You are on page 1of 8

RULE 70 FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER Section 1. Who may institute proceedings, and when.

Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding section, a person deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs.

a.

Three kinds of possessory actions of real property: accion interdictal Summary action for Forcible entry and detainer which seeks the recovery of physical possession only and is brought within one year in the MTC forcible entry (detentacion) or may be brought where dispossession of real property had taken place by any of the means provided for in Section 1 of Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court

unlawful detainer (desahucio) may be brought where the possession is withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract express or implied

accion publiciana Recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding in a RTC

accion de reivindicacion Seeks the recovery of ownership (including jus utendi and jus fruendi) also brought in the RTC

Banayos v. Susana Realty, Inc. Facts: Respondent corporation, which is a registered owner of two parcels of land, sought the recovery thereof from petitioners, alleging that the latter thru strategy and stealth had occupied the premises for at least three years before the filing of the complaint. Respondent court rendered judgment ordering petitioners to vacate the premises and to remove therefrom the improvements introduced therein. Thereafter, petitioners filed a motion to set aside judgment and/or to dismiss on the ground that the court of first instance had no jurisdiction, it being an ejectment case and not an accion publiciana. Issue: WON the Civil Case is a forcible entry case, within the jurisdiction of the inferior courts, or an accion publiciana, within the jurisdiction of respondent Court of First Instance. Held: The Case was an accion publiciana.

A complaint for forcible entry, as distinguished from that of unlawful detainer, in order to vest jurisdiction upon the inferior court, must allege plaintiff's prior physical possession of the property, as well as the fact that he was deprived of such possession by any of the means provided in Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, namely: force, intimidation, threats, strategy and stealth, "for if the dispossession did not take place by any of these means, the courts of first instance, not the municipal courts, have jurisdiction." The action for forcible entry may be brought where dispossession of real property had taken place by any of the means provided for in Section 1 of Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court, and in the case of unlawful detainer, where the possession is withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract express or implied. These two actions must be filed within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession with the municipal or city court. These actions in their essence are mere quieting processes by virtue of which a party in possession of land may not be, by force, dispossessed of that land, the law restoring to him such possession in a summary manner, until the right of ownership can be tried in due course of law. They are, therefore, intended to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. Whenever the owner is dispossessed by any other means than those mentioned he may maintain his action in the Court of First Instance, and it is not necessary for him to wait until the expiration of twelve months before commencing an action to be repossessed or declared to be owner of the land." Courts of First Instance have jurisdiction over actions to recover possession of real property illegally detained, together with rents due and damages, even though one (1) year has not expired from the beginning of such illegal detention, provided the question of ownership of such property is also involved. In other words, if the party illegally dispossessed desires to raise the question of illegal dispossession as well as that of the ownership over the property, he may commence such action in the Court of First Instance immediately or at any time after such illegal dispossession. If he decides to raise the question of illegal dispossession only, and the action is filed more than one (1) year after such deprivation or withholding of possession, then the Court of First Instance will have original jurisdiction over the case.

b.

Modification by RA 7691

Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: "(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots."

c.

Action includes public lands The authority given the Director of Lands to dispose of public lands does not divest the regular courts of their jurisdiction over possessory actions instituted by applicants to protect their possession. The courts jurisdiction is limited to possessory actions, not involving directly or indirectly alienation and dispositions, such as cases of forcible entry and accion publiciana, not illegal possession. The RTC, is however, without jurisdiction over questions affecting title to public lands, as this falls under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands.

d.

Who may file action and against whom

WHO MAY FILE ACTION In Forcible Entry

The person deprived of possession by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth.

Article 539. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means established by the laws and the Rules of Court. A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the complaint present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. In Unlawful Detainer The landlord, vendor or vendee or other person against whom possession of land or building is unlawfully withheld. The legal representative or assignee of any landlord, vendor, vendee or other person.

AGAINST WHOM

The action may be filed against: e. persons unlawfully withholding or depriving possession or any person claiming under them. any person who is in legal possession of the leased lot.

Nature of proceedings in accion interdictal

Ejectment cases are summary proceedings intended to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. Title is not involved. That is why it is a special civil action with a special procedure. Technicalities should carefully be avoided and should not be allowed to override substantial justice.

f.

