Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Simon v. Director of Revenue, State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District

October 27, 2016

JACOB DANIEL SIMON, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
DIRECTOR OF REVENUE, STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LACLEDE COUNTY Honorable Larry W. Winfrey Jr.

         AFFIRMED

          OPINION

          MARY W. SHEFFIELD, C.J.

         Jacob Daniel Simon ("Driver") appeals from the trial court's judgment affirming the administrative revocation of his driver's license. Driver argues it was against the weight of the evidence for the trial court to find Driver did not make a statutorily valid refusal to submit to a breath alcohol test. Driver's argument is without merit, and the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         On August 1, 2015, Missouri State Park Ranger, Terry Shaw ("Ranger Shaw"), stopped Driver in Bennett Spring State Park for driving while intoxicated. During the course of the stop, Driver stated he had been drinking, showed several indicators of intoxication on each field sobriety test administered and refused to complete a portable breath test. Driver stated, "Well, I'm not going to blow. I'm not going to blow at the jail either. You can just arrest me then." At the jail, Ranger Shaw read Driver the provisions of the implied consent law from a form, and Driver again refused to take a breath test. Ranger Shaw issued Driver a revocation notice for refusal to submit to the breath alcohol test.

         Driver filed a petition for review of the revocation. A trial was held on December 9, 2015, and the trial court upheld the revocation. Driver appeals.

         Discussion

         Driver's sole point on appeal is an against-the-weight-of-the-evidence challenge alleging Driver did not have sufficient information to make a statutorily valid refusal to submit to the breath test. He argues he was not advised of the purpose of the test because Ranger Shaw failed to check one box on the alcohol influence report form. The box that remained unchecked was located next to the statement which informs the suspect that the purpose of the breath test is to determine the alcohol content of the suspect's blood. For this reason, Driver argues his refusal was not a valid statutory refusal. Driver's argument ignores the standard of review and ignores Ranger Shaw's testimony.

         "In appeals from a court-tried civil case, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed unless there is no substantial evidence to support it, it is against the weight of the evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the law." White v. Director of Revenue, 321 S.W.3d 298, 307-08 (Mo. banc 2010). "When the facts relevant to an issue are contested, the reviewing court defers to the trial court's assessment of the evidence." Id. at 308. "A trial court is free to disbelieve any, all, or none of that evidence." Id.

         Even though an against-the-weight analysis requires some consideration of evidence contrary to the result below, the appellate court still must defer to the credibility determinations made by the trial court. Houston v. Crider, 317 S.W.3d 178, 186 (Mo. App. S.D. 2010). Such an argument requires the appellant to:

(1) identify the trial court's finding he seeks to challenge as against the weight of the evidence; (2) identify all favorable evidence submitted during trial that would support that finding; (3) identify evidence contrary to the trial court's finding; and (4) explain why, in light of the whole record, the supporting evidence is so lacking in probative value that the trier of fact should have reached a different conclusion.

O'Gorman & Sandroni, P.C. v. Dodson, 478 S.W.3d 539, 544 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015). "Where the appellant fails to follow this framework, the appellant's argument is 'analytically useless and provides no support' for his or her challenge." Id. (quoting In re Marriage of McDaniel, 419 S.W.3d 828, 833 (Mo. App. S.D. 2013)).

         The issues in a revocation case based on a refusal to submit to a chemical test are: "(1) whether or not the person was arrested or stopped; (2) whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition; and (3) whether or not the person refused to submit to the test[.]" Neff v. Director of Revenue, 437 S.W.3d 394, 396 (Mo. App. S.D. 2014) (quoting Hinna v. Director ofRevenue, 77 S.W.3d 616, 620 (Mo. banc 2002)). "Should the trial court determine any issue not to be in the affirmative, the Director shall be ordered to reinstate the driver's license." Mayfield v. Director ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.