Boundary dispute NOT cognizable in special civil action to quiet title

The facts presented unmistakably constitute a clear case of boundary dispute, which is not cognizable in a special civil action to quiet title. Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt or uncertainty with respect to title to real property. The Civil Code authorizes the said remedy in the following language: Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is, in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon a title to real property or any interest therein. In fine, to avail of the remedy of quieting of title, a plaintiff must show that there is an instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which constitutes or casts a cloud, doubt, question or shadow upon the owners title to or interest in real property. Thus, petitioners have wholly misapprehended the import of the foregoing rule by claiming that respondent Court erred in holding that there was no xxx evidence of any muniment of title, proceeding, written contract, xxx, and that there were, as a matter of fact, two such contracts, viz., (i) the Agreement of Partition executed by private respondent and his brothers (including the petitioners father and predecessor-in-interest), in which their respective shares in the inherited property were agreed upon, and (ii) the Deed of Sale evidencing the redemption by petitioner Anastacia Vda. de Aviles of the subject property in a foreclosure sale. However, these documents in no way constitute a cloud or cast a doubt upon the title of petitioners. Rather, the uncertainty arises from the parties failure to situate and fix the boundary between their respective properties. An action to quiet title or to remove cloud may not be brought for the purpose of settling a boundary dispute. [G.R. No. 95748. November 21, 1996]