FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-00714,
DIVISION "D" Honorable Nakisha Ervin-Knott, JUDGE
Stephen M. Petit, Jr. ATTORNEY AT LAW COUNSEL FOR
R. Koerner, Jr. KOERNER LAW FIRM COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge
Dale N. Atkins
N. ATKINS JUDGE.
appeal involves the partition of property, whose municipal
address is 120 Alden Place, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
("the property"), co-owned by Chantal Elizabeth
Koerner, ("Koerner") and her former boyfriend,
Corey David Treas ("Treas"). Koerner appeals the
trial court's judgment of December 14, 2018
("December 2018 judgment"), denying her
"Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings for Partition by
Licitation…through Public Sale," (the
"Motion"), granting Treas' Motion for
Reconsideration of Private Sale, finding Koerner in contempt,
ordering her to vacate the property by noon on December 17,
2018, and assessing a fine for each additional day she
remained at the property and failed to comply with the order.
reasons that follow, we reverse in part the trial court's
December 2018 judgment, denying the Motion and granting of
Treas' Motion for Reconsideration of Private Sale. We
affirm in part the trial court's December 2018 judgment,
granting Treas' Rule for Contempt and finding Koerner in
constructive contempt of court. We remand for further
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
and Treas were involved in a romantic relationship. On June
8, 2016, during the course of their relationship, Treas
purchased the property, through the Veterans Administration
("VA"), in his name only, due to the couple's
marital status and Treas' ability to qualify for VA
guaranteed financing, for one-hundred percent (100%) of the
purchase price. The property was secured by a mortgage
through Pacific Union Financial. On June 14, 2016, Treas
executed a quitclaim deed in favor of Koerner for
"fifty-percent (50%) interest" in the
dissolution of the relationship, Treas left the property in
January 2017. On January 24, 2017, Treas filed a
Petition for Partition by Licitation requesting partition of
the property co-owned with Koerner and to "buy-out"
Koerner's interest or, in the alternative, partition by
licitation or by private sale. Treas also requested exclusive
use of the property pending the resolution of the matter. In
response, Koerner filed a domestic pleading alleging physical
and emotional abuse by Treas. Koerner also answered the
petition for partition and filed a reconventional demand,
alleging several claims including claims for damages and
claims pursuant to the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practice and
Consumer Protection Act ("LUPTA").
filed, on April 25, 2017, an Amended Answer and
Reconventional Demand asserting an affirmative defense
alleging abuse by Treas and asserting the right to revoke a
donation of movables to Treas on the grounds of ingratitude.
In response, Treas filed exceptions of improper cumulation
and no right of action. On June 30, 2017, the trial court
denied Treas' exception of improper cumulation, but
granted his exception of no right of action and ordered
Koerner to amend her claims.
on November 8, 2017, Koerner filed a Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment based on Treas' failure to respond to
her requests for admission. Treas filed, on November 30,
2017, an opposition to Koerner's Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment, reasserted his exceptions of no right of
action and no cause of action, and filed a Motion for
Bifurcation, for Authority to Place Immovable Property for
Sale, for Additional Time to Answer Discovery and for Status
January 11, 2018, Koerner filed Amended Affirmative Defenses,
Amended Reconventional Demand, and Request for Stay for
Partition Pendite Lite and Opposition to Treas'
Motion for Bifurcation and for Authority to Place Immovable
Property for Sale Subject to Partition. Further, Koerner
filed, on April 20, 2018, a Motion to Strike Treas'
Opposition to her Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
Koerner also filed a Motion to Strike or Seal a Portion of
Treas' Supplemental Memorandum.
these various motions and exceptions came for hearing before
the trial court on June 29, 2018. On the same date, the trial
court rendered its ruling. As to this appeal, the relevant
part of the trial court's oral ruling is granting
Treas' Rule Why the Immovable Property Should Not Be
Listed for Private Sale. However, it should be noted, in its
written reasons for judgment, issued on July 10, 2018, the
trial court reversed its ruling granting the partition of the
property by private sale, and denied the request for private
sale, citing that it lacked the authority to order a private
sale of the property. Koerner sought supervisory review, by
this Court, of the trial court's judgment rendered on
July 10, 2018. This Court denied Koerner's writ
application. Treas v. Koerner, 2018-0621 (La.App. 4
September 6, 2018, Treas filed a Motion to Compel More
Complete Answers to Interrogatories and Requests for
Production. Treas also filed, on September 20, 2018, a Motion
for Exclusive Use of the property. Koerner filed, on October
12, 2018, her opposition to Treas' Motion for Exclusive
Use of the property. In her opposition, Koerner argued that
she had paid all mortgage payments and had taken care of all
other expenses for the maintenance of the
property. On October 19, 2018, the matter on
Treas' motions came for hearing before the trial court.
