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1. Sheker vs. Estate of Sheker


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Alice Sheker died and her estate was left under the administration of Victoria Medina.
Alice left a holographic will which was admitted to probate by the Regional Trial Court of Iligan
City. The trial court issued an order for all creditors to file their claims against the estate. In
compliance therewith, Alan Joseph Sheker filed a contingent money claim in the amount of
P206,250.00 representing the amount of his commission as an agent for selling some properties
for Alice; and another P275k as reimbursements for expenses he incurred.
Medina moved for the dismissal of Alan Shekers claim alleging among others that the money
claim filed by Alan Sheker is void because the latter did not attach a certification of non-forum
shopping thereto.
ISSUE: Whether or not the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void.
HELD:
No. The Supreme Court emphasized that the certification of non-forum shopping
is required only for complaints and other initiatory pleadings. In the case at bar, the probate
proceeding was initiated NOT by Alan Shekers money claim but rather upon the filing of the
petition for allowance of the Alice Shekers will. Under Sections 1 and 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of
Court, after granting letters of testamentary or of administration, all persons having money
claims against the decedent are mandated to file or notify the court and the estate administrator
of their respective money claims; otherwise, they would be barred, subject to certain exceptions.
A money claim in a probate proceeding is like a creditors motion for claims which is to
be recognized and taken into consideration in the proper disposition of the properties of the
estate. And as a motion, its office is not to initiate new litigation, but to bring a material but
incidental matter arising in the progress of the case in which the motion is filed. A motion is not
an independent right or remedy, but is confined to incidental matters in the progress of a cause.
It relates to some question that is collateral to the main object of the action and is connected with
and dependent upon the principal remedy.
2. Montaner vs. Sharia District Court et. Al.,
Facts:
Luisa Kho Montaer, a Roman Catholic, married Alejandro Montaer, Sr. at the
Immaculate Conception Parish in Cubao, Quezon City. Alejandro died. Petitioners herein are
their three children. Liling Disangcopan and her daughter, Almahleen, both Muslims, filed a
"Complaint" for the judicial partition of properties before the Sharia District Court. They claim

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to
be
the
first
family
of
Alejandro.
Petitioner children filed an Answer with a Motion to Dismiss becasue Discangcopan failed to pay
the correct amount of docket fees. Petitioners point to Disangcopans petition which contains an
allegation estimating the decedents estate as the basis for the conclusion that what private
respondents
paid
as
docket
fees
was
insufficient.

Issue: Whether or not the proper docket fees were paid for Complaint for the judicial partition
of
properties.
Held:
Yes, only because the petitioner children failed to present the clerk of courts assessment.
Filing the appropriate initiatory pleading and the payment of the prescribed docket fees
vest a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter. If the party filing the case paid less
than the correct amount for the docket fees because that was the amount assessed by the clerk of
court, the responsibility of making a deficiency assessment lies with the same clerk of court. In
such a case, the lower court concerned will not automatically lose jurisdiction, because of a
partys reliance on the clerk of courts insufficient assessment of the docket fees. As every citizen
has the right to assume and trust that a public officer charged by law with certain duties knows
his duties and performs them in accordance with law, the party filing the case cannot be
penalized with the clerk of courts insufficient assessment. However, the party concerned will be
required
to
pay
the
deficiency.
In the case at bar, petitioner children did not present the clerk of courts assessment of
the docket fees. Moreover, the records do not include this assessment. There can be no
determination of whether Disangcopan correctly paid the docket fees without the clerk of courts
assessment.
3. OSCAR
D.
RAMOS
and
LUZ
AGUDO,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ADELAIDA RAMOS and LAZARO E.
MENESES
Facts :
Adelaida Ramos borrowed from her brother, Oscar Ramos, the amounts P5,000 and
9,000 in connection with her business transaction with Flor Ramiro, Fred Nabba and Atty.
Ruperto sarandi involving the recovery of parcel of land. The amount was used to finance the trip
to Hawaii of Ramiro, Nabba and Sarandi. As security of the loan, Adelaida Ramos (private

