Sei sulla pagina 1di 1

Jose Matute vs.

Court of Appeals
26 SCRA 768
G.R. No. L-26751, G.R. No. L-26085, G.R. No. L-26106
January 31, 1969(L-26751)

Facts: On August 20, 1965 when Carlos S. Matute, one of the Matute heirs and a full-blood brother of both the
petitioner and the herein respondent Matias S. Matute, filed in Special Proceeding (settlement of the Matute estate)
a petition praying for the removal of Matias as co-administrator and his appointment in such capacity. Carlos alleged
that for a period of more than two years from the date of his appointment, said Matias S. Matute has neglected to
render a true, just and complete account of his administration and that he is not only incompetent but also negligent
in his management of the estate under his charge consisting of five haciendas. The respondent Matias opposed the
allegation that it is completely without basis and false. Records show that he made an accounting and the same was
submitted to the court. That his competence to act as administrator has been established to the satisfaction of the
court. It appears that during the reception of evidence conducted on December 29, 1965 by the probate court, Carlos
S. Matute and the other heirs submitted their respective lists of exhibits in support of their motion to ousts Matias.
On January 8, 1966 Matias filed a written objection to the admission of the movants exhibits on the ground that the
same were hearsay, self-serving, irrelevant and/or mere photocopies of supposed originals which never properly
identified nor shown in court. Four days later, the Counsel for Matias filed with leave of Court a Motion to Dismiss
and/or Demurrer to Evidence which avers that there is no sufficient evidence on record to justify and support the
motions for the removal of the herein co-administrator Matias S. Matute. The probate court issued an order
removing Matias S. Matute as co-administrator. Hence, the certiorari. The respondent contends that the disputed
order removing him as co-administrator is a patent nullity. Upon the other hand, the petitioner advances the reason
in support of the order of removal that the probate judge accorded the respondent all the opportunity to adduce
his evidence but the latter resorted to dilatory tactics such as filing a motion to dismiss or demurrer to evidence.

Issue: Whether or not Rule 33 regarding judgment on demurrer to evidence is applicable to special proceedings
such that its disregard by the probate court amounts to grave abuse of discretion?

Held: Yes. Section 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court provides that in the absence of special provisions, the rules
provided for in ordinary civil actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable in special proceedings. The application
of the above cited Rule in special proceedings, like the case at bar, is authorized by the Rules. Instead of resolving
the foregoing motion, the probate judge issued the controverted order removing the respondent as co-
administrator without giving him the opportunity to adduce his own evidence despite his explicit reservation that
he be afforded the chance to introduce evidence in his behalf in the event of denial of his motion to dismiss and/or
demurrer to evidence. The Court view that the above actuation of the probate judge constituted grave abuse of
discretion which dooms his improvident order as nullity.