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Civil Procedure Digest Pre Midterms

Civil Procedure Digest Pre Midterms

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Civil Procedure DigestCivil Procedure DigestA2010A2010
 
Prof. Victoria A.Prof. Victoria A.
 
AvenaAvena
 JUDICIAL POWERCONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONPRESCRIBED JURISDICTION i.e. OVERSUBJECT MATTER, BY LAWSINDICO V DIAZ
440 SCRA 50CARPIO-MORALES; October 1, 2004
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of theRTC of Iloilo
FACTS
-Virgilio Sindico, is the registered owner of a parcel of land, which he let the spouses Eulalio and ConcordiaSombrea cultivate, without him sharing in theproduce, as his "assistance in the education of hiscousins" including defendant Felipe Sombrea-After the death of the Eulalio Sombrea, Felipecontinued to cultivate the lot-On June 20, 1993, Sindico requested Felipe’s wife forthe return of the possession of the lot but the latterrequested time to advise her husband-Repeated demands for the return of the possessionof the lot remained unheeded, forcing Sindico to filea civil case before the RTC against the spousesSombrea for Accion Reivindicatoria with PreliminaryMandatory Injunction
-
 The defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, allegingthat the RTC has no jurisdiction over their person andthat as the subject matter of the case is anagricultural land which is covered by theComprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government, the case is within the exclusiveoriginal jurisdiction of the DARAB in accordance withSection 50 of Republic Act 6657 (THECOMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM LAW OF 1988)
-
 The plaintiff filed an Opposition alleging that thecase does not involve an agrarian dispute, therebeing no tenancy relationship or leaseholdagreement with the defendants.
-
 The RTC of Iloilo granted the Motion to Dismiss
-
As their Motion for Reconsideration was denied bythe trial court, the plaintiffs, herein petitioners,lodged the present Petition for Review on Certiorari
ISSUE
WON the Department of Agrarian ReformAdjudication Board (DARAB) has original andexclusive jurisdiction over the case at bar
HELD
No.
Ratio.
 
 Jurisdiction over the subject matter isdetermined by the allegations of the complaint. It isnot affected by the pleas set up by the defendant inhis answer or in a motion to dismiss, otherwise, jurisdiction would be dependent on his whims.
Reasoning.
 The allegations in petitioner’s complaintshow that the action is one for recovery of possession, not one which involves an agrariandispute.
-
Section 3(d) of RA 6657 or the CARP Law defines"agrarian dispute" over which the DARAB hasexclusive original jurisdiction as:(d) any controversy relating to tenurialarrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy,stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted toagriculture, including disputes concerningfarmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changingor seeking to arrange terms or conditions of suchtenurial arrangements
 
including any controversyrelating to compensation of lands acquired under thisAct and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenantsand other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether thedisputants stand in the proximate relation of farmoperator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, orlessor and lessee.-
Since petitioners’ action is one for recovery of possession and does not involve an agrariandispute, the RTC has jurisdiction over it.
Disposition
Petition is granted.
 JURISDICTION DISTINGUISHED FROMVENUEMANILA RAILROAD V ATTY. GENERAL
20 PHIL 523MORELAND; December 11, 1911
NATURE
Appeal from CFI Tarlac’s judgment dismissing theaction before it on motion of the plaintiff upon theground that the court had no jurisdiction of thesubject matter
FACTS
- On Dec 1907, Mla Railroad Co. began an action inCFI Tarlac for the condemnation of 69,910 sq. m. realestate located in Tarlac. This is for construction of arailroad line "from Paniqui to Tayug in Tarlac," asauthorized by law.- Before beginning the action, Mla Railroad hadcaused to be made a thorough search in the Office of the Registry of Property and of the Tax where thelands sought to be condemned were located and towhom they belonged. As a result of suchinvestigations, it alleged that the lands in questionwere located in Tarlac.- After filing and duly serving the complaint, theplaintiff, pursuant to law and pending finaldetermination of the action, took possession of andoccupied the lands described in the complaint,building its line and putting the same in operation.- On Oct 4, Mla Railroad gave notice to thedefendants that on Oct. 9, a motion would be madeto the court to dismiss the action upon the groundthat the court had no jurisdiction of the subjectmatter, it having just been ascertained by theplaintiff that the land sought to be condemned wassituated in the Province of Nueva Ecija, instead of theProvince of Tarlac, as alleged in the complaint. Thismotion was heard and, after due consideration, thetrial court dismissed the action upon the groundpresented by the plaintiff.
ISSUE/S
1. WON CFI Tarlac has power and authority to takecognizance of condemnation of real estate located inanother province2. WON Sec. 377
1
 of the Code of Civil Procedure and
1
 
