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Rjam, Inc. v. Miletello

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

January 13, 2017

RJAM, INC. Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
LEON MILETELLO D/B/A L.S.M. AMUSEMENT COMPANY, L.S.M. GAMING, INC. AND LOGANSPORT GAMING, L.L.C. Defendant-Appellee

         Appealed from the Forty-Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of DeSoto, Louisiana Trial Court No. 58890 Honorable Charles Blaylock Adams, Judge.

          CHARLES MORRIS RUSH Counsel for Appellant.

          KENNETH R. ANTEE, JR. Counsel for Appellee.

          AYRES, SHELTON, WILLIAMS, Counsel for Appellee.

          BENSON & PAINE, LLC By: Lee H. Ayres By: Stacey A. Smith Jeremy Evans, In his Capacity as Clerk of Court for DeSoto Parish, Louisiana.

          Before WILLIAMS, LOLLEY, and STONE, JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The plaintiff, RJAM, Inc. ("RJAM") appeals the ruling of the 42nd Judicial District Court, Desoto Parish, in which the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Leon Miletello d/b/a L.S.M. Amusement Company, L.S.M. Gaming, Inc., and Logansport Gaming, L.L.C. ("Miletello"), finding RJAM cannot meet the suitability requirements in order to collect damages for the breach of a video gaming contract it entered into with Miletello. For the following reasons, we affirm the ruling of the trial court.

         FACTS

         On September 24, 1998, RJAM sued Miletello for breach of contract. On April 25, 2011, the 42nd Judicial District Court ("42nd JDC" or "trial court") granted a judgment awarding RJAM $184, 681.00 in damages. In its judgment, the trial court made the following stipulation:

IT IS ADJUDGED, ORDERED AND DECREED that RJAM, INC., is not entitled to collect any damages until such time as the following conditions are met: RJAM, INC. is determined by the Gaming Division of the Louisiana State Police to have been suitable to be awarded damages under the contract for the time period awarded March 1998 to October 1999. IT IS FURTHER ADJUDGED, ORDERED AND DECREED that if RJAM satisfies the conditions stated above, or if such conditions precedent are overturned, the Court finds RJAM is entitled to receive damages . . .

         In RJAM, Inc. v. Miletello, 47, 218 (La.App. 2d Cir. 08/08/12), 103 So.3d 503, this Court amended the trial court's ruling and found RJAM was entitled to a damage award of $194, 598.52 ("monetary judgment") against Miletello. We affirmed the trial court's ruling that RJAM was not entitled to collect any damages until it is determined by the Gaming Division of the Louisiana State Police to have been suitable to be awarded damages under the contract for the time period awarded March 1998 to October 1999 ("condition precedent").

         On October 24, 2013, RJAM filed a petition with the State of Louisiana Gaming Control Board ("the Board") requesting the Board find RJAM suitable so that it could collect on its monetary judgment. On December 10, 2013, the Board dismissed RJAM's petition ex proprio motu, stating:

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board lacks jurisdiction to render a suitability determination under the circumstances presented. The Board may render a suitability determination only for the purpose of administering and enforcing gaming law in the regulation of gaming activities and operations and in connection with an existing video gaming license or license application.

         On December 16, 2013, RJAM filed a motion and order to reinstate petition. On December 17, 2013, the Board denied RJAM's request to reinstate. Thereafter, on March 16, 2015, RJAM filed a petition for mandamus and/or declaratory judgment in the 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Parish ("19th JDC") against the State of Louisiana through the Gaming Control Board. In its petition, RJAM requested the Board:

[R]ender a determination of suitability, conditional suitability, exemption from, or waiver of suitability for limited purpose of enforcing its judgment awarded by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal, or alternatively that there be a declaratory judgment that the condition precedent requiring RJAM to be determined as suitable ("condition precedent") to enforce the judgment is impossible making the obligation null and therefore there are no impediments to ...

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