APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 668-201, DIVISION
"N" HONORABLE STEPHEN D. ENRIGHT, JR., JUDGE
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, NEW ERA DEVELOPEMENT
CORPORATION Christopher J. Davidson John A. E. Davidson
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SONIYA DUMAS ROBERT Michelle
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Marc E. Johnson, and
Robert A. Chaisson
M. CHEHARDY, CHIEF JUDGE.
appeal, Soniya Dumas Robert, individually and in her capacity
as the administratrix of the Succession of Joseph Farley
Dumas, Sr., challenges the trial court's ruling in favor
of New Era Development Corporation and Tuan and Tina Dinh,
dismissing her claims of fraud and damages. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural History
the third appeal in this case, which has a long procedural
history. The undisputed facts are that Joseph
Farley Dumas, Sr. died intestate on October 27, 2007, leaving
two children: Joseph Farley Dumas, Jr. ("Junior
Dumas") and Soniya Dumas Robert ("Ms.
Robert"). At the time of his death, Mr. Dumas, Sr. owned
a piece of immovable property in Jefferson
16, 2008, prior to the opening of his father's succession
and while fraudulently representing himself to be Joseph Dumas,
Sr., Junior Dumas executed a cash sale of this property to
Tina and Tuan Dinh ("the Dinhs") at the office of
Southern Title, Inc. Shortly thereafter, the Dinhs learned that
Junior Dumas had fraudulently represented himself to be
Joseph Dumas, Sr. and alerted Southern Title.
18, 2008, at the offices of Southern Title,  Tina and Tuan
Dinh executed a Quitclaim Deed in favor of New Era
Development Corporation ("New Era") in exchange for
$38, 881.50. On July 23, 2008, Ms. Robert opened her
father's succession proceedings and was appointed
January 3, 2009, New Era filed a petition for partition by
licitation seeking a judicial sale of the Martin Street
property, claiming that it had a one-half interest in that
property. In response, Ms. Robert, in her capacity as
administratrix of the succession, filed exceptions and a
general answer to the allegations as well as a reconventional
and third party demand against New Era, Southern Title,
Joseph Farley Dumas, Jr., and Tina and Tuan Dinh. In its
reconventional and third party demand, the succession sought
to have both the sale of the property from Junior Dumas to
the Dinhs and the Quitclaim Deed executed by the Dinhs to New
Era declared absolute nullities and ownership of the property
returned to the succession. Further, the succession
administratrix sought attorney fees and damages based on the
third-party defendants' acts of bad faith and negligence.
September of 2011, the succession moved for summary judgment,
on the basis that both the May 16, 2008 sale of property and
the July 18, 2008 Quitclaim Deed were absolute nullities.
After a hearing, the trial judge granted summary judgment in
favor of the succession, and dismissed New Era's petition
for partition with prejudice. When New Era appealed that
judgment, this Court affirmed the trial court's grant of
summary judgment that both 2008 transactions of the Martin
Drive property were absolute nullities. See New Era Dev.
Corp. v. Robert, 12-304 (La.App. 5 Cir. 11/13/12), 105
So.3d 889. That judgment is now final.
on June 3, 2013, Ms. Robert moved to set the succession's
reconventional and third-party demands for trial. In
response, New Era filed a first supplemental and amended
petition naming Junior Dumas as a defendant seeking damages
and "return of sums not due." On March 21, 2014,
Ms. Robert filed her "first supplemental and amended
answer, reconventional demand, and third party demand"
seeking damages for the actions of New Era and Southern Title
through their agent, David J. Bourgeois, alleging that they
intentionally conspired to fraudulently convert one-half of
the succession's interest in the Martin Drive property.
On August 7, 2014, Ms. Robert dismissed her claims against
Southern Title. Shortly thereafter, Southern Title dismissed
its pending appeal of a judgment in favor of Ms. Robert and
November 25, 2014, Ms. Robert again moved to set the
succession's remaining claims against New Era, the Dinhs,
and Junior Dumas for trial. In response, New Era filed an
exception of no right of action on the basis that Ms. Robert
did not have standing as a succession representative to
assert a claim for intentional infliction of emotional
distress. The trial court granted New Era's exception and
allowed Ms. Robert time within which to amend her petition.
Meanwhile, on December 12, 2014, Ms. Robert moved for and was
granted a preliminary default against Junior
March 24, 2015, Ms. Robert, in her individual capacity, filed
a "second supplemental and amended answer,
reconventional demand, and third party demand" naming
New Era as defendant. In her demand, Ms. Robert sought
damages for the emotional distress she suffered from New
Era's conspiracy to convert succession property, as well
as attorney fees and costs.
20, 2017, New Era obtained a preliminary default judgment
against defendant, Junior Dumas. The default judgment, in the
sum of $37, 572.00, ...