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A VESTED RIGHT is defined as one which is absolute,
complete and unconditional, to the exercise of which no
obstacle exists, and which is immediate and perfect in
itself and not dependent upon a contingency.
Respondent however contends that the filing of an action
for recognition is procedural in nature and that as a
general rule, no vested right may attach to [or] arise from
procedural laws.
and the two terms in this respect may be said to be
synonymous. SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS is a term which
includes those rights which one enjoys under the legal
system prior to the disturbance of normal relations.
SUBSTANTIVE LAW is that part of the law which
creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates
the rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action;
that part of the law which courts are established to
administer; as opposed to adjective or remedial law,
which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or
obtains redress for their invasion.
In determining whether a rule prescribed by the
Supreme Court, for the practice and procedure of the
lower courts, abridges, enlarges, or modifies any
substantive right, the test is whether the rule really
regulates procedure, that is, the judicial process for
enforcing rights and duties recognized by substantive
law and for justly administering remedy and redress for a
disregard or infraction of them. If the rule takes away a
vested right, it is not procedural. If the rule creates a
right such as the right to appeal, it may be classified as a
substantive matter; but if it operates as a means of
implementing an existing right then the rule deals merely
with procedure.


D OC T R I N E S |1

requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to

appeal is lost.
It is settled that liberal construction of the rules may be
invoked in situations where there may be some
excusable formal deficiency or error in a pleading ,
provided that the same does not subvert the essence of
the proceeding and connotes at least a reasonable
attempt at compliance with the rules. After all, rules of
procedure are not to be applied in a very rigid, technical
sense; they are used only to help secure substantial
Where strong considerations of substantive justice are
manifest in the petition, the strict application of the rules
of procedure may be relaxed, in the exercise of its equity
jurisdiction. Thus, a rigid application of the rules of
procedure will not be entertained if it will obstruct rather
than serve the broader interests of justice in the light of
the prevailing circumstances in the case under
The rule, which states that the mistakes of counsel binds
the client, may not be strictly followed where observance
of it would result in outright deprivation of the clients
liberty or property, or where the interest of justice so
requires. In rendering justice, procedural infirmities take
a backseat against substantive rights of litigants.
Corollarily, if the strict application of the rules would tend
to frustrate rather than promote justice, this Court is not
without power to exercise its judicial discretion in
relaxing the rules of procedure.


Procedural rules are tools designed to facilitate the
adjudication of cases. Courts and litigants alike are,
thus, enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. And while the
Court, in some instances, allows a relaxation in the
application of the rules, this was never intended to forge
a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with
impunity. The liberality in the interpretation and
application of the rules applies only in proper cases and
under justifiable causes and circumstances. While it is
true that litigation is not a game of technicalities, it is
equally true that every case must be prosecuted in
accordance with the prescribed procedure to insure an
orderly and speedy administration of justice.
The right to appeal is a statutory right and the party who
seeks to avail of the same must comply with the

5(b) of RA 8369 reveals that family courts are vested

with original exclusive jurisdiction in custody cases, not
in habeas corpus cases. Writs of habeas corpus which
may be issued exclusively by family courts under 5(b)
of RA 8369 pertain to the ancillary remedy that may be
availed of in conjunction with a petition for custody of
minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court. The
issuance of the writ is merely ancillary to the custody
case pending before the family court. The writ must be
issued by the same court to avoid splitting of jurisdiction,
conflicting decisions, interference by a co-equal court
and judicial instability.
When by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or
judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other
means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed
by such court or officer. Once a court acquires
jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, it does so


to the exclusion of all other courts, including related

incidents and ancillary matters.


D OC T R I N E S |2

motion to dismiss, for otherwise, the question of

jurisdiction would almost entirely depend upon the


The case clearly involves an intra-corporate dispute. The
court should have been aware that under R.A. No. 8799
the RTC-Br. 58 was never designated as a Special
Commercial Court. Hence, it was never vested with
jurisdiction over cases previously cognizable by the
Such being the case, RTC-Br. 58 did not have the
requisite authority or power to order the transfer of the
case to another branch of the Regional Trial Court. The
only action that RTC-Br. 58 could take on the matter was
to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction. The trial
court, having no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the complaint, should dismiss the same so the issues
therein could be expeditiously heard and resolved by the
tribunal which was clothed with jurisdiction.
The lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be
raised at any stage of the proceedings. Jurisdiction over
the subject matter is conferred only by the Constitution
or the law. It cannot be acquired through a waiver or
enlarged by the omission of the parties or conferred by
the acquiescence of the court. Consequently, questions
of jurisdiction may be cognizable even if raised for the
first time on appeal. An exception to this rule is based
on the doctrine of estoppel by laches, which provides
that, a party may be estopped from raising such
jurisdictional question if he has actively taken part in the
very proceeding which he questions, belatedly objecting
to the courts jurisdiction in the event that the judgment
or order subsequently rendered is adverse to him.
One of the essential requisites of a valid court
proceeding is that the court hearing the case must have
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. If the
court is acting without jurisdiction, then the entire
proceedings are null and void. Jurisdiction over the
subject matter is determined by the statute in force at the
time of the commencement of the action. And once
jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained up to the
end of the litigation.
Jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the
action is determined by the allegations of the complaint,
irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein.
The jurisdiction of the court cannot be made to depend
upon the defenses set up in the answer or upon the

It is a basic rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter

is determined by the allegations in the complaint. It is
determined exclusively by the Constitution and the law. It
cannot be conferred by the voluntary act or agreement of
the parties, or acquired through or waived, enlarged or
diminished by their act or omission, nor conferred by the
acquiescence of the court. It is neither for the court nor
the parties to violate or disregard the rule, this matter
being legislative in character.
The allegations of tenancy as an affirmative and/or
special defense in the Answer, does not automatically
divest the MTC of jurisdiction over the complaint. It
continued to have the authority to hear the case
precisely to determine whether it had jurisdiction to
dispose of the ejectment suit on its merits. After all,
jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set
up by the defendant in an answer or a motion to dismiss.
Otherwise, jurisdiction would become dependent almost
entirely upon the whims of the defendant.
The complaint principally sought an award of moral and
exemplary damages, as well as attorneys fees and
litigation expenses, for the alleged shame and injury
suffered by respondent. It is settled that jurisdiction is
conferred by law based on the facts alleged in the
complaint since the latter comprises a concise statement
of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs causes of
action. Based on the allegations of the complaint, the
main action is for damages. Hence, the other forms of
damages being claimed (exemplary damages, attorneys
fees and litigation expenses) are not merely incidental to
or consequences of the main action but constitute the
primary relief prayed for in the complaint.
In cases where the claim for damages is the main cause
of action, or one of the causes of action, the amount of
such claim shall be considered in determining the
jurisdiction of the court.
The concept of jurisdiction has several aspects, namely:
(1) jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) jurisdiction
over the parties; (3) jurisdiction over the issues of the
case; and (4) in cases involving property, jurisdiction
over the res or the thing which is the subject of the


The aspect of jurisdiction which may be barred from

being assailed as a result of estoppel by laches is
jurisdiction over the subject matter.
The defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of a
party to a case is not one of those defenses which are
not deemed waived under 1 of Rule 9, such defense
must be invoked when an Answer or a Motion to Dismiss
is filed in order to prevent a waiver of the defense. If the
objection is not raised either in a Motion to Dismiss or in
the Answer, the objection to the jurisdiction over the
person of the plaintiff or the defendant is deemed
Jurisdiction over a defendant in a civil case is acquired
either through service of summons or through voluntary
appearance in court and submission to its authority. If a
defendant has not been properly summoned, the court
acquires no jurisdiction over its person, and a judgment
rendered against it is null and void.
Where the action is in personam and the defendant is in
the Philippines, service of summons may be made
through personal service, that is, summons shall be
served by handing to the defendant in person a copy
thereof, or if he refuses to receive and sign for it, by
tendering it to him. If the defendant cannot be personally
served with summons within a reasonable time, it is then
that substituted service may be made. Personal service
of summons should and always be the first option, and it
is only when the said summons cannot be served within
a reasonable time can the process server resort to
substituted service.
Jurisdiction over the nature of the action and subject
matter is conferred by law. It is determined by the
allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether or
not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of
the claims asserted therein. Jurisdiction over the person
of the plaintiff is acquired from the time he files his
complaint; while jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant is acquired by his voluntary appearance in
court and his submission to its authority, or by the
coercive power of legal processes exerted over his
Since jurisdiction is the power to hear and determine a
particular case, it does not depend upon the regularity of
the exercise by the court of that power or on the
correctness of its decisions.
JURISDICTION should be distinguished from the
EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION. Jurisdiction refers to
the authority to decide a case, not the orders or the
decision rendered therein. Accordingly, where a court


D OC T R I N E S |3

has jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter,

as in the instant case, the decision on all questions
arising from the case is but an exercise of such
jurisdiction. Any error that the court may commit in the
exercise of its jurisdiction is merely an error of judgment
which does not affect its authority to decide the case,
much less divest the court of the jurisdiction over the
Venue and jurisdiction are entirely distinct matters.
JURISDICTION may not be conferred by consent or
waiver upon a court which otherwise would have no
jurisdiction over the subject-matter of an action; but the
VENUE of an action as fixed by statute may be changed
by the consent of the parties and an objection that the
plaintiff brought his suit in the wrong county may be
waived by the failure of the defendant to make a timely
objection. In either case, the court may render a valid
judgment. Rules as to jurisdiction can never be left to the
consent or agreement of the parties, whether or not a
prohibition exists against their alteration.
Venue of personal actions against a corporation should
be filed in the place where its principal place of business
is located, as per its articles of incorporation and bylaws.
It is elementary that objections to venue in CIVIL
ACTIONS arising from libel may be waived since they do
not involve a question of jurisdiction. The laying of venue
is procedural rather than substantive, relating as it does
to jurisdiction of the court over the person rather than the
subject matter. Venue relates to trial and not to
jurisdiction. It is a procedural, not a jurisdictional, matter.
It relates to the place of trial or geographical location in
which an action or proceeding should be brought and not
to the jurisdiction of the court. It is meant to provide
convenience to the parties, rather than restrict their
access to the courts as it relates to the place of trial. In
contrast, in criminal actions, it is fundamental that venue
is jurisdictional it being an essential element of
All complaints, petitions, answers and other similar
pleadings should specify the amount of damages being
prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in
the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in the
assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading
that fails to comply with this requirement shall not be
accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged
from the record.


The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon

the payment of the prescribed docket fee. An
amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not
thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court, much less the
payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought
in the amended pleading.
Jurisdiction over any case is acquired only upon the
payment of the prescribed docket fee, the requirement
being both mandatory and jurisdictional. The principle in
Manchester case and the Magaspi case cited therein,
provided that no liberal interpretation or relaxation of
rules will be allowed when there is intent to defraud the
government and that the court a quo did not acquire
jurisdiction over the case and that the amended
complaint could not have been admitted inasmuch as
the original complaint was null and void.
Plainly, while the payment of prescribed docket fee is a
jurisdictional requirement, even its non-payment at the
time of filing does not automatically cause the
dismissal of the case, as long as the fee is paid within
the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period, more
so when the party involved demonstrates a willingness
to abide by the rules prescribing such payment. Thus,
when insufficient filing fees were initially paid by the
plaintiffs & there was no intention to defraud the
government, the Manchester rule does not apply.
Thus, the Court rules as follows:
1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or
appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the
prescribed docket fee that vests a trial court with
jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the
action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not
accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court
may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time
but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or
reglementary period.
2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims,
third party claims and similar pleadings, which shall not
be considered filed until and unless the filing fee
prescribed therefor is paid. The court may also allow
payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in
no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or
reglementary period.
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim
by the filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of
the prescribed filing fee BUT, subsequently, the
judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or
if specified the same has been left for determination by
the court, the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute


