Remedial Law

ALMA JOSE vs. JAVELLANA G.R. No. 158239 January 25, 2012 Appeal, Final Order v. Interlocutory Order

FACTS:

Margarita Alma Jose (Margarita) sold to respondent Ramon Javellana by deed of conditional sale two parcels of land. They agreed that the registration shall be undertaken by Margarita within a reasonable period of time, and that should Margarita become incapacitated, her son and attorney-in-fact, Juvenal and her daughter, petitioner Priscilla M. Alma Jose, would receive the payment of the balance and proceed with the application for registration.

Juvenal predeceased Margarita, and Margarita died, making Priscilla Margarita’s sole surviving heir. However, Priscilla did not comply with the undertaking to cause the registration of the properties under the Torrens System, and, instead, began to improve the properties by dumping filling materials therein with the intention of converting the parcels of land into a residential or industrial subdivision.

Thus, Javellana commenced an action for specific performance, injunction, and damages against her with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction to restrain Priscilla from dumping filling materials in the parcels of land; and that Priscilla be ordered to institute registration proceedings and then to execute a final deed of sale in his favor.

Priscilla filed a motion to dismiss.

The RTC initially denied Priscilla’s motion to dismiss. However, upon her motion for reconsideration, the RTC reversed itself and granted the motion to dismiss.

Javellana moved for reconsideration, however, it was denied by the RTC in its Order dated June 21, 2000.

Hence, Javellana filed an appeal to the CA.

The CA reversed and set aside the dismissal of the case against Jose.  

 

ISSUE:

Whether or not the RTC order denying Javellana’s motion for reconsideration was appealable.

 

RULING:

The petition has no merit.

Denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal was a final order, hence, appealable.

Priscilla submits that the order of the RTC was not the proper subject of an appeal considering that Section 1 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides that no appeal may be taken from an order denying a motion for reconsideration.

Priscilla’s submission is erroneous and cannot be sustained.

First of all, the denial of Javellana’s motion for reconsideration left nothing more to be done by the RTC because it confirmed the dismissal of the case against Jose. It was clearly a final order, not an interlocutory one.

The Court has distinguished between final and interlocutory orders in Pahila-Garrido v. Tortogo:

The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory order is well known. The first disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing more to be done except to enforce by execution what the court has determined, but the latter does not completely dispose of the case but leaves something else to be decided upon. An interlocutory order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered.

The test to ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is interlocutory or final is: does the order or judgment leave something to be done in the trial court with respect to the merits of the case? If it does, the order or judgment is interlocutory; otherwise, it is final.

And, secondly, whether an order is final or interlocutory determines whether appeal is the correct remedy or not.

A final order is appealable, but the remedy from an interlocutory one is not an appeal but a special civil action for certiorari.

Indeed, the Court has held that an appeal from an order denying a motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment is effectively an appeal from the final order or judgment itself; and has expressly clarified that the prohibition against appealing an order denying a motion for reconsideration referred only to a denial of a motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order.

*The denial of a motion for reconsideration of an order granting the defending party’s motion to dismiss is not an interlocutory but a final order because it puts an end to the particular matter involved, or settles definitely the matter therein disposed of, as to leave nothing for the trial court to do other than to execute the order. 

 

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