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ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS

I.

PRELIMINARIES
Definitions

A.

1. Civil Actions Rule 1, Sec 3(a)


One by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
prevention of a redress of a wrong.
2. Criminal Action Rule 1 Sec 3(b)
One by which the State prosecutes a person for an act or omission punishable by law.
3. Special proceeding Rule 1 Sec 3(c)
Remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.
Cases where Rules of Court not applicable Rule 1 Sec 4

B.

II.

Election cases

Land Registration

Cadastral Proceeding

Naturalization and insolvency proceedings

Other cases by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and


convenient

CIVIL CASE BEGINS WITH THE FILING OF COMPLAINT


Rule 1 Sec 5. A Civil Action is commenced by the filing of the original complaint in court.

If an additional defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is commenced with


regard to him on the date of the filing of such later pleading, irrespective of whether the motion
for its admission, if necessary, is denied by the court.
Preliminary

A.

1. Definition of complaint
A complaint is the initiatory pleading alleging a plaintiffs cause(s) of action wherein the
names and residences of the plaintiff and defendant must be stated.1

Rule 6, Sec 3.

2. Requirements
2.1 Signature and Address
Every pleading must be signed by the party or counsel representing him. 2 The address of
either party or counsel must be stated, and it must not be a post office box address.3
i

Effect if unsigned!

As to the pleading: An unsigned pleading produces no legal effect.4 According to Judge


Paras, it will be treated as a mere scrap of paper.
However! The court may allow such deficiency to be remedied if:
1) The same was due to mere inadvertence; and
2) Not intended for delay.
As to counsel: counsel may be subject to disciplinary action IF:
1) He deliberately files an unsigned pleading;
2) Signs a pleading in violation of this Rule;
3) Alleges scandalous or indecent matter therein; or
4) Fails to promptly report to the court a change of his address
2.2 Verification
Generally: Pleadings need not be under oath, verified, or accompanied by affidavit.
Exception: Except when expressly required by law or rule.
How to verify a pleading?
By an affidavit stating that:
1) Affiant has read the pleading; and
2) that the allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief5
A pleading required to be verified but contains a verification based only on information
and belief, or upon knowledge, information and belief, is not properly verified and shall be
treated as an unsigned pleading.6
IMPORTANT: Pleadings which are required to be verified under a law or rule AND is not
verified, such pleading will be treated as an unsigned pleading.7

Rule 7, Sec 3.
Id.
4
Id.
5
Rule 7 Sec 4.
6
Id.
7
Id.
3

2.3 Certificate against Forum-Shopping


Two ways:
1) The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory
pleading asserting a claim for relief; or
2) in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed
It must be stated that:
1) he has not commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court,
tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or
claim is pending therein;
2) if there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status
thereof; and
3) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is
pending, he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his
aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.8
Corporations
Only individuals vested with authority by a valid board resolution may sign the certificate
of non-forum shopping in behalf of a corporation.
Failure to provide a certificate of non-forum shopping is sufficient ground to dismiss
the petition.9 However, subsequent submission of Secretarys Certificate is substantial
compliance with the requirement that a Board Resolution must authorize the officer executing
the non-forum certification on behalf of the corporation.10
i

Nature

1) Mandatory. Must be signed by party, not counsel!


2) Not Jurisdictional
3) Substantial compliance applies only with respect to the contents of the certificate but not as
to its presence in the pleading wherein it is required,
ii

In cases where there are multiple plaintiffs

1) Failure of one of the petitioners to sign the certificate against forum shopping constitutes a
defect in the petition
a) A ground for dismissing the complaint.
2) Relaxation of the above rule requires:
a) Justifiable cause or plausible reason for non-compliance;
b) Compelling reason to convince the court that outright dismissal of the petition would
8

Rule 7, Sec. 5
Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), G.R. No.
143088, January 24, 2006, 497 SCRA 605.
10
Vicar International Construction Inc. v. FEB Leasing and Finance Corp
9

seriously impair the orderly administration of justice.11


iii

When is there forum shopping?

Forum shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present or where a final
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other.
Elements of litis pendentia:
i) Identity of parties, or at least such as representing the same interests in both actions;
ii) Identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief founded on the same facts;
and
iii) Identity of the two cases such that the judgment in one, regardless of which party is
successful, would amount to res judicata in the other.
Elements of res judicata:
i) Former judgment or order must be final;
ii) Judgment or order must be on the merits;
iii) It must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and
the parties; and
iv) There must be, between the first and second action, identity of parties, of subject
matter and cause of action.
Note: Where judgment has already become final and executory, res judicata and not forum
shopping should be pleaded as a defense. Forum shopping applies only when two (w) or more
cases are still pending.
iv

