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12/04/96 COLLIER v. VANCE

December 04, 1996

COLLIER
v.
VANCE



Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j., For The Court

CLAIBORNE L. COLLIER AND BARBARA J. COLLIER, APPELLANTS v. BARBARA VANCE, APPELLEE

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ANDREW CLEVELAND BAKER

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PANOLA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - CONTRACT TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION:, APPELLANT'S CONTRACT CLAIM DISMISSED

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 6/23/98

This case involves an alleged oral contract between Vance and Collier for the payment of certain repairs made to a house Vance sold to Collier. Vance was asking $35,000 for a house in Sardis, Mississippi. She reduced the price to $34,000 and sold it to the Colliers. The house was in need of several repairs. Collier claims that he and Vance orally agreed that instead of further reducing the selling price, Vance would pay Collier for repairs made to the house. Vance never paid Collier, and he filed suit against her in the Panola County Circuit Court seeking $5183.60 in damages. Vance denied that any oral contract was made, and that all the relevant terms of the sale of the house were contained in the written contract. Additionally, Vance raised the affirmative defense of the statute of frauds. The trial court held a hearing on the matter at which Vance's counsel moved ore tenus to dismiss the action. The motion was sustained, and the trial court dismissed the action with prejudice on December 4, 1996.

Collier appeals the dismissal pro se. His two page brief is confusing at best. He lists five issues; however, none of them are logical, nor are they supported by any argument or any authority. The overall tone of the brief suggests that Collier is aggrieved because the trial court would not enforce the alleged oral contract he had with Vance to be paid for labor and materials put into the house.

Vance argues that the trial court properly dismissed Collier's case because his claim failed under the statute of frauds. Additionally, any prior oral statements to the written contract are barred by the parol evidence rule. However, because of Collier's procedural shortcomings, we do not reach the merits of this appeal.

It is well established that an appellate issue presented to this Court without the support of authority or meaningful argument is procedurally barred. Holloman v. State , 656 So. 2d 1134, 1141 (Miss. 1995). See also Wood v. Gulf States Capital Corp., et al., Walker Boat-Barge Rentals, Inc. v. Gulf States Capital Corp. , 217 So. 2d 257, 273 (Miss. 1968) ("it being, in our opinion, the appellant's duty to show by plausible argument with supporting authorities, in what way the lower court erred and upon its failure so to do, we can only conclude that the point is without merit."). We realize that Collier is proceeding pro se. The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that when prisoners proceed pro se, it "will take that into account and, in [its] discretion, credit not so well pleaded allegations so that a prisoner's meritorious complaint may not be lost because inartfully drafted." Ivy v. Merchant , 666 So. 2d 445, 449 (Miss. 1995). However, the supreme court has made it clear that pro se appellants shall be held to the same substantive requirements as represented appellants. Id. at 449-50. Collier made no argument in support of any of his issues, nor did he make any effort to support his claims with any authority. Therefore, his appeal is without merit, and we affirm the trial court's dismissal of his cause.

THE JUDGMENT OF THE PANOLA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT DISMISSING COLLIER'S COMPLAINT IS AFFIRMED. COSTS OF THIS APPEAL TAXED TO, APPELLANTS.

McMILLIN AND THOMAS, P.JJ., COLEMAN, DIAZ, HERRING, HINKEBEIN, KING, PAYNE, AND ...


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