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JERSON E. TORTAL v.

CHIZURU TANIGUCHI
G.R. No. 212683, November 12, 2018
Third Division
Leonen, J.

Doctrine:

An allegation of a trial court's lack of jurisdiction to render the assailed judgment,


final order, or resolution must be brought in a separate action for annulment of judgment
under Rule 47 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Facts:

On June 8, 1999, Tortal married Chizuru Taniguchi (Taniguchi). They lived in a


250m house and lot in BF Homes, Parañaque City, which was covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 142089 and registered in the name of Tortal, married to
Taniguchi. On April 11, 2000, Taniguchi filed a petition for the nullity of her marriage
with Tortal. The petition was docketed as Civil Case No. CV-00-0149.

On August 25, 2003, the RTC granted the petition and annulled Tortal and
Taniguchi's marriage. In the same decision annulling their marriage, the Regional Trial
Court declared the house and lot to be Taniguchi's exclusive property. Tortal did not
move for the reconsideration of this decision. Hence, it became final and executory on
October 14, 2005.

While the petition for nullity of marriage was pending, Sales filed a complaint for
collection of sum of money against Tortal. The two entered into a compromise agreement
which was approved by the RTC. In accordance with the RTC’s compromise judgment,
Tortal and Taniguchi’s house and lot was levied and then sold at a public auction to
Sales. This prompted Taniguchi to file a Complaint against Tortal and Sales. The RTC
nullified the sale so Tortal and Sales appealed to the Court of Appeals but was denied. It
was only then when Tortal raised the defects of the decision nullifying his marriage with
Taniguchi.

Issue:

Should the appeal for the nullity of Tortal’s marriage with Taniguchi be given due
course?

Held:

No. In the action for the nullity of his marriage with respondent, petitioner claims
that respondent deliberately indicated a non-existent address, instead of his read address;
thus, he never received the summons and the RTC failed to acquire jurisdiction over him.
However, instead of directly assailing the RTC decision, which granted the nullity
of his marriage in an action for annulment of judgment, petitioner chose to tackle the
issue in his appeal, which nullified the levy and sale by auction of the house and lot to
Sales. This is clearly not the correct remedy. The CA did not err in dismissing his appeal
and in upholding the RTC, striking down the levy and sale by auction.

Without a ruling from the Court of Appeals nullifying the Regional Trial Court,
which granted the nullity of petitioner and respondent’s marriage and declared
respondent as the exclusive owner of the house and lot, this Decision remains valid and
subsisting. Moreover, it became final and executor as early as October 14, 2005; hence,
the lower courts did not err in granting the petition for nullity of levy and sale at auction
since respondent was the established exclusive owner of the house and lot. Thus,
petitioner had no authority to use the real property as security for his indebtedness with
Sales.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review is DENIED. The


assailed Court of Appeals December 13, 2013 Decision and May 14, 2014 Resolution in
CA-G.R. CV No. 98955 are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.