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Wells One Investments, LLC v. City of New Orleans

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

November 2, 2017

WELLS ONE INVESTMENTS, LLC
v.
THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
v.
WELLS ONE INVESTMENT

         APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-00836 C\W 2017-00894, DIVISION "A" Honorable Tiffany G. Chase, Judge

          Frank G. DeSalvo Shannon R. Bourgeois FRANK G. DeSALVO, APLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, WELLS ONE INVESTMENTS, LLC

          Tanya L. Irvin ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY Eraka W. DeLarge ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY Adam J. Swensek CHIEF DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY Rebecca H. Dietz CITY ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS

          Court composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Regina Bartholomew Woods, Judge Terrel J. Broussard, Pro Tempore

          Terrel J. Broussard, Pro Tempore Judge

         Appellee, Wells One Investment, LLC, filed in the district court a petition seeking a preliminary junction against Appellant, the City of New Orleans. A hearing on the matter was held, and the district court ruled in favor of Appellee.[1]From this judgment, Appellant appeals.[2]

         A review of the Judgment of the district court reveals it is not a valid, final, appealable judgment. Any judgment granting either a preliminary or a final injunction or a temporary restraining order must describe, in reasonable detail, and not by mere reference to the petition, or other documents, the act or acts sought to be restrained. This Court declines to exercise its supervisory jurisdiction to review the Judgment. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal, without prejudice, and remand the matter to the district court so that a valid final judgment may be rendered and signed according to law.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In October 2016, Appellee made an offer to purchase a triplex bearing municipal address 2739-41-41A Bruxelles Street, and the offer was accepted. On November 9, 2016, Appellant, through the Department of Safety and Permits, issued a building permit #16-37197-RNVN to Prestige Facility Maintenance Service, LLC, Appellee's general contractor. This permit authorized Appellee to renovate the existing triplex located at 2739-41-41A Bruxelles Street. On January 5, 2017, an act of cash sale was completed. In connection with the sale, Appellee entered into a mortgage on the property. On January 6, 2017, Appellee began renovation work in accordance with the building permit. However, on January 12, 2017, an employee of Appellant issued to Appellee a Stop Work Order on the grounds Appellee failed to obtain a dumpster permit and the basement did not meet FEMA requirements. Subsequently, Appellee was advised the property was not zoned for a three-family dwelling, and Appellant rescinded the permit.

         On January 27, 2017, Appellee filed in the district court a "Verified Petition for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and Incorporated Memorandum in Support." In the petition, Appellee prayed for relief in the form of a temporary restraining order, and if it prevailed on the preliminary injunction, Appellee prayed:

(1) The City of New Orleans through the Department of Safety and Permits must accept payment of the dumpster permit fee from plaintiff and withdraw the subject Stop Work Order for the property located at 2739-41-41A Bruxelles Street; and
(2) The City of New Orleans through the Department of Safety and Permits must reissue and/or re-activate building permit #16-37197-RNVN allowing the plaintiff to continue to refurbish the property located at 2739-41-41A Bruxelles Street and permit that renovation to continue as a triplex.
On February 2, 2017, a rule to show cause hearing on Appellee's application for preliminary injunction was held. At the hearing, the specific relief to be granted for the preliminary injunction was not discussed. The district court granted Appellee's petition for a preliminary injunction. Following, Appellant requested reasons for judgment, and the district court issued reasons. On February 10, 2017, the district court signed the Judgment which provided in pertinent part:
On February 2, 2017, a Rule to Show Cause on the application for for [sic] Preliminary Injunction filed on behalf of Wells One Investments, LLC came for hearing ...

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