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respondent) execuded in favor of Oscar and Luz two deeds of conditional sale of her rights,
shares and interests and participation respectively over lot no. 4033 registered in the name of
their parents and lot no. 4221 covered by a certificate of title registered in the names of Socorro
Ramos,Josefina Ramos and Adelaida Ramos, aid properties being of the cadastral survey.
Upon the failure of Adelaida Ramos as vendor a retro to exercise her right of repurchase
within the redemption, petitioners filed a petition for approval of the pacto de retro sale of lot no.
4221 in the CFI acting as a cadastral court. CFI conveyed the deed of the conditional sale to
spouses Oscar and Luz by way of pacto de retro sale whatever right and interests Adelaida may
have in lot no. 4033, approving the notarial register of notary public Sibal. The court also ordered
the consolidation of ownership and dominion to spouses Oscar and Luz over the rights, shares
and interests of Adelaida in lot no. 4221 which she sold to the spouses under a pacto de retro
sale.
Adelaida filed a civil case with the CFI for the declaration of nullity of orders,
reformation of instrument, recovery of possession with preliminary injunction and damages.
Adelaida alleged in her complaint that the deeds of conditional sale are mere mortgages and
were vitiated by misrepresentation, fraud and undue influence and the orders issued by the
cadastral court were null and void for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioners, in their answer,
specifically denied the allegations of fraud and misrepresentation and interposed as defense the
fact that the conditional sales were voluntarily executed by Adelaida and truly expressed the
intention of the parties, that the action as long prescribed, the orders questioned approving the
consolidation of ownershop of the lands where within the jurisdiction of the lower court in its
capacity as a probate court and as a cadastral court; that the land subject of the conditional sales
were in custodial egis in connection with the settlement of the properties of the late Denoga, the
predecessor in interest of both petitioners and the private respondent.
The RTC denied the defendants motion to dismiss ,declared the loan transaction secured
by the Real Estate Mortgage as equitable mortages. On appeal the CA affirmed the ruling of the
RTC.
Issue : WON the transaction was deemed to be an equitable mortgage.

Held :
Yes. Article 1602 of the Civil Code provides: The contract shall be presumed to be an
equitable mortgage, in any of the following cases:
(1) When the price of a sale with right to repurchase is unusually
inadequate;
(2) When the vendor remains in possession as lessee or otherwise;

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(3) When upon or after the expiration of the right to repurchase


another instrument extending the period of redemption or granting
a new period is executed;
(4) When the purchaser retains for himself a part of the purchase
price;
(5) When the vendor binds himself to pay the taxes on the thing
sold;
(6) In any other case where it may be fairly inferred that the real
intention of the parties is that the transaction shall secure the
payment of a debt or the performance of any other obligation.
In any of the foregoing cases, any money, fruits or other benefit to be received by the vendee as
rent or otherwise shall be considered as interest which shall be subject to the usury laws.
The SC denied the petition and affirmed the CA ruling. The court ruled that in practically
all of the so called contracts of sale with right of repurchase, the real intention of the parties is
that the pretended purchase price is money loaned, and in order to secure the payment of the
loan, a contract purporting to be sale with pacto de retro is drawn up. The provisions contained in
articles 1859 and 1858 of the civil code which respectively prohibit the creditor from
appropriating the things given in pledge or mortgage and ordering that said things be sold or
alienated when the principal obligation becomes due, are circumvented.
Furthermore, it is well known that the practice in these contracts of sale with pacto de
retro is to draw up another contract purporting to be a lease of the property to the supposed
vendor, who pays in the money, or in rent, and in fact rent is the interest on the money loaned
The interest is usurious, thus the usury law is circumvented. The contract under consideration is
preserved in the civil code, but with adequate safeguards and restrictions.

4. Testate Estate of Jose M. Valero, FLORA VALERO VDA. DE RODRIGUEZ and


ROSIE
VALERO
DE
GUTIERREZ,vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and CARMEN VALERO-RUSTIA
Facts :
Beatriz Bautista and Jose M. Valero, did not beget any child during their marriage In
1951 Beatriz adopted Carmen (Carmencita) Bautista. Jose wanted also to adopt her but because,
by his first marriage, he had two children named Flora Valero Vda. de Rodriguez and Rosie
Valero Gutierrez. he was disqualified to adopt Carmen. Jose manifested in the adoption
proceeding that he consented to the use by Carmen of his surname Valero. On September 18,

