Williamson v. HAYNES BEST WESTERN

Citation865 So.2d 224
Decision Date21 January 2004
Docket NumberNo. 2002-CA-1076.,2002-CA-1076.
PartiesSonya J. WILLIAMSON and her Minor Children, Abner Williamson, Dixie Williamson, and Jolie Williamson through their Natural Tutor, Robert Williamson v. HAYNES BEST WESTERN OF ALEXANDRIA, INC.; American General Fire & Casualty Company; Maryland Casualty Insurance Company; Best Western International, Inc.; and St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company; M/M H.L. Haynes, Individually, et al.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Louisiana (US)

Sonya J. Williamson, Abner Williamson, Dixie Williamson, Robert Williamson, Jolie Williamson, Gary J. Haynes, Lafayette, LA, for Plaintiffs/Appellees.

E. John Litchfield, Berrigan, Litchfield, Schonekas, Mann, Traina & Thompson, LLC, New Orleans, LA, for Defendant/Appellant.

Court composed of Judge CHARLES R. JONES, Judge DENNIS R. BAGNERIS SR., and Judge EDWIN A. LOMBARD.

CHARLES R. JONES, Judge.

The Appellants, Haynes Best Western of Alexandria, Inc., et al., seek review of the judgment of the District Court for the Parish of Orleans granting the Motion for Default Judgment on behalf of the Appellees, Sonya J. Williamson, et al. After a thorough review of the record, we reverse and remand.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

For a recitation of the facts, see St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. Williamson, 332 F.3d 304 (5th Cir.2003).

DISCUSSION

The first issue raised by Haynes Best Western of Alexandria, Inc. et al. (hereinafter "Best Western") is whether a preliminary default can be confirmed when the court has outstanding exceptions. Best Western argues that a Preliminary Default Judgment should not have been granted in light of the exceptions they had filed, which had not yet been ruled upon. The Appellees argue that the Preliminary Default Judgment contains the district court's handwritten notations about these three exceptions, and, hence, this Court can assume that these exceptions were considered and rejected by the district court. However, we pretermit a discussion of this issue since the legitimacy of this appeal centers around whether the district court erred by granting the Motion for Default Judgment, the second issue raised by the Appellants. Best Western argues that the district court erred in granting the Default Judgment based on: 1. an invalid preliminary default; 2. the record does not reflect a prima facie case, and was based on hearsay evidence; 3. the district court was currently under an order granting injunctive relief; and 4. no notice of judgment was given. However, the most salient of these is whether the district court was under a federal injunction at the time the judgment was rendered. We find that the district court was under a federal injunction when it granted the Motion for Default Judgment. The U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana had issued its first order granting injunctive relief, enjoining state courts from proceeding in this matter, on October 16, 1998. Said Order stated,

For the oral reasons assigned at the conclusion of the Court's October 5, 1998 hearing on plaintiffs' [sic] motion for a preliminary injunction [rec. doc. No. 2], the Court finds that the issues raised in the state court litigation pending in the Civil District Court for the Orleans Parish, are the same issues litigated and decided by this Court in Civil Action 93-1902. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs' [sic] motion for preliminary injunction is GRANTED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2283 to protect and effectuate the judgment and rulings of this Court issued in Civil Action 93-1902 and defendants, Robert and Sonya T. Williamson, their minor child Jolie Williamson, and their children Dixie and Abner Williamson, Lawrence T. Smith, their agents and anyone acting on their behalf and the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish are enjoined from pursuing the nullity action pending in the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, State of Louisiana, bearing docket number 95-16175, entitled Sonya J. Williamson, et al v. Haynes Best Western of Alexandria, Inc, et al. [Emphasis added.]

The Motion for Default Judgment was filed on January 25, 2001. The Preliminary Default Judgment was granted on February 9, 2001. However, on June 1, 2001, the U.S. District Court expressly stated in a second Order that the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans violated the first injunctive order, thus requiring the U.S. District Court to expand its Order to all Louisiana state courts. [Emphasis added.] The expansion order stated:

... for the reasons assigned in the Court's April 25, 2001, 3:55 p.m. order signed at 4:35 p.m., the Court finding it necessary to enjoin all state court action
...

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6 cases
  • Edgefield v. Audubon Nature Inst., Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 12 Septiembre 2018
    ...4 Cir. 8/13/97), 700 So.2d 215, 220. See also Williamson v. Haynes Best W. of Alexandria, Inc. , 02-1076, p. 4 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1/21/04), 865 So.2d 224, 227. "As a general rule, the trial court may summarily deny a motion for new trial if the motion simply reiterates issues thoroughly consi......
  • Schmidt v. Schmidt
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 11 Febrero 2009
    ......best interests of the minor children, that the Custody Judgment described above ... believed to have denied the applicant a fair trial." Williamson v. Haynes Best Western of Alexandria, Inc., 2002-1076, p. 4 (La.App. 4 ......
  • Martinez v. Lagos
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 21 Mayo 2014
    ...believed to have denied the applicant a fair trial. Williamson v. Haynes Best W. of Alexandria, Inc., 02–1076 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1/21/04), 865 So.2d 224, 227, writ denied,04–0784 (La.5/7/04), 872 So.2d 1089. Mr. Martinez makes no showing of facts or law which would warrant the granting of a ne......
  • Martinez v. Lagos
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 21 Mayo 2014
    ...believed to have denied the applicant a fair trial. Williamson v. Haynes Best W. of Alexandria, Inc., 02-1076 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1/21/04), 865 So.2d 224, 227, writ denied, 04-0784 (La. 5/7/04), 872 So.2d 1089. Mr. Martinez makes no showing of facts or law which would warrant the granting of a......
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