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Auricchio v. Harriston

gray apartment

Court: Louisiana Supreme Court

Docket: 2020-CC-01167

Opinion Date: December 10, 2021

Judge: Crain

Areas of Law: Personal Injury, Real Estate & Property Law

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

Plaintiffs Anne Marie Auricchio and Patrick Hogan, and defendant Lynleigh Harriston, owned neighboring properties. Harriston’s brother lived in a rental apartment on her property. Plaintiffs sued Harriston, contending she refused to stop her brother’s drug use on the property, which interfered with the peaceable use of Plaintiffs’ property. Ultimately, the Plaintiffs claimed they moved due to the drug activities. Plaintiffs then moved for summary judgment, asserting no genuine issues of material fact existed with regard to the following: Harriston invited her brother to live in the apartment despite having full knowledge he was a drug addict who had been repeatedly incarcerated for heroin use, that the brother’s occupancy and drug activity was causing harm to Plaintiffs, and that Harriston did nothing to prevent or eliminate the harm. Harriston moved for a continuance and, alternatively, a motion to file opposition evidence after the Article 966(B)(2) fifteen-day deadline. Harriston’s motion explained her counsel had “some difficulties with COVID-19.” Ten days before the hearing, Harriston filed an opposition to the summary judgment motion. Plaintiffs opposed both the motion for continuance and the motion for leave to file the late opposition. The trial court denied the motion to continue but allowed the late opposition. The motion for summary judgment was denied, with the trial court finding the late-filed opposition raised genuine issues of material fact. The Louisiana Supreme Court granted certiorari review to resolve a split between the courts of appeal relative to the interpretation of Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 966(B)(2). The Court held that, in the absence of consent by the parties, a trial court has no discretion to extend that article’s fifteen-day deadline for filing an opposition. This case was remanded for the trial court to rule on the motion for summary judgment without the late-filed opposition.

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