G.R. No. 193809. March 23, 2015.
Respondents filed complaints for forcible entry with damages against petitioners for unlawfully squatting and taking possession of several portions of land. The petitioners allegedly planted crops, erected makeshift shelters, and continued to plant and/or improve the shelters without the consent and/or against the will of the respondents.The respondents anchored their alleged prior possession on the fact that they have applied title for the land as shown by a certification authorizing land survey
Petitioners contended that they have already been in possession of the land for more than two years when the complaints were filed.
The MTC ruled in favor of the petitioners.
The RTC reversed the decision of MTC and ruled that the respondents were the actual occupants of the property long before the petitioners had taken possession of the same property.
The respondents sought the execution of the RTC judgment. The petitioners filed an Extremely Urgent Application for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Immediate Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.
The CA issued a TRO but denied petitioners’ application for a preliminary injunction. The CA, without necessarily resolving the petition on the merits, held that the petitioners were not entitled to the relief demanded
Whether CA acted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it denied the petitioners’ prayer for preliminary injunction.
YES, the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the injunctive relief prayed for by the petitioners. A review of the records, however, shows that the
- CA ignored relevant facts that would have justified the issuance of a preliminary injunction.
- CA also denied the prayer for preliminary injunction without giving the factual and legal bases for such denial.
Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court provides that a preliminary injunction may be granted when the following have been established:
- That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consist in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;
- That the commission, continuance or nonperformance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or
- That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual
1. In a prayer for preliminary injunction, the plaintiff is not required to submit conclusive and complete evidence. He is only required to show that he has an ostensible right to the final relief prayed for in his complaint.
In this case, the petitioners have adequately shown their entitlement to a preliminary injunction. First, the relief demanded consists in restraining the execution of the RTC decision ordering their ejectment from the disputed land. Second, their ejectment from the land from which they derive their source of livelihood would work injustice to the petitioners. Finally, the execution of the RTC decision is probably in violation of the rights of the petitioners, tending to render the MTC judgment dismissing the forcible entry cases ineffectual.
2. Moreover, the court in granting or dismissing an application for a writ of preliminary injunction based on the pleadings of the parties and their respective evidence must state in its order the findings and conclusions based on the evidence and the law. This is to enable the appellate court to determine whether the trial court committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in resolving, one way or the other, the plea for injunctive relief.