Sheik Tehuti, Appellant v. Atmos Energy Corp, Appellee

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas.

Sheik Tehuti, Appellant v. Atmos Energy Corp, Appellee

No. 05–14–00913–CV

Decided: July 29, 2015

Before Chief Justice Wright, Justice Brown, and Justice Stoddart

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Sheik Tehuti appeals the trial court's summary judgment in favor of Atmos Energy Corporation.   Tehuti filed his brief on September 26, 2014.   In a letter dated December 8, 2014, this Court notified Tehuti that his brief did not satisfy the requirements set forth in rule 38 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.   Specifically, we noted the brief did not contain (1) a concise statement of the case, the course of proceedings, and the trial court's disposition of the case supported by record references, (2) a concise statement of the facts supported by record references, or (3) a succinct, clear, and accurate statement of the arguments in the body of the brief.   We also noted the argument does not contain appropriate citations to the record.   We instructed Tehuti to correct the deficiencies and to file an amended brief that complied with Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 on or before December 18, 2014.

On December 18, 2014, Tehuti filed another brief of equal length but again without a concise, coherent statement of the case or the course of proceedings.   The brief contains no citation to the trial court record, gives no succinct, clear, or accurate statement of the arguments, and provides no meaningful recitation of how the trial court erred, no reference to the appropriate standard of review and applicable law, and no meaningful application of the law to the facts of this case.

Our appellate rules have specific requirements for briefing.   See Tex.R.App. P. 38.   These rules require an appellant to state concisely the complaint he may have, provide understandable, succinct, and clear argument for why his complaint has merit in fact and in law, and cite and apply law that is applicable to the complaint being made along with record references that are appropriate.  Tex.R.App. P. 38.1(f), (h), and (i).   Only when we are provided with proper briefing may we discharge our responsibility to review the appeal and make a decision that disposes of the appeal one way or the other.   Bolling v. Farmers Branch Indep.   Sch. Dist., 315 S.W.3d 893, 895 (Tex.App.Dallas 2010, no pet.).   We are not responsible for identifying possible trial court error, searching the record for facts that may be favorable to a party's position, or doing the legal research that might support a party's contentions.  Id. If we were to do so, even for a pro se litigant untrained in law, we would be abandoning our role as judges and become an advocate for that party.  Id.

Because Tehuti has failed to comply with the briefing requirements of our appellate rules after having been given the opportunity to do so, we dismiss his appeal.   See id. at 897.

Opinion by Justice Brown