LIVE

The pair did IVF together prior to their broken engagement in 2014

By Benjamin VanHoose
February 02, 2021 10:00 AM
Advertisement
Nick Loeb; Sofia Vergara
Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images

A Louisiana court sided with Sofia Vergara in the latest development of an ongoing legal battle with ex-fiancé Nick Loeb over custody rights to frozen pre-embryos.

Last Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana ruled in the Modern Family actress' favor, upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to obtain custody of the pre-embryos. The court additionally entered a reversal of the trial court order that sealed discovery in the case, therefore unsealing related documents to the public, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

Vergara, 48, and Loeb, 45, ended their engagement in May 2014. The actress, who has an adult son named Manolo, married Joe Manganiello in November 2015.

In 2017, Vergara filed legal documents in California hoping to block Loeb from being able to use, without her written consent, the frozen pre-embryos they created via IVF at the ART Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills while still together in 2013. This matter is still pending, per court docs.

Loeb's initial case of trying to gain full-custody of the viable pre-embryos in order to bring them to term was dismissed prior to that, he has continued his attempt in Louisiana court — which now has been dismissed.

Sofia Vergara
Credit: Todd Williamson/NBCU/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The court found that Loeb "is not domiciled in, does not maintain a residence in, and does not have the intent to be domiciled or a resident of any parish in the State of Louisiana" and accused Loeb's team of "forum shopping" to find a court they hoped would be sympathetic to their case, even though it was not the proper jurisdiction.

"Furthermore, based on all of the facts ascertained through the deposition testimony, exhibits, affidavits and allegations contained in Appellant's petition and first amended complaint, it is clear that Mr. Loeb blatantly engaged in forum shopping when he selected, in concert with a member of the bar ... Plaquemines Parish to file the instant lawsuit, with full knowledge that it was the improper venue," reads the court documents. "Their behavior brings disrepute to and makes a mockery of the Louisiana legal system and the bar and is abhorrent."

A rep for Vergara did not comment when reached by PEOPLE. An attorney for Loeb tells PEOPLE, "We will be appealing to the Louisiana Supreme Court."