D OC T R I N E S |4

a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the

Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce
said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.
Although the payment of the proper docket fees is a
jurisdictional requirement, the trial court may allow the
plaintiff in an action to pay the same within a reasonable
time before the expiration of the applicable prescriptive
or reglementary period. If the plaintiff fails to comply with
this requirement, the defendant should timely raise the
issue of jurisdiction or else he would be considered in
estoppel. In the latter case, the balance between the
appropriate docket fees and the amount actually paid by
the plaintiff will be considered a lien on any award he
may obtain in his favor.
Metrobank raised the issue of jurisdiction only before the
appellate court after it and its co-petitioner participated in
the proceedings before the trial court. While lack of
jurisdiction may be raised at any time, a party may be
held in estoppel if, as in the present case, it has actively
taken part in the proceedings being questioned.
The nature of an action is not determined by what is
stated in the caption of the complaint but by the
allegations of the complaint and the reliefs prayed for.
Where the ultimate objective is to obtain title to real
property, it should be filed in the proper court having
jurisdiction over the assessed value of the property
subject thereof.
The amount of any claim for damages, arising on or
before the filing of the complaint or any pleading should
be specified. While it is true that the determination of
certain damages as exemplary or corrective damages is
left to the sound discretion of the court, it is the duty of
the parties claiming such damages to specify the amount
sought on the basis of which the court may make a
proper determination, and for the proper assessment of
contemplated as to claims not specified or to claims
although specified are left for determination of the court
is limited only to any damages that may arise after the
filing of the complaint or similar pleading for then it will
not be possible for the claimant to specify nor speculate
as to the amount thereof.
In determining whether an action is one the subject
matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation,
the Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining
the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is



D OC T R I N E S |5

primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is

considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and
whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the
courts of first instance would depend on the amount of
the claim. However, where the basic issue is something
other than the right to recover a sum of money, or where
the money claim is purely incidental to, or a
consequence of, the principal relief sought, like in suits
to have the defendant perform his part of the contract
(specific performance) and in actions for support, or for
annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage, the
Court has considered such actions as cases where the
subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of
money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first
instance. The rationale of the rule is plainly that the
second class cases, besides the determination of
damages, demand an inquiry into other factors which the
law has deemed to be more within the competence of
courts of first instance, which were the lowest courts of
record at the time that the first organic laws of the
Judiciary were enacted allocating jurisdiction

this out to the Clerk of Court who computed their docket

fees, therefore, becomes highly suspect, and thus,
sufficient for the Court to conclude that they have
crossed beyond the threshold of good faith and into the
area of fraud. There was an effort to defraud the
government in avoiding to pay the correct docket fees.
Consequently, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction
over the case.

An action for rescission of contract is one which cannot

be estimated. Thus, although eventually the result may
be the recovery of land, it is the nature of the action as
one for rescission of contract which is controlling.

In cases of concurrent jurisdiction, it is axiomatic that the

court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes the other courts.


The guidelines for determining whether a party qualifies
as an indigent litigant are provided for in 19, Rule 141,
5 of the Revised Rules of Court.
To be entitled to the exemption herein provided, the
litigant shall execute an affidavit that he and his
immediate family do not earn a gross income
abovementioned nor they own any real property with the
fair value aforementioned, supported by an affidavit of a
disinterested person attesting to the truth of the litigant's
affidavit. The current tax declaration, if any, shall be
attached to the litigant's affidavit.
Any FALSITY in the affidavit of the litigant or
disinterested person shall be sufficient CAUSE TO
DISMISS THE COMPLAINT or action or to strike out the
pleading of that party, without prejudice to whatever
criminal liability may have been incurred.
LU vs. LU
(Applied the Manchester Ruling)
It is clear that a notice of lis pendens is availed of mainly
in real actions. Hence, when David, et al., sought the
annotation of notices of lis pendens on the titles of
LLDC, they acknowledged that the complaint they had
filed affected a title to or a right to possession of real
properties. At the very least, they must have been fully
aware that the docket fees would be based on the value
of the realties involved. Their silence or inaction to point


(Applied Sun Insurance Ruling)
As a rule, docket fees should be paid upon the filing of
the initiatory pleadings. However, for cogent reasons to
be determined by the trial judge, staggered payment
thereof within a reasonable period may be allowed.
Unless grave abuse of discretion is demonstrated, the
discretion of the trial judge in granting staggered
payment shall not be disturbed.

When a court of competent jurisdiction acquires

jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, its authority
continues, subject only to the appellate authority, until
the matter is finally and completely disposed of, and that
no court of co-ordinate authority is at liberty to interfere
with its action. The principle is essential to the proper
and orderly administration of the laws; and while its
observance might be required on the grounds of judicial
comity and courtesy, it does not rest upon such
considerations exclusively, but is enforced to prevent
unseemly, expensive, and dangerous conflicts of
jurisdiction and of the process.
The commitment not to dispose of or encumber the
property, is akin to an injunction order against the
disposition or encumbrance of the property.
Jurisprudence holds that all acts done in violation of a
standing injunction order are voidable as to the party
enjoined and third parties who are not in good faith.
An injunction or restraining order must be obeyed while it
remains in full force and effect until the injunction or
restraining order has been set aside, vacated, or
modified by the court which granted it, or until the order
or decree awarding it has been reversed on appeal. The
injunction must be obeyed irrespective of the ultimate
validity of the order, and no matter how unreasonable
and unjust the injunction may be in its terms.
The Court recognizes the doctrine on adherence of
However, the rule on adherence of


jurisdiction is not absolute and has exceptions. One of

the exceptions is that when the change in jurisdiction is
curative in character. 30 of R.A. 7653 is curative in
character when it declared that the liquidation court shall
have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to assist in the
adjudication of the disputed claims against the Bank.


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Once jurisdiction attaches, the court cannot be ousted

from the case by any subsequent events, such as a new
legislation placing such proceedings under the
jurisdiction of another body. The only recognized
exceptions to the rule arise when the statute expressly
so provides or when the statute is clearly intended to
apply to actions pending before its enactment.

The reason for suspending actions for claims against the

corporation should not be difficult to discover. It is not
really to enable the management committee or the
rehabilitation receiver to substitute the defendant in any
pending action against it before any court, tribunal,
board or body. Obviously, the real justification is to
enable the management committee or rehabilitation
receiver to effectively exercise its/his powers free from
any judicial or extra-judicial interference that might
unduly hinder or prevent the rescue of the debtor
company. To allow such other action to continue would
only add to the burden of the management committee or
rehabilitation receiver, whose time, effort and resources
would be wasted in defending claims against the
corporation instead of being directed toward its
restructuring and rehabilitation.



A void judgment is not entitled to the respect accorded to

a valid judgment, but may be entirely disregarded or
declared inoperative by any tribunal in which effect is
sought to be given to it. It is attended by none of the
consequences of a valid adjudication. It has no legal or
binding effect or efficacy for any purpose or at any place.
It cannot affect, impair or create rights. It is not entitled to
enforcement and is, ordinarily, no protection to those
who seek to enforce. All proceedings founded on the
void judgment are themselves regarded as invalid. In
other words, a void judgment is regarded as a nullity,
and the situation is the same as it would be if there were
no judgments. It, accordingly, leaves the parties litigants
in the same position they were in before the trial.

The concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to be

taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs an
absolute, unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to
which application therefor will be directed. There is after
all a hierarchy of courts. That hierarchy is determinative
of the venue of appeals, and also serves as a general
determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the
extraordinary writs. A becoming regard for that judicial
hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the
issuance of extraordinary writs against first level
(inferior) courts should be filed with the RTC, and those
against the latter, with the CA. A direct invocation of the
SCs original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be
allowed only when there are special and important
reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the
petition. This is an established policy. It is a policy
necessary to prevent inordinate demands upon the
Courts time and attention which are better devoted to
those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to
prevent further over-crowding of the Courts docket.



A decision of the court without jurisdiction is null and
void. Hence, it could never logically become final and
executory. Such a judgment may be attacked directly or
A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to sure
affirmative relief against his opponent and, after
obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or
question that same jurisdiction; such practice cannot be
tolerated for reasons of public policy.
The doctrine of laches or of "stale demands" is based
upon grounds of public policy which requires, for the
peace of society, the discouragement of stale claims
and, unlike the statute of limitations, is not a mere
question of time but is principally a question of the
inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be
enforced or asserted.

Under the principle of the hierarchy of courts, decisions,

final orders or resolutions of an MTC should be appealed
to the RTC exercising territorial jurisdiction over the
former. On the other hand, RTC judgments, final orders
or resolutions are appealable to the CA through either of
the following: an ordinary appeal if the case was
originally decided by the RTC; or a petition for review
under Rule 42, if the case was decided under the RTC's
appellate jurisdiction.
Nonetheless, a direct recourse to this Court can be
taken for a review of the decisions, final orders or
resolutions of the RTC, but only on questions of law
(Rule 45).
The principle of hierarchy of courts does indeed require
that recourses should be made to the lower courts


before they are made to the higher courts. However, the

principle is not an absolute rule and admits of exceptions
under well-defined circumstances. In several cases, the
Court have allowed direct invocation of the Courts
original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari on the
ground of special and important reasons clearly stated in
the petition; when dictated by public welfare and the
advancement of public policy; when demanded by the
broader interest of justice; when the challenged orders
were patent nullities; or when analogous exceptional and
compelling circumstances called for and justified our
immediate and direct handling of the case.
The Court has often stressed that rules of procedure are
merely tools designed to facilitate the attainment of
justice. Thus, if the application of the Rules would tend
to frustrate rather than promote justice, it is always within
the Courts power to suspend the rules or except a
particular case from its operation.
The Rules itself expressly states in 2 of Rule 1 that the
rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their
object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy
and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding. Therefore, Courts not only have the power
but the duty to construe and apply technical rules
liberally in favor of substantive law and substantial
justice. Furthermore, the Court has the power not only to
liberally construe the rules, but also to suspend them, in
favor of substantive law or substantial rights.
However, it is equally settled that the Courts power to
liberally construe and even to suspend the rules,
presupposes the existence of substantial rights in favor
of which, the strict application of technical rules must
Admittedly, this Court has relaxed the rule on the binding
effect of counsels negligence and allowed a litigant
another chance to present his case (1) where the
reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the
client of due process of law; (2) when application of the
rule will result in outright deprivation of the clients liberty
or property; or (3) where the interests of justice so
require. None of these exceptions obtains here.
The relief afforded by Rule 38 will not be granted to a
party who seeks to be relieved from the effects of the
judgment when the loss of the remedy of law was due to
his own negligence, or a mistaken mode of procedure for
that matter; otherwise, the petition for relief will be
tantamount to reviving the right of appeal which has
already been lost, either because of inexcusable
negligence or due to a mistake of procedure by counsel.
The Rules allow a petition for relief only when there is no


D OC T R I N E S |7

other available remedy, and not when litigants lose a

remedy by negligence.
It has been said that litigation is not a game of
technicalities, that every case must be prosecuted in
accordance with the prescribed procedure so that issues
may be properly presented and justly resolved, but this
does not mean that procedural rules may altogether be
disregarded. Rules of procedure must be faithfully
followed except only when, for persuasive reasons, they
may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice
commensurate with his failure to comply with the
prescribed procedure. Concomitant to a liberal
application of the rules of procedure should be an effort
on the part of the party invoking liberality to adequately
explain his failure to abide by the rules.
The action is primarily to compel the mortgagee to
accept payment of the mortgage debt and to release the
mortgage. Hence, the venue of plaintiffs' personal action
is the place where the defendant or any of the
defendants resides or may be found, or where the
plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of
the plaintiff
The fact the insolvent bank is forbidden to do business,
that its assets are turn over to the Superintendent of
Banks, as a receiver, for conversation into cash, and that
its liquidation is undertaken with judicial intervention
means that, as far as lawful and practicable, all claims
against the insolvent bank and that the liquidation court
should be filed in the liquidation proceeding.
Suits brought against a bank after the issuance of a
notice that the finance commissioner has taken
possession of the bank should be dismissed or are
barred for want of jurisdiction.
(head spinner case!!!)
The rule is that: (1) a judgment in rem is binding upon
the whole world, such as a judgment in a land
registration case or probate of a will; and (2) a judgment
in personam is binding upon the parties and their
successors-in-interest but not upon strangers.
judgment directing a party to deliver possession of a
property to another is in personam; it is binding only
against the parties and their successors-in-interest by
title subsequent to the commencement of the action. An
action for declaration of nullity of title and recovery of
ownership of real property, or re-conveyance, is a real
action but it is an action in personam, for it binds a
particular individual only although it concerns the right to


a tangible thing. Any judgment therein is binding only

upon the parties properly impleaded.
A suit for injunction partakes of an action in personam.
The aim and object of an action determine its character.
Whether a proceeding is in rem, or in personam, or
quasi in rem for that matter, is determined by its nature
and purpose, and by these only. A proceeding in
personam is a proceeding to enforce personal rights and
obligations brought against the person and is based on
the jurisdiction of the person, although it may involve his
right to, or the exercise of ownership of, specific
property, or seek to compel him to control or dispose of it
in accordance with the mandate of the court. The
purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose,
through the judgment of a court, some responsibility or
liability directly upon the person of the defendant. Of this
character are suits to compel a defendant to specifically
perform some act or actions to fasten a pecuniary
liability on him.
An action in personam is said to be one which has for
its object a judgment against the person, as
distinguished from a judgment against the propriety to
determine its state. It has been held that an action in
personam is a proceeding to enforce personal rights or
obligations; such action is brought against the person.
As far as suits for injunctive relief are concerned, it is
well-settled that it is an injunctive act in personam.
Furthermore, proceedings to enforce personal rights and
obligations and in which personal judgments are
rendered adjusting the rights and obligations between
the affected parties is in personam. Actions for recovery
of real property are in personam.


