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09 Property Relations Between Spouses

09 Property Relations Between Spouses

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Collector of Internal Revenue
, petitionervs
Douglas Fisher and Bettina Fisher, and The Court of Tax Appeals
, respondents.28 January 1961
Facts
Walter Stevenson (born in Phils, of British parents, married in Mnla in 1909 to British subjectBeatrice Mauricia Stevenson) died on Feb1951 in Sn Francisco, Cali., in permanent residenceestablished with wife. He instituted his wife, who later assigned all her rights and interests to Fisherspouses in Dec 1952, as sole heiress to real & personal properties acquired by them while residing inPhil.Total gross of assets was P130,792.83. Ancillary administration proceedings in the Court of 1
st
Instance of Mnla were instituted to settle the estate in the Philippines. Ian Murray Scottwas appointed ancillary administrator of the estate. He filed a preliminary inheritance andtax return with the reservation of having the properties declared finally appraised at values6mos. after the death of Stevenson.On Sept 1952, estate and inheritance tax return was amended to avail of the right grantedby
section 91 of NIR Code.
There was a change in price per share of stock, the ancillaryadministrator based it on the quotation of the stock obtaining at the San Francisco StockExchange. He also made claim to deductions for funeral expenses, judicial expenses andothers. On Sept 1953, he filed a second amended estate and inheritance tax return. Itcontained new claims for additional exemptions and deductions: 4,000 deduction from grossestate of decedent provided by
Sec.861, no.4, US Fedl Internl Rev. Code,
madeallowable by way of reciprocity granted by
Sec.122, NIR Code);
other exemptions grantedby reciprocity proviso. Refund of amount of 15, 259.83 allegedly overpaid was requested bythe estate and denied by the Collector. Pursuant to
Act No.1125,
action commenced inCourt of 1
st
Instance was forwarded to Court of Tax Appeals.
Issues
1. WON, one-half of the net estate should be deducted in determining the taxable net estateof the decedent as Beatrice Mauricia’s share in accordance with our law on conjugalpartnership and
section 89 of the NIR Code
2.
 
WON estate can avail of inheritance and estate taxes on shares of stock in MindanaoMother Lode Mines, Inc., granted by reciprocity proviso in
sec122, NIR 
3. WON estate is entitled to 4,000 deduction allowed by
sec861, US FIRC,
in relation to
sec122, NIR 
4. WON real estate properties of decedent and shares of stock were correctly appraised5. WON estate is entitled to deductions for judicial, administration, funeral expenses and realestate taxes and amount representing indebtedness incurred by decedent during hislifetimes6. WON estate is entitled to payment of interest of amt. it claims to have overpaid the gov’tand to be refundable to it.
Held
Decision affirmed with modifications.1.Yes. In the absence of ante-nuptial agreement, the contracting parties are presumed tohave adopted the system of conjugal partnership as to the properties acquired duringtheir marriage. Since the marriage took place in 1909, Article 1325( not Art.124 of NCCwhich became effective only in 1950), adhering to the nationality theory of determiningthe property relation of spouses where one is a foreigner and there are no priorarrangements is the applicable law. However, in the instant case, both spouses areforeigners who married in the Philippines. Therefore, The law determining theStevenson property relation is the English law, which must be presumed to be thesame as our law since there is an absence of proof otherwise (processual presumption,p699). More importantly, property relations of spouses as distinguished fromsuccessional rights of spouses is governed differently by the specific and expressprovisions of Title VI, Chapter I of NCC.
2.
No. There is no
total
reciprocity between the Philippines and the state of California inthat while the former exempts payment of both estate and inheritance taxes onintangible properties, the latter only exempts the payment of inheritance.
3.
Amount under the Fed’l Estate Tax Law is in the nature of a deduction, not of anexemption regarding which reciprocity can’t be claimed under
sec122
,
NIR.
4.
No. Respondents contend that the fair market value should be the assessed valuesappearing in the tax rolls 6months after death of Stevenson, pursuant to
sec91, NIR 
.However, properties are required to be appraised at their fair market value and theassessed value thereof shall be considered as their fair market value only whenevidence to the contrary hasn’t been shown.The situs of the shares of the stock forpurposes of taxation, being located in the Phils and sought to be taxed in this jurisdiction, consistent with the exercise of our govt’s taxing authority, their fair marketvalue should be fixed on the basis of the price prevailing on our country. However,since the said shares of stock commanded a lesser value at Manila Stock Exchange sixmonths after death of Stevenson, the testimony of Atty. Gibbs contributed to the SC’sreversal of Tax Court and holding the value of a share in said mining company in thePhil market as P.325 as claimed by respondents.5.Yes. These have been considered deductible by the Tax Court. p706-707
6.