SEC. 377.
Venue of actions
.
Actions to confirm title to realestate, or to secure a partition of real estate, or to cancel clouds,or remove doubts from the title to real estate, or to obtainpossession of real estate, or to recover damages for injuries toreal estate, or to establish any interest, right, or title in or to realestate, or actions for the condemnation of real estate for publicuse, shall be brought in the province were the lands, or some partthereof, is situated; actions against executors, administrators,and guardians touching the performance of their official duties,and actions for account and settlement by them, and actions forthe distribution of the estates of deceased persons among theheirs and distributes, and actions for the payment of legacies,shall be brought in the province in which the will was admitted toprobate, or letters of administration were granted, or theguardian was appointed. And all actions not herein otherwiseprovided for may be brought in any province where the
1
 
Civil Procedure DigestCivil Procedure DigestA2010A2010
 
Prof. Victoria A.Prof. Victoria A.
 
AvenaAvena
Act. No. 1258 are applicable and so the CFI has no jurisdiction
HELD
1.YES
Ratio
Sections 55 and 56
2
of Act No. 136 of thePhilippine Commission confer perfect and complete jurisdiction upon the CFI of these Islands with respectto real estate in the Philippine Islands. Such jurisdiction is not made to depend upon locality. There is no suggestion of limitation. The jurisdictionis universal. It is nowhere suggested, much lessprovided, that a CFI of one province, regularly sittingin said province, may not under certain conditionstake cognizance of an action arising in anotherprovince or of an action relating to real estatelocated outside of the boundaries of the province towhich it may at the time be assigned.
 JURISDICTION OVER PERSON OF THE PLAINTIFF
defendant or any necessary party defendant may reside or befound, or in any province where the plaintiff, except in cases wereother special provision is made in this Code. In case neither theplaintiff nor the defendant resides within the Philippine Islandsand the action is brought to seize or obtain title to property of thedefendant within the Philippine Islands and the action is broughtto seize or obtain title to property of the defendant within thePhilippine Islands, the action shall be brought in the provincewhere the property which the plaintiff seeks to seize or to obtaintitle to is situated or is found:
Provided
, that in an action for theforeclosure of a mortgage upon real estate, when the serviceupon the defendant is not personal, but is by publication, inaccordance with law, the action must be brought in the provincewhere the land lies. And in all cases process may issue from thecourt in which an action or special proceeding is pending, to beenforced in any province to bring in defendants and to enforce allorders and decrees of the court. The failure of a defendant toobject to the venue of the action at the time of entering hisappearance in the action shall be deemed a waiver on his part of all objection to the place or tribunal in which the action isbrought, except in the actions referred to in the first sixteen linesof this section relating to real estate, and actions againstexecutors, administrators, and guardians, and for the distributionof estates and payment of legacies.
2
 
