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Searth Commodities vs CA

This petition for review seeks to set aside resolutions promulgated by the respondent Court of
Appeals which upheld the trial court's denial of the petitioners' prayer of the issuance of a
preliminary injunction in Civil Case No. 39128.
petitioner Searth Commodities, Inc. (Searth) borrowed from respondent Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP) the amount of Three Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P370,000) to finance
the former's hybrid tomato plantation in Tubao, La Union.
As security for the loan, Searth gave collateral property
Petitioner stated that floods happened in 1972 and destroyed the plantation
Then the President at that time issued a Proclamation making the entire country a land reform
o This enabled farmers to take possession of the land and paralazyed operations of
Then Petitioner failed to pay and DBP foreclosed the property and consolidated ownership
because petitioner did not redeem any property.
DBP would sell some of the property which was a residential property.
Petitioner prayed for issuance of PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION but was denied in lower court.
Issue: WON SC should issue prelim injunction to stop the sale of the 3 properties
Decision: No.
As a general rule, the grant or denial of an injunction rests on the sound discretion of the
lower court in the exercise of which this Court will not intervene except in a clear case of
For the petitioners to be entitled to the injunctive writ, they must show
o there exists a right to be protected
o the facts against which injunction is directed are violative of said right.
The records show that the affected properties were foreclosed way back in 1974 and that the
petitioners failed to redeem said properties and Petitioners never redeemed the property and
acknowledged DBP ownership over it BEFORE filing for the said WRIT
we find that the petitioners failed to show that they have an existing right to be protected.
The petitioners cannot cite nor assert equity since by their own inaction they have forefeited the
right to invoke such remedy.
The prevailing rule is that courts should avoid issuing a writ of preliminary injunction which
would in effect dispose of the main case without trial.
Moreover, the object of the writ is to preserve the status quo, which is the last actual peaceable
uncontested status that preceded the pending controversy.
The last actual peaceable uncontested status that preceded the controversy is that DBP is
the owner of the properties in dispute, the petitioners having failed to redeem them and DBP
having consolidated its title thereto. The issuance of the writ would no doubt upset, not
preserve, the status quo. They can instead file for lis pendens over DBP's title.

Decano vs Edu

Decano was appointed as a janitor and served for four years in Public Works and Communication
until Edu, as acting Commissioner of Land Transporation Commission terminated the former's
Petitioner filed with the Court a writ of Preliminary Injunction and it was granted to him

Court held that Edu was not the proper appointing power so he cannot revoke the service of a
temporary appointee.
Edu then appealed to the SC.
Issue: WON the trial court's decision should be reversed
Decision: No.
Respondents make capital of the fact that the petition for mandamus with injunction was filed in
the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan while respondent Edu holds office in Quezon City
which, they claim, is beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the said court.
petitioner seeks primarily the annulment of the dismissal order issued by Edu, mandamus and
injunction being then merely coronary remedies to the main relief sought, and what is prayed to
be enjoined is the implementation of the termination order against the petitioner.
It is true that the order of dismissal was issued by respondent Edu, but it was to be implemented
in Dagupan City by his subordinate officer stationed there.
Dagupan City is within the territorial jurisdiction of Pangasinan.
Hence, the subject matter of the injunction is the implementation of the subordinate (who is
within the territorial jurisdiction of the court), of Edu's order,
Hence the jurisdiction of the court in a writ of preliminary injunction is the location where the Act
to be enjoined will be done not necessary where the order of such act came from.

Tan vs Antazo

Spouses Antazo are the registered owners of two parcels of land situated in Rizal.
They filed an accion reinvindicatoria suit with damages, against petitioner for encroaching on
their properties.
RTC of Rizal ruled in favor of the spouses.
Petitioner filed a PETITION FOR CERTIORARI with CA and the latter dismissed it for being a
wrong remedy.
Petitioner claims that CA decided in a way not in accord with the law for he filed the right
Issue: the correctness of a special civil action for certiorari before the Court of Appeals as a remedy
against the Decision and Resolution of the Regional Trial Court.
Decision: No.
A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is a pleading limited to correction of
errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
o Its principal office is to keep the inferior court within the parameters of its jurisdiction or
to prevent it from committing such a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction.
It may issue only when the following requirements are present:
o the writ is directed against a tribunal, a board or any officer exercising judicial or quasijudicial functions;
o such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
o there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
Only the first requisite is here present. Petitioner correctly impleaded the trial court judge in her
certiorari petition.
On the second requisite, Mere abuse of discretion is not enough; it must be grave.
The term grave abuse of discretion is defined as
o a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment so patent and gross as to amount to an
evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, as where
the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because of passion or hostility.
On the third requisite, a writ of certiorari will not issue where the remedy of appeal is available to
the aggrieved party. The party aggrieved by a decision of the Court of Appeals is proscribed from
assailing the decision or final order of said court via Rule 65
Furthermore, certiorari cannot be availed of as a substitute for the lost remedy of an ordinary
In this case, the remedy of appeal under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court was clearly available to
petitioner. She however chose to file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

