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Noncompliant brief waived appeal arguments

Where appellant’s brief is significantly noncompliant with the court rules, “he has waived appellate consideration of his arguments.”

A ruckus

Appellant Lamouroux’s abduction and assault and battery convictions arise from an altercation with O’Leary, a convenience store customer. The incident  began with stares, yelling and a rude gesture.

By the time a sheriff’s deputy arrived, Lamouroux had left the scene but not before he blocked in O’Leary’s car with his own vehicle and punched O’Leary several times, receiving one punch in return.

A deputy sheriff arrived, viewed a surveillance tape of the incident, went to Lamouroux’s home and took him to a magistrate’s office.

The trial court convicted Lamouroux of abduction, and assault and battery. He appealed.

Rules not followed

Lamouroux contends that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions because O’Leary provoked him, causing Lamouroux to act in self-defense, and O’Leary was not seized or abducted by Lamouroux’s conduct.

“Lamouroux’s brief, however, includes no authority in support of his arguments on appeal.

Rule 5A:20(e) requires an opening brief to contain ‘[t]he standard of review and the argument (including principles of law and authorities) relating to each assignment of error.” (Emphasis added).

“‘Statements unsupported by argument, authority, or citations to the record do not merit appellate consideration.’ …

“Although Lamouroux notes the standard of review, he neither cites the statutes under which he was convicted nor any legal authority to support his arguments.

“Instead, his arguments consist merely of conclusory assertions that reiterate his testimony that he was the victim and had acted in self-defense. He does not explain why the trial court erred by rejecting his testimony or cite any authority to support his assertion that O’Leary was not abducted because he could ‘get out of his car.’

“Lamouroux’s noncompliance with Rule 5A:20(e) is significant. Accordingly, he has waived appellate consideration of his arguments. Therefore, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.”

Lamouroux v. Commonwealth, Record No. 0676-21-4, May 3, 2022. CAV (Ortiz) from the Circuit Court of Spotsylvania County (Glover). Alexander Raymond for appellant. Jason S. Miyares for appellee. VLW 022-7-129, 5 pp. Unpublished opinion.

VLW 022-7-129

Virginia Lawyers Weekly