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Douglas Laudone and Bonita Morris v. Busy Bee Jewelry

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


August 5, 2011

DOUGLAS LAUDONE AND BONITA MORRIS,
RESPONDENTS,
v.
BUSY BEE JEWELRY,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Third District (Angelo A. Delligatti, J.), entered December 9, 2009.

Laudone v Busy Bee Jewelry

Decided on August 5, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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., LaCAVA and IANNACCI, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiffs the principal sum of $2,500.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiffs commenced this small claims action to recover the difference between the appraised value and the sale price of a diamond bracelet, sold to them by defendant jewelry store as a 7 ¼ carat bracelet for $7,000, which the appraiser found to be 4 ¼ carats, and valued at $3,700. Following a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiffs the principal sum of $2,500, and defendant appeals.

Upon a review of the record, we find that the small claims court properly provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UDCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]).

The decision of the 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 no reason to disturb the District Court's determination, the judgment is affirmed.

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

Decision Date: August 05, 2011

20110805

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