Heirs of Ureta v. Heirs of Ureta

G.R. No. 165748, 14 September 2011

FACTS:

Alfonso Ureta was financially well-off and owned several properties. He begot fourteen children, including herein petitioners and Policronio, father of respondents. For taxation purposes, Alfonso sold, without monetary consideration, several parcels of land to four of his children, including Policronio. Alfonso continued to own, possess and enjoy the lands and their produce. Upon his death, Liberato acted as the administrator. The Fernandez Family rented the portion transferred to Policronio. But even after the fact, the tenants never turned over the produce of the lands to Policronio or any of this heirs, but to Alfonso and, later, to the administrators of his estate. When Policronio died, except for a portion of one of the parcels of land, neither Policronio nor his heirs ever took possession of the subject lands. Alfonso’s heirs executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition,8 which included all the lands that were covered by the four (4) deeds of sale that were previously executed by Alfonso for taxation purposes. Conrado, Policronio’s eldest son, representing the Heirs of Policronio, signed the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition in behalf of his co-heirs. Heirs of Policronio allegedly learned about the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition involving Alfonso’s estate when it was published in the July 19, 1995 issue of the Aklan Reporter. The Heirs of Policronio averred that the extra-judicial partition is void because Conrado signed the same without written authority form his siblings.

ISSUE:

WON Conrado Ureta’s lack of capacity to give his co-heirs’ consent to the Extra-Judicial Partition rendered the same voidable.

RULING:

No. Article 1390 is not applicable in this case. Article 1390 (1) contemplates the incapacity of a party to give consent to a contract. What is involved in the case at bench though is not Conrado’s incapacity to give consent to the contract, but rather his lack of authority to do so. Instead, Articles 1403 (1), 1404, and 1317 of the Civil Code find application to the circumstances prevailing in this case. The Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Sale is not a voidable or an annullable contract under Article 1390 of the New Civil Code. Article 1390 renders a contract voidable if one of the parties is incapable of giving consent to the contract or if the contracting party’s consent is vitiated by mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence or fraud. Therefore, Conrado’s failure to obtain authority from his co-heirs to sign the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition in their behalf did not result in his incapacity to give consent so as to render the contract voidable, but rather, it rendered the contract valid but unenforceable against Conrado’s co-heirs for having been entered into without their authority.

* Case digest by  Suezeyne Garcia, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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