Judgment no. 63/2020/DS-PT dated march 11, 2020 on inheritance dispute

SUPERIOR PEOPLE’S COURT IN HO CHI MINH CITY

JUDGMENT NO. 63/2020/DS-PT DATED MARCH 11, 2020 ON INHERITANCE DISPUTE 

On March 11, 2020, the Superior People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City opened a public appellate trial of the civil case No. 655/2019/TLPT-DS dated December 23, 2019 on "Inheritance dispute".

As the first instance civil judgment No. 1119/2019/DS-ST dated September 10, 2019 of the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City was appealed.

According to Decision to bring the case to trial No. 238/2020/QDPT-DS dated February 24, 2020 between:

Petitioners:

1/ Ms. Le Thi A, born in 1939 (not appearing in court); Address: Dr Brenwood CA 94513.

2/ Mr. Le Phu T, born in 1947 (not appearing in court); Address: Dr Janjose CA 95148.

3/ Mr. Le Phu L, born in 1948 (not appearing in court); Address: United States.

4/ Ms. Le Thi Ph, born in 1958 (not appearing in court); Address: United States.

5/ Mr. Le Phu Th, born in 1955 (not appearing in court); Address: San Jose CA 95136.

6/ Ms. Le Thu H, born in 1962 (not appearing in court); Address: San Jose CA 95136.

7/ Ms. Le Thu H1, born in 1966 (not appearing in court); Address: San Jose CA 95132.

Legal representative of Ms. A, Mr. T, Mr. L, Ms. Ph, Mr. Th, Ms. H, Ms. H1: Mr. Tran Cao C, born in 1985. (appearing in court);

Address: 188 De Tham, Ward C, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

Defender of petitioner Ms. Le Thi Ph:

Lawyer Tran Thi T - Bar Association of Ho Chi Minh City (appearing in court).

- Respondents:

1/ Ms. Le Thi X, born in 1958 (appearing in court).

2/ Mr. Le Phu Ng, born in 1985 (appearing in court).

3/ Ms. Le Thanh Tr, born in 1994 (appearing in court).

Co-address: 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

- Persons with interests and obligations related to the case:

1/ Ms. Le Thi H2, born in 1949 (not appearing in court).

Address: 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

Current residence: Las Vegas NV 89129.

2/ Ms. Le Thi N, born in 1952 (not appearing in court).

Address: 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

Current residence: Pagoda D, hamlet B, commune P, district N, Dong Nai province.

3/ Ms. Le Thi Ph1, born in 1960 (not appearing in court). Address: San Jose CA 95148.

4/ Mr. Le Phu Tr1, born in 1950 (not appearing in court). Address: France.

The authorized representative of Ms. H2, Ms. N, Ms. Ph1, Mr. Tr1: Mr. Lam Binh K, born in 1993 (appearing in court);

Address: 05 Tran Quang K, Ward T, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

5/ Le Phu B, born in 2013, represented by the biological father, Mr. Le Phu Ng, born in 1985 (appearing in court).

Address: 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

Defender of persons with related rights and obligations Ms. Le Thi Ph1: Lawyer Truong Thi Z - Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association.

- Appellant:  The respondents.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

According to the petition and during the settlement of the case, the petitioners - Ms. Le Thi A, Mr. Le Phu T, Mr. Le Phu L, Ms. Le Thi Ph, Mr. Le Phu Th, Ms. Le Thu H, Ms. Le Thu H1 and the authorized representative, Mr. Tran Cao C, presented:

Mr. Le Van X1 and Mrs. Mai Thi D got married in 1950, with a marriage certificate issued by Gia Dinh province. During their marriage, they had 13 children together, including:

1/ Le Phu T, born in 1947;

2/ Le Phu L, born in 1948;

3/ Le Thi H2, born in 1949;

4/ Le Phu Tr1, born in 1950;

5/ Le Thi N, born in 1952;

6/ Le Phu Q, born in 1954, died in 2014;

7/ Le Phu Th, born in 1955;

8/ Le Phu H3, born in 1956, died in 2003, no wife and children;

9/ Le Thi Ph, born in 1958;

10/ Le Phu H4, born in 1959, died in 2010, no wife and children;

11/ Le Thi Ph1, born in 1960;

12/ Le Thu H, born in 1962;

13/ Le Thu H1, born in 1966;

Mr. Le Van X1 also had a stepchild, Mrs. Le Thi A, born in 1939, with Mrs. Nguyen Thi Nuoi. In addition, Mr. X1 and Mr. D had no other stepchildren or adopted children.

