Sarming, et. al. v. Cresencio Dy, et. al.

G.R. No. 133643, 6 June 2002

FACTS:

In this case a certain Silveria Flores sold her lot to Alejandra Delfino, now were all represented by their successors-in-interest. The petitioner wanted for the reformation of the contract of sale entered between Silveria and Delfino because of the mistake in the lot number in the contract. Silveria and Delfino inquired from the Registry of Deeds about the status of the lot finding that the lot was still on file. Alejandra paid all the necessary expenses and the title was given to Silveria however despite repeated demand Silveria failed to give the title to Delfino.

ISSUE:

Whether or not there is a cause of action for reformation of instrument against Silveria Flores.

RULING:

Yes. Reformation is that remedy in equity by means of which a written instrument is made or construed so as to express or conform to the real intention of the parties.

Art. 1359. When, there having been a meeting of the minds of the parties to a contract, their true intention is not expressed in the instrument purporting to embody the agreement by reason of mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, one of the parties may ask for the reformation of the instrument to the end that such true intention may be expressed.

If mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct, or accident has prevented a meeting of the minds of the parties, the proper remedy is not reformation of the instrument but annulment of the contract.

An action for reformation of instrument under this provision of law may prosper only upon the concurrence of the following requisites: (1) there must have been a meeting of the minds of the parties to the contact; (2) the instrument does not express the true intention of the parties; and (3) the failure of the instrument to express the true intention of the parties is due to mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct or accident.

All of these requisites, in our view, are present in this case. There was a meeting of the minds between the parties to the contract but the deed did not express the true intention of the parties due to mistake in the designation of the lot subject of the deed. There is no dispute as to the intention of the parties to sell the land to Alejandra Delfino but there was a mistake as to the designation of the lot intended to be sold as stated in the Settlement of Estate and Sale.

 * Case digest by  Aileen B. Buenafe, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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