Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kingdom Builders Community Development Corp. v. Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 1, 2017

KINGDOM BUILDERS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
v.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION AND LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

         On Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 647, 294 Honorable Wilson Fields, Judge Presiding

          J. Arthur Smith, III Baton Rouge, LA Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant, Kingdom Builders Community Development Corporation

          Joan Ellen Hunt Willa LeBlanc R. Christopher Fruge' Baton Rouge, LA Attorneys for Defendant-Appellee, Louisiana Department of Education.

          BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.

          HIGGINBOTHAM, J.

         This appeal challenges whether the trial court properly denied plaintiffs motion for new trial seeking annulment of a judgment in favor of one defendant that sustained a peremptory exception of no cause of action because plaintiff claims it was not properly served with the hearing date.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff, Kingdom Builders Community Development Corporation (Kingdom Builders) applied for a charter for operation of a charter school in Lafayette Parish. On March 3, 2016, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) denied Kingdom Builder's charter school application. On April 4, 2016, pursuant to La. R.S. 49:964 et seq., [1] Kingdom Builders filed a petition for judicial review in the 19th Judicial District Court seeking judicial review of BESE's decision. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) and BESE were named as defendants.

         In response, LDE filed a peremptory exception raising the objection of no cause of action. In its exception, LDE contended that Kingdom Builders failed to state a cause of action because under La. R.S. 17:3981 and La. R.S. 17:3983 the decision whether to grant or deny Kingdom Builder's application for a charter is a decision made by BESE, not LDE. Additionally, LDE contended that Kingdom Builders failed to state a cause of action for judicial review because BESE's decision under La. R.S. 17:3981 and La. R.S. 17:3983 was not an "adjudication" that resulted in a "decision" or "order" as defined by the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act.

         LDE certified that a copy of its exception was mailed and faxed to Kingdom Builder's attorney of record at the address and fax number provided in Kingdom Builder's petition. LDE's exception was accompanied by a proposed order requesting that the exception be set for hearing.

         On September 19, 2016, LDE's exception was heard by the trial court. Kingdom Builders was not present at the hearing. The copy of the exception that LDE mailed to Kingdom Builders' attorney of record, who had apparently moved offices and had not updated his address, was returned to sender around September 26, 2016, stating "not at this address." On October 3, 2016, Kingdom Builders filed a motion to substitute counsel, which was granted. On November 10, 2016, the trial court signed a judgment sustaining LDE's peremptory exception of no cause of action and dismissing Kingdom Builder's claims against LDE with prejudice.

         Thereafter, Kingdom Builders filed a motion for new trial on LDE's exception of no cause of action contending that it was not served with LDE's exception nor was its previous counsel of record served by means of a legally correct method; therefore, Kingdom Builders argued that the November 10, 2016 judgment was an absolute nullity and should be vacated. After a hearing, the trial court denied Kingdom Builders' motion for new trial in a judgment signed on March 7, 2017. It is from the March 7, 2017 judgment denying its motion for new trial that Kingdom Builders appeals.[2]

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Kingdom Builders contends that the trial court erred in sustaining LDE's peremptory exception of no cause of action because neither Kingdom Builders nor its former counsel received notice of the exception of no cause of action filed by LDE as required by La. Code Civ. P. articles 1313 and 1314. Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 1313(A) allows service of most post-petition pleadings by regular mail or by electronic means, "[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, " subject to an express exception in La. Code ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.