Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe
honesty and good faith.
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes
damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in
manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage.
Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or
any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the
expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another’s
property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall
be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.
Art. 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the
parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance,
indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be
vigilant for his protection.
Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display
during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of
the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.
Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and
peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar
acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause
of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
(1) Prying into the privacy of another’s residence:
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly
station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal
Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public
servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his
official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against he latter,
without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial
enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit,
machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall give
rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.
Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the
ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil
action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such action
requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the
court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the
complaint should be found to be malicious.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable
doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that
effect, it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the
acquittal is due to that ground.
Art. 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability
arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted
during the pendency of the civil case, a preponderance of evidence shall
likewise be sufficient to prove the act complained of.
Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from
the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed
independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who
directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or
impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable
to the latter for damages:
(1) Freedom or religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication;
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(5) Freedom of suffrage;
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;
(9) The right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers, and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures;
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for
purposes not contrary to law;
(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the
Government for redress of grievances;
(14) The right to be a free from involuntary servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to
have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one’s self, or
from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise
of immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the
person confessing becomes a State witness;
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment,
unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute
which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts.
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the
defendant’s act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party
has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for
damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of
any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and mat be proved by a
preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may
also be adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless
his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil action
for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be
brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of
the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or
fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or
property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages, and the city
or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein
recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings, and a
preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.
Art. 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense,
charges another with the same, for which no independent civil action is granted
in this Code or any special law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable
grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting
attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the complaint may
bring a civil action for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action
may be supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant’s
motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the
defendant in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be
presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended until
the termination of the criminal proceedings.
Art. 36. Pre-judicial questions, which must be decided before any
criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by
rules of court which the Supreme Court shall promulgate and which shall not be
in conflict with the provisions of this Code.