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Case Digest - Remedial Law, deposition, evidence

Alvarez vs. Ramirez

GRN 143439

Sandoval – Gutierrez, J.;

FACTS:

Petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision of the CA for allowing the testimony of petitioner’s wife in a criminal proceeding where petitioner was accused for ransom. Private prosecutor in the said criminal case called the petitioner’s wife without objection from petitioner’s counsel. Wife testified that it was her estranged husband who poured and set the house of her sister on fire. A motion to disqualify the testimony of his wife was filed pursuant to rules on martial disqualification.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the wife can testify against her husband in a criminal case.

RULING:

The reason for the rule on martial disqualification are:

1. There is identity of interests between husband and wife;

2. If one were to testify for or against the other, there is consequent danger of perjury;

3. The policy of the law is to guard the security and confidence of private life, even at the risk of an occasional failure of justice and to prevent domestic disunion and unhappiness;

4. Where there is want of domestic tranquility there is danger of punishing one spouse through the hostile testimony of the other.

The offense of arson attributed to the husband impairs the conjugal relation between him and his wife. His act eradicates all the major aspects of marital life such as trust, confidence, respect and love by which virtues the conjugal relationship survives and flourishes… the evidence and facts presented reveal that the preservation of the marriage between petitioner and his wife is no longer an interest the State aims to protect.

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Dasmariñas Garments vs. Reyes/American Pres. Lines

GRN 108229 August 24, 1993

Narvasa, J.;

FACTS:

APL sued Dasmariñas Garments for sum of money at the hearing. Instead of presenting its witness, APL filed a motion praying that it intended to take the depositions of some Taiwan nationals. The lower court granted the deposition which was in compliance with the rules on taking of testimony by deposition upon written interrogatories under ROC. CA affirmed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a party could present its evidence by taking the deposition of its witness in a foreign jurisdiction before a private entity.

RULING:

Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are intended as a means to compel disclosure of facts resting in the knowledge of a party or other person which are relevant in some suit or proceeding in court. Depositions are principally made by law to the parties as a means of informing themselves of all the relevant facts; they are not therefore generally meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party witness. Leave of court is not necessary where the deposition is to be taken before a secretary or embassy or legation, consul gen. etc., and the defendants answer has already been served.

Depositions may be taken at any time after the institution of any action, whenever necessary or convenient. There is no rule that limits deposition. Taking only to the period of pre-trial or before it; no prohibition against the taking of deposition after pre-trial… the law authorizes the taking of depositions before or after an appeal is taken from the judgment of RTC “to perpetuate their testimony for use in event of further proceedings in court… or during the process of execution of a final and executor judgment.”

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Jonathan Landoil vs. Mangudadatu

GRN 155010 August 16, 2001

Panganiban, J.;

FACTS:

Respondents filed a complaint for damages against petitioner in the lower court. Trial proceeded without the participation of petitioner and declared it in default. Petitioner filed a motion for new trial but was denied. When the writ of execution was served, petitioner alleged that it is yet to receive the order of denial for the motion for new trial. A petition for prohibition was filed with CA and respondents submitted its opposition and attached to their pleading is a certification that the order denying the motion for new trial was no longer available for a deposition since trial, had already been terminated. It also opined that the alleged error committed by the trial court of disregarding the oral depositions, was certiorari or prohibition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the taking of oral deposition was proper under the circumstances.

RULING:

(A motion for new trial may be filed on the grounds of 1) fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence that could not have been guarded against ordinary prudence, and by reason of which the aggrieved party’s rights have probably been impaired; 2) newly discovered evidence, that, with reasonable diligence,. The aggrieved party could not have discovered and produced at the trial; 3) and that if presented, would probably alter the result.)

A deposition may be taken with leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property that is the subject of the action; or without such leave after an answer has been served. In keeping with the principle of promoting the just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding, depositions are allowed as a departure from the accepted and usual judicial proceedings of examining witness in open court where demeanor could be observed by the trial judge.

As a rule, depositions should be allowed absent any showing that taking them would prejudice any party.

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