Southern District Court of Appeals dismisses appeal

Southern District Court of Appeals dismisses appeal for failure to adhere to specific appellate procedure rules


Kenneth Bell and NEZ, Inc. v. Baldwin Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc., SD 35342, 2018 WL 5292003 (Mo. Ct. App. S. Dist. Oct. 25, 2018).


The Southern District Court of Appeals recent dismissal of Bell, et. al. v. Baldwin Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. illustrates the importance of adhering to proper appellate practice and procedures.


Bell and a related entity (“Bell”) filed suit against General Motors of Missouri, LLC and Baldwin Chevrolet, Cadillac, Inc. (“Baldwin”), asserting various counts arising from alleged defects in a 2013 Corvette.


Following the Stoddard County trial court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant on plaintiff’s lone remaining count for rescission, Bell appealed.


After Bell filed his initial brief, Baldwin moved to dismiss the appeal for failure to comply with Rule 84.04 of the Missouri Rules of Appellate Procedure. Rule 84.04 provides various standards for appellate briefs, including the structure and contents of statements of fact and Points Relied On.


The Court of Appeals granted Baldwin’s motion, dismissing Bell’s appeal, and finding that Bell’s “statement of facts . . . leaves out some of the most important facts in the case,” resulting in “briefing violations . . . so significant [that they] impede . . . resolution.”


Take-aways


- Appeals are costly and time consuming. Parties that choose to pursue appeals should retain experienced appellate counsel who understand and adhere to the Missouri Rules of Appellate Procedure.


- While Appellant’s briefing errors in this case were somewhat egregious, failure to comply with even the most technical Rules of Appellate Procedure can serve as grounds for dismissal.




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