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Code of Civil Procedure

Book IX. Miscellaneous Provisions and Definitions

Title I. Miscellaneous Provisions

Chapter 1. Rules of Construction

Art. 5051. Liberal construction of articles

The articles of this Code are to be construed liberally, and with due regard for the fact that rules of procedure implement the substantive law and are not an end in themselves.

Art. 5052. Unambiguous language not to be disregarded

When the language of an article is clear and free from ambiguity, its letter is not to be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing its spirit.

Art. 5053. Words and phrases

Words and phrases are to be read in their context, and are to be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language employed.

The word "shall" is mandatory, and the word "may" is permissive.

Art. 5054. Clerical and typographical errors disregarded

Clerical and typographical errors in this Code shall be disregarded when the legislative intent is clear.

Art. 5054. Clerical and typographical errors disregarded

Clerical and typographical errors in this Code shall be disregarded when the legislative intent is clear.

Art. 5056. Conjunctive, disjunctive, or both

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1)  The word "and" indicates the conjunctive;

(2)  The word "or" indicates the disjunctive; and

(3)  When the article is phrased in the disjunctive, followed by the words "or both", both the conjunctive and disjunctive are intended.

Art. 5057. Headings, source notes, cross references

The headings of the articles of this Code, and the source notes and cross references thereunder, are used for purposes of convenient arrangement and reference, and do not constitute parts of the procedural law.

Art. 5058. References to code articles or statutory sections

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1)  A reference in this Code to a book, title, chapter, section, or article, without further designation, means a book, title, chapter, section, or article of this Code; and

(2)  A reference in this Code to an article of a code, or to a statutory section, applies to all prior and subsequent amendments thereof.

Art. 5059. Computation of time

            A. In computing a period of time allowed or prescribed by law or by order of court, the date of the act, event, or default after which the period begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period is to be included, unless it is a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a legal holiday.

            B. A half-holiday is considered as a legal holiday. A legal holiday is to be included in the computation of a period of time allowed or prescribed, except when:

            (1) It is expressly excluded;

            (2) It would otherwise be the last day of the period; or

            (3) The period is less than seven days.

            C.(1) A legal holiday shall be excluded in the computation of a period of time allowed or prescribed to seek rehearing, reconsideration, or judicial review or appeal of a decision or order by an agency in the executive branch of state government.

            (2) Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph shall not apply to the computation of a period of time allowed or prescribed to seek rehearing, reconsideration, or judicial review or appeal of a decision or order by the Department of Revenue, the Department of Environmental Quality, or the Department of Insurance relative to examination reports in R.S. 22:1983.

            Acts 2018, No. 128, §1; Acts 2019, No. 300, §1.

Chapter 2. Attorney Appointed to Represent Unrepresented Defendants

Art. 5091. Appointment;  contradictory proceedings against attorney;  improper designation immaterial

A.  The court shall appoint an attorney at law to represent the defendant, on the petition or ex parte written motion of the plaintiff, when:

(1)  It has jurisdiction over the person or property of the defendant, or over the status involved, and the defendant is:

(a)  A nonresident or absentee who has not been served with process, either personally or through an agent for the service of process, and who has not waived objection to jurisdiction.

(b)  An unemancipated minor or mental incompetent who has no legal representative, and who may be sued through an attorney at law appointed by the court to represent him.

(c)  Deceased and no succession representative has been appointed.

(2)  The action of proceeding is in rem and:

(a)  The defendant is dead, no succession representative has been appointed, and his heirs and legatees have not been sent into possession judicially.

(b)  The defendant is a corporation, a limited liability company, or partnership on which process cannot be served for any reason.

(c)  The defendant's property is under the administration of a legal representative, but the latter has died, resigned, or been removed from office and no successor thereof has qualified, or has left the state permanently without appointing someone to represent him.

B.  All proceedings against such a defendant shall be conducted contradictorily against the attorney at law appointed by the court to represent him.  For the limited purpose of any such action or proceeding, the appointed attorney at law shall be the proper representative of the succession of any such decedent to the same extent as if he were the regularly appointed and duly qualified administrator or executor in such decedent's succession.

