Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Trial Court No.
666, 254 Honorable Timothy E. Kelley, Judge Presiding
Cynthia N. Reed Baton Rouge, LA Attorney for Plaintiff
-Appellant, Leona Allen
William T. Lowrey, Jr. Shannon M. Fay Baton Rouge, LA
Attorneys for Defendant -Appellee, Kanita Edmond
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.
Leona Allen, filed a petition seeking to annul an inter
vivos donation of immovable property executed by her
95-year-old father, Laurence E. Hall, in favor of defendant,
Kanita Edmond, based on lack of capacity and undue influence.
In her petition, Mrs. Allen also sought a temporary and
permanent injunction enjoining Mrs. Edmond from proceeding
with the execution of the donation and eviction of Mrs, Allen
from the immovable property. Mrs. Allen now appeals from the
adverse judgment of the trial court dismissing her petition
and denying all injunctive relief.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
April 14, 2000, Mr. Hall and his wife Ora Mae Azard Hall,
purchased a home located at 10723 Timberlane
Avenue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mrs. Edmond was
Mrs. Hall's niece, and, as a child, she visited the Halls
at their home. In 2006, Mrs, Hall died, and at that point,
Mrs. Edmond's visits with Mr. Hall decreased
significantly. Around 2008, when Mrs. Edmond was sixteen, all
contact between Mrs. Edmond and Mr. Hall ceased until 2017.
Hall remained in the Timberlane home until December 2016,
when after suffering with a urinary tract infection,
dehydration, and acute kidney failure, he moved to the
Louisiana War Veterans Home in Jackson, Louisiana. Near the
end of March 2017, almost ten years after her last
communication with Mr. Hall, Mrs. Edmond telephoned Mr. Hall
at the veterans' home. Mrs. Edmond later claimed that
during their phone conversation, Mr. Hall told her that he
wanted to bless her family with the Timberlane home.
Mrs. Edmond compiled all the necessary paperwork and paid all
the necessary fees for Mr. Hall to execute an inter
vivos donation of the Timberlane home to her. On April
4, 2017, Mrs. Edmond and her husband picked Mr. Hall up from
the veterans' home and brought him to the office of James
Field, who had already prepared the donation at Mrs.
Edmond's request. On that day, Mr. Hall signed in
authentic form an "Act of Donation" donating the
Timberlane home to Mrs. Edmond. A couple of months later, on
June 16, 2017, Mr. Hall died.
February 8, 2018, Mrs. Allen filed a petition for injunction
and petition to annul the inter vivos donation
executed by Mr. Hall in favor of Mrs. Edmond. Specifically,
Mrs. Allen contended that, at the time of the inter
vivos donation, Mr. Hall was not of sound mind and was
unduly influenced by Mrs. Edmond, Mrs. Edmond answered Mrs.
Allen's petition, and the matter came before the court
for a trial May 10, 2018. After Mrs. Allen presented her case
in chief, Mrs. Edmond's attorney made a motion for an
involuntary dismissal, which the trial court granted. The
trial court found that Mrs. Allen did not meet her burden of
proving that Mr. Hall lacked capacity to execute the
inter vivos donation or that Mrs. Edmond unduly
influenced Mr. Hall into executing the inter vivos
on May 30, 2018, the trial court signed a judgment in favor
of Mrs. Edmond and against Mrs. Allen, denying all injunctive
relief sought and dismissing Mrs. Allen's petition for
injunction and petition to annul the inter vivos
donation. It is from this judgment that Mrs. Allen appeals,
contending that the trial court erred: (1) in granting
judgment in favor of Mrs. Edmond; (2) in not considering the
negligent acts of the notary; and (3) in only considering a
portion of Mr. Hall's medical records submitted by Mrs.
OF CAPACITY AND UNDUE INFLUENCE
first assignment of error, Mrs. Allen contends that the trial
court erred in granting judgment in favor of Mrs. Edmond.
Specifically, she contends that the trial court erred in
finding that she did not meet her burden of proving that Mr.
Hall lacked capacity to execute the inter vivos