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Butler v. Begnauds, LLC

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

May 29, 2019

ALICIA JOHNSON BUTLER
v.
BEGNAUDS, LLC, ET AL.

          SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF IBERIA, NO. 130, 283 HONORABLE ANTHONY THIBODEAUX, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Ronnie J. Berthelot The Law Offices of Herschel C. Adcock, Jr., L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Home Point Financial Corporation f/d/b/a Stonegate Mortgage Corporation

          Darleen M. Jacobs Al A. Sarrat Rene D. Lovelace Jacobs, Sarrat, Lovelace, Harris & Matthews COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Alicia Johnson Butler

          James Michael Wooderson Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Begnauds, LLC Eddie Begnaud Builders, LLC

          Patrick M. Wartelle Leake & Anderson COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Begnauds, LLC Eddie Begnaud Builders, LLC

          Lloyd J. Durocher COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Begnauds, LLC Eddie Begnaud Builders, LLC

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, John E. Conery, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          Conery, J., concurs.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE

         Defendant-relator seeks supervisory writs from the judgment of the Sixteenth Judicial District Court, the Honorable Anthony Thibodeaux presiding, which denied its motion for summary judgment.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         The instant case arises from a construction loan agreement between plaintiff, Alicia Johnson Butler, and relator, Home Point Financial Corporation f/d/b/a Stonegate Mortgage Corporation. Plaintiff used the money to build a single-family residence. After plaintiff defaulted on the promissory note, she filed a Petition for Breach of Contract, Damages and Attorney's Fees, alleging that various defects existed in the construction of the home. Plaintiff named relator as one of the defendants, claiming that relator employed an inspection company who failed to properly inspect the construction, and then negligently approved draws under the loan to pay the builder. Plaintiff claims that she relied upon relator to ensure that all advances under the loan would be based upon a finding of good and workmanlike construction.

         In response, relator filed a reconventional demand for all sums owed by plaintiff. Relator then filed a motion for summary judgment on the reconventional demand. Following a hearing held on December 14, 2018, the motion was denied. A written judgment was signed on January 18, 2019. Relator is now before this court on writs seeking review of the trial court's ruling.

         "The proper procedural vehicle to contest an interlocutory judgment that does not cause irreparable harm is an application for supervisory writs. See La. C.C.P. arts. 2087 and 2201." Brown v. Sanders, 06-1171, p. 2 (La.App. 1 Cir. 3/23/07), 960 So.2d 931, 933. But see La.Code Civ.P. art. 2083, comment (b), "Irreparable injury continues to be an important (but not exclusive) ingredient in an application for supervisory writs." (Citation omitted.)

         ON THE MERITS

         Relator asserts that it acquired all rights, title and interest in a promissory note signed by plaintiff which is secured by a mortgage granted by plaintiff. Plaintiff failed to pay fifteen installments despite default notices sent to her home by relator. Relator contends that plaintiff's petition and supplemental and amending petition concern unliquidated contingent claims-builder deficiencies-that are not yet ready to be proven. Relator's reconventional claim, however, which seeks to prove an obligation that is easily calculated by accepted legal standards is easily confirmed by the production of the note and mortgage and the ...


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