You are on page 1of 2

CMM DIGEST

De la Cruz vs Ramiscal February 4, 2005 Easements: right of way


(Property)

Plaintiff: Sps De La Cruz Defendant: Ramiscal Ponente: Chico-Nazario FACTS: Ramiscal owner of a parcel of land. Sps De la Cruz occupants of land at the back of Ramiscals property. Subject matter of this case: 1.10 m x 12.6 m pathway being used by Sps De La Cruz as pathway to and from 18th avenue, the nearest public highway from their property. Ramiscal filed a complaint seeking to demolish the structure illegally constructed by the Sps De La Cruz. She asserted that petitioners have an existing right of way to a public highway other than the pathway in litigation. Defense of the De La Cruz spouses: such use was with knowledge of respondent. ISSUES/HELD: (1) WON Sps De La Cruz are entitled to legal easement of right of way, assuming no voluntary right of way was granted to them by respondent. NO. (2) WON operative equitable principle of laches bar the respondent from depriving the petitioners continued use of the said right of way. NO. RATIO: (1) Sps De La Cru are NOT entitled to right of way. Easement/Servitude: real right constituted on corporeal immovable property of another, by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing or allow someone to do, something on his property, for the benefit of another thing/person. In the case at bar, Ramiscal did not voluntarily accord to the spouses the right of way. The spouses failed to show competent evidence other than their bare claim that they entered into an agreement with Mang Puling, Ramiscals foreman, to use the pathway, which would be reciprocated with an equivalent easement by owner of another adjacent estate. Conferment of legal easement has 5 requisites: (1) it is surrounded by other immovable and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; (lacking in this case as TC found adequate ingress and egress towards Boni Serrano Avenue) (2) payment of proper indemnity; (lacking as no indemnity was paid) (3) the isolation is not the result of its own acts; (lacking as isolation was due to acts of Conception de la Pena (the real owner of the lot occupied by Sps De La Cruz), who is required by law to grant right of way to the occupants of her property). (4) right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. Furthermore, under CC 649, it is the owner OR any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate/use, who is entitled to demand a right of way in the neighboring

CMM DIGEST

De la Cruz vs Ramiscal February 4, 2005 Easements: right of way


(Property)

estates. In the case at bar, the De La Cruz spouses that it fell under either of the 2 classifications. The title to both lots are still registered under the name of Concepcion De La Pena. (2) Sps De La Cruz cannot find sanctuary in the equitable principle of laches. Essential elements of laches are: (a) conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under whom he claims, giving rise to the situation complained of; (b) delay in asserting complainants rights after he had knowledge of defendants acts and after he has had the opportunity to sue; (c) lack of knowledge or notice by defendant that the complainant will assert the right on which he bases his suit; and (d) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event the relief is accorded to the complainant. Second and third elements are lacking because it was only in 1995 that respondent Ramiscal found out that the pathway being used by petitioners was part of her property when a relocation survey and location plan of her property and the adjacent land bought by San Benito Realty were prepared.