Art. 1996. A deposit is necessary:
(1) When it is made in compliance with a legal obligation;
(2) When it takes place on the occasion of any calamity, such as fire, storm, flood, pillage, shipwreck, or other similar events. (1781a)
Art. 1997. The deposit referred to in No. 1 of the preceding article shall be governed by the provisions of the law establishing it, and in case of its deficiency, by the rules on voluntary deposit.
The deposit mentioned in No. 2 of the preceding article shall be regulated by the provisions concerning voluntary deposit and by Article 2168. (1782)
WHEN DEPOSIT IS NECESSARY
1. When it is made in compliance with a legal obligation
2. When it takes place on the occasion of any calamity, such as fire, storm, flood, pillage, shipwreck, or other similar events
3. Travelers in hotels or inns
4. Made by passengers with common carriers
NECESSARY DEPOSIT IN COMPLIANCE WITH A LEGAL OBLIGATION
1. The judicial deposit of a thing the possession of which is being disputed in a litigation by two or more persons
2. The deposit with a bank or public institution of public bonds or instruments of credit payable to order or bearer given in usufruct when the usufructuary doesn’t give proper security for their conservation
3. The deposit of a thing pledged when the creditor uses the same without the authority of the owner or misuses it in any other way
4. Those required in suits as provided for in the Rules of Court
5. Those constituted to guarantee contracts with the government. In this last case, the deposit arises from an obligation of a public or administrative character.
Art. 1998. The deposit of effects made by the travelers in hotels or inns shall also be regarded as necessary. The keepers of hotels or inns shall be responsible for them as depositaries, provided that notice was given to them, or to their employees, of the effects brought by the guests and that, on the part of the latter, they take the precautions which said hotel-keepers or their substitutes advised relative to the care and vigilance of their effects. (1783)
Art. 1999. The hotel-keeper is liable for the vehicles, animals and articles which have been introduced or placed in the annexes of the hotel. (n)
DEPOSIT BY TRAVELLERS IN HOTELS AND INNS
1. They have been previously informed about the effects brought by their guests
2. The latter have taken the precautions prescribed regarding their safekeeping
EXTENT OF LIABILITY OF KEEPERS OF HOTELS AND INNS
The liability isn’t limited to effects lost or damaged in the hotel rooms which come under the term “baggage” or articles such as clothing as are ordinarily used by travelers but include those lost or damaged in hotel annexes such as vehicles in the hotel’s garage
The responsibility extends to all those who offer lodging for a compensation, whatever may be their character
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Travelers or guests—it refers to transients and not to boarders. Non-transients are governed by the rules on lease.
2. Hotel-keeper and inn-keeper—
a. Hotel—a house or large building that supplies rooms and food for pay to travelers and others;
b. Inn—a place where travelers and others can get meals and a room to sleep in. Hotels have largely
taken the place of the old inns.
c. Motel—a roadside hotel or group of furnished cottages or cabins providing overnight lodging for
motorists; motor court.
Art. 2000. The responsibility referred to in the two preceding articles shall include the loss of, or injury to the personal property of the guests caused by the servants or
employees of the keepers of hotels or inns as well as strangers; but not that which may proceed from any force majeure. The fact that travelers are constrained to rely on
the vigilance of the keeper of the hotels or inns shall be considered in determining the degree of care required of him. (1784a)
Art. 2001. The act of a thief or robber, who has entered the hotel is not deemed force majeure, unless it is done with the use of arms or through an irresistible force. (n)
Art. 2002. The hotel-keeper is not liable for compensation if the loss is due to the acts of the guest, his family, servants or visitors, or if the loss arises from the character of the
things brought into the hotel. (n)
WHEN HOTEL-KEEPER LIABLE
1. The loss or injury is caused by his servants or employees as well as by strangers provided that notice has been given and proper precautions taken
2. The loss is caused by the act of the thief or robber done without the use of arms and irresistible force for in this case, the hotel-keeper is apparently negligent.
WHEN HOTEL-KEEPER IS NOT LIABLE
1. The loss or injury is caused by force majeure, theft or robbery by a stranger with the use of arms or irresistible force, unless he is guilty of fault or negligence in failing to provide against the loss or injury from his cause
2. The loss is due to the acts of the guests, his family, servants, or visitors
Art. 2003. The hotel-keeper cannot free himself from responsibility by posting notices to the effect that he is not liable for the articles brought by the guest. Any stipulation
between the hotel-keeper and the guest whereby the responsibility of the former as set forth in articles 1998 to 2001 is suppressed or diminished shall be void. (n)
EXEMPTION OR DIMUNITION OF LIABILITY
The rule in this article is similar to the rule on common carriers which doesn’t allow a common carrier to dispense with or limit his responsibility by stipulation or by posting of notices
Such stipulations is deemed contrary to law, morals, and public policy
1. Hotel-keepers and inn-keepers in offering their accommodations to the public, practically volunteer as depositaries, and as such, they should be subject to an extraordinary degree of responsibility for the protection and safety of travelers who have no alternative but rely on good faith and care of those with whom they take lodging
2. Inn-keepers by the nature of their business, have supervision and control of their inns and the premises thereof. As a matter of fact, authorities are to the effect that it is not necessary in order to hold an inn-keeper liable that the effects of the guests be actually delivered to him or his employee, it is enough that they are within the inn.
CAN THERE BE STIPULATION EXEMPTING LIABILITY FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE?
No since you cannot waive liability for gross negligence as this would be tantamount to waiving liability for fraud.
Art. 2004. The hotel-keeper has a right to retain the things brought into the hotel by the guest, as a security for credits on account of lodging, and supplies usually furnished to hotel guests. (n)
HOTEL-KEEPER’S RIGHT TO RETAIN
Nature of a pledge created by operation of law
Incidentally, the act of obtaining food or accommodation in a hotel or inn without paying thereof constitutes estafa.