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Michelle Levy v. Doris Rosenfeld

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


July 25, 2011

MICHELLE LEVY,
APPELLANT,
v.
DORIS ROSENFELD, EDWIN ROSENFELD AND HOWARD ERSTEIN,
RESPONDENTS.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Fourth District (Robert A. Bruno, J.), entered June 1, 2009. The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed the action.

Levy v Rosenfeld

Decided on July 25, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: IANNACCI, J.P., NICOLAI and MOLIA, JJ

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $5,000 for defendants' alleged failure to deliver the home she had purchased from them with the air conditioner in working condition and their failure to timely vacate the premises. Following a non-jury trial, the District Court found in favor of defendants and dismissed the action.

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 e.g. Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 [1990]). This standard applies with even greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court given the limited standard of review (UDCA 1807; see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]). 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 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]).

As the District Court's findings and conclusions are supported by the record, we are of the view that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UDCA 1807; Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams, 269 AD2d at 126). Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Iannacci, J.P., Nicolai and Molia, JJ., concur.

Decision

Date: July 25, 2011

20110725

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