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CIVIL PROCEDURE

Compiled by

JUSTICE GABRIEL T. INGLES

Distributed by

University of San Carlos


Center for Legal Aid Work
UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

was found in the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Based on the
INTRODUCTION present law, the rule-making power of the SC is expressed in Article
VIII, Section 5, paragraph [5] which is substantially the same as the
I. General Principles 1935 and 1973 Constitutions which states that: the SC "shall
promulgate the rules concerning the protection and enforcement
1. Concept of remedial law of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all
courts.”
Major divisions in law:

a) Substantive law – a part of law which creates, defines 4.a.LIMITATIONS TO THE RULE-MAKING POWER OF THE SC
or regulates rights concerning life, liberty or property,
or the powers of agencies or instrumentalities for the
administration of public affairs. (Primicias vs. Ocampo The Constitution has also placed limitations on these powers.
49 OG 2230) As currently worded, one limitation provided for by the Article is
“the rules of procedure to be enacted by the SC "shall provide for
b) Procedural/Adjective/Remedial Law – prescribes the
a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition
method of enforcing rights or obtaining redress for
of cases.” The second one is: “the rules shall be uniform for all
their violation. (Bustos v. Lucero 81 Phil. 640,650)
courts of the same grade.” And the third is: “the rules shall not
diminish, increase or modify substantive rights.”
2) Sources of Remedial law:
a) The Constitution
b) Laws creating the judiciary
LIMITATIONS :
c) Laws defining and allocating jurisdiction to different courts
d) Rules promulgated by the SC
1. The Rules of Court shall provide a simplified and
e) circulars, administrative orders, internal rules and SC
inexpensive procedure for the speedy
decisions
disposition of cases;
2. The Rules of Court shall be uniform for all courts of
3) Scope of Remedial Law:
the same grade; and
a) Constitution
3. The Rules of Court shall not diminish, modify or
b) Civil Procedure (Rules 1 to 56 and other related laws);
increase substantive rights.
c) Provisional Remedies (Rules 57 to 61);
d) Special Civil Actions (Rules 62 to 71)
Substantive rights are created by substantive law so the Rules
e) Special Proceedings (Rules 72 to 109)
of Procedure should not increase, diminish or modify them. In
f) Criminal Procedure (Rules 110 to 127)
effect, the Rules of Court should not amend the substantive law. It
can only interpret substantive law but should not change it
g) Evidence (Rules 128 to 133)
completely. Those are the limitations. With that we are now ready
h) Katarungang Pambarangay Law (RA 7160) and
to tackle the 1997 rules on civil procedure.
Implementing rules
i) Revised Rules on Summary Procedure.
j)Rules on Small Claims Cases
5. JUDICIAL POWER includes the duty of the courts of justice to
k)Rules on Environmental Cases
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not
4.RULE-MAKING POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT
there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality
The Rules of Court (1940, 1964, 1997) have all been enacted
of the Government. (Sec. 1, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution)
by the SC. It is law, not enacted by Congress but enacted by the SC.

The power of judicial review is the Supreme Court's power to


Q: What is the authority of the SC to enact a law when
declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement,
actually the role of the judiciary is only to interpret the law? Is this
presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
not a violation of the separation of powers?
ordinance or regulation unconstitutional.
A: The authority of the SC in enacting the prior rules and the
present rules is what you call its rule-making power which provision

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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

2.)Judges are human beings – they die, they resign, they


6. Nature of Philippine courts retire, they maybe removed. The court continues to
exist even after the judge presiding over it ceases to do
a.) Court so. In the Supreme Court, for example, the justices
presiding over it are not the same justices who presided
Describe it. it in the early part of this century yet the Court in some
decisions states that “as early 1905, ‘WE’ have already
There is a table, a gavel, there is someone sitting there. Then ruled such as such…” Why do they use ‘WE’? They are
below, there are lawyers sitting down. But actually, what is talking about the court, they are not talking about
described is a courtroom and not a court. themselves. The court is continuous. It does not die
alongside with the justices who presided on it.
Similarly, when you are asked to describe a corporation, you
will refer to the building, the office, the employees etc. But a 3.) The two concepts may exist independently of
corporation, as you know in Persons, is a juridical entity. It is a each other, for there may be a court without
creature of the law. It is a person under the law but it has no a judge or a judge without a court.
physical existence. (Pamintuan vs. Llorente, 29 Phil. 342)

A court has no physical existence, only a legal one. c.) Hearing and Trial

Define a court Hearing is not synonymous with trial. The words “hearing” and
“trial” have different meanings and connotations. Trial may refer
A court is an entity or body vested with a portion of the judicial to the reception of evidence and other processes. It embraces the
power. (Lontok vs. Battung, 63 Phil. 1054) period for the introduction of evidence by both parties. Hearing,
as known in law, is not confined to trial but embraces the several
Q: Why ‘portion’ only? stages of litigation, including the pre-trial stage. A hearing does
A: This is because the Constitution provides that “the judicial not necessarily mean presentation of evidence. It does not
power shall be vested in one Supreme Court (SC) and in such other necessarily imply the presentation of oral or documentary evidence
lower courts as may be established by law.” (Art. VIII, Section 1, in open court but that the parties are afforded the opportunity to
1987 Constitution. be heard. (Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 416 SCRA 133)

The reason that the law creates different courts is to divide


the cases or judicial power among them so that one court may not 7. Classification of courts in general.
be burdened with so many cases. A: Generally, courts may be classified as:
So, judicial power is not exercised only by one court, but by 1.) Constitutional and Statutory Courts;
several courts. 2.) Superior Courts and First-Level courts (inferior courts);
There is a division of labor and this division is done thru 3.) Courts of Original jurisdiction and Courts of Appellate
delineating jurisdiction among courts. Jurisdiction will be discussed jurisdiction;
in the following parts. 4.) Civil Courts and Criminal Courts;
5.) Courts of law and Courts of equity;
b.) Court as distinguished from a Judge 6.) Courts of record; probate Courts; Land Registration
Courts; Ecclesiastical Courts; Military Courts
Just as corporations cannot act without its officers, a court
cannot function without a judge. But do not say that the court and a.) CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS vs. STATUTORY COURTS
the judge mean the same thing. The judge is the person or officer
who presides over a court. CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS are created directly by the Constitution
itself, while STATUTORY COURTS are created by law or by the
The following are the distinctions: legislature. The first cannot be abolished by Congress without
1.) Court is the entity, body, or tribunal vested with a amending the Constitution while the second can be so abolished
portion of the judicial power, while judge is the by just simply repealing the law which created them.
person or officer who presides over a court.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

In our country, there is only one Constitutional court – the A superior court may therefore handle civil, criminal cases
Supreme Court. Even the Sandiganbayan is not considered a while an inferior court may try specified cases only. The SC, CA
Constitutional court because it was not created by the Constitution including the RTC are considered as superior courts.
directly. The 1973 Constitution, particularly Art. XIII, Section 5
ordered the then National Assembly to create a special court to be The MTC is a first-level (inferior) court so that its power is
known as the Sandiganbayan which shall have jurisdiction over limited to specified cases despite of the law which expanded the
criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and jurisdiction of the MTC. It does not have any supervisory authority
such other offenses committed by public officers and employees, over any lower court.
including those in government-owned or controlled corporations in
relation to their office as may be determined by law.. It was law c. ORIGINAL COURT vs. APPELLATE COURT
that created the Sandiganbayan (PD 1486).
ORIGINAL COURTS are those where a case is originally
The CA, RTC, and the MTC are created by the Congress. commenced, while APPELLATE COURTS are those where a case is
reviewed. (Ballentine's Law Dict., 2nd Ed., p. 91)
So there is only one Constitutional court. All the rest, from the
CA down and all other special courts, are only creatures of So, if you are filing a case for the first time, that case is filed in
Congress. an original court. But the case does not necessarily end there. You
In political law, the power to create carries with it the power may bring the case to the appellate court which has the power to
to abolish. That is why, BP 129 abolished all existing courts at that change the decision of the original court.
time (CFI, CA, Juvenile and Domestic courts, etc.) and RTC, IAC,
MTC were created. That was the judicial reorganization of 1980 Q: Is the SC an original or appellate court?
under BP 129. But there is only one court which the Batasan A: The SC is both an original and an appellate court. The SC
Pambansa could not touch – the Supreme Court. has original jurisdiction on cases of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, etc. There are certain cases where one may file directly
b. SUPERIOR COURTS vs. FIRST-LEVEL COURTS to the SC.

SUPERIOR COURTS, otherwise known as courts of general Q: Is the CA an original or appellate court?
jurisdiction, are those which take cognizance of all kinds cases, A: The same is true with the CA. It is both original and
whether civil or criminal, and possess supervisory authority over appellate court. (Section 9, BP 129) When we study the jurisdiction
lower courts. The refer to these courts which have the power of of the CA, you will see that it is both an original and an appellate
review or supervision over another lower court. court. There are cases which are elevated to it from the RTC, but
INFERIOR COURTS, otherwise known as courts of special or there are also cases which are filed there for the first time like an
limited jurisdiction, are those which take cognizance of certain action for annulment of an RTC judgment.
specified cases only. (14 Am. Jur. 249) They are those which, in
relation to another are lower in rank and subject to review and Q: How about the RTC? Is the RTC an original or appellate
supervision of the latter. court?
A: The RTC is also both original and appellate court. You can
Q: What courts are superior or inferior? file certain cases there for the first time, and there are also
A: It DEPENDS from what viewpoint you are looking at it. If decisions of the MTC which are appealable to the RTC.
you are looking from the viewpoint of the Constitution, there is
only one superior court – the Supreme Court. Q: How about the MTC? Is the MTC an original or appellate
court?
From the viewpoint of other laws, the Court of Appeals (CA) A: The MTC however, is a 100% original court. It is the lowest
maybe inferior to the SC but it is a superior court for it exercises court in the hierarchy. There are no cases appealed to it. There is
supervision over RTC. In the same manner that the RTC might be no such animal as barangay court. The barangay captains do not
inferior to the SC and the CA but it has also power of supervision decide cases, they only conciliate.
over MTC. The jurisdiction of the RTC is varied. It is practically a jack
of all trade. The RTC has also the power of supervision over MTC. d. CIVIL COURTS vs. CRIMINAL COURTS

CIVIL COURTS are those which take cognizance of civil cases only,
while CRIMINAL COURTS are those which take cognizance of

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

criminal cases only. (14 Am. Jur. 249; Ballentine's Law Dict., 2nd courts still have to decide according to customs and general
Ed., p. 301) principles.

All the courts in the Philippines are both civil and criminal ESTOPPEL.
courts. They can handle both types of cases. The SC decides civil
and criminal cases. The same is true with the CA, RTC and MTC. Estoppel is an equitable doctrine which means that it is not fair
that you disown your own representation after misleading
So, in the Philippines, there is no such thing as a 100% somebody. But if you look at the Civil Code, there is a chapter on
criminal court or civil court. During the 70's there was the old estoppel. So if you apply estoppel, you cannot say that you are
Circuit Criminal Court. As the name implies, it is purely a criminal applying a principle not found under the law.
court. But with other courts, this was abolished by BP 129.
LACHES
With the abolition of those special courts, all their powers were
transferred to the present RTC. Right now, there is no such thing as It is considered to be the half-brother of prescription because it
a 100% civil court or a 100% criminal court. So, all our courts are means if you delay a certain right then you must have no right.
both civil and criminal courts at the same time. That is more of equity, rather than of law.

e. COURTS OF LAW vs. COURTS OF EQUITY SOLUTIO INDEBITI.

COURTS OF LAW are tribunals administering justice only by No one should enrich himself at the expense of another. That is a
applying the law of the land, whereas COURTS OF EQUITY are principle of equity. But if you look at the Civil Code, it's there!
tribunals which rule according to the precepts of equity or justice,
and are sometimes called “courts of conscience.” (Ballentine’s
Law Dict., 2nd Ed., p. 303) ALONZO vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE
COURT
Courts Of Law dispose cases according to what the May 28, 1987, J. Cruz
promulgated law says while Courts Of Equity adjudicate cases
based on the principles of equity. Principle of equity means HELD: “The question is sometimes asked, in
principles of justice, fairness, fair play or of what is right and just serious inquiry or in curious conjecture, whether
without inquiring into the terms of the statutes. we are a court of law or a court of justice. Do we
apply the law even if it is unjust or do we
Q: Are the Philippine courts, courts of law? Or courts of administer justice even against the law? Thus
equity? Do they decide cases based on what the law says or based queried, we do not equivocate. The answer is that
on the principle of justice and fairness? we do neither because we are a court both of law
A: In the Philippines, our courts, original or appellate, are both and of justice. We apply the law with justice for
courts of law and of equity. (U.S. vs. Tamparong 31 Phil. 321) that is our mission and purpose in the scheme of
our Republic.”
In the case of substantive law, there is a thin line which
divides the principle of law from the principle of equity because COURTS OF RECORD
principles of equity are also found in the principles of law. Equity is Those whose proceedings are enrolled and which are bound
what is fair and what is just and equitable. Generally, what is legal to keep a written record of all trials and proceedings handled by
is fair. them. RA 6031 mandates all MTCs to be courts of record.

As a matter of fact under the Civil Code, when the law is PROBATE COURTS
silent, you decide it based on what is just and fair, thus, the saying Those which have jurisdiction over settlement of estate of
EQUITY FOLLOWS THE LAW. In the Philippines you cannot deceased persons.
distinguish sometimes the principle of law and the principle of
equity because principles of equity are also written in the law. LAND REGISTRATION COURTS
Example: The principles of estoppel, laches or solutio indebiti are Those which have jurisdiction over registration of real
no longer purely principles of equity since they are also found in properties under the Torrens System.
our law. Under the Civil Code, when there is no applicable law,

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

8. HIERARCHY OF THE COURTS


9. INHERENT POWERS OF THE COURT
In the 1996 BAR: One of the questions in Remedial Law was:
State the hierarchy of the Courts in the Philippines. Before we leave the concepts of courts, we must know that
the courts of justice have what we call inherent powers. Just like
a.) Regular courts the State have certain inherent powers, namely; Police power,
power of taxation, and power of eminent domain.
SUPREME COURT
Their very existence automatically necessitates the existence
COURT OF APPEALS of these powers.
Q: What are the inherent powers of the court?
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS A: Section 5 Rule 135 of the Rules of Court provides:

MetTC MTCC MTC MCTC Section 5. Inherent powers of courts.


Every court shall have the power:
(a) to preserve and enforce order in its
Note: immediate presence;
MetTC- In Manila (b) to enforce order in proceedings
MTCC- cities outside Manila e.g. Cebu, Davao before it, or before a person or persons
MTC- municipalities such as Minglanilla, Argao empowered to conduct a judicial
MCTC- circuitized areas because it is impractical and investigation under its authority;
expensive to maintain one MTC in every municipality. (c) to compel obedience to its judgments
orders, and processes, and to the lawful
b.) Special courts orders of a judge out of court, in a case
therein;
There are also Special Courts which are also considered part (d) to control, in furtherance of justice,
of the judiciary. These are: the conduct of its ministerial officers, and of
1. Court of Tax Appeals (RA 1125) all other persons in any manner connected
2. Sandiganbayan (PD 1486 as amended) with a case before it, in every manner
3. Sharia District Courts and the Sharia Circuit appertaining thereto;
Courts (PD 1083 , also known as the Code of (e) to compel the attendance of persons
Muslim Personal Law); to testify in a case pending therein;
4. Family Courts (f) to administer or cause to be
administered oaths in a case pending therein,
and in all other cases where it may be
8.a Policy of Judicial Hierarchy necessary in the existence of its powers;
(g) to amend and control its process and
This policy means that a higher court will not orders so as to make them conformable to
entertain direct resort to it unless the redress desired law and justice;
cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts. (h) to authorize a copy of a lost or
destroyed pleading or other paper to be filed
While it is true for example that the Supreme Court, and used instead of the original, and to
Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts have restore, and supply deficiencies in its records
concurrent original jurisdiction to issue writs of and proceedings.
Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus, such concurrence
does not accord litigants unrestrained freedom of choice SITUATION: Suppose I have the power to decide and I render
of the court to which the application for the writ may be a decision. I want to enforce the decision, how do I enforce? Well,
directed. The application should be filed with the court usually the law provides for the procedure.
of lower level unless the importance of the issue
involved deserves the action of the court of the higher Q: But suppose the law does not provide for any manner to
level. enforce? For example a judge has rendered a decision, and the law

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

is silent on how to enforce it, do you mean to say that the order is
unenforceable because the law is silent? EXAMPLE: If you are illegally detained, you can
A: NO. Section 6 of Rule 135 answers the question. ask the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus. Now, a
person is detained in Cagayan de Oro and the family is
SEC 6. Means to carry jurisdiction into here in Cebu City. They filed a petition for habeas
effect – When by law jurisdiction is conferred corpus here in Cebu City. Is it proper?
on a court or a judicial officer, all auxiliary No. Cebu City belongs to the 7th Judicial Region
writs, processes and all other means to carry while Cagayan de Oro is in the 11th or 12th Judicial
it into effect maybe employed by such court Region. The law is very clear: writs of certiorari,
or officer; and if the procedure to be prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus
followed in the exercise of such jurisdiction is and injunction issued by a trial court may be enforced
not specifically pointed out by law or these in any part of the region.
rules, any suitable process or mode of
proceeding may be adopted which appears b) Section 3 further says, all other writs are enforceable
conformable to the spirit of said law or rules. anywhere in the Philippines. Suppose the MTC issues a
warrant for the arrest of the accused in the criminal
What Section 6 is trying to say is that when courts have the case, and he fled to Baguio City, such warrant can be
power to decide, they have the power to enforce. And if the law is enforced there. This includes summons, writs of
silent, judges have to think of how to do it provided they conform execution or search warrants.
to the spirit of the rule. So they should not make the order useless
simply because there is no rule. That is part of their power. 11. Aspects of remedial law

10. ENFORCEABILITY OF COURT WRITS AND PROCESSES 1.) PUBLIC ASPECT – one which affords a remedy in
favor of the State against the individual
Another provision that should be emphasized is Section 3 of (e.g. criminal procedure) or in favor of
the Interim Rules. the individual against the State (e.g.
habeas corpus) on the other hand,
Question: The court of Cebu issues a writ or a process. Can
that writ or process be enforced in Manila? What is the extent of 2.) PRIVATE ASPECT – one which affords a remedy in
the enforceability of a writ issued by a court? favor of an individual against another
individual, like the rules on civil
Under Section 3, Interim Rules: procedure. (Gamboa’s Introduction to
Philippine Law, 6th Ed., pp. 97-99)
Sec. 3. Writs and Processes. -
a) Writs of certiorari, prohibition, BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LAW ON CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE
mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and PHILIPPINES
injunction issued by a regional trial court may
be enforced in any part of the region. The origin of our law on procedure is American. Forget the
b) All other processes whether issued law on procedure during the Spanish regime. But the first known
by the RTC or MetTC, MCTC, and MTC may be ancestor of the law on Civil Procedure was the old Act 190,
served anywhere in the Philippines, and, the otherwise known as the Code of Civil Procedure, which was
last three cases, without a certification by the enacted on August 7, 1901 by the United States and Philippine
judge of the RTC. Commission.

A: Under Section 3 of the Interim Rules, you have to And that was the law until 1940 because on July 01,1940 the
distinguish what kind of writ or process you are talking about: SC enacted the Rules of Court which we now call the Old Rules of
a) If it is a writ of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo Court. That continued for another 24 years until January 01, 1964
warranto, habeas corpus, injunction, it can be enforced when the SC enacted the Revised Rules of Court repealing the Old
anywhere within the region. So at least, RTC can enforce Rules of Court. And that continued for another 33 years until July
it within the region and it cannot enforce those writs 01,1997 where the SC enacted and which took effect on that day
outside the region. (July 01, 1997) the New Rules on Civil Procedure.

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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

SUMMARY:
1.) First Law – August 07, 1901 – Act 190 – Code of Civil
Procedure (40 years)
2.) Second Law – July 01, 1940 – Old Rules of Court (24
years)
3.) Third Law – January 01, 1964 – Revised Rules of Court
(33 years)
4.) Fourth Law – July 01, 1997 – New Rules of Civil
Procedure.

SOURCES OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

Well of course the sources are almost the same as the prior
law. The old Rules of Court is also a source. Many provisions were
taken from the 1964 Rules, substantive law like the Civil Code and
jurisprudence. And of course SC circulars. Many circulars are now
incorporated under the new rule. So those are the main sources.

SOURCES:
1.) Previous Rules of Court;
2.) Jurisprudence;
3.) New Civil Code;
4.) SC Circulars

-oOo-

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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

JURISDICTION IN GENERAL Exercise of absent authority or power is necessarily nothing. Thus,


without jurisdiction, the entire proceedings would be null and
void.
1. Jurisdiction defined
The only recourse for the court, absent jurisdiction, is to
If we relate jurisdiction to courts, it means authority or the dismiss the case motu proprio or on motion for without authority
power to hear, try and decide a case. it cannot act.

In its complete aspect, jurisdiction includes not only the What about if it has jurisdiction?
powers to hear and decide a case, but also the power to enforce
the judgment (14 Am. Jur. 363-364) as the judgment or decree is It is the duty of the court to exercise the jurisdiction
the end for which jurisdiction is exercised, and it is only through conferred upon it by law and to render a decision in a case
the judgment and its execution that the power of the court is properly submitted to it. Failure to do so may be enforced by way
made efficacious and its jurisdiction complete (21 CJS, Courts, S of a mandamus proceeding (20 Am Jur. 2d, S 93).
9). The power to control the execution of its decision is an
essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cannot be the subject of 4. Constitutional Guarantee of Access to Courts and Jurisdiction
substantial subtraction and the most important part of the
litigation is the process of execution of decisions (Echegaray vs. The Constitutional guarantee of access to courts refers to
Sec. of Justice, 301 SCRA 96). courts with appropriate jurisdiction as defined by law. It does not
mean that a person can go to any court for redress of grievances
2. Test of Jurisdiction regardless of the nature or value of his claim. (Santos III v.
Northwest Airlines, 210 SCRA 256 [1992])
The test of jurisdiction is whether the court has the power to
enter into the inquiry and not whether the decision is right or 5. JURISDICTION vs. EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION
wrong. (Herrera vs. Barreto, 25 Phil. 245)

Jurisdiction pertains to the authority to hear and decide a case.


Since jurisdiction refers to power or authority to hear, try and Any act of the court pursuant to such authority, including the
decide a case, it cannot depend on the correctness or rightfulness decision and its consequences is exercise of jurisdiction.
of the decision made. (Century Insurance Co. v. Fuentes, 2 SCRA
1168 [1961]) The authority to decide a case, not the decision rendered, is
Correctness or rightfulness of the decision relates to the what makes up jurisdiction. It does not depend upon the regularity
exercise of and not to the authority itself. of the exercise of that power or upon the rightfulness of the
decision made. Where there is jurisdiction over the person and
3. Duty of the court to determine its jurisdiction subject matter, the resolution of all other questions arising in the
case is but an exercise of jurisdiction. (Herrera vs. Barreto, 25 Phil.
It is the duty of the court to consider the question of jurisdiction 245)
before it looks at other matters involved in the case. It may, and
must, do this on its own motion without waiting for the question 6. ERROR OF JURISDICTION vs. ERROR OF JUDGMENT
of jurisdiction being raised by any of the parties involved in the
proceeding (20 Am Jur 2d, Courts, S 92). Courts are bound to take Distinctions:
notice of the limits of their authority and they may act accordingly 1.) When a court acquires jurisdiction over the subject
by dismissing the action even though the issue of jurisdiction is matter, the decision or order on all other
not raised or not even suggested by counsel (Ace Publications vs. questions arising in the case is but an exercise
Commissioner of Customs, 11 SCRA 147). of jurisdiction; Errors which the court may
commit in the exercise of such jurisdiction, like
Effect if the court has no jurisdiction or of absence or lack of errors of procedure or mistakes in the court's
jurisdiction over the case findings, are merely ERRORS OF JUDGMENT;
whereas,
If a court has no jurisdiction, it has no power or authority to try a When a court takes cognizance of a case over the
case and because it has no authority it must not exercise it. subject matter of which it has no jurisdiction,

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

or acts in excess of jurisdiction or with grave


abuse of discretion amounting to lack of An error of judgment should be raised on ordinary appeal, not by
jurisdiction, the court commits an ERROR OF certiorari because certiorari is only confined to correcting errors of
JURISDICTION.(GSIS vs. Oliza 304 SCRA 421). jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. The governing rule is that
the remedy of certiorari is not available when the remedy of appeal
2.) When the court acts without authority (error of is available or even if available, when it will not be a speedy and
jurisdiction) such act would be null and void or at least adequate remedy. And when the remedy of appeal is lost, you
voidable, but if the court has authority but commits a cannot revive it by resorting to certiorari because certiorari is not a
mistake in the exercise of such authority (error of substitute for the lost remedy of appeal.
judgment) such mistake will bind unless corrected
3.) .ERRORS OF JURISDICTION are reviewable by the
extraordinary writ of certiorari; whereas, ERRORS OF 7. Lack of jurisdiction and excess of jurisdiction
JUDGMENT are reviewable by appeal.
The respondent court or tribunal acts without jurisdiction if
Importance of the distinction it does not have the legal power to determine the case; where the
respondent, being clothed with the power to determine the case,
The procedure or remedy in case of a mistake or error committed oversteps its authority as determined by law, it is performing a
by the court would be dependent on whether it is an error of function in excess of its jurisdiction (Vette Industrial Sales
jurisdiction or an error in the exercise of jurisdiction also known Company Inc. vs. Cheng, 509 SCRA 532).
as error of judgment.
Philippine National Bank, substituted by Tranche 1 (SPV-AMC),
Inc. v. Rina Parayno Lim and Puerto Azul Land, Inc., G.R. No.
EXAMPLE: A case of murder was filed in the MTC. The 171677. January 30, 2013
accused, Ken Sur, files a motion to quash because MTC has no Special Civil Action for Certiorari (Rule 65); nature; distinction
jurisdiction over cases of murder. But the court denied the motion between excess of jurisdiction, acts without jurisdiction and grave
to quash. Meaning, the judge has decided to assume jurisdiction. abuse of discretion. A certiorari proceeding is limited in scope and
What is the error committed? narrow in character. The special civil action for certiorari lies only
to correct acts rendered without jurisdiction, in excess of
When the court without authority assumes authority over the jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. Certiorari will issue
case that is called ERROR OF JURISDICTION – the court committed only to correct errors of jurisdiction, not errors of procedure or
an error of jurisdiction. mistakes in the findings or conclusions of the lower court. As long
as the court acts within its jurisdiction, any alleged errors
EXAMPLE: Suppose the case for murder is filed in the RTC committed in the exercise of its discretion will amount to nothing
where the court has jurisdiction. But in the course of the trial, it more than mere errors of judgment, correctible by an appeal or a
committed mistakes like the court misinterpreted or misapplied petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, and not a
the provision of the RPC or the Indeterminate Sentence Law. What petition for certiorari.
error is committed?
In a petition for certiorari, the public respondent acts without
Obviously the RTC has the authority to hear and decide the jurisdiction if it does not have the legal power to determine the
case and therefore acted with authority or jurisdiction. There is no case; there is excess of jurisdiction where the respondent, being
error of jurisdiction. clothed with the power to determine the case, oversteps its
authority as determined by law. There is grave abuse of discretion
However, in the exercise of such authority it committed a where the public respondent acts in a capricious, whimsical,
mistake, thus, the error committed is error in the exercise of arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of its judgment as to
jurisdiction, also known as error of judgment. be said to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of
discretion is not enough.
Is the proceeding null and void?
Excess of jurisdiction, as distinguished from absence of jurisdiction
NO. What is committed is an error in the exercise of means that an act, though within the general power of a tribunal,
jurisdiction and if not corrected the error can become final and board or officer is not authorized, and invalid with respect to the
executory. In other words, if not objected to, it will stay. particular proceeding, because the conditions which alone

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authorize the exercise of the general power in respect of it are Its power is limited. (14 Am. Jur. 249; Hahn vs. Kelly, 34
wanting. The supervisory jurisdiction of the court to issue a Cal. 391)
certiorari writ cannot be exercised in order to review the judgment
of the lower court as to intrinsic correctness, either upon the law or Example:
the facts of the case. In the absence of a showing that there is a In criminal cases, the MTC has jurisdiction over offenses where the
reason for the court to annul the decision of the concerned tribunal penalty imposable does not exceed 6 years while beyond 6 years
or to substitute its own judgment, it is not the office of the Court in they are triable before the RTC.
a petition for certiorari to inquire into the correctness of the
assailed decision or resolution. If you examine the jurisdiction of the MTC, it has a limit but none
for the RTC.

Example of excess of jurisdiction: The same applies in civil cases as we shall learn.
When the court does not conduct a pre-trial conference which
is mandatory under the rules. 2. Based on the nature of the cause:
a.) ORIGINAL JURISDICTION is the power of the court
8. Jurisdiction is vested in the court, not in the judge. A court may to take cognizance of a case at its inception or
be a single sala or may have several branches (multiple sala). If commencement. (Ballentine’s Law Dict., 2nd Ed.,
the latter, each is not a court distinct and separate from the pp. 91 and 917)
others. So, when a case is filed before a branch, the trial may be
had or proceedings may continue before another branch or judge. b.) APPELLATE JURISDICTION is the power vested in a
(Tagumpay vs. Moscoso, L-14723, May 29, 1959) superior court to review and revise the judicial action of
a lower court. (Ballentine’s Law Dict., 2nd Ed., pp. 91
EXAMPLE: and 917) If one court has the power to correct the
The RTC of Cebu City is composed of several branches –22 all decision of a lower court, the power of this court is
in all. But technically, there is only one court – the RTC of Cebu City. appellate. This is because it is commenced somewhere
else and it is just reviewing the decision of the said
Q: Now, if the case is filed and is assigned to Branch 8, can lower court.
that case later be transferred and continued in Branch 9?
A: YES, because you never left the same court. You are still in Note that in certiorari petition, the action of the superior
the same court. This is because jurisdiction is not with the judge. It court is not to correct but to annul. The power exercised by the
is with the court itself. superior court is the power of control and supervision over an
inferior court, not appellate, that is, to limit the inferior court
But there is only one branch of RTC-Bogo, can RTC-Cebu City take within its jurisdiction, its authority.
jurisdiction over its cases?

No because they are different courts and jurisdiction is attached to 3. Based on the nature and extent of exercise:
the court.
a. EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION is that possessed by a court to
the exclusion of all others.
8. TYPES OF JURISDICTION:
1. Based on cases tried b. CONCURRENT or COORDINATE JURISDICTION is that
possessed by the court together with another or other
a. GENERAL JURISDICTION is the authority of the court courts over the same subject matter, the court
to hear and determine all actions and suits, whether obtaining jurisdiction first retaining it to the exclusion
civil, criminal, administrative, real, personal or mixed. It of the others, but the choice of court is lodged in those
is very broad – to hear and try practically all types of persons duly authorized to file the action. (Villanueva
cases. (14 Am. Jur. 249; Hahn vs. Kelly, 34 Cal. 391) vs. Ortiz, 58 O.G. 1318, Feb. 12, 1962)

b. SPECIAL or LIMITED JURISDICTION is the authority of Exclusionary Principle


the court to hear and determine particular cases only. The court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes all others.

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Another principle that may be relevant is the policy of judicial The doctrine of judicial stability does not apply where a third
hierarchy. party claimant is involved. (Santos vs. Bayhon, GR No. 88643, July
23, 1991).

Hierarchy of courts; concurrence of jurisdiction; non-observance


results in dismissal. 4. Based on situs:

Spouses Augusto Dacudao and Ofelia Dacudao v. Secretary of a. Territorial jurisdiction - exercised within the limits of the
Justice Raul Gonzales of the Department of Justice, G.R. No. place where the court is located.
188056. January 8, 2013
b. Extra-territorial jurisdiction - exercised beyond the confines
We emphasize that the concurrence of jurisdiction among the of the territory where the court is located.
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts to
issue the writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, Examples: Writs of certiorari,
habeas corpus and injunction did not give petitioners the prohibition and mandamus are enforceable
unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. An undue disregard only within the region where the issuing
of this policy against direct resort to the Court will cause the court is located; while a writ of execution
dismissal of the recourse. In Banez, Jr. v. Concepcion, we explained can be enforced even outside said territory.
why, to wit:
9. ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION IN CIVIL CASES
The court must enjoin the observance of the policy on the
hierarchy of courts, and now affirms that the policy is not to be The word jurisdiction as applied to the faculty of exercising
ignored without serious consequences, the strictness of the policy judicial power is used in different but related senses. It refers to
is designed to shield the Court from having to deal with causes that the authority of the court:
are also well within the competence of the lower courts, and thus
leave time to the Court to deal with the more fundamental and 1. to entertain a particular kind of action, or
more essential tasks that the Constitution has assigned to it, the 2. to administer a particular kind of relief depending on
Court may act on petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, the issues raised;
prohibition, and mandamus only when absolutely necessary or 3. to bind the parties, or
when serious and important reasons justify an exception to the 4. to bind the property which is the subject of the
policy. Xxx litigation.

Accordingly, every litigant must remember that the Court is not the
only judicial forum from which to seek and obtain effective redress In your study of criminal procedure where you also studied
of his or her grievances. As a rule, the Court is a court of last resort, the law on jurisdiction, we studied the authority of the court over
not a court of first instance. Hence, every litigant who brings the cases as determined by the imposable penalty; its authority to
petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and bind the accused and the prosecution; its authority to grant the
mandamus should ever be mindful of the policy on the hierarchy of relief which is either acquittal or conviction and over the place
courts, the observance of which is explicitly defined and enjoined in where the offense charged is alleged to have been committed.
Section 4 of Rule 65.
So there are what we call elements of jurisdiction in criminal
Doctrine of Judicial Stability or Non-Interference cases, otherwise, the proceeding will be illegal. These elements are:
Jurisdiction over the subject matter;
General rule: Jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and
No court has the authority to interfere by injunction with the Territorial jurisdiction, i.e. the case should be filed in the place
judgment of another court of coordinate jurisdiction or to pass where the crime was committed.
upon or scrutinize and much less declare as unjust a judgment of
another court. (Industrial Enterprises, Inc. vs. CA GR No. 88550,
April 18, 1990) a.Elements of jurisdiction in civil cases:

Exception:

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a.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter ; mortgage, the thing or subject of the action is the property
b.) Jurisdiction over the person of the parties to the mortgaged, in specific performance or rescission of contract, it is
case; the contract involved that is the subject matter of the action.
c.) Jurisdiction over the res; and
d.) Jurisdiction over the issues. 2. Jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action how
acquired-
Effect if in a particular case one of these is missing:
The proceedings become questionable. The proceedings become Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law, which
void. The judgment is not binding. The proceedings are tainted may be either the Constitution or a statute(Tyson’s Super
with illegality and irregularity. Concrete, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 461 SCRA 435; de la Cruz vs. CA,
510 SCRA 103; Guy vs. CA, December 10, 2007), and is never
A. JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER acquired by consent or submission of the parties or by their
laches. This is a matter of legislative enactment which none but the
Jurisdiction over the subject matter. legislature can change. (MRR Co. vs Atty. Gen. 20 Phil. 523; Otibar
vs. Vinson, L-18023, May 30, 1962)
1. Definition
It cannot be acquired by an agreement of the parties, waiver, or
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the power of the court to failure to object (silence).
hear and determine cases of the general class to which the
proceedings in question belong. (Banco Español-Filipino vs. 3. The important role Congress plays in the exercise of judicial
Palanca, 37 Phil. 291) power, namely:

In other words, it is the jurisdiction over the nature of the action. a. It creates by law the rights which are sought to be
protected or enforced;
In criminal cases you have light, less grave and grave offenses. In b. It confers by law jurisdiction over the subject matter.
civil cases we have such actions as actions for sum of money,
actions not capable of pecuniary estimation, real and personal Both are of course in the form of substantive laws.
actions, action in rem, action in personam etc. This is what we call
the NATURE or classification OF THE ACTION. The law that confers jurisdiction refers to substantive law, not
a procedural law. It likewise does not refer to an administrative
When a complaint is filed in court, the basic questions that ipso order or circular (Malaloan vs. CA, 232 SCRA 249).
facto are to be immediately resolved by the court on its own are:

a.)What is the nature of the action filed? 4. Determination of the subject matter or nature (class) of the
b.) Does the court have authority to try and determine that action-
class of actions to which the one before it belongs?
It is a settled rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is
Jurisdiction over the “subject matter” is not to be confused determined by the allegations in the complaint (Baltazar vs.
with the term “subject matter of the action”. Ombudsman, 510 SCRA 74) regardless of whether or not the
plaintiff is entitled to his claims asserted therein (Gocotano vs.
“Subject matter” in lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is Gocotano 469 SCRA 328; Cadimas vs. Carrion GR No. 180394,
the kind or nature of the action filed and is the proper ground for a Sept. 29, 2008).
motion to dismiss. “Subject or subject matter of the action” refers
to the physical facts, the things real or personal, the money, lands BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, as successor-in-interest of Far
or chattels and the like, in relation to which the suit is prosecuted East Bank and Trust Company,
and not the delict or wrong committed by the defendant. vs.

So if you talk about declaration of nullity of marriage the EDUARDO HONG, doing business under the name and style
subject matter of the action is the marriage of the parties involved “SUPER LINE PRINTING PRESS” and the COURT OF
not any other contract but the nature of the action is that it is not APPEALS,
capable of pecuniary estimation; if it is for foreclosure of

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G.R. No. 161771, February 15, 2012 The general rule is not applied with rigidity in ejectment cases in
which the defendant averred the defense of the existence of
Jurisdiction is defined as the power and authority of a court to tenancy relationship between the parties.
hear and decide a case. A court’s jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the action is conferred only by the Constitution or by In Ignacio vs. CFI of Bulacan (42 SCRA 89) and other ejectment
statute. The nature of an action and the subject matter thereof, as cases (Salandanan vs. Tizon 62 SCRA 388; Concepcion vs. CFI of
well as which court or agency of the government has jurisdiction Bulacan 119 SCRA 222), where tenancy was the defense, the court
over the same, are determined by the material allegations of the went beyond the allegations of the complaint in determining
complaint in relation to the law involved and the character of the jurisdiction over the subject matter and required the presentation
reliefs prayed for, whether or not the complainant/plaintiff is of evidence to prove or disprove the defense of tenancy. After
entitled to any or all of such reliefs. And jurisdiction being a matter finding the real issue to be tenancy, the cases were dismissed for
of substantive law, the established rule is that the statute in force lack of jurisdiction as it should properly be filed with the Court of
at the time of the commencement of the action determines the Agrarian Reform (now DARAB) [de la Cruz vs. CA 510 SCRA 103]
jurisdiction of the court.
In Salmorin vs. Zaldivar, GR No. 169691, July 23, 2008, the plaintiff
entered into an agreement with the defendant designating him as
It does not depend upon the pleas or defenses of the defendant in administrator of a lot with a monthly salary of P150. The defendant
his answer or motion to dismiss. (Cardenas vs. Camus, L-19191, allegedly did not comply with the terms of the agreement when he
July 30, 1962; Edward J. Nell Co. vs. Cubacub, L-20842, June 23, failed to till the vacant areas as agreed. This compelled the plaintiff
1965; Serrano vs. Muñoz Motors, L-25547, Nov. 27, 1967) to terminate his services and eject him from the lot. When the
defendant refused to vacate the property, the plaintiff filed a
6. How do you determine then jurisdiction over the subject complaint for unlawful detainer against him in the MCTC.
matter?
It is determined by facts alleged in the complaint and the law In his Answer, the defendant alleged the existence of a tenancy
in force at the time of the commencement of the action. relationship between him and the plaintiff. Thus, he claimed that
(Mercado v. Ubay 187 SCRA 719) the case was an agrarian matter over which the MCTC had no
jurisdiction.
This is true in criminal and civil cases.
The Court found that the plaintiff alleged the following:
Examples:
(1) That he possessed the subject lot;
A case of Serious Physical Injuries was alleged in the (2) That he instituted the defendant as administrator
information filed with the CFI which was then vested with thereof;
jurisdiction over this type of cases, even if the medical certificate (3) That the defendant failed to administer the subject lot by
attached to the records shows that the injuries are only slight not having the vacant areas thereof planted;
which falls under the jurisdiction of the municipal court. The CFI (4) That for the defendant’s failure to administer the subject
may convict for slight physical injuries. Jurisdiction was determined lot, his services as administrator was terminated;
from the allegations in the information. (People v. Ocaya, 83 SCRA (5) That he advised defendant through registered mail to
218[1978]) leave or vacate the subject lot; and
(6) That the defendant refused to vacate the subject lot
In a civil case for collection of sum of money where the without justification.
complaint alleges that the totality of the demand is P350,000.00,
the case is properly filed with the RTC even if the defendant is able The Court ruled that from its material allegations, the complaint
to prove that it is only P50,000.00 for jurisdiction over the subject concerned the unlawful detainer by the defendant of the subject
matter is determined by the allegations in the complaint not the lot, a matter which is properly within the jurisdiction of the regular
defense or evidence presented. courts.

7. Exception to the rule that jurisdiction is determined by the The allegation of tenancy in the defendant’s answer did not
allegations of the complaint automatically deprive the MCTC of its jurisdiction because the
jurisdiction of the court over the nature of the action and the
subject matter thereof cannot be made to depend upon the

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defenses set up in the court or upon a motion to dismiss. administrative tribunal, especially where the question demands
Otherwise, the Court ruled, the question of jurisdiction would the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the
depend almost entirely on the defendant. Accordingly, the MCTC special knowledge and experience of said tribunal in determining
does not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple technical and intricate matters of fact. (Villaflor vs. CA, GR No.
expedient of a party raising as defense therein the alleged 95694, Oct. 8, 1997).
existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties. It is
however, the duty of the court to receive evidence to determine Where a case is such that its determination requires the expertise,
the allegations of tenancy. If after hearing, tenancy had in fact specialized skills and knowledge of the proper administrative
been shown to be the real issue, the court should dismiss the case bodies because technical matters or intricate questions of fact are
for lack of jurisdiction. involved, then relief must be obtained in an administrative
proceeding before a remedy will be supplied by the courts even
The Court further stressed that a tenancy relationship cannot be though the matter is within the proper jurisdiction of a court. This
presumed. There must be evidence to prove the tenancy relations is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. It applies “where a claim is
such that all its indispensable elements must be established, to originally cognizable in the courts, and comes into play whenever
wit: enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which,
(1) The parties are the landowner and tenant; under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the special
(2) The subject is agricultural land; competence of an administrative body, in such case, the judicial
(3) There is consent by the landowner; process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the
(4) The purpose is agricultural production; administrative body for its view.” (US v. Western Pacific Railroad
(5) There is personal cultivation; and Co., 352 US 59; Industrial Enterprises, Inc. v. CA, 184 SCRA 426)
(6) There is sharing of the harvests.
Example: Damages is claimed arising from the collision between
All these requisites are necessary to create tenancy relationship, the claimant's vessel and that of another. Such claim can of course
and the absence of one or more requisites will not make the be determined by the courts. But in order to enforce such claim
alleged tenant a de facto tenant. All these elements must concur. before the courts, there must be a determination of which vessel is
It is not enough that they are alleged. at fault. This is issue is placed within the special special
competence of the Maritime Industry Authority or Philippine Coast
Guard which administrative body regulates sea travel. Under this
8. No Retroactive Effect of Law on Jurisdiction over the subject situation courts should defer to the jurisdiction of such
matter administrative body for it has the competence to determine which
vessel is at fault. Its finding then can serve as basis or premise for
Jurisdiction being a matter of substantive law, the the legal consequences to be then defined by the court.
established rule is that statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action determines jurisdiction – RA 7691 In Far East Conference v. US 342 US 570 (1952) the Court defined
has no retroactive application. (Yu Oh v. CA GR No. 125297, June the primary jurisdiction doctrine as:
6, 2003)
A principle, now firmly established, that in cases raising issues of
This follows the general rule on application of laws. fact not within the conventional expertise of judges or cases
requiring the exercise of administrative discretion, agencies
Why is jurisdiction over the subject matter substantive not created by Congress for regulating the subject matter should not
procedural? be passed over. This is even though the facts after they have been
appraised by specialized competence serve as a premise for legal
Because the law vests, defines, regulates, authority or consequences to be judicially defined. Uniformity and consistency
power. in the regulation of business entrusted to a particular agency are
secured, and the limited functions of review by the judiciary are
9. DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION more rationally exercised, by preliminary resort for ascertaining
and interpreting the circumstances underlying legal issues to
Statement of the Doctrine agencies that are better equipped than courts by specialization,
by insight gained through experience, and by more flexible
Under this doctrine, courts will not resolve a controversy involving procedure.
a question which is within its jurisdiction and also of an

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Since the inception of the doctrine courts have The court, once jurisdiction has been acquired, retains that
resisted creating any fixed rules or formulas for its jurisdiction until it finally disposes of the case (De La Rosa vs.
application, “in every case the question is whether Roldan, 501 SCRA 34).
the reasons for the existence of the doctrine are
present and whether the purposes it serves will be As a consequence of this principle, jurisdiction is not affected
aided by its application in the particular litigation.” by a new law placing a proceeding under the jurisdiction of another
As the origin and evolution of the primary tribunal except when otherwise provided in the statute or if the
jurisdiction doctrine demonstrate, the reasons for statute is clearly intended to apply to actions pending even
the existence and the purposes it serves are two- before its enactment (People vs. Cawaling, 293 SCRA 267)
fold: the desire for the uniformity and the reliance
on administrative expertise. Thus, in determining Thus, when RA No. 7691 expanded the jurisdiction of the first level
whether to apply the primary jurisdiction doctrine, courts, said courts acquired jurisdiction over cases that under BP
we must examine whether doing so would serve 129 were originally within the jurisdiction of the RTC. But cases
either of these purposes. pending already with the RTC at the time of the effectivity of the
law were not affected by such new law unless the parties by
These same tests were applied by our courts in the determination agreement, pursuant to Sec. 7 therein, agreed to transfer the
of whether or not to apply the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. pending cases from the RTC to the lower courts especially those
Spouses Jose Abejo and Aurora Abejo, et a., v. Hon. Rafael de la which have reached the pre-trial stage.
Cruz, etc. et al., 149 SCRA 654, citing Pambujan Sur United Mine
Workers v. Samar Mining Co., In., 94 Phil. 932, 941 [1954]) In an action for ejectment, if the defendant voluntarily
surrenders the premises subject of the action to the plaintiff, the
See GMA Network, Inc., v. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, G.R. surrender of the property does not divest the court of jurisdiction
No. 160703, September 23, 2005. (Pamintuan vs. Tiglao 53 Phil. 1)

In Paat v. CA, 266 SCRA 167 the Court said that enforcement of If the court has jurisdiction to act on a motion at the time it
forestry laws, rules and regulations and the protection, was filed, that jurisdiction to resolve the motion continues until the
development and management of forest lands fall within the matter is resolved and is not lost by the subsequent filing of a
primary and special responsibilities of the DENR. By the very nature notice of appeal. (Asmala vs. Comelec, 289 SCRA 746)
of the functions, the DENR should be given a free hand
unperturbed by judicial intrusion to determine a controversy which The trial court did not lose jurisdiction over the case involving
is well within its jurisdiction. The assumption therefore of the a public official by the mere fact that said official ceased to be in
replevin suit by the trial court filed by the private respondents office during the pendency of the case (Flores vs. Sumaljag, 290
constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the domain of the SCRA 568). Also, the jurisdiction that the court had at the time of
administrative agency’s prerogative. the filing of the complaint is not lost by the mere fact that the
respondent judge ceased to be in office during the pendency of the
Quasi-judicial bodies like the CSC are better equipped in handling case (Victory Liner vs. Bellosillo, 425 SCRA 79).
cases involving the employment status of employees of those in
the civil service since it is within the field of its expertise. (Paloma Even the finality of the judgment does not totally deprive
v. Mora GR No. 157783, Sept. 23, 2005) the court of jurisdiction over the case. What the court loses if the
power to amend, modify or alter the judgment. Even after the
judgment has become final, the court retains jurisdiction to
10. Doctrine of Continuity of jurisdiction (Adherence of enforce and execute it (Echegaray vs. Sec. of Justice, 301 SCRA 96;
Jurisdiction) Republic vs. Atlas Farms, 345 SCRA 296).

Under this rule, jurisdiction, once it attaches cannot be 10. Exceptions to the Rule of Adherence/Continuity of
ousted by the happening of subsequent events although of such a Jurisdiction
character which should have prevented jurisdiction from
attaching in the first instance (Ramos vs. Central Bank of the Phil. 1. When there is an express provision in the statute on
41 SCRA 586 [1971]). retroactive application; or
2. The statute is clearly intended to apply to actions
pending before its enactment; or

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3. The statute is curative. This means that even if


originally there was no jurisdiction, the lack of The earliest opportunity of a party to raise the issue of jurisdiction
jurisdiction may be cured by the issuance of the is in a motion to dismiss filed before the filing or service of an
amendatory decree which is in the nature of a curative answer. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is a ground for
statute with retrospective application to a pending a motion to dismiss (Sec. 1(b), Rule 16, Rules of Court). If no motion
proceeding and cures that lack of jurisdiction. Thus, in a is filed, the defense of lack of jurisdiction may be raised as an
case, while the CFI has no jurisdiction over a complaint affirmative defense in the answer (Sec. 6, Rule 16)
for damages arising from the dismissal of a radio station
manager which was filed on August 2, 1976, PD 1367 Under the Omnibus Motion rule, a motion attacking a pleading like
vesting the court with jurisdiction over such type of a motion to dismiss, shall include all grounds then available, and all
cases cured the lack of jurisdiction of the trial court at objections not so included shall be deemed waived (Sec. 8 Rule 15).
the time the instant claim was filed before it. (Garcia vs. The defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is
Martinez 90 SCRA 331 [1979]) however, a defense not barred by the failure to invoke the same in
a motion to dismiss already filed. Even if a motion to dismiss was
Read also Atlas Fertilizer vs. Hon. Exaltacion Navarro, 149 filed and the issue of jurisdiction was not raised therein, a party
SCRA 432) may, when he files an answer, raise the lack of jurisdiction as an
affirmative defense because this defense is not barred under the
11. How Jurisdiction Over the Subject Matter is Acquired By the omnibus motion rule.
Court
Thus, the prevailing rule is that jurisdiction over the subject
1. It is conferred by law applicable at the time of the matter may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even for
commencement of the action; and the first time on appeal (Calimlim vs. Ramirez, 118 SCRA 399;
2. Jurisdiction must be properly invoked by filing the Francel Realty Corporation vs. Sycip 469 SCRA 424).
complaint or information.
The issue is so basic that it may be raised at any stage of the
proceedings, even on appeal. In fact, courts may take cognizance
12. Doctrine of Ancillary Jurisdiction of the issue even if not raised by the parties. There is thus no
reason to preclude the Court of Appeals, for example, from ruling
It involves the inherent or implied power of the court to on this issue even if the same has not yet been resolved by the
determine issues incidental to the exercise of its primary trial court below (Asia International Auctioneers, Inc. vs. GR No.
jurisdiction. 163445, Dec. 18, 2007).

Under its ancillary jurisdiction, a court may determine all Lack of jurisdiction is one of those excepted grounds where the
questions relative to the matters brought before it, regulate the court may dismiss a claim or a case at any time when it appears
manner in which a trial shall be conducted, determine the hours from the pleadings or the evidence on record that any of those
at which the witnesses and lawyers may be heard, direct the ground exists, even if they were not raised in the answer or in a
disposition of money deposited in court in the course of the motion to dismiss. That the issue of lack of jurisdiction was raised
proceedings, appoint a receiver and grant an injunction, only by the defendants in their memorandum filed before the trial
attachment or garnishment. court did not render them in estoppel (Vda. De Barrera vs. Heirs of
Vicente Legaspi GR No. 174346 Sept. 12, 2008).

14. Objections to jurisdiction over the subject matter When the court dismisses the complaint for lack of jurisdiction over
the subject matter, should it refer or forward the case to another
The court may on its own initiative object to an erroneous court with the proper jurisdiction? It is submitted that the court
jurisdiction and may ex mero motu take cognizance of lack of should not do so. Its only authority is to dismiss the complaint and
jurisdiction at any point in the case and has a clearly recognized not to make any other order.
right to determine its own jurisdiction (Fabian vs. Desierto, 295
SCRA 470). “When it appears from the pleadings or evidence on 15. Objections to Jurisdiction over the subject matter and
record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject Estoppel by Laches
matter,…the court shall dismiss the same” (Sec. 1, Rule 9, Rules of
Court)

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Estoppel means you cannot disown your act by which you In other words, while jurisdiction as a rule, may be raised at
have misled another while laches means abandonment of a right any stage of the proceedings (Panganiban vs. CA, 321SCRA 51, 59
for failure to assert it for a long time. [1999]), a party may be stopped from raising such questions if he
has actively taken part in the very proceedings which he questions,
Gen. Rule: You can raise your objection on jurisdiction over belatedly objecting to the court’s jurisdiction in the event that the
the subject matter even for the first time on appeal. judgment or order subsequently rendered is adverse to him. (Alday
v. FGU Insurance Corporation, 350 SCRA 113, 120 [2001]).
The ONLY exception is when there is estoppel by laches, as
laid down in TIJAM vs. SIBONGHANOY ( Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy 23 In general sense, estoppel by laches is failure or neglect for an
SCRA 29, April 15, 1968). unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do what ought to
have been done earlier. The failure to act warrants the
In this case, a complaint for collection cognizable by the presumption that one has abandoned his right or that he had
inferior court was filed in the CFI. The jurisdiction was not acquiesced to the correctness and fairness of what has been
questioned. The CFI issued a writ of preliminary attachment but resolved. The doctrine of estoppel is based on public policy
was dissolved when the defendant filed a counterbond thru a intended to discourage stale claims. Estoppel is not a question of
surety. After trial, the court rendered a judgment against the time unlike the statute of limitations. It is rather based on the
defendants. That decision became final and a motion for execution inequity or unfairness of permitting a claim to be asserted at a
was filed and granted. When implemented, the writ of execution time such claim is presumed to have been abandoned. (Sps.
was unsatisfied so the plaintiff moved that the writ be executed Guillermo Agbada and Maxima Agbada v. Inter-Urban Developers,
against the counterbond. The surety filed an opposition and sought Inc. GR 144029, Sept. 19,2002)
to be relieved from liability. The motion was denied on ground that
the surety was not notified. Plaintiff then filed a second motion for Lamis, et al. v. Dong-E, G.R. No. 173021, October 20, 2010
execution against the counterbond notifying the surety this time.
Since the surety failed to oppose the motion was granted. The An action to recover an ancestral land in Baguio City was filed with
surety moved to quash the writ against the counterbond but was the RTC. The parties participated in the proceedings and the trial
denied. The surety went to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the court rendered a decision which was affirmed by the CA. The losing
order. The surety filed a motion for extension of time to file a party went up to the Supreme Court and questioned for the first
motion for reconsideration which the CA granted. However, time the jurisdiction of the RTC on ground that with the enactment
instead of filing a motion for reconsideration the surety filed this of RA 8371, or the Indigenous People’s Right Act of 1997 (IPRA)
time a motion to dismiss on ground that the CFI did not have original and exclusive jurisdiction over disputes involving ancestral
jurisdiction over the subject matter. Instead of deciding the CA lands and domains now lies with the National Commission of
certified the case to the Supreme Court because the issue raised is indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
purely legal.
The Court emphatically declared: “The facts of the case show Is the contention of petitioners correct? Why?
that from the time the Surety became a quasi-party on July 31,
1948, it could have raised the question of the lack of jurisdiction of No. They are barred by laches from raising their jurisdictional
the Court of First Instance of Cebu to take cognizance of the objection.
present action by reason of the sum of money involved which,
according to the law then in force, was within the original exclusive In Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 131 Phil. 556 (1968), the Court ruled that
jurisdiction of inferior courts. It failed to do so. Instead, at several the existence of laches will prevent a party from raising the court’s
stages of the proceedings, in the court a quo as well as in the CA, it lack of jurisdiction. Laches is defined as the ”failure or neglect, for
invoked the jurisdiction of said courts to obtain affirmative reliefs an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which,
and submitted its case for a final adjudication on the merits. It was by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier;
only after an adverse decision was rendered by the CA that it finally it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable
woke up to raise the question of jurisdiction. Were we to sanction time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert
such conduct on its part we would in effect be declaring as useless it either has abandoned or decline to assert it.”
all the proceedings had in the present case since it was
commenced on July 19, 1948 and compel the judgment creditors to The fact pattern common among those cases wherein the Court
go up their Calvary once more. The inequity and unfairness of this invoked estoppel to prevent a party from questioning jurisdiction
is not only patent but revolting.” is a party’s active participation in all stages of a case, including
invoking the authority of the court in seeking affirmative relief

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and questioning the court’s jurisdiction only after receiving a Jurisdiction over the person is the power to render a
ruling or decision adverse to his case for the purpose of annulling personal judgment against a party to an action or proceeding
everything done in the trial in which he has actively participated. through the service of process or by voluntary appearance of a
As clearly pointed out in Lao vs. Republic 479 SCRA 439: “A party party during the progress of a cause. (Banco Español-Filipino vs.
who has invoked the jurisdiction of the court over a particular Palanca, 37 Phil. 291)
matter to secure affirmative relief cannot be permitted to
afterwards deny the same jurisdiction to escape liability.” It is the power of the court to bring before it persons to be
affected by the judgment so as to give him an opportunity to be
The Supreme Court frowns upon the undesirable practice of heard, and to render a judgment binding upon his person.
submitting one’s case for decision, and then accepting the (21C.J.S., Courts, Sec. 11, 1990)
judgment only if favorable, but attacking it for lack of jurisdiction if
it is not (Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. ALS Management and
Development Corporation, 427 SCRA 564). Q: In criminal cases, how does the court acquire jurisdiction
over the person of the accused?
Bar by Estoppel Is An Exception and Not the General Rule A: By having him (1) arrested; (2) by service of the warrant of
arrest; or (3) by his voluntary surrender.
The doctrine laid down in Tijam is the exception , and not the
general rule (Pangilinan v. CA, 321 SCRA 51, 59 [1999]).
2. How does the court acquire jurisdiction over the person in
Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of civil actions?
jurisdiction only in cases in which the factual milieu is analogous
to that of Tijam. The manner by which the court acquires jurisdiction over the
parties depends on whether the party is the plaintiff or the
In Tijam, the defense of lack of jurisdiction was raised for the defendant.
first time in a motion to dismiss filed by the Surety almost fifteen
(15) years after the questioned ruling had been rendered. At As to Plaintiff
several stages of the proceedings, in the court a quo as well as in
the Court of Appeals, the Surety invoked the jurisdiction of the said Jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff is acquired by
courts to obtain affirmative relief and submitted its case for final his/her filing of the complaint or petition. By doing so, he submits
adjudication on the merits. It was only when the adverse decision himself/herself to the jurisdiction of the court. (Davao Light &
was rendered by the Court of Appeals that it finally woke up to Power Co. Inc. v. CA, 204 SCRA 343, 348 [1991])
raise the question of jurisdiction (Regalado vs. Go, GR No. 167988,
February6, 2007) Example:

Inspite of Tijam and subsequent cases which invoked it, the X, a resident of Melbourne, Australia, presented a complaint
rule that the lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be against Y, a resident of Manila, before the CFI of Manila for
raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal, still remains accounting and damages. X never came to the Philippines to file
the prevailing rule and Tijam should be confined only to situations the suit and is only represented in this case by counsel. Y files a
prevailing in a particular case viewed in the light of the special motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the court
circumstances surrounding it. acquired no jurisdiction over the person of X.

