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INTRODUCTION A: This is because the Constitution provides that “the judicial

power shall be vested in one Supreme Court (SC) and in such


other lower courts as may be established by law.” (Art. VIII,
Section 1, 1987 Constitution.
1. Major divisions in law:
The reason that the law creates different courts is to divide the
a) Substantive law – a part of law which creates, cases or judicial power among them so that one court may not
defines or regulates rights concerning life, liberty be burdened with so many cases.
or property, or the powers of agencies or
instrumentalities for the administration of public So, judicial power is not exercised only by one court, but by
affairs. (Primicias vs. Ocampo 49 OG 2230) several courts.

b) Procedural/Adjective/Remedial Law – prescribes There is a division of labor and this division is done thru
the method of enforcing rights or obtaining delineating jurisdiction among courts. Jurisdiction will be
redress for their violation. (Bustos v. Lucero 81 discussed in the following parts.
Phil.
640,650)
2.) Judge

2. Sources of Remedial law:


Just as corporations cannot act without its officers, a court
cannot function without a judge. But do not say that the court
a) The Constitution and the judge mean the same thing. The judge is the person or
b) Laws creating the judiciary officer who presides over a court.
c) Laws defining and allocating jurisdiction to
different courts Q: Distinguish court from judge.
d) Rules promulgated by the SC
e) circulars, administrative orders, internal rules
A: The following are the distinctions:
and
SC decisions
1.) Court is the entity, body, or tribunal vested
with a portion of the judicial power, while
3. Scope of Remedial Law:
judge is the person or officer who presides
over a court.
a) Constitution
b) Civil Procedure (Rules 1 to 56 and other related
2.) Judges are human beings – they die, they
laws);
resign,
c) Provisional Remedies (Rules 57 to 61);
they retire, they maybe removed. The court
d) Special Civil Actions (Rules 62 to 71) continues to exist even after the judge presiding
e) Special Proceedings (Rules 72 to 109) over it ceases to do so. In the Supreme Court, for
f) Criminal Procedure (Rules 110 to 127) example, the justices presiding over it are not the
g) Evidence (Rules 128 to 133) same justices who presided it in the early part of
h) Katarungang Pambarangay Law (RA 7160) and this century yet the Court in some decisions
Implementing rules states that “as early 1905, ‘WE’ have already ruled
i) Revised Rules on Summary Procedure. such as such…” Why do they use ‘WE’? They are
j) Rules on Small Claims Case talking about the court, they are not talking about
k) Rules on Environmental Cases themselves. The court is continuous. It does not
die alongside with the justices who presided on it.
JUDICIAL POWER includes the duty of the courts of justice
to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine 3.) The two concepts may exist independently of each
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion other, for there may be a court without a judge or
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of a judge without a court. (Pamintuan vs. Llorente,
any branch or instrumentality of the Government. (Sec. 1, 29 Phil. 342)
Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution)
3.) Hearing and Trial
The power of judicial review is the Supreme Court's power
to declare a law, treaty, international or executive
agreement, presidential decree, proclamation, order, Hearing is not synonymous with trial. The words “hearing” and
instruction, ordinance or regulation unconstitutional. “trial” have different meanings and connotations. Trial may refer
to the reception of evidence and other processes. It embraces
Basic concepts in Remedial Law the period for the introduction of evidence by both parties.
Hearing, as known in law, is not confined to trial but embraces
1.) Court the several stages of litigation, including the pre-trial stage. A
hearing does not necessarily mean presentation of evidence. It
does not necessarily imply the presentation of oral or
Describe it.
documentary evidence in open court but that the parties are
There is a table, a gavel, there is someone sitting there. Then
afforded the opportunity to be heard. (Republic v.
below, there are lawyers sitting down. But actually, what is
Sandiganbayan, 416 SCRA 133)
described is a courtroom and not a court.

