The First District Court of Appeals in Houston has affirmed a Harris County district court’s order confirming an arbitration award that was issued in favor of a roofing contractor. In Purse v. DeJesus, No. 01-17-00855-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st], January 17, 2019), a roofing professional, DeJesus, entered into a contract with a Texas homeowner, Purse, to replace the homeowner’s roof. The parties’ roofing contract contained an arbitration clause.
After DeJesus completed most of the roofing project, Purse apparently denied the roofer access to the property in order to repair certain cosmetic issues noted by the homeowner. In addition, the homeowner refused to pay the balance of the roofing project costs. DeJesus then filed an arbitration demand with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) alleging breach of contract.
Following arbitral proceedings, an arbitrator issued a monetary award in favor of DeJesus. In addition, the arbitrator ordered Purse to pay the roofing contractor’s legal expenses as well as any administrative fees and expenses related to the arbitral proceedings. DeJesus then filed a motion to confirm the arbitrator’s award in Harris County. Over Purse’s objections, the district court ultimately confirmed the arbitral award. Next, Purse filed an appeal with the First District Court of Appeals in Houston.
In a memorandum opinion, the Houston court first stated judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision is “extraordinarily narrow.” The court next turned to Purse’s claim the lower court committed error when it confirmed the arbitration award in favor of DeJesus.
After examining Purse’s arguments on appeal, the appellate court held the homeowner failed to comply with Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38.1(i) which requires that an appellant’s brief “contain a clear and concise argument for the contentions made, with appropriate citations to authorities and to the record.”
The court added:
In the “Issues Presented” section of his brief, Purse lists three questions: (1) “Did the [AAA] exclude critical evidence at the hearing?”; (2) “Did [DeJesus] state the God known truth at the hearing under oath?”; and (3) “Is there factually sufficient evidence to support the reversal of the judgment of the [AAA]?” Purse’s brief does not provide this Court with any appropriate argument, analysis, discussion, or support for his purported “[i]ssues” on appeal. See TEX. R. APP. P. 38.1(i); Richardson v. Marsack, No. 05-18-00087-CV, 2018 WL 4474762, at *1 (Tex. App.-Dallas Sept. 19, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.) (“Our appellate rules have specific requirements for briefing. These rules require appellants to state concisely their complaints, to provide succinct, clear, and accurate arguments for why their complaints have merit in law and fact, to cite legal authority that is applicable to their complaints, and to cite appropriate references in the record.” (internal citation omitted)); Huey, 200 S.W.3d at 854 (“We have no duty to brief appellant’s issue for [him]. Failure to cite to applicable authority or provide substantive analysis waives an issue on appeal.”); see also Mansfield State Bank, 573 S.W.2d at 184-85; Hopes-Fontenot v. Farmers New World Life Ins. Co., No. 01-12-00286-CV, 2013 WL 4399218, at *1 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Aug. 15, 2013, no pet.) (mem. op.) (pro se litigant must properly present his case on appeal; we “may not make allowances or apply different standards for litigants appearing without . . . counsel”). And a party who does not adequately brief his complaints on appeal waives his issues. Washington v. Bank of N.Y., 362 S.W.3d 853, 854-55 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2012, no pet.); see also Fredonia State Bank v. Gen. Am. Life Ins. Co., 881 S.W.2d 279, 284-85 (Tex. 1994); Strange v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 126 S.W.3d 676, 677-78 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2004, pet. denied) (we cannot remedy deficiencies in appellant’s brief and argue his case for him).
Accordingly, we hold that Purse has waived his first, second, and third issues related to the trial court’s confirmation of the arbitrator’s award.
Next, the Houston Court of Appeals denied the roofer’s request for damages without addressing whether Purse’s appeal qualified as frivolous under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. Instead, the First District said, “Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 45 does not require the Court to award just damages in every case in which an appeal is frivolous.”
Finally, the First District Court of Appeals in Houston affirmed the trial court’s order granting the roofing professional’s motion to confirm the arbitrator’s award.