Note: Decisions of a three-justice panel are not to be considered as precedent before any tribunal.

ENTRY ORDER

SUPREME COURT DOCKET NO. 2002-555

JUNE TERM, 2003

Joanne M. Brown

v.

Richard L. DeVerger, Jr. and Roger W. Minor

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APPEALED FROM:

Franklin Superior Court


DOCKET NO. S417-02 FC

Trial Judge: Dennis R. Pearson

In the above-entitled cause, the Clerk will enter:

Plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the Franklin Superior Court dismissing her action to enjoin the sale of a property owned by defendants. We affirm.

In September 2002, plaintiff filed a complaint for injunctive relief to stop defendants from selling a home in St. Albans which they had purchased from plaintiff' s mother three years earlier, in September 1999. Plaintiff alleged that the September 1999 sale from her mother to defendants was " unlawfully coercive" and lacked " mutuality of agreement" and therefore was invalid. Plaintiff had petitioned to have a guardian appointed for her mother to block the sale to defendants, but the probate and superior courts denied the petition, and this Court affirmed. In re Guardianship of Ila W. Brown, Docket No. 2000-104 (Sept. 7, 2000) (mem.).

On September 27, 2002, the trial court issued a brief entry order, denying plaintiff' s request for an ex parte temporary restraining order to block the pending sale, noting that it was not apparent how plaintiff had standing to maintain the action or would suffer harm from the sale. The court denied a subsequent motion for reconsideration in October, noting again that plaintiff had no interest in the property and no authority to bring an action on behalf of her mother, and therefore lacked standing. In November, the court issued a written decision, granting defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the action was moot, as the sale of the residence had already occurred after denial of the temporary restraining order, and that plaintiff lacked standing. The trial court also denied plaintiff' s subsequent motions for reargument and reconsideration. In entry orders dated January 13, 2003, and February 21, 2003, the court noted that plaintiff had filed an appeal from the judgment of dismissal on December 24, 2002, and that it therefore lacked jurisdiction to consider any motions or correspondence that plaintiff had filed thereafter.

In her pro se appeal, plaintiff appears to claim error in the fact that defendants failed to file a docketing statement with this Court, and also appears to take issue with an entry order dated March 6, 2003, in which the trial court " in response to plaintiff' s complaints " found that the transcript of the October 29, 2003 hearing on the dismissal motion was accurate. In her reply brief, plaintiff also complains that this Court granted defendants an overlong extension to file their appellees' brief.

Putting aside the question whether plaintiff' s arguments are actually cognizable in this appeal from the judgment of dismissal of plaintiff' s complaint for injunctive relief, we observe that, although V.R.A.P. 3(e) requires an appellee' s docketing statement, its omission is generally not considered grounds for sanctions. Cf. V.R.A.P. 3(b)(1) (failure of appellant to take required steps on appeal may be grounds " for such action as the Supreme Court deems appropriate, which may include dismissal of the appeal" ). The order extending time for filing appellees' brief was within this Court' s discretion, and plaintiff has not demonstrated any prejudice from the extension. Finally, plaintiff has failed to adequately brief any issue concerning the accuracy of the hearing transcript, and we therefore decline to address the matter. See V.R.A.P. 28(a) (brief shall contain concise statement of case and specific claims of error, contentions of appellant, and citations to authorities, statutes and parts of record relied on); Johnson v. Johnson, 158 Vt. 160, 164 n.* (1992) (Court will not address contentions so inadequately briefed as to fail to minimally meet standards of V.R.A.P. 28(a)).

As to the actual judgment below, plaintiff' s briefs fail to address the merits of the court' s dismissal based on lack of standing and mootness. Accordingly, we discern no basis to disturb the judgment. See Brigham v.State, 166 Vt. 246, 269 (1997) (Court will not undertake search for error where issues are not adequately raised and supported by arguments).

Affirmed.

 

BY THE COURT:

 

_______________________________________

John A. Dooley, Associate Justice

_______________________________________

Marilyn S. Skoglund, Associate Justice

_______________________________________

Frederic W. Allen, Chief Justice (Ret.)

Specially Assigned