Philosophy of the remedy

The statute seeks to prevent breaches of the peace and criminal order xxx to compel the party out of possession to respect and resort to the law alone to obtain what he claims is his. The owners of a property have no authority to use force and violence to eject alleged usurpers who were in prior physical possession of it. They must file the appropriate action in court and should not take the law in their own hands.

g.

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: "(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises the questions of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession; and Jurisdiction; how determined What determines the nature of an action as well as which court has jurisdiction over it are the allegations of the complaint and the character of the relief sought. Jurisdiction is determined by the nature of the action set forth in the complaint. Mere assertion of ownership by the defendant or of tenancy relationship does not oust the court of its jurisdiction.

h.

Forcible entry distinguished from unlawful detainer (Munoz v. CA, 214 SCRA 216)

WHEN POSSESSION UNLAWFUL

BECOMES

FORCIBLE ENTRY Possession is unlawful from the beginning as it was acquired through force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth The law does not require a prior demand to vacate the premises The plaintiff must prove that he was in prior physical possession of the premises until he was deprived thereof by the defendant The one-year period is generally counted from the date of actual entry

DEMAND PRIOR PHYSICAL POSSESSION

UNLAWFUL DETAINER Possession is inceptively lawful but it becomes unlawful by reason of the termination of the right to the possession of the property under the contract with the plaintiff Demand is required, which is jurisdictional in nature The plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession

ONE-YEAR RECKONED

PERIOD,

WHEN

The one-year period is counted from the date of last demand or last letter of demand

i.

Forcible entry: only issue is possession de facto

Incidents to the main issue of possession de facto In forcible entry, the possession of the property is unlawful ab initio because he acquires possession thereof by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth. In actions for forcible entry, two allegations are mandatory for the municipal court to acquire jurisdiction: 1. 2. Prior physical possession of the property must be alleged. That the deprivation of said property must be through force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth

j.

General rule: issue of ownership in ejectment cases is not essential.

The long settled rule is that the issue of ownership should be raised by the affected party in an appropriate action for a certificate of title and cannot be the subject of a collateral attack. Mere assertion of ownership in an ejectment case will not therefore oust the municipal court of its summary jurisdiction. Even if the defendant in a detainer or forcible entry case alleges title to the property in his answer, the MTC or RTC on appeal will not be divested of its jurisdictions by allegations alone. The reason is because while there may be identity of parties and subject matter, the rights asserted and the relief prayed for are not the same. Precedents holding that an ejectment case may not be abated because of pending cases in the RTC based on right of pre-emption or prior purchase (Wilmon Auto Supply Corp. v. Court of Appeals,208 SCRA 108) Injuction suits instituted in the RTC in ejectment actions in the municipal trial courts or other courts of the first level do not abate the latter; and neither do proceedings on consignation of rentals An accion publiciana does not suspend an ejectment suit against the plaintiff in the former A writ of possession case where ownership is concededly the principal issue before the RTC does not preclude nor bar the execution of the judgment in an unlawful detainer suit where the only issue involved is the material possession or possession de facto of the premises An action for quieting of title to property is not a bar to an ejectment suit involving the same property Suits for specific performance with damages do not affect ejectment actions An action for reformation of instrument does not suspend an ejectment suit between the same parties An action for reconveyance of property or accion reivindicatoria also has no effect on ejectment suits regarding the same property Suits for annulment of sale, or title, or document affecting property does not abate ejectment actions involving the same property

The filing of an action for reconveyance of title over the same property or for annulment of the deed of sale over the land does not divest the Municipal Trial Court of its jurisdiction to try the forcible entry or unlawful detainer cases before it. (Sen Po Marketing Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA 154) Rights asserted and relief prayed for are not the same though there is identity of parties and subject matter. Ejectment suits settle only the issue of physical possession. They are not barred by the pendency of an action for the annulment of sale and for the reconveyance of the disputed land. In Sen Po Ek Marketing vs. Court of Appeals it was held by the Supreme Court that while the pendency of a suit for declaration of the inefficacy of a deed of sale does not constitute a compelling reason to delay termination of an ejectment case, a judgment of annulment may be a ground for ordering reconveyance of the disputed property to the original lessees. It gives rise merely to an expectancy that the documents assailed therein may be nullified and the subject properties may be ordered reconveyed to petitioners as compared to the clear actual and existing legal right of respondent corporation to possession of the subject properties as the registered owners. Respondents cannot defeat the summary nature of ejectment proceedings against them by filing an action questioning the ownership of the person who is trying to eject them from the premises. (Spouses Balanon-Anicete v. Balanon, 402 SCRA 514).

