Ramos v Chacon
Decided on March 24, 2011
APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT, FIRST DEPARTMENT
PRESENT: Lowe, III, P.J., Shulman, Hunter, Jr., JJ
Dennis Ramos, Plaintiff-Respondent,
Rebeca Chacon, Defendant-Appellant.
Defendant appeals from a judgment of the Small Claims Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (Debra R. Samuels, J.), entered July 6, 2010, after trial, in favor of plaintiff and awarding him damages in the principal sum of $3,841.94.
Judgment (Debra R. Samuels, J.), entered July 6, 2010, reversed, without costs, and judgment directed in favor of defendant dismissing the action.
This is a small claims action by plaintiff seeking recoupment of alleged child support overpayments made by him to defendant for the benefit of his four children, and restitution of a penalty imposed upon plaintiff by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). After trial, Civil Court granted judgment in plaintiff's favor for the amount sought. We reverse.
"It has long been held that there is a strong public policy against restitution or recoupment of [child] support overpayments," and nothing in this record warrants a departure herein (Johnson v Chapin, 12 NY3d 461, 466 ; rearg denied 13 NY3d 888 ; see Kayemba v Kayemba, 309 AD2d 1045, 1047 ; Baraby v Baraby, 250 AD2d 201, 205 ; Horne v Pearman, 2003 NY Slip Op 51324[U] ). Nor did plaintiff establish that an alleged tax penalty for improperly claiming his children as dependents was caused through any fault of defendant, as opposed to plaintiff's own failure to secure and file the correct IRS forms.
The proper forum for plaintiff's alleged grievances lies within the "exclusive original jurisdiction" of Family Court, not Civil Court (Family Court Act § 411; see Lashley v Jones, 25 Misc 3d 72, 73 ). Dismissal of the small claims action thus achieves "substantial justice" consistent with substantive law principles (CCA 1807; see Crosswell v Crosswell, 21 Misc 3d 131[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 52051[U] ).
THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT.
Decision Date: March 24, 2011