D OC T R I N E S |8

of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or

constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to
the plaintiff.
It is only when the last element occurs that a cause of
action arises. Accordingly, a cause of action on a written
contract accrues only when an actual breach or violation
thereof occurs.
A party may not institute more than one suit for a single
cause of action and, if two or more suits are instituted on
the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of one
on a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as
ground for the dismissal of the other or others. A party
will not be permitted to split up a single cause of action
and make it a basis for several suits. A party seeking to
enforce a claim must present to the court by the
pleadings or proofs or both, all the grounds upon which
he expects a judgment in his favor. The whole cause
must be determined in one action.
The question must often be determined, not by the
general rules but by reference to the facts and
circumstances of the particular case. Where deeds
arising out of contract are distinct and separate, they
give rise to separate cause of action for which separate
action may be maintained; but it is also true that the
same contract may give rise to different causes of action
either by reason of successive breaches or by reason of
different stipulations or provisions of the contract.

The cancellation of the real estate mortgage is a real

action, considering that a real estate mortgage is a real
right and a real property by itself. An action for
cancellation of real estate mortgage is necessarily an
action affecting the title to the property. Therefore, it
is a real action which should be commenced and tried in
the place where the subject property lies.

Where there are entirely distinct and separate contracts,

they give rise to separate causes of action for which
separate actions may be instituted and presented. When
money is payable by installments, a distinct cause of
action assails upon the following due by each installment
and they may be recovered in successive action. On the
other hand, where several claims payable at different
times arise out of the same transactions, separate
actions may be brought as each liability accounts. But
where no action is brought until more than one is due, all
that are due must be included in one action; and that if
an action is brought to recover upon one or more that
are due but not upon all that are due, a recovery in such
action will be a bar to a several or other actions brought
to recover one or more claims of the other claims that
were due at the time the first action was brought.




The court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine a

set-off or counterclaim in excess of its jurisdiction. A
counterclaim beyond the court's jurisdiction may only be
pleaded by way of defense, the purpose of which,
however, is only to defeat or weaken plaintiff's claim, not
to obtain affirmative relief.

The action for cancellation of real estate mortgage filed
by petitioner was primarily an action to compel the bank
to return to him the properties which the bank had
already initiated foreclosure proceedings.

A cause of action has three ELEMENTS: (1) a right in

favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under
whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation on
the part of the named defendant to respect or not to
violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part


The amount of judgment obtained by the defendantappellee on appeal cannot exceed the jurisdiction of the
court in which the action began. Since the trial court did
not acquire jurisdiction over the defendant's counterclaim
in excess of the jurisdictional amount, the appellate
court, likewise, acquired no jurisdiction over the same by
its decisions or otherwise. Appellate jurisdiction being
not only a continuation of the exercise of the same
judicial power which has been executed in the court of
original jurisdiction, also presupposes that the original
and appellate courts are capable of participating in the
exercise of the same judicial power.
When court transcends the limits prescribed for it by law
and assumes to act where it has no jurisdiction, its
adjudications will be utterly void and of no effect either
as an estoppel or otherwise.
In cases where a plaintiff sues a defendant on two or
more separate causes of action, the amount of the
demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the
causes of action irrespective of whether the causes of
action arose out of the same or different transactions. If
the total demand exceeds P20,000, then the RTC has
jurisdiction. If the causes of action are separate and
independent, their joinder in one complaint is
permissive and not mandatory, and any cause of action
where the amount of the demand is P20,000 or less may
be the subject of a separate complaint filed with a MTC.
Where two or more plaintiffs having separate causes of
action against a defendant join in a single complaint, the
TOTALITY RULE is applicable, as well as to cases
where a plaintiff has separate causes of action against
two or more defendants joined in a single complaint.
However, the causes of action in favor of the two or
more plaintiffs or against the two or more defendants
should arise out of the same transaction or series of
transactions and there should be a common question of
law or fact, as provided in 6 of Rule 3 [Compliance with
Rules of Joinder].
In cases of permissive joinder of parties, whether as
plaintiffs or as defendants, under 6 of Rule 3, the total
of all the claims shall now furnish the jurisdictional test.
Needless to state also, if instead of joining or being
joined in one complaint separate actions are filed by or
against the parties, the amount demanded in each
complaint shall furnish the jurisdictional test.
Permissive joinder of parties requires that: (a) the right to
relief arises out of the same transaction or series of
transactions; (b) there is a question of law or fact
common to all the plaintiffs or defendants; and (c) such


D OC T R I N E S |9

joinder is not otherwise proscribed by the provisions of

the Rules on jurisdiction and venue.
In the case, there is a single transaction common to all.
There is also a common question of fact, that is, whether
petitioners are negligent.
There being a single
transaction common to both respondents, consequently,
they have the same cause of action against petitioners.
To determine identity of cause of action, it must be
ascertained whether the same evidence which is
necessary to sustain the second cause of action would
have been sufficient to authorize a recovery in the first.
A cause of action is an act or omission of one party in
violation of the legal right of the other which causes the
latter injury. A cause of action should not be confused
with the remedies or reliefs prayed for. A cause of
action is to be found in the facts alleged in the
complaint and not in the prayer for relief. It is the
substance and not the form that is controlling. A party
may have two or more causes of action against another
A joinder of causes of action is the uniting of two or
more demands or right of action in a complaint. The
question of the joinder of causes of action involves in
particular cases a preliminary inquiry as to whether two
or more causes of action are alleged. In declaring
whether more than one cause of action is alleged, the
main thrust is whether more than one primary right or
subject of controversy is present. Other tests are
whether recovery on one ground would bar recovery on
the other, whether the same evidence would support the
other different counts and whether separate actions
could be maintained for separate relief; or whether more
than one distinct primary right or subject of controversy
is alleged for enforcement or adjudication.
A cause of action may be single although the plaintiff
seeks a variety of remedies. The mere fact that the
plaintiff prays for multiple reliefs does not indicate that he
has stated more than one cause of action. The prayer
may be an aid in interpreting the petition and in
determining whether or not more than one cause of
action is pleaded. If the allegations of the complaint
show one primary right and one wrong, only one cause
of action is alleged even though other matters are
incidentally involved, and although different acts,
methods, elements of injury, items of claims or theories
of recovery are set forth. Where two or more primary
rights and wrongs appear, there is a joinder of causes of




D O C T R I N E S | 10

Exclusive venue stipulation embodied in a contract

restricts or confines parties thereto when the suit relates
to breach of said contract. But where the exclusivity
clause does not make it necessarily encompassing, such
that even those not related to the enforcement of the
contract should be subject to the exclusive venue, the
stipulation designating exclusive venues should be
strictly confined to the specific undertaking or
agreement. Otherwise, the basic principles of freedom to
contract might work to the great disadvantage of a weak
party-suitor who ought to be allowed free access to
courts of justice.

stranger to the transaction as he did not stand to benefit

from its annulment.

Restrictive stipulations are in derogation of the general

policy of making it more convenient for the parties to
institute actions arising from or in relation to their
agreements. Thus, the restriction should be strictly
construed as relating solely to the agreement for which
the exclusive venue stipulation is embodied. Expanding
the scope of such limitation on a contracting party will
create unwarranted restrictions which the parties might
find unintended or worse, arbitrary and oppressive.

2 of Rule 3 has two requirements: 1) to institute

an action, the plaintiff must be the real party in interest;
and 2) the action must be prosecuted in the name of the
real party in interest. The purposes of this provision are
1) to prevent the prosecution of actions by persons
without any right, title or interest in the case; 2) to require
that the actual party entitled to legal relief be the one to
prosecute the action; 3) to avoid a multiplicity of suits;
and 4) to discourage litigation and keep it within certain
bounds, pursuant to sound public policy.


When the statutory term of a non-incorporated agency
expires, the powers, duties and functions as well as the
assets and liabilities of that agency revert back to, and
are re-assumed by, the Republic of the Philippines, in
the absence of special provisions of law specifying some
other disposition thereof such as, e.g., devolution or
transmission of such powers, duties, functions, etc. to
instrumentality of the Republic of the Philippines. When
the expiring agency is an incorporated one, the
consequences of such expiry must be looked for, in the
first instance, in the charter of that agency and, by way
of supplementation, in the provisions of the Corporation
The real party-in-interest is the party who stands to be
benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled
to the avails of the suit. "Interest" within the meaning of
the rule means material interest, an interest in issue and
to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental
interest. As a general rule, one having no right or interest
to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as a
party-plaintiff in an action.
As a validly disinherited heir and not claiming to be a
creditor of his deceased father, Pedro Ralla had no legal
personality to question the deed of sale between
Rosendo Ralla and his son Pablo. Pedro Ralla was a


A donation, as a mode of acquiring ownership, results in
an effective transfer of title over the property from the
donor to the donee and once a donation is accepted, the
donee becomes the absolute owner of the property

Interest within the meaning of the Rules means material

interest or an interest in issue to be affected by the
decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished from
mere curiosity about the question involved. One having
no material interest to protect cannot invoke the
jurisdiction of the court as the plaintiff in an action.
When the plaintiff is not the real party in interest, the
case is dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of
Where the parties are not actual residents in the same
city or municipality or adjoining barangays, there is no
requirement for them to submit their dispute to the lupon
as provided for in 6 vis--vis 2 and 3 of P.D. 1508.
To construe the express statutory requirement of actual
residency as applicable to the attorney-in-fact of the
party-plaintiff would abrogate the meaning of a real
party in interest.
The People of the Philippines were indispensable parties
in all criminal proceedings. The omission was fatal and
enough cause for the summary rejection of the petition
for certiorari.
Consent of the OSG to the petition for certiorari is
needed prior to the filing thereof. The Administrative
Code of 1987 mandates the OSG to represent the
Government in the SC and the CA in all criminal
proceedings; represent the Government and its officers
in the SC, the CA, and all other courts or tribunals in all


civil actions and special proceedings in which the

Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity
is a party.



D O C T R I N E S | 11

connection with official duties where they have acted

ultra vires or where there is showing of bad faith."

Although the petition for certiorari bore the conformity of

the public prosecutor, that conformity alone did not
suffice. The authority of the City Prosecutor or his
assistant to appear for and represent the People of the
Philippines was confined only to the proceedings in the
trial court.
Where the action is allowed to be prosecuted or
defended by a representative or someone acting in a
fiduciary capacity, the BENEFICIARY shall be
deemed to be the real party in interest. A
representative may be a trustee of an express trust, a
guardian, an executor or administrator, or a party
authorized by law or these Rules. An agent acting in his
own name and for the benefit of an undisclosed principal
may sue or be sued without joining the principal except
when the contract involves things belonging to the

Not all government entities, whether corporate or noncorporate, are immune from suits. Immunity from suits is
determined by the character of the objects for which the
entity was organized. Suits against State agencies with
relation to matters in which they have assumed to act in
private or non-governmental capacity, and various suits
against certain corporations created by the state for
public purposes, but to engage in matters partaking
more of the nature of ordinary business rather than
functions of a governmental or political character, are not
regarded as suits against the state.
ATO, as an agency of the Government not performing a
purely governmental or sovereign function, but was
instead involved in the management and maintenance of
the Loakan Airport, an activity that was not the exclusive
prerogative of the State in its sovereign capacity. Hence,
the ATO had no claim to the State's immunity from suit.