In the case of Spouses Balanon-Anicete vs. Balanon, an ejectment suit is summary in nature and the same cannot be circumvented by the simple expedient of asserting ownership over the property. In forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, even if the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the lower courts and the Court of Appeals, nonetheless, have the undoubted competence to provisionally resolve the issue of ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession. Such decision, however, does not bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building, neither shall it bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building nor be held conclusive of the facts therein found in a case between the same parties upon a different cause of action involving possession. In the instant case, the Court of Appeals correctly relied on the transfer certificate of title in the name of the respondent. As registered owner, respondent had the right to the possession of the property, which is one of the attributes of his ownership thereof. Petitioners argument that respondent is not the true owner of the land is a collateral attack on his title, which is not allowed. Respondents title can only be challenged in a direct action, for it is well settled that a certificate of title cannot be subject to collateral attack and can be altered, modified or cancelled only in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. Having obtained a valid title over the subject lot, respondent is entitled to protection against indirect attacks against his title.

k.

Jurisdiction of MTC to Resolve Issue of Ownership.

Under BP 129 when in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the issue of ownership, the Municipal Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts have the competence to resolve the issue of ownership only to determine the issue of possession Where the question of de facto possession cannot be determined properly without settling that of de jure possession and ownership because the latter is inseparably linked with the former. R.A. No. 7691 expanding the jurisdiction of said courts retained Sec. 33 (2) of BP 129. Inferior courts retain jurisdiction over ejectment cases even if the question of possession cannot be resolved without passing upon the issue of ownership as long as it (issue of ownership) could be resolved for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession. (Boy v. CA, 427 SCRA 196)

In Boy vs. Court of Appeals, it was held that Prior to the effectivity of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980), the jurisdiction of inferior courts was confined to receiving evidence of ownership in order to determine only the nature and extent of possession, by reason of which such jurisdiction was lost the moment it became apparent that the issue of possession was interwoven with that of ownership.

With the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, inferior courts were granted jurisdiction to resolve questions of ownership provisionally in order to determine the issue of possession, thus: Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases.Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. Section 16, Rule 70 (Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer) of the Rules of Court, as amended, similarly provides: Sec.16. Resolving defense of ownership.- When the defendant raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. Thus, in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, if the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the inferior courts have the undoubted competence provisionally to resolve the issue of ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession.

l.

Agricultural Tenants The rule is not applicable to cases covered by the Agricultural Tenancy Act (Heirs of Fernando Vinzons, et. al v. Court of Appeals, 315 SCRA 541) Municipal Trial Courts have no jurisdiction over a forcible entry and detainer case involving agricultural tenants. (Vide de Leon v. Court of Appeals, 245 SCRA 166) But there must be evidence of tenancy relation. (Isidro v. CA, 228 SCRA 503) The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject matter is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation by the tenant; and (6) there is a sharing of harvests between the parties. All these requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between the parties. The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. The allegation that an agricultural tenant tilled the land in question does not automatically make the case an agrarian dispute which calls for the application of the Agricultural Tenancy Act Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) (Herrera, 2006). Where there is a defense of tenancy, there must be preliminary hearing on the question of tenancy relationship (Ignacio v. CFI of Bulacan, 42 SCRA 89)

m.

Cases under jurisdiction of HLURB The MTC is, without jurisdiction where the ground for ejectment would involve a consideration of the rights and obligations of the parties in a sale of real estate under PD 957 which falls under the jurisdiction of the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board (HLURB) and consequently is also without jurisdiction to award counterclaim (Francel Realty v. CA, 252 SCRA 127)

Compared with Roxas v. CA, 391 SCRA 351 Private respondent and petitioner entered into a contract to sell covering the property in question. Subsequently, private respondent filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against petitioner before the Metropolitan Trial

