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Jongmin Kim v. Mohammad Younus

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


December 20, 2012

JONGMIN KIM,
APPELLANT,
v.
MOHAMMAD YOUNUS,
RESPONDENT.

Jongmin Kim v Younus

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 December 20, 2012

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

Appeal by plaintiff from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Second District (Norman Janowitz, J.), entered July 12, 2010. The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of only $2,800, and awarded defendant the principal sum of $1,000 on his counterclaim.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover from defendant, his former tenant, the sum of $4,990.10 for property damage to his house. Defendant interposed a counterclaim seeking the return of the balance of his security deposit in the amount of $3,800. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,800, to be satisfied from the security deposit held by plaintiff, and awarded defendant the principal sum of $1,000 on his counterclaim. 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 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 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]). As the record supports the trial court's determinations, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

LaSalle, J.P., Molia and Iannacci, JJ., concur. Decision Date: December 20, 2012

20121220

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