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Medina, Austin Viel L.

Reaction Paper:
Civil Case Proceedings
I had observed on two civil case proceedings, one at Manila
Regional Trial Court and the other wat at Makati Regional Trial Court.
The first case was in Branch 18 of Manila RTC on the issue of Judicial
Partition of Estate, the second was in Branch 62 of Makati RTC about the
issues of non-payment of debts.
For the first case, before we entered the courtroom, we were able to
talk with the parties of the said case. They stated that the case was about a
land partition dispute among the relatives. The case had been running for
more than 3 years. As we entered the courtroom, the Judge had already
started the proceedings of the case. The cases issue being discussed at
hand was the assessment value of the property as given by the
Commissioners Report. The Plaintiffs Counsel wishes that the value of
the property be reduced, while the Defendants Counsel stated that the
Plaintiff had already agreed on a Compromise Agreement. The Judge
stated that there was no Compromise Agreement agreed upon, what the
Defendants Counsel stating was just an Inspection Report. The
Defendants Counsel presented a document, as stated by the latter, to be
the Commissioners Report. The document was later verified by the
Judge as Minutes of the Commissioners Meeting. The Defendants
Counsel insisted several times, to the judges dismay, that the document
was indeed a Commissioners Report because the signature of the
Commissioners were included. The Judge reiterated that she requires to
submit a Formal Commissioners Report, stating that the document
submitted by the Defendant was a mere minutes of the meeting conducted
by the Commissioner. The judge called upon the attention of the
Commissioners present them and ordered them to prepare a Formal
Commissioners Report duly discussing the area, location, borders and
value of the property. The Defendants Counsel then asked the Judge
whether the document has no bearing. The Judge, to end the discussion,
gave the Defendant 30 days, non-extendable, to produce the
Commissioners Report, upon failure of submission, the Court will rely
on the documents submitted by the parties because the Counsels do not
follow the orders of the court. The Judge reiterated that there is no
Compromise Agreement because it was not signed by both parties. The
case will no longer be set for hearing. The Judge reminded us not to
follow the footings of the said lawyer. There must be compliance of all
the necessary documents, especially for those which are demanded by the
court to be produced. It is observable that the Judge is not impressed with
the Counsels noncompliance of the court orders.
For the second case, although there are number of cases scheduled,
the court only discussed them on short periods of time because of the
absence of either one of the parties. Common to all those case was the
filing of Motions to Extend and Motion to Dismiss because of the said
non-appearances. The court had decided to reschedule several cases,
while the other cases were no longer scheduled but were ordered to
submit the necessary documents.
What was notable to the said hearings was the patience of the
Judges. After the hearings, both Judges reminded us to follow the
instructions of the court. They even reiterated that non-compliance will
lead to dismissal of the case or judgment not favorable to your party. The
Judges also discussed the possibility of being punished by Contempt of
Court for habitual non-compliance on the orders of the Judge.