The statement that jurisdiction is conferred by substantive law is Should the complaint be dismissed on said ground? Why?
not accurate because only jurisdiction over the subject matter is
conferred by substantive law. Jurisdiction over the parties, issues No. It is a recognized procedural rule that jurisdiction over the
and res is governed by procedural laws. plaintiff is acquired by his/her filing of the complaint in court. By
filing the complaint through his/her counsel, X invoked the
jurisdiction of the court over his person.
B. JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON (PARTIES)
As to Defendant
1. Define jurisdiction over the person.

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Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is required issued, if the same had not been served, i.e. by effecting the arrest
only in action in personam (Asiavest Limited vs. CA, 296 SCRA of the accused by virtue of a warrant.
539). Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a
prerequisite in an action in rem and quasi in rem (Gomez vs. CA
425 SCRA 98; Biaco vs. Phil. Countryside Rural Bank 515 SCRA 106. Second Instance: BY HIS VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION TO THE
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
Jurisdiction Over the Person of the Defendant in Actions in
Personam, How Acquired In civil cases, voluntary submission of the defendant to the
jurisdiction of the court can be by:
Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant in actions in a.) waiver;
personam is obtained either by a valid service of summons upon b.) consent; or
him or by his/her voluntary submission to the court’s authority. c.) lack of objection by the defendant. (MRR Co. vs.
(Ang Ping vs. CA, 310 SCRA 343, 349 [1999]; Davao Light vs. CA) Atty. Gen. 20 Phil. 523)

The service of summons is intended to give official notice to Jurisdiction; personal jurisdiction in civil cases; voluntary
the defendant or respondent that an action has been commenced appearance.
against him. He is thus put on guard as to the demands of the
plaintiff as stated in the complaint. The service of summons is an Optima Realty Corporation v. Hertz Phil. Exclusive Cars, Inc.,G.R.
important element in the operation of a court’s jurisdiction upon No. 183035. January 9, 2013
a party to a suit because it is the means by which the court
acquires jurisdiction over his person. Without service of In civil cases, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant may be
summons, or when the service is improper, the trial and the acquired either by service of summons or by the defendant’s
judgment being in violation of due process, are both null and voluntary appearance in court and submission to its authority.
void. (Avon Insurance PLC v. CA, 278 SCRA 312, 325 [1997])
In this case, the MeTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of
The mode of acquisition of jurisdiction over the plaintiff and respondent Hertz by reason of the latter’s voluntary appearance in
the defendant applies to both ordinary and special civil actions court. In Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Spouses Dy,
like mandamus or unlawful detainer cases (Bar 1994). we had occasion to state:

Preliminarily, jurisdiction over the defendant in a


civil case is acquired either by the coercive power
First Manner: UPON SERVICE ON HIM OF COERCIVE PROCESS of legal processes exerted over his person, or his
IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW voluntary appearance in court. As a general
proposition, one who seeks an affirmative relief is
The first instance when a court acquires jurisdiction over the deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of
person of the defendant is through service upon him of the the court. It is by reason of this rule that we have
appropriate court process, which, in civil procedure, is called had occasion to declare that the filing of motions
service of summons. This is the counterpart of warrant of arrest in to admit answer, for additional time to file
criminal procedure. answer, for reconsideration of a default
judgment, and to lift order of default with motion
So if the defendant was never served with summons, any for reconsideration, is considered voluntary
judgment rendered by the court will not bind him. Even if he is the submission to the court’s jurisdiction. This,
loser in the case, judgment cannot be enforced because the court however, is tempered by the concept of
did not acquire jurisdiction over his person. conditional appearance, such that a party who
makes a special appearance to challenge, among
The same principle holds true in criminal cases. A court cannot others, the court’s jurisdiction over his person
try and convict an accused over whose person the court never cannot be considered to have submitted to its
acquired jurisdiction. In criminal cases, the court acquires authority.
jurisdiction over the person through the issuance and service of a
warrant of arrest. The warrant cannot have its effect even if it was

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Prescinding from the foregoing, it is thus clear that:


(1) special appearance operates as an exception to the general rule Under the former procedure, if the defendant raises the objection
on voluntary appearance; of lack of jurisdiction over his person in a motion to dismiss, the
Accordingly, objections to the jurisdiction of the court over the motion must rely only on that particular ground. If the defendant
person of the defendant must be explicitly made, i.e., set appears in court, objects to its jurisdiction over his person and at
forth in an unequivocal manner. the same time alleges other grounds, the appearance would be
deemed a general appearance which was in effect a voluntary
Failure to do so constitutes voluntary submission to the jurisdiction submission to the jurisdiction of the court (Republic vs. Kerr 18
of the court, especially in instances where a pleading or SCRA 207; WANG Laboratories VS. Mendoza 156 SCRA 44).
motion seeking affirmative relief is filed and submitted
to the court for resolution. The above rule was re-examined in La Naval Drug Corporation vs.
CA 236 SCRA 78). The pronouncements in said case are now
Certain actions which could be construed as voluntary embodied in Sec. 20 of Rule 14 which provides: ****The inclusion
appearance are: in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of
1.) when the defendant’s counsel files the corresponding jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed
pleading thereon; a voluntary appearance.
2.) when the defendant files a motion for reconsideration
of the judgment by default; In a criminal action, another way to acquire jurisdiction over the
3.) when the defendant files a petition to set aside the person of the accused even if the accused is not arrested is through
judgment of default; VOLUNTARY SURRENDER. Since there is no more need for the
4.) when the defendant and plaintiff jointly submit a warrant, the court will recall the same.
compromise agreement for the approval of the court;
5.) when the defendant files an answer to the contempt Distinction between jurisdiction over the subject matter and
charge; jurisdiction over the person of the defendant.
6.) when the defendant files a petition for certiorari
without questioning the court’s jurisdiction over his Lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant may be
person (Navale v. CA, 253 SCRA 705, 709, 710, 709-712 cured by waiver, consent, silence or failure to object, whereas
[1996]) jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be cured by failure to
object or by silence, waiver or consent. (MRR Co. vs. Atty. Gen. 20
Objections to jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, how Phil. 523)
or to raise-

An objection to the jurisdiction over the person of the C. JURISDICTION OVER THE RES or property in litigation-
defendant may be raised as a ground for a motion to dismiss (Sec.
1(a) Rule 16). If no motion to dismiss has been filed, the objection RES is the Latin word for “thing.” It is applied to an object,
may be pleaded as an affirmative defense in the answer (Sec. 6 subject matter (not nature of the action), status, considered as
Rule 16). the defendant in the action or as the object against which,
directly, proceedings are taken. (Black’s 5th Ed., 1172)
If a motion to dismiss has been filed, the objection to the lack of
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant must be pleaded in Define jurisdiction over the res.
the same motion where such ground is available at the time the Jurisdiction over the res is the power or authority of the court
motion is filed, otherwise it is deemed waived pursuant to the over the thing or property under litigation. (Perkins v. Dizon, 69
omnibus motion rule. The defense of lack of jurisdiction over the Phil. 186, 190 [1939])
person of the defendant is not one of those defenses which are
not deemed waived if not raised in the motion to dismiss. Only It is the power to bind the “thing”.
lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, litis pendentia, res
judicata and prescription are not waived (Sec. 1 Rule 9 in relation How acquired-
to Sec. 8 Rule 15).
It is acquired either by the (a) the seizure of the property
Effect of pleading additional defenses aside from lack of jurisdiction under legal process whereby it is brought into actual or
over the person of the defendant constructive custody of the court or (b) as a result of the

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institution of legal proceedings, in which the power of the court is the defendant is abroad. The res here is the status against which or
recognized and made effective. (Macahilig vs. Heirs of Grace M. in relation to which the judgment can be enforced.
Magalit, GR No. 141423, Nov. 15, 2000)
In Rule 57 Section 1, among the grounds for issuance of a writ
Acquisition of jurisdiction over the res by actual seizure is of preliminary attachment is:
exemplified by an attachment proceeding where the property is “(f) In an action against a party who does not reside and is not
seized at the commencement of the action or at some subsequent found in the Philippines, or on whom summons may be served by
stage in the action. It is also acquired through a legal provision publications.”
which authorizes the court to exercise authority over a property
or subject matter such as suits involving a person’s status or D. JURISDICTION OVER THE ISSUES
property located in the Philippines in actions in rem or quasi in
rem. (Banco Espanol Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921, 927 [1918]; Meaning of Issue
Perkins v. Dizon; Sec. 15, Rule 14, Rules of Court.)
An issue is a disputed point or question to which parties to
In Land Registration cases or probate proceedings, an action have narrowed down their several allegations and upon
jurisdiction is acquired by compliance with procedural requisites, which they are desirous of obtaining a decision. (Black’s 5th Ed.,
such as publication. 745 citing Muller v. Muller, 235 Cal App. 2nd 341, 45 Cal. Rptr 182,
In a petition for change of name, the title of the petition 184)
must be complete by including the name sought to be adopted;
otherwise, the court acquires no jurisdiction over the Define jurisdiction over the issues.
proceedings. (Telmo vs. Republic, 73 SCRA 29 (1976).
Jurisdiction over the issue is the authority to try and decide
the issues raised in the pleadings of the parties. (Reyes vs. Diaz,
Q: A files a case for recovery of ownership against B over a 73 Phil. 484)
piece of land. What is the res of the case?
A: The piece of land is the res of the case. Q: What are pleadings?
A:Rule 6, Section 1 - Pleadings are the written allegation of
What is the nature of the action? the parties of their respective claims and defenses submitted to
To recover ownership of real property or real action. the court for trial and judgment.

Q: However, res may not be tangible. For example, X is an How Jurisdiction Over The Issues Is Conferred and Determined
illegitimate child. She wants to be acknowledged by her father.
Thus, she filed a case against her father for compulsory recognition. In order to determine whether or not a court has jurisdiction
What is the res? over the issue or issues of the case, one must, therefore, examine
A: The res is the status of the child because it is the object of the pleadings.
the litigation.
Jurisdiction over the issue is conferred and determined by
Importance of jurisdiction over the res- the pleadings of the parties.

The court obtains the authority to bind the “thing”. Sometimes it is In a civil case, pleadings are written statements of the
a substitute for jurisdiction over the person. There are instances respective positions of the parties, namely, the claims for the
when the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over the defendant like plaintiff and defenses for the defendant.
when he is abroad. But if the court acquires jurisdiction over the
res, the case may go on. Even if the court cannot acquire EXAMPLE: X files a case for collection of sum of money against
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, jurisdiction over the Y. The pleading that X will file will contain the written statements of
res becomes a substitute over the person. his claim. He will narrate there for instance that Y borrowed money
from him promising to pay it on a day certain but when it became
In the example of action for compulsory recognition, even if due no payment was made despite demands so he suffered actual
the defendant is a non-resident who is out of the country the loss or damage aside from moral damage.
object of litigation is status here in the Philippines, then acquisition By way of response, X will file his position in writing stating his
of jurisdiction over the res confers jurisdiction to the court even if defenses like denying the loan; the promissory note is a forgery or

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admitting the loan but claiming that it had already been paid or the When An Issue Arises Even If Not Raised In the Pleadings
action has prescribed. This written statement of his position
containing his defense or defenses is a pleading called an answer. Although it is a rule that jurisdiction over the issue is to be
In the answer Y can also allege claims, if he has any against the determined by the pleadings of the parties, an issue may arise in a
plaintiff like the case is merely intended to harass him for which case without it being raised in the pleadings. This happens when
reason he suffered damages. This is called a counterclaim, another the parties try an issue with their consent. Under Sec. 5, Rule 10 of
pleading and X can in turn file an answer to the counterclaim where the Rules of Court, when issues not raised by the pleadings are
he will state his defense/s as regards the claim contained in the tried with the express or the implied consent of the parties, they
counterclaim. shall be treated in all respects, as if they had been raised in the
pleadings. Thus, if evidence on a claim for salary differential is not
Based on their allegations and counter-allegations the court objected to, the Labor Arbiter correctly considered the evidence
will know what issues are to be resolved. even if the claim is not mentioned in the complaint. (Cindy and
Lynsy Garment v. NLRC, 284 SCRA 38, 45 [1998])
So, if X says that Y borrowed money, and never paid
him, while Y, in answer states that he did borrow but
already paid it, what issue is being presented to be Jurisdiction Over the Subject Matter Distinguished from
resolved by the court? Jurisdiction Over the Issues

A: The issue is, whether the obligation is still existing or is it Jurisdiction over the issues is conferred by the pleadings and
already extinguished by payment. So that is how the court by the express (stipulation) or implied (failure to object to
will know what it will try in this case. evidence) consent of the parties because an issue not duly pleaded
may be validly tried and decided by the court as long as there is no
Q: Let us suppose that in the problem above, the court, after objection from the parties. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is
the trial, said in its decision that the obligation has been conferred by law and cannot be subject to the agreement of the
extinguished by condonation. Will that bind? parties. (Vda de Victoria v. CA, GR No. 147550, Jan. 26, 2005)

A:No, because the parties did not raise condonation as the A: The following are the distinctions:
issue. So the court decided that issue over which it never acquired
jurisdiction. 1.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the power to
In other words, the court should only rule on what the hear and try a particular case, while
parties raised in their pleadings. That is what we call jurisdiction Jurisdiction over the issues is the power of the
over the issue. court to resolve questions involved in the
case;
Jurisdiction over the issues may also be determined and conferred 2.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter is acquired
by stipulation of the parties as when in the pre-trial, the parties upon filing of the complaint, while
enter into stipulation of facts and documents or enter into an Jurisdiction over the issues of the case is acquired
agreement simplifying the issues of the case (Sec. 2 Rule 18) upon filing of the answer which joins the
issues involved in the case.
Jurisdiction over the issues may also be conferred by waiver
or failure to object to the presentation of evidence on a matter Take note that jurisdiction over the issues in civil cases is
not raised in the pleadings. Here the parties try with their express acquired after defendant has filed an answer. In criminal cases,
or implied consent issues not raised by the pleadings. The issues jurisdiction over the issues is acquired when the accused enters a
tried shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in plea of not guilty or pleads guilty but seeks to prove a mitigating
the pleadings (Sec. 5 Rule 10). circumstance.

So, if in the above example, the plaintiff presented evidence For a decision to be effective, the court must acquire the
to prove moral damage without objection from the defendant, or jurisdiction over the subject matter, the person, the res in case the
the defendant proved a defense not alleged without objection from defendant is not around, and the last is jurisdiction over the issue.
the plaintiff, the court obtains jurisdiction over such issue by waiver
or failure to object.

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JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER


At any time after a Division takes cognizance of a case and
before a judgment or resolution therein rendered becomes final
THE SUPREME COURT and executory, the Division may refer the case en consulta to the
court en banc which, after consideration of the reasons of the
division for such referral, may return the case to the Division or
accept the case for decision or resolution.
The highest court of the land is the Supreme Court. It was not
affected by the Judiciary Law (BP 129) which reorganized the Cases assigned to a Division including motions for
judiciary in 1983. Being a constitutional court, its jurisdiction is reconsideration which in the opinion of at least 3 members merit
found in the fundamental law itself. The SC is both an original and the attention of the court en banc and are accepted by the majority
appellate court. vote of the actual members of the court en banc may be
considered as en banc cases.
Composition
A resolution of the Division denying a party’s motion for
It is composed of the Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices. referral to the Court en banc of any division shall be final and not
appealable to the Court en banc.
The Constitution ordains that the President appoints the
members of the SC and judges of lower courts from a list of at least When a decision or resolution is referred by a division to the
three nominees prepared by the JBC for every vacancy and requires Court en banc, the latter may in the absence of sufficiently
the President to issue appointments, for lower courts, within 90 important reasons decline to take cognizance of the same, in which
days from submission of the list (Art. VIII, Sec. 9) and to fill the case, the decision or resolution shall be returned to the referring
vacancy of the SC within 90 days from its occurrence. (Art. VIII Sec. Division. (Circular No. 2-89 effective March 1, 1989)
4(1). All such appointments need no confirmation. (Sec. 9)
En Banc Cases
Principal Functions of the Supreme Court
In a resolution dated February 23, 1984, the following are
a.) Adjudication (Judicial Power) considered en banc cases:
b.)Administration or Disciplinary power a.) Cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any
c.)Rule-making (Rule-making Power) treaty, executive agreement, law, ordinance or
executive order or regulation is in question;
b.) Criminal cases in which the decision imposes the death
Divisions and En Banc penalty;
c.) Cases raising novel questions of law;
The SC sits either en banc or in divisions of 3, 5 or 7 members. d.) Cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers and
At present, it has 3 divisions of 5 members each. consuls;
e.) Cases where a doctrine or principle laid down by the
A decision or resolution of a division, when concurred in by a court en banc or in division may be modified or
majority of its members who actually took part in the deliberations reversed;
on the issues in a case and voted thereon, and in no case without f.) Cases assigned to a division including motions for
the concurrence of at least 3 of such members, is a decision or reconsideration which in the opinion of at least 3
resolution of the SC. (Sec. 4(3) Art. VIII Constitution). members merit the attention of the Court en banc
and are acceptable to a majority vote of the actual
The Court en banc is not an appellate court to which decisions membership of the Court en banc;
or resolutions of a division may be appealed. (Circular No. 2-89) g.) All other cases as the Court en banc by a majority of its
actual membership may deem of sufficient
No doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a importance to merit its attention;
decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or h.) Cases where the penalty to be imposed is the dismissal
reversed except by the court sitting en banc. (Sec. 4(3)) of a judge, officer, or employee of the SC,
disbarment of a lawyer, or suspension of any of
How a Case Before a Division is Referred to the Court en banc

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them for a period of more than one year or a fine of 2.1.2. Petitions for writs of certiorari, prohibition, and
P10,000.00, or both; mandamus against the National Labor Relations Commission under
i.) Cases involving decisions, resolutions or orders of the the Labor Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 [1983], Sec. 9, as
Sandiganbayan, Comelec, COA, or Military amended by Rep. Act No. 7902, St. Martin’s Funeral Homes v.
Tribunals; National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 130866, September
j.) Habeas corpus against government or military officials; 16, 1998, 295 SCRA 494).

2.2. with the Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Courts


ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT 2.2.1 Petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto
2.2.2 Actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of
Article VIII, Section 5, paragraph 1 of the 1987 Constitution laws concerning monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade
enumerates the ORIGINAL jurisdiction of the SC: (Rep. Act No. 296, Sec. 17, as amended by Rep. Act No. 5440
[1968]).
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following
powers: 2.3. with the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Regional
[1] Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting Trial Courts
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, over petitions 2.3.1. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus
for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas relating to an act or omission of a municipal trial court, or of a
corpus. corporation, a board, an officer, or person.
2.3.2. Petitions for issuance of writ of amparo (Sec. 3, A.M.
Note that the foregoing provision does not define the No. 07-9-12-SC or “The Rule on the Writ of Amparo,” effective
original jurisdiction of the SC as exclusive, hence it can be October 24, 2007).
concurrent or exclusive. 2.3.3. Petitions for issuance of writ of habeas data (Sec. 3, A.
M. No. 08-1-16-SC, effective February 2, 2008).
When is it exclusive and when concurrent?
2.4. with the Regional Trial Courts
Actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and
I. SUPREME COURT consuls (CONSTITUTION, Art. VIII, Sec. 5[1]; Batas Pambansa Blg.
A. Original Jurisdiction 129, Sec. 21[2])

1. Exclusive
Petitions for issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus against the following:
1.1. Court of Appeals (Republic Act No. 296 [1948], Sec. 171); APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT
1.2. Commission on Elections En Banc (CONSTITUTION, Art. IX-
A, Sec. 7); The appellate jurisdiction is found in Section 5, Paragraph (2),
1.3. Commission on Audit (CONSTITUTION, Art. IX-A, Sec. 7); Article VIII 1987 Constitution:
1.4. Sandiganbayan (Presidential Decree No. 1606 [1979], Sec
7, as amended by Rep. Act No. 8249 [1997], Sec. 5); 2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or
1.5. Court of Tax Appeals En Banc (Rep. Act No. 1125 [1954], certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final
Sec. 19, as amended by Rep. Act No. 9282 [2004], Sec. 12); and judgments and orders of lower courts in:
1.6. Ombudsman in criminal and non-administrative *a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any
disciplinary cases. treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential
decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation
is in question.
2. Original Concurrent *b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost,
assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.
2.1. with the Court of Appeals *c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is
2.1.1. Petitions for writs of certiorari, prohibition, and in issue.
mandamus against the Civil Service Commission (Rep. Act No. 7902 d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is
[1995]). reclusion perpetua or higher.

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e) All cases in which an error or question of law is Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals;” Sec. 1, Rule 45, as
involved. amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC dated December 12, 2007; See
also Rep. Act No. 9282 [2004]).
*If (a), (b), and (c) also involve questions of facts or mixed
questions of fact and of law, the aggrieved party shall appeal to 4. By Special Civil Action of Certiorari (Rule 64, 1997 Rules of
the Court of Appeals; and its final judgment may be appealed to Civil Procedure) filed within thirty (30) days from notice of the
the Supreme Court. (Subpar 4, Third Par. Sec. 17, Judiciary Act or judgment/ final order/ resolution sought to be reviewed against
RA 544) the following: 3.1. Commission on Elections (CONSTITUTION, Art.
IX-A, Sec. 7; Aratuc v. COMELEC, No. 49705-09, February 8, 1979,
B. Appellate Jurisdiction 88 SCRA 251).
3.2. Commission on Audit (Ibid., CONSTITUTION).
1. Automatic review
From the Court of Appeals, in all criminal cases invoving
offenses for which the penalty imposed is death. (People v. Mateo).
Petition for Review on Certiorari (Rule 45) from decisions of
2. Ordinary Appeal by Notice of Appeal the RTC
From the Court of Appeals, in all criminal cases involving
offenses for which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or life a)All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any
imprisonment; or a lesser penalty is imposed for offenses treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential
committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is
occurrence that gave rise to the more severe offense for which the in question.
penalty of death is imposed (Sec. 13[c], Rule 124, as amended by
A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective October 15, 2004, Sec. 13[b], Rule So if the RTC, which has the power, declares the law as
124) unconstitutional, the same has to be appealed directly to the SC. It
cannot pass through the CA because the SC has exclusive appellate
3. By Petition for Review on Certiorari (Rule 45) jurisdiction regarding the matter.
2.1. Appeals from the Court of Appeals (Rep. Act No. 296, Sec.
17, as amended by Rep. Act No. 5440; Constitution, Art. VIII, Sec.
5[2]; Rule 45, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure) b)All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost,
2.2. Appeals from the Sandiganbayan on pure questions of assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.
law, except cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua,
life imprisonment, or death (Pres. Decree No. 1606, Sec. 7, as This is related to the legality of tax cases – whether a tax or
amended by Rep. Act No. 8249; Nunez v. Sandiganbayan, Nos. tax penalty is legal or not. However, whatever decision the lower
50581-50617, January 20, 1982, 111 SCRA 433; Rule 45, id.). court gives, it has to be appealed directly to the SC.
2.3. Appeals from judgments or final orders of the Regional
Trial Courts exercising original jurisdiction in the following:
a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any (c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in
treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential issue
decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is
in question; EXAMPLE: The RTC or the MTC says it has jurisdiction or it has
b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, no jurisdiction over a case. The aggrieved party, it if wants to raise
assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto; that issue, it must go to the SC. When the issue is purely
c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in jurisdiction, the SC shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction.
issue; and
d) All cases in which only an error or question of law is Now, when the law says all cases in which the jurisdiction of
involved. (CONSTITUTION, Art. VIII, Sec. 5[2-a, b, any lower court is in issue, the cases involve 100% pure jurisdiction
c]; Rep. Act No. 296, Sec. 17, as amended; Batas Pambansa as an issue. There are no factual issues involved. If the issue of
Blg. 129, Sec. 9[3]; Id., Rule 45; Id., Rule 41, Sec. 2[c]; Id., Rule 122, jurisdiction is mixed with a factual issue, the appeal should be in
Sec. 3[e]). the CA without prejudice to the filing of the same with the SC later.
2.3.1. Appeals from decisions or final resolutions of the Court So, this is 100% issue of jurisdiction. No factual issue is involved.
of Tax Appeals 11 (Rule 16, Sec. 1, A.M. No. 05-11-07-CTA, or “The

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The SC is not a trier of facts which means that passing upon a


(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is factual issue is not within the province of the Court (Romy’s
involved. Freight Service vs. Castro, 490 SCRA 160). The findings of facts of
the Court of Appeals are not generally reviewable by the SC
Take note that ONLY an error or question of law is involved. (Sarmiento vs. Yu 497 SCRA 513). Also, factual findings of the trial
So, if there is a mixed question of law and a question of fact, appeal court, particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals, are
must be filed with the CA. You only go to the SC if the appeal is generally binding on the Court (Tan vs. GVT Engineering Services
100% legal. That applies to both criminal and civil cases. 498 SCRA 93; Office of the Ombudsman vs. Lazar0-Baldazo GR No.
170815 February 2, 2007).

QUESTIONS OF LAW and QUESTIONS OF FACT It is not the function of the SC to determine the weight of the
evidence supporting the assailed decision (JR Blanco vs. Quasha
318 SCRA 373). However, factual issues may be delved into and
There is a question of law when the doubt or difference resolved where the findings and conclusions of the trial court or
arises as to what the law is applicable on a certain set of facts. the quasi-judicial bodies are frontally inconsistent with the
There is a question of fact when the doubt or difference arises as findings of the CA (Office of the Ombudsman vs. Tongson 499
to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts (Sps. Santos vs. CA SCRA 567).
337 SCRA 67).
Exceptions
Example: Where the question is whether or not the debtor
has paid the debt, the issue is one of fact. Where the question is While it is settled rule that the SC in the exercise of its power
whether or not the manner of payment is of the type which of review is not a trier of facts, jurisprudence has, however,
produces the legal effect of extinguishing the obligation, the issue recognized several exceptions in which factual issues may be
becomes one of law. Also, when under the set of facts the issue is resolved by the SC, namely:
whether or not the law on double sales applies, there is a question a.) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation,
of law. surmises or conjectures;
b.) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd
When the issue involves a review of the evidence, it involves or impossible;
a question of fact because evidence, as defined, is the means, c.) when there is grave abuse of discretion;
sanctioned by the rules, of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding d.) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of
the truth respecting a matter of fact. (Sec. 1 Rule 128) facts;
e.) when the findings of facts are conflicting;
In an action for declaration of nullity of marriage the basis is f.) when in making its findings the CA went beyond the
psychological incapacity. The RTC/Family Court dismissed the case issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the
finding that there was no psychological incapacity. If the plaintiff admissions of both appellant and appellee;
wants to appeal from that judgment, can she appeal directly to the g.) when the findings are contrary to the trial court;
SC? Is it a question of fact or law? h.) when the findings are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based;
No. The appeal should be to the CA. The issue raised is a i.) when the facts set forth in the petition, as well as in the
question of fact because there is need to review the evidence to petitioner’s main and reply briefs, are not disputed
resolve it. by the respondent;
j.) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed
Suppose the court nullified the marriage on ground of absence of evidence and contradicted by the
impotence and the defendant wants to appeal because he wants to evidence on record; and
raise the issue whether or not impotence is a ground for k.) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts
declaration of nullity of marriage this would be a question of law not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, could
because there is no need for review of the evidence to resolve it. justify a different conclusion (Cristobal Cruz vs. Cristobal 498 SCRA
So appeal is to the SC. 37; Heirs of Dicman vs. Carino 490 SCRA 240; Safeguard Security
Agency Inc. vs. Tangco 511 SCRA 67; De Los Santos vs. Elizalde 514
The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts SCRA 14; NPC vs. De la Cruz GR No. 156093 Feb. 2, 2007; Spouses
Yu vs. Ngo Yet Te GR No. 155868 Feb. 6, 2007).

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“The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge


of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications
OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS DEALING WITH THE of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules
JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT for the purpose.”

Article IX (on the COA, Comelec and Civil Service Commission) If there’s an electoral protest for the President and Vice-
Section 7, paragraph (a), 1987 Constitution: President, the matter is not to be decided by the COMELEC but by
the SC acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
“Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote x x x.
Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any Judicial Review of Presidential Proclamation of Martial or
decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to Suspension of the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within
thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.” Article VII, Section 18 (3), 1987 Constitution – Commander-in-
Chief Clause
The COMELEC, COA and the CSC act also as courts of justice.
They have powers to decide certain cases within their jurisdiction. “The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate
Election cases are covered by the COMELEC, claims against the proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis
government, by COA and eligibility or removal from government of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the
service of an appointive employee, by CSC. privilege of the writ or extension thereof, and must promulgate
its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.”
Now, according to Section 7, any decision, order or ruling of
these commissions may be brought to the SC on certiorari, etc. So So, the SC, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen
you will see that the decisions of the constitutional commissions review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of
are reviewable by the SC. martial law. Meaning, the SC can inquire into the basis on why
martial law is declared.
However, Congress amended the Judiciary Law particularly
Section 9 on the jurisdiction of the CA by now making decisions of This is intended to prevent the Supreme Court from invoking
the CSC no longer appealable to the SC directly but appealable to the Political Question doctrine laid down in many earlier cases that
the CA. So based on the present law, out of the three it is the prerogative of the President to determine, at his discretion,
constitutional commissions, the only ones whose decisions are the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial
appealable directly to the SC are those of the COMELEC and the law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension
COA thereof.

What is the basis for Congress to pass such a law where a Congress and Jurisdiction of the SC
decision of a constitutional body (CSC) is reviewable by a non-
constitutional body? 1.) Article VIII, Section 2, 1987 Constitution:

Under the Constitution, decisions of the constitutional The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and
commissions are appealable to the SC. Does Congress have the apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not
power to change that by making it appealable to the CA? deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases
enumerated in Section 5 hereof.
Yes because the provision, it says: “Unless otherwise provided
by this Constitution or by law..” Meaning, the decisions are Congress may change or even remove the jurisdiction of the
appealable to the SC unless otherwise provided by law. The RTC or CA. The law can change them because jurisdiction over the
Constitution itself gave Congress the power to change it. subject matter is conferred by law. However, Congress does not
have the power to lessen or deprive the Supreme Court of its
SC as Presidential Electoral Tribunal jurisdiction under Section 5, Article VIII.

Article VII, Section 4, last paragraph, 1987 Constitution: 2.) However Article VI, Section 30 states:

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“No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction


of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its
advice and concurrence.”

Thus, Congress cannot lessen but it can increase the SC’s


powers and jurisdiction, PROVIDED it is with the latter's advice and
concurrence.

So more or less, these are the scattered provisions of the


Constitution dealing with the SC’s jurisdiction.

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JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS


Section 5 of EO 33 also amended Sec. 9 of BP 129 to read as
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COURT OF APPEALS follows:

The jurisdiction of the CA is now governed by BP 129 or the “The Court of Appeals shall have the power to receive
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. BP 129 was passed in 1983 by evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual
the former Batasang Pambansa which practically abolished all the issues raised in (a) cases falling within its original jurisdiction, such
regular courts at that time, and also the special courts except the as actions for annulment of judgments of regional trial courts, as
SC which cannot be abolished by Congress. What was also spared provided in paragraph (2) hereof; and in (b) cases falling within its
was the Court of Tax Appeals which was likewise not affected. appellate jurisdiction wherein a motion for new trial based only on
the ground of newly discovered evidence is granted by it.”
In lieu of these, other courts were created. The
constitutionality of BP 129 was challenged as violative of the So, Section 9 of BP 129, which defines the second highest
security of tenure of the judges. But its constitutionality was court of the land, has been amended by E.O. #33. In February 1995,
sustained in the case of DELA LLANA vs. ALBA, 112 SCRA 294. it was amended again by RA 7902, known as “The Act expanding
the jurisdiction of the CA.”
The CA is composed of 69 justices constituting 23 divisions
after new divisions were created, based in Cebu City and the other RA 7902 restored the power of the CA to try cases and
in Cagayan de Oro City pursuant to RA 8246. conduct hearings, receive evidence, and perform any and all acts
necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within the
They decide cases by a division of three. They sit en banc only original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant
for administrative matters not to decide a case as it would be new trials or further proceedings (without limiting the motion for
impractical considering their number. new trial based on newly discovered evidence). Trials or hearings in
the CA must be continuous and completed within 3 months unless
Before BP 129, the court was also called the “Court of extended by the Chief Justice.
Appeals,” the counterpart of the present CA, though the CA now is
different and more powerful than the old one. BP 129 abolished The essential features of the CA’s jurisdiction are as follows:
the old CA and created another court which was called the
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (IAC). ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

So, from the 1983 to 1986, it was called the IAC. After the Original Concurrent
EDSA Revolution, President Aquino, pursuant to her law-making
powers, issued E.O. #33 amending the Judiciary Law and changed [1] Section 9, paragraph 1, BP 129
the name of IAC to CA (referring to the jurisdiction of the IAC).
Section 9 – Jurisdiction – The Court of Appeals shall exercise:
Many people thought that the CA of President Aquino under
E.O. #33 is actually the IAC under another name only, but in a case (1) Original jurisdiction to issue writs of
decided by the SC, reported in mandamus, prohibition, certiorari,
habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and
IN RE: LETTER OF ASSOCIATE JUSTICE REYNATO S. PUNO auxiliary writs or processes whether or
210 SCRA 589 [1992] not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

HELD:
A. Original Jurisdiction
“It is the holding of the Court that the present Court of
Appeals is a new entity, different and distinct from the Court of 1. Exclusive
Appeals or the Intermediate Appellate Court existing prior to 1.1. Actions for annulment of judgments of the Regional Trial
Executive Order No. 33, for it was created in the wake of the Courts (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 9[2]); 1997 Rules of Civil
massive reorganization launched by the revolutionary government Procedure, Rule 47).
of Corazon C. Aquino in the aftermath of the people power (EDSA) 1.2. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus
revolution in 1986.” involving an act or omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless

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otherwise provided by law (Rule 65, Sec. 4, as amended by A.M. CA for the first time. And the nature of the action is to annul a
No. 077-12-SC dated December 12, 2007). judgment of the RTC.

2. Concurrent The implementation is found in Rule 47 of the Rules.

2.1. with the Supreme Court Refer to 2.1. above under I.A.,
supra APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

2.2. with the Supreme Court and Regional Trial Courts Refer
to Sec. 2.2. above under I.A., supra Paragraph 3, Sec. 9 of BP 129 defines the appellate jurisdiction
of the CA.
2.3. with the Supreme Court, Sandiganbayan, and Regional
Trial Courts Refer to 2.3. above under I.A., supra [3] Section 9, paragraph 3, BP 129

(2) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final


judgments, decisions, resolutions,
Q. Being concurrent, what will happen if such a case is filed orders or awards of the RTCs and
simultaneously in the CA and SC? quasi-judicial agencies,
A: The consequence is found in Section 17 of the Interim instrumentalities, boards or
Rules. In other words, the Interim Rules are still intact. commissions, including the Securities
and Exchange Commission, the Social
Interim Rules, Sec. 17. Petitions for writs of certiorari, etc. - Security Commission, the Employees
No petition for certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus Compensation Commission and the
or quo warranto may be filed in the IAC if another similar petition Civil Service Commission, except those
has been filed or is still pending in the SC. Nor may such petition falling within the appellate jurisdiction
be filed in the SC if a similar petition has been filed or is still of the SC in accordance with the
pending in the IAC, unless it is to review the action taken by the Constitution, the Labor Code of the
IAC on the petition filed with it. A violation of this rule shall Philippines under PD 442, as amended,
constitute contempt of court and shall be a cause for the the provisions of this Act, and of
summary dismissal of both petitions, without prejudice to the subparagraph (1) of the third
taking of appropriate action against the counsel or party paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the
concerned. fourth paragraph of Sec. 17 of the
Judiciary Act of 1948.

B. Appellate Jurisdiction
Original Exclusive
1. Ordinary Appeal by Notice of Appeal or with Record on
Appeal
[2] Section 9, paragraph 2, BP 129 1.1. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts, except those
appealable to the Supreme Court under Sec. 2(3) of I.B. above.
(2) “Exclusive” jurisdiction over actions for annulment of 1.2. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts on constitutional,
judgments of Regional Trial Courts; tax, jurisdictional questions involving questions of fact or mixed
questions of fact and law or which should be appealed first to the
Court of Appeals (Republic Act No. 296 [1948] Sec. 17, par. 4.4, as
Q: Actions for annulment of judgments of RTC’s, is this similar amended, which was not intended to be excluded by Batas
to an appeal? Is this the same as appealing the decision of the RTC Pambansa Blg. 129 [1983], Sec. 9[3]).
to the CA? 1.3. Appeals from the decisions and final orders of the Family
A: No, because in appeal, you are invoking the appellate Courts (Republic Act No. 8369 [1997], Sec. 14).
jurisdiction of the CA. Here in paragraph 2, it is not appellate but 1.4. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts, where the penalty
original jurisdiction. Meaning, you are filing an action before the imposed is reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, or where a
lesser penalty is imposed but for offenses committed on the same

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occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise 18. Voluntary arbitrators authorized by law; and
to the more serious offense for which the penalty of reclusion 19. Decisions of Special Agrarian Courts
perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed (Rule 122, Sec. 3[c], as
amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective October 15, 2004; 4.4. Appeals from the National Commission on Indigenous
People v. Mateo, G.R. Nos. 147678-87, July 7, 2004, 433 SCRA 640) Peoples (NCIP) (Rep. Act No. 8371 [1997], Sec. 67).
1.5. Direct appeal from land registration and cadastral cases 4.5. Appeals from the Office of the Ombudsman in
decided by metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and administrative disciplinary cases (A.M. No. 99-2-02-SC; Fabian v.
municipal circuit trial courts based on their delegated Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998, 295 SCRA 470).
jurisdiction.12

2. Special civil action of certiorari (Rule 65) against decisions Take note, the appellate jurisdiction of the CA is generally
and final resolutions of the National Labor Relations Commission EXCLUSIVE except in criminal cases decided by the RTC when the
(A. M. No. 99-2-01-SC; St. Martin Funeral Homes v. National Labor penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or death.
Relations Commission, G.R. No. 13086, September 16, 1998, 295 Now, if you will analyze paragraph 3, you will notice that the CA is a
SCRA 494; Torres, et. al. v. Specialized Packaging Development powerful court because it has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over
Corp., et. al., G.R. No.149634, July 6, 2004, 433 SCRA 455) all final judgments, decisions, resolution, orders or awards of RTC’s.
So as a general rule, if the RTC, anywhere in the country renders a
3. Automatic review in cases where the Regional Trial Courts decision and you want to appeal, whether civil or criminal, chances
impose the death penalty14 (Secs. 3[d] and 10, Rule 122, as are it will go the to CA. It is a powerful court, because it covers all
amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective October 15, 2004; RTC’s and the appellate jurisdiction is generally exclusive.
People vs. Mateo, supra)
And not only RTC’s. The law says “and quasi-judicial agencies,
4. Petition for Review instrumentalities, boards or commissions…” Not only decisions of
4.1. Appeals from the Civil Service Commission (Rep. Act No. the RTC but also of quasi-judicial agencies or bodies, also called
7902 [1995]; Rule 43, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). administrative bodies. Administrative bodies are actually
4.2. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts in cases appealed part of the executive branch but they act just like courts of justice.
from the Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial They can decide cases and there are hundreds of administrative
Courts, which are not a matter of right (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 agencies in the Philippines. And therefore, if you lose a case before
[1983], Sec. 22; Rule 42, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure; Rule 122, anyone of these bodies, or tribunals, you appeal the decision not
Sec. 3[b]). with the SC, but to the CA.
4.3. Appeals from awards, judgments, final orders, or
resolutions of, or authorized by, quasi-judicial agencies in the The amendments by RA 7902 is even more specific by adding
exercise of their quasi-judicial functions. Among these are: this phrase, “including the SEC, SSS, the Employees Compensation
1. Securities and Exchange Commission; commission and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).”
2. Office of the President;
3. Land Registration Authority; That is the addition.
4. Social Security Commission;
5. Civil Aeronautics Board; CSC –Before this law was passed, under the Constitution,
6. Intellectual Property Office (formerly the Bureau of decisions of the CSC are appealed to the SC together with the
Patents, Trademarks, and Technology Transfer); COMELEC and the COA. But with the passage of RA 7902, the
7. National Electrification Administration; appeal from the CSC has been transferred to the CA, so what is left
8. Energy Regulatory Board; behind in the Constitution are the COMELEC and the COA.
9. National Telecommunications Commission;
10. Department of Agrarian Reform under Rep. Act No. 6657; Obviously, the purpose of this statute is to unburden the SC
11. Government Service Insurance System; with so many cases.
12. Employees Compensation Commission;
13. Agricultural Inventions Board; The phrase “except those falling within the appellate
14. Insurance Commission; jurisdiction of the Supreme Court…”means all cases should be
15. Philippine Atomic Energy Commission; appealed to the CA except those which belong to the SC under the
16. Board of Investments; Constitution. We know that already.
17. Construction Industry Arbitration Commission;

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And also “except those falling under the Labor Code of the jurisdiction (Sec. 22 BP Blg. 129; Rule 43, Rules of Court; Sec. 9 BP
Philippines.” Blg. 129)

A labor case is not supposed to be filed in court but with a Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of petition for review
quasi-judicial agency known as the NLRC and you start in the local from the decisions, resolutions or orders or awards of the CSC,
level – from the Labor Arbiter, then the decisions of the Labor Central Board of Assessment Appeals and other bodies mentioned
Arbiter are appealable to the NLRC and then from there, where will in Rule 43 (Sec. 9[3]), BP Blg. 129) and of the Office of the
you go? Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases (Enemecio vs.
Office of the Ombudsman 419 SCRA 82; Gonzales vs. Rosas 423
SCRA 488).
And then there is the phrase, "the provisions of this Act, and
of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) Note that under RA No. 9282, the judgments AND FINAL
of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of ORDERS OF THE Court of Tax Appeals are no longer appealable by
1948.” way of petition for review to the CA. Judgments of the CTA
rendered en banc are appealable to the SC by way of Rule 45 (Sec.
So, the new Judiciary Law still makes some reference to the 11 RA No. 9282)
old law. This shows that the entire 1948 Judiciary Law has not
been totally repealed. Some provisions are still intact because of Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over decisions of MTCs in
the reference. cadastral or land registration cases pursuant to its delegated
jurisdiction (Sec. 34 BP Blg. 129 as amended by RA No. 7691). This
Now what is this subparagraph 1 of the third paragraph? is because decisions of MTCs in these cases cases are appealable in
It only applies to criminal cases. EXAMPLE: A person is the same manner as decisions of RTCs (Sec. 34 BP Blg. 129).
sentenced to reclusion perpetua, his co-accused is sentenced to
reclusion temporal or prison mayor, and all of them will appeal, all Power to try and conduct hearings
of them should go to the SC. Otherwise, you will be splitting the
appeal into two parts. (Modified in the People vs Mateo case as [4] Section 9, last paragraph, BP 129:
discussed in Criminal Procedure.)
The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and
Subparagraph 4 of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 refers conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts
to appeal from the RTC on pure legal question which should be necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its
filed with the SC. original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant
Q: Suppose there are questions of fact, or it is an appeal on and conduct new trials or further proceedings. Trials or hearings
questions of fact and questions of law? in the CA must be continuous and must be completed within
A: Under the 1948 Judiciary Law, you cannot appeal directly to three (3) months unless extended by the Chief Justice. (As
the SC. You must appeal to the CA. amended by RA 7902)

The same thing when the issue is on the constitutionality of a Even if the CA is not a trial court, under the law it has the
treaty, law, legality of tax, when the jurisdiction of the lower court power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and
is in issue, as explained here in this paragraph of the Judiciary Act perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues in cases
of 1948, if the appeal is 100% constitutional issue, jurisdictional or falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the
legality issue – appeal is to the SC under the Constitution. But if it power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings (Sec.
is mixed with questions of fact, do not go to the SC. You go first to 9 [3], BP 129 as amended by RA 7902). The CA may pass upon
the CA. That is what the paragraph is all about. factual issues as when a petition for certiorari is filed before it
(Alcazaren vs. Univet Agricultural Products, Inc. 475 SCRA 636).
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction
This paragraph shows that the present CA is a more powerful
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of ordinary appeal court than before. It is a unique court. Aside from being an
from the RTC and the Family Courts (Sec. 9[3] BP Blg. 129). appellate court, it also acts as a trial court. It may receive evidence
but only those evidence which were overlooked by the trial court.
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of petition for review It can order a new trial or conduct a new trial itself.
from the RTC rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate

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The CA may pass upon factual issues as when a petition for


certiorari is filed before it(Alcazaren vs. Univet Agricultural
Products, Inc. 475 SCRA 636) or in petitions for writ of amparo or
habeas corpus data or in case of actions to annul judgment of the
RTC over which the CA has original jurisdiction (Bar 2008).

Q: If an issue of fact is tried before the RTC, can I always ask


the CA to allow me to present evidence? Does it mean to say now
that since the CA is a very powerful court, it can take the place of
the RTC? A: That is already interpreted in the case of

LINGER AND FISHER vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT


125 SCRA 522 [1983]

HELD: The power of the CA to receive evidence refers only to


incidental facts which were not 100 percent touched upon, or
matters which were simply overlooked by the trial court. You
cannot opt not to present evidence before the RTC. It only refers to
incidental facts.
“Evidence necessary in regards to factual issues raised in cases
falling within the Appellate Court’s original and appellate
jurisdiction contemplates ‘incidental’ facts which were not touched
upon, or fully heard by the trial or respondent Court. The law could
not have intended that the Appellate Court would hold an original
and full trial of a main factual issue in a case, which properly
pertains to Trial Courts.”

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JURISDICTION OF THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS Interim Rules, Sec. 2. Territorial Jurisdiction of Courts. -
a) MetTCs, MTCs and MCTCs shall exercise their
jurisdiction in the city, municipality or circuit for which the judge
Q: How many RTC’s are there in the Philippines? thereof is appointed or designated.
b) A Regional Trial Court shall exercise its jurisdiction
BP 129 Section 13 (1) Creation of Regional Trial Courts – within the area defined by the SC as the territory over which the
There are hereby created thirteen (13) Regional Trial Courts, one particular branch concerned shall exercise its authority, in
for each of the following regions: x x accordance with Sec. 18 of BP 129.

So the Judiciary law has divided the country into 13 areas


called JUDICIAL REGIONS. From the 1st to the 12th, the 13th is Jurisdiction of the RTC
actually in the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila. Every
division is divided into branches. EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION– Note Section 19 was
amended by RA 7691, effective April 15, 1994 and entitled “An Act
Every RTC judge is appointed to a region which shall be his Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
permanent station, and his appointment states the branch of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts”.
court and seat to which he shall be originally assigned. However,
the SC may assign temporarily an RTC judge to another region as CONCURRENT ORIGINAL JURISDICTION with other courts –
public interest may require, provided that such temporary Section 21
assignment shall not last longer than 6 months without the consent APPELLATE JURISDICTION – Section 22
of the RTC judge concerned.

The SC shall define the territory over which a branch of the EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE RTC
RTC shall exercise his authority. The law provides:

BP 129, Section 18. Authority to define territory appurtenant A. Original Jurisdiction


to each branch – The Supreme Court shall define the territory over 1. Civil
which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall exercise its
authority. The territory thus defined shall be deemed to be the 1.1. Exclusive
territorial area of the branch concerned for purposes of 1.1.1. Subject of the action not capable of pecuniary
determining the venue of all suits, proceedings or actions, estimation;
whether civil or criminal, as well as determining the Metropolitan 1.1.2. Actions involving title or possession of real property or
Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial interest therein where the assessed value exceeds P20,000.00
Courts over which the said branch may exercise appellate or in Metro Manila P50,000.00, except for forcible entry and
jurisdiction. The power herein granted shall be exercised with a unlawful detainer;
view to making the courts readily accessible to the people of the 1.1.3. Actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where
different parts of the region and making the attendance of demand or claim exceeds P300,000.00, or in Metro Manila
litigants and witness as inexpensive as possible. P400,000.00;
1.1.4. Matters of probate, testate or intestate, where gross
Though RTC Cebu City is found in the 7th Judicial Region, which value of estate exceeds P300,000.00, or in Metro Manila
includes Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor province, its P400,000.00;
territorial area is not the entire region, (7th Judicial Region), where 1.1.5. Cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court,
it belongs or even the entire province of Cebu or limited to Cebu tribunal, person, or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
City only because it depends on the territory as defined by the SC. function;
1.1.6. Other cases where the demand, exclusive of interest,
Now, the law says, the SC has the power to define the area of damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and costs, or value of
its branch for purposes of supervising that area and the MTC there. property in controversy exceeds P300,000.00, or in Metro Manila
Now, as early as 1983, the SC has already come out with the P400,000.00 (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 19, as amended by
administrative order defining the area of responsibility of each Rep. Act No. 7691 [1994]). However, if the claim for damages is the
branch throughout the Philippines. main cause of the action, the amount thereof shall be considered in

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determining the jurisdiction of the court. (Administrative Circular pecuniary estimation; otherwise, jurisdiction is concurrent with
No. 09-94, dated June 14, 1994). Metropolitan Trial Court, etc.
1.1.7. Additional original jurisdiction transferred under Sec.
5.2. of the Securities Regulation Code: 2. Criminal
a) Devices or schemes employed by, or any acts of, the board 2.1. Exclusive
of directors, business associates, its officers or partnership, Criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any
amounting to fraud and misrepresentation xxx; court, tribunal, or body (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 [1983],
b) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate partnership Sec. 20). These include criminal cases where the penalty
relations xxx; provided by law exceeds six (6) years imprisonment irrespective of
c) Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, the fine (Republic Act No. 7691 [1994]).20
trustees, officers, or managers of such corporation, partnership, or These also include criminal cases not falling within the
association; and exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, where none of
d) Petitions of corporations, partnerships or associations to be the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade
declared in a state of suspension of payments xxx(Rep. Act No. “27” and higher (Rep. Act No. 7975 and Rep. Act No. 8249).
8799, approved July 19, 2000). But in cases where the only penalty provided by law is a fine,
1.1.8. Application for issuance of writ of search and seizure in the Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction if the amount of the fine
civil actions for infringement of intellectual property rights (Sec. 3, exceeds P4,000.00. (Rep. Act No. 7691 as clarified by
A.M. No. 02-1-06-SC, effective February 15, 2002). Administrative Circular No. 09-94 dated June 14, 1994).
1.1.9. Violations of Rep. Act No. 9160, or “Anti-Money Jurisdiction over the whole complex crime is lodged with the
Laundering Act of 2001,” as amended by Rep. Act No. 9194.19 trial court having jurisdiction to impose the maximum and most
serious penalty imposable for an offense forming part of the
1.2. Concurrent complex crime.

1.2.1. with the Supreme Court


Actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and Sec. 19 Jurisdiction in civil cases – Regional Trial Courts shall
consuls (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 [1983], Sec. 21[1]). exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:

1.2.2. with the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Petitions [1] In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is
for habeas corpus and quo warranto. incapable of pecuniary estimation.

1.2.3. with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and What does incapable of pecuniary estimation mean?
Sandiganbayan
1.2.3.1. Petitions for writ of amparo and writ of habeas data In an action incapable of pecuniary estimation, the basic issue
(Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, or “The Rule on the Writ of Amparo,” is one other than the recovery of a sum of money. If ever there is a
effective October 24, 2007; Sec. 3, A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC, effective claim for money, it should only be incidental to the main issue.
February 2, 2008). Where the action is principally the recovery of a sum of
1.2.3.2. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus, if money, the action is one capable of pecuniary estimation and
they relate to an act or omission of a municipal trial court, jurisdiction would then depend on the amount of the claim
corporation, board, officer, or person (Sec. 4, Rule 65, as amended exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorneys fees,
by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, dated December 12, 2007). litigation expenses and costs. (Raymundo vs. CA, 213 SCRA 457
[1992]; Singsong vs. Isabela Sawmill, 88 SCRA 623 [1979])
1.2.4. with the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts The basic issue in an action incapable of pecuniary estimation
Application for Protection Order under Republic Act No. 9282, is one other than the recovery of money. In this kind of action the
Sec. 10, unless there is a Family Court in the residence of money claim is merely incidental (ibid)
petitioner.
How to determine whether the action is capable or incapable
1.2.5. with the Insurance Commission Claims not exceeding of pecuniary estimation-
P100,000.00 (INSURANCE CODE [1974], Sec. 416; Pres. Decree No.
612 [1975]). Applicable if subject of the action is not capable of “In determining whether an action is one the subject matter
of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this Court has

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adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the property. Hence, jurisdiction would be dependent on the assessed
principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the value of the property.
recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
pecuniary estimation and whether jurisdiction is in the MTCs or An action for specific performance to compel the defendant
the CFIs would depend on the amount of the claim. However, to execute a deed of conveyance covering a parcel of land with an
where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover assessed value of P19,000.00 is an action incapable of pecuniary
a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or estimation because the main issue is whether or not there is a right
a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has to compel specific performance (Suggested answer, UP Law Center
considered such actions as cases where the subject of the Bar 2000). Note: This answer is subject to an alternative answer
litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are which asserts that where the primary purpose of the action is to
cognizable exclusively by the CFI.” recover or obtain ownership of the real property, the action is one
affecting title to real property and is, therefore, a real action. In a
Examples of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation are real action, jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the
those for specific performance, support, or foreclosure of mortgage property.
or annulment of judgment, also actions questioning the validity of a
mortgage, annulling a deed of sale or conveyance and to recover An action for specific performance is one generally considered
the price paid and for rescission which is a counterpart of specific incapable of pecuniary estimation (Russel vs. Vestil, supra).
performance. (Russel vs. Vestil, 304 SCRA, 739, 744-745 [1999])
The amount of damages that may be claimed in addition to
Such ruling was, however, modified in Go vs. UCPB, GR No. the prayer for specific performance is not determinative of
156182 Nov. 11, 2004 where the court declared the following as jurisdiction. Thus, an action for specific performance and damages
real actions: of P200,000.00 is cognizable by the RTC even if the amount of
1.) judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage; damages sought to be recovered is within the jurisdiction of the
2.) actions to annul real estate mortgage; MTC.
for the reason that a real estate mortgage is a real right as
well as a real property. So an action to cancel or annul a real estate Where, however, the demand is in the alternative, as in an
mortgage necessarily affects title to the real property, hence a real action to compel the defendant to deliver the house by completing
action and jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the its construction or to pay the sum of P644.31, the action is one that
property. is capable of pecuniary estimation (Cruz vs. Tan 87 Phil. 627). Thus
an action for specific performance or in a the alternative, for
A complaint for expropriation is incapable of pecuniary damages in the amount of P180,000.00 is one capable of pecuniary
estimation (Barangay San Roque vs. Heirs of Pastor, 334 SCRA 127). estimation. Here, the amount of damages is determinative of
jurisdiction (Bar 1997).
An action seeking to annul a resolution of a government-
owned and controlled corporation is an action incapable of If as gleaned from the complaint, the principal relief sought by
pecuniary estimation (Polomolok Water District vs. Polomolok the complaint is for the court to issue an injunction against the
General Consumers Association GR No. 162124, October 19, 2007). adverse party and his representatives to permanently enjoin them
from preventing the survey of the subject land, the complaint is not
An action to annul a Deed of Declaration of Heirs and for a a possessory action but one for injunction. As such, the subject
partition of land with an assessed value of P5,000.00 is an action matter of litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation and
incapable of pecuniary estimation where the partition aspect is properly cognizable exclusively by the RTC under Sec. 19(1) of BP
only incidental to the action for annulment (Russel vs. Vestil 304 Blg. 129, as amended by RA No. 7691 (Bokingo vs. CA 489 SCRA
SCRA 739). 521).

