2013 (Civil Law) Bar Exam Questions: Multiple Choice Question 9

[Discuss/answer the question below. Or see Civil Law Instructions; Civil Law Instructions; Civil Law Essay Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10; Civil Law Multiple Choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10; See also 2013 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

IX.

Betty entrusted to her agent, Aida, several pieces of jewelry to be sold on commission with the express obligation to turn over to Betty the proceeds of the sale, or to return the jewelries if not sold in a month’s time. Instead of selling the jewelries, Aida pawned them with the Tambunting Pawnshop, and used the money for herself. Aida failed to redeem the pawned jewelries and after a month, Betty discovered what Aida had done. Betty brought criminal charges which resulted in Aida’s conviction for estafa.

Betty thereafter filed an action against Tambunting Pawnshop for the recovery of the jewelries. Tambunting raised the defense of ownership, additionally arguing that it is duly licensed to engage in the pawnshop and lending business, and that it accepted the mortgage of the jewelry in good faith and in the regular course of its business.

If you were the judge, how will you decide the case? (1%)

(A) I will rule in favor of Betty. My ruling is based on the Civil Code provision that one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. Tambunting’s claim of good faith is inconsequential.

(B) I will rule in favor of Betty. Tambunting’s claim of good faith pales into insignificance in light of the unlawful deprivation of the jewelries. However, equity dictates that Tambunting must be reimbursed for the pawn value of the jewelries.

(C) I will rule in favor of Tambunting. Its good faith takes precedence over the right of Betty to recover the jewelries.

(D) I will rule in favor of Tambunting. Good faith is always presumed. Tambunting’s lawful acquisition in the ordinary course of business coupled with good faith gives it legal right over the jewelries.

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