Posted by: Patricia Salkin | September 28, 2020

LA Appeals Court Reverses Trial Court Decision Denying a Mandatory Injunction Requiring the Removal of a Mobile Home

This post was authored by Christina Leroy, Touro Law Center

The LA Appeals Court held that Terrebonne Parish was entitled to a mandatory injunction against Mr. Kerry Carter (“Defendant”) requiring the removal of his mobile home.  On May 3, 2019, Defendant installed a mobile home on his property.  On that same day, the Parish was notified of Defendant’s activities and sent an inspector to prevent him from continuing the installation.  The inspector issued a stop work order and informed Defendant that he was in violation of local ordinances.  Following this notice, the Defendant went to apply for the requisite permit but failed to complete the process because a $300 fine levied against him as a result of the permit violation.  Soon thereafter, Defendant was again notified on two separate occasions that he was in violation of zoning ordinances and had failed to obtain the required permit for the installation of the mobile home on his property.  His only option was to remove the mobile home.  When Defendant failed to comply, the Parish issued a final notice informing him that his case was being referred to the Parrish attorney for an injunction for the removal of the mobile home. 

Less than a month later, the Parish filed a lawsuit against the Defendant in pursuit of the injunction.  The trial court denied the Parish’s request, entering judgement in favor of Defendant and entitled him to keep the mobile home on his property.  The Parish appealed the trial court’s decision, asserting that it had established a prima facie case for an injunction.  The Court agreed.  It reasoned that the Parish had met the burden of proof for an injunction.  According to the Court, in order to prevail on a claim for an injunction, the applicant must show by a preponderance of the evidence that it will be irreparably harmed if that injunction is not granted.  In this case, the Court held that the Parish did meet burden of proof required for an injunction.  The Parish established: (1) that Defendant did place a mobile home on his property in violation of valid zoning ordinances; (2) that Defendant was made aware of these violations; and (3) that, when prompted to cure these violations, Defendant failed to comply. 

The Court rejected defendant’s argument that the ordinance was not valid.  The Defendant contended that an error in the Parish’s map, listing his property within the R3 zone entitled him to keep the mobile home.  However, the Court held that the Defendant was not entitled to relief because he had been informed by two Parish employees of the mistake and of the effective rezoning date of September 8, 1999 (the “1999 Rezoning”).  Moreover, the Court reasoned that “[o]nce an area has been zoned for a specified purpose, it is restricted in use to whatever use is set out in that classification.”

Having met its burden of proof, the Court held that the Parish was entitled to an injunction in accordance with its police powers.  The Court reversed and remanded the action.

Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government v. Cater, 2020 WL 5587224 (LA App. 9/18/2020)


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