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A, dominus, sold and delivered (by traditio) res mancipi to B who sold and delivered it to C from whom it was stolen by D who sold and delivered it to E who bought in good faith - Explain the rights and duties of A,B,C,D and E.

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Introduction

A, dominus, sold and delivered (by traditio) res mancipi to B who sold and delivered it to C from whom it was stolen by D who sold and delivered it to E who bought in good faith. Each of the above transactions took place on consecutive days. Explain the rights and duties of A, B, C, D and E. A (Aulus) is the lord and master of his property, dominus. For Aulus to have dominium, he would have to have commercium - he would have to be a Roman citizen; have property that could be privately owned and could only acquire property through the proper channels. Res mancipi were defined as slaves, beasts of burden, Italic land and rustic praedial servitudes and is the fundamental classification of property in Roman law. This was extremely important in relation to the conveyance of property. ...read more.

Middle

Upon legitimate recipt of the res mancipi, Balbus would have bonitary ownership of the same - not dominium. This means that he would not have the same rights and duties as Aulus. He would not officially own the res mancipi but be in possession of it - this would undeniably affect Balbus' rights and duties. Since Balbus did not have the title of dominus he would be in a rather precarious position with regard to the ius civile. If Balbus were to be in possession of the said res mancipi for a prescribed period of time, he would acquire the rights and duties of dominus by usucapio. However, Balbus, as a possessor and not an owner then sold and delivered the res mancipi to C (Cornelius). Provided that Balbus complied with the legal requirements of selling and delivering the res mancipi, Cornelius would then adopt the same rights and duties that were attributed to Balbus as possessor. ...read more.

Conclusion

It appears to be a contentious issue as to who would be allocated the res mancipi. E (Equitius) bought the res mancipi in good faith - bona fides - and therefore thought he possessed the property and was therefore the bona fide possessor. It does appear that Cornelius has a claim in vindicatio to reclaim possession of the res mancipi and so Equitius would have no rights, despite buying and receiving the property in bona fides. Without the actio furti by Decimus, Cornelius would have remained in possession of the res mancipi and, after one or two years of possession, would have become the owner but for Decimus' actions. Therefore, the praetor would award the res mancipi back to Cornelius, the bonitary owner and Equitius would relinquish all rights and duties to the property acquired, although bought in bona fides, because it was through an actio furti. ...read more.

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