FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2013-01355,
DIVISION "I-14" Honorable Piper D. Griffin, Judge
Bandaries MADRO BANDARIES, P.L.C. James J. Carter JAMES
CARTER & ASSOCIATES, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT
O'Bryon Sherry Watters O'BRYON & SCHNABEL, PLC
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Madeleine M.
Landrieu, Judge Marion F. Edwards, Pro Tempore
L. Dysart Judge.
an appeal of a trial court judgment denying a Motion for
Sanctions, Motion to Strike, and Rule for Contempt filed on
behalf of appellant, Judith A. Sullivan. Appellees, F. Evans
Schmidt, Koch & Schmidt, LLC, and respondents-appellees,
Marta-Ann Schnabel and Caitlin Morgenstern,  filed a Motion to
Dismiss the instant appeal, on two grounds: first, that this
Court does not have jurisdiction because the judgment is not
a final, appealable judgment; and two, because the appeal
itself is frivolous. We find that the trial court's
judgment, rendered in open court on May 13, 2016 (and
followed by a written judgment on May 27, 2016), is not a
final judgment; nor is the judgment designated as final by
the trial court. We therefore dismiss the appeal as no appeal
lies from an interlocutory judgment that it not designated as
final. We also decline to exercise our supervisory
jurisdiction by converting the motion for appeal to an
application for supervisory writs, as discussed more fully
Louisiana law, "[j]udgments are either interlocutory or
final, and the distinction between the two is that a judgment
that determines 'the merits in whole or in part' is a
final judgment, whereas a judgment that decides only
preliminary matters in the course of the action is an
interlocutory judgment." Brennan v. Shell
Offshore, Inc., 93-1525, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir.
3/29/94); 635 So.2d 429, 431. As explained by this Court in
Favrot v. Favrot, 10-0986, pp. 2-3(La.App. 4 Cir.
2/9/11), 68 So.3d 1099, 1102:
"A final judgment is appealable in all cases in which
appeals are given by law, whether rendered after hearing, by
default, or by reformation under Article 1814." La.
C.C.P. Art. 2083 A. "A judgment that determines the
merits in whole or in part is a final judgment." La.
C.C.P. Art. 1841. ―No appeal may be taken from a
partial final judgment under Article 1915(B) until the
judgment has been designated a final judgment under Article
C.C.P. art. 1915 B(1) requires more than a designation that a
partial judgment be designated as final. It further requires
the trial court make "an express determination that
there is no just reason for delay." La. C.C.P. art. 1915
interlocutory judgment is appealable only when expressly
provided for by law." La. C.C.P. art. 2083 C. Our
jurisprudence clearly indicates that "the denial of a
motion for sanctions is a judgment that does not determine
the merits of the case" and is, therefore, "an
interlocutory judgment." Armelise Planting Co. v.
Liberty Oil & Gas Corp., 05-1250, p. 4 (La.App. 1
Cir. 6/9/06), 938 So.2d 178, 179; Brown v. Sanders,
06-1171 (La.App. 1 Cir. 3/23/07), 960 So.2d 931, 933
("the denial of a motion for sanctions is an
interlocutory judgment; it does not determine the merits of
the case"(emphasis supplied)).
the denial of a motion for contempt is not one that decides
the merits of the case and is therefore, interlocutory in
nature. See, Robinson v. Harlan, 11-0703,
pp. 2-3 (La.App. 1 Cir. 11/9/11), 79 So.3d 1034, 1035-36
(citations omitted)(while "[a] judgment of contempt of
court is an interlocutory judgment, " when a trial
court's judgment does not impose a finding of contempt,
the judgment "does not fall under the rubric of [La.
C.C.P. art.] 1915 A(6) and is not a partial final judgment
subject to immediate appeal by law."). As the
Robinson court noted, the trial court's
designation "of this interlocutory judgment as
'final'" does not make "the interlocutory
judgment…subject to an immediate appeal."
Id., p. 3, 79 So.3d 1036.
motion to strike an affidavit, too, does not decide the
merits of a case and, is therefore, "an interlocutory
ruling that is not generally appealable." Madison v.
Inter-Cont'l Hotels Corp., 14-0717, p. 5, n.4
(La.App. 4 Cir. 8/26/15), 173 So.3d 1246, 1250, writ
denied, 2015-1757 (La. 11/6/15), 180 So.3d 310.
in the instant matter, there can be no question that the
trial court's May 27, 2016 judgment, denying the various