Saturday, January 31, 2009
G.R. No. L-14986 July 31, 1962
Appeal from a decision of the CFI of Negros Occidental
Facts: Appellant Jose Amaro was assaulted and shot at near the city government building of Silay; that the following day he, together with his father and his witnesses, went to the office of the defendant chief of police but instead of obtaining assistance to their complaint they were harassed and terrorized. In view thereof they gave up and renounced their right and interest in the prosecution of the crime. Amaro filed a complaint against chief of police for damages which motion the court dismissed.
Issue: WON chief of police be held liable for damages under art 27 of the CC
Ruling: ORDER APPEALED from is set aside and the case is remanded to the Court of origin for further proceedings.
The facts set out constitute an actionable dereliction on appellee's part in the light of Article 27 of the Civil Code. That appellants were "harrased and terrorized" may be a conclusion of law and hence improperly pleaded. Their claim for relief, however, is not based on the fact of harassment and terrorization but on appellee's refusal to give them assistance, which it was his duty to do as an officer of the law.
G.R. No. L-30745 January 18, 1978
Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Cebu
Facts: Petitioner, engaged in manufacturing of matches, assails the legality of the tax which the city treasure collected on out-of-town deliveries of matches by virtue of the city ordinance which taxes good stored and/or sold within the city. The company sought refund of the sales tax and for damages against the city treasurer fo r not following the advise of the city fiscal, as legal adviser of the city, that all out-of-town deliveries of matches are not subject to sales tax. The trial court dismissed the complaint against the city treasurer.
Issue: WON the city treasurer can be held liable for damages under art. 27 of the CC
Ruling: Judgment AFFIRMED.
Article 27 of the Civil Code provides that "any person suffering material or moral lose because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken." Article 27 presupposes that the refuse or omission of a public official is attributable to malice or inexcusable negligence. In the case at bar, the records clearly show that the city treasurer honestly believed that he was justified under the ordinance to collect taxes. The fiscal’s opinion on the legality of such or any other ordinance is merely advisory and has no binding effects.
As a rule, Where an officer is invested with discretion in matters brought before him and when so acting he is usually given immunity from liability to persons who may be injured as the result or an erroneous or mistaken decision, provided the acts complained of are done within the scope of the officer's authority and without malice, or corruption. It has been held previously by the SC that an erroneous interpretation of an ordinance does not constitute nor does it amount to bad faith that would entitle an aggrieved party to an award for damages Cabungcal vs. Cordovan 120 Phil. 667).
Thursday, January 29, 2009
GR. No. L-48928 February 25, 1982
FACTS: Plaintiff is a doctor of Medicine by profession and a recognized specialist in the treatment of tuberculosis. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the defendant Society, in representation of the PCSO. She was duly appointed as Executive Secretary of the Society. On May 29, 1974, the past Board of Directors removed her summarily from her position, the lawful cause of which she was not informed, through the simple expedient of declaring her position vacant. Defendant Romulo was appointed to the position and defendants Pardo, Nubla, Garcia and Adil, not being members of defendant Society were elevated as members of the Board of Directors. Not being qualified, petitioner alleged said acts to be null and void. The court a quo rendered a decision holding that the present suit being one for quo warranto it should be filed within one year from plaintiff's ouster from office; that nevertheless, plaintiff was not illegally removed from her position as Executive Secretary in The Society since plaintiff was holding an appointment at the pleasure of the appointing power and hence temporary.
ISSUE: W/N petitioner was illegally removed and thus entitled to damages.
RULING: Decision affirmed.
RATIO: The action is primarily against the Society and the past members of the Board who are responsible for her removal. Where the respondents, except for Romulo, are not actually holding the office in question, the suit could not be one for quo warranto.
The absence of a fixed term in the letter addressed to petitioner informing her of her appointment as Executive Secretary is very significant. This could have no other implication than that petitioner held an appointment at the pleasure of the appointing power.