HIERARCHY OF THE COURTS


Similarly, when you are asked to describe a corporation, you
will refer to the building, the office, the employees etc. But a
corporation, as you know in Persons, is a juridical entity. It is a In the 1996 BAR: One of the questions in Remedial Law was:
creature of the law. It is a person under the law but it has no State the hierarchy of the Courts in the Philippines.
physical existence.
a.) Regular courts
A court has no physical existence, only a legal one.
SUPREME COURT
Q: What is a court?

A: A court is an entity or body vested with a portion of the


judicial power. (Lontok vs. Battung, 63 Phil. 1054)

Q: Why ‘portion’ only?

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COURT OF APPEALS may be determined by law.. It was law that created the
Sandiganbayan (PD 1486).

The CA, RTC, and the MTC are created by the Congress.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS So there is only one Constitutional court. All the rest, from the
CA down and all other special courts, are only creatures of
Congress.

MetTC MTCC MTC MCTC In political law, the power to create carries with it the power to
abolish. That is why, BP 129 abolished all existing courts at
that time (CFI, CA, Juvenile and Domestic courts, etc.) and
Note:
RTC, IAC, MTC were created. That was the judicial
reorganization of 1980 under BP 129. But there is only one
MetTC- In Manila court which the Batasan Pambansa could not touch – the
Supreme Court.
MTCC- cities outside Manila e.g. Cebu, Davao
SUPERIOR COURTS vs. FIRST-LEVEL
MTC- municipalities such as Minglanilla, Argao COURTS Q: Distinguish superior courts from inferior
courts.
MCTC- circuitized areas because it is impractical and expensive
to maintain one MTC in every municipality.
A: SUPERIOR COURTS, otherwise known as courts of general
b.) Special courts jurisdiction, are those which take cognizance of all kinds cases,
whether civil or criminal, and possess supervisory authority
over lower courts. The refer to these courts which have the
There are also Special Courts which are also considered part of
power of review or supervision over another lower court.
the judiciary. These are:
1. Court of Tax Appeals (RA 1125)
2. Sandiganbayan (PD 1486 as amended) INFERIOR COURTS, otherwise known as courts of special or
3. Sharia District Courts and the Sharia Circuit limited jurisdiction, are those which take cognizance of certain
Courts (PD 1083 , also known as the Code of specified cases only. (14 Am. Jur. 249) They are those which, in
relation to another are lower in rank and subject to review and
Muslim Personal Law);
supervision of the latter.
4. Family Courts

Q: What courts are superior or inferior?

