Bar Q and A #19

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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

Juana’s suit to have herself declared as sole owner of the entire remaining area will not prosper because while Juan’s act in selling the other lot was wrongful, it did not have the legal effect of forfeiting his share in the remaining lot. However, Juana can file an action against Juan for partition or termination of the co-ownership with a prayer that the lot sold be adjudicated to Juan, and the remaining lot be adjudicated and reconveyed to her.

Ramon is wrong on both counts: prescription and laches. His possession as co-owner did not give rise to acquisitive prescription. Possession by a co-owner is deemed not adverse to the other co-owners but is, on the contrary, deemed beneficial to them. (Pangan v. CA 166 SCRA 375) Ramon’s possession will become adverse only when he has repudiated the co-ownership and such repudiation was made known to Rosario. Assuming that the sale in 1985 where Ramon claimed he was the sole heir of his parents amounted to repudiation of the co-ownership; the prescriptive period began to run only from that time. Not more than 30 years having lapsed since then, the claim of Rosario has not yet prescribed. The claim of laches is not also meritorious. Until the repudiation of the co-ownership was made known to the other co-owners, no right has been violated for the said co-owners, no right has been violated for the said co-owners to vindicate. Mere delay in vindicating the right, standing alone, does not constitute laches.

a. Yes, Anthony can acquire ownership of the property by ordinary prescription which requires just title and good faith (Art. 1117). There was just title because a deed of sale was issued in his favor even though it was forged, which in fact he was not aware of. He needs to possess the land in good faith and in the concept of an owner for a total of ten years in order to acquire ownership. Since Anthony possessed the land for only one year, he has not completed the ten-year period. Even if Anthony tacks the 8-year period of possession by Carlo who in the deed of sale is supposed to be his grantor or predecessor in interest (Art. 1138 (1)), the period is still short of ten years.

b. Anthony is a possessor in good faith. Anthony cannot be made to account for the fruits he gathered before he was served with summons. A possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits received before the possession was legally interrupted by the service of summons (Art. 554). After Anthony was served with summons, he became a possessor in bad faith and a builder, planter, sower in bad faith. He can also be made to account for the fruits but he may deduct expenses or production gathering and preservation of the fruits (Art. 443).

c. The value of the standing crops must be prorated depending upon the period of possession and the period of growing and producing the fruits. Anthony is entitled to a part of the net harvest and a part of expenses of cultivation in proportion to his period of possession. Carlo may appropriate the respective parts subject to prorating the respective periods of possession. However, Carlos may allow Anthony to gather these growing fruits as an indemnity for the expenses of cultivation. If Anthony refuses to accept the concession, he shall lose the right to indemnity under Art. 443 (Art. 545 par. 3).

TRUE. Under the Civil Code, a co-owner may renounce his share in the co-owned property in lieu of paying for his share in the taxes and expenses for the preservation of the co-owned property. In effect, there is dacion en pago because the co-owner is discharging his monetary obligation by paying it with his non-monetary interest in the co-owned property. The fact that he is giving up his entire interest simply means that he is accepting the value of his interest as equivalent to his share in the taxes and expenses of preservation.

Sylvia is not correct. The 3 daughters are the co-owners of the hacienda being the only heirs of Ambrosio. When the property was foreclosed, the right of redemption belongs also to the 3 daughters. When Sylvia redeemed the entire property before the lapse of the redemption period, she also exercised the right of redemption of her co-owners on their behalf. As such, she is holding the shares of her two sisters in the property and all the fruits corresponding thereto, in trust for them. Redemption by one co- owner inures to the benefit of all. (Adille v. CA, G.R. No. L-44546, January 29, 1988) Sylvia, however, is entitled to be reimbursed the shares of her two sisters in the redemption price.

Y and Z are partly correct. The law provides that none of the co-owners shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership and it is the right of a co-owner to ask for partition of the co-ownership anytime. One exception to the rule is if the co-owners agree to keep the thing undivided which period shall not exceed ten years. In this case, the agreement to keep the thing undivided shall be valid at the most for ten years. (Art. 494)