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Habeas Corpus

1. Douglas married to but separated from Ellen, one day fetched from school his
daughter, 5-year old Susan, and never returned her to Ellen under whose custody the child
was placed by the Regional Trial Court of Manila in a suit for custody of the child. After
searching for her daughter for days Ellen learned that Douglas had been moving the girl
from one place to another within Metro Manila the last being the residence of his sister Mary
in Parañaque. Ellen’s current residence is Pasig.
1. As Ellen’s lawyer, what course or courses of action will you take to effect the return
of Susan to the custody of Ellen? Discuss fully.
Answer:
As Ellen’s lawyer, I will file a motion with the RTC of Manila to order Douglas to return
Susan to Ellen and to cite Douglas for contempt of court.
Alternative Answer:
I will file a petition for habeas corpus.

2. (a) What is meant by a preliminary citation in cases involving deprivation of


personal liberty? Explain.
Answer:
A preliminary citation merely requires the respondent to appear and show cause why
the peremptory writ of habeas corpus should not be granted.

(b) How is a preliminary citation distinguished from a peremptory writ of habeas


corpus? Explain. (1996, # 7)
Answer:
On the other hand, the peremptory writ of habeas corpus directs the officer to have
the body of the person restrained of his liberty before the court or judge designated in the
writ at the time and place therein specified.

3. Roxanne, a widow, filed a petition for habeas corpus with the CA against Major
Amor who is allegedly detaining her 18-year-old son Bong without authority of law.
After Major Amor had filed a return alleging the cause of detention of Bong, the CA
promulgated a resolution remanding the case to the RTC for a full-blown trial due to the
conflicting facts presented by the parties in their pleadings. In directing the remand, the CA
relied on Section 9 (1), in relation to Section 21 of BP 129 conferring upon said court the
authority to try and decide habeas corpus cases concurrently with the RTC.
Did the CA act correctly in remanding the petition to the RTC? Why? (1993, #19)

Answer:
No, because while the CA has original jurisdiction over habeas corpus concurrent with
RTC, it has no authority for remanding to the latter original actions filed with the former. On
the contrary, the CA is specifically given the power to receive evidence and perform any and
all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original
jurisdiction.

4. In 1978, Pete was convicted by the then Court of First Instance of Cavite on the
sole basis of his extrajudicial confession. The decision soon became final and Pete has since
been serving sentence until now, although to this day, he insists that he is innocent and that
his confession had been coerced. He later learned of the Supreme Court’s decision in People
v. Galit in which the Court reversed a conviction that had been based solely on an
uncounselled confession. He forthwith caused a petition for habeas corpus to be filed,
alleging that his confinement has all along been illegal. The Government opposed the
petition on the ground that the decision of conviction had long become final and may no
longer be reopened and that he is in fact serving sentence.
Will habeas corpus lie?

Answer:
Yes, because once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the court
that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is the
appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the detention.

Alternative Answer:
Yes, habeas corpus will lie. Firstly, the judgment has no sufficient inasmuch as
judgment of conviction cannot be based solely on an extrajudicial confession without
evidence of corpus delicti.
Secondly, SC has applied retroactively the GALIT ruling even to cases decided prior
said ruling. There being no valid judgment, the detention becomes unlawful.
2

5. A was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by the RTC in


connection with an Information for Homicide. W, the live-in partner of A filed a petition for
habeas corpus against A’s jailer and police investigators with the CA.
1. Does W have the personality to file the petition for habeas corpus?

Answer:
Yes. W, the live-in partner of A, has the personality to file the petition for habeas
corpus because it may be filed by “some person in his behalf.:

2. Is the petition tenable?(1998, #11)

Answer:
No. The petition is not tenable because the warrant of arrest was issued by a court
which had jurisdiction to issue it.

In his decision of 24 September 1983, Judge Catapang of the Municipal Trial Court of
Paranaque ordered defendant Mario Arias to vacate and deliver the house and lot subject
matter of the complaint to the plaintiff and to pay P 10t rental in arrears plus P 15t actual
damages and P 5t attorney’s fees. The decision having become final and executory, a writ of
execution was, upon motion of the plaintiff, issued on 4 January 1984. Despite service of the
writ upon defendant Arias and repeated extensions granted by the court, Arias still refused
to vacate and deliver possession of the leased premises. Hence, upon motion of the plaintiff
and after hearing the parties on the contempt charge, Aries was declared guilty of indirect
contempt and ordered incarcerated until he complies with the decision.
a) Is the contempt order legally assailable? Discuss.
b) Considering that Arias is now detained, as his counsel, what legal remedies will
you avail of in his behalf? Explain.
c) Within the period for appeal, is the monetary portion of the judgment assailable?
Discuss. (1985, #11)
Answer:
a) The refusal of the defendant Arias to vacate the leased premises does not
constitute indirect contempt. Contempt is not proper in the enforcement of an ordinary
judgment as in this case. The sheriff must enforce the writ of execution by ousting the
defendant Arias from the leased premises and placing the plaintiff in possession.
b) I would file a petition for habeas corpus on the ground that Arias’ detention is
illegal since the order declaring him guilty of indirect contempt and ordering his
incarceration is null and void. (If Arias were not detained, I would file a petition for certiorari)
c) Yes, while the judgment for the payment of P 10t rental in arrears and P 5t
attorney’s fees is valid, the judgment for P 15t actual damages is not, inasmuch as the only
damages recoverable in an action of forcible entry or illegal detainer is the reasonable
compensation for the use and occupation of the premises, or the sum justly due as arrears in
rent.