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RULE 1

 MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL., vs CA (G.R. No. 75919 May 7, 1987) OVERTURNED
AND REVERSED BY SUN INSURANCE CASE
FACTS:

Originally, this was a case of an action for torts and damages and specific performance with a prayer for a temporary
restraining order. In the present case the damages were not specifically stated in the prayer but was alleged in the body of the
complaint which assessed 78.75 million as damages suffered by the petitioner. The amount of the docket fee paid was only
410.00. With leave of court the petitioner then amended the complaint with the inclusion of additional co-plaintiffs and by
eliminating any mention of the amount of damages in the body of the complaint thereby reducing the amount of damages to 10
million pesos only.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over the case when the correct and proper docket fee has not been
paid.
2. Whether or not the case has commenced by filing a case with insufficient docket fee.

RULING:

No.

The trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case by the payment of only 410.00 as docket fee. Neither can the
amendment of the complaint thereby vest jurisdiction upon the Court. The basis of assessment of the docket fee should be the
amount of damages sought in the original complaint and not in the amended complaint. All complaints, petitions, answers and
other similar pleadings should specify the amount of damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in
the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to
comply with this requirement shall not bib accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from the record.

As reiterated in the Magaspi case the rule is well-settled "that a case is deemed filed only upon payment of the docket fee
regardless of the actual date of filing in court.”

As provided for in section 5, Rule 1 of the Revised Rules of Court:

Section 5. Commencement of action. — A civil action is commenced by the filing of the original complaint in court. If an
additional defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is commenced with regard to him on the dated of the
filing of such later pleading, irrespective of whether the motion for its admission, if necessary, is denied by the court. (6a)

Thus, in the present case the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case by the payment of only P410.00 as docket
fee. Neither can the amendment of the complaint thereby vest jurisdiction upon the Court. For any legal purposes there is no
such original complaint that was duly filed which could be amended. Consequently, the order admitting the amended
complaint and all subsequent proceedings and actions taken by the trial court are null and void.

To put a stop to this irregularity, henceforth all complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the
amount of damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said damages shall be
considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to comply with this requirement shall not bib
accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from the record.

The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. An amendment of the
complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court, much less the payment of the docket fee
based on the amounts sought in the amended pleading. (COMPARE WITH THE PREVAILING DOCTRINE IN THE CASE OF
SUN INSURANCE VS ASUNCION).
 SUN INSURANCE OFFICE VS ASUNCION (G.R. 79937-38, FEBRUARY 13, 1989)
Facts:

SUN INSURANCE filed a case for the consignation of premiums on a fire insurance policy with a prayer for the judicial
declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong. Private respondent was declared in default for failure
to file the required answer within the reglementary period. Meanwhile, the Respondent Manuel Tiong also filed a case against
Sun Insurance for the refund of premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment, seeking the payment of actual,
compensatory, moral, exemplary and liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, expenses of litigation, and costs of suit, but the
damages sought were not specifically stated in the prayer, although it may be inferred from the body of the complaint that it
would amount to about P50M. In the body of the original complaint, the total amount of damages sought amounted to about
P50 Million. In the prayer, the amount of damages asked for was not stated. The amount of only P210.00 was paid for the
docket fee. On January 23, 1986, private respondent filed an amended complaint wherein in the prayer it is asked that he be
awarded no less than P10, 000,000.00 as actual and exemplary damages but in the body of the complaint the amount of his
pecuniary claim is approximately P44, 601,623.70. Said amended complaint was admitted and the private respondent was
reassessed the additional docket fee of P39,786.00 based on his prayer of not less than P10,000,000.00 in damages,
which he paid.

On April 24, 1986, private respondent filed a supplemental complaint alleging an additional claim of P20,000,000.00 in
damages so that his total claim is approximately P64,601,620.70. On October 16, 1986, private respondent paid an additional
docket fee of P80,396.00. After the promulgation of the decision of the respondent court on August 31, 1987 wherein private
respondent was ordered to be reassessed for additional docket fee, and during the pendency of this petition, and after the
promulgation of Manchester, on April 28, 1988, private respondent paid an additional docket fee of P62, 132.92. Although
private respondent appears to have paid a total amount of P182,824.90 for the docket fee considering the total amount
of his claim in the amended and supplemental complaint amounting to about P64,601,620.70, petitioner insists that
private respondent must pay a docket fee of P257,810.49.

Issue:

Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over the case despite the insufficient payment of docket fees.

Ruling:

YES.

The ruling in the Manchester Development Corporation vs CA states: "The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon
the payment of the prescribed docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction
in the Court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended pleading. The ruling in the
Magaspi Case in so far it is inconsistent with this pronouncement is overturned and reversed."

