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Agana v.

Lagman (Short title) transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of the opposing party's claim
GR # 139018 | April 11, 2005 and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the
Petition: Petition for certiorari (Rule 65)seeking to reverse the order of RTC court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Such a counterclaim must be within the jurisdiction
Petitioner: Estherlita Cruz-Agana of the court both as to the amount and the nature thereof, except that in an original
Respondent: Hon. Judge Aurora Santiago-Lagman (In Her Capacity As Presiding action before the Regional Trial Court, the counter-claim may be considered
Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 77, Malolos, Bulacan) and B. Serrano compulsory regardless of the amount. (n)
Enterprises, Inc.
(Rule 6, Rules on Civil Procedure) RULING & RATIO
1. NO
DOCTRINE - Santo Tomas clarified the scope of Administrative Circular No. 04-94 with
A compulsory counterclaim is any claim for money or other relief which at the time of respect to counterclaims. The Court pointed out that this circular is intended
suit arises out of, or is necessarily connected with the same transaction or occurrence primarily to cover an initiatory pleading or an incipient application of a party
that is the subject matter of plaintiffs complaint. If it is a permissive counterclaim, the asserting a claim for relief.
lack of a certificate of non-forum shopping is fatal. If it is a compulsory counterclaim, - The Court reiterated this ruling in Ponciano v. Judge Parentela, Jr.
the lack of a certificate of non-forum shopping is immaterial. o Administrative Circular No. 04-94 does not apply to compulsory
counterclaims for it applies to initiatory and similar pleadings.
FACTS o A compulsory counterclaim set up in the answer is not an initiatory
- Agana filed a complaint for annulment of title with prayer for preliminary or similar pleading. The initiatory pleading is the plaintiffs
mandatory injunction against B. Serrano Enterprises, Inc. complaint. A respondent has no choice but to raise a compulsory
o She claims that as the sole heir of one Teodorico Cruz, she is the counterclaim the moment the plaintiff files the complaint. Otherwise,
sole owner of a lot and such was fraudulently sold to Eugenio respondent waives the compulsory counterclaim.
Lopez, Jr. who later on transferred the lot to B. Serrano. o The compulsory counterclaim is a reaction or response, mandatory
- B. Serrano filed its Answer with compulsory counterclaim. To which Agana upon pain of waiver, to an initiatory pleading which is the complaint.
moved to dismiss for lack of a certificate of non-forum shopping. - The Constitution expressly bestows on this Court the power to promulgate
- RTC 1st Decision: Denied the motion to dismiss the counterclaim. rules concerning the pleading, practice and procedure in all courts
o Counterclaim is compulsory and therefore excluded from the - Agana fails or simply refuses to accept the distinction between a permissive
coverage of Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. counterclaim and a compulsory counterclaim which was the basis for the
- Agana moved for reconsideration invoking the mandatory nature of a ruling in Santo Tomas and Ponciano.
certificate of non-forum shopping under Supreme Court Administrative o If it is a permissive counterclaim, the lack of a certificate of non-
Circular No. 04-94. forum shopping is fatal. If it is a compulsory counterclaim, the lack
- RTC 2nd Decision: Reversed its first order and dismissed the counterclaim. of a certificate of non-forum shopping is immaterial.
- B. Serrano filed for reconsideration arguing that Administrative Circular No. - A compulsory counterclaim is any claim for money or other relief, which a
04-94 does not apply to compulsory counterclaims following the ruling in defending party may have against an opposing party, which at the time of
Santo Tomas University Hospital v. Surla. suit arises out of, or is necessarily connected with the same transaction or
- RTC 3rd Decision: Again reversed and recalled its order occurrence that is the subject matter of plaintiffs complaint.
o Counterclaim is compulsory in nature so it does not require a - It is compulsory in the sense that it is within the jurisdiction of the court, does
certificate of non-forum shopping not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties over whom the
- Hence, the instant petition. court cannot acquire jurisdiction, and will be barred in the future if not set up
in the answer to the complaint in the same case. Any other counterclaim is
ISSUE/S permissive.
1. W/N the RTC should have dismissed the counterclaim - It is clear that the counterclaim in this case arises from the filing of complaint. The
counterclaim is so intertwined with the main case that it is incapable of
PROVISIONS proceeding independently. The counterclaim will require a re-litigation of the
same evidence if the counterclaim is allowed to proceed in a separate action.
Rule 6
DISPOSITION
Section 6. Counterclaim. A counterclaim is any claim which a defending party may WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. We AFFIRM the Order
have against an opposing party. (6a) of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 77, Malolos Bulacan, dated 4 June 1999 recalling
the Order dated 25 May 1999 which dismissed the compulsory counterclaim of
Section 7. Compulsory counterclaim. A compulsory counterclaim is one which, respondent B. Serrano Enterprises, Inc. SO ORDERED.
being cognizable by the regular courts of justice, arises out of or is connected with the
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