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When the expression of a cause in a contractual obligation is untrue, the obligation is still effective if a valid cause can be shown. La. C.C. art. 1970
Appellee, who was 107-years-old and illiterate, executed a deed in favor of appellants, his granddaughter and her husband, which purportedly conveyed, for $ 10, an interest in land. Appellee sued to rescind the deed, claiming the deed was a sham. Appellee subsequently died and his daughter, as executrix of the succession, was substituted as party plaintiff. The trial court found appellee failed to have donative intent and ordered the deed set aside. The appellants sought review.
Under the circumstances, was the donative intent of the appellee sufficiently shown?
The court affirmed. The contract stated a merely nominal price. Appellants failed to show donative intent where appellant granddaughter and appellee were not shown to have a close relationship, appellants had not rendered services to appellee, and appellee's daughter and caretaker were not aware appellee had been taken on a trip to Shreveport where the transaction occurred. There was no significant change in corporeal possession of the property. However, since not all the property co-owners to the suit had been joined as needed for appellants' reconventional demand, the case was remanded.