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In re Inspirational Enterprises Applying for Monition

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 2, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF INSPIRATIONAL ENTERPRISES APPLYING FOR MONITION

         APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 251, 843 HONORABLE WILLIAM GREGORY BEARD, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Kelvin G. Sanders Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Edwin A. Humphrey

          Michael P. Glorioso Inspirational Enterprises, LLC APPELLEE IN PROPER PERSON: Inspirational Enterprises, LLC

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R. Cooks and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE

         Appellant, Edwin A. Humphrey (Edwin), appeals the monition granted in favor of Inspirational Enterprises, LLC (IE). For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         IE purchased Lots 53 and 60 of the George Moore Subdivision in Alexandria, Louisiana, from BBCP Investments, Inc. (BBCP), on April 30, 2009. BBCP had purchased the properties from the Rapides Parish Sheriff on May 4, 2005, to satisfy unpaid ad valorem taxes for 2004. On January 7, 2015, IE filed a petition for monition and requested service upon Edwin and his brother, Marvin. Edwin filed an answer and asserted therein that he had received no pre-sale notice of the tax sale. The trial court set the matter for trial on July 20, 2016.

         Counsel for IE had sent notice to both Edwin and Marvin Humphrey at the same address, 3740 Payne Street, Alexandria, Louisiana, on September 16, 2014.[1]The correspondence was addressed to Edwin, but the United States Postal Service Form 3811, Domestic Return Receipt, was returned "unclaimed."

         The Humphrey brothers jointly purchased lots 53 and 60 of the George Moore Subdivision in September 2000. Edwin took care of the parish taxes for 2001 through 2003. However, one year he was late paying city ad valorem taxes and received notice of that delinquency. He was under the impression thereafter that, if he paid his city taxes, he would owe no parish taxes. A Domestic Return Receipt was introduced into evidence for which Marvin signed on May 18, 2005, which demonstrated Marvin's receipt of a letter from BBCP, dated May 12, 2005, informing him of the fact that BBCP had purchased to property at tax sale.

         Edwin testified that Marvin is mentally disabled, has not worked in over thirty years, and currently resides in a mental institution in New Orleans. When Edwin was working as a barber, Marvin would be picked up by various adult mental health agencies to participate in day activities and returned home in the evenings.

         Edwin was contacted by a Mr. Bayonne who told him that Mr. Michael Glorioso, the sole member of IE, was "trying to take [his] property." He was also contacted by Mr. D.J. Collins, who told him the same thing.

         The next information Edwin received regarding the property was when he was served with the petition in the present matter. Edwin consulted an attorney but made no attempt to redeem the property, because he was not certain he owed the taxes.

         Nothing in the evidence demonstrated that Edwin was notified of the tax sale before he was served with the petition in the present matter. IE argued that, pursuant to La.R.S. 47:2121, Edwin had sixty days thereafter to file a petition to nullify the tax sale and failed to do so; therefore, ...


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