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VDA. DE MANALO VS. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: - Troadio Manalo died intestate survived by wife and 11 children left several properties in Manila and Tarlac. - 8 children (resps) pet for the judicial settlement of the estate in RTC Manila & appointment of bro Romeo as admin - TC order “declaring the whole world in default, except the government.” - order of general default set aside upon motion of pets (wife & remaining 3 children) - TC order admitting the petition for judicial settlement of estate. - Pets pet for certiorari under Rule 65 - absence of earnest efforts towards compromise among members of the same family; and no certification of non forum shopping was attached to the petition. - CA denied the petition & MFR - Pets – petition claiming Pet for issuance of letters of admin, settlement & distribution of estate is an ordinary civil action thus should be dismissed under Rule 16, Sec 1(j) of the ROC on the ground that a condition precedent for filing the claim has not been complied with as there was failure to comply with the requirement in Art 222 CC ISSUE: Is the Petition for Issuance of Letters of Administration, Settlement and Distribution of Estate an ordinary civil action, thus Rule 16, Sec 1(j) Rules of Court vis-a-vis Article 222 CC apply as a ground for the dismissal of the petition NO HELD: Rule: In the determination of the nature of an action or proceeding, the averment and the character of the relief sought in the complaint, or petition, shall be controlling. o scrutiny of the Petition for ILASD of Estate belies herein petitioner’s claim that the same is in the nature of an ordinary civil action. • petition contains sufficient jurisdictional facts required in a petition for the settlement of estate fact of death residence at the time of his said death enumeration of the names of his legal heirs tentative list of the properties left w/c are sought to be settled in the probate proceedings. reliefs prayed for in the said petition leave no room for doubt as regard the intention to seek judicial settlement of the estate of their deceased father. o
petition contains certain averments which may be typical of an ordinary civil action & so petitioners, as oppositors took advantage of such in an apparent effort to make out a case of an ordinary civil action and ultimately seek its dismissal under Rule 16, Section 1(j) of the Rules of Court vis-à-vis, Article 222 of the Civil Code.
civil action/suit - action filed in a court of justice, whereby a party sues another for the enforcement of a right, or the
protection or redress of a wrong. o Art 222 applicable only to ordinary civil actions • Use of term “suit” • excerpt from the report of the Code Commission to make it applicable only to civil actions which are essentially adversarial and involve members of the same family. Special proceedings – remedy where petitioner seeks to establish a status, right or particular fact. o Pet for ILASD of Estate = special proc
GARCIA FULE V. CA FACTS: - Amado Garcia died - left property in Calamba, Laguna. - Virginia Garcia Fule (illeg sis) pet for letters of admin & ex parte appointment as special administratix in CFI Laguna - Motion was granted. - Preciosa Garcia (wife) and in behalf of their child opposed > failure to satisfy jurisdictional requirement & improper venue (avers no domicile/residence of deceased as required by Rule 79 Sec. 21) death certs presented by Fule show QC as deceased’s last residence > Fule was a creditor of the estate, and as a mere illegitimate sister of the deceased is not entitled to succeed from him2 - CFI denied opposition - CA reversed and annulled the appointment of Fule - Preciosa became special administratrix upon a bond of P30k. ISSUES/HELD a.) Venue v. Jurisdiction JURISDICTION – power/authority of court over subject matter o Jurisdiction over all probate cases is w/ CFIs independently from the place of residence of the deceased (Judiciary act 1948) o Not changed by procedure o There are cases though that if such power is not exercised conformably w/ procedure, court loses power to exercise it legally. However, this doesn’t amount to loss of jurisdiction over subject matter but only over the person or that judgment may be rendered defective for lack of something essential to sustain it. VENUE – place where each case shall be brought o Because there are many CFIs, ROC fixed the venue (of settlement of estates, probate of will & issuance of letters of admin) place of residence of deceased / province Death Certificate deceased resided in QC at the time of his death, therefore the venue of Laguna was improper (death cert admissible to prove residence of deaceased at time of his death) o Rule 73 Sec 13 - really a matter of venue Clause “so far….” Caption “Settlement of estate of Deceased Person. Venue and Processes Contained in a law of procedure merely a matter of method & convenience to parties o Rule 4 Sec 4 - Venue is subject to waiver but Preciosa did not waive it, merely requested for alternative remedy to assert her rights as surviving spouse b.) What does the word “resides” in Rule 73 Sec 1 mean Resides – “actual residence” - Requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place - In statutes fixing venue “residence” & “domicile” synonymous even when statue uses “domicile”, it is still construed as residence & not domicile in its technical sense - Elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. - Popular sense – the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode - No particular length of time required but must be more than temporary legal residence or domicile – requires bodily presence and an intention to make it one’s domicile. DISPOSITION: Fule’s petition DENIED. 1
Rule 79 Sec 2 - petition should show the existence of jurisdiction to make the appointment sought, and should allege all the necessary facts such as death, name, last residence, existence, situs of assets, intestacy, right of person who seeks administration as next of kin, creditor or otherwise to be appointed 2 NCC Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestado from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. 3
RULE 73 Sec.1. if the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled at the CFI in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. And if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the CFI of any province in which he had estate. The court 1st taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceedings, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record.
