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PRIL: Chapter VII.

Problem with Renvoi

(summary notes)
-procedure whereby a jural matter presented is referred by the
conflict of laws rules of the forum to a foreign state, the conflict of
law rules of which, in turn, refers the matter to the law of the forum
or a third state
-2 types:
REMISSION: reference back to the law of the forum
TRANSMISSION: reference to a 3rd state
-When usually employed:
*where domiciliary and nationality laws are applied to the same
individual in issues involving
>domestic relations
>real properties
(law that would be applied to a domestic case that has no
conflict-of-laws complications) OF ANOTHER STATE
(forum: conflicts of law refer to foreign forum's INTERNAL LAW - so it
would itself resolve the conflict, just apply substantial internal law of
the other country without referring the case to another forum)
ANOTHER STATE (includes choice-of-law rules - di ba conflicts of
law rules?)
(FORUM: refer to foreign forum's WHOLE LAW) > FOREIGN: WHOLE
LAW would include INTERNAL LAW + CONFLICTS OF LAW> if Conflicts
of Law rules of foreign forum refers case back or to another forum.)
-Decedent: Edward Christiansen
>Citizen of the US, State of California at the time of death
>BUT was living in the Philippines at the time of death (domicile)
>and his Properties are in the Philippines
-Will of decedent:
>P3,600 to Maria Helena Christiansen-Garcia (the acknowledged natural
child of decedent)
>The rest of the estate to Maria Lucy Christiansen-Daney (daughter)
-testate proceedings in PHILIPPINES
>>>HELENA GARCIA opposed: Philippine Law should apply!

California Probate Code: testator may dispose of his Art16,

property by will in the form and manner he desires (+ In re NCC: National law of
Kaufman) the person whose
Art946, Civil Code of California: "If there is no law to the succession is in
contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it Question
is deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed
by the law of his domicile" (conflict of law rule for
Californian citizens abroad)
TC: California law applies
MR/Appeal by Garcia: the conflicts of law rule of California reverts the
issue back to the Philippines, thus, Philippine law should apply (thus she is
entitled to her legitime)
(flow of the ruling)
1 What does forum law provide? Article 16: "national law" of the
person whose succession is in question
1 What is the NATIONAL LAW of Edward Christiansen, who was a
Californian citizen: in US, each state has its own private law so it can
refer to no other than the private law of the State of California.
1 If it is Californian Law, what law would be applicable in the disposition
of Personal property (if real property and Philippine law the place
where the estate lies pede venue?)? 2 laws to be considered [see above]
"If the law on succession and the conflict of laws rules of California are to
be enforced jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate sphere, the
principle cited in In Re Kaufman should apply to citizens living in the
State, but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not
domiciled in California but in other jurisdictions.
1 Since Edward Christiansen, though a Citizen of California, lives
outside California, the court applied Article 946. But according to
appellees, the said article provides that "if there is no law to the
contrary in the place where property is situatedthe aw of his
domicile" applies means that if the properties are situated in the
Philippines, and if there is a law in the Philippines which provides that
law other than the decedent's domicile would apply, then the
Californian law should be applicable. They argue that since Article 16
of the NCC makes the law of the nationality (not the law of the
domicile) applicable, then the Californian law should be applied:
"the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on
conflict of laws in the Californian Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which
authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the
testator's domicile. The conflict of law rules in California, Article 946, Civil
code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in
California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar.
The court of the domicile cannot and should not refer the case back to
California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination
because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between
the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen
and the country of his domicile."
1 As Philippine INTERNAL law should apply, Natural Children legally
acknowledged are forced heirs of the parents recognizing them,
therefore, Helen should be entitled to her share in their father's
**** Ma'am: by accepting the renvoi, and applying forum law (as the
foreign forum referred the case back to the forum), the Court
rendered justice to the natural child of the decedent by granting her
her legitimes.
refers to foreign court's law. Foreign law does not have a conflict of
law rule which apply to non-nationals so still apply forum law.
(same as accepting renvoi, but since foreign law not applicable when
outside the foreign state, forum court desists in applying foreign
4th. FOREIGN COURT THEORY. Forum court would assume position of
the foreign court, i.e. forum court would apply the law that the
foreign court would apply if it had assumed jurisdiction.
Note: In all the explanation given in the book, it appears that in
Renvoi, there is no actual transfer of the case to another court. The
forum court still exercises jurisdiction over the dispute but just use
renvoi to use other law or to desist from using foreign law.
DISADVANTAGE OF RENVOI: if both courts follow the same renvoi
theory: no end to the case
revolving doors
a game of lawn tennis
...A logical cabinet of mirrors
circulus inextricabilis
*British subject
*lived in France
*have properties in France and Britain
*made a will in English form, executed in France, giving ultimate residue of
her estate to her daughter absolutely
*also made a codicil in English form, executed it in France
*both Will and CODICIL contained provisions wherein testatrix emphasized
her intent to remain a British subject and not to fix her domicile in France
she died
British law French Law