C.  The improper designation of the attorney appointed by the court to represent such a defendant as curator ad hoc, tutor ad hoc, special tutor, or any other title, does not affect the validity of the proceeding.

D.  The improper designation of a defendant for whom an attorney has been appointed by the court in an action or proceeding in rem under Paragraph (A)(2) of this Article shall not affect the validity of the proceedings and any judgment rendered therein shall be binding upon the parties and property involved in the action or proceeding in rem.  Therefore, naming an attorney to represent the unopened succession of the defendant, the succession of the defendant, the estate of the defendant, the deceased defendant, or any other similar designation or appellation shall satisfy the requirements of Paragraph (A)(2)(a).  The designation of a corporation or a partnership by a name sufficient to identify the same to a reasonably prudent man, regardless of any errors which it might contain, shall satisfy the requirements of Paragraph (A)(2)(b).

Amended by Acts 1964, No. 4, §1; Acts 1991, No. 366, §1, eff. July 6, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 584, §2; Acts 1997, No. 578, §1; Acts 1999, No. 145, §2.

Art. 5091.1. Appointment of attorney in disavowal actions

In any action to disavow paternity, the judge shall appoint an attorney to represent the child whose status is at issue, and the attorney so appointed shall not represent any other party in the litigation.

Added by Acts 1976, No. 430, §3.

Art. 5091.2. Curator ad hoc in adoption cases

In complying with the provisions of the Louisiana Children's Code Articles 1011, 1107, or 1190 and related statutes, the judge of the competent court is authorized to appoint an attorney who shall serve as curator ad hoc who will assist the court in complying with the statutory requirements for maintaining the confidentiality of termination, surrender, adoption, and related records and proceedings.

Added by Acts 1978, No. 450, §3; Acts 1997, No. 1056, §1.

Art. 5092. Qualifications;  suggestions for appointment not permitted

When the court appoints an attorney at law to represent an unrepresented party, it shall appoint an attorney qualified to practice law in this state.

The court shall not accept any suggestion as to the name of the attorney to be appointed, unless manifestly in the interest of the unrepresented party.

Art. 5093. Oath not required;  waiver of citation and acceptance of service

An attorney at law appointed by the court to represent an unrepresented party need not take an oath before entering on the performance of his duties, as his oath of office as an attorney applies to all of his professional duties.

An attorney appointed to represent a defendant may waive citation and accept service of process, but may not waive any defense.  No further action may be taken by the court after service or acceptance thereof until after the expiration of the delay allowed the defendant to answer, even though the appointed attorney may have filed an exception or answer prior thereto.

Art. 5094. Duties;  notice to nonresident or absentee

When an attorney at law is appointed by the court to represent a defendant who is a nonresident or an absentee, the attorney shall use reasonable diligence to communicate with the defendant and inform him of the pendency and nature of the action or proceeding, and of the time available for the filing of an answer or the assertion of a defense otherwise.

Art. 5095. Same;  defense of action

            The attorney at law appointed by the court to represent a defendant shall use reasonable diligence to inquire of the defendant, and to determine from other available sources, what defense, if any, the defendant may have, and what evidence is available in support thereof.

            Except in an executory proceeding, the attorney may except to the petition, shall file an answer or other pleading in time to prevent a final default judgment from being rendered, may plead therein any affirmative defense available, may prosecute an appeal from an adverse judgment, and generally has the same duty, responsibility, and authority in defending the action or proceeding as if he had been retained as counsel for the defendant.

            Acts 2017, No. 419, §1.

Art. 5096. Compensation

The court shall allow the attorney at law appointed to represent a defendant a reasonable fee for his services, which shall be paid by the plaintiff, but shall be taxed as costs of court.

The attorney so appointed may require the plaintiff to furnish security for the costs which may be paid by, and the reasonable fee to be allowed, the attorney.

If the attorney so appointed is retained as counsel for the defendant, the attorney shall immediately advise the court and opposing counsel of such employment.

