Garey v. Div. of Emp't Sec., WD84831

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Docket NumberWD84831
Decision Date03 May 2022

EVAN J. GAREY, Appellant,


No. WD84831

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

May 3, 2022

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Labor and Industrial Relations County, Missouri

Gary D. Witt, Presiding Judge, Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge and W. Douglas Thomson, Judge


Evan J. Garey ("Garey") appeals the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission ("Commission"). The Commission denied the application for review of the decision of the Division of Employment Security ("DES") Appeals Tribunal, which found, following an evidentiary hearing, that Garey was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged for misconduct connected to his work. Garey's initial appellate brief was struck for failure to comply with Rule 84.04. Because Garey's amended appellate brief also fails to comply with the briefing requirements under Rule 84.04, we dismiss the appeal.


Factual Background

Garey was employed from April 15, 2019, until June 24, 2019, at Top Shelf Boat and Lift, LLC ("Top Shelf") as an installer helper. During Garey's two months of employment, he was absent six times, including three unexcused absences. Top Shelf terminated Garey's employment as a result of the absences. Garey filed an application for unemployment benefits with a DES deputy, who initially found Garey was "not disqualified" from receiving benefits because the "discharge was not for misconduct connected with work." Top Shelf appealed the deputy's determination to the DES Appeals Tribunal, which held a telephonic evidentiary hearing. Garey did not attend the evidentiary hearing and later claimed he did not receive notice of the hearing until two days after the hearing. Following the evidentiary hearing, the Appeals Tribunal reversed the deputy's determination and concluded Garey did not qualify for unemployment benefits because he had been terminated for "misconduct" under section 288.050.2, [1] which includes "chronic absenteeism or tardiness in violation of a known policy of the employer[.]" See section 288.030.1(23)(c).

Garey appealed the Appeals Tribunal's decision to the Commission. The Commission denied application for review because Garey had not alleged good cause for his failure to appear at the evidentiary hearing; therefore, absent evidence supporting Garey, the Commission could not engage in meaningful review, and accordingly, the


Commission adopted the Appeals Tribunal decision for purposes of appeal. Garey appeals the Commission's decision.


Garey raises two points on appeal, both of which are deficient. The requirements for appellate briefing are provided in Rule 84.04. An appellant's brief must contain: (1) a detailed table of contents; (2) a concise statement of the grounds on which jurisdiction of the review court is invoked; (3) a statement of facts; (4) the points relied on; (5) an argument, which shall substantially follow the order of the points relied on; and (6) a short conclusion stating the precise relief sought. Rule 84.04(a)(1)-(6). "Rule 84.04's requirements are mandatory." Lexow v. Boeing, Co., No. SC 99199, 2022 WL 791953, at *2 (Mo. banc Mar. 15, 2022). "Although this Court prefers to reach the merits of a case, excusing technical deficiencies in a brief, it will not consider a brief so deficient that it fails to give notice to this Court and to the other parties as to the issue presented on appeal." Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). "A party appearing pro se is held to the same standards as a licensed attorney and, as such, his brief must substantially meet the requirements of Rule 84.04." B.A. v. Ready, 634 S.W.3d 653, 655-56 (Mo. App. W.D. 2021). "Dismissal is particularly appropriate where appellant makes no effort to correct the deficient points in his amended brief, even after being put on notice that they...

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