An action for partition of a real property located in Taytay An action for injunction is within the jurisdiction of the RTC
Rizal and with an assessed value of P20,000.00, the resolution of being an action incapable of pecuniary estimation. (Bar 1997).
which involves the determination of hereditary rights, is an action
incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus, should be filed in the An action for replevin of a motorcycle valued at P150,000.00
RTC (Suggested answer UP Law Center Bar 2000) Note: This answer is capable of pecuniary estimation. The basis of jurisdiction is the
could also be subject to an alternative answer, when it is argued value of the personal property sought to be recovered. The amount
that an action for partition is one which involves interest in real of P150,000.00 falls within the jurisdiction of the MTC. (Bar 1997).

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EXAMPLE: The shipper will ship to you goods involving a


An action for interpleader is capable of pecuniary estimation. common carrier and while in transit, the goods are lost or they are
If the subject of interpleader is real property, then the jurisdictional totally damaged. You would like to file a claim or a case against the
amount is determined by the assessed value of the land. If it be carrier, what kind of a case is it? That is an admiralty or maritime
personal property, then the value of the property. case.

Hence, an action of interpleader to determine who between Q: In which court will you file it?
the defendants is entitled to receive the amount of P190,000.00 A: It depends on how much is your claim. If your claim of the
from the plaintiff is within the jurisdiction of the MTC (Bar 1997; damaged or lost cargo exceeds P300,000, then, RTC; if it is
Makati Development Corporation vs. Tanjuatco 27 SCRA 401). P300,000 or less, MTC. In Metro Manila, the jurisdictional amount
is higher – it should be over P400,000.

[2] In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession
of, real property or any interest therein, where the assessed value RA 7691, Sec. 5. After five (5) years from the effectivity of
of the property involved exceeds P20,000 or for civil actions in this Act, the jurisdictional amounts mentioned in Sec. 19(3), (4),
Metro Manila, where such value exceeds P50,000 except actions and (8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by
for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands and this Act, shall be adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos
buildings; original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the (P200,000.00). Five (5) years thereafter, such jurisdictional
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts; amounts shall be adjusted further to Three hundred thousand
pesos (P300,000.00): Provided, however, That in the case of
So in all real actions outside of forcible entry and unlawful Metro Manila, the abovementioned jurisdictional amounts shall
detainer, jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the be adjusted after five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act to
real property subject thereof. Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000,00).

What is a real action?

It is one affecting title to or possession of real property, or [4] In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate,
interest therein. (Sec. 1, Rule 4) where the gross value of the estate exceeds One Hundred
Thousand pesos (P100,000.00) [now php300,000] or, in probate
Examples would be accion publiciana (an action to recover matters in Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two
possession of real property), accion reinvidicatoria (action to Hundred Thousand pesos (P200,000.00) [now P400,000].
recover ownership of real property), quieting of title, provided the
assessed value of the property exceeds P20,000.00. In the subject of Wills and Succession, when a person dies, his
estate, his property will be settled for the benefit of his creditors
So, for a lesser value, MTC has jurisdiction. This is why MTCs and heirs. That is what you call either as testate or intestate
now have jurisdiction over accion publiciana when the value of the proceedings depending on whether the deceased left a will or
property is P20,000 or less. none.

In forcible entry and unlawful detainer, jurisdiction lies with If there are debts due the decedent, thus, payable by his/her
the MTC regardless of the assessed value. estate, settlement would mean liquidation, which includes
inventory of all the assets and obligations payable, payment of the
Now, if in Metro Manila, the value is P50,000. debts, then distribution of the residue to the heirs. This is done by
the court thru an administrator appointed by it or thru the
executor appointed by the decedent.
[3] In all civil actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction
where the demand or claim exceeds One Hundred Thousand Q: Where should the estate of the deceased person be
pesos (P100,00.00) [now PhP 300,000.00] or, in Metro Manila, settled, RTC or MTC?
where such demand or claim exceeds Two Hundred Thousand A: It depends on how much is the gross value of his estate. If it
pesos (P200,000.00)[now, PhP 400,000]. exceeds P300,000, RTC. If it is P300,000 or less, it should be with
the MTC. In Metro Manila again, the gross should be more than
P400,000.

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What were the cases which were usually falling within the
The jurisdiction of the court as a probate or intestate court original jurisdiction of the former JDRC?
relates only to matters having to do with the settlement of the Usually, those involving family and children, like support filed
estate and probate of the will of the decedent but does not extend by the child against his father, compulsory recognition, custody of
to the determination of questions of ownership that arise during children, adoption proceedings.
the proceedings.
Under BP 129, all of these are now within the jurisdiction of
[5] In all actions involving the contract of marriage and RTC.
marital relations.
HOWEVER, this has been amended again by RA 8369 (Family
Most of these cases are under the Family Code and now fall Courts Act of 1997) and these cases are now under the jurisdiction
under the jurisdiction of family courts (RA 8369, The Family Courts of the FAMILY COURTS: (See Sections 5 [b], [c], [e], [g])
Act of 1997). But because family courts have not yet been
constituted, the SC has designated RTCs to take cognizance of such RA 8369, SECTION 5.Jurisdiction of Family Courts. — The
cases. Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and
decide the following cases:
Q: What are the possible actions which you can imagine xxxx
involving the contract of marriage and marital relations? b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, habeas
A: Annulment of marriage, legal separation, declaration of corpus in relation to the latter;
nullity, dissolution of the absolute community of husband and wife, c) Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation
and action for support. thereof;
xxxx
RA 8369, SECTION 5.Jurisdiction of Family Courts. — The g) Petitions for declaration of status of children as
Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and abandoned, dependent or neglected children, petitions for
decide the following cases: voluntary or involuntary commitment of children; the suspension,
xxxxxx termination, or restoration of parental authority and other cases
d) Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of cognizable under Presidential Decree No. 603, Executive Order
nullity of marriage and those relating to marital status and No. 56, (Series of 1986), and other related laws;
property relations of husband and wife or those living together xxxxx
under different status and agreements, and petitions for
dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains;
xxxxxx As regards the law transferring the jurisdiction of the CAR to
the RTC, it became partially obsolete with the enactment of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or RA 6657 (June 15,
No. 6 will be discussed later. 1988). Under the CARL, all agrarian disputes between landlord and
tenant, lessor and lessee were transferred to the DAR particularly
[7] In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB), making them quasi-judicial
the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic cases. So, from CAR to RTC, from RTC to DARAB
Relations Court and of the Court of Agrarian Relations as now
provided by law; So the RTC has NO jurisdiction, EXCEPT in the following 2
cases:
Before BP 129 or before 1980, there were special courts
existing. Among these courts were the so called Juvenile and
Domestic Relations Courts (JDRC). Then you have the Court of QUISMUNDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
Agrarian Relations (CAR) which tried cases involving tenancy, 201 SCRA 609 [1991]
agricultural lessor, agricultural lessee, agricultural lands. When BP
129 was enacted, the CAR and the JDRCs were abolished together HELD: “Wth the enactment of Executive Order No. 229, which
with the other courts created by law. Cases which they used to took effect on August 29, 1987, the Regional Trial Courts were
handle were automatically transferred to the RTC. That was after divested of their general jurisdiction to try agrarian reform matters.
BP 129 took effect. The said jurisdiction is now vested in the Department of Agrarian

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Reform. Said provisions thus delimit the jurisdiction of the regional of damages. Costs are governed by Rule 141, while attorney’s fees
trial courts in agrarian cases only to two instances: and litigation expenses are governed by the Civil Code.
1.) petitions for the determination of just compensation to
landowners; and ACTIONS PURELY FOR DAMAGES
2.) prosecution of criminal offenses under said Act.
SITUATION: Suppose the action is purely for damages, like
EXAMPLE: If you are a landowner and your agricultural land is breach of contract of carriage. Instead of bringing you to your
placed under the CARP coverage, the government will fix the destination, you ended up in the hospital. You now sue the
payment for you. The trouble is that you did not agree on the common carrier for damages and your claim is P1 million for
amount of payment. You want to contest the amount of injuries, moral, exemplary, etc. Where will you file the case?
compensation payable, in which court will you file your action?
RTC and you ask for higher compensation.
This question has been clarified by SC Circular No. 09-94:
“Guidelines in the Implementation of RA 7691 Extending the
Jurisdiction of the MTCs” where the SC said that the provision
[8] In all cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, excluding damages applies only if the damages are INCIDENTAL to
damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, the action. If the main cause of action is 100% damages, you
and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds One include it in determining tire P300,000 jurisdictional limit of the
Hundred Thousand pesos (P100,000.00) [now P300,000] or, in MTC.
such other cases in Metro Manila, where the demand, exclusive
of the above-mentioned items exceeds Two Hundred Thousand EXAMPLE: Ms. Pastor rode on a PAL fight. The plane crashed
pesos (P200,000.00)[now P400,000] but she survived. She claims for damages for breach of contract of
carriage amounting to P1 million.
The best example is money claim. Most cases which go to Q: Where will she file her case?
court now are money claims – an action to collect sum of money. A: RTC because the amount of the claim for damages
exceeded P300,000. Since the case is purely for damages, it is
Q: Unpaid loan – you would like to collect an unpaid loan of included in determining the jurisdiction of the court.
your debtor. Where will you file your case?
A: It depends on how much are you collecting. If it is over The rule is, you only exclude the damages if it is a secondary
P300,000 outside Metro Manila – RTC, in Metro Manila, – claim. But if damages is the primary or only claim, you determine
P400,000. If the amount that you are collecting is only P300,000 or whether the total claim for damages is above P300,000, or equal to
less obviously, you file your case in the MTC. or less than P300,000.

If the value of the claim is > P300,000 – RTC The SC said in this Circular, “the exclusive damages of
If the value of the claim is = or < P300,000 – MTC whatever kind” in determining the jurisdiction under Section 19
paragraph [8] applies to cases where the damages are merely
incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action.
Q: Suppose the principal amount that you borrowed from me However, if the claim for damages is the main cause of action, the
is P300,000, the interest is P30,000. And you are collecting P10,000 amount of such claim should be considered in determining the
for moral damages, another P10,000 for expense of litigation, etc. jurisdiction.
So my total claim is P350,000. Where will I file the case?
A: MTC. In determining the jurisdictional limit of P300,000, do EXAMPLE: P will file a case against D to recover a piece of land
not include the interest, damages, attorney’s fees, etc. So you worth P20,000.00 only. But her claim for damages exceeds
deduct those from the principal claim even if you put them in your P300,000.
complaint because the law says, “xxx exclusive of interest, damages Q: In what court will P file a civil case where she wants to
of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs recover a piece of land with value of only P20,000?
xxx.” A: MTC because of paragraph [2]. As regards the damages of
P300,000.00, MTC still has jurisdiction because such damages,
Q: What are litigation expenses and costs? being incidental, is not included in determining the jurisdiction of
A: Costs are not the same as attorney’s fees and litigation the RTC.
expenses. Actually, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses are part

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ISSUE #2: But according to the plaintiff, when he filed the


Now, the law says, “exclusive of interest, damages of complaint, it is entitled “for sum of money” which should fall under
whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs or paragraph [8]. Is the plaintiff correct?
THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IN CONTROVERSY exceeds HELD: NO. The plaintiff is wrong. The title of the action is not
P300,000….” determinative on the court. Just like the rule on contracts where
the nature of the contract is not determined by the title but by
Q: What is the property in controversy? stipulation.
A: Obviously here, the property is PERSONAL PROPERTY not “The factual allegations in the complaint seeking for the
real. If the property sought to be recovered is real, apply paragraph performance of an obligation of a written contract which is a
[2] of Section 19 on recovery of real property. matter clearly incapable of pecuniary estimation prevail over the
designation of the complaint as one for the sum of money and
Q: You want to recover your car which your friend borrowed damages.”
but did not return, which court has jurisdiction?
As may be seen from the foregoing enumeration, jurisdiction
MTC if the value is P300,000.00 or less, and RTC, if over. is determined:
(1) by the nature of the action; or
Q: Who shall determine the value or how should the value be (2) by the value of the demand; or
determined? (3) by the value of the property involved.
A: In determining the jurisdiction of the court, over the
subject matter, the allegations in the complaint governs.

[6] In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any


Let us go to some interesting cases on this provision. court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions
ORTIGAS AND CO., LTD PARTNERSHIP vs. HERRERA
120 SCRA 89 [1983] Practically, this makes the RTC the universal catcher – what
does not belong to any other court, belongs to the RTC. That’s
FACTS: A entered into an agreement with B where A what this provision is saying.
deposited the sum of P50,000 with B. After certain conditions are
complied B has to return the amount to A. According to A the
conditions are already complied with but B still refuses to return That is why, because of this, there are problems reaching the
the money. So A filed a complaint which he denominated as sum of SC on jurisdiction – whether a case belongs to this, to the regular
money and since he is only asking for the return of P50,000, A filed court or to a special quasi-judicial body. And we are going to go
the case in the MTC. over some of these cases.

ISSUE #1: Whether or not the MTC has jurisdiction over the SANDOVAL vs. CANEBA
case. 190 SCRA 77 [1990]
HELD: The MTC has NO jurisdiction. It should be filed in the
RTC. It is not an action to collect a loan. You are not recovering a FACTS: The quarrel in this case involves the owner of the
loan. You are compelling him to comply with the agreement – to subdivision and the buyer. Later on, the buyer refused to pay the
return the money after certain conditions are complied with. You unpaid installments. The subdivision developer filed a case for the
are trying to enforce your agreement. therefore your action is an collection of unpaid installments over the subdivision lots.
action for SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE which should be tried by the HELD: The regular courts have no jurisdiction. That should be
RTC under paragraph [1]. decided by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)
“When a party to a contract has agreed to refund to the other formerly known as NHA. Under PD 957, it is the HLURB not the RTC
party a sum of money upon compliance by the latter of certain or MTC which has the jurisdiction to hear a case involving non-
conditions and only upon compliance therewith may what is legally payment of installments over subdivision lots.
due him under the written contract be demanded, the action is one
not capable of pecuniary estimation.” So it is cognizable by the RTC. The counterpart of this case was the case of

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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

Now, according to Fajardo, the jurisdiction of the case belongs


CT TORRES ENTERPRISES, INC. vs. HIBIONADA to the RTC and not with the HLURB because the title of the lots are
191 SCRA 268 [1990] transferred to the other buyers. It is no longer under the name of
Jareno. Secondly, their action is for the annulment of title to a third
FACTS: This is also the case between the buyers of a person. Thirdly, these third persons are not the developers;
subdivision lot against the subdivision developer. Only this time it fourthly, under the Judiciary Law, actions involving title to a real
is the subdivision lot buyers who are suing the developer of the property are to be tried by the RTC.
subdivision. The subdivision lot owners filed against the subdivision
developer for not maintaining properly the roads of the HELD: The RTC still has NO jurisdiction because the case
subdivision. So they filed a case for specific performance with involved unsound real estate business practice on the part of the
damages to compel the developer to comply with the contract to subdivision owners and developers. Under the law, unsound real
maintain the roads. estate business practice is under the HLURB. The practice in the
case is not a sound real estate business – I am a developer, I enter
HELD: The jurisdiction is with the HLURB and not with the into a contract with you and then later on I sold the contract to a
regular courts. But according to the plaintiff “But I’m also claiming third person, that is unsound!
for damages so that it should be filed before the regular courts. “By virtue of P.D. 1344, the HLURB has the exclusive
How can the HLURB award damages? Only the regular courts can jurisdiction to hear and decide the matter. In addition to involving
award the damages.” Can the HLURB award damages? According unsound real estate business practices, the complaints also involve
to the SC: specific performance of the contractual and statutory obligations of
“The argument that only courts of justice can adjudicate the owners or developers of the subdivision.” So it is still with the
claims resoluble under the provisions of the Civil Code is out of step HLURB and not with the regular courts.
with the fast-changing times. There are hundreds of administrative
bodies now performing this function by virtue of a valid
authorization from the legislature. This quasi-judicial function, as it
is called, is exercised by them as an incident of the principal power BENGUET CORPORATION vs. LEVISTE
entrusted to them of regulating certain activities falling under their 204 SCRA 99 [1991]
particular expertise.”
So quasi-judicial bodies are now authorized to award FACTS: A mining company entered into an operations
damages. agreement for management with another mining company. Then
later on, one wants to file a case for rescission of the agreement for
As a matter of fact in Labor Relations, the question is asked one reason or another. So it was filed with the RTC.
whether the NLRC is authorized to grant damages also to an
employee, moral and exemplary, which normally is only awarded HELD: The RTC has NO jurisdiction again because PD 1281
by courts. The Labor Code says yes. In other words, even damages vested with the Bureau of Mines with jurisdictional supervision
now can be awarded by administrative bodies such as NLRC. and control over all issues on mining claims and that the Bureau
of Mines shall have the original exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
FAJARDO vs. BAUTISTA decide cases involving the cancellation and enforcement of
232 SCRA 291 [1994] mining contracts.

FACTS: Isabelo and Marita Jareno are the owners and The trend is to make the adjudication of mining cases a
developers of a subdivision. Fajardo and others, as buyers, signed purely administrative matter. Another case is the case of
separate contracts each designated a contract to sell under which
for consideration therein stated, the Jarenos bound themselves to MACHETE vs. COURT OF APPEALS
sell to Fajardo et al the lot subject thereof, and after the latter shall 250 SCRA 176 [1995]
have paid the purchase price and interest shall execute in favor of
Fajardo et al the corresponding deeds of sale. FACTS: This case involves the collection by the landowner of
When these contracts to sell are still ongoing the Jarenos sold unpaid back rentals from his leasehold tenants. The landowner
these lots to other buyers and the title was transferred to the filed the money claims before the RTC.
second buyer. So when Fajardo et al learned about it, they filed
separate complaints with the RTC for annulment of the sale to the
other buyers.

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

HELD: The RTC has no jurisdiction over cases for collection of measure to preserve the integrity of licensure examinations.” So
back rentals for the leasehold tenants. This is an agrarian dispute that is not the resolution reviewable by the CA.
which exclusively cognizable by the DARAB. Now, under what provision under Section 19 can we justify
“The failure of petitioners to pay back rentals pursuant to the the jurisdiction of the RTC in the case. The SC said: It is under
leasehold contract with landowner is an issue which is clearly paragraph 1 where the case is incapable of pecuniary estimation or,
beyond the legal competence of the trial court to resolve. The it may fall under paragraph 6 where the case is not within the
doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to exclusive jurisdiction by any court, tribunal or- body exercising
arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the Judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative
body of special competence.” So, if it is not reviewable by the CA, in what court can you
question the resolution? Definitely, not the CA, definitely not the
SC. I don’t think it’s with the NLRC. So it will fall under the
Let’s go to Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). That is jurisdiction of the RTC. Or, it can also fall under paragraph [1,]
the government body which administers all government where the subject matter of the suit is not capable of pecuniary
examination for professionals except members of the law estimation because what is the nature of the demands is to declare
profession. Now, this is what happened in the case of unconstitutional this resolution. So it belongs to the jurisdiction of
the RTC.
LUPANGCO ET AL vs. COURT OF APPEALS
160 SCRA 848 [1988] BERNARDO vs. CALTEX PHIL. INC.
216 SCRA 170 [1992]
FACTS: Lupangco et al were BS Accounting graduates and
reviewing to take the CPA exams in 1985. FACTS: Under E.O. No. 172, when there is a dispute between
There were some anomalies (leakages) in the 1985 CPA Board an operator or dealer and an Oil company regarding dealership
Examination. By next year, the PRC passed a resolution prohibiting agreement, the case shall be under the jurisdiction of the Energy
CPA examinees to attend review classes or conferences because of Regulatory Board (ERB). So any dispute regarding their relationship
leakages. They are prohibited from receiving any handouts, review agreement except disputes arising out of the relationship as debtor
materials or any tip from any school, college or university. That was and creditor. So if the dispute arose out of the relationship as
Resolution No. 105 of the PRC. debtor and creditor, it should be filed with the RTC.
So petitioners Lupangco et al, all CPA reviewers filed an Now what happened here is that on December 5, 1990,
injunction suit against the PRC and to declare the resolution Bernardo, a dealer of Caltex, ordered gasoline from Caltex. So he
unconstitutional. They filed it with the RTC. The PRC moved to ordered in the morning. At 6:00 at night on the same day, there
dismiss alleging that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case was a price increase. So when the gasoline was delivered the
because the one which has the jurisdiction is the CA – exclusive following day, Caltex charged Bernardo for the increased price.
jurisdiction to review any decision, order, ruling or- resolution of Bernardo refused to pay and he filed a case before the RTC. Caltex
any quasi-judicial body. And the PRC is a quasi-judicial body. So argued that the case should be filed with the ERB.
their resolution can only be questioned before the CA and not with
the RTC. HELD: The RTC has jurisdiction because “a contract of sale of
petroleum products was here perfected between Caltex and its
HELD: The PRC is WRONG because PRC is not only a quasi- operator/dealer Bernardo; that in virtue of the payment admittedly
judicial body, it is also a quasi-legislative body. It also acts as made by Bernardo, Caltex became a “debtor” to him in the sense
legislative body by issuing rules and regulations. that it was obligated to make delivery to Bernardo of the
Now, what kind of resolution is being questioned here? It is a petroleum products ordered by him; and that the only issue is the
resolution pursuant to its purely administrative function. It is a manner by which Caltex shall perform its commitment in
measure to preserve the integrity of licensure examination. Bernardo’s favor. It is rather one cognizable by the Regional Trial
Therefore, it does not belong to the CA. It is not the type of Court, as a dispute indeed ‘arising out of their relationship as
resolution contemplated by Section 9. debtor and creditor.’”
“The authority of the CA to review all resolutions of all quasi- “What the controversy is all about, to repeat, is simply the
judicial bodies pursuant to the law does not cover rules and prices at which the petroleum products shall be deemed to have
regulations of general applicability issued by the administrative been purchased from Caltex by Bernardo in December 5, 1990. This
body to implement its purely administrative policies and functions is obviously a civil law question, one determinable according to the
like Resolution No. 105 which was adopted by the PRC as a

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provisions of the Civil Code and hence, beyond the cognizance of collect the tax, and not merely the amounts of the increase in the
the Energy Regulatory Board.” tax, jurisdiction over the case was properly with the trial courts.
(Olivares v. Marquez 438 SCRA 679)
Lack of Jurisdiction by RTC on Customs Matters
Special jurisdiction to try special cases
The RTC is devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity
or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by Certain branches of the RTC may be designated by the SC to
the Bureau of Customs, and to enjoin or otherwise interfere with handle exclusively criminal cases, juvenile and domestic relations
the said proceedings even if the seizure was illegal. Such act does cases, agrarian cases, urban and land reform cases which do not fall
not deprive the Bureau of Customs of jurisdiction thereon. (RV under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies, and/or
Marzan Freight, Inc. v. CA, 424 SCRA 596) such other special cases as the SC may determine in the interest of
a speedy and efficient administration of justice (Sec. 233 BP Blg.
The Court held that the Trial court was incompetent to pass 129)
upon and nullify: (1)the seizure of the cargo in the abandonment
proceedings, and (2) the declaration made by the District Collector Jurisdiction over intra-corporate controversies
of Customs that the cargo was abandoned and ipso facto owned by
the government. It, likewise, has no jurisdiction to resolve the issue Sec. 5.2 of the Securities Regulation Code (RA No 8799)
of whether or not the private respondent was the owner of the provides that the RTCs shall exercise original and exclusive
cargo before it was gutted by fire. The trial court should have jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases:
rendered judgment dismissing the complaint, without prejudice to
the right of the private respondent to ventilate the issue before the a.) Cases involving devises or schemes employed by or any
Commissioner of Customs and/or to the CTA as provided for in the act, of the board of directors, business associates, its
Tariff and Customs Code. officers or partnership, amounting to fraud and
misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the
Disputed Assessments interest of the public and/or of the stockholders,
partners, members of associations or organizations
The CTA has jurisdiction over disputed assessments, and the registered with the Commission.
ordinary courts over non-disputed ones. Failure of a taxpayer to b.) Controversies arising out of inter-corporate or
appeal to the CTA makes the assessment final and executory. partnership relations, between and among stockholders,
Thereafter, if a collection suit is filed in the court, there can no members or associates; between any or all of them and
longer be any inquiry on the merits of the original case. (Republic v. the corporation, partnership or association of which they
Dy Chay 1 SCRA 975; Olivares v. Marquez, 438 SCRA 679) are stockholders, members or associates, respectively,
and between such corporation, partnership or
Non-Disputed Assessments association and the state insofar as it concerns their
individual franchise or right to exist as such entity.
As provided in RA 9262, the CTA has: c.) Controversies in the election or appointments of
directors, trustees, officers or managers of such
“(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction in tax collection cases corporations, partnerships or associations; and
involving final and executory assessments for taxes, fees, charges d.) Petitions of corporations, partnerships or associations to
and penalties; Provided, however, that collection cases where the be declared in the state of suspension of payments in
principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and cases where the corporation, partnership or association
penalties, claimed is less than P1M shall be tried by the proper possesses sufficient property to cover all its debts but
MTC, MetTC and RTC. foresees the impossibility of meeting them when they
respectively fall due or in cases where the corporation,
The tax collection case would fall under the jurisdiction of the partnership or association has no sufficient assets to
first level courts where the amount does not exceed P300,000.00 cover its liabilities, but is under the management of a
or in MM where it does not exceed P400,000.00. Rehabilitation Receiver or Management Committee.

Where, however, what is being questioned is the very CONCURRENT ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE RTC
authority and power of the assessor, acting solely and
independently, to impose the assessment and of the treasurer to

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

Sec. 21. Original jurisdiction in other cases. - Regional Trial may give it due course only when the petition show prima facie
Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction: that the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that
will warrant a reversal or modification of the decision or
judgment sought to be reviewed.
[1] In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and injunction which B. Appellate Jurisdiction
may be enforced in any part of their respective regions; All cases decided by lower courts (Metropolitan Trial Courts,
etc.) in their respective territorial jurisdictions (Batas Pambansa
Q: What is the difference between the original jurisdiction of Blg. 129, Sec. 22).
the RTC in Section 21 and the original jurisdiction of the RTC in
Section 19?
A: In Section 19, you have the EXCLUSIVE original jurisdiction,
whereas in Section 21 you have the original jurisdiction but Now take note that the RTC also has appellate jurisdiction
CONCURRENT with other courts. under Section 22. These are cases decided by the MTC. So they act
as a sort of ‘court of appeals.’ The RTC exercises appellate
Thus “original” jurisdiction stated in Section 21 is also shared jurisdiction over all cases decided by the MTC in their respective
with the SC and CA. Therefore , the SC, CA, and RTC have original territorial jurisdiction.
concurrent jurisdiction under Section 21. Like issuance of writs of
certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, Q: How will the RTC decide on the appeal?
etc. This is concurrent with the CA and the SC. Such writs may be A: It shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the
issued by (a) the RTC under Section 19; (b) CA under Section 9; and proceedings had in the court of origin (MTC) such as memoranda
(c) SC under Article VIII Section 5 of the Constitution. The 3 courts and/or briefs as may be submitted. This means that witnesses will
share concurrent jurisdiction over these cases. not be made to appear again in the appeal. It is only a matter of
reviewing the testimony, stenographic notes, evidence presented,
However the only difference is that writs issued by an RTC can memoranda and briefs by the RTC judge.
only be enforced in the same region where the RTC belongs. Unlike
writs issued by the SC and CA, they can be enforced anywhere in Q: What are memoranda and briefs?
the Philippines. A: It is where the appealing party will argue that the decision
is wrong and try to convince the judge that the decision is wrong,
and the other party to counter act that the decision is correct.
[2] In actions affecting ambassadors and other public
ministers and consuls. Q: Assuming that the case is originated in the MTC and
subsequently dismissed by the RTC on appeal, is the decision by the
The SC and RTC have original concurrent jurisdiction in actions RTC rendered pursuant to its appellate jurisdiction appealable to
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls. Section the CA?
21 paragraph 2 states only of the concurrent original jurisdiction of A: YES, but the mode of appeal is now different. The decision
the SC and RTC. Section 19 on the jurisdiction of CA does not of the RTC in such cases shall be appealable by petition to review to
include the action stated in section 21 paragraph 2 as part of its the CA. The CA may or may not give it due course.
(CA’s) jurisdiction.
Q: What is the difference between an appeal made from the
RTC to CA and appeal from the MTC to RTC, which is dismissed by
APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE RTC the latter and subsequently appealed to the CA?
A: The former (RTC – CA) is in pursuance to the original
Sec. 22. Appellate jurisdiction. - Regional Trial Courts jurisdiction of the RTC. The latter (MTC-RTC-CA) is in pursuance to
shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by the appellate jurisdiction of the RTC. (They are governed by
MetTCs, MTCs and MCTCs in their respective territorial different rules)
jurisdictions. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of the
entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and To illustrate:
such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the
parties or required by the RTCs. The decision of the RTCs in such
cases shall be appealable by petition for review to the CA which

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

Pursuant to original Pursuant to appellate guilty, the court shall promulgate sentence and ascertain any civil
jurisdiction of the RTC: jurisdiction of the RTC: liability which the accused may have incurred. The sentence,
however, shall be suspended without need of application, pursuant
COURT OF APPEALS COURT OF APPEALS to Pres. Decree No. 1903, otherwise known as “The Child and Youth
Welfare Code;”

2. Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, and habeas


Ordinary appeal Petition for Review corpus in relation to the latter (Sec. 3, A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC,
(Rule 41) (Rule 42) effective May 15, 2003; Sec. 3, A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC, effective
April 15, 2003);
RTC RTC
3. Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation
thereof (Secs. A.20 and B.28, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, effective August
22, 2002; See also Rep. Act No. 9523, or “An Act Requiring
Certification of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Ordinary Appeal to Declare A Child ‘Legally Available for Adoption’ as a Prerequisite
(Rule 40) for Adoption Proceedings, Amending for this Purpose Certain
Provisions of Republic Act No. 8552, otherwise known as The
MTC Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, Rep. Act No. 8043, otherwise
known as The Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995, Pres. Decree No.
603, otherwise known as The Child and Youth Welfare Code, and
for Other Purposes,” approved on March 12, 2009);
Unlike in a case under the original jurisdiction of the RTC,
where an appeal to the CA is a matter of course. Meaning, for as 4. Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of
long as your appeal is on time and properly made, the CA will nullity of marriage, and those relating to marital status and
entertain it. property relations of husband and wife or those living together
under different status and agreements, and petitions for
It is different, however, in a case under the appellate dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains (Sec. 2, A.M. No. 02-11-
jurisdiction of the RTC, even if your appeal is on time and properly 10-SC, effective March 15, 2003);
made, there is no assurance that the CA will entertain the appeal.
The CA may give it due course only when your petition for review 5. Petitions for involuntary commitment of a child, for
shows prima facie evidence that the lower court has committed an removal of custody against child-placement or child-caring agency
error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal or modification of or individual, and for commitment of disabled child (Secs. 4[b],
the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed. 5[a][ii], 6[b], A.M. No. 02-1-19-SC, effective April 15, 2002);
6. Petitions for support and/ or acknowledgment;
7. Summary judicial proceedings brought under the provisions
Summary of RTC jurisdiction: of Exec. Order No. 209, otherwise known as “The Family Code of
1.) As to the EXCLUSIVE original jurisdiction – Section 19 (BP the Philippines;”
129);
2.) As to its original CONCURRENT jurisdiction – Section 21 8. Petitions for declaration of status of children as abandoned,
(BP 129); dependent, or neglected children, petitions for voluntary or
3.) As to its APPELLATE jurisdiction – Section 22 (BP 129) involuntary commitment of children, the suspension, termination,
or restoration of parental authority and other cases cognizable
JURISDICTION OF FAMILY COURTS under Pres. Decree No. 603, Executive Order No. 56 (series of 1986)
and other related laws;
V. FAMILY COURTS
A. Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction 9. Petitions for constitution of family home;24
1. Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below 10. Cases against minors cognizable under Rep. Act No. 9165,
eighteen (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age, or “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” (See also
when one or more of the victims is a minor at the time of the A.M. No. 07-8-2-SC, effective November 5, 2007); and
commission of the offense: Provided, That if the minor is found

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11. Violation of Rep. Act No. 7610 [1991], otherwise known as Original jurisdiction of Shari”a District Courts
the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploration
and Discrimination Act,” as amended by Rep. Act No. 7658 *1993+ Exclusive Original jurisdiction over:
and as further amended by Rep. Act No. 9231 [2003]. (a) All cases involving custody, guardianship, legitimacy,
12. Violation of Rep. Act No. 9775, otherwise known as the paternity and filiation under the Code;
“Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009” (b) All cases involving disposition, distribution and
13. Cases of domestic violence against: settlement of the estate of the deceased Muslims,
13.1. Women - which are acts of gender based violence that probate of wills, issuance of letters of administration or
results, or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological appointment of administrators or executors regardless
harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse of the nature or the aggregate value of the property;
such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman's (c) Petitions for the declaration of absence and death and
personhood, integrity and freedom of movement; and for the cancellation or correction of entries in the
13.2. Children – which include the commission of all forms of Muslim Registries mentioned in Title VI of Book Two of
abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence, and discrimination the Code;
and all other conditions prejudicial to their development.25 (d) All actions arising from customary contracts in which the
14. Cases of violence against women and their children under parties are Muslims, if they have not specified which
Rep. Act No. 9262, otherwise known as “Anti-Violence Against law shall govern their relations; and
Women and their Children Act of 2004,”26 including applications (e) All petitions for mandamus, prohibition, injunction,
for Protection Order under the same Act;27 and certiorari, habeas corpus, and all other auxiliary writs
15. Criminal cases involving juveniles if no preliminary and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.
investigation is required under Sec. 1, Rule 112 of Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure28 (Sec. 1, A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC, effective April Concurrent original jurisdiction of Shari’a District Courts with
15, 2002). existing civil courts over:
(a) Petitions by Muslims for the constitution of a family
home, change of name and commitment of an
In areas where there are no Family Courts, the above insane person to an asylum;
enumerated cases shall be adjudicated by the Regional Trial Court (b) All other personal and real actions not mentioned in
(Sec. 17, RA No. 8369). paragraph (d) of the immediately preceding topic,
wherein the parties involved are Muslims except
Jurisdiction of Shari’a Courts those for forcible entry and unlawful detainer,
which shall fall under the exclusive original
Types: jurisdiction of the Municipal Circuit Court; and
(c) All special civil actions for interpleader or declaratory
1. These courts were created under Art. 137 of PD 1083 relief wherein the parties are Muslims or the
dated February 4, 1977. Their creation, as stated in Art. property involved belongs exclusively to Muslims.
2 of the decree, is a recognition of the “legal system of
the Muslims in the Philippines as part of the law of the Appellate jurisdiction of Shari’a District Courts over:
land and seeks to make Islamic institutions more (a) all cases tried in the Shari’a Circuit Courts within their
effective.” territorial jurisdiction;
2. These courts are the a) Shari’a District Courts and the b) (b) and decide all cases appealed to it on the basis of the
Shari’a Circuit Courts (Art. 137, PD 1083). Under the evidence and records transmitted as well as such
same article, the Shari’a courts and the personnel memoranda, briefs or oral arguments as the parties
thereof are subject to the administrative supervision of may submit (Art. 144, PD 1083).
the Supreme Court.
3. The Shrari’a District judges receive the same Finality of decisions
compensation and enjoy the same privileges as the
judges of Courts of First Instance, now Regional Trial Under Art. 145 of the decree, the decisions of the Shari’a
Courts (Art. 142, PD 1083). Shari’a Circuit Court judges District Courts whether on appeal from the Shari’a Circuit Court or
shall receive the same compensation and enjoy the not, shall be final. Nothing herein contained shall affect the original
same privileges as judges of MTCs. (Art. 154, PD 1083) and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in the
Constitution.

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Original jurisdiction of Shari’a Circuit Courts

Exclusive original jurisdiction over:


(1) All cases involving offenses defined and punished under
this Code;
(2) All civil actions and proceedings between parties who
are Muslims or have been married in accordance
with Art. 13 involving disputes relating to:
(a) Marriage;
(b) Divorce recognized under the Code (PD 1083);
(c) Bethrotal or breach of contract to marry;
(d) Customary dower (mahr);
(e) Disposition and distribution of property upon
divorce;
(f) Maintenance and support, and consolatory
gifts, (mut’a); and
(g) Restitution of marital rights.
(3) All cases involving disputes relative to communal
properties. (Art. 155, PD 1083)

Rules applicable
The Shari’a courts shall be governed by special rules of
procedure as the Supreme Court may promulgate (Art. 148 and Art.
158, PD 1083).

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JURISDICTION OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS


VI. METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL
Actually, when you know the jurisdiction of the RTC, COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL
automatically you know the jurisdiction of the MTC. In criminal TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES
cases for example, RTC has jurisdiction when the penalty imposable
is imprisonment of more than 6 years until death penalty. So, A. Original Jurisdiction
necessarily, if it is 6 years or below, the MTC has jurisdiction. Same 1. Civil
with civil cases. 1.1. Exclusive

Summary of jurisdiction of MTC: 1.1.1. Actions involving personal property valued at not more
A.) As to original jurisdiction – Section 33 than P300,000.00 or in Metro Manila P400,000.00;
B.) As to delegated jurisdiction – Section 34
C.) As to special jurisdiction – Section 35 1.1.2. Actions demanding sums of money not exceeding
P300,000.00 or in Metro Manila P400,000.00; in both cases,
exclusive of interest, damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses
A.) EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MTC and costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged, but
the filing fees thereon shall be paid. These include admiralty and
Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal maritime cases;
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. -
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal 1.1.3. Actions involving title or possession of real property
Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: where the assessed value does not exceed P20,000.00 or in Metro
Manila P50,000.00;
1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and
probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of 1.1.4. Provisional remedies in principal actions within their
provisional remedies in proper cases, where the value of the jurisdiction, and in proper cases, such as preliminary attachment,
personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not preliminary injunction, appointment or receiver and delivery of
exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in Metro personal property; (Rule 57, 58, 59, and 60)
Manila where such personal property, estate, or amount of the
demand does not exceed two hundred thousand pesos 1.1.5. Forcible entry and unlawful detainer, with jurisdiction
(P200,000.00), exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, to resolve issue of ownership to determine issue of possession;
attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs, the amount of 1.1.6. Probate proceedings, testate or intestate, where gross
which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That interest, value of estate does not exceed P300,000.00 or in Metro Manila
damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, P400,000.00 (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 33, as amended by
and costs shall be included in the determination of the filing fees: Rep. Act No. 7691); and
Provided further, That where there are several claims or causes of
actions between the same or different parties, embodied in the 1.1.7. Inclusion and exclusion of voters. (Sec. 38, Batas
same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality Pambansa Blg. 881, Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines
of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether [1985]).
the causes of action arose out of the same or different
transactions. 1.2. Delegated30 Cadastral and land registration cases
assigned by the Supreme Court where there is no controversy or
RA 7691, Sec. 5. After five (5) years from the effectivity of opposition and in contested lots valued at more than P100,000.00
this Act, the jurisdictional amounts mentioned in Sec. 19(3), (4), (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 34, as amended by Rep. Act No.
and (8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by 7691).
this Act, shall be adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos
(P200,000.00). Five (5) years thereafter, such jurisdictional 1.3. Special Petition for habeas corpus in the absence of all
amounts shall be adjusted further to Three hundred thousand Regional Trial Court judges (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 35).
pesos (P300,000.00): Provided, however, That in the case of
Metro Manila, the abovementioned jurisdictional amounts shall 2. Criminal
be adjusted after five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act to 2.1. Exclusive
Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000,00).

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2.1.1. All violations of city or municipal ordinances committed the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the
within their respective territorial jurisdictions; causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions
2.1.2. All offenses punishable with imprisonment of not more (Sec. 33 as amended by RA No. 7691; PANTRANCO North Express
than six (6) years irrespective of the fine and regardless of other Inc. vs. Standard Insurance Company Inc., 453 SCRA 482).
imposable accessory or other penalties and the civil liability arising
therefrom; provided, however, that in offenses involving damage ILLUSTRATION of joinder of causes of action:
to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive
original jurisdiction (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 32, as amended The defendant secured from me two loans covered by 2
by Rep. Act No. 7691);31 promissory notes and all of them are due and he has not paid me
2.1.3. All offenses committed not falling within the exclusive any. Let's say each note covers a principal amount of P175,000.00.
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan where none of the
accused is occupying a position corresponding to salary grade “27” I decided to file one complaint embodying 2 causes of action
and higher (As amended by Rep. Act No. 7975 and Rep. Act No. against him although I have the option also to file 2 separate
8249); and complaints. If you will look at the value of each claim which is
2.1.4. In cases where the only penalty provided by law is a fine P175,000 that is triable by the MTC but if you will add the claims
not exceeding P4,000.00, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, etc. have that will be P350,000.00.
jurisdiction (Administrative Circular No. 09-94, dated June 14, Q: Which court will have jurisdiction?
1994).
2.2. Special Applications for bail in the absence of all Regional A: The RTC because the jurisdictional amount is the total
Trial Court judges. (Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Sec. 35). amount.
Never mind that there are 2 separate loans because the law
says “irrespective of whether the cause of action arose out of the
Well if you know the jurisdiction of the RTC on money claims same or different transactions.”
and probate cases, automatically you will also know that of the
MTC. In the example, there are two causes of action arising from
two separate transactions. Illustrate a joinder of causes of action
Under the law, it is only the principal claim or the main claim arising from only one transaction.
which is computed. Interest, damages of whatever kind, attorneys
fees, litigation expenses and cost are not included in determining Suppose the loan is payable in installments on separate dates.
the jurisdiction when they are merely incidental to or a Each failure is a cause of action.
consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases where
the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or one of the Now in the examples, there is only one plaintiff and one
causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be considered in defendant.
determining the jurisdiction of the court.
What about when there are several plaintiffs or defendants?
TOTALITY RULE
EXAMPLE: There are four (4) passengers riding on a public
Now, continuing with Section 33, it says there in paragraph vehicle. They were all injured when the bus met an accident and all
[1]: of them were hospitalized. So after they were discharged, the four
of them wanted to sue the bus company for damages arising from
“Provided further, That where there are several claims or contract of carriage or culpa contractual. They decided to file only
causes of actions between the same or different parties, one complaint and, in effect, joined the 4 causes of action.
embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall Q: What will be now the basis of jurisdiction the claim of each
be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective plaintiff or the totality of the claims of the 4 plaintiffs?
of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different A: The totality of the claims. You apply the totality rule
transactions.” because the law says “where there are several claims or cause of
action between the same or different parties.”

Under This rule, where there are several claims or causes of So whether the parties are the same or the parties are
actions between the same or different parties, embodied in the different embodied in the same complaint the amount of the
same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of

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demand shall be the totality of the claims the totality rule applies in Where the amount of damages, other than actual, is specified
both situations. in the complaint or information, the corresponding filing fees shall
be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in court.
Totality Rule subject to rule on joinder of parties Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, no filing fees
shall be required for actual damages.
Where two or more plaintiffs, having separate causes of
action, sue one defendant or a plaintiff sues one or more (b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22
defendants in a single complaint, based on several causes of action shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. No
for or against each other, respectively, the totality rule applies only reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed.
where there is a common question of fact or law among them as Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions, the
provided in Section 6 of Rule 3. offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount
of the check involved, which shall be considered as the actual
When there are several parties-plaintiffs or defendants and damages claimed. Where the complaint or information also seeks
there are several causes of action, as in the last example given, to recover liquidated, moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary
when you join the causes of action there will necessarily be a damages, the offended party shall pay additional filing fees based
joinder of parties. In such a case there can only be a proper joinder on the amounts alleged therein. If the amounts are not so alleged
of causes of action when there is a proper joinder of parties and but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by the court,
the totality rule applies only when the joinder is proper. the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first
lien on the judgment.
When is a joinder of parties proper?
For dependent civil action
It is proper when there is a common question of fact and law.
Note also that joinder of parties is permissive (Sec. 6, R3) FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 126334. November 23, 2001.]
Jurisdiction and Payment of Docket Fees EMILIO EMNACE, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ESTATE
OF VICENTE TABANAO, SHERWIN TABANAO, VICENTE WILLIAM
Even if the amount of damages and attorney’s fees do not TABANAO, JANETTE TABANAO DEPOSOY, VICENTA MAY TABANAO
determine jurisdiction, they must still be specifically alleged in the VARELA, ROSELA TABANAO and VINCENT TABANAO, respondents.
complaint for the purpose of payment of docket fees. Thus, the
higher the amount one is claiming the higher the filing fee.
Payment of Filing fees In Case Civil Aspect Is Deemed
Why pay the docket fee? Impliedly Instituted In the Criminal Action:

Because it is not simply the filing of the complaint or In any event, the Court now makes that intent plainer, and in
appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed the interest of clarity and certainty, categorically declares for
docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject guidance of all concerned that when the civil action is deemed
matter or nature of the action. (Sun Insurance Office Ltd. [SIOLI] v. impliedly instituted with the criminal in accordance with Section 1,
Asuncion 170 SCRA 274, 285 [1989]) Rule 111 of the Rules of Court – because the offended party has
not waived the civil action, or reserved the right to institute it
Let us review what we learned in criminal procedure. separately, or instituted the civil action prior to the criminal action
– the rule is as follows: (1) when the amount of the damages, other
SECTION 1. than actual, is alleged in the complaint or information filed in court,
then the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended
Xxxxxx party upon filing thereof in court for trial; (2) in any other case,
however, -- i.e. when the amount of damages is not so alleged in
When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the complaint or information filed in court the corresponding filing
the accused by way of moral, nominal, temperate, or exemplary fees need not be paid and shall simply constitute a first lien on the
damages without specifying the amount thereof in the complaint judgment, except in an award for actual damages. (General vs. Hon.
or information, the filing fees therefore shall constitute a first lien Claravall, et al., 195 SCRA 623)
on the judgment awarding such damages.

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Q: Suppose there was no mention of any claim for moral or amount of the docket fee. So the plaintiff amended the complaint
exemplary damages, by not stating the amount claimed, can he still and paid the balance of the docket fees.
prove them during the trial?
YES. ISSUE: Whether or not the subsequent amendment cures the
But he did not pay docket fee? defect?
A: Never mind, once it is awarded, there is now a lien in the
judgment for the payment of the docket fee. HELD: No, the defect is incurable. Thus, the action has to be
dismissed. The court acquires no jurisdiction over the case. The
For Independent Civil Actions remedy is to re-file the complaint and pay again the complete
amount of the docket fee. The prior payment made is forfeited in
In the case of Sun Insurance if the damages was not as much as the defect in the first complaint is incurable.
mentioned in the complaint in the civil case they are deemed
waived. If it is mentioned, and the amount is fixed you must pay So based on the MANCHESTER ruling, you cannot cure the
the docket fee at the start of the case though if it is not complete, defect by merely amending the complaint.
you are given the chance to complete the payment or amend the
complaint within reasonable time. However, the SC, after reflecting on what it said in the case of
MANCHESTER, realized the harshness of their decision. This
In criminal cases, even if there is no mention of damages in Manchester ruling was relaxed in the subsequent case of SUN
the information, you can still prove and claim them as long as there INSURANCE OFFICE which is now the governing law:
is no waiver or reservation.
SUN INSURANCE OFFICE LTD. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
170 SCRA 274 [1989]
When docket fee is due for actual damage:
HELD: Thus, the Court rules as follows:
So in criminal cases, if the claim for moral or exemplary
damages is mentioned in the information, you must pay the docket 1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate
fee upon filing of the information. But whether alleged in the initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee,
information or not, you can claim for actual damages and there is that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or
no docket fee for actual damages except in cases under BP 22. That nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is
is the exception which is now embodied in Section 1 paragraph [b] not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may
which was taken from SC circular 57-97 – there is no payment of allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case
docket fee for actual damages except in criminal cases for violation beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
of BP 22 because paragraph [b] says: 2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third
party claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be considered
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions, the filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefore is paid. The
offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount court may also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time
of the check involved, which shall be considered as the actual but also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or
damages claimed. reglementary period.
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim
OTHER CASES ON FILING FEE IN CIVIL CASES: by the filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of the
prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a
In the case of claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same has
MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORP. vs. CA been left for determination by the court, the additional filing fee
149 SCRA 562 therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the
responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to
FACTS: The plaintiff files a complaint and paid the docket fee enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.
but he did not specify the amount of the damages he was claiming.
He contended that he is claiming for moral damages in such Payment of docket fee and counterclaims
amount as the court will grant. Respondent contended, on the Second rule:
other hand, that it cannot be done, there is a necessity to state the
exact amount of the damages in order to determine the correct “The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims…”

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NOTE: When this case was filed, there was no SUN


Re Compulsory Counterclaim INSURANCE decision yet. The guiding rule was still MANCHESTER.
But while this was pending the SUN INSURANCE was already out.
Rule 141 on Legal Fees was revised effective August 26, 2004
by AM No. 04-2-04-SC and the revision includes the payment of FACTS: The case was for recovery of land with damages. So it
docket fees not only for permissive counterclaim but also for is not purely for damages. So the amount of filing fee is assessed
compulsory counterclaims. But the SC suspended the enforcement based on the assessed value of the land because it is a real action,
of the new rates of legal fees under Rule 141 effective September which the plaintiff paid.
21, 2004, with respect to compulsory counterclaims, among others. Defendant moved to dismiss based on MANCHESTER because
It did not suspend the imposition of legal fees. the plaintiff did not specify in the complaint how much damages he
was claiming. Now the RTC of Tagum denies the motion to dismiss.
However, in Korea Technologies Co. Ltd. Vs. Lerma, 542 SCRA The defendant goes to the SC citing MANCHESTER.
1, January 7, 2008, the Court said: Of course the SC said that the Manchester ruling was no
longer controlling because of Sun Insurance.
“On July 17, 1998, at the time PGSMC filed its Answer
incorporating its counterclaims against KOGIES, it was not liable to But it enunciated another rule.
pay filing fees for said counterclaim being compulsory in nature.
We stress, however, that effective August 16, 2004, under Sec. 7 of HELD:
Rule 141, as amended by AM No. 04-2-04-SC, docket fees are now
required to be paid in compulsory counterclaim or cross claims.” “Where the action involves real property and a related claim
for damages as well, the legal fees shall be assessed on the basis of
And the third rule laid down in Sun Insurance: both (a) the value of the property and (b) the total amount of
related damages sought. The court acquires jurisdiction over the
If the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleadings, action if the filing of the initiatory pleading is accompanied by the
the filing fee therefor shall be a lien in the judgment. It shall be the payment of the requisite fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the
responsibility of the clerk of Court or his duly-authorized deputy to time of the filing of the pleading, as of the time of full payment of
enforce the lien, assess and collect the additional fee. the fees within such reasonable time as the court may grant,
unless, of course, prescription has set in the meantime.”
Q: When can this possibly happen?
A: That can happen for example if I ask for damages. A man In other words, the total docket fee must be based on the
was hospitalized because of physical injuries. While still in the assessed value of the land and for the damages. Thus: (1.) If the
hospital he filed an action for damages and based the amount of docket fee for the recovery of land is paid but none for the
damages on the current billing but alleged that he continues to damages, do not dismiss the entire case! Just do not consider the
incur expenses as may be determined in the course of trial. He paid claim for the damages. Or, (2.) second option, citing SUN
the docket fee corresponding to the amount mentioned. After trial INSURANCE, give him reasonable time to pay the balance.
he was able to establish expenses in the sum of P50,000.00.
While Sun Insurance relaxed the rule (as to how or when to
Q: Can the court award the P 50,000? complete the payment), it did not however, effect any change in
A: Yes, because the additional expenses came only after the the rule that it is not only the filing of the complaint but also the
filing of the case. The additional docket fee will constitute a lien on payment of the docket fee that is necessary for the acquisition of
the award. the jurisdiction of the court over the complaint filed. (Gensoli & Co.
v. NLRC, 289 SCRA 407, 413 [1998]). If the filing of the initiatory
The Sun Insurance is a leading case on docket fee. It was pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fees, the
followed with a third case in December 1989 which further clarified court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in
the SUN INSURANCE ruling. This is the case of no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
(Colarina v. CA, 303 SCRA 647, 654 [1999])
TACAY vs. RTC OF TAGUM, DAVAO DEL NORTE
180 SCRA 433 [1989]
Other interesting cases on docket fees.

No “file now, pay later” policy

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docket fees is mandatory. The docket fee should be paid before the
FILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORP. vs. COURT OF APPEALS court would validly act on the motion.”
171 SCRA 674 [1989]

FACTS: Adrian dela Paz sued all oil companies (Shell, Caltex, SUSON vs. COURT OF APPEALS
Mobil, etc.) of the Philippines for infringement of patent with 278 SCRA 284 [August 21, 1997)
prayer for the payment of reasonable compensation for damages.
According to him, these companies used in their operation a FACTS: Mortz filed a case against Charles in Leyte. After filing,
certain type of machine which he claimed he invented. His patent the court dismissed the case because it should be filed in Cebu.
was infringed. Thus, all these companies are all liable to him for Mortz wrote a letter to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA)
royalties. The estimated yearly royalty due him is P236,572. Since asking that the docket fee paid in Leyte be considered applicable to
the violation has been for many years already, his claims reached Cebu. OCA granted his request.
millions. The trial court ordered him to pay P945,636.90 as docket
fee. He had no money so he questioned it. The trial court ruled: Charles questioned it because of the rule that the payment of
“We will allow you to file the case and the docket fee is docket fee is jurisdictional.
deductible from whatever judgment of damages shall be awarded
by the court.” HELD: “The OCA has neither the power nor the authority to
exempt any party not otherwise exempt under the law or under
the Rules of Court in the payment of the prescribed docket fees. It
HELD: There is no such thing as file now pay later. No may be noteworthy to mention here that even in the Supreme
justification can be found to convert such payment to something Court, there are numerous instances when a litigant has had to re-
akin to a contingent fee which would depend on the result of the file a petition previously dismissed by the Court due to a
case. technicality (violation of a pertinent Circular), and in these
instances, the litigant is required to pay the prescribed docket fee
“Filing fees are intended to take care of court expenses in the and not apply to the re-filed case the docket fees paid in the earlier
handling of cases in terms of cost of supplies, use of equipments, dismissed case.”
salaries and fringe benefits of personnel, etc., computed as to man “In the case at bar, in the strict sense, Mortz’s complaint
hours used in handling of each case. The payment of said fees cannot be deemed to have been ‘re-filed’ in Cebu City because it
therefore, cannot be made dependent on the result of the action was not originally filed in the same court but in the RTC Leyte.
taken, without entailing tremendous losses to the government and Thus, when Mortz’s complaint was docketed by the clerk of court
to the judiciary in particular.” of the RTC Cebu City, it became an entirely separate case from that
dismissed by the RTC of Leyte due to improper venue. As far as the
What is the remedy of the plaintiff if he/she cannot really pay case in Cebu is concerned, while undoubtedly the order of
the filing fee? dismissal is not an adjudication on the merits of the case, the
order, nevertheless, is a final order. This means that when private
Have himself declared by the court as a pauper litigant. respondent did not appeal therefrom, the order became final and
executory for all legal intents and purposes.”
LACSON vs. REYES
182 SCRA 729
DE LEON vs. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: There was a case filed and then the lawyer filed a 287 SCRA 94 [March 6, 1998]
motion to direct the plaintiff to pay him his attorney’s fees – a
motion for payment of attorney’s fees. FACTS: The question for decision is whether in assessing the
docket fees to be paid for the filing of an action for annulment or
Is the lawyer required to pay a filing fee? rescission of a contract of sale, the value of the real property,
subject matter of the contract, should be used as basis, or whether
HELD: Yes. “It may be true that the claim for attorney's fees the action should be considered as one which is not capable of
was but an incident in the main case, still, it is not an escape valve pecuniary estimation and therefore the fee charged should be a
from the payment of docket fees because as in all actions, whether flat rate of P400.00 as provided in Rule 141, Section 7(b)(1) of the
separate or as an offshoot of a pending proceeding, the payment of Rules of Court.

