Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 66th Judicial District Hill County, Texas
Trial Court No. 51, 540, Honorable F. B. "Bob"
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.
Lynn Clinard appeals, pro se, from a final divorce
decree. Through that decree, the trial court ended Cody's
marriage to Jani Lyn Clinard, divided the property of the
marital estate, and established conservatorship over and
possessory rights to the couple's children. He raises
multiple issues for review. We affirm.
we note that the corrected appellant's brief filed by
Cody fails to comport with the Texas Rules of Appellate
Procedure. That is, he generally omitted citation to legal
authority and the appellate record in support of his
issues. Such citation to authority and the
appellate record is required by Texas Rule of Appellate
Procedure 38.1(i), and the failure to provide it results in
waiver of the argument. See Betts v. Cty. of
Freestone, No. 10-09-00220-CV, 2011 Tex.App. LEXIS 4788,
at *2-4 (Tex. App.-Waco June 22, 2011, no pet.) (mem. op.),
quoting Strange v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 126 S.W.3d
676, 677-78 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2004, pet. denied).
same is true of his argument. The brief must contain a clear
and concise argument explaining the nature of his complaint;
conclusory statements do not satisfy this obligation.
Id., quoting Taylor v. Meador, 326 S.W.3d
682, 684 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2010, no pet.). The argument
provided us here is often conclusory, as well, such as why
the property division was improper. And, that Cody acts
pro se does not free him from the duty to comply
with the briefing rules contained in 38.1 of the Texas Rules
of Appellate Procedure. Id. at *2.
initial brief also failed to comport with the Texas Rules of
Appellate Procedure. We noted that, informed him of its
defective nature, afforded him opportunity to correct the
defects, and told him of the consequences of his failure to
comply with the rules of appellate procedure in a letter
dated May 1, 2017. His corrected appellant's brief filed
on May 24, 2017, seemed to be an effort to fix the
deficiencies. Yet, it did not. Given these circumstances, we
conclude that his complaints were waived or present nothing
our reading of his complaints and their comparison to
authority and the record would also require us to reject
them. For instance, he complains about "not get[ting]
the standard time with [his] kids per the Texas state
law." Yet, the trial court decreed that "the
following provisions of this Standard Possession
Order are intended to and do comply with the
requirements of Texas Family Code sections 153.311 through
153.317" and "each conservator shall comply with
all terms and conditions of this Standard Possession
Order." (Emphasis added). Moreover, the parties agreed
to this mode of possession before entry of the decree. So,
the record belies the suggestion that the decree denies Cody
the "standard time" to which he is entitled
"per the Texas state law."
of his complaints involve compliance (or lack thereof) with
the final decree and implicate factual matters outside the
appellate record. Whether an ex-spouse has abided by the
property division or interfered with the other's right to
possess the children as ordered by the court are matters over
which the trial court has continuing jurisdiction.
See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 9.002 (West
Supp. 2016) (stating that "[t]he court that rendered the
decree of divorce or annulment retains the power to enforce
the property division . . . including a property division and
any contractual provisions under the terms of an agreement
incident to divorce . . . that was approved by the
court"); Smith v. Burt, ___ S.W.3d
___, ___, 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 3914, at *6
(Tex. App.-El Paso Apr. 28, 2017, no pet.) (stating that the
"court that renders a divorce decree retains continuing
subject-matter jurisdiction to enforce and clarify the
decree's property division"); see also Harrell
v. State, 286 S.W.3d 315, 321 n.30 (Tex. 2009) (stating
that "all trial courts have inherent authority to
enforce their own judgments").
Cody's suggestion that Texas law requires the marital
estate to be divided "50/50, " he is mistaken. The
division need only be just and right; it need not be equal.
In re Marriage of Luna, No. 07-16-00065-CV, 2016
Tex.App. LEXIS 12432, at *4-5 (Tex. App.-Amarillo Nov. 18,
2016, no pet.) (mem. op.).
Cody's arguments, such as they are, suggest that he views
an appeal as simply an opportunity to relitigate issues. That
is not the function of an appellate court. We generally
review purported error occurring prior to the entry of a
final judgment. We are not simply a forum for another trial.
issues raised in Cody's corrected brief are overruled for
the reasons stated above. Accordingly, the trial court's
judgment is affirmed.