Petitioner cannot likewise seek relief from the general provisions of the New Civil Code on Human Relations nor from the fundamental principles of the New Constitution on preservation of human dignity. While these provisions present some basic principles that are to be observed for the rightful relationship between human beings and the stability of social order, these are merely guides for human conduct in the absence of specific legal provisions and definite contractual stipulations. In the case at bar, the Code of By-Laws of the Society contains a specific provision governing the term of office of petitioner. The same necessarily limits her rights under the New Civil Code and the New Constitution upon acceptance of the appointment.
G.R. No. L-8851 March 16, 1914
FACTS: The complaint appellees, in substance, that plaintiff purchased certain real estate at an execution sale, paying therefor the sum of P2,170 to the defendant sheriff, who turned over the purchase price to the defendant company, the execution creditor, at whose instance the sale was had; that thereafter, plaintiff having gone into possession of the land was evicted therefrom in judicial proceedings, wherein the court found that the land in question was the property of certain third parties, and that neither the judgment debtor nor the purchaser at the execution sale had any title thereto. The prayer of the complaint is for judgment against the judgment creditor and the sheriff for the amount of the purchase price paid at the execution sale.
ISSUE: Is there an irregularity the proceedings of the sale?
RULING: under the general principles tat one person may not enrich himself at the expense of another, a judgment creditor would not be permitted to retain the purchaser price of land sold as the property of the judgment debtor after it has been made to appear that the judgment debtor had no title to the land and that the purchaser had failed to secure title thereto, and we find no difficulty therefore in accepting a liberal construction of the statute which arrives at the same equitable result.The plaintiff's right to recovery from the judgment creditor not being predicated on the theory of an express or implied warranty of title, defendant's contentions based on the provisions of article 1481 of the code need not be considered at this time. If defendant was not given an opportunity to be heard in the eviction proceedings, it would seem that he can avail himself in the pending action of any defense which if set up in the former action would have relieved him from liability to reimburse the purchaser.
DECISION: reversing the order of the court below sustaining the demurrer to the complaint, and directing that the record be returned to the court below for further proceedings.
WASSMER VS VELEZ
G.R. No. L-20089 December 26, 1964
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
FACTS: Francisco Velez and Beatriz Wassmer, following their mutual promise of love, decided to get married and set Sept. 4, 1954 as the big day. On Sept. 2, 1954, Velez left a note for his bride-to-be saying that he wants to postpone the marriage as his mother opposes it and that he is leaving. But the next day, Sept. 3, he sent her a telegram and told her that nothing has changed, that he is returning and he apologizes. Thereafter, Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again. Wassmer sued him for damages. Velez filed no answer and was declared in default.
ISSUE: Is the case at bar a mere breach of promise to marry?
RULING: Surely, this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry. As stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the preparation and publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Art. 21 of the NCC which provides that "any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage."
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
G.R. No. 115902. 27 Sept 1995.
Petition for certiorari to review the decision of the CA
Davide, Jr., J.:
Facts: On Aug 26, 1978 FILINVEST awarde to the defendant PACIFIC the development of the residential subdivision consisting of two lands located in Payatas, QC. PACIFIC issued two surety bonds issued by PHILAMGEN. PACIFIC failed to finish the contracted work, FILINVEST intends to take over the project and hold defendant liable for damages.
On October 26, plaintiff submitted its claim against PHILAMGEN under its performance and guarantee bond but PHILAMGEN refused to acknowledge its liability for the single reason that its principal, defendant pacific, refused to acknowledge liability therefore. Defendant said that the failure to finish the contracted work was due to the weather, and the grant of extension of the work is a waiver to claim any damages. PHILAMGEN contends that the various amendments made on the principal contract and the deviation in the implementation thereof which were resorted to by plaintiff and PACIFIC w/o its consent have automatically released the latter from any liability. The tc dismissed the complaint, basing on the commissioner report. CA affirmed.
Issue: WON the liquidated damages agrees upon by the parties should be reduced.
Held: Decision of CA AFFIRMED.
