Marcos-Araneta vs. CA, Benedicto

Facts

Irene Marcos Araneta alleged that she is a beneficiary of the shares of stocks of 2 corporations of Benedicto. She demanded reconveyance of 65% of the stockholdings but the alleged trustee, Benedicto Group, refused.

Irene instituted complaints against the Group with the RTC Batac Ilocos Norte. Benedicto Group filed motion to dismiss on the ground that venue was improperly laid, among others. They presented evidences that Irene is not a resident of Batac, but of Forbes Park, Makati City.

RTC dismissed Irene’s complaint but later on admitted Irene’s amended complaint that included one plaintiff that is a resident of Batac.

The Group filed a petition for certiorari with CA. CA set aside RTC. Irene went to the Supreme Court.

Issue 1 (Venue)

Is RTC Batac a proper venue?

Ruling 1

No. Irene’s action is an action in personam because it is the personal liability of the Benedictos to Irene, hence, Rule 4 Section 2 applies (Venue of Personal Actions). Irene’s only options are (“at the election of the plaintiff”):

  1. Where the plaintiff resides
  2. or where the principal plaintiff resides
  3. Where the defendant resides
  4. or where the principal resides
  5. in case of non-resident, where he may be found

Neither Irene or the Benedictos are residents of Batac. Hence, RTC Batac is an improper venue.

Issue 2 (Real Party In Interest)

Will Irene’s amended complaint cure the defect of plaintiff’s residency?

Ruling 2

No. Because in the amended complaint, Irene is the real party-in-interest, and not her co-petitioners. Rule 3 Section 2 ”A real party in interest is one that stands to be benefitted or injured by the judgment in the suit… every party must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.” In this case, only Irene Marcos, not her co-petitioners, will benefit or be injured by the judgment as to the entitlement of the shares from the Benedicto Group.

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