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Chan-Tan vs. Chan

Chan-Tan vs. Chan

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Published by Argell Gamboa
Chan-Tan vs. Chan
Chan-Tan vs. Chan

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Published by: Argell Gamboa on Mar 03, 2013
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Chan-Tan vs. Chan G.R. no.

167139 (February 25, 2010) Facts: − June 1989: Petitioner and respondent got married at the Manila Cathedral. They had sons Justin (born in Canada in 1990) and Russel (born in the Philippines in 1993). − Susie Chan-Tan, petitioner, then filed a case of annulment under FC 36 (psychological incapacity) against Jesse Tan. The parties, thereafter, submitted a compromise agreement.

July 31, 2003: trial court issued a partial judgment of approval of the said compromise agreement.

− March 30, 2004: trial court declared the marriage null and void, under FC 36, on the ground of psychological incapacity of the parties. TC incorporated the compromise agreement it previously approved in said decision. Petitioner then cancelled the offer to purchase the Corinthian Hills Subdivision Lot No. 12, Block 2 property, and authorized Megaworld Corp. to offer it to other interested buyers. It also appeared that the petitioner left the country with the children. Respondent then filed an omnibus motion, seeking the main custody of the children claiming that petitioner brought the kids out of the country w/o his knowledge; that said petitioner failed to settle the balance for the Megaworld property, w/c, if forfeited, would prejudice the interest of the children; and that petitioner failed to turn over to him documents and titles in his name. − May 17, 2004: TC awarded respondent custody of the children, ordered petitioner to turn over to respondent documents and titles in his name, and allowed respondent to stay in the family dwelling in Mariposa, QC. − June 28, 2004: Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, claiming that she was denied due process, was not able to properly present evidence due to negligence from her counsel, and said that she was forced out of the country due to beating she received from the respondent. Petitioner also prayed for an increase in the respondent's monthly support obligation. − October 12, 2004: TC denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration, because it was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period. TC also declared petitioner in contempt of court for non-compliance with the July 31, 2003 partial judgment and the May 17, 2004 resolution. TC also denied the prayer for an increase in monthly support obligation, since petitioner was able to enroll the children to another school by herself without respondent's knowledge.

November 4, 2004: Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for reconsideration of the October 12, 2004 resolution, claiming that she was no longer interested in the suit, claiming that withdrawing from the case would be in the best interest of her children. She prayed to be vacated her from all prior orders, and leave the parties at a status quo ante the filing of the suit, or re-instating the parties to their conditions prior the filings. − December 28, 2004: TC denied both November 4, 2004 motions, declaring that the March 30, 2004 and May 17, 2004 decisions had become final and executory upon lapse of the 15-day reglementary period.. − February 15, 2005: TC again denied another motion for reconsideration of the December 28, 2004 decision. TC then issued a Certificate of Finality of the March 30 and May 17, 2004 decisions. Issue: W/N the March 30, 2004 and May 17, 2004 decisions had become final and executory despite allegations of denial of due process. Held: Petition has no merit, on the basis of lapse of the15-day reglementary period.

Alleged negligence of counsel to inform the petitioner resulting in loss of petitioner's right to appeal is not a ground for setting aside a judgment that is valid and regular. Petitioner cannot claim she was denied due process, since records showed that she was very active in court. She also cannot claim negligence on the part of her counsel, since said counsel issued a manifest on May 3, 2004, saying that said counsel made attempts to call the petitioner, but failed.

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