Well-settled is the rule that what determines the nature of the action, as well as the court which has jurisdiction over the case, are the allegations in the complaint. In ejectment cases, the complaint should embody such statement of facts as to bring the party clearly within the class of cases for which the statutes provide a remedy, as these proceedings are summary in nature. The complaint must show enough on its face to give the court jurisdiction without resort to parol evidence.
Unlawful detainer is an action to recover possession of real property from one who illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. The possession by the defendant in unlawful detainer is originally legal but became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess. The proceeding is summary in nature, jurisdiction over which lies with the proper MTC or metropolitan trial court. The action must be brought up within one year from the date of last demand, and the issue in the case must be the right to physical possession.
A complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action for unlawful detainer if it recites the following:
1. initially, possession of property by the defendant was by contract with or by tolerance of the plaintiff;
2. eventually, such possession became illegal upon notice by plaintiff to defendant of the termination of the latter’s right of possession;
3. thereafter, the defendant remained in possession of the property and deprived the plaintiff of the enjoyment thereof; and
4. within one year from the last demand on defendant to vacate the property, the plaintiff instituted the complaint for ejectment.
Contrary to the findings of the RTC and the CA, petitioner’s allegations in the complaint clearly makes out a case for unlawful detainer, essential to confer jurisdiction over the subject matter on the MTC. Petitioner alleges that she is the owner of the lot, as shown by TCT No. 392430, issued by the Registry of Deeds of Tarlac; that respondents are occupying the lot by virtue of petitioner’s tolerance; and that petitioner sent a letter to respondents on June 17, 2005, demanding that they vacate the property, but they failed and refused to do so. The complaint was filed on July 12, 2005, or within one year from the time the last demand to vacate was made.
Firm is the rule that as long as these allegations demonstrate a cause of action for unlawful detainer, the court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter.