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Code of Civil Procedure

Book I. Courts, Actions, and Parties

Title I. Courts

Chapter 1. Jurisdiction

Art. 1. Jurisdiction defined

Jurisdiction is the legal power and authority of a court to hear and determine an action or proceeding involving the legal relations of the parties, and to grant the relief to which they are entitled.

Art. 2. Jurisdiction over subject matter

Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the legal power and authority of a court to hear and determine a particular class of actions or proceedings, based upon the object of the demand, the amount in dispute, or the value of the right asserted.

Art. 3. Same;  cannot be conferred by consent

The jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of an action or proceeding cannot be conferred by consent of the parties.  A judgment rendered by a court which has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action or proceeding is void.

Art. 4. Same;  determination when dependent on amount in dispute or value of right asserted

When the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of an action depends upon the amount in dispute, or value of the right asserted, it shall be determined by the amount demanded, including damages pursuant to Civil Code Articles 2315.3 and 2315.4, or value asserted in good faith by the plaintiff, but the amount in dispute does not include interest, court costs, attorney fees, or penalties, whether provided by agreement or by law.

Acts 1995, No. 409, §1.

Art. 5. Same;  effect of reduction of claim

When a plaintiff reduces his claim on a single cause of action to bring it within the jurisdiction of a court and judgment is rendered thereon, he remits the portion of his claim for which he did not pray for judgment, and is precluded thereafter from demanding it judicially.

Art. 6. Jurisdiction over the person

A.  Jurisdiction over the person is the legal power and authority of a court to render a personal judgment against a party to an action or proceeding.  The exercise of this jurisdiction requires:

(1)  The service of process on the defendant, or on his agent for the service of process, or the express waiver of citation and service under Article 1201.

(2)  The service of process on the attorney at law appointed by the court to defend an action or proceeding brought against an absent or incompetent defendant who is domiciled in this state.

(3)  The submission of the party to the jurisdiction of the court by commencing an action or by the waiver of objection to jurisdiction by failure to timely file the declinatory exception.

B.  In addition to the provisions of Paragraph A, a court of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident on any basis consistent with the constitution of this state and with the Constitution of the United States.

Acts 1997, No. 578, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1263, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Art. 8. Jurisdiction over property;  in rem

A court which is otherwise competent under the laws of this state has jurisdiction to enforce a right in, to, or against property having a situs in this state, claimed or owned by a nonresident.

Acts 1995, No. 1104, §1.

Art. 9. Same;  quasi in rem;  attachment

A court which is otherwise competent under the laws of this state has jurisdiction to render a money judgment against a nonresident if the action is commenced by an attachment of his property in this state.  Unless the nonresident subjects himself personally to the jurisdiction of the court, the judgment may be executed only against the property attached.

Acts 1995, No. 1104, §1.

Art. 10. Jurisdiction over status

            A. A court which is otherwise competent under the laws of this state has jurisdiction of the following actions or proceedings only under the following conditions:

            (1) An adoption proceeding in accordance with Title XII of the Children's Code, if the surrendering parent of the child, a prospective adoptive parent, the adoptive parent or parents, or any parent of the child has been domiciled in this state for at least eight months, or if the child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services; and an adoption proceeding in accordance with Civil Code Article 212, if either party to the adoption of an adult is domiciled in this state.

            (2) An emancipation proceeding if the minor is domiciled in this state.

            (3) An interdiction proceeding brought pursuant to the provisions of the Louisiana Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act.

            (4) A tutorship or curatorship proceeding if the minor or absentee, as the case may be, is domiciled in this state or has property herein.

            (5) A proceeding to obtain the legal custody of a minor if he is domiciled in, or is in, this state.

            (6) An action to annul a marriage if one or both of the parties are domiciled in this state.

            (7) An action of divorce, if, at the time of filing, one or both of the spouses are domiciled in this state.

            (8) Unless otherwise provided by law, an action to establish parentage and support or to disavow parentage if the child is domiciled in or is in this state, and was either born in this state, born out of state while its mother was domiciled in this state, or acknowledged in this state. However, regardless of the location of the child or its place of birth, an action to disavow may be brought if the person seeking to disavow was domiciled in this state at the time of conception and birth and is presumed to be its parent under the laws of this state.

            (9) A proceeding for support of an adult child with a disability, as provided in R.S. 9:315.22(E), if he is domiciled in, or is in, this state.

            B. For purposes of Subparagraphs (6) and (7) of Paragraph A of this Article, if a spouse has established and maintained a residence in a parish of this state for a period of six months, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that he has a domicile in this state in the parish of such residence.

            Amended by Acts 1968, No. 172, §1; Acts 1980, No. 764, §1; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, No. 1243, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 1999, No. 1263, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 567, §2; Acts 2001, No. 1064, §1; Acts 2008, No. 351, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2015, No. 379, §2, eff. Aug. 1, 2016; Acts 2016, No. 333, §2.

Art. 11. Military personnel

For the purpose of status jurisdiction provided for in Article 10, a person not domiciled elsewhere in this state who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and has been stationed at one or more military installations in this state for at least six months and has resided in the parish where an action has been filed in which he is a party, for at least ninety days immediately preceding the filing of such action, is considered to be a domiciliary of this state and of the parish during the period of his service at such installations.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Chapter 2. Venue

Section 1. General Dispositions

Art. 41. Definition

Venue means the parish where an action or proceeding may properly be brought and tried under the rules regulating the subject.

Art. 42. General rules

The general rules of venue are that an action against:

(1)  An individual who is domiciled in the state shall be brought in the parish of his domicile; or if he resides but is not domiciled in the state, in the parish of his residence.

(2)  A domestic corporation, a domestic insurer, or a domestic limited liability company shall be brought in the parish where its registered office is located.

(3)  A domestic partnership, or a domestic unincorporated association, shall be brought in the parish where its principal business establishment is located.

(4)  A foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company licensed to do business in this state shall be brought in the parish where its principal business establishment is located as designated in its application to do business in the state, or, if no such designation is made, then in the parish where its primary place of business in the state is located.

(5)  A foreign corporation or a foreign limited liability company not licensed to do business in the state, or a nonresident who has not appointed an agent for the service of process in the manner provided by law, other than a foreign or alien insurer, shall be brought in the parish of the plaintiff's domicile or in a parish where the process may be, and subsequently is, served on the defendant.

(6)  A nonresident, other than a foreign corporation or a foreign or alien insurer, who has appointed an agent for the service of process in the manner provided by law, shall be brought in the parish of the designated post office address of an agent for the service of process.

(7)  A foreign or alien insurer shall be brought in the parish of East Baton Rouge.

Amended by Acts 1961, No. 23, §1; Acts 1990, No. 487, §1; Acts 1999, No. 145, §2; Acts 2001, No. 23, §1; Acts 2003, No. 545, §1; Acts 2012, No. 126, §1.

Art. 43. Exceptions to general rules

The general rules of venue provided in Article 42 are subject to the exceptions provided in Section 2 of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Book 1 of this Code and otherwise provided by law.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 649, §1; Acts 2013, No. 78, §1.

Art. 44. Waiver of objections to venue

A.  An objection to the venue may not be waived prior to the institution of the action.

B.  The venue provided in Articles 2006, 2811, 2812, 3941, 3993, 4031 through 4034, and 4542 may not be waived.

C.  Except as otherwise provided in this article or by other law, any objection to the venue, including one based on any article in this Chapter, is waived by the failure of the defendant to plead the declinatory exception timely as provided in Article 928.

Amended by Acts 1961, No. 23, §1; Acts 2010, No. 185, §1.

Art. 45. Conflict between two or more articles in Chapter

The following rules determine the proper venue in cases where two or more articles in this Chapter may conflict:

(1)  Article 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, or 87 governs the venue exclusively, if this article conflicts with any of Articles 42 and 71 through 77;

(2)  If there is a conflict between two or more of Articles 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, or 87, the plaintiff may bring the action in any venue provided by any applicable article; and

(3)  If Articles 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, and 87 are not applicable, and there is a conflict between two or more of Articles 42 and 71 through 77, the plaintiff may bring the action in any venue provided by any applicable article.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 649, §1; Acts 2013, No. 78, §1.

Section 2. Exceptions to General Rules

Art. 71. Action against individual who has changed domicile

An action against an individual who has changed his domicile from one parish to another may be brought in either parish for a period of one year from the date of the change, unless he has filed a declaration of intention to change his domicile, in the manner provided by law.

Art. 72. Certain actions involving property

An action in which a sequestration is sought, or an action to enforce a mortgage or privilege by an ordinary proceeding, may be brought in the parish where the property, or any portion thereof, is situated.

Acts 1997, No. 1055, §1.

Art. 73. Action against joint or solidary obligors

A.  An action against joint or solidary obligors may be brought in a parish of proper venue, under Article 42 only, as to any obligor who is made a defendant provided that an action for the recovery of damages for an offense or quasi-offense against joint or solidary obligors may be brought in the parish where the plaintiff is domiciled if the parish of plaintiff's domicile would be a parish of proper venue against any defendant under either Article 76 or R.S. 13:3203.

B.  If the action against this defendant is compromised prior to judgment, or dismissed after a trial on the merits, the venue shall remain proper as to the other defendants, unless the joinder was made for the sole purpose of establishing venue as to the other defendants.

Acts 1989, No. 117, §1.

Art. 74. Action on offense or quasi offense

An action for the recovery of damages for an offense or quasi offense may be brought in the parish where the wrongful conduct occurred, or in the parish where the damages were sustained.  An action to enjoin the commission of an offense or quasi offense may be brought in the parish where the wrongful conduct occurred or may occur.

As used herein, the words "offense or quasi offense" include a nuisance and a violation of Article 667 of the Civil Code.

Amended by Acts 1962, No. 92, §1.

Art. 74.1. Action to establish or disavow filiation

An action to establish filiation and support of a child may be brought in the parish: (1) of the domicile of the child, (2) where conception occurred, (3) where either parent resided at the time of conception, (4) where an act of acknowledgement of the child occurred, or (5) where the birth of the child occurred.

An action to disavow filiation may be brought in the parish of the child's birth, or where either parent resided at the time of that birth.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 764, §3.  Amended by Acts 1981, No. 722, §1.

 

Art. 74.2. Custody proceedings;  support;  forum non conveniens

NOTE: Paragraph A effective until August 1, 2016. See Acts 2015, No. 379, §2 and 3.

            A. A proceeding to obtain the legal custody of a minor or to establish an obligation of support may be brought in the parish where a party is domiciled or in the parish of the last matrimonial domicile.

NOTE: Paragraph A as amended by Acts 2015, No. 379, §2 and 3, eff. Aug. 1, 2016.

            A. A proceeding to obtain the legal custody of a child or to establish an obligation of support may be brought in the parish where a party is domiciled or in the parish of the last matrimonial domicile.

            B. A proceeding for change of custody may be brought in the parish where the person awarded custody is domiciled or in the parish where the custody decree was rendered. If the person awarded custody is no longer domiciled in the state, the proceeding for change of custody may be brought in the parish where the person seeking a change of custody is domiciled or in the parish where the custody decree was rendered.

            C. A proceeding for modification of support may be brought in any of the following:

            (1) The parish where the person awarded support is domiciled if the award has been registered in that parish pursuant to the provisions of Article 2785 et seq., regardless of the provisions of Article 2786(A) relative to the domicile of the parties.

            (2) The parish where the support award was rendered if it has not been registered and confirmed in another court of this state, pursuant to the provisions of Article 2785 et seq.

            (3) The parish where the support award was last registered if registered in multiple courts of this state.

            (4) Any of the following, if the person awarded support is no longer domiciled in the state:

            (a) The parish where the other person is domiciled.

            (b) The parish where the support award was rendered if not confirmed in another court of this state pursuant to Article 2785 et seq.

            (c) The parish where the support order was last confirmed pursuant to the provisions of Article 2785 et seq.

