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Rogers v. Hooter

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

April 5, 2017

LACEY DOYLE ROGERS
v.
ROBIN L. HOOTER, RAPIDES PARISH CLERK, ET AL.

         APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 255, 740 HONORABLE PATRICIA EVANS KOCH, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Herman M. Savoie, Jr. Attorney at Law P. O. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.

          Lacey Doyle Rogers Thomas R. Willson Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

          Mike Deloach Construction, LLC Mike DeLoach Robin L. Hooter Clerk, Ninth Judicial District P. O. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Robin L. Hooter, Rapides Parish Clerk.

          Court composed of Marc T. Amy, Billy Howard Ezell, and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE.

         The defendants-appellants, Mike Deloach Construction, LLC and Mike Deloach individually (Deloach), appeal the judgment of the trial court finding that Deloach's labor lien failed to conform to La.R.S. 9:4822 in that it did not reasonably itemize the amounts it sought to preserve. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff-appellee, Lacy Doyle Rogers, hired Deloach to construct a home on a tract of land she owns in Rapides Parish. Rogers failed to pay, and Deloach filed a labor and materialman's lien in the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's office in the amount of $65, 553.82 pursuant to the Louisiana Public Works Act found in La.R.S. 9:4801 et seq. In May 2016, Rogers filed a "Petition for Mandamus to Cancel and Erase Inscription of Privilege, " urging that Deloach failed to file his construction contract with the clerk of court and, therefore, failed to preserve his contractor's privilege pursuant to La.R.S. 9:4801.[1]

         Following a hearing, the trial court's 2016 judgment granted Rogers' petition for mandamus to cancel and erase inscription of privilege and to cancel and remove the labor and materialman's lien recorded in Mortgage Book 2899 at page 854 in the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's office. The trial court found the lien failed to reasonably itemize the amount owed to Deloach, stating that "the flooring item is duplicative and the attempt to clarify the total debt owed to Deloach by the affidavit does not clarify the information on the lien or assist in a 'reasonable itemization.'"[2] Deloach now appeals and assigns as error the trial court's grant of Rogers' request to cancel the lien.

         DISCUSSION

         Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:4822(G)(4) (emphasis added) provides that a statement asserting a claim or privilege:

Shall set forth the amount and nature of the obligation giving rise to the claim or privilege and reasonably itemize the elements comprising it including the person for whom or to whom the contract was performed, material supplied, or services rendered. The provisions of this Paragraph shall not require a claimant to attach copies of unpaid invoices unless the statement of claim or privilege specifically states that the invoices are attached.

         The evidence in the record includes the initial labor and materialman's lien filed by Deloach in October 2015, which states that "there is an outstanding balance in the amount of $65, 553.82." The lien sets forth twenty-seven distinct line items, including labor and materials for the construction of Rogers' home. However, a July 2016 affidavit of Michael Deloach submitted into the record states that "the amount of the funds owed by Lacey Rogers for the work performed and material supplied by him is in the amount of $45, 119.00, " and "That the ...


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