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VENUE

Q: Plaintiff filed a complaint before RTC Manila involving real property assailing the validity of
the contracts allegedly executed. Plaintiff contended that he never contracted any with the
defendant as he had been living and working in Vietnam at the date of execution of contracts.
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue. The contract provides
that the venue stipulation may only be exclusively brought in the courts of Makati City, and
as such, plaintiff’s complaint should be dismissed for having been filed in the City of Manila.
Whose contention is tenable?

A: Plaintiff’s contention is tenable. A complaint directly assailing the validity of the written
instrument itself should not be bound by the exclusive venue stipulation contained therein
and should be filed in accordance with the general rules on venue. However, it must be
emphasized that plaintiff’s complaint directly assails the validity of the subject contracts,
claiming forgery in their execution. Given this circumstance, plaintiff cannot be expected to
comply with the aforesaid venue stipulation, as his compliance therewith would mean an
implicit recognition of their validity. Hence, pursuant to the general rules on venue, plaintiff
properly filed his complaint before a court in the City of Manila where the subject property is
located. (Briones vs. CA, GR 204444)