APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 2011-11092, DIVISION " M" . Honorable Paulette R. Irons, Judge.
John M. Blanchard, Attorney at Law, New Orleans, LA, Charles R. Jones, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.
P. Michael Breeden, THE BREEDEN LAW FIRM, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.
(Court composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Rosemary Ledet).
Rosemary Ledet, J.
[2014-0642 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] This is a succession proceeding. The appellant, the Estate of Quiana Jones through its administrator Derrick Jones, Sr., seeks review of the trial court's judgment granting the motion for summary judgment filed by Robert Lucien, Sr. For the reasons that follow, we deny the motion to dismiss the appeal filed by Mr. Lucien and reverse the trial court's judgment
granting Mr. Lucien's motion for summary judgment.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On March 10, 2010, a vehicle driven by a Harrah's New Orleans employee struck Quiana Jones, Mr. Jones' wife. Mrs. Jones died later that day. Following her death, three suits were instituted: (i) the Tort Suit-- Mr. Jones, individually and on behalf of their three minor children, filed a petition for damages against Harrah's on March 9, 2011; (ii) the Succession Proceeding--Mr. Jones filed a petition for appointment as administrator on October 18, 2011; and (iii) the Tutorship [2014-0642 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] Proceeding--Mr. Jones filed a petition for confirmation as natural tutor and for appointment of undertutrix on July 31, 2012.
On October 23, 2013, Mr. Lucien, pro se and as agent for various legal entities, filed a claim in the Succession Proceeding for a debt owed by the Estate of Quiana Jones and rule to show cause why the debt should not immediately be paid by Quiana Jones' estate administrator, and an order to prevent the disposal of money and assets from the estate. On November 22, 2013, Mr. Lucien filed an ex parte motion to enroll pro se in the Succession Proceeding to protect his individual interest in the claim against the Estate of Quiana Jones. On the same day, the trial court granted Mr. Lucien's motion to enroll pro se. On December 12, 2013, Mr. Lucien filed a motion for summary judgment with a rule to show cause in the Succession Proceeding. Attached to the motion, Mr. Lucien included a statement of the following undisputed facts:
1. Quiana Jones is indebted to claimant/s for the sum of $200,000.00.
2. Derrick Jones, Sr. has personal knowledge of the debt of his deceased wife Quiana Jones to Robert L. Lucien, Sr. and ROBA, INC. et al.
3. Derrick Jones, Sr. signed an Acknowledgment of the Debt claimed by Mover in this case before two independent witnesses and a notary public on January 7, 2011.
[2014-0642 La.App. 4 Cir. 3] 4. The decedent (Quiana Jones), unlawfully expropriated, committed theft and fraud to steal $200,000.00 from Claimant for benefit of herself and her family.
5. The New Orleans Police Department determined in 2010 that they had probable cause and evidence to support their investigation ...