No, deduction has to be allowed only insofar as the Philippine probate court has notapproved this particular indebtedness of the decedent, such approval is necessary.There is a regular administration under control of the court where claims must bepresented and approved and expenses of administration allowed before deductionsfrom the estate can be authorized. Another reason: According to
sec89, letter d of NIR 
, allowable deduction is only to the extent of the PORTION of the indebtednesswhich is equivalent to the proportion that the estate in the Philippines bears to the totalestate wherever situated. Since there is no statement of the value of the estatesituated outside the Phils, or that there exists no such properties outside the Phils, nopart of the indebtedness can be allowed to be deducted.
Jorge Domalagan v. Carlos Bolifer (
1916
)
Appeal from a judgment of CFI MisamisFACTS:
Nov. 1909: Domalagan & Bolifer entered into a
verbal 
contractwherein the former was to pay defendant the sum of P500 upon the marriage of the son CiprianoDomalagan w/ the defendant’s daughter, Bonifacia.
Aug 1910: Dad Domalagan paid the sum of P500 plus P16 as hanselor token of future marriage.
However 
, Bonifacia married one Laureano Sisi. (read: new name –Bonifacia Sisi – puhlease!!)
Upon learning of the marriage, Domalagan demanded return of thesaid sum of P516 plus interest and damages arising from the fact that he was obliged to sell hisreal property in Bohol to come up with the sum.
Defendant denied complaint and alleged that it did not constitute acause of action.
RTC: No evidence to show that plaintiff suffered any addtl damages.Ruled in favor of plaintiff for the return of P516 plus 6% interest from Dec 17, 1910 plus costs.ISSUE:WON verbal contract of the parties was valid and effective to render delivery of the money by reason of aprospective marriageHELD: Judgment affirmed.RATIO: Why, yes, of course!Sec 335 Par 3 of the Code of Procedure in Civil Actions: “In the ff cases an agreement made shall be unenforceable by action unless the same, orsome note or memorandum thereof, be in writing…(3) An agreement made upon the consideration of marriage, other than a mutual promise tomarry.” Said section does not render oral contracts invalid. A contract may be valid and yet, by virtue of saidsection, the parties will be unable to prove it. It simply provides the method by w/c the contractsmentioned can be proved. The form required is for evidential purposes only.A contract may be perfectly valid even though it is not clothed w/ the necessary form.If the parties to an action, during the trial of the case, make no objection to the admissibility of oralevidence to support contracts and permit the contract to be proved, by evidence other than a writing, itwill be just as binding upon the parties as if it had been reduced to writing.
ESTANISLAO SERRANO vs. MELCHOR SOLOMON [June 29, 1959]
 
Appeal from CFI Ilocos Sur decision
Alejandria Feliciano – father is in Hawaii; entrusted to father’s friend, Estanislao Serrano who tookcare of her & raised her from 12 until she got married
June 21, 1948 – Alejandria & Melchor Solomon were married. Before the ceremony, Solomonexecuted alleged Deed of Donation w/c stated among others that he was donating all of hisexclusive properties to serve as capital for their conjugal life & for the maintenance & support of their offsprings. Their children will inherit such donation but in the absence of children, half of theproperties will go to his brothers/sisters/their heirs if he dies before his wife or if his wife diesbefore him, half will go to those who raised his wife.
March 2, 1949 – Alejandria died.
Few months after – Estanislao instituted action to enforce & implement terms of alleged donation.Being the one who raised Alejandria, he believed he had the right to half of Melchor’s property.
CFI: donation was not a donation
 propter nuptias
because it was not made in consideration of marriage & it was not made to one or both parties of the marriage
ISSUE:
WON the donation made by Melchor can be considered as a donation
 propter nuptias.
HELD:
No alleged donation is null & void. CFI affirmed. Estanislao won’t get anything.
RATIO:
Whether you apply Art. 1327 of the old CC or Art. 126 of the new CC, the result would be thesame, donations
 propter nuptias
are only those bestowed (1)before the celebration of marriage, (2)inconsideration of the same & (3)upon one or both of the spouses. Melchor’s donation violated conditions2 & 3. It was not in consideration solely of the marriage, it had additional terms like the marriage hadto be childless and one of the spouses had to die before the other. Also, it was not in favor of Alejandria. Instead, it was in favor of her parents & those who raised her. Based on Manresa’scommentary, donations granted to persons other than the spouses even though founded on themarriage are excluded. It’s not a donation
inter vivos
(during their lifetime) either, because doneenever accepted it by same instrument of donation or in separate document as required by law. It’s nota donation
mortis causa
(upon death) either. It has to be governed by provisions on the dispositionexecution of wills to be appreciated as such. Besides, donor is still alive. It will only be operational uponhis death.
