M. K., Plaintiff and Respondent, v. M. H., Defendant and Appellant.

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Court of Appeal, Second District, California.

M. K., Plaintiff and Respondent, v. M. H., Defendant and Appellant.

B224525

Decided: March 30, 2011

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS

M. H., in pro. per., for Defendant and Appellant.

No appearance for Plaintiff and Respondent.

On May 10, 2010, the superior court entered an order denying M. H.'s motion to modify child custody and visitation.   M.H. filed a timely notice of appeal from that order and a timely notice designating the record on appeal.   In his designation of record, M.H. chose to proceed without a record of the oral proceedings in the trial court.   He also chose to proceed with a clerk's transcript but did not designate any documents to be included in it other than those that are required.   On June 11, 2010, M.H. filed a motion to amend his designation of the record on appeal.   The motion was denied without prejudice to his filing a proper motion in conformance with rules 8.54 and 8.57(b) of the

“In the words of our Supreme Court:  ‘A “reviewing court has inherent power, on motion or its own motion, to dismiss an appeal which it cannot or should not hear and determine.”  [Citation.]  An appealed-from judgment or order is presumed correct.  [Citations.]  Hence, the appellant must make a challenge.   In so doing, he must raise claims of reversible error or other defect [citation] and “present argument and authority on each point made” [citations].   If he does not, he may, in the court's discretion, be deemed to have abandoned his appeal.  [Citation.]  In that event, it may order dismissal.  [Citation.]’  [Citation.]”  (County of Kern v. Dillier (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1412, 1424–1425.)   Parties appearing in propria persona are not exempt from such procedural rules.  (Nwosu v. Uba (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1229, 1247.)

M.H.'s opening brief contains no citations to the record on appeal or to pertinent legal authority and presents no legally cognizable claims of error.   We sent M.H. a letter pointing out those defects and affording him the opportunity to file a letter brief on the issue of whether this appeal should be dismissed.   M.H. did not file a letter brief in response, but he did file a motion to augment the record.   We grant M.H.'s motion, but it does not cure the defects in M.H.'s opening brief.

Because M.H.'s opening brief does not adequately raise any claims of reversible error supported by argument and authority, we exercise our discretion to dismiss the appeal.1

DISPOSITION

The appeal is dismissed.   The parties shall bear their own costs of appeal.

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED.

We concur:

FOOTNOTES

FN1. We note also that the record on appeal does not contain (1) any document stating the terms of the child custody and visitation order(s) that M.H. sought to modify, (2) his motion to modify them, (3) a transcript of the hearing on his motion, or (4) any statement of the trial court's reasons for denying the motion (the minute order denying the motion states that the court's orders were “fully reflected in the notes of the official court reporter,” but the record on appeal contains no reporter's transcript, pursuant to M.H.'s choice in his designation of record).   Because the record on appeal does not indicate the terms of the orders M.H. sought to modify, the grounds he advanced for modifying them (including any sworn testimony that may have been presented orally at the hearing on his motion), or the trial court's reasons for rejecting his request, it does not demonstrate that the trial court erred.   M.H.'s motion to augment the record does not cure any of those defects.   We would therefore be compelled to affirm the trial court's order if we did not dismiss the appeal..  FN1. We note also that the record on appeal does not contain (1) any document stating the terms of the child custody and visitation order(s) that M.H. sought to modify, (2) his motion to modify them, (3) a transcript of the hearing on his motion, or (4) any statement of the trial court's reasons for denying the motion (the minute order denying the motion states that the court's orders were “fully reflected in the notes of the official court reporter,” but the record on appeal contains no reporter's transcript, pursuant to M.H.'s choice in his designation of record).   Because the record on appeal does not indicate the terms of the orders M.H. sought to modify, the grounds he advanced for modifying them (including any sworn testimony that may have been presented orally at the hearing on his motion), or the trial court's reasons for rejecting his request, it does not demonstrate that the trial court erred.   M.H.'s motion to augment the record does not cure any of those defects.   We would therefore be compelled to affirm the trial court's order if we did not dismiss the appeal.

MALLANO, P. J. JOHNSON, J.