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Sheker vs Estate of Alice Sheker
Civil Procedure – Certification of Non-Forum Shopping Not Required in a Contingent Money Claim
Alice Sheker died and her estate was left under the administration of Victoria Medina. Alice left a holographic will which was admitted to probate by the Regional Trial Court of Iligan City. The trial court issued an order for all creditors to file their claims against the estate. In compliance therewith, Alan Joseph Sheker filed a contingent money claim in the amount of P206,250.00 representing the amount of his commission as an agent for selling some properties for Alice; and another P275k as reimbursements for expenses he incurred.
Medina moved for the dismissal of Alan Sheker’s claim alleging among others that the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void because the latter did not attach a certification of non-forum shopping thereto.
ISSUE: Whether or not the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court emphasized that the certification of non-forum shopping is required only for complaints and other initiatory pleadings. In the case at bar, the probate proceeding was initiated NOT by Alan Sheker’s money claim but rather upon the filing of the petition for allowance of the Alice Sheker’s will. Under Sections 1 and 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, after granting letters of testamentary or of administration, all persons having money claims against the decedent are mandated to file or notify the court and the estate administrator of their respective money claims; otherwise, they would be barred, subject to certain exceptions.
A money claim in a probate proceeding is like a creditor’s motion for claims which is to be recognized and taken into consideration in the proper disposition of the properties of the estate. And as a motion, its office is not to initiate new litigation, but to bring a material but incidental matter arising in the progress of the case in which the motion is filed. A motion is not an independent right or remedy, but is confined to incidental matters in the progress of a cause. It relates to some question that is collateral to the main object of the action and is connected with and dependent upon the principal remedy.
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