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Patricia A. King v. David Spira

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


April 6, 2011

PATRICIA A. KING,
APPELLANT,
v.
DAVID SPIRA,
RESPONDENT.

Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Kenneth P. Sherman, J.), entered December 21, 2007.

King v Spira

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 6, 2011

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

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed the action.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $5,000 for the alleged conversion of a toolbox and its contents. Following a non-jury trial, the Civil Court dismissed the action, finding that plaintiff lacked standing because she had no ownership interest in the property and that, in any event, she had failed to provide competent proof of the value of the toolbox and its contents. 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 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]). As we find that the record supports the trial court's determination, the judgment is affirmed.

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

Decision Date: April 06,2011

20110406

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