Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1911 > November 1911 Decisions > G.R. No. 6259 November 13, 1911 - THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY v. FRANCISCO ARZADON, ET AL.

020 Phil 452:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 6259. November 13, 1911.]

THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FRANCISCO ARZADON, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.

[G.R. No. 6260. November 13, 1911.]

THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VICENTE; AMANSEC, ET AL., Defendants. EDUVIGIS BERNABE, Appellee.

[G.R. No. 6261. November 13, 1911.]

THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARIANO MONLER, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.

Jose Robles Lahesa and O’ Brien & DeWitt, for Appellant.

W. A. Kincaid, Thomas L. Hartigan and Carl Kincaid, for appellees Ciriaco Villamil, Juana Catubig and Cecilio Catubig, in case No. 6259.

M. Legaspi Florendo, for the other appellees.

SYLLABUS


1. EXPROPRIATION BY RAILROAD; REPORT OF COMMISSIONERS; JUDGMENT BY CONSENT AND REQUEST; APPEAL. — When, upon the report of the commissioners appointed by the court in proceedings for the condemnation of lands, begun by a railroad corporation, the attorneys for all the parties appear in court at the hearing and, after a thorough examination of such report, agree in requesting the court to approve the report and to enter the corresponding judgment thereon, a subsequent appeal by one of the parties, from the judgment entered upon such consent and request, can not be maintained.

2. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; JUDGMENT BY CONSENT; ESTOPPEL. — A judgment by consent of the parties is more than a mere contract in pais; having the sanction of the court and entered as its determination of the controversy, it has all the force and effect of any other judgment, being conclusive as an estoppel upon the parties and their privies.

3. ID.; ID.; PROCEDURE BY PARTY TO SECURE REOPENING OF JUDGMENT. — One who appears in court and consents to the entry of a judgment against him must be held to have admitted the existence of every fact necessary to sustain the judgment, except that of the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action. Such being the case, and the judgment having been entered upon such facts, an appeal from such judgment by way of bill of exceptions, or otherwise, will not lie on behalf of the party according such consent. The only remedy in such case is an application to open the judgment upon the ground of fraud or mistake. An appeal will lie from an order denying such application to open, and, upon such appeal, the question will be properly raised and presented whether or not the court below abused its discretion in its refusal to open the judgment.

4. ID.; ID.; ALLEGATION THAT CONSENT WAS GIVEN BY MISTAKE. — A party after having, in writing, requested and consented to the entry of a judgment, lays no foundation for reopening such judgment and a rehearing of the case by an allegation of his attorney that he had not read the instrument in which his consent and request were embodied, and that he gave such consent and made such request by mistake.


D E C I S I O N


MORELAND, J.:


The appellant in his brief makes this statement concerning these three causes of action:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The three cases to which this brief refers were all tried in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, Third Judicial District; they all deal with expropriation; they were considered by the same commissioners, whose decision for the second was based upon that for the first and for the third upon that for the second; the proceedings in these cases were identical; with the exception of three in case No. 6259 represented by William Kincaid, all the defendants are represented by the attorney Legaspi Florendo; the judgment in each was rendered on the same day; the later proceedings for a new trial have been identical; and the errors upon which this appeal is based are the same in all three cases: the appellant therefore prays the court to permit submission of a single brief to point out the errors incurred by the trial court, and to demonstrate their existence, thus making this work applicable to each of the cases, and with consideration of this consolidation of proceedings to decide these three cases at the same time as if they were a single case.’

On the 18th day of February, 1907, the plaintiff began these actions for the condemnation of real estate lying in the Province of Pangasinan upon which to construct its line from the village of Dagupan, Pangasinan, to the village of San Fabian in the same province. On the 20th of February of the same year, the plaintiff having made the deposit required by law, the court dictated an order granting possession to the plaintiff of the lands described in its complaint and involved in this appeal. Commissioners were duly appointed to appraise their value and to render a report to the court. On the 31st of August, 1909, the commissioners presented their report. The parties to the action appeared by their attorneys, agreed to the report of the commissioners, and presented the same to the court for its approval. The court being of the opinion that the report was correct and the values therein expressed just and equitable, and the parties appearing and consenting thereto, entered judgment in conformity with such report, declaring the lands condemned on behalf of the plaintiff and ordering payments to be made pursuant thereto. Some time after the entry of said judgment the plaintiff excepted to the same and made a motion for a new trial upon the grounds expressed in section 497 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which is the formal motion which lays the basis for consideration of the facts by the Supreme Court on appeal. Later a motion was made by the plaintiff for a new trial upon the ground of newly discovered evidence. Still later the plaintiff made a motion for a new trial on the ground that its consent to the entry of the judgments in question had been given under a mistake. These motions having been denied the plaintiff excepted and comes to this court on appeal.

