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What are the damages recoverable in ejectment cases?


What are the damages recoverable in ejectment cases?

Section 17, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 17. Judgment. If after trial the court finds that the allegations of the complaint are true, it shall render judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the restitution of the premises, the sum justly due as arrears of rent or as reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the premises, attorneys fees and costs. If it finds that said allegations are not true, it shall render judgment for the defendant to recover his costs. If a counterclaim is established, the court shall render judgment for the sum found in arrears from either party and award costs as justice requires.

The recoverable damages in forcible entry and detainer cases thus refer to rents or the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the premises or fair rental value of the property and attorneys fees and costs.

Other damages must thus be claimed in an ordinary action. (CGR Corporation vs. Treyes, G.R. No. 170916, April 27, 2007)


What is the rationale for limiting the kinds of damages recoverable in ejectment cases?

The rule is settled that in forcible entry or unlawful detainer cases, the only damage that can be recovered is the fair rental value or the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the property. The reason for this is that in such cases, the only issue raised in ejectment cases is that of rightful possession; hence, the damages which could be recovered are those which the plaintiff could have sustained as a mere possessor, or those caused by the loss of the use and occupation of the property, and not the damages which he may have suffered but which have no direct relation to his loss of material possession. (Teraa vs. De Sagun, G.R. No. 152131, April 29, 2009)


May an action for recovery of damages be joined with an action for ejectment?

An action for reimbursement or for recovery of damages may not be properly joined with the action for ejectment. The former is an ordinary civil action requiring a full-blown trial, while an action for unlawful detainer is a special civil action which requires a summary procedure. The joinder of the two actions is specifically enjoined by Section 5 of Rule 2 of the Rules of Court, which provides:

Section 5. Joinder of causes of action. A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions:
  1. The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties;
  2. The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules;
  3. Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
  4. recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. (Teraa vs. De Sagun)

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