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1964, Jose M. Valero donated to Carmen B. Valero (who was already married to Doctor Sergio
Rustia) his one-half proindiviso share (apparently his inchoate share) in two conjugal lots, with
the improvements thereon, located at San Lorenzo Village, Makati, Rizal, with an area of 1,500
square meters. His wife, Beatriz, consented to the donation. However, the deed of donation was
not registered.
On January 13, 1966, Jose M. Valero, who was then seventy-three years old, executed his last
will and testament wherein he enumerated the conjugal properties of himself and his wife,
including the two San Lorenzo Village lots. In that will, he did not mention the donation. He
devised to his wife properties sufficient to constitute her legitime and bequeathed the remainder
to his two children, Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs. Gutierrez.
About a month later, or on February 15, 1966, the Valero spouses, by means of a deed of absolute
sale, conveyed the San Lorenzo Village lots and the improvements thereon to Carmen B. ValeroRustia for the sum of one hundred twenty thousand pesos. The sale was registered on the
following day. Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 163270 and 163271 were issued to the vendee,
Mrs. Rustia. On December 4, 1967 she mortgaged the two lots to the Quezon City Development
Bank as security for a loan of fifty thousand pesos.
Beatriz B. Valero died intestate on September 12, 1972, survived by her husband and her
adopted child. Her estate is pending settlement in Special Proceeding in the CFI of Manila. Mrs.
Rustia was named administratrix of her adopted mother's estate. More than a month later, or on
October 18, 1972, Jose M. Valero died testate, survived by his two children, Mrs. Rodriguez and
Mrs. Gutierrez. His will was duly probated in Special Proceeding also in the CFI of Manila.
Lawyer Celso F. Unson, the executor, submitted an inventory wherein, following the list of
conjugal assets in the testator's will, the two San Lorenzo Village lots were included as part of
the testate estate.
That inclusion provoked Mrs. Rustia, the adopted child of Mrs. Valero, and Mrs.
Rodriguez and Mrs. Gutierrez, the legitimate children of the testator, Jose M. Valero, to file
(through Mrs. Rustia's lawyer) in the testate proceeding a motion for the exclusion of the two
San Lorenzo Village lots from the testator's inventoried estate.
Adduced as reason for the exclusion is the fact that since February 16, 1966 Mrs. Rustia
has been the registered owner of the lots as shown by two Torrens titles, copies of which were
attached to the motion.
The executor opposed the motion on the ground that the two lots were donated to Mrs.
Rustia and the donation would allegedly involve collation and the donee's title to the lots. The
executor revealed that he was informed by Mrs. Gutierrez and Mrs. Rodriguez (supposed
movants) that the two lots should be included in the inventory. Thus, the issue of collation was
prematurely raised.

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The probate court in its order of August 9, 1973 excluded the two lots from the inventory
of the testator's estate but with the understanding "that the same are subject to collation".
Mrs. Rustia filed a motion for reconsideration. No one opposed that motion. At the
hearing of that motion, Mrs. Rustia's lawyer apprised the court that the executor informed him
over the phone that he was not opposing the motion.
The probate court in its order ruled that the two lots were unconditionally excluded from the
inventory of Jose M. Valero's estate, meaning "that they are not subject to collation". That order
is the bone of contention in this case.
Mrs. Rodriguez (without being joined by her sister, Mrs. Gutierrez) filed a motion for the
reconsideration of the order of December 14, 1973. She alleged that the two San Lorenzo Village
lots were really conveyed to Mrs. Rustia by way of donation because the consideration for the
sale was allegedly only one-fifth of the true value of the lots. Mrs. Rodriguez further contended
that the order of August 9, 1973 was final in character.
In reply, Mrs. Rustia countered that the prior order was interlocutory and that in 1966 the
true value of the two lots was around P120,000 and that their value increased considerably in
1973 or 1974. Moreover, the relatively low price of the sale could be attributed to the fact that
Mrs. Rustia and her husband lived with the Valeros and were taking care of them.
The probate court denied the motion for reconsideration. Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs.
Gutierrez, in their petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals, assailed the probate court's order
declaring that the two lots were not subject to collation.
The Court of Appeals held that the order of exclusion was interlocutory and that it could
be changed or modified at anytime during the course of the administration proceedings.
It further held that it was immaterial whether the two lots were donated or sold to Mrs.
Rustia as "a mere subterfuge to avoid payment of the donor's and donee's taxes". According to
the Appellate Court, it was immaterial because under article 1061 of the Civil Code, only
compulsory heirs are required to make collation for the determination of their legitimes and,
under section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court, only heirs are involved in questions as to
advancement and Mrs. Rustia is not an heir of the testator, Jose M. Valero.
Issue : WON the properties are subject to collation.
Held :
No. The SC found that the proceedings have not yet reached the stage when the question
of collation or advancement to an heir maybe raised and decided. The numerous debts of the
decedents are still being paid. The net remainder of their conjugal estate has not yet been
determined. No separate action has been brought by appellants (two sisters) to nullify Mrs.

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Rustia's Torrens titles to the disputed lots or to show that the sale was in reality a donation.
proper to pass upon the question of collation and to decide whether Mrs. Rustia's titles to the
disputed lots are questionable. The proceedings below have not reached the stage of partition and
distribution when the legitimes of the compulsory heirs have to be determined.