Policy of Judicial Hierarchy


A: It DEPENDS from what viewpoint you are looking at it. If you
are looking from the viewpoint of the Constitution, there is only
This policy means that a higher court will not entertain direct one superior court – the Supreme Court.
resort to it unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the
appropriate courts.
From the viewpoint of other laws, the Court of Appeals (CA)
maybe inferior to the SC but it is a superior court for it
While it is true for example that the Supreme Court, Court of exercises supervision over RTC. In the same manner that the
Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts have concurrent original RTC might be inferior to the SC and the CA but it has also
jurisdiction to issue writs of Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandfamus, power of supervision over MTC. The jurisdiction of the RTC is
such concurrence does not accord litigants unrestrained varied. It is practically a jack of all trade. The RTC has also the
freedom of choice of the court to which the application for the power of supervision over MTC.
writ may be directed. The application should be filed with the
court of lower level unless the importance of the issue involved
A superior court may therefore handle civil, criminal cases while
deserves the action of the court of the higher level.
an inferior court may try specified cases only. The SC, CA
including the RTC are considered as superior courts.
4.) Classification of courts in general.
The MTC is a first-level (inferior) court so that its power is
A: Generally, courts may be classified as: limited to specified cases despite of the law which expanded the
1. Constitutional and Statutory Courts; jurisdiction of the MTC. It does not have any supervisory
2. Superior Courts and First-Level courts (inferior authority over any lower court.
courts);
3. Courts of Original jurisdiction and Courts of Appellate
ORIGINAL COURT vs. APPELLATE COURT
jurisdiction;
4. Civil Courts and Criminal Courts; Q: Distinguish original court from appellate court.
5. Courts of law and Courts of equity;
6. Courts of record; probate Courts; Land Registration A: ORIGINAL COURTS are those where a case is originally
Courts; Ecclesiastical Courts; Military Courts commenced, while APPELLATE COURTS are those where a case
is reviewed. (Ballentine's Law Dict., 2nd Ed., p. 91)
CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS vs. STATUTORY COURTS
So, if you are filing a case for the first time, that case is filed in
Q: Distinguish Constitutional Courts from Statutory Courts.
an original court. But the case does not necessarily end there.
You may bring the case to the appellate court which has the
A: CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS are created directly by the power to change the decision of the original court.
Constitution itself, while STATUTORY COURTS are created by
law or by the legislature. The first cannot be abolished by Q: Is the SC an original or appellate court?
Congress without amending the Constitution while the second
can be so abolished by just simply repealing the law which
created them. A: The SC is both an original and an appellate court. The SC
has original jurisdiction on cases of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, etc. There are certain cases where one may file
In our country, there is only one Constitutional court – the directly to the SC.
Supreme Court. Even the Sandiganbayan is not considered a
Constitutional court because it was not created by the
Constitution directly. The 1973 Constitution, particularly Art. Q: Is the CA an original or appellate court?
XIII, Section 5 ordered the then National Assembly to create a
special court to be known as the Sandiganbayan which shall
have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft
and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed by
public officers and employees, including those in government-
owned or controlled corporations in relation to their office as

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A: The same is true with the CA. It is both original and appellate ESTOPPEL
court. (Section 9, BP 129) When we study the jurisdiction of the
CA, you will see that it is both an original and an appellate Estoppel is an equitable doctrine which means that it is not fair
court. There are cases which are elevated to it from the RTC, that you disown your own representation after misleading
but there are also cases which are filed there for the first time somebody. But if you look at the Civil Code, there is a chapter
like an action for annulment of an RTC judgment. on estoppel. So if you apply estoppel, you cannot say that you
are applying a principle not found under the law.
Q: How about the RTC? Is the RTC an original or appellate
court? LACHES

A: The RTC is also both original and appellate court. You can It is considered to be the half-brother of prescription because it
file certain cases there for the first time, and there are also means if you delay a certain right then you must have no right.
decisions of the MTC which are appealable to the RTC. That is more of equity, rather than of law.

Q: How about the MTC? Is the MTC an original or appellate SOLUTIO INDEBITI
court?
No one should enrich himself at the expense of another. That is
A: The MTC however, is a 100% original court. It is the lowest a principle of equity. But if you look at the Civil Code, it's there!
court in the hierarchy. There are no cases appealed to it. There ALONZO vs. IAC - May 28, 1987
is no such animal as barangay court. The barangay captains do
not decide cases, they only conciliate.
HELD: “The question is sometimes asked, in serious inquiry or
in curious conjecture, whether we are a court of law or a court
CIVIL COURTS vs. CRIMINAL COURTS of justice. Do we apply the law even if it is unjust or do we
administer justice even against the law? Thus queried, we do
Q: Distinguish civil courts from criminal courts. not equivocate. The answer is that we do neither because we are
a court both of law and of justice. We apply the law with justice
for that is our
A: CIVIL COURTS are those which take cognizance of civil cases
mission and purpose in the scheme of our Republic.”
only, while CRIMINAL COURTS are those which take cognizance
of criminal cases only. (14 Am. Jur. 249; Ballentine's Law Dict.,
2nd Ed., p. 301) COURTS OF RECORD

All the courts in the Philippines are both civil and criminal
Those whose proceedings are enrolled and which are bound to
courts. They can handle both types of cases. The SC decides
keep a written record of all trials and proceedings handled by
civil and criminal cases. The same is true with the CA, RTC and
them. RA 6031 mandates all MTCs to be courts of record.
MTC.