During the marriage, Mr. X1 and Mr. D built a house at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. X1 and Mrs. D and 14 children have lived in this house since 1964.

In 1991, Le Van X1 settled in the United States. Before leaving the country, Mr. X1 has transferred ownership of the entire house at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City to Mrs. D. In 1993, Mr. X1 died in the United State leaving no will. In 2000, Mrs. D died and left a will as follows:  “After my death, my estate is the house I bought on installment plan from 1962 to 1965 with the money I saved. The 48-square-meter house is a part of lot "P" belonging to the title deed No. 228 "Saigon Dakao" located at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, ward B, District Y, will be the estate to all 14 children named below…”.

When Mr. X1, Mrs. D were still alive, although Mr. Le Phu Q's family, including Mr. Le Phu Q, his wife Le Thi X, children Le Phu Ng and Le Thanh Tr, had their own house at 77/1 Th street, Th ward, district Z, Ho Chi Minh City, they still stayed at house No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng for the reason that it was convenient for his children to study at schools in the city center. After Mr. D's death, Mrs. Le Thi N continued to live in the house above. Since then, this house has been the residence of the overseas children to visit their families in Vietnam every year.

When Mr. Q was alive, the siblings lived together in harmony, they were always ready to provide financial support when asked by Mr. Q. However, after Mr. Q's death, Mrs. Le Thi X and her 02 children had conflicts with all of Mr. Le Phu's siblings. Ms. X often cursed and tried to cause so much troubles for Le Thi N that she had to join a temple and become monk. In addition, Mrs. X and her children also prevented their overseas siblings from living in the house and having to rent a hotel. Mrs. X and her 2 children took over the house and did business despite the objections of the children of Mr. X1 and Mrs. D.

Now, the petitioners sued to claim their inheritance from the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City in accordance with the law for the co-heirs of Mr. X1 and Mrs. D and stepchildren of Mr. X1 and Ms. Le Thi A. The co-petitioners and persons with related interests and obligations requested to receive their inheritance in kind and return the value of the inheritance to Mr. Le Phu Q's heirs.

Respondent - Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr presented:

They concurred with the petitioners as to the origin of house and land No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City and line of succession.

Currently, in house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City, there are 04 people who are actually residing: Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng, Ms. Le Thanh Tr and Le Phu B (born in 2013). Ms. X determined that she and her husband and children had lived in this house before 1991, Mr. Le Phu Q had separated from his family register and acted as the householder of the house at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng house since 1985.

As for the petitioners’ lawsuit claim, the respondents requested that in the case of distribution of inheritance in a legal succession as to the above-mentioned house and land, their effort of preserving and repairing the estate must be considered which have been valued 6,000,000,000 so far. They also claimed that the dispute content mentioned in the petitioners’ claim is untrue, seriously affecting the honor, reputation and health of the respondents’ family, requiring the petitioners to make a public apology to the respondents’ family before the Court. In the event that the Court divides the house as the estate, the respondents request to receive the house to do the worship and return the value to the other co-heirs.

Persons with related rights and obligations – Ms. Le Thi N, Ms. Le Thi H2, Ms. Le Thi Ph1 and Mr. Le Phu Tr1 and the authorized representative Mr. Lam Binh K presented:

Agree with the petitioners on the origin of the estate and line of successors as the petitioners presented. Agree with the petitioners’ claim. Ms. H2, Ms. N, Ms. Ph1, Mr. Tr1 did not contribute any effort to build or repair the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City. Request the Court to distribute the inheritance in a legal succession as to the mentioned house, they wish to receive the house in kind, in addition, they have no other requirements. After Mr. X1 went abroad, Mrs. N was the one to directly take care of Mrs. D until Mrs. D died. The cost of taking care of Mrs. D and the funeral expenses were jointly contributed by the siblings, there is no request for the Court to consider in this case.

