Lex Rex Ph

Heirs of Mesina vs. Heirs of Fian Digest

Facts

The heirs of Fian refused to vacate the lot that they possess despite repeated demands by the Mesinas. One of the Mesinas filed an action against the heirs of Fian, naming only Theresa as the representative of the heirs. Theresa filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the names of all the heirs of the late spouses of Mesina and Fina were not individually named. She contends that the complaint is infirmed and warrants dismissal in violation of Rule 3 Sections 1 and 2 of the Rules of Court. RTC dismissed the case. Norman Mesina appealed.

Issue 1: Non-Joinder

Is Norman’s failure to include Theresa’s co-heirs a ground for the case’s dismissal?

Ruling 1

The High Court: No, because Norman’s failure is not a failure to state a cause of action but a non-joinder of an indispensable party/ies (i.e. the other Fian heirs). Non-joinder of the indispensable party is not a ground for dismissal of action because such parties may be added to the motion of the party or the initiative of the court concerned.

What the RTC should have done was to direct Norman to implead all the heirs of Fian as defendants within a reasonable time with a warning that failure to do so shall mean dismissal.

The dismissal by the lower courts is improper because there is no failure to state a cause of action.

Issue 2: Verification

Is Norman’s verification valid when he says “based on personal knowledge.”

Ruling 2

Yes. It is not defective

Verification may be based only on either personal knowledge or authentic records.

Purpose of verification: that the pleading submitted by the counsel is verified to be true by his client the person alleging the complaints (i.e. the counsel’s client).

There is no defective verification because Rule 7 uses the word “or” which means that verification may be based on either personal knowledge or authentic records.

Norman’s petition is granted.

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