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Defendant argued that an action for annulment or rescission “It is, therefore, difficult to see why a prayer for damages in
of a contract of sale of real property is a real action and, therefore, an action for rescission should be taken as the basis for concluding
the amount of the docket fees to be paid by Plaintiff should be such action as one capable of pecuniary estimation — a prayer
based either on the assessed value of the property, subject matter which must be included in the main action if plaintiff is to be
of the action, or its estimated value as alleged in the complaint. compensated for what he may have suffered as a result of the
Since Plaintiff alleged that the land, in which they claimed an breach committed by defendant, and not later on precluded from
interest as heirs, had been sold for P4,378,000.00 to defendant, recovering damages by the rule against splitting a cause of action
this amount should be considered the estimated value of the land and discouraging multiplicity of suits.”
for the purpose of determining the docket fees. “Thus, although eventually the result may be the recovery of
Plaintiff countered that an action for annulment or rescission land, it is the nature of the action as one for rescission of contract
of a contract of sale of real property is incapable of pecuniary which is controlling.”
estimation and, so, the docket fees should be the fixed amount of “Since the action of Plaintiff against Defendant is solely for
P400.00 in Rule 141, Section 7(b). annulment or rescission which is not susceptible of pecuniary
estimation, the action should not be confused and equated with
HELD: Plaintiff is correct. “In determining whether an action is the ‘value of the property’ subject of the transaction; that by the
one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary very nature of the case, the allegations, and specific prayer in the
estimation, this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining complaint, sans any prayer for recovery of money and/or value of
the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is the transaction, or for actual or compensatory damages, the
primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is assessment and collection of the legal fees should not be
considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether intertwined with the merits of the case and/or what may be its end
jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first result.”
instance would depend on the amount of the claim. “
However, where the basic issue is something other than the In Go vs. UCPB, GR No. 156182 Nov. 11, 2004 the court
right to recover a sum of money, or where the money claim is declared the following as real actions:
purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief 3.) judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage;
sought, like in suits to have the defendant perform his part of the 4.) actions to annul real estate mortgage;
contract (specific performance) and in actions for support, or for for the reason that a real estate mortgage is a real right as
annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage, this Court has well as a real property. So an action to cancel or annul a real estate
considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation mortgage necessarily affects title to the real property, hence a real
may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable action and jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the
exclusively by courts of first instance.” property.
“The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second class
cases, besides the determination of damages, demand an inquiry
into other factors which the law has deemed to be more within the FIRST DIVISION
competence of courts of first instance, which were the lowest [G.R. No. 126334. November 23, 2001.]
courts of record at the time that the first organic laws of the EMILIO EMNACE, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ESTATE
Judiciary were enacted allocating jurisdiction.” OF VICENTE TABANAO, SHERWIN TABANAO, VICENTE WILLIAM
“Actions for specific performance of contracts have been TABANAO, JANETTE TABANAO DEPOSOY, VICENTA MAY TABANAO
expressly pronounced to be exclusively cognizable by courts of first VARELA, ROSELA TABANAO and VINCENT TABANAO, respondents.
instance and no cogent reason appears, and none is here advanced DECISION
by the parties, why an action for rescission (or resolution) should YNARES-SANTIAGO, J p:
be differently treated, a "rescission" being a counterpart, so to I. Whether or not respondent Judge acted without
speak, of ‘specific performance’.” jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance
“In both cases, the court would certainly have to undertake an of a case despite the failure to pay the required docket fee;
investigation into facts that would justify one act or the other. No On August 8, 1996, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed
award for damages may be had in an action for rescission without decision, 12 dismissing the petition for certiorari, upon a finding
first conducting an inquiry into matters which would justify the that no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
setting aside of a contract. Issues of the same nature may be raised jurisdiction was committed by the trial court in issuing the
by a party against whom an action for rescission has been brought, questioned orders denying petitioner's motions to dismiss.
or by the plaintiff himself.” Not satisfied, petitioner filed the instant petition for review,
raising the same issues resolved by the Court of Appeals, namely:

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I. Failure to pay the proper docket fee; The legal fees shall be a lien on the monetary or property
Xxxx xxxx xxxx judgment in favor of the pauper-litigant.
It can be readily seen that respondents' primary and ultimate Respondents cannot invoke the above provision in their favor
objective in instituting the action below was to recover the because it specifically applies to pauper-litigants. Nowhere in the
decedent's 1/3 share in the partnership's assets. While they ask for records does it appear that respondents are litigating as paupers,
an accounting of the partnership's assets and finances, what they and as such are exempted from the payment of court fees. 18
are actually asking is for the trial court to compel petitioner to pay The rule applicable to the case at bar is Section 5(a) of Rule
and turn over their share, or the equivalent value thereof, from the 141 of the Rules of Court, which defines the two kinds of claims as:
proceeds of the sale of the partnership assets. They also assert that (1) those which are immediately ascertainable; and (2) those which
until and unless a proper accounting is done, the exact value of the cannot be immediately ascertained as to the exact amount. This
partnership's assets, as well as their corresponding share therein, second class of claims, where the exact amount still has to be
cannot be ascertained. Consequently, they feel justified in not finally determined by the courts based on evidence presented, falls
having paid the commensurate docket fee as required by the Rules squarely under the third paragraph of said Section 5(a), which
of Court. provides:
We do not agree. The trial court does not have to employ In case the value of the property or estate or the sum claimed
guesswork in ascertaining the estimated value of the partnership's is less or more in accordance with the appraisal of the court, the
assets, for respondents themselves voluntarily pegged the worth difference of fee shall be refunded or paid as the case may be.
thereof at Thirty Million Pesos (P30,000,000.00). Hence, this case is (Emphasis ours)
one which is really not beyond pecuniary estimation, but rather In Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation v. Court of Appeals,
partakes of the nature of a simple collection case where the value 19 this Court pronounced that the above-quoted provision "clearly
of the subject assets or amount demanded is pecuniarily contemplates an initial payment of the filing fees corresponding to
determinable. 13 While it is true that the exact value of the the estimated amount of the claim subject to adjustment as to
partnership's total assets cannot be shown with certainty at the what later may be proved." 20 Moreover, we reiterated therein the
time of filing, respondents can and must ascertain, through principle that the payment of filing fees cannot be made contingent
informed and practical estimation, the amount they expect to or dependent on the result of the case. Thus, an initial payment of
collect from the partnership, particularly from petitioner, in order the docket fees based on an estimated amount must be paid
to determine the proper amount of docket and other fees. 14 It is simultaneous with the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, the court
thus imperative for respondents to pay the corresponding docket would stand to lose the filing fees should the judgment later turn
fees in order that the trial court may acquire jurisdiction over the out to be adverse to any claim of the respondent heirs.
action. 15 The matter of payment of docket fees is not a mere triviality.
Nevertheless, unlike in the case of Manchester Development These fees are necessary to defray court expenses in the handling
Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 16 where there was clearly an effort to of cases. Consequently, in order to avoid tremendous losses to the
defraud the government in avoiding to pay the correct docket fees, judiciary, and to the government as well, the payment of docket
we see no attempt to cheat the courts on the part of respondents. fees cannot be made dependent on the outcome of the case,
In fact, the lower courts have noted their expressed desire to remit except when the claimant is a pauper-litigant.
to the court "any payable balance or lien on whatever award which Applied to the instant case, respondents have a specific claim
the Honorable Court may grant them in this case should there be — 1/3 of the value of all the partnership assets — but they did not
any deficiency in the payment of the docket fees to be computed allege a specific amount. They did, however, estimate the
by the Clerk of Court." 17 There is evident willingness to pay, and partnership's total assets to be worth Thirty Million Pesos
the fact that the docket fee paid so far is inadequate is not an (P30,000,000.00), in a letter 21 addressed to petitioner.
indication that they are trying to avoid paying the required amount, Respondents cannot now say that they are unable to make an
but may simply be due to an inability to pay at the time of filing. estimate, for the said letter and the admissions therein form part
This consideration may have moved the trial court and the Court of of the records of this case. They cannot avoid paying the initial
Appeals to declare that the unpaid docket fees shall be considered docket fees by conveniently omitting the said amount in their
a lien on the judgment award. amended complaint. This estimate can be made the basis for the
Petitioner, however, argues that the trial court and the Court initial docket fees that respondents should pay. Even if it were later
of Appeals erred in condoning the non-payment of the proper legal established that the amount proved was less or more than the
fees and in allowing the same to become a lien on the monetary or amount alleged or estimated, Rule 141, Section 5(a) of the Rules of
property judgment that may be rendered in favor of respondents. Court specifically provides that the court may refund the excess or
There is merit in petitioner's assertion. The third paragraph of exact additional fees should the initial payment be insufficient. It is
Section 16, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court states that: clear that it is only the difference between the amount finally

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awarded and the fees paid upon filing of this complaint that is
subject to adjustment and which may be subjected to a lien.
In the oft-quoted case of Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Hon. Jurisdiction of the MTC in Forcible Entry and Unlawful
Maximiano Asuncion, 22 this Court held that when the specific Detainer
claim "has been left for the determination by the court, the
additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment Sec. 33[2] Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible
and it shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases,
authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings
additional fee." Clearly, the rules and jurisprudence contemplate and the question of possession cannot be resolved without
the initial payment of filing and docket fees based on the estimated deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be
claims of the plaintiff, and it is only when there is a deficiency that resolved only to determine the issue of possession. x x x x”
a lien may be constituted on the judgment award until such
additional fee is collected. These are called accion interdictal and the only issue is
Based on the foregoing, the trial court erred in not dismissing physical possession of the property. The two cases should not be
the complaint outright despite their failure to pay the proper confused with accion publiciana which is also the recovery of
docket fees. Nevertheless, as in other procedural rules, it may be possession.
liberally construed in certain cases if only to secure a just and In unlawful detainer, the plaintiff prays not only to eject the
speedy disposition of an action. While the rule is that the payment defendant but also to claim for back rentals or the reasonable
of the docket fee in the proper amount should be adhered to, there amount of the use and occupation of the property in case of
are certain exceptions which must be strictly construed. 23 forcible entry.
In recent rulings, this Court has relaxed the strict adherence to
the Manchester doctrine, allowing the plaintiff to pay the proper Q: Suppose the unpaid rentals already amount to almost half
docket fees within a reasonable time before the expiration of the a million pesos, where should the case be filed?
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. 24 A: The case should still be filed with the MTC. What
In the recent case of National Steel Corp. v. Court of Appeals, determines jurisdiction is the nature of the action, and not the
25 this Court held that: amount of recoverable rentals.
The court acquires jurisdiction over the action if the filing of
the initiatory pleading is accompanied by the payment of the Q: In an action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer, can the
requisite fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the time of the filing of party present evidence of ownership?
the pleading, as of the time of full payment of the fees within such A: The general rule is NO because the MTC cannot adjudicate
reasonable time as the court may grant, unless, of course, ownership. That has to be threshed out in the proper civil action in
prescription has set in the meantime. the RTC. But if evidence of ownership is presented in the forcible
It does not follow, however, that the trial court should have entry or unlawful detainer case, it is only incidental and it is only
dismissed the complaint for failure of private respondent to pay resolved to determine the issue of possession. Such declaration of
the correct amount of docket fees. Although the payment of the ownership is not final. The question of ownership must be litigated
proper docket fees is a jurisdictional requirement, the trial court in a separate action in the RTC.
may allow the plaintiff in an action to pay the same within a
reasonable time before the expiration of the applicable prescriptive Let us now proceed to the third paragraph of Section 33 as
or reglementary period. If the plaintiff fails to comply within this amended by R.A. 7691:
requirement, the defendant should timely raise the issue of
jurisdiction or else he would be considered in estoppel. In the latter Real Actions other then Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer
case, the balance between the appropriate docket fees and the
amount actually paid by the plaintiff will be considered a lien or any [3] Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which
award he may obtain in his favor. (Emphasis ours) involve title to, or possession of, real property or any interest
Accordingly, the trial court in the case at bar should therein where the assessed value of the property or interest
determine the proper docket fee based on the estimated amount therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or,
that respondents seek to collect from petitioner, and direct them in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does
to pay the same within a reasonable time, provided the applicable not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of
prescriptive or reglementary period has not yet expired. Failure to interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation
comply therewith, and upon motion by petitioner, the immediate expenses and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared
dismissal of the complaint shall issue on jurisdictional grounds. for tax purposes, the value of such property shall be determined

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by the assessed value of the adjacent lots. (As amended by RA “The subject land has an assessed value of P11,160.00 as
7691) reflected in the Tax Declaration No. 7565, a common exhibit of the
parties. The bare claim of respondents that it has a value of
Aside from forcible entry and unlawful detainer, MTCs now P50,000.00 thus fails. The case, therefore, falls within the exclusive
have jurisdiction over other real actions or actions involving title to original jurisdiction of the municipal trial court.
or possession, or any interest therein, like accion publiciana and It was error then for the RTC to take cognizance of the
accion reinvidicatoria cases where the assessed value of the land complaint based on the allegation that “the present estimated
should not exceed P20,000. In Metro Manila, it is not exceeding value of the land is P50,000.00”…The estimated value, commonly
P50,000 In cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the referred to as the fair market value of the property.”
value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of
the adjacent lots.. That is the amendment brought about by RA
7691 which expanded the jurisdiction of the MTC. B.) DELEGATED JURISDICTION OF THE MTC

An accion reivindicatoria is a suit which has for its object the Sec. 34. Delegated Jurisdiction in Cadastral and Land
recovery of possession over the real property as owner. It involves Registration Cases. - MetTCs, MTCs and MCTCs may be assigned
recovery of ownership and possession based on said ownership. by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land
An accion publiciana is one for the recovery of possession or registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or
the right to possess. It is also referred to as an ejectment suit after opposition, or contested lots where the value of which does not
the expiration of one year after the occurrence of the cause of exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), such value to
action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of
It is considered a plenary action to recover the right of possession the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the
when dispossession is effected by means other than unlawful corresponding tax declarations of the real property. Their
detainer or forcible entry. decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner
as decisions of the RTCs. (As amended by RA 7691)
What is the Assessed value?
As a rule cadastral and land registration cases fall under the
The assessed value of real property can have reference only to jurisdiction of the RTC.
the tax rolls in the municipality where the property is located, and
is contained in the tax declaration. It is elementary that the tax What is the difference between a land registration proceeding
declaration indicating the assessed value of the property enjoys the and a cadastral proceeding?
presumption of regularity as it has been issued by the proper
government agency (Hilario vs. Salvador, 457 SCRA 815). Cadastral is compulsory registration.

In Vda. De Barrera vs. Heirs of Legaspi, GR No. 174346, Sept.


12, 2008, the facts point to a complaint for reconveyance of This is related to your study of Land, Titles and Deeds (The
possession of real property with preliminary injunction and Property Registration Decree). When you file a petition for land
damages filed in the RTC of Tangub City. One of the defenses raised registration, the object is to have your property registered and fall
by the defendants was the court’s lack of jurisdiction over the under the Torrens System of the Land Registration.
complaint, the assessed value of the subject property as reflected
in the uncontroverted tax declaration is only P11,160.00. The trial
court, in its decision, rejected the contention of the defendant Q: Now, what is this delegated jurisdiction all about?
holding that since the complaint alleged the estimated value of the A: It refers only to cadastral and land registration cases which
land as P50,000.00, such allegation must prevail over the assessed involve the titling of property under the Torrens system or
value of P11,160.00 relied upon by the defense. What determines cadastral land registration.
the nature of the action and the jurisdiction over the complaint,
said the trial court, are the facts alleged in the complaint and not Under the Property Registration Decree, only the RTC has
those alleged in the answer of the defendants. The CA affirmed. authority to entertain land registration and cadastral cases. But
On appeal by certiorari the SC held: now, Section 34 gives the Supreme Court the authority to
DELEGATE to MTCs to hear and decide land registration and
cadastral cases under the following conditions:

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1.) when there is no controversy or nobody is contesting


your petition; or REVISED RULE ON SUMMARY PROCEDURE as amended by
2.) even if the petition is contested where the value of the A.M. 02-11-09-SC, effective November 25, 2002
land to be titled does not exceed P100,000.
Cases subject to summary procedure
In which case, these MTCs can decide and their decisions are
appealable directly to the CA because in exercise of delegated (a) Forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases; and
jurisdiction it is acting as an RTC. (b) All other claims where the total claim does not exceed
P100,000.00 (outside Metro Manila), or does not exceed
The value of the lot shall be ascertained by the affidavit of the P200,000.00 (Metro Manila) exclusive of interests and
claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are costs. Probate proceedings are not covered by the rule
more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the on summary procedure even if the gross value of the
real property. estate does not exceed P100,000.00 or P200,000.00.

Now do not confuse this P100,000 (Section 34) with the Some basic principles to be remembered in civil cases subject
P20,000 under Section 33. Section 34 deals with cadastral and land to a summary procedure:
registration cases. Section 33 involves civil cases (accion publiciana,
etc.) (a) Not all pleadings in an ordinary civil action are allowed in
a summary procedure. The only pleadings allowed are
(1) complaint; (2) compulsory counterclaim; (3) cross-
C.) SPECIAL JURISDICTION OF MTC claim pleaded in the answer, (4) answers to these
pleadings (Sec. 3)
Sec. 35. Special jurisdiction in certain cases. - In the (b) The court in a summary procedure may dismiss the case
absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or city, any outright on any of the grounds for the dismissal of a civil
Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge, Municipal Circuit action (Sec. 4)
Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a writ of habeas (c) Should the defendant fail to answer the complaint within
corpus or applications for bail in criminal cases in the province or the period of ten (10) days from service of summons, the
city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit. court may motu proprio, or on motion of the plaintiff,
render judgment (not an order declaring the defendant
This is what we call special jurisdiction. It only applies to two in default) as may be warranted by the facts alleged and
(2) types of cases: (1) Habeas corpus and (2) hearing of petitions limited to what is prayed for (Sec. 6)
for bail. (d) There shall be preliminary conference held but there
shall be no trial. Instead the parties shall submit
Remember that habeas corpus is not within the jurisdiction of affidavits and position papers (Secs ,8,9)
the MTC. It is with the RTC. In an application for bail the RTC also (e) Within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the last
has jurisdiction because the offense may be a heinous one, but affidavits and positions papers, or the expiration of the
under the law on criminal procedure you can file a petition for bail period for filing the same, the court shall render
to have your temporary freedom while the case is going on. That’s judgment (Sec. 10)
supposed to be in the RTC. (f) As a rule a motion to dismiss is not allowed except on
either of two grounds (1) lack of jurisdiction over the
But suppose there is no available RTC judge, all of them are subject matter, or (2) failure to comply with the
sick or all of them are attending a convention (this actually barangay conciliation proceedings (Sec. 19(a))
happened in Davao in 1990) Section 35 provides that the MTC, in (g) Although a petition for certiorari is prohibited in cases
the absence of RTC judges, can hear and decide on habeas corpus subject to summary procedure, the Court in one case
case petitions and applications or petitions for bail in criminal allowed the petition because the trial court gravely
cases. abused its discretion by indefinitely suspending the
proceedings in ejectment cases thus, acting contrary to
That is allowed because of the urgency of the situation. There the purposes of the Rules on Summary Procedure. The
is no need for a SC authorization. However, this is only allowed in SC recognized that because the order of the trial court
the absence of the RTC judges. But if the RTC judge comes back, he cannot be appealed from it being an interlocutory and
has to take over the petition. since the proceedings are covered by the Rules on

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Summary Procedure, a ‘procedural void’ exists. Invoking can be established in the Philippines to handle exclusively
its power to suspend the rules to promote substantial small
justice, the SC gave due course to the petition pro hac claims without the participation of lawyers and where
vice because of the extraordinary circumstances of the ordinary
case. The Court observed that allowing the petition litigants can prosecute and defend a small claims action
would avoid the mischiefs sought to be curbed by the through
Rules and would give spirit and life to the Rules on ready-made forms. He envisioned the small claims courts as
Summary Procedure (Go vs. CA 297 SCRA 574). another
(h) It must be emphasized that in a civil case governed by positive approach, in addition to mandatory pre-trial, for
the Rules on Summary Procedure, no hearing is solving
conducted. Instead, the parties are required to submit court congestion and delay.6 The study and report was
their respective position papers (Five Star Marketing subsequently
Corporation vs. Booc, 535 SCRA 28). endorsed for legislative action to Senator Franklin Drilon who
later
Q: Now, what are the PROHIBITED documents, motions, or funded a project for this purpose.
pleadings under the Summary Rules? At the regular session of the Fourteenth Congress, House Bill
A: The following (Under Section 19): No. 2921 entitled “An Act Establishing Small Claims Courts”
was
1.) Motion to quash except when your ground is introduced by Congressman Jose V. Yap. Thereafter, on July 3,
a.) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter; or 2007, Senate Bill No. 800 entitled “Philippine Small Claims
b.) failure to comply with the Barangay Conciliation; Court
2.) Motion for bill of particulars; Act” was filed by Senator Ramon A. Revilla, Jr. and, on
3.) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a September
judgment, or for reopening of trial; your remedy here is 3, 2007, the bill passed First Reading and was referred to the
appeal; Committee(s) on Justice and Human Rights and Finance. The
4.) Petition for relief from judgement; same
5.) Motion for extension of time to file an affidavit; is still pending with these committees at present.
6.) Memoranda; In 2007, the United States Agency for International
7.) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition Development
against any interlocutory orders issued by the court; (USAID) awarded a two-year grant to the American Bar
8.) Motion to declare the defendant in default; Association-
9.) Dilatory motions postponements; Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) to pursue judicial reform
10.) Reply; activities in the Philippines for the fiscal period October 2007
11.) Third-party complaints; to
12.) Interventions; September 30, 2009 . In a letter to Chief Justice Reynato S.
Puno
dated October 10, 2007, ABA-ROLI proposed the
Jurisdiction Over Small Claims Cases establishment of
small claims pilot courts among first level courts in different
Introduction of the Concept of Small Claims Court in the regions
Philippines of the Philippines. The small claims pilot court project was
The idea of establishing Small Claims Courts in the Philippines proposed
was first proposed to the Supreme Court through a study by ABA to USAID after consultation with various Supreme
conducted Court
in 1999 by Justice Josue N. Bellosillo, former Senior Associate officials in conjunction with the 2000 Action Plan for Judicial
Justice of the Supreme Court. After observing small claims Reform.
courts Among the critical issues being addressed by the APJR are
and interviewing judges of such courts in Dallas, Texas, United case congestion and delay. The congestion of case dockets is
States in 1999, Justice Bellosillo proposed in a Report that central
courts to a multitude of problems, either as cause or effect; it is
either the

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34 A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC that by facilitating the traffic of cases through simple and
manifestation or the source of other difficulties. Addressing expeditious
this rules and means, our Court can improve the perception of
concern is thus an imperative8 which is why present reforms justice in
in this country, thus giving citizens a renewed “stake” in
judicial systems and procedures have included the following: preserving
1. streamlining procedural rules to eliminate provisions peace in the land. This is a hopeful message to our people that
that cause delay and permit dilatory tactics; Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases 35
2. re-engineering the jurisdictional structure of the “there is no need to despair for there is deliverance in law;
courts to ensure easy geographical access to the courts that is
particularly by the poor litigants; a promise that has been fulfilled by law in the past; it is a
3. improving the case management system toward more promise
transparency, accountability and integrity of the law will again fulfill in the future.”14
judicial process and for better efficiency; and In December 2007, the Supreme Court established a Technical
4. strengthening of the mediation mechanism to promote Working Group composed of the Court Administrator, the
early dispute resolution nationwide.This involves the Program
institutionalization of court-annexed mediation, and Management Office Administrator, selected judges and other
the establishment of a Mediation Center to continually officials
monitor and assess the performance of the system of the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the
and provide training and research. Philippines to
Notwithstanding the absence of a law at the present time undertake the following activities:
creating 1. The development of Rules and Procedures to
small claims courts in our country, the Supreme Court through Implement Pilot Small Claims Courts;
a 2. The establishment of Criteria to Select Appropriate
program in partnership with ABA-ROLI and USAID, can Regions/Judges for Pilot Small Claims Courts and
promulgate set Peso Limits for the Small Claims Courts;
and implement a simplified rule of procedure exclusively for 3. Through the Philippine Judicial Academy, the conduct
small of training programs for Judges and their personnel
claims and assign a certain number of existing first level courts participating in the Pilot Small Claims Courts project;
to and
take cognizance of small claims. This does not need legislative 4. The employment of “Justice on Wheels” buses to
action as the Court can designate several first level courts all launch pilot small claims tribunals.
over
the country to jump-start the pilot project. Thus, pursuant to
its
rule-making power, the Court under the present Constitution
can Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases 1
adopt a special rule of procedure to govern small claims cases A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC
and RULE OF PROCEDURE
select pilot courts that would empower the people to bring FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES
suits
before them pro se to resolve legal disputes involving simple EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008
issues MANILA, PHILIPPINES
of law and procedure without the need for legal SEPTEMBER 2008
representation and
extensive judicial intervention. This system will enhance RULE OF PROCEDURE
access to FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES
justice especially by those who cannot afford the high costs of SECTION 1. Title.—This Rule shall be known as “The Rule of
litigation even in cases of relatively small value.13 It is Procedure for Small Claims Cases.”
envisioned SEC. 2. Scope.—This Rule shall govern the procedure in

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actions before the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial (e) Motion means a party’s request, written or oral, to
Courts the court for an order or other action. It shall
in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial include an informal written request to the court,
Courts such as a letter;
for payment of money where the value of the claim does not (f) Good cause means circumstances sufficient to justify
exceed the requested order or other action, as determined
One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) exclusive of by the judge; and
interest (g) Affidavit means a written statement or declaration of
and costs. facts that are sworn or affirmed to be true.
SEC. 4. Applicability.—The Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Explanatory Note: The purpose of a small claims process Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and
is to provide an inexpensive and expeditious means to settle Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall apply this Rule in all actions
disputes which are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief
over small amounts. For purposes of the project, the amount prayed
has been set for claims involving amounts of not more than for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of
P100,000.00. sum
The theory behind the small claims system is that ordinary of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal actions, either
litigation fails to bring practical justice to the parties when the filed
disputed claim is small, because the time and expense before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon
required by the
the ordinary litigation process is so disproportionate to the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant to Rule 111 of
amount the
involved that it discourages a just resolution of the dispute. Revised Rules Of Criminal Procedure.
The These claims or demands may be:
small claims process is designed to function quickly and (a) For money owed under any of the following:
informally. 1. Contract of Lease;
There are no attorneys, no formal pleadings and no strict legal 2. Contract of Loan;
rules 3. Contract of Services;
of evidence. The small claims court system is not a “typical 4. Contract of Sale; or
inferior 5. Contract of Mortgage;
court.” Parties are encouraged to file small claims court (b) For damages arising from any of the following:
actions to 1. Fault or negligence;
resolve their minor disputes as opposed to resorting to self- 2. Quasi-contract; or
help or 3. Contract;
forcible means to seek their remedy. (Pace v. Hillcrest Motor (c) The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement
Co., or an arbitration award involving a money claim
161 Cal. Rptr. 663, 664 Ct. App. 1980) covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic
Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government
Code of 1991.
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.—For purposes of this Rule:
(a) Plaintiff refers to the party who initiated a small Explanatory Note: The kinds of cases that can be filed in
claims action. The term includes a defendant who Small Claims Court vary, but the case must seek money only.
has filed a counterclaim against plaintiff; For
(b) Defendant is the party against whom the plaintiff has example, a suit cannot be brought in Small Claims Court to
filed a small claims action. The term includes a force
plaintiff against whom a defendant has filed a claim, a person or business to fix a damaged good; or to demand
or a person who replies to the claim; fulfillment
(c) Person is an individual, corporation, partnership, of a promised obligation which is not purely for money, or to
limited liability partnership, association, or other seek
juridical entity endowed with personality by law; money to compensate for pain and suffering. Some of the
(d) Individual is a natural person; kinds of

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cases which are allowed as small claims include the following: A claim filed with a motion to sue as indigent (Form 6-SCC)
1. Actual damage caused to vehicles, other personal shall be referred to the Executive Judge for immediate action
property, real property or person; in case
2. Payment or reimbursement for property, deposit, or of multi-sala courts, or to the Presiding Judge of the court
money loaned; hearing
3. Payment for services rendered, insurance claim, rent, the small claims case. If the motion is granted by the
commissions, or for goods sold and delivered; Executive
4. Money claim pursuant to a contract, warranty or Judge, the case shall be raffled off or assigned to the court
agreement; and designated
5. Purely civil action for payment of money covered by to hear small claims cases. If the motion is denied, the plaintiff
bounced or stopped check. shall be given five (5) days within which to pay the docket
fees,
otherwise, the case shall be dismissed without prejudice. In
SEC. 5. Commencement of Small Claims Action.—A small no case
claims action is commenced by filing with the court an shall a party, even if declared an indigent, be exempt from the
accomplished payment of the P1,000.00 fee for service of summons and
and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, processes
accompanied by a Certification of Non-forum Shopping (Form in civil cases.
1-A,
SCC), and two (2) duly certified photocopies of the actionable Explanatory Note: A plaintiff may commence an action in the
document/s subject of the claim, as well as the affidavits of small claims court by filing a Statement of Claim under oath
witnesses with
and other evidence to support the claim. No evidence shall be the Clerk of the first level court in person or by mail. The claim
allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or form shall be a simple nontechnical form approved or
submitted adopted by
together with the Claim, unless good cause is shown for the the Supreme Court. The claim form shall set forth (1) the
admission name and
of additional evidence. address of the defendant, if known; (2) the amount and the
No formal pleading, other than the Statement of Claim basis of
described the claim; (3) that the plaintiff, where possible, has demanded
in this Rule, is necessary to initiate a small claims action. payment and, in applicable cases, possession of the property;
SEC. 6. Joinder of Claims.—Plaintiff may join in a single (4)
statement of claim one or more separate small claims against that the defendant has failed or refused to pay, and where
a applicable,
defendant provided that the total amount claimed, exclusive has refused to surrender the property; and (5) that the
of interest plaintiff
and costs, does not exceed P100,000.00. understands that the judgment on his or her claim will be
SEC. 7. Affidavits.—The affidavits submitted under this Rule conclusive
shall state only facts of direct personal knowledge of the and without a right of appeal. The plaintiff should attach to
affiants the
which are admissible in evidence. claim all documents necessary to prove his/her right to reliefs
A violation of this requirement shall subject the party, and the prayed
counsel who assisted the party in the preparation of the for. The form or accompanying instructions shall include
affidavits, information
if any, to appropriate disciplinary action. The inadmissible that the plaintiff (1) may not be represented by an attorney;
affidavit(s) (2) has
or portion(s) thereof shall be expunged from the record. no right of appeal; and (3) may ask the court to waive fees for
SEC. 8. Payment of Filing Fees.—The plaintiff shall pay the filing
docket and other legal fees prescribed under Rule 141 of the and serving the claim on the ground that the plaintiff is
Revised indigent
Rules of Court, unless allowed to litigate as an indigent.

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unable to pay them, using the forms approved by the be accomplished by the defendant. The Notice shall contain
Supreme Court an
for that purpose. express prohibition against the filing of a motion to dismiss or
any
other motion under Section 14 of this Rule.
SEC. 9. Dismissal of the Claim.—After the court determines SEC. 11. Response.—The defendant shall file with the court
that the case falls under this Rule, it may, from an and serve on the plaintiff a duly accomplished and verified
examination of Response
the allegations of the Statement of Claim and such evidence within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt
attached of
thereto, by itself, dismiss the case outright on any of the summons. The Response shall be accompanied by certified
grounds photocopies of documents, as well as affidavits of witnesses
apparent from the Claim for the dismissal of a civil action. and
other evidence in support thereof. No evidence shall be
Explanatory Note: Jurisdiction and venue requirements in allowed
small during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted
claims actions shall be the same as in other civil actions together
provided with the Response, unless good cause is shown for the
in the Rules of Civil Procedure. A defendant may challenge admission of
jurisdiction or venue or court location by including these additional evidence.
defenses SEC. 12. Effect of Failure to File Response.—Should the
in his Response before appearing in the scheduled hearing. In defendant fail to file his Response within the required period,
all the
cases, even if the defendant does not ask for dismissal of the court by itself shall render judgment as may be warranted by
case the
in the Response or appear at the hearing, the court shall facts alleged in the Statement of Claim limited to what is
inquire into prayed for.
the facts sufficiently to determine whether jurisdiction and The court however, may, in its discretion, reduce the amount
authority of
of the court over the action are proper, and shall make its damages for being excessive or unconscionable.
determination accordingly. SEC. 13. Counterclaims Within the Coverage of this Rule.—
If at the time the action is commenced, the defendant
possesses a
SEC. 10. Summons and Notice of Hearing.—If no ground for claim against the plaintiff that (a) is within the coverage of this
dismissal is found, the court shall forthwith issue Summons Rule, exclusive of interest and costs; (b) arises out of the same
(Form transaction or event that is the subject matter of the
2-SCC) on the day of receipt of the Statement of Claim, plaintiff’s
directing claim; (c) does not require for its adjudication the joinder of
the defendant to submit a verified Response. third
The court shall also issue a Notice (Form 4-SCC) to both parties; and (d) is not the subject of another pending action,
parties, directing them to appear before it on a specific date the
and claim shall be filed as a counterclaim in the Response;
time for hearing, with a warning that no unjustified otherwise,
postponement the defendant shall be barred from suit on the counterclaim.
shall be allowed, as provided in Section 19 of this Rule. The defendant may also elect to file a counterclaim against
The summons and notice to be served on the defendant shall the
be accompanied by a copy of the Statement of Claim and plaintiff that does not arise out of the same transaction or
documents occurrence,
submitted by plaintiff, and a copy of the Response (Form 3- provided that the amount and nature thereof are within the
SCC) to coverage

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of this Rule and the prescribed docket and other legal fees are authorized under a Special Power of Attorney (Form 5-SCC) to
paid. enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to Judicial
Dispute
Explanatory Note: If a defendant has a claim against a plaintiff Resolution (JDR) and to enter into stipulations or admissions
that exceeds the limits stated in Section 2 of this Rule, and the of
claim facts and of documentary exhibits.
relates to the contract, transaction, matter, or event which is SEC. 17. Appearance of Attorneys Not Allowed.—No attorney
the shall appear in behalf of or represent a party at the hearing,
subject of the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant may commence unless
an the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant.
action against the plaintiff in a court of competent If the court determines that a party cannot properly present
jurisdiction. If his/
said claim which is beyond the limit of money claim provided her claim or defense and needs assistance, the court may, in
in this its
Rule is filed with the Response before the Small Claims Court, discretion, allow another individual who is not an attorney to
the assist
latter shall dismiss the counterclaim. that party upon the latter’s consent.

Explanatory Note: Except as permitted by this section, no


SEC. 14. Prohibited Pleadings and Motions.—The following attorney shall appear in a small claims action except when the
pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be allowed in the latter
cases shall maintain or defend an action in any of the following
covered by this Rule: capacities:
(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground (1) By or against himself or herself;
of lack of jurisdiction; (2) By or against a partnership in which he or she is a
(b) Motion for a bill of particulars; general partner and in which all the partners are
(c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a attorneys; or
judgment, or for reopening of trial; (3) By or against a professional corporation of which he
(d) Petition for relief from judgment; or she is an officer or director and of which all other
(e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, officers and directors are attorneys.
affidavits, or any other paper; Nothing in this section shall prevent an attorney from doing
(f) Memoranda; any of the following:
(g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition (1) Providing advice to a party to a small claims action,
against any interlocutory order issued by the court; either before or after the commencement of the action;
(h) Motion to declare the defendant in default; or
(i) Dilatory motions for postponement; (2) Submitting an affidavit as a witness for a party in
(j) Reply; order to state facts of which he or she has personal
(k) Third-party complaints; and knowledge and about which he or she is competent
(l) Interventions. to do so.
SEC. 15. Availability of Forms; Assistance by Court If the court determines that a party does not speak or
Personnel.—The Clerk of Court or other court personnel shall understand
provide English or Filipino sufficiently to comprehend the proceedings
such assistance as may be requested by a plaintiff or a or
defendant give testimony, to the questions of the court, if any, and
regarding the availability of forms and other information needs
about the assistance in so doing, the court may permit another
coverage, requirements as well as procedure for small claims individual
cases. (other than an attorney) to assist that party. If the court
SEC. 16. Appearance.—The parties shall appear at the interpreter
designated date of hearing personally or through a or other competent interpreter of the language or dialect
representative known to

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the party is not available to aid that party in a small claims The postponement fee of One Hundred Pesos (or as provided
action, in
at the first hearing of the case the court shall postpone the Rule 141, Revised Rules of Court, as amended on Legal Fees)
hearing shall
one time only to allow the party the opportunity to obtain be charged and collected before the filing of a request for
another postponement and rescheduling of a hearing date.
individual (other than an attorney) to assist that party. Any
additional
continuances shall be at the sound discretion of the court. SEC. 20. Duty of the Court.—At the beginning of the court
session, the judge shall read aloud a short statement
explaining the
SEC. 18. Non-appearance of Parties.—Failure of the plaintiff nature, purpose and the rule of procedure of small claims
to appear shall be cause for the dismissal of the claim without cases.
prejudice. The defendant who appears shall be entitled to SEC. 21. Judicial Dispute Resolution.—At the hearing, the
judgment judge shall conduct Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) through
on a permissive counterclaim. mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, or any other
Failure of the defendant to appear shall have the same effect mode
as failure to file a Response under Section 12 of this Rule. This of JDR. Any settlement (Form 7-SCC) or resolution (Form 8-
shall SCC)
not apply where one of two or more defendants who are sued of the dispute shall be reduced into writing, signed by the
under parties
a common cause of action and have pleaded a common and submitted to the court for approval (Form 12-SCC).
defense SEC. 22. Failure of JDR.—If JDR fails and the parties agree
appears at the hearing. in writing (Form 10-SCC) that the hearing of the case shall be
Failure of both parties to appear shall cause the dismissal with presided over by the judge who conducted the JDR, the
prejudice of both the claim and counterclaim. hearing
SEC. 19. Postponement When Allowed.—A request for shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and
postponement of a hearing may be granted only upon proof terminated
of the within one (1) day.
physical inability of the party to appear before the court on Absent such agreement, (a) in case of a multi-sala court, the
the case shall, on the same day, be transmitted (Form 11-SCC) to
scheduled date and time. A party may avail of only one (1) the
postponement. Office of the Clerk of Court for immediate referral by the
Executive
Explanatory Note: A party may submit an oral or written Judge to the pairing judge for hearing and decision within five
request to postpone a hearing date for good cause, as follows: (5)
(1) If the written request is in writing, it may be made working days from referral; and (b) in case of a single sala
either by letter or on a form adopted or approved by court,
the Supreme Court; the pairing judge shall hear and decide the case in the court of
(2) The request shall be filed before the hearing date origin
and accompanied by proof of physical inability, unless within five (5) working days from referral by the JDR judge.
the court determines that the requesting party has
good cause to file the request on the date of hearing Explanatory Note: In hearings before the small claims court,
itself; and witnesses shall still be sworn in. The judge shall conduct the
(3) If the court finds that the interests of justice would hearing
be served by postponing the hearing, the court shall in an informal manner so as to do substantial justice between
do so and shall notify all parties by mail on the same the
day of the new hearing date, time and place. parties. The judge shall have the discretion to admit all
This Section does not limit the inherent power of the court to evidence
order postponements of hearings in strictly appropriate which may be of probative value although not in accordance
circumstances. with

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formal rules of practice, procedure, pleading or evidence have plenty of time to say all that they wish before the end of
provided the
in the Rules of Court, except that privileged communications hearing.
shall
not be admissible. The object of such hearings shall be to
determine SEC. 23. Decision.—After the hearing, the court shall render
the rights of the litigants on the merits and to dispense its decision on the same day, based on the facts established
expeditious by the
justice between the parties. evidence (Form 13-SCC). The decision shall immediately be
An interventionist role by judges in such hearings is effective entered
in eliciting evidence from litigants in person. It is seen by by the Clerk of Court in the court docket for civil cases and a
unrepresented parties as a “helping hand” which they copy
appreciate, thereof forthwith served on the parties.
provided that judges avoid the danger of appearing to be The decision shall be final and unappealable.
partial. By
discussing the facts of the case, judges find what common Explanatory Note: Despite the relative informality of the
ground procedure, judgments are based upon a strict application of
does exist between the parties. This tends to narrow the the
differences substantive law and an objective judicial analysis of the facts.
between the parties and make the final judicial decision easier The
– judge is duty-bound to give the legal basis for the findings.
whereas traditional open court trials, with the presence of The prohibition against appeals assures immediate and swift
lawyers justice.
and the use of cross-examination tend to polarize the parties, The right to appeal is not a natural right nor a part due
increase process.
antagonism and heighten the differences. It is merely a statutory privilege and a procedural remedy of
In this regard, Lord Woolf, Great Britain’s case management statutory
expert, has observed: origin, a remedy that may be exercised only in the manner
“The role of the judge in small claims is not only and in
that of an adjudicator. It is a key safeguard of the rights accordance with the provisions of the law authorizing such
of both parties. In most cases, the judge is effectively a exercise.
substitute for a legal representative. His duty is to ascertain The applicable provisions of the law allowing appeals from
the main matters at issue, to elicit the evidence, to reach decisions
a view on the facts of the matter and to give a decision. of the first level courts are Sections 36 and 38 of B.P. Blg. 129,
In some cases he may encourage the parties to settle. In as
doing so he should ensure that both parties have presented amended, also known as “The Judiciary Reorganization Act of
the evidence and called the witnesses germane to their 1980.”
case and that he has identified and considered any issue The procedure on appeal is subject to the limitations and
of law which is pertinent to the case in hand. He must restrictions
also hold the ring and ensure that each party has a fair provided by this Act and any such rules as the Supreme Court
chance to present his own case and to challenge that of his may
opponent.” hereafter prescribe. Sec. 36 of B.P. Blg. 129 provides an
The key judicial skills in conducting such hearings are to instance
maintain a balance between informality and fairness, to wherein the Supreme Court may adopt special procedures,
ensure a including
level playing field and to protect the weak and the scrupulous. cases where appeal may not be allowed, to achieve an
In expeditious
practice, this is achieved by preventing interruptions and and inexpensive determination of particular cases requiring
parties summary
talking over each other, and making it clear that both parties disposition.
will

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___________________________________________________
SEC. 24. Execution.—If the decision is rendered in favor of _________
the plaintiff, execution shall issue upon motion (Form 9-SCC). 2. Plaintiff is suing defendant for:
SEC. 25. Applicability of the Rules of Civil Procedure.—The CAUSE OF ACTION
Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply suppletorily insofar as they _____ Collection of Sum of Money
are _____ Damages
not inconsistent with this Rule. _____ Civil aspect of Criminal Case
SEC. 26. Effectivity.—This Rule shall take effect on October _____ Enforcement of Barangay Agreement
1, 2008 for the pilot courts designated to apply the procedure Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases 13
for 3. Plaintiff’s cause of action arose from and is evidenced by:
small claims cases following its publication in two newspapers ACTIONABLE DOCUMENT/S AFFIDAVIT/S
of _____ Promissory Note/Undertaking How many: _____
general circulation. _____ Contract/Agreement
_____ Receipt
_____ Others
4. The principal obligation of defendant/s amounting to
P_____________________ became due and demandable on
12 A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC ______________.
FORM 1-SCC Interest at the rate of ______% per annum/per month
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES accrued on the principal sum due from such date of default.
_______________________________ 5. Despite repeated demands by plaintiff, the latest of which
_______________________________ was on
_______________________________ _______________, defendant has failed to pay the obligation.
__________________________, 6. _____(a) This claim has been referred to the appropriate
Plaintiff, barangay
vs. Civil Case No. ________________ authorities but no settlement was reached between the
For: ______________________ parties. A Certificate to
__________________________, File Action was issued to the plaintiff, the original of which is
Defendant. attached hereto.
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x _____(b) The parties are not covered by the barangay
STATEMENT OF CLAIM mandatory
Plaintiff respectfully alleges: conciliation process under the Local Government Code of the
1. The personal circumstances of the parties are as follows: Philippines.
NAME OF PLAINTIFF/S SEX AGE CIVIL STATUS Prayer
______________________ ______ _____ _________ WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully prays for judgment to be
INDIVIDUAL___ CORPORATION___ PARTNERSHIP___ SOLE rendered
PROPRIETORSHIP ___ ordering defendant to pay plaintiff the amount of
NAME OF P________________________, with interest at the rate of
REPRESENTATIVE:________________________________________ ____% per annum/
_ per month, from ___________, until fully paid.
ADDRESS ZIP CODE ___________________________; _____20___.
___________________________________________________ PLAINTIFF
_________ PLACE WHERE FILED
NAME OF DEFENDANTS//S SEX AGE CIVIL STATUS
______________________ ______ _____ _________
INDIVIDUAL___ CORPORATION__ _PARTNERSHIP___ SOLE FORM 1-A-SCC
PROPRIETORSHIP ___ VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION OF
NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE: NON-FORUM SHOPPING
________________________________________ I, _________________________________, of legal age,
ADDRESS ZIP CODE ____________________ ______________________________,
and a resident

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of ____________________
__________________________________________________ , ____________________
after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law, GREETINGS:
hereby, depose and You are hereby required, within ten (10) days from receipt of
say: this
1. That I am the _________________ in the above-entitled Summons, to file with this Court and serve on plaintiff, your
case and verified Response
have caused this ______________________________ to be to the attached Statement of Claim. The form of the required
prepared; that I read and understood its contents which are Response is
true attached hereto.
and correct of my own personal knowledge and/or based on You are required to submit with your Response copies of
authentic records; documents as
2. That I have not commenced any action or proceeding well as affidavits of any witness to stand as your evidence in
involving this case. You
the same issue in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or must present the original documents on the day of the
any hearing.
other tribunal or agency; that to the best of my knowledge, no A motion to dismiss is prohibited and shall not be entertained.
such Your failure to respond within the 10-day period will authorize
action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme Court, the the Court
Court of to render judgment based solely on the Statement of Claim.
Appeals or any other tribunal or agency, and that, if I should Witness my hand under the seal of this Court, this ____ day of
learn ______,
thereafter that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or 20____, at _____________________, Philippines.
is BRANCH CLERK OF COURT
pending before these courts or tribunal or agency, I undertake
to
report that fact to the Court within five (5) days therefrom. FORM 3-SCC
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
____________ day of __________________, 20 __. _______________________________
_______________________ _______________________________
Affiant _______________________________
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this _________ day of __________________________,
_____________, 20 ___ . Plaintiff,
NOTARY PUBLIC vs. Civil Case No. ______________
(citizenship) (civil status) For: _______________________
(Name) __________________________,
Defendant.
FORM 2-SCC x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES RESPONSE
_______________________________ Defendant/s respectfully allege/s:
_______________________________ 1. Defendant admits all the allegations in paragraph/s
_______________________________ ________ of the
__________________________, Statement of Claim.
Plaintiff, 2. Defendant specifically denies all the allegations in
vs. Civil Case No. ________________ paragraphs
For: ________________________ ________ of the Statement of Claim.
__________________________, 3. Defendant opposes the grant of the prayer in the
Defendant. Statement of Claim
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x for the following reasons, as supported by the attached
SUMMONS documents and affidavits:
TO: ____________________ (enumerate defenses)

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4. As the Statement of Claim is baseless, defendant is entitled representative to appear in his behalf and participate in all the
to the proceedings as
following counterclaims: if the party represented were present. For this purpose, the
_____ Actual Damages of P______________________ required authority
_____ Moral Damages of P______________________ should be evidenced by accomplishing the attached Form 5-
_____ Exemplary Damages of P_____________________ SCC (Special Power
_____ Costs of suit of Attorney).
Prayer WITNESS the HON. _________________________, Presiding
WHEREFORE, defendant respectfully prays for judgment to be Judge
rendered of this Court, this ____ day of _____________, 20___, at
dismissing the Statement of Claim, and granting the __________________________, Philippines.
counterclaims, ordering BRANCH CLERK OF COURT
plaintiff to pay defendant the following sums:
_____ Actual Damages of P______________________
_____ Moral Damages of P______________________ FORM 5-SCC
_____ Exemplary Damages of P_____________________ SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
_____ Costs of suit KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
DEFENDANT I, _______________________, of legal age, single/married,
(VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION with
OF NON- FORUM SHOPPING, if with permissive counterclaim) residence at ___________________________ do hereby
appoint, name and
FORM 4-SCC constitute ________________________________, likewise of
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES legal age, singe/
_______________________________ married, with residence at
_______________________________ ________________________________ as my true
_______________________________ and legal representative to act for and in my name and stead
__________________________, and to represent
Plaintiff, me during the hearing of Civil Case No. __________, to enter
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ into amicable
For: _______________________ settlement, to submit to alternative modes of dispute
__________________________, resolution and to make
Defendant. admissions or stipulations of facts and documents without
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x further consultation
NOTICE OF HEARING from me.
Once issues are joined upon the filing of the defendant’s I hereby grant my representative full power and authority to
Response, this execute and
case will be called for Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) and perform every act necessary to render effective the power to
hearing before compromise as
the Presiding Judge of this Court on __________________ at though I myself have so performed it and hereby approving all
___________. that he may do
Failure of the plaintiff to appear at the JDR and hearing shall by virtue of these presents.
cause the In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand this ______ day of
dismissal of the Statement of Claim, and the defendant who ____________________, 20_______, at ________________.
appears shall be _____________________________
entitled to a judgment on his counterclaim. On the other Principal
hand, failure of the _____________________
defendant to appear at the JDR and hearing shall cause the Agent
Court to render Witnesses: ________________________
judgment based solely on the Statement of Claim. ___________________________
A party may not be represented by a lawyer, but may (ACKNOWLEDGMENT)
authorize any other

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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


FORM 6-SCC _______________________________
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES _______________________________
_____________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________ __________________________,
_____________________________ Plaintiff,
__________________________, vs. Civil Case No. ______________
Plaintiff, For: _______________________
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ __________________________,
For: _______________________ Defendant.
__________________________, x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
Defendant. MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF COMPROMISE AGREEMENT
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x The parties respectfully allege that:
MOTION TO PLEAD AS INDIGENT 1. Plaintiff filed this claim against defendant for:
_____________________, unto this Honorable Court, _____________ collection of sum of money
respectfully alleges _____________ damages
that: _____________ civil aspect of criminal case
1. I am a resident of ___________________; _____________ enforcement of barangay agreement
2. My gross income and that of my immediate family does not _____________ recovery of personal property
exceed 2. The parties have come to an amicable settlement and have
__________________ ; executed a
3. I do not own real property with an assessed value of more compromise agreement with the following terms and
than (amount conditions.
as provided in the Revised Rules of Court, as amended) as (copy terms and condition here)
shown by the attached 3. The parties agree that the approval of this agreement by
Certification issued by the Office of the City/Municipal the Court
Assessor and the City/ shall put an end to this litigation, except for purposes of
Municipal Treasurer’s Office; execution in case of
4. Due to financial constraint, I cannot afford to pay for the default.
expenses of WHEREFORE, premises considered, the parties respectfully
a court litigation as I do not have enough funds for food, pray that
shelter and other the court approve this agreement and render judgment on
basic necessities; the basis thereof.
5. Should the court render judgment in my favor, the amount _______________________________________, 20_______.
of the docket _______________________ ________________________
and other legal fees which I was exempted from paying shall Plaintiff Defendant
be a lien on the
judgment, unless the court orders otherwise.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed FORM 8-SCC
that I be (Motion for voluntary dismissal of the claim and counterclaim)
exempted from the payment of docket and other legal fees as REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
indigent pursuant _______________________________
to Section 21, Rule 3 in relation to Section 18, Rule 141 of the _______________________________
Revised Rules _______________________________
of Court. __________________________,
Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are Plaintiff,
likewise prayed vs. Civil Case No. ______________
for. For: _______________________
PLAINTIFF __________________________,
Defendant.
FORM 7-SCC x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

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JOINT MOTION WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed


Plaintiff and defendant, unto this Honorable Court, that a
respectfully allege writ of execution be issued to implement the judgment of the
that: Court dated
1. Plaintiff and defendant have mutually and voluntarily __________________.
settled their _______________________________________, 20_______.
claim and counterclaim to the entire satisfaction of each _____________________________
other; and Plaintiff/Defendant
2. The parties no longer have a cause of action against each NOTICE OF HEARING
other. NAME OF DEFENDANT
WHEREFORE, premises considered, plaintiff and defendant (IF FILED BY PLAINTIFF)
respectfully pray that the plaintiff’s statement of claim and NAME OF PLAINTIFF
defendant’s (IF FILED BY DEFENDANT)
counterclaim incorporated in his response be dismissed. NAME OF CLERK OF COURT.
Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are Please be notified that the undersigned will submit the
likewise prayed foregoing motion
for. for the consideration and approval of the Court on
_______________________________________, 20_______. _________________ at
_____________________________ _______________________________________, 20_______.
____________________________ ________________________
Plaintiff Defendant Plaintiff/Defendant
To the Branch Clerk of Court:
Please submit the foregoing motion for the consideration of
the Court FORM 10-SCC
without hearing and further argument from the parties. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
__________________________ _______________________________
_________________________ _______________________________
Plaintiff Defendant _______________________________
__________________________,
Plaintiff,
FORM 9-SCC vs. Civil Case No. ______________
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES For: _______________________
_______________________________ __________________________,
_______________________________ Defendant.
_______________________________ x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
__________________________, AGREEMENT
Plaintiff, Having failed to resolve the matter through Judicial Dispute
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ Resolution,
For: _______________________ plaintiff and defendant hereby agree that Judge
__________________________, _________________ shall
Defendant. continue with the hearing on the instant matter and hereby
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x waive their right to
MOTION FOR EXECUTION have a different judge hear the case.
Plaintiff/Defendant, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully _______________________________________, 20_______.
alleges that: ___________________________ _______________________
1. On _______________, a judgment was rendered by the Plaintiff Defendant
Court, the
dispositive portion of which reads:
2. The judgment is final and unappealable. FORM 11-SCC
3. The defendant/plaintiff has not complied with the (Referral to pairing judge)
judgment. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

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_______________________________ follows:
_______________________________ It appearing that the agreement is not contrary to law,
_______________________________ morals, good
__________________________, customs, public moral and public policy, and pursuant to
Plaintiff, Articles 2028 and
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ 2037 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the same is hereby
For: _______________________ APPROVED and
__________________________, ADOPTED as the Decision of this court.
Defendant. The parties are hereby ordered to faithfully comply with the
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x terms and
ORDER conditions of the agreement.
In view of the failure of judicial dispute resolution and there _______________________________________, 20_______.
being no ________________________
agreement from the parties to let the undersigned continue JUDGE
hearing the instant
case, the record of this case is transmitted to the Office of the
Clerk of Court FORM 13 – SCC
for immediate referral by the Executive Judge to the Pairing REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Judge for hearing _______________________________
and decision pursuant to Section 21 of the Rule of Procedure _______________________________
for Small Claims _______________________________
Cases. __________________________,
SO ORDERED. Plaintiff,
_______________________________________, 20_______. vs. Civil Case No. ______________
______________________________ For: _______________________
JUDGE __________________________,
Defendant.
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
FORM 12-SCC DECISION
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES This is a small claims action for (state which of the claims or
_______________________________ demands
_______________________________ below is the subject of the action filed):
_______________________________ [For money owed under any of the following:
__________________________, 1. Contract of lease;
Plaintiff, 2. Contract of loan;
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ 3. Contract of services;
For: _______________________ 4. Contract of sale; or
__________________________, 5. Contract of mortgage;
Defendant. For damages arising from:
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x 1. Fault or negligence;
DECISION BASED ON COMPROMISE AGREEMENT 2. Quasi-contract; or
Plaintiff filed this case against defendant for 3. Contract;
_____________________ The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an
in the amount of ________________________. arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this
Defendant denied plaintiff’s claim on the ground of Rule
_________________ pursuant to Section 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise
and set up a counterclaim for _______________________. known as
The parties, however, reached an amicable settlement and The Local Government Code of 1991].
submitted to Plaintiff alleges that (state material allegations and prayer in
the court a compromise agreement, the terms and conditions the Statement
of which are as of Claim).