In the First Instance Civil Judgment No. 119/2019/DSST dated September 10, 2019, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City held:

- Pursuant to Article 26; Article 35; Article 37; Article 147 of the Civil Procedure Code 2015 in Viet Nam;

- Pursuant to clause 1 Article 623 of the Civil Code 2015 in Viet Nam;

- Pursuant to Articles 3, 4, 5, 24, and 25 of the Ordinance on Inheritance 1990 in Viet Nam;

- Pursuant to Article 636, Article 652, Article 653 of the Civil Code 1995 in Viet Nam;

- Pursuant to Resolution 326/2016/UBTVQH14 in Viet Nam dated December 30, 2016 of the National Trade Commission on collection, exemption, reduction, collection, submission, management and use of court fees and charges; Article 2 of the Law on Senior Citizens 2000 in Viet Nam.

Accept the claim of the petitioners on the distribution of inheritance for the house and land at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

1. Determine that the house and land at No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City was the estate of Mr. Le Van X1 and Mrs. Mai Thi D after death.

Determine the heirs of the inheritance of Mr. X1 and Mrs. D including: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4.

Identify the second line of succession of Mr. Le Phu H3 and Mr. Le Phu H4 including: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th.

2. Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Th each is entitled to the inheritance of VND 895,124,363 (Eight hundred and ninety five million one hundred and twenty four thousand three hundred and sixty three dong), equivalent to 8.016% of the house value.

3. Le Thi X, Le Phu Ng and Le Thi Thanh Truc are entitled to the inheritance of VND 1,320,530,001 (One billion three hundred and twenty million five hundred thirty thousand zero hundred and one dong), equivalent to 11.825% of the house value.

4. Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Th have obligation to return to Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng, and Ms. Le Thanh Tr the value of inheritance shares of 1,320,530,001 dong (One billion three hundred and twenty million five hundred thirty thousand zero hundred and one dong), equivalent to 11,825% of the house value. The judgment shall be enforced immediately after it takes legal effect. After returning the inheritance share, the above-mentioned persons are entitled to contact the competent authorities to carry out procedures to be recognized as co-owners of house and land No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Thanh Ho Chi Minh City.

From the date of the judgment creditor's written request for judgment enforcement until the execution of all sums of money, the judgment debtor must also pay interest on the remaining amount on a monthly basis at the interest rate of specified in Clause 2 of Article 468 of the Civil Code 2015.

5. Le Thi X, Le Phu Ng and Le Thi Thanh Truc shall return the house No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City to the remaining co-heirs after receiving the full value of the inheritance is VND 1,320,530,001 (One billion three hundred and twenty million five hundred thirty thousand zero hundred and one dong), equivalent to 11.825% of the house value. In addition, the first-instance judgment also declared judgment enforcement, court fees, and the right to appeal according to regulations.

On September 24, 2019, respondents Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr filed an appeal against the entire first-instance judgment.

At the appellate court hearing:

The authorized representatives of the petitioners and the defenders of the petitioners presented: Agree on the line of successors, on the origin of the property, drawings of the existing condition of the house and land and the assessed value of property according to the first instance judgment; no re-measurement or re-valuation is required. Request the first-instance court to accept the claim of the petitioners on the distribution of inheritance for the house and land at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City. Although the co-petitioners and Ms. H2, Mrs. Ph1, Mr. Tr1 all settled abroad, Ms. N has been a monk at a temple in Dong Nai since 2004, this house is the home to them when returning to Vietnam. Ms. X's family currently has a house in District 2. Therefore, the Trial Panel is requested not to accept the appeal of the respondents and affirm the first instance judgment.

The authorized representative and the defender of the person with related interests and obligations presented: Agree on the line of successors, on the origin of the property, drawings of the existing condition of the house and land and the assessed value of property according to the first instance judgment; no re-measurement or re-valuation is required. Mrs. N is no longer in this house because she has been a monk and has lived stably in Dong Nai since 2004 and the other heirs have all settled abroad. However, the house No. 43 is a place to worship father and mother. Moreover, Mrs. X's family has a house in District 2. Therefore, the Trial Panel is proposed to turn down the respondents’ appeal and affirm the first-instance judgment.

