FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 2015-2784 HONORABLE CLAYTON DAVIS, DISTRICT
Timothy O'Dowd Jared W. Shumaker O'Dowd Law Firm, LLC
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Barry Wayne Bridges
Seneca COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS: Bradley Scott
composed of John D. Saunders, Billy Howard Ezell, and Candyce
G. Perret, Judges.
HOWARD EZELL JUDGE.
Bridges appeals a trial court's grant of summary judgment
in favor of his brother, Barry Bridges, dismissing
Scott's claim to set aside an act of donation. Scott
claims that a donation of land to his father and mother in
2005 was an absolute nullity because he did not sign it in in
the presence of a notary and two witnesses. For the following
reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
November 17, 2003, Scott bought approximately twenty acres of
land. After he bought the property, Scott got married. He and
his wife, Stephani, built a house on the property.
Subsequently, on June 15, 2005, Scott donated half of the
property to his parents, Jessie and Clifton Bridges. His
parents then built a house on their half of the property.
October 2014, Jessie died. Just a month later, Clifton died.
After his parents' deaths, Scott learned that they had
left wills in 2007, naming each other as the universal
legatee in the event of their respective deaths, and, in the
alternative, naming Scott's brother, Barry, as universal
legatee. Scott was excluded. Thus, Barry inherited his
parents' entire estates, including the donated property.
A judgment of possession recognized that Clifton became owner
of Jessie's share of the donated property. A second
judgment of possession recognized that Barry became owner of
the property upon his father's death.
13, 2015, Scott filed a petition to set aside the donation,
naming his brother as a defendant. Scott and his wife,
Stephani, also sought damages for the alleged tortious acts
inflicted on them, and their minor son, by his father.
seeks to set aside the act of donation, alleging that he did
not sign the act of donation before a notary and two
witnesses at the same time his parents signed. Both Scott and
Barry filed cross motions for summary judgment, which were
denied in July 2017. Barry filed another motion for summary
judgment on January 22, 2018, seeking dismissal of
Scott's request to set aside the donation. This time
Barry alleged that Scott could not seek nullity of the 2005
donation because he did not have "clean hands."
Barry argued that Scott donated the property to his parents
for "tax avoidance" purposes.
hearing on the motion for summary judgment was held on
February 22, 2018. Determining that Scott's testimony
established that the donation was to avoid paying taxes, the
trial court held that Scott was prevented from attacking the
donation of property due to his "unclean hands."
The trial court granted Barry's motion for partial
summary judgment. A judgment was signed on March 5, 2018,
dismissing Scott's claim to set aside the act of donation
with prejudice. The trial court also declared that the
judgment was a final judgment pursuant to La.Code Civ.P. art.
1915. Scott appealed the judgment to this court.
wants this court to reverse the summary judgment granted by
the trial court. He claims that the trial court improperly
applied the unclean hands doctrine to his claim for nullity
of the donation of the immovable property that was not
executed before a notary and two witnesses. He argues that
the basis for the nullity of a donation has nothing to do
with an illicit or immoral object or cause of the contract.
Scott further argues that, even if the ...