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APPEAL AND REVIEW IN THE PHILIPPINES

Justice Bersamin

I. HIERARCHY OF COURTS: AN OVERVIEW OF THE PHILIPPINE JUDICIAL


SYSTEM
II. REMEDIES AFTER JUDGMENT
III. THE REMEDY OF APPEAL
IV. THE REMEDY OF APPEAL: ORDINARY MODE OF APPEAL
V. PROCEDURE IN ORDINARY APPEALED CASES (RULE 40,44,122)
VI. BRIEFS ON APPEAL
VII. ESSENTIALS OF BRIEF MAKING
VIII. DISMISSAL AND REINSTATEMENT OF APPEALS
IX. APPEAL FROM THE MTCs to the RTCs (RULE 40)
X. PETITION FOR REVIEW (RULE 42)
XI. APPEALS TO THE COURT OF APPEALS FROM QUASI JUDICIAL
AGENCIES (RULE 43)
XII. OTHER MODES OF APPEAL
XIII. DECISION MAKING: CONTENT, FORM AND STYLE
XIV. APPELLATE DECISION MAKING: PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES

DUAL FUNCTION OF APPELLATE COURT

REVIEW FOR CORRECTNESS INSTITUTIONAL FUNCTION


FUNCTION
- Case is reviewed on appeal to - Progressive development of the
assure that substantial justice has law for general application in the
been done. judicial system
-justice of the particular case Articulation and application of
constitutional principles, the
authoritative interpretation of
statutes, and the formulation of
policy within the proper sphere of
the judicial function.
Diminishes increases

Res judicata vs principle of stare decisis


Res judicata Stare decisis
Settles the controversy Precedential value of the case
which assists in deciding future
similar cases by application of the
rule or principle derived from the
earlier case.

EXTENT OF APPELLATE JURISDICTION

On the main case: all matters incidental and connected therewith


which are necessary for the preservation of
the subject matter of the action or protection of
right of parties.
During appeal: jurisdiction of the appellate court may not be usurped,
preempted, or interfered with by a superior court.

GENERAL RULE: appeal CANNOT BE GENERAL SCRUTINY or undirected


examination of the entire records of the case.
- cannot retry the case in order to substitute its own judgment for that of
the court of origin
- should present errors upon which reversal or modification is sought
-
EXCEPTION: appeal to the SUPREME COURT, once accepted throws the entire
case open to review.
- if their consideration is necessary in arriving at a just resolution of the
case.

ERRORS CONSIDERED ON APPEAL


GR: assignment of errors and properly argued in the brief
EXP: 1) errors of jurisdiction over subject matter
2) clerical errors
3) waive due to lack of proper assignment
4) unassigned error closely related to error properly assigned is dependent.
5) in the interest of justice
6) clear discussion regarding an error allegedly committed by the TC.

POLICY OF LIBERALITY APPLICABLE TO APPEAL


- pleadings should be construed liberally to give ample opportunity to
prove respective claims,
- and possible denials, due to legal technicalities, may be avoided.

APPELLATE COURT HAS THE DISCRETION TO RESOLVE DESPIT LACK OR


DEFECTS IN THE ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS
- broad discretionary power to waive the lack of proper assignment of
errors and consider errors not assigned.
- Example:
Appeal in criminal case: throws the whole case open for
review
TC overlooked important facts in the record.

HARMLESS ERROR RULE (If harmless, not reversed judgment)


- persuasive demonstration that errors were reversible. Reversible only if it
is sufficiently serious or grave that substantial rights of the appellant are
prejudiced. Rule 51, sec 6.
- When the errors are harmless, minor, or inconsequential, reversal
on appeal should not be handed down by the appellate courts.
- Harmless- do not affect the result of the cases differently, even if
considered by the appellate court.

