Staton v. Hutchinson

Citation370 So.2d 106
Decision Date14 April 1978
Docket NumberNo. 12160,12160
PartiesCarlton L. STATON v. Russell D. HUTCHINSON.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Louisiana — District of US

Page 106

370 So.2d 106
Carlton L. STATON
v.
Russell D. HUTCHINSON.
No. 12160.
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit.
April 14, 1978.

Page 107

Cyrus J. Greco, Baton Rouge, for appellant.

Maxime G. LaBranche, Baton Rouge, for appellee.

Before SARTAIN, ELLIS, LOTTINGER, CHIASSON and PONDER, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

This is an election contest suit filed by Carlton L. Staton challenging the results of the April 1, 1978, primary election for the office of Chief of Police of the Village of Albany, Louisiana. A total of 392 votes were cast in the election with the defendant, Russell D. Hutchinson receiving 197 votes, Carlton L. Staton 172 and Leon McAllister 23.

Plaintiff contends that the absentee votes cast by James Albin and Louis Ray Albin and the machine vote cast by Joseph Clary were illegal under the provisions of LSA-R.S. 18:110, the Louisiana Election Code, as these persons were not eligible to vote in the election. He then prays for judgment declaring a general election for the office of Chief of Police with the plaintiff and Hutchinson as the only candidates. In the alternative, he prays that the April 1, 1978, election be declared void.

The defendant filed a peremptory exception of no cause of action. The trial court denied the peremptory exception and rendered judgment voiding the election of the defendant, Hutchinson, on April 1, 1978 as the Chief of Police of the Village of Albany and ordered a general election be held on May 13, 1978 between Hutchinson and Staton only, for the office of Chief of Police.

EXCEPTION OF NO CAUSE OF ACTION

Defendant's exception of no cause of action is based on the proposition that a petition in an election contest which alleges no irregularities other than non-residence of voters fails to state a cause of action, citing Perez v. Cognevich, 156 La. 331, 100 So. 444 (1924) and LeBlanc v. Primeaux, 2 So.2d 274 (La.App. 1st Cir. 1941).

At the 1976 Regular Session, the Louisiana Legislature enacted Act 697 which amended and reenacted the entirety of Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, except those chapters dealing with political contributions or other activities and the registrars of voters employees retirement system. Title 18 was redesignated the Louisiana Election Code, and was effective January 1, 1978.

LSA-R.S. 18:1434 provides:

"An objection to the qualifications of a voter or to an irregularity in the conduct of the election which, with the exercise of due diligence, could have been raised by a challenge of the voter or objections at the polls to the procedure is deemed waived."

Additionally, LSA-R.S. 18:565 provides:

Page 108

"A. Grounds for challenge. A commissioner, watcher, or qualified voter may challenge a person applying to vote in a primary or general election on the ground that (1) the applicant is not qualified to vote in the election, (2) the applicant is not qualified to vote in the precinct, or (3) the applicant is not the person whose name is shown on the precinct register or computer voting list.

"B. Disposition of record of challenge. A written record of the challenge, signed by the challenger, shall be placed in the envelope marked 'Put in Voting Machine' and shall be preserved as part of the election returns.

"C. Disposition of the challenge. The commissioners present shall determine the validity of the challenge. If they determine by majority vote that the challenge is valid, the applicant shall not be permitted to vote. If a majority of the commissioners determine that the challenge is invalid, the applicant shall be permitted to vote."

Defendant argues that LSA-R.S. 18:1434...

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6 cases
  • Dietz v. City of Medora
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • 21 d4 Abril d4 1983
    ...... See also Staton v. Hutchinson, 370 So.2d 106, 109 (La.Ct.App.1978). A person may have two or more actual ......
  • Macro Cos. v. Dearybury Oil & Gas, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • 29 d2 Junho d2 2021
    ...a unified and coherent import. As a general rule, the legislature does not enact vain and useless legislation. Staton v. Hutchinson, 370 So.2d 106 (La. App. 1st Cir.1978). Judicial construction must aim to attribute reasonable meaning to an entire statutory framework and context. McGee v. P......
  • Macro Cos. v. Dearybury Oil & Gas, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • 29 d2 Junho d2 2021
    ...a unified and coherent import. As a general rule, the legislature does not enact vain and useless legislation. Staton v. Hutchinson, 370 So.2d 106 (La. App. 1st Cir.1978). Judicial construction must aim to attribute reasonable meaning to an entire statutory framework and context. McGee v. P......
  • Johnston v. Morehouse Parish Police Jury, 15076-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 29 d1 Novembro d1 1982
    ...... As a general rule, the legislature does not enact vain and useless legislation. Staton v. Hutchinson, 370 So.2d 106 (La.App. 1st Cir.1978). Judicial construction must aim to attribute ......
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