Testatrix is domiciled in Testatrix should first comply with formal steps to acquire
France French domicile

No law on how to dispose of Testatrix could only dispose of 1/3 of property

-probate proceedings before English courts
WON the domicile of the Testatrix is England or France?
1 English law provides 2 requirement to determine where domicile is:
1 Factum of residence (in France)
1 Animus Manendi [intent to stay there permanently?]
1 Testatrix complies with the 2 requirements and SO, in the English court
(forum), she has her domicile in France (irrelevant if she failed to comply
with French law in acquiring French domicile)
1 Since France is where she is domiciled, what French law should apply?
French municipal law: if not legally domiciled in France + not a French
National: law of that person's nationality (so British law applies)
1 So what does the British law provide: apply the law of the domicile
(French Law)
1 So would French law accept it back? Yes, apply French Municipal law
HELD: According to French Law, French courts would apply French
Municipal Law in administering the movable property of a deceased
foreigner (who according to his own law is domiciled in France and whose
property must, in accordance to French law, be applied in accordance with
the law of the country in which he was domciled)in short, apply FRENCH
law then can only dispose of 1/3 of her estate by will!
-avoid unjust results
-GEORGE Dater (and his wife, Nellie Dater) and JOHN Price (and his wife,
CLARA Price) obtained a loan for $75k in CHICAGO
-the loan is secured by a property in CHICAGO owned by George and John
-the checks for the loan were payable and was cashed in Chicago
-the debtor couples signed the trust mortgage and notes in Michigan (they
were residents of Michigan), then delivered the documents back at Illinois,
-upon death of Mr. Price, Mrs. Clara Price became the actual and record
owner of at least 1/2 of the mortgaged property.
-Loan was not paid. So property was sought to be foreclosed by University
of Chicago? In Chicago
-George Dater was held liable while Clara Price (the widow) was absolved, no
WON Mrs. Price has the capacity to enter into an obligation in the state of
Michigan (so as to make her liable)?
-dispute does not involve construction/force/effect of instruments BUT OF
-(not sure): apply law of the place of performance (here it's Michigan)
Michigan law Illinois law

Mrs. Price has no personal liability on the note, The case is governed by Michigan
recoverable from her separate estate lawBurr Case
Burr v. Beckler: the wife, who was in Florida, executed a note and trust
deed in Florida to her husband who was in Chicago. As the note was
complete when delivered from Florida (thus, already completed in Florida),
Florida law would apply, and since Florida law holds that she is not
competent to enter into a contract, her note and trust deed were void.
-Burr case and this case:
*manual delivery complete: already signed when delivered to the mortgagee
*no engagement to make the loan prior to delivery (money cashed after
execution of mortgage)
*no advance payment of money
HELD: MICHIGAN LAW applies. MRS. PRiCE NOT LIABLE. A married woman
cannot bind her separate estate through personal engagement for the
benefit of others.
University of Chicago v. Dater case is sound:
-Michigan protected Michigan wife; Illinois not interested in applying
its law
-application of renvoi promoted uniformity of results inspite of
discrepancies in the choice-of-law rules
1 CON: place the court in a perpetually enclosed circle from which it
would never emerge and that it would never find a suitable body of
substantive rules to apply to a particular case - only workable if 2
states does not have same renvoi theory and if only 1 rejects renvoi
PRO: Dean Griswold
>False premise: the "chain" would stop if remission is to the state's
>Allowed for necessity and expediency
1 CON: Courts may be unnecessarily burdened w/ the task of
identifying the choice-of-law rules of another state
PRO: forum court would not use renvoi if it cannot ascertain what the
conflict-of-law rules of the foreign state in the first place
False conflict: where only 1 state is interested in applying its law, the
other state has no issue in its law not being applied
-Renvoi was held inappropriate in Pfau v. Trent Aluminum Co.:
NJ and Connecticut have identical substantive laws, Iowa has no
interest in ensuring that its law be applied -so false conflict, no need
to resort to renvoi as the application of NJ law is like applying also
Connecticut law
-domiciled in Connecticut
-Student of Iowa (Parsons College, Iowa)
-domiciled in NJ
-also a student of Iowa (Parsons College)
-Trent agreed to drive Pfau to Missouri using a car registered in NJ, insured
in NJ, and insured by a carrier in NJ
-car collision (NJ registered car driven by Trent collided with Joseph Davis
car when Trent failed to negotiate a curve) occurred in IOWA. Pfau incurred
-Pfau sues before an NJ court
IOWA Guest Statute NJ and Connecticut Guest Statute

