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Case Digest - Remedial Law, Res Judicata

Vda de Caruzo vs. Carriaga Jr.

GRN 75109-10 June 28, 1989

Regalado, J.;

FACTS:

Petitioners are children of Gabina Machoca. The latter had her land mortgaged to Ang for 425 pesos. An additional sum of P175 was again barrowed, total amount borrowed was P600. Gabina noticed that the instrument was a contract of sale and demanded a reformation from Ang. The latter prepared a deed of agreement stipulating among others that Ang obligates himself to resell the property to the vendor within 3 years for the same amount. Before that 3 years, Ang transferred the lot title to his name. Petitioners remained in possession of the lot until 1977 (since 1954). Respondents filed an unlawful detainer case and received a favorable order. During the pendency of the case, petitioners Special Civil Case for removal of cloud on the title. The complaint was dismissed on the ground of res judicata.

ISSUE:

Whether or not res judicata is present in the case.

RULING:

The doctrine of res judicata lays down two main rules: (1) the judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on the merits concludes the parties and their privies to the litigation and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the same cause of action either before the same or any other tribemal or, (BAR BY FORMER JUDGMENT. (2) any right, fact or matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action before a competent court in which judgment or decree is rendered on the merit is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot be again litigated between the parties and their privies whether or not the claim, or demand, purpose or subject matter of the two suits are the same. (CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT)

The following requisites must concur for R.J. a) the former judgment or order must be final b) it must be a judgment or order on the merits, that is, it was rendered after a consideration of the evidence or stipulations submitted by the parties at the trial of the case; c) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; d) there must be, between the first and second actions, identity of parties, of subject matter and cause of action.

The dismissed or removal of cloud had become final for failure of petitioners to appeal. While the dismissed was for failure to prosecute, it had the effect of the adjudication on the merits since the court did not direct that the dismissed was without prejudice.

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