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G.R. No.

L-35694

December 23, 1933

ALLISON G. GIBBS, petitioner-appelle,


vs.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, oppositorappellant.
THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF THE CITY OF
MANILA, respondent-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellants.
Allison D. Gibbs in his own behalf.

BUTTE, J.:
This is an appeal from a final order of the Court of First Instance
of Manila, requiring the register of deeds of the City of Manila to
cancel certificates of title Nos. 20880, 28336 and 28331, covering
lands located in the City of Manila, Philippine Islands, and issue
in lieu thereof new certificates of transfer of title in favor of Allison
D. Gibbs without requiring him to present any document showing
that the succession tax due under Article XI of Chapter 40 of the
Administrative Code has been paid.
The said order of the court of March 10, 1931, recites that the
parcels of land covered by said certificates of title formerly
belonged to the conjugal partnership of Allison D. Gibbs and Eva
Johnson Gibbs; that the latter died intestate in Palo Alto,
California, on November 28, 1929; that at the time of her death
she and her husband were citizens of the State of California and
domiciled therein.
It appears further from said order that Allison D. Gibbs was
appointed administrator of the state of his said deceased wife in

case No. 36795 in the same court, entitled "In the Matter of the
Intestate Estate of Eva Johnson Gibbs, Deceased"; that in said
intestate proceedings, the said Allison D. Gibbs, on September
22,1930, filed an ex parte petition in which he alleged "that the
parcels of land hereunder described belong to the conjugal
partnership of your petitioner and his wife, Eva Johnson Gibbs",
describing in detail the three facts here involved; and further
alleging that his said wife, a citizen and resident of California,
died on November 28,1929; that in accordance with the law of
California, the community property of spouses who are citizens of
California, upon the death of the wife previous to that of the
husband, belongs absolutely to the surviving husband without
administration; that the conjugal partnership of Allison D. Gibbs
and Eva Johnson Gibbs, deceased, has no obligations or debts
and no one will be prejudiced by adjucating said parcels of land
(and seventeen others not here involved) to be the absolute
property of the said Allison D. Gibbs as sole owner. The court
granted said petition and on September 22, 1930, entered a
decree adjucating the said Allison D. Gibbs to be the sole and
absolute owner of said lands, applying section 1401 of the Civil
Code of California. Gibbs presented this decree to the register of
deeds of Manila and demanded that the latter issue to him a
"transfer certificate of title".
Section 1547 of Article XI of Chapter 40 of the Administrative
Code provides in part that:
Registers of deeds shall not register in the registry of
property any document transferring real property or real
rights therein or any chattel mortgage, by way of
gifts mortis causa, legacy or inheritance, unless the
payment of the tax fixed in this article and actually due
thereon shall be shown. And they shall immediately notify
the Collector of Internal Revenue or the corresponding
provincial treasurer of the non payment of the tax
discovered by them. . . .

Acting upon the authority of said section, the register of deeds of


the City of Manila, declined to accept as binding said decree of
court of September 22,1930, and refused to register the transfer
of title of the said conjugal property to Allison D. Gibbs, on the
ground that the corresponding inheritance tax had not been paid.
Thereupon, under date of December 26, 1930, Allison D. Gibbs
filed in the said court a petition for an order requiring the said
register of deeds "to issue the corresponding titles" to the
petitioner without requiring previous payment of any inheritance
tax. After due hearing of the parties, the court reaffirmed said
order of September 22, 1930, and entered the order of March 10,
1931, which is under review on this appeal.

2. A parcel of land in the City of Manila, represented by transfer


certificate of title No. 28336, dated May 14, 1927, in which it is
certified "that spouses Allison D. Gibbs and Eva Johnson Gibbs
are the owners in fee simple" of the land therein described.

On January 3, 1933, this court remanded the case to the court of


origin for new trial upon additional evidence in regard to the
pertinent law of California in force at the time of the death of Mrs.
Gibbs, also authorizing the introduction of evidence with
reference to the dates of the acquisition of the property involved
in this suit and with reference to the California law in force at the
time of such acquisition. The case is now before us with the
supplementary evidence.

Article XI of Chapter 40 of the Administrative Code entitled "Tax


on inheritances, legacies and other acquisitionsmortis causa"
provides in section 1536 that "Every transmission by virtue of
inheritance ... of real property ... shall be subject to the following
tax." It results that the question for determination in this case is as
follows: Was Eva Johnson Gibbs at the time of her death the
owner of a descendible interest in the Philippine lands abovementioned?

For the purposes of this case, we shall consider the following


facts as established by the evidence or the admissions of the
parties: Allison D. Gibbs has been continuously, since the year
1902, a citizen of the State of California and domiciled therein;
that he and Eva Johnson Gibbs were married at Columbus, Ohio,
in July 1906; that there was no antenuptial marriage contract
between the parties; that during the existence of said marriage
the spouses acquired the following lands, among others, in the
Philippine Islands, as conjugal property:

The appellee contends that the law of California should determine


the nature and extent of the title, if any, that vested in Eva
Johnson Gibbs under the three certificates of title Nos. 20880,
28336 and 28331 above referred to, citing article 9 of the Civil
Code. But that, even if the nature and extent of her title under
said certificates be governed by the law of the Philippine Islands,
the laws of California govern the succession to such title, citing
the second paragraph of article 10 of the Civil Code.

3. A parcel of land in the City of Manila, represented by transfer


certificate of title No. 28331, dated April 6, 1927, which it states
"that Allison D. Gibbs married to Eva Johnson Gibbs" is the owner
of the land described therein; that said Eva Johnson Gibbs died
intestate on November 28, 1929, living surviving her her husband,
the appellee, and two sons, Allison J. Gibbs , now age 25 and
Finley J. Gibbs, now aged 22, as her sole heirs of law.

lawphil.net

Article 9 of the Civil Code is as follows:


1. A parcel of land in the City of Manila represented by transfer
certificate of title No. 20880, dated March 16, 1920, and
registered in the name of "Allison D. Gibbs casado con Eva
Johnson Gibbs".

The laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the


status, condition, and legal capacity of persons, are

binding upon Spaniards even though they reside in a


foreign country." It is argued that the conjugal right of the
California wife in community real estate in the Philippine
Islands is a personal right and must, therefore, be settled
by the law governing her personal status, that is, the law
of California. But our attention has not been called to any
law of California that incapacitates a married woman from
acquiring or holding land in a foreign jurisdiction in
accordance with the lex rei sitae. There is not the slightest
doubt that a California married woman can acquire title to
land in a common law jurisdiction like the State of Illinois
or the District of Columbia, subject to the common-law
estate by the courtesy which would vest in her husband.
Nor is there any doubt that if a California husband
acquired land in such a jurisdiction his wife would be
vested with the common law right of dower, the
prerequisite conditions obtaining. Article 9 of the Civil
Code treats of purely personal relations and status and
capacity for juristic acts, the rules relating to property,
both personal and real, being governed by article 10 of
the Civil Code. Furthermore, article 9, by its very terms, is
applicable only to "Spaniards" (now, by construction, to
citizens of the Philippine Islands).
The Organic Act of the Philippine Islands (Act of
Congress, August 29, 1916, known as the "Jones Law")
as regards the determination of private rights, grants
practical autonomy to the Government of the Philippine
Islands. This Government, therefore, may apply the
principles and rules of private international law (conflicts
of laws) on the same footing as an organized territory or
state of the United States. We should, therefore, resort to
the law of California, the nationality and domicile of Mrs.
Gibbs, to ascertain the norm which would be applied here
as law were there any question as to her status.

