Civil Law Obligations

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10 Questions

What are the essential elements of obligation?

There must be damage caused and a direct relation between the act or omission and the damage

What is the standard of care required of a debtor in delivering a determinate thing?

Ordinary diligence

What type of fruits are produced by lands?

Industrial fruits

What is the right of a creditor to demand from a definite passive subject?

Personal right

What are the possible remedies of a creditor if the debtor fails to deliver a determinate thing?

Demand specific performance, rescission or cancellation with a right to recover damages, or demand payment of damages only

Who can perform an obligation to deliver an indeterminate thing?

The debtor or a third person

What is the right of a creditor over a specific thing?

Real right

What type of fruits are the spontaneous products of soil or animals?

Natural fruits

What is the effect of a debtor's failure to deliver an indeterminate thing?

The creditor has the right to recover damages

What is the standard of care that prevails if the law or stipulation provides another standard?

The standard provided by the law or stipulation

Study Notes

General Provisions of Obligations

  • An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do, or not to do.
  • Civil obligation: gives the creditor a right to enforce performance in courts of justice.
  • Natural obligation: based on equity and justice, no right of action to enforce performance, but debtor cannot recover what has been delivered.

Requisites of an Obligation

  • Passive subject (debtor/obligor)
  • Active subject (creditor/obligee)
  • Object/prestation
  • Juridical/legal tie (Vinculum juris)

Kinds of Obligations

  • Real obligation: delivery of a thing
  • Personal obligation: to do or not to do

Sources of Obligations

  • Law
  • Contracts
  • Quasi-contracts
  • Acts or omissions punished by law
  • Quasi-delicts

Kinds of Quasi-Contracts

  • Negotiorum gestio: voluntary management without knowledge/consent
  • Solutio indebiti: payment by mistake

Obligations from Criminal Offenses

  • Civil obligations arising from criminal offenses
  • Requisites: act/omission, fault/negligence, damage, and direct relation between act/omission and damage

Form and Validity of Obligations

  • Formal or solemn: requires solemnity or formality to be perfected
  • Informal, common or simple: does not require legal involvement to be considered enforceable
  • Valid: free from defects
  • Rescissible: valid until rescinded
  • Voidable: valid until annulled
  • Unenforceable: appears valid but cannot be enforced by a court
  • Void: inexistent

Person Obliged

  • Unilateral: only one party makes a promise
  • Bilateral: two-way street where each side agrees to fulfill an obligation

Risks and Liability

  • Cumulative: undertaking of one party is considered the equivalent of the other
  • Aleatory: depends on an uncertain event or contingency
  • Unilateral: obligation on the part of only one party
  • Bilateral: obligation on both parties

Status of Obligations

  • Executory: not yet completely performed by both parties
  • Executed: fully and satisfactorily carried out by both parties

Nature and Effects of Obligations

  • Delivering a determinate thing: debtor must take care of the thing with the diligence of a good father of a family
  • Delivering an indeterminate thing: to deliver a thing which is of the quality intended
  • Rights of the creditor: to the fruits of the thing from the time the obligation to deliver it arises
  • Kinds of fruits: natural, industrial, and civil

Test your understanding of civil law obligations, including the definition of an obligation, civil obligations, natural obligations, rights, and wrongs.

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