Many legal malpractice cases arise from failures to file a notice of claim against a municipality or against the state. The case law is rife with General Municipal Law mistakes, as well as Court of Claims Act errors. This case, which involves not New York but Louisiana, shocks the conscience.
Boudreaux v. State of Louisaina Department of Transportation, decided yesterday in the Appellate Division 1st Department reminds us that no matter how difficult it is to litigate against the City or State, Louisiana is a whole ‘nuther place.
"The Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit, recently opined that "[a] judgment creditor of a political subdivision of the state has no way to collect its judgment except by appropriation … Appropriation of funds is discretionary and not ministerial, and mandamus will not lie to compel payment of a judgment by a political subdivision" (The Newman Marchive Partnership, Inc. v City of Shreveport, 962 So2d 1075, 1077 1078 [La 2007], see also Cooper v Orleans Parish School Bd., 742 So2d 55, 64 [La 1999], writ denied 751 So2d 858 [La 1999]).
Plaintiffs herein have registered their judgment in 18 Louisiana parishes but, to date, the Louisiana Legislature has declined to appropriate the funds necessary to pay that judgment. As a result, plaintiffs now seek, in our view, to do an end run around their own legislature, and the laws of their home state, by attempting to enforce the judgment in the New York courts.
So, win your case, and the State of Louisiana need not pay it, ever.