|FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE
|FROM: CLERK OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA
The Opinions handed down on the 4th day of December, 2012, are as follows:
BY KIMBALL, C.J.:
2012-K -0466 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. $ 144,320.00 TINA BEERS 132 WOODY LANE, SILVER CITY, NC 27344, ET AL. (Parish of St. Martin)
Because the court of appeal found there was no probable cause for forfeiture and reversed the district court’s ruling that struck Tina Beers’ claim, we reverse the decision of the court of appeal and reinstate the ruling of the district court.
REVERSED; RULING OF DISTRICT COURT REINSTATED.
OPELOUSAS TRUST AUTHORITY D/B/A OPELOUSAS GENERAL HEALTH SYSTEM, ET AL. v. CLECO CORPORATION AND CLECO POWER, LLC C/W DEBORAH MAYO, ET AL. v. CLECO CORPORATION AND CLECO POWER, LLC (Parish of St. Landry)
For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the decision overruling Cleco’s exception of subject matter jurisdiction. The Louisiana Constitution, Revised Statutes, and Louisiana jurisprudence clearly dictate this is a rate matter subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the LPSC. The plaintiffs in this case are challenging the reasonableness of a rate imposed by Cleco and asserting they should have been charged an Opelousas-specific rate. As this Court has previously held, LA. CONST. art. IV § 21 (B) grants the LPSC the exclusive authority, in the first instance, to fix or change any rate to be charged by a public utility; the courts lack the power to fix or change rates until the LPSC has acted. Since the lower courts lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this case, we vacate the rulings of the lower courts. The plaintiffs’ claims are hereby dismissed.
REVERSED; VACATED; DISMISSED.
BY VICTORY, J.:
GLORIA TURNER v. WILLIS KNIGHTON MEDICAL CENTER, VENKATESWARA RAO, M.D., NAVADEEP SAMRA, M.D. AND GAZI ZIBARI, M.D. (Parish of Caddo)
For the reasons stated herein, the judgment of the court of appeal is reversed, and the trial court judgment, granting the defendants’ peremptory exceptions of prescription, is reinstated. REVERSED; TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT REINSTATED.
BY WEIMER, J.:
2012-C -0097 DANIEL MORENO v. ENTERGY CORPORATION, ENTERGY GULF STATES, INC., ENTERGY LOUISIANA, LLC., EAGLE ENTERPRISES OF JEFFERSON, LAFAYETTE INSURANCE COMPANY, WALGREEN LOUISIANA CO. INC., ABC INSURANCE COMPANY AND THE PARISH OF JEFFERSON (Parish of Jefferson)
To the extent the court of appeal found that the OPLSA affords no indemnity to a utility provider for the utility company’s own negligence (Moreno, 09-976 at 8, 79 So.3d at 410), we reverse and vacate that part of the opinion. The district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the contractors is vacated and this matter is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED.
KIMBALL, C.J., concurs and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., concurs and assigns reasons.
CLARK, J., concurs for reasons expressed by Chief Justice Kimball and Justice Guidry.
2012-C -0232 LIVINGSTON PARISH COUNCIL ON AGING v. WILLIE GRAVES, SHERIFF OF LIVINGSTON PARISH (Parish of Livingston)
For the foregoing reasons, the decision of the court of appeal is reversed and this matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
BY GUIDRY, J.:
2012-O -1500 IN RE: JUSTICE OF THE PEACE STACIE P. MYERS POINTE COUPEE PARISH DISTRICT 4 STATE OF LOUISIANA (Judiciary Commission)
Accordingly, it is ordered that Justice of the Peace Myers pay a civil penalty to the State of Louisiana, Judicial Branch, in the amount of $1,500.00, no later than thirty days from the finality of this judgment.
2012-O -1501 IN RE: JUSTICE OF THE PEACE THOMAS THREET, PARISH OF CALCASIEU, WARD 6, STATE OF LOUISIANA (Judiciary Commission)
Accordingly, it is ordered that Justice of the Peace Threet pay a civil penalty to the State of Louisiana, Judicial Branch, in the amount of $2,500.00, plus costs in the amount of $253.20, no later than thirty days from the finality of this judgment. In addition, Justice of the Peace Threet is ordered to file his 2010 financial disclosure statement no later than fifteen days from the finality of this judgment. Failure to comply with the orders of this court may result in a finding of contempt. See In re: Hoffman, 11-0417 (La. 6/22/12), 92 So.3d 334; In re: Cook, 11-0715 (La. 6/22/12), 92 So.3d 333.
2012-O -1946 IN RE: JUSTICE OF THE PEACE LUANN LANDRY ST. BERNARD PARISH, WARD E STATE OF LOUISIANA (Judiciary Commission)
Accordingly, it is ordered that Justice of the Peace Landry pay a civil penalty to the State of Louisiana, Judicial Branch, in the amount of $500.00, plus costs in the amount of $554.00, no later than thirty days from the finality of this judgment.
BY CLARK, J.:
2012-C -0513 KIRK E. PREST, ET AL. v. LOUISIANA CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION, ET AL. (Parish of Plaquemines)
For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the determination of KLR’s negligence, finding KLR failed to exercise reasonable diligence in attempting to procure increased insurance policy coverage in August 2005. We find the trial court abused its discretion in awarding general damages in this case and reverse that award. We affirm the trial court’s award of special damages, as amended by the court of appeal.
AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART
VICTORY, J., concurs in part and dissents in part and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., concurs in part and dissents in part, and assigns reasons.
2012-CQ-0453 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. R.W.B. (Parish of Calcasieu)
We answer the certified question as set forth in this opinion. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XI, the judgment rendered by this court upon the question certified shall be sent by the clerk of this court under its seal to the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, and to the parties.
WEIMER, J., dissents and assigns reasons.
2012-B -1434 IN RE: KATHERINE M. GUSTE (Disciplinary Counsel)
Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that Katherine M. Guste, Louisiana Bar Roll number 23486, be and she hereby is suspended from the practice of law for two years. It is further ordered that respondent shall make restitution to the heirs of Anthony Perniciaro and shall refund the unearned portion of the legal fee paid by Craig Conners, or submit the matters to the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Fee Dispute Resolution Program. All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.
WEIMER, J., concurs in part and dissents in part and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., dissents and assigns reasons.