Heirs of Lim v. Lim
Jose, together with Jimmy Yu and Norberto Yu formed a partnership to engage in a trucking business. After a year, Jose died leaving the heirs of Jose including Elfledo Lim, wherein the latter continued with the management of the trucking business.
Eventually, Lim died. Thus, the heirs of Jose filed a complaint for their share in the profits as heirs of Jose and the proper accounting of the partnership from when Jose died and Elfledo handled the partnership. They aver, based on the testimony of the only surviving partner of the business, Jimmy Yu, that Elfledo was not a partner in the business.
However, Elfledo contended that he was indeed a partner on the following basis:
- Jose himself gave Elfledo P50,000.00 as a share in the partnership;
- Elfledo ran the affairs of the partnership, wielding absolute control, power, and authority, without any intervention or opposition whatsoever from any of the petitioners;
- Elfledo did not receive any wages or salaries;
- that the heirs failed to demand periodic accounting from Elfledo during his lifetime; and
- all the properties of the business were registered under the name of Elfledo.
Was Elfledo a partner in the business?
Yes. The Court held that Elfledo was indeed a partner in the business. The Court had the view that the sole testimony of Jimmy Yu that Elfledo was a not a partner cannot establish such fact in the absence of any other evidence.
The Court must apply the rule on preponderance of evidence (Rule 133, Section 1) and Art. 1769 of the NCC. The Court agreed with all of the facts raised by Elfledo in establishing that he is a partner. Furthermore, the Court maintains that demand for periodic accounting is evidence of partnership.