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Issue: WON the court acquired jurisdiction over the persons of

the respondent.
Rule: Yes. Preliminarily, jurisdiction over the defendant in a
civil case is acquired either by the coercive power of legal
processes exerted over his person, or his voluntary appearance
in court.1[47] As a general proposition, one who seeks an
affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the
jurisdiction of the court. 2[48] It is by reason of this rule that
we have had occasion to declare that the filing of motions to
admit answer, for additional time to file answer, for
reconsideration of a default judgment, and to lift order of
default with motion for reconsideration, is considered
voluntary submission to the courts jurisdiction. 3[49] This,
however, is tempered by the concept of conditional
appearance, such that a party who makes a special appearance
to challenge, among others, the courts jurisdiction over his
person cannot be considered to have submitted to its authority.
Measured against these standards, it is readily apparent that
respondents have acquiesced to the jurisdiction of the trial
court as early as June 17, 2003, when they filed their Motion
to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute. Significantly, the motion
did not categorically and expressly raise the jurisdiction of the
court over their persons as an issue. It merely (i) reminded
the court of its purportedly conflicting Orders in respect of
summons by publication, (ii) alleged that because petitioner
has not lifted a finger to pursue this case against movantsdefendants, the case may be dismissed for failure to
prosecute, and (iii) prayed additionally for the deletion of the
Notice of Lis Pendens indicated at the back of the transfer
certificates of title covering the subject properties.
Facts: Petitioner in this case filed an ejectment case against
herein respondent. RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner, hence,
respondent filed an appeal before the CA which required him
to submit a Memorandum within 15 days from receipt. On the
last day of filing, respondent filed a motion for extension of
time for five days but it was remain unheeded. Respondent
filed his memorandum 6 days beyond the expiration of 15
days. Hence such appeal was denied by the RTC. Appealed to
the CA, the latter reversed. Petitioner contend that the lack of
notice of hearing in the Motion for Extension of Time to file
Memorandum on Appeal is fatal, such that the filing of the
motion is a worthless piece of paper without legal effect.
Issue: WON petitioners contention is meritorious.
Rule: No. As a general rule, notice of motion is required where
a party has a right to resist the relief sought by the motion and
principles of natural justice demand that his right be not


affected without an opportunity to be heard. 20 The three-day

notice required by law is intended not for the benefit of the
movant but to avoid surprises upon the adverse party and to
give the latter time to study and meet the arguments of the
motion.21 Principles of natural justice demand that the right of
a party should not be affected without giving it an opportunity
to be heard.22
The test is the presence of the opportunity to be heard, as well
as to have time to study the motion and meaningfully oppose
or controvert the grounds upon which it is based.23
Considering the circumstances of the present case, we believe
that procedural due process was substantially complied with.
There are, indeed, reasons which would warrant the
suspension of the Rules: (a) the existence of special or
compelling circumstances, b) the merits of the case, (c) a
cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the
party favored by the suspension of rules, (d) a lack of any
showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and
dilatory, and (e) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced
thereby.24 Elements or circumstances (c), (d) and (e) exist in
the present case.
The suspension of the Rules is warranted in this case. The
motion in question does not affect the substantive rights of
petitioner as it merely seeks to extend the period to file
Memorandum. The required extension was due to
respondents counsels illness, lack of staff to do the work due
to storm and flood, compounded by the grounding of the
computers. There is no claim likewise that said motion was
interposed to delay the appeal.25 As it appears, respondent
sought extension prior to the expiration of the time to do so
and the memorandum was subsequently filed within the
requested extended period. Under the circumstances,
substantial justice requires that we go into the merits of the
case to resolve the issue of who is entitled to the possession of
the land in question.
Further, it has been held that a "motion for extension of time x
x x is not a litigated motion where notice to the adverse party
is necessary to afford the latter an opportunity to resist the
application, but an ex parte motion made to the court in behalf
of one or the other of the parties to the action, in the absence
and usually without the knowledge of the other party or
parties." As a general rule, notice of motion is required where
a party has a right to resist the relief sought by the motion and
principles of natural justice demand that his rights be not
affected without an opportunity to be heard. It has been said
that "ex parte motions are frequently permissible in procedural
matters, and also in situations and under circumstances of
emergency; and an exception to a rule requiring notice is
sometimes made where notice or the resulting delay might
tend to defeat the objective of the motion."26


Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint against the respondent for
quieting of title over a land which he lawfully obtained from

Paez. However, the respondent in his answer with

counterclaim alleged that paez is not the rightful owner and
that he acquire in his favor a free patent and OCT. Petitioner in
his answer admitted that he failed to opposed this document.
By this grounds, respondent filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint for failure to state cause of action. Petitioner alleged
that when the ground for asking dismissal is that the complaint
states no cause of action, its sufficiency must be determined
only from the allegations in the complaint.

CASE AT BAR: All that is alleged in private respondents

complaint is that it is a foreign corporation. The action was
anchored on the Trademark Law of the Philippines, a law
which, explicitly sets down the conditions precedent for the
successful prosecution thereof.

Issue: WON petitioners contention is meritorious.




Allegations of which the court will take

judicial notice are not true;
o Legally impossible facts;
o Facts inadmissible in evidence; or
o Facts which appear by record or document
included in the pleadings to be unfounded.
The trial court can consider all the pleadings filed, including
annexes, motions and evidence then on record for purposes of
resolving a motion to dismiss based on lack of cause of action.

By literally referring only to the allegations

of the complaint would amount to a rigid
application of the Rules.


Facts: Private respondents in this case, a foreign corporation,
filed a complaint for unfair competition against herein
petitioner which is organized and registered under the
Philippine law. Petitioner then filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint on the ground that the plaintiff has no capacity to
sue for failure to register the trademark Leviton in the
Philippine Patent Office, that it has no license to do business
in the Philippines. Denied by CFI for being indubitable.
Issue: WON CFI erred in its ruling.
Rule: YES. Undoubtedly, the foregoing section grants to a
foreign corporation, whether or not licensed to do business in
the Philippines, the right to seek redress for unfair competition
before Philippine courts. But the said law is not without
qualifications. Its literal tenor indicates as a condition sine qua
non the registration of the trade mark of the suing foreign
corporation with the Philippine Patent Office or, in the least,
that it be an assignee of such registered trademark
*The LEGAL CAPACITY TO SUE should not be merely assumed.
The facts showing such capacity to sue should be averred in
the complaint itself.

Failure to state such may be a ground for a

motion to dismiss.

It is therefore incumbent to comply with

these requirements or aver its exemption
therefrom, if such be the case.
It may be that private respondent has the
right to sue before Philippine courts, but our
rules on pleadings require that the necessary
qualifying circumstances which clothe it
with such right be affirmatively pleaded.


*When the elements of litis pendentia exist, the ACTION FILED
LATER should be abated to avoid multiplicity of suits.
Facts: Petitioner, supplier of sports product entered an
exclusive retail agreement with herein respondent to supply
the latter on a consignment basis. In some time, despite of
petitioners several demand for payment respondent failed to
adhere the same. Hence petitioner filed before the RTC of
Makati for damages and pre-terminated the contract.
Therefore, respondent urge to file a case before the RTC of
QC for Breach of contract. Both parties filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint on both opposing claims on the grounds
of litis pendentia.
Issue: Which of the either case should have been dismissed?
Rule: The claims under QC RTC. The firmly established rule1
is that one of two actions will be dismissed on ground of litis
pendentia if the following requisites concur: (a) identity of
parties, or at least such as representing the same interest in
both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed
for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and (c) the
identity in the two (2) cases should be such that judgment in
one would amount to res judicata in the other.
This Court held in several cases that when the elements of litis
pendentia exist, the action filed later should be abated to avoid
multiplicity of suits. This is based on the maxim Qui prior est
tempore, potior est jure (He who is before in time is the better
in right). This is the general rule.
Facts: This case involves three actions, Civil Case No. P1787-89, where the DBP filed a writ of possession, Civil Case
No. 181-M-90, where the petitioner filed for Annulment of
foreclosure, Reconveyance of title and damages, and Civil
case no. 681-M-90 where respondent filed a complaint for
injunction and damages.

