see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 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 evaluate the credibility of the witnesses (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 ). The evidence adduced at trial established that plaintiff had cancelled the application before defendant had approved the application. As the court's determination with regard to the deposit is supported by the record, we find that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UJCA 1807; Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 ; Williams, 269 AD2d at 126).
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Tanenbaum, J.P., Molia and Iannacci, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: April 05, 2011
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