United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are the Defendants', Martin Robinson's and
Robinson Realty LLC's, Motion for Summary
Judgment (Rec. Doc. 126), Motion to
Strike Unsworn Declaration of Malcom M. Kelso
(Rec. Doc. 131) and Motion to Reset
Hearing (Rec. Doc. 173). Parties have
had the opportunity to file their opposition and replies and
have done so. Having considered the motion and legal
memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court
finds that the Movants' Motion for Summary Judgment
should be GRANTED. Therefore, the Motion to
Strike and the Motion to Reset Hearing are DISMISSED
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
litigation derives from a dispute over the right to lease a
condominium the Plaintiffs purchased from Michael and Jenny
Tilbury. The Plaintiffs are school teachers residing in
California who hoped to buy a French Quarter condo that they
could use as a vacation home during summer break, but lease
during the regular school year when they would be
out-of-state. The Plaintiffs hired the Movants, Martin
Robinson and Robinson Realty, LLC, to act as their real
estate agent in making this purchase. Plaintiffs successfully
purchased a condo property with the help of the Movants, but
their plan to lease the condo was thwarted when the
condo's board of directors informed them that the minimum
lease length had been extended from six months to one year.
subsequently filed suit against the condo's board, the
board members in their individual capacities, the sellers,
the sellers' real estate agent, the insurance companies,
and importantly here, their own real estate agent, and real
estate agent company, the Movants. Against the Movants,
Plaintiffs allege only two (of their total seventeen) causes
of action listed in their second amended complaint (Rec. Doc.
53): (1) Movants were negligent for failing to inform
Plaintiffs of “the affairs” at the condo complex
and its “latent defects” and for failure to
ascertain “proper documentation” existed and also
(2) Movants participated in a civil conspiracy perpetrated
against Plaintiffs by the condo board, sellers' real
estate agents, and sellers.
Movants then filed their Motion for Summary Judgment (Rec.
Doc. 126). Plaintiffs responded with opposition (Rec Doc.
128), which cited the unsworn declaration of Malcom M. Kelso
(Rec. Doc. 128-3), as the basis for its claims against
Movants. Movants responded with their Motion to Strike
Unsworn Declaration of Malcolm M. Kelso (Rec. Doc. 131).
Plaintiffs filed their opposition to that motion as well
(Rec. Doc. 155). Plaintiffs also filed a reply (Rec. Doc.
176) to Plaintiffs' opposition to their Motion for
argue that they are entitled to summary judgment as to both
Plaintiffs' negligence and civil conspiracy claims.
Movants argue that the negligence claim must fail because
Plaintiffs (1) could not identify any documents that Movants
failed to obtain on their behalf and (2) conceded they had no
factual basis to believe that Movants possessed or withheld
knowledge of any defects or managerial affairs from them
(Rec. Docs. 124-4, 124-5). In a typical exchange Plaintiff
Todd Novak admits the following:
Q. And then No. 20, no, I'm sorry. No. 200. The
allegation is, Robinson Realty and Robinson had knowledge
regarding the affairs at St. Maxent, and they did not
disclose the same to the Novaks.
A. I don't know what Martin Robinson knew about the
affairs of St. Maxent.
Q. And you also circled No. 201. The allegation is, Robinson
Realty and Robinson had knowledge regarding the latent
defects in the property, and they did not disclose the same
to the Novaks.
A. I don't know what Martin Robinson and Robinson Realty
were aware of.
have filed in opposition to Movants' claim that no
factual basis exists for the negligence, but that memorandum
is mostly a regurgitation of Plaintiffs' memorandum in
opposition (Rec. Doc. 129) to the Tilbury's motion for
partial summary judgment (Rec. Doc. 119). In opposition,
Plaintiffs complain the depositions were confusing and again
allege a duty to turn over certain documents imposed by La.
R.S. § 9:1124.107. They also argue Movants had
“constructive knowledge” of defects and
managerial affairs at the condominium ...