Civil Law, Remedial Law

Recent Rulings on RECONSTITUTION OF TITLE (R.A. NO. 26)RECONVEYANCE and QUIETING OF TITLE

Application of — The fact of loss or destruction of the owner’s duplicate certificate of title is crucial in clothing the RTC with jurisdiction over the judicial reconstitution proceedings; the rule that when the owner’s duplicate certificate of title was not actually lost or destroyed, but is in fact in the possession of another person, the reconstituted title is void because the court that rendered the order of reconstitution had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. (Sebastian vs. Sps. Cruz, G.R. No. 220940, Mar. 20, 2017)

The following requisites must be complied with for an order for reconstitution to be issued: (a) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost and destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are substantially the same as those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title; the reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land. (Sebastian vs. Sps. Cruz, G.R. No. 220940, Mar. 20, 2017)

Concept and purpose –– The reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land; purpose. (Dy vs. Aldea, G.R. No. 219500, Aug. 09, 2017)

Requisites –– The fact of loss or destruction of the owner’s duplicate certificate of title, which is the primordial element in the validity of reconstitution proceedings, is clearly missing; accordingly, the RTC never acquired jurisdiction over the reconstitution proceedings initiated by the impostor, and its judgment rendered thereafter is null and void. (Dy vs. Aldea, G.R. No. 219500, Aug. 09, 2017)

The following requisites must be complied with for an order for reconstitution to be issued: (a) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost and destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are substantially the same as those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title. (Dy vs. Aldea, G.R. No. 219500, Aug. 09, 2017)

RECONVEYANCE

Action for — A free patent application is not proof of ownership until all requirements are met and the patent is granted. (Yabut vs. Alcantara, G.R. No. 200349, Mar. 06, 2017)

An action for reconveyance is a legal and equitable remedy that seeks to transfer or reconvey property, wrongfully registered in another person’s name, to its rightful owner; to warrant reconveyance of the land, the plaintiff must allege and prove, among others, ownership of the land in dispute and the defendant’s erroneous, fraudulent or wrongful registration of the property; the following requisites must concur: (1) the action must be brought in the name of a person claiming ownership or dominical right over the land registered in the name of the defendant; (2) the registration of the land in the name of the defendant was procured through fraud or other illegal means; (3) the property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for value; and (4) the action is filed after the certificate of title had already become final and incontrovertible but within four years from the discovery of the fraud, or not later than ten (10) years in the case of an implied trust. (Yabut vs. Alcantara, G.R. No. 200349, Mar. 06, 2017)

—      In an action for reconveyance, the free patent and the certificate of title are respected as incontrovertible; what is sought instead is the transfer of the title to the property, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in the defendant’s name; all that is needed to be alleged in the complaint are these two (2) crucial facts, namely: (1) that the plaintiff was the owner of the land; and (2) that the defendant had illegally dispossessed him of the same; the claimant/complainant has the burden of proving ownership over the registered land. (Yabut vs. Alcantara, G.R. No. 200349, Mar. 06, 2017)

—      The mere possession of a land for thirty (30) years does not automatically divest the land of its public character. (Yabut vs. Alcantara, G.R. No. 200349, Mar. 06, 2017)

—      The party seeking to recover the property must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she is entitled to the property, and that the adverse party has committed fraud in obtaining his or her title; allegations of fraud are not enough; intentional acts to deceive and deprive another of his right, or in some manner injure him, must be specifically alleged and proved. (Heirs of Teodora Loyola vs. CA, G.R. No. 188658, Jan. 11, 2017)

Action for — When the action for reconveyance is based on an implied or constructive trust, the prescriptive period is ten (10) years or it is imprescriptible if the movant is in the actual, continuous and peaceful possession of the property involved; when the action for reconveyance is based on a void deed or contract the action is imprescriptible under Art. 1410 of the New Civil Code. (Sps. Yu Hwa Ping vs. Ayala Land, Inc., G.R. No. 173120, July 26, 2017)

QUIETING OF TITLE

Requisites –– Action to quiet title which has two indispensable requisites, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting a cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. (Caldito vs. Obado, G.R. No. 181596, Jan. 30, 2017) 

––      Petitioners must present proof of specific acts of ownership to substantiate his claim and cannot just offer general statements which are mere conclusions of law than factual evidence of possession. (Caldito vs. Obado, G.R. No. 181596, Jan. 30, 2017)

Action for — For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud  on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy; a cloud on a title exists when: (1) there is an instrument (deed, or contract) or record or claim or encumbrance or proceeding; (2) which is apparently valid or effective; (3) but is, in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable or extinguished (or terminated) or barred by extinctive prescription; and (4) may be prejudicial to the title. (Ocampo vs. Ocampo, Sr., G.R. No. 227894, July 05, 2017)

Action for –– In order that an action for quieting of title may prosper, the plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in, the property which is the subject matter of the action; while legal title denotes registered ownership, equitable title means beneficial ownership; in the absence of such legal or equitable title, or interest, there is no cloud to be prevented or removed. (Delos Reyes vs. Municipality of Kalibo, Aklan, G.R. No. 214587, Feb. 26, 2018)

Legal or equitable title –– By petitioners’ failure to present the original copies of the purported deeds of sale in their favor, the case for quieting of title did not have a leg to stand on; petitioners were unable to show their claimed right or title to the disputed property, which is an essential element in a suit for quieting of title. (Sps. Basa vs. Loy, G.R. No. 204131, June 04, 2018)

Requisites –– For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy; additionally, it is essential that the plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in, the property which is the subject-matter of the action. (Desiderio Dalisay Investments, Inc. vs. SSS, G.R. No. 231053, April 04, 2018)

––      “For an action to quiet title to prosper, two (2) indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy”; “legal title denotes registered ownership, while equitable title means beneficial ownership.” (Sps. Basa vs. Loy, G.R. No. 204131, June 04, 2018)

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