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Apr 21, 2008

(Art. 457-465, Civil Code)

RIPARIAN OWNER - owner of land adjoining banks of river; right based on accession natural

Right of Riparian Owner as regards Alluvium (Art. 457):

- soil deposit in lands adjoining riverbanks, and gradually formed by effect of the current of river waters
- the riparian owner becomes the owner of such soil deposit

NOTA BENE (Elements):

a) deposit is gradual and imperceptible
b) caused by the current of the river
c) current must be that of a river
d) river must still exist
e) increase must be comparatively little

- if accretion on banks of lake, not alluvium but same rule applies
- if accretion on banks of sea, the soil deposit belongs to the public domain

Right of Landowner adjoining Ponds or Lagoons (Art. 458):

- land inundated by extraordinary floods still belongs to the landowner
- land left dry by the natural decrease of waters does not belong to the landowner

Right of Riparian Owner as regards Avulsion (Art. 459):

- when current of river/creek/torrent ("force of the river") segragates from an estate a piece of land and transfers it to another estate
- owner of segregated portion still owns if he removes the same within 2 years
- after two years and no removal, the owner of the other estate owns

Right of Landowner as regards Uprooted Trees (Art. 460):

- the uprooted trees are carried away by the current of the waters and deposited to another estate
- the owner of land where uprooted tree came from still owns and pay for expenses of gathering or putting them in a safe place
- after six months and no claim was made on uprooted tree, the owner of the other estate owns

Right of Riparian Owner as regards Abandoned River Beds (Art. 461):

- natural change in course of river
- ipso facto belongs to the owner of land currently occupied by new river bed
- owner of land adjoining old river bed has right to acquire if:
  • pays value thereof
  • the value does not exceed the value of area occupied by new river bed
- the new river bed belongs to the State (art. 462)
- if the river divides leaving an isolated portion in the middle or if a portion is separated from estate, landowner retains ownership (art. 463)
- islands formed on the seas within Philippine jurisdiction, on lakes, and on navigable and floatable rivers belong to the State
- islands formed through successive accumulation of alluvial deposits on NON-navigable and NON-floatable rivers:
  • belong to the owners of nearest banks
  • belong to both owners if found in the middle


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