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Defendant alleges that (state reasons for denial of the claim heard by the Presiding Judge
and other who conducted the JDR)
material allegations in the Response including counterclaims, Copy furnished:
if any). All parties
On (date), both parties appeared during the hearing Office of the Clerk of Court of ____________
conducted by (state
name of Judge who conducted the JDR. State whether parties
appeared RATIONALE
personally or through a specially authorized representative). of the
Considering the failure of the parties to arrive at any Proposed Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases
settlement of the A. Introduction
dispute, this court proceeded with the hearing of the case The most significant recurring theme of every program for
which was terminated judicial reform of the Supreme Court is the pressing need for a
on __________________. more
The issue to be resolved by this court is whether accessible, much swifter and less expensive delivery of justice.
___________________________________________________ Undeniably, the slow grind of the wheels of justice is the
__________. result of
Plaintiff’s evidence consists of: (state documents of plaintiff, a variety of factors, foremost of which is the perennial
affidavits congestion
submitted, if any, and statements made by plaintiff and of court dockets which has transformed court litigation into a
witnesses under oath protracted battle, that invariably exhausts the time, effort and
during the hearing). resources of party-litigants, especially the poor. Many
Defendant’s evidence consists of: (state documents of strategies
defendant, have been devised to unclog heavy court dockets, and one
affidavits submitted, if any, and statements made by such
defendant and witnesses approach is the use of mandatory Pre-trial and Alternative
under oath during the hearing). Dispute
This court finds that the claim of plaintiff (or defendant in a Resolution mechanisms such as mediation, arbitration and
counterclaim) conciliation. Another scheme that has been widely used in
is (state whether meritorious or devoid of merit) under many
Article/Section (state foreign legal systems but which has yet to be tried in the
the applicable provisions of law) or pursuant to established Philippines
jurisprudence (cite is the small claims case processing method used by small
applicable jurisprudence). In this case, this court found that claims
(state first the courts, often referred to as the “People’s Court,” as it comes
factual findings established by the evidence and then the legal most
conclusions). directly into contact with the citizenry of a jurisdiction.
Wherefore, the (claim/counterclaim) is (granted/denied). This Small claims courts are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear
court civil cases between private litigants. Courts authorized to try
orders ____________________ to pay to small
_______________________ the claims may also have other judicial functions, and the name
amount of (state the monetary award or damages) with by
interest of (if applicable which such a court is known varies by jurisdiction: it may be
under Civil Code and/or settled jurisprudence) until fully paid. known
SO ORDERED. by such names as county court or magistrate’s court. Small
(Date of decision.) claims
(Signature) courts can be found in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New
Presiding Judge Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United
(or Pairing Judge in the absence Kingdom
of written agreement of the and the United States.
parties that the case shall be 29

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law. These courts have flexibility to use more holistic


B. The History and the Reforms of Small Claims Court approaches
1. In the United States1 to problem solving and dispute resolution than what is typical.
For almost a century now, small claims courts have provided Most judges act according to what makes sense to them, even
a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the United if this
States. means setting aside legal formalities. Moreover, traditional
Originating around 1912 or 1913, these courts were rules of evidence and court processes do not apply. The rules of
established small
primarily as a means for small businesses to collect money claims courts emphasize conciliation and pragmatism over
from winning, and rules of evidence and civil procedure have been
borrowers through a process that was faster, less formal, and simplified to allow maximum access to the courts by individuals
less unable to afford an attorney.
expensive than traditional civil litigation. 2. Small Claims Courts in Canada2
Following the lead of the establishment of the initial small All provinces in Canada have procedures for small claims. In
claims court in Kansas, USA in 1912 or 1913, every state in the general, there are two different models. In most provinces, as in
United States has created some form of a small claims court British Columbia, Alberta, and new Brunswick, small claims courts
system. operate independently of the superior courts. In other jurisdictions,
Although the financial claims limits, methods of procedure, the small claims courts are either branches or divisions of the
and superior courts
overall structure vary from state to state, the concept is The small claims courts are meant to be an easier and less
essentially expensive way to resolve disputes than in the superior courts.
the same, i.e., that relatively minor disputes, involving dollar Small
amounts Claims Court procedure is regulated both by provincial
that are insufficient to warrant processing the case through legislation and rules in most provinces. It is simplified and less
the costly with no strict pleading requirements and formal discovery
normal court procedure, justify expeditious and simplified process.
handling. 3. Small Claims Courts in England and Wales3
The consumer justice reform movements of the 1960s and From early times, England had a tradition of local court where
1970s brought renewed research and interest in the small ordinary men could pursue justice in the form of civil claims
claims without the aid of lawyers. Some were set up by local statutes,
courts. This movement emphasized the need for reform of others by custom. These local courts could not keep pace with the
small changes in society brought about by the Industrial Revolution. By
claims courts to facilitate the adjudication of consumer the 1830s, the decade of great liberal reform, there was a great
grievances. public awakening to the urgent need for constitutional reform in
Although “consumer justice reformers” were concerned that the administration of justice. The result was the County Courts Act
businesses and corporations were more likely to use attorneys ofn 1846, described in its preamble as an “Act For The More Easy
in Recovery of Small Debts and Demands in England.” It was initially a
small claims courts thereby placing inexperienced individual poor man’s court. Andrew Amos, the first judge at Marylebone
defendants at a disadvantage, studies showed that County, described regular litigants as being “a great
defendants with proportion of the poorer classes, gaining their livelihoods by
an attorney were more likely to win against plaintiffs than bricklaying, gardening or other out of door occupations and who
unrepresented defendants, whereas plaintiffs without subsist upon credit in the winter months, and complaints against
attorneys did whom are usually issued in the summer months.” The county
just as well as represented plaintiffs against unrepresented court’s jurisdiction for claims brought in contract and tort gradually
defendants. increased from £50 in 1888 to £5,000 in 1984.
The result was an appraisal of the need to bar attorneys and The purpose and structure of the county court system has in
collection agencies from the small claims courts. many ways remained the same since 1846. The aim is still to make
Small claims courts in the United States are often considered civil justice available locally – there are now 223 county courts in
courts of equity and are not necessarily bound by the letter of England and Wales. They have continued to be responsive to the
the needs of smaller cases which, although small in terms of their
financial value, are important to the litigants involved. However,

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recent decades have seen two major changes in relation to small


claims – first, the introduction of a dedicated small claims
procedure
in 1973 and secondly, the introduction of the Civil Procedure
Rules reforms of 1998 with emphasis on proportionality.
Since January 1996, when the small claims limit in England
and Wales was trebled overnight to £3,000, district judges have
been expected to play the role of “interventionist” and assist
litigants in presenting their own cases personally at small claims
hearings.
Like adjudicators in other parts of the world, district judges in
these countries have been encouraged to intervene to an
increasing extent at small claims hearings. Such interventionism is,
indeed, vital and although there may be wide variations between
jurisdictions in the methods that are adopted to deal with small
claims, the idea of the adjudicator freely entering the arena of the
dispute to assist unrepresented litigants is fundamental in almost
all matters about small claims.

4. Small Claims Tribunals in Singapore5


The Small Claims Tribunals in Singapore have been in
operation since 1 February 1985. The Tribunals have fulfilled an
integral role in providing the community with accessible justice for
civil claims involving small amounts. Various features and programs
have been put in place to enhance access to justice for the
community, by removing barriers such as cost, delay, distance, time
and inconvenience. The Tribunals, constituted as part of the
Subordinate
Courts of Singapore, were established for the primary purpose
of providing a quick and inexpensive avenue for the resolution of
small claims arising from disputes between consumers and
suppliers. There was a need for a less expensive and less formal
forum to deal with such small claims. Hence, in 1985, the Small
Claims Tribunals Act was passed, which authorized the setting up of
one or more Tribunals to help consumers who have claims of up to
$2,000 relating to disputes arising from contracts for the sale of
goods or the provision of services.

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Rule 01 NO, Rule 1 is the general provision for the entire Rules of
Court. You look at the title, “These rules shall be known as the
GENERAL PROVISIONS ‘Rules of Court.’” This is the common denominator from the first to
the last Rule. That’s why it says there ‘special proceedings,’ ‘civil
cases’ and ‘criminal cases.’
SECTION 1. Title of the Rules. These Rules shall be known and
xxxxx
cited as the Rules of Court.

(a) A civil action is one by which a party sues another for the
The Rules of Court do not have retroactive effect. They can,
enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress
however, be made applicable to cases pending at the time of their
of a wrong.
passage and therefore are retroactive in that sense.
A civil action may either be ordinary or special. Both are
governed by the rules for ordinary civil actions, subject to the
The rule-making power of the SC has the following limitations:
specific rules prescribed for a special civil action.
1. Simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy
xxxxx
disposition of cases;
2. Uniform for all courts of the same grade; and
3. Shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights
What is an action?
(Art. VIII Sec. 5[5], 1987 Constitution.
An action is the legal and formal demand of one’s right from
another person made and insisted upon in a court of justice.
In the interest of just and expeditious proceedings, the
(Bouvier’s Law Dictionary)
Supreme Court may suspend the application of the Rules of Court
One party prosecutes another for the enforcement or
and except a case from its operation because the Rules were
protection of a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
precisely adopted with the primary objective of enhancing fair
trial and expeditious justice.
What is a claim?
It is a right possessed by one against another.
SEC. 2. In what courts applicable. These Rules shall apply in
The moment said claim is filed before a court, the claim is
all the courts, except as otherwise provided by the Supreme
converted into an action or suit.
Court.

Action and suit


Section 2, states in what court or courts the rules apply as it
In this jurisdiction, it is settled that the terms “action” and
says “these rules shall apply in all the courts except as otherwise
“suit” are synonymous. (Lopez v. Compania de Seguros, 16 SCRA
provided by the Supreme Court.” Meaning, applicable to all courts
855).
except when the SC say otherwise.

Civil Action and Criminal Action


For example: The SUMMARY RULES on procedure which is
applicable to some cases in the MTC.
A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues another for the
enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress
Another example of when the SC says otherwise is Section 4,
of a wrong. (Sec. 3[a] Rule 1). So the purpose of a civil suit is to
that the rules shall not apply to election cases, land registration,
enforce or protect your right or to prevent or redress a wrong.
cadastral, naturalization, insolvency proceedings and other cases
not herein provided for except by analogy. This is actually not a
A criminal action “is one by which the State prosecutes a
new provision. It used to be in Rule 143, now it is in Rule 1.
person for an act or omission punishable by law” (Sec. 3*b+ Rule 1)
It has been ruled that …”proceedings are to be regarded as
Sec. 3. Cases governed. These Rules shall govern the
criminal when the purpose is primarily punishment, and civil when
procedure to be observed in actions, civil or criminal, and special
the purpose is primarily compensatory…” (People vs. Godoy @$#
proceedings.
SCRA 64).
xxxxxx

How come it mentions criminal cases and defines criminal


CLASSIFICATION OF CIVIL ACTIONS
actions when it is supposed to be 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure?

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I. As to NATURE (Section 3 [a]) clear. Both are governed by the rules on ordinary civil actions
a.) Ordinary Civil Actions subject to the specific rules.
b.) Special Civil Actions Therefore, in case of conflict between the specific rule
governing a particular type of civil action and the ordinary, then
II. As to CAUSE or FOUNDATION: you follow the specific provision. But if the rules on special civil
a.) Real Actions actions are silent, apply the ordinary rules.
b.) Personal Actions
c.) Mixed Actions Give an example of a case where in the absence of a special
provision in the rules on special civil actions the court had to apply
III. As to PLACE OF FILING the rules on ordinary civil actions by analogy. The case of
a.) Local Actions
b.) Transitory Actions AMBERTI vs. COURT OF APPEALS195 SCRA 659 [1991]

IV. As to OBJECT FACTS: This case involved a petition for certiorari (special civil
a.) Action In Personam action under Rule 65) and then before the respondent could
b.) Action In Rem answer the petition, he withdrew the petition. Later on he changed
c.) Action Quasi In Rem his mind and re-filed the petition. The question that was asked by
the SC is when you file a special civil action for certiorari and then
before the other party could answer you withdraw it, is the
I. CLASSIFICATION AS TO NATURE withdrawal with or without prejudice? Can you re-file it?
There is no rule in Rule 65 answering that question so the SC
ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS and SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS had to resort to the ordinary rules by analogy.

HELD: Certiorari is similar to appeal although it is not really an


The special civil actions are governed by Rules 62 to 71. Any appeal. And the SC looked at the law on appeal. What happens
action not among those mentioned is automatically ordinary. when you perfect your appeal and then later on you withdraw your
appeal? What will happen to the order or judgment? Rule 50 says
What are the special civil actions? that if you withdraw the appeal, the judgment appealed from will
now become final and executory. Therefore, since it is now final
Rules 62 to 71: and executory, you cannot change it anymore.
Interpleader, “Applying the foregoing rules in a supplementary manner (or
Declaratory Relief, by analogy), upon the withdrawal of a petition in a special civil
Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus, action before the answer or comment thereto has been filed, the
Quo Warranto, case shall stand as though no appeal has been taken, so that the
Expropriation, judgment or order of the lower court being questioned becomes
Foreclosure of Mortgage, immediately final and executory. Thus, a resolution granting the
Partition, withdrawal of such a petition is with prejudice and petitioner is
Forcible Entry, Unlawful Detainer and precluded from bringing a second action based on the same subject
Contempt. matter.”

There is a new one – Review of Final Decisions or Resolutions


of the COMELEC and COA under Rule 64, but actually it says there, Now, there are other classifications of civil actions which are
it is governed by Rule 65 which governs Certiorari. not expressly stated in Section 3. The only one stated there is
ordinary and special.
Q: What is so important in distinguishing a special civil action
from an ordinary civil action? CLASSIFICATION AS TO CAUSE OR FOUNDATION:
A: What makes an action special is simply because of the fact REAL, PERSONAL or MIXED ACTIONS
that there are some specific rules prescribed for them which are
not found in other rules. But to say that the rules on ordinary civil Real Action
actions do not apply to special civil actions is false. The law is very A REAL ACTION is briefly described as an action where the
issue or the subject involved is title to, ownership, possession of or

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interest over a real property like accion publiciana, forcible entry, The aspect of damages is merely an incidental part of the main
unlawful detainer, foreclosure of mortgage or real property, action, i.e., recovery of possession of real property. However, an
partition of real property. (Sec. 1, R 4) (c.f. Section 19, BP 129 – action to recover possession of a personal property is a personal
controversy relates to real property) action.

It is founded on privity of real estate and filed in the court of Where the allegations as well as of the complaint do not claim
the place where the property or any part thereof is situated. ownership of the lots in question or ask for possession of the same
but instead seeks for the execution of a deed of sale by the
Personal action defendants in favor of the plaintiff, the action is a personal action.
All other actions or, when the issue is not one of those – (Adamos v. J. M. Tuazon & Co., Inc. 25 SCRA 529)
meaning, it is founded on privity of contract, or on quasi-delict,
such as actions for a sum of money, or damages arising from An action for specific performance is a personal action as long
breach of a contract, or for the enforcement or resolution of a as it does not involve a claim of or recovery of ownership of real
contract, or for recovery of personal property, these are the property. (Siosoco v. CA, 303 SCRA 186 citing La Tondena Distillers
PERSONAL ACTIONS. (Casilan vs. Tomassi, 90 Phil. 765; Cachero vs. v. Ponferrada, 264 SCRA 540)
Manila Yellow Taxicab, 101 Phil. 523; Bautista vs. Piguing, L-10006,
Oct. 31, 1957) However, where a complaint is denominated as one of
specific performance but nonetheless prays for the issuance of a
It is filed in the court where the plaintiff or any of the deed of sale for a parcel of land for the plaintiff to acquire
defendants resides, at the option of the plainitff. ownership of the land, its primary objective and nature is one to
recover the parcel of land itself and thus, is deemed a real action.
Mixed Action (Gochan v. Gochan, 372 SCRA 356)
Some textwriters give a third classification: the MIXED
ACTIONS where there is a mixture of real and personal actions. If the action is denominated as one for specific performance,
Mixed actions are such as pertain in some degree to both real and but the plaintiff actually seeks for the issuance of a deed of
personal and, therefore, are properly reducible to neither of them, assignment in his favor of certain shares of stocks to regain
being brought for the specific recovery of land and for damages ownership and possession of said shares, the action is not one for
sustained in respect of such land. (Dela Cruz vs. Seminary of specific performance but a personal action for the recovery or
Manila, 18 P{hil. 330) property. The docket fee therefore, should be computed based on
the value of the property and not based on the docket fee for
Like an action for recovery of a piece of land with damages it specific performance (National Steel Corporation vs. CA 302 SCRA
is a mixed action. However, it is more of real rather than personal. 522).
If the damage is only incidental, then it is more of a real action
rather than a personal action like the case of TACAY. Where it is alleged in the complaint that the defendant
breached the contract so that the plaintiff prays that the contract
In a real action realty or an interest therein is the subject be rescinded and that the defendant be ordered to return
matter of the action. possession of the hacienda to the plaintiff, the ultimate purpose or
end of the action is to recover possession of real property and not a
However, not every action involving a real property is a real mere breach of contract (De Jesus vs. Coloso 1 SCRA 272)
action because the realty may only be incidental to the subject
matter of the suit. To be a “real” action, it is not enough that the Where the action to annul or rescind a sale of real property
action must deal with real property. It is important that the matter has as its fundamental and prime objective the recovery of real
in litigation must also involve any of the following issues: title to, property, the action is real (Emergency Loan Pawnshop Inc. vs. CA
ownership, possession, partition, foreclosure of mortgage or any 353 SCRA 89).
interest in real property.
Examples: Where an award of a house and lot to the plaintiff was
An action for damages to real property, while involving a real unilaterally cancelled, an action that seeks to annul the cancellation
property, does not involve any of the issues mentioned. of the award over the said house and lot is a personal action. The
action does not involve title to ownership or possession of real
An action to recover possession of real property plus damages property. The nature of the action is one to compel the recognition
is a real action because possession of the real property is involved.

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of the validity of the previous award by seeking a declaration that plaintiff. A personal action “may be commenced and tried where
the cancellation is null and void. (Hernandez v. DBP, 71 SCRA 290) the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides or where the
defendant or any of the principal defendants resides, or in the case
An action to foreclose a real estate mortgage is a real action, of a non-resident defendant, where he may be found, at the
but an action to compel the mortgagee to accept payment of the election of the plaintiff.” (Sec. 2 Rule 4).
mortgage debt and to release the mortgage is a personal action.
(Hernandez v. Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc. 81 SCRA 75) Hence, if the question involves the venue of an action, the
analysis will necessarily involve the following steps:
An action to annul a contract of loan and its accessory real (a) A determination whether the action is real or personal
estate mortgage is a personal action. In a personal action, the (b) An application of the rules on venue under Rules 4.
plaintiff seeks the recovery of personal property, the enforcement Thus, an action for a sum of money, instituted by a resident of
of a contract or the recovery of damages. In contrast, in a real Manila against a resident of Quezon City, shall be filed either in
action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property, or, as Manila or Quezon City at the election of the plaintiff because the
indicated in Section 2(a), Rule 4 of the then Rules of Court, a real action is personal.
action is an action affecting title to real property or for the recovery
of possession, or for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure An action to annul a sale of a land located in Baguio City
of mortgage on, real property (Chua vs. Total Office Products and where recovery of ownership is essentially the material issue in the
Services [Topros], Inc.,471 SCRA 500). case, must be filed in Baguio City. The action is a real action and
must be filed in the place where the property is situated regardless
Although the main relief sought in the action is the delivery of of the residence of the parties (Emergency Loan Pawnshop Inc. vs.
the certificate of title, said relief, in turn depends upon who, CA 353 SCRA 89).
between the parties, has a better right to the lot in question. It is
not possible for the court to decide the main relief without passing
upon the claim of the parties with respect to the title to and CLASSIFICATION AS TO THE PLACE OF FILING:
possession of the lot in question. The action is a real action
(Espineli vs. Santiago 107 Phil 830). LOCAL ACTIONS and TRANSITORY ACTIONS

Where the sale is fictitious, with absolutely no consideration, A LOCAL ACTION is an action which can only be instituted in a
it should be regarded as a non-existent contract. There being no particular place.
contract between the parties, there is nothing in truth to annul by Good examples of local actions are real actions. Real actions
action. The action, therefore, cannot be an action for annulment are also automatically local actions. They can only be instituted in
but one for recovery of a fishpond, a real action (Pascual vs. the place where the property is situated. This is already provided
PASCUAL 73 Phil. 561). by law (e.g. accion publiciana, forcible entry, unlawful detainer –
can only be filed where the land is situated.)
Significance of the distinction
TRANSITORY ACTIONS are those which follow the party
The distinction between a real action and a personal action is wherever he may reside. (1 Am. Jur. 430) Personal actions are
important for the purpose of determining the venue of the action. transitory – its filing is based on where the plaintiff or where the
Questions involving the propriety or impropriety of a particular defendant resides at the option or election of the plaintiff. It is
venue are resolved by initially determining the nature of the action, based on the residence of the parties.
i.e., if the action is personal or real.

A real action is “local”, i.e., its venue depends upon the CLASSIFICATION AS TO OBJECT OR PURPOSE
location of the property involved in the location. “Actions affecting
title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be ACTIONS IN PERSONAM, IN REM and QUASI IN REM
commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction
over the area wherein the real property involved, or apportion ACTIONS IN PERSONAM vs. ACTIONS IN REM
thereof is situated.” (Sec. 1 Rule 4)
Definition
A personal action is ‘transitory,’i.e., its venue depends upon
the residence of the plaintiff or the defendant at the option of the In personam action

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“If the technical object of the suit is to establish a claim property or status of a person and seek judgments with respect
generally against some particular persons, with a judgment thereto as against the whole world.”
which, in theory, at least, binds his body or to bar some individual
claim or objection, so that only certain persons are entitled to be A more recent case explains the distinction between an action
heard, the action is IN PERSONAM.” (Grey Alba vs. Dela Cruz, 17 in personam and action in rem, as follows:
Phil. 49; Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil. 421)
“The rule is that: (1) a judgment in rem is binding upon the
An example is an action for specific performance; action for whole world, such as a judgment in land registration case or
breach of contract probate of a will; and (2) a judgment in personam is binding upon
the parties and their successors–in–interest but not upon
In rem action strangers. A judgment directing a party to deliver possession of a
But, “if the object of the suit is to bar indifferently all who property to another is in personam; it is binding only against the
might be minded to make an objection of any sort against the parties and their successors-in-interest by title subsequent to the
rights sought to be established, and if anyone in the world has a commencement of the action. An action for declaration of nullity of
right to be heard on the strength of alleging facts which, if true, title and recovery of ownership of real property, or reconveyance,
show an inconsistent interest, the action is IN REM.” (Grey Alba vs. is not an rem action but it is an action in personam, for it binds a
Dela Cruz, 17 Phil. 49; Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil. 421) particular individual only although it concerns the right to a
An example is a probate proceeding, cadastral proceeding. tangible thing. Any judgment therein is binding only upon the
parties properly impleaded”.
The purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose
through the judgment of a court, some responsibility or liability Xxxx
directly upon the person of the defendant (Domagas vs. Jensen
448 SCRA 663) “The settled rule is that the aim and object of an action
determine its character. Whether a proceeding is in rem, or in
Examples: personam, or quasi in rem for that matter, is determined by its
a.) An action for sum of money; nature and purpose, and by these only. Xxx The purpose of a
b.) An action for damages. proceeding in personam is to impose, through the judgment of a
In an action in personam, no other than the defendant is court, some responsibility or liability directly upon the person of
sought to be held liable, not the whole world. the defendant. Xxxxx An action in personam is said to be one which
has for its object a judgment against the person, as distinguished
To simplify the definition: from a judgment against the property to determine its state. It has
been held that an action in personam is a proceeding to enforce
ACTION IN PERSONAM is one where the purpose is to bind personal rights or obligations; such action is brought against the
the parties or where any judgment that the court will render in person. Xxxx Actions for recovery of real property are in
that case binds only the parties to the action and their privies or personam.” (Munoz v. Yabut, Jr., GR No. 142676, June 6, 2011).
their successors-in-interest.

ACTION IN REM is one where the purpose is to bind any and Action in personam
everyone or where the judgment which the court will render in the
case binds not only the parties to the case but the whole world, EXAMPLE:
then the action is in rem.
An action for the Recovery of land or accion publiciana.
To follow the language of the SC in the case of:
The case is filed by P against D and after trial the court
CHING vs. COURT OF APPEALS rendered judgment in favor of P ordering D to deliver the land to P.
181 SCRA 9 But here comes X claiming the same property. Is X barred from
making his claim because the court, in the case of P vs. D already
HELD: “Actions in personam and actions in rem differ in that declared that P is entitled to the property? Is X bound by that
the former are directed against specific persons and seek personal judgment?
judgments, while the latter are directed against the thing or

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A: NO, because X is not a party to that case. She cannot be personam because the action is directed against a particular person
bound by a judgment where she is not a party. Hence, the action who is sought to be held liable (Sec. 1 Rule 4; Domagas vs. Jensen
between P and D is an action in personam. 448 SCRA 663)

Action in Rem An action for delaration of nullity of a marriage is a personal


action (Tamano vs. Ortiz 291 SCRA 584; Romualdez-Licaros vs.
#1: Action for annulment of marriage or declaration of nullity Licaros 401 SCRA 762) because it is not founded on real estate. It is
of marriage. Suppose the husband (H) files a case against his wife also in rem action because the issue of the status of a person is one
(W) to annul their marriage. After trial, the court rendered directed against the whole world. One’s status is a matter that can
judgment annulling the marriage and it became final. So the parties be set up against anyone in the world. On the other hand, an action
are now both SINGLE. for damages is both a personal and in personam action.
H meets another girl, A, and courted her and proposed
marriage. An action for specific performance is an action in personam
Can A say the she I cannot marry H because I know you are (Jose vs. Boyon 414 SCRA 217). An action for specific performance
married and as far as I am concerned I am not bound by the and/or rescission is not an action in rem (Gomez vs. CA 425 SCRA
judgment of annulment in the case between P and D because she 98).
was a not a party therein? When the court ruled in the case
between H and W that the marriage is annulled is that judgment A cadastral proceeding is an action in rem (In Re Estate of
binding only on H and W, the parties therein? Johnson 39 Phil. 156).
A: No it binds the whole world or anybody.
A land registration proceeding is an action in rem. Hence, the
ILLUSTRATION #2: When an illegitimate child files a case failure to give a personal notice to the owners or claimants of the
against the father, for compulsory recognition and got a favorable land is not a jurisdictional defect. It is the publication of such notice
judgment his/her status as a recognized child is not only binding that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the
on his/her father but is binding on the whole world. court with jurisdiction (Adez Realty Inc. vs. CA 212 SCRA 623; Ting
vs. Heirs of Diego Lirio 518 SCRA 263).
Take note that an action in rem and in personam have often
been confused with the classification of real and personal action, An action to recover real property is a real action. It is
that an action in personam is also a personal action, or, when an however, also an action in personam for it binds only a particular
action is in rem it is also a real action. individual (Republic vs. CA 315 SCRA 600)

It is wrong. The basis of the classification is different. An An action for reconveyance is an action in personam available
action could be as to cause or basis a real action. As to object, it to a person whose property has been wrongfully registered under
could be in personam. In the same manner, it could be a personal the Torrens system in another’s name. Although the decree is
action but an action in rem. recognized as incontrovertible and no longer open to review, the
registered owner is not necessarily held free from liens. As a
ILLUSTRATION: E files a case against C to recover the remedy, an action for reconveyance is filed as an ordinary action in
possession of a piece of land. It is a REAL action because the the ordinary courts of justice and not with the land registration
subject is possession or ownership of real property. But because court. Reconveyance is always available as long as the property has
the purpose is to bind only E and C it is also an action IN not passed to an innocent third person for value. A notice of lis
PERSONAM. It is a real action as to cause, but as to object, it is in pendens may thus be annotated on the certificate of title
personam. immediately upon the institution of the action in court. The notice
of lis pendens will avoid transfer to an innocent third person for
ILLUSTRATION: P filed a case to annul his marriage with his value and preserve the claim of the real owner (Munoz v. Yabut, Jr.
wife D. It is a PERSONAL action because it does not involve title to, citing Heirs of Eugenio Lopez, Sr. v. Enriquez, 449 SCRA 173).
ownership etc., of his real property. It is about status. But it is also
IN REM because the judgment therein is binding against the whole An action for injunction is a personal action as well as an
world. action in personam, not an action in rem or qusi in rem (Kawasaki
Port Service Corporation v. Amores, 199 SCRA 230, 237. Munoz v.
An action for ejectment is a real action because it involves the Yabut Jr. also ruled that a suit for injunction, partakes of an action
issue of possession of real property. It is also, however, an action in in personam.

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It determines whether the court must acquire jurisdiction


QUASI IN REM over the person of the defendant and thus determine the mode of
serving summons.
Text writers gave a sort of third classification as to object. This
is called action quasi in rem. “QUASI” means almost. So, ‘quasi in If the action is in personam the court must acquire jurisdiction
rem’ is almost in rem. Actually, it is in personam but almost in rem. over the person of the defendant, thru personal service of
summons. Service of summons by publication is not allowed.
Q: Define an action quasi in rem. But if it is in rem jurisdiction over the person of the defendant
A proceeding to subject the interest of a named defendant is not required hence service of summons by publication is
over a particular property to an obligation or lien burdening it. sufficient.
Judgment is binding upon particular persons. Such is also true to quasi in rem action. What is important is
An action quasi in rem is actually in personam because it is that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res.
directed only against a particular individual but the purpose of the
proceeding is to subject his property to the obligation or lien “In an action in personam, jurisdiction over the person of the
burdening it. The object of the case is the sale or other disposition defendant is necessary for the court to validly try and decide the
of property of the defendant over which you have a right or lien case. In a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem, jurisdiction over the
over the property. person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction
on the court provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the
An action quasi in rem is one wherein an individual is named res. Jurisdiction over the res is acquired either (1) by the seizure of
as defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his the property under legal process, whereby it is brought into actual
interest thereof to the obligation or lien burdening thje property custody of the law; or (2) as a result of the institution of legal
(Asiavest Limited vs. CA 296 SCRA 539). proceedings, in which the power of the court is recognized and
made effective.
The object of an action quasi in rem is the sale or disposition
of the property whether by attachment, foreclosure or any other Nonetheless, summons must be served upon the defendant
form of remedy (Banco Espanol-Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921). not for the purpose of vesting the court with jurisdiction but
merely for satisfying the due process requirements.
Examples of actions quasi in rem:
(a) Action for partition; A resident defendant who does not voluntarily appear in
(b) Action for accounting. court, must be personally served with summons as provided under
Such actions are essentially for the purpose of affecting the Sec. 6 Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. If she cannot be personally
defendant’s interest in the property and not to render a judgment served with summons within a reasonable time, substituted service
against him (Valmonte vs. CA 252 SCRA 92); may be effected (1) by leaving copies of the summons at the
© attachment; defendant’s residence with some person of suitable age and
(d)foreclosure of mortgage (Banco Espanol Filipino vs. Palanca discretion then residing therein, or (2) by leaving the copies at
37 Phil. 921; Sahagun vs. CA 198 SCRA 44). defendant’s office or regular place of business with some
competent person in charge thereof in accordance with Sec. 7 Rule
ILLUSTRATION: An action to foreclose a mortgage is the best 14 of the Rules of Court” (Biaco v. Philippine Countryside Rural
example of a civil action quasi in rem because there is a defendant Bank, 515 SCRA 106).
(mortgagor) and the object of the case is to have the property
mortgaged sold or disposed of in order to satisfy the mortgage lien When summons by publication may be proper in an action in
of the mortgagee. It is in personam because it is directed only personam-
against the person who mortgaged to you but once the property is
foreclosed, practically everybody has to respect it. That’s why it is (a) In Sec. 14, Rule 14, if the identity of the defendant is
called quasi in rem. unknown or whose whereabouts are unknown,
service may, with leave of court, be effected upon
Or, to borrow the language of the SC in simplifying the term him by publication in a newspaper of general
quasi in rem, quasi in rem means ‘against the person in respect to circulation. Note the words “in any action” in said
the res, against the mortgagor in respect to the thing mortgaged.’ Section 14. (Santos v. PNOC Exploration
Corporation, 566 SCRA 272, 278).
Importance of the distinction

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(b) In Sec. 16 of the same Rule 14, if the resident defendant In SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS the period to appeal is 30 days and
is temporarily out of the country, he may be aside from notice of appeal, the law requires the filing of a record
served by publication with leave of court. on appeal.

While the phrase, “summons by publication,” does not appear


in Sec. 16 the way it expressly appears in Sec. 14, the rule makes Of course the basic distinction is found in Section 3 – a civil
reference to Sec. 15 of Rule 14 which allows summons by action is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or
publication. Note also the words, “any action” in Sec. 16 of Rule 14 protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
making the rule applicable even to actions in personam (Sec. 16, Whereas, a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks
Rule 14 in relation to Sec. 15, Rule 14, Rules of Court; Asiavest to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.
Limited v. CA, 296 SCRA 539).
The object of a civil action is to enforce or protect a right or to
CIVIL ACTIONS vs. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS prevent or redress a wrong. But the object of a special proceeding
is only to establish a status, a right or a particular fact.
Q: Define a special proceeding.
A: Rule 1, Section 3 [c]: If a creditor sues the debtor to collect an unpaid loan, is that a
civil action or a special proceeding? That is a civil action because
c) A special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to the creditor wants to enforce or protect his right to collect. The
establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. (2a, R2) creditor is compelling the debtor to pay. It is adversarial.

Special proceedings should not be confused with a civil action. A good example of a special proceeding is a petition for
Special Proceedings are governed by Rules 72-109 of the Rules of ADOPTION. It is a special proceeding because the purpose is to
Court. establish a status of paternity and filiation between the adopter
and adopted who may not be related to each other.
Distinguish a civil action from a special proceeding.
A: The following: What is adoption?

1.) A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues another for This is how an author describes it.
the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
prevention or redress of a wrong, whereas, “Adoption is one of the sacred mysteries of the law. It
A SPECIAL PROCEEDING is a remedy by which a party seeks to concerns the making of a natural person as a legitimate child of
establish a status, a right, or a particular fact; another person without the intervention of sex. A man becomes a
father of the child he did not sire. A woman becomes the mother
2.) In a civil action, there are two (2) definite and particular of a child she did not bear. It is through the magic or fiction of the
adverse parties, the party who demands a right, called a law that adopters become parents of children unrelated to them by
plaintiff, and the other whom the right is sought, called a blood, or if related, the relationship is one of illegitimacy.”
defendant, whereas,
In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, while there is a definite party So you can adopt you own illegitimate child for the purpose of
petitioner, there is no definite adverse party as the proceeding is improving his status. So, when you file a petition for adoption, you
usually considered to be against the whole world; are not suing somebody to enforce or protect a right or prevent or
redress a wrong. The purpose is to create a status of parent and
3.) A CIVIL ACTION requires the filing of formal pleadings, child between 2 people who are not related to each other.
whereas
In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, relief may be obtained by mere And when you file a petition for adoption, you are not filing a
application or petition; case against anybody. The case is not a fight between two parties.
There is a petitioner, the one who files, but there is no definite
4.) The period to appeal in CIVIL ACTIONS is generally 15 defending party. But it is directed against the whole world because
days and the requirement is the filing of a notice of once the adoption is granted, then, as far as the whole world is
appeal, whereas concerned, they have to respect the status of the adopted as a
child of the adopter. It is in rem. Generally, special proceedings are
in rem.

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exact date that the action has commenced because it is from that
But since it is directed against the whole world, anyone in the moment that the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted.
world can come forward and oppose the petition, hence,
publication is required. There is no particular person as defendant Civil actions are deemed commenced from the date of the
but in reality, anybody in the world can come forward and oppose filing and docketing of the complaint, without taking into account
it. That's the difference between a special proceeding and a civil the issuance and service of summons (Cabrera vs. Tiano, GR No. L-
action. 17299, July 31, 1963).

If the complete amount of the docket fee is not paid, the


Sec. 4. In what cases not applicable. - These Rules shall not prescriptive period continues to run as the complaint is deemed
apply to election cases, land registration, cadastral, naturalization not filed (Feria, 2001, p. 208)
and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not herein provided
for, except by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever An action can be commenced by filing the complaint by
practicable and convenient. (R143a) registered mail, in which case, it is the date of mailing that is
considered as the date of filing and not the date of the receipt
thereof by the clerk of court.
The Rules of Court do not apply to certain proceedings in
court. The second sentence of Section 5 states that, “If an additional
Q: What court proceedings where the Rules of Court are not defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is
applicable? commenced with regard to him on the date of the filing of such
A: Election cases, land registration cases, cadastral cases, later pleading…”
naturalization cases, insolvency proceedings, and other cases not
herein provided for except by analogy of for suppletory purposes. Example: Today (November 19, 1997), I filed a complaint
against A. So, the action is commenced on Nov. 19, 1997. However
In these cases, the Rules of Court are suppletory in character. next month, say, December 19, if there is an additional defendant,
In case of conflict between election law and the Rules of Court, the date of the commencement of the action with regards to the
forget the Rules of Court. But when the Election Code is silent, you additional defendant is not the date when the original action is
apply the Rules of Court by analogy or for suppletory purposes. filed, but on the date when he was included in the amended
pleading.
There are some election cases which fall within the
jurisdiction of the courts, not necessarily COMELEC. For example, How do you interpret or construe the Rules of Court?
violation of election code where the party may be adjudged to go
to jail. That is a criminal case. That is governed by the rules on Sec. 6. Construction. - These Rules shall be liberally construed
criminal procedure. It is more on imprisonment. in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and
inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. (2a)

Sec. 5. Commencement of an action. - A civil action is


commenced by the filing of the original complaint in court. If an The purpose of Procedural Law is to hasten litigation. So you
additional defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is do not interpret it to prolong a case. That is based on the principle
commenced with regard to him on the date of the filing of such of liberal construction.
later pleading, irrespective of whether the motion for its
admission, if necessary, is denied by the court. (6a) Cases should, as much as possible, be determined on the
merits after the parties have been given full opportunity to
ventilate their causes and defences, rather than on technicality or
Q: When is a court action deemed commenced? some procedural imperfection. After all, technical rules of
A: A civil action is commenced by the filing of the original procedure are not ends in themselves but are primarily devised to
complaint in court. Of course this is not really complete. The filing help in the proper and expedient dispensation of justice. In
of the original complaint in court must be accompanied by the appropriate cases, therefore, the rules may be construed liberally
payment of the correct docket fee. A complaint is not deemed filed in order to meet and advance the cause of substantial justice (Land
until the docket fee is paid. This is important to determine the Bank vs. Celad, GR No. 164876, Jan. 23, 2006)

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DE GUZMAN vs. SANDIGANBAYAN 1.) when they do not involve public policy;
256 SCRA 171, (en banc) 2.) when they arose from an honest mistake or unforeseen
accident;
HELD: “The Rules of Court was conceived and promulgated to 3.) when they have not prejudiced the adverse party; and
set forth guidelines in the dispensation of justice but not to bind 4.) when they have not deprived the court of its authority.
and chain the hand that dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be
mere slaves to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial
discretion. That is precisely why courts in rendering real justice One final note, while it is true that the Rules of Court should
have always been, as they in fact ought to be, conscientiously be liberally construed as a general rule, there are certain provisions
guided by the norm that when on the balance, technicalities take a which according to the SC, should be strictly construed because
backseat against substantive rights, and not the other way around. they were intended precisely to minimize delay. These are
Truly then, technicalities, should give way to the realities of the provisions on:
situation.” 1. reglementary periods;
2.rule on forum shopping;
So, the purpose of procedure is to help the hand that 3.service of summons
dispenses justice and not to tie these hands. Otherwise, the courts
will become mere robots. And, as much as possible, courts should A good example would be provisions which prescribe the time
avoid technicalities to give way to the realities of the situation. during which certain acts are going to be done, like the filing of an
answer, because if you will disregard this, it will promote more
In one case, “Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a delay rather than expedite litigations.
rapier’s thrust.” (Alonzo vs. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315)
Another example is the filing of a notice of appeal. These are
That’s why the SC said in another case: the provisions which are to be strictly construed because while it is
true that the Rules of Procedure are to be liberally construed, it is
SANTOS vs. COURT OF APPEALS not a license to completely ignore these rules. Even the SC made
198 SCRA 806 the warning. Like in the cases of

HELD: Procedural “rules are not intended to hamper litigants ANTONIO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
or complicate litigation but, indeed, to provide for a system under 167 SCRA 127
which suitors may be heard in the correct form and manner and at
the prescribed time in a peaceful confrontation before a judge HELD: “It is the common practice of litigants who have no
whose authority they acknowledge. The other alternative is the excuse for not observing the procedural rules to minimize the same
settlement of their conflict through the barrel of a gun.” as mere technicalities. Then they cry for due process. These
procedural rules are in fact intended to ensure an orderly
Meaning, the purpose of the rules is for people to fight each administration of justice precisely to guarantee the enjoyment of
other in a civilized way. If you cannot accept the judicial system, substantive rights.”
what is your alternative? The only alternative is to shoot your
opponent. We will settle our conflict through the barrel of a gun.
LIMPOT vs. COURT OF APPEALS
For all its shortcomings and its defects, the judicial system is 170 SCRA 367
still the civilized way of dealing with your opponent.
HELD: “Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed
BAR QUESTION: When may lapses in the literal observance in simply because their non-observance may have resulted in
the Rules of Court be excused? prejudice to a party's substantive rights, as in this case. Like all
A: In the case of rules, they are required to be followed except only when for the
most persuasive of reasons they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant
ETHEL CASE, ET AL vs. FERNANDO JUGO, ET AL of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his
77 Phil. 523 thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure prescribed.
While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities, this
HELD: Lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure does not mean that the Rules of Court may be ignored at will and
will be overlooked:

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at random to the prejudice of the orderly presentation and


assessment of the issues and their just resolution.”

This reminds me of a lawyer who did not comply with the


rules and he was arguing that the rules should be liberally
construed. And then the judge says: “There is a thin line between
liberal construction of the rules and gross ignorance of the rules!”
It is either you did not follow the rules strictly or you do not really
know the rules.

The power of the SC to promulgate rules concerning


pleadings, practice, and procedure includes the power to suspend
the effectivity of such rules to provide an exception from the
operation of said rules. It is within the inherent power of the
Supreme Court to suspend its own rules in a particular case in
order to do justice (De Guia vs. De Guia, GR No. 135384, April 4,
2001).

Reasons which would warrant the suspension of the Rules:


1. the existence of special or compelling circumstances;
2.the merits of the case;
3.a cause not entirely attributable to the faault or negligence
of a party favored by the suspension of the rules;
4. a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely
frivolous and dilatory and
5. the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby
(Sarmiento vs. Zaratan, GR No. 167471, Feb. 5, 2007)

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ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS


As a matter of fact, in a recent case, the SC remarked that
Rule 02 wrong or injury without damage or damage without wrong does
not constitute a cause of action since damages are merely part of
the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or wrong.
CAUSE OF ACTION

Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right while damage is the


SECTION 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of. - Every ordinary loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury.
civil action must be based on a cause of action. (n)
Cause of Action not an issue in administrative cases
Section 1 of Rule 1 is entitled cause of action. Section 1
expresses the principle that every ordinary civil action must be While the existence of a cause of action is one that is essential
based on a cause of action. In other words, there cannot be a case to the existence of a civil action, in administrative cases however,
unless you have a cause of action. the issue is not whether the complainant has a cause of action
against the respondent, but whether the respondent has breached
Under Rule 16, one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss is the norms and standards of the office. (Mutia v. Purisima, 494
that your pleading states no cause of action. SCRA 448)

Sec. 2. Cause of action, defined. - A cause of action is the act Cause of Action in Specific Cases
or omission by which a party violates a right of another. (n)
In breach of contract cases, a cause of action does not require
an allegation of the negligence of the defendant but merely the
Q: Define cause of action. following elements:
A: CAUSE OF ACTION is an act or omission by which a party a.) The existence of a contract, and
violates a right of another. b.) The breach of the contract. (Calalas v. CA SCRA 356; FGU
Insurance Corp. v. GP Sarmeinto Trucking Corp. 386
ELEMENTS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION SCRA 312)
Thus, if a carrier is sued based on a breach of contract of
There are 3 main elements: carriage, negligence need not be proved by the plaintiff, negligence
not being an element of the cause of action of a suit predicated on
1. Existence of legal right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever a breach of contract. This is true whether or not the defendant is a
means and under whatever law it arises or is created; public or a private carrier. However, where the defendant is a
2. a correlative obligation on the part of the named defendant common carrier there is an additional reason for dispensing with
to respect and not to violate such right; and proof of negligence, i.e., negligence of the common carrier is
3. an act or omission on the part of such defendant in presumed. (Art. 1735 & Art. 1756 CC)
violation of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the
obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may In quasi delict, negligence, as an element, must be alleged and
maintain action for recovery of damages or other appropriate proved. (Art. 2176 CC) but the negligence of those persons
relief. described under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, although based on
4.Damages suffered
quasi delict is presumed.
Briefly stated, it is the reason why the litigation has come
about, it is the act or omission of defendant resulting in the Under Art. 2180, following the well-recognized doctrine of
violation of someone’s right. (Phil. National Construction v CA, 514 vicarious liability, certain persons like the father, mother, guardian,
SCRA 569; Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association v. Nicolas GR owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise, employee,
No. 168394, Oct. 6, 2008) the State, and teachers or heads of establishments of arts and
trades are, under specified conditions, liable for acts of persons for
There is a fourth element added by some cases and whom they are responsible.
commentators – the element of damage suffered by the plaintiff.
Thus, an employer for instance, is liable for the damage
Even if there is violation, if there is no damage, then what caused by his employees and household helpers acting within the
relief are you asking for? There can be no action where no damage scope of their assigned tasks. The employer’s negligence in the
is sustained.

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selection and supervision of his employee is presumed and his


liability shall only cease if he successfully proves his observance of ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Damages arising from culpa aquiliana.
the diligence required of a good father of a family to prevent You are crossing the street and you are bumped by X who was
damage. driving a car causing you injuries and being hospitalized. You also
failed to report for work.
When an injury is caused to another by the negligence of the
employee there instantly arises the juris tantum presumption of RIGHT – it is the right of every person not to be molested. You
law that there was negligence on the part of the employer either in have the right to walk peacefully and not to be harmed;
the selection or in the supervision, or both of the employee. The OBLIGATION – it is the obligation of every person driving to be
liability of the employer is direct and immediate and is not careful so that he will not bump other people. You do not have to
conditioned upon a prior recourse against the negligent employee enter into a contract with a person saying you will not bump him;
and a prior showing of the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, DELICT or wrong – because of your recklessness, you violated
it is incumbent upon the employer to prove his exercise of his right by injuring him;
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and DAMAGE – I have to spend money in the hospital and I lost my
supervision of the employee (Manliclic vs. Calaunan GR No. 150157 income.
January 25, 2007)
The 4 elements are present. So there is a cause of action. In
Where the cause of action rests on a promissory note, filing other words, you cannot imagine a civil case where the 4 elements
the action before the due date of the obligation would be are not present.
premature because the obligation is one with a period. Whenever a
period is designated in an obligation, the obligation becomes ANOTHER EXAMPLE: D borrowed money from you last year
demandable only when the period arrives. Such period is presumed payable in January2010 but because you are in dire need of money
to be for the benefit of both parties and of course, also of the you demanded payment. Suppose D does not pay can you file an
debtor. He cannot be charged before the due date (Art. 1196, Civil action to collect the amount from him? Do you have a cause of
Code) unless he loses the right to make use of the period (Art. action?
1198, Civil Code).
RIGHT – the creditor has the right to collect;
In an unlawful detainer case, the cause of action does not OBLIGATION – every debtor has the obligation to pay;
accrue unless there is a demand to vacate and is not complied with. DAMAGE – I have not recovered the money;
If, however, the suit is based on expiration of the lease, notice and DELICT or wrong – there is NO delict yet.
demand are not required. (Labastida v. CA, 287 SCRA 662)
Why? There is no delict yet because the account is payable
EXAMPLE of Cause of Action: next year. So, it is still premature to file a collection case now
because one element is missing. It is not based on a cause of
A borrows money from B promising to pay on a date certain. action and is dismissible under Rule 16.
Upon due date, A did not pay. Does B have a cause of action? Let us
examine whether the elements are present. Cause of action must be unmistakably stated Failure to state
RIGHT - the right of the creditor to get back his money; cause of action
OBLIGATION – The defendant has the obligation to pay back The mere existence of a cause of action is not sufficient for a
the loan under the law on contracts; complaint to prosper. Even if in reality the plaintiff has a cause of
VIOLATION or delict or wrong – the account fell due and the action against the defendant, the complaint may be dismissed if
debtor is supposed to pay the creditor, but the former did not pay the complaint or the pleading asserting the claim “states no cause
the latter; of action”. (Sec. 1*g+, Rule 16).
DAMAGE. – the creditor cannot get back his money. This means that the cause of action must unmistakably be
stated or alleged in the complaint or that all the elements of the
So, the 4 elements are there. Of course, when you file a cause of action required by substantive law must clearly appear
complaint against somebody, you do not prepare the complaint by from the mere reading of the complaint. To avoid an early dismissal
enumerating the elements. In other words, you just narrate the of the complaint, the simple dictum to be followed is: “If you have
facts. It is up for the defendant to analyze. It is the duty of the a cause of action, then by all means, state it! State all of its
lawyer to analyze the complaint whether the 4 elements are elements in your pleading!”
present.

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Where there is a defect or an insufficiency in the statement of action have occurred. When there is an invasion of primary rights,
the cause of action, a complaint may be dismissed not because of then and not until then does the adjective or remedial law become
the absence or a lack of a cause of action but because the operative, and under it arise rights of action. There can be no right
complaint “states no cause of action”. The dismissal will therefore, of action until there has been a wrong – a violation of a legal right –
be anchored on a “failure to state a cause of action.” and it is then given by the adjective law.”

The failure to state a cause of action does not mean that the So, there can be no right of action until there has been a
plaintiff has “no cause of action.” It only means that the plaintiff’s wrong, a violation of a legal right. There can be no right of action
allegations are insufficient for the court to know that the rights of unless there is first a cause of action.
the plaintiff were violated by the defendant. Thus, even if indeed
the plaintiff suffered injury, if the same is not set forth in the And you must comply with the conditions precedent. You
complaint, the pleading will state no cause of action even if cannot file a case unless you comply with certain conditions and
factually or in reality the plaintiff has a cause of action against the the best illustration of this element is the case of
defendant.
PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE CO. vs. SWEETLINES
Action distinguished from Cause of Action 212 SCRA 194

An action is the suit filed in court for the enforcement or FACTS: This involves shipped cargoes from Manila to Davao
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong. (Sec. but the goods were damaged while in transit. Based on the
3[a]. Rule 2, Rules of Court. A cause of action is the basis of the damaged cargoes, the consignee filed a case against the carrier.
action filed. Under the Rules of Court “every ordinary civil action Actually, in the bill of lading, there is a stipulation that if the
must be based on a cause of action.” (Sec. 1, R 2). consignee wants to file a case arising from the contract of carriage
against the carrier, the consignee must first send a notice of loss to
CAUSE OF ACTION vs. RIGHT OF ACTION the carrier and then if the carrier will not honor it, that is the time
the consignee can file a case before the court. Now, he went to
Another important subject in procedure is distinguishing a court directly without filing a notice of loss to the carrier.
cause of action from a right of action.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a right of action.
Q: Define right of action.
A: Right of action is the right of the plaintiff to bring an action HELD: There is NO right of action because the consignee did
and to prosecute that action to final judgment. (Marquez vs. not comply with the conditions precedent.
Varela, 92 Phil. 373) “The right of action does not arise until the performance of all
It is the right of a person to commence and prosecute an conditions precedent to the action. Performance or fulfillment of
action to obtain the relief sought. all conditions precedent upon which a right of action depends must
be sufficiently alleged, considering that the burden of proof to
Q: What are the ELEMENTS of a right of action? show that a party has a right of action is upon the person initiating
A: There are three llelements: the suit.”
“More particularly, where the contract of shipment contains a
1.) the plaintiff must have a good cause of action; reasonable requirement of giving notice of loss of or injury to the
2.) must be instituted by the proper party; and, goods, the giving of such notice is a condition precedent to the
3.) he/she must have performed all conditions precedent to action for loss or injury or the right to enforce the carrier’s
the filing of the action. liability.”

So, you cannot have a right of action unless you first have a
cause of action. That is why the SC said in the case of BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a CAUSE OF ACTION from a RIGHT
OF ACTION.
DE GUZMAN, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS A: The following are the distinctions:
192 SCRA 507
1.) Cause of action is the delict or wrong committed by the
HELD: “The right of action springs from the cause of action, defendant, whereas
but does not accrue until all the facts which constitute the cause of

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Right of action refers to the right of the plaintiff to institute To avoid the following:
the action; 1. Multiplicity of suits;
2.Conflicting decisions; and
2.) Cause of action is created by substantive law (e.g. rights 3.Unnecessary vexation and harassment of defendants.
under the Civil Code), whereas
Right of action is regulated by procedural law; This applies not only to complaints but also to counterclaims
“Right of action is a remedial right belonging to some persons, and cross-claims.
while cause of action is a formal statement of the operative facts
that give rise to such remedial right.” (De Guzman vs. CA, supra) Q: What is splitting a single cause of action?
A: Splitting a cause of action is the act of instituting two or
3.) Right of action may be taken away by the running of the more suits for the same cause of action.
statute of limitations, by estoppel or other circumstances It is the practice of dividing one cause of action into different
which do not affect at all the cause of action. parts and making each part a subject of a different complaint.
(Bachrach vs. Icariñgal, 68 Phil. 287)
EXAMPLE: When a debtor borrows money and he does not In splitting a cause of action, the pleader divides a single cause
pay. His failure to pay is the cause of action. After 10 years, the of action, claim or demand into two or more parts, brings a suit for
right to collect has prescribed and you cannot recover anything. one of such parts with the intent to reserve the rest for another
Actually, what is barred is his right of action, not the cause of separate action. (Quadra v. CA 497 SCRA 221)
action because the moment he does not pay, there is already a
wrong and you cannot erase a wrong. The cause of action is not EXAMPLE: In a suit under a promissory note, you file a case to
affected by prescription. In fact, the Civil Code provides that the collect the principal; another action to collect the interest; another
obligation is converted into natural obligation, which is based on action to collect attorney’s fees. So, there is only one note and you
equity rather than a right. sue me three times but there is only one cause of action. Now,
under the law, you have split your cause of action. You should file
When we say that the action has prescribed we should mean only one case to recover the principal and the interest as well as
that what has prescribed is the right of action not the cause of the attorney’s fees.
action.
EXAMPLE: Damage (injury) suit: X, while walking was bumped
Relief, Remedy and Subject Matter by a vehicle. He filed one case against the owner of the vehicle for
reimbursement of hospital expenses; one case to recover his
Relief is the redress, protection, award or coercive measure expenses for medicine; another one for doctor’s fees; then another
which the plaintiff prays the court to render in his favor as case for the lost income.
consequence of the delict committed by the defendant while
remedy is the procedure or appropriate legal form of relief of A single act may sometimes violate several rights of a person.
action which may be availed of by the plaintiff as the means to Nevertheless the plaintiff has only one cause of action regardless of
obtain the desired relief. the number of rights violated. If a car owner sustains injuries to his
Subject matter is the thing, wrongful act, contract or property person and damage to his car as a result of the negligent driving of
which is directly involved in the action, concerning which the wrong the defendant, two rights of the plaintiff have been violated,
has been done and with respect to which the controversy has namely, his personal right to be safe in his person and his property
arisen. right to have his car intact and free from any damage. Under the
circumstances, the plaintiff can only file a single action for the
SPLITTING A CAUSE OF ACTION recovery of damages for both types of injuries. Filing an action to
recover damages to his person and later for damages to his car
would be splitting a single cause of action. This is because there is
Sec. 3. One suit for a single cause of action. - A party may not one act of violation. If, however, a passenger in the same car was
institute more than one suit for a single cause of action. (3a) also injured, the injuries to the passenger gives rise to a cause of
action separate and distinct from those sustained by the car owner
Section 3 is known as the rule against splitting the cause of because distinct rights belonging to different persons have been
action. violated. The injured passenger may file a suit against the
defendant separate from the suit filed by the car owner.
Purpose:

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A cause of action for the reconveyance of title over property


does not include a cause of action for forcible entry or unlawful An action for the recovery of taxes should also include the
detainer. They are distinct causes of action. What is involved in an demand for surcharges resulting from the delinquency in the
ejectment case is possession de facto or material possession. In an payment of said taxes. The non-payment of taxes gave rise to two
action for reconveyance, the issue is ownership. (Tecson v. reliefs: (a) the recovery of the unpaid taxes; and (b) the recovery of
Gutierez, 452 SCRA 781; de la Cruz v. CA, 133 SCRA 520). the surcharges resulting from non-payment of the taxes. These two
reliefs are results of a single cause of action and which should be
pursued in a single complaint (City of Bacolod vs. San Miguel
Application of the rule against splitting a single cause of action Brewery, Inc. 29 SCRA 819).

This rule applies not only to complaints but also to A bank cannot file a civil action against the debtor for the
counterclaims and cross-claims. (Mariscal v. CA, 311 SCRA 51) collection of the debt and then subsequently file an action to
foreclose the mortgage. This would be splitting a single cause of
Example: The act of a defendant in taking possession of the action (Danao vs. CA 154 SCRA 446; Industrial
plaintiff’s land by means of force and intimidation constitutes a Finance Corp. vs. Apostol 177 SCRA 521).
single act of dispossession but gives rise to two reliefs to the
plaintiff: (a) recovery of possession, and (b) damages arising from It has been held however, that an action to collect the amount
the loss of possession. Both of these reliefs result from a single of the loan will not preclude a subsequent action for the rescission
wrong hence, constitute but a single cause of action. Each of them of the mortgage based on violation of the conditions of the
cannot be the subject of two separate actions. IT is procedurally mortgage (Enriquez vs. Ramos 7 SCRA 26).
erroneous for the plaintiff to file an action to recover possession
and another action for damages. Both remedies must be alleged Sec. 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of. - If two or
and claimed in only one complaint. To file a separate action for more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action,
each relief is to split a single cause of action. the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is
Now if the defendant denies plaintiff’s allegations and avers available as a ground for the dismissal of the others. (4a)
that the action is just plain harassment and claims for damages,
attorney’s fees and litigation" expenses, he cannot file 3
counterclaims. The remedy of the defendant is a motion to dismiss or if such
motion is not filed, to allege it in the answer as an affirmative
The action for forcible entry should include not only the plea defense.
for restoration of possession but also claims for damages arising
out of the forcible entry. The claim for damages cannot be filed Q: What are the effects of splitting a cause of action?
separately (Progressive Development Corporation, Inc. vs. CA 301 A: Under Section 4, the following are the effects:
SCRA 637).
1.) The filing of one is available as a ground for the
The same principle applies to an action to recover the dismissal of the other. This assumes a situation where
possession of a land. The action must also include the recovery of there is already another action pending between the
the fruits already taken from the land and appropriated by the same parties for the same cause. This is one ground for
defendant. A suit for recovery of the land and a separate suit to dismissal of a case, LITIS PENDENTIA. (Rule 16 – Motion
recover the fruits will not be sustained. Also, when one files a to Dismiss, Section 1 [e])
complaint for unlawful detainer on the ground of non-payment of 2.) a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a
rentals, the complaint must include the recovery of the rentals in ground for the dismissal of the others. This refers to a
arrears, such recovery being an integral part of the cause of action judgment that is final and executor. That is what you
for unlawful detainer. call barred by prior judgment or RES ADJUDICATA, which
is also a ground for dismissal under Rule 16, Section 1
A tenant illegally ejected from the land is entitled to two [f].
reliefs – one for reinstatement and another for damages. Since
both reliefs arose from the same cause of action, they should be EXAMPLE: A collection case was already decided a long time
alleged in one complaint (Gozon vs. Vda. De Barrameda 11 SCRA ago dismissing it because the court found that the promissory note
376). was a forgery. Now, you are reviving the same case – you are filing

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again. Under Section 4, the judgment in the first case years ago collect the loan, the bank instituted an action to foreclose the
would be cited as a basis for the dismissal of the second case. mortgage.