Court (MeTC) for the latter's refusal to vacate the property in question despite notice of cancellation of the contract to sell. The MeTC dismissed the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. On appeal, the Regional Trial Court ruled for private respondent holding that the MeTC had jurisdiction to hear and decide the case as the complaint is one for unlawful detainer and not for accion publiciana. Petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals and the latter affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. In affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court ruled that a question of jurisdiction may be raised at any time, even on appeal, provided that doing so does not result in a mockery of the tenets of fair play. When, however, a party adopts a particular theory, and the case is tried and decided upon that theory in the court below, he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal. Where the case was tried by the lower court and the parties on a certain theory, it will be reviewed and decided on that theory, insofar as the pleadings, liberally construed, permit, and not be approached from a different point of view. Petitioner is bound bythe theory behind her arguments before the RTC and CA that the case is properly an accion publiciana as the cause of action arises from the termination of possession by mere tolerance. Her assertion now that the issue involves the determination of whether or not the terms and conditions of the contract to sell have been violated by private respondent, which must be decided by the HLURB, constitutes a change of theory that could require presentation of further evidence. Given this premise, the Court cannot countenance petitioner's act of adopting inconsistent postures by attacking the jurisdiction of the regular courts to which she has submitted, voluntarily. Estoppel bars her from doing so. The Court further ruled that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or pleadings by the defendant. Since there is no dispute that the allegations of the complaint filed below by private respondent, sufficiently describe unlawful detainer, the MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof.

n.

Need for allegation and proof of prior physical possession in forcible entry. In the complaint of forcible entry, it must be alleged that one in physical possession of a land or building has been deprived of that possession by another through force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth, if the dispossession did not take place by any of these means, the Regional Trial Courts not the Municipal Trial Courts have jurisdiction. It is not essential, however, that the complaint should expressly employ the language of the law, it would be sufficient that facts are set up showing that dispossession took place under said conditions. The bare allegation of the complaint that plaintitff has been deprived of the land of which he is and has been the legal owner, is not sufficient ( Gumiran v. Gumiran, 21 Phil. 174). It is, however, sufficient to allege that defendant has unlawfully turned that plaintiff out of possession of the land or building in litigation, because the phrase turned the plaintiff out of possession suggests the use of force in the takin g of the possession away from him (Co Tiamco v. Diaz, 75 Phil. 752).

Insufficiency of Allegations of Prior Physical Possession The phrase thereby depriving said owners of the possession of the same is not sufficient averment of prior physical possession (Herrera, 2006). Requisites: 1. Physical Possession 2. Priority in Time

It cannot be inferred from the aforecited phrase that the possession that petitioners were supposedly deprived of is a prior physical possession. The question arises, what sort of prior physical possession is to be averred? The word possession as used in forcible entry and unlawful detainer, means nothing more than physical possession, not legal possession in the sense contemplated in civil law. The allegation must likewise show priority in time. Bothe requisites are wanting in the phrase aforecited (Ong v. Parel, 355 SCRA 691). The only questions asked in forcible entry cases are: First: Second: Third: Who has actual possession over the piece of real property? Was the possessor ousted therefrom within one year from the filing of the complaint by FORCE, INTIMIDATION, THREAT, STRATEGY or STEALTH? Does he ask for restoration or possession?

Force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth embrace every situation under which one person can wrongfully enter upon real property and exclude another who is in possession thereof.

o.

Allegations Determines Nature of Action: Unlawful Detainer A complaint should not however be dismissed merely for its failure to state a cause of action for forcible entry, although plaintiff has designated or denominated it in the caption as one of forcible entry, where the allegations in the body thereof sufficiently establish a cause of action for unlawful detainer. Well-settled is the rule that what determines the nature of action as well as the court which has jurisdiction over the case are the allegations in the complaint (Abrin v. Campos, 203 SCRA 420). The cause of action in a complaint is not what the designation of the complaint states, but what the allegations in the body of the complaint describe or define. It is equally settled that in an action for unlawful detainer, an allegation that the defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from the plaintiff is deemed sufficient (Maddamu v. Judge of Municipal Court of Manila, 74 Phil. 230) and a complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the withholdoing of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily employing the terminology of the law (Co Tiamco v. Diaz, 75 Phil. 672).

Unlawful Detainer Definition Unlawful detainer is the act of withholding the possession of land or building from another who is entitled to it after the expiration or termination of the right of the illegal detainer to hold possession by virtue of a contract, express or implied, when one year had not yet elapsed from the time the original possession had become illegal. (Villegas v. CA, 168 SCRA 553)

But continues as such even if defendant vacates If the complaint alleges unlawful detainer, even if after the answer is filed defendant vacates and is no longer in possession, the case still remains as unlawful detainer and is not converted into an ordinary action for collection (Fuentes v. Bautista, 53 SCRA 420)