FLORO v. LLENADO- Legal Easement
A legal easement cannot arise merely for the convenience of the dominant estate. The owner must prove that the easement is absolutely necessary and least restrictive on the servient estate.
Mr Floro owned the Floro Park Subdivision situated in Bulacan. The subdivision has its own access roads from the MacArthur Highway through road lot 4. Another fellow, Llenado, owned the Llenado Homes Subdivision. He obtained the same from Mr. de Castro, when it was known as the Emmanuel Homes Subdivision, Llenado Homes was bounded on the south by the Palanas Creek, 5 which separates it from the Floro Park Subdivision. To the west sat the ricelands belonging to Marcial Ipapo. The controversy brewed since Llenado Homes did not have any passage to the MacArthur Highway. However, a proposed access road passing the abandoned riceland of Marcial Ipapo has been specifically provided in the subdivision plan of the former Emmanuel Homes Subdivision. This plan was approved by the HLURB.
Because the access road through the Ipapo Riceland did not exist yet, the Llenados sought, and were granted, oral permission by the Floros to use Road Lots 4 and 5 of the Floro Park . At this point, remember that the agreement was merely provisional as the parties were still drafting a contract.
Later, Floro discovered grave damage to the lots in question from the passage of heavy machinery. He then barricaded Road Lot 5 with a pile of rocks, wooden posts and adobe stones. He essentially implied Llenados to keep out off property.
Llenado pursued an easement claim with the RTC. The RTC denied the request. On appeal by LLenado, and ordered that Mr. Floro remove the barricades. Mr. Floro went to the SC
Whether or not the requirements for legal easement existed to allow Llenado to claim the same against Mr. Floro.
As in the earlier case, the court held that to be entitled to a compulsory easement of right of way, the preconditions provided under Arts. 649 and 650 of the Civil Code must be established. These include:
that the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; (2) that proper indemnity has been paid; (3) that the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) that the right of way claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the servient estate and, in so far as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.
For this case, it is apparent that the elements have not been met. The original subdivision development plan presented by Llenado indicates an existing and prior agreement with Ms. Ipapo to create a right of way through the abandoned Ipapo ricefield. Ipapo had long agreed to these terms but Llenado apparently thought it too much work and cost to develop such road. It was easier for him to create an easement via the Floro property.
The court ruled time and again that one may not claim a legal easement merely out of convenience. Convenience motivated Llenando to abandon the Ipapo access road development and pursue an access road through the Floro estate. He was stacking the cards in his favor to the unnecessary detriment of his neighbor. The court refused to countenance his behavior.