Appeal from a judgment of the City Court of Beacon, Dutchess County (Timothy G. Pagones, J.), entered October 20, 2009.
Decided on April 13, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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:NICOLAI, P.J., TANENBAUM and LaCAVA, JJ.
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed plaintiff's cause of action and awarded defendant the sum of $329.46 on her counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff brought this small claims action against her former landlord, seeking the return of her security deposit and reimbursement for work she had done on the apartment. Defendant counterclaimed, seeking unpaid rent and damages resulting from, among other things, plaintiff's failure to provide defendant with a key to the apartment after plaintiff had changed the locks. Following a non-jury trial, the City Court dismissed plaintiff's cause of action and awarded defendant the principal sum of $329.46. 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 (UCCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 ; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 ).
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 Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 ; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 ). 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 City Court's conclusions, we find no basis to disturb the judgment.
Nicolai, P.J., Tanenbaum and LaCava, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: April 13, 2011
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