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How to Write a Case Digest

Posted by Diory Rabajante on Sunday, April 4, 2010 Under:


tips

A case digest or a case brief is a written summary of the case.


A case sometimes involves several issues. Digesting the same
would help the student in separating one issue from another
and understanding how the Court resolved the issues in the
case. The student does not need to discuss all the issues
decided in the case in his case digest. He only needs to focus
on the relevant issue or the issue related to the subject that
he is taking. A case digest may also serve as a useful study
aid for class discussions and exams. A student who has a case
digest does not need to go back to the case in order to
remember what he has read.

Format of the Case Digest

I. Caption. This includes the title of the case, the date it was
decided, and citation. Include also the petitioner, respondent,
and the ponente.

II. Facts. There is no need to include all the facts. Just include
those that are relevant to the subject.

III. Issues. Include only those that are relevant. Issues are
usually framed in the form of questions that are answerable
by "yes" or "no," for example, "Is the contract void?"
Sometimes, students frame the question by starting it with
the word "whether," for example, "Whether the contract is
void" or "Whether or not the contract is void." The answer to
the question has to be answered in the ruling.

IV. Ruling. This usually starts with a "yes" or a "no." This is the
answer to the question/s involving the issue. After the
categorical yes/no answer, the reason for the decision will be
explained.

V. Concurring and Dissenting Opinions. This part is optional,


but it would help to include them because there are
professors who ask for separate opinions in recitations.
Sample Case Digest

DOMINGO VS. COURT OF APPEALS

226 SCRA 572

Petitioner: Roberto Domingo

Respondents: Court of Appeals and Delia Soledad Avera

Ponente: J. Romero

FACTS:

On May 29, 1991, private respondent Delia Soledad A.


Domingo filed the petition entitled "Declaration of Nullity of
Marriage and Separation of Property" against Roberto
Domingo. The petition, which was filed before Pasig RTC,
alleged the following:

(a) they were married on November 29, 1976;

(b) unknown to her (Delia), he had a previous marriage with


Emerina dela Paz on April 25, 1969 which marriage is valid
and still existing;

(c) she came to know of the prior marriage only sometime in


1983 when Emerina sued them for bigamy;

(d) since 1979, she has been working in Saudi Arabia and is
only able to stay in the Philippines when she would avail of
the one-month annual vacation leave granted by her
employer;

(e) Roberto has been unemployed and completely dependent


upon her for support and subsistence;

(f) Her personal properties amounting to P350,000.00 are


under the possession of Roberto, who disposed some of the
said properties without her knowledge and consent;

(g) while on her vacation, she discovered that he was


cohabiting with another woman.

Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the


declaration of their marriage, which is void ab initio, is
superfluous and unnecessary. He further suggested that
private respondent should have filed an ordinary civil action
for the recovery of the properties alleged to have been
acquired by their union.

RTC and CA dismissed the petitioner's motion for lack of


merit.

ISSUES:

1) Whether or not a petition for judicial delaration of a void


marriage is necessary. (If in the affirmative, whether the same
should be filed only for purpose of remarriage.)

2) Whether or not the petition entitled "Declaration of Nullity


of Marriage and Separation of Property" is the proper remedy
of private respondent to recover certain real and personal
properties allegedly belonging to her exclusively.

HELD:

1) Yes. The nullification of a marriage for the purpose of


contracting another cannot be accomplished merely on the
basis of the perception of both parties or of one that their
union is defective. Were this so, this inviolable social
institution would be reduced to a mockery and would rest on a
very shaky foundation.

On the other hand, the clause "on the basis solely of a final
judgment delaring such marriage void" in Article 40 of the
Code denotes that such final judgment declaring the previous
marriage void is not only for purpose of remarriage.

2) Yes. The prayer for declaration of absolute nullity of


marriage may be raised together with the other incident of
their marriage such as the separation of their properties. The
Family Code has clearly provided the effects of the declaration
of nullity of marriage, one of which is the separation of
property according to the regime of property relations
governing them.

Hence, SC denied the instant petition. CA's decision is


affirmed.

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