Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
REGIONS BANK, Trustee of the Page G. Schumacher Trust dated June 25, 1996, Petitioner-Respondent,
RON DAVIS, Individually and as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Page G. Schumacher, Respondent-Appellant.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TANEY COUNTY Honorable Tony W.
W. LYNCH, P.J.
AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS
Bank, Inc. ("the Trustee"), Trustee of the Page G.
Schumacher Trust ("the Trust"), petitioned the
trial court for "discovery of assets which properly
belong to the Trust but are claimed to be assets of the
Estate [of Page G. Schumacher]" ("the Estate")
and also sought the removal of Ronald F. Davis as the
personal representative of the Estate. The trial court entered a judgment against
Davis, individually, that removed him as personal
representative of the Estate, awarded damages in favor of
Trustee for the discovery of assets, and ordered the payment
of Trustee's attorney fees. Davis timely appeals that
represents himself in this appeal. "We fully acknowledge
[his] right to do so, but [he] is bound by the same rules of
procedure as parties who are represented by counsel."
Reliable Roofing, LLC v. Jones, 302 S.W.3d 232, 234
(Mo.App. 2009). "All briefs filed in an appellate court
must comply with Rule 84.04." Id. Claims of error that are not
properly briefed "shall not be considered in any civil
appeal." Rule 84.13(a). As observed by the Eastern
District of our Court,
Rule 84.04 provides the requirements for appellate briefs. .
. . Compliance with the briefing requirements of Rule 84.04
is mandatory, and a brief that fails to comply with Rule
84.04 preserves nothing for appellate review. Compliance with
the rule is required in order that the appellant may give
notice to the party opponent of the precise matters which
must be contended with and answered. Compliance is also
mandatory so that unnecessary burdens are not imposed on the
appellate court and to ensure that appellate courts do not
become advocates for the appellant by speculating facts and
arguments that have not been made.
Osthus v. Countrylane Woods II Homeowners Ass'n,
389 S.W.3d 712, 714-15 (Mo.App. 2012) (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted).
brief is notably deficient in many respects, including, but
not limited to the following:
• Rule 84.04(c) requires that Davis's brief contain
"a fair and concise statement of the facts relevant to
the questions presented for determination without
argument." Davis's facts are not presented fairly or
concisely. Rather, his factual background consists of 77
pages of argument. In violation of our standard of review, he
repeatedly relies on facts favorable to his
• Rule 84.04(c) and (e) require that within the
Statement of Facts and Argument sections, "[a]ll
statements of facts shall have specific page
references to the relevant portion of the record on
appeal[.]" (Emphasis added). "'This requirement
is mandatory and essential for the effective functioning of
appellate courts because courts cannot spend time searching
the record to determine if the factual assertions in the
brief are supported by the record. To do so would effectively
require the court to act as an advocate for the non-complying
party.'" FIA Card Servs., NA v. Hayes, 339
S.W.3d 515, 517 (Mo.App. 2011) (quoting Lueker v. Mo. W.
State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 868 (Mo.App. 2008)).
Davis's Statement of Facts and Argument routinely and
almost universally fail to comply with this requirement.
Moreover, rather than referencing the record on appeal, Davis
purports to support his stated facts with citations to what
he labels as exhibits that he attached to his brief and that
are not in the record on appeal.
• Davis's point relied on purports to consist of
multiple points relied on; however, his brief contains only
one argument section. Because the "argument shall
substantially follow the order of the 'Points Relied On[,
]'" Rule 84.04(e), he cannot possibly have more than
one point relied on. The contentions set forth in any other
point would be abandoned. Therefore, we understand his brief to
contain one multifarious point relied on.
• In addition to being multifarious, the point relied on
wholly fails to comply with the requirements of Rule
• Rule 84.04(e) also requires that "[f]or each
claim of error, the argument shall also include a concise
statement describing whether the error was preserved for
appellate review; if so, how it was preserved; and the
applicable standard of review." Davis's brief does
not comply with any of these requirements.
• Davis's argument is not supported by authority,
and he offers no reasonable explanation for such absence.
"An appellant has an obligation to cite appropriate and
available precedent if he expects to prevail, and, if no
authority is available to cite, he should explain the reason
for the absence of ...