FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO.
255497 HONORABLE WILLIAM GREGORY BEARD, DISTRICT JUDGE
Elmo Broussard, Jr. Broussard, Halcomb & Vizzier COUNSEL
Hamilton Mary Fisher Eddie Washington Randall Brian Keiser
Keiser Law Firm, PLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES.
Town of Boyce Alma Moore Ruby Norris Freeman Assistant
District Attorney COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES The Town
of Boyce Alma Moore.
composed of Marc T. Amy, Billy Howard Ezell, and Shannon J.
HOWARD EZELL JUDGE.
Eddie Washington appeals the decision of the trial court
below granting exceptions of no right of action and no cause
of action in favor of Mayor Alma Moore and the Town of Boyce.
For the following reasons, we reverse the decision of the
Fisher and Robert Hamilton were employees of the Town of
Boyce Police Department. Eddie Washington was the elected
chief of that police department. In February and March of
2016, Mayor of Boyce, Alma Moore, fired the officers over the
objections of Chief Washington. Both officers filed suit
against Mayor Moore and the Town of Boyce, seeking a
declaratory judgment that their terminations violated the law
and seeking a mandatory injunction ordering their
reinstatement to the police department. Chief Washington
later intervened in the suit, alleging the same facts and
seeking the same remedies. Mayor Moore and Boyce filed
exceptions of no right of action and no cause of action
against the officers and Chief Washington. The trial court
denied the exceptions as to the officers but granted them as
to Chief Washington, thereby dismissing his claims. From that
decision, Chief Washington appeals.
appeal, Chief Washington asserts two assignments of error:
the trial court erred in granting the exception of no right
of action and the exception of no cause of action. We agree.
Right of Action
Code of Civil Procedure Article 681 provides that actions
must be brought "only by a person having a real and
actual interest which he asserts." An exception of no
right of action is used in order to determine whether a
plaintiff belongs to a class of individuals to which the law
grants the cause of action. Reese v. State Dept.
of Public Safety and Corr., 03-1615 (La. 2/20/04), 866
So.2d 244. In considering the exception, the court determines
whether "the particular plaintiff has a right to bring
the suit, but it assumes that the petition states a valid
cause of action for some person and questions whether the
plaintiff in the particular case is a member of the class
that has a legal interest in the subject matter of the
litigation." Id. at 246. A ruling on an
exception of no right of action is considered de novo on
appeal. St. Martin v. Willard, 03-204 (La.App. 3
Cir. 6/25/03), 848 So.2d 773, writ denied, 03-2058
(La. 11/14/03), 858 So.2d 426. Accordingly, we will examine
the trial court's decision de novo.
Washington did not directly file suit against Mayor Moore,
but rather intervened in the suit filed by his two
subordinate officers. The law and jurisprudence surrounding
interventions was discussed in Palace Properties,
L.L.C. v. City of Hammond, 02-1263, pp.7-8
(La.App. 1 Cir. 6/27/03), 859 So.2d 15, 20 (alteration in
Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 1091 provides as
A third person having an interest therein may intervene in a
pending action to enforce a right related to or connected
with the object of the pending action against ...