You are on page 1of 1

San Luis v.

San Luis

FACTS: After Felicisimo died, his wife Felicidad sought the settlement of his estate and
filed a petition for letters of administration before the RTC of Makati City. Rodolfo, on of the
children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of
improper venue. Rodolfo claimed that the petition for letters of administration should have
been filed in Laguna because this was Felicisimo’s place of residence prior to his death. In
response thereto, Felicidad argued that while Felicisimo exercised the powers of his public
office in Laguna, he regularly went home to their house in Alabang. In dismissing the
petition for letters of administration, the trial court held that at the time of his death,
Felicisimo was the duly elected governor and a resident of Laguna, hence the petition
should have been filed in Laguna and not in Makati City. The CA reversed the order and
ruled that the term “place of residence” under the rules of court, for purposes of fixing the
venue of the settlement of his estate, refers to personal, actual or physical habitation, or
actual residence or place of abode of a person as distinguished from legal residence or
domicile.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for letters of administration was filed at the proper
venue.

HELD: Yes.

Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of administration of
the estate of Felicisimo should be filed in the RTC of the province “in which he resides at
the time of his death.” The term “resides” connotes “actual residence” as distinguished
from “legal residence or domicile.” There is a distinction between “residence” for purposes
of election laws and “residence” for purposes of fixing venue of actions. For purposes of
fixing venue under the Rules of Court, the “residence” of a person is his personal, actual or
physical habitation, or actual residence or place of abode, which may not necessarily be
his legal residence or domicile provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency.

In this case, Felicisimo was a resident of Alabang for purposes of fixing the venue of the
settlement of his estate. The petition was validly filed in the Regional Trial Court which has
territorial jurisdiction over Alabang Muntinlupa. At the time the petition was filed (December
17, 1993), Muntinlupa was still a municipality and the branches of the RTC of the National
Capital Judicial Region which had territorial jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were then seated
in Makati City.

Thus, the petition was filed at the proper venue.