PROBATE COURTS
So, in the Philippines, there is no such thing as a 100% criminal
court or civil court. During the 70's there was the old Circuit
Criminal Court. As the name implies, it is purely a criminal Those which have jurisdiction over settlement of estate of
court. But with other courts, this was abolished by BP 129. deceased persons.

With the abolition of those special courts, all their powers were LAND REGISTRATION COURTS
transferred to the present RTC. Right now, there is no such
thing as a 100% civil court or a 100% criminal court. So, all our Those which have jurisdiction over registration of real properties
courts are both civil and criminal courts at the same time. under the Torrens System.
COURTS OF LAW vs. COURTS OF EQUITY
INHERENT POWERS OF THE COURT
Q: Distinguish Courts of Law from Courts of Equity.
Before we leave the concepts of courts, we must know that the
A: COURTS OF LAW are tribunals administering only the law of courts of justice have what we call inherent powers. Just like
the land, whereas COURTS OF EQUITY are tribunals which the State have certain inherent powers, namely; Police power,
rule according to the precepts of equity or justice, and are power of taxation, and power of eminent domain.
sometimes called “courts of conscience.” (Ballentine’s Law Dict.,
2nd Ed., p. 303) Their very existence automatically necessitates the existence of
these powers.
Courts Of Law dispose cases according to what the promulgated
law says while Courts Of Equity adjudicate cases based on the Q: What are the inherent powers of the court?
principles of equity. Principle of equity means principles of
justice, fairness, fair play or of what is right and just without
inquiring into the terms of the statutes. A: Section 5 Rule 135 of the Rules of Court provides:

Q: Are the Philippine courts, courts of law? Or courts of Section 5. Inherent powers of courts. Every
equity? Do they decide cases based on what the law says or court shall have the power:
based on the principle of justice and fairness?
(a) to preserve and enforce order in its
A: In the Philippines, our courts, original or appellate, are both immediate presence;
courts of law and of equity. (U.S. vs. Tamparong 31 Phil. 321)
(b) to enforce order in proceedings before it,
or before a person or persons empowered
In the case of substantive law, there is a thin line which divides
to conduct a judicial investigation under
the principle of law from the principle of equity because
its authority;
principles of equity are also found in the principles of law.
Equity is what is fair and what is just and equitable. Generally,
what is legal is fair. (c) to compel obedience to its judgments
orders, and processes, and to the lawful
orders of a judge out of court, in a case
As a matter of fact under the Civil Code, when the law is silent, therein;
you decide it based on what is just and fair, thus, the saying
EQUITY FOLLOWS THE LAW. In the Philippines you cannot
distinguish sometimes the principle of law and the principle of (d) to control, in furtherance of justice, the
conduct of its ministerial officers, and of
equity because principles of equity are also written in the law.
all other persons in any manner connected
Example: The principles of estoppel, laches or solutio indebiti
with a case before it, in
are no longer purely principles of equity since they are also
every manner
found in our law. Under the Civil Code, when there is no
appertaining thereto;
applicable law, courts still have to decide according to customs
and general principles.

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(e) to compel the attendance of persons to Cagayan de Oro and the family is here in Cebu City. They filed a
testify in a case pending therein; petition for habeas corpus here in Cebu City. Is it proper?

(f) to administer or cause to be administered No. Cebu City belongs to the 7th Judicial Region while Cagayan
oaths in a case pending therein, and in all de Oro is in the 11 th or 12th Judicial Region. The law is very
other cases where it may be necessary in clear: writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
the existence of its powers; habeas corpus and injunction issued by a trial court may be
enforced in any part of the region.
(g) to amend and control its process and
orders so as to make them conformable to b) Section 3 further says, all other writs are enforceable
law and justice; anywhere in the Philippines. Suppose the MTC issues
a warrant for the arrest of the accused in the criminal
(h) to authorize a copy of a lost or destroyed case, and he fled to Baguio City, such warrant can be
pleading or other paper to be filed and enforced there. This includes summons, writs of
used instead of the original, and to restore, execution or search warrants.
and supply deficiencies in its records and
proceedings.
ASPECTS OF REMEDIAL LAW