The state may not be sued without its consent. Likewise,

public officials may not be sued for acts done in the
performance of their official functions or within the scope
of their authority.

Every action must be prosecuted or defended in the

name of the real party-in-interest. Where the action is
allowed to be prosecuted or defended by a
representative acting in a fiduciary capacity, the
beneficiary must be included in the title of the case and
shall be deemed to be the real party-in-interest. The
name of such beneficiaries shall, likewise, be included in
the complaint.

An unincorporated government agency without any

separate juridical personality of its own enjoys immunity
from suit because it is invested with an inherent power of
sovereignty. Accordingly, a claim for damages against
the agency cannot prosper; otherwise, the doctrine of
sovereign immunity is violated. However, the need to
distinguish between an unincorporated government
agency performing governmental function and one
performing proprietary functions has arisen. The
immunity has been upheld in favor of the former
because its function is governmental or incidental to
such function; it has not been upheld in favor of the latter
whose function was not in pursuit of a necessary
function of government but was essentially a business.
The doctrine of state immunity extends its protective
mantle also to complaints filed against state officials for
acts done in the discharge and performance of their
duties. "The suability of a government official depends
on whether the official concerned was acting within his
official or jurisdictional capacity, and whether the acts
done in the performance of official functions will result in
a charge or financial liability against the government."
Otherwise stated, "public officials can be held personally
accountable for acts claimed to have been performed in

Facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or be sued,

or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a
representative capacity must be averred in the
complaint. In order to maintain an action in a court of
justice, the plaintiff must have an actual legal existence,
that is, he or she or it must be a person in law and
possessed of a legal entity as either a natural or an
artificial person, and no suit can lawfully be prosecuted
in the name of that person. The party bringing suit has
the burden of proving the sufficiency of the
representative character that he claims.
If a complaint is filed by one who claims to represent a
party as plaintiff but who is not authorized to do so, such
complaint is not deemed filed and the court does not
acquire jurisdiction over the complaint. An unauthorized
complaint does not produce any legal effect. Corollary,
the defendant can assail the facts alleged therein
through a MTD on the ground that the plaintiff has no
capacity to sue under 1(d) of Rule 16, that is, he does
not have the representative he claims.


Thus, the presence of all INDISPENSABLE PARTIES is

a condition sine qua non for the exercise of judicial
power. It is precisely when an indispensable party is not
before the court that the action should be dismissed. The
plaintiff is mandated to implead all indispensable parties,
and the absence of one renders all subsequent actions
of the court null and void for want of authority to act, not
only as to the absent parties, but even as to those
present. One who is a party to a case is not bound by
any decision of the court; otherwise, he will be deprived
of his right to due process.
An indispensable party is a party in interest without
whom no final determination can be had of an action,
and who shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.
The joinder of indispensable parties is mandatory. The
presence of indispensable parties is necessary to vest
the court with jurisdiction, which is "the authority to hear
and determine a cause, the right to act in a case". Thus,
without the presence of indispensable parties to a suit or
proceeding, judgment of a court cannot attain real
finality. The absence of an indispensable party renders
all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want
of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but
even as to those present.
Whenever a party to a pending case dies, becomes
incapacitated, or incompetent, it shall be the duty of his
attorney to inform the court promptly of such death,
incapacity or incompetency and to give the name and
residence of his executor, administrator, guardian or
other legal representative.
Rule 3, 16 of the Rules applies to a situation where a
party (whether plaintiff or defendant) dies after the filing
of the complaint and during the pendency of the case. In
the case at bar, since the two defendants, whose heirs
are to be impleaded died even before the filing of the
Where the Court orders the plaintiff to amend its
complaint within a certain period of time in order to
implead as party defendants one who is not a party to
the case but who is an indispensable party, plaintiff's
refusal to comply with such order is a ground for the
dismissal of the complaint.
Under 7, indispensable parties must always be joined
either as plaintiffs or defendants, for the court cannot
proceed without them. NECESSARY PARTIES must be
joined, under 8, in order to adjudicate the whole
controversy and avoid multiplicity of suits.



D O C T R I N E S | 12

Indispensable parties are those with such an interest in

the controversy that a final decree would necessarily
affect their rights, so that the courts cannot proceed
without their presence. NECESSARY PARTIES are
those whose presence is necessary to adjudicate the
whole controversy, but whose interests are so far
separable that a final decree can be made in their
absence without affecting them.
The essence of active solidarity consists in the authority
of each creditor to claim and enforce the rights of all,
with the resulting obligation of paying everyone what
belongs to him; there is no merger, much less a
renunciation of rights, but only mutual representation.
Where the obligation of the parties is solidary, either one
of the parties is indispensable, and the other is not even
necessary (now proper) because complete relief may be
obtained from either.
not a ground for the dismissal of an action and the
remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be
indispensable. Parties may be added by order of the
court on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any
stage of the action and/or such times as are just. If the
petitioner refuses to implead an indispensable party
despite the order of the court, the latter may dismiss the
complaint/petition for the petitioner/plaintiffs failure to
comply therefor.
Misjoinder of parties is not fatal to the complaint. The
rule prohibits dismissal of a suit on the ground of nonjoinder or misjoinder of parties. Moreover, the dropping
of misjoined parties from the complaint may be done
motu proprio by the court, at any stage, without need for
a motion to such effect from the adverse party. 11 of
Rule 3 indicates that the misjoinder of parties, while
erroneous, may be corrected with ease through
amendment, without further hindrance to the prosecution
of the suit.
Any act or omission committed by a misjoined party
plaintiff should not be cause for impediment to the
prosecution of the case, much less for the dismissal of
the suit.



Any one of the co-owners may bring an action for

ejectment. The article covers all kinds of actions for the
recovery of possession, including an accion publiciana
and a reivindicatory action. A co-owner may file suit
without necessarily joining all the other co-owners as coplaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for
the benefit of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of
the plaintiff will benefit the other co-owners, but if the
judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the
rights of the unimpleaded co-owners.
Thus, petitioners do not have to implead their co-owners
as parties. The only EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE is
when the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone
who claims to be the sole owner and is, thus, entitled to
the possession thereof. In such a case, the action will
not prosper unless the plaintiff impleads the other coowners who are indispensable parties.
Art. 457 of the Civil code provides that alluvial deposits
along the banks of a creek do not form part of the public
domain as the alluvial property automatically belongs to
the owner of the estate to which it may have been
added. The only restriction provided for by law is that
the owner of the adjoining property must register the
same under the Torrens system; otherwise, the alluvial
property may be subject to acquisition through
prescription by third persons.
The action for prohibition seeks to enjoin the city
government of Paraaque from proceeding with its
implementation of the road construction project. The
State is neither a necessary nor an indispensable party
to an action where no positive act shall be required from
it or where no obligation shall be imposed upon it, such
as in the case at bar. Neither would it be an
indispensable party if none of its properties shall be
divested nor any of its rights infringed.
Lack of jurisdiction over the person, being subject to
waiver, is a personal defense which can only be
asserted by the party who can thereby waive it by
The underlying principle behind the FORMAL
SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS is not really because
substitution of heirs is a jurisdictional requirement, but
because non-compliance results in the undeniable
violation of the right to due process of those who, though
not duly notified of the proceedings, are substantially
affected by the decision rendered therein. Such violation
of due process can only be asserted by the persons
whose rights are claimed to have been violated, namely
the heirs to whom the adverse judgment is sought to be



D O C T R I N E S | 13

Further, proceedings that took place after the death of

the party are void, we gave another reason for such
nullity: the attorneys for the offended party ceased to be
the attorneys for the deceased upon the death of the
latter, the principal.
PRO-FORMA PARTIES can either be indispensable,
necessary or neither indispensable nor necessary. The
third case occurs if, for example, a husband files an
action to recover a property which he claims to be part of
his exclusive property. The wife may have no legal
interest in such property, but the rules nevertheless
require that she be joined as a party.
In cases of pro-forma parties who are neither
indispensable nor necessary, the general rule under
Section 11, Rule 3 must be followed: such non-joinder is
not a ground for dismissal. Hence, in a case concerning
an action to recover a sum of money, we held that the
failure to join the spouse in that case was not a
jurisdictional defect. The non-joinder of a spouse does
not warrant dismissal as it is merely a formal
requirement which may be cured by amendment.
Conversely, in the instances that the pro-forma parties
are also indispensable or necessary parties, the rules
concerning indispensable or necessary parties, as the
case may be, should be applied. Thus, dismissal is
warranted only if the pro-forma party not joined in the
complaint is an indispensable party.
A person who was not impleaded in the complaint
cannot be bound by the decision rendered therein, for no
man shall be affected by a proceeding in which he is a
In a petition for ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT, the
judgment may be annulled on the grounds of extrinsic
fraud and lack of jurisdiction. Fraud is extrinsic where it
prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting
his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon
matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the
manner in which it is procured.
Annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent
of the case where the judgment sought to be annulled
was rendered. Consequently, an action for annulment of
judgment may be availed of even if the judgment to be
annulled had already been fully executed or
Having contracted with the private respondent every
year for 32 years and thus represented itself as
possessed of juridical personality to do so, the petitioner


is now estopped from denying such personality to defeat

her claim against it. According to Article 1431 of the Civil
Code, "through estoppel an admission or representation
is rendered conclusive upon the person making it and
cannot be denied or disproved as against the person
relying on it."
As the school itself may be sued in its own name, there
is no need to apply Rule 3, 15, under which the
persons joined in an association without any juridical
personality may be sued with such association. Besides,
it has been shown that the individual members of the
board of trustees are not liable, having been appointed
only after the private respondent's dismissal.
In the absence of a retainer from the heirs or authorized
representatives of his deceased client, the attorney
would thereafter have no further power or authority to
appear or take any further action in the case, save to
inform the court of the client's death and take the
necessary steps to safeguard the deceased's rights in
the case.
When a party dies in an action that survives, and no
order is issued by the court for the appearance of the
legal representative or of the heirs of the deceased in
substitution of the deceased, and as a matter of fact no
such substitution has ever been effected, the trial held
by the court without such legal representatives or heirs
and the judgment rendered after such trial are null and
void because the court acquired no jurisdiction over the
persons of the legal representatives or of the heirs upon
whom the trial and the judgment would be binding.



D O C T R I N E S | 14

rights and the properties of the decedent are violated or

For the protection of the interests of the decedent, this
Court has recognized the heirs as proper
representatives of the decedent, even when there is
already an administrator appointed by the court. When
no administrator has been appointed, there is all the
more reason to recognize the heirs as the proper
representatives of the deceased. The heirs cannot be
expected to wait for the appointment of an administrator;
then wait further to see if the administrator appointed
would care enough to file a suit to protect the rights and
the interests of the deceased; and in the meantime do
nothing while the rights and the properties of the
decedent are violated or dissipated.
The "legal representatives" that the provision speaks of,
refer to those authorized by law - the administrator,
executor or guardian who, under the rule on settlement
of estate of deceased persons, is constituted to take
over the estate of the deceased.
The reason for the Rule is to protect all concerned who
may be affected by the intervening death, particularly the
deceased and her estate.
It is the party's duty to inform the court of its counsel's
demise, and failure to apprise the court of such fact shall
be considered negligence on the part of said party.


