Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, First District (David W. McAndrews, J.), entered November 12, 2010.
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: MOLIA, J.P., IANNACCI and LaSALLE, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,000 and implicitly dismissed the counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the amount he had paid defendant to rent a boat slip. Defendant counterclaimed for winter boat storage fees. Following a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,000 and implicitly dismissed the counterclaim.
Appellate review of a small claims judgment is limited to determining whether substantial justice has been done between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UDCA 1807; Moses v Randolph, 236 AD2d 706, 707 ). 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 ). Moreover, 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 ). 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 ). As the record supports the District Court's determination, we find no basis to disturb the judgment.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Molia, J.P., Iannacci and LaSalle, JJ., concur. Decision Date: June 27, 2012
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