Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Peremption Definition:

A period of time fixed by law for the existence of a right.

Related Terms: Prescription

In Yen v. Avoyelles Parish Police Jury, Madam Justice Shannon Gremillion of the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, a civil law jurisdiction, wrote of the classic distinction between prescription and peremption:

"Real consequences flow from the distinction between prescription and peremption. Liberative prescription is defined ... as a mode of barring of actions as a result of inaction for a period of time.

"Peremption, on the other hand, is a period of time fixed by law for the existence of a right. Unless timely exercised, the right is extinguished upon the expiration of the peremptive period.

"In other words, prescription sets a time limit within which one is allowed to seek enforcement of a right; peremption completely does away with the right.

"Prescription under the Civil Code may be suspended, or interrupted by the filing of suit against a solidary obligor or a joint tortfeasor or by acknowledgment of the obligee's right.... Peremption is not subject to suspension or interruption.

"Prescription, once it has tolled, can be renounced. Peremption cannot be renounced."


  • Yen v. Avoyelles Parish Police Jury, 5 So. 3d 1002 (2009)

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