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Cappaert Manufactured Hous., Inc. v. Thronson

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 10, 2013

CAPPAERT MANUFACTURED HOUSING, INC., APPELLANT
v.
GARY E. THRONSON, II, BARBARA BUTRICH THRONSON, RODNEY ST. ROMAIN AND JUDY LACHEY ST. ROMAIN, APPELLEES

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WARREN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/05/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. M. JAMES CHANEY JR. TRIAL COURT DENIED APPELLANT'S OBJECTION TO ENROLLMENT AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT.

FOR APPELLANT: FRANK G. VOLLOR.

FOR APPELLEES: WILLIAM M. BOST JR.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 101

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

MAXWELL, J.

¶1. Mississippi will only deny full faith and credit to a foreign judgment where the originating court lacked jurisdiction or the judgment was obtained through extrinsic fraud. Here, Cappaert Manufactured Housing, Inc., asks that we not enforce a judgment obtained against it in Louisiana. It bases its request on assertions of " extrinsic fraud" concerning what it deems " ill practices" by members of Louisiana's judiciary in appointing a biased trial judge.

Page 102

But Cappaert presents nothing extrinsic to the Louisiana proceedings as evidence of fraud. Instead, it solely relies on an order that was part of the record of its Louisiana appeal--an order that the Louisiana appellate court addressed when finding the judgment valid.

¶2. Because Cappaert did not raise the issue in its Louisiana appeal and presents no evidence of illicit goings-on outside of the Louisiana proceedings that led to the judgment, we find there is no " extrinsic fraud" that would render the judgment unenforceable in Mississippi. We thus affirm the judgment of the Warren County Circuit Court, denying Cappaert's objection to the enrollment and enforcement of the foreign judgment.

Background

¶3. Cappaert is a Mississippi company that builds manufactured housing. Cappaert was sued in Louisiana by multiple plaintiffs, who lived in nine different Cappaert-built homes in that state. The plaintiffs raised claims of redhibition [1] and personal injury resulting from alleged defective conditions in the homes. Plaintiffs who lived in seven of the nine homes were ordered to arbitrate. [2] But the claims of the residents of the two remaining mobile homes, Gary and Barbara Thronson and Rodney and Judy St. Romain, went to trial in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana.

¶4. The weekend before trial, the assigned trial judge had a family emergency, which prevented him from serving the next week. So the Supreme Court of Louisiana assigned Retired Judge Ronald D. Cox as " judge pro tempore." The order assigning ...


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