Bulletin: LA2016004

Date:
August 19, 2016
To:
All Louisiana Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Suspension of prescriptive and peremptive periods due to recent flooding

Dear Associates:

Background

On August 15, 2016, Governor Edwards signed Executive Order Number JBE 2016-53 titled "Emergency Suspension of Deadlines, in Legal, Administrative and Regulatory Proceedings” (the "Suspension Order").

The Suspension Order provides that:

A.  All prescriptions, including liberative, acquisitive, and the prescription of non use, and all peremptive periods shall be subject to a limited suspension and/or extension during the time period of August 12, 2016, through at least September 9, 2016; 

B. The suspension shall apply throughout the entire state of Louisiana.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW/DO:

A.  Additional suspensions and/or extensions in legal and administrative proceedings may be available, upon court order, such as where a particular courthouse is itself flooded, under the theories of contra non valentem or “Act of God.”

B.  A party must seek an additional suspension or extension by contradictory motion or declaratory judgment. Such party would bear the burden of proving its necessity by a preponderance of the evidence. 

C.  The suspension and/or extension of these periods shall be limited and shall apply only if these periods would have otherwise lapsed during the time period of August 12, 2016, through September 9, 2016. 

D.  If a prescriptive or peremptive period lapsed or a deadline in a legal proceeding passed prior to August 12, 2016, no suspension or extension is applicable.

E.  All prescriptions, including liberative, acquisitive, and the prescription of non use, and all peremptive periods which would otherwise have lapsed during the period of August 12, 2016, through September 12, 2016, and all deadlines in legal proceedings which would otherwise have lapsed, shall be suspended and/or extended during those respective periods. 

F.  If you have any doubt about the suspension of any prescription or preemption which would affect the merchantability of a title, you should keep the requirement/exception in your commitment/policy, and seek underwriter approval for its removal. Doubt is such cases would be suggestive of litigation, creating an insurable issue.

YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO INSURE A CLOSING IN A PARISH WHERE THE COURTHOUSE IS NOT ACCESSABLE FOR FILING YOUR DOCUMENTS.

IF SEARCH INDICES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN ANY PARISH, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO INSURE A CLOSING WITHOUT UNDERWRITER APPROVAL.  

SOME EXAMPLES

A. The seventy-day lien period in construction situations is suspended.

B. The ten-year period for expiration of judgments is suspended.

C. Delays required for publication of succession/probate notices are suspended.

D. Parties may have the right to seek extension of contractual deadlines in purchase agreements under the doctrines of Act of God or contra non valentem.

E. Appeal periods for trial court Orders permitting sales would be suspended.

The complete text of the Suspension Order is available at: http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/category/11

WE EXPECT FURTHER EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO BE ISSUED IN THE FUTURE AND WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None