Friday, March 30, 2012

Maramba vs. Lozano

FactsOn November 3, 1948, the plaintiff filed an action against the defendant Nieves de Lozano and her husband Pascual Lozano for the collection of a sum of money. After trial, the court a quo on June 23, 1959 rendered its decision, the dispositive part of which is as follows: 

WHEREFORE, the court hereby renders judgment, sentencing the defendants herein, Nieves de Lozano and Pascual Lozano, to pay unto the herein plaintiff, Hermogenes Maramba, the total sum of Three Thousand Five Hundred Pesos and Seven Centavos (P3,500.07), with legal interest thereon from date of the filing of the instant complaint until fully paid. 

Not satisfied with the judgment, the defendants interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals but the appeal was dismissed on March 30, 1960 for failure of the defendants to file their brief on time. After the record the case was remanded to the court a quo, a writ of execution was issued, and on August 18, 1960 levy was made upon a parcel of land covered by transfer certificate title No. 8192 of Pangasinan in the name of Nieves de Lozano. The notice of sale at public auction was published in accordance with law and scheduled for September 16, 1960. 

On that date, however, defendant Nieves de Lozano made a partial satisfaction of the judgment in the amount P2,000.00, and requested for an adjournment of the sale to October 26, 1960. On October 17, 1960, she filed amended motion, dated October 14, alleging that on November 11, 1952, during the pendency of the case, defendant Pascual Lozano died and that the property levied upon was her paraphernal property, and praying that her liability be fixed at one-half (½) of the amount awarded in the judgment and that pending the resolution of the issue an order be issued restraining the Sheriff from carrying out the auction sale scheduled on October 26, 1960. On that date the sale proceeded anyway, and the property of Nieves de Lozano which has been levied upon was sold to the judgment creditor, as the highest bidder, for the amount of P4,175.12, the balance of the judgment debt. 

Issues

1. Whether or not the decision of the lower court dated June 23, 1959 could still be questioned; 

2. Whether or not the judgment was joint; and 

3. Whether or not the judgment debt could be satisfied from the proceeds of the properties sold at public auction. 


Held: 

1. NO. It would entail a substantial amendment of the decision of June 23, 1959, which has long become final and in fact partially executed. A decision which has become final and executory can no longer be amended or corrected by the court except for clerical errors or mistakes, and however erroneous it may be, cannot be disobeyed; otherwise litigations would be endless and no questions could be considered finally settled. The amendment sought by appellee involves not merely clerical errors but the very substance of the controversy. And it cannot be accomplished by the issuance of a "nunc pro tunc" order such as that sought in this case. The purpose of an "nunc pro tunc" is to make a present record of an which the court made at a previous term, but which not then recorded. It can only be made when the ordered has previously been made, but by inadvertence not been entered. 

Now then, it is clear that the decision of June 23, 1959 does not specify the extent of the liability of each defendant. The rule is that when the judgment does not order the defendants to pay jointly and severally their liability is merely joint, and none of them may be compelled to satisfy the judgment in full. This is in harmony with Articles 1137 and 1138 of the Civil Code. 


2. YES. The rule is that when the judgment does not order the defendants to pay jointly and severally their liability is merely joint, and none of them may be compelled to satisfy the judgment in full. This is in harmony with Articles 1137 and 1138 of the Civil Code. 


3. NO. The presumption under Article 160 of the Civil Code to property acquired during the marriage. But in the instant case there is no showing as to when the property in question was acquired and hence the fact that the title is in the wife's name alone is determinative. Furthermore, appellant himself admits in his brief that the property in question is paraphernal. 

Appellant next points out that even if the land levied upon were originally paraphernal, it became conjugal property by virtue of the construction of a house thereon at the expense of the common fund, pursuant to Article 158 paragraph 2 of the Civil Code. However, it has been by this Court that the construction of a house at conjugal expense on the exclusive property of one of the spouses does not automatically make it conjugal. It is true that meantime the conjugal partnership may use both in the land and the building, but it does so not as owner but in the exercise of the right of usufruct. 


Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Maramba vs. Lozano"

Post a Comment