1.) Mr. R is the registered owner of a parcel of land located in Cebu City covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 1234 issued in 1955. Since his acquisition of the lot, Mr. R and his family had been in continuous, open, and peaceful possession thereof. Mr. R died in 1980, resulting in the land being transferred in the names of his heirs, i.e., A, B, and C, who became registered owners thereof as per TCT No. 5678. During the entire time, said land had never been encumbered or disposed, and that its possession always remained with them. Sometime in 1999, A, B, and C wanted to build a concrete fence around the parcel of land, but they were opposed by Mrs. X, who started claiming ownership over the same property on the strength of a Deed of Absolute Sale purportedly entered into by her with Mr. R during the time that he was still alive. Aggrieved, A, B, and C intend to file a complaint for quieting of title against Mrs. X. A. What are the substantive requisites for the action to prosper? Do they obtain in this case? Explain. B. Within what period should A, B, and C tile the complaint for quieting of title? Explain. C. Assuming that Band Care residing abroad, may A, without the knowledge of B and C, file the complaint for quieting of title on behalf of all the heirs? Explain.
a. For an action to quiet title to prosper, it has the following requisites: (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 instrument, record, 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.
The requisites for an action to quiet the title obtain in this case, since A, B, and Care the registered owners of the parcel of land, having inherited the same from their father Mr. R, and the Deed of Absolute Sale, which cast a cloud on their title may be shown to be invalid or inoperative.
b. The action for quieting of title does not prescribe, because the plaintiff are in possession of the land.
c. Yes, A may file the complaint, provided that he files the same for the co-ownership. Anyone of the co-owners may bring such an action in ejectment, even without joining all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs, because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all, assuming A wins the case. Parenthetically, if A loses in the action to quiet title, it will if not affect B and C, because the Court did not acquire jurisdiction over their persons. The Court further held that if the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone, such that he claims the possession for himself and not for the co-ownership, the action will not prosper.
2.) A, B and C are the co-owners in equal shares of a residential house and lot. During their co-ownership, the following acts were respectively done by the co- owners: 1. A undertook the repair of the foundation of the house, then tilting to one side, to prevent the house from collapsing. 2. B and C mortgaged the house and lot to secure a loan. 3. B engaged a contractor to build a concrete fence all around the lot. 4. C built a beautiful grotto in the garden. 5. A and C sold the land to X for a very good price. a) Is A’s sole decision to repair the foundation of the house binding on B and C? May A require B and C to contribute their 2/3 share of the expense? Reasons. b) What is the legal effect f the mortgage contract executed by B and C? Reasons. c) Is B’s sole decision to build the fence binding upon A and C? May B require A and C to contribute their 2/3 share of the expense? Reasons. d) Is C’s sole decision to build the grotto binding upon A and B? May C require A and B to contribute their 2/3 share of the expense? Reasons. e) What are the legal effects of the contract of sale executed by A, C and X? Reasons.
Yes. A’s sole decision to repair the foundation is binding upon B and B and C must contribute 2/3 of the expense. Each co-owner has the right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expense of preservation of the thing (the house) owned in common in proportion to their respective interests. (Arts. 485 and 488, Civil Code)
The mortgage shall not bind the 1/3 right and interest of A and shall be deemed to cover only the rights and interests of B and C in the house and The mortgage shall be limited to the portion (2/3) which may be allotted to B and C in the partition. (Art. 493, Civil Code)
B’s sole decision to build the concrete fence is not binding upon A and Expenses to improve the thing owned in common must be decided upon by a majority of the co-owners who represent the controlling interest. (Arts. 489 and 492, Civil Code)
C’s sole decision to build the grotto is not binding upon A and B who cannot be required to contribute to the expenses for the embellishment of the thing owned in common if not decided upon by the majority of the co-owners who represent the controlling (Arts. 489 and 492, Civil Code)
The sale to X shall not bind the 1/3 share of B and shall be deemed to cover only the 2/3 share of A and C in the land (Art. 493, Civil Code). B shall have the right to redeem the 2/3 share sold to X by A and C since X is a third person. ( 1620, Civil Code)