POSSESSION

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POSSESSION

 

WHAT IS POSSESSION?

Art. 523. Possesion is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right.

Art. 530. Only things and rights which are susceptible of being appropriated may be the object of possession.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF POSSESSION?

  1. Holding or control of a thing or right.
  2. Deliberate intention to possess (animus possidendi)
  3. Possession is by virtue of one’s own right

WHAT ARE THE CLASSES OF POSSESSION?

 

Art. 524. Possession may be exercised in one’s own name or in that of another.

Art. 525. The possession of things or rights may be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of owner or in that of the holder of the thing or right to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another person.

Art. 540. Only the possession acquired and enjoyed in the concept of owner can serve as title for acquiring dominion.

Art. 526. He is deemed a possessor in good faith who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.

            He is deemed a possessor in bad faith who possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing.

            Mistake upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith.

Art. 527.  Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of proof.

Art. 528. Possession acquired in good faith does not lose this character except in the case and from the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or wronglfully.

WHAT ARE THE PRESUMPTIONS REGARDING POSSESSION?

 

Art. 527.  Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of proof.

Art. 529. It is presumed that possession continues to be enjoyed on the same character in which it was acquired, until the contrary is proved.

Art. 541. A possessor in the concept of owner has in his favor the legal presumption that he possesses with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or prove it.

Art. 542. The possession of real property presumes that of the movables therein, so long as it is not shown or proved that they should be excluded.

Art. 554. A present possessor who shows his possession at some previous time, is presumed to have held possession also during the intermediate period, in the absence of proof to the contrary.

HOW IS POSSESSION ACQUIRED? 

 

Art. 531. Possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right.

Art. 532. Possession may be acquired by the same person who is to enjoy it, by his legal representative, by his agent, or by any person without any power whatever; but in the last case, the possession shall not be considered as acquired until the person in whose name the act of possession was executed has ratified the same, without prejudice to the juridical consequences of negotiorum gestio in a proper case.

WHEN DOES AN HEIR ACQUIRE POSSESSION OVER THE PROPERTY HE INHERITED?

Art. 533. The possession of hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption and from the moment of the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance is accepted.

            One who validly renounces an inheritance is deemed never to have possessed the same.

Art. 534. One who succeeds by hereditary title shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful possession of the decedent, if it is not shown that he was aware of the flaws affecting it; but the effects of possession in good faith shall not benefit him except from the date of death of the decedent.

MAY POSSESSION BE ACQUIRED BY MINORS AND OTHER INCAPACITATED PERSONS?

 

Art. 535. Minors and incapacitated persons may acquire the possession of things; but they need the assistance of their legal representatives in order to exercise the rights which from the possession arise in their favor.

WHAT ARE THE INSTANCES WHEN LEGAL POSSESSION (RIGHT TO POSSESSION) CANNOT BE ACQUIRED?

Art. 536. In no case may possession be acquired through force or intimidation as long as there is a possessor who objects thereto. He who believes that he has an action or right to deprive another of the holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the thing.

Art. 537. Acts merely tolerated,and those executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of the possessor of a thing, or by violence, do not affect possession.

MAY POSSESSION AS A FACT BE ORGANIZED AT THE SAME TIME IN TWO DIFFERENT PERSONLAITIES?

 

Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the case of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession, if the dates of possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings.

WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF A POSSESSOR?

 

  1. RIGHT TO BE RESPECTED IN HIS POSSESION

Art. 539. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means extablished by the laws and the rules of court.

            A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the complaint present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from filing thereof.

Art. 541. A possessor in the concept of owner has in his favor the legal presumption that he possesses with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or prove it.

  1. RIGHT OF EACH CO-OWNER TO BE DEEMED TO HAVE EXCLUSIVELY POSSESSED THE PART ALLOTTED TO HIM FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD THE CO-POSSESSION LASTED.

Art. 543. Each one of the participants of a thing possessed in common shall be deemed to have exclusively possessed the part which may be allotted to him upon the division thereof, for the entire period during which the co-possession lasted. Interrruption in the possession of the whole or a part of a thing possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the possessors. However, in case of civil interruption, the rules of court shall apply.

  1. RIGHT TO THE FRUITS OF THE PROPERTY HE POSSESSES.

Art. 545. If at the time the good faith ceases, there should be any natural or industrial fruits, the possessor shall have a right to a part of the expenses of cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest, both in proportion to the time of possession.

            the charges shall be divided on the same basis by the two possessors.

            The owner of the thing may, should he so desire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finish the cultivation and gathering of the growing fruits,as an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation and gathering of the the growing fruits, as an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who for any reason whatever should refuse to accept this concession, shall lose the right to be indemnified in any other manner.