5. CYNTHIA
V.
NITTSCHER,
vs.
DR. WERNER KARL JOHANN NITTSCHER (Deceased), ATTY. ROGELIO P.
NOGALES and THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI
Facts :
Dr. Werner Karl Johann Nittscher filed with the RTC of Makati City a petition for the
probate of his holographic will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to herein respondent
Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales. the probate court issued an order allowing the said holographic will.
On September 26, 1994, Dr. Nittscher died. Hence, Atty. Nogales filed a petition for letters
testamentary for the administration of the estate of the deceased. Dr. Nittschers surviving spouse
Cynthia V. Nittscher, she moved for the dismissal of the said petition. However, the court
petitioners motion to dismiss, and granted respondents petition for the issuance of letters
testamentary. Motion for reconsideration denied for lack of merit. On appeal, the CA dismissed
the case.
Cynthia contends that Nogales petition lacked a certification against forum shopping. She
adds, the RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter because Dr. Werner was allegedly not a
resident of the Philippines.

Issue : WON Cynthias contentions are correct .

Held :
No. Revised Circular No. 28-91 and Administrative Circular No. 04-94 of the Court
require a certification against forum-shopping for all initiatory pleadings filed in court. However,
in this case, the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is not an initiatory pleading, but a
mere continuation of the original petition for the probate of Dr. Nittschers will. Hence,
respondents failure to include a certification against forum-shopping in his petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary is not a ground for outright dismissal of the said petition.
Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court provides:

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SECTION 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an inhabitant


of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be
proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Court of First
Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in the province in which he resides at the time of his
death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance (now
Regional Trial Court) of any province in which he had estate. (Emphasis supplied.)
In this case, the RTC and the Court of Appeals are one in their finding that Dr. Nittscher
was a resident of Las Pias, Metro Manila at the time of his death.
Hence, applying the aforequoted rule, Dr. Nittscher correctly filed in the RTC of Makati City,
which then covered Las Pias, Metro Manila, the petition for the probate of his will and for the
issuance of letters testamentary to respondent.
Furthermore, Dr. Nittscher asked for the allowance of his own will. In this connection, Section 4,
Rule 76 of the Rules of Court states:
SEC. 4. Heirs, devisees, legatees, and executors to be notified by mail or personally.
If the testator asks for the allowance of his own will, notice shall be sent only to his
compulsory heirs.
In this case, records show that petitioner, with whom Dr. Nittscher had no child, and Dr.
Nittschers children from his previous marriage were all duly notified, by registered mail, of the
probate proceedings. Petitioner even appeared in court to oppose respondents petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary and she also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition. She
likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of the issuance of the letters testamentary and of the
denial of her motion to dismiss. We are convinced petitioner was accorded every opportunity to
defend her cause. Therefore, petitioners allegation that she was denied due process in the
probate proceedings is without basis.
6. OSCAR C. REYES, vs.
HON. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI, ZENITH INSURANCE
CORPORATION and RODRIGO C. REYES
FACTS:
Petitioner and private respondent were siblings together with two others, namely Pedro
and Anastacia, in a family business established as Zenith Insurance Corporation (Zenith), from
which they owned shares of stocks. The Pedro and Anastacia subsequently died. The former had
his estate judicially partitioned among his heirs, but the latter had not made the same in her
shareholding in Zenith. Zenith and Rodrigo filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) against petitioner (1) a derivative suit to obtain accounting of funds and

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assets of Zenith, and (2) to determine the shares of stock of deceased Pedro and Anastacia that
were arbitrarily and fraudulently appropriated [by Oscar, and were unaccounted for].
In his answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied the illegality of the acquisition of
shares of Anastacia and questioned the jurisdiction of SEC to entertain the complaint because it
pertains to settlement of [Anastacias] estate. The case was transferred to. Petitioner filed Motion
to Declare Complaint as Nuisance or Harassment Suit and must be dismissed. RTC denied the
motion. The motion was elevated to the Court of Appeals by way of petition for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus, but was again denied.
Issue :Whether or not the complaint is a derivative suit within the jurisdiction of the RTC acting
as a special commercial court.
Held :
No. The allegations of the present complaint do not amount to a derivative suit. First, as
already discussed above, Rodrigo is not a shareholder with respect to the shareholdings
originally belonging to Anastacia; he only stands as a transferee-heir whose rights to the share
are inchoate and unrecorded. Second, in order that a stockholder may show a right to sue on
behalf of the corporation, he must allege with some particularity in his complaint that he has
exhausted his remedies within the corporation by making a sufficient demand upon the directors
or other officers for appropriate relief with the expressed intent to sue if relief is denied. Lastly,
Court found no injury, actual or threatened, alleged to have been done to the corporation due to
Oscars acts. If indeed he illegally and fraudulently transferred Anastacias shares in his own
name, then the damage is not to the corporation but to his co-heirs; the wrongful transfer did not
affect the capital stock or the assets of Zenith.
In summary, whether as an individual or as a derivative suit, the RTC sitting as special
commercial court has no jurisdiction to hear Rodrigos complaint since what is involved is the
determination and distribution of successional rights to the shareholdings of Anastacia
Reyes. Rodrigos proper remedy, under the circumstances, is to institute a special proceeding for
the settlement of the estate of the deceased Anastacia Reyes, a move that is not foreclosed by the
dismissal of his present complaint.