Formal substitution of heirs is not necessary when the
heirs themselves voluntarily appeared, participated in
the case and presented evidence in defense of
deceased defendant.
The Rules, while permitting an executor or administrator
to represent or to bring suits on behalf of the deceased,
do not prohibit the heirs from representing the deceased.
The rules are easily applicable to cases in which an
administrator has already been appointed. But no rule
categorically addresses the situation in which special
proceedings for the settlement of an estate have already
been instituted, yet no administrator has been appointed.
In such instances, the heirs cannot be expected to wait
for the appointment of an administrator; then wait further
to see if the administrator appointed would care enough
to file a suit to protect the rights and the interests of the
deceased; and in the meantime do nothing while the

It is not the duty of the courts to inquire, during the

progress of a case. They cannot pass the blame to the
court, which is not tasked to monitor the changes in the
circumstances of the parties and their counsel.
Litigants who are represented by counsel should not
expect that all they need to do is sit back, relax and
await the outcome of their cases. Relief will not be
granted to a party who seeks avoidance from the effects
of the judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was
due to his own negligence.
The rule on substitution by heirs is not a matter of
jurisdiction, but a requirement of due process. The rule
on substitution was crafted to protect every party's right
to due process. It was designed to ensure that the
deceased party would continue to be properly
represented in the suit through his heirs or the duly
appointed legal representative of his estate. Moreover,
non-compliance with the Rules results in the denial of


the right to due process for the heirs who, though not
duly notified of the proceedings, would be substantially
affected by the decision rendered therein. Thus, it is only
when there is a denial of due process, as when the
deceased is not represented by any legal representative
or heir, that the court nullifies the trial proceedings and
the resulting judgment therein.
Failure of the counsel to comply with his duty to inform
the court of the death of his client, such that no
substitution is effected, will not invalidate the
proceedings and the judgment rendered thereon if the
action survives the death of such party.
Criteria for determining whether an action survives the
death of a plaintiff: The question as to whether an action
survives or not depends on the nature of the action and
the damage sued for. If the causes of action which
survive the wrong complained [of] affects primarily and
principally property and property rights, the injuries to the
person being merely incidental, while in the causes of
action which do not survive the injury complained of is to
the person the property and rights of property affected
being incidental.
Where the petitioner (a public officer) ceases to be
mayor, the appeal and/or action he initiated may be
continued and maintained by his successor if there is
substantial need to do so. If the successor failed to
pursue the appeal and/or action, the same should be


16, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court, a counsel,
within 30 days from his clients death, is duty-bound to
inform the court of such fact, and to submit the names
and addresses of the deceased clients legal
representatives. Thereafter, the court shall order,
forthwith, the appearance of and substitution by the
deceased partys legal representatives within another
period of 30 days from notice.
The heirs must be allowed to continue any litigation to
protect said property or property rights and to substitute
themselves for the deceased party in accordance with
appropriate rules.
The decision could not have attained finality because of
the non-substitution of the heirs for the deceased. The
heirs must be given the opportunity to contest the
adverse judgment that affects the property and property
rights to which they succeeded. A rule intended to



D O C T R I N E S | 15

protect due process cannot be invoked to defeat the

ACTIONS THAT SURVIVE DEATH [against a decedent's
executors or administrators]: (1) actions to recover real
and personal property from the estate; (2) actions to
enforce a lien thereon; and (3) actions to recover
damages for an injury to person or property.
Venue essentially concerns a rule of procedure which, in
personal actions, is fixed for the greatest convenience
possible of the plaintiff and his witnesses. The ground of
improperly laid venue must be raised seasonably, else it
is deemed waived. Where the defendant failed to either
file a motion to dismiss on the ground of improper venue
or include the same as an affirmative defense, he is
deemed to have waived his right to object to improper
When there is more than one plaintiff in a personal
action case, the residences of the principal parties
should be the basis for determining proper venue.
The Rules give the plaintiff the option of choosing where
to file his complaint. He can file it in the place (1) where
he himself or any of them resides, or (2) where the
defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be
found. The plaintiff or the defendant must be residents of
the place where the action has been instituted at the
time the action is commenced. However, if the plaintiff
does not reside in the Philippines, the complaint in such
case may only be filed in the court of the place where
the defendant resides.
The situs for bringing real and personal civil actions is
fixed by the Rules of Court to attain the greatest
convenience possible to the litigants and their witnesses
by affording them maximum accessibility to the courts.
And even as the regulation of venue is primarily for the
convenience of the plaintiff, as attested by the fact that
the choice of venue is given to him, it should not be
construed to unduly deprive a resident defendant of the
rights conferred upon him by the Rules of Court.
The rules states that defenses and objections not
pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer
are deemed waived. The court may only dismiss an
action motu proprio in case of lack of jurisdiction over the


subject matter,






Improper venue not impleaded in the motion to dismiss

or in the answer is deemed waived. Thus, a court may
not dismiss an action motu proprio on the ground of
improper venue as it is not one of the grounds wherein
the court may dismiss an action motu proprio on the
basis of the pleadings.
The controlling factor in determining venue is the primary
objective for which the case is filed. The cancellation of
the real estate mortgage is a real action, considering that
a real estate mortgage is a real right and a real property
by itself. An action for cancellation of real estate
mortgage is necessarily an action affecting the title to the
property. It is, therefore, a real action which should be
commenced and tried in the place where the subject
property lies.
Change or transfer of venue from that fixed in the rules
may be effected upon written agreement of the parties
not only before the actual filing of the action but even
after the same has been filed. It is not only binding
between the parties but also enforceable by the courts.
It is only after the action has been filed already that
change or transfer of venue by agreement of the parties
is understandably controllable in the discretion of the
On the other hand, the Court may declare the agreement
as to venue to be in effect contrary to public policy,
whenever it is shown that a stipulation as to venue works
injustice by practically denying to the party concerned a
fair opportunity to file suit in the place designated by the
Venue stipulations in a contract, while considered valid
and enforceable, do not as rule supersede the general
rule set forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. In
the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, they
should be considered merely as an agreement on
additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified
place. They are not exclusive but, rather permissive. For,
to restrict venue only to that place stipulated in the
agreement is a construction purely based on technicality
which, on the contrary, should be liberally construed.



D O C T R I N E S | 16

and the factual circumstances surrounding their

execution are intertwined or interconnected. The surety
agreement is merely an accessory to the principal loan
agreement embodied in the promissory note. Hence, the
enforcement of the former depends upon the latter.
The Corporation Code precisely requires each
corporation to specify in its articles of incorporation the
"place where the principal office of the corporation is to
be located which must be within the Philippines". The
purpose of this requirement is to fix the residence of a
corporation in a definite place, instead of allowing it to be
To allow an action to be instituted in any place where the
corporation has branch offices, would create confusion
and work untold inconvenience to said entity. By the
same token, a corporation cannot be allowed to file
personal actions in a place other than its principal place
of business unless such a place is also the residence of
a co-plaintiff or a defendant.
For purposes of venue, the less technical definition of
"residence" is adopted. Thus, it is understood to mean
as "the personal, actual or physical habitation of a
person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies
physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat.
The term means merely residence, that is, personal
residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence
simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a
given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in
that place and also an intention to make it one's
"Resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular
sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical
habitation of a person, actual residence or place of
abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and
actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term
means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not
legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires
bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while
domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also
an intention to make it ones domicile. No particular
length of time of residence is required though; however,
the residence must be more than temporary.




A restrictive stipulation on the venue of actions contained

in a promissory note applies to the surety agreement
supporting it, because the nature of the two contracts

The venue of real actions affecting properties found in

different provinces is determined by the singularity or
plurality of the transactions involving said parcels of


land. Where said parcels are the object of one and the
same transaction, the venue is in the court of ANY of the
provinces wherein a parcel of land is situated.
In the case, there is only one proceeding sought to be
nullified and that is the extra-judicial mortgage
foreclosure sale. And there is only one initial transaction
which served as the basis of the foreclosure sale and
Rules of procedure are intended to ensure the orderly
administration of justice and the protection of substantive
rights in judicial and extra-judicial proceedings. It is a
mistake to suppose that substantive law and adjective
law are contradictory to each other or, as has been often
suggested, that enforcement of procedural rules should
never be permitted if it will result in prejudice to the
substantive rights of the litigants. This is not exactly true;
the concept is much misunderstood. As a matter of fact
the policy of the courts is to give effect to both kinds of
law, as complementing each other, in the just and
speedy resolution of the dispute between the
parties. Observance of both substantive and procedural
rights is equally guaranteed by due process, whatever
the source of such rights, be it the Constitution itself or
only a statute or a rule of court.
Sec. 19 (c) of the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure
effective November 15, 1991: "The motion prohibited by
this Section is that which seeks reconsideration of the
judgment rendered by the court after trial on the merits
of the case."
An action for forcible entry is a quieting process that is
summary in nature. It is designed to recover physical
possession in speedy proceedings that are restrictive in
nature, scope and time limits. The one-year bar within
which to bring the suit is prescribed to complement its
summary nature. Thus, after the one-year period has
lapsed, plaintiffs can no longer avail themselves of the
summary proceedings in the municipal trial court but
must litigate, in the normal course, in the regional trial
court in an ordinary action to recover possession, or to
recover both ownership and possession.
Municipal trial court judges ought to be familiar with the
Rules on Summary Procedure governing ejectment
cases. Failure to observe them constitutes gross
ignorance of the law.



D O C T R I N E S | 17


Liberal interpretation or construction of the law or rules,
however, is not a free commodity that may be availed of
in all instances under the cloak of rendering justice.
Liberality in the interpretation and application of Rules
applies only in proper cases and under justifiable causes
and circumstances. While it is true that litigation is not a
game of technicalities, it is equally true that every case
must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed
procedure to insure an orderly and speedy
administration of justice.
Private respondent cannot appeal the order, being
interlocutory. But neither can it file a petition for
certiorari, because ejectment suits fall under the Revised
Rules on Summary Procedure.
Where the trial court abuses its discretion by indefinitely
suspending summary proceeding involving ejectment
cases, a petition for certiorari may be entertained by the
proper court to correct the blunder. In the interest of
justice and in view of the procedural void on the subject,
an appeal may be treated as a petition for certiorari for
this purpose and only in this instance, pro hac vice.
Summary procedure only applies to lower courts
(MTC/MTCC/MCTCs). It is mind-boggling how this rule
could possibly apply to proceedings in an RTC. Aside
from that, this Court limited the application of summary
procedure to certain civil and criminal cases. A writ of
Amparo is a special proceeding. It is a remedy by which
a party seeks to establish a status, a right or particular
fact. It is not a civil nor a criminal action. Hence, the
application of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure
is seriously misplaced.
The Return in Amparo cases allows the respondents to
frame the issues subject to a hearing. Hence, it should
be done prior to the hearing, not after. A memorandum,
on the other hand, is a synthesis of the claims of the
party litigants and is a final pleading usually required
before the case is submitted for decision. One cannot
substitute for the other since these submissions have
different functions in facilitating the suit.
More importantly, a memorandum is a prohibited
pleading under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.
The privilege of the Writ of Amparo should be
distinguished from the actual order called the Writ of
Amparo. The privilege includes availment of the entire
procedure outlined in A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, the Rule on
the Writ of Amparo. After examining the petition and its


attached affidavits, the Return and the evidence

presented in the summary hearing, the judgment should
detail the required acts from the respondents that will
mitigate, if not totally eradicate, the violation of or the
threat to the petitioner's life, liberty or security.
A judgment which simply grants "the privilege of the writ"
cannot be executed. It is tantamount to a failure of the
judge to intervene and grant judicial succor to the
petitioner. Petitions filed to avail of the privilege of the
Writ of Amparo arise out of very real and concrete
circumstances. Judicial responses cannot be as
tragically symbolic or ritualistic as "granting the privilege
of the Writ of Amparo."
A COMPLAINT must make a plain, concise, and direct
statement of the ultimate facts on which the plaintiff
relies for his claim. ULTIMATE FACTS mean the
important and substantial facts which either directly form
the basis of the plaintiff's primary right and duty or
directly make up the wrongful acts or omissions of the
defendant. They refer to the principal, determinative,
constitutive facts upon the existence of which the cause
of action rests. The term does not refer to details of
probative matter or particulars of evidence which
establish the material elements.
The TEST OF SUFFICIENCY of the facts alleged in a
complaint to constitute a cause of action is whether,
admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid
judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer
of the petition or complaint.
Where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise
admits the material allegations of the adverse party's
pleading, the court may, on motion of that party, direct
judgment on such pleading. The answer would fail to
tender an issue, of course, if it does not comply with the
requirements for a specific denial set out in 10 (or 8)
of Rule 8; and it would admit the material allegations of
the adverse party's pleadings not only where it expressly
confesses the truthfulness thereof but also if it omits to
deal with them at all.
If an answer does in fact specifically deny the material
averments of the complaint in the manner indicated by
said 10 of Rule 8, and/or asserts affirmative defenses
(allegations of new matter which, while admitting the
material allegations of the complaint expressly or
impliedly, would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by
the plaintiff) in accordance with 4 and 5 of Rule 6, a
judgment on the pleadings would naturally not be proper.



