Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 15SL-DR03078
Honorable Thea A. Sherry, Judge
Page, Presiding Judge.
Ashton King ("Husband") appeals the trial
court's dissolution judgment of his marriage to Caroline
Hilton King ("Wife"). We dismiss the appeal.
marriage of the parties was dissolved in late 2016. Following
numerous post judgment pleadings and exhibits, Husband filed
the present appeal.
acting pro se, filed a brief raising seven points on
appeal. In addition to her response brief, Wife has filed a
motion to strike the legal file and brief and to dismiss
Husband's appeal. In her motion, Wife alleges numerous
violations of Missouri Supreme Court Rules 81.12 and 84.04.
rules for appellate briefing set forth in Rule 84.04 are
mandatory. Rockwell v. Wong, 415 S.W.3d 805 (Mo.
App. E.D. 2013) (citing Wong v. Wong, 391 S.W.2d
917, 918 (Mo. App. E.D. 2013)). Compliance with the
requirements is necessary to ensure we do not become an
advocate by inferring facts and arguments an appellant fails
to set forth. Id. at 806. The failure to, at least
substantially, comply with Rule 84.04 preserves nothing for
our review and is grounds for dismissal. Id. In the
interest of judicial impartiality, judicial economy and
fairness to all parties, pro se appellants like
Husband are required to comply with the rules, including Rule
84.04. Dubroc v. Dubroc, 537 S.W.3d 369, 370-71 (Mo.
App. W.D. 2017). We may exercise our discretion to review
briefs which suffer from violations of Rule 84.04. However,
Husband's brief simply contains too many deficiencies and
violations of Rule 84.04 for meaningful appellate review.
Accordingly, this appeal must be dismissed.
Statement of Facts
to Rule 84.04(c), Husband was required to include a
"fair and concise statement of the facts relevant to the
questions presented for determination without argument."
In addition, Rule 84.04(c) requires an appellant to cite the
specific page reference to the "relevant portion of the
record on appeal, i.e., legal file, transcript, or
approximately fifteen-page statement of facts contains a
significant amount of argument concerning the facts
underlying the dissolution. He makes statements of
"fact" concerning Wife's parenting, her alleged
alienation of him and her resources from her "wealthy
parents." Many of these claims are without citation to
the record or include citations to documents filed after the
judgment of dissolution, conflating dissolution judgment
issues properly before this court with post-dissolution
matters not subject to appellate review at this time. In
addition, Husband arbitrarily makes several bald assertions
that the court's decisions were made
"improvidently." The lengthy, argumentative statement of
facts fails to comply with Rule 84.04(c).
Points Relied On
to the statement of facts, Husband's points relied on do
not comply with Rule 84.04(d), which requires Husband to
identify the trial court ruling or action challenged, state
the legal reasons for the claim of reversible error and
explain why the legal reasons in the context of the
particular case support the claim of reversible error. This
is to provide the respondent with notice of the precise
matter which must be answered and to inform the court of the
issues presented. Dubroc, 537 S.W.3d at 371
(internal citation omitted). Husband's points relied on
fail to give Wife or this court such crucial information.
Instead, his points assert multiple allegations of error
without any identification of the ruling or action challenged
nor any clear legal reason for the claims of error.
most deficient section of the brief are the arguments
supporting his points relied on in violation of Rule
84.04(e), which requires Husband to include a "concise
statement of the applicable standard of review for each claim
of error." However, Husband initially sets forth three
separate standards of review. He cites an abuse of discretion
standard, de novo review and plain error review for
each of his seven points. In addition, in his recitation of
multiple standards of review, Husband's brief ...