from the Monroe City Court for the Parish of Ouachita,
Louisiana Trial Court No. 2016CV04304 Honorable Aisha S.
McCALL In Proper Person.
MICHAEL EUGENE KRAMER Counsel for Appellant.
OFFICES OF WILLIE HUNTER, JR. By: Marcus Lamar Hunter Counsel
GARRETT, COX, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
BLEICH, J. (Pro Tempore)
McCall, plaintiff and defendant-in-reconvention, appeals the
default judgment entered against him by the Monroe City
Court, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. For the following reasons,
we reverse the judgment.
December 22, 2016, Byron McCall filed suit in Monroe City
Court against Gwendolyn Marshall for breach of contract.
record suggests that Marshall's house had flood damage
and she entered into a contract with McCall to perform
repairs. McCall alleged in his petition that Marshall failed
to pay him for the work completed on her home. He also
claimed Marshall moved back into her home while he was still
working on it, preventing him from completing the agreed upon
repairs. His original petition did not include a specific
disputed amount of unpaid fees, but did request court costs
and attorney fees be awarded to him.
filed an answer and reconventional demand denying
McCall's allegations and asserting his workmanship was
substandard, thereby requesting full reimbursement of the
fees already paid to McCall.The reconventional demand citation
was ostensibly served on McCall via domiciliary service on
February 1, 2017. Thereafter, McCall failed to timely answer
Marshall's reconventional demand.
March 1, 2017, Marshall filed a motion for default judgment.
Marshall also requested payment of court costs and attorney
fees. On March 3, 2017, a judgment was entered in favor of
Marshall awarding her $35, 000.00, plus $5, 000.00 in
attorney fees and $85.00 in court costs.
March 6, 2017, three days after the judgment was rendered,
but before he was served with the notice of judgment, McCall
filed an answer to Marshall's reconventional demand.
McCall then filed this suspensive appeal of the default
judgment rendered against him.
judgment of default must be confirmed by proof of the demand
sufficient to establish a prima facie case. La. C.C.P. art.
1702. In parish and city courts, if the defendant fails to
answer timely, or if he fails to appear at the trial, and the
plaintiff proves his case, a final default judgment in favor
of the plaintiff may be rendered with no preliminary default
necessary. La. C.C.P. art. 4904(A). The plaintiff may obtain
a final default judgment only by producing relevant and
competent evidence which establishes a prima facie case. La.
C.C.P. art. 4904(B). When the suit is for a ...