7. Milagros Cortes vs. CA and Menandro Reselva


Facts :
Menandro A. Reselva, Milagros R. Cortes, and Florante Reselva are brothers and sister and
children - heirs of the late spouses Teodoro T. Reselva and Lucrecia Aguirre Reselva.. During
their lifetime, they acquired a property particularly a house and lot consisting of 100 square
meters, more or less. Lucrecia Aguirre Reselva died ahead of Teodoro T. Reselva. The latter

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executed a holographic will which was probated, with Milagros R. Cortes, as the appointed
Executrix. After having been appointed and qualified as Executrix, she filed a motion before
respondent probate court praying that Menandro A. Reselva, the occupant of the property, be
ordered to vacate the and turn over to said Executrix the possession. In the Appellate Court, the
Regional Trial Court's order was set aside for having been issued beyond the latter's limited
jurisdiction as a probate court.

Issue : WON probate courts can adjudicate title to properties claimed to be part of the estate
which are claimed to belong to outside parties.
Held:
No. Menandro A. Reselva, cannot be considered an outside party for he is one of the
three compulsory heirs of the the decedent. As such, he is very much involved in the settlement
of Teodoro's estate. By way of exception to the above-mentioned rule, when the parties are all
heirs of the decedent, it is optional upon them to submit to the probate court the question of title
to property. Here, the probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership. More so,
when the opposing parties belong to the poor stratum of society and a separate action would be
most expensive and inexpedient.
Menandro's claim is not at all adverse to, or in conflict with that of, the decedent since the
former's theory merely advances co-ownership with the latter. In the same way, when the
controversy is whether the property in issue belongs to the conjugal partnership or exclusively to
the decedent, the same is properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court, which necessarily
has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the estate of the decedent which is
to be distributed among the heirs.
Rule 73, Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Court states :
SEC. 2. Where estate upon dissolution of marriage. - When the marriage is dissolved by the
death of the husband or wife, the community property shall be inventoried, administered, and
liquidated, and the debts thereof paid, in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased
spouse. If both spouses have died, the conjugal partnership shall be liquidated in the testate or
intestate proceedings of either.
The court ordered that the case be returned to the probate court for the liquidation of the
conjugal partnership of Teodoro and Lucrecia prior to settlement of the estate of Teodoro.

8. Nuguid vs Nuguid, No. L-23445, June 23, 1966; 17 SCRA 449


Facts:

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Rosario died without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were her
legitimate parents Felix and Paz, and 6 brothers and sisters.
Remedios, one of the sister filed in court a holographic will allegedly executed by
Rosario instituting the former as the sole, universal heir of all her properties. She prayed that said
will be admitted to probate and that letter of administration be issued to her.
Felix and Paz opposed to the probate of the will on the ground that by the institution of
Remedios as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors who are compulsory heirs in the direct
ascending line were illegally preterited and that in consequence, the institution is void.
Article 854 provides that preterition of one, some or all of the compulsory heirs in the
direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the
testator, shall annul the institution of heir.
Petitioners contention is that the present is a case of ineffective disinheritance rather than
one of preterition drawing the conclusion that Article 854 does not apply in the case at bar.
Issue: WON the institution of one of the sister of the deceased as the sole, universal heir
preterited the compulsory heirs.
Held:
Yes. Where the deceased left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate, but she left
forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents, and her holographic will does not
explicitly disinherit them but simply omits their names altogether, the case is one of preterition
of the parents, not a case of ineffective disinheritance.
Preterition consists in the omission in the testators will of the forced heirs or anyone of
them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, through mentioned, they are neither
instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Disinheritance, in turn, is a testamentary
disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by
law.
Where the one sentence will institute the petitioner as the sole, universal heir and preterits
the parents of the testatrix, and it contains no specific legacies or bequests, such universal
institution of petitioner, by itself, is void. And intestate succession ensues.

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