Ratio: Art. 1226 in obligations with a penal clause, the penalty of shall substitute the indemnity for damages and the payment of interests in case of non-compliance, if there is no stipulation to the contrary. Nevertheless, damages shall be paid if the obligor refuses to pay the penalty or is guilty of fraud in the fulfillment of the obligation.
As a general rule, courts are not at liberty to ignore the freedom of the parties to agree on such terms and conditions as they see fit, as long as they are not contrary to law. But the courts may equitably reduce the penalty in two instances, first,if the principal obligation has been irregularly complied with and second, when it is iniquitous or unconscionable.
G.R. No. 117009. 11 Oct 1995.
Petition to review and reverse the decision of the CA
Facts: Ferrer was contracted by the SBTC to construct a bldg in Davao. The contract provided that it be finished within 200 working days, it was finished upon stipulated time but additional expenses were incurred amounting to 300k on top of the original cost, these expenses were made known to SBTC and timely demands for the payment of the increased cost were done by Ferrer to SBTC, the latter only recommended that the verified cost is 200k. SBTC contend that in the contract, should there be any increase in the expenses, the “owner shall equitably make the appropriate adjustment on mutual agreement of both parties.” Ferrer filed for damages and the trial court ruled in his favor, the defendants were ordered to pay. On appeal, CA affirmed the tc’s decision.
Issue: WON SBTC is liable for damages and payment of the additional expenses.
Held: CA decision AFFIRMED.
Ratio: Art. 22 states that, “Every person who through an act or performance by another or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.”
It is not denied that private respondent incurred additional expenses in constructing petitioner bank’s bldg due to a drastic and unexpected in construction cost. Hence, to allow petitioner bank to acquire the constructed bldg at a price far below its actual cost would undoubtedly constitute unjust enrichment for the bank to the prejudice of Ferrer, such cannot be allowed by law.
G.R. No. 157632. December 6, 2006.
Petition for review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the RC assailing the decision of the CA
FACTS: A complaint for damages was filed against the respondent on account of the acts of the security guard employed by him, by shooting the plaintiff resulting in death. Respondent employed security guards to prevent the plaintiff from entering a parcel of land despite knowledge that he did not own the same and that there was a title under the name of the plaintiff’s son. When the latter insisted in entering the land, the guards shoot him. He filed a complaint but there was substitution by his heirs because he subsequently died.
ISSUE: W/N respondent is liable.
RULING: Petition granted. Respondent is liable.
RATIO: We agree with the CA finding that respondent cannot be held liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code for the damages suffered by petitioner because respondent is not the employer of the security guards who inflicted the injuries upon the person of the petitioner. However, the Court is not precluded from holding respondent liable under the law for damages resulting from the injuries inflicted on petitioner by the unlawful acts of the security guards
Respondent’s palpable display of bad faith in claiming a superior right to the property over petitioner’s son entitles petitioner to damages resulting therefrom. In order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the injuries which he sustained, he must establish that such injuries resulted from a breach of duty which the defendant owed to the plaintiff – a concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the person causing it. In other words, in order that the law will give redress for an act causing damage, the act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful.
Respondent violated the principle embodied in Article 19 of the Civil Code which mandates that “every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.” When a right is exercise in a manner which discards these norms resulting in damage to another, a legal wrong is committed for which the actor can be held accountable. If mere fault or negligence in one’s act can make him liable for damages for injury caused thereby, with more reason should abuse or bad faith make him liable.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
G.R. No. 112660. 14 March 1995.
Petition for review under Rule 45 of the RC of the decision of the CA
Facts: Private respondent Co is the lessee of the 2nd floor of the building located in Binondo, Manila where he conducts his garments manufacturing business. Petitioner spouses, manage a "Jollibee Yumburger" establishment on the ground floor of the same building. Co filed a complaint with Manila City Engineer's Office against the sps based on allegations that the spouses business' on the ground floor obstructed the 2nd floor and created heat and noise therein. In their answer to Co's complaint, the spouses filed a counterclaim for alleged damages resulting from the filing of the complaint.
