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HR Milan, LLC v. Mona's Restaurant

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

December 6, 2017

HR MILAN, LLC
v.
MONA'S RESTAURANT, KARIM TAHA REPRESENTATIVE OF MONA'S RESTAURANT, NIHAD MONEM REPRESENTATIVE OF MONA'S ON ELYSIAN FIELD'S AND MIHAD MONEM

         APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-01825, DIVISION "E" Honorable Clare Jupiter, Judge

          Joaquin Shepherd SHEPHERD LAW FIRM COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE

          Joseph B. Landry THE LAW OFFICES OF JOSPEH B. LANDRY, APLC Michael G. Gaffney Christopher M. Gaffney GAFFNEY & GAFFNEY, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLANTS

          Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Roland L. Belsome

          ROLAND L. BELSOME JUDGE.

         The Appellants, Mona's Restaurant, Karim Taha representative of Mona's Restaurant, Nihad Monem representative of Mona's on Elysian Fields, and Nihad Monem, challenge the trial court's denial of their Exception of Insufficiency of Service of Process and the granting of a Petition of Eviction in favor of HR Milan, LLC. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         Statement of Facts

         On May 24, 2005, business partners, Karim Taha and Nihad Monem, executed a lease with HR Milan (Milan) to operate a restaurant at 1120 South Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans. Initially, the partners opened as Mona's Restaurant. That restaurant was an expansion for Mr.Taha and Mr. Monem's corporation, Mona's on Elysian Fields. At the time the lease was executed, Mona's on Elysian Fields was named as lessee. Mr. Taha executed the lease as a representative of Mona's Restaurant and Mr. Monem signed as an in solido obligor and guarantor.

         The lease contained renewal options for five-year periods. The lease for Mona's Restaurant was renewed on June 7, 2010, and again on February 27, 2015. Both renewals adopted the terms and conditions of the original lease; and were signed by Mr. Taha as representative of Mona's Restaurant.

         Procedural History

         In January of 2017, Mona's Restaurant failed to pay its monthly rent.[1] A notice of default was sent by Milan on January 12, 2017. Mona's Restaurant did not pay February's rent. Milan sent a notice to vacate the property on February 6, 2017.

         On February 13, 2013, a Petition for Concursus was filed by Mr. Taha in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans seeking leave of court to deposit rent payments into the registry of the court.[2] The petition asserted that the monies deposited may be owed in all or in part to Milan, Mr. Monem, and/or the City of New Orleans.[3] Thereafter, Milan filed its Petition for Eviction on February 24, 2017. Mona's Restaurant and Mr. Taha filed an Exception of Insufficiency of Service of Process and an Answer to the Petition for Eviction.[4] In response to the Petition for Consursus, Milan filed an Exception of No Cause of Action and an Answer.

          The Court held a hearing on April 2, 2017 to hear the Exception of Insufficiency of Service of Process and the Petition for Eviction. After hearing the testimony of Mr. Monem, the trial court denied the exception. After hearing additional testimony, the trial court granted the eviction. This appeal followed.

         Assignments ...


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