Regner vs Logarta (SUMMONS)

Cynthia Logarta and Teresa Tormis were the daughters of Luis Regner in his first marriage with
Anicita Regner. Victoria Regner is the second wife of Luis.

In 1999, Victoria alleged that Cynthia and Teresa with the help of another sibling defrauded Luis,
who was then very ill and was unable to write, into placing his thumbmark into a Deed of Donation.
In said Deed, Luis purportedly donated a Proprietary Ownership Certificate pertaining to membership
shares in the Cebu Country Club. Victoria alleged that said Deed is void because the placing of
thumbmark by Luis was done without the latters free will and voluntariness considering his physical
state; that it was done without Luiss lawyer; that the ratification made by Luis before he died is likewise
void because of similar circumstances.
In the same year, Victoria filed a complaint to annul said deed with the RTC of Cebu. The sheriff
could not deliver the summonses against Cynthia and Teresa because apparently, although they are
Filipinos, they are not residing here; they are residing in California. It was only in the year 2000 that
one of the summonses was served to one of the sisters, Teresa, when she came back to the Philippines.
Teresa immediately filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Victoria failed to prosecute her
case for an unreasonable length of time. Naturally, Victoria opposed the MTD. Teresa, in her rejoinder,
alleged that the case should be dismissed because Cynthia, who is an indispensable party, was not
issued any summons, hence, since an indispensable party is not served with summons, without her who
has such an interest in the controversy or subject matter there can be no proper determination of the case.
The trial court ruled in favor of Teresa; this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of Victorias complaint is correct.
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court agreed with the arguments presented by Teresa. The Supreme
Court also emphasized:
There are generally two types of actions: actions in rem and actions in personam. An action in
personam is an action against a person on the basis of his personal liability, while an action in rem
is an action against the thing itself, instead of against the person.
The certificate, subject of the donation, is a personal property. The action filed by Victoria is therefore a
personal action. So in order for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the respondents, summons must be
served upon them. Further, the certificate is indivisible, Cynthias and Teresas interests thereto can
only be determined if both are summoned in court.
In personal actions, if the respondents are residents of the Philippines, they may be served summons in
the following order:

Personal Service;


If (1) is not possible, Substituted Service;


If respondent cant be found because he is abroad but still a resident of the Philippines, by
publication with leave of court.
In personal actions still, if the respondents are non-residents, they may be served summons in the
following manner:



Personal service through the Philippine embassy;

By publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court
may order, in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court should be sent by registered mail
to the last known address of the defendant; or
in any other manner which the court may deem sufficient.

The above must be with leave of court.

In the case at bar, Cynthia was never served any summons in any of the manners authorized by the
Rules of Court. The summons served to Teresa cannot bind Cynthia. It is incumbent upon Victoria to
compel the court to authorize the extraterritorial service of summons against Cynthia. Her failure to do so
for a long period of time constitutes a failure to prosecute on her part.
What if the petition is an action in rem? What are the applicable rules?
If the action is in rem or quasi in rem, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not essential
for giving the court jurisdiction so long as the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. If the
defendant is a nonresident and he is not found in the country, summons may be served extraterritorially in
the following instances:

when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff;


when the action relates to, or the subject of which is property within the Philippines, on which the
defendant claims a lien or an interest, actual or contingent;


when the relief demanded in such action consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant
from any interest in property located in the Philippines; and


when the defendant non-residents property has been attached within the Philippines.
In the above instances, summons may be effected by:


personal service out of the country, with leave of court;


publication, also with leave of court; or


any other manner the court may deem sufficient.