Representation of the respondents: Agree on the line of successors, on the origin of the property, drawings of the existing condition of the house and land and the assessed value of property according to the first instance judgment; no re-measurement or re-valuation is required. Uphold the appeal of the entire judgment. The respondents have a house at address 77/1, Quarter 2, Ward Th, District Z, Ho Chi Minh City, but the family has 2 children, so this house must be left for one child to live in. Because house 77/1 is too small to accommodate many people, the respondent's family still lives at house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng mainly to maintain and look after this house, and do business to support the family and take care of the elderly mother. The respondents’ family has been living in the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng since the years it was bought, when Mr. Q died, Mr. Le Phu Ng was the first paternal grandson, currently living in this house, and still doing a good job of keeping the house and worshiping ancestors so far as well as in the future. The respondents asked the Court to take account of the fact that in 1991, when all the siblings were eligible for going abroad, only Mr. Q and Mrs. N refused to go abroad to stay in Vietnam to take care of the old mother and take care of the house. If Mr. Q also went abroad at that time, the respondents’ family finance would be as rich as the other siblings. Moreover, now all the other siblings have foreign nationality, only Mrs. N has Vietnamese nationality, but she has been a monk in a temple in Dong Nai province and has lived in the temple since 2004. the respondents’ family has been attached to this house for a long time and always considers it as their own home. If the respondents move to another place, the worship of grandparents in this house is not regular and causes many difficulties for the respondents’ family circumstances.

When appealing due to negligence, the respondents only wrote their appeal against the entire judgment, not specifying the request to receive the house at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng in kind. Now at the appeal court, the respondent more specifically asked to receive this house and return the value to other co-heirs. Request to recognize the efforts of Mr. Le Phu Q and his wife in taking care of their elderly parents. Claim reimbursement of the respondents’ repair costs on this house.

Viewpoint of the representative of the Superior People's Procuracy in Ho Chi Minh City on lawsuit settlement:

Regarding the compliance with law: The presiding judge, the Trial Panel and the participants in the proceedings have strictly complied with the Civil Procedure Code.

With reference to content: The judgment of the first instance trial was rendered well-grounded and lawful. Therefore, the Trial Panel is requested not to accept the appeal of the respondents and affirm the first instance judgment.

JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT

After taking account of the documents available in the case files which have been verified at the trial and based on the results of the adversarial process at the trial, the People’s Procuracy representative and the Trial Panel determine as follows:

 [1] In terms of court procedures:

 [1.1] The appeal has been submitted and the advance of court fee for appeal has been paid in accordance with law.

 [1.2] At the appellate court session, a number of litigants were not appearing in court, but these litigants had written authorization for other persons to attend the court session or filed an application for trial in their absence. So the Trial Panel still adjudicates the case.

 [2]. Regarding the content: Considering the appeal of Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr against the entire first-instance judgment. The Trial Panel finds that:

 [2.1] Regarding the estate origin:

The petitioners, the respondents and those with related interests and obligations in the case all agree that the origin of the house and land at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City were owned by Mr. Le Van. X1 and Mrs. Mai Thi D. According to Official Dispatch No. 4739/CNQ1 dated July 11, 2018 of the Land Registry Office of District 1, Mr. X1 was allowed to transfer ownership of this house to Mrs. D under the License to buy, sell and transfer the house No. 2537/FP-MB7 dated May 31, 1991 issued by the Department of Real Estate, 2-storey townhouse structure, usable area of 147.56m2. Currently, no one has been granted a certificate of ownership for this house and land. Based on the License to buy, sell and transfer the house No. 2537/FP-MB7 dated May 31, 1991 and the admissions of the involved parties, it is well-grounded to determine that the house No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng was the legacy of Mr. X1 and Mrs. D.

 [2.2] As for prescriptive period for claiming division of inheritance: Mr. Le Van X1 died in 1993, and Mrs. Mai Thi D died in 2000, according to the provisions of Point d, Clause 1, Article 688 and Clause 1, Article 623 of the Civil Code 2015. the prescriptive period for inheritance division for the estate of Mr. X1, Mrs. D remains unexpired.

