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PRESCRIPTION Chapter 2

Art. 1117. Acquisitive prescription of


dominion and other real rights may be
ordinary or extraordinary.
Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires
possession of things in good faith and
with just title for the time fixed by law
Requisites of Acquisitive prescription:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Capacity to acquire by prescription


A thing capable of acquisition by prescription
Possession of the thing under certain conditions
Lapse of time provided by law

2 kinds of Acquisitive prescription:


1. Ordinary prescription: requires possession of things in good faith and with just title for the time fixed
by law
a. Ex: a husband merely lent his name to be used in the execution of simulated deeds of sale:
the acquisition in his name being really for his wifes separate estate, there is neither just
title nor good faith upon which he and his heirs can base ownership through ordinary
prescription
2. Extraordinary prescription: does not require good faith or just tile but possession for a period longer
than ordinary acquisitive prescription
When possession begins with good faith, but later on is converted into bad faith, the prescription
will be extraordinary but the possession in good faith shall be computed in the proportion that the
period of extraordinary prescription bears to that of ordinary prescription
o Ex. The period of ordinary prescription for movables is 4 years while that of extraordinary
prescription is 8 years, or double that of the ordinary. If the possessor has possessed for 3 years
in good faith, before his possession was converted to bad faith, the 3 years will be computed as
doubled or 6 years. Hence the possessor will need two more years to complete extraordinary
prescription
Article 1118
Possession has to be in the concept of an
owner, public, peaceful and uninterrupted
Art. 1119.
Acts of possessory character executed in
virtue of license or by mere tolerance of the
owner shall not be available for the
purposes of possession.
a. Concept of Owner
i. For a claim of acquisitive prescription to prosper, possession of property must be in the concept of
owner for a certain period of time
ii. License is a positive act of the owner in favor of the holder of the thing
iii. Tolerance is the passive acquiescence of the owner to acts being performed by another which appear
to be contrary to the rights
b. Public:
i. Possession is public when the acts of enjoyment are executed in such a manner as to be
manifest or visible to all, especially to the person against whom the possession is being
adversely asserted.
ii. It must be known to the owner of the thing
iii. It is presumed that the owner knows it, unless there is clear proof to the contrary
c. Peaceful:
i. It is required and maintained without any violence, physical or moral

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ii. It continues to be peaceful even if the possessor should use such force as is reasonably
necessary to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion of the
property
d. Uninterrupted:
i. Possession is continuous when the possessor has never cease to manifest with external acts
his intention to exercise a right over a thing, which presupposes that he never ceased to
exercise the right.
ii. This is continuity is not understood in an absolute sense but only in relation to the nature of
the right exercised
1. If the enjoyment of the right, from its nature, is at intervals, continuity of the acts of
enjoyment are exercised at such intervals
iii. Possession is uninterrupted if there has been no act of deprivation of enjoyment of the things
by a third person, or any other act which interrupts prescription
Article 1120.
Possession
is interrupted for
the
purposes of prescription, naturally or
civilly
Effects of Interruption:
1. Prescription vs. Suspension
Prescription
All the benefits
acquired
so
far
from
the
possession cease,
when prescription
runs again, it will
entirely be a new
one.

Suspension
The past period is
included
in
the
computation,
being
added to the period
after prescription is
resumed
Ex: When a child
becomes insane; a
ward is placed under
guardianship

Art. 1121. Possession is naturally interrupted


when through any cause it should cease for
more than one year.
The old possession is not revived if a new
possession should be exercised by the same
adverse claimant.
Art. 1122. If the natural interruption is for only
one year or less, the time elapsed shall be
counted in favor of the prescription.
Art. 1123. Civil interruption is produced by
judicial summons to the possessor.
Art. 1124. Judicial summons shall be deemed
not to have been issued and shall not give rise
to interruption:
(1) If it should be void for lack of legal
solemnities;
(2) If the plaintiff should desist from the
complaint or should allow the proceedings to

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lapse;
(3) If the possessor should be absolved from
the complaint.
In all these cases, the period of the
interruption shall be counted for the
prescription. (1946a)