The principle in Manchester could very well be applied in the present case. The pattern and the intent to defraud the
government of the docket fee due it are obvious not only in the filing of the original complaint but also in the filing of the
second amended complaint.

However, in Manchester, petitioner did not pay any additional docket fee until the case was decided by this Court on May 7,
1987. Thus, in Manchester, due to the fraud committed on the government, this Court held that the court a quo did not acquire
jurisdiction over the case and that the amended complaint could not have been admitted inasmuch as the original complaint
was null and void.

In the present case, a more liberal interpretation of the rules is called for considering that, unlike Manchester, private
respondent demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the additional docket fees as required. The
promulgation of the decision in Manchester must have had that sobering influence on private respondent who thus paid the
additional docket fee as ordered by the respondent court. It triggered his change for stance by manifesting his willingness to
pay such additional docket fee as may be ordered.
Thus, the Court rules as follows:

1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket
fee that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the
initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a
reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.

2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be
considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may also allow payment of said fee
within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.

3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of the
prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same
has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It
shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the
additional fee.

 HEIRS OF REINOSO VS CA 604 SCRA 1 7/10/11


Facts:

In 1979, Ruben Reinoso was a passenger in a jeepney owned by Tapales which was traversing through E. Rodriguez Ave. The
said jeepney collided with a truck owned by Guballa which resulted to the instantaneous death of Ruben Reinoso. His heirs
filed the instant case for Damages against Tapales and Guballa. In 1988, the RTC found the Truck liable and held its owner
liable for damages sustained by the Heirs of Reinoso and the jeepney owner. The case was litigated before the RTC which
rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners and against Guballa. . In 1994, CA motu propio dismissed the petition on the
ground of nonpayment of docket fees pursuant to the 1987 Manchester ruling. Reinoso’s defense: Manchester should not
be made to apply retroactively to their case as the case was filed prior to the promulgation of Manchester ruling.

Issue:

Whether or not the dismissal made by the Court of Appeals was proper due to the nonpayment of docket fees.
Ruling:

No.

The rule is that payment in full of the docket fees within the prescribed period is mandatory. In Manchester v. Court of Appeal
sit was held that a court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. The strict
application of this rule was, however, relaxed two (2) years after in the case of Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion, wherein
the Court decreed that where the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by the payment of the docket fee, the court may allow
payment of the fee within a reasonable period of time, but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
This ruling was made on the premise that the plaintiff had demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the
additional docket fees required. Thus, in the more recent case of United Overseas Bank v. Ros, the Court explained that where the
party does not deliberately intend to defraud the court in payment of docket fees, and manifests its willingness to abide by the
rules by paying additional docket fees when required by the court, the liberal doctrine enunciated in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.,
and not the strict regulations set in Manchester, will apply. It has been on record that the Court, in several instances, allowed
the relaxation of the rule on non-payment of docket fees in order to afford the parties the opportunity to fully ventilate their
cases on the merits. In the case of La Salette College v. Pilotin, the Court stated:

Notwithstanding the mandatory nature of the requirement of payment of appellate docket fees, we also recognize that its strict
application is qualified by the following: first, failure to pay those fees within the reglementary period allows only
discretionary, not automatic, dismissal; second, such power should be used by the court in conjunction with its exercise of
sound discretion in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play, as well as with a great deal of circumspection in
consideration of all attendant circumstances.
While there is a crying need to unclog court dockets on the one hand, there is, on the other, a greater demand for resolving
genuine disputes fairly and equitably, for it is far better to dispose of a case on the merit which is a primordial end, rather than
on a technicality that may result in injustice.

In this case, it cannot be denied that the case was litigated before the RTC and said trial court had already rendered a decision.
While it was at that level, the matter of non-payment of docket fees was never an issue. It was only the CA which motu
propio dismissed the case for said reason.

Considering the foregoing, there is a need to suspend the strict application of the rules so that the petitioners would be able to fully
and finally prosecute their claim on the merits at the appellate level rather than fail to secure justice on a technicality, for, indeed,
the general objective of procedure is to facilitate the application of justice to the rival claims of contending parties, bearing always
in mind that procedure is not to hinder but to promote the administration of justice.

The Court also takes into account the fact that the case was filed before the Manchester ruling came out. Even if said ruling
could be applied retroactively, liberality should be accorded to the petitioners in view of the recency then of the ruling.

