JEFFREY LIPSCOMB v. CITY OF DALLAS POLICE

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas.

JEFFREY A. LIPSCOMB, Appellant v. CITY OF DALLAS POLICE, Appellee

No. 05-16-01090-CV

Decided: March 27, 2017

Before Justices Francis, Brown, and Schenck

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pro se appellant Jeffrey Arthur Lipscomb appeals the trial court's final take nothing judgment against him in favor of the Dallas Police Department. Appellee argues appellant has waived his arguments on appeal by failing to properly brief them. The Court sent a letter to appellant on November 17, 2016, and advised him that his brief did not satisfy the requirements of rule 38 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. See TEX. R. APP. P. 38. The Court's letter to appellant listed multiple deficiencies with appellant's brief. The letter also informed appellant that his appeal might be dismissed without further notice if he failed to file an amended brief complying with the rules of appellate procedure within ten days of November 17, 2016. Appellant filed an amended brief on December 5, 2016. The amended brief is a one-page table of contents, and it fails to correct the previously noted deficiencies.

Pro se litigants are held to the same standard as licensed attorneys. See Strange v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 126 S.W.3d 676, 677–78 (Tex. App.––Dallas 2004, pet. denied). On appeal, as at trial, the pro se litigant must properly present his case. Id. A reviewing court must have proper briefing in order to discharge its responsibility to review the appeal and make a decision that disposes of the appeal one way or the other. See Bolling v. Farmers Branch Indep. Sch. Dist., 315 S.W.3d 893, 895 (Tex. App.––Dallas 2010, no pet.).

While we do not adhere to any rigid rule about the form of the brief when determining whether an appellant's brief is deficient, we do “examine briefs for compliance with prescribed briefing rules,” including rule of appellate procedure 38.1. Id.; see TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1. Here, appellant's brief fails to comply with our briefing rules in several ways:

• It does not contain an index of authorities arranged alphabetically and indicating the pages of the brief where the authorities are cited. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(c).

• It does not contain a concise statement of the case, the course of proceedings, and the trial court's disposition of the case supported by record references. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(d).

• It does not concisely state all issues or points presented for review. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(f).

• It does not contain a concise statement of the facts supported by record references. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(g).

• It does not contain a succinct, clear, and accurate statement of the arguments made in the body of the brief. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(h).

• The argument does not contain appropriate citations to authorities. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(i).

• The argument does not contain appropriate citations to the record. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(i).

• It does not contain a short conclusion that clearly states the nature of the relief sought. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(j).

• It does not contain a proper certificate of compliance. TEX. R. APP. P. 9.4(i)(3).

• It does not contain a proper certificate of service. TEX. R. APP. P. 9.5(e)(2), (3).

• One or more of the following is omitted from the appendix: The trial court's judgment; the jury charge and verdict, if any, or the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law, if any; the text of any rule, regulation, ordinance, statute, constitutional provision, or other law (excluding case law) on which the argument is based; and the text of any contract or other document that is central to the argument. TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(k)(1).

We informed appellant that his appeal might be dismissed without further notice if he failed to file, within ten days, an amended brief complying with our rules. Because appellant has failed to comply with the briefing requirements after having been advised of the deficiencies and after having been given an opportunity to comply, we dismiss this appeal. See TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1, 42.3(C).

ADA BROWN JUSTICE