Question 14, 2017 Civil Law Bar Exam


(Question XIV, Civil Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

Plutarco owned land that borders on a river. After several years, the action of the water of the river caused the deposit of soil, and increased the area of Plutarco’s property by 200 square meters.

(a) If Plutarco wants to own the increase in area, what will be his legal basis for doing so? Explain your answer. (2%)

(b) On the other hand, if the river dries up, may Plutarco validly claim a right of ownership of the dried-up river bed? Explain your answer. (2%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Right of accession, particularly accretion, will be the legal basis. Answer

Under the Civil Code, the ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially. Particularly, to the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters. Rule

In the case at bar, the deposits naturally washed into an attached to the property of Pultarco due to the action of the water of the river. As a result, Plutarco’s land increased due to natural accretion. Apply

Thus, Plutaro is entitled to the additional area by virtue of the right of accession. Conclusion

(b) No. Answer

Under jurisprudence, the drying up of the river is not accretion. Hence, the dried-up river bed belongs to the State as property of public dominion, not to the riparian owner, unless a law vests the ownership in some other person. Rule

In the case at bar, the dried-up riverbed will belong to the State as it is not a valid form of accretion. Apply

Thus, Plutarco may not validly claim a right of ownership to the dried-up riverbed. Conclusion


(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)


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