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Sheker v Estate of Sheker Under Sections 1 and 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, after granting

letters of testamentary or of administration, all persons having money


Facts: claims against the decedent are mandated to file or notify the court
1. Alice Sheker died and her estate was left under the administration of and the estate administrator of their respective money claims.
Victoria Medina. Alice left a holographic will which was admitted to 6. A money claim is only an incidental matter in the main action for the
probate by the Regional Trial Court of Iligan City. The trial court issued settlement of the decedent's estate. Hence, petitioner's contingent
an order for all creditors to file their claims against the estate. In money claim, not being an initiatory pleading, does not require a
compliance therewith, Alan Joseph Sheker filed a contingent money certification against non-forum shopping.
claim in the amount of P206,250.00 representing the amount of his 7. On the issue of filing fees, the Court ruled in Pascual v. Court of
commission as an agent for selling some properties for Alice; and Appeals, that the trial court has jurisdiction to act on a money claim
another P275k as reimbursements for expenses he incurred. (attorney's fees) against an estate for services rendered by a lawyer
2. Medina moved for the dismissal of Alan Sheker’s claim alleging among to the administratrix to assist her in fulfilling her duties to the estate
others that the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void because the even without payment of separate docket fees because the filing
latter did not attach a certification of non-forum shopping, failed to pay fees shall constitute a lien on the judgment pursuant to Section 2,
docket fees, and failed to provide a written explanation on the service Rule 141, or the trial court may order the payment of such filing fees
and filing by registered mail. RTC dismissed the claim because of such within a reasonable time. After all, the trial court had already
grounds. assumed jurisdiction over the action for settlement of the estate.
Clearly, therefore, non-payment of filing fees for a money claim
Issue: W/N the money claims filed by Alan Sheker is valid against the estate is not one of the grounds for dismissing a money
claim against the estate.
Held: Yes. 8. With regard to the requirement of a written explanation, If only to
1. Before anything, Alan Sheker’s contention that rules in ordinary underscore the mandatory nature of this innovation to our set of
action are only supplementary rules in special proceedings is not adjective rules requiring personal service whenever practicable,
entirely correct. According to Sec. 2, Rule 72, the ruled provided for Section 11 of Rule 13 then gives the court the discretion to
in ordinary civil actions shall be applicable as far as practicable. consider a pleading or paper as not filed if the other modes of
2. The word practicable is defined as: possible to practice or perform; service or filing were not resorted to and no written explanation
capable of being put into practice, done or accomplished. This was made as to why personal service was not done in the first
means that in the absence of special provisions, rules in ordinary place. The exercise of discretion must, necessarily consider the
actions may be applied in special proceedings as much as possible practicability of personal service, for Section 11 itself begins
and where doing so would not pose an obstacle to said proceedings. with the clause whenever practicable.
3. Provisions of the Rules of Court requiring a certification of non-forum 9. The rule is so worded with the use of may, signifying
shopping for complaints and initiatory pleadings, a written permissiveness, a violation thereof gives the court discretion
explanation for non-personal service and filing, and the payment of whether or not to consider the paper as not filed. While it is true
filing fees for money claims against an estate would not in any way that procedural rules are necessary to secure an orderly and
obstruct probate proceedings, thus, they are applicable to special
speedy administration of justice, rigid application of Section 11,
proceedings such as the settlement of the estate of a deceased
person as in the present case. Rule 13 may be relaxed in this case in the interest of substantial
justice.
4. However, the principal question is w/n the failure to attach a 10. In the present case, petitioner holds office in Salcedo Village, Makati
certification against non-forum shopping would render dismissal. City, while counsel for respondent and the RTC which rendered the
5. The SC ruled that no it does not. The certification of non-forum assailed orders are both in Iligan City. The lower court should have
shopping is required only for complaints and other initiatory taken judicial notice of the great distance between said cities and
pleadings. The RTC erred in ruling that a contingent money claim realized that it is indeed not practicable to serve and file the money
against the estate of a decedent is an initiatory pleading. In the claim personally. Thus, following Medina v. Court of Appeals,[12] the
present case, the whole probate proceeding was initiated upon failure of petitioner to submit a written explanation why service has
the filing of the petition for allowance of the decedent's will. not been done personally, may be considered as superfluous and
the RTC should have exercised its discretion under Section 11, Rule
13, not to dismiss the money claim of petitioner, in the interest of
substantial justice.