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SALIGUMBA VS. PALANOGGR. 143365, DECEMBER 4, 2008
Spouses Palanog filed a complaint for Quieting of Title with Damages against defendants, spouses Valeria Saligumba and Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. (spouses Saligumbas), before the Regional Trial Court. In the complaint, spouses Palanog alleged that they have been in actual, open, adverse and continuous possession as owners for more than 50 years of a parcel of land. The spouses Saligumbas allegedly prevented them from entering and residing on the subject premises and had destroyed the barbed wires enclosing the land. At the trial, only the counsel for spouses Palanogs appeared. It appeared that Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. and Valeria Saligumba died. No motion for the substitution of the spouses was filed nor an order issued for the substitution of the deceased spouses Saligumbas despite notices sent to them to appear, never confirmed the death of Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. and Valeria Saligumba. After a lapse of more than two years, the trial court rendered a judgment declaring spouses Palanog the lawful owners of the subject land. No motion for reconsideration nor appeal having been filed.After 10 years, Palanog filed a Complaint seeking to revive and enforce the said decision. She further requested that the heirs and children of spouses Saligumbas be impleaded as defendants.Petitioners thus question the decision as being void and of no legal effect because their parents were not duly represented by counsel of record. Petitioners further argue that they have never taken part in the proceedings nor did they voluntarily appear or participate in the case. It is unfair to bind them in a decision rendered against their deceased parents. Therefore, being a void judgment, it has no legal nor binding effect on petitioners. Hence, this petition.Issue:WON an action for quieting of title, which is an action involving real property, is extinguished upon death of the party?Ruling:No. The case is an action for quieting of title with damages which is an action involving real property. It is an action that survives pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87 as the claim is not extinguished by the death of a party. And when a party dies in an action that survives, Section 17 of Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that after a party dies and the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased to appear and to be substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or within such time as may be granted. If the legal representative fails to appear within said time, the court may order the opposing party to procure the appointment of a legal representative of the deceased within a time to be specified by the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for and on behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges involved in procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the opposing party, may be recovered as costs. The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an executor or administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for the minor heirs.
EPIFANIO SAN JUAN, JR. vs. JUDGE RAMON A. CRUZG.R. No. 167321 July 31, 2006Facts:Loreto Samia San Juan executed a Last Will and Testament naming Oscar Casa as one of the devisees therein. Upon Loretos death a certain Atty. Teodorico A. Aquino filed a petition for the probate of the will. While the petition for the probate of the will was pending, the devisee Oscar Casa died, intestate. Aquino filed a pleading entitled Appointment of Administrator signed by Candelaria, Jesus, Arlyn, Nestor, Edna, Benhur, Federico, Rafael and Ma. Eden, all surnamed Casa, praying that one of them, Federico Casa, Jr., be designated as administrator of the estate of the deceased and that he be substituted for the deceased. Petitioner contested the same.
Issue:WON a person nominated as administrator by purported heirs of a devisee or legatee in a will under probate may validly substitute for that devisee or legatee in the probate proceedings despite the fact that such administrator is not the court-appointed administrator of the estate of the devisee or legatee?
Ruling:The heirs of the estate of Oscar Casa do not need to first secure the appointment of an administrator of his estate, because from the very moment of his death, they stepped into his shoes and acquired his rights as devisee/legatee of the deceased Loreto San Juan. Thus, a prior appointment of an administrator or executor of the estate of Oscar Casa is not necessary for his heirs to acquire legal capacity to be substituted as representatives of the estate. Said heirs may designate one or some of them as their representative before the trial court.
ATTY. ROGELIO E. SARSABA vs FE VDA. DE TEG.R. No. 175910July 30, 2009
Facts:Respondent Fe Vda.deTe, represented by her attorney-in-fact, Faustino Castaeda, filed with the RTC, a Complaint for recovery of motor vehicle, damages with prayer for the delivery of the truck pendente lite against petitioner (Atty. Sarsaba), Sereno, Lavarez and the NLRC of Davao City.Respondent alleged, among others, that: (1) she is the wife of the late Pedro Te, the registered owner of the truck, as evidenced by the Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration.Petitioner Sarsaba alleges that that there was no showing that the heirs have filed an intestate estate proceedings of the estate of Pedro Te, or that respondent was duly authorized by her co-heirs to file the case; and that the truck was already sold to Gasing on March 11, 1986 by one Jesus Matias, who bought the same from the Spouses Te. Corollarily, Gasing was already the lawful owner of the truck when it was levied on execution and, later on, sold at public auction.On October 17, 2005, petitioner Sarsaba filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss the Case on the following grounds: (1) lack of jurisdiction over one of the principal defendants; and (2) to discharge respondent's attorney-in-fact for lack of legal personality to sue.It appeared that the respondent, Fe Vda. deTe, died on April 12, 2005.Respondent, through her lawyer, argues that respondent's death did not render functus officio her right to sue since her attorney-in-fact, Faustino Castaeda, had long testified on the complaint on March 13, 1998 for and on her behalf and, accordingly, submitted documentary exhibits in support of the complaint.Issue:What is the legal effect of death of the plaintiff during the pendency of the case? Held:When a party to a pending action dies and the claim is not extinguished, the Rules of Court require a substitution of the deceased.Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court enumerates the actions that survived and may be filed against the decedent's representatives as follows:1. actions to recover real or personal property or an interest thereon;2. actions to enforce liens thereon, and3. actions to recover damages for an injury to a person or a property. In such cases, a counsel is obliged to inform the court of the death of his client and give the name and address of the latter's legal representative. The rule on substitution of parties is governed by Section 16, 46 Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended.The rule on substitution by heirs is not a matter of jurisdiction, but a requirement of due process.The rule on substitution was crafted to protect every party's right to due process.It was designed to ensure that the deceased party would continue to be properly represented in the suit through his heirs or the duly appointed legal representative of his estate.It is only when there is a denial of due process, as when the deceased is not represented by any legal representative or heir, that the court nullifies the trial proceedings and the resulting judgment therein. In the case before Us, it appears that respondent's counsel did not make any manifestation before the RTC as to her death. In fact, he had actively participated in the proceedings. Neither had he shown any proof that he had been retained by respondent's legal representative or any one who succeeded her. However, such failure of counsel would not lead Us to invalidate the proceedings that have long taken place before the RTC. The Court has repeatedly declared that failure of the counsel to comply with his duty to inform the court of the death of his client, such that no substitution is effected, will not invalidate the proceedings and the judgment rendered thereon if the action survives the death of such party. The trial court's jurisdiction over the case subsists despite the death of the party.The purpose behind this rule is the protection of the right to due process of every party to the litigation who may be affected by the intervening death. The deceased litigants are themselves protected as they continue to be properly represented in the suit through the duly appointed legal representative of their estate.Despite the special power of attorney given to Castaneda by Fe Vda. De Te has been extinguished due to the death of the principal, the case at hand is an action for the recovery of a personal property, a motor vehicle, is an action that survives and is not extinguished by the death of a party.
THE HEIRS OF MARCELINO DORONIO vs.HEIRS OF FORTUNATO DORONIOG.R. No. 169454, December 27, 2007Facts:Spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante, now both deceased, were the registered owners of a parcel of land located at Asingan, Pangasinan covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 352. MarcelinoDoronio and Fortunato Doronio, now both deceased, were among their children and herein represented by their heirs, petitioners and respondents respectively.In 1919, a private deed of donation propter nuptiaswas executed by spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante in favor of MarcelinoDoronio and the latters wife on t