Art. 5097. Attorney appointed to represent claimant in worker's compensation case

Articles 5092, 5093, and 5098 apply to an attorney at law appointed by the court to represent a claimant in a worker's compensation case who seeks authority to compromise or to accept a lump sum settlement.

Acts 1983, 1st E.S., No. 1, §6.

Art. 5098. Validity of proceeding not affected by failure of attorney to perform duties;  punishment of attorney

The failure of an attorney appointed by the court to represent an unrepresented party to perform any duty imposed upon him by, or the violation by any person of, the provisions of Articles 5092 through 5096 shall not affect the validity of any proceeding, trial, order, judgment, seizure, or judicial sale of any property in the action or proceeding, or in connection therewith.

For a wilful violation of any provision of Articles 5092 through 5096 an attorney at law subjects himself to punishment for contempt of court, and such further disciplinary action as is provided by law.

Chapter 3. Bonds in Judicial Proceedings

Art. 5121. Bond payable to clerk;  cash bonds by plaintiffs authorized;  person in interest may sue

When a party to a judicial proceeding is required by law or order of court to furnish security, any bond so furnished shall be made payable to the clerk of the trial court in which the proceeding was brought.  When the party required to furnish same is a plaintiff, a cash bond may be furnished in lieu of other security, at his option.

Any person in interest may sue thereon.  No error, inaccuracy, or omission is naming the obligee on the bond is a defense to an action thereon.

Amended by Acts 1970, No. 492, §1.

Art. 5121.1. Bond secured by immovable property

Any party to a judicial proceeding who is required by law or court order to provide security may furnish as security a bond secured by immovable property located in this state.  The party providing the property bond shall present to a judge of the parish in which the immovable is located an assessment certificate, a homestead exemption waiver if applicable, and a mortgage certificate.  Prior to presenting the bond to the court having jurisdiction over the judicial proceeding the bond shall be recorded in the mortgage office of the parish where the immovable is located and the recordation shall be evidenced on the mortgage certificate.

Added by Acts 1984, No. 200, §2, eff. June 29, 1984.

Art. 5122. Oath of surety and principal on bond

A.  Except as otherwise provided in this Article, no bond shall be accepted in a judicial proceeding unless accompanied by affidavits of:

(1)  Each surety that he is worth the amount for which he bound himself therein, in assets subject to execution, over and above all of his other obligations.

(2)  The party furnishing the bond that he is informed and believes that each surety on the bond is worth the amount for which the surety has bound himself therein, in assets subject to execution, over and above all of the other obligations of the surety.

(3)  The party furnishing a bond secured by immovable property under Article 5121.1 that he is worth the amount for which he has bound himself and that the immovable securing the bond contains assets subject to execution, over and above all his other obligations.

B.  This Article does not apply to a bond executed by a surety company licensed to do business in this state.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 200, §1.

Art. 5123. Testing sufficiency and validity of bond

Any person in interest wishing to test the sufficiency, solvency of the surety, or validity of a bond furnished as security in a judicial proceeding shall rule the party furnishing the bond into the trial court in which the proceeding was brought to show cause why the bond should not be decreed insufficient or invalid, and why the order, judgment, writ, mandate, or process conditioned on the furnishing of security should not be set aside or dissolved.  If the bond is sought to be held invalid on the ground of the insolvency of a surety other than a surety company licensed to do business in this state, the party furnishing the bond shall prove the solvency of the surety on the trial of the rule.

Art. 5124. Furnishing new or supplemental bond to correct defects of original

Within four days, exclusive of legal holidays, of the rendition of judgment holding the original bond insufficient or invalid, or at any time if no rule to test the original bond has been filed, the party furnishing it may correct any defects therein by furnishing a new or supplemental bond, with either the same surety if solvent, or a new or additional surety.

The new or supplemental bond is retroactive to the date the original bond was furnished, and maintains in effect the order, judgment, writ, mandate, or process conditioned on the furnishing of security.

