FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2013-10061,
DIVISION "B" Honorable Regina H. Woods, Judge
S. Anderson Joseph P. Anderson ANDERSON & ANDERSON
COUNSEL FOR CHARLES J. COCHRANE AND MADALYN M. COCHRANE,
A. Thibodeaux Daniel E. Davillier DAVILLIER LAW GROUP, LLC
COUNSEL FOR EASTOVER NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT AND SECURITY,
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Madeleine M.
Landrieu, Judge Marion F. Edwards, Pro Tempore
F. Edwards, Pro Tempore Judge
Charles J. Cochrane, Sr. and Madalyn M. Cochrane, appeal a
declaratory judgment of the district court that found La.
R.S. 33:9091.21, which created the Eastover Neighborhood
Improvement and Security District, constitutional. For the
following reasons, we hereby affirm.
HISTORY AND FACTS
Mrs. Cochrane ("Plaintiffs") own Lot 13, Square G,
in the Eastover Subdivision in Orleans Parish. On October 24,
2013, Concerned Citizens of Eastover, LLC, filed a petition
challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 323,
Louisiana Act 24 and Proposed Revised Statute 33:9091.21.
According to the Eastover Subdivision Newsletter, authored
and published by the Eastover Property Owners Association
("EPOA") Board of Directors, dated September 25,
2013, House Bill 323 was proposed for the following reasons,
in pertinent part:
House Bill 323, which creates the Eastover Neighborhood
Improvement and Security District, will be on the November
16, 2013, general election ballot for resident approval. . .
[t]his creates an opportunity that will facilitate the
collection of association dues (assessment) from all property
owners. This bill does not increase your assessments, but
rather will allow for the annual billing of assessments via
the City of New Orleans property tax billing system and would
be effective for 2014.
The EPOA [Eastover Property Owners Association] has
approximately three hundred (300) properties. Two hundred
(200) owners are seriously committed to our community and are
paying their assessments. The remaining one hundred (100)
properties are owned by the developer, banks, speculators and
homeowners who actually reside in Eastover's Subdivision.
Owners who are not paying their assessments reduce our
EPOA's budget by more than $125, 000 per year. This
places a financial burden on our Association's ability to
meet our financial obligations and does not provide adequate
funds for improvements.
When we further analyze the one hundred (100) Eastover
property owners who are not paying assessments, approximately
45 of them live in Eastover and apparently refuse to pay
their assessments. House Bill 323 will require all property
owners to pay their EPOA assessments when they pay their
to being submitted to the voters of Eastover Subdivision
(Precinct 44), La. R.S. 33:9091.21 became effective on June
12, 2013, as a result of the filing of House Bill 323 in the
2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana
R.S. 33:9091.21 Eastover Neighborhood Improvement and
Security District provides, as follows:
A. Creation. There is hereby created within
the parish of Orleans, as more specifically provided in
Subsection B of this Section, a body politic and corporate
which shall be known as the Eastover Neighborhood Improvement
and Security District, referred to in this Section as the
"district". The district shall be a political
subdivision of the state as defined in the Constitution of
B. Boundaries. (1) The district shall be
comprised of all property located in Eastover Subdivision
within the following boundaries: the northern boundary is the
northern boundary of the Eastover Subdivision, the southern
boundary is Dwyer Road, the eastern boundary is the I-10
Service Road, and the western boundary is the Jahncke Canal.
(2) The property located at 5690 Eastover Drive shall not be
included in the district as long as a sales and
administration office is located on the property and the
office is available to the board to conduct its business.
C. Purpose. The district is established for
the primary object and purpose of promoting and encouraging
the beautification, security, and overall betterment of the
D. Governance. (1) In order for the orderly
development and effectuation of the services to be furnished
by the district and to provide for the representation in the
affairs of the district of those persons and interests
immediately concerned with and affected by the purposes and
development of the area included within the district, the
affairs of the district shall be managed by the members of
the Eastover Property Owner's Association's board of
directors, referred to in this Section as the
(2) The minute books and archives of the district shall be
maintained by the board's secretary. The monies, funds,
and accounts of the district shall be in the official custody
of the board.
(3) The duties of the officers shall be fixed by bylaws
adopted by the board. The board shall adopt such rules and
regulations as it deems necessary or advisable for conducting
its business affairs. It shall hold regular meetings as shall
be provided in the bylaws and may hold special meetings at
such times and places within the district as may be
prescribed in the bylaws.
(4)A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a
quorum for the transaction of business. The board shall keep
minutes of all meetings and shall make them available through
the board's secretary to residents of the district.
(5) The members of the board shall serve without
E. Powers and duties. The district, acting
through the board, shall have the following ...