Select Page

Civil Law Property
Southern University Law Center
Wilson, Evelyn I.

Property is an exclusive right to control goods corporeal or incorporeal
The purpose of property laws arc to max. the use of the property, maintain order, and keep the peace.
3 Basic Principles of Property *Full ownership- with full ownership you can do whatever you want with the land *Redecoration of Immovable property- ownership of immovables must be tracked and in writing *Maximjzin2 the utility of the land- permits for acquisition of ownership over time/we want to use the land
More Principals *contract law-unjust enrichment- getting something for nothing *Tort Law- the person fault bares the loss *Parties are bound to the contract and 3” parties are not bound (recordation)
I. Division of Things-(different rule apply to the different division of things) A. Things are divided into common, public, and private things. And things are classified as                         corporeal, incorporeal, movables, and immovables.
1. COMMON THINGS- Common things may not be owned by anyone. They are such as the air and the high seas that may be freely used by everyone comfortably with the used for which nature intended them. Common things cannot be owned by anyone because everyone needs them and by theft every nature they cannot be owned.
2. PUBLIC THINGS-public things are owned by the state or its political subdivisions in theft capacity as public persons. (Public things that belong to the state are such as running water, and bottoms of natural navigable water bodies, the territorial sea, and the seashore) (Public things that belong to political subdivisions of the state are such as the street and public squares.) Taxes usually pay for public things
       A. Public things are owned by the state, but are for the use of all persons
B. Public property in the public domain- property owned by the state but for the use of others
C. Public property in the private domain- property owned by the state but for the use of some                                                                                                   *Public things and common things are subject to public use in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Example: everyl has the right to fish in the rivers, ports, etc. Provided he does not cause injury to the property of adjoining owners.
3. PRIVATE THINGS- Private things are owned by individuals, other private persons, & by the state or its political subdivision in their capacity as private persons. An owner of a private thing may freely dispose of it under modifications established by law.                                                                                                                                                                        
A. Private things may be subject to public use in accordance w/ law or by dedication
B. Banks of navigable rives or streams are private things that are subject to public use.
C. A road may be either public or private *public road is 1 that is subject to public use. The public may own the land 011 w/h the road is built or merely have the right to use it. *A private road is one that is lot subject to public use D. Works obstructing the public use- works built w/o lawful permit on to public things that obstruct the public use are to be removed @ $$ of the builder.
II. Classification of things Things are classified into movables, immovables, corporeal, and incorporeal
1. Tracts of land and their component parts are immovables
2. COMPONENT PARTS are buildings, other constructions permanently attached to the ground, standing timber, and unharvested crops or ungathered fruits of trees, when they belong to the owner of the ground. Things incorporated into a tract of land, a building, or other construction, so as to become an integral part of it, such as building materials, are component parts. Transfer of an immovable includes all component parts.  3. When a movable is taken out of the immovable it remains an immovable if there is an intention to place it back on to the immovable. However, absent this intention the immovable becomes a movable if removed from the immovable (Example the brick)
4. Things permanently attached to a building or other construction, such as plumbing, heating/cooling, electrical or other installations are component parts. Things are considered permanently attached if they cannot be removed w/o substantial damage to themselves or to the immovable.
5. Objective approach is used to determine if an ordinary person would conclude that this object is a component part of the immovable. In other words would you normally expect to see them come with the immovable?
6. Buildings and standing timber are separate immovables when they belong to another person other than the owner of the ground. (There ownership be evidenced by an authentic act that is recorded)
7. Things incorporated into a tract of land, a building, or other construction, so as to become an integral part of it, such as building materials, are its component parts.
Hypo: Equibank- found that the chandeliers where component parts of the house because you expect to find light fixtures in a hours and because it takes great difficulty to remove them w/o damaging the building.
a).Immovables by declaration- The owner of immovables may declare that machinery, appliances, and equipment owned by him and place on the immovables, other than his private resident (home), for the service and improvement are deemed to be its component parts. The Declaration shall be filed in the registry in the conveyance records of the Parish in wlh the immovables is located.
Hypo:if a person owns a gas station and hey declares his soda holders as immovables and he files it by an authentic act in the conveyance record of the parish where the immovable is located if he sells the immovable he has sold the soda holders.
b).Demobilization- component parts of an immovable so damaged or deteriorated that they can no longer serve the use of the lands or the buildings are deimmobilized. The owner may deimmobilize the component parts of an immovable by an act translative of ownership and delivery to acquires in good faith. In the absence of rights of 3rd persons, the owner may deimmobilize things by detachment or removal.
Hypo:A person who owns an restaurant declares that the light fixtures and bar will be movable and files the document in the conveyance records own those movables and if he sells the immovable he remains the owner of them.
C).Public Records Doctrine- A transfer of immovable property must be made by an authentic act or by act under private signature. Nevertheless, an oral transfer is valid b/w the parties when the property has been actually delivered and the transferor recognizes the transfer when interrogated on oath. An instrument involving immovable property shall have effect against 3rd person only from the time it is filed for registry in the parish where the property is located.
1. Authentic Act-Anauthentic act is writing executed b4 a notary public or other office authorized to perform that function, in the presence of 2 witnesses, and signed by each party who executed it, by each witness, and by each notary public before whom it was executed. The type or hand-printed name of each person shall be placed in a legible form immediately beneath the signature of each person signing the act.
2.Act under private signature-An act under private signature is regarded prima facie as the true and genuine act of party executing it when his signature has been acknowledged, and the act shall be admitted in evidence w/o further proof. An act under private signature may be acknowledged by a party recognizing it in front of a judge or notary public. Nevertheless, and act under private signature cannot be substituted for an authentic act when the law prescribes such an act.
8. STANDING TIMBER- standing timber shall remain an separate immovable subject all the laws of immovables, only when it is owned by a different person other than the owner of the land. A person can sell the land and reserve the timber to themselves, thus the land belongs to the new of owner and the trees belong to the old owner as a separate immovable. (The person must have an authentic act to show ownership of the trees & this must be filed in the conveyance records to be effective on 3rd persons)The owner of the land has a right to go to court to get a court order for the removal of the trees. The Ct can assign a specific time for the owner of the trees to remove the trees by taking in account the size of the trees, weather conditions/season, the # of trees on the land, etc. once the timber is cut it is a movable
Hypo: Sally owns the land and sells the timber to Russ. Sally tells Russ that he land extends all the way to the river. However, 25f1 away from the river the land is actually, Jason’s. Russ cuts down the trees all the way to the river. Russ owes Treble damages to Jason for cutting down his Trees. Now, Sally sells the land to Mark and Russ did not know he had to record the timber deed. Mark becomes the owner of the land and the trees because the timber deed would have to be recorded to be effective on 3rd persons.
9. STANDING CROPS- if the crop is own by owner of the land it is an immovable b/c it is incorporated into the land. If owned by somel other than the owner of the land the crops are movable by anticipation. Therefore, if the land is

