FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO.
253, 861-B HONORABLE MONIQUE F. RAULS, DISTRICT JUDGE
Richard A. Rozanski Wheelis & Rozanski, COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Lloyd Vaughn
Barbara Bell Melton Faircloth Melton, LLC, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Fidelity Bank
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, Billy Howard Ezell, and D.
Kent Savoie, Judges.
Elizabeth A. Pickett Judge.
personal surety appeals the trial court's judgment
granting summary judgment against him in favor of the holder
of two promissory notes for which he guaranteed payment. As
discussed below, the trial court's judgment is reversed,
and the matter is remanded to the trial court.
2013, Lloyd Vaughn entered into a business venture for the
development of a residential development in Fort Mitchell,
Alabama. Mr. Vaughn signed a personal guaranty guaranteeing
the debt of Westgate Homes, L.L.C., which consisted of two
promissory notes, with The Bank of Georgia (The Bank).
Westgate defaulted on the promissory notes and filed for
bankruptcy. In 2015, The Bank sued Mr. Vaughn to collect the
balance Westgate owed on the notes.
October 2015, The Bank entered into receivership with the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Pursuant to a
purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC, Fidelity
Bank acquired the assets of The Bank, including enforcement
rights of promissory notes payable to The Bank. The trial
court granted leave for Fidelity Bank to be substituted as
plaintiff in place of The Bank.
Fidelity Bank filed two motions for summary judgment. One
motion sought judgment against Mr. Vaughn as guarantor of
Westgate's debt. The second motion sought dismissal of
reconventional demands Mr. Vaughn asserted in his answer to
the petition. The trial court denied both motions after
hearings held in July 2016, finding that the parties had not
had adequate time to conduct discovery.
2017, Fidelity Bank substituted its counsel, and the new
counsel filed a peremptory exception of no cause of action to
have Mr. Vaughn's reconventional demands dismissed. The
trial court sustained the exception, and Mr. Vaughn did not
appeal the judgment dismissing those demands.
April 2018, Fidelity Bank filed another motion for summary
judgment to enforce Mr. Vaughn's guaranty of
Westgate's debt. After a hearing, the trial court granted
the motion and signed a judgment granting judgment in favor
of Fidelity Bank in the principal amount of $373, 207.92,
together with legal interest, late fees, attorney fees, and
judicial interest. Mr. Vaughn filed a motion for new trial,
which was denied; he then filed a motion for appeal.
Vaughn's sole assignment of error states:
The [t]rial [c]ourt erred in granting Fidelity Bank's
[m]otion for [s]ummary [j]udgment where genuine issues of
material fact existed as to whether Lloyd Vaughn's
Guaranty was extinguished by breach by The Bank . . . (and
Fidelity Bank as the assignee of the FDIC) of its contractual
obligation of good faith and fair dealing and impairment of
collateral securing the Westgate Homes, L.L.C. loan
Bank asserts that this court does not have jurisdiction to
consider Mr. Vaughn's assigned error because Mr. Vaughn
designated the judgment denying his motion for a new trial by
title and date as the judgment being appealed in his motion
for appeal. Contrary to that designation, Mr. Vaughn
addresses only the trial court's judgment granting
Fidelity Bank's motion for summary judgment in his
assignment of error and his arguments to this court.
addressed this issue in Babineaux v. University Medical
Center, 15-292, p. 5 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/4/15), ...