CENTRAL ST. MATTHEW UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
DALE ATKINS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS RECORDER OF MORTGAGES FOR THE PARISH OF ORLEANS, KEEPING OUR LEGACY ALIVE, INC., AND ERNEST JONES
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2018-03498,
DIVISION "L-6" Honorable Kern A. Reese, Judge
Vincent James Booth BOOTH & BOOTH, APLC COUNSEL FOR
L. Jones COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Daniel L. Dysart,
Judge Paula A. Brown
L. DYSART JUDGE
an appeal of a trial court judgment granting a petition for a
writ of mandamus in favor of plaintiff-appellee, Central St.
Matthew United Church of Christ ("CSM") and
ordering that the Clerk of Court for the Parish of Orleans
remove a notice of lis pendens. For the reasons that follow,
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
non-profit religious organization, was named as a defendant
in a declaratory judgment action filed on May 23, 2017 by
Keeping Our Legacy Alive, Inc.
("KOLA"). That action was the subject of a prior
decision of this Court. In Keeping Our Legacy Alive, Inc.
v. Cent. St. Matthew United Church of Christ, 17-1060
(La.App. 4 Cir. 10/31/18), 2018 WL 5660143, ___So.3d___
(hereafter, "KOLA I"), the following
factual background was set forth:
In the spring of 2005, Central Congregational United Church
("Central") entered into a rental agreement with
St. Matthew United Church of Christ ("St.
Matthews") to temporarily hold church services in a
chapel at St. Matthew while Central's church building was
undergoing repairs. At that time, Central owned the church
building at 2401 Bienville Street, as well as several
adjacent properties on Bienville Street, North Tonti Street,
and Conti Street. St. Matthew owned a church on South
Until August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall,
the members of Central worshipped as their own congregation
in the chapel leased from St. Matthew. But as a result of the
impact from Hurricane Katrina, Central's congregation was
disbursed and fewer members gathered to worship at the
chapel. In October 2005, members of Central began to worship
with the congregation of St. Matthew.
In September 2007, Central and St. Matthew entered into a
"covenant" agreement to worship together as two
congregations. By a second "covenant" agreement,
Central and St. Matthew agreed to unify their congregations
but maintain separate ownership of church properties.
In January 2010, Central and St. Matthew filed Articles of
Incorporation with the Louisiana Secretary of State to create
CSM, a nonprofit religious corporation. In October 2014, CSM
filed Articles of Merger with the Louisiana Secretary of
State to officially unite and merge Central and St. Matthew
into the surviving corporation of CSM.
The Articles of Merger included the following provision:
At and after the Effective Time, all rights and ownership of
the assets of St. Matthew and Central Congregational shall
vest in CSM as the Surviving Corporation and CSM shall
possess all the rights, privileges, immunities, powers and
purposes of St. Matthew and Central Congregational, pursuant
to La. R.S. 12:246.C and 12: 246.D.
The Articles of Merger listed the assets affected by the
merger, including the church building at 2401 Bienville
In December 2015, the Governing Council of CSM voted to sell
the Bienville Street property. In January 2016, in response
to CSM's vote to sell the property, a group of
"pre-Katrina members of Central" organized and
filed Articles of Incorporation to create KOLA, for the