SITUATION: Suppose I have the power to decide and I render a Q: Give the two (2) aspects of Remedial Law.
decision. I want to enforce the decision, how do I enforce? Well,
usually the law provides for the procedure.
A: There are 2 aspects of Remedial Law:
Q: But suppose the law does not provide for any manner to
enforce? For example a judge has rendered a decision, and
the law is silent on how to enforce it, do you mean to say 1.) PUBLIC ASPECT – one which affords a remedy in
that the order is unenforceable because the law is silent. favor of the State against the individual
(e.g. criminal procedure) or in favor of
the individual against the State (e.g.
A: NO. Section 6 of Rule 135 answers the question.
habeas corpus) on the other hand,

SEC 6. Means to carry jurisdiction into effect –


2.) PRIVATE ASPECT – one which affords a remedy in
When by law jurisdiction is conferred on a
favor of an individual against another
court or a judicial officer, all auxiliary
individual, like the rules on civil
writs, processes and all other means to
procedure. (Gamboa’s Introduction to
carry it into effect maybe employed by
such court or officer; and if the procedure Philippine Law, 6th Ed., pp. 97-99)
to be followed in the exercise of such
jurisdiction is not specifically pointed out BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LAW ON CIVIL PROCEDURE IN
by law or these rules, any suitable process THE PHILIPPINES
or mode of proceeding may be adopted
which appears conformable to the spirit of The origin of our law on procedure is American. Forget the law
said law or rules. on procedure during the Spanish regime. But the first known
ancestor of the law on Civil Procedure was the old Act 190,
What Section 6 is trying to say is that when courts have the otherwise known as the Code of Civil Procedure, which was
power to decide, they have the power to enforce. And if the law enacted on August 7, 1901 by the United States and Philippine
is silent, judges have to think of how to do it provided they Commission.
conform to the spirit of the rule. So they should not make the
order useless simply because there is no rule. That is part of And that was the law until 1940 because on July 01,1940 the
their power. SC enacted the Rules of Court which we now call the Old Rules
of Court. That continued for another 24 years until January 01,
ENFORCEABILITY OF COURT WRITS AND PROCESSES 1964 when the SC enacted the Revised Rules of Court repealing
the Old Rules of Court. And that continued for another 33 years
Another provision that should be emphasized is Section 3 of the until July 01,1997 where the SC enacted and which took effect
Interim Rules. on that day (July 01, 1997) the New Rules on Civil Procedure.

Question: The court of Cebu issues a writ or a process. Can SUMMARY:


that writ or process be enforced in Manila? What is the extent of
the enforceability of a writ issued by a court? 1.) First Law – August 07, 1901 – Act 190 – Code of
Under Section 3, Interim Rules: Sec. 3. Civil Procedure (40 years)
2.) Second Law – July 01, 1940 – Old Rules of Court
Writs and Processes. - (24 years)
3.) Third Law – January 01, 1964 – Revised Rules of
Court (33 years)
a) Writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, 4.) Fourth Law – July 01, 1997 – New Rules of Civil
quo warranto, habeas corpus and Procedure.
injunction issued by a regional trial court
may be enforced in any part of the region.
SOURCES OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
b) All other processes whether issued by the
RTC or MetTC, MCTC, and MTC may be Well of course the sources are almost the same as the prior law.
served anywhere in the Philippines, and, The old Rules of Court is also a source. Many provisions were
the last three cases, without a certification taken from the 1964 Rules, substantive law like the Civil Code
by the judge of the RTC. and jurisprudence. And of course SC circulars. Many circulars
are now incorporated under the new rule. So those are the main
sources.
A: Under Section 3 of the Interim Rules, you have to distinguish
what kind of writ or process you are talking about:
SOURCES
a) If it is a writ of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo
warranto, habeas corpus, injunction, it can be 1. Previous Rules of Court;
enforced anywhere within the region. So at least, RTC 2. Jurisprudence;
can enforce it within the region and it cannot enforce 3. New Civil Code;
those writs outside the region. 4. SC Circulars