            D. A proceeding to register a child support, medical support, and income assignment order, or any such order issued by a court of this state for modification, may be brought in the parish where the person awarded support is domiciled.

            E. For the convenience of the parties and the witnesses and in the interest of justice, a court, upon contradictory motion or upon its own motion after notice and hearing, may transfer the custody or support proceeding to another court where the proceeding might have been brought.

            F. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if after August 26, 2005, and before August 15, 2007, a party has changed his domicile within the state and the other party resided in another state prior to the hurricanes, the custody or support proceeding shall be transferred to the parish of the domicile, upon motion made prior to December 31, 2007.

            Acts 1987, No. 417, §1; Acts 1997, No. 603, §1; Acts 2007, No. 99, §1; Acts 2010, No. 689, §1, eff. June 29, 2010; Acts 2015, No. 379, §2, eff. Aug. 1, 2016.

 

Art. 74.3. Marriage of persons related by adoption

Persons related by adoption seeking judicial authorization to marry in accordance with Civil Code Article 90 shall request authorization of the district court in the parish of either party's domicile.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 74.3.1. Marriage of persons;  waiver of certain information

            A. A person applying for a marriage license who is unable to provide a birth certificate, letter required by R.S. 9:227, a valid and unexpired passport, or visa accompanied by Form I-94 as issued by the United States may provide a Certificate of Naturalization by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Authority. A person applying for a marriage license who is unable to provide a social security number may provide a driver's license, a government issued identification card, a passport, a visa issued by the United States Department of State, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. A person applying for a marriage license who is unable to comply with the requirements of this Article may seek judicial authorization for waiver of the requirements of this Article. The court may grant the waiver and order the issuance of the marriage license if, after hearing and good cause shown, the court finds that such relief is appropriate and that the person has complied with other legal requirements for the marriage license. The hearing may be conducted in camera, and before a duty judge. The written order granting the waiver shall be attached to the marriage license application. If the court denies the waiver, the court shall provide reasons for the denial of the waiver.

            B. The judicial authorization may be granted by the district court, parish court, family court, or juvenile court, in the parish in which the marriage license application is made, or by the First or Second City Court of the City of New Orleans if such application is made within their territorial jurisdiction, or by a justice of the peace court or city court if the issuing official is located within the justice of the peace or city court's territorial jurisdiction.

            C. The provisions of this Article are in addition to any other right or remedy provided by law, are notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and shall supersede and control to the extent of conflict with any other provision of law.

            Acts 2017, No. 419, §1.

Art. 74.4. Action on an open account or a promissory note

A.  An action to collect an open account may be brought in the parish where the open account was created or where the services that formed the basis of such open account were performed, or in the parish of the domicile of the debtor.

B.  An action on a promissory note may be brought in the parish where the promissory note was executed or in the parish of the domicile of the debtor.

Acts 2007, No. 433, §1; Acts 2008, No. 357, §1, eff. June 26, 2008.

Art. 74.5. Adult adoption

An action to authorize an adult adoption in accordance with the second paragraph of Civil Code Article 212 may be brought in the parish of the domicile of either party to the adoption.

Acts 2008, No. 351, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 74.6. Actions to seek court approval by parents during marriage

            During the marriage of a minor's parents, an action to seek court approval to alienate, encumber, or lease the property of the minor, incur an obligation of the minor, or compromise a claim of the minor may be brought in the domicile of the minor, or if the parents seek to compromise a claim of the minor in a pending action, in that action.

            Acts 2015, No. 260, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 75. Action on judicial bond

A.  An action against the principal or surety, or both, on a bond filed in a judicial proceeding may be brought in the court where the bond was filed.

B.  An action against a legal surety may be brought in any parish where the principal obligor may be sued.

Acts 1987, No. 409, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 76. Action on insurance policy

An action on a life insurance policy may be brought in the parish where the deceased died, the parish where he was domiciled, or the parish where any beneficiary is domiciled.

An action on a health and accident insurance policy may be brought in the parish where the insured is domiciled, or in the parish where the accident or illness occurred.

An action on any other type of insurance policy may be brought in the parish where the loss occurred or the insured is domiciled.

Art. 76.1. Action on contract

An action on a contract may be brought in the parish where the contract was executed or the parish where any work or service was performed or was to be performed under the terms of the contract.

Acts 1991, No. 217, §2.

Art. 77. Action against person doing business in another parish

An action against a person having a business office or establishment in a parish other than that where he may be sued under Article 42 only, on a matter over which this office or establishment had supervision, may be brought in the parish where this office or establishment is located.

Acts 1989, No. 117, §1.

Art. 78. Action against partners of existing partnership

Except as provided in Article 79, an action against a partner of an existing partnership on an obligation of the latter, or on an obligation growing out of the partnership, shall be brought in any parish of proper venue as to the partnership.

Art. 79. Action to dissolve partnership

An action for the dissolution of a partnership shall be brought in the parish where it has or had its principal business establishment.

Art. 80. Action involving immovable property

A.  The following actions may be brought in the parish where the immovable property is situated or in the parish where the defendant in the action is domiciled:

(1)  An action to assert an interest in immovable property, or a right in, to, or against immovable property, except as otherwise provided in Article 72;

(2)  An action to partition immovable property, except as otherwise provided in Articles 81, 82, and 83; and

(3)  An action arising from the breach of a lease of immovable property, including the enforcing of a lessor's privilege or seeking the payment of rent.  The venue authorized by this Subparagraph shall be in addition to any other venue provided by law for such action.

B.  If the immovable property, consisting of one or more tracts, is situated in more than one parish, the action may be brought in any of these parishes.

C.  Any action by the sheriff after rendition of judgment shall be by the sheriff of the parish in which the immovable property is situated; however, if the immovable property, consisting of one or more tracts, is situated in more than one parish, the action may be brought by the sheriff of any of the parishes in which a portion of the immovable property is situated.

D.  Any action to revoke a donation of immovable property shall be brought in the parish in which the property is located.  If the property is located in more than one parish, the action may be brought in any one of them.  When such an action is filed a notice of pendency shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of Article 3751.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 732, §1; Acts 1989, No. 393, §1; Acts 1989, No. 541, §1.

Art. 81. Action involving succession

When a succession has been opened judicially, until rendition of the judgment of possession, the following actions shall be brought in the court in which the succession proceeding is pending:

(1)  A personal action by a creditor of the deceased; but an action brought against the deceased prior to his death may be prosecuted against his succession representative in the court in which it was brought;

(2)  An action to partition the succession;

(3)  An action to annul the testament of the deceased; and

(4)  An action to assert a right to the succession of the deceased, either under his testament or by effect of law.

Art. 82. Action to partition community property

A.  Except as otherwise provided in this Article, an action to partition community property and to settle the claims between the parties arising from either a matrimonial regime or from co-ownership of former community property shall be brought either as an incident of the action which would result in the termination of the community property regime or as a separate action in the parish where the judgment terminating the community property regime was rendered.

B.  If the spouses own community immovable property, the action to partition the community property, movable and immovable, and to settle the claims between the parties arising either from a matrimonial regime or from co-ownership of former community property may be brought in the parish in which any of the community immovable property is situated.

C.  If the spouses do not own community immovable property, the action to partition the community property and to settle the claims between the parties arising either from a matrimonial regime or from co-ownership of former community property may be brought in the parish where either party is domiciled.

Acts 1997, No. 1055, §1.

Art. 83. Action to partition partnership property

Except as otherwise provided in the second paragraph of this article, an action to partition partnership property shall be brought either as an incident of the action to dissolve the partnership, or as a separate action in the court which rendered the judgment dissolving the partnership.

If the partnership owns immovable property, the action to partition the partnership property, movable and immovable, may be brought in the parish where any of the immovable property is situated.

 

Art. 84. Action involving certain retirement systems and employee benefit programs

Actions involving the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System, Office of Group Benefits, State Police Pension and Relief Fund, Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System, Louisiana School Lunch Employees' Retirement System, Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana, Assessors' Retirement Fund, Clerks of Court Retirement and Relief Fund, District Attorneys' Retirement System, Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Louisiana, Parochial Employees' Retirement System of Louisiana, Registrar of Voters Employees' Retirement System, Sheriffs' Pension and Relief Fund, Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System, or the Firefighters' Retirement System shall be brought in the parish of East Baton Rouge or in the parish of the domicile of the retirement system or employee benefit program.

Added by Acts 1980, No.164, §1.  Amended by Acts 1982, No.103, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1178, §8, eff. June 29, 2001.

 

Art. 85. Action against domestic corporation;  charter revoked by secretary of state

An action against a domestic corporation, the charter and franchise of which have been administratively revoked by the secretary of state in accordance with R.S. 12:163, may be brought in any parish where the suit could have been brought prior to revocation.

Added by Acts 1982, No.649, §1.

Art. 86. Action involving voting trusts

An action against a voting trust or trustee of the voting trust, or both, may be brought:

(1)  In the parish or parishes where the document or documents creating the voting trust were executed.

(2)  If stock transferred to the voting trust was held by an inter vivos trust, in the parish or parishes where the inter vivos trust documents were executed.

(3)  If stock transferred to the voting trust was held by a mortis causa trust, in the parish having jurisdiction over the settlor's estate.

Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 102, §2, eff. May 5, 1998.

 

Art. 87. Action involving application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment

Section 3. Change of Venue

Art. 121. Action brought in improper venue;  transfer

When an action is brought in a court of improper venue, the court may dismiss the action, or in the interest of justice transfer it to a court of proper venue.

Art. 122. Change of proper venue

Any party by contradictory motion may obtain a change of venue upon proof that he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial because of the undue influence of an adverse party, prejudice existing in the public mind, or some other sufficient cause.  If the motion is granted, the action shall be transferred to a parish wherein no party is domiciled.

Art. 123. Forum non conveniens

A.(1)  For the convenience of the parties and the witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court upon contradictory motion, or upon the court's own motion after contradictory hearing, may transfer a civil case to another district court where it might have been brought; however, no suit brought in the parish in which the plaintiff is domiciled, and in a court which is otherwise a court of competent jurisdiction and proper venue, shall be transferred to any other court pursuant to this Article.

(2)  For purposes of Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, domicile shall be the location pursuant to Article 42 where the plaintiff would be subject to suit had he been a defendant.

B.  Upon the contradictory motion of any defendant in a civil case filed in a district court of this state in which a claim or cause of action is predicated upon acts or omissions originating outside the territorial boundaries of this state, when it is shown that there exists a more appropriate forum outside of this state, taking into account the location where the acts giving rise to the action occurred, the convenience of the parties and witnesses, and the interest of justice, the court may dismiss the suit without prejudice; however, no suit in which the plaintiff is domiciled in this state, and which is brought in a court which is otherwise a court of competent jurisdiction and proper venue, shall be dismissed pursuant to this Article.

C.  In the interest of justice, and before the rendition of the judgment of dismissal, the court shall require the defendant or defendants to file with the court a waiver of any defense based upon prescription that has matured since the commencement of the action in Louisiana, provided that a suit on the same cause of action or on any cause of action arising out of the same transaction or occurrence is commenced in a court of competent jurisdiction in an appropriate foreign forum within sixty days from the rendition of the judgment of dismissal.  Such waiver shall be null and of no effect if such suit is not filed within this sixty-day period.  The court may further condition the judgment of dismissal to allow for reinstatement of the same cause of action in the same forum in the event a suit on the same cause of action or on any cause of action arising out of the same transaction or occurrence is commenced in an appropriate foreign forum within sixty days after the rendition of the judgment of dismissal and such foreign forum is unable to assume jurisdiction over the parties or does not recognize such cause of action or any cause of action arising out of the same transaction or occurrence.

Added by Acts 1970, No. 294, §1; Acts 1988, No. 818, §1, eff. July 18, 1988; Acts 1999, No. 536, §1, eff. June 30, 1999; Acts 2012, No. 713, §1.

