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Dumlao vs. Quality Plastic Products, Inc. February 28, 1962 Doctrines involved: Art. 42.

of the NCC: Civil personality is extinguished by death. The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by contract and by will. Art. 37. of the NCC: Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, is inherent in every natural person and is lost only through death. Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effect, is acquired and may be lost. (n) Facts On April 23, 1959, Pedro Oria died. On June 13, 1960, Quality Plastic Products, Inc. filed a case against Pedro Oria, Vicente Soliven, Santiago Laurencio, Marcelino Sumalbag, and Juana Darang (Civil Case T-662). On June 24, 1960, Vicente Soliven, received and signed the summons1 and copies of the complaint (Civil Case T-662) in his and his co-defendants behalf. . On February 18, 1962, an order was made by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan pertaining Civil Case T-662 initially requesting Oria et al to pay P3667.03 plus legal rates to Quality Plastic Products, Inc. This was to avoid the foreclosure of their surety bonds. 2 However, Pedro Oria failed to pay the said amount before the decision of the lower court became final and thus the lower court ordered the (1) foreclosure of his surety bond and (2) sale of his public land which he had given as a security for the bond. On September 24, 1962, Pedro Orias land was sold through auction by the sheriff. On March 1, 1963: Petitioners Dionisio, Fausta, Amado, and Benjamin Dumlaoall testamentary heirs in Pedro Orias duly probated will sued Quality Plastic Products, Inc. for the annulment of both the judgment against Oria and the execution against his land. On the other hand, Quality Plastic Products, Inc. replied that the heirs were estopped3 to question the courts jurisdiction over Oria. After the said hearing, the lower court held that it acquired jurisdiction over Soliven and the other defendants in Civil Case T-662 by reason of their voluntary appearance. It reasoned out that Soliven acted in bad faith because he did not apprise the court that Oria was dead. Issue WON the judgment of the trial court in Civil Case T-662 against the deceased Pedro Oria was valid.

Summons is (yes, this is the correct verb tense) a writ or process issued and served upon the defendant in a civil action for the purpose of securing his/her appearance. The service of summons enables the court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. If there is no service of summons, any judgment rendered or proceedings had in a case are null and void, except in case of voluntary appearance. Please see Rule 14 of the Rules of Court (Summons) for further information. 2 A bond issued by an entity on behalf of a second party, guaranteeing that the second party will fulfill an obligation or series of obligations to a third party. In the event that the obligations are not met, the third party will recover its losses via the bond. 3 Art. 1431 of the NCC Through estoppel, an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon.

Held No, the judgment of trial court in Civil Case T-662 was invalid Ratio Decidendi (1) The judgment against him is patent nullity and void for lack of jurisdiction over his person. (2) He was not and could not have validly served the summons since he had no more civil personality and juridical capacity4. Both of these were already lost upon his death. (2) A counsel cannot validly appear for a dead codefendant. Estoppel does not apply in this case.

Juridical capacity is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations