TOUR HOLDINGS, LLC.
FRANK S. LARRE (a/k/a Frank 3. Larre), SOUTHERN TRACE INVESTMENTS, INC., THOMAS P. REEVES, JERRI GROSS REEVES, 3 P MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., TANIA O. PAZ, FIRST FRANKLIN FINANCIAL CORPORATION, and THEIR SUCCESSORS, HEIRS, and ASSIGNS
Appeal from the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of St. Tammany State of Louisiana Docket No.
2017-12482 Honorable Raymond S. Childress, Judge Presiding
Jonathan R. Fleming Covington, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellee Tour Holdings, L. L.C.
Faia Mentz New Orleans, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant Tania O. Paz
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON AND HIGGINBOTHAM,
debtor seeks review of a judgment confirming and quieting a
tax title, asserting that she was not properly served with
the underlying petition. Finding that the debtor's remedy
under the circumstances is to file a petition for nullity
with the trial court, we dismiss the instant appeal.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
dispute concerns the confirmation and quieting of tax titles
obtained by Tour Holdings, L.L.C. Among the confirmed titles
was a property in Mandeville, which was previously owned by
Tania 0. Paz, a tax debtor. In its petition to quiet the tax
title filed on May 30, 2017, Tour Holdings, L.L.C. indicated
that Ms. Paz was "either located out of state or [her]
whereabouts are unknown." A curator ad hoc was appointed
to represent Ms. Paz in the proceedings, which resulted in a
judgment rendered on October 26, 2017, that confirmed Tour
Holdings, L.L.C.'s title to the Mandeville property.
the judgment was rendered against her, Ms. Paz filed the
instant appeal, asserting that the judgment in favor of Tour
Holdings, L.L.C. was absolutely null because she was not
served with notice of the petition as required for a valid
judgment under LSA-C.C.P. art. 1201. She further contends that
appointment of a curator ad hoc was not authorized under
LSA-R.S. 47:2266 and that any attempt to complete service on
Ms. Paz by serving the curator was improper and ineffective.
an express waiver, citation and service thereof are essential
in all civil actions. LSA-C.C.P. art. 1201. Under Louisiana
law, a petition and citation for quieting tax title must be
served on the defendant as in ordinary suits. LSA-R.S.
47;2266(A)(2). If a tax sale party is a nonresident of the
state, is unknown, or his residence is unknown, the court
shall appoint a curator ad hoc to represent him and receive
appeal, Ms. Paz asserts that before a curator can be
appointed to represent her, as authorized by LSA-R.S.
47:2226(A)(2), Tour Holdings, L.L.C. was required to make a
reasonable and diligent effort to determine her whereabouts.
See Security Homestead Ass'n v.
Fuselier, 591 So.2d 335, 339 (La. 1991). Ms. Paz notes
that she was never served with the original petition and
citation. Ms. Paz also states that she resides at 3605
Connecticut Avenue, Kenner, Louisiana 70065. Ms. Paz contends
that because she is a Louisiana resident, Tour Holdings,
L.L.C.'s request for a curator implies that Ms. Paz's
address was unknown and unable to be learned after a diligent
contends that there is evidence to support the conclusion
that Mr. Joseph Todd Tournillon, member, apparent manager,
and registered agent for service of process of Tour Holdings,
L.L.C, knew or had learned of Ms. Paz's location before
the "Petition to Quiet Tax Titles" was filed on May
30, 2017. Ms. Paz avers that her address was obtainable from
a simple internet search of her name. Additionally, Ms. Paz
asserts that Mr. Tournillon was in contact with her and
communicated with her by telephone on several occasions. Ms.
Paz avers that considering the foregoing, it is reasonable to
conclude that no search, much less a diligent one, was ever
made to determine her address. Ms. Paz asserts that because she
was not properly served with process as required by law, the
judgment quieting the tax title is an absolute nullity.
See LSA-C.C.P. arts. 1201 and 2002(A)(2) and
Tunnard v. Simply Southern Homes, LLC, 07-0945
(La.App. 1 Cir. 3/26/08), 985 So.2d 166, 168.
opposition, Tour Holdings, LLC. maintains that nothing raised
in Ms. Paz's assignments of error was submitted to the
trial court. Rather, all issues relevant to her assignments
of error are being presented to this court as a matter of
first impression. Because these issues were not presented,
Tour Holdings, LLC. notes that the ...