But the appellant's chief argument and the sole basis of the lower
court's decision rests upon the second paragraph of article 10 of
the Civil Code which is as follows:
Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in
respect to the order of succession as well as to the
amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity
of their provisions, shall be regulated by the national law
of the person whose succession is in question, whatever
may be the nature of the property or the country in which
it may be situated.
In construing the above language we are met at the outset with
some difficulty by the expression "the national law of the person
whose succession is in question", by reason of the rather
anomalous political status of the Philippine Islands. (Cf. Manresa,
vol. 1, Codigo Civil, pp. 103, 104.) We encountered no difficulty in
applying article 10 in the case of a citizen of Turkey. (Miciano vs.
Brimo, 50 Phil., 867.) Having regard to the practical autonomy of
the Philippine Islands, as above stated, we have concluded that if
article 10 is applicable and the estate in question is that of a
deceased American citizen, the succession shall be regulated in
accordance with the norms of the State of his domicile in the
United States. (Cf. Babcock Templeton vs. Rider Babcock, 52
Phil., 130, 137; In re Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil., 156, 166.)
The trial court found that under the law of California, upon the
death of the wife, the entire community property without
administration belongs to the surviving husband; that he is the
absolute owner of all the community property from the moment of
the death of his wife, not by virtue of succession or by virtue of
her death, but by virtue of the fact that when the death of the wife
precedes that of the husband he acquires the community
property, not as an heir or as the beneficiary of his deceased wife,
but because she never had more than an inchoate interest or
expentancy which is extinguished upon her death. Quoting the

case of Estate of Klumpke (167 Cal., 415, 419), the court said:
"The decisions under this section (1401 Civil Code of California)
are uniform to the effect that the husband does not take the
community property upon the death of the wife by succession, but
that he holds it all from the moment of her death as though
required by himself. ... It never belonged to the estate of the
deceased wife."
The argument of the appellee apparently leads to this dilemma: If
he takes nothing by succession from his deceased wife, how can
the second paragraph of article 10 be invoked? Can the appellee
be heard to say that there is a legal succession under the law of
the Philippine Islands and no legal succession under the law of
California? It seems clear that the second paragraph of article 10
applies only when a legal or testamentary succession has taken
place in the Philippines and in accordance with the law of the
Philippine Islands; and the foreign law is consulted only in regard
to the order of succession or the extent of the successional rights;
in other words, the second paragraph of article 10 can be invoked
only when the deceased was vested with a descendible interest
in property within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Islands.
In the case of Clarke vs. Clarke (178 U. S., 186, 191; 44 Law ed.,
1028, 1031), the court said:
It is principle firmly established that to the law of the state
in which the land is situated we must look for the rules
which govern its descent, alienation, and transfer, and for
the effect and construction of wills and other
conveyances. (United States vs. Crosby, 7 Cranch, 115; 3
L. ed., 287; Clark vs. Graham, 6 Wheat., 577; 5 L. ed.,
334; McGoon vs. Scales, 9 Wall., 23; 19 L. ed., 545;
Brine vs. Hartford F. Ins. Co., 96 U. S., 627; 24 L. ed.,
858.)" (See also Estate of Lloyd, 175 Cal., 704, 705.) This
fundamental principle is stated in the first paragraph of
article 10 of our Civil Code as follows: "Personal property

is subject to the laws of the nation of the owner thereof;


real property to the laws of the country in which it is
situated.
It is stated in 5 Cal. Jur., 478:
In accord with the rule that real property is subject to
the lex rei sitae, the respective rights of husband and wife
in such property, in the absence of an antenuptial
contract, are determined by the law of the place where
the property is situated, irrespective of the domicile of the
parties or to the place where the marriage was
celebrated. (See also Saul vs. His Creditors, 5 Martin [N.
S.], 569; 16 Am. Dec., 212 [La.]; Heidenheimer vs. Loring,
26 S. W., 99 [Texas].)
Under this broad principle, the nature and extent of the title which
vested in Mrs. Gibbs at the time of the acquisition of the
community lands here in question must be determined in
accordance with the lex rei sitae.
It is admitted that the Philippine lands here in question were
acquired as community property of the conjugal partnership of the
appellee and his wife. Under the law of the Philippine Islands, she
was vested of a title equal to that of her husband. Article 1407 of
the Civil Code provides:
All the property of the spouses shall be deemed
partnership property in the absence of proof that it
belongs exclusively to the husband or to the wife. Article
1395 provides:
"The conjugal partnership shall be governed by the rules of law
applicable to the contract of partnership in all matters in which
such rules do not conflict with the express provisions of this

chapter." Article 1414 provides that "the husband may dispose by


will of his half only of the property of the conjugal partnership."
Article 1426 provides that upon dissolution of the conjugal
partnership and after inventory and liquidation, "the net remainder
of the partnership property shall be divided share and share alike
between the husband and wife, or their respective heirs." Under
the provisions of the Civil Code and the jurisprudence prevailing
here, the wife, upon the acquisition of any conjugal property,
becomes immediately vested with an interest and title therein
equal to that of her husband, subject to the power of
management and disposition which the law vests in the husband.
Immediately upon her death, if there are no obligations of the
decedent, as is true in the present case, her share in the conjugal
property is transmitted to her heirs by succession. (Articles 657,
659, 661, Civil Code; cf. alsoCoronel vs. Ona, 33 Phil., 456, 469.)
It results that the wife of the appellee was, by the law of the
Philippine Islands, vested of a descendible interest, equal to that
of her husband, in the Philippine lands covered by certificates of
title Nos. 20880, 28336 and 28331, from the date of their
acquisition to the date of her death. That appellee himself
believed that his wife was vested of such a title and interest in
manifest from the second of said certificates, No. 28336, dated
May 14, 1927, introduced by him in evidence, in which it is
certified that "the spouses Allison D. Gibbs and Eva Johnson
Gibbs are the owners in fee simple of the conjugal lands therein
described."
The descendible interest of Eva Johnson Gibbs in the lands
aforesaid was transmitted to her heirs by virtue of inheritance and
this transmission plainly falls within the language of section 1536
of Article XI of Chapter 40 of the Administrative Code which levies
a tax on inheritances. (Cf. Re Estate of Majot, 199 N. Y., 29; 92 N.
E., 402; 29 L. R. A. [N. S.], 780.) It is unnecessary in this
proceeding to determine the "order of succession" or the "extent
of the successional rights" (article 10, Civil Code, supra) which

would be regulated by section 1386 of the Civil Code of California


which was in effect at the time of the death of Mrs. Gibbs.
The record does not show what the proper amount of the
inheritance tax in this case would be nor that the appellee
(petitioner below) in any way challenged the power of the
Government to levy an inheritance tax or the validity of the statute
under which the register of deeds refused to issue a certificate of
transfer reciting that the appellee is the exclusive owner of the
Philippine lands included in the three certificates of title here
involved.
The judgment of the court below of March 10, 1931, is reversed
with directions to dismiss the petition, without special
pronouncement as to the costs.

