Issue: Does lis pendens apply where two suits are based upon separate transactions and are not between the same parties in the same capacities in Louisiana?
Area of Law:
Litigation & Procedure
Lis pendens; Capacities; exception
La. Code Civil Procedure article 531
See La. Code Civil Procedure article 531. This section limits application of the defense as follows:
When two or more suits are pending in a Louisiana court or courts on the same transaction or occurrence, between the same parties in the same capacities, the defendant may have all but the first suit dismissed by excepting thereto as provided in Article 925. When the defendant does not so except, the plaintiff may continue the prosecution of any of the suits, but the first final judgment rendered shall be conclusive of all.
The literal language of this provision makes application of the exception subject to two conditions: (1) both suits must involve “the same transaction or occurrence”; and (2) they must be “between the same parties in the same capacities”. See Nat’l Gas & Glazing Inc. v. Grimaldi Const. Inc.,680 So. 2d 56, 63 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1996) (where “[t]he two actions are neither between the same parties in the same capacities nor do they arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, . . . the trial court correctly denied the exception of lis pendens.” (emphasis in original)).
“The party urging the declinatory exception has the burden of offering evidence in support of the exception.” Guidry v. Cajun Rentals and Services, Inc.,563 So. 2d 1335, 1336 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1990).
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