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Voit v. Mertz

Supreme Court of Montana

October 21, 2013

DAVID VOIT, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
KARL C. and MARIA M. MERTZ, Defendants and Appellants.

ORDER

The District Court record, without any transcripts, was filed for purposes of this appeal on August 7, 2013. On August 12, 2013, Karl C. Mertz, a self-represented litigant, filed a request for an extension of time to file the opening brief. The Court granted Karl C. Mertz an extension of time until October 7, 2013, and directed the Clerk to provide him with a copy of the Court's Civil Handbook. On October 21, 2013, Karl C. Mertz filed his opening brief.

M. R. App. P. 10(4) requires that a brief filed with this Court contain a certificate of service in the form of a statement of the date and manner of service and of the names and addresses of the persons served, certified by the person who made service.

M. R. App. P. 11(4)(e) requires that a brief filed with this Court be accompanied by certification of compliance which states the document's line spacing and states either: (1) the document is proportionately spaced, together with the typeface, point size, and word count; or (2) the document uses a monospaced typeface, together with the number of characters per inch and word count, or, the number of counted pages, pursuant to section (4)(b) or (c) of this Rule.

M. R. App. P. 12(1)(d) requires that the statement of the facts portion of a brief contain references to the pages or the parts of the record at which material facts appear. Furthermore, M. R. App. P. 12(9) provides that a reference to the record must be to particular parts of the record, suitably designated, and to specific pages of each part (e.g., Answer, p. 7; Motion for Summary Judgment, p. 3; Transcript, p. 231).

M. R. App. P. 12(1)(f) requires that the argument contain the contentions of the appellant with respect to the issues presented, and the reasons therefor, with citations to the authorities, statutes, and pages of the record upon which the appellant relied.

M. R. App. P. 13(2) requires that a signed original copy of each brief be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

The Court has determined that Karl C. Mertz's October 21, 2013 brief does not comply with the Montana Rules of Appellate Procedure. The briefs statement of facts section includes no cites to the record. Karl C. Mertz promises forthcoming examples from the record, but this is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Rules. The argument section does not contain citations to the authorities, statutes, and pages of the record upon which he relied. The brief has no signature page and, while listed in the Table of Contents, the brief does not contain the certificates of service and compliance as the Rules require. Therefore,

IT IS ORDERED that the original and nine copies of the referenced brief be, and are hereby, returned for revisions necessary to comply with the specified Rules;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the signed original and nine copies of the revised brief ordered herein be filed within ten days of the date of this Order with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and one copy of each revised brief be served on counsel of record and each party appearing pro se;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the postage costs for returning the referenced copies of Appellants' brief will be billed to Karl C. Mertz by the Clerk of the Supreme Court and shall be due and payable upon receipt; and

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the times for any subsequent briefing contained in M. R. App. P. 13 shall run from the date of refiling of the brief being returned this date.

The Clerk is directed to mail a true copy of this Order, together with all copies of Karl C. Mertz's brief referenced herein, to Karl C. Mertz and to mail a true copy of this Order to all counsel and parties upon whom the brief was served.


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