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DE OBLIGATIONIBUS QUAE EX DELICTO NASCUNTUR.
CUM expositum sit superiore libro de obligationibus ex contractu et quasi ex contractu, sequitur ut de obligationibus ex maleficio dispiciamus. sed illae quidem, ut suo loco tradidimus, in quattuor genera dividuntur: hae vero unius generis sunt, nam omnes ex re nascuntur, id est ex ipso maleficio, veluti ex furto aut rapina aut damno aut iniuria.
Tit. I. A delict is usually defined as a violation of a ius in rem which generates an obligation remissible by the private individual who is wronged. This, though it serves to distinguish delict, as a source of obligations, from contract, and as a private wrong from a crime, is insufficient when applied to Roman law. Such wrongs as the withholding of possession by a defendant who bona fide believes in his own title are not delicts, at any rate in the specific sense in which the term is used in the Institutes ; they give rise, it is true, to a right of action, but a right of action is a different thing from an obligatio ex delicto : they are redressed by mere reparation, by the wrong-doer being compelled to put the other in the position in which he would have been had the wrong never been committed. But delicts, as contrasted with them and with contracts, possess three peculiarities. The obligations which arise from them are independent, and do not merely modify obligations already subsisting : they always involve dolus or culpa ; and the remedies by which they are redressed are penal. From every true delict arises an obligation to pay a penalty to the person who pursues it ; and from every delict which causes damnum or proprietary loss arises also an obligation to compensate the injured person for that loss. This latter obligation, though it does not enrich the person wronged, may itself be penal-as where the wrong-doer has derived little or no material benefit from the wrong, so that after making compensation he is poorer than before he committed the delict. In such cases the action is treated as a penal action ; e. g. in not being passively transmissible except so far as the delinquent's property has been augmented by the wrong ; Savigny proposes to term it ‘unilaterally penal.' The two obligations arising from delicts which cause proprietary loss are not always pursued by different remedies ; this is so
1 Furtum est contrectatio rei fraudulosa vel ipsius rei vel
etiam usus eius possessionisve, quod lege naturali prohibitum
in furtum, but in rapina and damnum iniuria datum both penalty and compensation are recovered by a single action, which for that reason is called mixta ; i.e. it is ‘tam rei quam poenae persequendae comparata' Tit. 6. 19 inf.
Gaius' remark (iii. 182) that all delicts are of one kind, which Justinian here explains by saying that they all 'ex re nascuntur,' means that in them the obligation is not produced (as in contracts) by different causae ; it springs from the wrongful act itself, and from that alone. The use of the word 'res’ (for which cf. the line cited from Terence p. 451 supr.) is unhappy, because it suggests a reference, as probably Justinian intended, to the obligations quae re contrahuntur, Bk. iii. 14 supr. ; in the Digest the idea is better expressed by 'factum :' 'ex facto actio est, quotiens ex eo teneri quis incipit quod ipse admisit, veluti furtum vel iniuriam commisit vel damnum dedit' Dig. 44. 7. 25; ib. 52. 8. In 52. pr. of the same Title factum in this sense is opposed to res as a generating cause of obligations ex contractu.
Of the four delicts here mentioned furtum and iniuria are older than the others, both being treated in the Twelve Tables, Gaius iii. 189, Tit. 4. 7 inf. Damnum iniuria datum was constituted a specific delict by the lex Aquilia, circ. 285 B.C., and rapina or robbery by the praetor's edict, B.C. 77.