The furnishing of a supplemental bond, or the furnishing of a new bond by a different surety, does not discharge or release the surety on the original bond; and the sureties on both are liable in solido to the extent of their respective obligations thereon and may be joined in an action on the bond.

Art. 5125. Insufficiency or invalidity of bond;  effect on orders or judgments;  appeal from order for supplemental bond

No appeal, order, judgment, writ, mandate, or process conditioned on the furnishing of security may be dismissed, set aside, or dissolved on the ground that the bond furnished is insufficient or invalid unless the party who furnished it is afforded an opportunity to furnish a new or supplemental bond, as provided in Articles 5124 and 5126.

No suspensive appeal is allowed from an order or ruling of a trial court requiring or permitting a new or supplemental bond to be furnished as provided in Articles 5124 and 5126.

Art. 5126. Insufficiency or invalidity of new or supplemental bond

The party furnishing a new or supplemental bond under the provisions of Article 5124 may correct an insufficiency or invalidity therein by furnishing a second new or supplemental bond within four days, exclusive of legal holidays, of rendition of judgment holding the new or supplemental bond insufficient or invalid, or at any time if no rule to test the new or supplemental bond has been filed.

If the second new or supplemental bond is insufficient or invalid, the party furnishing it may not correct the defects therein by furnishing a further new or supplemental bond.

Art. 5127. Release bond

No property seized under any order, judgment, writ, mandate, or process of a court may be released from seizure under a release or forthcoming bond unless it is executed by:

(1)  A surety company licensed to do business in this state; or

(2)  An individual surety, and has been approved by the sheriff after the latter has satisfied himself of the solvency of the surety.

Articles 5121 through 5126 apply to a release or forthcoming bond.

Chapter 4. Discussion

Art. 5151. Discussion defined

Discussion is the right of a secondary obligor to compel the creditor to enforce the obligation against the property of the primary obligor or, if the obligation is a legal or judicial mortgage, against other property affected thereby, before enforcing it against the property of the secondary obligor.

 

Art. 5152. Surety's right to plead

When a surety is sued by the creditor on the suretyship obligation, and the right of discussion has been created by contract between the surety and the creditor, the surety may plead discussion to compel the creditor to obtain and execute a judgment against the principal before executing a judgment against the surety.

Acts 2010, No. 185, §1.

Art. 5153. Transferee in revocatory action;  right to plead discussion

When a revocatory action is brought by a creditor to set aside a transfer of property made by his debtor, the transferee may plead discussion to compel the creditor to obtain and execute a judgment against the debtor before setting the transfer aside.

Art. 5154. Third possessor's right to plead

When a legal or judicial mortgage securing an indebtedness due by a former owner of property is sought to be enforced against the property after its acquisition by a third possessor, the latter may plead discussion to compel the mortgagee to enforce the mortgage against other property affected thereby, which is owned by the mortgagor, or which has been acquired from the mortgagor by a third person after the third possessor acquired his property.

Art. 5155. Pleading discussion

A third possessor may plead discussion in an injunction suit to restrain the enforcement of a legal or judicial mortgage against his property.  Discussion may be pleaded by a surety or transferee in a revocatory action only in the dilatory exception.

In pleading discussion, the secondary obligor shall:

(1)  Point out by a description sufficient to identify it, property in the state belonging to the primary obligor, or otherwise subject to discussion, which is not in litigation, is not exempt from seizure, is free of mortgages and privileges, and is worth more than the total amount of the judgment or mortgage; and

(2)  Deposit into the registry of the court, for the use of the creditor, an amount sufficient to defray the costs of executing the judgment or enforcing the mortgage against the property discussed.

Art. 5156. Effect of discussion

When discussion is pleaded successfully by a third possessor, or by the transferee in a revocatory action, the court shall stay proceedings against the third possessor or transferee until the creditor has executed his judgment against the property discussed.

When discussion is pleaded successfully by a surety and the principal is joined, the court may render judgment against both the principal and the surety, but shall order the creditor to execute his judgment against the property discussed.  If the principal is not joined in the action initially, the court shall order his joinder if he is subject to its jurisdiction, and may then proceed as provided in this paragraph.

