Action for Unlawful Detainer

Remedial Law Review

An action for unlawful detainer was filed containing allegations that the defendant immediately occupied the property after its sale to her, an action merely tolerated by the owner and that her illegal occupation was by mere tolerance. It was ruled that the ejectment case should have been for forcible entry, an action that has already prescribed when the complaint was filed on May 12, 1999 while the entry was effected on April 24, 1998. Is the ruling correct? Why?

Answer: Yes, because the allegations contradict, rather than support, the plaintiff’s theory of an action for unlawful detainer. First, because the allegations advance the view that the occupation was unlawful from its inception. Second, they counter the essential requirement in unlawful detainer cases that the supposed tolerance must be present right from the start of a possession that is later sought to be recovered. As there was no evidence that possession was by tolerance, the possession should be deemed illegal from the beginning, hence, a case for forcible entry should have been filed. (Ten Forty Realty and Development Corporation vs Cruz, G.R. No. 151212, September 10, 2003).

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