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Williams v. Louie Street Apartments, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

October 11, 2017

JENNIFER WILLIAMS
v.
LOUIE STREET APARTMENTS, INC.

         ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF CALCASIEU DOCKET NUMBER 2015-4260-F HONORABLE SHARON DARVILLE WILSON, JUDGE

          Joshua K. Trahan, Sarah E. Stevens, JUNEAU DAVID COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Louie Street Apartments, Inc.

          Jere Jay Bice, Julis Love Taylor Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Jennifer Williams

          Court composed of John E. Conery, D. Kent Savoie, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          JOHN E. CONERY, JUDGE.

         The Defendant-Relator, Louie Street Apartments, Inc. (hereinafter sometimes referred to as the Corporation), seeks supervisory writs from the judgment of the Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of Calcasieu, the Honorable Sharon Darville Wilson presiding, which denied the Corporation's motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the Corporation's writ is granted and made peremptory. All claims made against the Corporation by Plaintiff/Respondent Jennifer Williams are dismissed with prejudice. All costs are assessed to Plaintiff/Respondent Jennifer Williams.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Plaintiff/Respondent, Jennifer Williams, was injured when a picnic table bench seat collapsed, causing her to fall to the ground. The bench was located on the grounds of a housing project called the Louie Street Apartments. The Corporation owns the property on which the bench was located. However, the apartments and grounds are managed and maintained by the Calcasieu Association for Retarded Citizens (CARC), for whom Ms. Williams was working at the time of the accident.

         Ms. Williams filed suit against the Corporation based on its ownership of the property on which the bench was located. The Corporation filed the subject motion for summary judgment contending that Ms. Williams could not recover against it. The Corporation claims that, although it owns the property, it did not own the bench. The Corporation notes that CARC manages the property and maintains it. The Corporation also pointed out that CARC purchased the bench and assembled it. Therefore, the Corporation claimed that it could not be held accountable for Ms. Williams's injuries.

         A hearing on the motion for summary judgment was held by the trial court on February 6, 2017. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court denied the motion. The court minutes state that the trial court would sign a written judgment upon presentation, although the transcript does not contain this statement. The Corporation filed a Notice of Intention to Apply for Supervisory Writs and Request to Set a Reasonable Return Date on February 15, 2017. Also, on this same date, the Corporation filed a request for written reasons for judgment to be issued

         Not having received a signed order setting the return date, among other things, the Corporation filed a motion for an extension of the return date on March 1, 2017.

         When neither an order setting the original return date nor an order setting the extension of the return date was received by the Corporation, the Corporation sent to this court its Motion to Extend Return Date to File an Application for Supervisory Writ, docketed by this court as CM 17-240, and its Application for Supervisory Writ, docketed by this court as CW 17-241. Although the date stamp from this court's clerk's office indicates that these items were filed on March 9, 2017, in actuality, the items were received by this court bearing a postmark date of March 8, 2017.[1] A letter from this court's clerk's office notifying the parties and the trial court of the writ application's filing states that the writ "has been received and filed, as of the postmark date of March 8, 2017."

         Since these initial filings, several supplemental filings have been made by the Corporation, including the transcript of the February 6, 2017 hearing; the written reasons signed by the trial court on March 10, 2017, in which the trial court denies the motion for summary judgment; an order signed by the trial court on February 27, 2017, which set the original return date for the filing of the writ application for March 6, 2017; and an order signed by the trial court on March 10, 2017, extending the return date for the filing of the writ application to April 6, 2017.

         CM 17-240 MOTION TO EXTEND RETURN DATE TO FILE AN ...


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