[*1] Melideo v Mellon 2011 NY Slip Op 51223(U) Decided on June 28, 2011 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 This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
Melideo v Mellon
Decided on June 28, 2011
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
PRESENT: : NICOLAI, P.J., LaCAVA and IANNACCI, JJ
2010-1275 N C.
Dr. Leon R. Melideo, Appellant,
Joseph F. Mellon, Respondent.
Appeal, on the ground of inadequacy, from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Second District (Donald Birnbaum, J.), entered July 30, 2009. The judgment, after a nonjury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $956.70.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff, a dentist, commenced this small claims action to recover $4,096.05, the amount he claimed was the balance due for dental work performed on defendant. After a nonjury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $956.70. Plaintiff appeals on the ground of inadequacy.
Our review is limited to determining whether "substantial justice has not been done between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law" (UDCA 1807). The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that its conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 ). The determination of the trier of fact as to issues of credibility is given substantial deference, as the trial court's opportunity to observe and evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses affords it a better perspective from which to assess the credibility of the witnesses (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 ; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 ). The deference accorded to a trial court's credibility determinations applies with even greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court, given the limited standard of review (see UDCA 1807; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125 ). While plaintiff appeals on the ground of inadequacy, he has failed to demonstrate that "substantial justice" requires an increase in the amount awarded (see UDCA 1804, 1807). [*2]Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Nicolai, P.J., LaCava and Iannacci, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: June 28, 2011