After hearing, the RTC rendered a decision dismissing the complaint and ordering Co to pay the spouses actual, moral and exemplary damages as well as atty.’s fees. On appeal by Co, CA affirmed the decision of the RTC but deleted the award for damages to petitioners.
Issue: WON there was bad faith or ill-motive on the part of private respondent Co in filing his complaint against petitioners in the trial court which would entitle petitioners to damages
Ruling: CA decision AFFIRMED.
Generally, a complaint for malicious prosecution refers to unfounded criminal prosecutions, but the term has been expanded to include baseless civil suits filed without a cause of action or probable cause and which are meant to harass or humiliate a defendant.
In the case at bar, the letter complaint of Co was investigated by the Safety Engineers, who reported that the complaint was found to be substantially correct. Accordingly, no malice could be imputed to Co, who merely went to court to seek redress for his perceived grievance, which the City authorities initially acknowledged. The finding that he no longer conducted his business on the second floor of the building cannot be a basis for inferring the presence of bad faith, for it was likewise not refuted that Co still used the leased premises as a store room for his stocks and, besides, findings of bad faith cannot be based on mere inferences unsubstantiated by evidence. Damnum sine injuria esse potest ("There may be an injury inflicted without any act of injustice.")
G.R. No. 158901. 9 March 2004.
Petition for review of the decision of the CA
Facts: In Dec 1996, petitioners Proceso Quiros and Leonarda Villegas filed with the office of the barangay captain of Labney, San Jacinto, Pangasinan, a complaint for recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land located at Labney, San Jacinto, Pangasinan. Petitioners sought to recover from their uncle Marcelo Arjona, one of the respondents herein, their lawful share of the inheritance from their late grandmother Rosa Arjona Quiros alias Doza. In 1997, an amicable settlement was reached between the parties. By reason thereof, respondent Arjona executed a document denominated as "PAKNAAN" ("Agreement", in Pangasinan dialect).
Petitioners filed a complaint with the MCTC with prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution of the compromise agreement which was denied because the subject property cannot be determined with certainty. The RTC reversed the decision of the municipal court on appeal and ordered the issuance of the writ of execution. Respondents appealed to the CA, which reversed the decision of the RTC and reinstated the decision of the MCTC.
Issue: WON CA erred in reversing the decision of the RTC and reinstating that of the MCTC.
Ruling: Petition denied.
Generally, the rule is that where no repudiation was made during the 10-day period, the amicable settlement attains the status of finality and it becomes the ministerial duty of the court to implement and enforce it. However, such rule is not inflexible for it admits of certain exceptions. In the case at bar, the ends of justice would be frustrated if a writ of execution is issued considering the uncertainty of the object of the agreement. To do so would open the possibility of error and future litigations.
Both parties acknowledge that petitioners are entitled to their inheritance, hence, the remedy of nullification, which invalidates the Paknaan, would prejudice petitioners and deprive them of their just share of the inheritance. Respondent cannot, as an afterthought, be allowed to renege on his legal obligation to transfer the property to its rightful heirs. A refusal to reform the Paknaan under such circumstances would have the effect of penalizing one party for negligent conduct, and at the same time permitting the other party to escape the consequences of his negligence and profit thereby. No person shall be unjustly enriched at the expense of another.
G.R. No. 126013. 12 Feb 1997
Petition to review the decision of the CA
Hermosisima, Jr., J.:
Facts: Private respondent Calsons Development Corporation is the owner of three (3) adjacent parcels of land (parcel nos.1, 2 and 3). All three parcels of land are situated in Tagaytay City. Adjacent to parcel no.3 is a vacant lot denominated as parcel no. 4. In 1985, Private respondent constructed a two-srorey house on parcel no. 3 and the two other lots remained idle.
