Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 15SL-PN02713
Honorable Robert Merrell Heggie
K. HOFF, JUDGE.
("Father") appeals from the trial court's
judgment granting a full order of child protection
("Full Order of Protection") against him. We
dismiss this appeal as untimely.
and Procedural Background
and C.R.S. ("Mother") were married in 2000, and two
children were born of the marriage, a son and a daughter
("Daughter"). On August 24, 2012, Mother and Father
dissolved their marriage in the Circuit Court of Jefferson
County, and the dissolution court granted them joint custody
of their children. Thereafter, Father moved to Fort Worth,
18, 2015, while Daughter was at Father's home in Texas,
Father committed an act of domestic violence against
Daughter, causing her to suffer from a concussion,
lacerations to various parts of her body, and contusions to
her head, chest wall, and rib cage. After receiving medical
treatment, Daughter obtained a flight back to Missouri the
following day to reunite with Mother.
2, 2015, Mother filed an ex parte petition for an order of
protection against Father on behalf of her children in the
Circuit Court of St. Louis County, where the children
resided. The court granted an ex parte order of protection
the same day, setting a hearing for a full order of
protection for July 16, 2015. Father received service of the
ex parte order in Texas on July 7, 2015, but he did not
appear at the July 16 hearing.
hearing, Mother testified that when Daughter last saw Father
on May 18, 2015, Father repeatedly punched Daughter, kicked
her, and threw her into a bathtub, causing her to strike her
head and lose consciousness before reawakening and sneaking
out of the house. Based upon Mother's testimony, the
court determined that Mother had proved the allegations of
domestic violence in the Petition and, on July 16, 2015,
entered its Full Order of Protection preventing Father from
contacting or communicating with the children. The court also
granted Mother sole custody of the children and child
support. The court further granted an automatic one-year
renewal of the Full Order of Protection effective July 15,
2016, pursuant to Section 455.516.
did not file an appeal from this final judgment of July 16,
2015. Additionally, Father did not request a hearing
contesting the automatic renewal of the Full Order of
Protection under Section 455.516, and therefore, the Full
Order of Protection renewed on July 15, 2016. On July 20,
2016, Father filed his "Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Jurisdiction" ("Motion"). On November 10,
2016, Father filed an amended motion to dismiss, or in the
alternative to amend and vacate the child support obligation
of the Full Order of Protection ("Amended Motion").
On November 30, 2016 the trial court denied Father's
Father filed a notice of appeal on December 9, 2016, stating
that he appeals from the Full Order of Protection dated July
16, 2015 contesting the child support ordered therein. After
Father filed this appeal, the Full Order of Protection
expired on July 15, 2017.
court-tried case, "we must affirm the trial court's
judgment unless it is not supported by substantial evidence,
it is against the weight of the evidence, or it erroneously
declares or applies the law." Cima v. Fansler,
345 S.W.3d 875, 877 (Mo. App. W.D. 2011) (citing Murphy
v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976)). We
"view the facts and reasonable inferences in a light
most favorable to the judgment and must defer to the trial
court's determination of witness credibility."
Id. (citing In the Interest of S.J.H., 124
S.W.3d 63, 66 (Mo. App. W.D. 2004)).
raises three points on appeal. However, before we may
consider the merits of Father's appeal, "we must
sua sponte consider this Court's authority to
review" it. Burton v. Klaus, 455 S.W.3d 9, 12
(Mo. App. E.D. 2014). "The time limits for filing a
notice of appeal are mandatory." Twitty v.
State, 322 S.W.3d 608, 610 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010).
"If a notice of appeal is untimely filed, the appellate
court may dismiss the matter." Id. Under Rule
81.04(a), "the notice of appeal must be filed no later
than 10 days after the judgment becomes final."
Redden v. Redden, 279 S.W.3d 240, 241 (Mo. App. E.D.
2009); and Rule 81.04(a). A judgment, in turn, ...