Sunday, March 04, 2012

Spouses Decena vs. Spouses Piquero [G.R. No. 155736. March 31, 2005]

Facts: On September 7, 1997, Spouses Danilo and Cristina Decena executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Spouses Pedro and Valeria Piquero for the sale of their titled property in Paranaque, costing P6,900,000.00, for the price of P940,250.00 only, payable in six (6) installments via postdated checks. The MOA stipulated that the that the petitioners obliged themselves to transfer the property to the respondents upon the execution of the MOA with the condition that if two of the postdated checks would be dishonored by the drawee bank, the latter would be obliged to reconvey the property to the petitioners. The vendees forthwith took possession of the property. 

The first two checks issued by the respondents were dishonored by the drawee bank and were not replaced with cash despite demands by the petitioners who on May 17, 1999 filed a complaint, before the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan where they reside, against the respondents for the annulment of the sale/MOA, recovery of possession and damages, alleging that they did not transfer the property to and in the names of the respondents as a result of the dishonored checks. 

Issue: Whether or not the RTC of Malolos Bulacan gained jurisdiction over the case and should be the venue of litigation. 

Held: NO.The action of the petitioners for the rescission of the MOA on account of the respondents' breach thereof and the latter's failure to return the premises subject of the complaint to the petitioners, and the respondents' eviction therefrom is a real action. As such, the action should have been filed in the proper court where the property is located, namely, in Pararaque City, conformably with Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court 

The action of the petitioners for the rescission of the MOA on account of the respondents' breach thereof and the latter's failure to return the premises subject of the complaint to the petitioners, and the respondents' eviction therefrom is a real action. As such, the action should have been filed in the proper court where the property is located, namely, in Pararaque City, conformably with Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court which reads: 

SECTION 1. Venue of real actions. ' Actions affecting title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion thereof, is situated. 

Since the petitioners, who were residents of Malolos, Bulacan, filed their complaint in the said RTC, venue was improperly laid; hence, the trial court acted conformably with Section 1(c), Rule 16 of the Rules of Court when it ordered the dismissal of the complaint.

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