FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2018-03460,
DIVISION "F" Honorable Christopher J. Bruno, Judge.
Vincent J. DeSalvo LAW OFFICE OF VINCENT J. DESALVO, COUNSEL
E. Truitt Peter M. Gahagan Lou Anne Milliman Michelle Mayne
Davis Nancy N. Butcher Thomas Adair THE TRUITT LAW FIRM, Jeff
Landry Attorney General Lance S. Guest Assistant Attorney
General Louisiana Department of Justice, COUNSEL FOR
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Joy
Cossich Lobrano, Judge Paula A. Brown.
Cossich Lobrano Judge.
motor vehicle accident case, appellants, Crystal Reed and
Tanesha Hardy, appeal the June 29, 2018 judgment of the
district court granting the exception of improper venue filed
by appellees, the State of Louisiana, through its Department
of Public Safety and Corrections, and Dinerra Cotton, and
dismissing appellants' lawsuit without prejudice. The
district court determined that the only proper venue for this
litigation, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, La.
R.S. 15:1181 et seq., was East Baton Rouge Parish,
where appellants were housed as inmates at the Louisiana
Correctional Institute for Women during the time of the
accident at issue this case.
the district court rendered judgment, appellants filed a
motion for new trial on July 5, 2018. The district court
denied the motion for new trial in its judgment dated August
24, 2018. On October 1, 2018, appellants filed a motion for
devolutive appeal, which the district court granted in an
order dated October 11, 2018. For the following reasons, we
dismiss the appeal.
appeal arises from an adverse ruling on venue. An adverse
ruling on venue is interlocutory in nature. Blow v.
OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co., 2016-0301, p. 2 (La.App. 4 Cir.
4/20/16), 193 So.3d 244, 247 (citing Land v.
Vidrine, 2010-1342, p. 5 (La. 3/15/11), 62 So.3d 36, 39;
Savoie v. Rubin, 2001-3275, 2001-3276, p. 3 (La.
6/21/02), 820 So.2d 486, 488). To obtain review of the
ruling, the adversely affected party must timely apply for
supervisory writs. Id., 2016-0301, pp. 2-3, 193
So.3d at 247. "The party may not await the rendition of
a final judgment which adjudicates all issues as to all
parties and then request appellate review as is otherwise
available with respect to other interlocutory rulings."
Id., 2016-0301, p. 3, 193 So.3d at 247.
4-3 of the Uniform Rules-Courts of Appeal allows 30 days from
the date of the ruling to file an application for supervisory
writs. This Court has "exercised its discretion to
convert an appeal of a non-appealable judgment into an
application for supervisory writs" where both of the
following circumstances occur:
(i) The motion for appeal has been filed within the
thirty-day time period allowed for the filing of an
application for supervisory writs under Rule 4-3 of the
Uniform Rules, Courts of Appeal.
(ii) When the circumstances indicate that an immediate
decision of the issue sought to be appealed is necessary to
ensure fundamental fairness and judicial efficiency, such as
where reversal of the trial court's decision would
terminate the litigation.
Lee v. Sapp, 2017-0490, pp. 4-5 (La.App. 4 Cir.
12/6/17), 234 So.3d 122, 126 (citing Mandina, Inc. v.
O'Brien, 2013-0085, pp. 7-8 (La.App. 4 Cir.
7/31/13), 156 So.3d 99, 104; Delahoussaye v. Tulane Univ.
Hosp. and Clinic, 2012-0906, 2012-0907, pp. 4-5 (La.App.
4 Cir. 2/20/13), 155 So.3d 560, 563).
motions for new trial only apply to final judgments.
Daniels v. SMG Crystal, LLC, 2013-0761, p. 9
(La.App. 4 Cir. 12/4/13), 128 So.3d 1272, 1277. "[T]he
filing of a motion for new trial seeking reconsideration of
an interlocutory judgment cannot interrupt the 30-day period
for filing an application for supervisory writs established
by Rule 4-3 of the Uniform Rules-Courts of Appeal."
Whitney Nat'l Bank v. Landrieu, 2018-0357, p. 4
(La.App. 4 Cir. 6/27/18), 250 So.3d 322, 324 (quoting
Carter v. Rhea, 2001-0234, p. 5 (La.App. 4 Cir.
4/25/01), 785 So.2d 1022, 1025). "Thus, 'while [a]
motion for appeal could be construed to be a notice of intent
to seek supervisory writs, it could not be construed as a
timely one where it was filed more than thirty days from the
court's ruling.'" Dearmon v. St. Ann
Lodging, L.L.C., 2018-0377, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir.
9/7/18), 255 So.3d 635, 638 (citations omitted)("the
motion [for appeal] was filed untimely for a writ
application, and if we allowed the conversion, the writ
application would be dismissed because of
matter, the judgment and notice of judgment are dated June
29, 2018. The motion for appeal was not filed until October
1, 2018. The June 29, 2018 judgment is not a final,
appealable judgment. The proper procedural device to seek
review of a judgment granting or denying an exception of
improper venue is an application for supervisory writs. The
motion for new trial cannot interrupt the 30-day period for
filing an application for supervisory writs. The motion for
appeal was not filed within the 30-day time period for filing
an application for ...