Art. 124. Forum non conveniens;  transfer to city court

If a party has filed separate suits in a district court and a city court within the territorial jurisdiction of the district court relating to the same cause of action but placing a claim for property damage in one court and a claim for personal injury in the other court, the district court upon contradictory motion, or upon the court's own motion after contradictory hearing, may transfer the suit in its court to the city court if the transfer serves the convenience of the parties and the witnesses and is in the interest of justice.

Acts 1985, No. 600, §1.

Chapter 3. Recusation of Judges

Art. 151. Grounds

A.  A judge of any court, trial or appellate, shall be recused when he:

(1)  Is a witness in the cause;

(2)  Has been employed or consulted as an attorney in the cause or has previously been associated with an attorney during the latter's employment in the cause, and the judge participated in representation in the cause;

(3)  Is the spouse of a party, or of an attorney employed in the cause or the judge's parent, child, or immediate family member is a party or attorney employed in the cause; or

(4)  Is biased, prejudiced, or interested in the cause or its outcome or biased or prejudiced toward or against the parties or the parties' attorneys or any witness to such an extent that he would be unable to conduct fair and impartial proceedings.

B.  A judge of any court, trial or appellate, may be recused when he:

(1)  Has been associated with an attorney during the latter's employment in the cause;

(2)  At the time of the hearing of any contested issue in the cause, has continued to employ, to represent him personally, the attorney actually handling the cause (not just a member of that attorney's firm), and in this case the employment shall be disclosed to each party in the cause;

(3)  Has performed a judicial act in the cause in another court; or

(4)  Is related to:  a party or the spouse of a party, within the fourth degree; an attorney employed in the cause or the spouse of the attorney, within the second degree; or if the judge's spouse, parent, child, or immediate family member living in the judge's household has a substantial economic interest in the subject matter in controversy sufficient to prevent the judge from conducting fair and impartial proceedings in the cause.

C.  In any cause in which the state, or a political subdivision thereof, or a religious body or corporation is interested, the fact that the judge is a citizen of the state or a resident of the political subdivision, or pays taxes thereto, or is a member of the religious body or corporation, is not a ground for recusation.

Acts 1983, No. 106, §1; Acts 1987, No. 579, §1; Acts 1988, No. 515, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 2008, No. 663, §1.

Art. 152. Recusation on court's own motion or by supreme court

A.  A judge may recuse himself, whether a motion for his recusation has been filed by a party or not, in any cause in which a ground for recusation exists.

B.  A district judge may recuse himself in any cause objecting to the candidacy or contesting the election for any office in which the district or jurisdiction of such office lies wholly within the judicial district from which the judge is elected.

C.  On the written application of a district judge, the supreme court may recuse him for any reason which it considers sufficient.

D.  If a judge recuses himself pursuant to this Article, he shall provide in writing the specific grounds under Article 151 for which the recusal is ordered within fifteen days of the rendering of the order of recusal.

Acts 1985, No. 967, §1; Acts 2001, No. 932, §1.

Art. 153. Judge may act until recused or motion for recusation filed

Until a judge has recused himself, or a motion for his recusation has been filed, he has full power and authority to act in the cause.  The judge to whom the motion to recuse is assigned shall have full power and authority to act in the cause pending the disposition of the motion to recuse.

Acts 2010, No. 262, §1.

Art. 154. Procedure for recusation

A party desiring to recuse a judge of a district court shall file a written motion therefor assigning the ground for recusation.  This motion shall be filed prior to trial or hearing unless the party discovers the facts constituting the ground for recusation thereafter, in which event it shall be filed immediately after these facts are discovered, but prior to judgment.  If a valid ground for recusation is set forth in the motion, the judge shall either recuse himself, or refer the motion to another judge or a judge ad hoc, as provided in Articles 155 and 156, for a hearing.

Art. 155. Selection of judge to try motion to recuse;  court having two or more judges

A.  In a district court having two judges, the judge who is sought to be recused shall have the motion to recuse referred to the other judge of the court for trial of the motion to recuse.

B.  In a district court having more than two judges, the motion to recuse shall be referred to another judge of the district court for trial through the random process of assignment in accordance with the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure Article 253.1.

Acts 2001, No. 417, §1.

Art. 156. Same;  court having single judge

When a ground assigned for the recusation of the judge of a district court having a single judge is his interest in the cause, the judge shall appoint a district judge of an adjoining district to try the motion to recuse.  When any other ground is assigned for the recusation of such a district judge, he may appoint either a district judge of an adjoining district, or a lawyer domiciled in the judicial district who has the qualifications of a district judge, to try the motion to recuse.

The order of court appointing the judge ad hoc shall be entered on its minutes, and a certified copy of the order shall be sent to the judge ad hoc.

Amended by Acts 1962, No. 409, §1.

Art. 157. Judge ad hoc appointed to try cause when judge recused;  power of judge ad hoc

A.  After a trial judge recuses himself under the authority of Article 152(A), a judge ad hoc shall be assigned to try the cause in the manner provided by Articles 155 and 156 for the appointment of a judge ad hoc to try the motion to recuse.  When a trial judge is recused after a trial of the motion therefor, the case shall be reassigned to a new judge for trial of the cause under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure Articles 155 and 156.

B.  After a trial judge recuses himself under the authority of Article 152(B) he shall make written application to the supreme court for the appointment of another district judge as judge ad hoc to try the cause.  The supreme court shall appoint a judge from a judicial district other than the judicial district of the recused judge as judge ad hoc to try the cause.

C.  The judge ad hoc has the same power and authority to dispose of the cause as the recused judge has in cases in which no ground for recusation exists.

Acts 1985, No. 967, §1; Acts 2001, No. 417, §1.

Art. 158. Supreme court appointment of district judge to try cause when judge recused

In a cause in which the district judge is recused, even when a judge ad hoc has been appointed for the trial of the cause under Article 157, a party may apply to the supreme court for the appointment of another district judge as judge ad hoc to try the cause.  If the supreme court deems it in the interest of justice, such appointment shall be made.

The order of the supreme court appointing a judge ad hoc shall be entered on its minutes.  The clerk of the supreme court shall forward two certified copies of the order, one to the judge ad hoc appointed and the other to the clerk of the district court where the cause is pending, for entry in its minutes.

Art. 159. Recusation of supreme court justice

When a written motion is filed to recuse a justice of the supreme court, he may recuse himself or the motion shall be heard by the other justices of the court.

When a justice of the supreme court recuses himself, or is recused, the court may (1) have the cause argued before and disposed of by the other justices, or (2) appoint a judge of a district court or a court of appeal having the qualifications of a justice of the supreme court to act for the recused justice in the hearing and disposition of the cause.

Art. 160. Recusation of judge of court of appeal

When a written motion is filed to recuse a judge of a court of appeal, he may recuse himself or the motion shall be heard by the other judges on the panel to which the cause is assigned, or by all judges of the court, except the judge sought to be recused, sitting en banc.

When a judge of a court of appeal recuses himself, or is recused, the court may (1) have the cause argued before and disposed of by the other judges of the panel to which it is assigned, or (2) appoint another of its judges, a judge of a district court or a lawyer having the qualifications of a judge of a court of appeal to act for the recused judge in the hearing and disposition of the cause.

Art. 161. Recusation of judge ad hoc

A judge ad hoc appointed to try a motion to recuse a judge, or appointed to try the cause, may be recused on the grounds and in the manner provided in this Chapter for the recusation of judges.

Chapter 4. Power and Authority

Section 1. General Dispositions

Art. 191. Inherent judicial power

A court possesses inherently all of the power necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction even though not granted expressly by law.

Art. 192. Appointment of expert witnesses;  expenses

A.  The appointment of expert witnesses is controlled by Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 706.

B.  The reasonable fees and expenses of these experts shall be taxed as costs of court.

Amended by Acts 1988, No. 515, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.

Art. 192.1. Interpreters for deaf and severely hearing-impaired persons

A.  In all civil cases and in the taking of any deposition where a party or a witness is a deaf or severely hearing-impaired person, the proceedings of the trial shall be interpreted to him in a language that he can understand by a qualified interpreter appointed by the court.  The qualification of an interpreter as an expert is governed by the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

B.  In any case in which an interpreter is required to be appointed by the court under the provisions of this Article, the court shall not commence proceedings until the appointed interpreter is in court.  The interpreter so appointed shall take an oath or affirmation that he will make a true interpretation to the deaf or severely hearing-impaired person of all the proceedings of the case in a language that he understands, and that he will repeat the deaf or severely hearing-impaired person's answer to questions to counsel, court or jury to the best of his skill and judgment.

C.(1)  Interpreters appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be paid an amount determined by the judge presiding.  In the event travel of the interpreter is necessary, all of the actual expenses of travel, lodging, and meals incurred by the interpreter in connection with the case at which the interpreter is appointed to serve shall be paid at the same rate applicable to state employees.

(2)  The costs of such interpreter shall be borne by the court.

Added by Acts 1968, No. 319, §1.  Acts 1988, No. 515, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 109, §1; Acts 1995, No. 285, §1, eff. June 14, 1995.

Art. 192.2. Appointment of interpreter for non-English-speaking persons

            A. If a non-English-speaking person who is a principal party in interest or a witness in a proceeding before the court has requested an interpreter, a judge shall appoint, after consultation with the non-English-speaking person or his attorney, a competent interpreter to interpret or to translate the proceedings to him and to interpret or translate his testimony.

            B. The court shall order payment to the interpreter for his services at a fixed reasonable amount, and that amount shall be paid out of the appropriate court fund, except as provided in Paragraph C of this Article. The amount paid out of the fund may be taxed by the court as costs of court to be reimbursed to the fund.

            C. In a proceeding alleging abuse under R.S. 46:2134 et seq., an interpreter if necessary shall be appointed prior to a rule to show cause hearing.

            Acts 2008, No. 882, §1; Acts 2019, No. 406, §1, eff. June 20, 2019.

Art. 193. Power to adopt local rules;  publication

A court may adopt rules for the conduct of judicial business before it, including those governing matters of practice and procedure which are not contrary to the rules provided by law.  When a court has more than one judge, its rules shall be adopted or amended by a majority of the judges thereof, sitting en banc.

The rules may provide that the court may call a special session of court during vacation, and that any action, proceeding, or matter otherwise required by law to be tried or heard in open court during the regular session may be tried or heard during the special session.

The rules shall be entered on the minutes of the court.  Rules adopted by an appellate court shall be published in the manner which the court considers most effective and practicable.  Rules adopted by a district court shall be printed in pamphlet form, and a copy shall be furnished on request to any attorney licensed to practice law in this state.

Art. 194. Power of district court to act in chambers;  signing orders and judgments

            The following orders and judgments may be signed by the district judge in chambers:

            (1) Order directing the taking of an inventory; judgment decreeing or homologating a partition, when unopposed; judgment probating a testament ex parte; order directing the execution of a testament; order confirming or appointing a legal representative, when unopposed; order appointing an undertutor or an undercurator; order appointing an attorney at law to represent an absent, incompetent, or unrepresented person, or an attorney for an absent heir; order authorizing the sale of property of an estate administered by a legal representative; order directing the publication of the notice of the filing of a tableau of distribution, or of an account, by a legal representative; judgment recognizing heirs or legatees and sending them into possession, when unopposed; all orders for the administration and settlement of a succession, or for the administration of an estate by a legal representative;

            (2) Order to show cause; order directing the issuance and providing the security to be furnished by a party for the issuance of a writ of attachment or sequestration; order directing the release of property seized under a writ of attachment or sequestration and providing the security to be furnished therefor; order for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and providing the security therefor; order for the issuance of a writ, or alternative writ, of habeas corpus, mandamus, or quo warranto;

            (3) Order for the seizure and sale of property in an executory proceeding;

            (4) Order for the taking of testimony by deposition; for the production of documentary evidence; for the production of documents and things for inspection, copying, or photographing; for permission to enter land for the purpose of measuring, surveying, or photographing;

            (5) Order or judgment deciding or otherwise disposing of an action, proceeding, or matter which may be tried or heard in chambers;

            (6) Order or judgment that may be granted on ex parte motion or application, except an order of appeal on an oral motion; and

            (7) Any other order or judgment not specifically required by law to be signed in open court.

