I am intending to buy an agricultural land in Aurora Province. I have already visited the said property and there is no illegal occupant on it, and it is very accessible. However, when I checked the Certificate of Title on file with the Register of Deeds, I learned about the “notice of lis pendens” that is annotated at the back of the title. Will I be facing any problem if I push through with my plan to buy the said property? How can I cancel the said annotation?
The meaning of “lis pendens” has been expounded by the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of J. Casim Construction Supplies, Inc. vs. Registrar of Deeds of Las Piṅas(G.R. No. 168655, July 2, 2010), where the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable Diosdado M. Peralta stated that:
“Lis pendens-which literally means pending suit -refers to the jurisdiction, power or control which a court acquires over the property involved in a suit, pending the continuance of the action, and until final judgment. Founded upon public policy and necessity, lis pendens is intended to keep the properties in litigation within the power of the court until the litigation is terminated, and to prevent the defeat of the judgment or decree by subsequent alienation. Its notice is an announcement to the whole world that a particular property is in litigation and serves as a warning that one who acquires an interest over said property does so at his own risk, or that he gambles on the result of the litigation over said property”.
In your case, the annotation of the Notice of Lis Pendens at the back of the Certificate of Title will serve as a warning to you that there is a pending litigation involving that property. You will be bound by whatever decision of the court involving the said property. Hence, if you push through with your plan to purchase the property, there will be a risk that you might lose it.
The cancellation of such Notice of Lis Pendens shall be filed with the court in which the case is pending and such action can be filed either by the plaintiff or defendant. The grounds for cancellation of the Notice of Lis Pendens are provided under the second paragraph of Section 14, Rule 13, 1997 Rules of Court:
“The notice of lis pendens hereinabove mentioned may be cancelled only upon order of the court, after proper showing that the notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who caused it to be recorded”.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com