7. Civil liability in criminal cases

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

Frequency: ★★★☆☆

a. Civil liability of certain persons

Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. (Article 100, Ibid.)

1) Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases

The exemption from criminal liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Article 12 and in subdivision 4 of Article 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced subject to the following rules:

1) In cases of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of Article 12, the civil liability for acts committed by an imbecile or insane person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part.

Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under his authority, legal guardianship or control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or minor shall respond with their own property, excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance with the civil law.

2) In cases falling within subdivision 4 of Article 11, the persons for whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they may have received.

The courts shall determine, in sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each one shall be liable.

When the respective shares cannot be equitably determined, even approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in all events, whenever the damages have been caused with the consent of the authorities or their agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.

3) In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of Article 12, the persons using violence or causing the fears shall be primarily liable and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from execution. (Article 101, Ibid.)

2) Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments

In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees. (Article 102, Ibid.)

Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given them with respect to the care and vigilance over such goods. No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper’s employees. (Paragraph 2, Article 102, Ibid.)

3) Subsidiary civil liability of other persons

The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties. (Article 103, Ibid.)

b. What civil liability includes

The civil liability established in Articles 100, 101, 102, and 103 of this Code includes:

1) Restitution;

2) Reparation of the damage caused;

3) Indemnification for consequential damages. (Article 104, Ibid.)

RESTITUTION: The restitution of the thing itself must be made whenever possible, with allowance for any deterioration, or diminution of value as determined by the court. (Article 105, Ibid.)

The thing itself shall be restored, even though it be found in the possession of a third person who has acquired it by lawful means, saving to the latter his action against the proper person, who may be liable to him. (Paragraph 2, Article 105, Ibid.)

This provision is not applicable in cases in which the thing has been acquired by the third person in the manner and under the requirements which, by law, bar an action for its recovery. (Paragraph 3, Article 105, Ibid.)

REPARATION: The court shall determine the amount of damage, taking into consideration the price of the thing, whenever possible, and its special sentimental value to the injured party, and reparation shall be made accordingly. (Article 106, Ibid.)

INDEMNIFICATION: Indemnification for consequential damages shall include not only those caused the injured party, but also those suffered by his family or by a third person by reason of the crime. (Article 107, Ibid.)

1) Obligation to make restoration, reparation for damages, or indemnification for consequential damages and actions to demand the same; Upon whom it devolves

The obligation to make restoration or reparation for damages and indemnification for consequential damages devolves upon the heirs of the person liable. (Article 108, Ibid.)

The action to demand restoration, reparation, and indemnification likewise descends to the heirs of the person injured. (Paragraph 2, Article 108, Ibid.)

2) Share of each person civilly liable

If there are two or more persons civilly liable for a felony, the courts shall determine the amount for which each must respond. (Article 109, Ibid.)

3) Several and subsidiary liability of principals, accomplices and accessories of a felony; Preference in payment

Notwithstanding the provisions of the next preceding article, the principals, accomplices, and accessories, each within their respective class, shall be liable severally (in solidum) among themselves for their quotas, and subsidiaries for those of the other persons liable. (Article 110, Ibid.)

The subsidiary liability shall be enforced, first against the property of the principals; next, against that of the accomplices, and, lastly, against that of the accessories. (Paragraph 2, Article 110, Ibid.)

Whenever the liability in solidum or the subsidiary liability has been enforced, the person by whom payment has been made shall have a right of action against the others for the amount of their respective shares. (Paragraph 3, Article 110, Ibid.)

3) Obligation to make restitution in certain cases

Any person who has participated gratuitously in the proceeds of a felony shall be bound to make restitution in an amount equivalent to the extent of such participation. (Article 111, Ibid.)

c. Extinction and survival of civil liability

EXTINCTION OF CIVIL LIABILITY: Civil liability established in Articles 100, 101, 102, and 103 of this Code shall be extinguished in the same manner as obligations, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Law. (Article 112, Ibid.)

OBLIGATION TO SATISFY CIVIL LIABILITY: Except in case of extinction of his civil liability as provided in the next preceding article the offender shall continue to be obliged to satisfy the civil liability resulting from the crime committed by him, notwithstanding the fact that he has served his sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty or other rights, or has not been required to serve the same by reason of amnesty, pardon, commutation of sentence or any other reason. (Article 113, Ibid.)

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