            Acts 2018, No. 195, §1.

Art. 195. Same;  judicial proceedings

The following judicial proceedings may be conducted by the district judge in chambers:

(1)  Hearing on an application by a legal representative for authority, whether opposed or unopposed, and on a petition for emancipation;

(2)  Homologation of a tableau of distribution, or of an account, filed by a legal representative, so far as unopposed;

(3)  Trial of a rule to determine the nonexempt portion of wages, salaries, or commissions seized under garnishment and to direct the payment thereof periodically by the garnishee to the sheriff;

(4)  Examination of a judgment debtor; and

(5)  Trial of or hearing on any other action, proceeding, or matter which the law expressly provides may be tried or heard in chambers.

Art. 196. Power of district court to act in vacation

The following judicial acts or proceedings may be performed or conducted by the district court during vacation:

(1)  Signing of an order or judgment which, under Article 194, may be signed in chambers; and signing of any order or judgment in an action or proceeding which is tried in vacation;

(2)  Trial of or hearing on an action, proceeding, or matter which, under Article 195, may be tried or heard in chambers;

(3)  Trial of a rule for a preliminary injunction, or for the dissolution or modification of any injunctive order;

(4)  Trial of a habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, or partition proceeding;

(5)  Trial of a motion for a change of venue;

(6)  Trial of or hearing on any other action, proceeding, or matter which the law expressly provides may be tried or heard during vacation, or in which the parties thereto have consented to the trial or hearing thereof during vacation;

(7)  Signing of an order of appeal requested by petition, providing the security therefor, and trying a rule to test the surety on an appeal bond; and

(8)  Trial of or hearing on an action, proceeding, or matter in a special session which, under the rules of the court, may be tried or heard therein.

Art. 196.1. Power of courts to act during emergencies

            A. A district court or a court of limited jurisdiction may sign orders and judgments while outside of its territorial jurisdiction during an emergency or disaster declared as such pursuant to R.S. 29:724(B) if the emergency or disaster prevents the court from operating in its own jurisdiction.

            B. The court shall indicate the location where the order or judgment was signed on any order or judgment signed outside of the court's territorial jurisdiction pursuant to this Article.

            Acts 2018, No. 275, §1.

Art. 197. Testimony of inmates

A.  As used in this Article, "inmate" means a person confined in any prison, jail, correctional or training institution operated by the state, any of its political subdivisions, or any sheriff either while awaiting disposition of contemplated or pending criminal charges, pursuant to a sentence imposed by a court following the conviction of a crime, or pursuant to the judgment of a juvenile court.

B.  When in any judicial proceeding the testimony of an inmate is required by law to be given in open court, when an inmate is a party to a judicial proceeding under circumstances giving him the legal right to be present in open court at any stage of the proceeding, or when the presence of an inmate witness in open court is requested timely by a party to litigation and is justified under the facts and circumstances of the case, the trial judge, in his discretion, may order any of the following:

(1)  The court be convened and the testimony of the inmate be taken, or the proceedings conducted at the institution wherein the inmate is confined.

(2)  The testimony of the inmate be taken, or the proceedings conducted, by teleconference, video link, or other available remote technology approved by the judge, or by telephone if agreed to by all parties and approved by the judge.

(3)  If the interests of justice require the presence of the inmate in open court and if no other methodology authorized hereunder is feasible, the court may order that the prisoner be transported to the courthouse pursuant to R.S. 15:706(D).

Added by Acts 1975, No. 403, §1; Acts 2001, No. 842, §1, eff. June 26, 2001.

Section 2. Power to Punish for Contempt

Art. 221. Kinds of contempt

A contempt of court is any act or omission tending to obstruct or interfere with the orderly administration of justice, or to impair the dignity of the court or respect for its authority.

Contempts of court are of two kinds, direct and constructive.

Art. 222. Direct contempt

A direct contempt of court is one committed in the immediate view and presence of the court and of which it has personal knowledge, or a contumacious failure to comply with a subpoena or summons, proof of service of which appears of record.

Any of the following acts constitutes a direct contempt of court:

(1)  Contumacious, insolent, or disorderly behavior toward the judge, or an attorney or other officer of the court, tending to interrupt or interfere with the business of the court, or to impair its dignity or respect for its authority;

(2)  Breach of the peace, boisterous conduct, or violent disturbance tending to interrupt or interfere with the business of the court, or to impair its dignity or respect for its authority;

(3)  Use of insulting, abusive, or discourteous language by an attorney or other person in open court, or in a pleading, brief, or other document filed with the court in irrelevant criticism of another attorney or of a judge or officer of the court;

(4)  Violation of a rule of the court adopted to maintain order and decorum in the court room;

(5)  Contumacious failure to comply with a subpoena, proof of service of which appears of record, or refusal to take the oath or affirmation as a witness, or refusal of a witness to answer a non-incriminating question when ordered to do so by the court; and

(6)  Contumacious failure to attend court to serve as a juror after being accepted as such, or to attend court as a member of a jury venire, when proof of service of the summons appears of record.

Art. 222.1. Direct contempt;  fingerprinting and photographing;  exception

No person arrested or found guilty for the first offense of direct contempt of court either for failure to attend court as a member of a jury venire when proof of service of the summons appears on the record or for failure to comply with a subpoena to attend court to serve as a witness when proof of service of the subpoena appears on the record shall be subject to fingerprinting or have his photograph taken in any arrest or postsentence procedure.

Acts 1985, No. 937, §1.

Art. 223. Same;  procedure for punishing

A person who has committed a direct contempt of court may be found guilty and punished therefor by the court forthwith, without any trial other than affording him an opportunity to be heard orally by way of defense or mitigation.  The court shall render an order reciting the facts constituting the contempt, adjudging the person guilty thereof, and specifying the punishment imposed.

Art. 224. Constructive contempt

A constructive contempt of court is any contempt other than a direct one.

Any of the following acts constitutes a constructive contempt of court:

(1)  Wilful neglect or violation of duty by a clerk, sheriff, or other person elected, appointed, or employed to assist the court in the administration of justice;

(2)  Wilful disobedience of any lawful judgment, order, mandate, writ, or process of the court;

(3)  Removal or attempted removal of any person or property in the custody of an officer acting under authority of a judgment, order, mandate, writ, or process of the court;

(4)  Deceit or abuse of the process or procedure of the court by a party to an action or proceeding, or by his attorney;

(5)  Unlawful detention of a witness, party, or his attorney, while going to, remaining at, or returning from the court where the action or proceeding is to be tried;

(6)  Improper conversation by a juror or venireman with a party to an action which is being, or may be, tried by a jury of which the juror is a member, or of which the venireman may be a member, or with any person relative to the merits of such an action; or receipt by a juror or venireman of a communication from any person with reference to such an action, without making an immediate disclosure to the court of the substance thereof;

(7)  Assuming to act as a juror, or as an attorney or other officer of the court, without lawful authority;

(8)  Comment by a newspaper or other medium for the dissemination of news upon a case or proceeding, then pending and undecided, which constitutes a clear, present, and imminent danger of obstructing or interfering with the orderly administration of justice, by either influencing the court to reach a particular decision, or embarrassing it in the discharge of its judicial duties;

(9)  Wilful disobedience by an inferior court, judge, or other officer thereof, of the lawful judgment, order, mandate, writ, or process of an appellate court, rendered in connection with an appeal from a judgment or order of the inferior court, or in connection with a review of such judgment or order under a supervisory writ issued by the appellate court; and

(10)  Any other act or omission punishable by law as a contempt of court, or intended to obstruct or interfere with the orderly administration of justice, or to impair the dignity of the court or respect for its authority, and which is not a direct contempt.

(11)  Knowingly making a false statement or representation of a material fact or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact in order to apply for or receive support enforcement services for the purpose of securing an order of paternity, child support, medical support, an income assignment order, or a notice of income assignment against another person.

Acts 2004, No. 159, §1, eff. June 10, 2004.

Art. 225. Same;  procedure for punishing

A.  Except as otherwise provided by law, a person charged with committing a constructive contempt of court may be found guilty thereof and punished therefor only after the trial by the judge of a rule against him to show cause why he should not be adjudged guilty of contempt and punished accordingly.  The rule to show cause may issue on the court's own motion or on motion of a party to the action or proceeding and shall state the facts alleged to constitute the contempt.  A person charged with committing a constructive contempt of a court of appeal may be found guilty thereof and punished therefor after receiving a notice to show cause, by brief, to be filed not less than forty-eight hours from the date the person receives such notice why he should not be found guilty of contempt and punished accordingly.  The person so charged shall be granted an oral hearing on the charge if he submits a written request to the clerk of the appellate court within forty-eight hours after receiving notice of the charge.  Such notice from the court of appeal may be sent by registered or certified mail or may be served by the sheriff.  In all other cases, a certified copy of the motion, and of the rule to show cause, shall be served upon the person charged with contempt in the same manner as a subpoena at least forty-eight hours before the time assigned for the trial of the rule.

B.  If the person charged with contempt is found guilty the court shall render an order reciting the facts constituting the contempt, adjudging the person charged with contempt guilty thereof, and specifying the punishment imposed.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 530, §2.

Art. 226. Same;  imprisonment until performance

When a contempt of court consists of the omission to perform an act which is yet in the power of the person charged with contempt to perform, he may be imprisoned until he performs it, and in such a case this shall be specified in the court's order.

Art. 227. Punishment for contempt

A person may not be adjudged guilty of a contempt of court except for misconduct defined as such, or made punishable as such, expressly by law.

The punishment which a court may impose upon a person adjudged guilty of contempt of court is provided in R.S. 13:4611.

Chapter 5. Clerks

Section 1. General Dispositions

Art. 251. Custodian of court records;  certified copies;  records public

A.  The clerk of court is the legal custodian of all of its records and is responsible for their safekeeping and preservation.  He may issue a copy of any of these records, certified by him under the seal of the court to be a correct copy of the original.  Except as otherwise provided by law, he shall permit any person to examine, copy, photograph, or make a memorandum of any of these records at any time during which the clerk's office is required by law to be open.  However, notwithstanding the provisions of this Paragraph or R.S. 44:31 et seq., the use, placement, or installation of privately owned copying, reproducing, scanning, or any other such imaging equipment, whether hand-held, portable, fixed, or otherwise, within the offices of the clerk of court is prohibited unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

B.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph A of this Article, a judge issuing a court order may certify a copy of that order for service of process, if the order is issued in an emergency situation and at a time when the clerk of court's office is not open.  A determination of when an emergency situation exists shall be made by the judge issuing the order.

Acts 1986, No. 218, §1; Acts 1995, No. 372, §1, eff. July 1, 1995; Acts 2005, No. 193, §1.

Art. 252. Issuance of process

The clerk of a court shall issue all citations, writs, mandates, summons, subpoenas, and other process of the court in the name of the State of Louisiana.  He shall indicate thereon the court from which they issue, sign them in his official capacity, and affix the seal of the court thereto.  If service by the sheriff is required, the clerk shall deliver or mail them to the sheriff who is to make the service.

Art. 253. Pleadings, documents, and exhibits to be filed with clerk

            A. All pleadings or documents to be filed in an action or proceeding instituted or pending in a court, and all exhibits introduced in evidence, shall be delivered to the clerk of the court for such purpose. The clerk shall endorse thereon the fact and date of filing and shall retain possession thereof for inclusion in the record, or in the files of his office, as required by law. The endorsement of the fact and date of filing shall be made upon receipt of the pleadings or documents by the clerk and shall be made without regard to whether there are orders in connection therewith to be signed by the court.

