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Archer v. Walker

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 7, 2015

JEAN ARCHER & JULIET ARCHER,
v.
PIERRE G. WALKER, III.

ORDER AND REASONS

MARY ANN VIAL LEMMON, District Judge.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for Failure to State a Claim upon which Relief Can Be Granted, and/or for Abstention/Dismissal Under Rooker-Feldman & Burford filed by defendant, Pierre G. Walker, III (Doc. #8) is GRANTED, and plaintiffs' claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

BACKGROUND

This matter is before the court on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, filed by defendant, Pierre G. Walker, III. Walker argues that plaintiffs' claims against him are prescribed.

On July 14, 2014, plaintiffs, Jean Archer and Juliet Archer, filed this action against Walker alleging claims under Louisiana state law for breach of contract, theft, fraud and mismanagement.[1] Plaintiffs essentially allege that Walker stole money from them in various ways beginning in 1996.

In 1996, Walker married Katherine Archer, who is Jean's daughter and Juliet's sister. Plaintiffs allege that in 1997, Walker stole money belonging to Katherine and Jean that was generated from the sale of a business that they operated before Katherine married Walker. Plaintiffs also allege that in 1997, Katherine and Jean lent Walker $25, 706 to repay student loans, that he misappropriated some of the money for personal purposes and never repaid Katherine and Jean. Plaintiffs allege that "from 1996 through 1998, Pierre Walker defrauded and misappropriated money from the Archer family, and attempted to disguise his activities as legitimate real-estate ventures." Plaintiffs claim that this alleged "misappropriation and misuse of Archer-family money began to become evident in 1998, " and thereafter Katherine, Jean and Walker:

entered into a contractual obligation under which Pierre Walker undertook to use all properties held by [Walker's limited liability company], Pierre Walker and Katherine Archer jointly, or by Pierre Walker personally, together with any Archer-family money remaining or later-obtained, for the purpose of earning back and repaying the Archer-family money stolen and misappropriated by Pierre, through properly managed real-estate ventures. These were to be conducted through a new limited liability company, that was to be owned 50% by Katherine Archer and 50% by Pierre Walker...

The resulting limited liability company was named Tannington Properties, LLC. Walker and Katherine, who shared equal 50% ownership interests in the company, signed the Articles of Organization and an Operating Agreement. Walker was designated as its manager. Plaintiffs allege that $300, 000 of Archer-family money was placed in Tannington Properties' bank account, "to be used only in accord with the Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement..., which in turn was an implementation of the contractual obligations among the Archers and Pierre Walker."

In 1998 and 1999, the Archer family home in London, England, to which Katherine held the title, was "compulsorily purchased by Westminster City Council, " and the initial payment of $622, 659.23 was deposited into a Tannington Properties bank account "pending distribution among Archer family members, including [Jean and Juliet]." Plaintiffs allege that Walker stole this money and failed to distribute any of it to Katherine, Jean or Juliet.

Plaintiffs allege that Walker stole Archer-family money from 1999 through 2003. Specifically, they allege that:

• Walker forged Katherine's signature on at least one check for $10, 000 drawn on her personal account.
• On December 11, 2000, Walker forged Katherine's signature on a letter to her agent in the United Kingdom, "in an effort to misappropriate for himself the remaining money" due from the Westminster City Counsel for Archer family home.
• Walker "forced Katherine Archer to pay over to him essentially all of the substantial funds which she, her mother Jean Archer, and her sister Juliet Archer had in their private accounts prior to the marriage [which] continued until Pierre left the marriage [in 2003]."
• In 1999, Walker misappropriated "Archer-family money held in the name of Tannington Properties, LLC... [by] essentially emptying that account over the course of 9 months with US$278, 000 in unexplained, unauthorized withdrawals."
• On October 29, 2001, January 31, 2002 and September 22, 2003, Walker "forced Katherine Archer to make loans, never reimbursed, to Tannington Properties, LLC to meet various emergencies caused by Pierre's mismanagement and misappropriation of the initial capital and income of the [company]."
• On April 16, 2003, Walker sold, without Katherine's consent, a property purchased by Tannington Properties with funds belonging to Katherine, Jean and Juliet, which was "in contravention of the Tannington Properties, LLC operating agreement and all other agreements and obligations that existed among Pierre Walker, Katherine, Jean, and Juliet Archer, regarding the use and management of Archer-family funds."
• Walker "failed to pay taxes or insurance premiums on the properties, or properly maintain the properties, causing [two] properties to go to tax sale, which had ...

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