SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS Appellate Term, Second Department
November 17, 2011
ALEXIS ZAMLICH, RESPONDENT,
MARION GIST, APPELLANT.
Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Kenneth P. Sherman, J.), entered December 30, 2009.
Zamlich v Gist
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 November 17, 2011
PRESENT: STEINHARDT, J.P., PESCE and WESTON, JJ.
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $374.21 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover her security deposit in the sum of $1,333.33 from defendant, her former landlord, and defendant counterclaimed to recover the sum of $2,300 for property damage to the apartment allegedly caused by plaintiff. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court found that defendant had established damage in the amount of $959.12 which was caused by plaintiff, and offset this sum from the security deposit. Consequently, a judgment was entered on December 30, 2009 which awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $374.21 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim. On appeal, defendant argues that the court should have also awarded her for damage to the carpet caused by plaintiff's dog. 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 (CCA 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 ). 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 their credibility (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 ; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 ). As the record supports the trial court's conclusions, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Steinhardt, J.P., Pesce and Weston, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: November 17, 2011
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