LEGAL CORNER: I saw a question about hunting hogs and coyotes le - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LEGAL CORNER: I saw a question about hunting hogs and coyotes legally, what about coons and possums? Do bobcats have a season?

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)

QUESTION: I have been using a path over my recently deceased neighbor's property since the 1980's. The deceased's heirs have taken over the property and are threatening to build a fence which would obstruct my pathway. Are they allowed to do this?

ANSWER: Normally, verbal agreements regarding immovable property are not binding. So, any verbal permission can be withdrawn. But there may be other legal grounds for exercising that right of passage. Additional information would be helpful.

(1) is the right of passage in the deed? (2) are you completely landlocked (no access to your property except over other's property)?

If the right of passage is in the deed to the property, then that right is considered "by title" and permission to cross is not necessary.

If it is not in the deed, but the viewer has no access to the property, they are entitled to access: Civil Code Article 689. Enclosed estate; right of passage

"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."

Note, it is not free, the owner of the neighboring property is entitled to compensation as well as payment for any damages caused by the use of the right of passage.

So, it is not entirely clear if the road mentioned is the shortest route to the nearest public road, but in considering the location of a servitude, courts have often granted a path that has been in use, rather than granted a servitude establishing a new path.

Some rights of passage can be acquired over time, but with no written recognition of the right (not recorded in the title), the time period of passage before that right is acquired is 30 years, see Civil Code Article 742. However, in the recently decided Boudreaux v. Cummings, 2014-C-1499, the Louisiana Supreme Court declared that the possession with permission does not count toward acquisitive prescription.

QUESTION: My step daughter's biological dad has little interest in her. How difficult would it be to adopt her when her biological dad is still alive?

ANSWER: The first consideration is whether or not the absent parent will consent to the adoption. If consent is granted, the adoption can go forward. If the absent parent objects, the Children's Code Act. 1245 lists two grounds in which a contested adoption can be granted:

(1) the parent has refused or failed to comply with a court order of support without just cause for a period

of at least six months, or (2) the parent has refused or failed to visit, communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child without just cause for a period of at least six months. It should be noted that since this is referred to "intrafamily adoption," the adopting parent has to be married to the natural parent, not just in a relationship with that parent. Also, a voluntary child support arrangement does not apply here, as the code requires the breach of a court-ordered support payment.

QUESTIONI saw a question about hunting hogs and coyotes legally, what about coons and possums? Do bobcats have a season?

ANSWER: For coons and possums, you only need a "basic season" license, but you need a trapping license to sell the skins. You cannot hunt them from a moving boat or vehicle, and there is a limit of 2 per day. 

Bobcats do not have a season, but there are limitations: (1) you have to possess a "basic season" license as well as a "big game license, (2) must be taken within legal shooting hours, and (3) limit is one per calendar year?.  Choose the heading "Hunting Regulations and Seasons" then click "Regulations" which will bring you to a screen where one of the categories is "2017-2018 hunting regulations". After clicking on that one, choose "Quadruped and Resident Bird Hunting Seasons".?
For other limitations and to review which firearms and which caliber weapons are allowed, visit the LDWF website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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