            B. The filings as provided in Paragraph A of this Article and all other provisions of this Chapter, may be transmitted electronically in accordance with a system established by a clerk of court. When a clerk of court establishes such a system, he shall adopt and implement procedures for the electronic filing and storage of any pleading, document, or exhibit. The official record shall be the electronic record. A pleading or document filed electronically is deemed filed on the date and time stated on the confirmation of electronic filing sent from the clerk of court. Public access to electronically filed pleadings and documents shall be in accordance with the rules governing access to written filings.

            C. A judge or justice presiding over a court in this state may sign a court order, notice, official court document, and other writings required to be executed in connection with court proceedings, by use of an electronic signature as defined by R.S. 9:2602. The various courts shall provide by court rule for the method of electronic signature to be used and to ensure the authenticity of the electronic signature.

            D. Any pleading or document in a traffic or criminal action may be filed with the court by facsimile transmission in compliance with the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 14.1.

            E. The clerk shall not refuse to accept for filing any pleading or other document signed by electronic signature, as defined by R.S. 9:2602, and executed in connection with court proceedings, solely on the ground that it was signed by electronic signature.

            Amended by Acts 1980, No. 355, §1; Acts 1985, No. 457, §1; Acts 2001, No. 319, §2; Acts 2010, No. 461, §1; Acts 2014, No. 606, §1; Acts 2017, No. 419, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.

Art. 253.1. Pleadings;  random assignment of cases

All pleadings filed shall be randomly assigned to a particular section or division of the court by either of the following methods:

(1)  By drawing indiscriminately from a pool containing designations of all sections or divisions of court in the particular jurisdiction in which the case is filed.

(2)  By use of a properly programmed electronic device or computer programmed to randomly assign cases to any one of the sections or divisions of court in the particular jurisdiction in which the case is filed.

Acts 1995, No. 829, §1.

Art. 253.2. Transfer and reassignment of pending cases

After a case has been assigned to a particular section or division of the court, it may not be transferred from one section or division to another section or division within the same court, unless agreed to by all parties, or unless it is being transferred to effect a consolidation for purpose of trial pursuant to Article 1561.  However, the supreme court, by rule, may establish uniform procedures for reassigning cases under circumstances where an expeditious disposition of cases may be effectuated.

Acts 1997, No. 968, §1.

Art. 253.3. Duty judge exceptions;  authority to hear certain matters

            A. In any case assigned pursuant to Article 253.1, a duty judge shall only hear and sign orders or judgments for the following:

            (1) Domestic relations emergency matters and protective orders concerning physical safety.

            (2) Temporary restraining orders.

            (3) Entry of preliminary defaults, confirmation of defaults, stipulated matters, examination of judgment debtors, orders to proceed in forma pauperis, orders allowing the filing of supplemental and amending petitions when no trial date has been assigned, orders allowing incidental demands when no trial date has been assigned, orders allowing additional time to answer, and judicial commitments.

            (4) Uncontested cases in which all parties other than the plaintiff are represented by an attorney appointed by the court.

            (5) Uncontested judgments of divorce pursuant to Civil Code Article 102.

            (6) Orders directing the taking of an inventory; judgments decreeing or homologating a partition, when unopposed; judgments probating a testament ex parte; orders directing the execution of a testament; orders confirming or appointing a legal representative, when unopposed; orders appointing an undertutor or an undercurator; orders appointing an attorney at law to represent an absent, incompetent, or unrepresented person, or an attorney for an absent heir; orders authorizing the sale of property of an estate administered by a legal representative; orders directing the publication of the notice of the filing of a tableau of distribution, or of an account, by a legal representative; judgments recognizing heirs or legatees and sending them into possession, when unopposed; and all orders for the administration and settlement of a succession, or for the administration of an estate by a legal representative.

            (7) Orders for the seizure and sale of property in an executory proceeding.

            B. In any case assigned pursuant to Article 253.1, a duty judge shall only sign orders for issuing the following: orders to show cause; orders directing the issuance and providing the security to be furnished by a party for the issuance of a writ of attachment or sequestration; orders directing the release of property seized under a writ of attachment or sequestration and providing the security to be furnished therefor; orders for the issuance of a writ, or alternative writ, of habeas corpus, mandamus, or quo warranto; and orders for appeal.

            C. In any case assigned pursuant to Article 253.1, a duty judge may sign any order specifically and expressly authorized by the judge to whom the case is assigned.

            D. When a duty judge hears any matter or signs any order or judgment pursuant to this Article, he shall not acquire jurisdiction over additional matters in the case. Following the ruling of the duty judge, the judge assigned pursuant to Article 253.1 shall hear the other matters in the case, including but not limited to discovery matters, preliminary injunctions, and injunctions.

            Acts 2000, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 24, §1; Acts 2017, No. 419, §1.

Art. 254. Docket and minute books

A.  In addition to other record books required by law, each court shall keep docket and minute books.

B.  The clerk of the court shall enter in the docket book the number and title of each action or proceeding filed in the court, the date of filing of the petition, exceptions, answers, and other pleadings, and the court costs paid by and the names of counsel of record for each of the parties.

C.  All orders and judgments rendered, all motions made, all proceedings conducted, and all judicial acts of the court during each day it is in session shall be entered in the minute book.

D.  An electronic record of the minutes which is not capable of alteration without indication that a change has been made may be maintained in lieu of a written entry.

Acts 1995, No. 1003, §1.

Art. 255. Deputy clerks and other employees

Except as otherwise provided by law, a deputy clerk of a court possesses all of the powers and authority granted by law to the clerk, and may perform any of the duties and exercise any of the functions of the clerk.

Deputy clerks and other employees of a clerk of court are subject to his direction and supervision, and shall perform the duties assigned to them by law, the court, and the clerk.

The clerk of a court is responsible for the performance or nonperformance of their official duties by his deputies and other employees.

Art. 256. Minute clerk

The minute clerk of a court shall keep the minutes of the court daily when in session and transcribe them into the minute book, as required by Article 254; shall file all pleadings and documents tendered for filing in open court; and shall perform such other duties as are assigned to him by law, the court, and the clerk with the approval of the court.

The minute clerk of a trial court shall administer the oath to jurors and witnesses and shall file all exhibits offered in evidence, when directed to do so by the court.  If there are two or more judges on a trial court, its rules may require a minute clerk for each division thereof.

When a court has no minute clerk, and there is no deputy clerk available for such duty, the clerk shall perform all of the duties of the minute clerk.

Art. 257. Neglect, failure, or refusal of clerk, deputy, or other employee to perform duty subjects him to punishment for contempt

The neglect, failure, or refusal of a clerk, deputy clerk, or other employee of a clerk of court to perform any ministerial duty subjects him to punishment for contempt of court.

Art. 258. Electronic filing and recording of written instruments

            A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a clerk of court, as ex officio recorder, the Orleans Parish register of conveyances, or its successor, or the Orleans Parish recorder of mortgages or its successor, hereinafter referred to as "recorder", is authorized to adopt and implement a published plan which shall include a written contract between the clerk of court, the Orleans Parish register of conveyances, or its successor, or the Orleans Parish recorder of mortgages, or its successor, and the filer, which complies with the Louisiana Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, R.S. 9:2601 et seq., and which provides for the acceptance of an electronic record of any recordable written instrument except original maps, plats, property descriptions, or photographs as related to the work of a professional surveyor engaged in the "Practice of Land Surveying" as defined in R.S. 37:682 for filing and recording submitted by any person, department, political subdivision, agency, branch, entity, or instrumentality of Louisiana or of the federal government or of a state-chartered or federally chartered financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration. The filer of such an electronic record shall certify to the recorder that the written instrument from which the electronic record is taken conforms to all applicable laws relating to the form and content of instruments which are submitted in writing.

            B. Immediately after acceptance of an electronic record for filing, the recorder shall endorse such record with the date, hour, and minute it is filed. An electronic filing received on a legal holiday or at any time other than during the normal business hours of the recorder shall be accepted for filing on the next business day by the same procedure followed when a paper document is received in the mail of the recorder at any time other than during normal business hours.

            C. An electronic record shall be effective with respect to a third person from the time of its filing in the same manner as if the written instrument had been filed.

            D. On or before January 1, 2022, each clerk of court, including the Orleans Parish register of conveyances or its successor and the Orleans Parish recorder of mortgages or its successor, shall adopt and implement a plan for recording electronic documents in accordance with Paragraph A of this Article.

            Acts 2005, No. 125, §1; Acts 2008, No. 368, §1; Acts 2017, No. 173, §5.

Art. 259. Liability of clerk of court

The clerk of court shall not be liable for any damages caused by any third party to any information included in pleadings or documents filed of record by the clerk of court.

            Acts 2017, No. 173, §5.

Section 2. Clerks of District Courts

Art. 281. Certain articles not applicable to Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans
Art. 282. Acts which may be done by district court clerk

The clerk of a district court may:

(1)  Grant an appeal and fix the return day thereof; fix the amount of the bond for an appeal, or for the issuance of a writ of attachment or of sequestration, or for the release of property seized under any writ, unless fixed by law; appoint an attorney at law to represent a nonresident, absent, incompetent, or unrepresented defendant; or dismiss without prejudice, on application of plaintiff, an action or proceeding in which no exception, answer, or intervention has been filed; and

(2)  Probate a testament, when there is no opposition thereto; homologate an inventory; confirm or appoint a tutor, undertutor, undertutor ad hoc, curator, undercurator, undercurator ad hoc, administrator, executor, or dative testamentary executor, when there is no opposition thereto; appoint an attorney for absent heirs; and approve and accept the bond required of a legal representative for the faithful performance of his duties.

Art. 283. Orders and judgments which may be signed by district court clerk

A.  The clerk of a district court may sign any of the following orders or judgments:

(1)  An order or judgment effecting or evidencing the doing of any of the acts authorized in Article 282;

(2)  An order for the issuance of executory process, of a writ of attachment or of sequestration, or of garnishment process under a writ of fieri facias, attachment, or of sequestration; the release under bond of property seized under a writ of attachment or of sequestration; or to permit the filing of an intervention;

(3)  An order for the execution of a probated testament; the affixing of seals; the taking of an inventory; the public sale of succession property to pay debts, on the written application of the succession representative accompanied by a list of the debts of the succession; the advertisement of the filing of a tableau of distribution or of an account by a legal representative; or requiring a legal representative to file an account; or

(4)  An order to permit a party to institute and prosecute, or to defend, a suit without the payment of costs, under the provisions of Articles 5181 through 5188.

B.  When an order signed by the clerk requires the services of a notary, the clerk shall appoint the notary suggested by the party obtaining the order.

Acts 2010, No. 175, §1.

Art. 284. Judicial powers of district court clerk

            The clerk of a district court may render, confirm, and sign final default judgments or judgments by confession in cases where the jurisdiction of the court is concurrent with that of justices of the peace, as provided in Article 5011.

            Amended by Acts 1979, No. 46, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1980; Acts 2017, No. 419, §1.

Art. 285. Powers of district court clerk may be exercised whether judge absent from parish or not

The powers and authority granted to the clerk of a district court under Articles 282 through 284 may be exercised by him whether the judge of the district court is absent from the parish or not.

Art. 286. Powers of district court clerk which may not be exercised by deputy;  powers of chief deputy clerk

A.  No deputy clerk of a district court, except the chief deputy clerk, may exercise any of the powers and authority granted to the clerk of the district court under Articles 282 and 283.

B.  Whether the judge or the clerk, or both, are absent from the parish or not, the chief deputy clerk of a district court may exercise all of the powers and authority granted to the clerk of a district court under Articles 282 and 283.

Acts 1991, No. 174, §1.

Art. 287. District court clerk ex officio notary

The clerk of a district court is ex officio a notary; and, as such, may administer oaths and exercise all of the other functions, powers, and authority of a notary.

