GRN 138509 July 31, 2000
336 SCRA 747
Respondent contracted his second marriage to petitioners notwithstanding the subsistence of a previous marriage. A third marriage was allegedly contracted by respondent thus petitioner filed for a bigamy case. Thereafter, respondent filed an action for the absolute nullity of his first marriage on the ground that it was celebrated without a marriage license.
Whether or not the subsequent filing of a civil action for declaration of nullity of a previous marriage constitutes prejudicial question.
A prejudicial question is one which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. It must appear not only that the civil case involves facts upon which the criminal action is based, but also that the resolution of the issues raised in the civil action would necessarily be determinative of the criminal case.
In this case, any decision in the civil action for nullity would not erase the fact that respondent entered into a second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a decision in the civil case is not essential to the determination of the criminal charge.
Beltran vs. PP/Judge Juazon
GRN 137567 334 SCRA 106
Petitioner filed a petition for nullity of marriage against her wife for 24 years. Wife answered that it was petitioner who left the family house and lived with a paramour. A concubinage case was filed by wife and petitioner argued that the pendency of a case for declaration of nullity of marriage posed a prejudicial question.
Whether or not pendency of the case for nullity of marriage a prejudicial question to the concubinage case.
The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid two conflicting decisions. It has two essential elements: 1) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and 2) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
In the criminal case of concubinage, the accused need not present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for he can adduce evidence in the criminal case of the nullity of his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring his marriage void.
Prado vs. PP/Judge Sison
GRN – L – 17652 December 26, 1984
133 SCRA 602
On August 5, 1971, Petitioner was charged with the crime of bigamy, where she contracted a second marriage in
Whether or not a pending suit for annulment of marriage constitutes prejudicial question in a bigamy case.
For a civil action to be considered prejudicial, the following requisites must be present: 1) the civil case involved facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based; 2) in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil action, the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined; 3) jurisdiction to try said question musty be lodged in another tribunal.
But the mere filing of an annulment case does not give rise to a prejudicial questions.