* a co-owner may request partition of the property at anytime. Agreements not to partition the property are valid for only 15 years.
1. Rights to fruits and products- co-owners share the fruits and products of the thing held in division in proportion to their ownership. When fruits or products are produced by a co-owner, the other co-owners are entitled to their shares of the fruits or products only after they make a contribution to the production cost.
2. Liability of a co-owner- A co-owner is liable to the other co-owners for any damage to the thing held in division caused by his fault.
3. Preservation of the thing-A co-owner may w/o the concurrence of any other co-owner take necessary steps for the preservation of the thing held in division.
4. Use and management by Agreement-the use and management of the thing held in indivision is determined by agreement of all the co-owners.
 5. Right to use the thing- a co-owner is entitled to use the thing held in indivision according to its destination, but he cannot prevent other co-owners from making such use of it. But he can prevent 3rd parties from using the thing
6. Substantial alterations or improvements- Substantial alterations or improvements to a thing held in indivision may be undertaken only with the consent of all the co-owners * When a co-owner makes substantial improvements or alterations consistent with the use of the property w/o consent (expressed or implied) he shall be a good faith possessor.
• When constructions, plantings, or works are made by a possessor n good faith, the owner of the immovable may not demand their demolition and removal. He is bound to keep them and @ his option to pay he possessor either the cost, current value, or enhanced value of the immovable.
*When a co-owner makes substantial alterations or improvements inconsistent with the use of the property or in spite of the objections of his co-owners, he is a bad faith possessor.
Hypo: I make changes to the immovable that are not consistent with the use of the immovable, the other co-owners may demand demolition @ the constructor’s expense or he may keep them and pay the price materials or the enhance value of the property.
Hypo: I make construction on the land w/ everyone’s consent and they are consistent with the use of the land I am in good faith and they can not be removed and must be kept, and I must be reimbursed for them
Transfer of corporeal and incorporeal
Corporeal movables do not need formality for a transfer
Corporeal immovables require an authentic act for 3rd person
Incorporeal Movables require just writing to keep track of them
Incorporeal Immovables require authentic act recorded
If separate ownership of timber and/or crops are not recorded in the conveyance records of the parish where the immovable is located, the owner of the immovable is assumed to be the owner of the crops/timber and the unrecorded sell of the crops/timber is not effect on a 3rd person if he buys
All transfers of immovable property must be made in writing, but if you want the transfer to be effective on 3rd parties it must be recorded in the conveyance
Hypo: There are limestone base that are incorporated into the ground…..are theses component part of the immovable? Yes give their size and the integration into the land they can not be removed w/o damaging the land
Public things are out of commerce meaning no money is needed for them.
Private things are in commerce meaning that money is needed for them
Approach to a property problem
1. what are the things at issue?
2. What kind of stuff is it?
3. What are the arguments of each side(rules)
4. What is the correct land and who wins