New York SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
December 13, 2012
JOSEPHINE MARIA KRASANAKIS, RESPONDENT, --
PAUL PAVLOW, APPELLANT.
Appeal from a judgment of the Justice Court of the Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County (Rolf M. Thorsen, J.), entered April 12, 2011.
Krasanakis v Pavlow
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: LaCAVA, J.P., IANNACCI and LaSALLE, JJ .
The judgment, insofar as appealed from as limited by the brief, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,141.63.
ORDERED that the judgment, insofar as appealed from, is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff, defendant's former landlord, commenced this small claims action to recover for property damage to the apartment which defendant had rented. Defendant interposed a counterclaim for physical and mental anguish. After a non-jury trial, the Justice Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,141.63 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim. As limited by his brief, defendant appeals from so much of the judgment as awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,141.63. Upon a review of the record, we find that the judgment, insofar as appealed from, provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UJCA 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 a 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, insofar as appealed from.
Accordingly, the judgment, insofar as appealed from, is affirmed.
LaCava, J.P., Iannacci and LaSalle, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: December 13, 2012
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