SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts
April 25, 2013
JEFFREY KRIEGER, APPELLANT.
Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Suffolk County, Third District (C. Stephen Hackeling, J.), entered June 7, 2011.
DiSalvo v Krieger
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 April 25, 2013
PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., IANNACCI and LaSALLE, JJ
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,400 and dismissed defendant's counterclaims.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover rent arrears from defendant to whom plaintiff had sublet a room in plaintiff's apartment pursuant to a written agreement. Defendant counterclaimed to recover for, among other things, fraud and sexual discrimination. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $2,400 and dismissed defendant's counterclaims. 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 ; 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 District Court's determinations, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Nicolai, P.J., Iannacci and LaSalle, JJ., concur. Decision Date: April 25, 2013
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