My Friday the 13th
Not Bad, After All
Posted on 13 November 2015 at 10:32 p.m. by Engineer-lawyer Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing
I succeeded in convincing the RTC of Antipolo, Branch 74, to terminate the Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) in the case that I filed because there have appeared now two certificates of title for one and the same parcel of land.
I also succeeded in convincing the judge to continue acting as the judge to hear and decide our case.
The two certificates of title are: (1) the certificate of title of my client; and (2) the certificate of title of our opponent.
Because there must only be one certificate of title in every lot, the issue of our case was which of the two titles should be declared as genuine and which should be declared as null and void.
Because this is the issue, it is not capable of agreement or stipulation by the parties in the case. The law, Presidential Decree 1529, mandates that any error or issue of validity in the certificates of title cannot be susceptible of agreement or stipulation by the parties and only a full-blown trial and a decision by the RTC can settle the same controversy. The judge -- and the lawyer of the opponent -- agreed to me. So we both agreed to terminate the JDR.
At the same time, I moved that the same judge continue hearing and deciding the case on the ground that there was no prejudgment anyway that can be seen because the main issues are legal and the factual issues were merely subordinate.
The complaint I filed was for a cause of action for the quieting of title because of the existence of the tax declaration certificates of our opponent based on the opponent's certificate of title. This tax declaration constituted as the noise that must be quieted. Another cause of action was for the declaration of nullity of the certificate of title of our opponent.
Our theory of our case is that it was impossible that a patent was issued in favor of our opponent.
It was impossible because the alleged certificate of title of our opponent stated in the entries thereof that a homestead patent was issued for our opponent on 12 June 1925 when the parcel of land was not yet allowed for private ownership.
The impossibility is proved by the official certification issued by the DENR for the parcel of land subject of the opponent's certificate of title. The same certification certified that the same parcel of land was opened for application for private ownership only on 11 March 1927.
This means that on 12 June 1925, it was prohibited by law for the same parcel to be awarded to the ownership by any private person and therefore it was impossible for the opponent's homestead patent to have been issued.
After the same proceedings, I had a discussion with another client about the other case on the same Friday the 13th.
We had a fruitful meeting because I believe I have made my other client understand where does he stand.
In this other case, my client was sued for forcible entry. I explained to my client that the plaintiff must prove that the plaintiff had prior actual possession.
It is necessary for the plaintiff to prove that the alleged owner of the parcel of land was the one actually holding the real property before it went to the hands of the defendant. That is because it cannot be proved that the same land was grabbed from the plaintiff if the plaintiff cannot show he or she had held the same lot before the defendant had possession of the same.
But in the allegations and documents attached to the complaint of the plaintiff, there was neither attached nor alleged showing that the plaintiff actually held the real property prior to the filing of the same complaint.
Another ground allowed for eviction under unlawful detainer is the withdrawal of tolerance by the owner of the land. However, it must be proved first how tolerance was created in order to make it possible for withdrawal to happen. If there was no tolerance, then there was nothing to withdraw.
But in this case, the plaintiff who happened to be a judge did not allege or submit evidence that tolerance was given before the alleged withdrawal. The plaintiff also did not allege that he withdraw tolerance.
The last ground allowed for eviction under unlawful detainer is the termination of lease contract. I also told my client that this will not succeed on the ground of terminated lease because there is no lease to speak of at the same time.
In the allegations in the complaint and in the documents attached, there is nothing that states that my client leased the premises from the plaintiff.
I also explained to my client that all these reasons allowed for evicting a person from a real property must be filed within one (1) year from the date the cause of action occurred.
After this discussion, my client felt so relaxed. He knew where he stood.
Ergo, my Friday the 13th on November 13, 2015 was not bad after all.