APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 753-023, DIVISION
"F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CHARLES HENRY JACKSON Tonya
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, SIMONA D. MORTON Christy M.
Howley M. Elizabeth Bowman.
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Marc E.
Johnson, and Hans J. Liljeberg
E. JOHNSON JUDGE.
Charles Henry Jackson, appeals a directed verdict that denied
his claim for reimbursement of mortgage payments in favor of
Defendant/Appellee, Simona D. Morton, from the
24th Judicial District Court, Division,
"F". For the following reasons, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
following relevant facts were taken from the pleadings.
Jackson and Ms. Morton were a co-habiting, unmarried couple
for numerous years. Two children were born from their
relationship: Kaelin Jackson and Joshua Jackson. On March 27,
2003, Mr. Jackson purchased the property located at 2716
Conor Court in Marrero, Louisiana, and mortgaged the property
in his name. On the same day, Mr. Jackson placed Ms. Morton
into unconditional and irrevocable possession of one-half
interest of the property pursuant to an act of inter
vivos donation in consideration of love and affection he
had for Ms. Morton.
parties resided together until November 11, 2014, when Mr.
Jackson was arrested for domestic abuse battery and had a
temporary restraining order issued against him. Mr. Jackson
did not return to the home while Ms. Morton was present, even
after the restraining order had expired.
August 27, 2015, Mr. Jackson filed a "Petition for
Judicial Partition." In his petition, Mr. Jackson
alleged that Ms. Morton failed to contribute to the mortgage,
taxes or homeowner's insurance, and that Ms. Morton
should be held accountable to him for the expenses of the
mortgage, maintenance, management and repairs of the property
pursuant to La. C.C. art. 806. He averred that he was also
entitled to his share of rental reimbursements from the time
of Ms. Morton's exclusive use of the property until the
time of the partition. Ms. Morton answered Mr. Jackson's
petition, denying any liability for the mortgage or rent for
the property, and filed a reconventional demand, asserting
that she was entitled to exclusive use of the property and
reimbursement of all funds she expended towards the upkeep,
mortgage, taxes and insurance on the property.
parties entered into a Consent Judgment on February 29, 2016,
agreeing that Mr. Jackson would enjoy exclusive use of the
property and would be solely responsible for the expenses and
upkeep of the home pending the partition of the property.
matter proceeded to a bench trial on November 4, 2016. At the
conclusion of Mr. Jackson's presentation of his case, Ms.
Morton orally moved for a motion for involuntary dismissal,
which was granted in part by dismissing Mr. Jackson's
claims for mortgage reimbursement, off-set for taxes and
rental reimbursement. In open court, the trial court ordered
that the property be sold by private sale and the proceeds be
split between Mr. Jackson and Ms. Morton. The trial court
further ordered reimbursement to Mr. Jackson by Ms. Morton in
the amount of $1, 460.31 for improvements to the home. A
written judgment to that effect was rendered on November 17,
2016. All other claims were dismissed, and each party had to
bear his/her own costs. The instant appeal followed.