In a survey conducted in 1985, parcel no. 3 was erroneously indicated to be covered by the TCT of parcel no. 1, while the parcel no. 1 and parcel no. 2 were mistakenly surveyed to be located on parcel no. 4 instead. Unaware of the mistake private respondent sold said parcel no. 4 to petitioners.
In 1990, petitioners discovered that parcel no. 4 was owned by another person. They also discovered that the lots actually sold to them were parcel nos. 2 and 3. To remedy the mistake, private respondent offered parcel nos. 1 and 2 as these two were precisely the two vacant lots which private respondent owned and intended to sell. Petitioners rejected the good faith offer. Private respondent made another offer, this time the return of an amount double the price paid by petitioners. Petitioners still refused. Private respondent was then compelled to file an action for annulment of deed of sale and reconveyance of the properties subject thereof in the RTC which ruled on their favor and on appeal, the CA affirmed the same.
Issue: WON petitioners should be allowed to take parcel no. 3.
Ruling: Petition dismissed. CA decision affirmed.
The SC held that private respondent obviously committed an honest mistake in selling parcel no. 4. The good faith of the private respondent is evident in the fact that when the mistake was discovered, it immediately offered two other vacant lots to the petitioners or to reimburse them with twice the amount paid. That petitioners refused either option left the private respondent with no other choice but to file an action for the annulment of the deed of sale on the ground of mistake.
To allow the petitioners to take parcel no. 3 would be to countenance unjust enrichment. Considering that petitioners intended at the outset to purchase a vacant lot, their refusal to accept the offer of the private respondent to give them two (2) other vacant lots in exchange, as well as their insistence on parcel no. 3, which is a house and lot, is manifestly unreasonable.
G.R. No. L-17396. 30 May 1962.
Bautista Angelo J.:
Appeal from a decision of the CFI Mla.
Facts: Plaintiffs are parents, brothers and sisters of Lolita Pe, an unmarried woman 24 years of age. Defendant, a married man, frequently visited Lolita’s house on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him to pray the rosary. They fell in love and conducted clandestine trysts. When the parents learned about this they prohibited defendant from going to their house. The affair continued just the same. On April 14, 1957 Lolita disappeared from her brother’s house where she was living. A note in the handwriting of the defendant was found inside Lolita’s aparador The present action was instituted under Article 21 of the Civil Code. The lower court dismissed the action and plaintiffs appealed.
Issue: W/N the defendant committed injury to Lolita's family in a manner contrary to morals, good customs and public policy as contemplated in Article 21 of the New Civil Code.”
Held: “The circumstances under which defendant tried to win Lolita’s affection cannot lead to any other conclusion than that it was he who, thru an ingenious scheme or trickery, seduced the latter to the extent of making her fall in love with him. Indeed, no other conclusion can be drawn from this chain of events than that defendant not only deliberately, but through a clever strategy, succeeded in winning the affection and love of Lolita to the extent of having illicit relations with her. The wrong he has caused her and her family is indeed immeasurable considering the fact that he is a married man. Verily, he has committed and injury to Lolita’s family in a manner contrary to morals, good customs and public policy as contemplated in Article 21 of the New Civil Code.”
G.R. No. L-26795. 31 July 1970.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
Appeal on points of law from an order of the CFI of Zamboanga del Norte.
Facts: Plaintiff and defendant were neighbors and had close and confidential relations. Defendant, although married, succeeded in having carnal intercourse with the plaintiff several times by force and intimidation and without her consent. As a result she became pregnant and had to stop studying. Later she gave birth to a baby girl. She instituted an action to recover damages from the defendant. The lower court dismissed the case on the ground that the original complaint averred no cause of action. Plaintiff appealed.
Issue: W/N defendant is liable for damages.
Held: The orders under appeal are reversed and set aside.
Ratio: “A second reason for reversing the orders appealed from is that for a married man to force a woman not his wife to yield to his lust (as averred in the original complaint in this case) constitutes a clear violation of the rights of his victim that entitles her to claim compensation for the damage caused. Says Article 21 of Civil Code of the Philippines: “ ‘Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.’ “