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Relucio v.

Lopez

Facts:

PROCEDURE:
- Angelina Lopez filed a PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT as sole adminstratrix of conjugal part-
nership of properties, FORFEITURE against Alberto Lopez and Imelda Relucio in the RTC
Makati. Angeline alleges that:
- Alberto Lopez, legally married to Angelina, abandoned her and their children.
- Alberto arrogated unto himsel full and exclusive control of administration of the conjugal prop-
erties
- maintained an illicit relationship and cohabited with Imelda Relucio.
- that Imelda and Alberto had amassed a fortune and that these properties are under their
names and acquired principally if not solely through contribution of money, property and in-
dustry of Lopez.
- Alberto in order to escape his obligations from his family with Angelina, excluded the latter
from any share and knowledge of such properties by placing such in the name of Imelda.
- It was also alleged that Alberto had sold, transferred, assigned, and stashed away properties
belonging to the conjugal property of him and Angelina and spent such in favor of himself and
his family with Imelda.
- Imelda filed a MTD claiming that Alberto has NO CAUSE OF ACTION against her.
- RTC denied the MTD on the ground that she is imploded as a NECESSARY OR INDISPENS-
ABLE PARTY because some of the subject properties are registered in her name and Lopez or
some of which solely in her name.
- Imelda filed an MR but the same was denied.
- Imelda filed with the CA a petition for CERTIORARI assailing the dismissal in the RTC. The CA
denied the petition for certiorari to which Imelda filed an MR but was also denied.

Held:
CAUSE of ACTION:
A cause of action - is an act or omission of one party the defendant in violation of the legal right of
the other.
Elements:
1. a right in favor of plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law
2. an obligation on the part of the defendant to respect or not violate such right
3. an act or omission on the part of the defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff or
constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may main-
tain an action for recovery of damages.

- the court said that in order to sustain a MTD for lack of cause of action, the complaint must show
that the claim or relief DOES NOT EXIST rather than a claim has been merely defectively stated
or is ambiguous.
- In this case, the complaint is by an aggrieved wife against her husband and nowhere in the said
allegations is the complaint directed against Imelda.
- the first cause of action - is for the judicial appointment of Angelina as adminstratrix of the
conjugal partnership properties.
- the second cause of action - is for accounting by respondent husband.
- the third cause of action - forfeiture of Alberto share in the property co-owned by him and peti-
tioner.
- the court said in all these instances that nowhere is Imelda important or necessary in such
causes of action as she is a stranger to the marriage and the conjugal partnership between the
husband and wife. the court said that references to Imelda in the complaint were merely inciden-
tal to set forth facts and circumstances that prove the cause of action against Alberto.

Cause of action for Moral Damages:


to sustain a cause of action for moral damages, the complaint must have the character of an action
for interference with marital or family relations under the CC. A real party in interest is one who
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment of the suit.

- In this case, Imelda would not be affected by the judgment in this case. the court said that if peti-
tioner is not a real party in interest, she cannot be an indispensable party.
- an indispensable party - is one without whom there can be no final determination of an
action.
- the court said that the court can issue a judgment ordering Alberto to make an accounting of his
conjugal partnership with Angelina and give support to their children, forfeit his share in property
co-owned with Imelda even without naming Imelda as an indispensable party.
- Also, she cannot also be considered a necessary party.
- a necessary party - is one who is not an indispensable party but who ought to be joined as
party if complete relief is to be accorded those already parties or for complete determination or set-
tlement of the claim subject of the action.