State v. Schulten

Decision Date26 August 1975
Docket NumberNo. 36402,36402
Citation529 S.W.2d 432
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. Stephen R. SCHULTEN, Appellant. . Louis District, Division One
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

William B. Spaun, Hannibal, for appellant.

John C. Danforth, Atty. Gen., Paul Robert Otto, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Charles B. Blackmar, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., St. Louis, for respondent.


Appellant, convicted of second degree murder, was sentenced under the Second Offender Act, § 556.280, RSMo., to 30 years imprisonment. His appeal, filed in the Missouri Supreme Court, was transferred here under the provisions of Missouri Constitution, Art. 5, § 3, as amended 1970.

We are confronted at the outset by appellant's failure to comply with the rules of appellate procedure as to content and form of the brief. Rule 84.04(c), V.A.M.R., made applicable in criminal cases by Rule 28.18, requires 'a fair and concise statement of the facts relevant to the questions presented for determination without argument.' Appellant's statement of facts contains no such fair and impartial statement; instead it consists of an enumeration of the pleadings followed by 14 pages of random verbatim excerpts from the testimony of various witnesses. Though the rule permits a re sume of each witnesses' testimony, '(S)uch statements may properly follow a general statements of the facts, if desired, but they should not be used to replace the 'fair and concise statement' of all the relevant facts required by the rule.' State v. Burns, 322 S.W.2d 736, 739(2) (Mo.1959); Handshy v. Hasty, 444 S.W.2d 48, 49(1) (Mo.App.1969). The random excerpts from testimony do not even constitute such re sume s. 'To provide a statement of facts which requires an examination of the transcript in order to determine the facts of the case is a travesty upon the rules.' Spradley v. St. Mary's Hospital, 469 S.W.2d 855 858 (Mo.App.1971). 'The failure of an appellant to comply with the requirements for a sufficient statement of facts, alone, constitutes ground for dismissal of an appeal.' Devoy v. Devoy, 502 S.W.2d 428, 430(2) (Mo.App.1973); Markowitz v. University City, 335 S.W.2d 455 (Mo.App.1960). While we do not dismiss the appeal, it is noteworthy that the statement of facts consists of 15 pages; the 'points and authorities' and 'argument' sections are but two pages each. Six points of error are purportedly raised and argued in these four pages. No authority is cited under Points II, IV, V and VI in violation of Rule 84.04(d), requiring the inclusion of citations of authorities for points advanced. For failure to provide citations these points are deemed abandoned. Cady v. Kansas City Southern Ry. Co., 512 S.W.2d 882, 886(7) (Mo.App.1974); Earney v. Clay, 516 S.W.2d 59, 63(2) (Mo.App.1974). Appellant's contention in Point II, relating to Instruction No. 11, is objectionable for the further reason it fails to set out the allegedly erroneous instruction as required by Rule 84.04(e). 1 As to the arguments supportive of Points II, IV and V, they are merely restatements of the points in a single sentence each; for Point VI, we find no argument at all. It has been held that points not developed in the argument section fail to meet the requirements and the rule and will not be reviewed. Bopp v. Spainhower, 519 S.W.2d 281, 286(7) (Mo. banc 1975). The sole authority suggested for Point I is the 5th and 14th Amendments and appellant does not develop his theory in the argument section nor cite specific authority for the suggested proposition. Appellant's argument regarding these points contains 'only cursory, unsupported, disjointed legal conclusions, devoid of any logical suasion. The Argument is totally unproductive of any assistance to this court and is completely unacceptable under either the letter or intent of the appellate rules.' Cady v. Kansas City Southern Ry. Co., supra at 886(9). 'Thus the court is left alone to develop the facts, render a decision and write an opinion without the benefit of counsel's thoughts and complete analysis of the points and issues. We no longer can afford the luxury of doing the work of an advocate on appeal.' Cole v. Cole, 516 S.W.2d 518, 521 (Mo.App.1974) (Simeone, P.J., concurring). Under these circumstances, appellant's Points I, II, IV, V and VI, preserving nothing for review, are denied.

Appellant's Point III complains of the trial court's decision not to submit a manslaughter instruction; yet appellant's motion for new trial failed to allege facts warranting such an instruction. Supreme Court Rule 27.20(a) provides that a motion for a new trial 'must set forth in detail and with particularity, in separate numbered paragraphs, the specific grounds or causes therefor.' The Missouri Supreme Court, construing this rule in State v. Cheek, 413 S.W.2d 231, 238(17) (Mo.1967), stated: 'Among other assignments in the motion for a new trial is the contention that the court erred in refusing to instruct on manslaughter; that such an instruction was requested and refused and that the facts in the case warranted such an instruction. We think this assignment wholly insufficient, under the facts of this case, to comply with Supreme Court Rule 27.20 in that it does not set forth in detail and with particularity the specific grounds or cause therefor, in that it does not indicate in any manner what facts in evidence were considered sufficient to warrant such an instruction. . . . In that situation we rule that this assignment wholly fails to comply with S.Ct. Rule 27.20(a) and hence does not preserve anything for...

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31 cases
  • State v. Williams, 10420
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 19, 1977
    ...a citation of authority is an abandonment of the point. State v. Halliburton, 531 S.W.2d 554, 556(5) (Mo.App.1975); State v. Schulten, 529 S.W.2d 432, 434(6) (Mo.App.1975). Reason (a) need not be considered because no authority is cited in its support and it is not discussed in the argument......
  • State v. Lane
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 2, 1977
    ...being a contradictory one and not specific enough to properly raise the issue. State v. Cheek, 413 S.W.2d 231 (Mo.1967); State v. Schulten, 529 S.W.2d 432 (Mo.App.1975). In any event, there is no error, the defendant's reliance upon State v. Stapleton, 518 S.W.2d 292 (Mo. banc 1975), to sup......
  • Marriage of Bradford, In re
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 25, 1977
    ...the brief, and we will not pursue it as an abstraction. Bopp v. Spainhower, 519 S.W.2d 281, 286(7) (Mo. banc 1975); State v. Schulten, 529 S.W.2d 432, 434(4) (Mo.App.1975). Another point, strenuously and repeatedly advanced by the respondent, is that the default should be set aside because ......
  • State v. Morrow
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 7, 1976
    ...independent recollection? These pose issues different from those suggested in the points and will not be reviewed. State v. Schulten, 529 S.W.2d 432, 434(4) (Mo.App.1975); Rule 84.04(e). Conversely, issues developed for the first time in the argument section different from those in the poin......
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