How to distinguish between cases of “forcible entry” and “unlawful detainer”?


An action for “forcible entry” must contain allegation that one is in possession of the property and was ousted therefrom either by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, an element of that kind of eviction suit.

On the other hand, an action is for unlawful detainer if the complaint sufficiently alleges the following: (1) initially, the defendant has possession of property by contract with or by tolerance of the plaintiff; (2) eventually, however, such possession became illegal upon plaintiff’s notice to defendant, terminating the latter’s right of possession; (3) still, the defendant remains in possession, depriving the plaintiff of the enjoyment of his property; and (4) within a year from plaintiff’s last demand that defendant vacate the property, the plaintiff files a complaint for defendant’s ejectment. If the defendant had possession of the land upon mere tolerance of the owner, such tolerance must be present at the beginning of defendant’s possession.

(Dionisio v. Linsangan, G.R. No. 178159, March 2, 2011)

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