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Regions Bank v. Keys

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

October 17, 2018

REGIONS BANK
v.
MICHELLE C. KEYS, A/K/A MICHELLE M. COOPER KEYS, DIVORCED WIFE OF/AND JEFFREY W. KEYS

          ON APPEAL FROM THE FORTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 69, 922, DIVISION "B" HONORABLE E. JEFFREY PERILLOUX, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, REGIONS BANK Louis G. Arceneaux Stacy C. Wheat Fred J. Daigle

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and Robert A. Chaisson

         REVERSED IN PART; VACATED IN PART; REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

         JGG

         SMC

         RAC

          JUDE G. GRAVOIS JUDGE

         Plaintiff/appellant, Regions Bank ("Regions"), appeals a trial court judgment rendered on September 29, 2017 and amended on June 29, 2018, which granted a Supplemental Exception of No Right and No Cause of Action filed by defendant, Michelle M. Cooper Keys ("Michelle"), in this foreclosure proceeding. Regions also appeals the denial in said judgment, as amended, of its Motion for Summary Judgment against co-defendant, Jeffery W. Keys ("Jeffery").[1] For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment insofar as it grants Michelle's Supplemental Exception of No Right and No Cause of Action, vacate the judgment insofar as it denies Regions' Motion for Summary Judgment against Jeffery, and remand the matter for further proceedings.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In October of 2016, Regions filed a Petition for Foreclosure by Ordinary Process against defendants, Michelle M. Cooper Keys, divorced wife of/and Jeffery W. Keys, alleging that defendants were in default on a promissory note to Regions, dated in 2003, which was secured by a Home Equity Mortgage in favor of Regions, also dated in 2003, which was recorded in the mortgage records of St. John the Baptist Parish.[2] The petition prayed for a monetary judgment against defendants for the principal balance remaining due on the promissory note secured by the mortgage, plus accrued interest and accumulated late charges, and other expenses and costs, and reasonable attorney's fees, as well as for the seizure and sale of the subject immovable property encumbered by the mortgage in order to satisfy the debt owed to Regions. Various attachments to the petition included the promissory note, the mortgage, and a Notice of Reinscription of the mortgage which had been filed in the mortgage records of St. John the Baptist Parish in 2013.

         Because service could not be made upon defendants, a curator was appointed to represent them. The curator filed answers to the petition on behalf of defendants, generally denying the allegations of the petition. Michelle later retained counsel who filed an Exception of No Right and No Cause of Action and Answer to the Petition, alleging that the debt in question had been discharged in the bankruptcy court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on October 17, 2013. The pleading further claimed that there had been no "re-acclamation" of the loan with Regions and the Home Equity Mortgage.

         In response, Regions filed an Opposition to Michelle's Exception, and later filed a Motion for Summary Judgment against co-defendant Jeffery, arguing that there remained no genuine issues as to any material facts concerning its claims against Jeffery, and that it was entitled to judgment against him as a matter of law, given that the pleadings, including the attachments to the original petition, established the essential facts that Jeffery was a maker of the promissory note in favor of Regions, that Jeffery was in default on the note, and that the note was secured by the duly recorded and reinscribed mortgage in favor of Regions.[3]

         Before Michelle's Exception and Regions' Motion for Summary Judgment against Jeffery were heard, Michelle filed a Supplemental Exception of No Right and No Cause of Action, arguing that the Notice of Reinscription of the mortgage in 2013, which was attached to Regions' petition, failed to comply with La. C.C. art. 3362, and thus served to defeat Regions' right to enforce the mortgage against her. Regions filed an Opposition to the Supplemental Exception. On August 11, 2017, the trial court conducted a hearing on the Supplemental Exception and on Regions' ...


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