If the creditor is not able to satisfy his judgment out of the proceeds of the judicial sale of the property discussed, he may thereafter proceed as if discussion had not been pleaded.

Chapter 5. Waiver of Costs for Indigent Party

Art. 5181. Privilege of litigating without prior payment of costs

A.  Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, an individual who is unable to pay the costs of court because of his poverty and lack of means may prosecute or defend a judicial proceeding in any trial or appellate court without paying the costs in advance or as they accrue or furnishing security therefor.

B.  In the event any person seeks to prosecute a suit in a court of this state while incarcerated or imprisoned for the commission of a felony without paying the costs in advance as they accrue or furnishing security thereof, the court shall require such person to advance costs in accordance with the following schedule:

Prisoner's Present Assets

Advance Cost To Be Paid

Minimum

Maximum

Minimum

Maximum

Amount

Amount

Amount

Amount

$

0.00

$

20.00

$

0.00

$

3.00

$

20.01

$

45.00

$

3.00

$

9.00

$

45.01

$

65.00

$

9.00

$

15.00

$

 65.01

$

 85.00

$

 15.00

$

 21.00

$

 85.01

$

105.00

$

 21.00

$

 27.00

$

105.01

$

125.00

$

 27.00

$

 33.00

$

125.01

$

145.00

$

 33.00

$

 39.00

$

145.01

$

165.00

$

 39.00

$

 45.00

$

165.01

$

185.00

$

 45.00

$

 51.00

$

185.01

$

205.00

$

 51.00

$

 57.00

$

205.01

$

225.00

$

 57.00

$

 63.00

$

225.01

$

245.00

$

 63.00

$

 69.00

$

245.01

$

265.00

$

 69.00

$

 75.00

$

265.01

$

285.00

$

 75.00

$

 81.00

$

285.01

$

305.00

$

 81.00

$

 87.00

$

305.01

$

325.00

$

 87.00

$

 93.00

$

325.01

$

345.00

$

 93.00

$

 99.00

$

345.01

$

365.00

$

 99.00

$

105.00

$

365.01

Up

$

105.00 to all advance

cost.

C.  The court for good cause shown may require a prisoner to pay more or less advance cost than is required by the schedule in Paragraph B of this Article if the court finds that the prisoner's prior financial record makes reliance on his present economic status inappropriate.

Amended by Acts 1964, No. 336, §1; Acts 1972, No. 663, §1.  Acts 1984, No. 509, §1.

Art. 5182. Restrictions on privilege

The privilege granted by this Chapter shall be restricted to litigants who are clearly entitled to it, with due regard to the nature of the proceeding, the court costs which otherwise would have to be paid, and the ability of the litigant to pay them or furnish security therefor, so that the fomentation of litigation by an indiscriminate resort thereto may be discouraged, without depriving a litigant of its benefits if he is entitled thereto.

Art. 5183. Affidavits of poverty;  documentation;  order

A.  A person who wishes to exercise the privilege granted in this Chapter shall apply to the court for permission to do so in his first pleading, or in an ex parte written motion if requested later, to which  he shall annex:

(1)  His affidavit that he is unable to pay the costs of court in advance, or as they accrue, or to furnish security therefor, because of his poverty and lack of means, accompanied by any supporting documentation; and

(2)  The affidavit of a third person other than his attorney that he knows the applicant, knows his financial condition, and believes that he is unable to pay the costs of court in advance, or as they accrue, or to furnish security therefor.

(3)  A recommendation from the clerk of court's office as to whether or not it feels the litigant is in fact indigent, and thus unable to pay the cost of court in advance, or as they accrue, or to furnish security therefor, if required by local rule of the court.

