G.R. No. 2263. November 02, 1905

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5 Phil. 204

[ G.R. No. 2263. November 02, 1905 ]




On the 12th of June, 1903, counsel for plaintiff Cipriano Sanidad
presented a petition to the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur for
the partition of the property set forth in the petition, alleging that
he had inherited the same from his daughter, Maria Sanidad, who in turn
inherited it from her mother, Sergia Cabotaje, the wife of the
plaintiff, both deceased, said partition to be made subject to the
rights of the respective parties; and for judgment against the
defendant in the sum of 520 pesos, Mexican currency, as profits
accruing to plaintiff from the said property and that in case a
partition could not be had without detriment to the rights of both
parties the property be sold at public auction and the proceeds divided
between the parties, after deducting the cost of the proceedings.

The defendant, Simon Cabotaje, having been duly summoned, on the
18th of July, 1903, demurred to the complaint upon the ground set forth
in paragragh 4 of section 91 of the Code of Civil Procedure, alleging
that he was not a necessary party to the action and had no interest
therein, and requesting that the complaint be amended, making the Rev.
Adriano Garces, who had an interest adverse to that of the plaintiff,
the only party defendant.

The demurrer was overruled and on the 20th of August of the same
year the defendant filed his answer to the complaint, praying that the
case be dismissed, with costs to the plaintiff, denying the allegations
in paragraphs 1, 5, 7, and 8, and averring that he had no knowledge of
the statements contained in paragraph 9, and that Father Garces, a
resident of Dagupan, Pangasinan, was the sole owner of the property
claimed, and was therefore the only necessary party to the action; and
that he, the defendant, Simon Cabotaje, was a mere administrator of the
said property, and consequently not a proper party to the action.

The court, after hearing the evidence introduced at the trial,
entered judgment on the fourth day of February, 1904, in conformity
with the prayer in the complaint, and directed a partition between
plaintiff and defendant of the property described in the complaint. The
defendant moved for a new trial, which was denied, to which ruling of
the court he excepted.

Section 114 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides:

“Every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. * * *

than as provided in this section, all persons having an interest in the
subject of the action, and in obtaining the relief demanded, shall be
joined as plaintiffs.

“Any person should be made a defendant
who has or claims an interest in the controversy or subject-matter
thereof adverse to the plaintiff, or who is a necessary party to a
complete determination or settlement of the questions involved therein.”

Section 122 of the same code provides:

“The court may determine any controversy between
parties before it, if it can be done without prejudice to the rights of
others, or by preserving their rights for future action; but when a
complete determination of the controversy can not be had without the
presence of other parties, the court must order them to be brought in,
and to that end may order amended or supplemental pleadings, or a cross
complaint, to be filed, and summons therein to be duly issued and

The failure to comply with the rules laid down by the Code of Civil
Procedure for the trial and proper determination of cases involving
questions controverted by the parties prevents the court from duly
deciding said questions and arriving at a conclusion upon the merits of
the case, and makes it necessary to decide, in the first place, such
questions as relate to the form of the action-that is to say, as to
whether or not the procedure laid down by the law has been complied

It is not necessary, therefore, to pass upon the validity of the
transfer of the property to Father Garces, nor to decide the other
questions raised by the plaintiff. The decision of this court must be
confined to the question of form raised by the demurrer and urged in
the answer.

It is the duty of this court to decide whether or not, under the
sections of the Code of Civil Procedure above quoted, Father Adriano
Garces should be joined with the defendant, Simon Cabotaje, as a
necessary party to this action.

Assuming, without deciding, that the property claimed in the
complaint was actually in the possession of the said Father Garces, any
judgment that might be rendered in this case in favor of the plaintiff
would be necessarily void and of no effect if Simon Cabotaje were the
only party defendant to the suit, since the property claimed is in the
possession of a third party. For that reason it becomes impossible to
arrive at a final determination of the case unless Father Garces is
joined as a party defendant therein. This case comes within the
provisions of the latter part of section 122 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, and it should therefore be directed that the complaint be
amended so as to include all necessary parties for the final settlement
of the case.

For the foregoing reasons we are of opinion that the judgment of the
court below should be reversed, the proceedings in this case set aside,
and the plaintiff is hereby allowed to amend his complaint as
aforesaid. After the expiration of twenty days from the date hereof let
judgment be entered accordingly, and the case remanded to the trial
court for further proceedings in accordance with the law. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Mapa, Johnson, Carson, and Willard, JJ., concur.

Date created: April 28, 2014


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