Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Peter Paul Sweeney, J.), entered January 5, 2010.
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 December 23, 2011
PRESENT: PESCE, P.J., GOLIA and STEINHARDT, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed plaintiff's cause of action and awarded defendants the principal sum of $4,003.32 on their counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover $5,000 from defendants for breach of contract and failure to provide proper services. Plaintiff had retained defendants to adjust the loss to her house resulting from a fire. Defendants counterclaimed, seeking the sum of $4,933.02 for nonpayment of their services. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court found that plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case that defendants had breached their agreement and dismissed plaintiff's cause of action. The court further awarded defendants the principal sum of $4,003.32 on their counterclaim. On appeal, plaintiff argues that defendants breached the agreement and were negligent in performing the agreed-upon services. 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 a 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 ; Kincade v Kincade 178 AD2d 510, 511 ). As the record supports the trial court's determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Pesce, P.J., Golia and Steinhardt, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: December 23, 2011
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