§ 1. This definition requires expansion in two particulars. To rei should be added mobilis (see Bk. ii. 6. 7 supr.) : and the motive must be gain ; a point marked in the counterpart of the definition given in Dig. 47. 2. 1. 3 (lucri faciendi causa): cf. Dig. ib. 43. 4; ib. 65. Its terms require some elucidation, Contrectatio implies that without an 'overt act' there can be no furtum : cf. § 6 inf., and Dig. 47. 2. 52. 19 ‘neque verbo neque scriptura quis furtum facit, hoc enim iure utimur, ut furtum sine contrectatione non fiat;' but the nature of this overt act may be manifold, as will appear below. Fraudulosa implies unlawful intention ; intention, because furtum ex affectu consistit, $$ 7 and 18 inf.; and unlawful. intention, because if the person acting honestly believes that his act will not be objected to by the person wronged, it is not theft : 'si permissurum credant, extra crimen videri' $ 7 inf., though whether in cases such as that of which Justinian is immediately speaking unlawful intention would not be a presumption iuris et de iure is a question. The animus lucri faciendi fails, if the wrong-doer's intention is merely to cause a damage to the other ; e. g. if he takes property intending immediately to throw it into the sea, Dig. 19. 5. 14. 2; but the requirement of its presence is satisfied if the intention is not to aggrandize oneself pecuniarily, but to benefit oneself in some other way-eg. where one steals a ring in order to make a present of it: 'nam species lucri est ex alieno largiri et beneficii debitorem sibi adquirere' Dig. 47. 2. 54. 1. The division into furtum rei ipsius-usus-possessionisve is not designed to distinguish
est admittere. Furtum autem vel a furvo id est nigro dictum 2 est, quod clam et obscure fit et plerumque nocte: vel a fraude: vel a ferendo, id est auferendo: vel a Graeco sermone, qui φώρας appellant fures. immo etiam Graeci από του φέρειν pôpas dixerunt. Furtorum autem genera duo sunt, mani - 3
different species of theft (for of these there are but two, $ 3 inf.), but to suggest the comprehensive character of the delict, and the chief forms which the contrectatio might take. Its meaning in effect is this : the general character of furtum consists in intentionally dealing with a res mobilis in a wrongful manner, and usually the res is .aliena, whether the intention be to appropriate ownership in it (ipsius rei) or merely to use it in an unauthorized manner (usus); but it is possible to commit theft on property of one's own, though to do this it is as a rule essential that the property should be in the lawful possession of another person, the intention being to dispossess the latter (possessionis). By Theophilus furtum possessionis is understood to mean the wrongful appropriation of a thing by a person who already has possession or detention of it (ote TÒ δοθεν επί τω νέμεσθαι ως ενέχυρον ή ως δεπόσιτον νέμομαι ως δεσπότης), in other words, the arbitrary and wrongful conversion of detention or civil possession into usucapion possession corpore et animo; but this is rather furtum ipsius rei, and Theophilus' view is discountenanced by $$ 6-10 inf. : cf. Dig. 47. 2. 74.
Furtum then may occur in any of the following ways :
(1) Theft in the popular sense : 'cum quis rem alienam invito domino contrectat' $6; fur est, qui dolo malo rem alienam contrectat' Paul. sent. rec. 2. 31. 1.
(2) The wrongful appropriation of a res aliena which one already possesses or detains, e. g. as depositary, agent, usufructuary, etc. (cf. Theophilus supr.) ; of this no illustrations are given in this Title, but see Dig. 47. 2. I. 2; ib. 33 ; ib. 43. 1; 16. 3. 29 ; 17. 1. 22. 7.
(3) The wrongful appropriation of property found, Bk, ii. 1. 48 supr., Dig. 47. 2. 43. 4-11.
(4) The mala fide alienation of a res aliena, Bk. ii. 6. 3 supr.
(5) The wilful destruction of bonds in order to destroy evidence of debt, Dig. 47. 2. 28; ib. 32 ; ib. 4. 52.
(6) The wrongful using of a res aliena of which one has possession or detention, e.g. by depositarius, pledgee, or commodatarius, $ 6 inf.
(7) Furtum of res sua, § 10 and notes, inf.
For the prohibition of furtum by natural law cf. Cic. de off. 3. 5 'illud natura non patitur, ut aliorum spoliis nostras facultates augeamus,' Augustin. Confess. 2. 4. I 'furtum certe punit lex scripta in cordibus hominum.' Among certain peoples (e.g. the Egyptians, Lacedaemonians, and Samians) theft is said to have been allowed by their own municipal law ; Diodor. Sic. 1. 80, Xenophon, rep. Laced. 2. 8, Plutarch, Lycurgus 12. $ 2. The derivation of furtum from furvus, which is Varro's (Bk. 14)
festum et nec manifestum. nam conceptum et oblatum species potius actionis sunt furto cohaerentes quam genera furtorum, sicut inferius apparebit. manifestus fur est, quem Graeci éti' aŭropópw appellant: nec solum is qui in ipso furto deprehenditur, sed etiam is qui eo loco deprehenditur, quo fit, veluti qui in domo furtum fecit et nondum egressus ianuam deprehensus fuerit, et qui in oliveto olivarum aut in vineto uvarum furtum fecit, quamdiu in eo oliveto aut in vineto fur deprehensus sit : immo ulterius furtum manifestum extendendum est, quamdiu eam rem fur tenens visus vel deprehensus fuerit sive in publico sive in privato vel a domino vel ab alio, antequam eo perveniret, quo perferre ac deponere rem destinasset. sed si pertulit quo destinavit, tametsi deprehendatur cum re furtiva, non est manifestus fur. nec manifestum furtum quid sit, ex his quae diximus intellegitur:
nam quod manifestum non est, id scilicet nec manifestum 4 est. Conceptum furtum dicitur, cum apud aliquem testibus
praesentibus furtiva res quaesita et inventa sit : nam in eum propria actio constituta est, quamvis fur non sit, quae appellatur concepti. oblatum furtum dicitur, cum res furtiva
was approved by Labeo, and apparently by Paulus, Serv. ad Verg. Georg. iii. 405; that from 'fraus' was suggested by Sabinus : páp is connected with pépeiv in more than one old work on etymology.
