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Page 1

C I V I L L A W ( L A N D T I T L E S )
MEMORY AID
ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001

CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND, BASIC CONCEPTS & GENERAL PRINCIPLES
LAND TITLE – evidence of right of owner or extent of his interest, by which means he can
maintain control and as a rule assert right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of
property
DEED – instrument in writing which any real estate or interest therein is created,
alienated, mortgaged or assigned or by which title to any real estate may be affected in
law or equity
1. Grantor
2. Grantee
3.Words of grant
4.Description of property
5.Signature of grantor
6. Witnesses
TYPES OF ESTATES:
1.FREEHOLD ESTATE – indicates title of ownership
a.Fee simple – absolute title; conferred without limitation, qualification or restriction
b.Fee tail – pass title to grantee & his heirs
c.Life state – held for duration of life of grantee
2.LESS THAN FREEHOLD ESTATE – a right short of title
a.Estate for years – lease for a period agreed upon, lessor retains ownership of land
b.Tenancy from period to period – lease running from month to month or year to year with automatic renewal
c.Tenancy at will – person is permitted to occupy land of another without stipulation as to period
3 STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL SYSTEM OF TRANSFERRING TITLES:
1.Production & delivery of deed by grantor to grantee without registration
2.Deed of conveyance is recorded to bind 3rd persons
3.Registration of title
REGISTRATION – guarantees the title
RECORDING – does not guarantee the title; need to examine other docs
PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION:
1.Serve as constructive notice
2.Prevent fraudulent claims
3.Protect interest of strangers to transaction
MODES OF ACQUIRING LAND TITLES:
1.Title by public grant – conveyance of public land by government to a private individual
2. Title by acquisitive prescription – open, continuous, exclusive, notorious possession of a property
3.Title by accretion – alluvion
4.Title by reclamation – filling of submerged land by deliberate act and reclaiming title thereto; government
5.Title by voluntary transfer – private grant; voluntary execution of deed of conveyance
6.Title by involuntary alienation – no consent from owner of land; forcible acquisition by state
7.Title by descent or devise – hereditary succession to the estate of deceased owner.
8.Title by emancipation patent or grant – for purpose of ameliorating sad plight of tenant-farmers; not
transferable except by hereditary succession

Chapter 2:
TORRENS SYSTEM – ORIGIN, NATURE & GENERAL
CHARACTERISTICS
ADVANTAGES:
1.Abolishes endless fees
2.Eliminates repeated examination of titles
3.Reduces records enormously
4.Instantly reveals ownership

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5.Protects against encumbrances not noted on the Torrens certificate
6.Makes fraud almost impossible
7. It assures
8.Keeps up the system without adding to burden of taxation; beneficiaries of the system pay the fees
9.Eliminates tax titles
10. Gives eternal title as state ensures perpetuity
11. Furnishes state title insurance rather than private title insurance
12.Makes possible the transfer of titles or of loans within the compass of hours instead of a matter of days

PURPOSE OF TORRENS LAW: quiet title to land – once registered, owner might rest secure
PERSONS BOUND WHEN TITLE NOT REGISTERED
1. Grantor
2.Heirs & devisees
3.Persons with actual notice

PROCEDURE IN LAND REGISTRATION CASE:
1.Survey of land by Bureau of lands or duly licensed private surveyor
2.Filing of application for registration by applicant
3.Setting of date of initial hearing of application by RTC
4.Clerk of court to transmit to Land Registration Authority the application, date of initial hearing & other
pertinent docs
5.Publication of notice of filing of application, date & place of hearing – in OG and in newspaper of general
circulation
6.Service of notice – contiguous owners, occupants & those who have interest in property
7.Filing of answer or opposition to application
8.Hearing of case by RTC
9.Promulgation of judgment by court
10.Issuance of decree by RTC – decision; Instruct land registration authority to issue decree of confirmation &
registration
11. Entry of decree of registration in Land Titles Administration
12. Send copy of decree to Register of Deeds
13.Transcription of decree of registration in registration book & issuance of theowner’s duplicate original certificate
of title of the applicant by the Landregistration Authority- upon payment of prescribed fee

CHAPTER 3: APPLICATION IN ORDINARY REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS
WHO MAY APPLY:
1.Those in open, continuous, exclusive, notorious possession of patrimonial property of state under bona
fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier
2.Those who acquired ownership of private land by prescription
3.Those who acquired ownership of private lands by right of accretion
4.Those who acquired ownership in any manner provided for by law
LIMITATION TO OWNERSHIP OF LAND BY CORPORATION:
1. PRIVATE LANDS
a.At least 60% Filipino to acquire private land
b.Restricted as to extent reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out purpose which it was created
c.If engaged in agricultural – restricted to 1,024 ha.

2.PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY OF STATE
a.Lease for 25 years renewable
b.Limited to 1,000 ha.
c.Apply to both Filipinos & foreign cos.

FORM & CONTENTS OF APPLICATION
1.In writing & signed by applicant or person duly authorized
2.Description of land
3. Citizenship

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•Court in exercise of equity jurisdiction may direct reconveyance even without ordering cancellation of title

AIM OF HOMESTEAD PATENT:
•Benevolent intention of government to distribute disposable agricultural land to destitute citizens for their home
and cultivation
•As a matter of public policy, may be repurchased even if after 5 years provided not for profit
•Right of repurchase not allowed if sold within family & not for cultivating or living but for speculation purpose
RESTRICTIONS:
1.Cannot be alienated within 5 years after approval of application for patent
2.Cannot be liable for satisfaction of debt within 5 years after approval of patent application
3.Subject to repurchase of heirs within 5 years after alienation when allowed already

4.No corporation, partnership, association may acquire unless solely forcommercial, industrial, educational,
religious or charitable purpose or right ofway subject to consent of grantee & approval of Secretary of Natural
resources
EXCEPTIONS:
1.Action for partition because it is not a conveyance
2.Alienations or encumbrances made in favor of the government
ERRED HOMESTEADER NOT BARRED BY PARI DELICTO
•Pari delicto rule does not apply in void contract
•Violation of prohibition results in void contract
•Action to recover does not prescribe

HOMESTEADER
•If he dies, succeeded by heirs in the application
LEGAL RESTRICTION IN DISPOSITION BY NON-CHRISTIANS (CULTURAL MINORITIES)
•Conveyance is valid if able to read and can understand language where deed is written
•Otherwise, not valid unless approved by Commission on National Integration
•Safeguard is to protect them against fraud/deceit

CHAPTER 20: CADASTRAL REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS
PURPOSE:
•Another means to bring lands under operation of Torrens System
•Ordinary registration is slow for lack of initiative on part of landowners, innovation was conceived to hasten and
accelerate registration
•Government initiates that all lands within a stated region are up for registration – whether or not owners are
interested to settle their titles
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
•In rem
•No defendant & no plaintiff
•Compulsor

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