[G.R. No. 9612. September 3, 1915. ]
CONSOLACION JAVELONA Y LOPEZ ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. FLORENCIO YULO, Defendant-Appellant.
Felix Gurrera for Appellant.
John de Leon and Jose B. Magalona for Appellees.
1. JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT; RELIEF; AMOUNT OF RECOVERY. — Or judgment by default the court cannot grant relief other than that demanded in the complaint; and in such cases allowances on specific items cannot exceed the amount demanded in the statement of the cause of action simply because the total award is within the total amount set out in the prayer for relief.
D E C I S I O N
Judgment in favor of the plaintiffs for the possession of the land described in the complaint and for P2,734.50 damages. The defendant appealed.
On the 14th of July, 1911, the now deceased Vidal Javelona made an extrajudicial partition of his property among his heirs. The document was signed by all the interested parties and ratified before a notary public in September of that year, the interested parties being his wife Vicenta Lopez; his daughters Modesta Javelona, wife of Florencio Yulo; Consolacion Javelona, plaintiff and wife of Blass Monteclaro; and Rosario Javelona, widow of Luis Ledesma. The real estate corresponding to the plaintiff Consolacion in this division, according to the document, consisted of 35 cavanes [hectares] together with the buildings and improvements thereon and the growing crops, except that portion belonging to the tenants. During the latter part of September, 1911, when the plaintiffs went out to take possession of the 35 hectares they met no opposition as to 14 hectares, but their right to the remaining 21 hectares was questioned by the defendant Yulo, and he entered into the possession of these 21 hectares against the will of the plaintiffs and still, at the date of the trial, retains possession, together with the products harvested from the same.
The sixth paragraph of the complaint and the prayer reads as follows: "That the defendant, ignoring the aforesaid partition and repudiating his own signature, continues illegally to detain said 21 hectares of land, which together form part of the lands of said Hacienda Balabago, thus inflicting upon the plaintiffs damages amounting to the sum of P3,105, as the value of some 915 cavanes of palay at the rate of P3 per cavan and of 60 piculs of sugar at the rate of P6 per picul, which said 21 hectares of land would have produced if the defendant had not detained them and illegally despoiled the plaintiffs of possession thereof. Therefore, plaintiffs pray the court to render judgment against the defendant by sentencing him to restore to them the 21 hectares, approximately, of land detained, to an indemnity of P3,105 as damages, to the costs of the present suit and to grant to the plaintiffs any other remedy in law and equity."cralaw virtua1aw library
Judgment upon default was entered on July 23, 1913, and the case was set for hearing on October 20. On the latter date the defendant and his attorney appeared and simply announced, when asked if they wished to file an answer, that they merely wished to be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses for the plaintiff in making out her case. After hearing the plaintiffs’ witnesses, who were cross-examined by the defendant, the court found that the 21 hectares of land belonged to the plaintiff Consolacion. The court also found that the plaintiffs were entitled to a judgment against the defendant for 586