T M F HOTEL PROPERTIES, L.L.C.
CRESCENT CITY CONNECTIONS 501(C) 7 GRIS-GRIS PLEASURE AIDE & SOCIAL CLUB
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-07094,
DIVISION "M" Honorable Paulette R. Irons, Judge.
Charles M. Pisano Christian J. Rhodes Thomas J. Capella Jan
K. Frankowski ROEDEL PARSONS KOCH BLACHE BALHOFF &
MCCOLLISTER, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.
W. Redmann William L. Pratt Cristian A. Galleguillos LAW
OFFICE OF JOHN W. REDMANN, LLC, COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
ROSEMARY LEDET JUDGE.
a summary eviction proceeding. The plaintiff, T M F Hotel
Properties, L.L.C. ("TMF"), is the lessor; the
defendant, Crescent City Connections 501(C) 7 Gris-Gris
Pleasure Aide & Social Club ("Crescent City"),
is the lessee. On October 19, 2017, the trial court
denied a declinatory exception of lis pendens filed
by Crescent City and granted a judgment of eviction in favor
of TMF. Crescent City appealed. For the reasons that follow,
we reverse the trial court's ruling on the exception of
lis pendens and remand for further proceedings.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
matter involves two different, but interrelated, leases: (i)
the lease of a commercial building, which is the subject of
this eviction proceeding-the "Building Lease"; and
(ii) the lease of lots adjacent to the commercial building-
the "Lots Lease." Both leases were executed on
January 5, 2017. Both leases were for the same five-year
Building Lease, the leased premises were identified as
"all buildings and improvements thereon bearing
municipal number 1377-1381 Annunciation Street [in New
Orleans, Louisiana], comprising approximately 8, 295 sq.ft.
of building." In the Lots Lease, the leased premises
were identified as "lots 1, 8, 7.6, and 5 of lot 115 on
Annunciation adjacent to building located at 1377
Annunciation." Both leases identified the
"Use" of the leased premises as follows:
"solely for the purposes of office space, restaurant and
bar with live music venue as permitted by the City of New
leases identified the lessor as TMF. The Building Lease
identified the lessee as "Crescent City Connection
501(C)7 acting through its manager Edward Trent
Robinson." The Lots Lease identified the lessee as
"Edward Trent Robinson d/b/a Crescent City Connections
(501C7)." Both leases included a virtually identical
footer on the right hand, bottom corner of each page of the
lease that read as follows:
• Building Lease: "Lease between TMF Hotel
Properties, LLC And Crescent City Connections
• Lots Lease: "Lease between TMF Hotel
Properties, LLC And Crescent City Connections (501C7)."
lease refers to the business entity by its full, non-profit
corporation name-Crescent City Connection 501(C)7 Gris-Gris
Pleasure Aide & Social Club.
between the parties commenced on May 1, 2017, when
"Edward Trent Robinson d/b/a Crescent City Connections
501(C)7" filed a petition for damages against TMF in
Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans
("CDC"). Edward Trent Robinson d/b/a Crescent
City Connection 501(C)7 v. TMF Hotel Properties, L.L.C.,
CDC No. 2017-4134 (the "Damages Suit"). In the
Damages Suit, the relief sought was damages arising out of
TMF's alleged violation of the Building Lease and the
Civil Code articles on leases.
three months after the Damages Suit was filed, and while the
Damages Suit was still pending, TMF commenced this summary
eviction proceeding against Crescent City, as the lessee
under the Building Lease (the "Eviction Suit"). TMF
alleged that Crescent City had failed to pay three months of
rent-May, June, and July 2017-as well as other items it was
obligated to pay under the Building Lease. As a result, TMF
asserted that Crescent City was in default and that TMF was
entitled to a judgment of eviction.
response, Crescent City filed an answer and a declinatory
exception of lis pendens. In its answer, Crescent City
admitted that "TMF and Edward Trent Robinson, d/b/a
and/or on behalf of Crescent City entered into two Lease
agreements, effective January 5, 2017." In its exception
of lis pendens, Crescent City contended that the
Damages Suit constituted a pending prior suit between the
same parties on the same transaction or occurrence.
a hearing, the trial court denied Crescent City's
exception of lis pendens and granted TMF's
petition for eviction. This appeal followed.
sole issue presented in this case is whether the trial court
erred in denying Crescent City's declinatory exception of
lis pendens. A trial court's ruling on an exception
of lis pendens, pursuant to La. C.C.P. art. 531,
presents a question of law; thus, it is reviewed de
novo. An Erny Girl, L.L.C. v. BCNO 4, L.L.C.,
16-1011, 16-1012, p. 9 (La.App. 4 Cir. 3/30/17), 216 So.3d
833, 839, writ denied, 17-0815 (La. 6/29/17), 222
So.3d 48. Stated differently, "'the appellate
court's standard of review is simply whether the trial
court's interpretive decision is legally
correct.'" Parker v. Tulane-Loyola Fed. Credit
Union, 15-1362, p. 5 (La.App. 4 Cir. 5/25/16), 193 So.3d
441, 444-45 (quoting First Bank & Trust v.
Simmons, 14-1210, p. 24 (La.App. 4 Cir. 4/22/15), 165
So.3d 1025, 1040).
1990 amendment, La. C.C.P. art. 531, the provision setting
forth the exception of lis pendens, has provided as
When two or more suits are pending in a Louisiana court or
courts on the same transaction or occurrence, between the
same parties in the same capacities, the defendant may have
all but the first suit dismissed by excepting thereto as
provided in Article 925. When the defendant does not so
except, the plaintiff may continue the prosecution of any of
the suits, but the first final judgment rendered shall be
conclusive of all.
doctrine of lis pendens is closely related to the
doctrine of res judicata. This close relationship is
reflected in the Legislature's contemporaneous amendments
to the lis pendens and res judicata
statutory provisions in 1990. See Comments to La.
C.C.P. art. 531 (noting that this article was amended in 1990
"to conform to the changes made in the defense of
res judicata by La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§
Louisiana Supreme Court has observed, "[t]he
'test' established to determine if an exception of
lis pendens should be sustained is the same as that
for res judicata; thus, an exception of lis
pendens should be sustained if 'a final judgment in
the first suit would be res judicata in the
subsequently filed suit.'" Aisola v. Louisiana
Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., 14-1708, p. 4 (La. 10/14/15),
180 So.3d 266, 269 (quoting United Gen. Title Ins. Co. v.
Casey Title, Ltd., 01-600, p. 8 (La.App. 5 Cir.
10/30/01), 800 So.2d 1061, 1065, and citing Domingue v.
ABC Corp., 96-1224 (La.App. 4 Cir. 6/26/96), 682 So.2d
La. C.C.P. art. 531, the jurisprudence has required that an
exception of lis pendens must satisfy the following
1. Two or more pending suits;
2. The pending suits involve the same transaction or
3. The pending suits involve the same parties in the same