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Ada vs Baylon

Gr No. 182435, 678 S 293


Reyes, J.:
Facts:
At the time of the death of Sps. Baylon, they were survived by their legitimate children,
namely Rita, Victoria, Dolores, Panfila, Ramon and herein petitioner Lilia.
Lilia, together with her nieces and nephews who survived their parents, filed with the RTC
a complaint for partition, accounting and damages against Florante, Rita and Panfila, for refusal
to partition the properties which they inherited from Sps. Baylon; that Rita took possession of
the parcels of land they inherited and appropriated for herself the income, and using said income
to purchased two parcels of land. These allegations were denied by the said respondents.
During the pendency of the case, Rita, through a Deed of Donation dated July 6, 1997,
conveyed Lot. No. 4709 and half of Lot. No. 4706 (the alleged purchased lands) to Florante. On
July 16, 2000, Rita died intestate and without issue. Thereafter, learning of the said donation
inter vivos in favor of Florante, petitioners filed a Supplemental Pleading dated February 6, 2002,
praying that the same be rescinded, raising Art, 1381 (4) as basis. Florante and Panfila opposed
the rescission claiming that said article applies only when there is already a prior judicial decree
on who between the contending parties actually owned the properties under litigation.
The RTC held that the death of Rita during pendency of the case intestate and without
issue had rendered the issue of ownership moot since the parties are the heirs to her estate.
Also, that the donation inter vivos is rescinded.
The CA reversed and set aside the RTCs decision, ruling that an action for rescission
cannot be joined with their action for partition, accounting and damages through a mere
supplemental pleading.

Issue:
WON the actions of partition and rescission be joined in a single action.
Held:
No. The complaint filed by the petitioners with the RTC involves two separate, distinct
and independent actions partition and rescission. These actions cannot be joined in a single
cause of action.
By a joinder of actions, or more properly, a joinder of causes of action is meant the uniting
of two or more demands or rights of actions in one action, the statement of more than one cause
of action in a declaration. It is the union of two or more civil causes of action, each of which could
be made the basis of a separate suit, in the same complaint, declaration or petition. The
objectives of the rule or provision are to avoid a multiplicity of suits where the same parties and
subject matter are to be dealt with by effecting in one action a complete determination of all
matters in controversy and litigation between the parties involving one subject matter, and to
expedite the disposition of litigation at minimum cost.
Nevertheless, while parties to an action may assert in one pleading, in the alternative or
otherwise, as many causes of action as they may have against an opposing party, such joinder of
causes of action is subject to the condition, inter alia, that the joinder shall not include special
civil actions governed by special rules. In the case at bar, there was a misjoinder of causes of
action, since an action for partition is a special civil action, while rescission is an ordinary civil
action.
Misjoinder of causes of action is, however, not a ground for dismissal. Indeed, the courts
have the power, acting upon the motion of a party to the case or sua sponte, to order the
severance of the misjoined cause of action to be proceeded with separately. However, if there is
no objection to the improper joinder, as in this case, or the court did not motu propio direct a
severance, then there exists no bar in the simultaneous adjudication of all the erroneously joined
causes of action. Thus, in the case, even if the donation inter vivos is validly rescinded, a
determination as to the ownership of the subject parcels of land is still necessary. It is hereby
remanded to the trial court for determination of ownership of Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot No.
4706.
Nabus vs CA
Gr No. 91670, 193 S 732
Regalado, J.:
Facts:
On June 22, 1970, petitioner Nabus brought an action for reconveyance of a parcel of land
against herein private respondent Lim, in the then CFI of Baguio and Benguet, La Trinidad,
Benguet. After Nabus had rested his case, Lim moved to dismiss the complaint in Civil Case No.
2159 (24) on the grounds of lack of cause of action, there being no tender of the repurchase price
of the parcel of land in question, and of prescription. This was denied by the trial court. Lim filed
a Motion for Reconsideration of the order. The trial court, on Feb. 5, 1980, upon motion of Lim,
ordered Nabus to deposit the repurchase price of the said lot. Lim filed a motion to dismiss Civil
Case No. 2159 (24) for failure of Nabus to deposit. On Dec. 1, 1980, Nabus, by counsel, filed a
motion for extension of time to file an opposition to Lims motion to dismiss. On March 13, 1981,
no opposition having been filed to the motion, because of death of Nabus counsel, the trial court
dismissed with prejudice Civil Case No. 2159 (24). On May 14, 1981, Nabus filed, though a new
counsel, a Motion for Reconsideration of the order dismissing Civil Case 2159 (24). The trial court
denied the same on Jan. 26, 1982. No appeal was taken from said order of dismissal.
On March 15, 1982, Nabus filed Civil Case No. 4293 in the same CFI for the annulment of
the order of dismissal in the Civil Case No. 2159 (24), predicated upon the failure of private
respondent to pay the last three installments of the purchased price. It was subsequently
amended to allege grounds for rescission and damages as additional causes of action. On Aug. 8,
1986, Lim filed Motion to Dismiss the Civil Case 4293 on the ground that it was barred by prior
judgement on Res Judicata and had prescribed.

