The Civil Code Index
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The Civil Code Index


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Book I
Book II
Book III
The Civil Code
Napoleon in later life considered the Civil Code to be the most significant of his
achievements. The Code represented a comprehensive reformation and
codification of the French civil laws. Under the ancien regime more than 400
codes of laws were in place in various parts of France, with common law
predominating in the north and Roman law in the south. The Revolution
overturned many of these laws. In addition, the revolutionary governments had
enacted more than 14,000 pieces of legislation. Five attempts were made to
codify the new laws of France during the periods of the National Convention and
the Directory. Through the efforts of Napoleon the drafting the new Civil Code in
an expert commission, in which Jean-Etienne-Marie Portalis took a leading role,
took place in the second half of 1801. Napoleon attended in person 36 of the
commission's 87 meetings. Although the draft was completed at the end of 1801,
the Code was not published until 21 March 1804. The Civil Code represents a
typically Napoleonic mix of liberalism and conservatism, although most of the
basic revolutionary gains - equality before the law, freedom of religion and the
abolition of feudalism - were consolidated within its laws. Property rights,
including the rights of the purchasers of the biens nationaux were made absolute.
The Code also reinforced patriarchal power by making the husband the ruler of
the household. The Napoleonic Code was to be promulgated, with
modifications, throughout the Empire. The Civil Code was followed by a Code
of Civil Procedure in 1806, a Commercial Code in 1807, a Criminal Code and
Code of Criminal Procedure in 1808 and a Penal Code in 1810. A Rural Code
was debated, but never promulgated. The Code Napoleon, renamed the Civil
Code, was retained in its majority after the restoration of the Bourbons in 1815.
The Civil Code has served as the model for the codes of law of more than
twenty nations throughout the world.
PRELIMINARY TITLE. OF THE PUBLICATION, EFFECT, AND
APPLICATION OF THE LAWS IN GENERAL
BOOK I. Of Persons.
TITLE I. OF THE ENJOYMENT AND PRIVATION OF CIVIL
RIGHTS
CHAPTER I. Of the enjoyment of civil rights
CHAPTER II. Of the privation of civil rights
 Section 1. Of the privation of civil rights by the loss of the quality of
Frenchman
 Section 2. Of the privation of civil rights in consequence of judicial
proceedings
TITLE II. OF ACTS BEFORE THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES
CHAPTER 1. General ordinance
CHAPTER II. Of acts of birth
CHAPTER III. Of acts of marriage
CHAPTER IV. Of acts of decease
CHAPTER V. Of acts of tbe civil power regarding the military out of the
territory of the republic
CHAPTER VI. Of the amendments of acts of a civil nature
TITLE III. OF DOMICIL
TITLE IV. OF ABSENT PERSONS
CHAPTER I. Of presumption of absence
CHAPTER II. Of the declaration of absence
CHAPTER III. Of the effects of absence
 Section 1. Of the effects of absence, as respects the property
possessed by the absentee at the date of his disappearance
 Section 2. Of the effects of absence with regard to eventual rights which
may belong to the absentee
 Section 3. Of the effects of absence, as they relate to marriage
CHAPTER IV. Of tbe superintendence of minors whose father has
disappeared
TITLE V. OF MARRIAGE
CHAPTER I. Of the qualities and conditions required in order to be able
to contract marriage
CHAPTER II. Of the formalities relative to the celebration of marriage
CHAPTER III. Of oppositions to marriage
CHAPTER IV. Of petitions for nullity of marriage
CHAPTER V. Of the obligations accruing from marriage
CHAPTER VI. or the respective rights and duties of married persons
CHAPTER VII. Of the dissolution of marriage
CHAPTER VIII. Of second marriages
TITLE VI. OF DIVORCE
CHAPTER I. Of the causes of divorce
CHAPTER II. Of the divorce for cause determinate
 Section 1. Of the forms of the divorce for cause determinate
 Section 2. Of the provisional measures to which the petition for divorce
for cause determinate may give rise
 Section 3. Of exceptions at law against the suit for divorce for cause
determinate
CHAPTER III. Of divorce by mutual consent
CHAPTER IV. Of the effects of divorce
CHAPTER V. Of the separation of persons
TITLE VII. OF PATERNITY AND FILIATION
CHAPTER I. Of the filiation of legitimate children, or those born in
marriage
CHAPTER II. Of the proofs of the filiation of legitimate children
CHAPTER III. Of natural children
 Section 1. Of the legitimation of natural children
 Section 2. Of the acknowledgment of natural children
TITLE VIII. OF ADOPTION AND FRIENDLY GUARDIANSHIP
CHAPTER I. Of adoption
 Section 1. Of adoption and its effects
 Section 2. Of the forms of adoption
CHAPTER II. Of friendly guardianship
TITLE IX. OF PATERNAL POWER
TITLE X. 0F MINORITY, GUARDIANSHIP, AND EMANCIPATION
CHAPTER I. Of minority
CHAPTER II. Of guardianship
 Section 1. Of the guardianship of father and mother
 Section 2. Of the guardianship appointed by the father or mother
 Section 3. Of the guardianship of ancestors
 Section 4. Of guardianship appointed by the family council
 Section 5. Of the supplementary guardian
 Section 6. Of the causes which excuse from guardianship
 Section 7. Of incapacity, exclusion, and deprivation of guardianship
 Section 8. Of the guardian's administration
 Section 9. Of the accounts of the guardianship
CHAPTER III. Of emancipation
TITLE XI. OF MAJORITY, INTERDICTION, AND THE JUDICIAL
ADVISER
CHAPTER I. Of majority
CHAPTER II. Of interdiction
CHAPTER III. Of the judicial adviser
 
