§4762.  Notice to owner; hearing; notice filed with recorder of mortgages binds transferees

A.(1)  Before the parish or municipal governing authority may condemn any building or structure, there shall be submitted to it a written report recommending the demolition or removal of the building signed by some parish or city official or other person authorized to act in such matters for the parish or municipality.  The parish president, police jury, mayor, or chief executive shall thereupon serve notice on the owner of the building or structure requiring him to show cause at a meeting of the governing authority, regular or special, why the building or structure should not be condemned.  The date and hour of the meeting shall be stated in the notice which shall be served at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing, except in case of grave public emergency as  provided in Subsection C of this Section.

(2)(a)  The notice may be served by mailing it via the United States Postal Service, by either registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner at the owner’s last known address.

(b)  Service by registered or certified mail shall be considered personal service if the certified return receipt or the return form is signed by the addressee.  Service by registered or certified mail shall be considered domiciliary service if the certified return receipt or the return form is signed by anyone other than the addressee.

(c)  If the registered or certified mail is returned for failure to obtain a signature on the return receipt form or returned due to refusal of delivery, service may be accomplished by first class mail, with a certificate of mailing.  Service by first class mail in accordance with this Subparagraph shall be considered personal service and is effective when mailed.

(3)  The notice may also be served by the marshal of the municipality or by any sheriff or deputy sheriff or constable having jurisdiction and power to serve legal process where the owner of the building or structure is found in the state of Louisiana, and the officer shall make return of the service as in ordinary cases.

B.  If the owner is absent from the state or unrepresented therein, then the notice shall be served upon the occupant of the condemned building or structure, if any, and also upon an attorney at law appointed by the parish president, police jury, mayor, or chief executive to represent the absentee.  Domiciliary service may be made as in ordinary cases.

C.  In case of grave public emergency where the condition of the building is such as to cause possible immediate loss or damage to person or property, the parish or municipal governing authority may condemn the building after twenty-four hours notice served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant and attorney at law appointed to represent the absentee owner.  Any such notice may be attached to a door or entrance of the premises and shall have the same effect as delivery to or personal service on the owner, occupant, or attorney at law appointed to represent the absentee owner.

D.(1)  Any notice served pursuant to this Section shall be filed by the appropriate parish or municipal governing authority with the recorder of mortgages where the property is located.  Once filed, said notice shall be deemed notice to all subsequent transferees.  Any transferee of such property takes the property subject to all recorded liens, mortgages, and notices thereunto pertaining.

(2)  For purposes of any type of funding assistance being sought by the building or structure owner, any notice served pursuant to this Section shall be de facto proof that the building or structure is more than fifty percent damaged.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 248, §1; Acts 1987, No. 434, §1; Acts 2008, No. 601, §1; Acts 2009, No. 334, §1; Acts 2010, No. 1041, §1.

NOTE:  Acts 2009, No. 334, is not effective until August 15, 2011, in certain parishes damaged by Hurricane Katrina (effective Aug. 15, 2009, everywhere else).  See Act 334, §2.