FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-00581C/W
2016-02612, DIVISION "M" Honorable Paulette R.
A. E. Davidson Christopher J. Davidson DAVIDSON &
DAVIDSON, APLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE
Lizette M. Radovic MILLER-RADOVIC, LLC COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Madeleine M.
Landrieu, Judge Marion F. Edwards, Pro Tempore)
Madeleine M. Landrieu Judge
plaintiff, Engine 22, L.L.C. ("Engine 22"), filed
an action in the district court to annul a tax sale of a
certain property from the City of New Orleans ("the
City") to the defendant, Land and Structure, L.L.C.
("Land and Structure"). Land and Structure filed a
competing action to confirm its title to the property. These
two actions were consolidated in the district court. Land and
Structure asserted various exceptions in response to the suit
to annul. The trial court rendered written judgment denying
these exceptions on April 14, 2016. Land and Structure filed
the instant appeal from that judgment, contending that the
exceptions of no right of action, no cause of action and
prescription were erroneously denied.
court lacks appellate jurisdiction to review a judgment
denying exceptions, which is an interlocutory, rather than a
final, judgment. See La. C.C.P. arts. 1841, 2083; Box v.
French Market Corporation, 593 So.2d 836 (La.App.
4thCir. 1992). However, as the motion for appeal
was filed within the thirty-day time period allowed for
taking a writ application, we exercise our discretion to
convert the appeal to a writ application. We grant the writ
application and consider the issues presented under our
supervisory jurisdiction. See Stelluto v. Stelluto,
2005-0074, p. 7 (La. 6/29/05), 914 So.2d 34, 39.
AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
is no disagreement among the parties as to the essential
facts of this matter. On November 20, 2003, the City acquired
the property at issue as a result of the failure of the
owners, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kern, to pay their 1992 ad valorem
2007, Engine 22 purchased the property from the City at a
sale of abandoned property. The deed reflecting the sale to
Engine 22 states: "Purchaser agrees to renovate, develop
and/or resubdivide the property in accordance with the plans
submitted by Purchaser to the City within 270 days from the
date hereof…" The deed also provides that in the
event the purchaser violates the obligations it has agreed
to, the City may enforce the purchaser's obligations
"by any means or remedy…allowed by law, " or
may "revoke, rescind and dissolve this sale by ordinary,
summary or executory process…." This deed was
executed before two notaries, with Engine 22 signing on April
19, 2007, and the City's representative signing on
December 18, 2007. For reasons not reflected in the record,
this deed was not recorded in the public records until March
31, 2011, nearly three and a half years after its execution.
the deed was executed, but before it was recorded in the
public record, the City conducted a tax sale for unpaid
2008/2009 ad valorem taxes by the prior owner, Mr.
Kern. Land and Structure purchased the property at this tax
sale, which was recorded on November 4, 2010. On June 19,
2011, Engine 22 filed a petition to annul the tax sale to
Land and Structure. In its petition, Engine 22 alleges the
sale should be nullified because the property was owned by
the City and therefore not subject to taxation in 2008 and
2009. Alternatively, Engine 22 alleges the tax sale is an
absolute nullity because there was no notice issued to Engine
22. Land and Structure asserted four exceptions to Engine
22's suit: no cause of action, no right of action,
prescription and non-joinder of a party (the City). The trial
court conducted a hearing on these exceptions on April 4,
2016 and signed a judgment denying them the same day. Engine
22 seeks review of the denial of three of the exceptions,
namely; no cause of action, no right of action, and
of No ...