The following is a summary of legislation that was passed during the 2018 Regular Session.
Act 122. This statute amends R.S. 9:5630(A) and 5632 relative to successions. It delineates the start of the two-year prescriptive period provided in 5630(A) for an unrecognized heir to claim an interest in property in the hands of a third party to be the date of the rendering of the judgment of possession, rather than the date of its “finality”. Act 122 expands the application of the two-year prescriptive period for defects in succession sales and encumbrances, also to succession leases of property. The statute now includes the actions of an independent succession representative as well.
What you should know/do: Actions that can result in a claim against title will be more difficult both because the two-year prescriptive period commences earlier, and the fact that independent executors and administrators now have a two-year prescriptive period against defects in the sale, encumbrance or lease. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 164. This statute amends and reenacts Civil Code Articles 355, 359 and 361, providing for a continuing tutorship past the age of 15, with the written concurrence of the parish coroner.
What you should know/do: The new law will more fully protect minors by denying them even the right of limited administrative authority over their own estates if the coroner concurs. Now such minors, even when they are past the age of 15, cannot bind themselves with any sort of contract. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 184. This statute amends and reenacts Code of Civil Procedure Art. 1392 by allowing courts to take judicial notice of the laws of the United States and of every state, territory and other jurisdiction in the United States pursuant to the Evidence Code Art. 202, which allows a court to rely on “information needed by it…..”
What you should know/do: No longer is it necessary to produce a certified copy of an official register of what those laws are. When examining titles to property in which a foreign law has influence, like a foreign small succession affidavit, you may rely on the laws from a source such as Westlaw or Lexis. This is a further indication that the legislature is peeling back our more restrictive rules on proof of documents as a matter of public policy. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 202. This statute amends and reenacts R.S. 13:754(C) and requires that every district clerk of court become a member of the Louisiana Clerks’ Remote Access Authority by July 1, 2020.
What you should know/do: Be aware that in short order there will be a statewide portal for clerks’ indices. (Effective July 1, 2020).
Act 275. This statute enacts a new Code of Civil Procedure Art. 196.1, relative to emergencies and disasters, such as Katrina, allowing a district court, including one of limited jurisdiction (such as a domestic court) to sign orders while seated outside its normal jurisdiction.
What you should know/do: Be aware that nuances and problems learned during disasters are being corrected for the future. Now a judge can sign orders anywhere his court happens to be during a disaster. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 422. This statute increases the value of a small succession entitled to one-half filing fees to $125,000 from $75,000.
What you should know/do: Efforts to reduce the cost of handling small estates is continuing. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 443. This statute amends and reenacts La. Civil Code Art 3463 to provide that a settlement and dismissal of a defendant pursuant to a transaction or compromise does not qualify as a voluntary dismissal.
What you should know/do: Be aware that prescription affecting titles is normally interrupted by the filing of a suit. This new provision allows for the interruption to have been effective even if the suit is later compromised or otherwise settled. (Effective August 1, 2018).
Act 452. This statute enacts La. R. S. 13:4368, and amends Code of Civil Procedure Arts. 2376 to provide for the cancellation of inferior inscriptions regardless of whether they appeared on the mortgage certificates ordered by the sheriff conducting a sale pursuant to a foreclosure or not. Presently, if an inscription does not appear on a mortgage certificate either because the clerk missed the inscription or because the foreclosing attorney did not see to it that the correct names were on the certificate, the missed liens are not considered as cancelled. The new law does not apply to inferior servitudes for utilities.
What you should know/do: You should read this statute in full and very carefully. You should conduct a training session with your staff to have them understand the remedy. Clerks of Court would not cancel (partially release) inscriptions, not on their certificates, and foreclosing attorneys were reluctant to reopen closed files. Either the seizing creditor, its agent, or the person acquiring an interest in the property at the sheriff’s sale must file the affidavit (with an appropriate indemnity protecting the Clerk of Court) requesting the cancellation. (Effective August 1, 2018).
House Concurrent Resolutions 31 and 86. These joint resolutions request the Louisiana Law Institute to investigate and report, with proposed legislation, the use of e-notarization and e-closing tools in Louisiana transactions, including the statutes which may need to be amended.
What you should know/do: Be aware that e-notarization is coming down the pike. The Law Institute must present a report by February 1, 2019. You need to select the appropriate person from LLTA and from LAILTA to participate in the drafting of good statutes if you are going to have any influence on the provisions of e-notarization.
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