GULFSOUTH CREDIT, INC.
JEFFREY WILEY IN HIS CAPACITY OF SHERIFF OF THE PARISH OF ASCENSION
APPEALED FROM THE 23rd JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
ASCENSION PARISH, LOUISIANA DOCKET NUMBER 123, 406 HONORABLE
THOMAS J. KLIEBERT, JR., JUDGE
Richard D. Bankston Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorney for
Plaintiff/Appellant Gulfsouth Credit, Inc.
Brandon M. Bourque Robert Ryland Percy, III Gonzales,
Louisiana Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee Jeffrey Wiley in
His Capacity of Sheriff of the Parish of Ascension
BEFORE: McDONALD, THERIOT, and CHUTZ, JJ.
sheriff refused to execute a city court's writ of fieri
facias, the creditor who obtained the writ filed a petition
for mandamus asking the district court to direct the sheriff
to execute the writ. The district court denied the mandamus
petition, and the creditor filed this appeal. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
April 2017, Gulfsouth Credit, Inc. obtained a money judgment
in Baton Rouge City Court against Carrie Ward, an Ascension
Parish resident. At Gulfsouth's request, the city court
issued a writ of fieri facias (fifa) to the Ascension Parish
Sheriff's Office (APSO) directing APSO to seize and sell
Ms. Ward's property "in the manner prescribed by
law" to satisfy the judgment. Gulfsouth's attorney
arranged to meet a Gulfsouth representative and an APSO
officer at Ms. Ward's residence to execute the writ. On
the scheduled day, however, the APSO officer told the
Gulfsouth representative that his superiors directed him not
to execute the writ. Later, APSO's attorney wrote a
letter to Gulfsouth's attorney indicating APSO was unable
to execute the writ, because the "writ [did not] contain
a sufficient description of particular items of property
subject to seizure."
October 3, 2018, Gulfsouth filed a petition for mandamus
against Jeffrey Wiley in his capacity as Ascension Parish
Sheriff. Gulfsouth sought a mandamus directing Sheriff Wiley
to execute the writ of fifa. Sheriff Wiley answered
Gulfsouth's petition, admitting that APSO had refused to
execute the writ because APSO believed the writ
insufficiently described the items to be seized. The district
court held a hearing on the matter, at which Gulfsouth
introduced the entire record into evidence. After the
parties' argument, the district court stated that it
would deny the mandamus petition, because Gulfsouth needed to
identify what items it wanted seized. On February 19, 2019,
the district court signed a judgment denying Gulfsouth's
mandamus petition. Gulfsouth appeals.
is an extraordinary remedy to be applied where the law
provides no relief by ordinary means or where the delay
involved in obtaining ordinary relief may cause injustice.
La. C.C.P. art. 3862; Hoag v. State, 04-0857 (La.
12/1/04), 889 So.2d 1019, 1023. Further, a writ of mandamus
directed to a public officer is proper only to compel him to
perform a ministerial duty required by law. See La.
C.C.P. art. 3863. A ministerial duty is a simple, definite
duty, arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist,
and imposed by law, and which leaves no element of discretion
to the public officer. Hoag, 889 So.2d at 1024. When
the judgment denying mandamus does not turn on factual
findings, the appellate court reviews the judgment under the
abuse of discretion standard. City of Baton Rouge v.
Douglas, 16-0655 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/12/17), 218 So.3d
158, 164, n.6.
argues that Sheriff Wiley has a ministerial duty to execute
the writ of fifa in this case, because La. C.C.P. art. 321
states that a sheriff "shall execute writs"
directed to him by certain courts. However, Gulfsouth's
remedy for Sheriff Wiley's failure to perform this
alleged "ministerial duty" is set forth in La.
C.C.P. art. 334, which states that "the refusal of a
sheriff ... to perform any ministerial duty subjects him to
punishment for contempt of court." Thus, even if Sheriff
Wiley's duty to execute the subject writ of fifa is
ministerial, the extraordinary remedy of mandamus is not
appropriate, because La. C.C.P. art. 334 allows Gulfsouth to
obtain relief against Sheriff Wiley via a contempt
proceeding. See La. C.C.P. arts. 221 etseg.
Accord State ex re/. Pittman v. Conerly, 12-0468
(La.App. 4 Cir. 9/12/12), 100 So.3d 339, 341 (finding
mandamus was not an appropriate remedy to compel a court
reporter to produce a transcript when plaintiff could pursue
contempt proceedings against the court reporter); Webre
v. Wilson, 95-1281 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/4/96), 672 So.2d
1124, 1131-32) (finding use of mandamus proceedings to
collect money allegedly due was inappropriate when plaintiff
could have used a suit for a money judgment instead). Thus,
the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying
Gulfsouth's mandamus petition in this case.
above reasons, the February 19, 2019 judgment denying
Gulfsouth Credit, Inc.'s petition for mandamus is
affirmed. We assess ...