Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County (Mary Kim Dollard, J.), entered April 29, 2011.
Decided on April 30, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: ALIOTTA, J.P., PESCE and RIOS, JJ .
The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,748.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover veterinarian's charges incurred as a result of defendant's dog attacking plaintiff's dog. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,748. 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 ; 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 ). Here, the court could credit plaintiff's witnesses' version of the events over defendant's. In addition, a paid veterinarian's bill in the sum of $1,748 was introduced which proved the reasonable value and necessity of the dog's treatment (see CCA 1804). As the record supports the trial court's determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Aliotta, J.P., Pesce and Rios, JJ., concur. Decision Date: April 30, 2013
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