Art. 449. He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or sown without right to indemnity.

Art. 544.  A possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits received before the possession is legally interrupted.

            Natural and industrial fruits ate considered received from the time they are gathered or severed.

            Civil Fruits are deemed to accrue daily and belong to the possessor in good faith on that proportion.

Art. 549. The possessor in bad faith shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the legitimate possessor could have received, and shall have a right only to the expenses mentioned in paragraph 1 of Article 546 and in Article 443. The expenses incurred in improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith; but he may remove the objects for which such expenses have been incurred, provided that the thing suffers no injury thereby,and that the lawful possessor does not prefer to retain them by paying the value they may have at the time he enters into possession.

  1. RIGHT TO RECOVER POSSESSION UNJUSTLY LOST

Art. 539. Every possessor has  a right to be respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means established by the laws and the rules of court.

            A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the compliant present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from filing thereof. (446a)

  1. RIGHT ON THE EXPENSES INCURRED ON THE PROPERTY UPON RECOVERY BY THE RIGHTFUL POSSESSOR OR OWNER
  1. Necessary expenses – Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in good faith may retain the thing until he has been reimbursed therefor.
  2. Useful expenses – Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention, the person who has defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which the thing may have acquired by reason thereof.

Art. 547. if the useful improvements can be removed without damage to the principal thing, the possessor in good faith may remove them, unless the person who recovers the possession exercises the option under paragraph 2 of the preceding article.

  1. Expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure

Art. 548. Expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in good faith; but he may remove the ornaments with which he has embellished the principal thing if it suffers no injury thereby,and if his successor in the possession does not prefer to refund the amount expended.

Art. 549. The possessor in bad faith shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the legitimate possessor could have received, and shall have a right only to the expenses mentioned in paragrapgh 1 of Art. 546 and in Art. 443. The expenses incurred in improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith; but he may remove the objects for which such expenses have been incurred, provided that the thing suffers no injury thereby, and that the lawful possessor does not prefer to retain them by paying the value they may have at the time he enters into possession.

  1. RIGHT ON THE IMPROVEMENTS CAUSED BY NATURE OR TIME

Art. 551. Improvements caused by Nature or time shall or time shall always inure to the benefit of the person who has succeeded in recovering possession.  

  1. RIGHT ON THE COST OF LITIGATION

Art. 550. The costs of litigation over the property shall be borne by every possessor.

WHAT IS THE LIABILITY OF THE POSSESSOR TO THE RIGHTFUL POSSESSOR OR OWNED IN CASE OF LOSS OR DETERIORATION?

 

Art. 552. A possessor in good faith shall not be liable for the deterioration or loss of the thing possessed, except in cases in which it is proved that he has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after the judicial summons.

            A possessor in bad faith shall be laible for deterioration or loss in every case, even if caused by a fortuitous event.

WHEN IS POSSESSION OF MOVABLES EQUIVALENT TO TITLE?

 

Art. 559. The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the person in possession of the same.

            If the possessor of a movable lost or of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor.

HOW IS POSSESSION EXTINGUISED?

 

Art. 555. A possessor may lose his possession:

(1)By the abandonment of the thing;

(2)By an assignment made to another either by onerous or gratuitous title;

(3)By the destruction or total loss of the thing, or because it goes out of commerce;

(4)By the possession of another, subject to the provisions of Article 537, if the new possession has lasted longer than one year. But the real right of possession is not lost till after the lapse of ten years. (460a)

Article 556.The possession of movables is not deemed lost so long as they remain under the control of the possessor, even though for the time being he may not know their whereabouts. (461)

Article 561.One who recovers, according to law, possession unjustly, shall be deemed for all purposes which may redound to his benefit to have enjoyed it without interruption. (467)

When possession is recovered by the owner, is he obligated to reimburse the expenses incurred by the possessor in acquiring the?

 

  1. owner may recover without reimbursement
  2. from possessor in bad faith
  3. from possessor in good faith when the owner lost property or was unlawfully deprived of it
  4. owner may recover but should reimburse
  5. possessor acquired the property in good faith at a public auction sale.
  6. Owner cannot recover even if he offers to reimburse
    1. possessor acquire in good faith by purchase from a merchant’s store, or in fairs, or market.
    2. possessor is an innocent purchases for value and holder of a negotiable document of title to the goods
    3. owner is guilty of estoppels

Cases: Imuan vs. cereno

            Semirara Coal Corp vs. HGL Dev’t corp

            Calicdan vs. Cendana

            Lubos vs. Galupo

            Cequena vs. Bolante

            PNB vs. CA

            Caniza vs. CA

            Habagat Grill v. DMC