APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 772-238, DIVISION
"P" HONORABLE LEE V. FAULKNER, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, REBECCA ROURKE Harry A.
Rosenberg Christopher K. Ralston Arthur R. Kraatz Lillian M.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SEC RESOURCES LLC Ryan M.
McCabe Charles L. Stern, Jr. Mark C. Landry
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and
Hans J. Liljeberg
M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE
GRANTED; JUDGMENT VACATED; MATTER REMANDED.
J., CONCURS WITH REASONS
appeal, SEC Resources, L.L.C. ("SEC") challenges
the partial default judgment granted in favor of Rebecca
Rourke rescinding the sale of immovable property to 3006
Roberta, L.L.C. Further, SEC has filed a peremptory exception
of nonjoinder in this Court. For the following reasons, we
sustain the exception of nonjoinder, vacate the partial
default judgment, and remand for joinder of the absent party,
and further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
and Procedural History
summer of 2014, Rebecca Rourke, who is unable to work due to
disability and receives Social Security disability benefits
as her regular source of income, was experiencing financial
difficulties and mental health issues, requiring psychiatric
treatment. During this time, Debra Dretar, an acquaintance of
Ms. Rourke, assisted her by paying for her prescriptions and
some past due bills.
August of 2014, Debra Dretar learned that Ms. Rourke would
soon inherit property so Dretar offered to help Rourke secure a
"Reverse Amortized Loan" on the
property. According to a "preliminary contract,
" Ms. Rourke would "place my property at 3006
Roberta St., Metairie, La. 70003 into an LLC as designated by
Louisiana Housing Program LLC (Debra Dretar)" in
exchange for payments of $800.00 per month for 10 years at 6%
interest per annum.
November 6, 2014, Ms. Rourke was placed into full ownership
of immovable property located at 3006 Roberta Street in
Metairie, Louisiana. Four days after the Judgment of Possession
was issued, Debra Dretar executed an Affidavit of Usufruct,
which purported to grant Ms. Rourke the usufruct over the
property for a minimum of 10 years. Further, Debra Dretar
acknowledged in that affidavit that the "Equity in [Ms.
Rourke's] home in the amount of approx..[sic]
$110, 000 remains hers."
on November 11, 2014, Ms. Rourke executed an Act of Cash
Sale, transferring all rights to the immovable property to
3006 Roberta, L.L.C.("the L.L.C.") for $117, 500.00.
Debra Dretar signed the Act of Sale for the L.L.C. as the
manager of that company. That same day, Debra Dretar on
behalf of the L.L.C. purported to grant a usufruct over the
immovable property in favor of Ms. Rourke. In that document,
the L.L.C. also stated that it had executed an "Act of
Mortgage" on the immovable property at issue in favor of
SEC Resources, L.L.C. "in the principal sum of [$117,
500.00] with interest … of 14% per annum, payable
… [in] 36 monthly installments of interest only
… WITH A BALLOON PAYMENT DUE DECEMBER 1, 2017
… ." The Act of Mortgage is not contained in the
record before us on appeal.
petition, Ms. Rourke alleges that she did not receive the
purchase price of $117, 500.00 because Debra Dretar directed
the sale proceeds to be disbursed to Bayou Triangle
Development, Inc., which is wholly owned by Debra
Dretar's brother, Kenneth. In her petition, Ms. Rourke
states that she has received less than $25, 000.00 of the
agreed upon price for her immovable property.
January 18, 2016, Debra Dretar passed away. Kenneth Dretar,
her brother, is the independent administrator of Debra
November 9, 2016, the L.L.C., via certified mail, notified
Ms. Rourke that her usufruct was "cancelled and
revoked" because she was in "default of the
terms" of their agreement. On December 7, 2016, a Notice
to Vacate was posted on the premises at issue. On January 25,
2017, the L.L.C. filed a Petition for Order of
Eviction. On March 7, 2017, the parties continued