Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Herriott v. Herriott (Cal. Ct. App. - March 20, 2019)

Think it'd be fun to be a justice on the Court of Appeal?  Perhaps.  Though you also have to deal with cases like these.

It's an elderly couple who's divorced.  Who nonetheless live in the same building -- 123 24th Street in Hermosa Beach -- with Wife living on the second floor and Husband living on the third floor.  Which, obviously, is a recipe for disaster.

They get into nightmares of fights.  They have mutual restraining orders against each other.  Their own daughter testifies that her parents have an extremely “volatile” relationship, and that “[i]t’s been hell being a child for them.”  Today's opinion is replete with lots of excruciating -- and depressing -- details.

Oh, and they both represent themselves on appeal.  So no lawyers to help sort things out.  Leading, among other things, to this footnote:

"As an initial matter, we note that the appellate briefs filed by both parties were deficient and failed to reasonably assist this court in our understanding of the facts or analysis of the legal issues in this case. Alicja’s brief makes repeated references to evidence without any citation to the record as required by California Rules of Court, rule 8.204(a)(1). Indeed, in many instances, our review of the record confirms no evidence supporting these statements. . . . Both parties also misrepresent the record in several places. Further, we observe that Respondent has attached documents to her brief that are not included in the record. . . . [O]ne of the documents Respondent attached to her brief is a confidential child custody evaluation report, [so] we have considered sanctioning Respondent. (See subsection D of Discussion herein, post.)"

So, yeah.  That's some of the work with which the Court of Appeal is required to deal.

I suspect that being a justice is a great job.  Most of the time.