Effect of
Recover
y
of
possessi
on

Natural
Interruption
The
old
possession
loses all its
juridical effects
,and even if
the possession
is reacquired,
the
old
possession
cannot
be
tacked to the
new
possession for
purposes
of
prescription

Civil
interruption
if
the
possession
is
recovered,
it
can
be
connected
to
the time that
has elapsed as
if it were in fact
continuous
;
the period of
interruption is
to be counted
for
the
prescription

Art. 1125.
Any express or tacit recognition which the
possessor may make of the owner's right
also interrupts possession.
In order to interrupt prescription, the recognition of the owners right must be made by the
possessor.
The declaration of a 3rd person that the property does not belong to the possessor, when such
declaration has not been authorized or ratified by the possessor, does not interrupt the possession
for the prescription
Article 1126
Against a title recorded in the Registry of
Property, ordinary prescription of ownership
or real rights shall not take place to the
prejudice of a third person, except in virtue
of another title also recorded; and the time
shall begin to run from the recording of the
latter.
As to lands registered under the Land
Registration Act, the provisions of that
special law shall govern.

The owner of the thing at the beginning of the prescriptive period is not considered as a third
person within the meaning of this rule
Those who acquire their rights subsequently, relying on the
registration of ownership in the
Registry, must be considered as 3rd persons, and they cannot be prejudiced by the period of
possession prior to the date of acquisition.

Third persons must have acquired under the following conditions:

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1.
2.
3.
4.

That
That
That
That

the acquisition is by onerous title


the acquisition is from one who, according to the registry, can transmit title
the acquisition is registered
such 3rd person has no knowledge of the prescription

The time of prescription to the prejudice of those who are not considered as 3 rd persons with
recorded titles shall be counted from the commencement of the possession under title.

Registered Lands

Adverse possession may not be allowed to defeat the owners right to possession of land registered
under the Torrens system;
Otherwise, loss of the land by prescription would be indirectly approved, in violation of Section 46 of
the Land Registration Act.
Prescription is also not allowed against the registered owners hereditary successors because the
latter merely step into the shoes of the decedent and are merely the continuation of the personality
of their predecessor in interest
Laches (not prescription) may be set up as to registered land.

Article 1127
The good faith of the predecessor consists
in the reasonable belief that the person
from which he received the thing was the
owner thereof, and could transmit his
ownership
Article 1128
The conditions of good faith required for
possession in Article 526, 527, 528 and 529
of this Code are likewise necessary for the
determination of good faith in the
prescription of ownership and other real
rights

There can be no ordinary prescription without just title


If the defect only makes the title voidable, the knowledge of the grantee of such defect does not
deprive him of good faith for purposes of prescription
Good faith requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself
the owner of the land, with the right to convey
To be in good faith, the possessor must believe that the title for his acquisition is sufficient; it is not
enough that he knows of no defect in it.
This belief must be founded, and there is sufficient basis when he believes that the transferor was
the owner of the thing and could transmit the ownership thereof
Good faith must exist not only in the beginning of the possession, but throughout the entire period
required for prescription

Article 1129
For the purposes of prescription, there is
just title when the adverse claimant came
into possession of the property through one
of the modes recognized by law for the
acquisition of ownership or other real rights,
but the grantor was not the owner or could
not
transmit any right

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Article 1130
The title for prescription, just title must be
true and valid
Article 1131
For the purposes of prescription, just title
must be proved; it is never presumed
For purposes, the title of the possessor must be just, true, valid, and proved
Just Title

Is an act which has for its purpose the transmission of ownership, and which would have actually
transferred ownership if the grantor has been the owner.
This vice or defect is cured by prescription
The following does not constitute title:
o Lease of things
o Loan
o Deposit
o All other contracts which do not transmit property rights
o Partition, compromise and court decisions which are all declaratory of property rights, but do
not transmit them

True Title

To be true, the title must exist actually, and not merely in the mind of the possessor
A legally non-existent title is without value.
A will cannot be a sufficient title if it has been revoked by an unknown subsequent will which is later
discovered. So is a title that is absolutely simulated
But where there is only relative simulation, the true title hidden behind the fictitious one will suffice.
A simulated title which conceals a prohibited act cannot serve as a basis for prescription

