Allegation in the complaint in actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases compared and distinguised

RTC, likewise erroneously applied the rule that jurisdictional facts must appear on the face of the complaint for ejectment, such that when the complaint fails to faithfully aver facts constitutive of unlawful detainer, as where it does not state when and how entry was effected, or how and when dispossession started, the remedy should either be accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoriain the proper RTC.

The requirement that the complaint should aver, as jurisdictional facts, when and how entry into the property was made by the defendants applies only when the issue is the timeliness of the filing of the complaint before the MTC, and not when the jurisdiction of the MTC is assailed because the case is one for accion publiciana cognizable by the RTC.[30]  This is because, in forcible entry cases, the prescriptive period is counted from the date of defendants’ actual entry into the property; whereas, in unlawful detainer cases, it is counted from the date of the last demand to vacate.  Hence, to determine whether the case was filed on time, there is a necessity to ascertain whether the complaint is one for forcible entry or for unlawful detainer; and since the main distinction between the two actions is when and how defendant entered the property, the determinative facts should be alleged in the complaint.[31]

In Go, there was evidence that the possession by the defendant was illegal at the inception and not merely tolerated as alleged in the complaint. No such similar finding is extant in this case. Further, one of the factual issues raised in Go was whether the action was filed within one (1) year from the date the last demand was made. Here, it is beyond dispute that the complaint for unlawful detainer was filed within one (1) year from the date the demand letter was sent on June 17, 2005.

          Based on the foregoing, the MTC validly acquired jurisdiction over the complaint and we agree with its conclusion that petitioner is entitled to the physical possession of the lot, she having been able to prove by preponderance of evidence, through the TCT registered in her name, that she is entitled to possession of the property as owner. The countervailing evidence presented by respondents that sought to dispute the authenticity of petitioner’s TCT cannot be given weight in this case. Settled is the rule that the validity of a certificate of title cannot be attacked in an action for ejectment.[32]

          This notwithstanding, the determination made herein as regards petitioner’s ownership of the lot by virtue of TCT No. 392430 is only  prima facie and only for purposes of resolving the issue of physical possession. These pronouncements are without prejudice to the case of annulment of the deed of sale and TCT filed by respondents against petitioner.[33] Lastly, these pronouncements are not binding on respondents Noemi Otales and Gregorio Ramirez over whose persons no jurisdiction was acquired by the MTC.[34]

About Erineus

Ernesto O. Bendita. Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Complaint/Information, Forcible Entry, Jurisdiction, Unlawful Detainer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Allegation in the complaint in actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases compared and distinguised

  1. AV says:

    Atty I appreciate your blog.I would like to get your comment/opinion on a case that involved forcible entry & unlawful detainer by a former care taker & his brothers. Due to the long tenure of the caretaker, the owners who were mostly working & residing outside of the town where the property is, relied on the care taker to collect rent f&rom the share croppers & remit the rent collected to the one of the land owners . who resided in the town.
    The brothers of the care taker were residing in other towns but visited.They werewithinwithin in & out of the properties.They were tolerated on account of the care taker.

    Some time in mid or late 1980’s,one of the owners was notified that the care taker along with his three brothers were collecting rent from the share croppers & keeping same to themselves &
    helping themselves to every thing from the land (entire 56 hectares): copra, root crops, palay
    corn, lumber & even selling the soil!

    The land grabbers refused to stop their illegal activities & claimed the property belonged to their ancestors.

    He filed a Quieting of Title case & won after about 6 years of litigation but could not evict the land grabbers because they moved to other properties n the subdivided property owned by his siblings
    & whose names (probably due to error by the lawyer) were not included in the case although the land grabbers were stealing from every one or from the entire estate.
    Subsequently cases of forcible entry & unlawful detainer were filed & lost probably due to the
    prescriptive period for these types of action.
    The latest case filed ,Quieting of Title has not progressed since it was filed about 11 years ago.
    Motions for continuance & postponement of hearings has kept the case uresolved up to now.
    this severe delay in the disposition/resolution of this case has enabled the original land grabbers &
    about 40 0ther and grabbers to continously dispossess the legitimate owners who have been paying taxes but could not have safe access to their properties.
    The land grabbers have been known to have loose guns & used same against each other

    My questions are
    1. Is the right case accion publciana/accion reivindicatoria w/ Quieting of Title should
    ask for compensation for damages & pray for mandatory preliminary injunction?
    2.Should not an administrative complaint be filed against the mal-functioning judge
    w/ the Office of the Court Administrator,Supreme Court?
    3. Should not the lawyers who handled these cases be held accountable for negligence?

    Thank you for your time.
    Hoping for & looking forward to your response.
    An advocate for justice.

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