J.E. v. A.R.

No. 16-P-1199.

J.E. vs. A.R.

Appeals Court of Massachusetts.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

J.E., for Plaintiff/Appellee, Pro Se.

A.R., for Defendant/Appellant, Pro Se.

By the Court (Green, Vuono & Wolohojian, JJ.)


MEMORANDUM AND ORDER PURSUANT TO RULE 1:28

Summary decisions issued by the Appeals Court pursuant to its rule 1:28, as amended by 73 Mass.App.Ct. 1001 (2009), are primarily directed to the parties and, therefore, may not fully address the facts of the case or the panel's decisional rationale. Moreover, such decisions are not circulated to the entire court and, therefore, represent only the views of the panel that decided the case. A summary decision pursuant to rule 1:28 issued after February 25, 2008, may be cited for its persuasive value but, because of the limitations noted above, not as binding precedent. See Chace v. Curran, 71 Mass.App.Ct. 258, 260 n.4 (2008).

Defendant A.R. appeals from the extension of a harassment prevention order under G. L. c. 258E, arguing that the evidence of three acts of harassment was insufficient. We affirm.

Background.

As best we can discern from the certified copy of the docket entries, an ex parte harassment prevention order issued from the Lawrence Division of the District Court Department on May 24, 2016, and was extended for one year following an evidentiary hearing attended by both parties.1 At the conclusion of the hearing, and "[b]ased on the evidence in front of [her]," the judge found "sufficient basis to issue the harassment order" extension for one year. The defendant timely appealed.2

Discussion.

We cannot review the defendant's challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence because she has not provided us with the harassment prevention order from which she appeals, the plaintiff's affidavit in support of the order, or the exhibits that were introduced in evidence at the extension hearing.3 See Mass.R.A.P. 8(b)(1), as amended, 430 Mass. 1601 (1999); Mass.R.A.P. 18(a), as amended, 425 Mass. 1602 (1997); Doten v. Doten, 395 Mass. 135, 138 (1985). The exhibits apparently included recordings of threatening telephone messages and copies of electronic mail messages from the defendant to the plaintiff. Without knowing the contents of these exhibits, we cannot say that the District Court judge erred in finding sufficient evidence to warrant extension of the order. See Commonwealth v. Alphas, 430 Mass. 8, 21 (1999) (Greaney, J., concurring) ("Appellate courts do not sit as triers of fact"). Even after reading and not merely "skimming" the defendant's submissions, as the defendant alleges of the District Court judge, her claims cannot succeed "because of the lack of record support," Camillo v. Camillo, 31 Mass.App.Ct. 286, 288 (1991).

The June 7, 2016, extension order is affirmed. The rescript is to issue forthwith.

So ordered.

FootNotes


4. The panelists are listed in order of seniority.
1. We cannot cite to the record appendix because the pages are unnumbered. See Mass.R.A.P. 18(d), as amended, 370 Mass. 919 (1967).
2. It appears that the defendant subsequently moved pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(2), (3), and (6), 365 Mass. 828 (1974), to vacate the order. That motion was denied after a hearing before the same judge who issued the order and the extension. The rule 60(b) motion does not appear on the docket, and the defendant did not file another notice of appeal after the motion was denied. We decline to address it.
3. We note as well that the defendant's brief is seventy pages long, contrary to Mass.R.A.P. 16(h), as amended, 438 Mass. 1601 (2003), it consists almost entirely of first-person narrative, it is replete with statements of fact unsupported by "appropriate and accurate record reference[s]," Mass.R.A.P.16(e), as amended, 378 Mass. 940 (1979), and the statutes to which the brief refers are not appended thereto, see Mass.R.A.P. 16(f), 365 Mass. 860 (1974). "The fact that [the defendant] represents [herself] does not excuse [her] noncompliance with the procedural rules." Brossard v. West Roxbury Div. of the Dist. Ct. Dept., 417 Mass. 183, 184 (1994).

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