CASE DIGESTS: 1. ALCANTARA vs. ALCANTARA FACTS: On Dec. 8, 1982, petitioner Restituto Alcantara and respondent Rosita Alcantara, without securing the required marriage license, went to Manila City Hall for the purpose of marriage. They met a “fixer” and arranged everything for them. A Rev. Aquilino Navarro, a Minister of Gospel of the CDCC Chapel solemnized their wedding. The petitioner and respondent went through another marriage ceremony on March 16, 1983.
The marriage was likewise celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The alleged marriage license, procured in Carmona, Cavite was a sham for neither party was a resident of the place. In 1988, both parted ways and lived their separate lives. Petitioner filed for the annulment of their marriage on the absence of marriage license. ISSUE: WON the petition for annulment of marriage on the grounds of not securing the required marriage license is valid?
Held: The court held that the marriage license of the parties is presumed to be regularly issued and petitioner had not presented any evidence to overcome the presumption. Although it can be deduced that to be considered void on the ground of absence of marriage license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage license must be apparent on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such marriage license was issued to the parties.
In this case, the marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent reflects a marriage license number. A certification to this effect was also issued by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite. The certification moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the parties to whom the marriage license was issued, namely Restituto Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating the fact that a license was in fact issued to the parties herein.
Issuance of a marriage license in a city or municipality, not the residence of either of the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage license despite the absence of publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for publication are considered mere irregularities that do not affect the validity of the marriage. An irregularity in any of the formal requisites of marriage does not affect its validity but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity are civilly, criminally and administratively liable.
The discrepancy between the marriage license number in the certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar, which states that the marriage license issued to the parties is No. 7054133, while the marriage contract states that the marriage license number of the parties is number 7054033 is a mere a typographical error, as a closer scrutiny of the marriage contract reveals the overlapping of the numbers 0 and 1, such that the marriage license may read either as 7054133 or 7054033. It therefore does not detract from our conclusion regarding the existence and issuance of said marriage license to the parties.
Under the principle that he who comes to court must come with clean hands, petitioner cannot pretend that he was not responsible or a party to the marriage celebration which he now insists took place without the requisite marriage license. Petitioner admitted that the civil marriage took place because he “initiated it. ” Petitioner and respondent went through a marriage ceremony twice in a span of less than one year utilizing the same marriage license. There is no claim that he went through the second wedding ceremony in church under duress or with a gun to his head.
Obviously, the church ceremony was confirmatory of their civil marriage, thereby cleansing whatever irregularity or defect attended the civil wedding. Wherefore, premises considered, the instant Petition is Denied for lack of merit. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated 30 September 2004 affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 143 of Makati City, dated 14 February 2000, are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. 2. Beso vs. Daguman FACTS: In this administrative complaint, respondent Judge stands charged with Neglect of Duty and Abuse of Authority. Zenaida S. Beso charged Judge Juan J. Daguman, Jr. ith solemnizing marriage outside of his jurisdiction and of negligence in not retaining a copy and not registering the marriage contract with the office of the Local Civil Registrar. On August 28, 1997, Zenaida and got married and the marriage was solemnized by judge Juan Daguman in his residence in J. P. R. Subdivision in Calbayog City, Samar. That after the wedding, the husband abandoned her without any reason at all and when she went to Calbuyog City and wrote to the City Civil Registrar to inquire regarding her Marriage Contract, she was surprised that she was informed by the Local Civil Registrar that her marriage was not registered.
She wrote to Judge Daguman to inquire on the matter and was informed by the latter that all copies of the marriage were taken by Bernardito and that no copy was retained by the Judge. ISSUES: 1. WON the Judge committed non-feasance in office in solemnizing the marriage of the parties outside of his jurisdiction? 2. WON the Judge committed negligence in not retaining a copy and not registering the marriage before the office of the Local Civil Registrar? HELD: First Issue: The court held that as presiding judge of the MCTC Sta.
