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BALLATAN vs.

CA
G.R. No. 125683 March 2, 1999
FACTS: The parties herein are owners of adjacent lots located at Block No. 3,
Poinsettia Street, Araneta University Villae, !ala"on, !etro !anila. #ot No. $%, is
reistered in the na&e of petitioners 'den Ballatan and spo(ses Betty !artine) and
*hon *hy #in. #ots Nos. $+ and $,, are reistered in the na&e of respondent
-on)alo -o, Sr. .n #ot No. $+, respondent /inston -o, son of -on)alo -o, Sr.,
constr(cted his ho(se. Adjacent to #ot No. $, is #ot No. $0, and is reistered in the
na&e of respondent #i *hin 1ao. 2n 345+, petitioner Ballatan constr(cted her ho(se
on #ot No. $%. 6(rin the constr(ction, she noticed that the concrete fence and side
pathway of the adjoinin ho(se of respondent /inston -o encroached on the entire
lenth of the eastern side of her property. Petitioner Ballatan called the attention of
the A2A to the discrepancy of the land area in her title and the act(al land area
received fro& the&. The A2A a(thori)ed another s(rvey of the land "y 'nineer 7ose
N. 8(eddin. .n 7(ne $, 345+, 'nineer 8(eddin fo(nd that #ot No. $% lost
appro9i&ately $+ s:(are &eters on its eastern "o(ndary that #ot No. $+, altho(h
fo(nd to have encroached on #ot No. $%, did not lose nor ain any area; that #ot No.
$, lost so&e three <3= s:(are &eters which, however, were ained "y #ot No. $0 on
its western "o(ndary. 2n short, #ots Nos. $+, $, and $0 &oved westward to the
eastern "o(ndary of #ot No. $%. .n the "asis of this s(rvey, petitioner Ballatan
&ade a written de&and on respondents -o to re&ove and dis&antle their
i&prove&ents on #ot No. $%. >espondents -o ref(sed. The parties incl(din #i
*hin 1ao, however, &et several ti&es to reach an aree&ent one &atter. .n April
3, 345,, petitioner Ballatan instit(ted aainst respondents -o a *ivil *ase for
recovery of possession "efore the >T*, !ala"on. The -o?s @led their AAnswer with
ThirdBParty *o&plaintA i&pleadin as thirdBparty defendants respondents #i *hin
1ao, the A2A and 'nineer 8(eddin. .n A((st $3, 344C, >T* decided in favor of
petitioners. >espondents -o appealed. .n !arch $+, 344,, the *A &odi@ed the
decision of the trial co(rt. 2t aDr&ed the dis&issal of the thirdBparty co&plaint
aainst the A2A "(t reinstated the co&plaint aainst #i *hin 1ao and 7ose
8(eddin. Eence, this petition for review on certiorari. Petitioners :(estion the
ad&ission "y respondent *A of the thirdBparty co&plaint "y respondents -o aainst
the A2A, 7ose 8(eddin and #i *hin 1ao. Petitioners clai& that the thirdBparty
co&plaint sho(ld not have "een considered "y the *o(rt of Appeals for lack of
j(risdiction d(e to thirdBparty plaintiFs? fail(re to pay the docket and @lin fees
"efore the trial co(rt.
ISSU: /.N *A erred in ad&ittin the thirdBparty co&plaint despite the fail(re of
respondents -.Gs to pay the docket and @lin fees "efore the trial co(rt.
RULING: The thirdBparty co&plaint in the instant case arose fro& the co&plaint of
petitioners aainst respondents -o. The co&plaint @led was for accion
publiciana, i.e., the recovery of possession of real property which is a real action.
The r(le in this j(risdiction is that when an action is @led in co(rt, the co&plaint
&(st "e acco&panied the pay&ent of the re:(isite docket and @lin fees. 2n real
actions, the docket and @lin fees are "ased on the val(e of the property and the
a&o(nt of da&aes clai&ed, if any 2f the co&plaint is @led "(t the fees are not
paid at the ti&e of @lin, the co(rt ac:(ires j(risdiction (pon f(ll pay&ent of the
fees within a reasona"le ti&e as the co(rt &ay rant, "arrin prescription. /here
the fees prescri"ed for the real action have "een paid "(t the fees of certain related
da&aes are not, the co(rt, altho(h havin j(risdiction over the real action, &ay
not have ac:(ired j(risdiction over the acco&panyin clai& for
da&aes. Accordinly, the co(rt &ay e9p(ne those clai&s for da&aes, or allow,
on &otion, a reasona"le ti&e for a&end&ent of the co&plaint so as to allee the
precise a&o(nt of da&aes and accept pay&ent of the re:(isite leal fee. 2f there
are (nspeci@ed clai&s, the deter&ination of which &ay arise after the @lin of the
co&plaint or si&ilar pleadin, the additional @lin fee thereon shall constit(te a lien
on the j(d&ent award. The sa&e r(le also applies to thirdBparty clai&s and other
si&ilar pleadins. 2n the case at "ar, the thirdBparty co&plaint @led "y respondents
-o was incorporated in their answer to the co&plaint. The thirdBparty co&plaint
so(ht the sa&e re&edy as the principal co&plaint "(t added a prayer for
attorney?s fees and costs witho(t specifyin their a&o(nts. The *o(rt of Appeal did
not err in awardin da&aes despite the -o?s fail(re to specify the a&o(nt prayed
for and pay the correspondin additional @lin fees thereon. The clai& for attorney?s
fees refers to da&aes arisin after the @lin of the co&plaint aainst the -o?s. The
additional @lin fee on this clai& is dee&ed to constit(te a lien on the j(d&ent
award.