VDA. DE AVILES v. CA
An action to quiet title or to remove cloud may not be brought for the purpose of settling a boundary dispute.
Eduardo Aviles, the predecessor of the petitioners is the bother of defendant Camilo. They inherited their lands from their parents and have agreed to subdivide the same amongst themselves. The area alloted (sic) to Eduardo Aviles is 16,111 square meters more or less, to Anastacio Aviles is 16,214 square meters more or less, while the area alloted to defendant Camilo Aviles is 14,470 square meters more or less.
Defendant’s land composed of the riceland portion of his land is 13,290 square meters, the fishpond portion is 500 square meters and the residential portion is 680 square meters, or a total of 14,470 square meters.
The Petitioners claim that they are the owners of the fish pond which they claim is within their area. Defendant Camilo Aviles asserted a color of title over the northern portion of the property with an area of approximately 1,200 square meters by constructing a bamboo fence (thereon) and moving the earthen dikes, thereby molesting and disturbing the peaceful possession of the plaintiffs over said portion.
Petitioners say that the fences were created to unduly encroach to their property but the defendant said that he merely reconstructed the same.
Petitioners brought an action to quiet title but were denied thus this case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioners filed the right action
No, Petitioners filed the wrong action. This is obviously a boundary dispute and as such the action must fail.
Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is, in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon a title to real property or any interest therein.
Petitioners fail to point out any any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding that could been a “cloud” to their title. In fact, both plaintiffs and defendant admitted the existence of the agreement of partition dated June 8, 1957 and in accordance therewith, a fixed area was allotted to them and that the only controversy is whether these lands were properly measured.
A special civil action for quieting of title is not the proper remedy for settling a boundary dispute, and that petitioners should have instituted an ejectment suit instead. An action for forcible entry, whenever warranted by the period prescribed in Rule 70, or for recovery of possession de facto, also within the prescribed period, may be availed of by the petitioners, in which proceeding the boundary dispute may be fully threshed out.