VERNON L. RAYNER
THE EVANGELINE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY
APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 256, 986 HONORABLE
PATRICIA EVANS KOCH, DISTRICT JUDGE
Carnal Gaiennie, III Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Vernon L. Rayner.
D. Davenport, Jr. The Davenport Firm COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: The Evangeline Bank & Trust Company.
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and
Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION, JUDGE
defendant-relator, Evangeline Bank & Trust Company (the
Bank), seeks supervisory writs from the judgment of the Ninth
Judicial District Court, which denied exceptions of no cause
of action, prematurity, lack of standing, ripeness, lack of
justiciable controversy, lack of subject matter jurisdiction,
and lis pendens. For the following reasons, we find no error
in the trial court's ruling and deny the writ.
OF THE CASE
instant case arises from a donation of immovable property
from Vernon Rayner (Rayner), plaintiff-respondent, to his
daughter, Christine Rayner O'Quinn (O'Quinn). Rayner
reserved the usufruct for his lifetime. In 2009 and 2014,
O'Quinn obtained four mortgages from the Bank,
encumbering the property at issue herein. O'Quinn
defaulted on the mortgages in the fall of 2015, and the Bank
subsequently filed a petition for executory process against
O'Quinn. Rayner intervened therein, and O'Quinn filed
for bankruptcy, resulting in a stay of the executory
proceeding before the immovable property was sold to satisfy
instituted a second proceeding in district court, seeking
damages against the Bank for the wrongful seizure of his
property and usufruct. Along with its answer to Rayner's
petition, the Bank filed exceptions of prematurity, no cause
of action, lack of standing, ripeness, lack of justiciable
controversy, lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lis
pendens, and vagueness or ambiguity. All exceptions were
denied, save for the exception of vagueness or ambiguity,
which was granted.
the Bank actually complains of seven denied exceptions, as a
practical matter, it offers only two arguments as to why
Rayner's suit against it may not proceed: 1) Nothing has
yet occurred for which our civil law provides a remedy,
inasmuch as proceedings were halted before the subject
property was seized; and 2) Two other matters were instituted
before this suit, which prohibit, or at least forestall,
Rayner from moving forward.
ONE: PROPERTY HAS NOT BEEN SEIZED
of No Cause of Action, Lack of Standing, Ripeness, and Lack
of a Justiciable Controversy)
Bank's briefing to this court states in pertinent part
that it "takes issue" with Rayner's claims
because the property has "not been seized/or sold,
" Rayner "has not been dispossessed of his
usufruct" over the property, and the Bank has "not
been placed in possession" of the property. Thus, argues
the Bank, Rayner has no cause of action, his claim is not
ripe, he lacks standing, and a justiciable controversy does
not exist. We disagree.
Bank argues that there is no cause of action for wrongful
seizure, because, while it initiated foreclosure proceedings,
it had not yet seized the property. In support of its
argument, the Bank cites Dixie Sav. and Loan Ass'n v.
Pitre, 99-154 (La.App. 5 Cir. 7/27/99), 751 So.2d 911,
921, writ denied, 99-2867 (La. 12/10/99), 751 So.2d