Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
Guamnetta M. BRIGGS, Appellant
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. and Federal National Mortgage Association, Appellees
the 408th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2010-CI-13120 Honorable Karen H. Pozza, Judge
Sitting: Marialyn Barnard, Justice, Patricia O. Alvarez,
Justice, Irene Rios, Justice.
Marialyn Barnard, Justice.
an appeal from a trial court's summary judgment in favor
of appellees Bank of America, N.A. and Federal National
Mortgage Association (collectively "Bank of
America"). On appeal, appellant Guamnetta M. Briggs
challenges the summary judgment. We affirm the trial
court's summary judgment.
2010, Bank of America, N.A. foreclosed its lien on real
property owned by Briggs due to a default in mortgage
payments. Federal National Mortgage Association purchased the
property at foreclosure. Thereafter, Briggs filed suit
against Bank of America, asserting numerous causes of action.
America sought summary judgment on two of Briggs's
claims, which the trial court granted. More than a year
later, Bank of America filed a motion to strike, asserting
Briggs had failed to respond to numerous discovery requests
promulgated in 2010. The trial court granted the motion,
finding Briggs failed to respond to requests for disclosure
and interrogatories, and failed to demonstrate good cause for
America filed a second motion for summary judgment as to
Briggs's remaining claims. Briggs sought, and was
granted, two continuances for purposes of securing evidence
to respond to the motion, which was a no evidence motion for
summary judgment. Briggs ultimately filed a motion to reopen
discovery and a response to the motion for summary judgment.
After a hearing, at which Briggs's main argument was the
impropriety of the prior order granting the motion to strike,
the trial court denied the motion to reopen discovery and
granted summary judgment in favor of Bank of America.
Subsequently, eviction proceedings were concluded and
possession of the property was awarded to Federal National
times prior to the filing of the notice of appeal, Briggs was
represented by counsel. However, she filed a pro se notice of
appeal and now appears before this court pro se.
initial matter, we must determine whether Briggs has
presented anything for this court's review. On July 18,
2016, Briggs filed her brief in this court. After reviewing
the brief, we determined it did not comply with Rule 38.1 of
the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Tex. R.
App. P. 38.1. Specifically, we found the brief violated Rule
38.1 in that it did not include: (1) the identity of the
parties and counsel; (2) a table of contents; (3) an index of
authorities; (4) a statement of the case with record
references; (5) a brief statement of the issues presented;
(6) a statement of facts with record references; (7) a
summary of the argument; (8) argument with appropriate
citation to authorities and the appellate record; or (9) a
prayer stating the nature of the relief sought. See
id. R. 38.1(a)-(d), (f)-(j). Moreover, the brief did not
contain a proper certificate of service. See id. R.
9.5(a), (d), (e).
on July 25, 2016, we issued an order, finding the brief
flagrantly violated Rule 38.1, and ordering Briggs to file an
amended brief. After this court granted Briggs an extension
of time, she filed an amended brief. After reviewing the
amended brief, we determined it too failed to comply with
Rule 38.1, sending Briggs a letter notifying her that her
amended brief was deficient. See id. R. 38.1. Briggs
did not respond to our letter.
appellate courts, including this court, have long held that
an appellant's brief must contain clear and concise
arguments with appropriate citations to authorities and the
record. See, e.g., In re Estate of Aguilar, No.
04-13-00038-CV, 2014 WL 667516, at *8 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
Feb. 19, 2014, pet. denied) (mem. op.); Keyes Helium Co.
v. Regency Gas. Servs., L.P., 393 S.W.3d 858, 861-62
(Tex. App.-Dallas 2012, no pet.); Niera v. Frost
Nat'l Bank, No. 04- 09-00224-CV, 2010 WL 816191, at
*3 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Mar. 10, 2010, pet. denied) (mem.
op.); WorldPeace v. Comm'n for Lawyer
Discipline, 183 S.W.3d 451, 460 (Tex. App.- Houston
[14th Dist.] 2005, pet. denied); Citizens Nat'l Bank
v. Allen Rae Invs., Inc., 142 S.W.3d 459, 489 (Tex.
App.-Fort Worth 2004, no pet.); see also Tex. R.
App. P. 38.1(i). A reviewing court has no duty to properly
brief the issues for the appellant or to search the appellate
record for facts supporting an appellant's argument.
Torres v. Garcia, No. 04-11-00822-CV, 2012 WL
3808593, at *4 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Aug. 31, 2012, no pet.)
(mem.op.); Rubsamen v. Wackman, 322 S.W.3d 745, 746
(Tex. App.-El Paso 2010, no pet.); Huey v. Huey, 200
S.W.3d 851, 854 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, no pet.). In other
words, it is the appellant's burden "to discuss
[her] assertions of error, and we have no duty-or even
right-to perform an independent review of the record and
applicable law to determine whether there was error."
Rubsamen, 322 S.W.3d at 746. In sum, as stated by
the Texas Supreme Court in 2012, "[t]he Texas Rules of
Appellate Procedure require adequate briefing." ERI
Consulting Eng'rs, Inc. v. Swinnea, 318 S.W.3d 867,
880 (Tex. 2010). When an appellant fails to cite applicable
authority, fails to provide relevant citations to the record,
or fails to provide substantive analysis for an issue
presented in the brief, nothing is presented for our review.
See, e.g., Keyes Helium Co., 393 S.W.3d 861-62
(holding that failure to cite to relevant portions of record
waives appellate review); Huey, 200 S.W.3d at 854
(holding that failure to cite applicable authority or provide
substantive analysis waives issue on appeal); Niera,
2010 WL 816191, at *3 (holding that ...