FROM FIRST CITY COURT OF NEW ORLEANS NO. 2016-05893, SECTION
"A" Honorable Monique G. Morial, Judge
A. Gerdes, Jr. ATTORNEY AT LAW COUNSEL FOR
Michael Royce Sistrunk Heather M. Nagel McCRANIE, SISTRUNK,
ANZELMO, HARDY, McDANIEL & WELCH, PC COUNSEL FOR
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Daniel L.
Dysart, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods
matter arising from a slip and fall incident in a food store,
Appellant appeals the trial court's judgment granting
summary judgment. Although the trial court, at the conclusion
of the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, pronounced
"[m]otion for [s]ummary [j]udgment granted," the
trial court failed to memorialize its judgment in writing.
Instead, the trial court produced written reasons for
judgment. Without a valid final judgment, this Court lacks
jurisdiction to exercise appellate review, and we decline to
exercise supervisory review. Accordingly, this appeal is
dismissed without prejudice and remanded.
March 3, 2016, Plaintiff-Appellant Renell Carter
("Appellant") entered Quicky's Discount
("the store") to purchase food. Before making her
selections, Appellant proceeded to the restroom located in
the back of the store. According to Appellant, she was
"walking and talking" and slid and
on a gray plastic garbage can lid that was in the aisle.
Defendant-Appellee Ameer, LLC et al ("Appellee")
argues that the garbage can lid presented
an open and obvious risk that Appellant would have noticed
had she been paying attention. When deposed, Appellant
conceded that had she "been looking," she would
have noticed the garbage can lid. In her subsequent
affidavit, Appellant explained that her "eyes were
straight forward and not down toward the floor [so she] did
not see a gray garbage can" lid on the floor.
August 22, 2016, Appellant filed a petition for damages in
First City Court, Parish of Orleans ("trial
court"). On July 13, 2017, Appellees filed a motion for
summary judgment, which was heard by the trial court on
September 21, 2017. The trial court granted summary judgment.
On September 25, 2017, the trial court issued its written
reasons for judgment. Appellant appealed.
raises a number of assignments of error, which address
whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment.
However, before this Court considers the merits of this
appeal, we must determine sua sponte whether
"jurisdiction has been properly invoked by a valid final
judgment." Moon v. City of New
Orleans, 2015-1092, p. 5 (La.App. 4 Cir. 3/16/16), 190
So.3d 422, 425. Pursuant to La. C.C.P. art. 1911 "every
final judgment shall contain the typewritten or printed name
of the judge and be signed by the judge," and "no
appeal may be taken from a final judgment until the
requirement of this Article has been fulfilled." Thus, a
final judgment must be reduced to writing. Moreover, this
Court has stated that "an appellate court reviews
written judgments ..." Two Canal St. Inv'rs,
Inc. v. New Orleans Bldg. Corp., 2016-0825, (La.App. 4
Cir. 9/23/16), 202 So.3d 1003, 1008.
addition to being written, a final judgment must contain
decretal language, which "officially states
('decrees') what the court is ordering and generally
starts with the formula 'It is hereby ordered, adjudged,
and decreed that ....'" Lewis v. B-3 Prop.,
2018-0428, p. 3 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/24/18), 258 So.3d 107,
109. Further, "[t]o comply with the decretal language
requirement, a judgment must contain the following three
elements: (i) it "must name the party in favor of whom
the ruling is ordered"; (ii) it must name "the
party against whom the ruling is ordered"; and (iii) it
must state "the relief that is granted or denied."
Court further stated that "[i]n addition to requiring
that a judgment be precise, definite, and certain, the
jurisprudence has required that a valid final judgment be
self-contained; stated otherwise, "[o]ne must be able to
determine from the judgment itself-without any reference to
an extrinsic source-the specific relief granted."
Id. at 2. An extrinsic source, such as "written
reasons for judgment, do not form part of the judgment, . . .
and as such, we do not refer to reasons for judgment in
determining whether a judgment is final." Orozco v.
Aries Bldg. Sys., Inc., 2017-0656, p. 5 (La.App. 4 Cir.
1/24/18), --- So.3d ---. Finally, the Louisiana Supreme Court
has pronounced that "the job of the ...