Note that if the ground is pendency of another action, the HELD: “Anent real properties in particular, the Court has laid
phraseology of the rule (Sec. 4 R 2) no longer confines the dismissal down the rule that a mortgage creditor may institute against the
to the second action. As to which action should be dismissed would mortgage debtor either a personal action for debt or a real action
depend upon judicial discretion and the prevailing circumstances of to foreclose the mortgage. In other words, he may pursue either of
the case. the two remedies, but not both.”
“Evidently, the prior recourse of the creditor bank in filing a
SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION civil action against the Danao spouses and subsequently resorting
to the complaint of foreclosure proceedings, are not only a
demonstration of the prohibited splitting up of a cause of action
Q: How do you determine the singleness of a cause of action? but also of the resulting vexation and oppression to the debtor.”
A: The singleness of a cause of action is determined by the
singleness of the delict or wrong committed by the defendant and
not by the number of remedies that the law grants the injured RULES IN DETERMINING THE SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF
party. Meaning, a single delict may give rise to two or more ACTION IN CONTRACTS WITH SEVERAL STIPULATIONS
possible remedies but it does not mean to say the injured party can
avail of all those remedies simultaneously or one after another.
(Bachrach vs. Icariñgal, supra; David vs. De la Cruz, L-11656, April RULE #1 (General Rule):
18, 1958) A contract embraces only one cause of action because it may
be violated only once, even if it contains several stipulations.
EXAMPLE: Obligations and Contracts: A violation or a breach (Quioque vs. Bautista, L-13159, Feb. 28, 1962)
of contract could give rise to a civil action for specific performance
or a civil action for rescission of contract. However, it does not EXAMPLE: P enters into a contract with N which contains 3
mean to say that the injured party can file both or one after the stipulations: (#1) that next month, P will deliver to N 100 sacks of
other. Otherwise, he will be splitting his cause of action. rice; (#2) on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100 sacks of
corn; and (#3) on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100 sacks
EXAMPLE: There is the Recto Law (on Sales) which provides of sugar. When the day arrived, nothing was delivered. So three
for 3 remedies of an unpaid seller of personal properties: (1) stipulations were violated.
rescind the contract of sale; (2) exact fulfillment of obligation; and
(3) foreclosure of mortgage. But even the law on Sales is very clear: Q: How many causes of action does N have against P?
the choice of one automatically bars resort to the other because it A: ONE. The contract is only one cause of action even if it
will be against splitting the cause of action. contains several stipulations. The cause of action is not based on
the number of paragraphs violated but on the contract itself.
EXAMPLE: Credit Transactions: A bank has two (2) possible
remedies against a debtor for non-payment of a loan secured by a
mortgaged say, piece of land: (1) foreclose the mortgage on the RULE #2 (Exception to the General Rule):
land; or (2) file an action to collect the loan. Here, the bank cannot A contract which provides for several stipulations to be
file a case against the debtor to collect the loan and at the same performed at different times gives rise to as many causes of action
time file an action to foreclose the mortgage for it will be splitting as there are violations. (Larena vs. Villanueva, 53 Phil. 923)
the cause of action. So it is either you enforce the principal contract
of loan, or, you enforce the accessory contract of mortgage. This is
what happened in the case of EXAMPLE: A loan with a promissory note where the principal
amount is payable in installment. The first installment is payable in
DANAO vs. COURT OF APPEALS 2008, the second installment in this year, and the third installment
154 SCRA 446 is payable in 2010 without any acceleration clause. So, there is only
one contract of loan but the principal is payable in three
FACTS: The Danao spouses borrowed money from the bank, installments at different times.
mortgaged their property and then they failed to pay. The bank For non- payment of the first installment, the creditor has a
filed a civil action to collect the loan. After filing a civil action to cause of action and can file one case.

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Q: Next year, he did not pay the second installment, can the one case for the entire breach. There is a total breach for a
creditor file another case? continuing obligation and there is now only one cause of action for
A: YES, because this time it is the exception. Every installment the entire promissory note. (Blossoms & Co. v. Manila Gas
is one cause of action even if there is only one note. Remember Corporation, 55 Phil. 226) The anticipatory breach committed by
that they are to be performed at different times. the defendant entitles the plaintiff to only one cause of action.

RULE #3 (Exception to the exception):


All obligations which have matured at the time of the suit
must be integrated as one cause of action in one complaint, and JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION
those not so included would be barred. (Larena vs. Villanueva, 53
Phil. 923) SEC. 5. Joinder of causes of action. - A party may in one
pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of
EXAMPLE: In 2008, the debtor did not pay but the creditor did action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the
not file any case. Then this year, the second installment was not following conditions:
also paid. xxxxx

Q: Is the creditor correct if he files two separate actions?


A: He is wrong. When all the installment are already due and
the creditor has not filed any case for the collection of the first Q: What do you mean by joinder of causes of action?
installment, this time, when he files for collection of the unpaid A: Joinder of causes of action is the provision of the Rules
second installment, everything must be integrated. If you do not which allows a party to join in one pleading two or more causes of
file a claim for one, it is deemed barred. actions against the opposing party.

So for example, if you will wait for the entire note to mature, It is the assertion of as many causes of action as a party may
you cannot apply rule 2. You should only file one action and you go have against another in one pleading. It is the process of uniting
back to the general rule. two or more demands or rights in one action.

Example: D is the debtor of C for P350,000.00 due on January


Doctrine of Anticipatory Breach 5, 2008. D likewise owes C P350,000.00 due on February 13, 2008.
Both debts are evidenced by distinct promissory notes. D did not
RULE #4 (Exception to Rule #2) pay both debts despite demand.
An unqualified and positive refusal to perform How many causes of action are there? There are two because
a contract, though the performance thereof is not yet due, may, if there are two contracts and therefore two violations. So C can file
the renunciation goes into the whole contract, be treated as a two separate actions for collection without violating the
complete breach which will entitle the injured party to bring the prohibition against splitting a single cause of action.
action at once. (Blossom & Co. vs. Manila Gas Corp., 55 Phil. 226)
But can C file only one action by joining the two causes of
EXAMPLE: Let us suppose that in the preceding problems action? Yes under this Section 5.
when the first installment fell due the creditor demanded payment C may file a single suit against D for the collection of both
for the first installment from the debtor but the latter refused to debts, despite the claims being actually separate causes of actions
pay claiming that there was no loan and the promissory note is a and having arisen out of different transactions.
forgery how many causes of action are there?
THE PRINCIPLE: You cannot file more than one case when you
Now, in that kind of statement, he is not only repudiating the have only one cause of action but the law allows you to file one
first installment. He is repudiating the entire note. So under rule case for more than one cause of action.
#4, the creditor can file a case for the entire loan of because it has
been repudiated. If you only file only one for the first installment Q: Under Section 5, is the creditor obliged to file one
which fell due, then another for the others, it will be useless complaint for the 2 promissory notes?
because he will still maintain the same position. So you do not wait A: NO, because joinder of causes of action is permissive. He
anymore for the 2nd and 3rd installments to fall due. You file only may or may not.

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riding is not at fault, then her cause of action against the other
When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same vehicle is quasi-delict. But if the fault lies with the driver of the bus
plaintiff and against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one where she was riding, her cause of action is culpa contractual. So
plaintiff and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or she has 2 possible causes of action.
not the causes of action arose out of the same transaction or series
of transactions. This question is only relevant when there are Q: Is it possible for C to file one complaint naming both the
multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants. In the hypothetical just drivers or both operators as defendants?
discussed in the example, is C obliged to join the causes of action A: YES. Either of them is liable to her. That is alternative
against D? joinder of causes of action.
No. He may file a single suit for each of the claims if he desires
because each debt is a separate cause of action. Joinder of causes CUMULATIVE JOINDER
of action is not compulsory. It is merely permissive.
Examples: Refer to prior illustrations
ALTERNATIVE and CUMULATIVE Joinder of Causes of Action

Q: How may causes of action be joined? That is why the manner of joining the defendants alternatively
A: Causes of action may be joined either: (a) alternatively or or otherwise should be correlated with Rule 3, Section 13 and Rule
(b) cumulatively. 8, Section 2:

An ALTERNATIVE JOINDER exists when your cause of action is


either one or the other. You are not seeking relief from both but RULE 3, SEC. 13. Alternative defendants. - Where the plaintiff
from either one. is uncertain against who of several persons he is entitled to relief,
he may join any or all of them as defendants in the alternative,
A CUMULATIVE JOINDER exists when you are seeking relief for although a right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a
all your causes of action. right of relief against the other. (13a)

ALTERNATIVE joinder; Example: RULE 8, SEC. 2. Alternative causes of action or defenses. - A


A is the importer of the goods that were shipped on board a party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense
carrier. Upon reaching Cebu City, they were unloaded by the alternatively or hypothetically, either in one cause of action or
arrastre or stevedoring operator. But when the goods were defense or in separate causes of action or defenses. When two or
delivered to A they were already in a damaged condition. A more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if
complained to the arrastre which denied liability claiming that the made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not
goods were damaged already before unloading. Then when A went made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the
to the carrier, it passed the blame to the arrastre. alternative statements. (2)
A here has two (2) possible causes of action: (1) an action
against the stevedoring operator under the contract of depositary Requisites for proper joinder of causes of action
under the law on Credit Transaction; Or, (2) an action against the Q: When is joinder of causes of action allowed?
carrier under the Law on Transportation. So there are 2 possible A: Under Section 5, joinder of causes of action is allowed
causes of action. under the following conditions:
a.) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with
Q: Can A file a complaint incorporating the two (arrastre and the rules on joinder of parties;
the carrier) both as defendants? b.) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or
A: YES, that is allowed. This is alternative joinder because A is actions governed by special rules;
not claiming from both of them, but either one or the other. c.) Where the causes of action are between the same
parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions,
the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court
Another Example: provided one of the causes of action falls within the
jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
C is a passenger riding on a public utility vehicle which collided d.) Where the claims in all the causes of action are
with another vehicle and she is not sure who is at fault. If the fault principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount
lies with the other vehicle, and the driver of the bus where C was claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. (5a)

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common denominator between them. So if you cannot join them


under Rule 3, the joinder of causes of action under Rule 2 is also
a.) The party joining the causes of action shall comply improper.
with the rules on joinder of parties
Distinguish joinder of causes of actions from joinder of
parties.
The rule on joinder of parties is Rule 3, Section 6 which
provides that two (2) or more persons can join as plaintiffs in one Joinder of causes of action refers to the procedural device
complaint or can be joined as defendants in one complaint, whereby a party who asserts various claims against the same or
provided there is a common question of fact or law involved in several parties, files all his claims against them in a single
that case. In other words, before there can be a proper joinder of complaint. The joinder will not involve a joinder of parties when
causes of action there must must be a proper joinder of parties. the causes of action joined accrued in favor of the same plaintiff
Proper joinder of parties requires that the right to relief should against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one plaintiff against
arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions and the same defendant. This means that a joinder of causes of action
that there exists a common question of law or fact. will not necessarily involve a joinder of parties.

When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same Joinder of parties is a procedural device that may be
plaintiff and against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one employed when there are various causes of actions that accrue in
plaintiff and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or favor of one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants, i.e.,
not the causes of actions arose of the same transaction or series of there is a plurality of parties. A joinder of parties requires that
transactions as stated beforehand. This question is only relevant before parties can be joined under a single complaint the right to
when there are multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants. So in our relief must arise out of the same transaction or series of
hypothetical case where D borrowed from C two separate amounts transactions and there must be a common question of law or fact.
of P350,000.00 each covered by two separate promissory notes, C A joinder of parties may or may not be involved in a joinder of
can opt to file one complaint joining together the two causes of causes of action.
action arising from the violations of the promissory notes.
b.) The joinder shall not include special civil actions
or actions governed by special rules
EXAMPLE: Two or more passengers riding on the same bus,
met an accident. All of them were injured. Every passenger who Assume that aside from the above claims of C against D, C
gets injured has a cause of action separate and distinct from each who happens to be the lessor of D wants to eject D from the
other because there are separate contracts of carriage violated. So apartment occupied by D as lessee. May the action be joined with
they decided to file a damage suit. the claims for money?

Q: Can they be joined in one complaint? No. An action for ejectment is a special action which cannot
A: YES because there is a common question of fact or law. be joined with ordinary action. The joinder does not include special
They are riding on the same bus, meeting the same accident, civil actions or those governed by special rules. The reason is
against the same operator. So there is a joinder of parties under confusion in the application of procedural rules would certainly
Rule 3. And if the joinder of parties under Rule 3 is proper, then arise from the joinder of ordinary and special civil actions in a single
their causes of action can also be joined under Rule 2 because the complaint.
condition is: “shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties.”
Assume that C has the following causes of action against D: (a)
Q: Suppose these passengers were riding on different buses P1M based on a PN; (b) P1M based on torts; and (c) foreclosure of
owned by the same operator. All of them met an accident. Well of real estate mortgage. May the causes of action be joined?
course the same kind of case: damage suit, breach of contract
against the same operator. Now, can their causes of action be Yes, except the foreclosure of real estate mortgage, which is a
joined? special civil action.
A: NO. They cannot be joined because there is no common
question of fact or law. The defense of the operator here is UNION GLASS AND CONTAINER CORP. vs. SEC
different from his defense there. Meaning, passenger A has nothing 126 SCRA 31
to do with the complaint of passenger B because there is no

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FACTS: (This is still a good ruling) A stockholder of a Q: In which RTC will you file the case joining the causes of
corporation who is also the creditor of the corporation decided to action?
file one complaint against the corporation asserting several causes A: Either Lapulapu or Cebu City because both are RTCs.
of action, among them is his right as a stockholder under the
Corporation Code and also his right as a creditor under the Civil PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an
Code. assessed value of P20,000. And then he encroached in another land
SEC jurisdiction is now transferred to the
RTC in cases of Intra corporate disputes. of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P20,000 also. In the
HELD: The joinder is improper. In the first place, one is Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is MTC for the case accion
governed by a quasi-judicial body (SEC). So how can the RTC try a publiciana. In the other case, the jurisdiction is also in the MTC. So
case when the cause of action is pertaining to the SEC and it is both actions, MTC.
governed by the special rules of the SEC? So you cannot join that. Q: Can I join in one complaint the 2 actions?
A: NO, because the law says provided one of the causes of
action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies
c.) Where the causes of action are between the same parties therein. One of them belongs to the RTC. In the example, both
but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be belong to the MTC.
allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of
action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies PROBLEM: M encroached on my land more than one year
therein ago and the land has an assessed value of only P20,000. So if I will
file an accion publiciana, it has to be filed with the MTC. On the
PROBLEM: M encroached on two parcels of land belonging to other hand, A encroached my other parcel of land more than one
me both located IN Cebu City. In one parcel of land, the assessed year ago and the assessed value of the land is P1 million. So my
value is only P20,000. In another parcel of land, the assessed value cause of action there is also accion publiciana but triable by the
is P1 million. I would like to file a case of action publiciana against RTC. So I decided to file a case naming both of them as
him. The first accion publiciana is triable by the MTC (P20,000). The defendants.
other accion publiciana is triable by the RTC. Q: Can they be joined under Section 5?
Q: Can I join them? A: NO. The law allows only if it is between the same parties.
A: YES, and it must be filed it in the RTC. The jurisdiction of This time the parties are not the same. Plus the fact that you might
the RTC will prevail. Venue, of course, is Cebu City. violate paragraph [a] – there is no common question of fact and
law between them.
Examples of “but pertain to different venues or jurisdiction”
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Cebu City one month
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an ago and then he encroached on another land of mine (assessed
assessed value of P20,000. And then he encroached in another land value of P1 million) also located in Cebu City two years ago.
of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P1 million. You will Therefore, one case is forcible entry triable by the MTC and the
notice that in the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is in the MTC for latter is accion publiciana triable by the RTC.
the case accion publiciana and the venue is Lapulapu because the Q: Can I join them under paragraph [c] although they belong
property is situated there. In the other case, the jurisdiction is in to MTC and RTC?
the RTC and the venue is Cebu City. A: NO, you cannot join them because of paragraph [b] – a
Q: Can I file a case against M joining the 2 cases? forcible entry is special civil action which is also governed by the
A: YES. Summary Procedure. You cannot join a special civil action. So what
is violated here is not paragraph [c] but paragraph [b].
Q: Where is now the governing venue?
A: The venue of the RTC case prevails. Therefore, the case
must be filed in Cebu City. d.) where the claims in all the causes of action are principally
for recovery of money,
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction
assessed value of P1 million. And then he encroached in another
land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P1 million also. The last is only a repetition of the old rule: TOTALITY RULE.
You will notice that in the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is RTC for There is nothing new here. So judiciary law, totality rule, basta
the case accion publiciana. In the other case, the jurisdiction is also sums of money.
in the RTC of Cebu City. So both actions, RTC.

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As can be gleaned from Sec. 6(a) and (c) of the Truth in


Lending Act, the violation of the said Act gives rise to both criminal
and civil liabilities. Rule 2, Section 5 of the Rules of Court allows
these actions to be joined in one petition. (UCPB vs. Sps. Samuel
and Odette Beluso, GR No. 159912, Aug. 17, 2007).

Splitting a cause of action and joinder of causes of action

Splitting is prohibited because it causes multiplicity of suits


and double vexation on the part of the defendant while joinder is
encouraged because it minimizes multiplicity of suits and
inconvenience on the part of the parties.

SEC. 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. - Misjoinder of causes


of action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A misjoined
cause of action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of
the court, be severed and proceeded with separately. (n)

There is misjoinder when two (2) or more causes of action


were joined in one complaint when they should no be joined.

EXAMPLE: A case joining an accion publiciana case and a


forcible entry case which is not proper because a special civil action
(forcible entry) cannot be joined. In this case there is misjoinder of
causes of action.

Example: If an action for forcible entry is joined in one


complaint with the causes of actions based on several promissory
notes, the complaint should not be dismissed based on the
misjoinder of the forcible entry case. Instead, the cause of action
predicated on forcible entry may be severed from the complaint
upon motion of a party or by the court motu proprio and
proceeded with separately in another action.

Under Section 6, if there is misjoinder, you do not dismiss the


case. The remedy is to ask the court that the misjoined case be
severed and tried separately. Now, the counterpart, which is still
present is misjoinder of parties under Rule 3, Section 11:

RULE 3, Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties. -


Neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties ground for dismissal
of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the
court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage
of the action and on such terms as are just. A claim against a
misjoined party may be severed and proceeded with separately.
(11a)

So misjoinder of parties and misjoinder of causes of action are


not grounds for dismissal of an action. Just remove the misjoined
cause of action or the misjoined party.

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Rule 03 A dead man cannot sue and he cannot be sued because he has no
more personality.
PARTIES TO CIVIL ACTIONS
B sued “Rama Eatery.” So, it is “B vs. Rama Eatery.” It is wrong.
CLASSES OF PARTIES:
Rama Eatery is not a person nor an entity authorized by law. The
correct procedure is you sue the owner because he is the real
I. Real Parties in Interest
person. But the defect is not really substantial. It is only a formal
II. Representative Parties
defect that can easily be corrected.
III. Permissive Parties
IV. Indispensable Parties
Juridical person as parties
V. Necessary Parties

The juridical persons who may be parties are those enumerated in


Sec. 1. Who may be parties; plaintiff and defendant. - Only natural
Art. 44 of the Civil Code, namely:
or juridical persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties
in a civil action. The term "plaintiff" may refer to the original
1.) The State and its political subdivisions;
claiming party, the counter-claimant, the cross-claimant, or the
2.) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public
third (fourth, etc.)-party plaintiff. The term "defendant" may
interest or purpose, created by law; and
refer to the original defending party, the defendant in a
3.) Corporations, partnerships, and associations for private
counterclaim, the cross-defendant, or other third (fourth, etc.)-
interest or purpose to which the law grants a juridical
party defendant. (1a)
personality, separate and distinct from that of each
shareholder, partner or member.
Notes:

“ENTITIES AUTHORIZED BY LAW”


There are two main categories of parties in a civil action namely,
the plaintiff and the defendant.
The best example is Section 15 of this rule.

The plaintiff is the claiming party or more appropriately, the


Section 15. Entity without juridical personality as defendant.- When
original claiming party and is the one who files the complaint. The
two or more persons not organized as an entity with juridical
term however, does not exclusively apply to the original plaintiff.
personality enter into a transaction, they may be sued under the
It may also apply to a defendant who files a counterclaim, a cross-
name by which they are generally or commonly known.
claim or third party complaint. Hence Section 1 defines “plaintiff”
In the answer of such defendant the names and addresses of the
as the claiming party, the counter-claimant, the cross-claimant or
persons composing said entity must all be revealed.
the third-party plaintiff, etc.

Thus, if A, B, C, D and E without incorporating themselves or


The defendant does not only refer to the original defending party.
without registering as a partnership, enter into transactions using
If a counterclaim is filed against the original plaintiff, the latter
the common name “Ocean Quest Corporation”, they may be sued
becomes a defendant and the former, a plaintiff in the
as such. When the defendant “corporation” answers, the names of
counterclaim. Hence, in Sec. 1, the term “defendant” refers also
A, B, C, D and E and their addresses must be revealed. Note
to a defendant in a counterclaim, the cross-defendant or the
however, that the authority to be a party under this section is
third-party defendant, etc.
confined only to being a defendant and not as a plaintiff. This is
evident from the words, “they may be sued”.
Q: Who may be parties to a civil case?
A: Only the following may be parties to a civil action:
Another example of an entity authorized by law which may not be
1.He must be either:
a natural or juridical person is a labor union or organization under
(a) natural or
the Labor Code. It is an entity authorized by law to file a case in
(b) juridical persons or
behalf of its members. Although it may not have been incorporated
(c) entities authorized by law.
under the Corporation Law but registered under the Labor Code. A
2. he must have the legal capacity to sue; and
legitimate labor organization may sue and be sued in its registered
3.he must be a real party-in-interest.
name (Art. 242 [e], Labor Code of the Philippines).
So, you cannot sue or be sued unless you are either a person or an
entity authorized by law.
What are the others?

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1.) An estate of a deceased person may be a party to an Sec 2. Parties in interest. - A real party in interest is the party who
action. (Limjoco v. Intestate Estate of Fragante, 8 Phil. stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or
776; Nazareno v. CA 343 SCRA 637) the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Unless otherwise
2.) The Roman Catholic Church may be a party and as to its authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be
properties, the archbishop or diocese to which they prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.
belong may be a party. (Barlin v. Ramirez 7 Phil 47; (2a)
Verzosa v. Fernandez 49 Phil. 627)
3.) A dissolved corporation may prosecute and defend suits Q: Who is a real party in interest?
by or against it provided that the suits occur within 3 A: A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited
years after its dissolution, and the suits are in connection or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the
with the settlement and closure of its affairs. (Sec. 122, avails of the suit. (Section 2)
Corporation Code)
4. Under Sec. 21 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines, a That definition is taken from the leading case of SALONGA VS.
corporation by estoppel is precluded from denying its existence WARNER BARNES & CO. (88 Phil. 125). That is exactly how it is
and the members thereof can be sued and be held liable as general defined and that definition has been repeated through the years.
partners.
5. A contract of partnership having a capital of three thousand To be a real party- in- interest, the interest must be “real”, which is
pesos or more but which fails to comply with the registration present substantial interest as distinguished from a mere
requirements is nevertheless liable as a partnership to third expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential
persons(Art. 1772 in relation to Art. 1768 Civil Code). interest. (Rayo v. Metrobank, 539 SCRA 571; Fortich v. Corona 289
6. A political party incorporated under Act 1459 (now BP 68, SCRA 624; Figuracion v. Libi 539 SCRA 50. It is an interest that is
Corporation Code) material and direct, as distinguished from a mere incidental
interest in the question. (Samaniego v. Aguila 334 SCRA 438; Mayor
Remedy when a party impleaded is not authorized to be a party- Rhustom Dagadag v. Tongnawa 450 SCRA 437).

As to plaintiff: The determination of who the real party-in-interest is requires


going back to the elements of a cause of action. Evidently the
Where the plaintiff is not a natural or a juridical person or an entity owner of the right violated stands to be the real party-in-interest
authorized by law, a motion to dismiss may be filed on the ground as plaintiff and the person responsible for the violation is the real
that “the plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue.” (Sec. 1*d+ R 16) party-in-interest as defendant.(Lee v. Romillo 161 SCRA 589). Thus,
in a suit for violation of a contract, the parties-in-interest would be
When plaintiff is not the real party in interest: those covered by the operation of the doctrine of relativity of
contracts under Art. 1311 of the Civil Code, namely, the parties,
Also, if the plaintiff has capacity to sue but he is not the ‘real party their assignees and heirs. Likewise in a suit for annulment of a
in interest’, the ground for dismissal is a ‘failure to state a cause of contract, the real parties in interest would be those who are
action (Aguila vs. CA 319 SCRA 246; Balagtas vs. CA 317 SCRA 69) principally or subsidiarily bound by the contract. (Art. 1397 Civil
not lack of legal capacity to sue.’ Code)

As to defendant: every action must be prosecuted or defended


in the name of the real party in interest
Where it is the defendant who is not any of the above, the
complaint may be dismissed on the ground that the “pleading
asserting the claim states no cause of action” or “failure to state a So a complaint is dismissible if it is not made in the name of the
cause of action” (Sec. 1*g+, R 16) because there cannot be a cause real party in interest.
of action against one who cannot be a party to a civil action.
In an action to recover ownership over or title to a piece of land ,
you do not file a case against the tenant. He is not the real party in
I. REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST interest. You must file the case against the owner of the land.

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Neither can your boyfriend file the case. obligated in a contract, in which they had no intervention, may
show their detriment that could result from it. Thus, Article 1313 of
When you are riding in a common carrier which collided and you the Civil Code provides that “creditors are protected in cases of
were injured, do not file a case against the driver for damages. Your contracts intended to defraud them.” Further, Article 1381 of the
contract is not with the driver. Your contract is with the operator. Civil Code provides that contracts entered into in fraud of creditors
So you file a case of culpa contractual against the owner or may be rescinded when the creditors cannot in any manner collect
operator. the claims due them. Thus, a creditor who is not a party to a
contract can sue to rescind the contract to redress the fraud
GENERAL RULE: In a breach of contract, the real parties in interest committed upon him.
are the parties to the contract. So strangers, as a rule, have no
business suing in a contract because they are not real parties in
interest. A mere agent, who is not an assignee of the principal cannot bring
suit under a deed of sale entered into in behalf of his principal
BALIWAG TRANSIT vs. COURT OF APPEALS because it is the principal, not the agent who is the real party in
169 SCRA 649 [1989 BAR] interest (Uy vs. CA 314 SCRA 69). In case the action is brought
against the agent, the action must be brought against an agent
FACTS: A student who was riding in one of the Baliwag buses met acting in his own name and for the benefit of an undisclosed
an accident. So, an action was filed where the parents and the principal without joining the principal, except when the contract
injured boy were the co-plaintiffs against Baliwag Transit. While the involves things belonging to the principal. The real party-in-interest
case was going on, the boy entered into amicable settlement with is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or
the bus company. Based on the settlement, Baliwag moved to is the party entitled to the avails of the suit. An attorney-in-fact is
dismiss the case. The parents objected, “We are objecting because not a real party-in-interest and that there is no law permitting an
we are also plaintiffs. We didn’t know about the settlement. We action to be brought by and against an attorney-in-fact (Carillo vs.
were the ones who spent money, therefore it should not be CA 503 SCRA 66).
dismissed simply because our son is withdrawing the case.”
SALONGA vs. WARNER BARNES
HELD: The parents are not the real party in interest. They were not 88 Phil. 125 [Bar Problem]
the passengers. The real parties in a contract of carriage are the
parties to the contract itself. “In the absence of any contract of FACTS: A decided to go abroad but she has properties in the
carriage between the transportation company and the parents of Philippines. So she executed a special power of attorney in favor of
the injured party, the parents are not real parties in interest in an K giving the latter “full power to administer, to collect all my
action for breach of contract.” money; to withdraw my money in the bank; with full power to sue
these people who owe me; with the authority to hire a lawyer; and
Of course, if the child is a minor the parents can file as enter into a contract. Practically, you are my alter ego.” And then A
representatives but not as principal party. went abroad.
K started to manage the property. One of the tenants failed to pay
rentals. So in accordance with the authority, he hired a lawyer. In
EXCEPTION: When there is a stipulation in the contract favorable to preparation of the complaint, it was stated in the caption, “K,
a third person (stipulation pour autrui – Art. 1311, NCC) plaintiff vs. L, defendant.”

Example: Third-Party Liability (TPL) in insurance. A insured his car ISSUE: Is the action properly filed?
with B for TPL. A bumped C. C can file a case against A and B to
recover from the insurance contract. In other words, while only A HELD: NO. The real party in interest is the principal, the owner of
and B are the parties to the insurance contract yet the third party the property. K is only an attorney-in-fact. An attorney-in-fact
liability stipulation is intended to benefit a third party who may be cannot use in his own name because he is not the real party in
damaged by A while driving his car. interest. K is given the authority to sue, to manage, hire a lawyer
but not as the plaintiff because the real party in interest is A. The
complaint should be captioned as “A, plaintiff vs. L, defendant.”
Also parties who have not taken part in a contract may show that
they have a real interest affected by its performance or annulment. Q: Suppose the caption will read: “K, as attorney-in-fact of A,
In other words, those who are not principally or subsidiarily plaintiff vs. L, defendant” is the complaint properly filed?

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A: NO. This is even worse because K is admitting that he is only an


attorney-in-fact so it becomes more obvious that he is not the real Failure to include the name of a party in the pleading
party in interest. If K wants to include his name, it should read: “A,
plaintiff, represented by K, his attorney-in-fact vs. L, defendant.” The mere failure to include the name of a party in the title of the
complaint is not fatal because the Rules of Court requires the
Q: Does the law require A to come here to file the case? courts to pierce the form and go into the substance and not be
A: NO. Take note that the law does not require the principal (A) to misled by a false or wrong name in the pleadings. The averments
come back to file the case because the plaintiff can invoke the are controlling and not the title. Hence, if the body indicates the
jurisdiction of the court by filing the complaint and paying the defendant as a party to the action, his omission in the title is not
docket fee. fatal (Vlasons Enterprises vs. CA 310 SCRA 26).

Rule on ‘standing’ as distinguished from the concept or ‘real party-


Should a lawful possessor be disturbed in his possession, it is the in-interest’
possessor, not necessarily the owner of the property, who can
bring the action to recover the possession. The argument that the Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice
complaint states no cause of action because the suit was filed by a on a given question. IN private suits, standing is governed by the
mere possessor and not by the owner is not correct (Phil. Trust ‘real party-in-interest’ rule found in Section 2 Rule 3 of the Rules
Company vs. CA 320 SCRA 719). of Court which provides that ‘every action must be prosecuted or
defended in the name of the real party-in-interest’(Baltazar vs.
Suits for corporations: Ombudsman GR No. 136433 December 6, 2006)

When the corporate offices have been illegally searched, the However, the concept of ‘standing’ because of its constitutional
corporate officer is not the real party in interest to question the underpinnings is very different from questions relating to whether
search. The right to contest the transgression belongs to the or not a particular party is a real party-in-interest. Although both
corporation alone which has a personality of its own separate and are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can
distinct from that of an officer or a stockholder. The objection to an maintain an action, the concept of standing requires an analysis
unlawful search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be of broader policy concerns. The question as to who the real party-
availed of by third persons (Stonehill vs. Diokno 20 SCRA 383). in-interest is involves only a question on whether a person would
be benefitted or injured by the judgment or whether or not he is
entitled to the avails of the suit (Kilosbayan Inc. vs. Morato 246
Derivative suit: SCRA 540).

However, even if the cause of action belongs to the corporation, if II. REPRESENTATIVE PARTY
the board refuses to sue despite demand by the stockholders to
sue and protect or vindicate corporate rights, a stockholder is Sec. 3. Representatives as parties. - Where the action is allowed to
allowed by law to file a derivative suit in the corporate name. In be prosecuted or defended by a representative or someone acting
such a suit, the real party-in-interest is actually the corporation and in a fiduciary capacity, the beneficiary shall be included in the title
the stockholder filing the action is a mere nominal party (Asset of the case and shall be deemed to be the real party in interest. A
Privatization Trust vs. CA 300 SCRA 579) representative may be a trustee of an express trust, a guardian,
an executor or administrator, or a party authorized by law or
Partnerships: these Rules. An agent acting in his own name and for the benefit
of an undisclosed principal may sue or be sued without joining the
Under Art. 1768 of the Civil Code a partnership has a juridical principal except when the contract involves things belonging to
personality separate and distinct from that of each of the partners. the principal. (3a)
Hence, if the contract was entered into by the partnership in its
name, it is the partnership, not its officers or agents which should
be impleaded in any litigation involving property registered in its Section 3 is consistent with Section 2 because under Section 2, you
name. A violation of this rule will result in dismissal of the cannot sue and be sued if you are not the real party in interest.
complaint for failure to state a cause of action (Aguila vs. CA 319 Section 3 allows one who is not a real party in interest to sue and
SCRA 345). be sued in behalf of somebody else but requires the beneficiary to
be named in the Complaint being the real party in interest.

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person. He was not, and he could not have been validly served with
Example: GUARDIAN. Suppose J, a minor was injured, a case for summons. He had no more civil personality. His juridical
damages can be filed in behalf of the minor. A minor cannot sue personality, that is fitness to be subject of legal relations, was lost
and be sued but she is the real party in interest. The law allows the through death (Arts. 37 and 42 Civil Code).”
parents to come in and also be the plaintiff. The parents are what “The same conclusion would still inevitably be reached
we call the representative party. The law still requires for the minor notwithstanding joinder of B’s estate as co-defendant. It is a well-
to be included in the case. The law states that “the beneficiary shall settled rule that an estate can sue or be sued through an executor
be included in the title of the case and shall be deemed to be the or administrator in his representative capacity.”
real party in interest.”
So, the Court cited Section 3. In order to bind the estate, you
In Oposa vs. Factoran GR No. 101083, 1993, minors represented by should sue the executor or the administrator of his estate. So,
their parents were held as real parties in interest to file an action to either way, the case cannot prosper.
annul timber license agreements issued by the state under the
following principles: The last sentence of Section 3:
1. inter-generational responsibility;
2. inter-generational justice; An agent acting in his own name and for the benefit of an
3. the right of the Filipinos to a balanced and healthful ecology; and undisclosed principal may sue or be sued without joining the
4. minors represent themselves and the generation to come. principal except when the contract involves things belonging to
the principal.
Example: TRUSTEE; EXECUTOR; ADMINISTRATOR. Another example
is a trustee of an express trust, or executor or administrator of the The agent cannot sue because the principal is the real party in
estate of a deceased person. When a person dies, what survives interest. But when an agent acts in his own name and for the
after him is his estate which represents everything that is left benefit of an undisclosed principal, he may sue and be sued,
behind. This later on will be given to his heirs. But for the EXCEPT when the contract involves things belonging to the
meantime under the law on succession, the executor or principal. Under the exception, the principal has really to be
administrator will take charge of his property. included. The agent cannot file a case where the principal will lose
Q: If the estate of the deceased has some collectibles, who will file his property without being named as part to the case.
the case?
A: The administrator or executor as the representative party. If you
want to sue the estate, you should sue the estate through the Sec 4. Spouses as parties. - Husband and wife shall sue or be sued
administrator or executor. jointly, except as provided by law. (4a)

CHING vs. COURT OF APPEALS


181 SCRA 9 Normally, the husband and the wife should sue and be sued
together. Even if the wife borrowed money alone and you want to
FACTS: A wanted to sue D, who owes her a sum of money. The sue the woman, still the husband should be included. Why? In the
problem is, she cannot locate D’s whereabouts. Also, A is not property relationship between the husband and wife, they are
certain whether D is dead or alive. So, to play it safe, what A did governed by absolute community or conjugal partnership. Whether
was to file a case against the “defendant and/or the estate of you like it or not, the implication of the wife is also the implication
defendant.” A obtained a judgment against the ‘defendant and/or of the husband because of the property relationship.
the estate of defendant.’
Later on when the judgment was enforced, it turned out that D was In the same manner, if the wife wants to collect, even if the
already dead but he has properties left behind. So, they started to husband does not know anything about it, the husband should still
take hold of his properties. Now, the heirs of D challenged the be named as party plaintiff, on the ground again that the income
decision. that she can get redounds to the benefit of the conjugal
partnership.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid judgment against the
‘defendant/or the estate of the defendant.” And there were decided cases in the past where even if for
example, a wife sues without the husband, the defect is not fatal
HELD: The decision is void. “The decision of the lower court insofar but merely formal. The complaint should not be dismissed. All that
as the deceased is concerned, is void for lack of jurisdiction over his

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is to be done is to amend the complaint impleading the husband. Section 6 is known as permissive joinder of parties. This is related
(Cuyugan vs. Dizon, 76 Phil. 80) to Section 5 [a] of Rule 2 on joinder of causes of action.

Q: Give an exception to that general rule that husband and wife Q: May two or more persons join in one complaint as
shall sue or be sued jointly. plaintiffs? Or can two or more persons be joined together as
A: The EXCEPTIONS are: defendants?
1. in case of Complete Separation of Property (Article 145, Family A: YES, under two conditions, to wit:
Code), and
2. under Article 111, Family Code: 1.) There is a right to relief in favor of or against the parties
joined in respect to or arising out of the same
Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage, alienate, encumber or transaction or series of transactions; and
otherwise dispose of his or her exclusive property without the
consent of the other spouse and appear alone in court to litigate 2.) There is a question of law or fact common to the parties
with regard to the same. (Family Code) joined in the action.

3. Another is when a spouse without just cause abandons the other 3.) An additional condition is that such joinder is not otherwise
or fails to comply with his or her obligations to the family with proscribed by the provision of the rules on jurisdiction and venue.
respect to the marital, parental or property relations.
Series of Transactions
This pertains to transactions connected with the same subject
Sec 5. Minor or incompetent persons. - A minor or a person alleged matter of the suit.
to be incompetent, may sue or be sued, with the assistance of his
father, mother, guardian, or if he has none, a guardian ad litem. PROBLEM: Suppose some passengers riding a particular common
(5a) carrier are injured because of an accident. All of them want to sue
the operator of the carrier for damages arising out of the breach of
Section 5 is related to Section 3. The minor or incompetent person contract of carriage. Under the Law on Transportation, it is possible
must be assisted by the parents and considered as representative for each passenger to file his own case because their causes of
party. Incompetent persons include insane people or mentally action are different from each other. But can they be joined
retarded people. They are supposed to be under the custody of together in one complaint against the common carrier?
other persons, the guardians. If no guardian, the court has to A: YES because there is a common question of law or fact in the
appoint a guardian called the guardian ad litem. causes of actions of the injured passengers: the evidence is
identical; the issues whether the carrier is at fault are the came;
A person need not be judicially declared incompetent it being the witnesses for both parties will be the same; the report will be
sufficient that his incompetency be alleged in the corresponding the same; the defense of the operator against one party will be the
pleading. same defense as against the other passenger. So, since there is a
common denominator on their causes of action, they can be
III. PERMISSIVE PARTY joined.

Sec 6. Permissive joinder of parties. - All persons in whom or It would be different if the passengers were riding on different
against whom any right to relief in respect to or arising out of the buses belonging to the same company, and all of them met an
same transaction or series of transactions is alleged to exist, accident. What happened to Passenger No. 1 does not concern
whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative, may, except as Passenger No. 2. The evidence will not be the same. So, there is no
otherwise provided in these Rules, join as plaintiffs or be joined common denominator – no common question of fact. Therefore,
as defendants in one complaint, where any question of law or fact they cannot be joined.
common to all such plaintiffs or to all such defendants may arise
in the action; but the court may make such orders as may be just PROBLEM: Suppose a story appeared in the Inquirer where 5
to prevent any plaintiff or defendant from being embarrassed or people were called as jueteng kings. They were allegedly involved
put to expense in connection with any proceedings in which he in jueteng. Now, the five of them want to sue the Inquirer for
may have no interest. (6) damages arising from libel. Is it possible for the five (5) people
named in the article to file only one complaint against the editor
and publisher of the Inquirer?

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A: YES because it is of the same story. Their names appeared in the


same story. It is not a different issue. So there is a common Q: Is there joinder of parties?
question of fact and law in their cause of action. A: NONE, because there is only one plaintiff and one defendant.

PROBLEM: M, while driving a car, bumped another vehicle, injuring So, there can be joinder of causes of action without joinder of
the driver and causing injury to other passengers. So, there are parties because there is only one plaintiff and one defendant. But if
three offended parties : the owner of the vehicle, the driver of the you join parties in Rule 3, automatically, there is joinder of causes
vehicle , and the passenger. There are three(3) causes of action. of action. This is the relationship of these two provisions.
Can they join in one complaint against Myra, the owner of the car
which bumped them? Finally, the last two types of parties to the action are the so-called
A: YES because there is a common question of fact and law. There indispensable parties and necessary parties. (Section 7 and Section
is only one accident. 8, respectively)

Q: But suppose the three of them will file 3 separate cases against
M, can it be done? INDISPENSABLE PARTY and NECESSARY PARTIES
A: yes, because it is a permissive joinder of parties, not mandatory.
Sec. 7. Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties. Parties in
Q: Why does the law encourage joinder of parties? interest without whom no final determination can be had of an
A: The following are the reasons: action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants. (7)

1.) to promote convenience in trial; Sec. 8. Necessary party. A necessary party is one who is not
2.) to prevent multiplicity of suits; indispensable but who ought to be joined as a party if complete
3.) to expedite the termination of the litigation; and relief is to be accorded as to those already parties, or for a
4.) to attain economy of procedure under which several demands complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the
arising out of the same occurrence may be tried together thus action. (8a)
avoiding the repetition of evidence relating to facts common
to the general demands. Notes:

An indispensable party is a real party in interest without whom no


Now, take note that when there is joinder of parties, there is final determination can be had of an action. (Sec. 7) Without the
automatically a joinder of causes of action. That is why one of the presence of this party, the judgment cannot attain real finality.
conditions or limitations in joinder of causes of action is you must (Servicewide Specialists, Inc. v. CA 318 SCRA 493; De Castro v. CA
observe the rule on joinder of parties. If joinder of parties is 384 SCRA 607)
improper under Rule 3, the joinder of causes of action is also
proper under Rule 2, Section 5 (See also Lucman vs. Malawi GR No. 159794 December 19, 2006)

Principle: WHEN THERE IS JOINDER OF PARTIES, THERE IS ALSO A A person is not an indispensable party, however, if his interest in
JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION. BUT THERE CAN BE A JOINDER OF the controversy or subject matter is separable from the interest
CAUSES OF ACTION WITHOUT A JOINDER OF PARTIES. of the other parties, so that it will not necessarily be directly or
injuriously affected by a decree which does complete justice
between them. Also, a person is not an indispensable party if his
EXAMPLE: When there is only one plaintiff and one defendant: presence would merely permit complete relief between him and
Suppose Melissa will secure three (3) loans from me. those already parties to the action, or if he has no interest in the
Q: How many causes of action do I have if M will not pay me? subject matter of the action. It is not a sufficient reason to declare
A: Three a person to be an indispensable party that his presence will avoid
multiple litigation. In a joint obligation for instance, the interest of
Q: Now, can I join them in one complaint? one debtor is separate and distinct from that of his co-debtor and a
A: Yes. suit against one debtor does not make the other an indispensable
party to the suit.
Q: Is there joinder of causes of action?
A: Yes.

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Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent
actuations of the court null and void, for want of authority to act
Although normally, a joinder of parties is permissive (Sec. 6 Rule 3), not only as to the absent parties, but even as to those present.
the joinder of a party becomes compulsory when the one involved Accordingly, the responsibility of impleading all the indispensable
is an indispensable party. Clearly, the rule directs a compulsory parties rests on the plaintiff. The defendant does not have the
joinder of indispensable parties (Sec. 7, Rule 3). right to compel the plaintiff to prosecute the action against a party
if he does not wish to do so, but the plaintiff will have to suffer the
The presence of all indispensable parties is a condition sine qua consequences of any error he might commit in exercising his option
non for the existence of judicial power. It is precisely when an (Uy vs. CA 494 SCRA 535).
indispensable party is not before the court that the action should
be dismissed. Thus, the plaintiff is mandated to implead all the Q: Distinguish indispensable from necessary party.
indispensable parties considering that the absence of one such
party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for A: An INDISPENSABLE PARTY must be joined under any and all
want of authority to act, not only as to their absent parties but conditions, his presence being a sine qua non of the exercise of
even as to those present. One who is not a party to a case is not judicial power, for without him, no final determination can be had
bound by the decision of the court; otherwise, he will be deprived of the action. (Borlasa vs. Polistico, 47 Phil. 345) Stated otherwise,
of his right to due process (Sepulveda, Sr. vs. Pelaez 450 SCRA 302). an indispensable party must be joined because the court cannot
proceed without him. Hence, his presence is mandatory.
Dismissal for failure to implead an indispensable party A NECESSARY PARTY ought to be joined whenever possible in
order to adjudicate the whole controversy and avoid multiplicity
It has been ruled on various occasions that since the joinder of of suits, but if for some reason or another he cannot be joined, the
indispensable parties is compulsory, the action should be dismissed court may proceed without him and the judgment shall not
when indispensable parties are not impleaded or are not before prejudice his rights. (Ibid.) His presence is not mandatory because
the court. The absence of indispensable parties renders all his interest is separable from that of the indispensable party. He
subsequent actions of the trial court null and void for want of has to be joined whenever possible to afford complete relief to
authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those who are already parties.
those present (MWSS vs. CA 297 SCRA 287).
A final decree can be had in a case even without a necessary party
Need of an order to implead an indispensable party because his interests are separable from the interest litigated in
It is noteworthy that the Court in its rulings did not hold that the the case (Chua v. Torres 468 SCRA 358, 367; Seno vs. Mangubat
failure to join an indispensable party results in the outright 156 SCRA 113, 119).
dismissal of the action. An outright dismissal is not the immediate
remedy authorized by the Rules because under the Rules a non- Q: Give examples of indispensable party.
joinder (or misjoinder) of parties is not a ground for dismissal of A: In an action for partition of land, all the co-owners thereof are
an action. Instead, parties may be dropped or added by the court indispensable parties. (De Lara vs. De Lara, 2 Phil. 294) In an action
on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the for annulment of partition, all of the heirs must be made parties.
action and on such terms as are just (Sec. 11 Rule 3). It is when the (Caram vs. CA, 101 Phil. 315) In an action for recovery of ownership
order of the court to implead an indispensable party goes of land, the person who claims to be the owner of the land is the
unheeded may the case be dismissed. The court is fully clothed indispensable party defendant and not the one in possession as
with the authority to dismiss a complaint due to the fault of the tenant. (Sanidad vs. Cabotaje, 5 Phil. 204; Manza vs. Santiago, 96
plaintiff as when, among others, he does not comply with any Phil. 938)
order of the court (Sec. 3 Rule 17; Plasabas vs. CA GR No. 166519,
March 31, 2009). (See also Pamplona Plantation Co. vs. Tinghil
450 SCRA 421). Q: Give examples of necessary party.
A: In an action for collection of debt instituted by the creditor
against the surety, the principal debtor is merely a necessary party.
Effect of absence of indispensable party (Vaño vs. Alo, 95 Phil. 495) In an action for recovery of debt
In a relatively recent case, the Court held that whenever it instituted by the creditor against the debtor, the guarantor or
appears to the court in the course of a proceeding that an surety is merely a necessary property. (Ibid.) In an action for
indispensable party has not been joined, it is the duty of the court foreclosure of a real estate mortgage instituted by the first
to stop the trial and to order the inclusion of such party. The

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mortgagee, the second mortgagee is merely a necessary party. Without him being impleaded as defendant, C cannot
(Somes vs. Gov’t of Phil., 62 Phil. 432) collect the P500,000.00 share of A. Without A there
cannot be a final determination of the case against him.
REVIEW: What is the difference between a surety and a guarantor? (c) In the suit by C against A is B a necessary or an
The liability of guarantor to the creditor is only secondary. indispensable party? B is not an indispensable party. C
Meaning, the guarantor is only liable to the creditor if the principal can collect from A P500,000.00 without impleading B. He
debtor cannot pay like when the debtor is insolvent. On the other is only a necessary party. Without B being made a party
hand, a surety is principally liable to the creditor whether or not to the action, C cannot have a complete relief, i.e., he
the debtor can pay. cannot collect his entire credit of P1M. If he desires a
complete recovery, B must be impleaded in the case
PROBLEM: In credit transactions, there is a creditor, debtor and against A.
surety. Debtor borrowed money from the creditor, then another
acted as the surety. Now, suppose the debtor will not pay, the (3) In the above example, assuming that the debtors bound
creditor files now a case against the surety without the debtor. The themselves to pay the P1M solidarily, would B an indispensable or
debtor was not included in the case. necessary party to a suit by C against A? He would not be a
Q: Can the case proceed even without the debtor being sued? necessary party. Complete relief could be had by C without joining
A: YES, the case may proceed. B because the obligation is solidary. A could be ordered to pay the
entire obligation of P1M. Neither is B an indispensable party. There
Now, the surety may be ordered to pay who can sue the principal could be a complete and final determination of the action for a sum
debtor for reimbursement. Meaning, there is still a future case. of money without B being joined.
Thus, there could be no complete relief between those who are
parties. So, the debtor is a necessary party, and not indispensable. Solidarity does not make a solidary debtor an indispensable party in
But it is advisable to join the debtor in one case, so that when the a suit filed by the creditor against another solidary debtor.
creditor claims from the surety, the latter can automatically claim (Republic v. Sandiganbayan 173 SCRA 72; Operators Inc. v.
from the debtor. Multiplicity of suits is then, avoided. American Biscuit Company 154 SCRA 738)

Joint debtor (4) B Bought a car from S on an installment basis. A chattel


He is an indispensable party in a suit against him but a necessary mortgage was executed on the car in favor of S to secure the
party in a suit against his co-debtor. obligation. Before the payment was completed, B sold the car to D.
It was agreed between B and D that D would be responsible for the
Solidary debtor monthly installments. D failed to pay three installments.
In a suit brought by a creditor against one solidary debtor, the
other solidary debtor is neither indispensable nor a necessary May S sue D alone in the foreclosure or replevin suit? He cannot. B
party. must be made defendant. B is an indispensable party in relation to
S. The foreclosure or replevin is premised on the default of B, the
debtor. S would have no right to foreclose the mortgage or
A and B are the signatories in a PN which reads: “We promise to repossess the car without establishing the default of B unless the
pay to the order of C P1M on February 27, 2009. On due date the obligation of B to S was assigned to D with the consent of S
debtors failed to pay. thereby novating the obligation.

(a) May C sue A alone? PROBLEM: K borrowed money from D. A is the guarantor. D filed a
Yes. The cause of action against A is separate and distinct from the case against K. She did not include the guarantor.
cause of action against B. The tenor of the note discloses merely a Q: Can the case proceed even without the guarantor?
joint obligation. In a joint obligation the credit or debt shall be Q: YES because the guarantor is merely a necessary party. And if
divided into as many equal shares as there are creditors and the debtor turns out to be insolvent, the creditor will now file
debtors, the credits or debts being considered distinct from each another case against the guarantor.
other. (Art. 1208 CC). Being debtors in a joint obligation, the
debtors then are liable separately for P500,000.00 each.
Sec. 9. Non-joinder of necessary parties to be pleaded. Whenever in
(b) Is A in a suit against him by C a necessary or an any pleading in which a claim is asserted a necessary party is not
indispensable party? He is an indispensable party. joined, the pleader shall set forth his name, if known, and shall

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state why he is omitted. Should the court find the reason for the Amoroso v. Alegre, Jr., G.R. No. 142766, June 15, 2007;
omission unmeritorious, it may order the inclusion of the omitted Estreller v. Ysmael, G.R. No. 170-260, March 13, 2009;
necessary party if jurisdiction over his person may be obtained. Plasabas v. CA, G.R. No. 166519, March 31,2009).

The failure to comply with the order for his inclusion, without
justifiable cause, shall be deemed a waiver of the claim against Sec. 10. Unwilling co-plaintiff. If the consent of any party who
such party. should be joined as plaintiff cannot be obtained, he may be made
a defendant and the reason therefor shall be stated in the
The non-inclusion of a necessary party does not prevent the court complaint. (10)
from proceeding in the action, and the judgment rendered therein
shall be without prejudice to the rights of such necessary party. This is particularly true with INDISPENSABLE parties because the
(8a, 9a) case cannot proceed without him/her/.

Duty of Pleader When a Necessary Party is not joined EXAMPLE : There are 4 brothers and 1 sister. They have to file a
case against somebody to recover property which they believe was
While a necessary party is not indispensable to the final owned by their parents. Then, brother 4 say to sister 1, “Let us file
determination of the action, said party ought to be joined a case.” But sabi ni sister 1, “Pilitin mo muna ako.” Then she says,
whenever possible. If a pleader has no intent to implead a “Ayoko nga, hindi mo ako pinilit eh!” Meaning, all of them will
necessary party, the pleader is under obligation to: (a) set forth the suffer because ayaw ni sister 1 mag-file ng kaso.
name of said necessary party, if known, and (b) state the reason
why the necessary party is omitted. A reason justifying the non- Q: Now, what is the remedy of the 4 brothers?
joinder of a necessary party is when said party is outside the A: Under Section 10, include the one who refused as one of the
jurisdiction of the court. defendants. If there is unwilling plaintiff, name him as defendant
whether he likes it or not.
Effect of justified failure to implead a necessary party
MISJOINDER AND NON-JOINDER OF PARTIES
Assuming that a necessary party cannot be impleaded, his
non-inclusion does not prevent the court from proceeding with the
action. The judgment rendered shall be without prejudice to the Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties. Neither misjoinder
rights of such necessary party. nor non-joinder of parties is ground for dismissal of an action.
Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion
When court may order joinder of a necessary party and effect of of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and
failure to comply on such terms as are just. Any claim against a misjoined party may
be severed and proceeded with separately. (11a)
However, if the court finds no valid reason for not impleading a
party, the court may order the inclusion of the necessary party This is similar to Section 6 of Rule 2 – misjoinder of causes of action
under Section 9. And take note that under the new rules, the is not a ground for dismissal of an action. Misjoinder or non-joinder
failure to comply with the order of inclusion without justifiable at parties is not a ground for a motion to dismiss because at any
cause shall be deemed a waiver of the claim against such stage of the case, the court can order a misjoined party to be
(necessary) party. removed or a party not joined to be included.

Marmo, et al. v. Anacay, G.R. No. 182585, November 27, 2008, Q: Do you know what ‘MISJOINDER of parties’ mean?
Brion, J A: It means that two or more parties should not be joined but they
- When the controversy involves a property held in are improperly joined. A good example is, if there is no common
common, Article 487, NCC explicitly provides that question of fact or law. Meaning, you do not have any business to
anyone of the co-owners may bring an action in be here but you are joined or misjoined. That is what we call
ejectment. The term action in ejectment includes a suit misjoinder of parties. It is also known as “spurious class suit.”
for forcible entry of unlawful detainer (De Guia v. CA,
459 Phil. 447 (2003)); action publiciana or Well, ‘NON-JOINDER’ is different. A party who should be joined was
reinvindicatoria (Heirs of Thomas Dolleton v. Fill- Estate not joined such as a necessary party.
Management, Inc., G.R. No. 170750, April 7, 2009;

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Q: What happens if a party is misjoined or if there is a non-joinder, Q: Does it mean to say therefore, that the plaintiff has the license
should the case be dismissed? to include anybody in an action? Like for example, I have a case
A: No, that is not a ground for dismissal. against somebody in the class, the trouble is in the meantime, I
cannot identify who among you who did the wrong to me. So I will
Q: So what is the remedy then? file a case against all of you. Anyway later on, I can dump you.
A: The remedy is to order the removal of the party who is Now, is this allowed?
misjoined, or to order the inclusion of the party who should be A: NO. That is not a license. What the law contemplates, according
joined. And that is not a defect which should cause the dismissal to the SC, the party was joined in good faith believing that he was a
of the case because the court can always issue an order ordering defendant but actually it turned out to be wrong. So, you have no
the removal of a misjoined party or the inclusion of joinder of a right to sue anybody just like that. That is not an excuse for suing
party who should be included. any party left and right. In the case of

Estrella Aduan Orpiano v. Spouses Antonio C. Tomas and Myrna REPUBLIC vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
U. Tomas, G.R. No. 178611. January 14, 2013 173 SCRA 72 [1989]

Parties; dropping of parties; remedies for joinder or misjoinder. HELD: Section 11 of Rule 3 “does not comprehend whimsical and
Under the Rules, parties may be dropped or added by order of the irrational dropping or adding of parties in a complaint. What it
court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of really contemplates is erroneous or mistaken non-joinder and
the action and on such terms as are just. Indeed, it would have misjoinder of parties. No one is free to join anybody in a complaint
been just for the collection court to have allowed Estrella to in court only to drop him unceremoniously later at the pleasure of
prosecute her annulment case by dropping her as a party plaintiff the plaintiff. The rule presupposes that the original inclusion had
in the collection case, not only so that she could protect her been made in the honest conviction that it was proper and the
conjugal share, but also to prevent the interests of her co-plaintiffs subsequent dropping is requested because it turned out that such
from being adversely affected by their conflicting actions in the inclusion was a mistake. And this is the reason why the rule ordains
same case. By seeking to be dropped from the collection case, that the dropping is ‘on such terms as are just’” (also Lim Tan Hu vs.
Estrella was foregoing collection of her share in the amount that Ramolete 66 SCRA 425).
may be due and owing from the sale. It does not imply a waiver in
any manner that affects the rights of the other heirs. Note that objections to defects in parties should be made at the
earliest opportunity, i.e. the moment such defect becomes
While Estrella correctly made use of the remedies available to her – apparent, by a Motion to Strike the Names of the Parties
amending the complaint and filing a motion to drop her as a party – impleaded. Objections to misjoinder cannot be raised for the first
she committed a mistake in proceeding to file the annulment case time on appeal.
directly after these remedies were denied her by the collection
court without first questioning or addressing the propriety of these CLASS SUIT
denials. While she may have been frustrated by the collection
court’s repeated rejection of her motions and its apparent inability SEC. 12. Class suit. When the subject matter of the controversy is
to appreciate her plight, her proper recourse nevertheless should one of common or general interest to many persons so numerous
have been to file a petition for certiorari or otherwise question the that it is impracticable to join all as parties, a number of them
trial courts denial of her motion to be dropped as plaintiff, citing which the court finds to be sufficiently numerous and
just reasons which call for a ruling to the contrary. Issues arising representative as to fully protect the interests of all concerned
from joinder or misjoinder of parties are the proper subject may sue or defend for the benefit of all. Any party in interest shall
of certiorari. have the right to intervene to protect his individual interest. (12a)

As a GENERAL RULE, if there are several real parties in interest,


Effect of failure to obey order of the court to add or drop a party they shall be included in the case whether indispensable or
Even if neither misjoinder nor non-joinder is a ground of dismissal necessary. Example: There are 30 of us. The general rule is that all
of the action, the failure to obey the order of the court to drop or parties in interest, indispensable or necessary shall be included
add a party is a ground for the dismissal of the complaint under because under Sec. 2 “every action must be prosecuted or
Sec. 3, R 17. defended in the name of the real party-in-interest.”

