DIEUDONNE ENTERPRISES, INC.
BELAH RICHARD SLADE, DBA RICHARD SLADE CONSTRUCTION AND RICHARD SLADE, LLC
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 715-641, DIVISION
"F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, DIEUDONNE ENTERPRISES, INC.
Steven J. Rando Gerald Wasserman
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, BELAH RICHARD SLADE, DBA
RICHARD SLADE CONSTRUCTION AND RICHARD SLADE, LLC Willard O.
"Trey" Lape, III
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G.
Gravois, and Stephen J. Windhorst
STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE
Belah Richard Slade and Richard Slade, LLC d/b/a Richard
Slade Construction, appeal the trial court's March 28,
2018 judgment denying the motion for new trial. For the
reasons that follow, we find this Court lacks appellate
jurisdiction to consider the merits of appellants'
and Procedural History
6 2012, appellee/plaintiff, Dieudonne Enterprises, Inc.,
filed a "Petition for Damages, Breach of Contract, Civil
Conversion, Fraud, and Attorney Fees" against
appellants, Belah Richard Slade d/b/a Richard Slade
Construction and Richard Slade, LLC. The petition alleged
that appellants wrongfully converted $73, 500.00 in deposits
made by appellee to appellants regarding an Atmos Entergy
construction project at 101 Airline Highway, in Metairie,
commencing in January 2011. The petition asserted claims
against appellants for unjust enrichment, conversion, breach
of contract, open account, and civil fraud. On July 2, 2012,
Richard Slade LLC d/b/a Richard Slade Construction filed an
answer and exceptions of no right and no cause of action as
to Belah Richard Slade, individually. In response, appellee
filed a motion to strike the exceptions. On September 20,
2012, counsel for Richard Slade LLC d/b/a Richard Slade
Construction withdrew the exceptions of no right and no cause
of action, rendering appellee's motion to strike moot.
The trial court ordered counsel to file an answer within ten
days on behalf of Mr. Slade, individually, which was filed by
counsel on September 24, 2012.
February 26, 2013, the parties entered into a consent
judgment (hereinafter "2013 Consent Judgment"). The
2013 Consent Judgment provided, in pertinent part:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED
that there be judgment rendered herein in favor of plaintiff,
Dieudonne Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $40, 00.00,
forty-thousand dollars ($40, 000.00), inclusive of all claims
set forth in case number 715-641, Div. "F."
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED
that in the event this $40, 000.00 is not paid in full within
nine months of the signing of this consent judgment, this
judgment will accellerate [sic] to $50, 000.00 payable on or
before the twelve month anniversary of the signing of this
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED
that in the event said consent judgment is not paid in full
on or before the twenty four month anniversary of this
consent judgment, the unpaid principal balance will
double and continue to double on each anniversary of this
consent judgment thereafter until paid in full. (Emphasis
February 27, 2018, five years after the 2013 Consent
Judgment, appellants filed a motion for new trial contending:
(1) the motion for new trial was timely under La. C.C.P. art.
1974 because the notice of judgment was never mailed by the
clerk of court to counsel for appellants under La. C.C.P.
art. 1913; and (2) the "doubling" provision amounts
to prohibited usurious interest under La. R.S. 9:3500, et
seq.,  rendering the consent judgment an absolute
nullity. In the motion, appellants stated that Mr. Slade made
the first payment in the amount of $15, 000.00 on March 12,
2014. Appellants contended that on August 27, 2014, counsel
for appellee sent a letter stating that appellants now owed
appellee $50, 000.00 plus thirty-five percent (35%)
attorney's fees, less a credit for his one $15, 000.00
payment. Appellants claimed that additional discussions were
held with appellee over the course of several months about
appellants paying off the judgment. Appellants contended that
two more checks for $15, 000.00 each, totaling $30, 000.00
were delivered to appellee. Appellants argued that $45,
000.00 has been paid towards the judgment. In the motion,
appellants contended that according to appellee, they
currently owed appellee $320, 000.00 exclusive of
attorney's fees, judicial interest, and costs. Based on
the alleged usurious term of the consent judgment, appellants
requested that the motion for new trial be granted for
re-argument only with respect to the "doubling"
provision of the consent judgment under La. R.S. 9:3500,
et seq., or alternatively requested the trial court
to grant the motion for new trial.
filed an opposition to the motion for new trial arguing: (1)
that a party to a consent judgment cannot directly appeal the
judgment; rather the party must first invalidate his consent;
(2) since there is no appeal from a consent judgment, the
clerk of court was not obligated to issue notices of judgment
to initiate delays for a motion for new trial or appeal; (3)
motion for new trial is not applicable because there was no
trial or considered decree; and (4) even if motion for new
trial is procedurally ...