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COSCA vs.

PALAYPAYON

237 SCRA 249

FACTS:

Complainants work in MTC-Tinambak, Camarines Sur. They alleged that Judge Palaypayon
solemnized marriages even without the requisite of a marriage license. Hence, couples were
able to get married just by paying the marriage fees to respondent. As a consequence, the
marriage contracts of the couples did not reflect any marriage license number. In addition,
Palaypayon did not sign the marriage contracts and did not indicate the date of
solemnization reasoning out that he had to wait for the marriage license to be submitted by
the parties which happens usually several days after the marriage ceremony.

An illegal solemnization of marriage was charged against the respondent. Palaypayon


contends that marriage between Abellano & Edralin falls under Article 34 of the Civil Code
thus exempted from the marriage license requirement. According to him, he gave strict
instructions to complainant Sambo to furnish the couple copy of the marriage contract and
to file the same with the civil registrar but the latter failed to do so. The spouses
subsequently formalized the marriage by securing a marriage license and executing their
marriage contract, a copy of which was then filed with the civil registrar.

The other five marriages were not illegally solemnized because Palaypayon did not sign their
marriage contracts and the date and place of marriage are not included. The marriage of
Bocaya & Bismonte was celebrated even without the requisite license due to the insistence of
the parties to avoid embarrassment with the guests which he again did not sign the marriage
contract.

ISSUE:

Whether the marriage solemnized by Judge Palaypayon were valid.

HELD:

Article 4 of the Family Code pertinently provides that in the absence of any of the essential
or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio whereas an irregularity in the
formal requisite shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties
responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally, and administratively liable. He
was found guilty of solemnizing marriages without a marriage license

His claim that Abellano and Edralin executed a joint affidavit that they have been living
together as husband and wife for almost 6 years already would show that Abellano is less
than 13 years old when they started living together which. He is found to be negligent in his
duty to ascertain the qualification of the contracting parties who might have executed a false
joint affidavit in order to avoid the marriage license requirement.
COSCA V. PALYPAYON JR. 237 SCRA 249
FACTS:
Complainants (Juvy Cosca et al.,) are employees of the Municipal Trial Court of Tinambac, Camarines
Sur. Respondent Judge Lucio P. Palaypayon Jr., is the Presiding Judge of the same Court while Nelia
Esmeralda-Baroy is the Clerk of Court. An administrative complaint
was field with the Office of the Court Administrator charging respondents , among others, illegal
solemnization of marriage. Complainants alleged that respondent Judge solemnized 6 marriages even
without the requisite marriage license. As a consequence, their marriage contracts did not reflect any
marriage license number. The respondent Judge did not sign their marriage contracts and did not indicate
the date of solemnization, the reason being that he allegedly had to wait for the marriage license to be
submitted by the parties which was usually several days after the ceremony.
Indubitably, the marriage contracts were not filed with the local civil registrar.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the action of respondent Judge proper.

HELD:
[i]The Family Code pertinently proves that the formal requisites of marriage are, inter alia, a valid
marriage license except in the cases provided for therein. Complementarily, it declares that the absence of
any of the essential or formal requisites shall generally render the marriage void ab initio and that , while
an irregularity in the formal requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage, the party or parties
responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly , criminally and administratively liable.

* The civil aspect is addressed to the contracting parties and those affected by the illegal marriage, and
what we are providing for herein pertains to the administrative liability of respondents, all without
prejudice to their criminal responsible. The Revised Penal Code provides that priests or ministers of any
religious denomination or sect, or civil authorities who shall perform or authorize any illegal marriage
ceremony shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Marriage Law. This is of course,
within the province of the prosecutorial agencies of the Government.