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Johnson v. Mo. Dept. of Corrections

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

June 27, 2017

TERRANCE JOHNSON, Appellant,
v.
MO. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COLE COUNTY, MISSOURI THE HONORABLE DANIEL R. GREEN, JUDGE

          Before: Anthony Rex Gabbert, Presiding Judge, Victor C. Howard, Judge and Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

          VICTOR C. HOWARD, JUDGE

         Terrance Johnson appeals the Cole County Circuit Court's order granting judgment on the pleadings with respect to his Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Request for Habeas Relief. Johnson's brief and four points are significantly deficient. His appeal is dismissed.

         Johnson appeals pro se. His initial brief was struck by this court, and he was given the opportunity to file an amended brief. He did so.

         Johnson's amended brief contains multiple violations of Rule 84.04 and preserves nothing for review. See Nichols v. Div. of Employment Sec., 399 S.W.3d 901, 902 (Mo. App. W.D. 2013). "Rule 84.04 sets forth various requirements for appellate briefs and compliance with these requirements is mandatory in order to ensure that appellate courts do not become advocates by speculating on facts and on arguments that have not been made." Id. (internal quotations omitted). "Violations of Rule 84.04 are grounds for a court to dismiss an appeal." Id. at 903. "An appellant who proceeds pro se is subject to the same procedural rules as parties represented by counsel, including the rules specifying the required contents of appellate briefs." Id. (internal quotations omitted).

         Johnson's four points on appeal read:

I. WHETHER THE CIRCUIT COURT ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN DENYING APPELLANT'S CLAIM THAT §558.019.3 AND §558.016 RSMO, AND RESPONDENT'S PAROLE GUIDELINES WHEN READ TOGETHER POSES AN AMBIGUITY VIOLATING EX POST FACTOR AND BILL OF ATTAINDER LAW UNDER THE UNITED STATES AND MISSOURI'S CONSTITUTION, TO INVOKE THE RULES OF LENITY, TO CONSTRUE IT LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF APPELLANT AND STRICTLY AGAINST THE STATE.
II. WHETHER APPELLANT'S EQUAL PROTECTION RIGHTS WERE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED AT THE TIME RESPONDENT VIOLATED IT, i.e., APPELLANT'S RIGHT TO BE TREATED EQUALLY AS OTHER PRISONERS SIMILARLY SITUATED UNDER THE DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSES OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.
III. WHETHER THE CIRCUIT COURT ERRED IN CONSTRUING APPELLANT'S CLAIM UNDER ISSUE #C OF HIS ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AS CHALLENGE TO HIS CRIMINAL CONVICTION WHEN, HE REQUESTED THE HEARING COURT TO DECLARE THAT RESPONDENT'S FAILURE TO GAUGE APPELLANT'S INDIVIDUAL CRIMINAL CONDUCT, AND DISREGARD THE JUDICIALLY IMAGINED CONDUCT ASCRIBED BY THE TRIAL COURT UNDER THE RESIDUAL CLAUSE FOR ROBBERY FIRST DEGREE §569.020 AND ASSAULT FIRST DEGREE §565.050 TO MAKE HIM ELIGIBLE TO SERVE 85% OF HIS SENTENCE.
IV. WHETHER THIS COURT SHOULD REMAND THIS CAUSE FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS BECAUSE THE HEARING COURT DID NOT MAKE AN ADEQUATE AND PROPER DECLARATION OF WHETHER OR NOT APPELLANT, (a) HAS STANDING TO BRING THIS APPLICATION IN DECLARATORY JUDGMENT; (b) WHAT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF APPELLANT HAS BEEN VIOLATED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF RESPONDENT'S PRACTICE TO MAKE THE COMMITMENT BROADER THAN THE JUDGMENT, AND; (c) WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO APPELLANT TO REMEDY THE WRONGS COMPLAINED OF SEE: MISSOURI CONSTITUTION ARTICLE I, SECTION 14 "OPEN COURT'S, REMEDY FOR EVERY INJURY, JUSTICE WITHOUT SALE, DENIAL OR DELAY."

         Johnson's points do not meet the requirements of Rule 84.04(d)(1)(A), Rule 84.04(d)(1)(B), or 84.04(d)(1)(C). None of the points state why the circuit court's ruling was erroneous. This court cannot tell what Johnson's basis is for claiming the circuit court committed reversible error. Johnson's first point doesn't state how his argument is supported by the law. His second point does not identify the ruling of the circuit court he is challenging.

         The three components of a point relied on are:

(1) A concise statement of the challenged action or ruling of ...

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