In an action for declaration of title, the person claiming title must prove facts that will convince the court that the person claiming title is the rightful owner of the property in dispute.
Title has always been associated with possession. The person entitled to possession is also assumed to be entitled to title of the land. However, this presumption is rebuttable where a person with better title emerges.
Title to land may be absolute or restricted.
- Absolute Title: it is limitless and non- restricted
- Restricted title: the person is only entitled to occupational or possessory right and not title. This right reverts back to the absolute owner after the expiration of the use. Though occupational right is also enforcable right, it less in quality to absolute title,
Title may be original or derivative
- Original Title: it is acquired through self help conquest or first settlement.
- Derivative Title: it is acquired through transfer, either by way of sales, assignment or mortgage from the person who holds absolute title to the property. The owner of the absolute title must transfer all his interest in the property and not subject to any condition whatsoever.