Failure to comply Rule 7, Sec 5

Non-compliance of the requirement cannot be cured by mere amendment of the complaint


or other initiatory pleading. The initiatory pleading should be dismissed without prejudice,
unless otherwise provided, upon motion and after hearing.
HOWEVER, despite the presence of the certificate of non-forum shopping, if the acts of
the party or his counsel clearly constitute wilful and deliberate forum shopping, the same is a
ground for SUMMARY DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE and shall constitute DIRECT
CONTEMPT, and it is also a cause for ADMINISTRATIVE SANCTIONS against counsel.12
2.4 MCLE Compliance
Non-compliance with B.M. 850 will cause counsel to be listed as a delinquent member and
shall not be permitted to practice law until such time as adequate proof of compliance is received
by the MCLE Committee.13
In BM 1922, the SC resolved that all practicing members of the bar must INDICATE in all
11

Tible & Tible Company, Inc., et al. v. Royal Savings and Loan Association and Quiling, G.R. No. 155806, April 8,
2008, 550 SCRA 562, citing Pet Plans, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 148287, November 23, 2004, 443 SCRA
510 and Loquias v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 139396. August 15, 2000, 338 SCRA 62, 68
12
Rules of Court, Rule 7, Sec 5.
13
B.M. 850, Rule 12 Sec 2; BM 850 Rule 13, Sec 2

pleadings filed before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies, the number and date of issue of their
MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Exemption for the immediately preceding
compliance period. Failure to disclose the required information would cause the dismissal of
the ase and the expunction of the pleadings from the records.
B.

Filing of Complaint
1. Manner

1) Present original copies to the Clerk of Court.14


a) Personally
i) Date of receipt is the date of filing
b) Registered Mail (registry service only)
i) Date of receipt is the date of posting appearing on the envelope
ii) If mailed through any private letter-forwarding agency, date of receipt by the Clerk is
the date of filing.
2. Payment of Docket and other Lawful Fees
Ballatan v. CA,15 summarizes the rules on payment of docket fees:
a) Upon filing of complaint, it must be accompanied by the payment of the required docket
and filing fees.
i) Where the party does not deliberately intend to defraud the court in the payment of
docket fees, and manifests its willingness to abide by the rules by paying additional
docket fees when required by the court, the liberal doctrine enunciated in Sun
Insurance16 and not the strict regulations set in Manchester17 will apply.
b) Real Actions: docket and filing fees are based on the value of the property and the
amount of damages claimed (specified in the body AND prayer of the complaint).
i) Courts, instead of relying on the assessed or estimated value, would use the fair
market alue of the real properties as stated in the Tax Declaration or the Zonal
Valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue whichever is higher. In the absence
thereof, the stated value of the same.
c) When fees not paid at the time of filing. The court acquires jurisdiction upon full
payment of the fees within a reasonable time as the court may grant, barring prescription.
d) When fees prescribed for the real action have been paid but the fees of related
damages are not. The Court has jurisdiction over the real action, but it did not acquire
jurisdiction over the accompanying claim for damages.
i) Court may expunge the claim; or
14

Rules of Court, Rule 13, Sec 2

15
16

Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion, G.R. Nos. 79937-38, February 13, 1989, 170 SCRA 274.
Manchester Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 75919, May 7, 1987, 149
SCRA 562.
17

ii) Allow, upon motion, a reasonable time to accept payment of requisite legal fees.
e) When amount of claim for damages not specified.
i) Accordingly, the court may expunge those claims for damages, or
ii) allow, upon motion, a reasonable time for amendment of complaint so as to allege the
precise amount of damages and accept payment of the requisite legal fees.
f) When there are unspecified claims. The determination of which may arise after the
filing of the initiatory pleading, the additional filing fee thereon shall constitute a lien on
the judgment award.
g) Same rules apply to third-party claims and other similar pleadings.
NOTE: Even if the value of a property is immaterial in the determination of the courts
jurisdiction, it should, however, be considered in the determination of the amount of docket fee.

III.

WHEN JURISDICTION OVER PARTIES IS ACQUIRED


A.

Modes of Service of Summons


1. Personal Service
2. Substituted Service
2.1 Service on Domestic Private Juridical Entity
2.2 Service on Foreign Private Juridical Entity
3. Constructive Service (By Publication)
4. Extraterritorial Service, When Leave of Court may be granted

a) Effect of Lack of Summons


IV.

INCIDENTS AFTER COURT HAS ACQUIRED JURISDICTION OVER THE

PARTIES
b) Preliminary
i) Plaintiff
(1) Notice of Dismissal of the Complaint under Rule 17, Sec. 1
(2) Amended Complaint under Rule 10, Sec. 2
(3) Motion for Leave to file a Supplemental Complaint under Rule 10, Sec. 6
(4) Motion for Leave of Court to take the Deposition upon Oral Examination or
Written Interrogatories of any Person, Whether a Party or Not under Rule 23,
Sec. 1
(5) Motion

for

Leave

of

Court

to

Serve

Written Interrogatories upon

Defendant under Rule 25, Sec. 1

(6) Motion for Production or Inspection of Documents or Things under Rule 27, Sec.
1