False Title

One which does not exist but is believed by the possessor to exits
A false belief may base on an error of fact or law
If the mistake of fact refers to an act of a third person, the title is sufficient for prescription
If it refers to an act of the possessor himself, it is not sufficient
If the error of law refers to the validity of the act, then the title is not adequate
If the mistake refers to a fact in the application of a rule of law, there will be an adequate title
Ex: If one buys from an insane person, believing that an insane person can validly alienate
property, the title is not sufficient; but if he did not know that the vendor was insane, the title is
sufficient

Revocable Title

One in which the transferor has made a reservation by virtue of which the right of the possessor
may disappear, cannot serve as a basis for prescription;
but once the reservation becomes ineffective, the period that has run can be counted for the
prescription

Valid Title

the validity of the title means that it should be sufficient to transmit the right if the grantor had
been the owner
a void title is not sufficient
A voidable title, so long as it has not been annulled, can be the basis of ordinary prescription

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When the title is subject to a suspensive condition, the period of prescription begins to run from
the fulfillment of the condition.
If the condition is resolutory, the period begins at once without prejudice to the effect of the
resolution by the condition which may later happen.

TITLE MUST BE PROVED

Article 1131 which requires proof of title refers to the creation or acquisition of the right of
ownership and therefore demands greater guaranty of existence of a title.

Article 1132
The ownership of movables prescribes
through uninterrupted possession for 4
years, in good faith.
The ownership of personal property also
prescribes through uninterrupted possession
for 8 years, without need of any other
condition.
With regard to the right of the owner to
recover personal property lost or of which
he has been illegally deprived, as well as
with respect to movables acquired in a
public sale, fair or market, or from a
merchants store, the provisions of Articles
559 and 1505 of this Code shall be
observed
Article 1133.
Movables possessed through a crime can
never be acquired through prescription by
the offender
Article 1134
Ownership and other real rights over
immovable property are acquired by
ordinary prescription through possession of
10 years
Article 1135
In case the adverse claimant possesses by
mistake an area greater, or less than that
expresses in his title, prescription shall be
based on the possession.
Constructive Possession

This is the principle wherein the possession upon which prescription is based, is not limited to the
area actually occupied, but covers the area over which the possession is asserted.
The actual possession of a part of a tract of land, with title or claim to the whole, with intention to
claim everything within the title or the area over which the right is asserted, is possession of the
whole as will serve as a basis for prescription of the entire tract.

Article 1136
Possession in wartime, when the civil courts

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are not open, shall not be counted in favor


of the adverse claimant.
Article 1137
Ownership and other real rights over
immovable
also
prescribe
through
uninterrupted adverse possession thereof
for 30 years, without need of title or of good
faith
Even when the title of the possessor is void such as an oral donation of real property, he may
acquire ownership by prescription under the provisions of this Article.
Article 1138
In the computation of time necessary for
prescription the following rules shall be
observed:
1. The present possessor may complete
the period necessary for prescription
by tacking his possession to that of
his grantor or predecessor in interest;
2. It is presumed that the present
possessor who
was also the
possessor at a previous time, has
continued to be in possession during
the intervening time, unless there is
proof to the contrary
3. The first day shall be excluded and
the last day included
TACKING OF POSSESSION

In order that there can be tacking of possession, the present possessor must have obtained his
possession from the previous possessor.
There must be privity between them
Tacking is possible only when there is a succession of rights between the predecessor and the
successor.
A mere usurper cannot invoke the possession of any previous possessor.

Difference character of Possession


1. Predecessor is in good faith, the successor is in bad faith
a. The successor an assert only extraordinary prescription
b. The taking of possession should be permitted
c. The period of possession in good faith should be computed in the proportion that the period
of extraordinary prescription bears to that of ordinary prescription
2. Predecessor in bad faith; successor is in good faith
a. The present possessor can claim under ordinary
b. In this case, possession of the predecessor cannot be counted
c. The period of bad faith possession cannot be availed of for ordinary prescription
d. The present possessor in good faith should not be limited to ordinary prescription.
e. The period of possession of the predecessor, although in bad faith may have been so long
that it would be beneficial to the present possessor to claim extraordinary prescription by
tacking the previous possession to his own possession. There is no legal obstacle to this.

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