DROIT D'ACCESSION, French civil law. Specificatio. That property which is
acquired by making a new species out of the material of another. Modus
acquirendi quo quis ex aliena materia suo nomine novam speciem faciens bona
fide ejus speciei dominium consequitur. It is a rule of the civil law, that
if the thing can be reduced to the former matter, it belongs to the owner of
the matter, e. g. a statue made of gold, but if it cannot so be reduced, it
belongs to the person who made it, e. g. a statue made of marble. This
subject is treated of in the Code Civil de Napoleon, art. 565 to 577; Merlin
Repertoire de Jurisp. Accession; Malleville's Discussion, art. 565. The Code
Napoleon follows. closely the Inst. of Just. lib . 2, tit. 1, Sec. 25, 28.
2. Doddridge, in his English Lawyer, 125-6, states the common law thus: " If a man take, wrongfully, the material which was mine and is permanent, not adding anything thereunto than the form, only by alteration thereof, such thing, so newly formed by an exterior form, notwithstanding, still remaineth mine, and may be seized again by me, and I may take it out of his possession as mine own. But they say, if he add some other matter thereunto; as, of another man's leather doth make shoes or boots, or of my cloth, maketh garments, adding to the accomplishment thereof of his own, he hath thereby altered the property, so that the first owner cannot seize the thing so composed, but is driven to his action to recover his remedy: howbeit, he adds, in a case of that nature depending, the court had determined that the first owner might seize the same, notwithstanding such addition. But if the thing be transitory in its nature by the change, as if one take ray corn or meal, and thereof make bread, I cannot, in that case, seize the bread, because, as the civil law speaketh, haec species facta ex materia aliens, in pristinam formam reduci non potest, ergo ei a quo est facta cedit. So some have said, if a man take my barley, and thereof make malt, because it is changed into another nature, it cannot be seized by me; but the rule is: That where the material wrongfully taken away, could not at first, before any alteration, be seized; for that it could not be distinguished. from other things of that kind, as corn, money, and such like; there those things cannot be seized because the property of those things cannot be: distinguished: for, if my money be wrongfully taken away, and he that taketh it do make plate; thereof, or do convert my plate into money, I cannot seize the same for that money is undistinguishable from other money of that coin. But, if a butcher take wrongfully my ox and doth kill it, and bring it into the market to be sold, I may not seize upon the flesh, for it: cannot be known from others of that, kind; but if it be found hanging in the skin, where the mark may appear, I may seize the same, although when it was taken from me it had life, and now is dead. So, if a man cut down my tree, and square it into a beam of timber, I may seize the same, for he bath neither altered the nature thereof, nor added anything but exterior form thereunto; but if he lay the beam of timber into the building of a house, I may not seize the same, for being so set it is become parcel of the house, and so in supposition of law, after a sort, altered in its nature. See Year Book 12 H. VIII. 9 b, 10 a; Bro. Ab. Property, 45; 5 H. VII. 15; Bro. Ab. Property, 23.