SOLIS v. BARROSO
53 Phil. 912
Facts:
On June 1919, spouses Juan Lambino and Maxima Barroso made a donation propter nuptiasof certain lands in a private document in favor of their son Alejo and his soon-to-be-wife FortunataSolis, in consideration of their upcoming marriage. One condition of the donation is that in case oneof the donees dies, half of the lands thus donated would revert to the donors while the survivingdonee would retain the other half. On the same month, Alejo and Fortunata got married andimmediately thereafter the donors delivered the possession of the donated lands to them. A monthlater, Alejo died. In the same year, Juan also died. After Juan’s death, Maxima recoveredpossession of the donated lands. Surviving donee, Fortunata filed an action against Maxima(surviving donor) et al and demanded:(1)the execution of the proper deed of donation according to law,(2)transferring one-half of the donated property, and(3)to proceed to the partition of the donated property and its fruitsThe lower court granted the plaintiff’s prayer, basing its judgment on article 1279 of the Civil Code.It ordered the defendants to execute a deed of donation in favor of Fortunata, valid in form totransfer to her the legal title to the part of the donated lands assigned to her in the originaldonation.
Issue:
WON one-half of the donated lands should properly be awarded to her.
Held:
No. CFI’s judgment reversed and defendants absolved from complaint.
Ratio:
Article 1279 used by lower court is not applicable to donation propter nuptias
Article 1279 provides that, should the law require the execution of an instrument or anyother special form in order to make the obligations of a contract effective, the contractingparties may compel each other to comply with such formality from the moment that consenthas been given, and the other requirements for the validity of the contract to exist.
In the case at bar, what is of concern is a donation propter nuptias. According to article1328, CC, donation propter nuptias are governed by the rules established in articles 618 to656 of the CC, on donations.
Art. 633 provides that for a donation of a real property to be valid, it must be made in apublic instrument.
Exception to the rule: onerous and remuneratory contracts, in so far as they do notexceed the value of the charge imposed, which are then governed by the rules on contracts(art. 622)
Because the donation propter nuptias by the spouses were made in a privateinstrument, it is not valid and does not confer any rights.
Thus, article 1279 is not applicable because (1) it refers to contracts; (2) the donation inquestion requires the execution of an instrument in the form required to make it
valid
,whereas article 1279 refers to the execution of an instrument that is in the form required tomake the obligation in the contract
effective
.The lower court’s judgment that the present donation is onerous and pursuant to article 622 mustbe governed by the rules on contracts is not well-founded.
Donations for valuable consideration (onerous donations), as may be inferred fromarticle 619, are such as compensate services (1) which constitute debts which are recoverablefrom the donor, or (2) which impose a charge equal to the amount of the donation upon thedonee
Neither applies to the present donation, which was made only in consideration of marriageThe lower court’s assertion that, by the fact that this is a donation propter nuptias, it is based uponthe marriage as a consideration, and must be considered onerous is also not well-founded.
In donations propter nuptias, the marriage is really a consideration, but not in the senseof being necessary to give birth to the obligation. The marriage in a donation propter nuptias israther a resolutory condition which, as such, presupposes the existence of the obligation whichmay be resolved or revoked, and it is not a condition necessary for the birth of the obligation.***sana ma-gets nyo..sobrang hirap ako maintindihan siya coz it presupposes that I understand whatonerous donations are. Just as reference, onerous means having legal obligations that outweigh theadvantages. Sorry talaga..it’s all I could come up with..
Mateo vs. Lagua [October 30, 1969]Petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals
Facts:
Cipriano Lagua was the original order of 3 lots (998, 6541, 5106). In 1917 he donated lot998 and 6541 to Alejandro Lagua in consideration of the marriage of his son. The Certificateof Titles remained in the donor’s name.
1923 Alejandro Lagua died and his wife and infant daughter stayed with Cipriano. Ciprianoundertook the farming of the donated lots and initially he was giving the to Bonifacia (wife of Alejandro) the owner’s share of the harvest of the land. However in 1926 Cipriano refusedto deliver the share of Bonifacio and as such Bonifacio resorted to the Court wherein sheobtained a judgement award to her possession of the two lots plus damages.