amount of P3,600 paid by her to Helen Christensen Garcia as her


legacy, and declaring Maria Lucy Christensen entitled to the
residue of the property to be enjoyed during her lifetime, and in
case of death without issue, one-half of said residue to be
payable to Mrs. Carrie Louise C. Borton, etc., in accordance with
the provisions of the will of the testator Edward E. Christensen.
The will was executed in Manila on March 5, 1951 and contains
the following provisions:
3. I declare ... that I have but ONE (1) child, named
MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN (now Mrs. Bernard
Daney), who was born in the Philippines about twentyeight years ago, and who is now residing at No. 665
Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

G.R. No. L-16749

January 31, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E.


CHRISTENSEN, DECEASED.
ADOLFO C. AZNAR, Executor and LUCY CHRISTENSEN, Heir
of the deceased, Executor and Heir-appellees,
vs.
HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA, oppositor-appellant.
M. R. Sotelo for executor and heir-appellees.
Leopoldo M. Abellera and Jovito Salonga for oppositor-appellant.
LABRADOR, J.:
This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of
Davao, Hon. Vicente N. Cusi, Jr., presiding, in Special
Proceeding No. 622 of said court, dated September 14, 1949,
approving among things the final accounts of the executor,
directing the executor to reimburse Maria Lucy Christensen the

4. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants,


and no descendants except my above named daughter,
MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY.
xxx

xxx

xxx

7. I give, devise and bequeath unto MARIA HELEN


CHRISTENSEN, now married to Eduardo Garcia, about
eighteen years of age and who, notwithstanding the fact
that she was baptized Christensen, is not in any way
related to me, nor has she been at any time adopted by
me, and who, from all information I have now resides in
Egpit, Digos, Davao, Philippines, the sum of THREE
THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PESOS (P3,600.00),
Philippine Currency the same to be deposited in trust for
the said Maria Helen Christensen with the Davao Branch
of the Philippine National Bank, and paid to her at the rate
of One Hundred Pesos (P100.00), Philippine Currency
per month until the principal thereof as well as any
interest which may have accrued thereon, is exhausted..

xxx

xxx

xxx

12. I hereby give, devise and bequeath, unto my wellbeloved daughter, the said MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN
DANEY (Mrs. Bernard Daney), now residing as aforesaid
at No. 665 Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California,
U.S.A., all the income from the rest, remainder, and
residue of my property and estate, real, personal and/or
mixed, of whatsoever kind or character, and wheresoever
situated, of which I may be possessed at my death and
which may have come to me from any source
whatsoever, during her lifetime: ....
It is in accordance with the above-quoted provisions that the
executor in his final account and project of partition ratified the
payment of only P3,600 to Helen Christensen Garcia and
proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his
daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen.
Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by
Helen Christensen Garcia, insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of
her legitime as an acknowledged natural child, she having been
declared by Us in G.R. Nos. L-11483-84 an acknowledged natural
child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen. The legal grounds
of opposition are (a) that the distribution should be governed by
the laws of the Philippines, and (b) that said order of distribution
is contrary thereto insofar as it denies to Helen Christensen, one
of two acknowledged natural children, one-half of the estate in full
ownership. In amplification of the above grounds it was alleged
that the law that should govern the estate of the deceased
Christensen should not be the internal law of California alone, but
the entire law thereof because several foreign elements are
involved, that the forum is the Philippines and even if the case
were decided in California, Section 946 of the California Civil
Code, which requires that the domicile of the decedent should
apply, should be applicable. It was also alleged that Maria Helen

Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child


of the decedent, she is deemed for all purposes legitimate from
the time of her birth.
The court below ruled that as Edward E. Christensen was a
citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the
time of his death, the successional rights and intrinsic validity of
the provisions in his will are to be governed by the law of
California, in accordance with which a testator has the right to
dispose of his property in the way he desires, because the right of
absolute dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable (In re
McDaniel's Estate, 77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952, and In re
Kaufman, 117 Cal. 286, 49 Pac. 192, cited in page 179, Record
on Appeal). Oppositor Maria Helen Christensen, through counsel,
filed various motions for reconsideration, but these were denied.
Hence, this appeal.
The most important assignments of error are as follows:
I
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IGNORING THE DECISION
OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT THAT HELEN IS THE
ACKNOWLEDGED NATURAL CHILD OF EDWARD E.
CHRISTENSEN AND, CONSEQUENTLY, IN DEPRIVING HER
OF HER JUST SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE.
II
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ENTIRELY IGNORING
AND/OR FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE OF
SEVERAL FACTORS, ELEMENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES
CALLING FOR THE APPLICATION OF INTERNAL LAW.
III

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE


THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, PARTICULARLY UNDER
THE RENVOI DOCTRINE, THE INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE
TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF
THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN
SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE
PHILIPPINES.
IV
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE
SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION SUBMITTED BY THE
EXECUTOR IS CONTRARY TO THE PHILIPPINE LAWS.
V
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT
UNDER THE PHILIPPINE LAWS HELEN CHRISTENSEN
GARCIA IS ENTITLED TO ONE-HALF (1/2) OF THE ESTATE IN
FULL OWNERSHIP.
There is no question that Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of
the United States and of the State of California at the time of his
death. But there is also no question that at the time of his death
he was domiciled in the Philippines, as witness the following facts
admitted by the executor himself in appellee's brief:
In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate, the
facts of record show that the deceased Edward E.
Christensen was born on November 29, 1875 in New York
City, N.Y., U.S.A.; his first arrival in the Philippines, as an
appointed school teacher, was on July 1, 1901, on board
the U.S. Army Transport "Sheridan" with Port of
Embarkation as the City of San Francisco, in the State of
California, U.S.A. He stayed in the Philippines until 1904.

