This matter is before this Court on motions to dismiss the appeal of Plaintiff, Nola Spears, tutrix of the minors H. L. Magee and Helen Magee, filed by Maryland Casualty Company, J. M. Fourmy and Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, Defendants and Appellees, on the ground Plaintiff's motion for appeal was not timely filed.
Plaintiff instituted this suit for damages against the above named Defendants, Movers, and Defendants, Howard Colgin Electric Company and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company as a result of an accident in which Hezzie Magee, father of the minors, was electrocuted. A motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants Fourmy and Aetna was taken under advisement by the Honorable Jim W. Richardson, Judge of the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Washington, Louisiana, and judgment was rendered sustaining the motion and dismissing Plaintiff's suit as to Fourmy and Aetna on July 17, 1961. Notice of the signing of the judgment on July 20, 1961 was mailed by the Clerk of Court to all attorneys in the case on July 25, 1961. On October 5, 1961 Plaintiff filed a petition for devolutive appeal and on October 20, 1961 the Court
Plaintiff, relying upon LSA-C.C.P. Article 2161, contends Appellees' motions to dismiss the appeal should not be considered because they were not filed within three days of the date on which the record was lodged with this Court. Article 2161 provides:
Article 2161 refers to dismissal of appeals due to irregularities in the manner in which the appeals are brought and the procedure adopted by appellants in filing the appeals. For example, an omission of part of the transcript or a defect in the record would not provide sufficient reason for dismissal of an appeal, unless brought to the attention of the Court within the period allotted in Article 2161. However, in the present instance, we are dealing with the right of appeal, rather than its technique. The right of appeal cannot be extended by failure of the opponent to bring the defect to the Court's attention within a certain time period, for the right of appeal connotes jurisdiction of a court to hear an appeal and jurisdiction is conferred by statute alone and not by consent of counsel. Wulff v. Mayer, La.App., 144 So.2d 246.
Argument of counsel pertaining to the first appeal taken by Plaintiff in October, 1961 is incidental and irrelevant to the instant matter, viz., whether the appeal from the February 20, 1962 judgment, revoking the October, 1961 order of appeal, was timely filed.
Plaintiff contends the motion to dismiss the first appeal, argued on February 20, 1962, was taken under advisement by the Trial Court and judgment was not actually rendered until February 23, 1962. Counsel for Plaintiff argues the applicability of LSA-C.C.P. Article 1913, which provides:
Counsel for Plaintiff further relies upon LSA-C.C.P. Article 1974, which provides:
An examination of the record indicates there is a judgment dismissing Plaintiff's action as against Defendant Maryland Casualty Company which provides the cause came on for hearing on February 20, 1962 and "* * * for the reasons this day orally assigned, * * *" judgment was read, rendered and signed in open Court on February 23, 1962. There is a second judgment in the record, dismissing Plaintiff's action against J. M. Fourmy and The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, which was heard on February 20, 1962, rendered on the same date, and read and signed on February 23, 1962.
Although there appears to be a conflict in regard to the date of the two judgments, an examination of the minutes shows both judgments were heard and rendered on February 20, 1962 when counsel for all parties were present in court. The minutes of February 20, 1962 state:
* * *"
The minutes of February 23, 1962 state:
It is apparent counsel for Maryland Casualty Company, in preparing the judgment dismissing it from the action, erred in stating judgment was rendered on February 23, 1962. In view of the wording of the minutes of February 20 and 23, 1962, we find no reason to consider the inconsistency in the judgment to be more than a typographical error.
Since counsel for Plaintiff was present in Court on the day the motion to dismiss the appeal was taken up on February 20, 1962 and since the Court rendered its judgment instanter, without taking the case under advisement, the notice of judgment, sent to the attorneys for the parties, was superfluous and not mandatory under LSA-C.C.P. Article 1913. The delay for applying for a new trial accordingly commenced to run the day after the judgment was signed on February 23, 1962, exclusive of intervening legal holidays. The ninety day period in which to take a devolutive appeal
For the reasons assigned the appeal is dismissed at Appellant's cost.