 RULE 2

 AMONOY VS GUTIERREZ 2/15/2001


Facts:

This case had its roots in Special Proceedings No. 3103 of Branch I of the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, for the settlement of the estate of
the deceased Julio Cantolos, involving six (6) parcels of land. Amonoy was the counsel of Francisca Catolos, Agnes Catolos,
Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda. On 12 January 1965, the Project of Partition submitted was approved and two (2) of
the said lots were adjudicated to Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda. The attorney’s fees charged by Amonoy was
P27,600.00 and on 20 January 1965 Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda executed a deed of real estate mortgage on the
said two (2) lots adjudicated to them, in favor of Amonoy to secure the payment of his attorneys fees. But it was only on 6
August 1969 after the taxes had been paid, the claims settled and the properties adjudicated, that the estate was declared
closed and terminated. Subsequently, Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Fornilda passed away and among the heirs of the latter
was his daughter, plaintiff-appellant Angela Gutierrez.

Because his attorney’s fees thus secured by the two lots were not paid, Amonoy filed for their foreclosure and judgment was
rendered in favor of Amonoy requiring the heirs to pay within 90 days the P27,600.00 secured by the mortgage, P11,880.00 as
value of the harvests, and P9,645.00 as another round of attorneys fees. Failing in that, the two (2) lots would be sold at public
auction.

They failed to pay. On 6 February 1973, the said lots were foreclosed and on 23 March 1973 the auction sale was held where
Amonoy was the highest bidder at P23,760.00. On 2 May 1973 his bid was judicially confirmed. A deficiency was claimed and
to satisfy it another execution sale was conducted, and again the highest bidder was Amonoy at P12,137.50.

Included in those sold was the lot on which the Gutierrez spouses had their house.

More than a year after the Decision the said decedent’s heirs filed before the CFI a suit for the annulment and the case was
dismissed by the CFI and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Thereafter, the CFI issued a Writ of Possession and pursuant to
which a notice to vacate was made on 26 August 1985. On Amonoy’s motion were issued for the demolition of structures in the
said lots, including the house of the Gutierrez spouses but a temporary restraining order was granted by the SC on 2 June 1986
enjoining the demolition of the petitioners houses.

But by the time the Supreme Court promulgated the Decision, respondents house had already been destroyed,
supposedly in accordance with a Writ of Demolition ordered by the lower court.
Thus, a Complaint for damages in connection with the destruction of their house was filed by respondents against petitioner
before the RTC and dismissed respondents suit. On appeal, the CA set aside the lower courts ruling and ordered petitioner to
pay respondents P250,000 as actual damages. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was also denied.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in deciding that the petitioner [was] liable to the respondents for damages.

Ruling:

Yes. . Damnum absque injuria finds no application to this case.

Petitioner invokes this legal precept in arguing that he is not liable for the demolition of respondents house. He maintains that
he was merely acting in accordance with the Writ of Demolition ordered by the RTC.

True, petitioner commenced the demolition of respondents house on May 30, 1986 under the authority of a Writ of Demolition
issued by the RTC. But the records show that a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), enjoining the demolition of respondents
house, was issued by the Supreme Court on June 2, 1986 and was served on petitioner himself on June 4, 1986.

Petitioner, however, did not heed the TRO of this Court. The SC agreed with the CA that he unlawfully pursued the demolition
of respondent’s house well until the middle of 1987. This is clear from Respondent Angela Gutierrezs testimony.

Although the acts of petitioner may have been legally justified at the outset, their continuation after the issuance of the TRO
amounted to an insidious abuse of his right. Indubitably, his actions were tainted with bad faith. Had he not insisted on
completing the demolition, respondents would not have suffered the loss that engendered the suit before the RTC. Verily, his
acts constituted not only an abuse of a right, but an invalid exercise of a right that had been suspended when he received the
TRO from this Court on June 4, 1986. By then, he was no longer entitled to proceed with the demolition.

Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse of rights, sets certain standards which may be
observed not only in the exercise of ones rights but also in the performance of ones duties. These standards are the following: to
act with justice; to give everyone his due; and to observe honesty and good faith. The law, therefore, recognizes the primordial
limitation on all rights: that in their exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19 must be observed. A right,
though by itself legal because recognized or granted by law as such, may nevertheless become the source of some illegality.
When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to
another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible.

Clearly then, the demolition of respondents house by petitioner, despite his receipt of the TRO, was not only an abuse but also an
unlawful exercise of such right. In insisting on his alleged right, he wantonly violated this Courts Order and wittingly caused the
destruction of respondent’s house.

Obviously, petitioner cannot invoke damnum absque injuria, a principle premised on the valid exercise of a right. Anything less or
beyond such exercise will not give rise to the legal protection that the principle accords. And when damage or prejudice to
another is occasioned thereby, liability cannot be obscured, much less abated.

In the ultimate analysis, petitioner’s liability is premised on the obligation to repair or to make whole the damage caused to
another by reason of ones act or omission, whether done intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by law.