Posted by: Elmer Brabante | February 12, 2010

2005 Bar Exams Questions in Civil Law


– I –

Gabby and Mila got married at Lourdes Church in Quezon City on July 10, 1990. Prior thereto, they executed a marriage settlement whereby they agreed on the regime of conjugal partnership of gains. The marriage settlement was registered in the Register of Deeds of Manila, where Mila is a resident. In 1992, they jointly acquired a residential house and lot, as well as a condominium unit in Makati. In 1995, they decided to change their property relations to the regime of complete separation of property. Mila consented, as she was then engaged in a lucrative business. The spouses then signed a private document dissolving their conjugal partnership and agreeing on a complete separation of property.

Thereafter, Gabby acquired a mansion in Baguio City, and a 5-hectare agricultural land in Oriental Mindoro, which he registered exclusively in his name.

In the year 2000, Mila’s business venture failed, and her creditors sued her for P10,000,000.00. After obtaining a favorable judgment, the creditors sought to execute on the spouses’ house and lot and condominium unit, as well as Gabby’s mansion and agricultural land.

a) Discuss the status of the first and the amended marriage settlements. (2%)

b) Discuss the effect/s of the said settlements on the properties acquired by the spouses. (2%)

c) What properties may be held answerable for Mila’s obligations? Explain. (2%)

– II –

In 1985, Sonny and Lulu, both Filipino citizens, were married in the Philippines. In 1987, they separated, and Sonny went to Canada, where he obtained a divorce in the same year. He then married another Filipina, Auring, in Canada on January 1, 1988. They had two sons, James and John. In 1990, after failing to hear from Sonny, Lulu married Tirso, by whom she had a daughter, Verna. In 1991, Sonny visited the Philippines where he succumbed to heart attack.

a) Discuss the effect of the divorce obtained by Sonny and Lulu in Canada. (2%)

b) Explain the status of the marriage between Sonny and Auring. (2%)

c) Explain the status of the marriage between Lulu and Tirso. (2%)

d) Explain the respective filiation of James, John and Verna. (2%)

e) Who are the heirs of Sonny? Explain. (2%)

– III –

Emil, the testator, has three legitimate children, Tom, Henry and Warlito; a wife named Adette; parents named Pepe and Pilar; an illegitimate child, Ramon; brother, Mark; and a sister, Nanette. Since his wife Adette is well-off, he wants to leave to his illegitimate child as much of his estate as he can legally do. His estate has a net amount of P1,200,000.00, and all the above-named relatives are still living. Emil now comes to you for advice in making a will.

How will you distribute his estate according to his wishes without violating the law on testamentary succession? (5%)

– IV –

Steve was married to Linda, with whom he had a daughter, Tintin. Steve fathered a son with Dina, his secretary of 20 years, whom Dina named Joey, born on September 20, 1981. Joey’s birth certificate did not indicate the father’s name. Steve died on August 13, 1993, while Linda died on December 3, 1993, leaving their legitimate daughter, Tintin, as sole heir. On May 16, 1994, Dina filed a case on behalf of Joey, praying that the latter be declared an acknowledged illegitimate son of Steve and that Joey be given his share in Steve’s estate, which is now being solely held by Tintin. Tintin put up the defense that an action for recognition shall only be filed during the lifetime of the presumed parents and that the exceptions under Article 285 of the Civil Code do not apply to him since the said article has been repealed by the Family Code. In any case, according to Tintin, Joey’s birth certificate does not show that Steve is his father.

a) Does Joey have a cause of action against Tintin for recognition and partition? Explain. (2%)

b) Are the defenses set up by Tintin tenable? Explain. (2%)

c) Supposing that Joey died during the pendency of the action, should the action be dismissed? Explain. (2%)

– V –

In 1984, Eva, a Filipina, went to work as a nurse in the USA. There, she met and fell in love with Paul, an American citizen, and they got married in 1985. Eva acquired American citizenship in 1987. During their sojourn in the Philippines in 1990, they filed a joint petition for the adoption of Vicky, a 7-year old daughter of Eva’s sister. The government, through the Office of the Solicitor General, opposed the petition on the ground that the petitioners, being both foreigners, are disqualified to adopt Vicky.