EXAMPLE: If you are illegally detained, you can ask the court to RULE-MAKING POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT
issue a writ of habeas corpus. Now, a person is detained in

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The Rules of Court (1940, 1964, 1997) have all been enacted by Fuentes, 2 SCRA 1168 [1961]) Correctness or rightfulness of the
the SC. It is law, not enacted by Congress but enacted by the decision relates to the exercise of and not to the authority itself.
SC.
The test of jurisdiction is whether the court has the power
Q: What is the authority of the SC to enact a law when to enter into the inquiry and not whether the decision is
actually the role of the judiciary is only to interpret the right or wrong. (Herrera vs. Barreto, 25 Phil. 245)
law? Is this not a violation of the separation of powers?
Duty of the court to determine its jurisdiction
A: The authority of the SC in enacting the prior rules and the
present rules is what you call its rule-making power which It is the duty of the court to consider the question of
provision was found in the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. jurisdiction before it looks at other matters involved in the
Based on the present law, the rule-making power of the SC is case. It may, and must, do this on its own motion without
expressed in Article VIII, Section 5, paragraph [5] which is waiting for the question of jurisdiction being raised by any
substantially the same as the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions of the parties involved in the proceeding (20 Am Jur 2d,
which states that: the SC "shall promulgate the rules Courts, S 92). Courts are bound to take notice of the limits
concerning the protection and enforcement of of their authority and they may act accordingly by
constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in dismissing the action even thought the issue of jurisdiction
all courts.” is not raised or not even suggested by counsel (Ace
Publicatiions vs. Commissioner of Customs, 11 SCRA 147)
LIMITATIONS TO THE RULE-MAKING POWER OF
THE SC Q: What is the effect if the court has no jurisdiction or of
absence or lack of jurisdiction?
The Constitution has also placed limitations on these powers.
As currently worded, one limitation provided for by the Article is A: If a court has no jurisdiction, it has no power or
“the rules of procedure to be enacted by the SC "shall provide authority to try a case and because it has no authority it
for a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy must not exercise it. Exercise of absent authority or power
disposition of cases.” The second one is: “the rules shall be is necessarily nothing. Thus, without jurisdiction, the
uniform for all courts of the same grade.” And the third is: entire proceedings would be null and void.
“the rules shall not diminish, increase or modify
substantive rights.” The only recourse for the court, absent jurisdiction, is to
dismiss the case motu proprio or on motion for without
LIMITATIONS authority it cannot act.

1. The Rules of Court shall provide a simplified and Q: What about if it has jurisdiction?
inexpensive procedure for the
speedy A: It is the duty of the court to exercise the jurisdiction
disposition of cases; conferred upon it by law and to render a decision in a case
2. The Rules of Court shall be uniform for all courts properly submitted to it. Failure to do so may be enforced
of the same grade; and by way of a mandamus proceeding (20 Am Jur. 2d, S 93).
3. The Rules of Court shall not diminish, modify or
increase substantive rights. Constitutional Guarantee of Access to Courts and
Jurisdiction
Substantive rights are created by substantive law so the Rules
of Procedure should not increase, diminish or modify them. In The Constitutional guarantee of access to courts refers to
effect, the Rules of Court should not amend the substantive law. courts with appropriate jurisdiction as defined by law. It
It can only interpret substantive law but should not change it does not mean that a person can go to any court for redress of
completely. Those are the limitations. With that we are now grievances regardless of the nature or value of his claim.
ready to tackle the 1997 rules on civil procedure. (Santos III v. Northwest Airlines, 210 SCRA 256 [1992])

JURISDICTION IN GENERAL JURISDICTION vs. EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION

The word JURISDICTION is derived from 2 Latin words: 1.) Q: Distinguish jurisdiction from exercise of jurisdiction.
JURIS – law; 2.) DICO – to speak, or to say. So, in effect, when A: Jurisdiction pertains to the authority to hear and decide
you say jurisdiction, literally translated, it means, “I speak by a case. Any act of the court pursuant to such authority,
the law.” It means that you are saying “I speak with authority” including the decision and its consequences is exercise of
because when you invoke the law, then your act is authorized. jurisdiction.