Cuenco vs. CA The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts
FACTS: - Sen. Cuenco died in Manila - Survived by a) widow and 2 minor sons (QC) and b) children of the 1st marriage (Cebu) - Lourdes (child from 1st marriage) Petition for Letters of Administration in CFI Cebu > senator died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with properties in Cebu and QC - Cuenco (2nd wife) – pet for probate of will in CFI QC (while pet of Lourdes pending in Cebu) – named executrix > also filed opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu - CFI Cebu held in abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI QC shall have acted on the probate proceedings - Lourdes opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon > lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case - Opposition and motion to dismiss - Denied - CA – upon appeal ruled in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to CFI QC ISSUEs: 1) Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition YES 2) WON CFI QC acted without jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI Cebu's order expressly consenting in deference to the precedence of probate over intestate proceedings
PCIB V. ESCOLIN NATURE: Petition for Review on Certiorari of a decision of CA FACTS: Linnie Jane Hodges died on May 23, 1957. 5 and a half years later, her husband, Charles Newton Hodges died as well. Both of them left wills with the clause “I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder, of my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated or located, to my beloved spouse to have to hold unto (him/her) – during (his/her) natural lifetime,” subject to the condition that upon the death of whoever of them survived the other, the remainder of what he or she would inherit from the other is “given, devised and bequeathed” to the brothers and sisters of the latter. The brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane alleged that Charles Newton Hodges made statements and ratifications that he had renounced his inheritance from his wife in favor of her other heirs. Magno – administratrix of Mrs. Hodges’ estate - Claims that naked ownership passed to siblings, - Only lifetime usufruct was given to Mr. Hodges - Claims that under Texas law, spouse has no legitime PCIB – administrator of Mr. Hodges’ estate - Claims that what was passed to Mr. Hodges was not only usufruct but also ownership with right to dispose of the properties - Said that under Texas law, brothers & sisters only had ¼ as legitime HELD: 1. No final distribution and adjudication can be made yet. At best, RULE 109 SECTION 2 allowed Hodges to dispose of portions of his inheritance in advance of final adjudication, there being no possible prejudice to 3rd parties, inasmuch as Mrs. Hodges had no creditors and all pertinent taxes have been paid. 2. On the assumption that Hodges’ purported renunciation should not be upheld, the estate of Mrs. Hodges inherited by her siblings consists of 1/4 of the community estate of the spouses at the time of her death, minus whatever Hodges had gratuitously disposed of therefrom during the period from her death to his death. Those disposed with remunerations still belong to his wife’s estate. 3. Mrs. Hodges simultaneously instituted her brothers & sisters as co-heirs with her husband, with the condition that, Her husband would have complete rights of dominion over the whole estate during his lifetime, with no obligation to preserve anything for them and what would go to the brothers & sisters would be only the remainder of Mrs. Hodges’ estate, left at the time of Mr. Hodges’ death. This is only a simple case of conditional simultaneous institution of heirs, whereby the institution of Hodges is subject to a partial resolutory condition, the operative contingency of which is coincidental with that of the suspensive condition of the institution of his brothers and sisters in law, which manner of institution is not prohibited by law. 4. The estate of Mrs. Hodges inherited by her brothers & sisters could be more than just stated but is dependent on: (1) Whether upon the proper application of the principle of renvoi in relation to NCC Article 16, and the pertinent laws of Texas, it will appear that Hodges had no legitime as contended by Magno (2) WON Hodges had legally and effectively renounced his inheritance from his wife 5. There is an estate of Mrs. Hodges to be distributed. How much is not yet ascertained.
