CLARENCE SMITH, JR., INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NATURAL TUTOR OF HIS MINOR SON, KYLE S. SMITH
ST. CHARLES PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 82, 87, DIVISION
"C" HONORABLE EMILE R. ST. PIERRE, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CLARENCE SMITH, JR.,
INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NATURAL TUTOR OF HIS MINOR SON, KYLE S.
SMITH Charles M. Stevenson
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, ST. CHARLES PARISH PUBLIC
SCHOOLS Paula Haydel Jeansonne Patrick M. Amedee
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert A.
Chaisson, and Hans J. Liljeberg
FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER JUDGE.
appeal arises from the district court's grant of an
exception of prescription dismissing plaintiff's petition
for damages. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the
district court's judgment.
and Procedural History
action arises out of injuries allegedly sustained by Kyle
Smith, plaintiff Clarence Smith's minor son, on October
6, 2015. Kyle Smith's alleged injuries were caused while
riding a defective zip-line at Lakewood Elementary School in
Luling, which plaintiff alleges was under the custody of
defendant, St. Charles Parish Public Schools. In the
petition, plaintiff claims St. Charles Parish Public Schools
is responsible for Kyle Smith's injuries, and that St.
Charles Parish Public Schools had actual and constructive
knowledge of the zip-line's defect prior to the accident
but failed to fix the defect.
October 5, 2016, plaintiff fax-filed a petition for damages
in the Twenty-Ninth Judicial District Court for the Parish of
St. Charles. As required by the fax-filing statute, La. R.S.
13:850, plaintiff delivered the original hard-copy petition
to the St. Charles Parish Clerk of Court within seven days of
transmitting the petition by fax to the court. The original
hard-copy petition was clocked in as delivered to the St.
Charles Parish Clerk of Court on October 12,
response to plaintiff's petition, on November 2, 2016,
St. Charles Parish Public Schools filed an answer and
peremptory exception of prescription. In the exception of
prescription, St. Charles Parish Public Schools asserted that
plaintiff failed to meet the statutory requirements of La.
R.S. 13:850 because the fax-filed petition differs from the
original petition delivered to the clerk of court. Because
the petition delivered to the clerk's office was not
identical to the fax-filed petition, St. Charles Parish
Public Schools argued that the fax-filed petition lacked the
force and effect of law necessary to interrupt prescription.
Therefore, St. Charles Parish Public Schools contended that
the effective filing date of the petition was October 12,
2016-the day the original petition was delivered to the
clerk's office-and plaintiff's claim, which occurred
on October 6, 2015, had prescribed.
support of its exception of prescription, St. Charles Parish
Public Schools attached copies of both plaintiff's
October 5, 2016 fax-filed petition, and the original petition
delivered to the clerk of court on October 12, 2016. The
fax-filed petition alleges the injury occurred on October 6,
2005, while the original petition delivered to the
clerk's office on October 12, 2016 states the injury
occurred on October 6, 2015. In his ...