D O C T R I N E S | 18

There is JOINDER OF ISSUES when the answer makes

a specific denial of the material allegations in the
complaint or asserts affirmative defenses which would
bar recovery by the plaintiff. Where there is proper
joinder of issues, the trial court is barred from rendering
judgment based only on the pleadings filed by the
parties and must conduct proceedings for the reception
of evidence. On the other hand, an answer fails to tender
an issue where the allegations admit the allegations in
support of the plaintiffs cause of action or fail to address
them at all. In either case, there is no genuine issue and
judgment on the pleadings is proper.
An answer may allege affirmative defenses which may
strike down the plaintiffs cause of action.
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE is one which is not a denial of
an essential ingredient in the plaintiffs cause of action,
but one which, if established, will be a good defense
i.e. an "avoidance" of the claim. Affirmative defenses
include fraud, statute of limitations, release payment,
illegality, statute of frauds, estoppel, former recovery,
discharge in bankruptcy, and any other matter by way of
confession and avoidance. When the answer asserts
affirmative defenses, there is proper joinder of issues
which must be ventilated in a full-blown trial on the
merits and cannot be resolved by a mere judgment on
the pleadings.
money or any relief, which a defending party may have
against an opposing party, which at the time of suit
arises out of, or is necessarily connected with, the same
transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of
the plaintiff's complaint. It is compulsory in the sense that
it is within the jurisdiction of the court, does not require
for its adjudication the presence of third parties over
whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction, and will be
barred in the future if not set up in the answer to the
complaint in the same case. Any other counterclaim is
The compelling test of compulsoriness characterizes a
counterclaim as compulsory if there should exist a
logical relationship between the main claim and the
counterclaim is compulsory or permissive are as follows:
a) Are issues of fact and law raised by the claim and by
the counterclaim largely the same?
b) Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on
defendant's claim, absent the compulsory rule?


c) Will substantially the same evidence support or

refute plaintiff's claim as well as defendant's
d) Is there any logical relations between the claim and
the counterclaim?



D O C T R I N E S | 19


subject of a separate action but should be asserted in
the same suit involving the same transaction or
occurrence giving rise to it. Where the counterclaim is
made the subject of a separate suit, it may be abated
upon a plea of auter action pendant or litis pendentia,
and or dismissed on the ground of res judicata.


TESTS: (a) Are the issues of fact and law raised by the
claim and by the counterclaim largely the same? (b)
Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on defendants
claims, absent the compulsory counterclaim rule? (c)
Will substantially the same evidence support or refute
plaintiffs claim as well as the defendants counterclaim?
and (d) Is there any logical relation between the claim
and the counterclaim? A positive answer to all four
questions would indicate that the counterclaim is

A compulsory counterclaim is auxiliary to the proceeding

in the original suit and derives its jurisdictional support
therefrom, inasmuch as it arises out of or is necessarily
connected with the transaction or occurrence that is the
subject matter of the complaint. It follows that if the court
does not have jurisdiction to entertain the main action of
the case and dismisses the same, then the compulsory
counterclaim, being ancillary to the principal controversy,
must likewise be dismissed since no jurisdiction
remained for any grant of relief under the counterclaim.

The rule in PERMISSIVE COUNTERCLAIMS is that for

the trial court to acquire jurisdiction, the counterclaimant
is bound to pay the prescribed docket fees.

A counterclaim presupposes the existence of a claim

against the party filing the counterclaim. Where there is
no claim against the counterclaimant, then the
counterclaim is improper and should be dismissed.



A compulsory counterclaim not set up is barred, when

applied to the municipal court, presupposes that the
amount involved is within the said court's jurisdiction.

A counterclaim or cross-claim not set up shall be barred

if it arises out of or is necessarily connected with, the
transaction or occurrence that is the subject-matter of
the opposing party's or co-party's claim and does not
require for its adjudication the presence of third parties
of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.

For, even if the counterclaim in excess of the amount

cognizable by the inferior court is set up, the defendant
cannot obtain positive relief. The Rules allow this only for
the defendant to prevent plaintiff from recovering from
him. This means that should the court find both plaintiff's
complaint and defendant's counterclaim (for an amount
exceeding said court's jurisdiction) meritorious, it will
simply dismiss the complaint on the ground that
defendant has a bigger credit. Since defendant still has
to institute a separate action for the remaining balance of
his counterclaim, the previous litigation did not really
settle all related controversies.
Rule 17, Sec. 2 "if a counterclaim has been pleaded by a
defendant prior to the service upon him of a motion to
dismiss, the action shall not be dismissed against the
defendants objection unless the counterclaim can
remain pending for independent adjudication by the
A counterclaim is permissive if it does not arise out of
nor is it necessarily connected with the subject matter of
the opposing partys claim. It is not barred even if not set
up in the action.

Villegas failed to set up such alternative defense (i.e. a

builder in good faith is entitled to recover the value of
improvements) and instead relied on the sole defense
that she inherited the land from her parents, the rejection
thereof was a complete resolution of the controversy
between the parties which bars a later case based upon
the unpleaded defense. The adjudication of the issue
joined by the parties in the earlier case constitutes res
judicata, the theory being that what is barred by prior
judgment are not only the matters actually raised and
litigated upon, but also such other matters as could have
been raised but were not.
Administrative Circular No. 04-94 does not apply to
compulsory counterclaims.
The circular applies to
initiatory and similar pleadings.
A compulsory
counterclaim set up in the answer is not an "initiatory" or
similar pleading. The initiatory pleading is the plaintiff's
complaint. A respondent has no choice but to raise a
compulsory counterclaim the moment the plaintiff files
the complaint.
Otherwise, respondent waives the
compulsory counterclaim. The compulsory counterclaim
is a reaction or response, mandatory upon pain of
waiver, to an initiatory pleading which is the complaint.


If it is a permissive counterclaim, the lack of a certificate

of non-forum shopping is fatal. If it is a compulsory
counterclaim, the lack of a certificate of non-forum
shopping is immaterial.
In an action for breach of contract of carriage
commenced by a passenger against his common carrier,
the plaintiff can recover damages from a third-party
defendant brought into the suit by the common carrier
upon a claim based on tort or quasi-delict. The liability of
the third-party defendant is independent from the liability
of the common carrier to the passenger.
A THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT is a claim that a
defending party may, with leave of court, file against a
person not a party to the action, called the third-party
defendant, for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or
any other relief, in respect of his opponents claim.
The impleader of new parties under this rule is proper
only when a right to relief exists under the applicable
substantive law. This rule is merely a procedural
mechanism, and cannot be utilized unless there is some
substantive basis under applicable law.
The REQUISITES for a third-party action are, firstly,
that the party to be impleaded must not yet be a party to
the action; secondly, that the claim against the thirdparty defendant must belong to the original defendant;
thirdly, the claim of the original defendant against the
third-party defendant must be based upon the plaintiffs
claim against the original defendant; and, fourthly, the
defendant is attempting to transfer to the third-party
defendant the liability asserted against him by the
original plaintiff.
The third-party claim need not be based on the same
theory as the main claim. For example, there are cases
in which the third-party claim is based on an express
indemnity contract and the original complaint is framed
in terms of negligence. Similarly, there need not be any
legal relationship between the third-party defendant and
any of the other parties to the action. Impleader also is
proper even though the third partys liability is
contingent, and technically does not come into existence
until the original defendants liability has been
established. In addition, the words is or may be liable in
Rule 14(a) make it clear that impleader is proper even
though the third-party defendants liability is not
automatically established once the third-party plaintiffs
liability to the original plaintiff has been determined.
The third-party complaint is actually independent of and
separate and distinct from the plaintiff's complaint. . . .



D O C T R I N E S | 20

When leave to file the third-party complaint is properly

granted, the Court renders in effect two judgments in the
same case, one on the plaintiff's complaint and the other
on the third-party complaint. When he finds favorably on
both complaints, as in this case, he renders judgment on
the principal complaint in favor of plaintiff against
defendant and renders another judgment on the thirdparty complaint in favor of defendant as third-party
plaintiff, ordering the third-party defendant to reimburse
the defendant whatever amount said defendant is
ordered to pay plaintiff in the case. Failure of any of said
parties in such a case to appeal the judgment as against
him makes such judgment final and executory. By the
same token, an appeal by one party from such judgment
does NOT inure to the benefit of the other party who has
not appealed nor can it be deemed to be an appeal of
such other party from the judgment against him.
There is no question that a third-party defendant is
allowed to set up in his answer the defenses which the
third-party plaintiff (original defendant) has or may have
to the plaintiff's claim.
While the third-party defendant; would benefit from a
victory by the third-party plaintiff against the plaintiff, this
is true only when the third-party plaintiff and third-party
Where the plaintiff stated that the allegations in the
complaint are true and correct, but omitted to state that
said conclusion was reached of his own knowledge, it is
logically inferable that his statement is of his own
knowledge since he was a party and it does not appear
that he was verifying upon information and belief. If
petitioner entertained doubt about the true character of
the verification, he should have asked that it be made
more definite. Moreover, even if the verification is
insufficient, that insufficiency would not render the
complaint, or the whole proceedings in the court below,
void. Requirement regarding verification is not
jurisdictional, but merely formal.
In order that the ground of pendency of another action
between the same parties for the same cause may be
availed of in a motion to dismiss there must be, between
the action under consideration and the other action, (I)
identity of parties, or at least such as representing the
same interest in both actions; (2) identity of rights
asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded
on the same facts; and (3) the identity on the two
preceding particulars should be such that any judgment
which may be rendered on the other action will
regardless of which party is successful, amount to res
adjudicata in the action under consideration.



An UNSIGNED PLEADING produces no legal effect.
However, the court ay, in its discretion, allow such
deficiency to be remedied if it shall appear that the same
was due to mere inadvertence and not intended for
delay. Counsel who deliberately files an unsigned
pleading, or signs a pleading in violation of this Rule, or
alleges scandalous or indecent matter therein, or fails to
promptly report to the court a change of his address,
shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
FORUM SHOPPING is defined as an act of a party,
against whom an adverse judgment or order has been
rendered in one forum, of seeking and possibly getting a
favorable opinion in another forum, other than by appeal
or special civil action for certiorari. It may also be the
institution of two or more actions or proceedings
grounded on the same cause on the supposition that
one or the other court would make a favorable
There is forum shopping where the elements of litis
pendentia are present, namely: (a) there is identity of
parties, or at least such parties as represent the same
interest in both actions; (b) there is identity of rights
asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded
on the same set of facts; and (c) the identity of the two
preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered
in the pending case, regardless of which party is
successful, would amount to res judicata in the other.
A "certification is a peculiar personal representation on
the part of the principal party, an assurance given to the
court or other tribunal that there are no other pending
cases involving basically the same parties, issues and
causes of action." "Obviously, it is the petitioner, and not
always the counsel whose professional services have
been retained for a particular case, who is in the best
position to know whether she actually filed or caused the
filing of a petition in that case." Per the above guidelines,
however, if a petitioner is unable to sign a certification for
reasonable or justifiable reasons, she must execute an
SPA designating her counsel of record to sign on her
behalf. "A certification which had been signed by counsel
without the proper authorization is defective and
constitutes a valid cause for the dismissal of the



D O C T R I N E S | 21

judgment rendered in the other action, will regardless of

which party is successful, amount to res adjudicata in
the action under consideration: all the requisites, in fine,
of auter action pendant.
It is the plaintiff or principal party who shall certify under
oath that he has not commenced any action involving
the same issues in any court. The attestation contained
in the certification on non-forum shopping requires
personal knowledge by the party who executed the
same. Utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be
rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal
Under the Family Code, the administration of the
conjugal property belongs to the husband and the wife
jointly. However, unlike an act of alienation or
encumbrance where the consent of both spouses is
required, joint management or administration does not
require that the husband and wife always act together.
Each spouse may validly exercise full power of
management alone, subject to the intervention of the
court in proper cases as provided under Article 124 of
the Family Code. It is believed that even under the
provisions of the Family Code, the husband alone could
have filed the petition for certiorari and prohibition to
contest the writs of demolition issued against the
conjugal property with the Court of Appeals without
being joined by his wife. The signing of the attached
certificate of non-forum shopping only by the husband is
not a fatal defect and should be deemed to constitute
substantial compliance with the rules.
The petitioner or the principal party must execute the
certification against forum shopping. The reason for this
is that the principal party has actual knowledge whether
a petition has previously been filed involving the same
case or substantially the same issues. If, for any reason,
the principal party cannot sign the petition, the one
signing on his behalf must have been duly authorized.
This requirement is intended to apply to both natural and
juridical persons. Where the petitioner is a corporation,
the certification against forum shopping should be
signed by its duly authorized director or representative.


