Thursday, November 4, 2010

Appellate Brief Must Provide Basis for Appeal

Morford v. DCFS, 2010 UT App. 285, (Utah Court of Appeals October 15, 2010).

The trial court entered summary judgment for DCFS on the Mofords’ negligence and breach of contract claim based on DCFS’s failure to provide reunification services between the Morfords and their foster son prior to the relinquishment of parental rights and DCFS’s alleged misinformed report that the foster son no longer wanted to live with the Morfords.  The Morfords appealed.

The Court of Appeals refused to evaluate the merits of the Morfords’ claims because of severe failings in their appellate brief.  The brief’s table of authorities did not correspond to the brief.  It was as if the submitted table was for a different brief.  The brief failed to supply the text of the statute on which the Morfords were relying.  It failed to cite the preservation of the issues in the trial court record.  It failed to provide an adequate record to even address the Morfords’ claims.  The argument section cites authority, but does not apply the authority to the facts of the Morfords’ claims.  Because of the failure of the brief, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment.

1 comment:

Scott Wiser said...

A painful lesson on why a brief worth writing is a brief worth writing right. (Now say that 10 times fast...)


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