A host-driver is not liable to his guest-passengers can recover from their

passenger-guest for ordinary negligence host-divers for ordinary negligence

TRENT'S DEFENSE: he would not be PFAU's argument: Trent is liable

>as Pfau is a domiciliary of Connecticut, it appears that Connecticut would
have a significant interest in applying it's substantive law
>TRENT RAISES IOWA LAW AS A DEFENSE: Iowa law should apply. If apply
Connecticut law, should apply conflict of law rules. As Connecticut adheres
to LEX LOCI DELICTI, the law of the place where the incident happened
should govern, i.e. Iowa law.
1 Not definite that Pfau would be unable to recover in either
Connecticut or Iowa
1 No reason for applying Connecticut's choice of law, as Connecticut's
choice-of-law does not identify Connecticut's interest in the matter;
does not relate to a state's interest in having its law applied to given
issues in a tort case.
"since Iowa has no interest in this litigation, and since the substantive
laws of Connecticut and NJ are the same, this case presents a false conflict
and the Connecticut plaintiff should have the right to maintain an action
for ordinary negligence.
Amos Bellis
-born in Texas
-citizen of Texas
-executed a will in RP: all his property...
-had 2 marriages and some illegitimate children
Mary Mallen (1st wife)
-5 legit children in 1st marriage, 1 pre-deceased dad
Violet Kennedy (2nd wife)
-3 legit children
3 illegit children
-Amos executed a will in the Philippines: estate to be divided as follows:
1 $40k to 1st wife
1 $120 to 3 illegit children ($40k each)
1 Remainder goes to 7 surviving children (it must be big!)
-will admitted for Probate in MANILA
-illegitimate children opposed project of partition: deprived of legitime as
compulsory heirs
CFI: applied law of the nationality of the person whose succession is in
question - Texas law
Texas law Philippine law

Did not provide for legitimes Provided for legitimes

WON Texas law should apply? YES
-No renvoi in this case: same nationality, same domicile (both in Texas);
besides, the opponents do not even rely on renvoi
-assuming there's a conflict-of-law rule in Texas providing that
...the law of the domicile should apply, still apply Texas law
situs theory: properties are in RP so apply RP law
>>>but no proof that Texas has conflict-of-law situs theory
-defense 1 of oppositors: Art17, Par3 (which provides that Prohibitive laws
in the Philippines shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments of
foreign countries) is an exception to Art 16, par2 and A1039, which on the
other hand provides that the national law of the decedent applies with
regard 4 items:
(1) order of succession
(2) amount of successional rights (thus, legitimes)
(3) intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will
(4) capacity to suceed
>SC: Congress deleted in what supposedly is Art17 the phrase
"notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article"
which means that their purpose was to make the 2nd paragraph of Article
16 a specific provision in itself to be applied to testate and intestate
*whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of
legitimes, Congress has no intention to extend the same to the succession
of FOREIGN NATIONALS. Specific provisions should prevail over general
-defense 2 of oppositors: decedent made 2 wills, supposedly 1 would govern
Texas property and the other Philippine property. Thus, he intended
Philippine law to apply to his Philippine estate
>SC: as was held in Miciano v. Brimo, a provision in a foreigner's will to the
effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine
law (and not the law of his nationality) is illegal and void, for his national
law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Art10 and Art16