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PERSONAL STATUS Magsino, Patricia Marie C.


A. Definition
B. Legislative jurisdiction v. Judicial jurisdiction
C. Beginning and End of Personality
D. Absence
E. Name
F. Age of Majority
G. Capacity
Personal status
Includes both condition and capacity
Embraces matters such as beginning and end of human personality, capacity to have
rights, capacoty to engage in legal transactions, protection of personal interests and
family relations

Taken from Roman doctrine status libertates (freedom), status civitates (citizenship),
status familiae (status as the head of the house

Juridical Capacity v Capacity to Act

Juridical capacity is the fitness of man to be subject to legal relations; inherent and
lost only through death
Capacity to act is the power to do acts with legal effects; acquired and may be lost
Legislative jurisdiction
Power of the state to apply its laws to create or affect legal interests
eg. Civil status

Judicial jurisdiction
Power of the state to try a case in its courts
eg. Right to sue and be sued

Barnuevo v. Fuster
Legislative jurisdiction as applied is the capacity of the state to rule on whether
the divorce being sought for can be decreed
Judicial jurisdiction as applied is the power of the state to hear and try the case
The determination of the exact moment personality begins is referred to the
individuals personal law
Philippine Law:
Art. 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes
that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article
Art 41. For civil purposes, the fetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered
from the mothers womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is
not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb

Civil personality is extinguished by death

Upon death of a person, some of his rights and obligations are totally extinguished
while others are passed to his successors
Limjoco v Intestate Estate of Fragrante:
the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for the purpose
of settlement and distribution of his estate
First: Presumption that a person is dead when he has been absent
for a number of years

Second: A persons unexplained absence is judicially investigated

and established which results to legal effects similar to death

Third: Judicial decree declaring the person to be dead before the

legal effects of death take place
A persons name is determined by law and cannot be changed
without judicial intervention
Art. 376. No person can change his name or surname without
judicial authority.
Grounds where a person was allowed to change name;
Name is ridiculous and is tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to
When the change is necessary to avoid confusion
When the right to a new name is consequence of a change in status
A sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of a former alien
It is the individuals personal law which determines whether he has
reached the age of majority
Once emancipated, parental authority over the person and
property of the child is terminated and he is qualified and
responsible for all acts of civil life
A persons ability to act with legal effects is governed by his
personal law
The general rule on capacity is subject to several exceptions
eg. When a person who is fully capacitated under his personal law enters into a
contract which will be performed in a foreign country that does not consider him
capable of contracting due to an impediment such as minority
Insular Government of the Philippine2 Islands George Frank
George Frank was to receive a salary of $1,200/year as a stenographer
To be paid in advance the expenses incurred in traveling Chicago Manila
and half of his salary during such period
Contract: if Frank violates it, he will be liable for the amount expended by the
government for his travel expenses and one half salary paid during such period
1903: Frank entered upon the performance of the contract and was paid half
1904: Frank left the service of Insular Government of the Philippine Islands and
refused to further comply with the terms of the contract
Insular the commenced an action in CFI MANILA to recover the amount paid to
Franks defense: he was a minor at the time the contract was entered into and
therefore not responsible under the law
ISSUE: Is Frank liable?
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court applied the law of the place of the
contract or lex loci contractus. Frank was fully qualified to enter
into the contract at the place and time the contract was made, he
can not plead infancy as a defense at the place the contract is
being enforced
Age of majority 23 years old
Distinguish Legislative jurisdiction from Judicial jurisdiction

Legislative jurisdiction
Power of the state to apply its laws to create or affect legal interests
eg. Civil status

Judicial jurisdiction
Power of the state to try a case in its courts
eg. Right to sue and be sued