Petitioner in this case seeks to nullify the foreclosure sale

made by DBP for the latters failure to notify the petitioner of
the foreclosure proceedings. Respondent, as intervenor, who
claimed to be the new owner of the land in dispute filed for
injunction to enjoin the petitioners from digging any portion of
the land. RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner and dismissed
the two actions on the ground of lis pendens. Appealed before
the CA, reversed by the latter.

Facts: Petitioner in this case offered to sell a land and building

to the respondent through letters and telegrams worth P6.5m.
However, petitioner already closed the offer before the
petitioner made the purchase. Respondent filed a complaint for
specific performance against herein petitioner of an alleged
agreement of sale of real property. The latter filed a motion to
dismiss on the ground that there negotiation does not fall
within the purview of statute of frauds hence states no cause of

Hence the appeal.

Issue: whether or not the complaint sufficiently states a cause

of action and whether or not the claim alleged therein is
unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds.

Issue: WON lis pendens are present in this case

Rule: Yes. The requisites for lis pendens are: (1) identity of
parties, or at least such as representing the same interests in
both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed
for, the reliefs being founded on the same facts; and (3)
identity in both cases is such that the judgment that may be
rendered in the pending case would, regardless of which party
is successful, amount to res judicata in the other.
First. Although the respondent claimed that she was only an
intervenor however, Well-settled is the rule that only
substantial, and not absolute, identity of parties is required for
lis pendens, or in any case, res judicata, to lie. Further, the
interests of respondent Tuazon are inextricably intertwined
with those of the DBP such that the former's exercise of her
rights as purchaser-transferee of the land foreclosed by the
DBP, is conditioned on the latter's successful defense of the
validity of its foreclosure procedures in Civil Case No. 181M-90. Thus, a community of interest, and corollarily,
substantial identity of parties, exist between respondent
Tuazon and the DBP insofar as Civil Cases Nos. 181-M-90
and 681-M-90 are concerned.
Second, DBP sought for the possession of the land and so as
respondent Tuazon who anchoring her possessory claim on her
right as new owner of the land by filing an injunction case.
Therefore, evidence of her exclusive ownership of the land is
indispensable in prosecuting her claims in both Civil Cases
Nos. P-1787-89 and 681-M-90. Although respondent Tuazon
could not have proffered such evidence in Civil Case No. 181M-90 where she was not impleaded, her rights are inherently
contingent on those of the DBP since she may not be deemed a
purchaser in good faith and accorded legal protection as such.
(Tuazon purchased the said land from DBP with a notification
that the latter is not yet the true owner, hence purchaser in bad

Rule: (1) Although there was no perfected contract of sale, the

complaint has a cause of action when there was an agreement
of sale of the property and a down payment of the sale was
(2) Mere claim that petitioners have unjustifiably refused to
proceed with the sale of the property is unenforceable under
the Statute of Frauds in the absence of any note or
memorandum and signed agreement of sale.
((Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Pleadings; Rule that a
motion to dismiss based on lack of cause of action the movant
is deemed to admit the factual allegations of the complaint, not
applicable where no absolute acceptance of prospective buyer
to buy the property.))
Facts: private Respondent and petitioner in this case engaged
in a shipping business. In order to increase the proceeds of the
business the petitioner offered the private respondent a loan to
be used to acquire more vessels. As agreed, the petitioner will
facilitate the vessels owned by the private respondent to earn
income. However, the former, as trustees, The Litonjuas
claimed that defendant banks as trustees did not fully render
an account of all the income derived from the operation of the
vessels as well as of the proceeds of the subsequent
foreclosure sale;10 because of the breach of their fiduciary
duties and/or negligence of the petitioners and/or the persons
designated by them in the operation of private respondents six
vessels. As a result, private respondent urged to file a
complaint against herein petitioner for damages. Subsequently,
petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the
grounds of lack of cause of action. However this was denied
by the TC. They appealed the decision to the CA thru petition
for review on certiorari but also denied by the appellate court.
Issue: WON Petition for certiorari is proper.