EXCEPTION to the General Rule: Class Suit.

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A class suit is an action where one or more may sue for the benefit 4. The representatives sue or defend for the benefit of all.
of all implying that the parties are so numerous and it is Berses v. Villanueva 25 Phil. 473; Sulo ng Bayan, Inc. v.
impracticble to bring them all to court. Araneta 72 SCRA 347)
The requisites for said class action must also be complied with.
Meaning, some of you will sue to represent the rest. That is also A class suit does not require a commonality of interest in the
known as the “doctrine of virtual representation.” The concept of questions involved in the suit. What is required by the Rules is a
a class suit was first enunciated in the old case of common or general interest in the subject matter of the litigation.
The ‘subject matter’ of the action is meant the physical, the things
BORLAZA vs. POLISTICO real or personal, the money, lands, chattels, and the like, in
47 Phil. 345 relation to the suit which is prosecuted and not the delict or
wrong committed by the defendant. It is not also a common
FACTS: This case has something to do with raffle. A group of people question of law that sustains a class suit but a common interest in
decided to form an association which they called “Turnuhang the subject matter of the controversy. (Mathay v. Consolidated &
Polistico.” You become a member of this association by Trust Bank 58 SCRA 559)
contributing a certain sum of money. And then every Sunday after
mass, half of the collection will go to the treasurer of the There is no class suit in an action filed by 400 residents initiated
association. The other half will be raffled off. This has been going through a former mayor, to recover damages sustained due to their
on for months and years. The time came when the funds of the exposure to toxic wastes and fumes emitted by the cooking gas
association became very big. Some of the members, in behalf of all plant of a corporation located in the town. Each of the plaintiffs has
the members, decided to file a case against the officers to render a separate and distinct injury not shared by other members of the
an accounting of all the amounts. The real parties in interest would class. Each supposed plaintiff has to prove his own injury. There is
be the members. no common or general interest in the injuries allegedly suffered by
the members of the class.
ISSUE: Is the suit filed by some members in behalf of some
members proper? There is no class suit in an action for damages filed by the relatives
of the fatalities in a plane crash. There is no common or general
HELD: YES, because if We will require all the members to appear, it interest in the injuries or death of all passengers in the plane. Each
will be quite impossible. Therefore, some members must be made has a distinct and separate interest which must be proven
to sue but only in behalf of all the members who are not around individually.
and it is impracticable to bring them all to the court. A number of
them may sue for the benefit of all. A class suit would not lie where each of the parties has an interest
only in the particular portion of the land he is occupying and not in
An action does not become a class suit merely because it is the portions individually occupied by the other defendants (Ortigas
designated as such in the pleadings. Whether the suit is or is not a & Company Limited Partnership v. Ruiz 148 SCRA 326, 339; Berses
class suit depends upon the attendant facts. (Mathay v. v. Villanueva 25 Phil. 473).
Consolidatred Bank & Trust Company, 58 SCRA 559; Borlasa v.
Polistico 47 Phil. 345) A class suit does not lie in an action recovery of real property
where separate portions of the same parcel of land were occupied
Q: What are the CONDITIONS FOR A VALID CLASS SUIT ? and claimed individually by different parties to the exclusion of
A: Under Section 12, the following are the conditions of a valid each other, such that the different parties had determinable,
class suit: though undivided interest in the property in question since they do
not have a common or general interest in the subject matter of the
1. The subject matter of the controversy is one of common controversy (Mathay v. Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, 58
or general interest to many persons (such as the funds of SCRA 559, 571-572).
the association in the case of POLISTICO); and
2. The parties are so numerous that it is impracticable to There is no class suit in an action filed by associations of sugar
bring them all before the court; planters to recover damages in behalf of individual sugar planters
3. The parties actually before the court are sufficiently for an allegedly libelous article in an international magazine. There
numerous and representatives as to fully protect the is no common or general interest in reputation of a specific
interests of all concerned; and individual. Each of the sugar planters has a separate and distinct

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reputation in the community not shared by the others. (Newsweek, Parties rather than a class suit. That’s why you can confuse Section
Inc. v IAC 142 SCRA 171, 176-177). 6 with Section 12. But the permissive joinder of parties requires
that all should be impleaded. Unlike in a class suit, the subject
Example is a taxpayer’s suit – filed in behalf of all the taxpayers in matter is of interest to everybody and we cannot all be joined
the Philippines. And there is no specific number of persons that is because we are so numerous.
provided by law.
Another example is a stockholder's derivative suit, though both are
subject to the other requisites of the corresponding governing law
especially on the issue of locus standi. (Regalado, p. 97) BULIG-BULIG KITA KAMAGANAK ASSOCIATION, ET AL vs. SULPICIO
LINES
Now, we will go to some interesting cases on class suit decided by May 19, 1989
the Supreme Court:
RE: Doña Paz Tragedy
SULO NG BAYAN vs. ARANETA, INC. FACTS: There we so many relatives who filed a case against Sulpicio
72 SCRA 347 [1976] Lines and there was an attempt to file a class suit in behalf of
everyone who were drowned including those who were not
FACTS: This concerns the big property of the Araneta’s in Quezon identified.
City. It has been the subject matter of litigation for the past years –
3 or 4 decades. It is a big track of land in Quezon City occupied by HELD: That cannot be. The survivors have no interest in the death
so many people who want to acquire it. They are questioning the of other passengers. The interest in this case is individual. What
title of the Araneta’s would have been proper is permissive joinder of parties because of
So, Sulo (torch) ng Bayan is the association of squatters. Since the common question of tact or law, but not class suit.
properties of the Araneta is very big, they subdivided it. Then a
case was filed by Sulo ng Bayan Association against Araneta to
annul the title of the latter. OPOSA vs. FACTORAN
224 SCRA 12 [1993]
ISSUE #1: Whether or not the action was filed in the name of the
real in interest. FACTS: Oposa et al were all minors. Some were small boys duly
HELD: Sulo ng Bayan is not the real party in interest. It violates represented by their parents. They filed a case against then DENR
Section 2 – “the action must be prosecuted and defended in the Secretary Factoran. The prayer in the case is to order the DENR to
name of the real parties in interest.” The members occupying the cancel all existing Timber License Agreements (TLA’s), to cease and
land are the plaintiffs. The association is not the one occupying the desist from proceeding, accepting, processing, renewing all
lot. So, the first question is, who should be the plaintiff? It should accruing new TLA’s. So, in effect, it prays for a total log ban in the
be the members. country to preserve the remaining forest all over the Philippines.
These young boys sue with their parents. They are suing in their
ISSUE #2: Whether or not the action was properly pleaded as a behalf, in behalf of the other citizens who are of their age because
class suit they stand to suffer if the environment will be deteriorated. They
HELD: NO. This is the more important reason why they cannot say that they are entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of
qualify as a class suit: In a class suit, the subject matter is of the natural resources of our country’s rich tropical rainforests. They
common interest to all. say, the case was filed for themselves and others for the
To illustrate: preservation of our rainforest and we are so numerous that it is
You are Occupant No. 1, and occupies a particular lot over which impracticable to bring all plaintiffs to court. They say that they
he/she has interest in but he/she does not have interest over the represent their generations and generations yet unborn.
other lots which he/she does not occupy. If that is so, then the
subject matter is not of common interest. The interest of one HELD: The civil case is indeed a class suit. The case however has a
occupant is only on the lot he occupies. special and novel element. The personality of the minors to sue for
the succeeding generations is based on the concept of inter-
What should be done is for all of them to sue together to cover the generational responsibility insofar as a balanced and healthful
entire property, for each one has a lot. So, in that case, Section 6 ecology is concerned. Every generation has a responsibility to
should be applied – permissive joinder of parties because there is a preserve the ecology. The minors’ right to a healthful environment
common question of fact. This is more of permissive joinder of

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constitute at the same time the performance of the obligation to in the interest of avoiding an otherwise cumbersome procedure of
ensure the protection of the rights or the generations to come. joining all union members in the complaint, even if they number by
the hundreds.” For convenience, the Labor Code allows a union to
file a representative suit.
Q: In case of doubt, should a class suit be allowed?
A: NO. When the issue is not so clear, a class suit should not be It is important to note the following:
allowed because class suit is an exception to the general rule that 1. CLASS SUIT
all parties should be included. 2. REPRESENTATIVE SUIT
3. DERIVATIVE SUIT – only peculiar to the corporation law
CADALIN vs. POEA ADMINISTRATOR where the minority files a suit in behalf of the entire
238 SCRA 721 [1995] corporation because an intra-corporate remedy is
useless or because of the failure of the board of
HELD: While it is true that class suit is allowed, it should be allowed directors, deliberate or otherwise, to act in protection of
with caution because the fact that you represent others is only a the corporation (Black’s 5th Ed. 399; Lim vs. Lim-Yu 352
fiction of law. For all you know, those others may not want to be SCRA 216).
represented. That is why the court is extra- cautious in allowing
class suits because they are the exceptions to the condition sine In a derivative, suit, the cause of action belongs to the corporation
qua non requiring joinder of all indispensable parties. and not to the stockholder who initiates the suit. In a class suit, the
In an improperly instituted class suit, there would be no problem it cause of action belongs to the members of the class.
the decision secured is favorable to the plaintiffs. The problem
arises where the decision is adverse to them. In which case, the Class suit and permissive joinder of parties
parties who are impleaded through their self-appointed
representatives would surely plead denial of due process. In a class suit there is one single cause of action pertaining to
numerous persons while in permissive joinder there are multiple
causes of action separately belonging to several persons.
Q: Distinguish a representative suit from a class suit.
A: In the case of
ALTERNATIVE DEFENDANTS
LIANA’S SUPERMARKET vs. NLRC
257 SCRA 186 [May 31, 1996] Sec. 13. Alternative defendants. Where the plaintiff is uncertain
against who of several persons he is entitled to relief, he may join
FACTS: A labor union filed a case against the employer in behalf of any or all of them as defendants in the alternative, although a
hundreds of employees. Is this a representative suit or a class suit? right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right of relief
against the other. (13a)
HELD: “What makes the situation a proper case for a class suit is
the circumstance that there is only one right or cause of action The rule on alternative defendants is also related to alternative
pertaining or belonging in common to many persons, not causes of action – even if your right against one is inconsistent with
separately or severally to distinct individuals. The object of the your right to relief against the other party, you may file a suit
suit is to obtain relief for or against numerous persons as a group against the alternative defendant. (c.f. Rule 2, Section 5 – Joinder
or as an integral entity, and not as separate, distinct individuals of Causes of Action)
whose rights or liabilities are separate from and independent of
those affecting the others.” You filed a case against the operators of two vehicles. In effect,
In a representative suit, there are different causes of action your cause of action is either culpa aquiliana or culpa contractual.
pertaining different persons. Is that not inconsistent? The law says, “although a right to relief
“In the present case, there are multiple rights or causes of action against one may be inconsistent with a right against the other.” In
pertaining separately to several, distinct employees who are other words, even if the two causes of action are inconsistent with
members of respondent Union. Therefore, the applicable rule is each other, it is allowed.
that provided in Rule 3 on Representative Parties. Nonetheless, as Assume that X, a pedestrian, was injured in the collision of two
provided for in the Labor Code, a legitimate labor organization has vehicles. He suffered injuries but does not know with certainty
the right to sue and be sued in its registered name. This authorizes which vehicle caused the mishap. What should X do if he wants to
a union to file a representative suit for the benefit of its members sue?

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5.amendment to the pleading when true name is discovered; and


He should sue the vehicle drivers/owners in the alternative. 6. defendant is the defendant being sued, not a mere additional
defendant.
P sent some goods to D pursuant to a contract. The goods were
delivered to E, the known agent of D. D did not pay P. D contends Serive of summons upon a defendant whose identity is unknown
that he has not received the goods. P claims otherwise and insists may be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation
that D had received the goods. Should P sue D or should he sue E? in accordance with Sec. 14 of Rule 14.
P should sue both but in the alternative.
Q: Can you sue somebody who is unknown?
Plaintiff may sue the shipping company and the arrastre operator A: YES, under Section 14.
alternatively for the recovery of damages to goods shipped through
a maritime vessel (Rizal Surety & Insurance Company vs. Manila 70 BAR PROBLEM: While L was walking on the street. He was bumped
SCRA 187). by a car, say a Toyota Altis, 2001 model, color blue. Now, so far, he
could not determine who is the owner. If you are the lawyer of L,
As a matter of fact, this is the best policy because the how would you sue the defendant?
plaintiff is a sure winner. The only question is, who among the two A: Under Section, I will sue the owner of that car as an unknown
will be held liable. defendant. I can place in my complaint, “L’, plaintiff, vs. the
registered owner of Honda motor vehicle with plate number so and
Although the law is silent, if there is such a thing as “alternative so.” And later if you discover the true identity of the owner, we can
defendants,” there is no reason why the grounds for “alternative amend the complaint to place the name of the defendant.
plaintiffs” should not be allowed.
Section 14 is similar with Rule 110 in Criminal Procedure – a case
Q: May plaintiffs join in the alternative? may be filed against an unknown accused.
A: YES, plaintiffs may join in the alternative under the same
principle as alternative joinder of defendants. When several RULE 110, SEC. 7. Name of the accused. – The complaint or
persons are uncertain as to who among them is entitled to relief information must state the name and surname of the accused or
from a certain defendant, they may join as plaintiffs in the any appellation or nickname by which he has been or is known. If
alternative. This is also sanctioned by the rule on permissive joinder his name cannot be ascertained, he must be described under a
of parties (Pajota vs. Jante, L-6014, Feb. 8, 1955). Thus, the fictitious name with a statement that his true name is unknown.
principal and his agent may join as plaintiffs in the alternative If the true name of the accused is thereafter disclosed by him or
against a defendant. If the agency is proved, the relief is awarded appears in some other manner to the court, such true name shall
to the principal. If not, award is then made to the agent. be inserted in the complaint or information and record. (7a)

Just as the rule allows a suit against defendants in the alternative,


the rule also allows alternative causes of action and alternative ENTITY WITHOUT JURIDICAL PERSONALITY AS DEFENDANT
defenses (Sec. 2 Rule 8; Sec.5[b] Rule 6; Sec. 20, Rule 14)
Sec. 15. Entity without juridical personality as defendant. When
Sec. 14. Unknown identity or name of defendant. Whenever the two or more persons not organized as an entity with juridical
identity or name of a defendant is unknown, he may be sued as personality enter into a transaction, they may be sued under the
the unknown owner, heir, devisee, or by such other designation name by which they are generally or commonly known.
as the case may require; when his identity or true name is In the answer of such defendant, the names and addresses of the
discovered, the pleading must be amended accordingly. (14) persons composing said entity must all be revealed.

Reqisites:
Requisites: 1. there are two or more persons not organized as a juridical entity;
1. there is a defendant; 2. they enter into a transaction;
2. his/her identity is unknown; 3.a wrong or delict is committed against a third person in the
3.fictitious name may be used because of ignorance of defendant's course of such transactions.
true name and said ignorance is alleged in the complaint;
4.identifying description may be used; sued as unknown owner, Rule 1, Section 1 provides that only natural of juridical persons may
heir, deviseee or other designation; be sued.

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Entity without juridical personality as defendant. Under the old


law, this was known as suing two or more persons involved in a Instances where substitution of parties is proper
business under a common name. When two or more persons
transact in a business under a common name, they may be sued EFFECT OF DEATH OF A PARTY
under their common name.
Sec. 16. Death of party; duty of counsel. Whenever a party to a
Q: Who are really the defendants here? A: The persons involved. pending action dies, and the claim is not thereby extinguished, it
shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty
Now, it is worded in this manner: “When two or more persons not (30) days after such death of the fact thereof, and to give the
Without
organized as an entity with juridical personality,” instead of a name and address of his legal representative or representatives.
‘common name.’ You cannot sue the entity because it has no Failure of counsel to comply with this duty shall be a ground for
juridical personality. But you do not also know the members of that disciplinary action.
entity, so the law allows you to file a case against the entity. The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for
the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an executor
Under the second paragraph of Section 15, when the defendants or administrator and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem
file an answer, they must file under their names as they are really for the minor heirs.
the real parties in interest. When the lawyer answers the The court shall forthwith order said legal representative or
complaint, he is duty-bound to provide the names of all the representatives to appear and be substituted within a period of
defendants. thirty (30) days from notice.
If no legal representative is named by the counsel for the
Q: How do you summon this kind of defendant? deceased party, or if the one so named shall fail to appear within
A: Rule 14, Section 8: the specified period, the court may order the opposing party,
within a specified time, to procure the appointment of an
RULE 14, Sec. 8. Service upon entity without juridical personality. executor or administrator for the estate of the deceased and the
When persons associated in an entity without juridical personality latter shall immediately appear for and on behalf of the deceased.
are sued under the name by which they are generally or The court charges in procuring such appointment, if defrayed by
commonly known, service may be effected upon all the the opposing party, may be recovered as costs. (16, 17a)
defendants by serving upon any one of them, or upon the person
in charge of the office or place of business maintained in such
name. But such service shall not bind individually any person First of all, there are cases when a party to a pending action dies
whose connection with the entity has, upon due notice, been and the claim is not thereby extinguished (this is what they called
severed before the action was brought. (9a) an action which survives as we will explain later) and there are
certain actions where if a party dies, the claim is automatically
Correlate this with Rule 36, Section 6: extinguished. Meaning, the death of a party causes death of the
action. But these are very few. In majority of cases when the party
Sec. 6. Judgment against entity without juridical personality. dies, the case or the cause of action continues.
When judgment is rendered against two or more persons sued as
an entity without juridical personality, the judgment shall set out If the action does not survive, like the purely personal actions of
their individual or proper names, if known. (6a) support annulment of marriage, and legal separation), the proper
action of the court is to simply dismiss the case. Substitution will
then not be required.
GENERAL RULE: actions must be filed against real parties in
interest. Examples of actions which survive the death of a party
EXCEPTIONS: (When may an action be filed without naming all the
parties in involved?)  Actions and obligations arising from delicts survive
(Aguas v. Llamas 5 SCRA 959)
1. Class suit (Section 12, Rule 3);  Actions based on the tortious conduct of the defendant
2. Entity without juridical personality (Section 15, Rule 3); survive the death of the latter. (Melgar v. Benviaje 179
3. Any co--owner may bring an action for ejectment (Article SCRA 196)
487, New Civil Code)

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 Actions to recover real and personal property, actions to So the provision continues, “the heirs of the deceased may be
enforce a lien thereon, and actions to recover damages allowed to be substituted for the deceased without requiring the
for an injury to person or property and suits based on appointment of an executor or administrator. And the court may
the alleged tortious acts of the defendant survive. (Board appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor heirs.
of Liquidators v. Kalaw 20 SCRA 987). An action for
quieting of title with damages is an action involving real So, other than the legal representative, which refers to the
property. It survives and the claim is not extinguished by executor or administrator, the alternative will be to substitute the
the death of a party. (Saligumba v. Calanog GR 143365 heirs, such as the surviving children, wife or spouse.
Dec. 4, 2008)
 An action of ejectment survives the death of a party. It Although there was a case decided by the SC way back in 1986 in
continues until judgment because the issue concerning the case of
the illegality of the defendant’s possession is still alive,
and upon its resolution depends the corollary issue of LAWAS vs. COURT OF APPEALS
whether and how much damages may be recovered. 146 SCRA 173
(Tanhueco v. Aguilar 33 SCRA 236; Vda de Salazar v. CA;
Florendo jr. v.Coloma 129 SCERA 304) HELD: “The priority of substitution would be the executor or
. Actions for the recovery of money, arising from a administrator not the heirs. The heirs would only be allowed to be
contract express or implied are not extinguished by the death of substituted if there is an (1) unreasonable delay in the appointment
the defendant. (Sec. 20 R 3) of administrator or executor, or (2) when the heirs resort to
extrajudicial partition. But outside of those two reason, the law
Duty of lawyer of the deceased always gives priority to the administrator or executor.”
It is the duty of the lawyer of the deceased to inform the court
within 30 days after the death of the party thereof. He must Under the rule, priority is given to the legal representative of the
inform the court and give the name and address of his legal deceased. That is, the executor or the administrator of his estate.
representative/s (e.g. administrator or executor of the estate) Many courts do not enforce it strictly. Normally, patay na, “O! Ito
ang heirs o!” “OK! Substitute!” Actually, that is wrong based on
In legal ethics, the lawyer- client relationship is automatically LAWAS case. The priority is given to the administrator or executor.
terminated by the death of the client because the lawyer-client It is only when there is unreasonable delay in the appointment, or
relationship is personal. Neither does he become the counsel of the when the heirs resort to extrajudicial partition because there is no
heirs of the deceased unless his services are engaged by said heirs more administrator or executor in extrajudicial settlement.
(Lawas vs. CA 146 SCRA 173). But procedurally, he must tell the
court and give the name of the legal representative. The latter may Lawas ruling is no longer applicable
re-hire the lawyer but under a new contract.
Under the second paragraph of Sec. 16 of Rule 3 states: “ … The
The purpose there is for substitution so that the legal heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the
representative will be ordered substituted. And there is a new deceased, without requiring the appointment of an executor or
provision under the new rules. That is, failure of the counsel to administrator…”
comply with his duty shall be a ground for disciplinary action. That
is not found in the prior rule. So, the lawyer can be subjected to The second paragraph of the rule is plain and explicit. The heirs
disciplinary action. may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased without
requiring the appointment of an administrator or executor.
Upon receipt of the notice of death, the court shall determine However, if within the specified period a legal representative fails
whether or not the claim is extinguished by such death. If the to appear, the court may order the opposing counsel, within a
claim survives, the court shall order the legal representative or specified period, to process the appointment of an administrator or
representatives of the deceased to appear and be substituted for executor who shall immediately appear for the estate of the
the deceased within 30 days from notice (Sec. 16 Rule 3). The deceased. The previous pronouncement of the Court in Lawas v. CA
substitution of the deceased would not be ordered by the court in xxxxx is no longer true. Thus, the heirs do not need to first secure
cases where the death of the party would extinguish the action the appointment of an administrator of the estate of the deceased
because substitution is proper only when the action survives because the very moment of death, they stepped into the shoes of
(Aguas vs. Llamas 5 SCRA 959) the deceased and acquired the rights as devisee/legatee. Said heirs

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may designate one or some of them as their representative before Instead of service of summons the court shall, under the authority
the trial court. (San Juan v. Cruz GR No. 167321, July 31, 2006) of the same provision, order the legal representative of the
deceased to appear and be substituted for the said deceased
Purpose and Importance of substitution of the deceased within 30 days from notice.

The purpose behind the rule on substitution of parties is the By virtue of the same rule, it is significant to know that it is not the
protection of the right of every party to due process. It is to amendment of the pleading, but the order of substitution and its
ensure that the deceased would continue to be properly service that effects the substitution of the deceased by his
represented in the suit through the duly appointed legal representative or heir.
representative of the estate. (Torres v. CA 278 SCRA 793; Vda de
Salazar v. CA 250 SCRA 305)
Note: If the action does not survive (like the purely personal
Non-compliance with the rules on substitution of a deceased party actions of support, annulment of marriage, and legal separation),
renders the proceedings of the trial court infirm because the court the court shall simply dismiss the case. It follows then that
acquired no jurisdiction over the person of the legal representative substitution will not be required.
of heirs of the deceased (Brioso v. Rili-Mariano 396 SCRA 549)
because no man should be affected by a proceeding to which he is
a stranger. A party to be affected by a personal judgment must EFFECT OF DEATH OF A PARTY ON MONEY CLAIMS
have a day in court and an opportunity to be heard. (Vda. De
Haberer v. CA 104 SCRA 534; Fereira v. Vda de Gonzales 104 Phil. Now, one of the radical changes again introduced by the new rules
143; Torres v. CA 278 SCRA 793) is the effect of the death of the defendant in a money claim –
action to collect a sum of money.
Note this portion in the case of:
Sec. 20. Action on contractual money claims. When the action is
VDA. DE SALAZAR vs. COURT OF APPEALS for recovery of money arising from contract, express or implied,
250 SCRA 303 [November 23, 1995] and the defendant dies before entry of final judgment in the court
in which the action was pending at the time of such death, it shall
FACTS: This is an ejectment case. The defendant died while the not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until
case is going on. What is the procedure? There should be entry of final judgment. A favorable judgment obtained by the
substitution. But there was no substitution in the case for ten plaintiff therein shall be enforced in the manner especially
years, until it was decided. The court was not informed of the provided in these Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate
death of the defendant. Until finally, there was a decision. of a deceased person. (21a)

ISSUE: When there is failure to effectuate the substitution of heirs


before the rendition of judgment, is the judgment jurisdictionally Requisites:
detective? 1. the action must primarily be for recovery of money, debt, or
HELD: NO, “the judgment is valid where the heirs themselves interest therein;
appeared before the trial court and participated in the 2.the claim, subject of the action, arose from contract, express of
proceedings. Therein, they presented evidence in defense of the implied; and
deceased defendant. It is undeniably evident that the heirs 3.defendant dies before the entry of final judgment of the court in
themselves sought their day in court and exercised their right to which the action was pending.
due process.”
Under this section, the death of the defendant will not result in the
In other words, when there was a defect the heirs however cannot dismissal of the action. The deceased shall be substituted by his
use that because they themselves appeared and continued the legal representatives in the manner provided for in Sec. 16 of this
case. So, in effect, there was estoppel. Rule 3 and the action continues until the entry of final judgment.
However, execution shall not issue in favor of the winning party.
No requirement for service of summons The final judgment should be filed as a claim against the estate of
the decedent without need of proving the claim.
Service of summons is not required to effect a substitution.
Nothing in Sec. 16 of this Rule mandates service of summons.

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The best example here is an action to collect an unpaid loan. And Q: So, what is the effect of the death of the party in actions which
while the case is pending the defendant died. What will happen to does not survived?
the case? The law says: If the defendant dies before the entry of A: The case is dismissed!
the final judgment in the court at the time of death, it shall not be
dismissed but it shall instead be allowed to continue until entry of
final judgment. 2.) ACTIONS WHICH SURVIVE –
2a.) CONTRACTUAL MONEY CLAIMS:
Under the OLD RULES, the case shall be dismissed. So, the civil case
is not suspended but it will be dismissed and the creditor can file a 2a1.) If it is the plaintiff who dies, the case will continue. The heirs
case against the estate of the deceased under the Rules on Special or legal representatives will proceed. So, there is substitution.
Proceedings. But definitely the civil case dies when the defendant
dies. 2a2.) If it is the defendant who dies, the question is when did he
die? Before entry of final judgment or after entry? This is where
Now, under the NEW RULE, the case will not be dismissed but Section 20 will come in.
rather, the case will now continue until entry of final judgment.
Meaning, until it becomes final and executory. 2a2a.) If the defendant died before entry of final judgment, you
apply Section 20 of Rule 3. Meaning, the case shall not be
Q: But of course, if the judgment is favorable to you (the plaintiff), dismissed but shall be allowed to continue until entry of final
can you move to execute? Can you move to execute the decision judgment. And the favorable judgment obtained by the plaintiff
against the property of the defendant? therein shall be enforced in the manner especially provided in
A: NO, because the law provides, “xxx a favorable judgment these Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate of a deceased
obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be enforced in the manner person, and that is Section 5 of Rule 86.
specially provided in these Rules for prosecuting claims against the
estate of a deceased person.” 2a2b.) If the defendant died after the entry of the final judgment
but before execution (after the judgment became final but before
Q: And what is that procedure? there could be levy or execution) you cannot move to execute.
A: YOU FILE A CLAIM against the estate under Section 5, Rule 86 of Again, you apply Section 5 of Rule 86 which is the governing rule –
the Rules of Court, but there will be no execution. you file your judgment as a claim against the estate of the
deceased defendant. [Section 5, Rule 86] The purpose there is, so
[Note: SEE OUTLINE AT THE LAST PART OF THIS RULE.] that the creditor will share with the other creditors pro-rata in the
distribution of the estate.
Q: We are talking of death of a party in a pending civil action. While
there is a case and a party dies, what will happen to the case? 2a2c) If the defendant died after levy or execution but before the
A: I will distinguish Is that an ACTION WHICH DOES NOT SURVIVE auction sale, we will now apply Section 7[c] of Rule 39:
or an ACTION WHICH SURVIVES?
Rule 39, Sec. 7. Execution in case of death of party. In case of the
1.) ACTION WHICH DOES NOT SURVIVE death of party, execution may issue or be enforced in the
An action which does not survive is an action which is abated upon following manner:
the death of a party. The case cannot go on once a party dies. And xxxxxx
normally, that refers to actions which are purely personal in (c) In case of the death of the judgment obligor, after execution is
character like an action for annulment of marriages, an action for actually levied upon any of his property, the same may be sold for
declaration of the nullity of marriage or, an action for legal the satisfaction of the judgment obligation, and the officer
separation, or an action for support. These are the cases arising making the sale shall account to the corresponding executor or
from the Family Code. administrator for any surplus in his hands. (7a)

Example: The husband files a case against the wife for annulment Meaning, if death occurs after the levy, auction sale proceeds as
of marriage or legal separation. One of them dies. When one of the scheduled. And if there is an excess, the excess shall be delivered to
parties dies, the marriage is dissolved. There is nothing to annul the administrator or executor.
because the marriage is already dissolved. So, these are the actions
which are purely personal . 2b.) NON-CONTRACTUAL MONEY CLAIMS:

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EXAMPLE: an action for recovery of property, real or personal like 3.it is satisfactorily shown to the court by any party, within 30 days
replevin, forcible entry, unlawful detainer, action publiciana, action after the successor takes office, that there is a substantial need for
reinvidicatoria, or action for damages, (damages that is not the continuing or maintaining the action;
same for transaction of money because damages arising from culpa 4.that the successor adopts or continues or threatens to adopt or
aquiliana is one not arising from contract.) continue the action of his predecessor; and
5.the party or officer affected has been given reasonable notice of
If a party dies in an action which survives which is a non- the application therefor and accorded an opportunity to be heard.
contractual money claim, obviously, there is substitution of parties.
So, what are these non-contractual money claims which survive?
These are those mentioned in Section 7 of Rule 86 and Section 1 of Q: What will happen to the case?
Rule 87. That is in the study of Special Proceedings on settlement of A: The following:
the estate of a deceased person.
1.) If the successor intends to continue with the policy.
EXAMPLE: Mayor Pascua threatened to demolish the building of
Note: What Section 20 says is that: before the case can be decided Mr. Nuere as a hazard. If Mayor Pascua dies, Vice-Mayor Angeles
and the defendant dies (in actions involving money claims) the case becomes the mayor. If Vice-Mayor Angeles who is now the mayor
shall not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until says that he will continue with the demolition, he will be
entry of final judgment. BUT CONTINUE AGAINST WHOM? Against substituted and he is given 30 days to comment.
the deceased? Now, to my mind, you correlate this with Section 16
--- there should still be substitution. 2.) If the successor does not adopt the policy, the case will
be dismissed.
But assuming, there was no substitution and the heirs fought in the
case; there is waiver because the defect is procedural. Just like
what happened in the case of VDA. DE SALAZAR vs CA 250 SCRA Sec. 18. Incompetency or incapacity. If a party becomes
305). Actually, what Section 20 emphasized is that, the action shall incompetent or incapacitated, the court, upon motion with
not be dismissed but shall continue – to emphasize that it is now notice, may allow the action to be continued by or against the
different compared with the prior RULE. But obviously, there will incompetent or incapacitated person assisted by his legal
always be a substitution guardian or guardian ad litem. (19a)

EXAMPLE: F files a case against K. While the case is pending, K


Sec. 17. Death or separation of a party who is a public officer. becomes insane. The case will continue but K has to be assisted by
When a public officer is a party in an action in his official capacity his guardian ad litem.
and during its pendency dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold
office, the action may be continued and maintained by or against This is related to Rule 3, Section 3 on representative party but in
his successor if, within thirty (30) days after the successor takes Section 3, K should be already insane before the case is filed.
office or such time as may be granted by the court, it is
satisfactorily shown to the court by any party that there is a Sec. 19. Transfer of interest. In case of any transfer of interest, the
substantial need for continuing or maintaining it and that the action may be continued by or against the original party, unless
successor adopts or continues or threatens to adopt or continue the court upon motion directs the person to whom the interest is
the action of his predecessor. Before a substitution is made, the transferred to be substituted in the action or joined with the
party or officer to be affected, unless expressly assenting thereto, original party. (20)
shall be given reasonable notice of the application therefor and
accorded an opportunity to be heard. (18a)
General rule:
The rule does not consider the transferee an indispensable party.
Requisites: Hence, the action may proceed without the need to imp lead him.
1. public officer is a party to an action in his official capacity;
2.during the pendency of the action he either dies, resigns, or other Exception:
wise ceases to hold office; When the substitution by or joinder of the transferee is ordered by
the court.

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A transferee pendent lite: the fees – file now, pay later) – the amount shall be a lien on any
1. stands in exactly the same position as its predecessor-in-interest, favorable judgment.
the original defendant; and
2. bound by the proceedings had in the case before the property The third paragraph is new. The other party may contest the claim
was transferred to it, even if not formally included as defendant. of the indigent if he is really an indigent or not.
(Herrera, vol. 1 p. 405)
Sec. 22. Notice to the Solicitor General. In any action involving the
The case will be dismissed if the interest of plaintiff is transferred validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, executive order,
to defendant unless there are several plaintiffs, in which case, the presidential decree, rules or regulations, the court, in its
remaining plaintiffs can proceed with their own cause of action. discretion, may require the appearance of the Solicitor General
who may be heard in person or through a representative duly
EXAMPLE: R files a case against L to recover a piece of land. While designated by him. (23a)
the case is pending, L sold the land to E. E now assumes the risk
and takes the property subject to the outcome of the case. The rule is that only the Solicitor General can bring and defend
Q: Can the case continue against L? actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and that actions
A: YES. filed in the name of the Republic of the Philippines or its agencies
1.) If L loses and cannot pay, E is subsidiarily liable; and instrumentalities, if not initiated by the Solicitor General will
2.) L can be removed and E will be substituted; or be summarily dismissed. The authority of the Solicitor General is
3.) L can stay and E will be added. embodied in Sec. 35(1) Chapter 12, Title III and Book IV of the
Administrative Code of 1987 (Cooperative Development Authority
In all 3 cases, E will be bound by the judgment. vs. Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative 382 SCRA
552).
Sec. 21. Indigent party. A party may be authorized to litigate his
action, claim or defense as an indigent if the court, upon an ex EXAMPLE: M files a case against K for declaration of nullity on the
parte application and hearing, is satisfied that the party is one ground of psychological incapacity. K alleges that Article 38 of the
who has no money or property sufficient and available for food, Family Code is unconstitutional. So the court will rule on the
shelter and basic necessities for himself and his family. validity of the law in which case, the Solicitor General has to be
Such authority shall include an exemption from payment of involved in the case to defend the validity of the law.
docket and other lawful fees, and of transcripts of stenographic
notes which the court may order to be furnished him. The amount REASON: The Solicitor General is the legal counsel of the Republic
of the docket and other lawful fees which the indigent was of the Philippines whose duty is to defend all the official acts of the
exempted from paying shall be a lien on any judgment rendered Government.
in the case favorable to the indigent, unless the court otherwise
provides.
Any adverse party may contest the grant of such authority at any
time before judgment is rendered by the trial court. If the court
should determine after hearing that the party declared as an
indigent is in fact a person with sufficient income or property, the
proper docket and other lawful fees shall be assessed and
collected by the clerk of court. If payment is not made within the
time fixed by the court, execution shall issue for the payment
thereof, without prejudice to such other sanctions as the court
may impose. (22a)

In criminal cases, the court assigns a counsel de officio. Under the


Constitution on Bill of Rights, no person shall be denied access to
courts by reason of poverty.

In civil cases, a plaintiff need not pay docket fee if he is an indigent


if he files an application (ex-parte application) to allow him to
litigate as an indigent litigant. But if the indigent wins, he has to pay

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Rule 4
The court may dismiss on improper venue, at its instance, in an
VENUE OF ACTIONS action covered by the rules on summary procedure. Under these
rules, the court may motu proprio dismiss a case from an
examination of the allegations of the complaint and such evidence
Q: Define venue.
as may be attached thereto on any of the grounds apparent
A: VENUE is the place, or the geographical area where an action is
therefrom. The dismissal may be made outright, which means that
to be filed and tried. In civil cases, it relates only to the place of the
the court may do so without need of waiting for the filing of a
suit and not to the jurisdiction of the court. (Manila Railroad
motion to dismiss. (Sec. 4, Rules on Summary Procedure)
Company vs. Attoryney General, 20 Phil. 523)

How venue is determined


Venue not a matter of substantive law

As said before, in order to know the venue of a particular action,


Venue is procedural and not substantive. In civil cases, venue is not
the initial step is to determine if the action is personal or real. If it is
a matter of jurisdiction. (Heirs of Pedro Lopez vs. de Castro, 324
personal, the venue is transitory hence, the venue is the residence
SCRA 591 [2000]). Venue becomes jurisdictional only in a criminal
of the plaintiff or the defendant at the option of the plaintiff. If the
case. In the latter case, where the information is filed in a place
defendant is a non-resident, the venue is the residence of the
where the offense was not committed, the information may be
plaintiff or where the non-resident defendant may be found, at the
quashed for lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. (Sec. 3, R
election of the plaintiff.(Sec. 3)
117) This is not so in a civil case where improper venue is not
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Because it is merely procedural,
If the action is real, the venue is local hence, the venue is the place
the parties can waive the venue of a case.
where the real property involved, or any portion thereof, is
situated. (Sec. 1). However, when the defendant is a non-resident
Means of waiving venue:
and is not found in the Philippines, and the action affects the
1. failure to object via motion to dismiss;
personal status of the plaintiff, or any property of the defendant
2. affirmative relief sought in the court where the case is filed even
located in the Philippines, the venue is the residence of the plaintiff
if venue is improper;
or where the property or any portion thereof is situated. (Sec. 3)
3. affirmative defense in an answer;
4. voluntary submission to the court where the case is filed;
VENUE OF REAL ACTIONS
5. laches

Section 1. Venue of real actions. Actions affecting title to or


Dismissal based on improper venue
possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be
commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction
1. The trial court cannot motu proprio dismiss a case on the
over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion
ground of improper venue. The court may motu proprio
thereof, is situated.
dismiss an action in case of lack of jurisdiction over the
Forcible entry and detainer actions shall be commenced and tried
subject matter, litis pendencia, res judicata and
in the municipal trial court of the municipality or city wherein the
prescription, but not for improper venue. (Rudolf Lietz
real property involved, or a portion thereof, is situated. (1[a],
Holdings, Inc. v. Register of Deeds of Paranaque City, 344
2[a]a)
SCRA 68; Universal Robina Corp. v. Lim GR 154338, Oct.
5, 2007)
2. Unless and until the defendant objects to the venue in a
Q: Why does the law say “tried in the proper court?”
motion to dismiss, the venue cannot be truly said to be
A: It is because proper court will now be the MTC or the RTC,
improperly laid, because the venue although technically
depending on the assessed value of the property.
wrong may be acceptable to the parties for whose
convenience the rules on venue have been devised. The
The venue is the placed where the real property or any portion
trial court cannot preempt the defendant’s prerogative
thereof is located.
to object to the improper laying of the venue by motu
If the a property is located at the boundaries of two places: file the
proprio dismissing the case. (Dacuycoy v. IAC 195 SCRA
case in either place at the option of the plaintiff.
641)

When court may motu proprio dismiss based on improper venue

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When the case involves two properties located in two different


places: EXAMPLE: An action for annulment of a contract of sale or
1. if the properties are the object of the same transaction, file it in rescission of contract of sale of real property. Generally, an action
any of the two places; and for annulment or rescission is a personal action. But suppose, I will
2. if they are the subjects of two distinct transactions, separate file a complaint to annul or rescind a contract or a deed of sale over
actions whould be filed in each place unless properly joined. a parcel of land which we made one year ago which land is situated
in Mandaue City and the purpose of my action is to recover the
ownership of that land is this a real or personal action?
It is a real action because the primary object of the suit is to
VENUE OF PERSONAL ACTIONS recover the ownership of real property. It seems to be personal but
in reality it is a real action. So the venue is governed by Section 2.
Sec. 2. Venue of personal actions. All other actions may be
commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of the principal But there are also actions which appear to be real but in reality, are
plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any of the principal personal actions. Like what happened in the case of
defendants resides, or in the case of a non-resident defendant
where he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff. (2[b]a) LA TONDEÑA DISTILLERS INC vs. PONFERRADA
264 SCRA 540 [1996]
Venue of personal actions:
1.Where the plaintiff or any of the principa plaintiffs resides; FACTS: A entered into a contract where she committed herself to
2. where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides; sell her land to B. A even placed a lis pendens on the property but
or later she backed out. So B will file a case against A for specific
3. in case of a non-resident defendant but found in the Philippines, performance to compel her to sign the deed of sale.
in the place where he may be found.
Note: All at the election of the plaintiff. ISSUE: Is this real or personal action?

Now, suppose, there are four (4) plaintiffs and 4 defendants and HELD: It is a PERSONAL ACTION because you are not questioning
the 4 plaintiffs reside in 4 different cities or municipalities. So there my ownership. Here, the plaintiff recognizes that the defendant is
are 8 choices for venue because the law says, “where the plaintiff still the owner, which is the reason why he is still filing the case to
or any of the principal plaintiffs or where the defendant or any of compel him to sell.
the principal defendants reside…” Thus, it should be filed at the residence of the parties. “The
complaint is one for specific performance with damages. Private
NOTE: PRINCIPAL PLAINTIFF, PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT. Because respondents do not claim ownership of the lot but in fact
there is such a thing as nominal defendant and nominal plaintiff.. recognized title of defendants by annotating a notice of lis pendens.
In one case, a similar complaint for specific performance with
EXAMPLE of a nominal party: When a party wants to file a case to damages involving real property, was held to be a personal action,
annul an execution sale or to annul a levy, normally it impleads the which may be filed in the proper court where the party resides. Not
sheriff as party. But the sheriff is not the principal party but is only being an action involving title to or ownership of real property,
a NOMINAL PARTY. So, the residence of the sheriff is not venue, in this case, was not improperly laid before the RTC of
considered the sheriff being a nominal party only. Bacolod City.” (Adamos vs. Tuazon 25 SCRA 30 [1968])

This is the original concept of forum shopping which is legitimate


but had later been abused. That is why there is a SC case where Q: Where several or alternative reliefs are sought in an action, and
Justice Panganiban cited the history of forum shopping entitled the reliefs prayed for are real and personal, how is venue
FIRST PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL BANK vs. CA (252 SCRA 259), determined?
January 24, 1996) A: Where several or alternative reliefs are prayed for in the
complaint, the nature of the action as real or personal is
How to distinguish real from personal action determined by the primary object of the suit or by the nature of
the principal claim. Thus, where the purpose is to nullify the title to
There are instances when it is easy to distinguish whether the real property, the venue of the action is in the province where the
action is real or personal and there are also instances when it is property lies, notwithstanding the alternative relief sought,
difficult.

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recovery of damages, which is predicated upon a declaration of residence of a corporation is the place where its head or main
nullity of the title. (Navarro vs. Lucero, 100 Phil. 146) office is situated.

Where a lessee seeks to establish his right to the hacienda, which


was subsequently sold, for the purpose of gathering the crops CLAVECILLA RADIO SYSTEM vs. ANTILLON
thereon, it is unnecessary to decide whether the crops are real or 19 SCRA 39 [1967]
personal property, because the principal claim is recovery of
possession of land so that he may gather the fruits thereof. (LTC vs. FACTS: Clavecilla was sued in Cagayan de Oro City. Clavecilla
Macadaeg, 57 O.G. 3317) questioned the venue because its head office is in Manila. The
plaintiff argued that it can be sued because it has a branch in
Now, going back to Section 2. Cagayan.

RESIDENCE OF THE PARTIES ISSUE: Is a corporation a resident of any city or province wherein it
has an office or branch?
Where is the residence of the parties? Because residence in law
could mean DOMICILE OR LEGAL RESIDENCE, it could be ACTUAL HELD: NO. Any person, whether natural or juridical, can only have
OR PHYSICAL RESIDENCE. one residence. Therefore, a corporation cannot be allowed to file
personal actions in a place other than its principal place of business
With the exception of only one case, the word ‘residence’ and unless such a place is also the residence of a co-plaintiff or
‘venue’ has been uniformly interpreted by the SC to mean ACTUAL defendant.
or PHYSICAL RESIDENCE not legal domicile. Alright, there are so
many casesalready: CO vs. CA (70 SCRA 296); FULE vs. CA (14 SCRA The ruling in the case of ANTILLON was reiterated in the 1993 case
189); HERNANDEZ vs. RURAL BANK OF THE PHIL (81 SCRA 75); of YOUNG AUTO SUPPLY CO. vs. COURT OF APPEALS (223 SCRA
RAYMOND vs. CA (166 SCRA 50); ESCUERTE vs. CA (193 3CRA 54). 670)

EXCEPT for one case decided way back in 1956 – the case of Because the law said “where the plaintiff or any of the principal
plaintiffs..” So if the corporation is suing with someone from Cebu
CORRE vs. CORRE City, even if its head office is in Manila, the corporation can file in
100 Phil 221 Cebu City because of the residence of my co-plaintiff or the
residence of the defendant. But outside of that, a corporation
FACTS: An American who resides in San Francisco who came to the cannot sue outside of its head office because its residence is there.
Philippines rented an apartment in Manila to sue his wife who is a That is the case of YOUNG AUTO SUPPLY.
Filipina. The wife is from Mindanao. And then the American
husband filed the case in Manila because he rented an apartment “OR IN THE CASE OF A NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT WHERE HE MAY
in Manila. BE FOUND”

HELD: You are not a resident of Manila. Your residence is in San Suppose the defendnt is not residing here in the Philippines but is
Francisco – that is your domicile. So that is to compel the American just on vacation and you want to sue him. What is now the point of
to file the case in the residence of the wife rather than the wife reference?
going to Manila.
Did you notice the phrase “or in the case of a non-resident
So the case of CORRE is the only exception where the SC said, defendants where he may be found.” Now what does that mean? It
“residence means domicile.” All the rest, physical! In the case of means to say that the defendant is not actually residing in the
CORRE, maybe the SC there was just trying to help the Filipina. If Philippines but he is temporarily around because he is found in the
we will interpret the rule on venue as physical, it is the Filipina who Philippines. Example is a balikbayan who is still on vacation.
will be inconvenienced.
PROBLEM: Suppose a Filipino who is already residing abroad
RESIDENCE OF A CORPORATION decided to come back this Christmas for a vacation. When he
landed at the Manila Domestic Airport, you met him as your friend
Under Rule 1, a corporation can sue and be sued. But what is the and the first thing he requested you is if he could borrow some
residence of a corporation? Under the corporation law, the pesos because his money is in dollars. He borrowed from you

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P15,000.00 promising to pay in a week’s time.. One week later, still property of said defendant located in the Philippines, the action
he has not paid you and obviously it seems he will not pay you. So may be commenced and tried in the court of the place where the
you decided to sue him while he is around to collect, where is the plaintiff resides, or where the property or any portion thereof is
venue of the action? situated or found, (2[c]a)
A: The law says, generally where the plaintiff resides or where the
defendant resides. The trouble is, the defendant has no residence Q: What is the difference between the non-resident defendant in
here because he is already residing abroad. But he is temporarily Section 2 and the non-resident defendant in Section 3?
here in the Philippines. A: In Section 2, the non-resident defendant may be found in the
You can sue him where he may be found. If he decides to stay in Philippines. But in Section 3, he does not reside and is not found in
Cebu, that is where the proper venue rather his permanent the Philippines. So, physically, he is not around.
residence. So where he may be found is the alternative venue. The
phrase “where he may be found” means where he may be found Venue of ordinary civil actions against non-residents:
here in the Philippines for a non-resident defendant but 1. Non-resident but found in the Philippines;
temporarily staying in the Philippines. a.) for personal actions, where the plaintiff resides or where he
may be found at the election of the plaintiff;
Q: Suppose a defendant is a non-resident and he is not even here. b.) for real actions, where the property is located.
Like for example, your neighbor borrowed money from you and the
nest thing you heard is that he left the country. He has already 2. Non-resident not found in the Philippines
migrated to the states. Of course you know his address there. Can An action may be filed only when:
you sue him in the Philippine court, a defendant who is no longer
residing here and is not found in the Philippines? 1.) The action affects the personal status of the plaintiff
A: NO, you cannot. Charge it to experience. and venue is the place where the plaiantiff resides; or
2.) The action affects the property or any portion thereof of
Q: Why can you not sue a person not residing here in the said defendants is located here in the Philippines, and
Philippines and is not found here in the first place? venue is the place where the property or any portion
A: There is no way for Philippine courts to acquire jurisdiction over thereof is located.
his person. Otherwise, he will not be bound by the decision.
ACTION THAT AFFECTS THE PERSONAL STATUS OF THE PLAINTIFF
But in our discussion on the element of jurisdiction: subject matter,
person, res and issues, I told you that the res or the thing in dispute EXAMPLE: A young child was abandoned by his illegitimate father.
is important because sometimes it takes the place of jurisdiction The illegitimate father left the Philippines for good. The son wants
over the person of the defendant. So even if the Philippine court to file a case against the father for compulsory recognition, at least
cannot acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant but to improve his status.
the subject of the controversy (res) is in the Philippines, then the
non-resident defendant can also be sued in the Philippines. The Q: Can the child file a case for compulsory acknowledgment here in
court can now acquire jurisdiction over the res, subject and since the Philippines against the father for compulsory acknowledgment?
the res is here, the judgment can be enforced. It is not a useless A: YES because the action involves the person status of the
judgement anymore. plaintiff. The res is the status of the plaintiff who happens to be in
the Philippines.
EXAMPLE: He is there but he is the owner of a piece of land here. I
want to file a case to recover ownership over the land here in the
Philippines. THE ACTION AFFECTS THE PROPERTY OR ANY PORTION THEREOF
Q: Can I sue the non-resident defendant? OF SAID DEFENDANTS LOCATED HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES
A: YES under Section 3. Even if the person is abroad, the res of the
property in dispute is here and if he loses the case the judgment Example: The defendant who is already abroad owns a piece of
can be enforced – transfer the property to you. So it is not a useless land located here in the Philippines and I want to recover the
judgment. That is what Section 3 is all about. ownership of the piece of land.

Sec. 3. Venue of actions against nonresidents. - If any of the Q: What is the res?
defendants does not reside and is not found in the Philippines,
and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff, or any

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A: The res is the land which is situated here in the Philippines. If one of the offended party is a public officer, whose office is in the
Therefore I can sue that defendant even if he is there because the City of Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the
court can acquire jurisdiction over the res. action shall be filed (a) in the RTC of Manila, or (b) in the RTC of the
province where he held office at the time of the commission of the
In order to validly sue in the Philippine court, a defendant who is no offense.
longer residing here and is no longer found here, the action must
be: 2.) Section 5 (4), Article VIII, 1987 Constitution – The SC may
1.) action in rem; or order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a
2.) at least quasi-in rem. miscarriage of justice as what happened in the case of
Mayor Sanchez.
In the examples given, if the action is for compulsory recognition,
that is actually an action in rem. In the suit which involves a
property here in the Philippines, at least that is an action quasi-in
rem. B.) WHERE THE PARTIES HAVE VALIDLY AGREED IN WRITING
BEFORE
But if the action is purely in personam, then there is no way by THE FILING OF THE ACTION ON THE EXCLUSIVE VENUE THEREOF.
which you can sue him. Example is an action to collect an unpaid
loan. The parties may agree on a specific venue which could be in a place
Q: Where is now the proper venue of the action against the non- where neither of them resides. Take note that the stipulation must
residents? be (1) in writing; (2) made before the filing of the action and 3.
A: The law says where the plaintiff resides – action which affects exclusive as to the venue.
the personal status of defendants, where the property of the While the first two rarely pose a problem, the third has been a
defendant located here in the Philippines source of controversy in the past.

A stipulation that “any suit arising from this contract shall be filed
only in Quezon City” is exclusive in character and is clear enough to
Sec. 4. When rule not applicable. - This rule shall not apply - preclude the filing of the case in any other place. In this case, the
a)In those cases where a specific rule or law provides otherwise; residences of the parties are not to be considered in determining
or the venue of the action.
b)Where the parties have validly agreed in writing before the
filing of the action on the exclusive venue thereof. (3a, 5a) How about a stipulation that the “parties agree to sue and be sued
in the courts of Manila?”
A.) IN THOSE CASES WHERE A SPECIFIC RULE OR LAW PROVIDES
OTHERWISE; POLYTRADE CORP. vs. BLANCO
30 SCRA 187

Q: What cases provide for venue of the action which may be FACTS: C and J are both residing here in Cebu City. J borrowed
different from what Rule 4 says? money from C, and executed a promissory note in favor of the
A: The following: latter which says, “I promise to pay C the sum of P200,000 one year
from today. In case of a suit arising from this promissory note, the
1.) A civil action arising from LIBEL under Article 360 of the parties agree to sue and be sued in the City of Manila.”
Revised Penal Code. When the note matured, J did not pay so C filed a case to collect
the unpaid loan here in Cebu City but J challenged the venue on
Libel could give rise to a civil action for damages. It is considered ground that the venue is agreed upon which is Manila. According to
under the RPC as one of the independent civil actions. The criminal C, the venue is correct because both of us are residing here in Cebu
action for libel shall be filed simultaneously or separately in the RTC City and under Rule 4, the venue is where I reside or you reside, at
of the: my option.
a.) province or city where the libelous article is printed and
first published; or ISSUE: Who is correct in this case?
b.) where any of the offended parties actually resides at the
time of the commission of the offense.

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HELD: Plaintiff is correct notwithstanding the stipulation. Why? GESMUNDO vs. JRB REALTY CORP
When. the parties stipulated on the venue of the civil action, other 234 SCRA 153
than those found in the Rule of Court, the stipulated venue is
considered merely as an ADDITION to where the parties reside. FACTS: This involves a lease contract which contain a stipulation on
Unless the stipulation contains RESTRICTIVE words which shows the venue. Here is the language of the lease contract: “venue for all
intention of the parties to limit the place stipulated as the exclusive suits, whether for breach hereof or damages or any cause between
venue. the LESSOR and the LESSEE, and persons claiming under each, being
the courts of appropriate jurisdiction in Pasay City…”
In other words, if there is a case, they agreed to file it in the court
So in the second exception where there is an agreement in writing of Pasay City.
on the exclusive venue, the word exclusive is very important as
taken in the ruling in POLYTRADE vs. BLANCO. So if the venue is not ISSUE: Is this intention of the parties to make Pasay City an
exclusive, Rule 4 still applies and the stipulated venue is just an exclusive venue?
additional one.
HELD: Pasay City is the exclusive venue. “It is true that in Polytrade
Of course, there are stipulations where you can see clearly the Corporation v. Blanco, a stipulation that ‘The parties agree to sue
intention of the parties to limit the venue. But sometimes, there and be sued in the City of Manila’ was held to merely provide an
are stipulations in which it is difficult to decipher the real intention additional forum in the absence of any qualifying or restrictive
of the parties whether exclusive or not. Examples of clear words. But here, by laying in Pasay City the venue for all suits, the
stipulations which calls for the application of the POLYTRADE parties made it plain that in no other place may they bring suit
ruling: in the City of Manila only or the suit shall be filed in the City against each other for breach contract or damages or any other
of Manila and in no other place. cause between them and persons claiming under each of them.” In
other words, the intention of the parties is to make Pasay City the
The Polytrade doctrine was further applied in the case of exclusive venue.
Unimasters Conglomeration Inc. v. CA 267 SCRA 759. In this case, it
was ruled that a stipulation stating that “all suits arising out of this The following stipulations were likewise treated as merely
Agreement shall be filed with/in the proper courts of Quezon City,” permissive and did not limit the venue:
is only permissive and does not limit the venue to the Quezon City
courts. As explained the said case: a. xxxThe agreed venue for such action is Makati, Metro
Manila, Philippines (Mangila v. CA 435 Phil. 870).
“In other words, unless the parties made very clear, by employing b. “In case of litigation hereunder, venue shall be in the City
categorical and suitably limiting language, that they wish the venue Court or Court of First Instance of Manila as the case
of the actions between them to be laid only and exclusively at a may be for determination of any and all questions arising
definite place, and to disregard the prescriptions of Rule 4, thereunder.” (Phil. Bank of Communications v. Trazo, GR
agreements on venue are not to be regarded as mandatory or 165500, Sug. 30, 2006)
restrictive, but merely permissive, or complementary of said c. “It is hereby agreed that in case of foreclosure of this
rule.xxxThere must be, to repeat, accompanying language clearly mortgage under ACT 3135, as amended, and Presidential
and categorically expressing their purpose and design that actions Decree No. 385, the auction sale shall be held at the
between them be litigated only at the place named by them, capital of the province, if the property is within the
regardless of the general precepts of Rule 4; and any doubt or territorial jurisdiction of the province concerned, or shall
uncertainty as to the parties’ intentions must be resolved against be held in the city, if the property is within the territorial
giving their agreement a restrictive or mandatory aspect. Any other jurisdiction of the city concerned”(Langkaan Realty
rule would permit of individual, subjective judicial interpretations Development, Inc. v. UCPB GR 139427, Dec. 8, 2000)
without stable standards, which could well result in precedents in d. “All court litigation procedures shall be conducted in the
hopeless inconsistency.” appropriate courts of Valenzuela City, Metro Manila”
(Auction in Malinta, inc. v. Luyaben GR 173979, Feb. 12,
However, there are cases in which you cannot find the word 2007)
exclusive or the word only, and yet the SC said it seems the
intention of the parties to limit the venue as exclusive as what Examples of words with restrictive meanings are: xxx “only”,
happened in the 1994 case of “solely”, “exclusively in this court”, “in no other court save –“,
“particularly”, “nowhere else but/except --, or words of equal

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import xxx” (Pacific Consultants International Asia, Inc. v.