6. As to the contracts to sell executed by Hodges “after” the death of his wife, the proceeds belong to the estate of Mrs. Hodges. DISPOSITION: Petition DISMISSED. Lower Courts AFFIRMED. Probate Courts to proceed with the proceedings, and determine: 1. The manner of applying NCC Article 16 to the situation and 2. Factual and legal issue as to WON Charles Newton Hodges had effectively and legally renounced his inheritance under the will of his wife 3. Liquidation of the estates
PCIB V. ESCOLIN Short Summary: Mr. and Mrs Hodges both made in their wills provisions that upon their deaths, their whole estates should be inherited by the surviving spouse and that spouse could manage and alienate the said lands, with the exception of the Texas property. Upon death of the latter spouse, the residue of the estate inherited by the later spouse from the spouse who predeceased him would redound to the brothers and sisters. Mrs. Hodges died first then Mr. Hodges, but since there was no liquidation of Mrs. Hodges’ estate, the brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges wanted to determine the extent of her estate that they could inherit. (believe me, this is a short summary…case is long…) Facts -Charles & Linnie Hodges, both TEXAN nationals, provided in their respective wills that • bequeath remainder of estate to spouse…during lifetime • remainder goes to brothers and sis of surviving spouse -Mrs. Hodges died first. Mr. Hodges appointed as EXECUTOR • in Financial Statements submitted before the court, he made statements that the estate of Mrs. Hodges is 1/2 of conjugal estate • that he allegedly renounced his inheritance in a tax declaration in US • for 5 years before his death, he failed to make accounting, failed to acquire final adjudication of wife's estate -Charles died. Magno, initially administratrix of both spouse's estate, later replaced by PCIB for Charles' estate WON Action is prescribed? NO. 33 appeals were timely made -Court did not pass upon its timeliness WON Certiorari and Prohibition is proper? YES. Appeal insufficient remedy -many appeals, same facts, same issues = multiplicity of suits WON THERE IS STILL A RESIDUE FOR MRS. HODGES' HEIRS? YES. 1. WON SPECIAL PROCEEDING FOR SETTLEMENT OF MRS. HODGES ESTATE SHOULD ALREADY BE CLOSED, BASED ON THE DECEMBER 1957 COURT ORDER ALLEGEDLY ADJUDICATING MR. HODGES AS SOLE HEIR? NO ….no final distribution to all parties concerned of the estate 2. R90.1 (on RESIDUE): …after residue assigned to parties entitled to it, S.P. deemed ready for FINAL CLOSURE: 1. Order issued for distribution/assignment of estate among those entitled 2. Debts • Funeral expenses • Expenses of administration • Widow allowance • Taxes • Etc. …should be paid already 3. Motion of party requesting the same (not motu proprio) Would include distribution of residue of estate -Here: a. No final distribution of residue of Linney's estate b. No special application made by charles/PCIB c. Merely allowed advance or partial payments/implementation of will before final liquidation d. If charles already deemed sole heir, why PCIB needed to file a motion to declare that Charles is indeed the sole heir? 3. ON ALLEGED INTENTION OF MR. HODGES PCIB: He intended to adjudicate whole estate to himself (Thus, no residue left, thus ulit, tapos na special proceeding) BUT SC:
1. Whatever was intended, he can't deprive those who have rights over the estate 2. Order - motion filed merely for exercise of ownership pending proceeding 3. Mr. Hodges was aware that wife's siblings had rights: • In FS, stated that 1/2 of conjugal estate belonged to Estate of Linney • In Petition for will's probate, he listed the bros and sis as heirs • Lawyer of Magno was initially lawyer of Charles when latter was still executor of Linney's estate – so may know what Charles' intended • Charles admitted omitting a bro of Linney • He even allegedly renounced his share of the estate (but was not proven) • Charles had duty, as Surviving spouse, of trustee of wife's estate so had to act in GF 4. ON PROPERTIES FOR SIBLINGS: since there's still a residue, can't close SP yet >PCIB: NO LIQUIDATION OF CONJUGAL PROPERTIES YET, PCIB SHOULD SOLELY ADMINISTER EVERYTHING TO DETERMINE THE SEPARATE ESTATE OF LINNEY, OVER W/C MAGNO COULD ADMINISTER H: NO. both PCIB and Magno should administer a. It was Charles' fault why no administration of estate yet b. Admin should both be • impartial • extent of interest c. Executor (PCIB) of Executor (Charles, over Linney's) Can't administer estate of decedent (Linney) _ R78.6 d. Liquidation of conjugal partnership may be done in either spouse's probate proceedings - R73.2
VALERA V. INSERTO May 7, 1987; J. Narvasa NATURE: Petition to Review the judgment of CFI & CA FACTS: Rafael Valera was granted leasehold rights over an 18 hectare fishpond in Iloilo by the government to last during his lifetime. He transferred it by “fictitious sale” to his daughter Teresa to support her children with the agreement that when the children finishes schooling, the fishpond will be returned to him. Valera and his spouse Consolacion Sarosa and their child Teresa died. The heirs of Teresa – her husband Jose Garin and their children bought the fishpond from the government, acquiring title thereto. Rafael Valera - - - - - - - - - - - Consolacion Sarosa Teresa - - - - - - Jose Garin children The administrators of the spouses claim that the fishpond should be returned to the spouses’ estates. ♥
Probate Court (Judge Adil): there has been an implied trust created, therefore the fishpond should be restored to the estate of the spouses.