Issues:
WON the plaintiff is already barred in his second cause of action against private
respondent, thus res judicata be applied.
Held:
No. the rule on joinder of causes of action is only permissive. It does not constitute an
obligatory rule, as there is no positive provision of law or any rule of jurisprudence which compels
a party to join all his causes of action and bring them at one and the same time. Under the present
rules, the provision is still that the plaintiff may, and not the he must, unite several causes of
action although they may be included in one of the classes specified. This, therefore, leaves it to
the plaintiffs option whether the causes of action shall be joined in the same action, and no
unfavorable inference may be drawn from his failure or refusal to do so. He may always file
another action based on the remaining cause or causes of action within the prescriptive period
therefor.
In the case at bar, the former suit was anchored upon his right to repurchase the subject
lot. The cause of action sought to be enforced in the present action is predicated upon the failure
of private respondent to pay the last three installments of the purchase price. It is a cause of
action which is wholly independent of, and entirely separate and discrete from, the allege cause
of action asserted by petitioner in the former suit. Since petitioner seeks relief in the instant case
upon a cause of action different from the one asserted by him in the former suit, the judgment
in the former is conclusive only as to such points or questions as were actually in issue or
adjudicated therein. In the circumstances, therefore, the doctrine of res judicata will not apply.
However, the action for rescission has already prescribed and consequently be dismissed on the
same ground.
Republic vs Herbieto
G.R. No. 156117, May 26, 2005
Chico-Nazario, J.:
Facts:
Respondents in the present Petition are the Herbieto brothers, Jeremias and David, who
filed with the MTC, on 23 September 1998, a single application for registration of two parcels of
land, Lots No. 8422 and 8423 (Subject Lots), owned separately by them. They claimed to be
owners in fee simple of the Subject Lots, which they purchased from their parents, spouses
Gregorio Herbieto and Isabel Owatan, on 25 June 1976.
On 11 December 1998, the petitioner Republic of the Philippines (Republic) filed an
Opposition to the respondents application for registration of the Subject Lots.
The MTC set the initial hearing. All owners of the land adjoining the Subject Lots were
sent copies of the Notice of Initial Hearing. During the initial hearing on 03 September 1999, the
MTC issued an Order of Special Default, with only petitioner Republic opposing the application
for registration of the Subject Lots.
On 21 December 1999, the MTC promulgated its Judgment ordering the registration and
confirmation of the title of respondent Jeremias over Lot No. 8422 and of respondent David over
Lot No. 8423. It subsequently issued an Order on 02 February 2000 declaring its Judgment, dated
21 December 1999, final and executory, and directing the Administrator of the Land Registration
Authority (LRA) to issue a decree of registration for the Subject Lots. The Court of Appeals, in its
Decision, dated 22 November 2002, affirmed the appealed MTC Judgment.
The Republic filed the present Petition for the review and reversal of the Decision of the
Court of Appeals, dated 22 November 2002, believing that there was irregularity committed by
the respondents and was fatal to their case, depriving the MTC of jurisdiction to proceed with
and hear their application for registration of the Subject Lots.

Issue:
WON the misjoinder of causes of action and parties affect the jurisdiction of the MTC to
hear and proceed with respondents application for registration.
Held:
No. Considering every application for land registration filed in strict accordance with the
Property Registration Decree as a single cause of action, then the defect in the joint application
for registration filed by the respondents with the MTC constitutes a misjoinder of causes of action
and parties. Instead of a single or joint application for registration, respondents Jeremias and
David, more appropriately, should have filed separate applications for registration of Lots No.
8422 and 8423, respectively.
Misjoinder of causes of action and parties do not involve a question of jurisdiction of the
court to hear and proceed with the case. They are not even accepted grounds for dismissal
thereof. Instead, under the Rules of Court, the misjoinder of causes of action and parties involve
an implied admission of the courts jurisdiction. It acknowledges the power of the court, acting
upon the motion of a party to the case or on its own initiative, to order the severance of the
misjoined cause of action, to be proceeded with separately (in case of misjoinder of causes of
action); and/or the dropping of a party and the severance of any claim against said misjoined
party, also to be proceeded with separately (in case of misjoinder of parties).
The misjoinder of causes of action and parties in the present Petition may have been
corrected by the MTC motu propio or on motion of the petitioner Republic. It is regrettable,
however, that the MTC failed to detect the misjoinder when the application for registration was
still pending before it; and more regrettable that the petitioner Republic did not call the attention
of the MTC to the fact by filing a motion for severance of the causes of action and parties, raising
the issue of misjoinder only before this Court.
Although the misjoinder of causes of action and parties in the present Petition did not affect
the jurisdiction of the MTC over the land registration proceeding, this Court, nonetheless, has
discovered a defect in the publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing, which bars the MTC from
assuming jurisdiction to hear and proceed with respondents application for registration.