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Lateran IV

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  • CANON 40
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CANON 40

Summary. The plaintiff is still the owner of the article that has for one year by violence or deceit been withheld from him.

Text. It sometimes happens that the plaintiff to whom, in consequence of the non-appearance (contumacia, that is, disobedience) of the opposing party, the possession of the object in dispute is judicially awarded, cannot on account of the violence or deceit of the accused obtain actual possession for a whole year, and thus, since in the opinion of many he is not after the lapse of a year to be regarded as the owner, the malice of the accused gains the advantage. Therefore, that the condition of the disobedient may not be better than that of the obedient, we decree that in the aforesaid case even after the lapse of a year the plaintiff is the true owner.

In general we forbid that decisions in ecclesiastical matters be referred to a layman, because it is not becoming that a layman should arbitrate in much matters.




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