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Mars Beach, LLC v. McQuirter

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 1, 2017

MARS BEACH, LLC
v.
EDWARD McQUIRTER

         On Appeal from the 20th Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of West Feliciana State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 22, 691 Honorable William G. Carmichael, Judge Presiding

          Charles E. Griffin, II St. Francisville, LA Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee, Mars Beach, LLC

          John B. Brumfield, Jr. Baton Rouge, LA Attorney for Defendant-Appellant, Edward McQuirter

          BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.

          HIGGINBOTHAM, J.

         In this property dispute, Mr. Edward McQuirter appeals the district court's judgment finding that he was not entitled to a predial servitude of passage on the property of Mars Beach, LLC, and granting a permanent injunction in favor of Mars Beach and its members prohibiting Mr. McQuirter from threatening, harming, or harassing said individuals, and prohibiting Mr. McQuirter from coming on the property of Mars Beach.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 12, 1978, Mr. McQuirter and Ms. Aline Brown purchased a 1.08 acre tract of land from Mr. Lloyd Lindsey and several members of his family. The tract was identified as lot number 753 of Rosemond Campsites with its northern boundary on Sligo Road in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Eventually, Ms. Brown transferred her interest in the property to Mr. McQuirter. Mr. McQuirter built a home on the lot and began living there in 1982.

         A 209 x 40 foot tract of land measuring .191 acre is located between Mr. McQuirter's lot and lot 752. The .191 acre tract is currently owned by Mars Beach and provides road frontage on Sligo Road so that Mars Beach can access its 74.55 acres of property located behind Mr. McQuirter's lot. On that .191 acre tract is a gravel road that Mr. McQuirter, with permission of Mars Beach and the previous owners of the tract of land, used to access his driveway before Mars Beach filed suit.[1]

         Mars Beach purchased the 74.55 acres of property from Daniel Properties, LLP. Before Mars Beach purchased the property, a survey was done by Wilson Land Surveying, LLC. The survey indicated that a shed owned by Mr. McQuirter was encroaching on the property of Mars Beach's ancestor in title, Daniel Properties. Therefore, on October 6, 2004, Mr. McQuirter and Daniel Properties, entered into a boundary agreement (the boundary agreement), which extended the northern boundary between the western and eastern boundaries of Mr. McQuirter's property upward so that the northern boundary of his property would include the shed. As part of the boundary agreement, Mr. McQuirter declared:

[H]e does convey, transfer and quitclaim any and all rights, title and interest which he may have or had to the movable and immovable property which now lies outside the boundaries of Lot 753, as well as the use or possession of same, as described above...in favor of DANIEL, his heirs, successors and assigns.

         After purchasing the property, Mars Beach's majority member, Mr. John Naquin, met with Mr. McQuirter and told Mr. McQuirter that he could continue to use the gravel road located on the .191 acre tract to access his driveway for the time being, but that eventually a fence would be erected, and Mr. McQuirter would no longer have access to the gravel road. Ultimately, the relationship between Mr. McQuirter and Mr. Naquin deteriorated, because Mr. Naquin suspected that Mr. McQuirter ran over cypress trees he planted, placed salt on a fig tree on Mr. Naquin's property, and fired numerous shots to intimidate Mr, Naquin when he was on his property. Thereafter, Mars Beach filed a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief with the district court seeking a restraining order prohibiting Mr. McQuirter from trespassing on the property of Mars Beach, or threatening, harming, or harassing any members of Mars Beach.

         Mr. McQuirter answered the petition and filed a reconventional demand asserting possession of a predial servitude of passage on the .191 acre tract between his lot and lot 753, requesting a judgment declaring that he is the owner of a servitude and of a right of use over the .191 acre tract, and seeking damages for Mars Beach's interference with his use of the .191 acre tract. Mr. McQuirter also sought an injunction ordering Mars Beach to refrain from interfering with his possession and use of the .191 acre tract.

         In a judgment signed on June 8, 2016, the district court granted a preliminary injunction in favor of Mars Beach and its members prohibiting Mr. McQuirter from threatening, harming, or harassing said individuals and prohibiting Mr. McQuirter from coming on the property of Mars Beach. The June 8, 2016 judgment recognized the boundaries of Mars Beach's property as shown on the survey by Wilson ...


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