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FI´NIUM REGUNDO´RUM

FI´NIUM REGUNDO´RUM, A´CTIO. This was an action having for its original object [p. 1.860]the determination of a controversia de fine, which was a dispute concerning the boundary of five feet (finis quinque pedum) interposed between the allotments (sortes) [AGRIMETATIO p. 87 b]. According to the law of the Twelve Tables and the Lex Mamilia, this land on the confines of two holdings, which was contributed by the adjacent proprietors in equal portions, could be used by them in common as a way or for turning the plough and for other purposes, but each was restricted from doing anything in respect of it which might injure the other, and hence there were provisions against planting trees or raising buildings on it. If these restrictive conditions were not observed, or if the limits of the boundary were matter of dispute, the actio finium regundorum was the appropriate remedy. The action did not apply to ager arcifinius or to land in a town, but only to ager limitatus. A dispute about land which was not a finis is called controversia de loco, as opposed to controversia de fine, and was tried by means of an ordinary vindicatio. It appears that, when the subject of dispute was a finis, a title by usucapion to the land in question could not be set up; but if the dispute was about land beyond the limits of a finis, a title by usucapion might be asserted. (Cic. de Legg. 1.2. 1, § 55; Isidor. Orig. 5.2; Hygin. de Limit. p. 40, Goes.) It was provided by the Twelve Tables that three arbitri should be appointed to try the actio finium regundorum, but by the Lex Mamilia only one was required. (Cic. l.c.: cf. Cod. Theod. 2.26, 3.) Justinian made the finis subject to the thirty years' prescription, and extended the actio finium regundorum so as to make it embrace controversiae de loco as well as de fine. Thus the action became the regular means of trying boundary disputes. In making his award, it was first of all the duty of the arbiter to find out and re-establish the old boundary (depalare, cf. C. I. L. 6.1, 1268; terminos ponere, Dig. 4, 8, 44); but if there was not sufficient evidence of it, he was obliged to treat the land in dispute as common, and to partition it between them. His adjudicatio or award constituted a complete title to the land assigned under it. He might condemn either of the parties to pay damages for mesne profits and deterioration of land illegally possessed. Each party was also entitled to compensation for improvements made in the portion of land which did not belong to him (Dig. 10, 1). This action belonged to the class of duplicia judicia. [FAMILIAE ERCISCUNDAE ACTIO.] (Dig. 10, 1; Cod. Theod. 2.26; Cod. Just. 3.39 ; Rudorff, Ueber die Gränzscheidungsklage, Zeitschr. für geschichtliche Rechtsw. vol. 10.343 ; Grom. Institutionen in der Schr. d. röm. Feldmesser, in the collection of Blume, Lachmann, and Rudorff, 2.433-445; Karlowa, Beitr. z. Gesch. des röm. Civilprocesses, 141-162; Voigt, Zwölf Tafeln, 2.150; Vangerow, Pandekten, 3.658.)

[E.A.W]

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