Louisiana Civil Code

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SECTION 2 - COMMON ENCLOSURES

Art. 673. A landowner who builds first may rest one-half of a partition wall on the land of his neighbor, provided that he uses solid masonry at least as high as the first story and that the width of the wall does not exceed eighteen inches, not including the plastering which may not be more than three inches in thickness. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 674. The wall thus raised becomes common if the neighbor is willing to contribute one-half of its cost. If the neighbor refuses to contribute, he preserves the right to make the wall common in whole or in part, at any time, by paying to the owner one-half of the current value of the wall, or of the part that he wishes to make common. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 675. A wall that separates adjoining buildings and is partly on one estate and partly on another is presumed to be common up to the highest part of the lower building unless there is proof to the contrary. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 676. When a solid masonry wall adjoins another estate, the neighbor has a right to make it a common wall, in whole or in part, by paying to its owner one-half of the current value of the wall, or of the part that he wishes to make common, and one-half of the value of the soil on which the wall is built. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 677. In the absence of a written agreement or controlling local ordinance the rights and obligations of the co-owners of a common wall, fence, or ditch are determined in accordance with the following provisions. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 678. Necessary repairs to a common wall, including partial rebuilding, are to be made at the expense of those who own it in proportion to their interests. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 679. The co-owner of a common wall may be relieved of the obligation to contribute to the cost of repairs by abandoning in writing his right to use it, if no construction of his is actually supported by the common wall. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 680. The co-owner of a common wall may use it as he sees fit, provided that he does not impair its structural integrity or infringe on the rights of his neighbor. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art 681. The co-owner of a common wall may not make any opening in the wall without the consent of his neighbor. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 682. A co-owner may raise the height of a common wall at his expense provided the wall can support the additional weight. In such a case, he alone is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the raised part. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 683. The neighbor who does not contribute to the raising of the common wall may at any time cause the raised part to become common by paying to its owner one-half of its current value. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 684. A landowner has the right to enclose his land. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 685. A fence on a boundary is presumed to be common unless there is proof to the contrary.

When adjoining lands are enclosed, a landowner may compel his neighbors to contribute to the expense of making and repairing common fences by which the respective lands are separated.

When adjoining lands are not enclosed, a landowner may compel his neighbors to contribute to the expense of making and repairing common fences only as prescribed by local ordinances. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 686. A ditch between two estates is presumed to be common unless there be proof to the contrary.

Adjoining owners are responsible for the maintenance of a common ditch. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 687. Trees, bushes, and plants on the boundary are presumed to be common unless there be proof to the contrary.

An adjoining owner has the right to demand the removal of trees, bushes, or plants on the boundary that interfere with the enjoyment of his estate, but he must bear the expense of removal. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 688. A landowner has the right to demand that the branches or roots of a neighbor's trees, bushes, or plants, that extend over or into his property be trimmed at the expense of the neighbor.

A landowner does not have this right if the roots or branches do not interfere with the enjoyment of his property. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

 

SECTION 3 - RIGHT OF PASSAGE

Art. 689. The owner of an estate that has no access to a public road or utility may claim a right of passage over neighboring property to the nearest public road or utility. He is bound to compensate his neighbor for the right of passage acquired and to indemnify his neighbor for the damage he may occasion.

New or additional maintenance burdens imposed upon the servient estate or intervening lands resulting from the utility servitude shall be the responsibility of the owner of the dominant estate. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1; Acts 2012, No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

Art. 690. The right of passage for the benefit of an enclosed estate shall be suitable for the kind of traffic or utility that is reasonably necessary for the use of that estate. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1; Acts 2012, No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

Art. 691. The owner of the enclosed estate may construct on the right-of-way the type of road, utility, or railroad reasonably necessary for the exercise of the servitude.

The utility crossing shall be constructed in compliance with all appropriate and applicable federal and state standards so as to mitigate all hazards posed by the passage and the particular conditions of the servient estate and intervening lands. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1; Acts 2012, No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

Art. 692. The owner of the enclosed estate may not demand the right of passage or the right-of-way for the utility anywhere he chooses. The passage generally shall be taken along the shortest route from the enclosed estate to the public road or utility at the location least injurious to the intervening lands.

The location of the utility right-of-way shall coincide with the location of the servitude of passage unless an alternate location providing access to the nearest utility is least injurious to the servient estate and intervening lands.

The court shall evaluate and determine that the location of the servitude of passage or utility shall not affect the safety of the operations or significantly interfere with the operations of the owner of the servient estate or intervening lands prior to the granting of the servitude of passage or utility. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1; Acts 2012, No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

Art. 693. If an estate becomes enclosed as a result of a voluntary act or omission of its owner, the neighbors are not bound to furnish a passage to him or his successors. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 694. When in the case of partition, or a voluntary alienation of an estate or of a part thereof, property alienated or partitioned becomes enclosed, passage shall be furnished gratuitously by the owner of the land on which the passage was previously exercised, even if it is not the shortest route to the public road or utility, and even if the act of alienation or partition does not mention a servitude of passage. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1; Acts 2012; No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

Art. 695. The owner of the enclosed estate has no right to the relocation of this servitude after it is fixed. The owner of the servient estate has the right to demand relocation of the servitude to a more convenient place at his own expense, provided that it affords the same facility to the owner of the enclosed estate. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 696. The right for indemnity against the owner of the enclosed estate may be lost by prescription. The accrual of this prescription has no effect on the right of passage. [Acts 1977, No. 514, §1]

Art. 696.1. As used in this Section, a utility is a service such as electricity, water, sewer, gas, telephone, cable television, and other commonly used power and communication networks required for the operation of an ordinary household or business. [Acts 2012; No. 739, §1, eff. Aug. 1, 2012]

 

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