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Karen Bruning v. Robert J. Michels

New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


October 11, 2012

KAREN BRUNING,
RESPONDENT,
v.
ROBERT J. MICHELS,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Second District (Eugene H. Shifrin, Ct. Atty. Ref.), entered October 13, 2010.

Bruning v Michels

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 October 11, 2012

PRESENT: IANNACCI, J.P., MOLIA and LaCAVA, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $3,193.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $5,000 as the cost to repair a severely water-damaged vehicle which she had purchased from defendant. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $3,193. 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 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]).

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 [1990]). 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 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]). As the record supports the trial court's determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Iannacci, J.P., Molia and LaCava, JJ., concur. Decision Date: October 11, 2012

20121011

© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.



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