Margarita Tarangnan-Pagsanjan, Samar, the authority to solemnize marriage is only limited to those municipalities under his jurisdiction. Clearly, Calbayog City is no longer within his area of jurisdiction. , there are only three instances, as provided by Article 8 of the Family Code, wherein a marriage may be solemnized by a judge outside his chamber[s] or at a place other than his sala, to wit:(1) when either or both of the contracting parties is at the point of death;(2) when the residence of either party is located in a emote place; and (3) where both of the parties request the solemnizing officer in writing in which case the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by them in a sworn statement to that effect. In this case, there is no pretense that either complainant Beso or her fiance Yman was at the point of death or in a remote place. Neither was there a sworn written request made by the contracting parties to respondent Judge that the marriage be solemnized outside his chambers or at a place other than his sala. Second Issue:
As solemnizing officer, respondent Judge neglected his duty when he failed to register the marriage of complainant to Bernardito Yman. Such duty is entrusted upon him pursuant to Article 23 of the Family Code which provides:”It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting parties the original of the marriage certificate referred to in Article 6 and to send the duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificates not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized. xx” It is clearly evident from the foregoing that not only has the respondent Judge committed non-feasance in office, he also undermined the very foundation of marriage which is the basic social institution in our society whose nature, consequences and incidents are governed by law. There is no justification for missing records save fortuitous events. However, the records show that the loss was occasioned by carelessness on respondent Judge’s part.
This Court reiterates that judges must adopt a system of record management and organize their dockets in order to bolster the prompt and efficient dispatch of business. The Court adopts the recommendation of the OCA. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, respondent Judge is hereby FINED Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000. 00) and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar infractions will be dealt with more severely.
SO ORDERED. 3. Geronimo vs. CA FACTS: This is a petition for letter of administration of the estate of Graciana Geronimo – Esman. Petitioner Ireneo Geronimo filed a petition against Antonio Esman as the “husband of the deceased” and later amending the petition naming the latter “live-in partner of the deceased” after finding out that the marriage between oppositor and the decedent was a “nullity for want of a marriage license”.
The decedent died without a will leaving neither descendants nor ascendants. She was survived by her two brothers Tomas and Ireneo, her nephew Salvador and her husband-oppositor Antonio Esman. However, the husband’s capacity to inherit and administer the property of the decedent is now being questioned in view of the discovery by the petitioner that the marriage between oppositor and the decedent was celebrated without a marriage license.
Petitioner contends that the marriage between her deceased sister and oppositor Antonio A. Esman was null and void since there was no marriage license issued to the parties at the time the marriage was celebrated. In fact, petitioner contends that a certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar of Pateros shows that the marriage license number was not stated in the marriage contract and that the marriage contract itself does now show the number of the marriage license issued.
On the other hand, oppositor contends that the arguments raised by petitioner are mere concoctions; that a close scrutiny of the aforementioned documents would show that except for the phrases “not stated” and “not recorded” the two certified copies of the marriage contract issued by the Civil Registrar of Pateros, Rizal (now Metro Manila) and the Parish Church of San Roque were the same as the certified copy of the marriage contract which was attached to the original petition which named the oppositor as the husband of the deceased.
ISSUE: WON the marriage between Graciana Geronimo and Antonio A. Esman was valid? HELD: It may be conceded that the aforementioned documents of the petitioner-appellant do not bear the number of the marriage license relative to the marriage of Graciana Geronimo and the herein oppositor-appellee. But at best, such non-indication of the number could only serve to prove that the number was not recorded. It could not be accepted as convincing proof of non-issuance of the required marriage license.
On the other hand, the marriage license does appear in the certified archives copy of the marriage contract. The non-indication of the license number in the certified copies presented by the petitioner-appellant could not be deemed as fatal vis-a-vis the issue of the validity of the marriage in question because there is nothing in the law which requires that the marriage license number would be indicated in the marriage contract itself.
Petitioner fails to convince us that the instant case falls under any of the above exceptions. At most, the evidence adduced by the petitioner could only serve to prove the non-recording of the marriage license number but certainly not the non-issuance of the license itself. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.