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Pascual vs CA

Facts: Don Andres Pascual died intestate and survived by his widow Dona Adela Soldevilla Pascual,
children of his full blood brother Wenceslao Pascual Sr, children of his half blood brother Pedro
Pascual, intestate estate of his full blood brother Eleuterio Pascual represented by his heirs and
acknowledged natural children of his full blood brother Eligio Pascual namely Hermes S. Pascual
and Olivia S. Pascual who is herein petitioner. (herein petitioners). Doña Adela as the surviving
spouse was appointed administratrix of the estate. To assist her with said proceedings, Doña Adela
hired Atty. Jesus I. Santos, herein private respondent, as her counsel for a fee equivalent to fifteen
(15) percent of the gross estate of the decedent.
While the settlement was still pending, Doña Adela died, leaving a will which named the
petitioner as her sole universal heir. Six years after Doña Adela's death, Judge Padolina rendered a
Decision, which had become final and executory. Private respondent then filed a Motion for the
Issuance of a Writ of Execution insofar as the payment of his attorney's fees was concerned. Despite
opposition from the petitioner, the motion was granted and the court directed "the issuance of a writ of
execution in the partial amount of P2,000,000.00 in favor Atty. Jose I. Santos to be implemented
against the share of Dona Adela upon payment by the movant of the prescribed docket fees for the
said partial amount. Petitioner then moved for reconsideration & quashal of the writ of execution which
was denied. Petitioner then filed with the CA a petition for annulment of the attorney’s fees, of the
order granting a writ of execution and of the order denying herein petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration. They claimed among others that, without any hearing or notice to them, the judge
approved and awarded the attorney's fees of private respondent, who was purportedly his classmate
and compadre. Furthermore, they allege that, in the settlement of Doña Adela's estate, private
respondent filed a similar collection case before the RTC of Malabon, which was, however, dismissed
for violating the rules against forum shopping.

ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court have jurisdiction to make the questioned award of attorney's
fees.

HELD: Petitioner insistently argues that the January 19, 1994 RTC Decision, insofar as it awarded
attorney's fees, was void from the beginning because the intestate court had lost jurisdiction over the
person of Doña Adela due to her death. The death of Doña Adela did not ipso facto extinguish the
monetary claim of private respondent or require him to refile his claim with the court hearing the
settlement of her testate estate. Had her filed the claim against Doña Adela personally, the rule would
have applied. However, he did so against the estate of Don Andres.. Jurisdiction subsists because the
proper party in this case is the estate of Don Andres, which is distinct and separate from that of Doña
Adela who merely served as the former's administratrix. Doña Adela was merely a representative
party, and the claim was an item of the administrative expense of Don Andres estate. It is well-settled
that a monetary claim against the person administering an estate, in relation to his or her acts of
administration, in its ordinary course, can be filed at the court where a special proceeding for the
settlement of the estate is pending. Hence, in spite of the death of the appointed administratrix, it was
the duty of the intestate court to determine whether the private respondent's claim was allowable as
administrative expense — if it was obtained in reference to the management of the estate; the
performance of legal services which the administratrix herself could not perform; the prosecution or
defense of actions or suits on behalf of or against the estate; or the discovery, recovery or preservation
of properties of the estate. In other words, the intestate court has a mandate to resolve whether the
said claim is a "necessary expense in the care, management and settlement of the estate." For the
same reason, the fact that the private respondent's lien was recorded four months after the
administratrix had died is of no moment.

Lastly, the legal and factual bases of the award were stated in the body of the RTC Decision. The trial
court revealed the importance of the services of private
respondent, who represented the estate, argued for the intestate courts approval of the Compromise
Agreement, and rendered legal advice on the final distribution of the properties of the estate. Also
attorney’s fees are always subject to judicial control but petitioner filed not an appeal but a Petition to
Annul a Final Judgment. In any event, the Court finds no evidence to show that the stipulated amount
of attorney’s fees was illegal; immoral; or in contravention of law, good morals, good customs, public
order or public policy. It is therefore enforceable as the law between the parties. Also the stipulated
attorney’s fees are reasonable as such are proportionate to the services rendered by private
respondent fails to consider the numerous properties involved and the private respondents labor for
thirteen years, during which time he became responsible for the estate of Don Andres.

HILADO VS. CA
Facts: The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate on 15 May 2000. He was survived
by his wife, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto (administratrix Benedicto), and his only daughter,
Francisca Benedicto-Paulino. At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases against Benedicto
involving the petitioners. The first, was then pending with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City,
Branch 44, with petitioner Alfredo Hilado as one of the plaintiffs therein. The second was then pending
with the RTC of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioners Lopez Sugar Corporation and First Farmers
Holding Corporation as one of the plaintiffs therein.

Thereafter, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the
issuance of letters of administration in her favor, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of
Court. the Manila RTC issued an order appointing private respondent as administrator of the estate of her
deceased husband, and issuing letters of administration in her favor. In January 2001, private respondent
submitted an Inventory of the Estate, Lists of Personal and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the Estate of
her deceased husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to the inventory, private respondent included as
among the liabilities, the above-mentioned two pending claims then being litigated before the Bacolod City
courts.

Subsequently, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela,
praying that they be furnished with copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the intestate
proceedings. petitioners filed an omnibus motion praying that the Manila RTC set a deadline for the
submission by private respondent of the required inventory of the decedent's estate. Petitioners also filed
other pleadings or motions with the Manila RTC, alleging lapses on the part of private respondent in her
administration of the estate, and assailing the inventory that had been submitted thus far as unverified,
incomplete and inaccurate.

Manila RTC issued an order denying the manifestation/motion, on the ground that petitioners are not
interested parties within the contemplation of the Rules of Court to intervene in the intestate proceedings.
CA likewise dismissed the petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not creditors whose credit is based on contingent claim have the right to participate in
the settlement proceeding by way of intervention under Rule 19 & whether or not petitioners, as persons
interested in the intestate estate of the deceased person, are entitled to copies of all processes and orders
pertaining to the intestate proceedings.

RULING: Notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72, intervention as set forth under Rule 19 does not extend to
creditors of a decedent whose credit is based on a contingent claim. The definition of "intervention" under
Rule 19 simply does not accommodate contingent claims. It requires that the legal interest of the intervenor
be actual and material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent and expectant." Also civil actions
for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required
under Rule 86. These actions, being as they are civil, survive the death of the decedent and may be
commenced against the administrator pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87.

In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings do not provide a creditor or any person interested
in the estate, the right to participate in every aspect of the testate or intestate proceedings, but instead
provides for specific instances when such persons may accordingly act in those proceedings, there is no
general right to intervene on the part of the petitioners and they may be allowed to seek certain prayers or
reliefs from the intestate court not explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the prayer or relief sought is
necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and there is no other modality under the Rules by which
such interests can be protected.

Allowing creditors, contingent or otherwise, access to the records of the intestate proceedings is an
eminently preferable precedent than mandating the service of court processes and pleadings upon them.
In either case, the interest of the creditor in seeing to it that the assets are being preserved and disposed of
in accordance with the rules will be duly satisfied.

Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings do require notice to any or all "interested
parties" the petitioners as "interested parties" will be entitled to such notice. The instances when notice has
to be given to interested parties are provided in: (1) Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the time and place of
examining and allowing the account of the executor or administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b) of Rule 89 concerning
the petition to authorize the executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding the hearing for the application for an
order for distribution of the estate residue. After all, even the administratrix has acknowledged in her
submitted inventory, the existence of the pending cases filed by the petitioners.

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA V. COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE

FACTS: The Municipality of San Pedro, Laguna filed in the CFI a petition claiming the Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan
by the right of Escheat. Colegio de San Jose, claiming to be the exclusive owner of the said hacienda, assailed the
petition upon the grounds that the petition does not allege sufficient facts to entitle the applicants to the remedy prayed
for. Carlos Young, claiming to be a lessee of the hacienda under a contract legally entered with Coelegio de San Jose,
also intervened in the case. Municipal Council of San Pedro, Laguna objected to the appearance and intervention of
CdSJ and Carlos Young but such objection was overruled. Furthermore the lower court dismissed the petition filed for
by Municipal Council of San Pedro.

ISSUE: W/N the petition for escheats should be dismissed?

RULING: YES. According to Sec. 750 of the Code of Civil Procedure (now Sec 1 of Rule 91), the essential facts which
should be alleged in the petition, which are jurisdictional because they confer jurisdiction upon the CFI are:
1. That a person died intestate or without leaving any will,
2. That he has left real or personal property and he was the owner thereof,
3. That he has not left any heir or person by law entitled to the property, and
4. That the one who applies for the escheat is the municipality where deceased has his last residence or in
case he should have no residence in the country, the municipality where the property is situated.

Sec 3 of Rule 91 provides that after the publications and trial, if the court finds that the deceased is in fact the
owner of real and personal property situated in the country and has not left any heir or other person entitled there to, it
may order, after payment of debts and other legal expenses, the escheat and in such case, it shall adjudicate the
personal property to the municipality where the deceased had his last residence and the real property to the
municipality/ies where they are situated.
Escheat is a proceeding whereby the real and personal property of a deceased person become the property
of the State upon his death without leaving any will or legal heirs. It is not an ordinary action but a special proceeding.
The proceeding should be commenced by a petition and not by a complaint.
In a special proceeding for Escheat under section 750to 752 (now sec 1 to 3 of Rule 91), the petitioner is not
the sole and exclusive interested party. Any person alleging to have a direct right or Interest in the property sought to
be escheated is likewise an interested and necessary party and may appear and oppose the petition for escheat.
When a petition for escheat does not state facts which entitle the petitioner to the remedy prayed for and even
admitting them hypothetically, it is clear that there is no ground for the court to proceed to the Inquisition provided by
law, an interested party should not be disallowed from filing a motion to dismiss the petition which is untenable from all
standpoint. And when the motion to dismiss is entertained upon this ground the petition may be dismissed
unconditionally.
In this case, Colegio de San Jose and Carlos Young had a right to intervene as an alleged exclusive owner
and a lessee of the property respectively.
The Municipal base its right to escheat on the fact that the Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan, temporal property
of the Father of the Society of Jesus, were confiscated by the order of the King of Spain. From the moment it was
confiscated, it became the property of the commonwealth of the Philippines. Given this fact, it is evident that the
Municipality cannot claim that the same be escheated to them, because it is no longer the case of real property owned
by a deceased person who has not left any person which may legally claim it (2 nd requirement lacking).