In December, 1904, Mr. Christensen returned to the


United States and stayed there for the following nine
years until 1913, during which time he resided in, and was
teaching school in Sacramento, California.
Mr. Christensen's next arrival in the Philippines was in
July of the year 1913. However, in 1928, he again
departed the Philippines for the United States and came
back here the following year, 1929. Some nine years later,
in 1938, he again returned to his own country, and came
back to the Philippines the following year, 1939.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing
stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this
Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties
adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered
by this stipulation of facts.
1wph1.t

Being an American citizen, Mr. Christensen was interned


by the Japanese Military Forces in the Philippines during
World War II. Upon liberation, in April 1945, he left for the
United States but returned to the Philippines in
December, 1945. Appellees Collective Exhibits "6", CFI
Davao, Sp. Proc. 622, as Exhibits "AA", "BB" and "CCDaney"; Exhs. "MM", "MM-l", "MM-2-Daney" and p. 473,
t.s.n., July 21, 1953.)
In April, 1951, Edward E. Christensen returned once more
to California shortly after the making of his last will and
testament (now in question herein) which he executed at
his lawyers' offices in Manila on March 5, 1951. He died
at the St. Luke's Hospital in the City of Manila on April 30,
1953. (pp. 2-3)

In arriving at the conclusion that the domicile of the deceased is


the Philippines, we are persuaded by the fact that he was born in
New York, migrated to California and resided there for nine years,
and since he came to the Philippines in 1913 he returned to
California very rarely and only for short visits (perhaps to
relatives), and considering that he appears never to have owned
or acquired a home or properties in that state, which would
indicate that he would ultimately abandon the Philippines and
make home in the State of California.
Sec. 16. Residence is a term used with many shades of
meaning from mere temporary presence to the most
permanent abode. Generally, however, it is used to
denote something more than mere physical presence.
(Goodrich on Conflict of Laws, p. 29)
As to his citizenship, however, We find that the citizenship that he
acquired in California when he resided in Sacramento, California
from 1904 to 1913, was never lost by his stay in the Philippines,
for the latter was a territory of the United States (not a state) until
1946 and the deceased appears to have considered himself as a
citizen of California by the fact that when he executed his will in
1951 he declared that he was a citizen of that State; so that he
appears never to have intended to abandon his California
citizenship by acquiring another. This conclusion is in accordance
with the following principle expounded by Goodrich in his Conflict
of Laws.
The terms "'residence" and "domicile" might well be taken
to mean the same thing, a place of permanent abode. But
domicile, as has been shown, has acquired a technical
meaning. Thus one may be domiciled in a place where he
has never been. And he may reside in a place where he
has no domicile. The man with two homes, between
which he divides his time, certainly resides in each one,
while living in it. But if he went on business which would

require his presence for several weeks or months, he


might properly be said to have sufficient connection with
the place to be called a resident. It is clear, however, that,
if he treated his settlement as continuing only for the
particular business in hand, not giving up his former
"home," he could not be a domiciled New Yorker.
Acquisition of a domicile of choice requires the exercise of
intention as well as physical presence. "Residence simply
requires bodily presence of an inhabitant in a given place,
while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and
also an intention to make it one's domicile." Residence,
however, is a term used with many shades of meaning,
from the merest temporary presence to the most
permanent abode, and it is not safe to insist that any one
use et the only proper one. (Goodrich, p. 29)
The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions
is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which
is as follows:
ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is
subject to the law of the country where it is situated.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both
with respect to the order of succession and to the amount
of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the
national law of the person whose succession is under
consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property
and regardless of the country where said property may be
found.
The application of this article in the case at bar requires the
determination of the meaning of the term "national law" is used
therein.

There is no single American law governing the validity of


testamentary provisions in the United States, each state of the
Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens only and
in force only within the state. The "national law" indicated in
Article 16 of the Civil Code above quoted can not, therefore,
possibly mean or apply to any general American law. So it can
refer to no other than the private law of the State of California.
The next question is: What is the law in California governing the
disposition of personal property? The decision of the court below,
sustains the contention of the executor-appellee that under the
California Probate Code, a testator may dispose of his property
by will in the form and manner he desires, citing the case of
Estate of McDaniel, 77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952. But
appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 of the Civil Code of
California, which is as follows:
If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where
personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow the
person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his
domicile.
The existence of this provision is alleged in appellant's opposition
and is not denied. We have checked it in the California Civil Code
and it is there. Appellee, on the other hand, relies on the case
cited in the decision and testified to by a witness. (Only the case
of Kaufman is correctly cited.) It is argued on executor's behalf
that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the State of
California, the internal law thereof, which is that given in the
abovecited case, should govern the determination of the validity
of the testamentary provisions of Christensen's will, such law
being in force in the State of California of which Christensen was
a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists that Article 946
should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following
the doctrine of therenvoi, the question of the validity of the

testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the


law of the decedent's domicile, which is the Philippines.
The theory of doctrine of renvoi has been defined by various
authors, thus:
The problem has been stated in this way: "When the
Conflict of Laws rule of the forum refers a jural matter to a
foreign law for decision, is the reference to the purely
internal rules of law of the foreign system; i.e., to the
totality of the foreign law minus its Conflict of Laws rules?"
On logic, the solution is not an easy one. The Michigan
court chose to accept the renvoi, that is, applied the
Conflict of Laws rule of Illinois which referred the matter
back to Michigan law. But once having determined the the
Conflict of Laws principle is the rule looked to, it is difficult
to see why the reference back should not have been to
Michigan Conflict of Laws. This would have resulted in the
"endless chain of references" which has so often been
criticized be legal writers. The opponents of the renvoi
would have looked merely to the internal law of Illinois,
thus rejecting the renvoi or the reference back. Yet there
seems no compelling logical reason why the original
reference should be the internal law rather than to the
Conflict of Laws rule. It is true that such a solution avoids
going on a merry-go-round, but those who have accepted
the renvoitheory avoid this inextricabilis circulas by getting
off at the second reference and at that point applying
internal law. Perhaps the opponents of the renvoi are a bit
more consistent for they look always to internal law as the
rule of reference.
Strangely enough, both the advocates for and the
objectors to the renvoi plead that greater uniformity will
result from adoption of their respective views. And still

more strange is the fact that the only way to achieve


uniformity in this choice-of-law problem is if in the dispute
the two states whose laws form the legal basis of the
litigation disagree as to whether the renvoi should be
accepted. If both reject, or both accept the doctrine, the
result of the litigation will vary with the choice of the
forum. In the case stated above, had the Michigan court
rejected the renvoi, judgment would have been against
the woman; if the suit had been brought in the Illinois
courts, and they too rejected the renvoi, judgment would
be for the woman. The same result would happen, though
the courts would switch with respect to which would hold
liability, if both courts accepted the renvoi.
The Restatement accepts the renvoi theory in two
instances: where the title to land is in question, and where
the validity of a decree of divorce is challenged. In these
cases the Conflict of Laws rule of the situs of the land, or
the domicile of the parties in the divorce case, is applied
by the forum, but any further reference goes only to the
internal law. Thus, a person's title to land, recognized by
the situs, will be recognized by every court; and every
divorce, valid by the domicile of the parties, will be valid
everywhere. (Goodrich, Conflict of Laws, Sec. 7, pp. 1314.)
X, a citizen of Massachusetts, dies intestate, domiciled in
France, leaving movable property in Massachusetts,
England, and France. The question arises as to how this
property is to be distributed among X's next of kin.
Assume (1) that this question arises in a Massachusetts
court. There the rule of the conflict of laws as to intestate
succession to movables calls for an application of the law
of the deceased's last domicile. Since by hypothesis X's
last domicile was France, the natural thing for the