 [2.3] Regarding the validity of the will:

On December 11, 1992, Mrs. D made a will notarized by the Public Notary Office of Ho Chi Minh City to dispose of all the real estate No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng. In 2000, Mrs. D died. According to the provisions of Articles 652 and 653 of the Civil Code 1995, Mr. D's will be formally valid. Because house and land No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, ward B, District Y is the marital property, so Mrs. D only has the right to dispose of a half of the value of the house and land which is the inheritance he is entitled to due to the death of Mr. X1.

[2.4] Regarding the line of successors: The parties agree that the first line of successors consists of: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1 , Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4.

 [2.5] Considering the cost of taking care of Mrs. D and keeping and maintaining the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y.

 [2.5.1] The respondents proposed that before dividing the inheritance at the request of the petitioners, the Trial Panel must consider compensating the respondents’ efforts and money in taking care of Mrs. D and keeping and maintaining the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, which is VND 6,000,000,000. At the first-instance court hearing, the respondent re-determined the claim value as VND 3,000,000,000 (Three billion dong), requested to receive the house in kind and refund the share value to the petitioners and related people. The respondents claimed that they have been living in the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng since the years it was bought, when Mr. Q died, Mr. Le Phu Ng was the first paternal grandson, currently living in this house, and still doing a good job of keeping the house and worshiping ancestors so far as well as in the future. In 1991, Mr. Q refused to leave the country to stay in Vietnam to take care of his elderly mother and take care of the house. During the process of living in the house, Mr. and Mrs. Le Phu Q spent money to repair the house, but the time was too long, so they did not keep the documents. The respondents used the area in front of the house to sell soft drinks, but the profit was not much, only equal to the income of an unskilled worker. The respondents had a house at address 77/1, neighborhood 2, Ward Th, District Z, Ho Chi Minh City, but the house was too small, so they have still stayed at the house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng to look after this house and take care of their mother.

Considering that, after Mr. D's death, there was no agreement between the co-heirs on appointing an estate administrator, Mr. Le Phu Q's family has lived in house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng so far. Therefore, Mr. Q's family is the administrator of the estate according to the provisions of Clause 2, Article 616 of the Civil Code 2015. Pursuant to Point c, Clause 2, Article 618 of the Civil Code 2015 and Precedent No. 05/2016/AL passed by the Judicial Council of the Supreme People's Court on April 6, 2016, the person who is possessing, using and managing the estate specified in Clause 2, Article 616 of this Code is entitled to a compensation of the cost of estate preservation. Furthermore, according to Clause 3, Article 658 of the Civil Code 2015, the expenses related to inheritance are prioritized for payment, including expenses for the preservation of the estate.

 [2.5.3] Through the statements of the parties, comparing with the file of house No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng provided by the Office of the People's Committee of District X to the Court and drawings of existing condition No. No. 062/KD/2018 made by K Measurement - Design - Construction Co., Ltd. established on June 14, 2018 and inspected by the Land Registry Office of District X, the existing house condition has not changed. Respondents stated that they repaired and restored a number of items such as all doors, all tiles, built new bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, septic tanks, replaced electrical wiring, and water supply and drainage systems, waterproofing, leak proofing, etc. These repair items basically do not change the structure of the house, moreover, because the respondents’ family is residing in the house, the above repairs are also aimed at the domestic purpose. Mr. Q's family can stay at house 43 Nguyen Trung Ng because this property belonged to Mr. X1 and Mrs. D. Mr. Q is the biological son of Mr. X1, Mr. D, and lives together with his father and mother, so Mr and Mrs. Q have the obligation to serve and take care of their parents. In addition, the respondents’ family also used the premises in front of the house to sell beverage. This was also considered as earnings generated on this house.

