G.R. No. 186979 : August 11, 2010

FACTS: Spouses Francisco Odones and Arwenia Odones, filed a complaint for Annulment of Deed, Title and Damages against petitioners Socorro Limos, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). They insisted that the Extrajudicial Succession of the Estate in their favor was valid. They maintained their standing as owners of the subject parcel of land and the nullity of the 1972 Absolute Deed of Sale, upon which respondents anchor their purported title.

To rebut the grounds presented by respondents, petitioners served upon respondents a Request for Admission. However, respondents failed to respond to the Request for Admission, prompting petitioners to file a Motion to Set for Preliminary Hearing on the Special and Affirmative Defenses, arguing that respondents’ failure to respond or object to the Request for Admission amounted to an implied admission pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 26 of the Rules of Court. As such, a hearing on the affirmative defenses had become imperative because petitioners were no longer required to present evidence on the admitted facts. Respondents filed a comment on the Motion, contending that the facts sought to be admitted by petitioners were not material and relevant to the issue of the case. Respondents emphasized that the only attendant issue was whether the 1972 Deed of Absolute Sale upon which petitioners base their TCTs is valid.

ISSUE: Whether or not the non-joinder of indispensable party is a ground for dismissal of the complaint? No.

HELD: NO. As to the alleged non-joinder of indispensable parties, it is settled that the non-joinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for the dismissal of an action. The remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be indispensable. Parties may be added by order of the court on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and/or such times as are just. It is only when the plaintiff refuses to implead an indispensable party despite the order of the court, that the latter may dismiss the complaint. In this case, no such order was issued by the trial court.