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George Wray v. Chatman & Sons Hvac Construction Corp. and Joe Chatman

March 1, 2013

GEORGE WRAY,
APPELLANT, --
v.
CHATMAN & SONS HVAC CONSTRUCTION CORP. AND JOE CHATMAN, RESPONDENTS.



Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County (Stephen S. Gottlieb, J.), entered February 8, 2011.

Wray v Chatman & Sons HVAC Constr. Corp.

Decided on March 1, 2013

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: WESTON, J.P., ALIOTTA and SOLOMON, 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 $2,500 allegedly paid to defendants for the removal of an old boiler and the installation of a new boiler. Defendants claimed that plaintiff had stopped the job and had only paid $1,500, which sum covered the work done. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court dismissed the action. 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 (CCA 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 determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Weston, J.P., Aliotta and Solomon, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: March ...


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