On February 24, 2019, the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City issued Document No. 924/QD-CCCC requesting Ms. Le Thi X to provide evidence to prove the effort and money that she and her husband had spent to maintain disputed estate. However, Ms. X failed to provide evidence at the request of the Court. According to the litigants' presentation, since 1991, Mr. Q's siblings went abroad, only Mrs. N and Mr. Q stayed in Vietnam to take care of their mother and take care of the house. In 2000, Mrs. D died, in 2004 Mrs. N has become a monk in a temple in Dong Nai so far, only Mr. Q's family remains in the house. There is no agreement between the co-heirs on the administrator of the estate.  Therefore, the time period to be considered for taking account of the effort to preserve the estate of Mr. Q's family only begins from the time when Mrs. D died and Mrs. N left the house. The Trial Panel considers that it is necessary to consider and accept a part of the claim to compensate the cost of preserving the estate of Mr. Le Phu Q's family with a value equal to a share in the legal succession left by Mrs. D, and deny the request to compensate the cost that Mr. Q's family spent to repair the estate.

 [2.6] As for the claim of the litigants on the distribution of inheritance:

2.6.1] Considering that, for the disputed estate, there are two times of determining the estate of the deceased. Mr. Le Van X1 died in 1993, so the time of determining the estate of Mr. X1 was 1993. According to Articles 3 and 4 of the Ordinance on Inheritance 1990, the estate left by Mr. X1 is a half of real estate No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng. Mr. X1 died without leaving a will, so according to Point a, Clause 1, Article 24 of the Ordinance on Inheritance, the estate of Mr. X1 will be distributed in a legal succession. According to Clause 2, Article 5 and Article 25 of the Ordinance on Inheritance, the first line of successors of Mrs. X1 includes: Mrs. Mai Thi D (his wife) and children including Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4. According to Article 35 of the Ordinance on Inheritance, the estate of Mr. X1 is distributed equally among the first line of heirs, specifically, each person in the first line of inheritance of Mr. X1 is entitled to 1/30 of the value of the house and land No. 43. Nguyen Trung Ng. In specific: Mrs. D is entitled to 16/30 of the house value, equivalent to VND 5,955,678,933; children including Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4 each person is entitled to 1/30 of the house value, equivalent to VND 372,229,933.

Mrs. Mai Thi D died in 2000, so the time to determine the Mrs. D's estate was 2000 according to Article 636 of the 1995 Civil Code. Mrs. D left a will on December 11, 1992 stating that she leaves the entire house at number 43 Nguyen Trung Ng to 14 children, all of them have the right to bring their families there when they have no house to live. However, the content of the will is not appropriate, because Mrs. D only has the right to dispose of her property, which is 16/30 of the house value. Therefore, it is grounded to distribute the Mrs. D's inheritance in the house number 43 Nguyen Trung Ng to all the children of Mr. X1, Mrs. D including: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4 based on Mrs. D’s will.

Particularly Mr. Le Phu H3 died in 2003, Mr. Le Phu H4 died in 2010, Mr. H4 and Mr. H3 had no wife and children, Mr. Le Phu Q died in 2014 with his wife Le Thi X and children Le Phu Ng and Le. Thanh Tr; these people died after the property holder. The Mr. Le Phu Q's inheritance s will be left to Mr. Q's heirs, including his wife and children. Mr. Le Phu H3 and Mr. Le Phu H4 do not have a wife and children, so according to the law, the inheritance to which Mr. H3 and Mr. H4 are entitled will be divided equally to their siblings in the second line of heirs of Mr. H4 and Mr. H3.

Mr. Le Phu Q died in 2014, so Mr. Q's wife and children are entitled to the portion of the inheritance that Mr. Q is divided from the aforesaid estate.

According to the valuation record dated October 25, 2018, the value of the house is VND 11,166,898,000 (Eleven billion one hundred and sixty-six million, eight hundred and ninety-eight thousand dong). Specifically, the Mrs. D's estate is distributed as follows:

- The value of effort to maintain and preserve the estate is specifically calculated as 16/30 of the value of the house divided equally among 14 children, equivalent to VND 425,405,638, this value is subtracted before dividing the estate of Mrs. D.

- The remaining part of Mr. D's estate after deducting the effort to maintain and preserve the estate is VND 5,530,273,295, equally divided among 14 children, specifically, each child is entitled to VND 395,019,521, equivalent to 3,537% of the house value.

The portion of the inheritance of Mr. H4, Mr. H3 (including the share of Mr. X1 and the share of Mr. D) is divided equally among the remaining 12 siblings, namely [(VND 395,019,521 + VND 372,229,933 x 2)] : 12 = 127,874,909 VND/person.

