Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Blanche v. Varner

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 22, 2019

SANDRA B. BLANCHE Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
BILLY VARNER - SHELTER DIRECTOR Defendant-Appellee

          Appealed from the Monroe City Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2018CV01998 Honorable Jefferson Bryan Joyce, Judge

          SANDRA B. BLANCHE In Proper Person Appellant

          BRADLEY S. BOURGEOIS Counsel for Appellee

          Before WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and STEPHENS, JJ.

          STEPHENS, J.

         Sandra B. Blanche appeals a judgment by the Monroe City Court, Parish of Ouachita, State of Louisiana, granting the exception of no cause of action filed by the defendant, Billy Varner in his capacity as director of the DeSiard Street Homeless Shelter. Sandra Blanche, appearing in proper person, appeals the trial court's judgment, which we affirm for the following reasons.

         DISCUSSION

         Blanche filed suit against Billy Varner in his capacity as the shelter director of the DeSiard Street Homeless Shelter. In her sole allegation against Varner, Blanche claimed she was turned away from the shelter on Friday, June 8, 2018. According to Blanche, a homeless female, she had no place to stay for shelter. Blanche alleged she was given no reason as to why she was not allowed to stay at this homeless shelter, but she was assigned work duty. In her petition, Blanche sought damages in the amount of $5, 000.00.

         In response, Varner filed an exception of no cause of action, arguing Blanche failed to state a cause of action which would afford her a remedy by law or contract. Varner claimed the DeSiard Street Homeless Shelter is a privately run, charitable nonprofit entity. In his exception, he noted that the shelter's services are generally available to persons in need, but that the shelter is not obligated to provide such services. Moreover, according to Varner, he had prior experience with Blanche and reasonable grounds to refuse her admittance into the shelter overnight.

         At the hearing on the exception, Varner explained why he denied Blanche overnight accommodations at the shelter. The trial court noted that those reasons did not have "a whole lot to do with what the exception is," but hoped it would answer Blanche's question about why she had been denied shelter. Ultimately finding that Blanche had failed to assert a cause of action against Varner, a judgment was rendered granting the exception. This appeal by Blanche ensued.

         LEGAL PRINCIPLES

         On appeal, Blanche generally argues that the trial court erred in granting Varner's exception, specifically maintaining that the trial court did not allow her to present documents in support of her claims. She argues that Varner denied her shelter due to personal reasons, but provides no legal or contractual support for her position.

         Provided by La. C.C.P. art. 927(A)(5), the peremptory exception of no cause of action tests the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's petition by determining whether the law affords a remedy on the facts alleged in the petition. Scheffler v. Adams and Reese, LLP, 2006-1774 (La. 2/22/07), 950 So.2d 641; Gipson v. Fortune, 45, 021 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1/27/10), 30 So.3d 1076, writ denied, 2010-0432 (La. 4/30/10), 34 So.3d 298. A "cause of action," when used in the context of the peremptory exception of no cause of action, refers to the operative facts that give rise to the plaintiff's right to judicially assert the action against the defendant. White v. St. Elizabeth B.C. Bd. of Directors, 45, 213 (La.App. 2 Cir. 6/2/10), 37 So.3d 1139. The purpose of the exception of no cause of action is not to determine whether the plaintiff will prevail at trial, but is to ascertain if a cause of action exists. Bogues v. Louisiana Energy Consultants, Inc., 46, 434 (La.App. 2 Cir. 8/10/11), 71 So.3d 1128. The exception is triable on the face of the petition, and for the purpose of determining the issues raised by the exception, the well-pleaded facts in the petition must be accepted as true. Fink v. Bryant, 2001-0987 (La. 11/28/01), 801 So.2d 346.

         The burden of demonstrating that the petition states no cause of action is upon the mover. Wright v. Louisiana Power & Light, 2006-1181 (La. 3/9/07), 951 So.2d 1058; Scheffler, supra. All reasonable inferences are made in favor of the nonmoving party in determining whether the law affords any remedy to the plaintiff. Villareal v. 6494 Homes, LLC, 48, 302 (La.App. 2 Cir. 8/7/13), 121 So.3d 1246. Generally, no evidence may be introduced to support or controvert the exception. However, a jurisprudentially recognized ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.