Lastly, the legal effect of the non-issuance of a writ of

possession in favor of the DBP and the nullification of its
foreclosure proceedings will necessarily affect the case filed
by the respondent.

Rule: No. the defendant should have filed an answer to the

complaint, proceed to trial and await judgment before making
an appeal; Exceptions.It is a well-settled rule that the order
denying the motion to dismiss cannot be the subject of petition
for certiorari. Petitioners should have filed an answer to the
complaint, proceed to trial and await judgment before making
an appeal. As repeatedly held by this Court: An order

denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory and cannot be the

subject of the extraordinary petition for certiorari or
mandamus. The remedy of the aggrieved party is to file an
answer and to interpose as defenses the objections raised in his
motion to dismiss, proceed to trial, and in case of an adverse
decision, to elevate the entire case by appeal in due course, x x
x Under certain situations, recourse to certiorari or
mandamus is considered appropriate, i.e., (a) when the trial
court issued the order without or in excess of jurisdiction; (b)
where there is patent grave abuse of discretion by the trial
court; or (c) appeal would not prove to be a speedy and
adequate remedy as when an appeal would not promptly
relieve a defendant from the injurious effects of the patently
mistaken order maintaining the plaintiffs baseless action and
compelling the defendant needlessly to go through a
protracted trial and clogging the court dockets by another
futile case.
Facts: Respondent in this case filed an action for damages
against herein petitioner for disrespecting the person of the
former. Petitioner sought to dismiss the complaint on the
ground for failure of the respondent to comply with the precondition for amicable settlement under P.D. No. 1508. CFI
denied the motion to dismiss on the ground that the action is
coupled with provisional remedy such as preliminary
Issue: WON Respondent judge is correct.
Rule: NO. P.D. No. 1508 makes the conciliation process at the
Barangay level a condition precedent for the filing of a
complaint in Court. Non-compliance with that condition
precedent could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiffs cause
of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on
the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity. The
condition is analogous to exhaustion of administrative
remedies, or the lack of earnest efforts to compromise suits
between family members, lacking which the case can be
dismissed. Further, Writ of attachment is not available on
actions involving moral damages, contingent or unliquidated.
Facts: Petitioner in this case filed a claim for sum of money
against herein respondent. However it was dismissed on the
ground that the petitioner failed to prosecute its case within a
reasonable length of time. Subsequently, petitioner filed
another complaint against the respondent of the same relief
sought. However it was contested by the respondent that is
already barred by prior judgment. RTC dismissed the
complaint. Petitioner contends that the prior case against
respondent the court did not acquire jurisdiction over his
person hence there could be no res judicata.
Issue: WON trial court erred on its ruling.