July 31, 1941 – Cipriano executed a deed of sale of the two parcels of land in favour of hisother son, Gervasio. Even with the sale Bonifacia continued to receive her owner’s share of the harvest until 1956. Bonifacia discovered the sale only in 1956 when the remittance of her share has stopped. She also discovered that in September 22, 1955 TCT Nos. 19152and 19153 of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan were issued to Gervasio. She went tocourt to seek for the annulment of the deed of sale in favour of Gervasio and for recovery of the possession of the properties. The court ruled in her favour.
August 18, 1957 – Gervasio and his wife filed an action against Bonifacia for reimbursementof the improvements allegedly made by them in lots 998 and 6541 plus damages. This casewas dismissed but Gervasio appealed the decision. At about the same time Cipriano andGervasio filed for the annulment of the donation of the two lots insofar as one-half portionthereof was concerned. They were claiming that in donating the two lots, which allegedlywere all that plaintiff Cipriano owned, said plaintiff not only neglected leaving something forhis own support but also prejudices the legitime of his forced heir, Gervasio. On November22, 1958 Cipriano died. (the cases were still pending in court)
Lower Court dismissed both cases.
CA affirmed the decision of the lower court with regards to the damages claim but withrespect to the annulment case it ruled that the donation to Alejangro of the 2 lots with thecombined area of 11,888 square meters exceeded by 494.75 square meters his legitime andthe disposable portion that Cipriano could have freely given by will and as a result itprejudiced Gervasio. The Defendants were ordered to reconvey to Plaintiff Gervasio a portioof 494.75 square meters to be taken from any convenient part of the lots.
Bonifacia appealed the decision raising the following errors:
o
Validity of the donation propter nuptias have been determined in a previous case
o
Action to annul the donation has already prescribed since the case was filed 41years after the donation
o
Donation propter nuptias is revocable only for any grounds enumerated in Art.132 of the new civil code
 
o
Determining the legitime of the Lagua brothers in the hereditary estate of Cipriano the CA should have applied the provisions of the Civil Code of 1889 andnot Article 888 of the New Civil Code.Issues:1.WON the Civil Code of 1889 should govern the case. NO
Cause of action to enforce Gervasio’s legitime have accrued only upon the death of hisfather on November 12, 1958 then it should be governed by the provisions of the NewCivil Code; and that a donation propter nuptias property may be reduced for beinginofficious. Donation propter nuptias liberalities and as such it is subject to reductionfor inofficiousness upon the donor’s death, if they should infringe on the legitime of aforced heir.2.WON the CA acted correctly in ordering the reduction of the donation for being inofficious,and in ordering the petitioners to reconvey to Gervasio an unidentified 494.75 square meterportion of donated lots. NO
Court of Appeals acted on several unsupported assumptions
o
3 lots were the only properties composing the net hereditary estate of Cipriano
o
There are only 2 legal heirs
o
Cipriano left no unpaid debt, charges, taxes etc.
The net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deduction all payableobligations and charges at the time of his death; then all donations subject to collationwould be added to it. It is only thereafter can it be ascertained WON a donation hasprejudiced the legitimes.
With the evidence before the CA it can hardly rule on the inofficiousness of thedonation involved and to order the reduction and reconveyance of the deducted portionto the respondent.Note:Donations propter nuptias are without onerous consideration, the marriage being merely theoccasion or the motive for the donation, not its causa. Being liberalities, they remain subject toreduction for inofficiousness upon the donor’s death, if they should infringe the legitime of aforced heir.
Bonifacio Nazareno, plaintiff-appellantvsFrancisco Birog and Apoloniano Ariola, defendants-appellee
Andrea Rodriguez and Juan Aben were married and had a daughter named Alberta Aben. Theirdaughter Alberta later got married to Mariano Meleno Nazareno and had a child named BonifacioNazareno (plaintiff). When Juan Aben died, Andrea got married to Cirilo Braganza. Andrea and hersecond husband Cirilo had no offspring.In March 1917, Cirilo executed a deed of donation of land to his then six-year old step-grandsonBonifacio. The donation was accepted in the same deed by Alberta and Mariano, parents of Bonifacio.Cirilo continued to possess and enjoy the land.Beginning in 1930, Cirilo sold portions of the land:193071 ares and 30 centares to Birog for 1, 100 (paid)19332 hectares to Birog for 2, 200 (initially with remaining balance of 300, later paid275, wrote promissory note for 25)19341 hectare and 70 ares to Ariola for 1, 600 (balance of 600, promissory note forthat sum payable at end of Feb or March 1935)These two buyers immediately took possession of the land and cultivated them. Cirilo died on Dec.1934and since Ariola had not paid by Feb1935, plaintiff wrote him a letter demanding the payment. PedroBraganza (brother of Cirilo) collected balance of 25 from Birog in March 1935).