TWO MODES OF ANALYSIS


1) AS TO RIGHTS concerned with structure of the proceeding
- question as to whether error is
o technical violation
o substantive protection of the right
automatically requires new trial
2) EVIDENTIARY ISSUES
- weight of evidence
- impact of error upon Trial judges determination
- NOT ALL CONSTITUTIONAL ERRORS should invalidate the conviction of
the accused.
o It is the IMPACT of the constitutional error on the judgment of the
TC which is weighed by the appellate court in determiningif
reversal should be handed down.
- CONSTITUTIONAL ERRORS
o So fundamental and pervasive that reversal of conviction is
required unless the record contains other evidence sufficient to
convict like exclusionary rule in bill of rights.

SCOPE OF REVIEW COMPETENCE OF THE APPELLATE COURT

GENERAL RULE: can consider only matters which are contained in the records of
the trial court or that which is FORMALLY OFFERED.

Formal offer requirement may be relaxed; 2 requirements:


1. evidence- duly identified by testimony
2. incorporated in the records of the case.

EXCEPTION:
1. Matters of jurisdiction
2. Judicial notice
3. Published data of general factual nature (the brandeis brief)
- materials of socio-economic nature which are relevant and very
persuasive, even if non-legal in character, in the exercise of discretionary
judicial notice by the appellate court, although not brought to the
attention of the trial court.
4. Offer of proof or tender of excluded evidence

Two-fold purpose: (1) to inform the TC what is expected to be proved


(2) to procure exceptions to the exclusion of the
offered evidence so that the appellate court may be enabled to
determine whether it is competent or not.

POWER OF APPELLATE COURT TO COMPLETE AND CORRECT RECORDS

CHANGE OF THEORY IS NOT ALLOWED ON APPEAL

GENERAL RULE: CHANGE OF THEORY IS NOT ALLOWED ON APPEAL


EXCEPTIONS:
1. question of law
2. as basis of affirmance
3. great public interest
4. substantial justice required.

Theory of the case comprehensive and orderly mental arrangement


of principles and facts conceived and constructed for the purpose of securing a
judgment or decree of a court in favor of litigant

- points of law, theories, issues of fact, and arguments not adequately brought
to the attention of the TC need not be considered by a reviewing court, as they
cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.

TEST : WON the other party had a fair opportunity to defend


Won he could offer any additional evidence on the different theory.

General Rule:
NEW QUESTIONS OR ISSUES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON APPEAL
-Must be within the issues framed by the parties in the trial.
- the determination of issues at the pre-trial conference bars the
consideration of other questions on appeal.

Exceptions:
1) in order to prevent injustice
2) public importance
3) error is plain and refusal will result in the denial of fundamental
justice
4) new evidence which developed after trial renders the appeal moot.
5) Raised to sustain the decision on another ground.

DECISIONS OF THE TRIAL COURTD ARE ALWAYS PRESUMED CORRECT

COURTS NOT REQUIRED TO DECIDE EACH AND EVERY QUESTION OF LAW


RAISED

GENERALLY, FINDINGS ON CERDIBILITY OF TRIAL COURT WILL NOT BE


DISTURBED ON APPEAL

Exceptions:
1) Plainly overlooked certain facts of value
2) Evidence on record fails to support or substantiate the findings and
conclusions of TC
3) Judge who rendered the decision was not the one who heard the
witnesses
4) Conclusions of the trial courts reached arbitrarily.
5) Proceedings resulted in a denial of substantial justice or involved a
serious departure from established procedure.
PARAMETERS FOR SCRUTINIZING CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES
o Will not disturb factual findings of the lower court.
o Findings pertaining of witnesses are entitled to great respect.
o A witness who testified in a categorical, straight forward, spontaneous,
and frank manner and remain consistent on cross-examination.

FINDINGS OF CA ON FACTUAL ISSUES ARE CONCLUSIVE ON SC


Exceptions:
1. conclusion is grounded entirely on speculations, surmises, and
conjectures.
2. When the inference of the CA from its findings of fact is manifestly
mistaken, absurd, and impossible.
3. Grave abuse of discretion in appreciation of facts
4. Judgment is based on misapprehension of facts
5. Went beyond issues of the case and the same is contrary to the
admissions of both appellant and appellee.
6. Findings of appellate court are contrary to those of the tc.
7. Findings without citation of specific evidence on which they are based.
8. Facts set forth and briefs are disputed by respondents.
9. Findings of fact are premised on the absence of evidence, but premise
is contradicted by evidence on record.

