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Dipak K. Das v. Prakash Chakraborty

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


December 23, 2011

DIPAK K. DAS,
RESPONDENT,
v.
PRAKASH CHAKRABORTY,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Genine D. Edwards, J.), entered May 20, 2010.

Das v Chakraborty

Decided on December 23, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: PESCE, P.J., GOLIA and STEINHARDT, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $3,500 and dismissed the counterclaim.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $5,000 as the balance allegedly due for home improvement contracting services rendered to defendant. Defendant counterclaimed to recover the sum of $5,000, alleging deficient services and breach of contract. Following a non-jury trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $3,500 and dismissed the counterclaim.

The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusion 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 125, 126 [2000]). 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 evaluate the credibility of the witnesses (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 [1992]). The evidence adduced at trial established that defendant had not paid the full amount agreed to by the parties in the written contract. Defendant presented no admissible evidence that plaintiff had failed to satisfactorily perform his obligations under the terms of the written contract. As the record thus supports the Civil Court's determination, we find that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (CCA 1807; Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams, 269 AD2d at 126).

Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Pesce, P.J., Golia and Steinhardt, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: December 23, 2011

20111223

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