Monday, January 25, 2016

Dichoso, Jr. vs. Marcos [GR No. 180282, April 11, 2011]

FACTS: On 02 August 2002, petitioners Crispin Dichoso, Jr., Evelyn Valdez and Rosemarie Benito filed a Complaint for Easement of Right of Way against respondent Patrocinio Marcos. The petitioners were the owners of Lot No. 21553 in Laoag City while the respondent was the owner of Lot 1. The petitioners alleged that they had no access to a public road to and from their property; they claimed to have used a portion of Lot No. 1, in accessing the road since 1970. However, the respondent blocked the passageway with piles of sand.

The respondent contends that the petitioners' claim of right of way is only due to expediency and not necessity since there is an existing easement of right of way granted by Spouses Arce who own the other adjacent lot.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to the grant of easement of right of way under Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code

RULING: No. Articles 649 and 650 provide requisites for the grant of right of way namely; 1) The dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; 2) There is payment of proper indemnity; 3) The isolation is not due to the acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; and 4) The right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.

The Court finds petitioners' concept of what is “adequate outlet” a complete disregard of the well-entrenched doctrine that in order to justify the imposition of an easement of right of way, there must be real, not fictitious or artificial, necessity for it. Mere convenience for the dominant estate is not what is required by law as the basis of setting up a compulsory easement. Even in the face of necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the easement, the same should not be imposed.

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