FINDINGS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES ON FACTUAL ISSUES ARE


ACCORDED RESPECT AND FINALITY
- special knowledge and expertise gained from handling matters under
their jurisdictional competence.

EXCEPTION: abuse or improvident exercise of authority on their part.

XV. EFFECTS OF JUDGMENTS

Judgment or order against specific Conclusive upon title to the thing


thing

Probate of a will Will or administration

Administration of the estate

Personal, legal, political status or Condition status or relationship


condition of person or relationship to
another
With respect to matter adjudged or Conclusive between parties and their
raised in relation thereto successors in interest by title
subsequent to the
commencement of the action or
special proceeding,

litigating for the same thing,


same title
same capacity
Any other litigation Deemed to have been adjudged in
- same parties, successors the former judgment which appears
on its face

Or

Actually and necessarily included


therein or necessary thereto.

RES JUDICATA
- (aka estoppel per rem judicatam)
- cause of action estoppel, issue estoppel, preclusion of claims
- Matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided
- Thing or matter settled by judgment.
- There should be an end to litigation by same parties over subject
once fully and fairly adjudicated; public policy and necessity.
- Purpose:
o To prevent unnecessary proceedings involving expenses
and prevent wastage of courts time
o To avoid stale litigations and enable defendant to know the
extent of the claims being made arising out of the same
single incident.

CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT
- collateral estoppel or preclusion of issues
- Issue actually and directly passed upon and determined in
a former suit cannot again be drawn in question in any
future action between the same parties involving different
cause of action.
- Special circumstances in an individual case may justify a departure
from the rigid application of the estoppel.
- Estoppel may be lifted where there was an agreement clearly
made between the parties that second claim will be held in
abeyance to await the outcome of the first.
- EXCEPTION
o LEGAL QUESTION
o Two actions involved SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT CLAIMS

STARE DECISIS
- to adhere to precedent and not to unsettle things which are
settled.
- Principle underlying the decision in one case will be deemed
of imperative authority, controlling the decisions of like
cases in the same court and in lower courts within the
same jurisdiction, unless reversed or overruled.
o A single decision does not necessarily create a precedent to
be followed.
- judicial decisions assume the same authority as a statute itself and
until authoritatively abandoned.
FINAL JUDGMENTS NOT TO BE DISTURBED
BUT RESPECTED, EVEN IF WRONG

LAW OF THE CASE Doctrine


- Whatever is once irrevocably established as the controlling
legal rule of decision between the same parties in the same
case continues to be the law of the case.
- Where the evidence on a second or succeeding appeal is
substantially the same as that on the first or preceding appeal, all
matters, questions, points, or issues adjudicated on the prior
appeal are the law of the case on all subsequent appeals and will
not be considered or readjudicated therein.
- Applies when a case is before a trial court a second time after
ruling by an appellate court.
- Determination of question of law will generally be held to govern a
case throughout all its subsequent stages, made on a prior
appeal to a court.

LOWER COURTS CANNOT INTERPRET SC DECISION;


EXECUTION MINISTERIAL

- when judgment of a higher court is returned to it, the only


function of lower court is the ministerial act of issuing order of
execution.
o Without supervisory jurisdiction to interpret or reverse the
judgment of the higher court.
o Neither change, amplify, enlarge, alter, modify the decision
of the SC.
o The SC has the last word on what the law is; it is the final
arbiter of any justiciable controversy. Whose decisions all
other courts should take their bearings.

(omitted death penalty period to take effect)

EFFECT OF REVERSAL OF JUDGMENT


- There is no need for appellate court to specify in its judgment reversing j/o
the restitution of property upon writ of execution issued pending appeal (sec.
5, rule 39)