G.R. No. 140365. July 11, 2001.
San Roque Purok Onse Neighborhood Association , et al., filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against petitioners. In the complaint, private respondents alleged four causes of action. They stated that Spouses Uy for no apparent reason, balked and reneged from their original commitment for plaintiffs to acquire their property at the price fixed by and in accordance with CMP rules and guidelines.
Spouses Uy filed a motion to dismiss the complaint stressing (a) that the complaint did not state a valid cause of action (b) that the claim on which the action had been founded was unenforceable and (c) that respondents were not the real parties-in-interest. The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City denied the motion to dismiss of petitioners finding a sufficient basis on the allegations with respect to the first, second and third causes of action as embodied in the complaint.
Petitioners filed a motion for a bill of particulars and filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction, prohibition and temporary restraining order, alleging that Respondent judge acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in holding that the complaint states a valid cause of action and in denying the motion to dismiss.
Whether or not the allegations under the heading ‘Fourth Cause of Action,’ in tandem with the ‘Third Cause of Action,’ asserted in respondents’ complaint constitute a valid and sufficient cause of action.
No. From the allegations in the complaint, it was clear that there had yet been no full meeting of the minds between the parties on the supposed conveyance of the property. The first to third causes of action manifestly fail to establish any right to demand specific performance in favor of private respondents or to reform an existing contract where none exists. It should follow that the fourth cause of action for damages and attorney’s fees, being inextricably linked with and ultimately dependent on the first three causes of action, would not, standing alone, have sufficient basis to stand on.
The rules of procedure require that the complaint must make a concise statement of the ultimate facts or the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. A complaint states a cause of action only when it has its three indispensable elements, namely: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. If these elements are not extant, the complaint becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action.
A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of the cause of action inadequate.