Massachusetts court to do would be to turn to French


statute of distributions, or whatever corresponds thereto
in French law, and decree a distribution accordingly. An
examination of French law, however, would show that if a
French court were called upon to determine how this
property should be distributed, it would refer the
distribution to the national law of the deceased, thus
applying the Massachusetts statute of distributions. So on
the surface of things the Massachusetts court has open to
it alternative course of action: (a) either to apply the
French law is to intestate succession, or (b) to resolve
itself into a French court and apply the Massachusetts
statute of distributions, on the assumption that this is what
a French court would do. If it accepts the socalled renvoidoctrine, it will follow the latter course, thus
applying its own law.
This is one type of renvoi. A jural matter is presented
which the conflict-of-laws rule of the forum refers to a
foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn,
refers the matter back again to the law of the forum. This
is renvoi in the narrower sense. The German term for this
judicial process is 'Ruckverweisung.'" (Harvard Law
Review, Vol. 31, pp. 523-571.)
After a decision has been arrived at that a foreign law is
to be resorted to as governing a particular case, the
further question may arise: Are the rules as to the conflict
of laws contained in such foreign law also to be resorted
to? This is a question which, while it has been considered
by the courts in but a few instances, has been the subject
of frequent discussion by textwriters and essayists; and
the doctrine involved has been descriptively designated
by them as the "Renvoyer" to send back, or the
"Ruchversweisung", or the "Weiterverweisung", since an
affirmative answer to the question postulated and the

operation of the adoption of the foreign law in toto would


in many cases result in returning the main controversy to
be decided according to the law of the forum. ... (16
C.J.S. 872.)
Another theory, known as the "doctrine of renvoi", has
been advanced. The theory of the doctrine of renvoiis that
the court of the forum, in determining the question before
it, must take into account the whole law of the other
jurisdiction, but also its rules as to conflict of laws, and
then apply the law to the actual question which the rules
of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of
the forum. The doctrine of therenvoi has generally been
repudiated by the American authorities. (2 Am. Jur. 296)
The scope of the theory of renvoi has also been defined and the
reasons for its application in a country explained by Prof.
Lorenzen in an article in the Yale Law Journal, Vol. 27, 19171918, pp. 529-531. The pertinent parts of the article are quoted
herein below:
The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the rules
of the conflict of laws are to be understood as
incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the
foreign state or country, but its rules of the conflict of laws
as well. According to this theory 'the law of a country'
means the whole of its law.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Von Bar presented his views at the meeting of the


Institute of International Law, at Neuchatel, in 1900, in the
form of the following theses:

(1) Every court shall observe the law of its country as


regards the application of foreign laws.
(2) Provided that no express provision to the contrary
exists, the court shall respect:
(a) The provisions of a foreign law which disclaims
the right to bind its nationals abroad as regards
their personal statute, and desires that said
personal statute shall be determined by the law of
the domicile, or even by the law of the place
where the act in question occurred.
(b) The decision of two or more foreign systems of
law, provided it be certain that one of them is
necessarily competent, which agree in attributing
the determination of a question to the same
system of law.
xxx

xxx

xxx

If, for example, the English law directs its judge to


distribute the personal estate of an Englishman who has
died domiciled in Belgium in accordance with the law of
his domicile, he must first inquire whether the law of
Belgium would distribute personal property upon death in
accordance with the law of domicile, and if he finds that
the Belgian law would make the distribution in accordance
with the law of nationality that is the English law he
must accept this reference back to his own law.
We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict
of laws rule, while the rule applied in In re Kaufman, Supra, its
internal law. 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 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. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the
domicile in the determination of matters with foreign element
involved is in accord with the general principle of American law
that the domiciliary law should govern in most matters or rights
which follow the person of the owner.
When a man dies leaving personal property in one or
more states, and leaves a will directing the manner of
distribution of the property, the law of the state where he
was domiciled at the time of his death will be looked to in
deciding legal questions about the will, almost as
completely as the law of situs is consulted in questions
about the devise of land. It is logical that, since the
domiciliary rules control devolution of the personal estate
in case of intestate succession, the same rules should
determine the validity of an attempted testamentary
dispostion of the property. Here, also, it is not that the
domiciliary has effect beyond the borders of the
domiciliary state. The rules of the domicile are recognized
as controlling by the Conflict of Laws rules at the situs
property, and the reason for the recognition as in the case
of intestate succession, is the general convenience of the
doctrine. The New York court has said on the point: 'The
general principle that a dispostiton of a personal property,
valid at the domicile of the owner, is valid anywhere, is
one of the universal application. It had its origin in that
international comity which was one of the first fruits of
civilization, and it this age, when business intercourse and
the process of accumulating property take but little notice
of boundary lines, the practical wisdom and justice of the
rule is more apparent than ever. (Goodrich, Conflict of
Laws, Sec. 164, pp. 442-443.)

Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the


Philippines pointed out as the national law is the internal law of
California. But as above explained the laws of California have
prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents
therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions.
Reason demands that We should enforce the California internal
law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the
conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must
enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go, as
so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce
the law of California in accordance with the express mandate
thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for
residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled
abroad.
It is argued on appellees' behalf that the clause "if there is no law
to the contrary in the place where the property is situated" in Sec.
946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the
Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national
law of the deceased should govern. This contention can not be
sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the
national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law
on conflict of laws in the California 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 laws rule 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 can
not 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. The Philippine court must
apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the
state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided,

especially as the application of the internal law of California


provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts.
887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural
children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent
recognizing them.
The Philippine cases (In re Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil. 156; Riera
vs. Palmaroli, 40 Phil. 105; Miciano vs. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867;
Babcock Templeton vs. Rider Babcock, 52 Phil. 130; and Gibbs
vs. Government, 59 Phil. 293.) cited by appellees to support the
decision can not possibly apply in the case at bar, for two
important reasons, i.e., the subject in each case does not appear
to be a citizen of a state in the United States but with domicile in
the Philippines, and it does not appear in each case that there
exists in the state of which the subject is a citizen, a law similar to
or identical with Art. 946 of the California Civil Code.
We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased
Christensen, a citizen of California, is the Philippines, the validity
of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural
child, the appellant, should be governed by the Philippine Law,
the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of the Civil Code of California,
not by the internal law of California..
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed
and the case returned to the lower court with instructions that the
partition be made as the Philippine law on succession provides.
Judgment reversed, with costs against appellees.

277 Mich. 658


270 N.W. 175

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
v.
DATER et al.
No. 89.
Supreme Court of Michigan.
Dec. 8, 1936.
Suit by the University of Chicago against George
R. Dater and Clara A. Price. From an adverse
judgment the plaintiff appeals.
Affirmed.
SHARPE, BUTZEL, and BUSHNELL, JJ., dissenting.
Appeal from Circuit Court, Berrien County; Charles
E. White, judge.
Argued before the Entire Bench, except POTTER, J.
Webster Sterling, of Benton Harbor (W. M.
Cunningham, of Benton Harbor, and L. Dow
Nichol, Jr., of Chicago, Ill, of counsel), for
appellant.

Gore, Harvey & Fisher, of Benton Harbor, for


appellee.