a) Is the government’s opposition tenable? Explain. (2%)

b) Would your answer be the same if they sought to adopt Eva’s illegitimate daughter? Explain. (2%)

c) Supposing that they filed the petition to adopt Vicky in the year 2000, will your answer be the same? Explain. (2%)

– VI –

Hans Herber, a German national, and his Filipino wife, Rhoda, are permanent residents of Canada. They desire so much to adopt Magno, an 8-year old orphaned boy and a baptismal godson of Rhoda. Since the accidental death of Magno’s parents in 2004, he has been staying with his aunt who, however, could hardly afford to feed her own family. Unfortunately, Hans and Rhoda cannot come to the Philippines to adopt Magno although they possess all the qualifications as adoptive parents.

Is there a possibility for them to adopt Magno?

How should they go about it? (5%)

– VII –

Don was the owner of an agricultural land with no access to a public road. He had been passing through the land of Ernie with the latter’s acquiescence for over 20 years. Subsequently, Don subdivided his property into 20 residential lots and sold them to different persons. Ernie blocked the pathway and refused to let the buyers pass through his land.

a) Did Don acquire an easement of right of way? Explain. (2%)

b) Could Ernie close the pathway and refuse to let the buyers pass? Give reasons. (2%)

c) What are the rights of the lot buyers, if any? Explain. (2%)

– VIII –

State with reason whether each of the following is a nuisance, and if so, give its classification, whether public or private:

a) A squatter’s hut (1%)

b) A swimming pool (1%)

c) A house of prostitution (1%)

d) A noisy or dangerous factory in a private land (1%)

e) Uncollected garbage (1%)

– IX –

Marvin offered to construct the house of Carlos for a very reasonable price of P900,000.00, giving the latter 10 days within which to accept or reject the offer. On the fifth day, before Carlos could make up his mind, Marvin withdrew his offer.

a) What is the effect of the withdrawal of Marvin’s offer? (2%)

b) Will your answer be the same if Carlos paid Marvin P10,000.00 as consideration for that option? Explain. (2%)

c) Supposing that Carlos accepted the offer before Marvin could communicate his withdrawal thereof?

Discuss the legal consequences. (2%)

– X –

Bernie bought on installment a residential subdivision lot from DEVLAND. After having faithfully paid the installments for 48 months, Bernie discovered that DEVLAND had failed to develop the subdivision in accordance with the approved plans and specifications within the time frame in the plan. He thus wrote a letter to DEVLAND informing it that he was stopping payment. Consequently, DEVLAND cancelled the sale and wrote Bernie, informing him that his payments are forfeited in its favor.

a) Was the action of DEVLAND proper? Explain. (2%)

b) Discuss the rights of Bernie under the circumstances. (2%)

c) Supposing DEVLAND had fully developed the subdivision but Bernie failed to pay further installments after 4 years due to business reverses. Discuss the rights and obligations of the parties. (2%)

– XI –

Before he left for Riyadh to work as a mechanic, Pedro left his Adventure van with Tito, with the understanding that the latter could use it for one year for his personal or family use while Pedro works in Riyadh. He did not tell Tito that the brakes of the van were faulty. Tito had the van tuned up and the brakes repaired. He spent a total amount of P15,000.00. After using the vehicle for two weeks, Tito discovered that it consumed too much fuel. To make up for the expenses, he leased it to Annabelle. Two months later, Pedro returned to the Philippines and asked Tito to return the van. Unfortunately, while being driven by Tito, the van was accidentally damaged by a cargo truck without his fault.

a) Who shall bear the P15,000.00 spent for the repair of the van? Explain. (2%)

b) Who shall bear the costs for the van’s fuel, oil and other materials while it was with Tito? Explain. (2%)

c) Does Pedro have the right to retrieve the van even before the lapse of one year? Explain. (2%)

d) Who shall bear the expenses for the accidental damage caused by the cargo truck, granting that the truck driver and truck owner are insolvent? Explain. (2%)

– XII –

On July 14, 2004, Pedro executed in favor of Juan a Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land covered by TCT No. 6245. It appears in the Deed of Sale that Pedro received from Juan P120,000.00 as purchase price. However, Pedro retained the owner’s duplicate of said title. Thereafter, Juan, as lessor, and Pedro, as lessee, executed a contract of lease over the property for a period of one (1) year with a monthly rental of P1,000.00. Pedro, as lessee, was also obligated to pay the realty taxes on the property during the period of lease.

