Table of Contents
CHAPTER II - OF THE PUTTING INTO PROVISIONAL POSSESSION THE HEIRS OF THE ABSENTEE
Art. 9. When a person shall not have appeared at the place of his or her domicil or habitual residence, and when such person shall not have been heard of for five years, his or her presumptive heirs at the time when such person was heard of for the last time, may, by administering the proof of the said fact, cause themselves to be put, by the competent judge, into provisional possession of the estate which belonged to the absentee at the time of his or her departure, or at the time he or she was heard of last, on condition of their giving security for their administration.
Art. 10. The judge in pronouncing upon this demand, shall take into consideration the motives of the absence and the reasons which may have prevented from hearing of the absentee.
Art. 11. When the presumptive heirs shall have been put into provisional possession of the estate of the absentee, the will made by the absentee, if there be any such will, may be presented or opened at the request of the person interested, and the testamentary heirs, the legatees, donees, as well as those who had a claim on the property or rights of the absentee, which depend upon the death of the said absentee, may provisionally exercise such their rights, on the condition of their giving security.
Art. 12. If any heirs be appointed universally by the will, the heir or heirs thus appointed, shall be preferred to the presumptive heirs, except nevertheless the forced heirs, and shall be put into a provisional possession of the estate of the absentee, likewise on the giving security for their administration.
Art. 13. The husband or wife of the absentee who is not separated of property from him or her and who wishes to continue to enjoy the benefit of the community or partnership of acquits or gains which existed between them, may prevent the provisional possession or exercise of all the rights which may depend upon the death of the absentee, and claim and preserve for himself or herself in preference to any body, the administration of the estate of his or her absent husband or wife.
If on the contrary the husband or wife of the absentee, chooses rather to have the community dissolved, he or she may exercise and claim all his or her rights both legal and conventional on his or her giving security for such things as may be liable to be restored.
The wife who will pray for having the community continued, shall nevertheless preserve the right of renouncing it afterwards.
Art. 14. Provisional possession is but a deposit which invests those who have obtained it, with the administration of the estate of the absentee, and for which they remain accountable to him, in case he reappears or is heard of again.
Art. 15. It shall be the duty of such as shall have obtained provisional possession, or of the husband or wife who shall have been continued in the administration of the community, to cause an inventory of moveables, slaves and credits of the absentee to be made by the parish judge or by any notary public duly authorised to that effect by the said judge.
The judge shall order, if necessary, that the whole or part of the moveables be sold; and in case of sale, both the amount of the sale and the produce which may be due, shall be either laid out in the purchase of some real property or placed at interest in a solid manner.
Art. 16. Those who shall have obtained either the provisional possession or legal administration, may petition for their own security, for the appointment by the judge, of two persons well acquainted with such affairs and sworn by the judge, for the purpose of viewing the immoveables of the absentee, and the report of such persons shall be afterwards approved by the judge, and the expences arising thereon, shall be paid out of the estate of the absentee.
Art. 17. Those who in consequence of the provisional possession, or of the legal administration, shall have enjoyed the estate of the absentee, shall not be bound to return to him, more than the fifth of the revenue, if such absentee reappears before fifteen years elapsed since the day when he disappeared; and the tenth only, if such absentee shall not reappear, until after the said fifteen years.
After thirty years absence, the whole of the revenue shall belong to those who shall have been put in provisional possession or shall have been entrusted with the legal administration.
Art. 18. Those persons who enjoy only in virtue of the provisional possession can neither alienate nor mortgage the immoveables and slaves of the absentee.
Art. 19. If the absence had lasted thirty years since the provisional possession, or since the time when the husband or wife who held their estate in common, shall have taken the administration of the estate of the absentee, or if one hundred years have elapsed since the birth of the absentee, then the sureties shall be discharged, and all such as may have rights, may petition for the partition of the estate of the absentee and cause themselves to be put in absolute possession by the judge.
Art. 20. The succession of the absentee, shall be opened from the day of his or her death duly ascertained, for the benefit of such heirs as were capable of inheriting his estate at the time; and those who shall have enjoyed the estate of the absentee, shall be bound to restore the same, with the exception of the profits assigned them by the provisions of the above 17th article.
Art. 21. If the absentee should reappear, or if his or her existence should be proved during the provisional possession, then the effect of the judgment which shall have ordered this provisional possession, shall cease, without however affecting, if such should be the case, the conservatory measures prescribed in the first chapter of this title, for the administration of the estate of the absentee.
Art. 22. If the absentee should reappear, or if his or her existence should be proved even after the putting into an absolute possession, he or she shall recover his or her estate, such as it may happen to be, the price of such as may have been sold, or such estate as may have been bought with the proceeds of his or her estate which may have been sold.
Art. 23. The children or direct descending heirs of the absentee, may likewise within thirty years to be computed from the day of the absolute possession, petition for the restitution of his or her estate, as it is ordered in the preceding article.
Art. 24. After judgment ordering provisional possession or legal administration, no person who may have rights to exercise against the absentee, can prosecute such rights but against those who have been put into a provisional possession of the estate, or who shall have been legally appointed administrators of the same.
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