How to Write a Case DigestPosted by Diory Rabajante on Sunday, April 4, 2010Under: tipsA case digest or a case brief is a written summary of the case. A case sometimes involves several issues. Digesting the same would help the student in separating one issue from another and understanding how the Court resolved the issues in the case. The student does not need to discuss all the issues decided in the case in his case digest. He only needs to focus on the relevant issue or the issue related to the subject that he is taking. A case digest may also serve as a useful study aid for class discussions and exams. A student who has a case digest does not need to go back to the case in order to remember what he has read.
Format of the Case DigestI. Caption. This includes the title of the case, the date it was decided, and citation. Include also the petitioner, respondent, and the ponente.II. Facts. There is no need to include all the facts. Just include those that are relevant to the subject.III. Issues. Include only those that are relevant. Issues are usually framed in the form of questions that are answerable by "yes" or "no," for example, "Is the contract void?" Sometimes, students frame the question by starting it with the word "whether," for example, "Whether the contract is void" or "Whether or not the contract is void." The answer to the question has to be answered in the ruling.IV. Ruling. This usually starts with a "yes" or a "no." This is the answer to the question/s involving the issue. After the categorical yes/no answer, the reason for the decision will be explained.V. Concurring and Dissenting Opinions. This part is optional, but it would help to include them because there are professors who ask for separate opinions in recitations.
Sample Case Digest DOMINGO VS. COURT OF APPEALS226 SCRA 572Petitioner: Roberto DomingoRespondents: Court of Appeals and Delia Soledad AveraPonente: J. RomeroFACTS:On May 29, 1991, private respondent Delia Soledad A. Domingo filed the petition entitled "Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and Separation of Property" against Roberto Domingo. The petition, which was filed before Pasig RTC, alleged the following:(a) they were married on November 29, 1976;(b) unknown to her (Delia), he had a previous marriage with Emerina dela Paz on April 25, 1969 which marriage is valid and still existing;(c) she came to know of the prior marriage only sometime in 1983 when Emerina sued them for bigamy;(d) since 1979, she has been working in Saudi Arabia and is only able to stay in the Philippines when she would avail of the one-month annual vacation leave granted by her employer;(e) Roberto has been unemployed and completely dependent upon her for support and subsistence;(f) Her personal properties amounting to P350,000.00 are under the possession of Roberto, who disposed some of the said properties without her knowledge and consent;(g) while on her vacation, she discovered that he was cohabiting with another woman.Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the declaration of their marriage, which is void ab initio, is superfluous and unnecessary. He further suggested that private respondent should have filed an ordinary civil action for the recovery of the properties alleged to have been acquired by their union.RTC and CA dismissed the petitioner's motion for lack of merit.ISSUES:1) Whether or not a petition for judicial delaration of a void marriage is necessary. (If in the affirmative, whether the same should be filed only for purpose of remarriage.)2) Whether or not the petition entitled "Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and Separation of Property" is the proper remedy of private respondent to recover certain real and personal properties allegedly belonging to her exclusively.HELD:1) Yes. The nullification of a marriage for the purpose of contracting another cannot be accomplished merely on the basis of the perception of both parties or of one that their union is defective. Were this so, this inviolable social institution would be reduced to a mockery and would rest on a very shaky foundation.On the other hand, the clause "on the basis solely of a final judgment delaring such marriage void" in Article 40 of the Code denotes that such final judgment declaring the previous marriage void is not only for purpose of remarriage.2) Yes. The prayer for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage may be raised together with the other incident of their marriage such as the separation of their properties. The Family Code has clearly provided the effects of the declaration of nullity of marriage, one of which is the separation of property according to the regime of property relations governing them.Hence, SC denied the instant petition. CA's decision is affirmed.