Subsequently, Pedro filed a complaint against Juan for the reformation of the Deed of Absolute Sale, alleging that the transaction covered by the deed was an equitable mortgage. In his verified answer to the complaint, Juan alleged that the property was sold to him under the Deed of Absolute Sale, and interposed counterclaims to recover possession of the property and to compel Pedro to turn over to him the owner’s duplicate of title.

Resolve the case with reasons. (6%)

– XIII –

Rod, the owner of an FX taxi, found in his vehicle an envelope containing TCT No. 65432 over a lot registered in Cesar’s name. Posing as Cesar, Rod forged Cesar’s signature on a Deed of Sale in Rod’s favor. Rod registered the said document with the Register of Deeds, and obtained a new title in his name. After a year, he sold the lot to Don, a buyer in good faith and for value, who also registered the lot in his name.

a) Did Rod acquire title to the land? Explain. (2%)

b) Discuss the rights of Don, if any, over the property. (2%)

c) In an ejectment case filed by Don against Cesar, can the latter ask for the cancellation of Don’s title considering that he (Cesar) is the rightful owner of the lot? Explain. (2%)

– XIV –

Under a written contract dated December 1, 1989, Victor leased his land to Joel for a period of five (5) years at a monthly rental of P1,000.00, to be increased to P1,200.00 and P1,500.00 on the third and fifth year, respectively. On January 1, 1991, Joel subleased the land to Conrad for a period of two (2) years at a monthly rental of P1,500.00. On December 31, 1992, Joel assigned the lease to his compadre, Ernie, who acted on the belief that Joel was the rightful owner and possessor of the said lot. Joel has been faithfully paying the stipulated rentals to Victor. When Victor learned on May 15, 1992 about the sublease and assignment, he sued Joel, Conrad and Ernie for rescission of the contract of lease and for damages.

a) Will the action prosper? If so, against whom? Explain. (2%)

b) In case of rescission, discuss the rights and obligations of the parties. (2%)

– XV –

Under the law on quasi-delict, aside from the persons who caused injury to persons, who else are liable under the following circumstances:

a) When a 7-year-old boy injures his playmate while playing with his father’s rifle. Explain. (2%)

b) When a domestic helper, while haggling for a lower price with a fish vendor in the course of buying foodstuffs for her employer’s family, slaps the fish vendor, causing her to fall and sustain injuries. Explain. (2%)

c) A carpenter in a construction company accidentally hits the right foot of his co-worker with a hammer. Explain. (2%)

d) A 15-year-old high school student stabs his classmate who is his rival for a girl while they were going out of the classroom after their last class. Explain. (2%)

e) What defense, if any, is available to them? (2%)

– XVI –

Dr. and Mrs. Almeda are prominent citizens of the country and are frequent travelers abroad. In 1996, they booked round-trip business class tickets for the Manila-Hong Kong-Manila route of the Pinoy Airlines, where they are holders of Gold Mabalos Class Frequent Flier cards. On their return flight, Pinoy Airlines upgraded their tickets to first class without their consent and, inspite of their protestations to be allowed to remain in the business class so that they could be with their friends, they were told that the business class was already fully booked, and that they were given priority in upgrading because they are elite members/holders of Gold Mabalos Class cards. Since they were embarrassed at the discussions with the flight attendants, they were forced to take the flight at the first class section apart from their friends who were in the business class. Upon their return to Manila, they demanded a written apology from Pinoy Airlines. When it went unheeded, the couple sued Pinoy Airlines for breach of contract claiming moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees.

Will the action prosper? Give reasons. (5%)



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