2012-1272 RI C
PRESENT: : , J.P., ALIOTTA and SOLOMON, JJ.
Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County (Orlando Marrazzo, Jr., J.), entered April 28, 2011. The judgment, after a nonjury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,000 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.
Plaintiff commenced this small claims action against defendant, her former landlord, seeking the return of her security deposit in the amount of $2,900. Defendant interposed a counterclaim to recover the sum of $4,700, for property damage to plaintiff's apartment and other portions of the apartment building, allegedly caused by plaintiff. After a nonjury trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,000 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim. Upon a review of the record, we find that substantial justice was done between the parties 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, plaintiff conceded that her dog was responsible for some of the damage done to the living room of the apartment, and testified that she was willing to pay for that damage. The Civil Court apparently found that any remaining damage, as alleged by defendant, was the result of normal wear and tear, and that defendant was not entitled to reimbursement therefor. As the record supports the trial court's conclusions, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.
Weston, J.P., Aliotta and Solomon, JJ., concur.