WIEST, Justice.
I cannot concur in the opinion of Mr. Justice
SHARPE.
The obligation in suit was executed in this state by
defendant Clara A. Price, a married woman, and
bore no relation to her separate estate, and,
without more, carried no personal liability when
sued upon in this jurisdiction. But, it is claimed,
that the obligation was accepted in the state of
Illinois, and was there payable and, by the law of
that state, Mrs. Price is not saved from liability by
reason of want of capacity under the Michigan law
of coverture.
As pointed out later in this opinion, personal
liability of Mrs. Price could not be enforced in
Illinois under the theory of an Illinois contract.
In the case at bar negotiations for the loan, to be
secured by mortgage, had reached the stage
where the lender prepared the note and mortgage

in Illinois and sent the same to an agent in


Michigan, with direction as to execution by
defendants in this state, and, when executed, to
be returned by such agent to the mortgagee in
Illinois. Mrs. Price, at the request of the agent,
executed the instruments and the agent mailed
the same to the mortgagee.
The instant case does not involve conflict of laws
relative to the construction, force, and effect of
the instruments, signed or executed in one state
to be performed in another, but that of capacity of
Mrs. Price to enter into such an obligation in this
state.
It is well said in a note, 26 L.R.A.(N.S.) 773: While
there are almost numberless cases which state,
with slight variations, Story's general proposition
that, where the contract is either expressly or
tacitly to be performed in some place other than
that where it is made, the general rule is, in
conformity to the presumed intention of the
parties, that the contract, as to its validity, nature,
obligation, and interpretation, is to be governed
by the law of the place of performance, none of
them can be regarded as express authority for the

application of that rule to the question of the


capacity of a married woman to contract. Few of
them can be relied upon for the application of that
rule to any question relating to the existence of a
contract as distinguished from its interpretation or
obligation or essential validity.
It must be agreed that this case is governed by
the law of Michigan or of Illinois. [176] If by the
law of Michigan, it is clear, and is not disputed,
that defendant has no personal liability on the
note, recoverable from her separate estate.
Assuming, however, that by the Michigan law of
the forum the case is governed by the law of
Illinois, it presents the unique situation in the
realm of conflict of laws that by the law of Illinois,
Burr v. Beckler, 264 Ill. 230, 106 N.E. 206, L.R.A.
1916A, 1049, Ann.Cas.1915D, 1132, the case is
governed by the law of Michigan.
In Burr v. Beckler, the wife, a resident of Illinois,
was sojourning temporarily in Florida. Her
husband owed a concern in Illinois, of which he
was treasurer, on an overdraft. He informed his
wife that he could borrow the necessary money to

pay the overdraft from an estate of which he was


trustee. The wife executed a note and trust deed
in Florida and mailed them to her husband, as
trustee, at Chicago, Ill., as he had directed her to
do. The husband also signed the trust deed, but
the opinion does not state when. The court held
that delivery of the note and trust deed by the
wife was complete in Florida, the law of that state
governed her capacity to contract, and, because
she was not competent to enter into a contract
under the law of Florida, her note and trust deed
were void.
The question is not whether the decision is in
harmony with the law of Michigan, but whether it
governs this case. Here, manual delivery was as
complete as in the Burr Case because it was made
to a bank which had been designated by the
mortgagee for that purpose.
In neither case had there been a binding
engagement by the mortgagee to make the loan
prior to the delivery. In neither case had the
money been paid in advance of the delivery or
contemporaneously therewith. There is nothing in
the Burr Case to indicate that the mortgagee

could not have refused to make the loan or that


the mortgagors could not have refused to take the
money or could not have abandoned the matter
after the wife deposited the papers in the mail.
The Burr opinion indicates no circumstance fixing
the effect of the manual delivery which is not
present here. The Burr Case is directly applicable,
and, consequently, under the law of Illinois, it
must be held that the capacity of defendant Clara
A. Price is governed by the law of Michigan. Under
the law of Michigan, a married woman cannot bind
her separate estate through personal engagement
for the benefit of others. Defendant Price is not
liable.
Affirmed, with costs to defendant Price.

NORTH, C. J., and FEAD and TOY,


J.J., concurred with WIEST, J.
SHARPE, Justice (dissenting).
In November, 1928, negotiations were
commenced to secure a loan in the sum of
$75,000 on a piece of property in Chicago. The
property was owned by George R. Dater and John
R. Price of Benton Harbor, Mich., and they

appointed H. S. Gray, an attorney of Benton


Harbor, as their agent in the matter. Plaintiff
agreed to make the loan if it could be assured that
the title was good. A trust deed and certain
promissory notes were drawn up with George R.
Dater and Nellie E. Dater, his wife, and John R.
Price and Clara A. Price, his wife, as parties of the
first part, and the Chicago Title & Trust Company,
as trustee, and as party of the second part. The
notes were payable in the city of Chicago and at
such place as the legal holder might appoint. The
trust mortgage and notes were sent by mail to the
Benton Harbor State Bank for the signature of the
parties involved.
The papers were signed in Benton Harbor, Mich.,
about December 8, 1928, and mailed to plaintiff's
agent in the city of Chicago where the trust deed
was placed on record, then it was found that there
were some objections to certain delinquent taxes
of 1927. Further negotiations followed, and finally
on January 3, 1929, and after the tax objections
were cleared in the tile, the loan was actually
made and the money paid over by check made
payable to Mr. and Mrs. Dater and Mr. and Mrs.
Price and cashed in Chicago, Ill.

January 29, 1929, John R. Price died, and it is


conceded that Mrs. Price became the actual and
record owner of at least one-half of the property
after the death of her husband. Subsequent to
December 1, 1933, foreclosure proceedings were
commenced on the property and the property
purchased at chancery sale. Suit was filed in
Michigan before the foreclosure suit was
completed in Chicago. The cause was heard
November 7, 1934, and on June 18, 1935,
judgment was rendered in favor of plaintiff against
George R. Dater in the amount of $15,536.32 and
from which no appeal has been taken. On the
same date judgment was entered in favor of Clara
Price of no cause for action, from which judgment
plaintiff appeals.
It is conceded that under the law of Illinois a
married woman is as free to contract as a man,
while in Michigan a married woman has not the
legal capacity to bind herself or her separate
estate by signing these notes. 3 Comp.Laws 1929,
13057.
The plaintiff contends that the contract was an
Illinois contract; that the signing of the notes in

Michigan was not the final act in the making of the


contract, but rather a preliminary step, the
delivery of the note being conditional upon
defendant's producing a satisfactory title, the
approval of the title in Illinois was the last act
necessary to make a legal delivery.
The general rule is well stated in John A. Tolman
Co. v. Reed, 115 Mich. 71, 72 N.W. 1104, where
the court said:
The law is well settled that contracts must be
construed and their validity determined by the law
of the country where they were made, unless the
contracting parties clearly appear to have had
some other law in view.
The general rule is that the law of the place
where the instrument was executed and delivered
so as to become binding as a contract * * *
governs the rights and liabilities of the parties
thereto, except in so far as they are controlled by
the law of the place where the instrument is
payable * * *. 8 C.J. 87, 145.
There is good authority for the broad proposition,
however, that when a note is executed by a

married woman in the state of her domicile but


made payable in another state, if under the law of
the former state she could not have entered into
the contract but could have done so under the law
of the latter state, it will be presumed that it was
the intention of the parties that the note should
be governed by the law of the latter state and
being valid under such law should be enforced
against her even in the state of her domicile. 13
R.C.L. 1247.
It is a general rule that every contract as to its
validity, nature, interpretation and effect, or, as
they may be called, the right, in contradistinction
to the remedy, is governed by the law of the place
where it is made, unless it is to be performed in
another place; and then it is governed by the law
of the place where it is to be performed. Poole v.
Perkins, 126 Va. 331, 101 S.E. 240, 241, 18 A.L.R.
1509.

