Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ramos v. Andrew Le and La Rouge Properties

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

December 12, 2018

RAUL-ALEJANDRO RAMOS
v.
ANDREW LE AND LA ROUGE PROPERTIES

          APPEAL FROM ST. BERNARD 34TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NO. 17-0688, DIVISION "A" Honorable Robert A. Buckley, Judge Judge Rosemary Ledet

          Raul-Alejandro Ramos PRO SE PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT

          Paul A. Tabary, III Elizabeth R. Borne Justin W. Stephens TABARY & BORNE, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE

          Court composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

         This is a tort suit. The plaintiff, Raul-Alejandro Ramos, a former tenant of the defendants, Andrew Le and La Rouge Properties, alleges that the defendants unlawfully entered the premises he was leasing and removed his property without his consent. From the trial court's judgment granting the defendants' exception of prescription, Mr. Ramos appeals. We affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         With one exception (discussed elsewhere in this opinion), the essential facts are not disputed. In 2013, Mr. Ramos leased commercial premises from the defendants to operate a restaurant. During his tenancy, Mr. Ramos undertook construction of the premises. Because of the construction, Mr. Ramos moved various items to the rear of the premises. At some point, Mr. Le advised Mr. Ramos that he could not store items in the rear of the premises; Mr. Ramos, however, continued to store items there. Consequently, on three occasions between 2013 and 2015, Mr. Le or his agent entered the leased premises and removed items that were being stored in the rear.

         On May 25, 2017, Mr. Ramos, acting pro se, filed this suit asserting those claims. The defendants filed exceptions of non-conformity, vagueness, and ambiguity arguing, inter alia, that Mr. Ramos had failed to allege the dates on which the acts forming the basis of his claims occurred. The trial court granted the exceptions and ordered Mr. Ramos to amend his petition to set forth such dates with specificity. Pursuant to the trial court's order, Mr. Ramos filed an amending petition.

         The defendants filed an exception of prescription, arguing that, on the face of the petition, Mr. Ramos' claims were prescribed. Mr. Ramos filed an opposition to the exception, arguing that, because the defendants had acted under "color of landlord authority," he had been unaware of his legal rights and, thus, prescription was interrupted. At the hearing on the exception, the parties stipulated that Mr. Ramos' colloquy with the trial court would be received as testimony. Mr. Ramos also offered as an exhibit a demand letter he sent to the defendants on September 30, 2016. Following the hearing, the trial court sustained the exception of prescription and dismissed all of Mr. Ramos' claims against the defendants. This appeal followed.

         DISCUSSION

         A party asserting that a claim is prescribed must do so through the filing of a peremptory exception of prescription.[1] In Ames v. Ohle, 11-1540, pp. 5-6 (La.App. 4 Cir. 5/23/12), 97 So.3d 386, 390-91, this court set forth the standard of review for such exceptions as follows:

Ordinarily, a party asserting a peremptory exception of prescription bears the burden of proof. Trust for Melba Margaret Schwegmann v. Schwegmann, 09-968, p. 8 (La.App. 5 Cir. 9/14/10), 51 So.3d 737, 742. However, if prescription is evident from the face of the pleadings, the plaintiff will bear the burden of showing an action has not prescribed. Id. If evidence is introduced at the hearing on the peremptory exception of prescription, the district court's findings of fact are reviewed under the manifest error-clearly wrong standard of review. Rando v. Anco Insulations, Inc., 08-1163, p. 20 (La. 5/22/09), 16 So.3d 1065, 1082. If there is as an absence of evidence, the exception of the prescription must be decided upon the properly pleaded material allegations of fact asserted in the petition, and those alleged facts are accepted as true. Trust for Melba Margaret Schwegmann, 51 So.3d at 742. Further, in reviewing a peremptory exception of prescription, appellate courts strictly construe the statutes against prescription and in favor of the claim. Id. Of the possible constructions of a prescriptive or preemptive statute, the one that maintains enforcement of the claim or action, rather than the one that bars enforcement should be adopted. Rando, 16 So.3d at 1083.

         In sustaining the defendants' exception of prescription, the trial court found that Mr. Ramos' claims were prescribed on the face of the petition and that there had been no interruption of prescription. Although Mr. Ramos assigns numerous errors, this appeal presents essentially two issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred in determining that Mr. Ramos' claims are prescribed on the face of the petition; and (2) if so, whether the trial court committed manifest error in determining that prescription was not interrupted. We address each issue in turn.

         Prescription

         In determining whether an exception of prescription has merit, the nature of the cause of action must first be identified. Albe v. City of New Orleans, 14-0186, p. 8 (La.App. 4 Cir. 9/17/14), 150 So.3d 361, 367 (citing Ames, 11-1540, at p. 6, 97 So.3d at 391). "The character of an action disclosed in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.