Divining the Real Nature of Real Obligations

Article by L. David Cromwell and Chloé M. Chetta

This Article seeks to explore the real nature of obligations: the extent to which they become binding on successor owners of the thing out of which the real obligations arise, as well as the transferability of the rights of the holder of a real obligation to other persons. It also examines the scope of affirmative duties that can be the subject of real obligations, the liberative effect of the real obligor’s abandonment or alienation of the thing, and the difficult issue of whether a real obligation imports personal liability. Those in search of certain answers may instead find in this Article more questions, for many issues arising from the notion of real obligations have been largely undeveloped and are therefore without ready resolution. Nevertheless, relying on discussions of real rights and real obligations in traditional and modern French doctrine and their historical treatment in the Louisiana Civil Code, prevailing law, and the writings of Professor A.N. Yiannopoulos, this Article will address the topic from a decidedly civilian perspective in the hope of provoking thought and reflection on the many unresolved issues.

About the Authors

L. David Cromwell: Member, Louisiana Bar, and Vice President and Member of the Council of the Louisiana State Law Institute, as well as Reporter of its Security Devices Committee and Possessory Action Committee. Tulane University, J.D. (1983).

Chloé M. Chetta: Member, Louisiana Bar, Junior Honorary Member of the Louisiana State Law Institute (2016), and former research assistant to Professor A.N. Yiannopoulos. Tulane University, J.D. (2015).


92 Tul. L. Rev. 127 (2017)