NCC Art. 1451. When land passes by succession to any person and he causes the legal title to be put in the name of another, a trust is established by implication of law for the benefit of the true owner. Art. 1453. When property is conveyed to a person in reliance upon his declared intention to hold it for, or transfer it to another or the grantor, there is an implied trust in favor of the person whose benefit is contemplated. ♥
Pursuant thereto, he directed the sheriff to enforce reconveyance of the fishpond to the estate.
The fishpond was leased by the Garin Heirs to Fabiana, who although willingly surrendered it to the sheriff filed a complaint – in – intervention, which when dismissed, then instituted a separate action for injunction and damages. Court of Appeals reversed (fishpond to be returned to Garin Heirs and their lessee Fabiana) saying that a.) Probate Court had no jurisdiction b.) that the Title of the Garin Heirs is a stronger claim that rebuts the presumption that the estate owns the fishpond c.) that assuming the Probate Court had competence to resolve ownership, a separate action has to be filed. ISSUE: WON Probate Court had authority to order reconveyance of the fishpond? HELD: No RATIO: ♥ The Probate Court exercises limited jurisdiction and has no power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of title to property claimed by a 3rd person adversely to the decedent, unless *issue is procedural:* The claimant and all the other parties having legal interest in the property consent, expressly or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the Probate Court for adjudgement, Or the interests of 3rd persons are not thereby prejudiced. ♥
The cognizance of the Probate Court as to the title over the fishpond was not definite, permanent nor writing a “finis” thereto, but merely to determine whether or not it should be included in the inventory of the estate of the spouses.
It is merely provisional in character. The fishpond cannot be subject of execution. ♥
Presumption of conclusiveness of the title, especially if the holder is in possession.
The same norm governs the situation contemplated in Section 6, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, expressly invoked by the Probate Court in justification of its holding a hearing on the issue arising from the parties' conflicting claims over the fishpond. The examination provided in the cited section is intended merely to elicit evidence relevant to property of the decedent from persons suspected of having possession or knowledge thereof, or of having concealed, embezzled, or conveyed away the same. Of course, if the latter lays no claim to the property and manifests willingness to tum it over to the estate, no difficulty arises; the Probate Court simply issues the appropriate direction for the delivery of the property to the estate. On the other hand, if the third person asserts a right to the property contrary to the decedent's, the Probate Court would have no authority to resolve the issue; a separate action must be instituted by the administrator to recover the property.
DISPOSITION: CA Affirmed.
COCA V. BORROMEO Jan. 31, 1978; J. Aquino NATURE: Petition for Review on Certiorari of a decision of CA FACTS: Juan Pangilinan –(married)-- Teresa Magtuba they had 3 children: Concepcion
Apolinar Guadalupe Pizarras
Benjamin Perla Francisco Helen Jr.
CFI ordered - partitioned the properties: - Giving atty’s fees to Crispin Borromeo - Without taking into consideration ownership of a 12-ha land claimed by the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan, of a 6 ha land claimed by Crispin Borromeo and: a) Debt to Concepcion’s estate b) If Prima sold her share to Francisco Note: WON Prima was excluded as an heir
CFI ordered that a separate ordinary action is needed to determine ownership of the land in dispute. Later on, they approved the project of partition but excluded the 12 ha and did not bother to decide how the remainder should be partitioned and WON Prima had a share in that remainder. CA sustained CFI. ISSUES: WON separate proceedings should be filed to determine ownership? HELD: No, the case is an exception. RATIO: The probate court may provisionally pass upon the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action. GR: Probate Ct. may not pass upon ownership Except: If the interested parties are all heirs, (case at bar) - or if the question is one of collation or advancement, - or the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court, and the rights of 3rd parties are not impaired, then the probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership. The appellees belong to the poor stratum of society. They should not be forced to incur additional expenses by bringing a
separate action to determine ownership of the 12 hectare portion. DISPOSITION: The lower court’s Order excluding the 12 hectares and the 2 orders regarding the claim of Guadalupe Pizarras and her children are REVERSED & SET ASIDE. A new trial should be held on those matters. Case remanded to CFI for further proceedings in accordance with the guidelines set forth here.