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Gettys v. Gettys

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

May 16, 2018

CHARLES W. GETTYS, JR. AND TAMMY ABIDE
v.
WILLIAM G. GETTYS, FLOELLEN SANCHEZ-RICKARD, VICTORIA FOGHT VIRGA AND MICHAEL VIRGA

          APPEAL FROM ST. BERNARD 34TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NO. 14-0642, DIVISION "D" Honorable Kirk A. Vaughn, Judge

          Mark Michael Dennis ATTORNEY AT LAW

          Paul A. Tabary, III TABARY AND BORNE, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLEES

          Joyce D. Young Michael C. Ginart, Jr. Nicholas N.S. Cusimano COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLANTS

          Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods

          Regina Bartholomew-Woods Judge

          This civil appeal involves the co-ownership, partition by licitation, and reimbursement for renovation of 216 Coney Drive, an immovable property located in Arabi, Louisiana, in St. Bernard Parish. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's February 9, 2017 judgment.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On December 15, 2004, the trial court signed a judgment of possession in the Succession of Florence Schmit Gettys Sanchez, which awarded Plaintiffs-Appellees, Charles W. Gettys, Jr. ("Charles") and Tammy Abide ("Tammy") (collectively "Plaintiffs-Appellees") and Defendants-Appellants, William G. Gettys ("William"), Floellen Sanchez-Rickard ("Floellen"), Victoria Foght Virga, and Michael Virga (collectively "Defendants-Appellants"), each an undivided one-fifth (1/5) interest in 216 Coney Drive ("property"), a residence in St. Bernard Parish ("parish"); all parties are owners in indivision or co-owners of the property.

         On June 18, 2014, Plaintiffs-Appellees filed a petition for partition of jointly owned property by licitation and rule to show cause against Defendants- Appellants. On November 10, 2014, William filed an answer in reconventional demand and alleged that after Hurricane Katrina, Charles, Tammy, and Floellen expressed that they no longer "wanted an interest in the property, " did not want to "put any money into the property, " and did not want to be responsible for the costs of repair and any liens or fines from the parish. William asserted that after Hurricane Katrina, he completely renovated the property and began residing there. William further asserted that prior to Hurricane Katrina, he and Charles agreed to renovate, then sell the property, and ultimately share the proceeds. William stated that the cost of renovations totaled $46, 000.00. According to William, he and Charles agreed to share equally in the costs of the renovation; however, Charles had not made any payments toward the cost of the pre-Hurricane Katrina renovation. Therefore, through the partition of the property proceedings, William sought reimbursement from Charles in the amount of $23, 000.00, one-half of the cost of the pre-Hurricane Katrina renovation. Ultimately, William sought reimbursement for the renovations that he made to the property both before and after Hurricane Katrina.

         The trial in this matter began on October 17, 2016, and the trial court rendered a final judgment on February 9, 2017. The trial court ordered that the property be partitioned by licitation and ruled that the property be seized and sold at auction with a minimum bid of $50, 000.00 and the $48, 476.18 of the net proceeds to be paid to William as reimbursement for the renovations to the property after Hurricane Katrina. The trial court's final judgment permitted co- owners to avoid the sale of the property at auction by agreeing to sell the property privately before April 1, 2017. It is from this judgment that William appeals.

         DISCUSSION

         On appeal, William raises the following assignments of error:

1. Whether the trial court erred in failing to reimburse William for renovations made to the property before ...

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