§ 3. The jurists seem to have differed as to the true definition of furtum manifestum ; Gaius (iii. 184) gives several proposed tests, one of which (the finding of the thief at any time with the stolen property in his actual possession, rem tenens) he says was generally rejected ; while the qualification of this with which Justinian adopts it (that he must not yet have conveyed it where he intended), though accepted by Sabinus (Gellius 9. 18. 1.), caused difficulty to Gaius quia videbatur aliquam admittere dubitationem, unius diei an etiam plurium dierum spatio id terminandum sit ; quod eo pertinet, quia saepe in aliis civitatibus subreptas res in alias civitates vel in alias provincias destinat fur perferre.' Paulus gets over this by strictly limiting the time : 'quo destinaverat quis auferre' sic accipiendum est, quo destinaverat eo die manere cum eo furto' Dig. 47. 2. 4. Practically Justinian's definition of the offence was accepted in the time of Gaius.
As a rule, arrest (deprehensio) actual or attempted was necessary to constitute furtum manifestum; it was not enough merely to see the thief in the commission of the act or with the stolen goods in his possession, Dig. 47. 2. 7. I and 2.
4. The penalty for furtum conceptum and oblatum was fixed by the
ab aliquo tibi oblata sit eaque apud te concepta sit, utique si ea mente tibi data fuerit, ut apud te potius quam apud eum qui dederit conciperetur: nam tibi, apud quem concepta sit, propria adversus eum qui optulit, quamvis fur non sit, constituta est actio, quae appellatur oblati. est etiam prohibiti furti actio adversus eum, qui furtum quaerere testibus praesentibus volentem prohibuerit. praeterea poena constituitur edicto praetoris per actionem furti non exhibiti adversus eum, qui furtivam rem apud se quaesitam et inventam non exhibuit. sed hae actiones, id est concepti et oblati et furti prohibiti nec non furti non exhibiti, in desuetudinem abierunt. cum enim requisitio rei furtivae hodie secundum veterem observationem non fit: merito ex consequentia etiam praefatae actiones ab usu communi recesserunt, cum manifestissimum est, quod omnes, qui scientes rem furtivam susceperint et celaverint, furti nec manifesti obnoxii sunt. Poena manifesti 5 furti quadrupli est tam ex servi persona quam ex liberi, nec manifesti dupli.
Twelve Tables at three times the value of the property stolen, Gaius iii. 191. The offence of furtum prohibitum, for which the praetor established a penalty of four times the value (Gaius iii. 192) was not recognised by the decemviral legislation, apparently, it has been suggested, because the house was according to the primitive view not only an asylum, but under the special protection of the household gods-Vesta and the Penateswho dwelt and were worshipped there. But the Twelve Tables provided that if, after search was resisted, actual search was made with peculiar formalities, and the stolen property was discovered, the furtum should be treated as manifestum, Gaius iii, 192-4. This was called furtum lance et licio conceptum, and must have become obsolete when the praetor had imposed the same penalty for mere resistance to search. When Justinian says that search for stolen property was in his day no longer conducted secundum veterem observationem he means, in the presence of witnesses (TOUTEOTI uaptúpwv mapovtov Theoph.); it was undertaken by public officers, Dig. 4. I. 3, a practice which seems to have been in use in the time of Plautus : 'ad praetorem ibo, ut conquisitores mihi det' Mercat. 3. 4. 78. Furtum conceptum and oblatum had been coordinated with manifestum and nec manifestum by Servius Sulpicius and Sabinus as distinct species of theft ; Gaius agreed with Labeo that they were * species potius actionis furto cohaerentes quam genera furtorum ' iii. 183. The offence of furtum non exhibitum is not mentioned except in this passage of the Institutes.
§ 5. The penalty fixed by the Twelve Tables for furtum manifestum