Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Honorable
Paula Perkins Bryant
S. ODENWALD, Judge
Weathers ("Weathers") appeals from the trial
court's order denying his motion to intervene in Amoso
Realty's ("Amoso") suit for rent and possession
against Monique Milton ("Milton"). Weathers filed
his motion to intervene after Amoso (the plaintiff and
counter-defendant) and Milton (the defendant and
counter-plaintiff) filed a voluntary dismissal of all claims
against one another under Rule 67.02(a). Because the trial
court's order denying Weathers's intervention motion
was not a final appealable judgment under Section 512.020,
dismiss this appeal.
and Procedural History
filed a petition for rent and possession against Monique
Milton. The petition alleged that Amoso was acting as the
authorized agent of Weathers, the property owner, for
purposes of the rent-and-possession action. The petition
further alleged that Milton rented the property for $475 per
month, and, due to Milton's failure to pay rent, Amoso
sought restitution of the premises and damages for rent and
response, Milton asserted counterclaims against both Amoso
and Weathers. The counterclaims alleged that Amoso and
Weathers were negligent for failing to exterminate the bed
bugs, and further alleged that Amoso and Weathers brought the
rent-and-possession action in retaliation for Milton's
reporting bed bugs to the St. Louis Health Department.
trial court entered an order granting leave for Milton to
file a third-party petition against Weathers, but Weathers
was never served and thus never became a party. The trial court
set a court date for January 2016.
and Milton filed a joint "STIPULATION FOR
DISMISSAL" on December 18, 2015. Regarding Amoso's
claims against Milton, the stipulation stated that Amoso
agreed to dismiss all claims against Milton with prejudice.
The stipulation also stated that Milton would dismiss all of
her claims against Amoso with prejudice and against
Weathers-who had not yet been served-without
prejudice. The corresponding entry on the trial court's
docket was titled, "Dismissed by Parties."
subsequently filed a motion to intervene in the
rent-and-possession action, alleging that Amoso was the agent
for Weathers in the lawsuit, and that Amoso and Milton had
settled the case for their considerable benefit, without
Weathers' "knowledge, consent or authorization,
" thereby breaching Amoso's fiduciary duties to
Weathers. Thus, Weathers requested leave to intervene.
two months later the trial court entered an order setting a
hearing date on the motion to intervene. While our record
does not contain a transcript of the hearing, the trial court
subsequently ordered briefing on "whether the proposed
dismissal of December 18, 2015 is valid or not as per the
face of the present record."
subsequent written order, the trial court denied
Weathers's motion to intervene. The trial court reasoned
that Amoso and Milton's Stipulation of Dismissal was a
voluntary dismissal under Rule 67.02(a), which was
effective-without judicial approval-on the date it was filed.
Thus, the trial court found that it lacked jurisdiction and
denied Weathers's motion to intervene. The written order
did not contain the word "judgment, " but the
corresponding docket entry stated, "SEE ORDER AND
JUDGMENT-THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT BRYCE WEATHERS
[sic] MOTION TO INTERVENE ... IS HEREBY DENIED. SO
ORDERED: JUDGE PAULA P. BRYANT." The trial judge's
name was typewritten. Weathers appeals.
we reach the merits of the appeal, we have a duty to
determine if Weathers is entitled to an appeal. State ex
rel. Koster v. ConocoPhillips Co.. 493 S.W.3d 397, 399
(Mo. banc 2016). The right to appeal is purely statutory.
Buemi v. Kerckhoff. 359 S.W.3d 16, 20 (Mo. banc
2011). No right to appeal exists unless specifically provided
for by statute. Ia\ Section ...