SEC. 55.
 Jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance
.
The jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance shall be of two kinds: 1.Original; and 2. Appellate.
SEC. 56.
Its original jurisdiction
. Courts of First Instanceshall have original jurisdiction:2. In all civil actions which involve the title to or possession of real property, or any interest therein, or the legality of anytax, impost, or assessment, except actions of forcible entryinto, and detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction of which is by this Act conferred upon courts of justice of thepeace.
- Procedure does not alter or change that power orauthority; it simply directs the manner in which itshall be fully and justly exercised. To be sure, incertain cases, if that power is not exercised inconformity with the provisions of the procedural law,purely, the court attempting to exercise it loses thepower to exercise it legally. This does not mean thatit loses jurisdiction of the subject matter. It meanssimply that he may thereby lose jurisdiction of theperson or that the judgment may thereby berendered defective for lack of something essential tosustain it. There is, of course, an importantdistinction between person and subject matter areboth conferred by law. As to the subject matter,nothing can change the jurisdiction of the court overdiminish it or dictate when it shall attach or when itshall be removed. That is a matter of legislativeenactment which none but the legislature maychange. On the other hand, the jurisdiction of thecourt over the person is, in some instances, made todefend on the consent or objection, on the acts oromissions of the parties or any of them. Jurisdictionover the person, however, may be conferred byconsent, expressly or impliedly given, or it may, byan objection, be prevented from attaching orremoved after it has attached.2. NO
Ratio
Sec. 377 contains no express inhibition againstthe court. The prohibition provided therein is clearlydirected against the one who begins the action andlays the venue. The court, before the action iscommenced, has nothing to do with it either. Theplaintiff does both. Only when that is done does thesection begin to operate effectively so far as thecourt is concerned. The prohibition is not a limitationon the power of the court but on the rights of theplaintiff. It establishes a relation not between thecourt and the subject, but between the plaintiff andthe defendant. It relates not to jurisdiction but totrial. It simply gives to defendant the unqualifiedright, if he desires it, to have the trial take placewhere his land lies and where, probably, all of hiswitnesses live. Its object is to secure to him aconvenient trial.
 JURISDICTION OVER PERSON OF THE PLAINTIFF
- That it had jurisdiction of the persons of all theparties is indisputable. That jurisdiction was obtainednot only by the usual course of practice - that is, bythe process of the court - but also by consentexpressly given, is apparent. The plaintiff submitteditself to the jurisdiction by beginning the action. Thedefendants are now in this court asking that theaction be not dismissed but continued. They are notonly nor objecting to the jurisdiction of the court but,rather, are here on this appeal for the purpose of maintaining that very jurisdiction over them. Nor isthe plaintiff in any position to asked for favors. It isclearly guilty of gross negligence in the allegations of its complaint, if the land does not lie in Tarlac as itnow asserts.
*DISTINGUISHED FROM VENUE
- The fact that such a provision appears in theprocedural law at once raises a strong presumptionthat it has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of thecourt over the subject matter. It becomes merely amatter of method, of convenience to the partieslitigant. If their interests are best subserved bybringing in the Court Instance of the city of Manila anaction affecting lands in the Province of Ilocos Norte,there is no controlling reason why such a courseshould not be followed. The matter is, under the law,entirely within the control of either party. Theplaintiff's interests select the venue. If such selectionis not in accordance with section 377, the defendantmay make timely objection and, as a result, thevenue is changed to meet the requirements of thelaw.- Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure is notapplicable to actions by railroad corporations tocondemn lands; and that, while with the consent of defendants express or implied the venue may be laidand the action tried in any province selected by theplaintiff nevertheless the defendants whose lands liein one province, or any one of such defendants, may,by timely application to the court, require the venueas to their, or, if one defendant, his, lands to bechanged to the province where their or his lands lie.In such case the action as to all of the defendants notobjecting would continue in the province whereoriginally begun. It would be severed as to theobjecting defendants and ordered continued beforethe court of the appropriate province or provinces.While we are of that opinion and so hold it can notaffect the decision in the case before us for thereason that the
defendants are not objecting tothe venue and are not asking for a changethereof 
. They have not only expressly submittedthemselves to the jurisdiction of the court but arehere asking that that jurisdiction be maintainedagainst the efforts of the plaintiff to remove it.
2
 
Civil Procedure DigestCivil Procedure DigestA2010A2010
 
Prof. Victoria A.Prof. Victoria A.
 
AvenaAvena
Disposition
 The judgment must be REVERSED andthe case REMANDED to the trial court with directionto proceed with the action according to law.
 JURISDITION VOIDABBAIN V. CHUA22 SCRA 748Sanchez; February 26, 1968
NATURE
Direct appeal to the SC
FACTS
- March 12, 1958: Tongham Chua commencedsuit for forcible entry and illegal detainer againstHatib Abbain with the Justice of the Peace (JOP) Courtof Bongao, Sulu. Chua's averred that he is the ownerof a 4-hectare land together with the improvementsthereon mostly coconut trees located in Maraning,Bongao, Sulu; that this land was donated to him byhis father, Subing Chua, in 1952 and from that datehe has assumed ownership thereof, taken possessionof the land and paid the corresponding taxes yearly;that from 1952-1958, Abbain has been his tenantand the two divided the fruits or copra harvestedtherefrom on 50-50basis; that in 1957, Abbain bymeans of force, strategy and stealth unlawfullyentered and still occupies the land in question afterChua have repeatedly demanded of him to vacatethe premises due to his failure to give chua’s shareof the several harvests.LC: JOP Managula rendered judgment directingAbbain to vacate the premises and place Chua inpossession of the plantation, with costs. This judgment was predicated upon the findings thatsometime before WWII, Abbain, because of financialhardship, sold for P225 to Subing Chua the coconutplantation; that after the sale, Abbain became thetenant of Chua, the harvests of the land divided on a50-50 basis; that subsequently, Subing Chua donatedthe plantation to his son, Tongham Chua, andAbbain, the same tenant of the father, continued tobe the tenant on the land.- Abbain filed a petition in the CFI of Sulu against Tongham Chua and Judge Managula, seeking relief from the judgment of the JOTP Court anr/orannulment of its decision with preliminary injunction.He averred that the
 JOTP Court did not have jurisdiction over the civil case
and that said
casewas within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations (CAR).
CFI of Sulu: petition dismissed without cause-“petitioner has not presented any proof or showingof landlord and tenant relationship between theparties" to bring the case within the jurisdiction of the CAR, and that upon the allegations of thecomplaint, the case is "clearly one of ejectment."
ISSUE
WON the JOTP Court has jurisdiction over the casefiled by Chua
HELDNO
Ratio.
 