Thus, the total value of each inheritance of each co-heir will include the value of Mr. X1's inheritance plus the value of Mr. D's inheritance plus the value of Mr. H4 and Mr. H3's share which is divided equally among the siblings, namely: 372,229,933 VND + 395,019,521 VND + 127,874,909 VND = 895,124,363 VND (Eight hundred and ninety five million one hundred twenty four thousand three hundred and sixty three dong), equivalent to 8.016% of the house value.

Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Th each person is entitled to VND 895,124,363 (Eight hundred and ninety five million one hundred twenty four thousand three hundred and sixty three dong). Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng, Ms. Le Thanh Tr in addition to the value of the share mentioned above, plus the value of efforts to maintain and preserve the estate, specifically entitled to VND 895,124,363 + VND 425,405,638 = VND 1,320,530,001 (One billion three hundred and twenty million five hundred thirty thousand zero hundred and one dong), equivalent to 11,825% of the house value.

 [2.7] Considering the appeal request to receive house and land:

Mr. X1's son is Mr. Q, whose wife is Mrs. X. The biological grandchildren of Mr. X1, Mrs. D are Mr. Ng and Ms. Tr, great grandchild is B (Mr. Ng’s child). The four generations mentioned above have lived in this disputed house and land since the establishment of this property, have permanent residence here and now need a place to live in to facilitate business, life and study. Especially, Mrs. X is old, has poor health, does not have a stable job, if she gives this house to the petitioners, it will cause many difficulties for Mrs. X, because Mrs. X has no other job to earn other than her income from business here and it is not convenient for Bao's study, as well as the jobs of other respondents. Meanwhile, at the appellate court hearing, the representative of the petitioners and the persons with related interests and obligations presented that Ms. N had no longer lived in this house, had been a monk and had lived stably at a pagoda in Dong Nai since 2004. Up to now, all the other heirs have settled abroad. Therefore, the Trial Panel partially accepts the respondents’ appeal; partially modifies the first-instance judgment; hands over the house No. 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City to the respondents; denies the respondents’ remaining appeal matters. Force the respondents to reimburse the value of the shares divided to other co-heirs according to the valuation at the first instance court.

 [3] Regarding appellate civil fee: Because the appeal is accepted, the appellant does not have to bear it.

For the foregoing reasons,

DISPOSITION

Pursuant to Clause 2, Article 308; Article 309 of the Civil Procedure Code 2015, Article 1 and Article 623 of the Civil Code 2015;

Pursuant to Articles 636 and 652, Article 653 of the Civil Code 1995; pursuant to Article 2 of the Law on Senior Citizens 2000;

Pursuant to Articles 3, 4, 5, 24, and 25 of the Ordinance on Inheritance 1990;

Pursuant to Resolution No. 326/2016/UBTVQH14 dated December 30, 2016 of the National Assembly Standing Committee, stipulating the court fees and charges, collection, exemption, reduction, management, and use thereof.

Declare:

1. Accept a part of the appeal of the respondents Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr. Modify a part of the first instance judgment No. 1119/2019/DS-ST dated September 10, 2019 of the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City.

2. Accept the claim of the petitioners on the distribution of inheritance for the house and land at 43 Nguyen Trung Ng, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

2.1 Identify the house and land located at 43, Nguyen Trung Ng Street, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City, which is the estate of Mr. Le Van X1 and Mrs. Mai Thi D.

2.2. Identify the first line of successors to enjoy the inheritance of Mr. X1, Mrs. D including: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1 , Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th, Le Phu H3, Le Phu H4.

2.3. Identify the second line of successors to enjoy the inheritance of Mr. Le Phu H3 and Mr. Le Phu H4, including: Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1 , Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Q, Le Phu Th.

2.4. Determine the beneficiaries of the inheritance that Mr. Q is divided from the estate of Mr. X1, Mrs. D left for the house and land located at 43, Nguyen Trung Ng Street, Ward B, District Y, Thanh Ho Chi Minh City including Ms. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr.

2.5. Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Th each person is entitled to VND 895,124,363 (Eight hundred and ninety five million one hundred twenty four thousand three hundred sixty-three dong).

