Provisional Remedies: Replevin

Superlines vs. PNCC (GR 169596)

In a complaint for replevin, the claimant must convincingly show that he is either the owner or clearly entitled to the possession of the object sought to be recovered, and that the defendant, who is in actual or legal possession thereof, wrongfully detains the same.

BA Finance Corp. vs. CA (GR 102998)

Replevin, broadly understood, is both a form of principal remedy and of a provisional relief. It may refer either to the action itself, i.e., to regain the possession of personal chattels being wrongfully detained from the plaintiff by another, or to the provisional remedy that would allow the plaintiff to retain the thing during the pendency of the action and hold it pendente lite. The action is primarily possessory in nature and generally determines nothing more than the right of possession. Replevin is so usually described as a mixed action, being partly in rem and partly in personam-in rem insofar as the recovery of specific property is concerned, and in personam as regards to damages involved. As an “action in rem,” the gist of the replevin action is the right of the plaintiff to obtain possession of specific personal property by reason of his being the owner or of his having a special interest therein.  Consequently, the person in possession of the property sought to be replevied is ordinarily the proper and only necessary party defendant, and the plaintiff is not required to so join as defendants other persons claiming a right on the property but not in possession thereof. Rule 60 of the Rules of Court allows an application for the immediate possession of the property but the plaintiff must show that he has a good legal basis, i.e., a clear title thereto, for seeking such interim possession.

Fernandez cs. International Corporate Bank (GR 131283)

Thus, the Writ of Replevin issued by Judge Paas, xxxx may be validly enforced anywhere in the Philippines. Petitioners confused the jurisdiction of a court to hear and decide a case on the one hand with, on the other, its power to issue writs and processes pursuant to and in the exercise of said jurisdiction. Applying the said Rule, Malaloan v. Court of Appeals reiterated the foregoing distinction between the jurisdiction of the trial court and the administrative area in which it could enforce its orders and processes pursuant to the jurisdiction conferred on it.

Advent Capital and Finance Corp. vs. Young (GR 183018)

Upon the dismissal of the replevin case for failure to prosecute, the writ of seizure, which is merely ancillary in nature, became functus officio and should have been lifted. There was no adjudication on the merits, which means that there was no determination of the issue who has the better right to possess the subject car. Advent cannot therefore retain possession of the subject car considering that it was not adjudged as the prevailing party entitled to the remedy of replevin. 

The dismissal of the replevin case for failure to prosecute results in the restoration of the parties status prior to litigation, as if no complaint was filed at all. To let the writ of seizure stand after the dismissal of the complaint would be adjudging Advent as the prevailing party, when precisely no decision on the merits had been rendered. Accordingly, the parties must be reverted to their status quo ante. Since Young possessed the subject car before the filing of the replevin case, the same must be returned to him, as if no complaint was filed at all.

Rivera vs. Vargas (GR 165895)

What is the effect of a writ of replevin that has been improperly served?

The trial court is reminded that not only should the writ or order of replevin comply with all the requirements as to matters of form or contents prescribed by the Rules of Court. The writ must also satisfy proper service in order to be valid and effective: i.e. it should be directed to the officer who is authorized to serve it; and it should be served upon the person who not only has the possession or custody of the property involved but who is also a party or agent of a party to the action. Consequently, a trial court is deemed to have acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction with respect to the ancillary action of replevin if it seizes and detains a personalty on the basis of a writ that was improperly served, such as what happened in this case.

At the outset, petitioners proper remedy should have been to file a motion to quash the writ of replevin or a motion to vacate the order of seizure. Nevertheless, petitioners filing of an application for a redelivery bond, while not necessary, did not thereby waive her right to question the improper service. It now becomes imperative for the trial court to restore the parties to their former positions by returning the seized property to petitioner and by discharging the replevin bond filed by respondent. The trial, with respect to the main action, shall continue. Respondent may, however, file a new application for replevin should he choose to do so.

Navarro vs. Hon. Escobido (GR 153788)

In arguing that prior demand is required before an action for a writ of replevin is filed, Navarro apparently likens a replevin action to an unlawful detainer.

Prior demand is not a condition precedent to an action for a writ of replevin.

More importantly, Navarro is no longer in the position to claim that a prior demand is necessary, as he has already admitted in his Answers that he had received the letters that Karen Go sent him, demanding that he either pay his unpaid obligations or return the leased motor vehicles. Navarros position that a demand is necessary and has not been made is therefore totally unmeritorious.

Madarang vs. CA (GR 143044)

Article 33 of the Civil Code provides that in cases involving alleged fraudulent acts, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. It is clear, therefore, that the civil case for replevin may proceed independently of the criminal cases for falsification and grave coercion, especially because while both cases are based on the same facts, the quantum of proof required for holding the parties liable therein differs.




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