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Property I
Southern University Law Center
Vance, Shawn D.


1. Division of Things

1 Things are divided into common, public, and private; corporeals and incorporeals; and movables and immovables. Art. 448

2 Common things may not be owned by anyone. They are such as the air and high seas that may be freely used by everyone comformably with the use for which nature has intended them. Art. 449

.1 “Air” is not susceptible of ownership. “Airspace” is a private thing and belongs to the owner of the ground, but may be used for aerial traffic above certain altitudes.

.2 “High Seas” refers to the Gulf of Mexico.

3 Public things are owned by the state or its political subdivisions in their capacity as public persons. B: Public things that belong to the state are such as running waters, the waters and bottoms of natural navigable water bodies, the territorial sea, and the seashore. C: Public things may belong to political subdivisions of the state are such as streets and public squares. Art. 450

.1 Public property is comprised of two classes of things:

.1 Public Things: What the state or political subdivision owns in their capacity as public persons. Example – natural navigable water body.

.2 Private Things: What the state or political subdivision owns in their capacity as private persons. Example – natural water body ceases to be navigable.

.2 The essential characteristic of public things is that they are insusceptible of private ownership.

.1 Insusceptibility of private ownership is not a natural quality of things but a legal determination.

.3 Landry v. Council of East Baton Rouge: Citizens sued the parish council to stop the council from moving the airport in Baton Rouge. The court ruled that the property that was acquired by the parish falls into the classification of quasi-public property and may be used for whatever purposes as deemed fit by the council subject to any special deed requirements or special law. The council moved the airport.

.4 Lawsuits against the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision: A person can sue the but has to get permission from the entity prior to suit and the entity has to set up a fund for which judgments can be paid from. Cannot seize public property or public funds to satisfy a judgment.

4 Public things and common things are subject to public use in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Everyone has the right to fish in the rivers, ports, roadsteads, and harbors, and the right to land on the seashore, to fish, to shelter himself, to moor ships, to dry nets, and the like, provided that he does not cause injury to the property of adjoining owners. The seashore within the limits of a municipality is subject to its police power, and the public use is governed by municipal ordinances and regulations. Art. 452

5 Private things are owned by individuals, other than private persons, and by the state or its political subdivisions in their capacity as private persons. Art. 453

.1 Private Things are the only things that are susceptible of private ownership, that is, capa

or shares in entities possessing juridical personality. Interests or shares in a juridical person that owns immovables are considered as movables as long as the entity exists; upon its dissolution, the right of each individual to a share in the immovables is an immovable. Art. 473

.1 Succession of Young: Don’t have to do an authentic act on bonds – can be given be merely handing them over.

.2 Ex: Let friend borrow my car which is a movable. The friend has a incorporeal right attached to the car – incorporeal movable.

.4 Movables by anticipation are unharvested crops and ungathered fruits of trees are movables by anticipation when they belong to a person other than the landowner. When encumbered with security rights of third persons, they are movables by anticipation insofar as the creditor is concerned. The landowner may, by act translative of ownership or by pledge, mobilize by anticipation unharvested crops and ungathered fruits of trees that belong to him. Art. 474

.1 Ex: Lease my land to someone to grow crops. The crops are movables by anticipation. If I sell the land and the lease was not recorded then new land owner gets it all. If recorded then the farmer keeps the crop as a separate movable.