New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
March 5, 2012
RUTH JONES, APPELLANT, --
JACKIE BURNS-SHANNON, RESPONDENT.
Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Suffolk County, Second District (Kevin J. Crowley, J.), entered June 25, 2010.
Jones v Burns-Shannon
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
Decided on March 5, 2012
PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., LaCAVA and IANNACCI, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed the action.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $3,900, representing the amount of the security deposit she had given to her former landlord pursuant to a lease, and damages for personal property lost after plaintiff was evicted. After a non-jury trial, the District Court dismissed the action, finding that plaintiff had failed to prove her claim that defendant, who was an agent of plaintiff's former landlord, improperly retained the security deposit or was responsible for any illegal eviction. 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 (UDCA 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 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 determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Nicolai, P.J., LaCava and Iannacci, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: March 05, 2012
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