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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Enervida v. dela Torre (1974)

G.R. No. L-38037 January 28, 1974

Lessons Applicable: Proof and Proximate Cause (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: Article 2208


  • Roque Enervida filed a complaint against spouses Lauro de la Torre and Rosa de la Torre praying that the deed of sale executed by his deceased father, Ciriaco Enervida, over a parcel of land covered by a Homestead Patent be declared null and void for having been executed within the prohibited period of five years, in violation of the provision, of Section 118 of Commonwealth Act 141, otherwise known as the Public Land Law.  He further prayed that he be allowed to repurchase said parcel of land for being the legitimate son and sole heir of his deceased father
  • RTC: dismissed
  • CA: sale had been made in 1948 - 7 yrs after therefore beyond the 5-year phobitive period is valid
ISSUE: W/N the spouses Lauro de la Torre and Rosa de la Torre are entitled moral and exemplary damages.

HELD: NO. dismissal order is hereby affirmed with the modification that only attorney's fees in the amount of P1,500 are hereby awarded to the respondents

  • Article 2208 — In the absence of stipulation, attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, can not be recovered, except:

xxx   xxx  xxx

xxx   xxx  xxx

(4)    In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff
  • the case at bar is clearly an unfounded civil action, the respondents may recover attorney's fees
  • clearly unfounded suit, which is expressly mentioned in Art. 2208 (par. 4), as justifying an award of attorney's fees, but is not included in the enumeration of Art. 2219 in respect to moral damages