Posted by: Elmer Brabante | September 1, 2009

Beso vs. Daguman


BESO vs. DAGUMAN

323 SCRA 566

January 28, 2000 

FACTS:

Respondent Juan Daguman, MCTC Judge of Sta. Margarita-Tarangan_Pagsanjan, Samar, solemnized the marriage of complainant Zenaida Beso to Bernardito Yman, on August 28, 1987, at the Judge’s residence in Calbayog City, Samar, or outside his jurisdiction, because complainant was to leave for abroad the same day as she was an OFW, among other reasons.  After the wedding, Yman abandoned Beso for no clear reason.  She then went to check the marriage contract with the Local Civil Registrar of Calbayog, from which she learned that said marriage was not registered.  Responding to Beso’s letter about the matter, Daguman told her that all copies of the marriage contract were taken by Yman, and none was retained by the judge. 

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not respondent Judge is liable for solemnizing the marriage outside of his court’s jurisdiction;

(2)     Whether or not respondent Judge is liable for negligently not retaining a copy and not registering the marriage before the office of the Local Civil Registry. 

HELD: 

                A marriage can be held outside the judge’s chambers or courtroom only (1) at the point of death; (2) in remote places in accordance with Article 29; or (3) upon the request of both parties in writing in a sworn statement to this effect.  None of these instances was present in this case. 

                Considering that Judge Daguman’s jurisdiction covers the municipalities of Sta. Margarita, Tarangan and Pagsanjan, Samar only, he was not clothed with authority to solemnize marriages in CAlbayog City.  Furthermore, from the nature of marriage, aside from the mandate that a judge should exert extra care in the exercise of his duties in its solemnization, he is likewise commanded to observe extra precautions to ensure that the event is properly documented in accordance with Article 23 of the Family Code which states in no uncertain terms that – It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting parties, the original of the marriage contract referred to in Article 6 and to send the duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificates not later than fifteen (15) days after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized.  Proper receipts shall be issued by the local civil registrar to the solemnizing officer transmitting copies of the marriage certificate.  The solemnizing officer shall retain in his file the quadruplicate copy of the marriage certificate. 

                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. 

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