Case summaries for July 7 - July 13, 2023
Each week, The Missouri Bar provides links to all hand downs published online during the past seven days by the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals. The Missouri Bar has created headings and summaries for each case. Summaries are not part of the opinions of the Court. They have been prepared for the convenience of the reader and should not be quoted or cited.
No transcript, no review
Before ruling on the merits rule on the merits of an appeal, an appellate court must review the record on appeal, which the appellant must compile, and which must include a transcript of any electronically recorded proceedings. Without a transcript, the appellate court “has nothing to review” and may dismiss the appeal. Dismissed.
David Duvall, Appellant, v. James Ray Maxey, et al., Respondents
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED111144
Termination of parental rights affirmed
When challenging a judgment as against the weight of the evidence, appellant identified findings challenged, but did not show how they were necessary to the judgment, nor assemble the evidence supporting the finding. Findings of abandonment and neglect can rest on both the quality and quantity of contacts and support. The record supports a finding that appellant’s infrequent virtual visits, and lack of financial or in-kind support, constituted abandonment and neglect. Circuit court was not required to believe appellant’s testimony, that he paid monthly child support, without documentation.
IN THE INTEREST OF E.M.F., N.A.F., AND A.M.F., minor children under seventeen years of age. GREENE COUNTY JUVENILE OFFICE, Petitioner-Respondent v. J.A.F., Respondent-Appellant
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District - SD37944, SD37945 and SD37946
No relief on pretrial publicity
On a claim of ineffective counsel, movant must show prejudice resulting from counsel’s substandard performance. Rule provides a change of venue for pretrial publicity only when “the pretrial publicity ‘so permeated the community as to render impossible the seating of an impartial jury.’” Movant did not show that pretrial publicity met that standard by the time a motion for change of venue was due, so movant did not show that a motion for change of venue would have had any merit. Trial counsel is never ineffective for deciding against a meritless motion. Movant also showed no prejudice because movant waived a jury trial and did not show that pretrial publicity influenced the circuit court.
TOMMY R. MORRIS, Plaintiff-Appellant v. STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District - SD37698