The next question that presents itself in the case


at bar is the place where the contract was made.
A contract is deemed to have been made in the
state where the last act necessary to make it a
binding agreement takes place. Goodrich, Conflict
of Laws, 218.
When the contract is made in one jurisdiction to
be performed in another the case presents a more
complicated question, the rule being that if the
parties to a contract are in different jurisdictions,
the place where the last act is done which is
necessary to the validity of the contract is the
place where the contract is entered into. 5 R.C.L.
935.
In the case at bar all of the negotiations for the
loan occurred in Chicago, the property upon which
the mortgage was placed was located in Chicago,
and no money was to be paid by plaintiff until
such time as the defendants could show good title
to the property. We think the mailing of the papers
to Chicago was for the purpose of enabling the
plaintiff to ascertain if the title to the real estate
was satisfactory and was but a preliminary step in
the whole transaction. The final act in the making
of the loan was the payment of the money in

Chicago. This concluded the negotiations and


made it an Illinois contract.
The judgment of the trial court is reversed and the
cause remanded to enter a judgment in favor of
plaintiff for $15,536.32 with interest from June 18,
1935. Plaintiff may recover costs.

BUSHNELL, J., concurred with


SHARPE, J.
BUTZEL, Justice (dissenting).
I concur in the result reached by Justice SHARPE.
The place of contracting controls the question of
the capacity of the parties to contract. Palmer
National Bank v. Van Doren, 260 Mich. 310, 244
N.W. 485; American Law Institute Restatement of
the Conflict of Laws, 333. The notes were dated
and payable at Chicago and secured by Chicago
real estate. The loan was made in Chicago 25
days after the notes had been signed and not until
an actual cloud on the title to the realty had been
removed. These circumstances leave no doubt
that the notes in question constituted Illinois
contracts. See Palmer v. Hill, 140 Mich. 468, 103
N.W. 838; Ohio ex rel. Fulton v. Artie Purse, 273

Mich. 507, 263 N.W. 874. The facts are entirely


different from those in Re Estate of Lucas, 272
Mich. 1, 261 N.W. 117, in which the [178] loan was
solicited by residents of Michigan, the moneys
were first received in Michigan by the borrowers,
and subsequently the note was dated and signed
in Michigan and was payable in Michigan.
The place of contracting is where the note is first
delivered for value. In Beale on Conflict of Laws,
page 1047, it is said:
Delivery, however, is not the only requisite to the
creation of a contract on a negotiable instrument.
Value must be given and until, therefore, there
has been a delivery for value, the instrument
cannot be said to have had any inception. * * *
It follows that the place of contracting of a
contract on a negotiable instrument, be it the
obligation of the maker, the drawer or the
endorser, is the place where, after the signature
of the party in question, the instrument is first
delivered for value.
It is true that the physical act of signing the note
in the instant case took place in Michigan and the
notes were mailed to plaintiff in Chicago, but

there was no absolute delivery until the plaintiff


had satisfied itself of the status of the title to the
mortgaged property and until an actual cloud had
been removed. Until that time the transaction was
conditional and the notes of no binding force and
effect.
The rule is stated in Beale on Conflict of Laws, p.
1045, as follows: The phrase place of
contracting and its equivalents, the place of
making or the place where the contract is made,
properly mean the place in which the final act was
done which made the promise or promises
binding.'
A somewhat similar case arose in Palmer v. Hill,
140 Mich. 468, 103 N.W. 838, where it was held,
as stated in the syllabus to the opinion: Where a
note and mortgage executed in California in favor
of a Michigan bank, on Michigan real estate, is
sent to the mortgagee in Michigan, where it is
accepted and the consideration paid, the contract
is a Michigan contract.
We do not believe that the case of Burr v. Beckler,
264 Ill. 230, 106 N.E. 206, L.R.A.1916A, 1049,
Ann.Cas.1915D, 1132, should in any way be
controlling on this court in determining the lex loci

contractus. The problem in the instant case is


termed by the authorities as one of
qualifications. The prevailing view in answer to
the problem is that the law of the forum should
control on the question of lex loci contracts. An
excellent treatment of the entire subject may be
found in an article entitled, The Theory of
Qualifications and Conflict of Laws, by Professor
Lorenzen in 20 Columbia Law Review, p. 247.
Were we not to be controlled by our own law and
obliged each time to ascertain what a foreign
state would have held under similar
circumstances, our decisions would be in hopeless
confusion, and it would be necessary each time to
examine the decisions of other states in
determining the lex loci contractus. The question,
however, is foreclosed in this state, as we held in
the case of Ohio v. Purse, supra, that the law of
the place of contracting is to be determined in
accordance with the law of the forum.
The judgment should be reversed, with costs to
plaintiff.

BUSHNELL, J., concurred with


BUTZEL, J.

for 5 years before his death, he failed to make accounting,


failed to acquire final adjudication of wife's estate

-Charles died. Magno, initially administratrix of both spouse's


estate, later replaced by PCIB for Charles' estate

PCIB V. ESCOLIN

WON Action is prescribed?


NO. 33 appeals were timely made

Short Summary:
Mr. and Mrs Hodges both made in their wills provisions that upon
their deaths, their whole estates should be inherited by the
surviving spouse and that spouse could manage and alienate the
said lands, with the exception of the Texas property. Upon death of
the latter spouse, the residue of the estate inherited by the later
spouse from the spouse who predeceased him would redound to
the brothers and sisters. Mrs. Hodges died first then Mr. Hodges,
but since there was no liquidation of Mrs. Hodges estate, the
brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges wanted to determine the
extent of her estate that they could inherit. (believe me, this is a
short summarycase is long)

Facts

-Court did not pass upon its timeliness

WON Certiorari and Prohibition is proper?


YES. Appeal insufficient remedy
-many appeals, same facts, same issues = multiplicity of suits

WON THERE IS STILL A RESIDUE FOR MRS. HODGES' HEIRS?


YES.

-Charles & Linnie Hodges, both TEXAN nationals, provided in their


respective wills that

1. WON SPECIAL PROCEEDING FOR SETTLEMENT OF MRS. HODGES


ESTATE SHOULD ALREADY BE CLOSED, BASED ON THE DECEMBER
1957 COURT ORDER ALLEGEDLY ADJUDICATING MR. HODGES AS
SOLE HEIR? NO

bequeath remainder of estate to spouseduring lifetime

remainder goes to brothers and sis of surviving spouse


-Mrs. Hodges died first. Mr. Hodges appointed as EXECUTOR

.no final distribution to all parties concerned of the estate

in Financial Statements submitted before the court, he


made statements that the estate of Mrs. Hodges is 1/2 of
conjugal estate
that he allegedly renounced his inheritance in a tax
declaration in US

proceeding)

BUT SC:
2. R90.1 (on RESIDUE):

1.

after residue assigned to parties entitled to it, S.P. deemed ready


for FINAL CLOSURE:

2.