2.6. Mrs. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr are entitled to VND 1,320,530,001 (One billion three hundred and twenty million five hundred thirty thousand zero hundred and one dong).

2.7. Mrs. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr are jointly obliged to refund Mr. Le Thi A, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Thi Ph, Le Thi Ph1, Le Thu H, Le Thu H1, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Phu Tr1, Le Phu Th each VND 895,124,363 (Eight hundred and ninety five million one hundred and twenty four thousand three hundred and sixty three dong) after the judgment takes legal effect.

2.8. After returning the inheritance shares (self-delivery or at the judgment enforcement agency), Mrs. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr are entitled to apply to the competent agency for issuance of a certificate of land use rights and house ownership at 43, Nguyen Trung Ng Street, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

3. From the date of the judgment creditor's written request for judgment enforcement until the execution of all sums of money, the judgment debtor must also pay interest on the remaining amount on a monthly basis at the interest rate of specified in Clause 2 of Article 468 of the Civil Code 2015.

4. Mrs. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr may directly manage and use the house and land at number 43, Nguyen Trung Ng Street, Ward B, District Y, Ho Chi Minh City.

5. With reference to court fees:

5.1. Regarding first instance civil court fee:

- Le Thi A, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Thi Ph, Le Phu Th, Le Thi H2, Le Thi N, Le Phu Tr1, Le Thi X are not subject to first-instance civil court fees. Refund to Mr. and Mrs. Le Thi A, Le Phu T, Le Phu L, Le Thi Ph, Le Phu Th the amount of the court fee advance paid if 10,334,000 VND (Ten million three hundred and thirty four thousand dong) to each person according to the court fee advance receipts No. 0048955, No. 0048961, No. 0048960, No. 0048958, No. 0048959 filed on the same day on March 13, 2018 at the Civil Judgment Enforcement Department of Ho Chi Minh City.

- Le Thu H, Le Thu H1 each must bear the first-instance civil court fee of VND 38,853,731 (Thirty eight million eight hundred fifty three thousand seven hundred and thirty one dong) but the amount is deducted from the paid court fee advance of VND 10,334,000 according to the court fee advance receipts number 0048957 and 0048956 filed on the same day of March 13, 2018 at the Civil Judgment Enforcement Department of Ho Chi Minh City. Mrs. H and Mrs. H1 each have to pay another VND 28,519,731 (Twenty eight million five hundred nineteen thousand seven hundred and thirty one dong).

- Ms. Le Thi Ph1 must bear the first-instance civil court fee of VND 38,853,731 (Thirty eight million eight hundred fifty three thousand seven hundred and thirty one dong).

- Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr must each bear the first-instance civil court fee of VND 21,607,067 (Twenty-one million six hundred and seven thousand zero hundred and sixty-seven dong).

5.2. Regarding appellate civil fee:

- Mrs. Le Thi X, Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr do not have to bear this fee. The amount of money that Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr paid as an appellate court fee advance of VND 600,000 according to the receipts of court fee advances No. 0024614 and 24615 filed on the same day of October 1, 2019 at the Civil Judgment Enforcement Department of Ho Chi Minh City is deducted from the first-instance civil court fee payable by Mr. Le Phu Ng and Ms. Le Thanh Tr.

6. In case the judgment or court decision is enforced as per regulations in Article 2 of the Law on enforcements of civil judgments in Viet Nam, the judgment creditor and judgment debtor are lawfully allowed to reach an agreement on judgment enforcement, request judgment enforcement, be subject to voluntary execution or coercive judgment enforcement in compliance with regulations in Article 6, 7, 7a, 7b and 9 of the Law on enforcement of civil judgments 2008, amended in 2014 in Viet Nam; and the effective period of judgment enforcement shall comply within provisions in Article 30 of the Law on enforcement of civil judgments, amended in 2014).

7. The appellate judgment takes legal effect from the date of pronouncement.


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Judgment no. 63/2020/DS-PT dated march 11, 2020 on inheritance dispute

Số hiệu:63/2020/DS-PT
Cấp xét xử:Phúc thẩm
Agency issued: Tòa án nhân dân cấp cao
Field:Dân sự
Date issued: 11/03/2020
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