Remedial Law

Marcelo Inton et al vs Daniel Quintana

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G.R. No. L-1236 – 81 Phil. 97 – Remedial Law – Special Proceedings – Rule on Guardianship of Minors; A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC – Sec. 19; Petition to Sell Minor’s Property – Sale of Minor’s Property is Void if Without Court Approval

The siblings Marcelo, Fe, Antonio, and Olimpia (all surnamed Inton) were owners of a parcel of land in Samal, Bataan. In 1936, their mother, Fileda Enrile, together with Marcelo and Fe sold their land to Alejandro Quintana. At the time of the sale, Antonio and Olimpia were still minors and Fileda signed the deed of sale as guardian for the minors. Antonio died and Daniel Quintana became the administrator.

In 1944, Daniel, realizing that Antonio and Olimpia were not signatories in the deed of sale, approached the siblings asking them to execute a deed of conveyance. Instead of executing a deed of conveyance, the siblings filed an action to annul the deed of sale on the ground that the sale was without judicial approval. In defense, Daniel argued that the siblings, particularly Antonio and Olimpia were already barred by laches.

ISSUE: Whether or not the action for annulment of sale will prosper.

HELD: Yes. The annulment suit is a recovery of possession suit which prescribes in ten years. Hence, when the siblings filed their suit in 1944, they are still within the prescription period. Laches will not lie because the siblings were suing to advance a vested right. Under the law, a guardian has no authority to sell real estate of his or her ward, merely by reason of his or her general powers, and in the absence of any special authority to sell conferred by will, statue, or order of court. A sale of the ward’s realty by a guardian without authority of the court is void. In this case, only the sale pertaining to Antonio and Olimpia is void. The sale on the portions owned by Marcelo and Fe are vaild.

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