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.

In re River Street Ventures, L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

January 30, 2019

IN RE: RIVER STREET VENTURES, L.L.C.

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 776-813, DIVISION "O" HONORABLE DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, RIVER STREET VENTURES, L.L.C. Richard R. Schulze

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, RICK ESPADRON LOMBARD Donald C. Douglas, Jr. Robert G. Harvey, Sr.

          Panel composed of Judges Robert A. Chaisson, Stephen J. Windhorst, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE

         Appellant, Rick Espadron Lombard, appeals the trial court's December 1, 2017 judgment granting an application for writ of quo warranto regarding the membership in a limited liability company, and the trial court's denial of appellant's motion for new trial. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse the trial court's denial of appellant's motion for new trial and the December 1, 2017 judgment, grant appellant's motion for new trial, and remand for further proceedings.

         Procedural History and Facts

         On October 13, 2017, appellee, River Street Ventures, LLC, filed an application for writ of quo warranto contending that appellant "is not and has never been a member of River Street Ventures." Appellee requested that a writ of quo warranto be directed to appellant to show by what authority he claimed to be an agent and/or member of River Street Ventures. Appellee further requested the trial court grant judgment in its favor declaring that: (1) appellant does not have any legal right to claim the position of an agent, officer, and/or member of River Street Ventures and prohibit appellant from claiming or exercising any right, power, privilege, or authority of said positions; and (2) Mike Ambrosio, Philip Spiegleman, and Craig Studnicky are the sole managers of River Street Ventures. The quo warranto evidentiary hearing was set for November 30, 2017 (hereafter the "quo warranto hearing").

         Appellee filed a motion and order to appoint special process server after the sheriff was unable to serve appellant, which was granted by the trial court. On November 16, 2017, an affidavit of service of process was filed into the record showing that appellant was personally served with the application for writ of quo warranto and the writ of quo warranto on November 8, 2017. Appellant did not file any responsive pleadings or affirmative defenses to the application for writ of quo warranto.

         On November 30, 2017, appellant did not appear, and counsel for appellee proceeded with the quo warranto hearing. After considering the testimony and evidence, the trial court granted appellee's application for writ of quo warranto. The judgment was signed December 1, 2017.

         Appellant filed a timely motion for new trial contending: (1) he was not served with the order setting the quo warranto hearing date; (2) the hearing date was held in violation of the time delays set by law for a writ of quo warranto; and (3) the judgment was obtained as a result of ill practices. At the hearing on the motion for new trial (hereafter "new trial hearing"), counsel for appellant conceded that appellant received service of the quo warranto hearing date and that service was not an issue.[1] However, counsel for appellant argued that the judgment was obtained by "ill practice" and should be set aside. Appellant contended that there was a pending writ of mandamus suit in Civil District Court in Orleans Parish filed by appellant against appellee addressing the same issue, i.e., appellant's status as a member of River Street Ventures. He argued that counsel for appellee had full knowledge of the pending litigation in Orleans Parish as he filed exceptions in the writ of mandamus proceeding, including an exception of improper venue, issued discovery to appellant, and participated in a conference in that court. Counsel for appellant contended that he should have been notified of this proceeding and that counsel for appellee should have informed the court of the pending parallel proceeding in Civil District Court. He further argued that this case is similar to Power Mktg. Direct, Inc. v. Foster, 05-2023 (La. 09/06/06), 938 So.2d 662, wherein the Louisiana Supreme Court found that although there was notice on the defendant, grounds for ill practice under La. C.C.P. art. 2004 existed and the judgment was set aside. Counsel for appellant argued that it would be unconscionable to allow the judgment to stand when he did not have the opportunity to present defenses on behalf of appellant.

         The trial court denied appellant's motion for new trial finding appellant was personally served and received actual notice of the quo warranto hearing date, and therefore he was not prevented from appearing at that hearing, nor was he deprived of his legal rights. This appeal followed.

         Applicable Law

         A writ of quo warranto directs an individual to show by what authority he claims or holds public office, or office in a corporation or limited liability company, or directing a corporation or limited liability company to show by what authority it exercises certain powers. La. C.C.P. art. 3901.

         A new trial may be granted in any case if there is good ground therefor, except as otherwise ...


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.