Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
KELVIN J. SMITH AND ANGELIA SMITH, Appellants
CONN APPLIANCES, INC. D/B/A CONN'S, Appellee
Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 1 Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. CC-15-03588-A
Chief Justice Wright, Justice Lang-Miers, and Justice
CAROLYN WRIGHT, CHIEF JUSTICE
appellants Kelvin Smith and Angelia Smith appeal the trial
court's partial default judgment in favor of Conn
Appliances, Inc. By order dated November 17, 2016, the Court
ordered the appeal submitted without a reporter's record
because appellants had not requested preparation of the
record. Thereafter, on December 29, 2016, the Court sent a
letter to appellants and advised them that their 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 appellants listed multiple deficiencies
with appellants' brief. The letter also informed
appellants that their appeal might be dismissed without
further notice if they failed to file an amended brief
complying with the rules of appellate procedure within ten
days of December 29, 2016. Appellants have not responded to
the Court's letter and have failed to file an amended
appellants are pro se, they are required to adhere to the
rules of appellate procedure; courts regularly caution pro se
litigants that they will not be treated differently than a
party who is represented by a licensed attorney. See
Bolling v. Farmers Branch Indep. Sch. Dist., 315 S.W.3d
893, 895 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2010, no pet.). Our appellate
rules contain specific requirements for briefing that
require, among other things, that an appellant provide a
statement of facts, which includes references to the record,
and an argument that is clear and concise with appropriate
citations to authorities and the record. See Tex. R.
App. P. 38.1(g), (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." See Bolling, 315 S.W.3d
at 895. We are not responsible for searching the record for
facts that may be favorable to a party's position or for
doing legal research to find authorities that might support a
party's position. See Canton-Carter v. Baylor College
of Medicine, 271 S.W.3d 928, 931-32 (Tex. App.--Houston
[14th Dist] 2008, no pet.); Fredonia State Bank v. Gen.
Am. Life Ins. Co., 881 S.W.2d 279, 283-84 (Tex. 1994).
If we did so, even for a pro se litigant untrained in law, we
would be abandoning our role as judges and become advocates
for a party. See Bolling, 315 S.W.3d at 895.
"If we can conclude a brief complies with the Texas
Rules of Appellate Procedure, we submit the appeal for review
and decision on the merits." Id.
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,
appellants' brief fails to comply with our briefing rules
in several ways:
• It does not contain a complete list of all parties to
the trial courts' judgment or appealable order with the
names and addresses of all the trial and appellate counsel.
• The table of contents does not indicate the subject
matter of each issue or point, or group of issues or points.
• 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.
• 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 state of 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.
• 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.
• The following were omitted from the appendix: The
trial court's judgment, the trial court's finding of
fact and conclusions of law; the text of any rule,
regulation, ordinance, statute, constitutional provision, or
other law on which the argument is based; and the text of any