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CASTRO VS.

MONSODFACTS:

Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of landwith an area of 130 sq.m. while respondent is theowner of the
property adjoining the lot of petitioner.

Respondent caused the annotation of an adverseclaim against 65 sq.m. of the property of petitioner. The adverse claim
was filed without any claim of ownership over the property. Respondent was merelyasserting the existing legal
easement of lateral andsubjacent support at the rear portion of his estate toprevent the property from collapsing, since
hisproperty is located at an elevated plateau of fifteen15 feet above the level of petitioners property

Prior to the filing of the case, petitioner noticed aleak that caused the front portion of her house to beslippery, she hired
construction workers to see wherethe leak was coming from. The workers had alreadystarted digging when police
officers sent byrespondent came and stopped the workers fromfinishing their job..

In defiance, petitioner filed a complaint for damageswith temporary restraining order/writ of preliminaryinjunction.

Respondent alleged that the elevated part of Manuela homes (location of the property of petitioner) were bulldozed,
excavated, andtransferred portions of the elevated land to the lowerportions of Manuela Homes. Thus, Manuela Homes
became lowerthan Moonwalk Village (location of the property of respondent).

Before the said excavation, respondent personallycomplained to Pilar Development Corporation andwas assured that an
embankment will be retained atthe boundary of Manuela Homes and MoonwalkVillage.

Manuela Homes retained the embankment consistingof soil and rocks. Respondent had the open spaceriprapped with
stones as reinforcement against anypotential soil erosion, earthquake, and possibledigging by any person. RTC rendered
a decision in favor of the petitionerOn appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the trial courtexplaining that the purpose
of the annotation was to

prevent petitioner from making injurious excavations on thesubject embankment as to deprive the residential houseand
lot of respondent of its natural support and cause it tocollapse. Respondent only asked that petitioner respect thelegal
easement already existing thereon.
ISSUE: Whether the easement of lateral andsubjacent support exists on the subject adjacentproperties and, if it does,
whether the same may beannotated at the back of the title of the servientestate.HELD: YES. Article 437 of the Civil Code
provides that the ownerof a parcel of land is the owner of its surface and of everything under it, and he can construct
thereonany works, or make any plantations and excavationswhich he may deem proper. However, such right of the
owner is not absolute and is subject to thefollowing limitations: (1) servitudes oreasements, (2) special laws, (3)
ordinances, (4)reasonable requirements of aerial navigation, and(5) rights of third persons
.His reason for the annotation is only to prevent petitionerfrom removing the embankment or from digging on
theproperty for fear of soil erosion that might weaken thefoundation of the rear portion of his property which isadjacent
to the property of petitioner.
An easement or servitude is an encumbranceimposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable
belonging to a different owner.
An easement is established either by law or by will of theowners. The courts cannot impose or constitute anyservitude
where none existed. They can only declare itsexistence if in reality it exists by law or by the will of theowners. There are
therefore no judicial easements. Article 684 of the Civil Code provides that no proprietorshall make such excavations
upon his land as to depriveany adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral orsubjacent support. An owner, by virtue of
his surface right,may make excavations on his land, but his right is subjectto the limitation that he shall not deprive any
adjacent landor building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support.Between two adjacent landowners, each has an
absoluteproperty right to have his land laterally supported by thesoil of his neighbor, and if either, in excavating on his
ownpremises, he so disturbs the lateral support of hisneighbors land as to cause it, or, in its natural state, by
thepressure of its own weight, to fall away or slide from itsposition, the one so excavating is liableIn the instant case, an
easement of subjacent andlateral support exists in favor of respondent. It was

established that the properties of petitioner and respondentadjoin each other. The residential house and lot of
respondent is located on an elevated plateau of fifteen (15)feet above the level of petitioners property.
Theembankment and the riprapped stones have been inexistence even before petitioner became the owner of
theproperty. It was proven that petitioner has been makingexcavations and diggings on the subject embankment
and,unless restrained, the continued excavation of theembankment could cause the foundation of the rear portionof
the house of respondent to collapse, resulting in thedestruction of a huge part of the family dwelling
An annotation of the existence of the subjacent andlateral support is no longer necessary. It existswhether or not it is
annotated or registered in theregistry of property. A judicial recognition of thesame already binds the property and the
owner of the same, including her successors-in-interest
.Otherwise, every adjoining landowner would come to courtor have the easement of subjacent and lateral
supportregistered in order for it to be recognized and respected