Schonfeld, GR 166920 Feb. 19, 2007) HELD: YES. Judge Teves was correct in not dismissing the case.
First of all, the stipulation is placed in the ticket. These people
Cases like Hoechst, Inc. v. Torres, 83 SCRA 297 and Bautista v. de never even bothered to read this. Nakalagay na iyan diyan eh. So
Borja 18 SCRA 474 and other rulings contrary to the Polytrade either you take it or you leave it. Therefore, the passengers did not
doctrine are deemed superseded by current decisions on venue. have a hand in preparing that stipulation. So the contract is a
contract of adhesion.
In Supena v. de la Rosa 334 Phil. 671, it was ruled that Hoechst had Second, again for the sake of equity, to be fair that these poor
been rendered obsolete by recent jurisprudence applying the people will be compelled to go to Cebu to file a case there. They
doctrine enunciated in Polytrade (Auction in Malinta Inc. v. will be discouraged. It is very expensive to go back and forth to
Luyaben) Cebu. Whereas, Sweet Lines has the resources, the means, the
lawyers here in Cagayan to litigate. Therefore, it would be
This conflict was resolved in the case of PHIL. BANKING vs. inequitable to compel them or to apply the stipulation there.
TENSUAN (228 SCRA 385) where the SC ruled that the ruling in
BAUTISTA vs. DE BORJA and HOECHST PHILS. vs. TORRES has been
rendered obsolete by the POLYTRADE ruling and subsequent cases The ruling in SWEET LINES is an exception to POLYTRADE despite
reiterated it. So the ruling in POLYTRADE is the correct ruling. the exclusive stipulation. The SC said that the refusal of the court to
Forget what the SC said in the abovementioned two cases. apply it is correct. There is no grave abuse of discretion on the part
of Judge Teves.
When stipulation would be contrary to public policy of making
courts accessible to all who may have need of their service ARQUERO vs. FLOJO
168 SCRA 54
SWEET LINES vs. TEVES FACTS: Arquero here is lawyer and the municipal mayor of the
83 SCRA 361 municipality of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan Valley. He sent a telegram
through the RCPI branch in Cagayan addressed to a Congressman in
FACTS: This is a Cagayan de Oro case which involves Sweet Lines, a stating: I will go there to Manila, I will see you in your office on this
shipping company with the head office in Cebu. The respondent particular date.
Teves is the former City Fiscal of Davao City, former Mayor and When he went to the office of the congressman after a few days,
became judge of CFI of Cagayan de Oro City. who was mad at him telling him “So you are here to ask for a favor
There was a group of passenger who rode on the Sweet Lines for your own but your telegram was charged collect! Arquero was
bound for Cebu City. During the trip, they were given a crude stunned and embarrassed because he paid for the telegram.
treatment by the officers of the vessel. When they came back in Upon his return to Cagayan, he filed an action for damages against
Cagayan de Oro City, they filed a suit for damages against Sweet RCPI. But in the RCPI telegraph form, there is a stipulation that
Lines. They file the case in the former CFI, now RTC, of Cagayan de “venue of any action shall be the court of Quezon City alone and in
Oro City because the plaintiffs are residents of Cagayan de Oro City. no other courts.” So the venue is restrictive and RCPI filed a motion
Sweet Lines filed a motion to dismiss questioning the venue of the to dismiss citing as ground improper venue.
action because in the ticket issued by Sweet Lines, it is stipulated The trial court granted the motion. Arquero went to the SC citing
that “…in case of a civil action arising from the contract of carriage, the case of SWEET LINES where despite the fact of a restrictive
the venue of the action shall be the City of Cebu ONLY and in no stipulation, SC refused to apply the POLYTRADE ruling.
other place.” So there is a restrictive word. Obviously the lawyers
of Sweet Lines knew about Polytrade because they moved to HELD. The ruling in Sweet Lines vs. Teves does not apply. You are
dismiss the case citing this case. bound by the stipulation. Why? You are a lawyer so you klnow the
Judge Teves denied the motion to dismiss the case despite the implication of the stipulation signed.
stipulation. According to him, it is unfair. If I will dismiss the case
based on this stipulation, the aggrieved parties will be discouraged
in going to Cebu. It is very expensive and they will be Q: Distinguish JURISDICTION from VENUE.
inconvenienced. But, if the case will go on in Cagayan de Oro, it will A: The following are the distinctions:
not inconvenienced Sweet Lines because they have their branch
office, their manager and their own lawyer. 1.) JURISDICTION refers to the authority of the court to hear
the case, whereas
ISSUE: Whether or not Cagayan de Oro is the proper venue.

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VENUE refers only to the place where the action is to be heard or


tried;

2.) JURISDICTION over the subject matter cannot he waived;


whereas
VENUE is waivable and can be subject of agreement;

3.) JURISDICTION is governed by substantive law – Judiciary


Law, BP 129; whereas
VENUE is governed by procedural law – Rule 4 of the Rules of
Court;

4.) JURISDICTION establishes a relation between the court


and the subject matter; whereas VENUE creates a
relation between the plaintiff and defendant, or
petitioner and respondent; and

5.) JURISDICTION or lack of it over the subject matter is a


ground for a motu proprio dismissal; whereas VENUE is
not except in cases subject to summary procedure.

BAR QUESTION: State in what instance the jurisdiction and venue


coincide.
A: In CRIMINAL CASES because in criminal cases, venue is territorial
jurisdiction. But in civil cases, jurisdiction and venue are two
different things. They do not coincide.

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Rule 5

UNIFORM PROCEDURE IN TRIAL COURTS

SECTION 1. Uniform Procedure – The procedure in Municipal Trial


Courts shall be the same as in the Regional Trial Courts, except (a)
where a particular provision expressly or impliedly applies only to
either of said courts, or (b) in civil cases governed by the Rule on
Summary Procedure. (n)

The Rules on Procedure starting with Rule 6, the title of the subject
matter is procedure in Regional Trial Courts. However, by express
provisions in Section 1, the procedure in the Regional Trial Court
and the procedure in the Municipal Trial Court is the same.

The Rules on Civil Procedure which applies to RTC are also


applicable to the MTC except when a particular provision expressly
applies only to either of said courts.

There are provisions where it is very clear and intended only to


apply to RTC or MTC. A good example of this is paragraph (a) is Rule
40 which governs appeals from MTC to RTC. It is only applicable to
MTC. It does not apply to appeals from RTC to Court of Appeals.

The second example would be in civil cases governed by Rules on


Summary Procedure. That would be the last law that we will take
up. Rules on Summary Procedure applied only to MTC. They do not
apply to RTC.

Sec. 2 Meaning of Terms. – The term “Municipal Trial Courts” as


used in these Rules shall include Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Court, and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. (1a)

In our structure, we already illustrated the hierarchy of courts.


Metropolitan Trial Courts are only in Manila. Municipal Trial Courts
are in cities and municipalities. When the Rule says ‘Municipal Trial
Court’, it already includes Metropolitan Trial Courts, MTCC, MCTC.
So that we will not be repetitious.

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PROCEDURE IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS used and the subject matter involved. The intendment of the
Rule 6 pleader is the controlling factor in construing a pleading and should
KINDS OF PLEADINGS be read in accordance with its substance, not its form.

While it is the rule that pleadings should be liberally construed, it


SECTION 1. Pleadings Defined. Pleadings are the written has also been ruled that a party is strictly bound by the allegations,
statements of the respective claims and defenses of the parties statements or admissions made in his pleading and cannot be
submitted to the court for appropriate judgment. (1a) permitted to take a contradictory position. (Santiago v. de los
Santos 61 SCRA 146)

Q: Define pleadings? Construction of ambiguous allegations in pleadings


A: PLEADINGS are the written statements of the respective claims
and defenses of the parties submitted to the court for appropriate In case there are ambiguities in the pleadings, the same must be
judgment. (Section 1) Under the Rules, “pleadings” cannot be oral construed most strongly against the pleader and that no
because they are clearly described as “written” statements. presumptions in his favor are to be indulged in. This rule proceeds
from the theory that it is the pleader who selects the language
This is the document where a party will state his claim against the used and if his pleading is open to different constructions, such
defendant; or where the defendant will state also his defense. ambiguities must be at the pleader’s peril. (61 Am Jur, Pleading)
Pleadings merely tell a story. You tell your story there, the other
party will tell his story. System of pleading in the Philippines

Necessity and purpose of pleadings The system is the Code Pleading following the system observed in
some states of the US like California and New York. This system is
1. Pleadings are necessary to invoke the jurisdiction of the court based on codified rules or written set of procedure as distinguished
(71 C.J.S. Pleadings). It is necessary, in order to confer jurisdiction from common laws procedure. (Marquez and Gutierrez Lora v.
on a court, that the subject matter be presented for its Varela, 92 Phil. 373)
consideration in a mode sanctioned by law and this is done by the
filing of the complaint or other pleading. Unless a complaint or
other pleading is filed, the judgment of a court of record is void and Sec. 2 – Pleadings allowed – The claims of a party are asserted in a
subject to collateral attack even though it may be a court which has complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third (fourth, etc.) – party
jurisdiction over the subject matter referred to in the judgment. complaint, or complaint-in-intervention.
The defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading
2. Pleadings are intended to secure a method by which the issues asserting a claim against him.
may be properly laid before the court. (Santiago v. de los Santos 61 An answer may be responded to by a reply. (n)
SCRA 146).
3. Pleadings are designed to present, define and narrow the issues, Section 2 tells us what pleadings are allowed by the Rules of Court.
to limit the proof to be submitted in the trial, to advise the court In a civil case, there are actually two (2) contending parties: (1) the
and the adverse party of the issues and what are relied upon as the person suing or filing a claim; and (2) the person being sued or
causes of action or defense. (71 CJS) defending.

The counterpart of pleadings in criminal procedure is information, Q: If you are the claimant or the plaintiff, in what pleading do you
or the criminal complaint where a prosecutor will tell what crime assert your claim?
you are being accused – what you did, time, the victim, etc. A: Complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third-party complaint or
fourth-party complaint, etc.
Construction of pleadings

On the other hand, if you are the party sued, you also have to file
In this jurisdiction, all pleadings shall be liberally construed so as to your pleading or your defense. It is known as the ANSWER. The
do substantial justice (Concrete Aggregate Corp. v. CA 266 SCRA defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading
88). Pleadings should receive a fair and reasonable construction in asserting a claim against him. If I file a complaint against you, in
accordance with the natural intendment of the words and language response, you will file an answer.

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In the last paragraph, an answer may be responded by a REPLY. I Sec. 3. Complaint – The complaint is the pleading alleging the
file a complaint. You file an answer invoking your defenses. If I plaintiff’s cause or causes of action. The names and residences of
want to respond to your defenses, I will file a REPLY. the plaintiff and defendant must be stated in the complaint.

COMPLAINT ANSWER REPLY Q: Define complaint.


A: COMPLAINT is the pleading where the plaintiff will allege his
That is the pattern. cause or causes of action. A complaint is also called the INITIATORY
PLEADING because it is actually the first pleading filed in court. It is
Q: Summarizing all of them, what are the known pleadings the pleading that initiates the civil action.
recognized by the law on Civil Procedure?
A: There are seven (7) types of pleadings: Rule 8 requires that it should contain a concise statement of the
1.) Complaint; ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action not
2.) Answer; evidentiary facts or legal conclusions.
3.) Counterclaim;
4.) Cross-claim; Ultimate facts refer to the essential facts constituting the plaintiff's
5.) Reply cause of action.
6.) Third (Fourth, Fifth, etc.) – Party Complaint;
7.) Complaint-in-Intervention. The fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the
statement of the cause of action insufficient.
Pleadings allowed under the Rules on Summary Procedure
Test of sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint:
Note however, that when a case falls under the Rules on Summary Determine whether upon the averment of facts, a valid judgment
Procedure, the only pleadings allowed to be filed are: may be properly rendered.
1. Complaint;
2. Compulsory Counterclaim; What are not ultimate facts:
3. Cross-claim pleaded in the Answer; and 1. evidentiary or immaterial facts;
4. Answers thereto (Sec. 3 [A]II, Rules on Summary 2. legal conclusions, conclusions or inferences of facts from facts
Procedure) not stated, or incorrect inferences or conclusions from facts stated;
3. the details of probative matter or particulars of evidence,
Permissive Counterclaims, third-party complaints, reply and statements of law, inferences and arguments;
pleadings-in-intervention are prohibited. (Sec. 9, IV) 4. an allegation that a contract is valid or void is a mere conclusion
of law.
Pleading and motion

1. the purpose of a pleading is to submit a claim or defense for For EXAMPLE: Mr. P wants to sue Mr. R to collect an unpaid loan.
appropriate judgment while the purpose of a motion is to apply for Mr. R borrowed money from Mr. P and refused to pay. Normally, it
an order not included in the judgment; starts with an introduction: “Plaintiff, through counsel, respectfully
2. a pleading may be initiatory like a complaint while a motion can alleges that…” Then it is followed by paragraphs which are
never be such as it is filed in a case that is already pending in court; numbered. For instance:
3. A pleading is always filed before judgment while a motion may
be filed after judgment; Illustration:
4. There are only 9 kinds of pleadings while any application for a
relief other a judgment can be made in a motion' however, there 1.) Plaintiff Mr. P, of legal age, is a resident of 79 P. del
are only three motions which actually seek judgment namely: a.) a Rosario St., Cebu City; whereas defendant Mr. R also of
motion for judgment on the pleadings (R 34); b.) a motion for legal age, is a resident of 29 Pelaez St. Cebu City where
summary judgment (R 35); c.) Demurrer to Evidence summons and other processes of this court may be
5. a pleading must be written while a motion may be oral when served;
made in open court or in the course of a hearing or trial. 2.) On Nov. 7, 2008, defendant secured a loan from plaintiff
in the sum of P30,000.00 payable within one (1) year
A.) COMPLAINT form said date with legal interest;

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3.) The account is already due and despite repeated A NEGATIVE DEFENSE – is the specific denial of the material fact
demands, defendant failed and refused to pay; or facts alleged in the pleading of the claimant essential to his
cause or causes of action.
PRAYER An AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE – is an allegation of a new matter
which, while hypothetically admitting the material allegations in
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be the pleading of the claimant, would nevertheless prevent or bar
rendered against the defendant ordering him to pay the loan of recovery by him.
P30,000.00 and interest in favor of the plaintiff.
Plaintiff further prays for such other reliefs as may be just and Defenses may either be negative or affirmative.
equitable under the premises.
b.) Answer; NEGATIVE DEFENSES;
Your allegations must contain the four (4) elements of a Cause of
Action – the Right, the Obligation, the Delict or Wrong or Violation Q: Define a NEGATIVE defense.
of Your Right, and the Damage. A: Paragraph [a]: Briefly, it is a defense of specific denial where you
deny the statement in the complaint and you state the facts and
the reason/s on which your denial is based. In a negative defense,
B.) ANSWER the defendant specifically denies a material fact or facts alleged in
the pleading of the claimant essential to his cause of action.
Sec. 4 – Answer – An answer is a pleading in which a defending
party sets forth his defenses. (4a) EXAMPLE: The complaint says in paragraph 2, “On November 6,
2008, defendant secured a loan from plaintiff in the amount of
P30,000.00 payable one (1) year from November 6,2008.
Q: What is the pleading where you respond?
A: It is called the ANSWER. That is where you will state your The defendant will say in his answer:
defenses. That is why an ANSWER is called a Responsive Pleading.
“Defendant specifically denies the allegation in Paragraph 2 of the
Q: Why is it called “Responsive Pleading”? complaint. The truth of the matter being that he never secured any
A: Because it is the pleading which is filed in response to the loan from plaintiff because he does not even know the plaintiff and
complaint or a pleading containing a claim. It is where you respond he did not see his face before.”
to the cause of action. That is where you state your defenses.
That is a negative defense. You said I borrowed money from you.
So you can file an answer to the complaint; answer to the “No, I don’t even know you. I have not seen you before.” He
counterclaim, answer to the cross-claim, etc. denies the existence of the loan. That is known as the negative
defense. It is a denial of a material fact which constitutes the
It is something which is not found in Criminal Procedure. plaintiff’s cause of action. That’s why it is briefly called a “Defense
of Specific Denial”.
Q: If you are charged with a crime, how do you answer?
A: By pleading guilty or not guilty. That is the answer. When you Insufficient denial or denial amounting to admissions:
plead guilty, and the offense is not punishable by reclusion 1. General denial; and
perpetua to death it is the end. 2. denial in the form of negative pregnant
There is no writing of defenses, no written answer in criminal
cases. It (pleadings) only applies to civil cases where you allege Negative pregnant is a denial in such form as to imply or express an
your defenses. admission of the substantial fact which apparently is controverted.
It is form of denial which really admits the important facts
Q: What are the defenses under the Rules? contained in the allegations to which it relates.
A: That is Section 5.
While it is a denial in form, its substance actually has the effect of
Sec. 5 – Defenses – Defenses may either be negative or an admission because of a too literal denial of the allegations
affirmative. sought to be denied. This arises when the pleader merely repeats
the allegations in a negative form.

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In the example above, when the answer states: bumped your car causing damages amounting to P50,000.00 for
"The defendant did not secure a loan from the plaintiff on Nov. 6, repair. Your allegation is based on negligence on my part.
2008 in the amount of P30,000.00 payable within one year."
My answer is denial: “That is not true! I deny that! I was the one
b.) Answer; AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES driving carefully and you were driving carelessly and negligently.
Therefore, if you are the proximate cause of the accident, I’m not
Q: Define an AFFIRMATIVE defense. liable for the damage of your car.” That’s my answer – I’m not
A: In paragraph (b), it is briefly called a defense of confession and liable because you are negligent. Because you were the one
avoidance because, while the defendant may admit the material negligent, my car was also damaged. I am not liable for the damage
allegation in the complaint, however, he will plead a new matter on your car. As a matter of fact, you are the one that should be
which will prevent a recovery by the plaintiff. I admit what you are held liable to pay for the damage of my car. I am now claiming for
saying in the complaint but still you are not entitled to recover the damage of P50,000.00. That is called COUNTERCLAIM.
from me.
Nature of a counterclaim
EXAMPLE: A counterclaim is in the nature of a cross-complaint. Although it
may be alleged in the answer, it is not part of the answer. Upon its
Defendant may say: Defendant admits the allegation in par. 2 of filing, the same proceedings are had as in the original complaint.
the Complaint, but alleges that the action has prescribed. For this this reason it is to be answered within ten (10) days from
service.
He confesses to having borrowed money but avoids liability by
asserting prescription. According to a lawyer who is fluent in Cebuano, he called it balos.
He was explaining to his client that they have counterclaim.
Examples of affirmative defenses are: fraud, statute of limitations,
release, payment, illegality, statute of frauds, estoppel, former Therefore, there is one civil case but there are two (2) causes
recovery, discharge in bankruptcy, and any other matter by way of involved – the main cause of action in the complaint and that in the
confession and avoidance. counterclaim. There are two (2) issues to be resolved by the court.

Suppose, you sue me for damages arising from breach of contract. Q: If your complaint against me is to recover a sum of money,
I admit I entered into a contract but I have no obligation to comply should my counterclaim also involve recovery of sum of money?
because the contract is null and void. Or, the contract is illegal. Or, A: NO. There is no such rule that these two (2) cases should be
the stipulation is contrary to public policy, therefore, I am not similar in nature. (De Borja vs. De Borja, 101 Phil. 911) It is possible
bound. I admit what you say but I am not liable because of the for you to file case for recovery of a piece of land and my
illegality of the subject matter of the contract. counterclaim is recovery of damages arising from a vehicular
accident.
Or, you sue me because according to you, I entered into a contract
and I refused to comply. So, you file a case against me for specific Q: Suppose your claim against me is One (1) Million, is it possible
performance or for damages. Then I say: “It’s true that I entered that my counterclaim against you is Two (2) Million?
into a contract with you. It’s true I did not comply. But there is A: YES. There is no rule which limits my counterclaim to the same
nothing you can do because the contract is oral and the contract is amount you are claiming. A counterclaim need not diminish or
covered by the statute of frauds. In order to be enforceable, we defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party, but may claim
should have reduced it into writing. Since we never reduced it into relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought by
writing, I am not bound to comply.” the opposing party. (De Borja vs. De Borja, 101 Phil. 911)

c.) COUNTERCLAIMS Q: You file a case against me for recovery of unpaid loan. My
counterclaim is, rescission of partnership contract. Is the
Sec. 6. Counterclaim. - A counterclaim is any claim which a counterclaim proper?
defending party may have against an opposing party. (6a) A: Yes although there is no connection between what you are
asking and what my answer is. But what is important is that we are
EXAMPLE: You file a case against me for damage to your car. the same parties. If you will not allow me to file my counterclaim
According to you in your complaint, while you were driving your car against you, that will be another case in the future. So to avoid
along the highway carefully, I came along driving recklessly and multiplying suits, clogging the dockets of the court and making the

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proceedings more expensive, violating the purpose of the rules, the


parties are allowed to include all their claims against each other in 1.) It is cognizable by the regular courts of justice;
one case. 2.) It arises out of or it is connected with a transaction or
occurrence constituting a subject matter of the opposing
Same capacity rule party’s claim;
3.) It does not require for its adjudication the presence of
third parties of whom the court cannot acquire
DE BORJA vs. DE BORJA jurisdiction;
101 Phil 911 4.) It must be within the jurisdiction of the court, both as to
the amount and the nature thereof, except that in an
FACTS: A died, of course, what survives after that is the estate. X original action before the RTC, the counterclaim may be
was appointed as administrator or legal representative. W owes a considered compulsory regardless of the amount; and
sum of money to the estate of A and X filed a case against W to 5.) The defending party has a counterclaim at the time he
collect the unpaid loan. X is called the REPRESENTATIVE PARTY files his answer.
under Rule 3, Section 3. W filed an answer and stated that W has a
claim against X. W filed a counterclaim against X in the case. The fifth requisite is not found in Section 7 but in Rule 11, Section
8:
HELD: The counterclaim is improper. When X sued W, X is not suing
in his own personal capacity. He is acting as administrator of the Rule 11, Sec. 8. Existing counterclaim or cross-claim. - A
estate of A. The real plaintiff is the estate of A. X is just the legal compulsory counterclaim or a cross-claim that a defending party
representative. Therefore, you cannot file a counterclaim against X has at the time he files his answer shall be contained therein. (8a,
in the latter’s personal capacity when X is suing W in a R6)
representative capacity.
Another way of saying it is, the counterclaim has already matured
The SC said that the plaintiff should be sued in a counterclaim in at the time he files his answer. That is the fifth requisite.
the SAME CAPACITY that he is suing the defendant. That’s a
principle to remember. Q: What happens if one of these requisites is missing?
A: If one of the five requisites is missing, the counterclaim is
permissive in nature.
PERMISSIVE & COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIMS
Discussion of the elements
Sec. 7 – Compulsory counterclaim – A compulsory counterclaim is
one which, being cognizable by the regular courts of justice, arises First Element: A COUNTERCLAIM TO BE COMPULSORY MUST BE
out of or is connected with the transaction or occurrence COGNIZABLE BY THE REGULAR COURTS.
constituting the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim and
does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties In other words, if you file a complaint against me and I have a
of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Such a counterclaim against you in the Labor Code, then it cannot be
counterclaim must be within the jurisdiction of the court both as classified as a compulsory claim because how can I invoke against
to the amount and the nature thereof, except that in the original you a claim which is cognizable by the NLRC before the RTC?
action before the Regional Trial Court, the counterclaim may be
considered compulsory.
Second Element: IT ARISES OUT OF OR IT IS CONNECTED WITH A
Under the Rules, there are two types of counterclaim. 1) TRANSACTION OR OCCURRENCE CONSTITUTING A SUBJECT
COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM and, 2) PERMISSIVE MATTER OF THE OPPOSING PARTY’S CLAIM
COUNTERCLAIM.
The second requisite is the most important. A counterclaim, to be
Q: How do you distinguish one from the other? When is a compulsory, must arise out of or connected with the transaction or
counterclaim compulsory and when is it permissive? occurrence constituting a subject matter of the opposing party
A: The ELEMENTS of a COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM are found in concerned. It must arise out of or is connected with a transaction
Section 7. If we will outline Section 7, we will see that a or occurrence constituting a subject matter of the opposing party’s
counterclaim is compulsory if the following requisites are present:

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claim. It must be logically related to the subject matter of the main HELD: “It has been postulated that while a number of criteria have
action. been advanced for the determination of whether the counterclaim
is compulsory or permissive, the one compelling test of
So the rule is, if the counterclaim did not arise out of or is not compulsoriness is the logical relationship between the claim
connected with the transaction or occurrence constituting the alleged in the complaint and that in the counterclaim, that is,
subject matter of the opposing party’s concern, the counterclaim where conducting separate trials of the respective claims of the
must be permissive in nature. parties would entail a substantial duplication of effort and time, as
where they involve many of the same factual and/or legal issues.”
PROBLEM: Emily filed a case against Regina for damages arising
from a vehicle collision. According to Emily, the case of the accident Logical Relationship Test
is the negligence of the defendant in driving her car. Her car
bumped the car of Emily and was damaged. So, Emily is holding The logical relationship test between the claim and the
Regina liable for the damage on her car. Regina denied that she counterclaim has been called: The one compelling test of
was negligent. According to Regina, “No, I am not negligent. As a “compulsoriness.” Under this test, any claim a party has against an
matter of fact, you (Emily) were the one negligent, and because of opposing party that is logically related to the claim being asserted
that negligence, my car was also damaged. So you should be the by the opposing party, and that it is not within the exception to the
one to pay damages.” rule is a compulsory counterclaim. Its outstanding quality is
Q: Is the counterclaim of Regina arising out of or is connected with flexibility. (Tan v. Kaakbay Finance Corporation 404 SCRA 518)
the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of
the opposing party? Q: What is the importance of determining whether the claim is
A: YES because we are talking of the same bumping. You bumped compulsory or permissive?
my car, you say I bumped your car. So we are talking of the same A: A compulsory counterclaim must be invoked in the same action.
event or transaction. It cannot be the subject matter of a separate action. Unlike in
permissive counterclaim where you have the choice of invoking it
PROBLEM: T files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land. in the same case, or in a separate action, compulsory counterclaim
According to her, she is the owner of the land which I’m occupying. must be invoked in the same action otherwise it will be barred.
Now, I file my answer, and then I said, “T, I spent a lot of money for That is found in Rule 9, Section 2:
necessary expenses to preserve the land. You are also liable to
reimburse me for the expenses for the necessary improvements I Rule 9, Sec. 2. Compulsory counterclaim, or cross-claim, not set up
introduced on the land.” Under the law on Property, a defendant barred. - A compulsory counter-claim or a cross-claim, not set up
or possessor is entitled to reimbursement for necessary shall be barred. (4a)
improvements and expenses. So she is trying to recover the piece
of land, I am now asking her to reimburse me for all necessary
expenses that I spent on the land. Let us try to apply that principle to the case cited.
Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of or connected with the subject
matter of your claim or not? PROBLEM: V files a case against me for damages arising from
A: YES. We are talking of the same subject matter. Thus, the vehicular collision. Her car is damaged, my car is damaged. In my
counterclaim is compulsory. answer, I denied negligence but I did not claim from her the
damage to my vehicle. After the trial, court found the plaintiff at
PROBLEM: T files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land. fault. So, the complaint of V. This time I will file a case against her
My counterclaim against her is damages arising from a vehicular to recover damages for the damage to my car since I was able to
collision. prove that she was negligent and not me.
Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of a subject matter of your Q: What will happen to my case now?
action? A: My case will be dismissed because I did not raise that cause of
A: NO. It is completely different. Thus, that is a permissive action as a counterclaim as it is compulsory.
counterclaim.
PROBLEM: A files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land.
After trial, the decision is against me. The court said that I should
MELITON vs. COURT OF APPEALS return the land to her. I will file a case against her. She moved to
216 SCRA 485 dismiss – barred, because I should have raised that as a
counterclaim. I cannot file another case involving that cause of

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action. That is the effect of failure to raise the compulsory Q: I will file a case against you for forcible entry. I want to recover a
counterclaim in the case filed against you. piece of land. Where is the jurisdiction of that case?
A: MTC.
PROBLEM: Now, suppose the counterclaim is PERMISSIVE. My
cause of action against her is damages arising against a vehicular Review: In the Law on Property, even if you are a possessor in bad
collision. faith, you are entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses.
The theory there is, even if he is a possessor in bad faith, the
Q: Is the counterclaim allowed? expenses redounded to the benefit of the land owner. Anyway, you
A: Yes, allowed. will spend them just the same as the land owner will have to spend
for them. So it will not be fair if he is not reimbursed. That’s our
Q: My decision is not to file a counterclaim but to file another case premise.
against her. Is that allowed?
A: Yes, that is allowed. Meaning, I may or may not raise it as a PROBLEM: Now, the defendant would like to claim for
counterclaim because it is permissive. I am permitted to raise it as reimbursement for the necessary expenses that he spent in my lot.
a counterclaim but I am not obliged. I may decide to file another The case I filed against you is forcible entry in the MTC. Your
action against you. That is the importance between a compulsory necessary expenses amount to P350,000.
counterclaim and a permissive counterclaim. Q: Should you raise it as a compulsory counterclaim in the forcible
entry case?
Third Requisite: IT DOES NOT REQUIRE FOR ITS ADJUDICATION A: NO.
PRESENCE OF THIRD PARTIES OF WHOM THE COURT CANNOT
ACQUIRE JURISDICTION. Q: Does it arise out of or connected with the transaction which is
the subject matter of the main action? Why not compulsory?
Meaning, if my counterclaim against you will involve the presence A: Because the MTC has no jurisdiction over the P350,000 amount
of an indispensable party who is, let’s say, abroad, and therefore, for the necessary expenses. This time, that is the missing element.
the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over him, if I don’t allege it as
counterclaim in my answer, I will not be barred from filing a Q: How will the defendant claim reimbursement?
separate action. A: He has to file with the RTC a case for reimbursement. He cannot
use that as a counterclaim for the forcible entry case because the
MTC has no jurisdiction on a counterclaim where the amount is
Fourth Element: THAT THE COUNTERCLAIM MUST BE WITHIN THE over P300,000.00.
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT BOTH AS TO THE AMOUNT AND
NATURE THEREOF. I will reverse the problem:
PROBLEM: The plaintiff filed against the defendant an action for
accion publiciana – recovery for a piece of land where the value of
Rules: the property is P1 million. So the case should be filed in the RTC.
1. A counterclaim before the MTC must be within the jurisdiction of Now, the defendant is claiming for the reimbursement of the
the said court, both as to the amount and nature thereof. improvements thereon (necessary expenses) amounting to
P50,000.
2. In an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim may be Q: Should the defendant raise that as a counterclaim in the accion
considered compulsory regardless of the amount. publiciana case?
A: YES.
3. However, the nature of the action is always material such that
unlawful detainer cannot be set up in the RTC. In the first example, the counterclaim is above the jurisdiction of
the MTC. This time, the amount for the counterclaim is below the
4. If a counterclaim is filed in the MTC in excess of its jurisdictional jurisdiction of the RTC. So the RTC can claim jurisdiction.
amount, the excess is considered waived (Agustin v. Bacalan GR No.
46000, March 18, 1985) Q: How can the RTC try a counterclaim when the claim is only
P50,000?
In Calo v. Ajax In'tl GR No. 22485, March 16, 1968, the remedy A: It is in accordance with the exception under Section 7: “except
where a counterclaim is beyond the jurisdiction of the MTC is to set that in an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim may be
off the claims and file a separate action to collect the balance. considered compulsory regardless of the amount.” This means that

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the main action is accion publiciana—RTC. The counterclaim is being sued. If he fails to invoke it, it is barred forever (Rule 9
reimbursement for necessary expenses with arose out of the same Section 2).
land. Normally, the RTC cannot try that but the answer to this If the counterclaim is permissive, the defendant has a choice of
question is YES. raising it as a counterclaim in the case filed against him or he may
decide to file another action against the plaintiff, raising it as his
The RTC can award a claim for damages even though the claim is cause of action. It is permitted but not obliged.
below its jurisdiction. The principle is: Since the counterclaim is
compulsory, jurisdiction over the main action automatically carries Compulsory and Permissive Counterclaim compared:
with it jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim. The
compulsory counterclaim is merely incidental to the main action. 1. A compulsory counterclaim arises out of or is necessarily
Jurisdiction of the RTC over the main action necessarily carries with connected with the transaction or occurrence that is the subject
it jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim which is merely matter of the other party's claim, while a permissive counterclaim
ancillary. is not;
2. A compulsory counterclaim does not require for its adjudication
If the main action is with the MTC, it cannot try the counterclaim the presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire
with the RTC. It is beyond its jurisdiction. It is not covered by the jurisdiction while a permissive counterclaim may require such;
exception. But if it is the main action which is within the jurisdiction 3. A compulsory counterclaim is barred it not set up in the action,
of the RTC, it can try a counterclaim which is below its jurisdiction while a permissive counterclaim is not;
provided it arose out or is connected with the transaction. 4.A compulsory counterclaim need not be answered, no default,
while a permissive counterclaim must be answered otherwise the
That exception is not written in the prior rules but it is a recognized defendant can be declared in default.
exception laid down by the SC which is now written down in the
law. In the case of A plaintiff who fails or chooses not to answer a compulsory
counterclaim may not be declared in default, principally because
MACEDA vs. COURT OF APPEALS the issues raised in the counterclaim are deemed automatically
176 SCRA 440 joined by the allegations of the complaint (Gojo v. Goyala, GR No.
26768, Oct. 30, 1970)
HELD: “The jurisdiction of the MTC in a civil action for sum of
money is limited to a demand that does not exceed P100,000 (now General rule:
P300,000) exclusive of interest and costs. A counterclaim beyond A compulsory counterclaim not set up in the answer is deemed
its jurisdiction and limit may be pleaded only by way of defense to barred.
weaken the plaintiff’s claim, but not to obtain affirmative relief.”
Exceptions:
1. if it is a counterclaim which either matured or was acquired by a
Fifth Requisite: THE DEFENDING PARTY HAS A COUNTERCLAIM AT party after serving his answer. In this case it may be pleaded by
THE filing a supplemental answer or pleading before judgment (Sec. 9 R
TIME HE FILES HIS ANSWER. 11);
2. When a pleader fails to set-up a counterclaim through oversight,
How can I make a claim against you which is not yet existing? Even inadvertence, excusable negligence, or when justice requires, he
if all the other requisites are present, the counterclaim would still may, by leave of court, set up the counterclaim by amendment of
not be compulsory because how can one invoke something now the pleading before judgment (Sec. 10, R 11).
which he can acquire in the future?
The filing of a motion to dismiss and the setting up of a compulsory
So, those are the five essential elements. You remove one, the counterclaim are incompatible remedies. In the event that a
counterclaim becomes permissive. defending party has a ground for dismissal and a compulsory
counterclaim, he must choose only one remedy. If he decides to file
Q: Again. What is the importance of distinguishing whether the a motion to dismiss, he cannot set up his counterclaim. But if he
counterclaim is compulsory or permissive? opts to set up his counterclaim, he may still plead his ground for
A: If the counterclaim is compulsory, the defendant is obliged dismissal as an affirmative defense in his answer.
under the law to raise it as a counterclaim in the action where he is
COUNTERCLAIMS IN CRIMINAL CASES

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NOTE: Here, the Javier ruling was set aside.


JAVIER vs. IAC HELD: “The logic and cogency of Javier notwithstanding, some
171 SCRA 605 reservations and concerns were voiced out by members of the
Court during the deliberations on the present case. These were
FACTS: The Javier spouses filed a criminal case against Leon engendered by the obvious lacuna in the Rules of Court, which
Gutierrez Jr, under BP 22 or the Bouncing Check Law, for issuing a contains no express provision for the adjudication of a
bad check. The criminal case was filed before the RTC of Makati. counterclaim in a civil action impliedly instituted in a criminal case.”
The complainants did not reserve the civil action. The implication is “By the foregoing discussion, we do not imply any fault in Javier.
that the claim for civil liability is deemed instituted with the The real problem lies in the absence of clear-cut rules governing
criminal case. the prosecution of impliedly instituted civil actions and the
Gutierrez in turn filed a civil action for damages against the Javier necessary consequences and implications thereof. For this reason,
spouses in the RTC of Catarman, Northern Samar, where he the counter-claim of the accused cannot be tried together with the
accused the spouses of having tricked him into signing the check. criminal case because, as already discussed, it will unnecessarily
What happened now is that he was being criminally sued in Makati complicate and confuse the criminal proceedings. Thus, the trial
but defending himself in Catarman, Northern Samar. He is court should confine itself to the criminal aspect and the possible
explaining in the Samar court what he should be doing in the civil liability of the accused arising out of the crime. The counter-
Makati court. claim (and cross-claim or third party complaint, if any) should be
set aside or refused cognizance without prejudice to their filing in
HELD: The civil case in Samar should be dismissed. It must be in the separate proceedings at the proper time.”
Makati court that Gutierrez, as accused in the criminal charge of “At balance, until there are definitive rules of procedure to govern
violation of BP 22, should explain why he issued the bouncing the institution, prosecution and resolution of the civil aspect and
check. He should explain that story in Makati and not in Samar. the consequences and implications thereof impliedly instituted in a
This should have been done in the form of a counterclaim for criminal case, trial courts should limit their jurisdiction to the civil
damages for the alleged deception by the Javier spouses. In fact, liability of the accused arising from the criminal case.”
the counterclaim was compulsory and should have been filed by
Gutierrez upon the implied institution of the civil action for This means SC admitted that the Javier doctrine put more problems
damages in the criminal case. and confusions in the absence of specific rules. The counterclaim
should not be tried together in a criminal case. The trial court
What the SC is saying is, since the civil action for damages is should confine itself in the criminal action and that the
impliedly instituted in the criminal case, and he wants to hold you counterclaim should be set aside without prejudice to its right in
liable for filing this case, he should file a counterclaim against you setting up actions in the civil action.
in the criminal case. What is unique was that for the first time in
the Philippine Procedural Law, SC laid down the rule that there is NOTE: The ruling in the case of CABAERO is now incorporated in
such thing as a counterclaim in a criminal case, because, normally, the last paragraph of Section 1, paragraph [a], Rule 111 of the 2000
counterclaims are only recognized in civil cases. But since the civil Revised Criminal Procedure:
action is deemed instituted in the criminal case, the accused can
file a counterclaim against the offended party in the criminal “No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be
action. filed by the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action
which could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a
The trouble in this ruling is that, it has been subjected to a lot of separate civil action.”
criticisms by academicians – professors of Remedial Law, authors –
they criticized the ruling. It provokes more problems than answers.
A justice of the SC remarked, “I think we made a mistake (privately D.) CROSS-CLAIMS
ba) in the Javier ruling. Kaya it was never repeated.
Sec. 8. Cross-claim. A cross-claim is any claim by one party against
The SC, in 1997, had another chance to comment on Javier in the a co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the
case of— subject matter either of the original action or of a counterclaim
therein. Such cross-claim may include a claim that the party
CABAERO vs. CANTOS against whom it is asserted is or may be liable to the cross-
271 SCRA 392, en banc claimant for all or part of a claim asserted in the action against
the cross-claimant.(7)

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same transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the


A cross claim is a claim by one party against a co-party. It may be a case filed by D against them.
claim by defendant against his co-defendant arising out of the
subject matter of the main action. PROBLEM: Suppose D files a case against J and P to collect a
promissory note signed by J and P and J alleges in his cross claim,
Examples: “Well, since we are already here, I also have a claim against P for
damages arising from a vehicular collision.”
In an action for damages against the judgment creditor and the Q: Is the cross-claim allowed in the problem?
Sheriff for having sold real property of the plaintiff, the Sheriff may A: NO. The cross-claim is improper. It has no connection with the
file a cross-claim against the judgment creditor for whatever complaint of D against J and P. A counter-claim must always arise
amount he may be adjudged to pay the plaintiff. out of a transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the
main action.
In an action against a co-signer of a promissory note one of whom
is merely an accommodation party, the latter may file a cross-claim BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a COUNTERCLAIM from a CROSS-
against the party accommodated for whatever amount he may be CLAIM.
adjudged to pay the plaintiff. A: The following are the distinctions:
1.) A COUNTERCLAIM is a complaint by the defendant
J and P are solidary debtors for the sum of P100,000.00 because against the plaintiff, whereas,
they signed a promissory note in favor of D to collect the sum of A CROSS-CLAIM is a claim by a defendant against a co-defendant;
P100,000.00. However, although J signed the promissory note, he
did not get a single centavo. Everything went to P. Both of them are 2.) The life of the CROSS-CLAIM depends on the life of the
now sued. According to J, “Actually there is a possibility that I will main action. A cross-claim is merely a consequence of
pay the P100,000 to Dean when actually I did not even get a single the case filed by the plaintiff against the defendants. No
centavo out of it. Everything went to P!” Therefore, J will now file a main action, no cross-claim (RUIZ, JR. vs. CA, infra).
case against P where he will allege that if J will be held liable to D, P Whereas,
will reimburse him (J). So, J will also file a claim in the same action In a COUNTERCLAIM, you can kill the main action, still the
against P. counterclaim survives.

Now, the claim filed by J against his co-defendant P is called a 3.) A COUNTERCLAIM may be asserted whether or not it
CROSS-CLAIM where J is called defendant in the case filed by D and arises out of the same transaction or occurrence that is
a cross-claimant against P. P is also the defendant in the case filed the subject matter of the action, whereas,
by D and a cross-defendant with respect to the cross-claim filed by A CROSS-CLAIM must always arise out of the same transaction or
J. So that is another case which a defendant is filing against another occurrence that is the subject matter of the action.
defendant.
Example: P case filed against J to collect a loan. J files a
Limitations on Cross-Claim COUNTERCLAIM against P to recover a piece of land. That is
allowed and that is a permissive counterclaim. But suppose D files a
1. Must arise out of the subject matter of the complaint or case to collect a loan against J and P. J files a CROSS-CLAIM against
counterclaim; P to recover a piece of land.
2. Can be filed only against a co-party; and Q: Will it be allowed?
3. Is proper only when the cross claimant stands to be A: Not allowed! It has no connection with the subject matter of the
prejudiced by the filing of the action against him. main action.

Purpose
To settle in a single proceeding all the claims of the different Take note that a cross-claim is any claim by one party against a co-
parties in the case against each other in order to avoid multiplicity party arising out of the transaction of occurrence that is the subject
of suits (Republic vs. Paredes, GR No. L-12548, May 20, 1960). matter of the original action or of a counterclaim therein. So, a
cross-claim may arise either out of the original action or counter-
Take note that the cross-claim of J against P is merely an off-shoot claim therein.
of the case filed by D against J and P. Meaning, it arises out of the

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EXAMPLE: J and P file a case against D. D files his answer with a car and that my car was damaged.” So, P filed a
counterclaim against the plaintiffs J and P. So J and P will now counterclaim against Mortz and Charles for the damage
become defendants with respect to the counterclaim filed by D. So of the car.
J now can file a cross-claim against P arising out of the
counterclaim. COUNTERCLAIM OF PAO
Defendant PAO, now plaintiff
HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE: -versus-
Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now defendants
1.) Mortz and Charles, plaintiffs, filed a case against Jet and
Pao, defendants. There are two plaintiffs suing two 6.) But Charles says, “I’m not the owner of the car but
different defendants on a promissory note. Both Jet and Mortz. So he files a cross-claim against Mortz:
Pao signed the promissory note in favor of Mortz and
Charles: CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM OF PAO
Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-claimant
COMPLAINT (Collection case – Main Action): -versus-
MORTZ and CHARLES, plaintiffs Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-defendant
-versus-
JET and PAO, defendants
There are six (6) cases which are to be decided in the same action.
2.) Now, according to Jet, every centavo of the loan went to This rarely happens, but it is possible under the rules. The obvious
Pao. So Jet files a cross-claim against Pao: PURPOSE of these is to avoid multiplicity of suits and toward these
CROSS-CLAIM ON THE MAIN ACTION ends. According to the SC, the rules allow in a certain case and
Defendant JET, now cross-claimant even compel a petitioner to combine in one litigation these
-versus- conflicting claims most particularly when they arise out of the same
Defendant PAO, now cross-defendant transaction. The rule does not only allow a permissive counterclaim
but the parties are even compelled to raise them in a compulsory
counter-claim.
3.) Jet also says, “Actually I have a case against Mortz and
Charles because they entered my land and gathered
some of its product”. So, he filed a counterclaim against RUIZ, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
both Mortz and Charles. In the counter-claim of Jet, the 212 SCRA 660
defendants are Mortz and Charles for the accounting of
the improvements on the land: FACTS: Dean files a case against Jet and Pao. Jet files a cross-claim
against Pao. After a while, the case against Jet and Pao was
COUNTERCLAIM OF JET dismissed.
Defendant JET, now plaintiff
-versus- ISSUE: What happens to the cross-claim of Jet against Pao?
Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now co-defendants
HELD: When the main action was dismissed, the cross-action must
4.) Mortz now will answer the counterclaim of Jet, “Actually, also be dismissed. The life of a cross-claim depends on the life of
the damages on land was not caused by me but Charles. the main action. If the main action is dismissed, the cross-claim will
So Mortz files a cross-claim against co-plaintiff Charles have to be automatically dismissed.
arising out to the counterclaim of Jet: “A cross-claim could not be the subject of independent
adjudication once it lost the nexus upon which its life depended.
CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM OF JET The cross-claimants cannot claim more rights than the plaintiffs
Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-claimant themselves, on whose cause of action the cross-claim depended.
-versus- The dismissal of the complaint divested the cross-claimants of
Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-defendant whatever appealable interest they might have had before and also
made the cross-claim itself no longer viable”
5.) Now, according to Pao, “Actually last month, a car
owned by both of you (Mortz and Charles) bumped my Whereas, the counterclaim can exist alone without the complaint.

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

Sec. 10. Reply. A reply is a pleading, the office or function of which


EXAMPLE: Pao filed a case against Jet for the recovery of a piece of is to deny, or allege facts in denial or avoidance of new matters
land. Jet’s counterclaim is damages arising from a vehicular alleged by way of defense in the answer and thereby join or make
accident. If the complaint is dismissed the counterclaim of Jet can issue as to such new matters. If a party does not file such reply, all
still remain alive even if the main action is dead. the new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted.
If the plaintiff wishes to interpose any claims arising out of the
new matters so alleged, such claims shall be set forth in an
But in a cross-claim, once the main action is dead, the cross-claim is amended or supplemental complaint.(11)
also automatically dead too. What is there to reimburse when the
complaint has been dismissed? ILLUSTRATION: Plaintiff files a complaint against a defendant to
There is an opinion to the effect that the dismissal of the complaint collect an unpaid loan. D files his answer and raises a new matter,
carries with it the dismissal of a cross-claim which is purely affirmative defense. According to the defendant, the obligation is
defensive but not a cross claim seeking an affirmative relief. already paid. Plaintiff said that you have paid the other loan. In
other words, the plaintiff would like to deny or dispute the
If a cross-claim is not set up it is barred: except defendant’s affirmative defense of payment.
1. when it is outside the jurisdiction of the court;
2. if the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over third parties whose Q: Can I file a pleading to dispute your defense?
presence is necessary for the adjudication of said cross-claim. In A: Yes, that pleading is called a REPLY.
which case, the cross-claim is considered permissive;
3. cross-claim that may mature or may be acquired after service of Q: How do you classify a reply?
the answer (Riano 2007, p. 285) A: It is a responsive pleading because it is the response of
the plaintiff to the affirmative defense raised in the defendant’s
answer.
COUNTER COUNTERCLAIM and COUNTER CROSS-CLAIM
An answer is a response to the complaint and the reply is a
Sec. 9. Counter-counterclaims and counter-cross-claims. A response to the answer.
counterclaim may be asserted against an original counter-
claimant. Q: Assuming that you would like to answer my reply, what
A cross-claim may also be filed against an original cross- pleading would you file?
claimant.(n) A: None. That is the last pleading. So, reply is considered as
the last pleading.
Section 9 is a new provision. There is such a thing as counter-
counterclaim and counter-cross-claim. The concept of counter- Effect of failure to file a reply
counter-claim is not new. As a matter of fact, that was asked in the Q: Suppose I filed a complaint, you filed an answer invoking
bar years ago. payment. I failed to reply. What is the effect if the plaintiff fails to
reply? Is he admitting the correctness of the defense?
EXAMPLE: C filed against you an action to collect a loan. You filed a A: No. As a general rule, the failure to file a reply has no
counterclaim against her to recover a piece of land. Of course, she effect. Section 10 says that if a party does not file such reply, all the
has to answer your counterclaim. But she will say, “Actually you new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted.
have been molesting me with your claim when actually you have Meaning, all the affirmative defenses raised in the answers are
no right over my land.” So, she files an injunction to stop you from automatically denied.
molesting her. In other words, based on your counter-claim against So, whether you file a reply or not, the defenses are deemed
her to recover my land, she will file a counterclaim to stop you automatically disputed. The filing of a reply is OPTIONAL.
from molesting her. In effect, there is counterclaim to a
counterclaim. Exceptions:
1. Where the answer is based on an actionable document (Sec. 8 R
COUNTER-CROSS-CLAIM. 8); and
2. To set up affirmative defenses in the counterclaim ((Rosario vs.
E.) REPLY Martinez, GR No. L-4473, Sept. 30, 1952)
Note:

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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
CIVIL PROCEDURE
Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

Only allegations of usury in a Complaint to recover usurious It is a procedural device whereby a “third party” who is neither a
interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath. Hence, if party nor privy to the act or deed complained of by the plaintiff,
the allegation of usury is contained in an answer it is not necessary may be brought into the case with leave of court, by the defendant,
for the plaintiff to file a reply thereto in order to deny that who acts as third-party plaintiff to enforce against such third-party
allegation under oath. (Regalado, p. 146) defendant a right for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any
other relief, in respect of the plaintiff’s claim. The third-party
A reply should not be confused with the answer to a counterclaim complaint is actually independent of and separate and distinct from
which is also filed by the plaintiff. the plaintiff’s complaint. Were it not for this provision of the Rules,
it would have to be filed independently and separately from the
Q: Give the distinctions between ANSWER TO COUNTER-CLAIM and original complaint by the defendant against the third party.
REPLY.
A: The following: The purpose of a third-party complaint is to enable a defending
1.) A REPLY is a response to the defenses interposed by the party to obtain contribution, indemnity, subrogation or other relief
defendant in his answer, whereas from a person not a party to the action.
An ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is a response to a cause of
action by the defendant against the plaintiff;
EXAMPLE : A plaintiff files a case against a defendant to collect a
2.) The filing of a REPLY is generally optional, whereas loan when there are two solidary debtors and one of them is
The filing of an ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is generally compelled to pay everything so that defendant will drag into the
mandatory under Rule 11 because if the plaintiff fails to file an picture the co-debtor for contribution or indemnity. If the two of
answer to the counterclaim, he will be declared in default on the them were sued as defendants, all one has to do is to file a cross-
counterclaim. claim against his co-defendant. BUT since only one is sued, the
remedy is to avail of Section 11.
OUTLINE OF FLOW OF PLEADINGS
Take note that filing a third-party complaint is not a matter of right.
THERE MUST BE LEAVE OF COURT, unlike counterclaim or
PLAINTIFF DEFENDANT cross-claim, where you do not need any motion or leave of court.

1. Complaint

2. a.) Answer There is a close relationship between a cross-claim and a third-


b.) Counterclaim party complaint because a cross-claim must arise out of the subject
3. a.) Reply to answer matter of the main action. A third-party complaint must be also
b.) Answer to related to the main action. It cannot be a cause of action which has
counterclaim no relation to the main action.
4. Reply to answer to counterclaim
EXAMPLE: The plaintiff files a case against the surety and the
principal debtor, so both of them are defendants, and the surety
seeks reimbursement for whatever amount he may be compelled
to pay the plaintiff. What kind of pleading would he file against his
F. THIRD (FOURTH, ETC.) – PARTY COMPLAINT
co-defendant (the principal debtor)? CROSS-CLAIM.
Sec. 11. Third, (fourth, etc.) - party complaint. A third (fourth, etc.)
BUT if the plaintiff files a case ONLY against the surety, because
party complaint is a claim that a defending party may, with leave
anyway the principal debtor is not an indispensable party and the
of court, file against a person not a party to the action, called the
surety would like to seek reimbursement from the person who
third (fourth, etc.) party defendant, for contribution, indemnity,
benefited from the loan, he cannot file a cross-claim against
subrogation or any other relief, in respect of his opponent's claim.
anybody because he is the lone defendant. It is possible for him to
(12a)
just file an answer. If he loses and pays the plaintiff, then he will file
another case against the principal debtor for reimbursement.
THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT is the procedure for bringing into a case
a third person who is not a party to the case.

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Justice Gabriel T. Ingles’ Notes Compilation

But if he wants everything to be resolved in the same case, what third-party complaint and have the sub-lessee for subrogation
kind of pleading will he file? He must resort a THIRD-PARTY because actually, you stepped into the shoes when you occupied
COMPLAINT and implead the principal debtor. the leased property. (Articles 1651 and 1654, New Civil Code)

The PURPOSE of a third-party complaint is for the third party For ANY OTHER RELIEF IN RESPECT TO THE OPPONENTS CLAIM
plaintiff to ask the third party defendant for:
1.) Contribution; EXAMPLE: When I buy the property of Mr. Cruz and after a while,
2.) Indemnity; here comes Mr. Dee filing a case against me to claim ownership of
3.) Subrogation; or the land. But I bought it from Mr. Cruz who warranted that he is
4.) any other relief in respect to the opponent’s claim. the real owner. So I will now file third-party complaint against Mr.
Cruz to enforce his warranty – warranty against eviction. (Article
1548, New Civil Code)
CONTRIBUTION:

Example #1: Two debtors borrowed P100,000 from Janis (creditor) Take note that there is always a connection between the main
and they shared the money 50-50. When the debt fell due, the complaint and the third-party complaint because the condition is
creditor filed a case against one of them. So, one of them is being “contribution, indemnification, subrogation and any other relief in
made to pay the P100,000. Not only his share but also his co- respect to your opponents claim.” There is always a relation
solidary debtor. So if I am the one liable when actually my real between the third party-complaint and the main complaint against
liability is only 50,000. What will I do? I will file a third party you. Here is a bar question...
complaint against my co-debtor for contribution.
BAR QUESTION: Janis files a case against Nudj to recover an unpaid
Example #2: If Andrew and Carlo are guilty of a quasi-delict and the loan. Now the reason is that Carlo also owes Nudj. Nudj says, “I
injured party files an action for damages against Andrew only, cannot pay you because there is a person who has also utang to
Andrew may file a third-party complaint against Carlo for me. What I will pay you depends on his payment to me.” File agad
contribution, their liability being solidary (Article 2194, New Civil si Nudj ng third-party complaint against Carlo. Is the third-party
Code) complaint proper?
A: NO. There is no connection between the main action and the
3rd-party complaint – the loan of Nudj to Janis and the loan of
INDEMNIFICATION: Andrew to Nudj. Walang connection. Anong pakialam ni Janis sa
utang ni Andrew kay Nudj? Not in respect to his opponent’s claim.
Example #1: Two people signed a promissory note in favor of the
creditor. But actually the entire amount went to you and none for BAR QUESTION: How do you determine whether a 3rd-party
me. When the note fell due, I was the one sued. So I will file a complaint is proper or improper? What are the tests to determine
third-party complaint against you for indemnity. You have to its propriety?
return to me every centavo that I will pay the creditor. A: Case of

Example #2: A surety sued for recovery of debt by the creditor may CAPAYAS vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
file a third-party complaint against the principal debtor for 77 PHIL. 181
indemnity. (Article 2047, New Civil Code)
HELD: There are four (4) possible tests to determine the propriety
SUBROGATION: of a third-party complaint. In order for it to be allowed, it must
pass one of them. That is the reason when you file it, you need the
Subrogation - You step into the shoes of someone else. Your permission of the court to determine whether it is proper or not
obligation is transferred to me. and the original plaintiff may object to the propriety of the third-
party complaint.
EXAMPLE: Wh