G.R. No. 109355, 29 October 1999


 Ramon Chiang sold a lot to Modina as evidenced by a deed of sale. Merlinda, the wife of Ramon, sought the nullity of the sale alleging that said lands were not legally transferred to her husband. Modina then filed a complaint for recovery of possession with damages against the spouses and lessees on said lot. RTC and CA ruled in favor of Merlinda. Modina insists that the deed of sale is valid alleging that the sale between the spouses is void under the law, thereby allowing the principle of in pari delicto to be applicable. Petitioner avers that these leaves the guilty spouses as they are and keeps the rights of third persons, such as himself, undisturbed.


WON the sale of the land to Modina is valid. 


No. The sale of land between Ramon and Modina is null and void.

Art. 1490 of the Civil Code provides that: “The husband and the wife cannot sell property to each other, except: (1) when a separation of property was agreed upon in the marriage settlements; or (2) when there has been a judicial separation of property under Art. 191.”

Merlinda is still the owner of the said lot. Not being the owner of the land, Ramon Chiang cannot sell the same to Modina. Hence the sale is void and inexistent. Petition is denied.

* Case digest by   Ariel M. Acopiado,LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018