We regard this appeal from the judgment as unsustainable. In our opinion the judgment entered in the court below was one entered by consent of parties. That portion of the judgment of the trial court affecting this particular point is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"By agreement between the parties. and with the consent of the court, the hearing on the report in this case was held on the 19th day of January, 1910. Don Antonio Constantino appeared on behalf of the plaintiff, Mr. James Ostrand on behalf of defendants (naming them) and Don Mariano Legaspi for the other defendants, with the exception of the Insular Government and Carlos Villamil. The latter on the 14th day of the month of January presented a motion in which he stated that he was in entire conformity with the report of the commission presented to the court. The Insular Government did not appear at all in this case.

x       x       x


"The report of the commissioners which appears in the record of this case is the only proof presented before me, and there being no opposition to said report, and the court being of the opinion that the same is correct, and that the valuations therein set forth and expressed are just and equitable, the same ought to be, and is hereby, approved and affirmed."cralaw virtua1aw library

In his denial of the motion for a new trial and that to reopen the judgment for the reason that the consent of the plaintiff had been given by mistake, the court said in part:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The attorneys for both parties having presented as the only proofs in the case the report of the commissioners, and having accepted it as correct, and having prayed for its approval by the court, and having moved the court to enter judgment in conformity therewith. . . .the motion is dismissed."cralaw virtua1aw library

These facts stated by the court below in its final judgment and in its order denying the motions referred to stand uncontradicted in the record. It is undisputed that the parties to these cases duly appeared by their counsel and after consideration and deliberation consented to the entry of judgment upon the report of the commissioners. They not only consented to the entry of such judgment, but they requested the entry thereof. This is also un disputed. The attorney for the plaintiff attempted to escape the consequences of such consent and such request by the assertion in his application for a new trial that he had signed the written stipulation approving the report of the commissioners and requesting that judgment be entered in conformity therewith under a misapprehension induced by the fact that he had not read the stipulation which he signed with sufficient care to understand what its contents were. The court below dismissed such excuse with scant ceremony. It is entirely without merit and presents not the slightest reason why the judgment of the court below should be disturbed.

A judgment by consent of the parties is more than a mere contract in pais; having the sanction of the court and entered as its determination of the controversy, it has all the force and effect of any other judgment, being conclusive an estoppel upon the parties and their privies.

A judgment rendered upon an admission of fact or by consent is conclusive on the parties to the same extent as though rendered upon a contest. (Black on Judgments, sec. 705; Railway Co. v. U. S., 113 U. S., 261; Burgess v. Seligman, 107 U. S., 20; Thomson v. Wooster, 114 U. S., 104; Bank v. Higginbottom, 9 Peters, 48; U. S. v. Parker, 120 U. S., 89.)

In the case of Harding v. Harding (198 U. S., 317), at page 335, the court quotes with approval the doctrine set down in the case of Knobloch v. Mueller (123 Ill., 665) as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Decrees so entered by consent can not be reversed, set aside, or impeached by bill of review or bill in the nature of a bill of review, except for fraud, unless it be shown that the consent was not in fact given, or something was inserted as by consent that was not consented to. (2 Dan. Ch. Pr., 1576; Webb v. Webb, 3 Swanst., 658; Thompson v. Maxwell Land-Grant & R. Co., 95 U. S., 391, 24 L. ed., 481; Armstrong v. Cooper, 11 Ill., 540; Cronk v. Tramble, 66 Ill., 432; Haas v. Chicago Bldg. Soc., 80 Ill., 248; Atkinson v. Manks, 1 Cow., 693; Winchester v. Winchester, 121 Mass., 127; Allason v. Stark, 9 Ad. & El., 225; Alexander v. Ramsay, 5 Bell, App., 69. See also note to Duchess of Kingston’s case, 2 Smith Lead. Cas., 826 et seq.) It is the general doctrine that such a decree is not reversible upon an appeal or writ of error, or by bill of review for error. (Armstrong v. Cooper, 11 Ill., 540.)"

One who appears in court and consents to the entry of a judgment against him must be held to have admitted the existence of every fact necessary to sustain the judgment except that of the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action. Such being the case, and judgment having been entered upon such facts, an appeal from such judgment by way of bill of exceptions, or otherwise, will not lie on behalf of the party according such consent. The only remedy in such case is an application to open the judgment upon the ground of fraud or mistake. An appeal will lie from an order denying such application to open, and, upon such appeal, the question will be properly raised and presented whether or not the court below abused its discretion in its refusal to open the judgment.

In the case at bar there is absolutely no merit in the application of the plaintiff to open the judgment entered by the trial court and such application was properly dismissed.

All of the questions raised on this appeal, except the one last above-mentioned, are those which relate to facts which antedate the judgment in the court below and are those upon which such judgment is founded. Questions concerning these facts can not be raised, as we have before stated, until the judgment itself has been opened and the matter placed before the court for readjudication. (Casler v. Chase, 160 Mo., 418.)

The contention of the appellant in the case at bar relative to the change in the names of the parties, the extent of the lands described in the complaint, and the description thereof, are facts which antedate the judgment, which appeared in the report of the commissioners, which were approved as correct by the plaintiff itself, and upon which it itself asked that the court enter the judgment which is now before us on this appeal. All of these things were agreed to by the plaintiff and acted upon by the court in pursuance of such agreement.

Our conclusion that the judgment before us was entered upon consent of parties relieves us of the necessity of discussing the other questions presented on this appeal.

The judgment of the court below is affirmed, with costs against the Appellant.

Arellano, C.J., Mapa, Johnson, Carson and Trent, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions


TORRES, J., dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The undersigned is of the opinion that the judgment appealed from should be set aside and a new trial had; consequently he does not concur in the majority opinion.




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