§ 3 - OF COPIES OF TITLES
Art. 234. The copies of the acts which are certified true copies form the originals by the notaries who are the depositories of such originals, make proof of what is contained in the said originals, unless it be proved that such copies are incorrect.
Art. 235. When the original titles or records are no longer in being, copies are good proof and supply the want of the original, when they are certified as being conformable to the record, by the notary who has received it, or by one of his successors, or by any other public officer with whom the record was deposited, and who had authority to give certified copies of it, provided the loss of the original be previously proved.
Art. 236. The recording in some public office, as that of the register of the land office in this territory, of any act the record of which is lost, and of which there is no certified copy in due form, can serve only as a commencement of proof in writing.
And when proof by witnesses is admitted in support of the act thus transscribed, it is necessary those persons who were witnesses to the passing of the original act, be heard, if they be still living and convenient to the place.
§ 4 - OF RECOGNITIVE AND CONFIRMATIVE ACTS
Art. 237. Recognitive acts do not dispense with the exhibition of the primordial title unless its tenor be there specially set forth.
Whatever they contain over and above the primordial title, or different from it, is of no effect.
Nevertheless, if there be several recognitions conformable, supported by possession, one of them being dated thirty years back, the creditor may dispense with the exhibition of the primordial title.
Art. 238. The act of confirmation or ratification of an obligation against which the law admits the action of nullity or of rescission, is valid only when it contains the substance of that obligation, the mention of the motive of the action of rescission, and the intention of supplying the defect on which that action is founded.
In default of an act of confirmation or ratification, it is sufficient that the obligation be voluntarily executed subsequently to the period at which the obligation could have been validly confirmed or ratified.
The confirmation, ratification, or voluntary execution in due form and at the period fixed by law, involves a renunciation of the means and exceptions that might be opposed to the act, without prejudice however to the right of persons not parties to it.
Art. 239. The donor cannot, by any confirmative act, supply the defects of a donation inter vivos (between living persons) null in form; it must be executed again in legal form.
Art. 240. The confirmation, ratification or voluntary execution of a donation by the heirs or assigns of the donor, after his decease, involves their renunciation to oppose either defects of forms or any other exceptions.
SECTION II - OF TESTIMONIAL PROOF
Art. 241. Every covenant tending to dispose by a gratuitous or incumbered title of any immoveable property or slaves in this territory, must be reduced to writing, and in case the existing of such covenant should be disputed, no parol evidence shall be admitted to prove it.
Art. 242. Neither shall parol evidence be admitted against or beyond what is contained in the acts, nor on what may have been said before, or at the time of making the said acts or since.
Art. 243. In all the other covenants the object of which may be appraised in money, except those mentioned in the foregoing 241st article, if no writing has been made of them, their testimonial proof may be admitted, provided it shall be made by the deposition on oath or affirmation at least of two competent and credible witnesses, in every case when the value of the object in dispute shall exceed the sum of five hundred dollars.
Under the sum of five hundred dollars the uncontroverted deposition of a single competent and credible witness shall be sufficient to prove the covenant.
Art. 244. Even in the case of the preceding article, that is when the object of the verbal covenant exceeds five hundred dollars, the uncontroverted deposition of a single competent and credible witness may be sufficient, if there exists a beginning of proof in writing.
A beginning of proof in writing is said of any act in writing which has proceeded from him against whom the demand is made, or from him whom he represents and which renders probable the facts alledged.
Art. 245. The rule laid down by the article 243, with respect to the verbal covenants the object of which exceeds five hundred dollars, subject to another exception which regards the mercantile sales and transactions and the sales of produce and crops of the plantations, to prove which the non controverted deposition of a single competent and credible witness may be sufficient.
Art. 246. This rule is also subject to an exception whenever the creditor has been unable to procure a literal proof of the obligation which has been contracted towards him.
This exception applies -
1st. To obligations arising from quasi contracts, and from offences or quasi offences;
2dly. To accessary deposits made in case of fire, the falling down of a building, riot or shipwreck, and to those made by travellers putting up at an inn, according to the quality of the persons and the circumstances of the fact respectively.
3dly. To obligations contracted in case of unforeseen accident, where there was no possibility of making acts in writing.
Art. 247. There is at last an exception to the rules laid down in the foregoing 241 and 242 articles, whenever the creditor has lost the title which served him as a literal proof, through a fortuitous event, an unforeseen accident, or over powering force.
But in this last case in order that the judge may admit the deposition either of two or of a single witness to supply the loss of the title, the fortuitous event which occasioned the loss of the title which formed the literal proof, must be established; for he who requires to be admitted to produce testimonial proof, merely alledges that he has lost his titles, without any fact appearing or over powering force by which his has lost them, he cannot be admitted to give testimonial proof that those titles existed.
Art. 248. The competent witness of any covenant or fact whatever it may be in civil matters, is that who is above the age of fourteen years complete, of a sound mind, free or enfranchised, and not one of those whom the law deems infamous.
He must besides be not interested neither directly or indirectly in the cause.
The husband cannot be a witness either for or against his wife, nor the wife for or against her husband, neither can ascendants with respect to their descendants, or the descendants with respect to their ascendants.
Art. 249. The circumstance of the witness being a relation in the collateral line as far as the fourth degree inclusively of one of the parties interested in the cause, or engaged in the actual service or salary of one of the said parties, or a free coloured person, is not sufficient cause to consider the witness as incompetent, but may according to circumstances diminish the extent of his credibility.