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Deal v. Haney

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 25, 2014

CAROLYN D. DEAL
v.
J. PHIL HANEY, ET AL

APPEAL FROM THE SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT. PARISH OF IBERIA, NO. 125370. HONORABLE KEITH R. J. COMEAUX, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Carolyn D. Deal, Attorney at Law, New Iberia, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Carolyn D. Deal.

J. Phil Haney, District Attorney, New Iberia, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District of the State of Louisiana.

Chester R. Cedars, Assistant District Attorney, St. Martinville, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Assisstant District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District of the State of Louisiana.

Carey T. Jones, Attorney at Law, Denham Springs, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Tom Schedler, in his official capacity as Louisiana Secretary of State.

Celia R. Cangelosi, Attorney at Law, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Tom Schedler, in his official capacity as Louisiana Secretary of State.

Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R. Cooks, John D. Saunders, Jimmie C. Peters, Marc T. Amy, Elizabeth A. Pickett, Billy H. Ezell, J. David Painter, James T. Genovese, Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, and John E. Conery, Judges, En Banc. Peters, Ezell, Painter, Keaty, Conery, JJ., concur but would award additional sanctions of $2,500.00 for the appeal. Cooks, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with written reasons.

OPINION

Page 36

[2014-1232 La.App. 1 Cir. 1] GREMILLION, Judge.

Carolyn D. Deal (Deal) appeals the dismissal of her suit against Defendants, J. Phil Haney (Haney), in his capacity as District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District in and for the State of Louisiana; Chester R. Cedars (Cedars), in his capacity as Assistant District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District in and for the

Page 37

State of Louisiana; and Tom Schedler (Schedler), in his official capacity as Secretary of State in and for the State of Louisiana. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 21, 2014, Deal filed a Notice of Candidacy averring that she was qualified to run for the seat of District Judge, Division H, Sixteenth Judicial District, in Iberia Parish, Louisiana. On October 15, 2014, the District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District filed a petition on behalf of the State to disqualify and enjoin Deal's candidacy because she had not been admitted to practice law in Louisiana for the requisite eight years mandated by the Louisiana Constitution. The matter was heard on October 24, 2014. Both parties submitted evidence and gave oral argument at the hearing. Deal stipulated in open court that she had been admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana on October 29, 2007. The trial court granted the State's petition and signed a judgment ordering Deal to withdraw her candidacy for the district judge's seat in the upcoming primary election set for November 4, 2014.

This court granted Deal's writ application as well as her request for a stay of the trial court's order to withdraw her candidacy. Finding that the writ application was timely taken from an appealable judgment, we converted the writ to an appeal, ordered the record from the trial court, and set the matter for an en banc hearing on an expedited basis. Because this court stayed the trial court's order for Deal to [2014-1232 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] withdraw her candidacy due to her not meeting the requisite qualifications, the election went forward with Deal's name on the ballot as a viable candidate.

Following the election, we took judicial notice of the Secretary of State's election results in the November 4, 2014 election. Three candidates were on the ballot, and Deal obtained only 9% of the votes. This court then dismissed Deal's appeal as moot, recalled the stay, and assessed costs to Deal; and the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Deal's writ application. State v. Deal, 14-1144 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/5/14), 150 So.3d 966, writ denied, 14-2368 (La. 11/13/14), __ So.3d __, [1].

On November 13, 2014, Deal filed a " Petition Initiating Electin [sic] Contest, Request for Injunctive Relief Regarding Due Processed [sic] Claim or in the Alternative, a Temporary Stay Until Resolution by the Louisiana Supreme Court on Writ of Certiorari." Deal sought to have the election declared void and to have a new election held. Haney and Cedars, in their official capacities as, respectively, District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District of the State of Louisiana, filed an exception of no right of action alleging that the relief sought by Deal did not fall with the ambit of La.R.S. 18:1463. Schedler, in his official capacity as Louisiana Secretary of State, filed exceptions of vagueness, no cause of action, and failure to join necessary parties. On November 18, 2014, following a hearing on the exceptions, the trial court signed a judgment which granted the exception of no cause of action filed by ...


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