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Calimlim-Canullas v. Fortun (1984).docx

Calimlim-Canullas v. Fortun (1984).docx

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Published by: Andre Philippe Ramos on Jan 15, 2013
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05/12/2014

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Digest Author: Dodot 
Calimlim-Canullas v. Fortun (1984)Petition:
Certiorari [Review decision of Pangasinan CFI]
Petitioner:
Mercedes Calimlim-Canullas
Respondents:
Willelmo Fortun
Ponente:
Melencio-Herrera
Date:
22 Jun 1984
Facts:
 
19 Dec 1962
 –
Mercedes Calimlim-Canullas and FernandoCanullas, married
 
o
 
5 Children
 
o
 
Lived in a small house, constructed aftermarriage, on the disputed lot
 
 
At the start of the marriage, had
belonged to Fernando’s father
 
 
After the death of his father, Fernandoinherited the lot
 
 
1978
 –
 
Fernando abandoned family; lived with CorazonDaguines
 
o
 
Eventually convicted of concubinage [duringpendency of appeal]
 
 
15 Apr 1980
 –
Fernando sold disputed lot, including thehouse built on it, to Corazon for P 2,000
 
o
 
In the documents of sale, house described asalso inherited by Fernando
 
 
19 Jun 1980
 –
 
Corazon initiated complaint againstMercedes [quieting of title and damages]
 
o
 
MERCEDES:
 
House, including coconut trees, builtusing conjugal funds
 
 
Sale of house and lot VOID, sinceMercedes had not given her consent tothe selling of conjugal properties
 
 
Pangasinan CFI initially decided in favor of Corazon:declared that she was the rightful owner of the land, andof ½ of the house built on the land
o
 
Upon appeal by Mercedes, the trial courtpartially reversed its previous decision
 
Sale of the house [and some coconuttrees
 –
those planted after marriage]was NULL and VOID
 
Corazon the true and lawful owner of the land [and some coconut trees]
Pertinent laws/provisions/concepts:CIVIL CODE
[NOTE: NO LONGER GOOD LAW; status of property w/improvements contingent on certain conditions
 –
see the relevantFamily Code provision]
 Art. 158.
Improvements, whether for utility or adornment, made onthe separate property of the spouses through advancements fromthe partnership or through the industry of either the husband or thewife, belong to the conjugal partnership.Buildings constructed, at the expense of the partnership, during themarriage on land belonging to one of the spouses, also pertain tothe partnership, but the value of the land shall be reimbursed to thespouse who owns the same. (1404a)
Compare with…
 
FAMILY CODEArt. 120.
Xxx xxx xxxWhen the cost of the improvement made by the conjugalpartnership and any resulting increase in value are more than thevalue of the property at the time of the improvement, the entireproperty of one of the spouses shall belong to the conjugalpartnership, subject to reimbursement of the value of the propertyof the owner-spouse at the time of the improvement; otherwise,said property shall be retained in ownership by the owner-spouse,likewise subject to reimbursement of the cost of the improvement.In either case, the ownership of the entire property shall be vestedupon the reimbursement, which shall be made at the time of theliquidation of the conjugal partnership. (158a)
Issues:
 1.
 
Did the construction of a conjugal house on the exclusiveproperty of the husband
ipso facto
give the land thecharacter of conjugal property? [YES]2.
 
Was the sale of the lot, together with the improvementsthereon, valid? [NO]
Ruling/Ratio:1.
 
YES.
 
Pursuant to Art. 158 of the Civil Code, both theland and the building belong to the conjugalpartnership.
 
But the conjugal partnership isindebted to the husband for the valueof the land [reimbursable uponliquidation of the conjugal partnership]
 
Justice JBL Reyes (
Padilla v. Paterno
):
 
Conversion from paraphernal toconjugal assets should be deemed toretroact to the time the conjugalbuildings were first constructed
thereon…
 
 
Fernando could, thus, not have alienated theH&L to Corazon since Mercedes had not givenher consent to the sale.
2.
 
NO.
 
Sale NULL and VOID, for being contrary to moralsand public policy
 
Made by a husband in favor of hisconcubine after he had abandoned hisfamily
 
Sale subversive of the stability of thefamily [institution protected by publicpolicy]
 
Art. 1409, CC: contracts whose cause, object, orpurpose is contrary to law, morals, goodcustoms, public order, or public policy
 –
VOIDand INEXISTENT from the very beginning.
 
Art. 1352, CC
: “Contracts without cause or with
wrongful cause, produce no effect whatsoever.The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law,

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