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Junie Hendrickson v. Jennifer Cayne

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


May 23, 2011

JUNIE HENDRICKSON,
RESPONDENT,
v.
JENNIFER CAYNE,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, First District (Bonnie P. Chaikin, J.), entered August 20, 2009.

Hendrickson v Cayne

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 May 23, 2011

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

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $875.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $875, which, she claimed, was the amount of her increased tax liability as a result of defendant's actions. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $875.

The standard of review on an appeal from a small claims judgment is whether "substantial justice has . . . been done between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law" (see UDCA 1807; Moses v Randolph, 236 AD2d 706, 707 [1997]; Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]). The deference which an appellate court normally accords to the credibility determinations of a trial court "applies with greater force" in small claims proceedings, given the limited scope of review and the often attenuated record available on appeal (see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125 [2000]). Even if the appellate court differs with the small claims court on an arguable point of fact or law, the appellate court may not reverse absent a showing that there is no support in the record for the trial court's conclusions or that they are otherwise so clearly erroneous as to deny substantial justice (see Payne v Biglin, 2 Misc 3d 127[A], 2003 NY Slip Op 51694[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2003]; Dourado v Jordan, 2002 NY Slip Op 40394[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2002]).

As the record supports the District Court's determination, we find no basis to disturb the judgment. Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

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

Decision Date: May 23, 2011

20110523

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