Blog Lecture No. 56: Estoppel

This will be a short lecture:

“Through estoppel and admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denies or disproved as against the person relying thereon.” (Article 1431, Civil Code)

What is estoppel?

In general, estoppel is a bar (or a prohibition) which precludes a persion from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of that which has, in contemplation of law, been established as the truth by bis own express or implied deed or representation.

Hence, whenever someone has, by his own declaration, act or failure to act, he intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing to be true, and to act upon such believe, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or declaration, be permitted to deny it.

Can you give an example?

If one publicly says, “I will abide and submit to the jurisdiction of a particular fact-finding body.” He cannot deny that later on, especially when the decision or finding is not in his favor.

What are the kinds of estoppel?

They are:

1. Estoppel by record;
2. Estoppel in pais; and
3. Estoppel by deed

What is estoppel by record?

It is a preclusion to deny the truth in matter set forth in a record (obviously), whether judicial or legislative, or those facts already adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction.

What is estoppel in pais?

Otherwise know as “equitable estoppel,” It is the type of estoppel that bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position.

For example, if a landlord agrees to allow a tenant to pay the rent ten days late for six months, it would be unfair to allow the landlord to bring a court action in the fourth month to evict the tenant for being a week late with the rent. The landlord would be estopped from asserting his right to evict the tenant for late payment of rent.

What is estoppel by deed?

First off, “deed” here does not mean “actions” because representations by means of statements or actions belongs to that in pais.

“Deed” here means “document,” as in “deed of sale,” etc.

Here, a party cannot assert something in a deed in one action against a party in one case, then assert something contradicting the same deed against another party in another case.

What are the most common examples of estoppel?

1. An agent of a seller sell a piece of land to a buyer. This agent cannot later sue that buyer, saying that he is the true owner. (Article 1435, Civil Code)

2. A tenant of a property cannot assert his ownership over property against his landlord. By entering into the lease contract, he already acknowledged his landlord’s ownership. The lessee cannot say later on he’s actually the owner of the leased property. (Article 1536, Civil Code)

Up to where is the extent of estoppel?

It is effective only as between the parties thereto and those who derrive rights from these parties (known in legalese as “successors-in-interest” or “assignees”). (Article 1429, Civil Code)

Is there estoppel as against the government?

No. The state cannot be estopped by the acts and representations of its officials or agents.

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