Art. 288. Functions which district court clerk may exercise on holiday

The only functions which a clerk of a district court may exercise on a legal holiday are:

(1)  The signing of an order for the issuance of a writ of attachment or of sequestration by a clerk of a district court other than the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans; and

(2)  The issuance of a writ of attachment, sequestration, or injunction.

Chapter 6. Sheriffs

Art. 321. Executive officer of district court;  serves process, executes writs and mandates directed to him by courts

The sheriff is the executive officer of the district court.

He shall serve citations, summons, subpoenas, notices, and other process, and shall execute writs, mandates, orders, and judgments directed to him by the district courts, the courts of appeal, and the supreme court.

Art. 322. Exercises civil functions only in own parish;  exception

Except as otherwise provided in Article 1291, the sheriff may exercise his civil functions only in the parish for which he was elected.

Art. 323. Writs executed on holiday

The sheriff shall not execute any writ, mandate, order, or judgment of a court in a civil case on a legal holiday, except a writ of attachment, sequestration, fieri facias, or seizure and sale under executory process, or an injunction.

Amended by Acts 1978, No. 169, §1.

Art. 324. Returns on process served, and writs and judgments executed

The sheriff shall make a return to the issuing court on citations, summons, subpoenas, notices, and other process, and on writs, mandates, orders, and judgments, showing the date on which and the manner in which they were served or executed.

 

Art. 325. Right of entry for execution;  may require assistance of others if resistance offered or threatened

In the execution of a writ, mandate, order, or judgment of a court, the sheriff may enter on the lands, and into the residence or other building, owned or occupied by the judgment debtor or defendant.  If necessary to effect entry, he may break open any door or window.  If resistance is offered or threatened, he may require the assistance of the police, of neighbors, and of persons present or passing by.

Art. 326. Protection and preservation of property seized

The sheriff shall take actual possession of all movable property seized which is susceptible of actual possession and may remove it to a warehouse or other place of safekeeping.

He may take actual possession of all immovable property seized, unless it is under lease or occupied by an owner.

He shall safeguard, protect, and preserve all property seized of which he has taken or is required to take actual possession; and for such purposes may appoint a keeper of the property.

Art. 327. Seizure of rents, fruits, and revenue of property under seizure

The seizure of property by the sheriff effects the seizure of the fruits and issues which it produces while under seizure.  The sheriff shall collect all rents and revenue produced by property under seizure.

Art. 328. Power of administration of property under seizure

The sheriff has the power of administration of all property under seizure, regardless of the type of writ or mandate under authority of which the property was seized.

If immovable property is not occupied by an owner and is not under lease, the sheriff may lease it for a term not beyond the date of judicial sale.  He cannot lease movable property under seizure unless authorized by the court with the consent of the parties.

The sheriff may, and if the necessary funds therefor are advanced or satisfactory security is furnished him by any interested person shall, continue the operation of any property under seizure, including a business, farm, or plantation.  For such purposes, the sheriff may employ a manager and such other employees as he may consider necessary.

Art. 329. Disbursements for protection, preservation, and administration of seized property

The sheriff may make all necessary disbursements for the protection, preservation, and administration of property under seizure, which shall be taxed as costs of the seizure.

Art. 330. Collection of fines from, and imprisonment of, persons found guilty of contempt of court

The sheriff shall collect the fines which persons found guilty of contempt of court are sentenced to pay, and pay them over to the official entitled by law to receive them.  He shall take into custody and imprison individuals found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to imprisonment in the parish jail.

Art. 331. Deputy sheriffs and other employees

Except as otherwise provided by law, a deputy sheriff possesses all of the powers and authority granted by law to the sheriff, and may perform any of the duties and exercise any of the functions of the sheriff.

Deputy sheriffs and other employees of the sheriff are subject to his direction and supervision, and shall perform the duties assigned to them by law, and by the sheriff.

The sheriff is responsible for the performance or nonperformance of their official duties by his deputies and other employees.

Art. 332. Service or execution by constable or marshal

When authorized to do so by the sheriff, a constable of a justice of the peace court, or a constable or marshal of a city court, within the territorial jurisdiction of his court, may serve any process and execute any writ or mandate which the sheriff is authorized to serve or execute.

For such purpose, the constable or marshal possesses the powers and authority of the sheriff; a service or execution so made has the same effect as if made by the sheriff; and the latter is responsible for the performance or nonperformance of his duties by a constable or marshal in such cases.

Art. 333. Crier

The crier of a court shall attend all sessions thereof; under the direction of the judge shall open and close court at each session, and maintain order and decorum in the court room; and shall perform such other duties as are assigned to him by law, the court, or the sheriff.

The crier of a trial court, when requested to do so, shall call all witnesses in the building whose testimony is desired by the court or by a party.

When a court has no crier, and there is no deputy sheriff available for such duty, the sheriff shall perform the duties of crier.

Art. 334. Neglect, failure, or refusal of sheriff, deputy sheriff, or employee to perform duty subjects him to punishment for contempt

The neglect, failure, or refusal of a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or other employee of a sheriff to perform any ministerial duty subjects him to punishment for contempt of court.

Chapter 7. Other Officers of the Court

Art. 371. Attorney

An attorney at law is an officer of the court.  He shall conduct himself at all times with decorum, and in a manner consistent with the dignity and authority of the court and the role which he himself should play in the administration of justice.

He shall treat the court, its officers, jurors, witnesses, opposing party, and opposing counsel with due respect; shall not interrupt opposing counsel, or otherwise interfere with or impede the orderly dispatch of judicial business by the court; shall not knowingly encourage or produce false evidence; and shall not knowingly make any misrepresentation, or otherwise impose upon or deceive the court.

For a violation of any of the provisions of this article, the attorney at law subjects himself to punishment for contempt of court, and such further disciplinary action as is otherwise provided by law.

Art. 372. Court reporter

A.  The court reporter of a trial court, when directed by the court, shall report verbatim in shorthand by stenography or stenotype, or by voice recording or any other recognized manner when the equipment therefor has been approved by the court, the testimony of all witnesses, the other evidence introduced or offered, the objections thereto, and the rulings of the court thereon, on the trial of any appealable civil case or matter.

B.  When the court so directs, or the fees therefor have been paid or secured, or when an appeal has been granted in cases in which a party has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs, he shall transcribe verbatim in a manner approved by the supreme court, all of his notes taken at the trial, or such portion thereof as is designated.  He shall file one copy of the transcript in the trial court; shall deliver a copy thereof to each of the parties who has paid therefor; and, when an appeal has been granted, he shall furnish to the clerk of the trial court the number of copies of the transcript required by law.

C.  The court reporter shall retain all notes and tape recordings in civil cases for a period of not less than five years after the end of the trial.  However, if the record of the trial is fully transcribed, the court reporter shall retain all notes and tape recordings which have been fully transcribed for a period of not less than two years after transcription is completed.  The court reporter shall destroy any notes and tape recordings of any matter upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

D.  The notes and tape recordings of any civil case which are retained by a court reporter pursuant to the provisions of this Article shall be the property of the court in which the case was heard.  The court reporter shall have the duty to retain and maintain all such notes and tape recordings pursuant to the provisions of this Article, although the notes and tape recordings shall remain the property of the court.

E.  He shall perform such other duties as are assigned to him by law or by the court.

F.  When a party to a proceeding requests a transcript and has paid for the transcript, the court reporter shall provide that party with an electronic copy of the transcript along with a paper copy of the transcript at no additional charge or cost to the requesting party.

Acts 1986, No. 545, §1; Acts 2006, No. 820, §1, eff. July 5, 2006.

Art. 373. Expert appointed by court

An expert appointed by a trial court to assist it in the adjudication of a case in which his special skill and knowledge may aid the court is an officer of the court from the time of his qualification until the rendition of final judgment in the case.

Art. 374. Legal representative

A legal representative appointed or confirmed by a court is an officer of this court from the time of his qualification for the office until his discharge.

Art. 375. Neglect, failure, or refusal of expert or legal representative to perform a legal duty when ordered to do so, subjects him to punishment for contempt of court

The neglect, failure, or refusal of an expert appointed by the court, or a legal representative appointed or confirmed by the court, to perform a legal duty when ordered to do so by the court, subjects him to punishment for contempt of the court.

Art. 376. Limitation of immunity

Any immunity which may extend to an expert appointed by the court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Article 373 shall not extend to those acts of the expert which constitute perjury, as provided in R.S. 14:123.

Acts 2001, No. 571, §1.

Title II. Actions

Chapter 1. General Dispositions

Art. 421. Civil action;  commencement;  amicable demand unnecessary

A civil action is a demand for the enforcement of a legal right.  It is commenced by the filing of a pleading presenting the demand to a court of competent jurisdiction.  Amicable demand is not a condition precedent to a civil action, unless specifically required by law.

 

Art. 422. Personal, real, mixed actions

A personal action is one brought to enforce an obligation against the obligor, personally and independently of the property which he may own, claim, or possess.

A real action is one brought to enforce rights in, to, or upon immovable property.

A mixed action is one brought to enforce both rights in, to, or upon immovable property, and a related obligation against the owner, claimant, or possessor thereof.

Art. 423. Implied right to enforce obligation;  prematurity

An obligation implies a right to enforce it which may or may not accrue immediately upon the creation of the obligation.  When the obligation allows a term for its performance, the right to enforce it does not accrue until the term has elapsed.  If the obligation depends upon a suspensive condition, the right to enforce it does not accrue until the occurrence or performance of the condition.

When an action is brought on an obligation before the right to enforce it has accrued, the action shall be dismissed as premature, but it may be brought again after this right has accrued.

Art. 424. Cause of action as a defense

A person who has a right to enforce an obligation also has a right to use his cause of action as a defense.

Except as otherwise provided herein, a prescribed obligation arising under Louisiana law may be used as a defense if it is incidental to, or connected with, the obligation sought to be enforced by the plaintiff.  A prescribed cause of action arising under The Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act may not be used as a defense even if it is incidental to, or connected with, the obligation sought to be enforced by the plaintiff.

However, in connection with the enforcement of a negotiable instrument the defense of redhibition may not be used if it has otherwise prescribed.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 710, §1; Acts 1977, No. 254, §1.

Art. 425. Preclusion by judgment

A.  A party shall assert all causes of action arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the litigation.

B.  Paragraph A of this Article shall not apply to an action for divorce under Civil Code Article 102 or 103, an action for determination of incidental matters under Civil Code Article 105, an action for contributions to a spouse's education or training under Civil Code Article 121, and an action for partition of community property and settlement of claims between spouses under R.S. 9:2801.

Acts 1990, No. 521, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 367, §2.

Art. 426. Transmission of action and of right to enforce obligation

An action to enforce an obligation is the property of the obligee which on his death is transmitted with his estate to his heirs, universal legatees, or legatees under a universal title, except as otherwise provided by law.  An action to enforce an obligation is transmitted to the obligee's legatee under a particular title only when it relates to the property disposed of under the particular title.

These rules apply also to a right to enforce an obligation, when no action thereon was commenced prior to the obligee's death.

Art. 427. Action against obligor's heirs or legatees

An action to enforce an obligation, if the obligor is dead, may be brought against the heirs, universal legatees, or general legatees, who have accepted his succession, except as otherwise provided by law.  The liability of these heirs and legatees is determined by the provisions of the Civil Code.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §3, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 428. No abatement on death of party

An action does not abate on the death of a party.  The only exception to this rule is an action to enforce a right or obligation which is strictly personal.

Chapter 2. Cumulation of Actions

Art. 461. Cumulation of actions defined

Cumulation of actions is the joinder of separate actions in the same judicial demand, whether by a single plaintiff against a single defendant, or by one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants.

Art. 462. Cumulation by single plaintiff against single defendant

A plaintiff may cumulate against the same defendant two or more actions even though based on different grounds, if:

(1)  Each of the actions cumulated is within the jurisdiction of the court and is brought in the proper venue; and

(2)  All of the actions cumulated are mutually consistent and employ the same form of procedure.

