Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Hon. Charles Shaw.
Paul J. Simon, Judge, P.j. Carl R. Gaertner - concurs. J. Kathianne Knaup Crane - concurs.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simon
This is an appeal from various orders entered in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis in an ejectment action by respondents, Mitchel and Catherine Reben, wherein they were awarded possession of the premises and real property known as 4746 West Florissant, St. Louis, Missouri (hereinafter referred to as the property at issue) and $500 per month rent for all months occupied after the ejectment action was filed. A counterclaim to respondents' previously dismissed quiet title action was consolidated with the ejectment action and was dismissed.
National Funeral Home Services, Inc. (NFHS), National Prearranged Services (NPS), and B. B. Anderson, Inc. d/b/a A. L. Beal Mortuary (B. B. Anderson), (collectively Appellants), appeal the judgment awarding respondents possession and the dismissal of their second amended counterclaim and the denial of their motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. Charles S. Wilson, Jr. (Wilson), who was not a party to the counterclaim, also appeals.
On appeal, Appellants contend the trial court erred in: 1) holding that respondents shall have and recover possession of the premises and real property at issue; 2) finding the Appellants did not have standing to bring the second amended counterclaim, thereby sustaining respondents' motion to dismiss the second amended counterclaim; and 3) denying Appellants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment.
In his points on appeal, Wilson contends as follows:
"1. Whether the trial court erred in dismissing the second amended counter claim?"
"2. Whether the trial court erred in making a finding that B. B. Anderson Corp. was administratively dissolved by the Missouri Secretary of State on June 24, 1991 and, therefore, had no standing to file the second amended counter claim."
Initially, we admonish counsel for the inadequacy of their briefs. However, Wilson's brief deserves special scrutiny. Our Supreme Court has held that it is not the function of this court to serve as advocate for any party to an appeal and that when counsel files non-conforming or otherwise inadequate briefs, this court need not supply additional research and briefing to supplement the deficiency. Thummel v. King, 570 S.W.2d 679, 686-687 (Mo.banc, 1978). Based on his brief, this is precisely what Wilson asks this court to do.
Wilson's points on appeal do not conform with Rule 84.04(d) which states that "the points relied on shall state briefly and concisely what actions or rulings of the court are sought to be reviewed and wherein and why they are claimed to erroneous...."
Wilson's points do not state that the trial court erred. Nor do they state wherein or why the trial court's actions were erroneous. The arguments are directed to the counterclaim and B. B. Anderson's standing to maintain the counterclaim. Wilson was not a party to the counterclaim. Thus, Wilson's points are directed to a judgment entered against another party. He has preserved nothing for appeal. Rule 84.13(a). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment against him.
The facts in this case are complex as the property at issue was conveyed numerous times within a short period of time. The briefs offered little assistance. In addition, each of the appellants' legal files were incomplete. However, we were able to glean from the record the following facts in a light most favorable to the trial court's ruling.
On March 20, 1985, respondents, Mitchel and Catherine Reben (Rebens), loaned Charles S. Wilson, Jr., Vora T. Wilson, and Carol Jean Wilson (Wilsons) $35,000. At that time, the Wilsons executed a promissory note payable to respondents signed by the Wilsons individually. A. L. Beal Undertaking Company (A. L. Beal) executed a Deed of Trust for the property at issue as security for the aforesaid note. Charles S. Wilson, Jr. signed the Deed of Trust as "President of A. L. Beal Undertaking Company" by authority of its Board of Directors and Vora T. Wilson signed as vice-president. Wilson admitted the property at issue was pledged as collateral for the promissory note. Subsequently, A. L. Beal conveyed its interest in the property at issue to NPS via quitclaim deed dated August 3, 1989. Once again, Wilson signed the deed as president of A. L. Beal.
Apparently the Wilsons defaulted on the note and respondents filed their petition to quiet title against NPS on May 18, 1990. Five months later, NPS filed a motion to dismiss the quiet title action for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. In this motion, NPS alleged that the Rebens possessed no interest in the property at issue because A. L. Beal was not a party to the original promissory note and thus ...