Special Civil Actions Initiated by Complaint: Expropriation (Rule 67)

Sps. Yusay vs. CA (GR 156684)

Here, however, the remedy of prohibition was not called for, considering that only a resolution expressing the desire of the Sangguniang Panglungsod to expropriate the petitioners property was issued. As of then, it was premature for the petitioners to mount any judicial challenge, for the power of eminent domain could be exercised by the City only through the filing of a verified complaint in the proper court. Before the City as the expropriating authority filed such verified complaint, no expropriation proceeding could be said to exist. Until then, the petitioners as the owners could not also be deprived of their property under the power of eminent domain.

Republic vs. Hon. Mangotara (GR 170375)

Consolidated cases: 

Now, is the owner of the property an indispensable party in an action for expropriation? Not necessarily.

Going back to Rule 67, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, expropriation proceedings may be instituted even when title to the property sought to be condemned appears to be in the Republic of the Philippines, although occupied by private individuals. The same rule provides that a complaint for expropriation shall name as defendants all persons owning or claiming to own, or occupying, any part thereof or interest in the property sought to be condemned. Clearly, when the property already appears to belong to the Republic, there is no sense in the Republic instituting expropriation proceedings against itself. It can still, however, file a complaint for expropriation against the private persons occupying the property. In such an expropriation case, the owner of the property is not an indispensable party.

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The Republic is not engaging in contradictions when it instituted both expropriation and reversion proceedings for the same parcels of land. The expropriation and reversion proceedings are distinct remedies that are not necessarily exclusionary of each other.

NAPOCOR vs. Hon. Paderanga (GR 155065)

While admittedly a complaint for expropriation is not a special proceeding, the above-quoted rule requires the filing of a record on appeal in other cases of multiple or separate appeal.

Jurisprudential law, no doubt, recognizes the existence of multiple appeals in a complaint for expropriation.

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Indeed, expropriation is not limited to the acquisition of real property with a corresponding transfer of title or possession. The right-of-way easement resulting in a restriction or limitation on property rights over the land traversed by transmission lines, as in the present case, also falls within the ambit of the term expropriation

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The determination of just compensation in expropriation proceedings being a judicial function, this Court finds the commissioners recommendation of P516.66 per square meter, which was approved by the trial court, to be just and reasonable compensation for the expropriated property of Dilao and her siblings.

Metropolitan Cebu Water District vs. J.King and Sons Co., Inc. (GR 175983)

The general rule is that upon filing of the expropriation complaint, the plaintiff has the right to take or enter into possession of the real property involved if he deposits with the authorized government depositary an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation. An exception to this procedure is provided by R.A. No. 8974. It requires the payment of one hundred percent (100%) of the zonal value of the property to be expropriated to entitle the plaintiff to a writ of possession.

In an expropriation proceeding there are two stages, first, is the determination of the validity of the expropriation, and second is the determination of just compensation. In Tan v. Republic, we explained the two (2) stages in an expropriation proceeding to wit:

(1) Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, with condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon payment of just compensation. An order of expropriation is final. An order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, as it finally disposes of the action and leaves nothing more to be done by the courts on the merits. The order of expropriation would also be a final one for after its issuance, no objection to the right of condemnation shall be heard. The order of expropriation may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby by filing a record on appeal.

(2) Determination by the court of the just compensation for the property sought to be taken with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on the basis of the evidence before the court and findings of the commissioners would likewise be a final one, as it would leave nothing more to be done by the court regarding the issue. A second and separate appeal may be taken from this order fixing the just compensation.

Republic vs. Hon. Gingoyon (GR 166429)

En Banc

Rep. Act No. 8974 is entitled An Act To Facilitate The Acquisition Of Right-Of-Way, Site Or Location For National Government Infrastructure Projects And For Other Purposes. Obviously, the law is intended to cover expropriation proceedings intended for national government infrastructure projects.

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The issuance of the writ of possession does not write finis to the expropriation proceedings. As earlier pointed out, expropriation is not completed until payment to the property owner of just compensation. The proffered value stands as merely a provisional determination of the amount of just compensation, the payment of which is sufficient to transfer possession of the property to the Government. However, to effectuate the transfer of ownership, it is necessary for the Government to pay the property owner the final just compensation.

 

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