(7) Motion to Declare Defendant in Default under Rule 9, Sec. 3


ii) Defendant
(1) Motion to Set Aside Order of Default under Rule 9, Sec. 3
(2) Motion f or E x t e n s i o n of Ti me t o F i l e R e s p o n s i v e Pleading under Rule
11, Sec. 11
(3) Motion for Bill of Particulars under Rule 17, Sec. 1
c) Jurisprudence on specific Incidents
i) Notice of dismissal of complaint
ii) Amended Complaint
iii) Supplemental Complaint
iv) Deposition (Rule 23)
v) Written Interrogatories upon Defendant (Rule 25, Section 1)
vi) Request for Admission
vii) Production or Inspection of Document or Things (Rule 27, Section 1)
viii)

Physical and Mental Examination of a Party (Rule 28, Section 1)

ix) Consequences of Refusal (Rule 29)


x) Default (Rule 9, Section 3)
(1) Jurisprudence on Default
(a) Effect of Order of Default
(b) Summary of Remedies after Default
(c) Actions where Default not Allowed
xi) Extension of Time to File Responsive Pleading (Rule 11)

xii) Bill of Particulars (Rule 12, Section 1)


xiii)

Motion to Dismiss

(1) Grounds (Rule 16, Section 1)


(2) Discussion of Individual Grounds
(a) Venue Improperly Laid
(b) Plaintiff has No Legal Capacity to Sue
(c) Litis Pendentia
(d) Res judicata
(e) Statute of Limitations
(f) No Cause of Action
(g) Non-complaince with Condition Precedent
(h) Claim Paid, Waived, Abandoned or Extinguished
(i) Non-compliance with Statute of Frauds
(3) Jurisprudence
xiv)

Resolution of the Motion to Dismiss

xv) Pleading Grounds as Affirmative Defenses


V.

JOINDER OF ISSUES
d) Filing of Answer
i) Time to plead
(1) Answer to Complaint and Third-Party (Fourth-Party, etc.) Complaint
(2) Answer of a Defendant Foreign Private Juridical Entity

(3) Answer to Amended Complaint, Amended Counterclaim, Amended Cross-claim,


and Amended Third-Party (Fourth-Party, etc.) Complaint
(4) Answer to Counterclaim or Cross-claim
(5) Reply
(6) Answer to Supplemental Complaint
(7) Answer to Complaint-in-intervention
ii) Strict Observance of Periods
iii) Effect of Failure to Plead (Rule 9)
(1) General Rule - Deemed Waived
(2) Exceptions
e) Counterclaim
i) Definition
ii) Kinds
(1) Compulsory
(2) Permisssive
iii) Difference Between Permissive and Compulsory Counterclaim
iv) Jurisprudence
VI.

PRE-TRIAL
f) Concept and Purpose of Pre-Trial
i) Concept of Pre-Trial
ii) Purpose of Pre-Trial
g) Court-Annexed Mediation

h) Pre-Trial Order
i) Exceptions
VII.

TRIAL

i) Administrative Circular No. 3-99 (January 15, 1999) B. Jurisprudence


VIII. JUDGMENT (RULE 36)
j) Concept and Requirements
k) Kinds of Judgment and Definitions
i) Without testimonial evidence
(1) Judgment on the Pleadings
(2) Summary Judgment
ii) With Partial Reception of Evidence
(1) Judgment by Default
(2) Judgment on Demurrer to Evidence
iii) With Reception of Evidence
iv) Memorandum Decision
v) Special Judgment

IX.

REMEDIES AGAINST JUDGMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS


l) Kinds of remedies
i) Before Finality
(1) Motion for Reconsideration
(2) Motion for New Trial
(3) Appeal

ii) After finality


(1) Relief from Judgment or Final Order
(2) Petition for Certiorari
(3) Annulment of Judgment
m) Motion for Reconsideration and New Trial
i) Common Rules
ii) Motion for Reconsideration
(1) Grounds
(2) Requirements
(3) No party shall be allowed a second motion for reconsideration
iii) Motion for New Trial
n) Appeal
i) General Principles
o) Modes of Appeal
p) Jurisprudence
i) General Rule and Exceptions
ii) Difference between Question of Fact and Question of Law
iii) Jurisdiction
iv) Notice of Appeal
v) Record on Appeal
vi) Perfection of Appeal

vii) Effect of Perfection of Appeal


viii)
X.

Enforcement of Period of Time to Appeal

EXECUTION OF JUDGMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS (RULE 39)


q) Basic Concepts Definition
i) Execution is a Legal Remedy for the Enforcement of a Judgment
ii) Kinds of Execution
(1) Discretionary
(2) Ministerial, or as of Right
iii) When Writ of Execution may be Quashed
iv) Other Grounds to Quash Writ of Execution
v) Execution of Final Judgments and Orders
vi) Jurisprudence on Execution
vii) Levy and Garnishment - Definitions
viii)

Rules on Redemption

(1) Who may Redeem


(2) Amounts to be Paid in case of Redemption
ix) Jurisprudence on Writs of Possession