Regala v Carin 2011 — Short Summary Carin sued Regala, claiming to have suffered from the construction conducted

by the latter in his property. Earlier, Regala asked Carin's consent for extending his residence. Regala, however, intended to build a second floor to his house. Carin claimed that dust and dirt from the construction fell on his property, and that the laborers entered his property without his authority. The SC did not award moral damages, since Carin failed to establish that his injury was the proximate result of Regala's act or omission, and that Regala was in the lawful exercise of his property rights. He was in good faith. Doctrine: Under Article 2220, the damage caused to the property must have been inflicted maliciously or willfully, for moral damages to be recovered.

Longer Summary:
G.R. No. 188715 April 6, 2011

RODOLFO N. REGALA, Petitioner vs. FEDERICO P. CARIN, Respondent

FACTS: Petitioner and respondent are adjacent neighbors at Spirig Street, BF Resort Village, Las Piñas City. When petitioner decided to renovate his one story residence by constructing a second floor, he under the guise of merely building an extension to his residence, approached respondent sometime in May 1998 for permission to bore a hole through a perimeter wall shared by both their respective properties, to which respondent verbally consented on condition that petitioner would clean the area affected by the work. Petitioner’s real intention was to build a second f loor, in fact with a terrace atop the dividing wall. In the course of the construction of the second floor, respondent and his wife Marietta suffered from the dust and dirt which fell on their property. As petitioner failed to address the problem to respondent’s satisfaction, respondent filed a letter-complaint with the Office of the City Engineer and Building Official of Las Piñas City. No satisfactory agreement was reached at the barangay conciliation proceedings. Respondent filed on March 1999 a complaint for damages against petitioner before the RTC of Las Piñas City. Respondent alleged that petitioner demolished the whole length of the wall from top to bottom into five parts for the purpose of constructing a second floor with terrace; and that debris and dust piled up on respondent’s property ruining his garden and forcing him to, among other things, shut some of the windows of his house. Respondent thus prayed for the award of moral and exemplary damages. The RTC decided in favor of respondent whom it awarded moral and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees plus costs of suit. On appeal by petitioner, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision but modified the award of moral and exemplary damages. ISSUE: Whether or not the award of moral and exemplary damages is proper? – NO RULING:

serious anxiety. an element crucial to merit an award of moral damages under Article 2220 of the Civil Code. it is different from the negative idea of negligence in that malice or bad [27] faith contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or ill will. While he initially did not have a building permit and may have misrepresented his real intent when he initially sought respondent’s consent. respondent failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the injuries he sustained were the proximate effect of petitioner’s act or omission. was premised on the damage and suffering sustained by respondent arising from quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. 3) proof that the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the damages sustained by the claimant. fright. and similar harm unjustly caused to a person. It bears noting that petitioner was engaged in the lawful exercise of his property rights to introduce renovations to his abode. Moreover. social humiliation.the damages must be shown to be the proximate result of a wrongful act or omission. 2009 Decision of the Court of Appeals is VACATED. moral shock. In the present case. In fine.The trial court’s award of moral and exemplary damages. Moral damages are not meant to be punitive but are designed to compensate and alleviate the physical suffering. While the Court harbors no doubt that the incidents which gave rise to this dispute have brought anxiety and anguish to respondent. the claimant must satisfactorily prove that he has suffered damages and that the injury causing it has sprung from any of the cases listed in Articles 2219 and 2220 of the Civil Code. wounded feelings. the lack of the permit was inconsequential since it only rendered petitioner liable to administrative sanctions or penalties. as affirmed by the appellate court. the petition is GRANTED. and 4) the proof that the act is predicated on any of the instances expressed or envisioned by Article 2219 and Article 2220 of the Civil Code. mental anguish. recovery is more an exception rather than the rule. . in prayers for moral damages. it is unconvinced that the damage inflicted upon respondent’s property was malicious or willful. Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity. WHEREFORE. besmirched reputation. mental or psychological suffering sustained by the claimant. To be entitled to such an award. The Court orders petitioner to pay respondent the sum of P25. The May 26. 2) a culpable act or omission factually established. an award of moral damages calls for the presentation of 1) evidence of besmirched reputation or physical. However.000 as nominal damages. The claimant must thus establish the factual basis of the damages and its causal tie with the acts of the defendant.