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LAVADIA VS MENDOZA GR No.

47996; If it was under a deposit agreement, it is clear that to those who


May 09, 1941 received the jewelry has an obligation to return them to their owners as
soon as claimed by the latter.
DOCTRINE: 1. Even among co-owners of a thing, one of them may
be the depository, and when he is, he is subject to the same obligations Even among co-owners of a thing, one of them may be the depository,
imposed by law on all depository with respect to the preservation of and thus it is subject to the same obligations imposed by law on all
the thing with the care, diligence and interest of a good father. depository with respect to the conservation of the thing with the care,
diligence and interest of a good father.
2. For the administration and better enjoyment of thing owned in
common, according to article 398 of the Civil Code, it is mandatory "Joint owner. The fact that the depositary is a joint owner of the res
that there be an agreement of the majority of the participants (owners). does not alter the degree of diligence required of him."
FACTS: A gold crown, choker, belt, bracelet, necklace, all made of
gold and encrusted with diamonds and precious gems in the possession
and custody of 6 religious ladies of the municipality of Pagsanjan,
Laguna all surnamed Lavadia. By agreement, they decided to entrust
the safekeeping of the jewelry to Pia Lavadia (depositary). From Pia,
to Paula, to her husband Pedro, to their daughter Paz, and to her
husband Baldomero. Jewelry is kept at a BPI safety deposit box in the
name of Rosario Cosme de Mendoza (defendant). the 6 ladies used
their own money to have the jewelry made specifically to adorn the
image of the Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the municipality.
In effect, they are the co- owners of the jewelry. Rosario, in her
capacity as administrator of the estate of Baldomero Cosme,
announced that she would be making a formal delivery of the jewelry
to the Bishop of Lipa, but the plaintiffs objected and filed a suit to
retain possession and custody of the same.
ISSUE: Whether Ramona was a depositary and therefore obligated to
return the jewelries to the owners even if she is a co-owner?
HELD: The contract which existed between the first owners of the
jewels at issue and the first person who had their custody, was a
contract of deposit. According to this contract as defined in Articles
1758 and following the Civil Code, Pia Lavadia first, and afterwards
Paula Lavadia and then her descendants, one being Rosario, received
and possessed, one after the other, the said jewels, only for purposes of
custody or such that they must not use them for their own benefit.