An adverse claim is not proper to protect an easement

To be registrable, an adverse claim must allege a claim of ownership or title on the land subject of the claim. Protecting an easement via the registration of an adverse claim is not allowed. However, while non-registrable, the subject of the adverse claim itself, that is, the existence of an easement of subjacent and lateral support may be judicially recognized and enforceable without need of annotation.

An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner. There are two kinds of easements according to source. An easement is established either by law or by will of the owners. The courts cannot impose or constitute any servitude where none existed. They can only declare its existence if in reality it exists by law or by the will of the owners. There are therefore no judicial easements.

Article 684 of the Civil Code provides that no proprietor shall make such excavations upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. An owner, by virtue of his surface right, may make excavations on his land, but his right is subject to the limitation that he shall not deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. Between two adjacent landowners, each has an absolute property right to have his land laterally supported by the soil of his neighbor, and if either, in excavating on his own premises, he so disturbs the lateral support of his neighbor’s land as to cause it, or, in its natural state, by the pressure of its own weight, to fall away or slide from its position, the one so excavating is liable.

(Castro v. Monsod, G.R. No. 183719, February 2, 2011)

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