On the same date, the trial judge orally ruled as follows:
(1) Granted Treas' Motion to Compel More Complete Answers
to Interrogatories and Requests for Production;
(2) Ordered Koerner to produce the responsive documents and
answers to interrogatories;
(3) Granted Treas' Motion for Exclusive Use;
(4) Ordered Koerner to vacate the property by October 31,
2018, by noon; and
(5) Ordered Koerner not to cause any damage to the property
or remove any movables from the property subject to dispute
on October 25, 2018, Koerner again sought supervisory review
by this Court, of the trial court's October 19, 2018,
judgment ("October 2018 judgment"). This Court
denied Koerner's writ application on October 30, 2018.
Treas v. Koerner, 2018-0934 (La.App. 4 Cir.
10/30/18)(unpublished). On the same date, Koerner filed the
November 2, 2018, Koerner filed a motion for a new trial. In
her motion, Koerner argued that a new trial was warranted
because the trial court erroneously declared that Treas had
been the sole payor of the mortgage on the property. To
support her argument, she provided her bank statements and
mortgage loan statements showing the payments she made on the
trial court, on November 5, 2018, issued its judgment and
written reasons denying Koerner's motion for a new trial.
In its written reasons, the trial court stated Koerner failed
to assert during the course of the hearing that she had been
the sole payor of the mortgage after Treas left the
property. Further, the trial court stated its
finding that Treas' status as the sole payor of the
mortgage was not a substantial basis for granting Treas'
Motion for Exclusive Use, but was merely one of its reasons
on November 14, 2018, Koerner filed a writ application
seeking supervisory review by this Court of the trial
court's judgment rendered on November 5, 2018, denying
her motion for new trial. On the same date, Koerner filed a
Motion for Appeal and requested a stay of the
"dispossession/eviction injunction" rendered by the
trial court in its October 2018 judgment. The trial court
denied Koerner's motion for appeal reasoning that it was
an "improper use of appellate court procedure." On
November 15, 2018, this Court denied Koerner's writ
application, in which she sought review of the trial
court's November 5, 2018, judgment. Treas v.
Koerner, 2018-0971 (La.App. 4 Cir.
November 21, 2018, Koerner filed an application for
supervisory writ to the Louisiana Supreme Court. While this
matter was before the Louisiana Supreme Court, Treas filed,
on December 6, 2018, in the trial court, a Motion for
Reconsideration of Private Sale and Opposition to
Defendant's Rule for Judgment on the Pleadings, a Rule
for Contempt, and supporting memorandum. Koerner filed, on
December 10, 2018, an opposition to Treas' Motion for
Reconsideration of a Private Sale and a reply memorandum in
support of the Motion. In Koerner's reply memorandum and
opposition, she argued that Treas failed to cite any law
authorizing a private sale or that controverted the trial
court's judgment and reasons declaring it lacked
authority to order a private sale.
December 14, 2018, the following motions came before the
(1) Koerner's Motion for Judgment on Pleadings for
Partition of Licitation through Public Sale at Treas'
Cost and Initiation;
(2) Treas' Motion for Reconsideration of Private Sale;
(3) Treas' Rule for Contempt.
trial court rendered judgment, on the same date, and issued
written reasons in which it:
(1) Denied the Motion filed by Koerner;
(2) Granted Treas' Motion for Reconsideration of Private
(3) Granted Treas' Rule for Contempt ordering Koerner to
pay a fine in the amount of $500.00, to vacate the property
by December 17, 2018, and
(4) Ordered that Koerner pay a fine in the amount of $50.00
for each additional day she remained on the property until
she complied with the order, and ordered Koerner not to
damage or destroy the property and not remove any personal
property and movables from the home over which there is
dispute as to ownership.
sought expedited supervisory review of the December 2018
judgment, by this Court. On December 17, 2018, prior to this
Court's ruling on Koerner's expedited writ
application, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Koerner's
writ application in which she sought supervisory review of
the trial court's November 5, 2018, judgment denying her
motion for new trial. Treas v. Koerner,
2018-1891 (La. 12/17/18), 258 So.3d 600. Thereafter, on
December 20, 2018, this Court denied Koerner's expedited
writ application seeking supervisory review of the December
2018 judgment. Treas v. Koerner, 2018-1080 (La.App.
4 Cir. 12/20/18)(unpublished). It is from the December 2018
judgment that Koerner now appeals.
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