B.  When the application and supporting affidavits are presented to the court, it shall inquire into the facts, and if satisfied that the applicant is entitled to the privilege granted in this Chapter it shall render an order permitting the applicant to litigate, or to continue the litigation of, the action or proceeding without paying the costs in advance, or as they accrue, or furnishing security therefor.  The submission by the applicant of supporting documentation that the applicant is receiving public assistance benefits or that the applicant's income is less than or equal to one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal poverty level shall create a rebuttable presumption that the applicant is entitled to the privilege granted in this Chapter.  The court may reconsider such an order on its own motion at any time in a contradictory hearing.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 456, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1122, §1, eff. July 14, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1205, §1.

Art. 5184. Traverse of affidavits of poverty

A.  An adverse party or the clerk of the court in which the litigation is pending may traverse the facts alleged in the affidavits of poverty, and the right of the applicant to exercise the privilege granted in this Chapter, by a rule against him to show cause why the order of court permitting him to litigate, or to continue the litigation, without paying the costs in advance, or as they accrue, or furnishing security therefor, should not be rescinded.  However, only one rule to traverse the affidavit of poverty shall be allowed, whether the rule is filed by an adverse party or the clerk of court.

B.  The court shall rescind its order if, on the trial of the rule to traverse, it finds that the litigant is not entitled to exercise the privilege granted in this Chapter.

Acts 1990, No. 179, §1.

Art. 5185. Rights of party permitted to litigate without payment of costs

A.  When an order of court permits a party to litigate without the payment of costs until this order is rescinded, he is entitled to:

(1)  All services required by law of a sheriff, clerk of court, court reporter, notary, or other public officer in, or in connection with, the judicial proceeding, including but not limited to the filing of pleadings and exhibits, the issuance of certificates, the certification of copies of notarial acts and public records, the issuance and service of subpoenas and process, the taking and transcribing of testimony, and the preparation of a record of appeal;

(2)(a)  The right to the compulsory attendance of not more than six witnesses for the purpose of testifying, either in court or by deposition, without the payment of the fees, mileage, and other expenses allowed these witnesses by law.  If a party has been permitted to litigate without full payment of costs and is unable to pay for witnesses desired by him, in addition to those summoned at the expense of the parish, he shall make a sworn application to the court for the additional witnesses.  The application must allege that the testimony is relevant and material and not cumulative and that the defendant cannot safely go to trial without it.  A short summary of the expected testimony of each witness shall be attached to the application.

(b)  The court shall make a private inquiry into the facts and, if satisfied that the party is entitled to the privilege, shall render an order permitting the party to subpoena additional witnesses at the expense of the parish.  If the application is denied, the court shall state the reasons for the denial in writing, which shall become part of the record.

(3)  The right to a trial by jury and to the services of jurors, when allowed by law and applied for timely; and

(4)  The right to a devolutive appeal, and to apply for supervisory writs.

B.  He is not entitled to a suspensive appeal, or to an order or judgment required by law to be conditioned on his furnishing security other than for costs, unless he furnishes the necessary security therefor.

C.  No public officer is required to make any cash outlay to perform any duty imposed on him under any Article in this Chapter, except to pay witnesses summoned at the expense of the parish the witness fee and mileage to which they are entitled.

Amended by Acts 1964, No. 4, §1.  Acts 1984, No. 541, §1.

Art. 5186. Account and payment of costs

An account shall be kept of all costs incurred by a party who has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs, by the public officers to whom these costs would be payable.  If judgment is rendered in favor of the indigent party, the party against whom the judgment is rendered shall be condemned to pay all costs due such officers, who have a privilege on the judgment superior to the rights of the indigent party or his attorney.  If judgment is rendered against the indigent plaintiff and he is condemned to pay court costs, an affidavit of the account by an officer to whom costs are due, recorded in the mortgage records, shall have the effect of a judgment for the payment due.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 545, §1; Acts 1993, No. 852, §1; Acts 1997, No. 408, §1.

Art. 5187. Compromise;  dismissal of proceedings prior to judgment

No compromise shall be effected unless all costs due these officers have been paid.  Should any compromise agreement be entered into in violation of this article, each party thereto is liable to these officers for all costs due them at the time.

