Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
STATE OF MISSOURI, ex rel. Attorney General JOSHUA D. HAWLEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
CALVIN ALLEN, Defendant-Appellant.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Charles D.
Curless, Special Judge APPEAL DISMISSED
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.
Allen ("Allen"), pro se appellant, appeals
the judgment of the trial court, in which the trial court
sustained the State's "Motion for an Order to Show
Cause and for Judgment of Civil Penalties Against Defendant
Calvin Allen." The State asserts in its brief that
Allen's appeal should be dismissed because of numerous
Rule 84.04 violations. We agree and dismiss Allen's appeal.
current appeal is Allen's eleventh before this Court. Out
of Allen's ten prior appeals, all were dismissed-save
due to Allen's non-compliance with the rules, procedures,
and laws governing appellate review.
deficiencies that led to the dismissal of many of Allen's
prior appeals now appear in Allen's current brief. We
note the most grievous of Allen's violations:
• Statement of Facts: Rule 84.04(c)
requires that "[t]he statement of facts shall be a
fair and concise statement of the facts
relevant to the questions presented for
determination without argument." (Emphasis
added). In Allen's attempt at facts, apocryphally styled
"Statement of Uncontroverted Facts, " argument and
legal conclusions are embedded in a rambling 21-page
recitation of nearly the entire underlying hearing, violating
Rule 84.04(c)'s "concise, " "relevant,
" and "without argument" mandates. Some meager
portions of the hearing escape Allen's recitation-namely,
portions he apparently views as contrary to his defense at
trial, thus violating Rule 84.04(c)'s "fair"
• Points Relied On: Rule 84.04(d)
requires that each point relied on "be in substantially
the following form: 'The trial court erred in
[identify the challenged ruling or action], because
[state the legal reasons for the claim of reversible
error], in that [explain why the legal reasons, in
the context of the case, support the claim of reversible
error]."' None of Allen's five points
relied on belie even a token effort at compliance with this
mandatory "erred in/because/in that"
formula."Given that a template is specifically
provided for in Rule 84.04(d)(1), appellants simply have no
excuse for failing to submit adequate points relied on."
Scott v. King, 510 S.W.3d 887, 892 (Mo.App. E.D.
2017). Further, Rule 84.04(d)(5) requires that
"[i]mmediately following each 'Point Relied On,
' the appellant . . . shall include a list of cases, not
to exceed four, and the constitutional, statutory, and
regulatory provisions or other authority upon which that
party principally relies." Allen wholly fails to comply
with this requirement.
• Argument Section: Rule 84.04(e)
mandates 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 [based on
preservation status]." Allen's brief makes cosmetic
approaches at this requirement, but in substance, these
efforts land well short of compliance.
• Appendix: Rule 84.04(h)
requires the submission of an appendix, which
includes the judgment appealed from, "[t]he complete
text of all statutes, . . . [and] rules of court . . .
claimed to be controlling as to a point on appeal"; it
allows the inclusion of certain other materials
"pertinent to the issues" in the appendix, but the
authorized record on appeal is the firm boundary of our
consideration-materials cannot be shoehorned into the record
via the appendix, and such attempts may be stricken by the
reviewing court. State ex rel. Greitens v. Am. Tobacco
Co., 509 S.W.3d 726, 745 n.21 (Mo. banc 2017). Allen
does not include the text of any statutes and rules in his
appendix, despite the fact that his table of authorities (if
relied on as an accurate tally) cites twenty of them.
Allen's brief also attempts to rely on exhibits contained
in his appendix, but not in the legal file. See,
U.S. Bank v. Lewis, 326 S.W.3d 491, 495-96 & n.2
(Mo.App. S.D. 2010).
we sympathize with the burden Allen faces as a pro
se litigant, he has received prior admonitions from this
Court as to the import and substance of the appellate rules
and procedures at issue-Allen's current brief does not
reflect acquiescence to these admonitions.
equality before the law depends on equal enforcement of our
Missouri Court Rules, including Rule 84.04. See,
Sullivan v. Holbrook, 109 S.W. 668, 670 (Mo. 1908).
The burden imposed on pro se litigants, who are held
to the same standard as counsel in complying with Rule 84.04,
is the self-same guarantor of equal treatment for pro
se litigants in our courts. See, Carden v.
CSM Foreclosure Trustee Corp, 479 S.W.3d 164, 165
(Mo.App. S.D. 2015).
State requests that Allen's brief be dismissed for
non-compliance with Rule 84.04. For the reasons discussed in
this opinion, that request is granted. Appeal dismissed.
JEFFREY W. ...