BOOK II. Of Property, and the Different
Modifications of Property.
TITLE I. OF THE DISTINCTION OF PROPERTY
CHAPTER I. Of immoveable property
CHAPTER II. Of moveables
CHAPTER III. Of property, with reference to those who are in the
possession of it
TITLE II. OF PROPERTY
CHAPTER I. Of the right of accession over the produce of any thing
CHAPTER II. Of the right of accession over what is connected and
incorporated with any thing
 Section 1. Of the right of accession relatively to things immoveable
 Section 2. Of the right of accession relatively to moveable property
TITLE III. OF USUFRUCT, RIGHT OF COMMON, AND OF
HABITATION
CHAPTER I. Of usufruct
 Section 1. Of the rights of the usufructuary
 Section 2. Of the obligations of the usufructuary
 Section 3. Of the manner in which usufruct is put an end to
CHAPTER II. Of common and habitation
TITLE IV. OF SERVITUDES OR MANORIAL SERVICES
CHAPTER I. Of servitudes derived from the situation of places
CHAPTER II. Of servitudes established by law
 Section 1. Of the party-wall and ditch
 Section 2. Of the distance and intermediary works required for certain
buildings
 Section 3. Of views over a neighbor's property
 Section 4. Of the droppings of house-eaves
 Section 5. Of the right of way
CHAPTER III. Of servitudes established by the act of man
 Section 1. Of the different species of servitudes which may be
established over property
 Section 2. Of the mode of establishing servitudes
 Section 3. Of the rights of the proprietor of the estate to which the
servitude is due
 Section 4. Of the manner in which servitudes are extinguished
 
BOOK III. Of the Different Modes of
Acquiring Property.
GENERAL DISPOSITIONS
TITLE I. OF SUCCESSIONS
CHAPTER I. Of the opening of successions and of the seisin of heirs
CHAPTER II. Of the qualities requisite to succeed
CHAPTER III. Of the different orders of succession
 Section 1. General dispositions
 Section 2. Of representation
 Section 3. Of successions devolving upon descendants
 Section 4. Of successions devolving upon ancestors
 Section 5. Of collateral successions
CHAPTER IV. Of irregular successions
 Section 1. Of the rights of natural children over the property of their
father or mother, and of the succession to natural children dead without
issue
 Section