1. Order issued for distribution/assignment of estate


among those entitled

3.

2. Debts

Funeral expenses

Expenses of administration

Widow allowance

Taxes

Etc.
should be paid already

3. Motion of party requesting the same (not motu proprio) Would


include distribution of residue of estate
-Here:
a.
b.
c.
d.

No final distribution of residue of Linney's estate


No special application made by charles/PCIB
Merely
allowed
advance
or
partial
payments/implementation of will before final liquidation
If charles already deemed sole heir, why PCIB needed to
file a motion to declare that Charles is indeed the sole heir?

3. ON ALLEGED INTENTION OF MR. HODGES


PCIB: He intended to adjudicate whole estate to himself (Thus, no
residue left, thus ulit, tapos na special

Whatever was intended, he can't deprive those who have


rights over the estate
Order - motion filed merely for exercise of ownership
pending proceeding
Mr. Hodges was aware that wife's siblings had rights:

In FS, stated that 1/2 of conjugal estate belonged


to Estate of Linney

In Petition for will's probate, he listed the bros and


sis as heirs

Lawyer of Magno was initially lawyer of Charles


when latter was still executor of Linney's estate
so may know what Charles' intended

Charles admitted omitting a bro of Linney

He even allegedly renounced his share of the


estate (but was not proven)

Charles had duty, as Surviving spouse, of trustee of


wife's estate so had to act in GF

4. ON PROPERTIES FOR SIBLINGS: since there's still a residue, can't


close SP yet
>PCIB: NO LIQUIDATION OF CONJUGAL PROPERTIES YET, PCIB
SHOULD SOLELY ADMINISTER EVERYTHING TO DETERMINE THE
SEPARATE ESTATE OF LINNEY, OVER W/C MAGNO COULD
ADMINISTER H:

NO. both PCIB and Magno should administer


a.
b.

It was Charles' fault why no administration of estate yet


Admin should both be

impartial

extent of interest

c.
d.

Executor (PCIB) of Executor (Charles, over Linney's) Can't


administer estate of decedent (Linney) _ R78.6
Liquidation of conjugal partnership may be done in either
spouse's probate proceedings - R73.2

IF Art16 applies, then Texas law should govern; Texas law provides
no legitime

So renvoi to RP: RP Law provides that the Surviving Spouse, being


the sole heir,
SUCCESSION: WON THERE'S SUBSTITUTION? None
1.

2.
3.

4.

No simple or vulgar substitution (A859, NCC)

no provision for:
i. Predecease of T for designated heir
ii. Refusal
iii. Incapacity of designated heir to accept
inheritance
No fideicomissary substitution

no obligation on Charles to preserve the estate


There's simultaneous institution of heirs subject to
resolutory condition of Charles' death

Charles was to enjoy the whole estate

but he can't dispose of property mortis causa


(because it's already subject to the will made by
his wife, which he agreed in the provision of his
will)
Charles didn't get mere usufruct: he exercises full
ownership

gets 1/2 o the conjugal property, then 1/2 goes to the estate of the
spouse. If 1/2 of the estate of the spouse goes to the surviving
spouse which is the sole heir, then Charles gets 1/4 of the whole
conjugal property.

Court said that Texas law may apply, but since not proven as

Courts can't take JN


should show foreign law:
o As certified by person holding/having custody of
such law
o Certificate that such officer does have custody over
said law
o Aznar can't be used to show what Texas law may
contain, as there's a time difference between this
case and that case, thus the Texas law might have
changed in between the rulings

No answer yet. Remanded

BUT WHATEVER HAPPENS, PCIB can't claim that the estate of


Linney is not entitled to at least 1/4 of conjugal property, they
having argued that it is so.

Art 16, NCC > applies: law of nationality

NOTES:

PRIL: WON RP LAW GOVERNS LEGITIME OF CHARLES?

If we apply Texas PRIL law:

Personal property: law of domicile


Real property: law of situs (both in RP)

1.
2.
3.

will executed in Texas - Oklahoma


Charles made executor by Linney, but Charles had no
executor - so administrator dapat
as regards foreign laws:

Should be proved as a fact

R132 on Public documents

SIR: Dapat use an expert witness

Prove in accordance w/RP law

RULING:

PCI Bank vs. Escolin

If there is no absolute obligation imposed upon the first heir to


preserve the property and transmit it to a second heir, there is no
fideicomisaria. The institution is not necessarily void; it may be
valid as some other disposition, but it is not a fideicomisaria.

PCIB VS. ESCOLIN


56 SCRA 266

FACTS:
Linnie Jane Hodges died giving her testamentary provisions to her
husband. At the time of her death, she was citizen of Texas but,
was, however domiciled in the Philippines. To see whether the
testamentary provisions are valid, it is apparent and necessary to
know what law should be applied.

ISSUE:
Whether or not laws of Texas is applicable.

It is necessary that the Texas law be ascertained. Here it must be


proven whether a renvoi will happen or whether Texas law makes
the testamentary provisions valid. In line with Texas law, that which
should be proven is the law enforced during the death of Hodges
and not in any other time.

The Supreme Court held that the estate of Mrs. Hodges inherited
by her brothers and sisters could be more than just stated, but this
would depend on (1) whether upon the proper application of the
principle of renvoi in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code and the
pertinent laws of Texas, it will appear that Hodges had no legitime
as contended by Magno, and (2) whether or not it can be held that
Hodges had legally and effectively renounced his inheritance from
his wife. Under the circumstances presently obtaining and in the
state of the record of these cases, as of now, the Court is not in a
position to make a final ruling, whether of fact or of law, on any of
these two issues, and We, therefore, reserve said issues for further
proceedings and resolution in the first instance by the court o quo,
as hereinabove indicated. We reiterate, however, that pending
such further proceedings, as matters stand at this stage, Our
considered opinion is that it is beyond cavil that since, under the
terms of the will of Mrs. Hodges, her husband could not have
anyway legally adjudicated or caused to be adjudicated to himself
her whole share of their conjugal partnership, albeit he could have
disposed any part thereof during his lifetime, the resulting estate
of Mrs. Hodges, of which Magno is the uncontested administratrix,
cannot be less than one-fourth of the conjugal partnership
properties, as of the time of her death, minus what, as explained
earlier, have been gratuitously disposed of therefrom, by Hodges in
favor of third persons since then, for even if it were assumed that,
as contended by PCIB, under Article 16 of the Civil Code and

applying renvoi the laws of the Philippines are the ones ultimately
applicable, such one-fourth share would be her free disposable
portion, taking into account already the legitime of her husband
under Article 900 of the Civil Code.