SUMMARY OF CASES (Assigned Cases for Digest).docx

Plaintiff alleged therein that it is the owner in fee

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Plaintiff alleged therein that it is the owner in fee simple of the subject properties; that defendants without any authority, resided, tilled, sow [ sic ] in the subject properties; that defendants refused to vacate. D efendants filed their answer alleging that plaintiff has no personality to file this case since plaintiff does not appear to be the buyer of the properties neither were the properties titled in its name. D efendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of cause of action, plaintiff has no personality to sue; and lack of jurisdiction. T he assailed order dismissing the complaint on the ground that plaintiff has no real interest in the case, was rendered. The success of this petition rests on the validity of the dismissal by the trial court. Petitioners assert that there was sufficient reason to dismiss the action below on the ground that GABI had no cause of action against petitioners. They also aver in the alternative that the Complaint by GABI was properly dismissed on the ground that it failed to state a cause of action . FAILURE TO STATE CAUSE OF ACTION vs. LACK OF CAUSE ACTION Failure to state a cause of action refers to the insufficiency of allegation in the pleading, while lack of cause of action refers to the insufficiency of factual basis for the action. Failure to state a cause may be raised in a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 16, while lack of cause may be raised any time. Dismissal for failure to state a cause can be made at the earliest stages of an action. Dismissal for lack of cause is usually made after questions of fact have been resolved on the basis of stipulations, admissions or evidence presented. We find no merit in petitioners' first contention that dismissal was proper on the ground of lack of cause of action. The trial court dismissed the case on the ground that GABI was not the owner of the lands or one entitled to the possession thereof, and thus had no cause of
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action. In dismissal for lack of cause of action, the court in effect declared that plaintiff is not entitled to a favorable judgment inasmuch as one or more elements of his cause of action do not exist in fact. Because questions of fact are involved, courts hesitate to declare a plaintiff as lacking in cause of action. Such declaration is postponed until the insufficiency of cause is apparent from a preponderance of evidence. Usually, this is done only after the parties have been given the opportunity to present all relevant evidence on such questions of fact. We do not here rule on whether GABI has a cause of action against petitioners. What we are saying is that the trial court's ruling, to the effect that GABI had no title to the lands and thus had no cause of action, was premature.
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