Except as otherwise provided in Article 3657, inconsistent or mutually exclusive actions may be cumulated in the same judicial demand if pleaded in the alternative.

Art. 463. Cumulation, plural plaintiffs or defendants

Two or more parties may be joined in the same suit, either as plaintiffs or as defendants, if:

(1)  There is a community of interest between the parties joined;

(2)  Each of the actions cumulated is within the jurisdiction of the court and is brought in the proper venue; and

(3)  All of the actions cumulated are mutually consistent and employ the same form of procedure.

Except as otherwise provided in Article 3657, inconsistent or mutually exclusive actions may be cumulated in the same suit if pleaded in the alternative.

Art. 464. Improper cumulation, effect

When the court lacks jurisdiction of, or when the venue is improper as to, one of the actions cumulated, that action shall be dismissed.

When the cumulation is improper for any other reason, the court may: (1) order separate trials of the actions; or (2) order the plaintiff to elect which actions he shall proceed with, and to amend his petition so as to delete therefrom all allegations relating to the action which he elects to discontinue.  The penalty for noncompliance with an order to amend is a dismissal of plaintiff's suit.

Art. 465. Separate trials of cumulated actions

When the court is of the opinion that it would simplify the proceedings, would permit a more orderly disposition of the case, or would otherwise be in the interest of justice, at any time prior to trial, it may order a separate trial of cumulated actions, even if the cumulation is proper.

Chapter 3. Lis Pendens

Art. 531. Suits pending in Louisiana court or courts

When two or more suits are pending in a Louisiana court or courts on the same transaction or occurrence, between the same parties in the same capacities, the defendant may have all but the first suit dismissed by excepting thereto as provided in Article 925.  When the defendant does not so except, the plaintiff may continue the prosecution of any of the suits, but the first final judgment rendered shall be conclusive of all.

Acts 1990, No. 521, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 532. Motions to stay in suits pending in Louisiana and federal or foreign court

When a suit is brought in a Louisiana court while another is pending in a court of another state or of the United States on the same transaction or occurrence, between the same parties in the same capacities, on motion of the defendant or on its own motion, the court may stay all proceedings in the second suit until the first has been discontinued or final judgment has been rendered.

             Acts 1990, No. 521, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 2017, No. 419, §1.

Chapter 4. Abandonment of Action

Art. 561. Abandonment in trial and appellate court

            A.(1) An action, except as provided in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, is abandoned when the parties fail to take any step in its prosecution or defense in the trial court for a period of three years, unless it is a succession proceeding:

            (a) Which has been opened;

            (b) In which an administrator or executor has been appointed; or

            (c) In which a testament has been probated.

NOTE: This Subparagraph became null and void on August 26, 2010. See Subparagraph (A)(6) of this Article.

            (2) If a party whose action is declared or claimed to be abandoned proves that the failure to take a step in the prosecution or defense in the trial court or the failure to take any step in the prosecution or disposition of an appeal was caused by or was a direct result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, an action originally initiated by the filing of a pleading prior to August 26, 2005, which has not previously been abandoned in accordance with the provisions of Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, is abandoned when the parties fail to take any step in its prosecution or defense in the trial court for a period of five years, unless it is a succession proceeding:

            (a) Which has been opened;

            (b) In which an administrator or executor has been appointed; or

            (c) In which a testament has been probated.

            (3) This provision shall be operative without formal order, but, on ex parte motion of any party or other interested person by affidavit which provides that no step has been timely taken in the prosecution or defense of the action, the trial court shall enter a formal order of dismissal as of the date of its abandonment. The sheriff shall serve the order in the manner provided in Article 1314, and shall execute a return pursuant to Article 1292.

            (4) A motion to set aside a dismissal may be made only within thirty days of the date of the sheriff's service of the order of dismissal. If the trial court denies a timely motion to set aside the dismissal, the clerk of court shall give notice of the order of denial pursuant to Article 1913(A) and shall file a certificate pursuant to Article 1913(D).

            (5) An appeal of an order of dismissal may be taken only within sixty days of the date of the sheriff's service of the order of dismissal. An appeal of an order of denial may be taken only within sixty days of the date of the clerk's mailing of the order of denial.

            (6) The provisions of Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph shall become null and void on August 26, 2010.

            B. Any formal discovery as authorized by this Code and served on all parties whether or not filed of record, including the taking of a deposition with or without formal notice, shall be deemed to be a step in the prosecution or defense of an action.

            C. An appeal is abandoned when the parties fail to take any step in its prosecution or disposition for the period provided in the rules of the appellate court.

            Amended by Acts 1966, No. 36, §1; Acts 1982, No. 186, §1; Acts 1983, No. 670, §1; Acts 1987, No. 149, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1221, §1, eff. July 1, 1998; Acts 2003, No. 545, §1; Acts 2007, No. 361, §1, eff. July 9, 2007.

Chapter 5. Class And Derivative Actions

Section 1. Class Actions

Art. 591. Prerequisites;  maintainable class actions

A.  One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all, only if:

(1)  The class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.

(2)  There are questions of law or fact common to the class.

(3)  The claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.

(4)  The representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

(5)  The class is or may be defined objectively in terms of ascertainable criteria, such that the court may determine the constituency of the class for purposes of the conclusiveness of any judgment that may be rendered in the case.  This prerequisite shall not be satisfied if it is necessary for the court to inquire into the merits of each potential class member's cause of action to determine whether an individual falls within the defined class.

B.  An action may be maintained as a class action only if all of the prerequisites of Paragraph A of this Article are satisfied, and in addition:

(1)  The prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of:

(a)  Inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class, or

(b)  Adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests; or

(2)  The party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or

(3)  The court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.  The matters pertinent to these findings include:

(a)  The interest of the members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions;

(b)  The extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class;

(c)  The desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation in the particular forum;

(d)  The difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action;

(e)  The practical ability of individual class members to pursue their claims without class certification;

(f)  The extent to which the relief plausibly demanded on behalf of or against the class, including the vindication of such public policies or legal rights as may be implicated, justifies the costs and burdens of class litigation; or

(4)  The parties to a settlement request certification under Subparagraph B(3) for purposes of settlement, even though the requirements of Subparagraph B(3) might not otherwise be met.

C.  Certification shall not be for the purpose of adjudicating claims or defenses dependent for their resolution on proof individual to a member of the class.  However, following certification, the court shall retain jurisdiction over claims or defenses dependent for their resolution on proof individual to a member of the class.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2013, No. 254, §1.

Art. 592. Certification procedure;  notice;  judgment;  orders

A.(1)  Within ninety days after service on all adverse parties of the initial pleading demanding relief on behalf of or against a class, the proponent of the class shall file a motion to certify the action as a class action.  The delay for filing the motion may be extended by stipulation of the parties or on motion for good cause shown.

(2)  If the proponent fails to file a motion for certification within the delay allowed by Subparagraph A(1), any adverse party may file a notice of the failure to move for certification.  On the filing of such a notice and after hearing thereon, the demand for class relief may be stricken.  If the demand for class relief is stricken, the action may continue between the named parties alone.  A demand for class relief stricken under this Subparagraph may be reinstated upon a showing of good cause by the proponent.

(3)(a)  No motion to certify an action as a class action shall be granted prior to a hearing on the motion. Such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable, but in no event before:

(i)  All named adverse parties have been served with the pleading containing the demand for class relief or have made an appearance or, with respect to unserved defendants who have not appeared, the proponent of the class has made due and diligent effort to perfect service of such pleading; and

(ii)  The parties have had a reasonable opportunity to obtain discovery on class certification issues, on such terms and conditions as the court deems necessary, which may include expert witness testimony or evidence.  The admissibility of expert witness testimony or evidence for class certification purposes shall also be governed by Article 1425(F), although the court in its discretion may change the deadlines for filing or hearing a motion as set forth in Article 1425(F) provided such deadlines are prior to or contemporaneous with the class certification hearing.

(b)  At the hearing on the motion to certify an action as a class action, the proponent of the class shall have the burden of proof to establish that all requirements of Article 591 of this Code have been satisfied.

(c)  If the court finds that the action should be maintained as a class action, it shall certify the action accordingly.  If the court finds that the action should not be maintained as a class action, the action may continue between the named parties.  In either event, the court shall give in writing its findings of fact and reasons for judgment provided a request is made not later than ten days after notice of the order or judgment.  A suspensive or devolutive appeal, as provided in Article 2081 et seq. of the Code of Civil Procedure, may be taken as a matter of right from an order or judgment provided for herein.

(d)  In the process of class certification, or at any time thereafter before a decision on the merits of the common issues, the court may alter, amend, or recall its initial ruling on certification and may enlarge, restrict, or otherwise redefine the constituency of the class or the issues to be maintained in the class action.

(e)  No order contemplated in this Subparagraph shall be rendered after a judgment or partial judgment on the merits of common issues has been rendered against the party opposing the class and over such party's objection.

B.(1)  In any class action maintained under Article 591(B)(3), the court shall direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort.  This notice, however given, shall be given as soon as practicable after certification, but in any event early enough that a delay provided for the class members to exercise an option to be excluded from the class will have expired before commencement of the trial on the merits of the common issues.

(2)  The notice required by Subparagraph B(1) shall include:

(a)  A general description of the action, including the relief sought, and the names and addresses of the representative parties or, where appropriate, the identity and location of the source from which the names and addresses of the representative parties can be obtained.

(b)  A statement of the right of the person to be excluded from the action by submitting an election form, including the manner and time for exercising the election.

(c)  A statement that the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion.

(d)  A statement that any member who does not request exclusion may, if the member desires, enter an appearance through counsel at that member's expense.

(e)  A statement advising the class member that the member may be required to take further action as the court deems necessary, such as submitting a proof of claim in order to participate in any recovery had by the class.

(f)  A general description of any counterclaim brought against the class.

(g)  The address of counsel to whom inquiries may be directed.

(h)  Any other information that the court deems appropriate.

(3)  Unless the parties agree otherwise, the proponents of the class shall bear the expense of the notification required by this Paragraph.  The court may require the party opposing the class to cooperate in securing the names and addresses of the persons within the class defined by the court for the purpose of providing individual notice, but any additional costs reasonably incurred by the party opposing the class in complying with this order shall be paid by the proponent of the class.  The court may tax all or part of the expenses incurred for notification as costs.

C.  The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under Article 591(B)(1) or (B)(2), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class.  The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under Article 591(B)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in Paragraph B was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.

D.  When appropriate an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class, and the provisions of Article 591 and this Article shall then be construed and applied accordingly.

E.  In the conduct of actions to which Article 591 and this Article apply, the court may make any of the following appropriate orders:

(1)  Determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument.

(2)  Requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in such manner as the court may direct to members of the class of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action.

(3)  Imposing conditions on the representative parties or on intervenors.

(4)  Requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate therefrom allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly.

(5)  Dealing with similar procedural matters, including but not limited to case management orders providing for consolidation, duties of counsel, the extent and the scheduling of and the delays for pre-certification and post-certification discovery, and other matters which affect the general order of proceedings; however, the court shall not order the class-wide trial of issues dependent for their resolution on proof individual to a member of the class, including but not limited to the causation of the member's injuries, the amount of the member's special or general damages, the individual knowledge or reliance of the member, or the applicability to the member of individual claims or defenses.

(6)  Any of the orders provided in this Paragraph may be combined with an order pursuant to Article 1551, and may be altered or amended as may be desirable from time to time.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2005, No. 205, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2012, No. 115, §1; Acts 2013, No. 254, §1.

Art. 593. Venue

A.  An action brought on behalf of a class shall be brought in a parish of proper venue as to the defendant.

B.  An action brought against a class shall be brought in a parish of proper venue as to any member of the class named as a defendant.