There thus exists between the action before this Court
and RTC Case IDENTITY OF PARTIES, or at least such
parties as represent the same interests in both actions,
as well as Identity of rights asserted and relief prayed
for, the relief being founded on the same facts, and the
Identity on the two preceding particulars is such that any

Where there are several petitioners, it is insufficient that

only one of them executes the certification, absent a
showing that he was so authorized by the others. That
certification requires personal knowledge and it cannot
be presumed that the signatory knew that his copetitioners had the same or similar actions filed or


An omission in the certificate of non-forum shopping

about any event that would not constitute res judicata
and litis pendentia, as in the present case, is not fatal as
to merit the dismissal and nullification of the entire
proceedings considering that the evils sought to be
prevented by the said certificate are not present.



D O C T R I N E S | 22

the board resolution is grounded on the basic precept

that corporate powers are exercised by the board of
directors, and not solely by an officer of the corporation.
Hence, the power to sue and be sued in any court or
quasi-judicial tribunal is necessarily lodged with the said


The real office of Administrative Circular No. 04-94 is to
curb the malpractice commonly referred to also as
forum-shopping. It is an act of a party against whom an
adverse judgment has been rendered in one forum of
seeking and possibly getting a favorable opinion in
another forum, other than by appeal or the special civil
action of certiorari, or the institution of two or more
actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause on
the supposition that one or the other court would make a
favorable disposition. The language of the circular
distinctly suggests that it is primarily intended to cover
an initiatory pleading or an incipient application of a party
asserting a claim for relief.
The foregoing rationale of the circular aptly taken, to
sustain the view that the circular in question has not, in
fact, been contemplated to include a kind of claim which,
by its very nature as being auxiliary to the proceedings in
the suit and as deriving its substantive and jurisdictional
support therefrom, can only be appropriately pleaded in
the answer and not remain outstanding for independent
resolution except by the court where the main case
The following officials or employees of the company can
sign the verification and certification without need of a
board resolution: (1) the Chairperson of the Board of
Directors, (2) the President of a corporation, (3) the
General Manager or Acting General Manager, (4)
Personnel Officer, and (5) an Employment Specialist in a
labor case.
While the above cases do not provide a complete listing
of authorized signatories to the verification and
certification required by the rules, the determination of
the sufficiency of the authority was done on a case to
case basis. The rationale applied in the foregoing cases
is to justify the authority of corporate officers or
representatives of the corporation to sign the verification
or certificate against forum shopping, being in a position
to verify the truthfulness and correctness of the
allegations in the petition.
However, appending the board resolution to the
complaint or petition is the better procedure to obviate
any question on the authority of the signatory to the
verification and certification. The required submission of

Forum shopping exists when a party repeatedly avails

himself of several judicial remedies in different courts,
simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded
on the same transactions and the same essential facts
and circumstances, and all raising substantially the
same issues either pending in or already resolved
adversely by some other court.
Ultimately, what is truly important in determining whether
forum shopping exists or not is the vexation caused the
courts and party-litigant by a party who asks different
courts to rule on the same or related causes and/or to
grant the same or substantially the same reliefs, in the
process creating the possibility of conflicting decisions
being rendered by the different fora upon the same
Forum shopping can be committed in three ways: (1)
filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action
and with the same prayer, the previous case not having
been resolved yet (where the ground for dismissal is litis
pendentia); (2) filing multiple cases based on the same
cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case
having been finally resolved (where the ground for
dismissal is res judicata); and (3) filing multiple cases
based on the same cause of action, but with different
prayers (splitting of causes of action, where the ground
for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata).
In the determination of whether a complaint fails to state
a cause of action, only the statements in the complaint
may be properly considered.9 Moreover, a defendant
who moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground of
lack of cause of action hypothetically admits all the
averments thereof. The TEST OF SUFFICIENCY of the
facts found in a complaint as constituting a cause of
action is whether or not admitting the facts alleged the
court can render a valid judgment upon the same in
accordance with the prayer thereof. The hypothetical
admission extends to the relevant and material facts well
pleaded in the complaint and inferences fairly deducible
therefrom. Hence, if the allegations in the complaint
furnish sufficient basis by which the complaint can be
maintained, the same should not be dismissed


regardless of the defense that may be assessed by the

There is no need for the complaint to specifically allege
respondents' claim of co-ownership of the properties.
The complaint needs only to allege the ultimate facts on
which the plaintiffs rely for their claim.
The rules of procedure require that the complaint must
make a concise statement of the ultimate facts or the
essential facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action.
A FACT IS ESSENTIAL if it cannot be stricken out
without leaving the statement of the cause of action
ACTION only when it has its three indispensable
DEEDS OF SALE are actionable documents. The Rule
covers both an action or a defense based on documents.
The PURPOSE for the rule on contesting actionable
documents is: Reasonably construed, the purpose of the
enactment appears to have been to relieve a party of the
trouble and expense of proving in the first instance an
alleged fact, the existence or nonexistence of which is
necessarily within the knowledge of the adverse party,
and of the necessity (to his opponent's case) of
establishing which such adverse party is notified by his
opponent's pleading.
The following question furnishes an ABSOLUTE TEST
Can it be made the subject of a material issue? In other
words, if it be denied, win the failure to prove it decide
the case in whole or in part? If it will not, the fact is not
essential. It is not one of those which constitute the
cause of action, defense, or reply. A fact is essential if it
cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of
the cause of action or defense insufficient.
When an action is brought upon a written instrument and
the complaint contains or has annexed a copy of such
instrument, the genuineness and due execution of the
instrument shall be deemed admitted, unless specifically
denied under oath in the answer; and when the
DEFENSE to an action, or a COUNTERCLAIM stated in
an answer, is founded upon a written instrument and the
copy thereof is contained in or annexed to the answer,
the genuineness and due execution of such instrument
shall be deemed admitted, unless specifically denied
under oath by the plaintiff in his pleadings.
When the law makes use of the phrase "genuineness
and due execution of the instrument" it means nothing
more than that the instrument is not spurious,



D O C T R I N E S | 23

counterfeit, or of different import on its face from the one

executed. However, the failure of the party to file an
affidavit denying the genuineness and due execution of
the document does not estop him from controverting it
by evidence of fraud mistake, compromise, payment,
statute of limitations, estoppel, and want of
Admission of the genuineness and due execution of the
instrument does not bar the defense of want of
Execution can only refer to the actual making and
delivery, but it cannot involve other matters without
enlarging its meaning beyond reason. The only object of
the rule was to enable a plaintiff to make out a prima
facie, NOT A CONCLUSIVE CASE, and it cannot
preclude a defendant from introducing any defense on
the merits which does not contradict the execution of the
instrument introduced in evidence.
Where written instrument set forth in answer is not
denied by affidavit, yet if evidence in respect to that
matter, and tending to show that instrument is not
genuine, or was not delivered, is introduced by plaintiff
without objection on part of defendant, or motion to strike
out, and is met by counter-evidence on part of
defendant, the latter ought not to be permitted to claim
that genuineness and due execution of instrument are
While 8, Rule 8 is mandatory, it is a discovery
procedure and must be reasonably construed to attain
its purpose, and in a way as not to effect a denial of
substantial justice. The interpretation should be one
which assists the parties in obtaining a speedy,
inexpensive, and most important, a just determination of
the disputed issues.
However, it was held that where a party acted in
complete disregard of or wholly overlooked 8, Rule 8
and did not object to the introduction and admission of
evidence questioning the genuineness and due
execution of a document, he must be deemed to have
waived the benefits of said Rule.
How to deny the genuineness and due execution of an
actionable document:
This means that the defendant must declare under oath
that he did not sign the document or that it is otherwise


false or fabricated. Neither does the statement of the

answer to the effect that the instrument was procured by
fraudulent representation raise any issue as to its
genuineness or due execution. On the contrary such a
plea is an admission both of the genuineness and due
execution thereof, since it seeks to avoid the instrument
upon a ground not affecting either.
The best evidence rule is not absolute. The rule
accepts of exceptions one of which is when the original
of the subject document is in the possession of the
adverse party.
When the defendant fails to deny specifically and under
oath the due execution and genuineness of a document
copied in a complaint, the plaintiff need not prove that
fact as it is considered admitted by the defendant.



D O C T R I N E S | 24

A mere allegation of ignorance of the facts alleged in the

complaint, is INSUFFICIENT to raise an issue; the
defendant must aver positively or state how it is that he
is ignorant of the facts so alleged.
The acts of these corporations should be distinguished
TRANSACTION or occasional, incidental and casual
transactions which do not come within the meaning of
the law. Where a single act or transaction , however, is
not merely incidental or casual but indicates the foreign
corporation's intention to do other business in the
Philippines, said single act or transaction constitutes
'doing' or 'engaging in' or 'transacting' business in the


In a MOTION TO DISMISS based on lack of cause of
action, the question posed to the court for determination
is the sufficiency of the allegation of facts made in the
complaint to constitute a cause of action. To sustain a
motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action, it must be
shown that the claim for relief does not exist, rather than
that a claim has been defectively stated, or is
ambiguous, indefinite or uncertain.
In all averments of fraud or mistake, the circumstances
constituting fraud or mistake must be stated with
particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge or other condition
of the mind of a person may be averred generally.

While plaintiff is a foreign corporation without license to

transact business in the Philippines, it does not follow
that it has no capacity to bring the present action. Such
license is ' not necessary because it is not engaged in
business in the Philippines.
based on failure to first acquire a local license is based
on considerations of sound public policy. It intended to
favor domestic corporations who enter was never into
solitary transactions with unwary foreign firms and then
repudiate their obligations simply because the latter are
not licensed to do business in this country.


3 MODES OF SPECIFIC DENIAL: (1) by specifying
each material allegation of fact in the complaint the truth
of which the defendant does not admit, and, whenever
practicable, setting forth the substance of the matters
which he will rely upon to support his denial or (2) by
specifying so much of an averment in the complaint as is
true and material and denying only the remainder or (3)
by stating that the defendant is without knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a
material averment in the complaint, which has the effect
of a denial, and he has adopted the third mode of
specific denial, his answer tendered an issue, and,
consequently the court a quo could not render a valid
judgment on the pleadings.
The rule authorizing an answer to the effect that the
defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to
form a belief as to the truth of an averment and giving
such answer the effect of a denial, DOES NOT APPLY
where the fact as to which want of knowledge is
asserted, is so plainly and necessarily within the
defendant's knowledge that his averment of ignorance
must be palpably untrue.

The rule that an unlicensed foreign corporations doing

business in the Philippine do not have the capacity to
sue before the local courts is well-established.
The phrase doing business is clearly defined in 3(d) of
R.A. No. 7042 (Foreign Investments Act of 1991) and
was supplemented by its IRR which elaborated on the
meaning of the same phrase
The following acts shall not be deemed doing business
in the Philippines:
1. Mere investment as a shareholder by a foreign entity
in domestic corporations duly registered to do business,
and/or the exercise of rights as such investor;
2. Having a nominee director or officer to represent its
interest in such corporation;
Appointing a representative or distributor
domiciled in the Philippines which transacts
business in the representative's or distributor's own
name and account;


4. The publication of a general advertisement through

any print or broadcast media;
5. Maintaining a stock of goods in the Philippines solely
for the purpose of having the same processed by
another entity in the Philippines;
6. Consignment by a foreign entity of equipment with a
local company to be used in the processing of products
for export;
7. Collecting information in the Philippines; and
8. Performing services auxiliary to an existing isolated
contract of sale which are not on a continuing basis,
such as installing in the Philippines machinery it has
manufactured or exported to the Philippines, servicing
the same, training domestic workers to operate it, and
similar incidental services.



D O C T R I N E S | 25

A defending party declared in default retains the RIGHT

However, the grounds that may be raised in such an
appeal are restricted to any of the following: first, the
failure of the plaintiff to prove the material allegations of
the complaint; second, the decision is contrary to law;
and third, the amount of judgment is excessive or
different in kind from that prayed for. In these cases, the
appellate tribunal should only consider the pieces of
evidence that were presented by the plaintiff during the
ex parte presentation of his evidence.
A defendant who has been declared in default is
precluded from raising any other ground in his appeal
from the judgment by default since, otherwise, he would
then be allowed to adduce evidence in his defense,
which right he had lost after he was declared in default.


