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Declue v. McCann

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division

February 10, 2015

LARRY DECLUE, Appellant,
v.
TARA M. MCCANN D/B/A DISASTER RECOVERY SPECIALISTS, LLC, and WILLIAM HORN, Respondents

Page 793

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Charles County. Honorable Frederick L. Westhoff.

Larry DeClue, APPELLANT, Pro Se, St. Louis, Missouri.

FOR RESPONDENT TARA MCCANN: Bond Wilkinson, St. Peters, Missouri.

WILLIAM HORN, RESPONDENT, Pro se, Maryland Heights, Missouri.

Kurt S. Odenwald, Presiding Judge. Robert G. Dowd, Jr., Judge. Gary M. Gaertner, Jr., Judge.

OPINION

Kurt S. Odenwald, Presiding Judge.

Page 794

Introduction

Appellant Larry DeClue (" DeClue" ) appeals from the judgment of the trial court following a bench trial. DeClue sued Respondent Tara McCann (" McCann" ) and Respondent William Horn (" Horn" ) for breach of contract in the Small Claims Division of the Circuit Court of St. Charles County (" Small Claims court" ), receiving a default judgment in his favor against McCann in the amount of $4,006.75 and a judgment of $500.00 against Horn. McCann applied for a trial de novo, which was certified to the Circuit Court of St. Charles County (" the trial court" ). After a bench trial, the trial court entered a judgment awarding DeClue damages in the amount of $1,000 from McCann and in the amount of $350 from Horn. DeClue argues on appeal that the trial court erred in entering a judgment different than the judgment entered by the Small Claims court, that the trial court violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, and that the trial court erred in entering a judgment with respect to Horn because he appealed only the Small Claims court judgment against McCann. This appeal is without merit as DeClue fails to understand the nature of a de novo q review, and substantially fails to meet his burden with regard to the evidentiary matters raised. Accordingly, we find no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.[1]

Factual and Procedural History

The dispute in this case arises from a contractual agreement for the reconstruction of Horn's house, which was severely damaged by fire. McCann and her company, Disaster Recovery Specialists, LLC, were retained by Horn to coordinate the reconstruction of Horn's house, and oversee the efforts of the insurance company and the various subcontractors. McCann entered into an agreement (" the Contract" ) with DeClue in which DeClue agreed to provide plumbing services for the reconstruction project on Horn's house for a price of $12,150. DeClue received a payment of $3,000 from McCann at the outset of the project. After DeClue began working on the plumbing project, McCann was notified by Horn's insurance company that it would not provide any further funding for the reconstruction project. McCann immediately notified DeClue of this development and told him to cease working on the project. DeClue agreed to

Page 795

reach a stopping point in his work. DeClue continued to work on the project for one more day, filling in the basement with concrete, referred to as " roughing in," to prevent the ...


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