APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 784-067, DIVISION
"L" HONORABLE DONALD A. ROWAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, PAMELA MCLELLAN AND WOODROW
MULKEY NICHOLAS A. HOLTON
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, MICHAEL YENNI, INDIVIDUALLY
AND AS TEMPORARY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PARISH OF JEFFERSON,
KENNETH KROBERT, AIMEE VALLOT, CATHERINE TOPPEL, BRIAN
KENNEDY, EDGAR LANGE, AND JASON MANNING GUICE A. GIAMBRONE,
III JACOB K. BEST
composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert A. Chaisson, and
Hans J. Liljeberg
E. JOHNSON JUDGE.
appeal from a judgment of the trial court that sustained
Defendants' exception of prescription as to Plaintiff,
Pamela McLellan's, claims and sustained Defendants'
exception of no cause of action as to all Defendants, except
Defendant Edgar Lange. We find the judgment at issue is not a
valid and final judgment; therefore, we lack appellate
jurisdiction to consider the merits of this appeal.
& PROCEDURAL HISTORY
22, 2018, Plaintiffs, Pamela McLellan and Woodrow Mulkey,
filed a Petition for Damages for Malicious Prosecution, Civil
Conspiracy and Abuse of Rights against multiple defendants
– Michael Yenni, individually and as Jefferson Parish
President; Kenneth Krobert, an attorney for Jefferson Parish;
Aimee Vallot, Director of Code Enforcement for Jefferson
Parish; Catherine Toppel, Director of Property Maintenance
and Quality of Life for Jefferson Parish; Brian Kennedy,
Assistant Director of Property Maintenance and Quality of
Life for Jefferson Parish; Edgar Lange, a Jefferson Parish
Code Enforcement Officer; and Jason Manning, also a Jefferson
Parish Code Enforcement Officer.
their petition, Plaintiffs alleged that Ms. McLellan had made
an anonymous complaint to the Jefferson Parish Department of
Code Enforcement against Plaintiffs' neighbor, Thomas
Centanni, for performing heavy industrial work in his
backyard at night. Ms. McLellan complained that Mr. Centanni
was a nuisance and was improperly using his residential
property for commercial purposes. Ms. McLellan asserted that
after her anonymous complaint, Defendant Brian Kennedy
maliciously prosecuted her by wrongfully naming her as a
defendant in the subsequent citation issued by the Parish in
connection with her complaint. Ms. McLellan alleged that as a
result of being identified, Mr. Centanni began to harass
She further averred Mr. Kennedy had no probable cause to
charge her, acted with malice for the purpose of harassing
her, and abused the process by naming her as a defendant in
petition also asserted that Defendants conspired to take
harmful actions against Plaintiffs, including conducting a
"selective inspection" of Mr. Centanni's home
in order to show no code violations, having Parish employees
clean Mr. Centanni's yard to prevent him from being cited
for violations, and targeting Mr. Mulkey's residence for
possible violations. It further alleged Mr. Mulkey's
right to privacy was invaded when Defendant Jason Manning
knocked on Mr. Mulkey's door and asked if he could enter
the home to inspect it for possible code violations.
petition additionally recounted an incident between Mr.
Mulkey and Defendant Edgar Lange, which resulted in Mr.
Mulkey being cited with a criminal misdemeanor –
interfering with a code enforcement officer. The charge was
ultimately dropped. Mr. Mulkey alleged that Defendant Lange
abused the process by knowingly filing a false police report
and maliciously prosecuted him to inhibit him from
complaining about Mr. Centanni.
responded to the petition by filing exceptions of
prescription and no cause of action. Defendants maintained
Plaintiffs' claims were prescribed because the petition
was filed more than one year after Plaintiffs had knowledge
that Ms. McLellan was identified as a defendant in the code
enforcement case relating to Mr. Centanni. Specifically,
Defendants claimed Ms. McLellan was aware by May 16, 2017
that she was named in the citation at issue and Mr. Mulkey
was aware by May 18, 2017, but Plaintiffs did not file their
petition until May 22, 2018. Defendants also asserted there
was no cause of action against them because of the statutory
immunity provided by La. R.S. 9:2798.1.
hearing on the exceptions was held on December 10, 2018. The
hearing consisted solely of the argument of counsel. No
evidence was offered by either party. At the conclusion of
the hearing, the trial court sustained the exception of
prescription as to Ms. McLellan and denied the exception of
no cause of action. However, the trial court then went on to
state, "what I will do . . . I don't believe
there's been any evidence to suggest anything about Mr.
Yenni or the other parties. I'll dismiss them from the
lawsuit. . . . But as for Mr. Lane [sic], he will
remain." Thereafter, on December 19, 2018, the trial
court signed a written judgment, expressly sustaining
Defendants' exception of prescription as to Ms.
McLellan's claims and sustaining Defendants'
exception of no cause of action "as to all Defendants
except Edgar Lane [sic]." Plaintiffs appeal from this