2/2551 Thailand Supreme
Court Opinion 130 (No. 916) 2008
Ms. Lai Puakdee et. al. vs. Mr. Sompong Puakdee
Re: Thailand Probate Law; Land
In the legal action, the plaintiffs stated that the first to third plaintiffs and Mrs. Prayong Puakdee, the mother of the fourth plaintiff, were children of Mrs. Jaew and Mr. Leng Puakdee. Mr. Leng had possessory rights over the land according to the Possessory Right Notification document (Sor Kor 1), number 7, Moo 1, Tambon Pho Nua, Amphur Samkok, Pathumthani Province, encompassing an area of 2 ngan, 50 square wah. Mr. Leng died on 26 April 2521 B.E. (1978 A.D.). The land was transferred to heirs, namely the first to third plaintiffs, Mrs. Prayong, and the defendant as heirs for a parcel each.
The first to third plaintiffs and Mrs. Prayong possessed the land for a beneficial purpose, without interference from the defendant. However, around 8 to 9 years ago the defendant requested to construct a residential home on the land comprising an area of around 40 to 50 square wah. Thereafter, the first to third plaintiffs and Mrs. Prayong requested a survey be done on the land for issuance of a title deed. The defendant opposed the action and claimed that he had a part in the land. The four plaintiffs filed an action to force the eviction of the defendant. At that time, Mrs. Prayong died. During the legal proceeding, the four plaintiffs withdrew the charge because of the fact that the defendant was also an heir. They requested the survey be done to apportion the land, and reserve the defendant’s parcel of land for him. However, the defendant opposed the survey, trespassed on and cleared the part of land belonging to the four plaintiffs in February 2542 B.E. (1999 A.D.).
The plaintiffs requested the court to forbid the defendant from contesting the survey for issuance of the title deed because the plaintiffs’ land comprised four out of five parts of the land area of 2 ngan, and if the defendant did not consent to the plaintiffs’ request, to let the court’s judgment be enforced. Furthermore, the plaintiffs requested the court to have the parties bid for the land, or to auction the land and to divide the money from the auction between the parties if no agreement could be reached.
The defendant’s statement and revised statement was that Mr. Leng Puakdee and the defendant together possessed the disputed land for a beneficial purpose. After the death of Mr. Leng, the defendant received the inheritance and possessed the disputed land in its entirety for himself until presently, for a period of over 10 years. Therefore, the defendant claimed that he had ownership over the disputed land by his possession, and the first to third plaintiffs and Mrs. Prayong had never possessed the disputed land for a beneficial purpose.
The four plaintiffs had filed a legal action against the defendant concerning the same issue and had withdrawn the charge, yet the defendant had contested the action. The court ordered the case be disposed because the plaintiffs had failed to pay the court fees according to red case number 1004/2541 of the trial court. Hence, this case is a re-claim of the previous case.
The defendant claimed that the legal action of the four plaintiffs was filed more than a year after the death of the estate owner, and therefore the statute of limitations had expired according to Thailand probate law. The defendant requested the court to dismiss the case.
The trial court determined that the four plaintiffs were entitled to possess the disputed land based on the Possessory Right Notification document (Sor Kor 1) number 7, Moo 1, Tambon Pho Nua, Amphur Samkok, Pathumthani Province, together with the defendant, with each party entitled to one parcel of land. The court forbade the defendant to contest the issuance of a title deed. The court ordered the defendant to divide the land so that the four plaintiffs would each receive one out of five parts of the land. The division would be carried out according to section 1364 of the Civil and Commercial Code.