A defendant who fails to file an answer may, upon
motion, be declared by the court in default. Loss of
standing in court, the forfeiture of ones right as a party
litigant, contestant or legal adversary, is the
consequence of an order of default. A party in default
LOSES his right to present his defense, control the
proceedings, and examine or cross-examine witnesses.
He has no right to expect that his pleadings would be
acted upon by the court nor may be object to or refute
evidence or motions filed against him.
a) The defendant in default may, at any time after
discovery thereof and before judgment, file a
motion, under oath, to set aside the order of
default on the ground that his failure to answer
was due to fraud, accident, mistake or
excusable neglect, and that he has meritorious
defenses; (Sec 3, Rule 18)
b) If the judgment has already been rendered when
the defendant discovered the default, but before
the same has become final and executory, he
may file a motion for new trial under Section 1(a)
of Rule 37;
c) If the defendant discovered the default after the
judgment has become final and executory, he
may file a petition for relief under Section 2 of
Rule 38; and
d) He may also appeal from the judgment rendered
against him as contrary to the evidence or to the
law, even if no petition to set aside the order of
default has been presented by him. (Sec. 2,
Rule 41)

motion for reconsideration of a judgment of default may

be considered a petition for relief under Section 2 of
Rule 38 only if the following requisites are present: (1) it
must be verified; (2) it must be filed within 60 days from
the time petitioner learns of the decision but not more
than 6 months from entry thereof; and (3) in case of
failure to file an answer, the motion must be
accompanied by affidavits of merit showing the fraud,
accident, mistake and excusable negligence relied upon.
a motion for reconsideration may be considered a
motion for new trial under Sec. 2, Rule 37, if it is
accompanied by an affidavit of merit. The requirement
of such an affidavit is essential because a new trial
would be only a waste of the time of the court if the
complaint turns out to be groundless or the defense
The underlying philosophy of the DOCTRINE OF
DEFAULT is that the defendant's failure to answer the
complaint despite receiving copy thereof together with
summons, is attributable to one of two causes: either (a)
to his realization that he has no defenses to the plaintiffs
cause and hence resolves not to oppose the complaint,
or, (b) having good defenses to the suit, to fraud,
accident, mistake or excusable negligence which
prevented him from seasonably filing an answer setting
forth those defenses.
If the defendant have good defenses, it would be
unnatural for him not to set them up properly and timely,
and if he did not in fact set them up, it must be presumed
that some insuperable cause prevented him from doing
so: fraud, accident, mistake, excusable negligence. In
this event, the law will grant him relief, and the law is in
truth quite liberal in the reliefs made available to him: a


motion to set aside the order of default prior to judgment;

a motion for new trial to set aside the default judgment;
an appeal from the judgment by default even if no
motion to set aside the order of default or motion for new
trial had been previously presented; a special civil action
for certiorari impugning the court's jurisdiction.
There are remedies available to a defendant declared in
default. However, these remedies are available only to a
defendant who has been validly declared in default.
Such defendant irreparably loses the right to participate
in the trial. On the other hand, a defendant improvidently
declared in default may retain and exercise such right
after the order of default and the subsequent judgment
by default are annulled, and the case remanded to the
court of origin. The former is limited to the remedy set
forth in 2, paragraph 3 of Rule 41 of the pre-97 Rules
of Court, and can therefore contest only the judgment by
default on the designated ground that it is contrary to
evidence or law. However, the latter has the following
options: to resort to this same remedy; to interpose a
petition for certiorari seeking the nullification of the order
of default, even before the promulgation of a judgment
by default; or in the event that judgment has been
rendered, to have such order and judgment declared
While there are instances when a party may be properly
declared in default, these cases should be deemed
exceptions to the rule and should be resorted to only in
clear cases of obstinate refusal or inordinate neglect in
complying with the orders of the court.
The mere fact that a defendant is declared in default
does not automatically result in the grant of the prayers
of the plaintiff. To win, the latter must still present the
same quantum of evidence that would be required if the
defendant were still present. A party that defaults is not
deprived of its rights, except the right to be heard and to
present evidence to the trial court. If the evidence
presented does not support a judgment for the plaintiff,
the complaint should be dismissed, even if the defendant
may not have been heard or allowed to present any
countervailing evidence.
Failure to file a responsive pleading within the
reglementary period, and not failure to appear at the
hearing, is the sole ground for an order of default, except
the failure to appear at a pre-trial conference wherein the
effects of a default on the part of the defendant are
followed, that is, the plaintiff shall be allowed to present
evidence ex parte and a judgment based thereon may
be rendered against the defendant (5, Rule 18). Also, a



D O C T R I N E S | 26

default judgment may be rendered, even if the defendant

had filed his answer, under the circumstance in 3(c),
Rule 29.
The effects of default are followed only in three
instances: (1) when there is an actual default for failure
to file a responsive pleading; (2) failure to appear in the
pre-trial conference; and (3) refusal to comply with
modes of discovery under the circumstance in Sec. 3(c),
Rule 29.
must have validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of
the defendant either by service of summons or voluntary
appearance; (2) the defendant failed to file his answer
within the time allowed therefor; and (3) there must be a
motion to declare the defendant in default with notice to
the latter. In the case at bar, petitioner had not failed to
file her answer.
The Court may allow a party upon motion to serve a
supplemental pleading after reasonable notice has been
given the other party.
The notice of hearing is intended to prevent surprise and
to afford the adverse party a chance to be heard before
the motion is resolved by the trial court. While the court
has said that a literal observance of the notice
requirements in 4, 5 and 6 of Rule 15 is not
necessary, a seasonable service of a copy of the motion
on adverse party or counsel with a notice of hearing
indicating the time and place of hearing of the motion are
mandatory requirements that cannot be dispensed with
as these are the minimum requirements of procedural
due process.
A supplemental complaint should supply only
deficiencies in aid of an original complaint. It should
contain only causes of action relevant and material to
the plaintiff's right and which help or aid the plaintiff's
right or defense. The supplemental complaint must be
based on matters arising subsequent to the original
complaint related to the claim or defense presented
therein, and founded on the same cause of action. It
cannot be used to try a new matter or a new cause of
The compromise agreement was final and immediately
executory, and in fact was already enforced, the
respondent Court was in error when it still entertained
the supplemental complaint filed by the respondentappellee for by then the respondent Court had no more


jurisdiction over the subject matter. When a decision has

become final and executory, the court no longer has the
power and jurisdiction to alter, amend or revoke, and its
only power thereof is to order its execution.
Supplemental pleadings are meant to supply
deficiencies in aid of original pleading, not to entirely
substitute the latter. A supplemental complaint must be
consistent with and in aid of, the cause of action set forth
in the original complaint and a new and independent
cause of action cannot be set up by such complaint,
especially where judgment has already been obtained by
him in the original action.
The Amended Complaint takes the place of the original.
The latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to
perform any further function as a pleading. The original
complaint no longer forms part of the record.
If petitioner had desired to utilize the original complaint
she should have offered it in evidence. Having been
amended, the original complaint lost its character as a
judicial admission, which would have required no proof,
and became merely an extrajudicial admission, the
admissibility of which, as evidence, required its formal
An amendment to a complaint which introduces a new or
different cause of action, making a new or different
demand, is equivalent to a fresh suit upon a new cause
of action, and the statute of limitations continues to run
until the amendment is filed.
When the amended complaint does not introduce new
issues, causes of action, or demands, the suit is deemed
to have commenced on the date the original complaint
was filed, not on the date of the filing of the amended
complaint. For demands already included in the original
complaint, the suit is deemed to have commenced upon
the filing of such original complaint. For purposes of
determining the commencement of a suit, the original
complaint is deemed abandoned and superseded by the
amended complaint only if the amended complaint
introduces a new or different cause of action or demand.
An amendment which merely supplements and amplifies
the facts originally alleged relates back to the date of the
commencement of the action and is not barred by the
statute of limitations, the period of which expires after
service of the original complaint but before service of
amendment. It is the actual filing in court that controls
and not the date of the formal admission of the amended



D O C T R I N E S | 27

When a pleading is amended, the original pleading is

deemed abandoned. The original ceases to perform any
further function as a pleading. The case stands for trial
on the amended pleading only. The additional docket
fee to be paid should be based on the amended



A complaint only needs to state the "ultimate facts
constituting the plaintiffs cause or causes of action."
Ultimate facts are those facts which the expected
evidence will support." The term does not refer to the
details of probative matter or particulars of evidence by
which these material elements are to be established. It
refers to "the facts which the evidence on the trial will
prove, and not the evidence which will be required to
prove the existence of those facts. A motion for bill of
particulars will not be granted if the complaint, while not
very definite, nonetheless already states a sufficient
cause of action. A motion for bill of particulars may not
call for matters which should form part of the proof of the
complaint upon trial. Such information may be obtained
by other means.
Both a motion to dismiss and a motion for a bill of
particulars interrupt the time to file a responsive
pleading. In the case of a motion to dismiss, the period
starts running against as soon as the movant receives a
copy of the order of denial. In the case of a motion for a
bill of particulars, the suspended period shall continue to
run upon service on the movant of the bill of particulars,
if the motion is granted, or of the notice of its denial, but
in any event he shall have not less than five days within
which to file his responsive pleading.
The allowance of a motion for a more definite statement
or bill of particulars rests within the sound judicial
discretion of the court and, as usual in matters of a
discretionary nature, the ruling of the trial court in that
regard will not be reversed unless there has been a


palpable abuse of discretion or a clearly erroneous

2, Rule 13 provides that if any party has appeared by
counsel, service upon him shall be made upon his
counsel unless served upon the party himself is ordered
by the trial court. Notice or service made upon a party
who is represented by counsel is a nullity. Notice to the
client and not to his counsel of record is not notice in
law. The rule admits of exceptions, as when the court or
tribunal orders service upon a party or when the tribunal
defendant is waived.
In the absence of a proper and adequate notice to the
court of a change of address, the service of the order or
resolution of a court upon the parties must be made at
the last address of their counsel on record. It is the duty
of the party and his counsel to device a system for the
receipt of mail intended for them, just as it is the duty of
the counsel to inform the court officially of a change in
his address. It is also the responsibility of a party to
inform the court of the change of his address so that in
the event the court orders that an order or resolution be
served on the said party to enable him to receive the
said resolution or order.
Service of the petition on a party, when that party is
represented by a counsel of record, is a patent nullity
and is not binding upon the party wrongfully served.
However, this rule admits of exceptions when faced with
compelling reasons of substantive justice manifest in the
petition and in the surrounding circumstances of the
Additionally, in the same way that an original complaint
must be served on the defendant, a copy of the
complaint-in-intervention must be served on the adverse
party with the requisite proof of service duly filed prior to
any valid court action. Absent these or any reason duly
explained and accepted excusing strict compliance, the
court is without authority to act on such complaint; any
action taken without the required service contravenes
the law and the rules, and violates the adverse partys
basic and constitutional right to due process.
The exception in service by registered mail refers to
constructive service, not to actual receipt of the mail, it is
evident that the fair and just application of that exception
depends upon conclusive proof that a first notice was
sent by the postmaster to the addressee.



D O C T R I N E S | 28

It is incumbent upon a party, who relies on constructive

service or who contends that his adversary was served
with a copy of a final order or judgment upon the
expiration of five days from the first notice of registered
mail sent by the postmaster to prove that first notice was
sent and delivered to the addressee. A certification from
the postmaster would be the best evidence of that fact.
The mailman's testimony may also be adduced to prove
that fact.
The postmaster's certification as to the sending of the
first notice should include the data not only as to whether
or not the corresponding notices were issued or sent but
also as to how, when and to whom the delivery thereof
was made.
As between the denial of the petitioners' counsel that he
received the notice of the registered mail and the
postmaster's certification that said notices were sent to
him, the postmaster's claim should prevail. The
postmaster has the official duty to send notices of
registered mail and the presumption is that official duty
was regularly performed.
It is settled that where a party has appeared by counsel,
service must be made upon such counsel. Service on
the party or the partys employee is not effective
because such notice is not notice in law.