AMOR v. FLORENTINO- Easement
Maria Florentino owned a house and a camarin (warehouse). By a will, she transferred the house to Jose Florentino and the warehouse to Maria Florentino. Maria sold the warehouse to Amor. Amor then demolished the old warehouse in order to build a new 2-storey structure. The problem is it will shut off the light and air that come in through the window of the adjacent house owned by Jose. Hence the latter files for prohibition claiming there is a negative easement prohibiting Amor from constructing any structure at any height that would block the window. Amor counters that there is no easement. Moreover, since the death of testator was before the Civil Code took effect, the rules on easement do not apply.
1. Whether or not there is an easement prohibiting Amor from doing said construction.
2. Whether or not the Civil Code may be applied
1. Yes. Easement are established by law or by will of the owners or by title. Under Art. 624, there is title by the doctrine of apparent sign. When the estate is subsequently owned by two different persons and the “service” (it cannot be an easement before the transfer) is not revoked in the title nor removed, an easement is established.
The Cortez case cannot be invoked by Amor because it involved acquisition by prescription. Art. 624 is acquisition by title.
2. Amor failed to prove that the death of the testator occurred before the effectivity of the Old Civil Code. The facts show that it happened after the effectivity of the said code so the law on easement is already applicable. In any case, even if we assume Amor’s supposition, the law on easement was already integrated into the Spanish Law and in fact, had been established by Jurisprudence.
Therefore, Amor is prohibitied from constructing the warehouse above the level of the window.
DISSENTING OPINION OF OZAETA.
1) The Majority opinio committed a travesty on justice when it ignored the evidence produced by Amor that the testator’s death occurred before the effectivity of the Code.
2) Hence, the law on easement will not apply. Moreover, the Spanish Law and the Partidas provided for only three ways of acquiring easements: 1) contract 2) testament 3) prescription. There was no provision similar to the doctrine of apparent sign.
3) There is no doctrine established by the Spanish Tribunal regarding the doctrine.
4) In this modern age of flourescent lights and air conditioning devices, the easement of light and view would be obsolete and deterrent to economic progress especially when in the cities, buildings are side to side with each other.