So when you say, “I speak by the law” you mean I will do it in The authority to decide a case, not the decision rendered, is
the name of the law. It connotes authority or power. what makes up jurisdiction. It does not depend upon the
regularity of the exercise of that power or upon the rightfulness
So jurisdiction implies authority or power to act. of the decision made. Where there is jurisdiction over the person
and subject matter, the resolution of all other questions arising
in the case is but an exercise of jurisdiction. (Herrera vs.
But what act or acts is/are authorized? Barreto, 25 Phil. 245)

If we relate jurisdiction to courts, it means authority or the


Q: Why is it important to distinguish jurisdiction from exercise
power to hear, try and decide a case. So jurisdiction means the
of jurisdiction?
power or authority of the court to hear, try and decide a case.
In its complete aspect, jurisdiction includes not only the
powers to hear and decide a case, but also the power to A: Definitely, a court acting as such may commit errors or
enforce the judgment (14 Am. Jur. 363-364) as the mistakes and questioned later before a higher court. The
judgment or decree is the end for which jurisdiction is procedure or remedy in case of a mistake or error would be
exercised, and it is only through the judgment and its dependent on whether it is an error of jurisdiction or an
execution that the power of the court is made efficacious error in the exercise of jurisdiction also known as error of
and its jurisdiction complete (21 CJS, Courts, S 9). The judgment.
power to control the execution of its decision is an
essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cannot be the subject of EXAMPLE: A case of murder was filed in the MTC. The accused,
substantial subtraction and the most important part of the Ken Sur, files a motion to quash because MTC has no
litigation is the process of execution of decisions jurisdiction over cases of murder. But the court denied the
(Echegaray vs. Sec. of Justice, 301 SCRA 96). motion to quash. Meaning, the judge has decided to assume
Test of Jurisdiction jurisdiction. What is the error committed?

Since jurisdiction refers to power or authority to hear, try and When the court without authority assumes authority over the
decide a case, it cannot depend on the correctness or case that is called ERROR OF JURISDICTION – the court
rightfulness of the decision made. (Century Insurance Co. v. committed an error of jurisdiction.

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EXAMPLE: Suppose the case for murder is filed in the RTC When the court does not conduct a pre-trial conference which is
where the court has jurisdiction. But in the course of the trial, it mandatory under the rules.
committed mistakes like the court misinterpreted or misapplied
the provision of the RPC or the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Q: In whom is jurisdiction vested?
What error is committed?
A: Jurisdiction is vested in the court, not in the judge. A
Obviously the RTC has the authority to hear and decide the case court may be a single sala or may have several branches
and therefore acted with authority or jurisdiction. There is no (multiple sala). If the latter, each is not a court distinct and
error of jurisdiction. separate from the others. So, when a case is filed before a
branch, the trial may be had or proceedings may continue
However, in the exercise of such authority it committed a before another branch or judge. (Tagumpay vs. Moscoso, L-
mistake, thus, the error committed is error in the exercise of 14723, May 29, 1959)
jurisdiction, also known as error of judgment.
EXAMPLE: The RTC of Cebu City is composed of several
Q: Is the proceeding null and void? branches – 22 all in all. But technically, there is only one court
– the RTC of Cebu City.
A: NO. What is committed is an error in the exercise of Q: Now, if the case is filed and is assigned to Branch 8, can that
jurisdiction and if not corrected the error can become final and case later be transferred and continued in Branch 9?
executory. In other words, if not objected to, it will stay.
A: YES, because you never left the same court. You are still in
ERROR OF JURISDICTION vs. ERROR OF JUDGMENT the same court. This is because jurisdiction is not with the
judge. It is with the court itself.
Distinguish ERROR OF JURISDICTION from ERROR OF
But there is only one branch of RTC-Bogo, can RTC-Cebu City
JUDGMENT. take jurisdiction over its cases?