Where a judgment or judicial order is void inthis sense it may be said to be a lawless thing, whichcan be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, orignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its head.And in Gomez vs. Concepcion, this Court quotedwith approval the following from Freeman on Judgments: "A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no rights are divested. From it norights can be obtained. Being worthless in itself, allproceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. Itneither binds nor bars any one. All acts performedunder it and all claims flowing out of it are void. Theparties attempting to enforce it may be responsibleas trespassers. The purchaser at a sale by virtue of its authority finds himself without title and withoutredress."Since the judgment here on its face is void ab initio,the limited periods for relief from judgment in Rule38 are inapplicable. That judgment is vulnerable toattack "in any way and at any time, even when noappeal has been taken."
 Reasoning.
 The provisions of Sec. 21 of RA 1199(approved August 30, 1954), known as theAgricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, read:
"SEC. 21. Ejectment; violation; jurisdiction. Allcases involving the dispossession of a tenant by thelandholder or by a third party and/or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from therelationship of landholder and tenant, as well as theviolation of any of the provisions of this Act, shall beunder the original and exclusive jurisdiction of suchcourt as may now or hereafter be authorized by lawto take cognizance of tenancy relationsanddisputes."
Sec. 7, RA 1267, creating the First Court of AgrarianRelations, effective June 14, 1955, as amended byRepublic Act 1409 which took effect on September 9,1955,provides
:"SEC. 7. Jurisdiction of the Court. — The Court shallhave original and exclusive jurisdiction over theentire Philippines, to consider, investigate, decide,and settle all questions, matters, controversies or disputes involving all those relationships establishedby law which determine the varying rights of personsin the cultivation and use of agricultural land whereone of the parties works the land."
- Chua's complaint was filed on March 12, 1958 —long after RA’s 1199, 1267 and 1409 wereincorporated in our statute books. Chua's complaintpositively averred that Hatib Abbain is his tenant ona 50-50 sharing basis of the harvest; and that heseeks ejectment of Hatib Abbain "due to his non-compliance of our agreement of his giving my shareof the several harvests he made." The JOTP Courtitself found that Abbain continued to be the tenant of Chua after the latter became owner of the plantationwhich he acquired from his father by virtue of adonation; and that Abbain refused to give "the shareof his landlord of the harvest."- If both the complaint and the inferior court's judgment have any meaning at all, it is that the JOTPCourt had no jurisdiction over the case. Right at theoutset, the complaint should have been rejected.Failing in this, the case should have been dismissedduring the course of the trial, when it became all themore evident that a landlord-tenant relationshipexisted. The judge had no power to determine thecase. Because Chua's suit comes within thecoverage of Sec. 21, R.A. 1199 - that "cases involvingthe dispossession of a tenant by the landholder,"shall be under the "original and exclusive jurisdictionof such court as may now or hereafter be authorizedby law to take cognizance of tenancy relations anddisputes", and the broad sweep of Section 7, RA1267, which lodged with the CAR "original andexclusive jurisdiction . . . to consider, investigate,decide, and settle all questions, matters,controversies or disputes involving all thoserelationships established by law which determine thevarying rights of persons in the cultivation and use of agricultural land where one of the parties works theland." Jurisprudence has since stabilized the jurisdiction of the CAR over cases of this nature. Such exclusiveauthority is not divested by a mere averment on thepart of the tenant that he asserts ownership over theland, "since the law does not exclude from the jurisdiction" of the CAR, "cases in which a tenant
3

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