Rule: Yes. For the court to have authority to dispose of the

case on the merits, it must acquire jurisdiction over the subject
matter and the parties. If it did not acquire jurisdiction over the
private respondents as parties to Civil Case No. 116028, it
cannot render any binding decision, favorable or adverse to
them, or dismiss the case with prejudice which, in effect, is an
adjudication on the merits. The controverted orders in Civil
Case No. 116028 disregarded the fundamental principles of
remedial law and the meaning and the effect of jurisdiction. A
judgment, to be considered res judicata, must be binding, and
must be rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Otherwise, the judgment is a nullity.
Facts: Petitioner in this case filed a complaint for unlawful
detainer against herein private respondent on the ground that
the lease contract has been already expired before the MTC.
The lower court ordered the parties to submit their affidavits
without setting the case for pre-trail. The case ensued and
ruled in favor of the petitioner. Private respondent filed an
appeal before the RTC, where the latter court reversed the
court a quo decision on the ground of failure to calendar the
case for pre-trail, CA affirmed. Hence the appeal
Issue: WON RTC erred in its ruling
Rule: Yes. While the Court of Appeals is correct in its view
that Section 6 of the Rules on Summary Procedure is made
mandatory by the use of the auxiliary verbs shall and must
instead of the permissive may, it does not, however,
logically follow that the absence of a preliminary conference
would necessarily render nugatory the proceedings had in the
court below. While termed a preliminary conference, a
closer look thereat would reveal that the provision is akin and
similar to the provision on pre-trial under Rule 20 of the
Revised Rules of Court. Both provisions are essentially
designed to promote amicable settlement or to avoid or
simplify the trial. An analysis of existing jurisprudence on the
matter reveals that proceedings undertaken without first
conducting a pre-trial or with a legally defective pre-trial is
voided because either of the parties thereto suffered substantial
prejudice thereby or they were denied their right to due
process, x x x Thus, unless there is a showing of substantial
prejudice caused to a party, the trial courts inadvertent failure
to calendar the case for a pre-trial or a preliminary conference
cannot render the proceedings illegal or void ab initio. A
partys failure to object to the absence of a pre-trial is deemed
a waiver of his right thereto. This observation holds with more
reason in the case at hand where private respondents have
already submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court.
Facts: Respondent in this case filed a complaint for specific
performance with damages against herein petitioner arising

from the establishment of right of way. The RTC calendared

for pre-trial conference. However, during the conference,
petitioners counsel failed to appear hence the court ordered
the plaintiff to present evidence ex parte. Petitioner filed for
reconsideration but it was denied and a petition for certiorari
before the CA but the latter also denied the said petition.
Hence the appeal.
Issue: WON the failure of petitioners counsel would amount
to the presentation of evidence ex parte by the plaintiff.

respondent Teves. Consequently, private respondent Teves has

no legal interest in the subject matter of the contract signed by
herein private respondent Villegas with petitioner Association.
The fact that their respective separate, distinct and
independent contracts with herein petitioner Association
contain the same identical terms and conditions with respect to
the management, production, milling and marketing of their
sugar cane, milled sugar and the byproducts thereof, does not
create in favor of private respondent Teves a legal interest in
the contract of private respondent Villegas or vice versa.

Rule: No. The absence of counsel for defendants at pretrial does not ipso facto authorize the judge to declare the
defendant as in default and order the presentation of evidence
ex parte. Nothing in the Rules of Court authorizes a trial judge
to allow the plaintiff to present evidence ex parte on account
of the absence during pre-trial of the counsel for defendant.

situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other

What Section 5 penalizes is the failure to appear of either the

plaintiff or the defendant, and not their respective counsel.


((Section 5, Rule 18, the failure of the plaintiff or defendant to

appear during pre-trial authorizes the court to either dismiss
the complaint, if the plaintiff were absent; or to allow the
plaintiff to present evidence ex parte, if the defendant were

A mere collateral interest in the subject matter of the


Facts: Private respondent in this case (Villegas) filed a
complaint for injunction and damages against herein petitioner
from continuing or trying to continue with the authority of the
Marketing Agreement and power of attorney which he
executed before the petitioner. Subsequently, private
respondent (teves) claiming to have a legal interest in the
subject matter of Villegas complaint or in the success thereof,
filed an urgent motion for intervention. Teves alleging that he
has a common cause of action with the plaintiff. However,
petitioner in their answer opposed this said motion, alleging
that Teves Marketing Agreement and Power of Attorney
with defendant BATAMA Farmers Cooperative Marketing
Association, Inc., is entirely distinct and separate from the
Marketing Agreement and Power of Attorney of plaintiff
Antonio Villegas. However the RTC admitted such
intervention. Hence the appeal.
Issue: WON the petitioners contention is meritorious.
Rule: YES. Herein private respondent Juan Teves signed a
separate independent contract with herein petitioner
Association. Nobody else, much less herein private respondent
Villegas, signed the said contract with him. Herein private
respondent Villegas has likewise a separate independent
contract with herein petitioner Association, which he alone
signed, without any intervention on the part of herein private