Contra Non Valentem in France and Louisiana: Revealing the Parenthood, Breaking a Myth
Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 503-540, February 2011
38 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2010 Last revised: 27 Jan 2011
Date Written: May 20, 2010
In this essay, the autors will show that the relationship between Louisiana and France is not limited to written law; it also exists in one important extra-codal and equitable principle of prescription law: contra non valentem agere non currit praescriptio. In this regard, the juridical parenthood is tight. They will show that contra non valentem in Louisiana is the fruit of French doctrine and jurisprudence. Furthermore, they will bring to light the noticeable similarity of the maxim’s fate in France and Louisiana. Courts in both jurisdictions proclaimed it as dead, but despite the antagonism it faced, contra non valentem evolved as a major component of prescription’s institution. Finally, they will dispel a deep-rooted myth that contra non valentem does not apply to the domain of acquisitive prescription and reveal another strong convergence between Louisiana and France.
Keywords: Contra Non Valentem Non Currit Praescriptio, Discovery Rule, Extinctive Prescription, Acquisitive Prescription, France, Louisiana
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