Thursday, December 18, 2014

Land registration; action in rem - 203560.pdf

See - 203560.pdf

"x x x.

The trial court properly acquired jurisdiction over the case. We find without error the CA’s characterization of the petition for registration as an action in rem, as well as its ruling on the petition’s compliance with the rules on notice and publication. The CA correctly held that the RTC properly acquired jurisdiction over the res, i.e. the subject property. As the CA found, the names of the owners of the adjoining lots were indicated in respondents’ Amended Petition on April 28, 1999, and these persons have been properly notified of the proceedings. Moreover, there was proper publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing, along with the technical description of the property. Given that this is an action in rem, the publication of the notice is sufficient notice to all claimants to the property. 

The amendment of the technical description of the property, or the reduction of the area from 12,896 to 12,776 square meters, does not require a republication of the technical description, because the amended area was already included during the first publication. As this Court held in Republic

v. CA and Heirs of Luis Ribaya: 17

x x x only where the original survey plan is amended during the registration proceedings, by the addition of land not previously included in the original plan, should publication be made in order to

confer jurisdiction on the court to order the registration of the area added after the publication of the original plan. Conversely, if the amendment does not involve an addition, but on the contrary, a

reduction of the original area that was published, no new publication is required.

x x x."