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Oronce vs. Lapuz, Jan.

20, 1940

Facts: For irregularities committed during the performance of her position as judicial
administrator of the Intestado of the late Juan Oronce, the appellant Anselma Lapuz was
removed from his post on August 30, 1932 and in his place the addled Calixto Oronce was
appointed. At the request of the new administrator, the appellant was required by order of March
19, 1934 to render account within twenty days of the fruits of the real property that he continued
to administer since 1932, account that should include the period of time from referred year 1932
up to the date in which it delivered the new administrator of the mentioned goods. The appellant
was notified of the order, but did not comply or submit the account. The appellee then asked the
court to request the appellant to explain why it should not be punished for contempt. The
appellant opposed the motion alleging that she had already surrendered her account, which was
approved; that she had ceased to be an administrator, and that the Court no longer had
jurisdiction over her. By order of January 11, 1937, the Court of First Instance of Pampanga,
dismissed the objections of the appellant and found her guilty of contempt and was fined P50
with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, with the warning, in addition, that if he
continued disobeying the order, would be reduced to prison until he complies. The appellant
was excepted from this last order and filed the present appeal.

The appellant maintains that the Court erred in declaring her guilty of contempt for the following
reasons: because Article 232, paragraph 1, of the Code of Civil Procedure is not applicable and
under Article 611 the Court did not have the power to punish her for contempt for not having
submitted the required account; because the Court no longer had jurisdiction over its person
because it ceased to be an administrator; and because she already presented her account that
was amended several times and finally approved on August 1, 1932.

Issue: W/n the court erred in declaring appellant guilty of contempt

Held: NO.

Articles 231 to 240, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure are applicable to the Courts of First
Instance both when they exercise general jurisdiction and when they function as probate courts.
Article 611 of the same Code of Civil Procedure does not deprive the Courts of First Instance
that hear of matters relating to deceased persons from their inherent power to punish for
contempt in accordance with the provisions of articles 231 to 240, but rather extends and ratifies
said faculty.

The fact that the appellant had already been removed from her position as administrator and
that someone else had been appointed in her place, did not deprive the Court of its power to
require her to present the account of the property products that she continued to administer
even after have ceased from his position.

It appears that the appellant had presented her last account on October 24, 1931, which was
amended on December 16 of the same year and on May 11, 1932, and that it was approved by
the Court on August 1, 1932. ; but having continued to administer the buildings during the years
1932 and 1933, she was undoubtedly obliged to account for the fruits she received during said
period of time. During the time in which she continued to administer the properties until she
handed them over to the new administrator, the appellant remained a de facto administrator and
was subject to the direct orders of the Court in accordance with Article 677 of the Code of Civil
Procedure that requires the administrator to render account of all the products of the real estate
that had been administered.

Not being meritorious the claims of the appellant and finding the right to appeal the right, we
confirm, with the costs to the appellant. This is how it is ordered.