APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF AVOYELLES, DOCKET NO. 2015-2516
HONORABLE KERRY SPRUILL, PRESIDING
Moreau Anthony J. Roy, III Roy & Roy Law Office ATTORNEY
FOR PETITIONER/RESPONDENT The Cottonport Bank
A. Pennington Michael J. Harig Pennington & Martinez
ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANTS/APPLICANTS LSJ, L.L.C., Southeastern
Crane, L.L.C., Flintstone Development, L.L.C., Cade Dubois,
Ashley Dubois, Clyde Dubois, Jr. and Dawn Dubois
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Marc T. Amy and Billy Howard
R. COOKS JUDGE
writ application, the relators-defendants, LSJ, L.L.C.,
Southeastern Crane, L.L.C., Flintstone Development, L.L.C.,
Cade Dubois, Ashley Dubois, Clyde Dubois, Jr. and Dawn
Dubois, seek supervisory writs from the district court's
judgment overruling their exceptions of improper venue. For
the following reason, we find no error in the district
court's ruling, and deny the writ application.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
case arises from the default on Promissory Notes securing
loans from respondent, The Cottonport Bank, to Major Industry
Service, Inc. (MIS), a company in the business of selling and
leasing cranes. Clyde Dubois, Jr. (Dubois), a relator herein
and owner of MIS, was the guarantor for the loans, and a
security interest in MIS's movable equipment and
property, namely cranes, was the collateral for the loans.
When MIS and Dubois defaulted on the loans, Cottonport Bank
obtained a judgment on March 11, 2016 against them in the
amount of $2, 213, 950.07 (which includes attorney fees). In
its judgment, the trial court recognized that Cottonport Bank
had a security interest in approximately 186 movables
constituting its collateral. This litigation took place in
the Twentieth Judicial District Court.
Bank asserts, after the default, it learned that: (1) the
collateral was not owned, controlled or managed by MIS,
contrary to Dubois' claim, (2) Dubois owned another
company, LSJ, L.L.C. (LSJ) and moved assets back and forth
between the two companies, and (3) MIS began to operate under
a different name, Southeastern Crane, L.L.C. (Southeastern
Crane). Out of the 186 items listed as collateral in the
default judgment, the bank was able to locate about ten
pieces of equipment in Baton Rouge. Cottonport Bank
subsequently filed a Petition for Conversion, Fraud, Deceit,
Piercing the Corporate Veil, Misrepresentation, and Unfair or
Deceptive Practices against companies owned by the relators,
including Dubois, and companies owned by Dubois and family
members involved in those companies. The respective companies
and family members were domiciled in four different parishes.
That petition was filed in the Twelfth Judicial District
Court, Avoyelles Parish, on January 13, 2016. Cottonport Bank
asserted there was a single elaborate scheme devised by
Dubois to conceal assets constituting the collateral.
Therefore, rather than file four separate lawsuits in four
separate parishes regarding the same set of facts, Cottonport
Bank filed its lawsuit in Avoyelles Parish. Cottonport Bank
acknowledged it was not aware of where the wrongful conduct
occurred; thus, it filed suit in Avoyelles Parish, contending
that was the site where the damages were sustained. They
maintain this complies with La.Code Civ.P. art. 74, which
allows suit to be filed where the damages were sustained or
where the wrongful conduct occurred.
response, the relators filed respective exceptions of
improper venue. A hearing was held on April 4, 2016, and
the matter was taken under advisement. On June 6, 2016, the
trial court denied the exceptions in a written judgment and
issued written reasons for ruling. The trial court
specifically noted there were "limited facts presented
in this case." The trial court concluded the record was
devoid of any evidence of any wrongful conduct occurring or
damages sustained "in any other parish than Avoyelles
16, 2016, the relators filed a motion for new trial for the
purpose of allowing the trial court to reconsider its ruling
in light of this court's ruling in D&D Drilling
& Exploration, Inc. v. XTO Energy, Inc., 15-626,
15-631 (La.App. 3 Cir. 5/4/16), 191 So.3d 1166, writ
denied, 16-1540 (La. 11/18/16), __So.3d__. The relators
also filed a motion to stay the proceeding. In lieu of a
formal hearing, a telephone conference on the motions was
held on July 7, 2016, and both motions were denied. The
relators then filed a writ application seeking review of the
trial court's denial of the exceptions of improper venue.
The writ was called up on the court's regular docket and
argued before a panel of this court.
we note Cottonport Bank filed a "Motion to Supplement
Appellate Record, or in the Alternative, to Lift the Stay,
and Allow the Trial Court to Supplement the Record."
Specifically, due to error, two affidavits executed by the
private process server to be filed with the service return
were not made part of the record by the trial court.
Cottonport Bank seeks to supplement the record with the
affidavits. This motion ...