WON
plaintiff, Nazareno, may recover title and possession of a parcel of land described here?No. Not only did he lose ownership of the two portions of the land that the Birogs and Ariolas possess,he signed a deed in favor of Ariola on the third and last portion; therefore, he is estopped from claimingthe land.More importantly, appeal must be dismissed since plaintiff has no cause of action. The deed of donationupon which he bases his claim to land is null and void since it is made by the donor to a grandchild of his wife by the wife’s previous marriage. The donation falls under the prohibition in
Art.1335, CC.
Neither has the plaintiff acquired the land by prescription for there is no evidence that he everpossessed it or claimed it against his grandfather (as evident in deed in favor of Ariola, signed byNazareno as witness).Judgement afformed.
SUMBAD v. CA
308 SCRA 75
Nature:
Petition for review on certiorari of decision of CA
Facts:
Agata Tait died in 1936. Afterwards, Agata’s husband, George Tait, Sr., lived in a common-law marriage with Maria Tait. In 1974, he donated a certain parcel of unregistered land in SitioSum-at, Bontoc. George died in 1977. From 1982 to 1983, Maria Tait sold lots included within theSum-at property in favor of the private respondents who purchased the lots on the strength of aTax Declaration over the Sum-at property showing the seller, Maria, to be the owner of theproperty in question.In 1989, petitioners Emilie Sumbad and Beatrice Tait brought an action for quieting of title,nullification of deeds of sale, and recovery of possession with damages against privaterespondents, alleging that they are the children and compulsory heirs of George and Agata. Theyclaim that after the death of their mother, their father sold the Otucan property and used theproceeds thereof to purchase a residential lot in Sum-at, Bontoc and that from 1982 to 1983, Mariasold lots included within the Sum-at property to private respondents without their knowledge andconsent. They further alleged that although the private respondents were warned that the Sum-atproperty did not belong to Maria they still purchased the lots from Maria and that Maria had noright to sell the Sum-at property so the deeds of sale are null and void and did not transfer title toprivate respondents. During the trial, petitioners and defense presented several witnesses.
Issues:1.WON the testimony of Shirley Eillenger withrespect to the forgery of the deed of donation should be given credence.
No. The court agreed with the trial and appellate court’s decision that Eillenger’s testimony is “vague and incredible” and incapable of impugning the validity of the public document. Forgeryshould be proven by clear and convincing evidence, and whoever alleges it has the burden of proving the same. Not only is Shirley Eillenger’s testimony difficult to believe, it shows is hadbeen rehearsed as she anticipated the questions of petitioner’s counsel. Petitioner’s shouldhave presented handwriting experts to support their claim that George’s signature on thedeed of donation was indeed a forgery.
2.WON the deed of donation is invalid underArt. 749 of the Civil Code, which requires a public instrument as a requisite for thevalidity of donations of immovable property.
No. Petitioners contend that the person who notarized the deed had no authority to do so.However, the acknowledgment clause states that the person who notarized it was the deputyclerk of court who acted “for and in the absence of the clerk of court who is authorized, underSec. 21 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917, as amended by C.A. Nos. 270 and 641, toadminister oaths. In accordance with the presumption that official duty has been regularlyperformed, it is to be presumed that the deputy clerk of court who notarized the deed of donation in this case was duly authorized by the clerk of court.
3.WON deed of donation contravenes Art 133,CC
No. Art 133 provides that “every donation between spouses during the marriage shall be void.This prohibition does not apply when the donation takes effect after the death of the donor.Neither does this prohibition apply to moderate gifts which the spouses may give each otheron the occasion of any family rejoicing.” This prohibition extends to common-law relations(Matabuena v. Cervantes). In fact, Art 87, FC provides that “every donation or grant of gratuitous advantage, direct or indirect, between the spouses during the marriage shall bevoid, except moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on the occasion of anyfamily rejoicing. The prohibition shall also apply to persons living together as husband and wifewithout a valid marriage.” However, this point is being raised for the first time in the SC.Litigants cannot raise an issue for the first time on appeal as this would contravene the basicrules of fair play and justice.Even assuming that they are not thus precluded, petitioners were unable to present evidencein support of such a claim. The evidence on record does not show whether George was marriedto Maria and, if so, when the marriage took place. If Maria was not married to George,

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