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84. SWEETLINES V.

TEVES
DOCTRINE: Although venue may be changed or transferred from one
province to another by agreement of the parties in writing, such an
agreement will not be held valid where it practically negates the action of
the claimants. The philosophy underlying the provisions on transfer of
venue of actions is the convenience of the plaintiffs as well as his
witnesses and to promote the ends of justice.

3. Judge Teves of CFI Misamis Oriental denied the motion to


dismiss so Sweet Lines filed a petition for prohibition for
preliminary injunction, alleging that the respondent judge
acted with GADALEJ.

ISSUE: Is Condition No. 14, which limits the venue of actions arising from
the contract of carriage to the CFI of Cebu, valid and enforceable? NO.

FACTS:
1. Atty. Tandog and Tiro bought Bohol-bound tickets from
Sweet Lines shipping company which was based in
Cagayan de Oro. However, they were informed that their
ship was not proceeding to Bohol so they were forced to
agree to transfer to another ship. They were made to hide at
the cargo section because 1) the ship was already filled to
capacity and 2) to avoid inspection from the Coastguard.
2. They later on sued Sweet Lines for damages and breach of
contract of carriage at CFI Misamis Oriental. Sweet Lines
moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper
venue. This motion was premised on the condition printed at
the back of the tickets: Condition No. 14: It is hereby agreed
and understood that any and all actions arising out of the
conditions and provisions of this ticket, irrespective of where
it is issued, shall be filed in the competent courts in the City
of Cebu.

RULING: Condition No. 14 is subversive of public policy on transfers of


venue of actions. For, although venue may be changed or transferred
from one province to another by agreement of the parties in writing, such
an agreement will not be held valid where it practically negates the action
of the claimants. The philosophy underlying the provisions on transfer of
venue of actions is the convenience of the plaintiffs as well as his
witnesses and to promote the ends of justice. Considering the expense
and trouble a passenger residing outside of Cebu City would incur to
prosecute a claim in the City of Cebu, he would most probably decide not
to file the action at all. Upon the other hand, Sweet Lines has branches
or offices in the respective ports of call of its vessels and can afford to
litigate in any of these places. Hence, the filing of the suit in the CFI of
Misamis Oriental will not cause inconvenience to, much less prejudice,
Sweet Lines.