(Question V, Civil Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
Jacob has owned a farm land in Ramos, Tarlac. In 2012, Liz surreptitiously entered and cultivated the property. In 2014, Jacob discovered Liz’s presence in and cultivation of the property. Due to his being busy attending to his business in Cebu, he tolerated Liz’s cultivation of the property. Subsequently, in December 2016, Jacob wanted to regain possession of the property; hence, he sent a letter to Liz demanding that she vacate the property. Liz did not vacate despite the demand.
Jacob comes to enlist your legal assistance to bring an action against Liz to recover the possession of the property.
What remedies are available to Jacob to recover possession of his property under the circumstances? Explain your answer. (4%)
For anyone dispossessed of their property, they have the following remedies:
1) Accion interdictal – if dispossession is less than a year.
The action may be in the form of: (a) forcible entry if one is deprived of physical possession of real property by means of force, intimidation, strategy, threats, or stealth; or (b) unlawful detainer if one illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. Both actions prescribe in one (1) year: (a) for forcible entry – from date of actual entry for forcibly entry; or (b) unlawful detainer – from possession of the defendant which was originally legal but became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess for unlawful detainer.
2) Accion publiciana – if the dispossession lasted for more than a year
3) Accion reivindicatoria – if both possession and ownership is sought to be recovered. Rule
In the case at bar, Jacob has been dispossessed for six (6) years and he aims to recover possession only. The proper remedy would then be to institute an accion publiciana. Apply
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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