By Collette Ross
The Louisiana legislature has amended Louisiana Revised Statute § 44:104(E) to allow a notice of a mineral lease to be recorded for public records purposes instead of the full lease. Filing a memorandum or extract of a mineral lease was formerly permitted by Louisiana Revised Statute § 9:2721.1, but that section was repealed on July 1, 2006. The current legislation resolves this problem. As to mineral leases, in addition to other requirements under § 44:104, the notice shall include the primary term of the lease and any additional period during which the lease may be maintained by the payment of rentals. The amendment of § 44:104(E) took effect on June 18, 2007. Click here to view the Act amending this statute.
Under Louisiana Civil Code article 2681, leases are binding on third parties only if filed in the public records. Formerly, a party not wanting to disclose all terms of a mineral lease to the public could file a memorandum or extract of the lease under Louisiana Revised Statute § 9:2721.1, instead of filing the entire lease. However, the repeal of § 9:2721.1 on July 1, 2006 left parties unable to file a memorandum of a mineral lease for public records purposes. Prior to the amendment, § 44:104 allowed recordation of a notice of lease or sublease, but expressly did not apply to "mineral leases that are subject to the provisions of the Louisiana Mineral Code.” Thus, the repeal of § 9:2721.1 effectively forced a party to record the entire mineral lease. The amendment to § 44:104(E) resolved this problem by changing the substantive law to permit the recordation provisions contained in § 44:104 to apply to mineral leases. Section 44:104(E) now provides that “[t]his section shall apply to mineral leases that are subject to the provisions of the Louisiana Mineral Code."