CASE DIGEST: Reganon v. Imperial (G.R. No. L-24434)

CASE DIGEST: 130 Phil. 101 [ G.R. No. L-24434, January 17, 1968 ] HEIRS OF PEDRO REGANON, JOVENCIA REGANON, MENCIAS REGANON, JOSEFA REGANON, VIOLETA REGANON AND FLORA REGANON, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES, VS. RUFINO IMPERIAL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. BENGZON, J.P., J.: FACTS: The heirs of Pedro Reganon filed a complaint for recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land against Rufino Imperial. After trial, the court awarded the subject property to the plaintiffs and sentenced defendant Rufino to pay damages in the amount of Php1,929.20. Subsequently, plaintiffs discovered that the residuary estate of one Eulogio Imperial was deposited with the Philippine National Bank, and one of the heirs of Eulogio, herein defendant Rufino’s share in said estate was in the amount of Php1,471.97. Plaintiffs then filed a motion for a writ of execution and of an order directing the manager of the Bank to hold the share of defendant Rufino in order that the same could be applied to the satisfaction of the earlier favorable decision plaintiffs obtained against Rufino. Defendant Rufino opposed the garnishment of his share in the residuary estate of Eulogio on the ground that the same was under custodial legis and therefore cannot be attached.

ISSUE: Can the interest of an heir in the estate of a deceased person be attached for purposes of execution even if the estate in still in the process of settlement?

HELD: The new Rules of Court now specifically provides for the procedure to be followed in case what is attached in in custodia legis. The clear import of this new provision is that property under custodia legis is now attachable, subject to the mode set forth in said rule. (Rule 57, Sec.7) That the interest of an heir in the estate of a deceased person may be attached for purposes of execution, even if the estate is in the process of settlement before the courts, is already a settled matter in this jurisdiction.