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Case Digest - Civil Law

ALICE REYES VAN DORN vs. Hon. MANUEL V. ROMILLO JR.
FACTS:
In this Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, petitioner Alice Reyes Van Dorn seeks to set aside the orders, dated September 15, 1983 and August 3, 1983 I n Civil Case No. 1075 – P, issued by respondents judge, which denied her Motion to Dismiss said case and he Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal order, respectively.
The petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of the U.S.; that they were married in HK in 1972; that after the marriage they established their residence in the Philippines; that they begot two children; that the parties were divorced in Nevada, U.S. in 1982; and that the petitioner re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.
On June 8, 1983, private respondent filed suit against petitioner of the RTC branch in Pasay City, stating that petitioner’s business in Ermita, Manila (the Galleon Shop) is conjugal property of the parties, and asking the petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of the business, and that private respondent be declared with right to manage the conjugal property.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the court erred in dismissing the case on the ground that the property involved is located in the Philippines so that the Divorce Decree has no bearing in the case.
RULING:
The petition is granted and respondent Judge was ordered to dismiss the complaint filed in Civil Code of his court.
Pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner’s husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the decision of his own country’s court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is stopped by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.
Petitioner should not be obliged to live together, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.

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