• Goins Aaron, PLC of New Orleans

School Board's Writ Granted

August 8 2019 | blog

In Orleans Parish School Board vs the City of New Orleans et al, the local school board filed suit against the City and its Director of Finance in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.  The suit sought alternative relief including a preliminary injunction, a writ of mandamus, a declaratory judgment, a permanent injunction and damages.

The basis of the school board's suit was: a) the city's unlawful diversion of millions of tax dollars due the school board and used by the City to pay the City's state mandated obligations to various pension funds unrelated to the school board, and b) the City's unlawful charging of millions of dollars in tax collection fees to the school board.

The school board's requests for a preliminary injunction and a writ of mandamus were set for hearing bfore Judge D. Nicole Sheppard of the Civil District Court on July 19, 2019.   Shortly before the hearing the defendants filed a Motion to Stay the Litigation.   That Motion was granted by Judge Sheppard on July 19, 2019 after a brief hearing.   The basis of the trial court's decision was its desire to wait until the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled on writ applications currently pending in the matter entitled Downtown Development District of the City of New Orleans vs the City of New Orleans et al another case where the defendants are accused of unlawfully diverting tax dollars due to another political subdivision.  In the DDD case the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of Civil District Court Judge Piper Griffin which had granted the DDD's request for a preliminary injunction and denied its request for a writ of mandamus.  Writs were then taken by the City and the DDD to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

On August 2, 2019 the school board filed a writ with the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal seeking an order vacating the stay order granted by the trial court (Judge Sheppard) and remanding the matter back to the trial court for hearing on the school board's requests for a preliminary injunction and a writ of mandamus.  In the writ the school board contended that the granting of the stay effectively denied the school board's requests for a preliminary injunction and a writ of mandamus without a hearing and hence was an abuse of the trial court's discretion.

On August 8, 2019 in a 4-1 decision the Fourth Circuit granted the school board's writ, vacated the stay order imposed by the trial court and remanded the matter back to the trial court for hearing on the school board's requests for a preliminary injunction and a writ of mandamus.

Kudos to the Aaron & Gianna appellate team of William D. Aaron, Jr., DeWayne L. Williams and Anna A. Rainer for yet another appellate victory.

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