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State v. White

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

April 1, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JUSTIN D. WHITE

APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 14,158. HONORABLE DONALD T. JOHNSON, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Carol Denise Powell Lexing, Monroe, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Justin D. White.

Ruby Norris Freeman, Assistant District Attorney, Alexandria, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.

Edward Larvadain, III, Alexandria, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Tiffany S. Williams.

Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Billy Howard Ezell, and John E. Conery, Judges.

OPINION

Page 717

[14-1269 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] EZELL, Judge.

Justin White appeals a judgment of the trial court which refused to annul and set aside previous judgments rendered against him when he never received service of process of the original petition. Mr. White also claims that the matter should be transferred to Ouachita Parish.

FACTS

Ambrielle White was born on February 26, 2010. On September 15, 2011, the State of Louisiana, Department of Social Services (DSS) filed a petition against Mr. White to establish child and medical support. The hearing on the matter was continued several times due to the fact that service of process of the petition could not be made on Mr. White.

On December 3, 2013, a hearing was held at which the mother of the child, Tiffany Williams, showed the trial court alleged pictures of Mr. White holding the petition. The hearing officer ordered child support in the amount of $285.41 per month with an administrative fee of 5% for a total of $299.68 per month. The hearing officer specifically stated, " Judgment rendered pending verification of service document from Ouachita Parish. [Defendant] sent the mother photos of petition that he was served with." The judgment was inadvertently signed by the trial court on December 9, 2013, as proof of service was never validated.

Subsequently, Mr. White filed a motion to annul and set aside the December 2013 judgment for failure to serve him with the

Page 718

petition. Mr. White's motion also requested that the proceedings be stayed and the matter remanded to Ouachita Parish where he filed a petition to establish filiation and custody, which had already been ruled on by the trial court in Ouachita Parish. In the Ouachita Parish [14-1269 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] case, judgment was rendered on November 22, 2011, and ...


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