Manchester vs CA ( Docket Fees)

A complaint for specific performance was filed by Manchester Development Corporation against
City Land Development Corporation to compel the latter to execute a deed of sale in favor
Manchester. Manchester also alleged that City Land forfeited the formers tender of payment for a
certain transaction thereby causing damages to Manchester amounting to P78,750,000.00. This
amount was alleged in the BODY of their Complaint but it was not reiterated in the PRAYER of
same complaint. Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00 only. Said docket fee is premised on the
allegation of Manchester that their action is primarily for specific performance hence it is incapable of
pecuniary estimation. The court ruled that there is an under assessment of docket fees hence it ordered
Manchester to amend its complaint. Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount of
claim for damages to P10M. Said amount was however again not stated in the PRAYER.

ISSUE: Whether or not the amended complaint should be admitted.

HELD: No. The docket fee, its computation, should be based on the original complaint. A case is
deemed filed only upon payment of the appropriate docket fee regardless of the actual date of filing in
court. Here, since the proper docket fee was not paid for the original complaint, its as if there is no
complaint to speak of. As a consequence, there is no original complaint duly filed which can be
amended. So, any subsequent proceeding taken in consideration of the amended complaint is void.
Manchesters defense that this case is primarily an action for specific performance is not merited. The
Supreme Court ruled that based on the allegations and the prayer of the complaint, this case is an
action for damages and for specific performance. Hence, it is capable of pecuniary estimation.
Further, the amount for damages in the original complaint was already provided in the body of the
complaint. Its omission in the PRAYER clearly constitutes an attempt to evade the payment of the
proper filing fees. To stop the happenstance of similar irregularities in the future, the Supreme Court
ruled that from this case on, 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 bib accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise
be expunged from the record.

Exceptional Case to the aforementioned rule in Manchester

Sun Insurance vs Asuncsion

Sun insurance filed a case for the consignation of premiums on a fire insurance policy with a
prayer for the judicial declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong.
Private respondent as declared in default for failure to file the required answer within the
reglementary period. Meanwhile, the Respondent Manuel Tiong also filed a case against Sun
Insurance for the refund of premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment,
seeking the payment of actual, compensatory, moral, exemplary and liquidated damages,
attorneys fees, expenses of litigation, and costs of suit, but the damages sought were not
specifically stated in the prayer, although it may be inferred from the body of the complaint that
it would amount to about P50M.
In the body of the original complaint, the total amount of damages sought amounted to about P50
Million. In the prayer, the amount of damages asked for was not stated. The amount of only
P210.00 was paid for the docket fee. On January 23, 1986, private respondent filed an amended
complaint wherein in the prayer it is asked that he be awarded no less than P10,000,000.00 as
actual and exemplary damages but in the body of the complaint the amount of his pecuniary
claim is approximately P44,601,623.70. Said amended complaint was admitted and the private
respondent was reassessed the additional docket fee of P39,786.00 based on his prayer of not less
than P10,000,000.00 in damages, which he paid.
On April 24, 1986, private respondent filed a supplemental complaint alleging an additional
claim of P20,000,000.00 in damages so that his total claim is approximately P64,601,620.70. On
October 16, 1986, private respondent paid an additional docket fee of P80,396.00. After the
promulgation of the decision of the respondent court on August 31, 1987 wherein private
respondent was ordered to be reassessed for additional docket fee, and during the pendency of
this petition, and after the promulgation of Manchester, on April 28, 1988, private respondent
paid an additional docket fee of P62,132.92.
Although private respondent appears to have paid a total amount of P182,824.90 for the docket
fee considering the total amount of his claim in the amended and supplemental complaint
amounting to about P64,601,620.70, petitioner insists that private respondent must pay a docket
fee of P257,810.49.
Issue: Did the Court acquire jurisdiction over the case even if private respondent did not
pay the correct or sufficient docket fees?
It was held that 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 reglamentary
period. Same rule goes for permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar pleadings.

In herein case, obviously, there was the intent on the part of PR to defraud the government
of the docket fee due not only in the filing of the original complaint but also in the filing of
the second amended complaint. However, a more liberal interpretation of the rules is called
for considering that, unlike in Manchester, the private respondent demonstrated his
willingness to abide by the rules by paying the additional docket fees as required.
Where a trial court acquires jurisdiction in like manner, 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 shall constitute 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.