4/2551 Thailand Supreme
Court Opinion 106 (No. 2102) 2008
Mrs. Boonchua Maneekao vs. Ms. Ubonrat Thoyam
Re: Thailand Land Law, Estate Law
Mr. Vinai, the deceased, was the son of the plaintiff. Prior to his death, he had property consisting of two plots of land and a two-story house constructed on the land, as well as guns. The plaintiff was subsequently appointed administrator of Mr. Vinai’s Thailand estate.
The defendant, Mr. Vinai’s live-in partner, intentionally infringed on the plaintiff’s rights by entering into such home and barring entrance into the home by placing a lock on the door and the gate without receiving permission from the plaintiff.
Furthermore, the defendant was unwilling to return the two title deed documents, the two guns, and the house registration to the plaintiff. The plaintiff was therefore unable to make arrangements for the transfer of ownership of Mr. Vinai’s estate.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, the plaintiff had authorized her Thailand lawyer to provide a written notice to the defendant to remove her dependants and belongings from the home and the land and return the title deeds and the guns to the plaintiff. The defendant received the notice, yet she did nothing.
The plaintiff requests that the defendant and dependants be evicted by order of the court and demands that the defendant compensate for damages of 50,000 baht per month for the house and land from the date of filing the lawsuit until the defendant and dependants have vacated the home and land and returned these in good condition, including the title deed and the house registration to the plaintiff.
In the event the defendant is unwilling to return such documents, the plaintiff requests that the court void the documents and pronounce judgement which shall be used to issue new documents as replacement.
The plaintiff requests that the two guns be returned to the plaintiff. In the event the defendant does not return them, the plaintiff demands that the defendant compensate for the guns at the price of 40,000 baht, including interest at the rate of 7.5 percent per year from the date of filing the lawsuit to the date when payment is made to the plaintiff.
The defendant requested that the court dismiss the case.
The trial court dismissed the case.
The plaintiff appealed.
The appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgement and ordered the defendant and dependants to remove their belongings and vacate the house. In the event the defendant is unwilling to vacate the home, she shall be required to pay compensation for damages to the plaintiff of 6,000 baht per month from the court’s final judgement until the defendant and dependants have removed all their belongings and returned the possession of the property to the plaintiff. The defendant is to return the title deeds as well.
In the event the defendant does not abide by the order, the plaintiff shall make notification for issuance of a new title deed and house registration. Moreover, the defendant is to return the guns as well. If the defendant is unwilling to return the guns, the average price of 40,000 baht shall be used for the guns, including interest at 7.5 percent per year from the court’s final judgement until the defendant and dependants have paid such to the plaintiff.
The defendant appealed.
The Supreme Court judged that “Mr. Vinai received the land corresponding to title deed number Jor 6 from the plaintiff in 2539 B.E. (1996 A.D.), and he received the transfer through inheritance of land from his father according to title deed number Jor 7 in 2533 B.E. (1990 A.D.). The plaintiff allocated to Mr. Vinai this plot of land from title deed number Jor 8 in 2538 B.E. (1995 A.D.), which was during the time that the defendant claimed she had lived as common-law wife of Mr. Vinai, or starting from 2530 B.E. (1987 A.D.) although they had not performed a Thailand marriage registration.
Even though the court has heard that Mr. Vinai received the two title deeds during the time he lived with the defendant, Mr. Vinai and the defendant had not legally registered their marriage. Hence, the land comprising the two title deeds is not property derived during the course of a marriage, or deemed as marital property because property which is deemed marital property is that of a legally registered marriage under section 1474 of the Civil and Commercial Code.