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1. Meaning of Court

Referred to here is the court as a public office, an office under the judiciary. It is tasked with the
primary purpose of resolving controversies among individuals, and also tasked with enforcement of the
procedures for defending the State against disorder like in criminal prosecution.
A court itself does not actually physically exist. The courtroom does. A court exists because of legal fiction.

2. Structure of Philippine Courts

3. Power of Judicial Review
1. Judicial Review is the power of the SC to declare a law, treaty, ordinance etc. unconstitutional.
2. Lower courts may also exercise the power of judicial review, subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the
3. Only SC decisions are precedent, and thus, only SC decisions are binding on all.

Requisites Code: [A R S Co R]
1. An ACTUAL CASE calling for the exercise of judicial power
2. The question involved must be RIPE FOR ADJUDICATION, i.e. the government act must have had an
adverse effect on the person challenging it.
3. The person challenging the governmental act must have STANDING, i.e. a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement.
4. The question of Constitutionality must be raised in the first instance, or at the earliest opportunity.
5. Resolution of the issue of constitutionality is unavoidable or is the very lis mota.

Judicial power

is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are enforceable and
demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violations of such rights
In order that courts may exercise this power, there must exist the following:
1. An actual controversy with legally demandable and enforceable rights;
2. Involving real parties in interest;
3. The exercise of such power will bind the parties by virtue of the courts application of existing
Judicial power includes:
1. The duty of the courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable
and enforceable; and
2. To determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.

4. Equity jurisdiction of courts
Decide a case not in relation to a particular statutory provision. Courts of equity decide a case on the
basis of the natural concept of what is just and what is fair because human beings have natural concepts of
what is right and what is wrong even if we have not gone to school.
There is one principle we have to remember. The courts are not authorized to apply the rules or laws
on equity if there is a specific statutory provision. Equity is not supposed to come in if there is a law
applicable to certain state of facts. No matter how harsh the law is, if there is a law, the court will have to
apply the law. If there is no law, thats the time that courts go to the laws on equity.
5. Principle of Judicial Hierarchy
This principle arises in case of concurrent jurisdiction. Meaning there are cases cognizable by 1 court
and another court or courts authorized by law; there are several courts authorized by law to take cognizance
over a case. In petitions for a writ of amparo, there is concurrent jurisdiction between the RTC, CA, SC and
even the Sandiganbayan.
Our courts follow the so-called ladderized procedure. If you could file it in the lowest court, then
file it there first. You must have a compelling reason for filing it in a higher court than in a lower
court. This is judicial hierarchy, a general rule which may be disregarded sometimes.
6. Doctrine of Judicial Stability
A court cannot issue an order against a co-equal court. An RTC cannot enjoin the acts of another
RTC. This is to promote the doctrine of stability. This is also applied to certain quasi-judicial agencies. The
RTC cannot enjoin the SEC because they have equal ranks. Go to the CA by way of Rule 43.


1. Jurisdiction, definition
Power of the court to hear an action or proceedings and to render judgment thereon that will bind the
parties to such proceedings.
2. Jurisdiction, How Conferred
Jurisdiction is conferred by law. It cannot be conferred by the agreement of the parties or of the
approval of the court. Good faith of the judge does not confer jurisdiction. Neither can estoppel confer
jurisdiction; it will only prevent you from questioning jurisdiction.
3. Jurisdiction, how Determined
Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint, not the title of the case. Sometimes the
title of the complaint and the allegations are in conflict. The allegations prevail.
4. Jurisdiction, how acquired

You do not need jurisdiction over the person of every defendant in all cases. You only need the
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant when the action is in personam. And this is
mandatory. We did not say personal action, it is different from action in personam.
In actions in rem and quasi in rem, technically there are no defendants although some persons may
be named. You only need jurisdiction over the thing or res, which is either a thing or a status of a
When there is voluntary appearance, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired even
without service of summons or upon a summons invalidly served. It is found in Sec. 20 Rule 14. Master

5. Jurisdiction Over the Subject Matter
The subject matter refers to the class to which the case belongs. For example, forcible entry
and unlawful detainer; actions of incapable of pecuniary estimation; admiralty cases; these are
The Filing of a complaint vests jurisdiction upon the court with respect to the person of the

6. Jurisdiction Over the Person