Nature and Effect of Obligations in Civil Law

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How is a specific or determinate thing defined?

It is particularly designated or physically segregated from others

What is the standard of care required when someone is obliged to take care of a specific or determinate thing?

The care of a good father of a family

Which of the following is an example of a generic or indeterminate thing?

A 2006 model Japanese car

How is a generic thing identified?

Only by its specie

According to Art. 1244, can a debtor substitute a determinate thing with another of the same kind and quality?

No, only with the creditor's consent

What is the standard of care required when someone is obliged to give or take care of a specific or determinate thing?

Care of a good father of a family

What is the standard of care required for a debtor in an obligation to give a determinate thing?

Diligence of a good father of a family

If the debtor's obligation is to deliver a specific watch they are wearing, can they substitute it with another watch without the creditor's consent?

No, they must deliver the specific watch they are wearing

If the debtor's obligation is to deliver one of their cars, what does the text say about the determination of the particular car?

The particular car becomes determinate upon its delivery

What is the standard of care required for a common carrier according to the text?

Utmost diligence of very cautious persons

What does the text say about the standard of care that banks must exercise for their depositors' accounts?

The highest degree of care due to the fiduciary nature of their relationship

Study Notes

Nature and Effect of Obligations

  • Art. 1163 states that every person obliged to give something is also obliged to take care of it with the proper diligence of a good father of a family, unless the law or the stipulation of the parties requires another standard of care.

Specific or Determinate Thing

  • A thing is said to be specific or determinate when it is particularly designated or physically segregated from all others of the same class.
  • Examples: The watch I am wearing, The car sold by X, My dog named “Terror”, The house at the corner of Rizal and Del Pilar Streets, The Toyota car with Plate No. AAV 344, This cavan of rice, The money I gave you.

Generic or Indeterminate Thing

  • A thing is generic or indeterminate when it refers only to a class or genus to which it pertains and cannot be pointed out with particularity.
  • Examples: A Bulova calendar watch, A 2006 model Japanese car, A police dog, A cavan of rice, The sum of P10,000.00.

Specific and Generic Things Distinguished

  • A determinate thing is identified by its individuality, and the debtor cannot substitute it with another although the latter is of the same kind and quality without the consent of the creditor.
  • A generic thing is identified only by its specie, and the debtor can give anything of the same class as long as it is of the same kind.

Duties of Debtor in Obligation to Give a Determinate Thing

  • To preserve or take care of the thing due.
  • To deliver the fruits of the thing.
  • To deliver its accessions and accessories.
  • To deliver the thing itself.
  • To answer for damages in case of non-fulfillment or breach.

Obligation to Take Care of the Thing Due

  • The obligor has the incidental duty to take care of the thing due with the diligence of a good father of a family pending delivery.
  • However, if the law or the stipulation of the parties provides for another standard of care (slight or extraordinary diligence), said law or stipulation must prevail.

Explore the concept of obligations in civil law, focusing on the care required for items to be given under Article 1163. Understand the meaning of specific or determinate things in legal obligations.

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