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Succession of Dedais

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 10, 2019

SUCCESSION OF JOSEPH ERNEST DEDAIS

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-10550, DIVISION "I" Honorable Piper D. Griffin, Judge

          Jack M. Alltmont Stephanie G. Gamble SESSIONS FISHMAN NATHAN & ISRAEL, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SONJA DEDAIS

          Court composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods

          TERRI F. LOVE JUDGE.

         This appeal arises from a dispute between two sisters regarding a petition for partition of succession property. The trial court granted the petition for partition and the opposing sister sought an appeal. However, after the trial court granted the petition for partition, the property was sold. We find that the appeal of the petition for partition is moot, as the property was sold since the trial court ruled. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Samantha Dedais Mitchell Bass and Sonja Marie Dedais, twin sisters, disagreed about the sale of the former community property family home located at 5219 Constance Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Samantha was appointed as the administratrix of their father's succession on November 3, 2017.[1] Samantha then filed a Petition for Partition of Succession Property and Application to Sell at Private Sale. Samantha, Sonja, and Flag Boy Properties, LLC ("FBP") were the stakeholders in the property.[2]

         Sonja opposed the partition and filed a Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order, seeking thirty days to purchase the property. Sonja's request for a TRO was denied. The trial court subsequently granted Samantha's Petition for Partition, providing, in pertinent part:

IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that that Petition for Partition of Succession Property and Application to Sell at Private Sale filed by Samantha Maria Dedais Mitchell on December 15, 2017 is herein GRANTED giving her the authority to sell the immovable property located at 5219 Constance Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115.

         Sonja filed a Motion for Suspensive Appeal and for expedited supervisory review/stay of the trial court's judgment granting Samantha the authority to sell. The trial court set the suspensive appeal bond at $280, 000. This Court denied Sonja's request for a stay and for supervisory review. Succession of Joseph E. Dedais, unpub., 18-0597 (La.App. 4 Cir. 7/16/18). Sonja filed a motion to reduce the suspensive appeal bond, contending that the amount of the bond was excessive. Sonja also requested that the trial court order the Clerk of Court to hold her fifty percent interest in the succession as the bond. The trial court held as follows, in pertinent part:

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the Motion to Reduce Security and Motion for Expedited Hearing filed by Sonja Marie Dedais on July 18, 2018 is herein granted in part and denied in part. The security bond is hereby reduced to Two Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Dollars ($275, 000.00). The deadline to post security is extended Forty-Eight (48) hours until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018.

         Sonja did not perfect the suspensive appeal bond, but a devolutive appeal followed.[3]

         In her original appellant's brief, Sonja asserted that the trial court erroneously granted Samantha's Petition for Partition because: (1) the purchase agreement was not attached, (2) Samantha did not prove that she published the notice of intent to sell succession property, (3) Samantha did not allege or prove that the purchase agreement was signed within thirty days of the filing of the "Petition to Sell", (4) Samantha did not prove that $275, 000 was a fair and reasonable price, (5) Samantha did not give her a reasonable opportunity to purchase the property at a higher price, and (6) Sonja was not afforded a hearing or opportunity to present evidence. Prior to examining Sonja's assignments of error, we must address a jurisdictional issue.

         RULE ...


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