FRANK J. VIGIL, Plaintiff-Appellee,
REISHA WHITCHURCH, FELICIA WHITCHURCH, and JOSEPH NARVAIZ, Defendant-Appellants.
memorandum opinion was not selected for publication in the
New Mexico Appellate Reports. Please see Rule 12-405 NMRA for
restrictions on the citation of unpublished memorandum
opinions. Please also note that this electronic memorandum
opinion may contain computer-generated errors or other
deviations from the official paper version filed by the Court
of Appeals and does not include the filing date
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF SANTA FE COUNTY Raymond Z. Ortiz,
J. Vigil Santa Fe, NM Pro Se
Appellee Reisha Whitchurch Felicia Whitchurch Joseph Narvaiz
Santa Fe, NM Pro Se Appellants
TIMOTHY L. GARCIA, Judge
Defendants, self-represented litigants, appeal from the
district court's judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff
for amounts due under a residential lease agreement.
Unpersuaded that Defendants demonstrated error, we issued a
notice of proposed summary disposition, proposing to affirm.
Defendants have responded with a memorandum in opposition to
our notice. After due consideration, we remain unpersuaded
that Defendants demonstrated error. We affirm.
On appeal, Defendants listed three issues, but did not supply
this Court with a summary of the facts material to the issues
they raised. See Rule 12-208(D)(3), (4) NMRA.
Although we are not obligated to comb the record or speculate
about what their arguments might be, we note that the record
did not provide us with the necessary information to
understand and rule on Defendants' issues. See Muse
v. Muse, 2009-NMCA-003, ¶ 72, 145 N.M. 451, 200
P.3d 104 ("We will not search the record for facts,
arguments, and rulings in order to support generalized
arguments."); Headley v. Morgan Mgmt. Corp.,
2005-NMCA-045, ¶ 15, 137 N.M. 339, 110 P.3d 1076
("We will not review unclear arguments, or guess at what
[a party's] arguments might be."); State v.
Talley, 1985-NMCA-058, ¶ 23, 103 N.M. 33, 702 P.2d
353 (observing that the docketing statement is intended to
serve as a fair substitute for the complete record on the
summary calendar). We addressed Defendants' arguments to
the best of our ability, explained what information was
missing, and warned Defendants that the failure to comply
with our notice and our rules would result in affirmance.
Defendants' memorandum in opposition to our notice
pursues two issues. [MIO 1-2] The first issue argues that the
district court erred by enforcing a judgment in the amount of
$4, 170 on Defendants Reisha Whitchurch and Joseph Narvaiz,
because that amount was caused by Felicia Whitchurch's
repeated breaches of the rental lease agreement. [MIO 1] This
issue was not specifically raised in the docketing statement,
but may be related to the second issue listed in Defendants
docketing statement. Regardless, Defendants again fail to
provide this Court with all the information necessary for
appellate review. In an effort to address the merits of
Defendants' contention, however, we observe that it
indicates a belief that Felicia Whitchurch, the third tenant
on the lease, should be held separately liable for the
nonpayment of rent. In the absence of an agreement with
Plaintiff to that effect or any authority that would support
such a view, generally, cotenants to a lease agreement are
jointly liable for rent payments. As our Supreme Court has
stated, "[i]n the law of contracts, joint and several
liability usually arises when two or more promisors in the
same contract promise the same or different performances to
the same promisee." Economy Rentals, Inc. v.
Garcia, 1991-NMSC-092, ¶ 44, 112 N.M. 748, 819 P.2d
1306. Based on the foregoing, we hold that Defendants have
not demonstrated error in the judgment against them for
nonpayment of rent.
The other issue pursued in response to our notice relates to
the imposition of attorney fees. [MIO 2] Defendants seem to
argue that $1, 000 in attorney fees are not owed because
Plaintiff's attorney did not enter an appearance in the
magistrate court proceedings, but instead, Plaintiff's
counsel sat behind Plaintiff. [MIO 2] Defendants also argue
that "$2, 500 [a]ttorney fees awarded in the trial court
is miscalculated[.] "Motion For Withdrawal of
Counsel" was filed in trial court and granted. Therefore
[D]efendants preserve the following Issue II with the
following burdens of proof to support Issue II." [MIO 2]
This is not a clear and developed argument and contains no
information about the arguments and evidence presented by
Plaintiff or Defendants or the grounds for the district
court's ruling on these fees. Thus, Defendants have not
provided us with sufficient information to demonstrate error.
With such omissions, we must presume that Plaintiff
established that his attorney performed work that correspond
to the attorney fees award outside of the instances vaguely
described above. See State v. Aragon, 1999-NMCA-060,
¶ 10, 127 N.M. 393, 981 P.2d 1211; State v.
Chamberlain, 1989-NMCA-082, ¶ 11, 109 N.M. 173, 783
For the reasons stated in this opinion and in our notice, we
affirm the district court.