United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.
DRELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the court is an unopposed motion for summary judgment filed
by Leroy David Seaux in his capacity as trustee of the Leroy
Seaux Living Trust. (Doc. 32). For the reasons set forth
below, the motion for summary judgment is
"shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute of material fact is genuine if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). We consider
"all evidence in the light most favorable to the party
resisting the motion." Seacor Holdings, Inc. v.
Commonwealth Ins. Co., 635 F.3d 675, 680 (5th Cir. 2011)
(internal quotations omitted). It is important to note that
the standard for summary judgment is two-fold: (1) there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and (2) the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
movant has the burden of pointing to evidence proving there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, or the absence
of evidence supporting the nonmoving party's case.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 325
(1986). The burden shifts to the nonmoving party to come
forward with evidence which demonstrates the essential
elements of his claim. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at
250. The nonmoving party must establish the existence of a
genuine dispute of material fact for trial by showing the
evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to him, is
sufficient to enable a reasonable jury to render a verdict in
his favor. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325; Duffy v.
Leading Edge Prods., Inc., 44 F.3d 308, 312 (5th Cir.
1995). A party whose claims are challenged by a motion for
summary judgment may not rest on the allegations of the
complaint and must articulate specific factual allegations
which meet his burden of proof. Duffy, 44 F.2d at
312. "[C]onclusory allegations unsupported by concrete
and particular facts will not prevent an award of summary
judgment." Id. (citing Anderson, 477
U.S. at 247).
instant case, there is no opposition to the motion for
summary judgment; however, this does not relieve the movant
from coming forward with sufficient evidence supporting his
motion. The allegations of the motion are that Leroy David
Seaux, as trustee for the Leroy Seaux Living Trust
("Living Trust"), should be dismissed as neither
he, as the current trustee, nor the Living Trust, as owner,
had the duty to maintain, repair, or inspect the property
rented by the plaintiff at 2254 Paris Street in Alexandria,
Louisiana. However, the evidence provided in support of his
motion fails to establish most of the facts alleged therein.
to the motion are the affidavit of Leroy David Seaux and a
portion of the Living Trust agreement. The affidavit provides
(1) Mr. Seaux, the affiant, is the son of Leroy Seaux who
passed away June 25, 2017; (2) Leroy Seaux established the
Living Trust on May 16, 2012, and placed property he owned at
2254 Paris Street in Alexandria, Louisiana in the Living
Trust; and (3) Leroy Seaux, "retained full and complete
custody and management and maintenance duties" of that
property, as shown by the Living Trust agreement. (Doc. 32-3,
portions of the Living Trust agreement provided to the court
include the table of contents and the section setting forth
the trustee's power to manage trust property. No other
portions of the trust document are included. Thus, the court
lacks a full understanding of the establishment and operation
of the Living Trust. Without a complete document, the court
cannot definitively ascertain: Leroy Seaux was in fact the
appointed trustee; Leroy David Seaux succeeded his father as
such after his death; who the naked owner and/or usufructuary
of the property were and are; or whether the terms of the
Trust changed in any way following the death of Leroy Seaux.
Without answers to these questions, the court certainly
cannot establish that Leroy David Seaux, as successor
trustee, does not owe a duty to Katie Earnest for injuries
she sustained when she fell through the floor of the home she
rented at 2252 Paris Street in Alexandria, Louisiana.
the motion for summary judgment will be denied. The Court
will issue a ...