Louisiana Court Records
Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Louisiana
In Louisiana State, contract disputes and property disputes are legal matters that the court handles under the state civil code. Contract disputes occur when the parties involved cannot decide on the terms of a contract, while property disputes are disagreements that usually involve real estate.
The District Court, the Justice of the Peace Court (JOP), and the City Court of the state Judicial Branch share jurisdiction over contract and property disputes, depending on the claims involved. The JOP Court has concurrent jurisdiction over matters involving property disputes and contract disputes claim up to $5,000.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What are Contract Disputes in Louisiana?
Contract disputes usually occur when there is a breach of contract by any of the individuals or organizations that are involved. Such matters may arise due to the violation of the contractual terms. Also, if any party does not perform their obligations as the contract states.
What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Louisiana?
Typically, contractual disputes in Louisiana may happen if a party does not fulfill their contractual obligations or consent is not established among the involved parties through offer and acceptance. Some common contract disputes are:
- Errors in the contract
- Fraudulent practices
- Contracts that a party enters under duress
- Breach of contract
- Subpar performance of a party in fulfilling their obligations
What is Louisiana Contract Law?
Under Chapter 1 Article 1906 of the Louisiana laws, a contract happens when two parties or more are in agreement over a set of obligations that they create. The consent of all parties is recognized through the offer of terms and acceptance. A contract is said to be unilateral when only one party has obligations in the agreement. A bilateral contract occurs when all the involved parties have obligations to fulfill among themselves.
Under state laws, a contract is valid if it has the following elements:
Contractual capacity: This concerns the persons eligible to participate in a contract. Typically, all individuals are eligible except otherwise mentioned in Article 1918, including unemancipated youths and individuals that were mentally unstable during the time of contract.
Consent: Under Louisiana laws, a contract exists when the party establishes consent through offer and acceptance. The parties can create a contract verbally or in writing.
Lawful cause: A lawful cause must exist before obligations in a contract can be created. The cause is illegal if the fulfillment of the obligation by a party is against the state laws.
Object and matter of the contract: Individuals and organizations can enter a contract for any object that is legal and possible to achieve. The possibility to achieve the contractual object centers on its nature, not the performance level of a party.
What is a Breach of Contract in Louisiana?
Under Louisiana statutes, a breach of contract ensues when an involved party does not regard its obligation. Typically, a flaw in the consent established by the involved party leads to a breach of contract and may affect its validity. Pursuant to Chapter 4 Title IV, the following are the vices of consent that can lead to the breach of contract:
What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Louisiana?
When a breach of contract occurs and the case goes to a Louisiana court, the remedies available include the following types of damages:
Compensatory damages: The purpose of compensatory damage is to place the aggrieved party in the position they were before the agreement, that is, before a breach of contract occurred.
Liquidated Damages: This kind involves a clause in the contract that specifies a specified amount to cover the damages, as agreed on by the parties if a breach of contract happens.
Nominal Damage: Nominal damages usually do not involve a large amount paid as damages, but it indicates the particular party that breached the contract and exonerates the non-breaching party of any blame.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages purpose is to penalize the party that constituted a breach of contract. However, the court rarely awards a plaintiff punitive damages in such lawsuits.
Other remedies available upon a breach of contract include restitution and cancellation of the contract.
Interested individuals and businesses can file an action for breach of contract at the appropriate court. The District Courts have original jurisdiction over such matters. However, the City Courts hear such matters if the amount in dispute is between $15,000 and $50,000. The Justice of the Peace Courts hears breach of contract cases if the damages is up to $5,000.
Aggrieved parties can file a breach of contract claims can be filed with the clerk of court. While some courts may allow claimants to file verbally, most require them to file written pleadings. Claimants may file at the courthouse within their judicial district or via U.S mail. Upon the filing of a claim, the clerk will serve the other party who has a particular period to file an answer. The court schedules a hearing and the judge can award the claims or dismiss it. Failure of the defendant to file an answer can lead to a default verdict that favors the claimant.
What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Louisiana?
Defenses that parties can employ against a breach of contract claim in Louisiana include:
- Illegal Contracts: The defendant can argue that the fulfillment of the contractual obligations could be against the state laws.
- Impossible object of contract: This occurs when the object of the contract is impossible due to the nature or the party lacked the capability for reasonable reasons.
- Fraud/ Duress: Defendants can argue about the validity of the contract if they can successfully prove that they were fraudulently induced or under duress when they entered the agreement.
- Statutes of limitation: This occurs when the official time limit to file a breach of contract case has passed.
- Mistake: If a mutual mistake is in the contract and all parties are to blame for the error.
What are Property Disputes in Louisiana
Property disputes in Louisiana are legal disagreements concerning real estate and any other assets regarded as such. Different laws in the Louisiana Statutes cover various property disputes within the state, depending on the situation.
What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Louisiana?
Some frequent types of property disputes in Louisiana include:
- Boundary disputes: This type of disagreement happens when an individual builds a fence or other boundary indicators on a neighbor’s property.
- Landlord-Tenant Disputes: Such disputes may occur because of disagreements about the repair of properties, rent, or eviction.
- Tree Damage disputes: In Louisiana, property owners can sue for damages if someone intentionally destroys their tree.
- Ownership of property disputes: This type of dispute occurs when two parties or more disagree over who legally owns a property.
- Zoning disputes: This may arise as a result of someone disobeying the zoning ordinances of the town or city that the property is situated.
How to Find Property Lines in Louisiana?
Property lines are indicators of the boundary between properties. Property owners can mark the boundary of their properties with a fence, hedge, or garden.
To find a property line, interested persons can visit the assessor’s office in the parish where the property exists and inquire about the boundary of the property. Some parishes may also provide online resources that interested persons may obtain property lines.
How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?
Interested parties can find property dispute lawyers in Louisiana by using the public resources page provided by the Louisiana State Bar Association. The page contains details of lawyer referrals via websites and numbers that querying parties can visit/contact to find and hire property dispute lawyers.