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QUESTION: "My Landlord sued me in Lake Charles City Court for eviction. The judge sided with my landlord. I think the judge was completely wrong and unfair. Can I appeal the judge's decision?"
ANSWER: The short answer to the first question is "yes," the viewer has the procedural right to appeal. All litigants in the City Courts of Louisiana have the right to appeal the lower court's decision to a state appellate court. In Louisiana, the state appellate court must hear the appeal (so long as the appeal is made properly). In Louisiana, the appellate court (as opposed to the Supreme Court) does not get to pick and choose which cases it will hear. The proper appellate court in this case would be the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal. There are all kinds of procedural requirements and necessities. The Third Circuit has a great website. Any lawyer or litigant should carefully review the Third Circuit's website and follow it closely. The website is http://www.la3circuit.org/.
QUESTION: "Can I stay in my apartment during the appeal as long as the rent is paid?"
ANSWER: Maybe. There are two types of appeals in Louisiana: a "Suspensive" appeal, and a "Devolutive" appeal. As its name suggests, a suspensive appeal "suspends" the lower court's judgment and prevents it from being enforced while the appeal is pending. The devolutive appeal does not suspend the enforcement of the judgment while the appeal is pending. The suspensive appeal has one major catch. To stop the enforcement of the judgment, the appellant (the one seeking the appeal) must post a bond that would cover the other side's attorney fees and loss of revenue should the appellant lose the appeal. In eviction cases, most judges require the appellant to deposit two months advance rent into the registry of the court and to continue to make all payments timely while the appeal is pending. Otherwise, the court will not suspend the judgment. In many cases this cost is prohibitive. Also, in eviction trials, the LA Code of Civil procedure will not permit a suspensive appeal unless the defendant (the tenant) had filed an answer with sworn affirmative defenses. If this has not been done. Then our viewer will have no right to a suspensive appeal. So, it the view had filed an answer with affirmative defenses, and if he or she can post a bond, then the tenant may continue to live in the apartment while the appeal is pending. Otherwise, the tenant will have to move out.
QUESTION: "My charitable organization wants to have a bingo fundraiser? Are there any licensure requirements?"
ANSWER: Yes. The Louisiana Dept. of Revenue's Office of Charitable Gaming (OCG) highly regulates games of chance that are put on by charities. Their website reads in part: We license, monitor and regulate the charitable gaming industry in the State of Louisiana. Charitable Gaming is defined as non-profit organizations raising funds through games of chance where all net proceeds are contributed to bona fide charitable causes. In order to be legal, all of the net proceeds raised can only be used for one of the following uses: 1. Educational 2. Charitable, 3. Patriotic, 4. Religious 5. public-spirited (LRS 4:707.B) Charitable games of chance include but are not limited to raffles, pull tabs, and bingo. Before launching into any charitable gaming fundraiser – read the office of Charitable Gaming's website thoroughly and then call and ask any questions. http://www.ocg.louisiana.gov/
Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.