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Agustin, G.A.

action to annul a document or declare it null and void, hence,

Topic: Jurisdiction-Incapable of Pecunairy Estimation one incapable of pecuniary estimation falling within the
Russel vs. Vestil jurisdiction of the RTC.
GR No 119347 FIRST DIVISION 3. RTC- Respondent Judge issued another order denying the
KAPUNAN,J.: motion for reconsideration
4. Hence this Petition for Certiorari to set aside such order
ISSUE #1:WON the action of the Petitioners is one incapable of pecuniary
Petitioners and Private Respondent are legal heirs of a parcel of land estimation
owned by the late spouses Casimero and CesariaTautho
When the spouses died, petitioners and private respondent inherited HELD:
the property but have remained undivided
However, Petitioners discovered that the private respondents The action of the Petitioners to annul a document or to declare a
executed a document, DECLARATION OF HEIRS AND DEED OF document null and void is one incapable of pecuniary estimation.
CONFIRMATION OF A PREVIOUS ORAL AGREEMENT OF In determining whether an action is one subject matter of which is
PARITION. Without the knowledge of the petitioners excluding them not capable of pecuniary estimation the Court laid down the following
in the said partition. criterion:
Petitioners then filed a complaint before the RTC praying that the o Ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remey
said document be declared null and void since there never was an sought
oral agreement between the parties in the partition of the property. If it is primarily for the recovery if sum of money= the
claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation
If the basic issue is something other than the right to
Private Respondent: Petitioners: recover a sum of money, where the money claim is
Private Respondent move to Dismiss Petitioners however filed an purely incidental to, or a consequences of the
the Complaint filed by the petitioners Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss principal sought= considered incapable of pecuniary
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of alleging that the RTC has estimation
RTC over the case as the Total jurisdiction over the case since the In this case, The main purpose of petitioners in filing the complaint is
assessed value of the subject action is ONE WHICH IS to declare null and void the document in which private respondents
property is P5,000.00 which under INCAPABLE OF PECUNIARY declared themselves as the only heirs of the late spouses
Sec. 33 (3) of BP 129 as amended by ESTIMATION within the CasimeroTautho and CesariaTautho and divided his property among
R.A 7691 falls within the exclusive contemplation of Sec. 19(I) of BP themselves to the exclusion of petitioners who also claim to be legal
jurisdiction of the Municipal Circuit 129. heirs and entitled to the property. While the complaint also prays for
Trial Court. the partition of the property, this is just incidental to the main action,
which is the declaration of nullity of the document above-described.
Hence the action of Petitioners are considered one that is incapable
of pecuniary investigation

ISSUE #2: WON the RTC have jurisdiction over the complaint filed by the
FLOW OF THE CASE: Petitioners
1. RTC- Respondent Judge Vestil issued an order granting the
Motion Dismiss the Complaint filed by the Petitioner to annul the HELD:
OF A PREVIOUS ORAL AGREEMENT OF PARITION. The court held that , where the basic issue is something other than
2. Petitioners- filed a Motion for Reconsideration of said order, the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely
alleging that the same is contrary to law because their action is incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this
not one for recovery of title to or possession of the land, but an Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the
litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are of the real property involved does not exceed P20,000 in Metro
cognizable exclusively by Regional Trial Court Manila, or P50,000.000 if located elsewhere. If the value exceeds
P20,000.00 or P50,000.00 as the case may be, it is the RTC which
have jurisdiction
BP 129 o However, in this case, the subject matter of the complaint is
While actions under Sec 33(3) of B.P 129, are also incapable of ANNULMENT OF A DOCUMENT,
pecuniary estimation, the law specifically mandates that they are
cognizable by the MTC, METC or MCTC, where the assessed value