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Interdiction in Louisiana

In Louisiana, interdiction is an important family law concept.  The word describes the legal procedure and status of a person who has been legally determined to have fewer rights because giving them those rights could result in harm to that person.  Typically, we see interdiction occurring in the case of very elderly and infirm people, as well as those with mental handicaps.

Some people make have difficulty thinking up a situation where someone may be better off having fewer rights than they did before.  However, reasons abound.  For example, let’s take Charlie.  When Charlie was born there were a number of complications.  Actually, his mother died while giving birth to him.  The doctors and their staff were not able to get enough air to Charlie’s brain quick enough and it left him with permanent brain damage for the rest of his life.  Psychologists and social workers estimate that at age 30, Charlie still has the intellect of an eight year old.

Let’s say Charlie is not able to work because of his mental handicap.  He also has difficulty maintaining himself at home.  He lives with his aunt, who has cared for him his whole life.  The money that it costs to support Charlie comes from state-sponsored disability of some type.

In Charlie’s situation, his family may want (if they had not already) to move to make Charlie an interdict.  This would divest many of Charlie’s rights and give them to another person who is sworn to caring for him, called his curator.  The curator could be tasked with the responsibility of dispersing Charlie’s monthly disability check, for example.  This means that Charlie would be free of the responsibility of managing his finances.

Managing Charlie’s finances is an example of how an interdict may have their property rights given over to their caretaker, or curator.  But personal rights may be transferred to the curator in an interdiction process as well.  For example, perhaps Charlie is in need of special needs counseling to help him cope and live a productive life with his handicap.  Because an interdiction ruling divests him of the right to choose who and when he is counseled, a curator will be able to make these decisions for him.

Remember, this article deals generally with interdiction in the state of Louisiana.  The process may or may not be available in other states and by other means and methods.  Also, in Louisiana there is more than one type of interdiction, for example, limited interdiction.  Limited interdiction basically means that a court can find Charlie is capable of maintaining and affecting some of his legal rights as a person, and not others.  While this whole process might seem a little harsh and controlling, it actually is sometimes a necessity for a loving and caring family who has a member that cannot care for themselves in a reasonably effective way.  By giving legal rights to the curator that the interdict would normally have as a person in Louisiana, sometimes all parties concerned can ensure a happier, productive, and secure lifestyle for that individual.

This article is informational, not legal advice.