Acts 1989, No. 117, §1; Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 593.1. Class actions;  lis pendens

A.  When two or more actions requesting the certification of a class pursuant to Article 591 are filed in two or more Louisiana courts regarding the same transaction or occurrence at the same location, and such classes, if certified, would encompass one or more of the same plaintiffs suing in the same capacities against one or more of the same defendants in the same capacities, the defendant may, by excepting as provided in Article 925, have all such actions transferred to the district court where the transaction or occurrence occurred.

B.  When two or more actions requesting the certification of a class pursuant to Article 591 are filed in two or more Louisiana courts regarding multiple related transactions or occurrences in different locations and such classes, if certified, would encompass one or more of the same plaintiffs suing in the same capacities against one or more of the same defendants in the same capacities, the defendant may, by excepting as provided in Article 925, have all such actions transferred to the district court where the first suit was brought.

Acts 2012, No. 713, §1.

Art. 593.2. Class actions;  forum non conveniens

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 123, within thirty days of the certification of a class under Article 591 by a different Louisiana court regarding the same transaction or occurrence and encompassing one or more of the same plaintiffs suing in the same capacities against one or more of the same defendants in the same capacities, any court where a related putative class action is pending may, upon contradictory motion, in the interests of justice and for good cause shown, transfer the putative class action to the district where the related action has been certified.

Acts 2012, No. 713, §1.

Art. 594. Dismissal or compromise

A.(1)  An action previously certified as a class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court exercising jurisdiction over the action.

(2)  Notice of the proposed dismissal of an action previously certified as a class action shall be provided to all members of the class, together with the terms of any proposed compromise that the named parties have entered into. Notice shall be given in such manner as the court directs.

B.  After notice of the proposed compromise has been provided to the members of the class, the court shall order a hearing to determine whether the proposed compromise is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the class.  At such hearing, all parties to the action, including members of the class, shall be permitted an opportunity to be heard.

C.  The court shall retain the authority to review and approve any amount paid as attorney fees pursuant to the compromise of a class action, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.

D.  Any agreement entered by the parties to a class action that provides for the payment of attorney fees is subject to judicial approval.

E.  If the terms of the proposed compromise provide for the adjudged creation of a settlement fund to be disbursed to and among members of the class in accordance with the terms thereof, the court having jurisdiction over the class action is empowered to approve the compromise settlement of the class action as a whole and issue a final judgment accordingly, following a finding that the compromise is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the class, and to order the distribution of the settlement fund accordingly, without the necessity of prior qualification of representatives of minors, interdicts, successions, or other incompetents or absentees, or prior approval of the terms of the settlement or the distribution thereof by another court; provided, that in such cases the court having jurisdiction over the class action shall include in the orders of settlement and distribution of the settlement fund appropriate provisions to ensure that all funds adjudicated to or for the benefit of such incompetents, successions, or absentees are placed in appropriate safekeeping pending the completion of appointment, qualification, and administrative procedures otherwise applicable in this Code to the interests and property of incompetents, successions, and absentees.

Acts 1993, No. 39, §1, eff. May 18, 1993; Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 595. Award of expenses of litigation;  security for costs

A.  The court may allow the representative parties their reasonable expenses of litigation, including attorney's fees, when as a result of the class action a fund is made available, or a recovery or compromise is had which is beneficial, to the class.

B.  The court, on contradictory motion at any stage of the proceeding in the trial court prior to judgment, may require the plaintiff in a class action to furnish security for the court costs which a defendant may be compelled to pay.  This security for costs may be increased or decreased by the court, on contradictory motion of any interested party, on a showing that the security furnished has become inadequate or excessive.

Art. 596. Prescription;  suspension

A.  Liberative prescription on the claims arising out of the transactions or occurrences described in a petition brought on behalf of a class is suspended on the filing of the petition as to all members of the class as defined or described therein. Prescription which has been suspended as provided herein, begins to run again:

(1)  As to any person electing to be excluded from the class, thirty days from the submission of that person's election form;

(2)  As to any person excluded from the class pursuant to Article 592, thirty days after mailing or other delivery or publication of a notice to such person that the class has been restricted or otherwise redefined so as to exclude him; or

(3)  As to all members, thirty days after mailing or other delivery or publication of a notice to the class that the action has been dismissed, that the demand for class relief has been stricken pursuant to Article 592, or that the court has denied a motion to certify the class or has vacated a previous order certifying the class.

B.  The time periods in Subparagraphs (A)(2) and (3) of this Article commence upon the expiration of the delay for taking an appeal if there is no appeal, or when an appeal becomes final and definitive.  The notice required by Subparagraphs (A)(2) and (3) of this Article shall contain a statement of the delay periods provided herein.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2010, No. 185, §1.

Art. 597. Effect of judgment

A definitive judgment on the merits rendered in a class action concludes all members of the class, whether joined in the action or not, if the members who were joined as parties fairly insured adequate representation of all members of the class.

Section 2. Derivative Actions

Art. 611. Derivative actions;  prerequisites

A.  When a corporation or unincorporated association refuses to enforce a right of the corporation or unincorporated association, a shareholder, partner, or member thereof may bring a derivative action to enforce the right on behalf of the corporation or unincorporated association.  A derivative action may be maintained as a class action when the persons constituting the class are so numerous as to make it impracticable for all of them to join or be joined as parties.  In the case of a derivative class action, Articles 594 and 595 shall apply.

B.  If a derivative action is a "derivative proceeding" as defined in the Business Corporation Act, the action is exempt from the provisions of this Chapter other than this Subsection, and is subject instead to the provisions of the Business Corporation Act concerning derivative proceedings.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2014, No. 328, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

Art. 612. Representation

One or more members of the class, who will fairly ensure the adequate representation of all members, may sue or be sued in a derivative class action on behalf of all members.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 613. Procedure

After commencement of a derivative action by or on behalf of parties alleged to be members of a class, the court, on its own motion, or on the motion of any party or on trial of any exception directed to such issue, shall determine whether the action may be properly maintained as a class action as a prerequisite to any further proceedings therein.  If the court finds that the action should be maintained as a class action, it shall certify the action accordingly.  If not, the court may permit amendment of the pleadings in the action to permit maintenance thereof as a proceeding on behalf of parties expressly named therein under Article 616.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 614. Venue

A derivative action of a shareholder, partner, or member to enforce a right of a corporation or unincorporated association shall be brought in the parish of proper venue as to the corporation or unincorporated association.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 615. Petition in shareholder's derivative action

The petition in a class action brought by a shareholder, partner, or member of a corporation or unincorporated association because it refuses to enforce a right which it may enforce shall:

(1)  Allege that the plaintiff was a shareholder, partner, or member at the time of the occurrence or transaction of which he complains, or that his share, partnership, or membership thereafter devolved on him by operation of law.

(2)  Allege with particularity the efforts of the plaintiff to secure from the managing directors, governors, or trustees and, if necessary, from the shareholders, partners, or members, the enforcement of the right and the reasons for his failure to secure such enforcement, or the reason for not making such an effort to secure enforcement of the right.

(3)  Join as defendants the corporation or unincorporated association and the obligor against whom the obligation is sought to be enforced.

(4)  Include a prayer for judgment in favor of the corporation or unincorporated association and against the obligor on the obligation sought to be enforced.

(5)  Be verified by the affidavit of the plaintiff or his counsel.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 616. Shareholder's derivative action when not impracticable to join all shareholders, partners, or members

A.  When it is not impracticable for all of the shareholders, partners, or members of a corporation or unincorporated association to join or to be joined as parties to a derivative action to enforce a right of the corporation or unincorporated association which it refuses to enforce, such action shall not be maintained as a class action.  Instead, all of the shareholders, partners, or members who refuse or fail to join as plaintiffs in such an action shall be joined as defendants.

B.  Derivative actions governed by this Article shall be subject to Articles 614 and 615.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Art. 617. Unincorporated association;  definition;  applicability

As used in Articles 611 through 616, the term "unincorporated association" shall include any unincorporated business association that is treated by controlling substantive law as a separate juridical person.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.

Title III. Parties

Chapter 1. Joinder

Art. 641. Joinder of parties needed for just adjudication

A person shall be joined as a party in the action when either:

(1)  In his absence complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties.

(2)  He claims an interest relating to the subject matter of the action and is so situated that the adjudication of the action in his absence may either:

(a)  As a practical matter, impair or impede his ability to protect that interest.

(b)  Leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring multiple or inconsistent obligations.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 642. Determination by court whenever joinder not feasible

If a person described in Article 641 cannot be made a party, the court shall determine whether the action should proceed among the parties before it, or should be dismissed.  The factors to be considered by the court include:

(1)  To what extent a judgment rendered in the person's absence might be prejudicial to him or those already present.

(2)  The extent to which the prejudice can be lessened or avoided by protective provisions in the judgment, by the shaping of relief, or by other measures.

(3)  Whether a judgment rendered in the person's absence will be adequate.

(4)  Whether the plaintiff will have an adequate remedy if the action is dismissed for nonjoinder.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 643. Solidary obligees and obligors;  joinder

One or more solidary obligees may sue to enforce a solidary right, and one or more solidary obligors may be sued to enforce a solidary obligation, without the necessity of joining all others in the action.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 644. Party plaintiff who refuses or fails to sue

If a party subject to the jurisdiction of the court should join as a plaintiff but refuses or fails to do so, he may be joined as a defendant and required to assert his rights in the action or be precluded thereafter from asserting them.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 645. Pleading nonjoinder of a party

The failure to join a party to an action may be pleaded in the peremptory exception, or may be noticed by the trial or appellate court on its own motion.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 646. Amendment of petition to join a party

When the failure to join a party is pleaded successfully in or noticed by a trial court, the latter may permit amendment of the petition so as to make him a party, and may reopen the case if it has been submitted and further evidence is necessary.  When such failure is pleaded successfully in or noticed by an appellate court, the latter may remand the case for such amendment and further evidence.

Acts 1995, No. 662, §1.

Art. 647. Permissive joinder governed by rules of cumulation of actions

The permissive joinder of two or more plaintiffs or defendants in the same suit is governed by the rules regulating the cumulation of actions provided in Articles 463 through 465.

Chapter 2. Parties Plaintiff

Art. 681. Real and actual interest required

Except as otherwise provided by law, an action can be brought only by a person having a real and actual interest which he asserts.

Art. 682. Individuals having procedural capacity

A competent major and a competent emancipated minor have the procedural capacity to sue.

Art. 683. Unemancipated minor

            A. An unemancipated minor has no procedural capacity to sue.

            B. All persons having parental authority over an unemancipated minor must join as proper plaintiffs to sue to enforce a right of the minor, unless a joint custody implementation order otherwise applies. Nevertheless, with permission of the court, any person having parental authority may represent the minor whenever the other person having parental authority fails or refuses to do so.

            C. During tutorship, the tutor is the proper plaintiff to sue to enforce a right of the unemancipated minor.

            D. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph A, B, or C of this Article, an attorney appointed by the court having jurisdiction over an unemancipated minor who is in the legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services is the proper plaintiff to sue to enforce a right of an unemancipated minor. Upon application of the tutor or a person having parental authority who would otherwise be the proper plaintiff to sue pursuant to Paragraph B or C of this Article, the court shall appoint or substitute as the proper plaintiff the best qualified among the tutor, a person having parental authority, or the appointed attorney.

            Acts 1992, No. 106, §1, eff. June 5, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 867, §1, eff. June 23, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 268, §1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 2004, No. 26, §2; Acts 2012, No. 741, §1; Acts 2015, No. 260, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 684. Mental incompetent;  interdict

A.  A mental incompetent does not have the procedural capacity to sue.

B.  Except as otherwise provided in Articles 4431, 4554, and 4566, the curator is the proper plaintiff to sue to enforce a right of an interdict.

Art. 685. Succession

Except as otherwise provided by law, the succession representative appointed by a court of this state is the proper plaintiff to sue to enforce a right of the deceased or of his succession, while the latter is under administration.  The heirs or legatees of the deceased, whether present or represented in the state or not, need not be joined as parties, whether the action is personal, real, or mixed.