No judicial proceeding in which a party has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs shall be dismissed prior to judgment, unless all costs due these public officers have been paid, or there is annexed to the written motion to dismiss the certificates of all counsel of record that no compromise has been effected or is contemplated.

No release of a claim or satisfaction of a judgment shall be effective between the parties to a judicial proceeding in which one of the parties has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs unless all costs due the clerk of court have been paid.  The clerk of court shall have a lien for the payment of such costs superior to that of any other party on any monies or other assets transferred in settlement of such claim or satisfaction of such judgment and shall be entitled to collect reasonable attorney's fees in any action to enforce this lien for the payment of such costs.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 533, §1.

Art. 5188. Unsuccessful party condemned to pay costs

Except as otherwise provided by Articles 1920 and 2164, if judgment is rendered against a party who has been permitted to litigate without the payment of costs, he shall be condemned to pay the costs incurred by him, in accordance with the provisions of Article 5186, and those recoverable by the adverse party.  The failure of the indigent party to pay the costs specified in this Article shall not prevent entry of a judgment in favor of any party who is not responsible for the costs.

Acts 1993, No. 852, §1; Acts 2012, No. 741, §1.

Title II. Definitions

Art. 5251. Words and terms defined

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this Code:

(1)  "Absentee" means a person who is either a nonresident of this state, or a person who is domiciled in but has departed from this state, and who has not appointed an agent for the service of process in this state in the manner directed by law; or a person whose whereabouts are unknown, or who cannot be found and served after a diligent effort, though he may be domiciled or actually present in the state; or a person who may be dead, though the fact of his death is not known, and if dead his heirs are unknown.

(2)  "Agent for the service of process" means the agent designated by a person or by law to receive service of process in actions and proceedings brought against him in the courts in this state.

(3)  "City court" includes a municipal court which has civil jurisdiction.

(4)  "Competent court", or "court of competent jurisdiction", means a court which has jurisdiction over the subject matter of, and is the proper venue for, the action or proceeding.

(5)  "Corporation" includes a private corporation, domestic or foreign, a public corporation, and, unless another article in the same Chapter where the word is used indicates otherwise, a domestic, foreign, or alien insurance corporation.

(6)  "Foreign corporation" means a corporation organized and existing under the laws of another state or a possession of the United States, or of a foreign country.

(7)  "Insurance policy" includes all policies included within the definition in R.S. 22:46, and a life, or a health and accident policy, issued by a fraternal benefit society.

(8)  "Insurer" includes every person engaged in the business of making contracts of insurance as provided in R.S. 22:46, and a fraternal benefit society.

(9)  "Law" as used in the phrases "unless otherwise provided by law" or "except as otherwise provided by law" means an applicable provision of the constitution, a code, or a statute of Louisiana.

(10)  "Legal representative" includes an administrator, provisional administrator, administrator of a vacant succession, executor, dative testamentary executor, tutor, administrator of the estate of a minor child, curator, receiver, liquidator, trustee, and any officer appointed by a court to administer an estate under its jurisdiction.

(11)  "Nonresident" means an individual who is not domiciled in this state, a foreign corporation which is not licensed to do business in this state, or a partnership or unincorporated association organized and existing under the laws of another state or a possession of the United States, or of a foreign country and includes a limited liability company which is not organized under the laws of and is not then licensed to do business in this state.

(12)  "Person" includes an individual, partnership, unincorporated association of individuals, joint stock company, corporation, or limited liability company.

(13)  "Property" includes all classes of property recognized under the laws of this state:  movable or immovable, corporeal or incorporeal.

(14)  The term "succession representative" includes executor, independent executor, administrator, independent administrator, provisional administrator, together with their successors.  The inclusion of the terms "independent executor" and "independent administrator" within the definition of succession representative shall not be construed to subject such a succession representative to control of the court in probate matters with respect to the administration of a succession, except as expressly provided in Chapter 13 of Title III of Book VI.

Acts 1999, No. 145, §2; Acts 2001, No. 974, §1; Acts 2008, No. 415, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.