Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County (In-grid Joseph, J.), entered September 28, 2009.
Quiroz v 1 Point Mtge., Inc.
Decided on April 11, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
PRESENT: GOLIA, J.P., PESCE and RIOS, JJ.
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $8,165.77.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this action in the Supreme Court, alleging, among other things, that he had been hired by defendants to manage a branch of 1 Point Mortgage, Inc.; that he was owed commission based upon their agreement; and that he had incurred damages based upon the termination of their business relationship, which had culminated in defendants' removal of equipment and furniture from the office. The matter was transferred to the Civil Court pursuant to CPLR 325 (d). After a non-jury trial, a judgment was entered in plaintiff's favor in the principal sum of $8,165.77. Plaintiff, in effect, argues on appeal that the award is inadequate.
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 ). 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 e.g. Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 ; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 ). At trial, plaintiff specifically alleged that he was entitled to $33,371 for expenses incurred in running the office, $25,448 for commissions and $3,750 for attorney's fees. The Civil Court found that plaintiff had proved, through documentary evidence, that he was entitled to $8,165.77. We find no basis to disturb the court's finding.
We note that plaintiff properly argues that, contrary to what he was told at trial, the jurisdictional limit prescribed by CCA 202 would not prevent him from recovering the full amount he demanded in the complaint, since the action was commenced in Supreme Court and transferred to the Civil Court pursuant to CPLR 325 (d). Here, however, plaintiff's recovery was limited by the proof presented at trial.
Golia, J.P., Pesce and Rios, JJ., concur.