When can a family demand right of way?
Dear Cruz family,
Article 649 of the Civil Code provides that “the owner, or any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable, which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining to other persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates, after payment of the proper indemnity.” It is also provided under Article 650 of the Civil Code that the easement of right of way shall be established at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. The amount of payment or indemnity to be paid by the owner or person who is demanding a right of way consists of the value of the land occupied and the amount of the damage caused to the land where the right of way is to be established or the servient estate (Article 649, Civil Code). It is also provided under Article 651 of the Civil Code that the width of the easement of right of way shall be that which is sufficient for the needs of the dominant estate and may accordingly be changed from time to time.
Based on the foregoing, the owner of the land or person demanding a right of way must establish the following to be entitled to a compulsory easement of right of way: (1) that the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; (2) that proper indemnity has been paid; (3) that the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) that the right of way claimed is at point least prejudicial to the servient estate and, in so far as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest (Cresencia Cristobal, et.al. v. CA, et al. G.R. 125339, June 22, 1998).
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.