No because they are different courts and jurisdiction is attached


A: The following are the distinctions: to the court.

1.) When a court acquires jurisdiction over the subject TYPES OF JURISDICTION:
matter, the decision or order on all other
questions arising in the case is but an Types of jurisdiction:
exercise
of jurisdiction; Errors which the court may 1.) Based on cases tried: General Jurisdiction
commit in the exercise of such jurisdiction, and
like errors of procedure or mistakes in the Special or Limited Jurisdiction;
court's findings, are merely ERRORS OF 2.) Based on the nature of the cause: Original
JUDGMENT; Jurisdiction and Appellate Jurisdiction; and
whereas, 3.) Based on the nature and extent of exercise:
Exclusive Jurisdiction and Concurrent or
When a court takes cognizance of a case over the Coordinate Jurisdiction;
subject matter of which it has no jurisdiction, 4.) Based on situs; Territorial jurisdiction and
or acts in excess of jurisdiction or with grave extra-
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of territorial jurisdiction.
jurisdiction, the court commits an ERROR OF
JURISDICTION.(GSIS vs. Oliza 304 SCRA
1. GENERAL JURISDICTION and SPECIAL OR LIMITED
421).
JURISDICTION

2.) When the court acts without authority (error of


a.) GENERAL JURISDICTION is the authority of the court
jurisdiction) such act would be null and void or at
to hear and determine all actions and suits, whether
least voidable, but if the court has authority but civil, criminal, administrative, real,
commits a mistake in the exercise of such personal or mixed. It is very broad – to hear and try
authority (error of judgment) such mistake will practically all types of cases. (14 Am. Jur. 249; Hahn
bind unless corrected vs. Kelly, 34 Cal. 391)

3.) ERRORS OF JURISDICTION are reviewable by


the b.) SPECIAL or LIMITED JURISDICTION is the
extraordinary writ of certiorari; whereas, ERRORS OF authority of the court to hear and determine
JUDGMENT are reviewable by appeal. particular cases only. Its power is limited. (14 Am.
Jur. 249; Hahn vs. Kelly, 34 Cal. 391)
An error of judgment should be raised on ordinary appeal, not
by certiorari because certiorari is only confined to correcting Example: In criminal cases, the MTC has jurisdiction over
errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. The governing offenses where the penalty imposable does not exceed 6 years
rule is that the remedy of certiorari is not available when the while beyond 6 years they are triable before the RTC.
remedy of appeal is available or even if available, when it will
not be a speedy and adequate remedy. And when the remedy of
If you examine the jurisdiction of the MTC, it has a limit but
appeal is lost, you cannot revive it by resorting to certiorari
because certiorari is not a substitute for the lost remedy of none for the RTC.
appeal.
The same applies in civil cases as we shall learn.
Lack of jurisdiction and excess of jurisdiction
2. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION and APPELLATE JURISDICTION
They are distinguished thus: the respondent court or tribunal
acts without jurisdiction if it does not have the legal power a.) ORIGINAL JURISDICTION is the power of the court
to determine the case; where the respondent, being clothed to take cognizance of a case at its inception or
with the power to determine the case, oversteps its commencement. (Ballentine’s Law Dict., 2nd Ed.,
authority as determined by law, it is performing a function pp. 91 and 917)
in excess of its jurisdiction (Vette Industrial Sales Company
Inc. vs. Cheng, 509 SCRA 532).
b.) APPELLATE JURISDICTION is the power vested in
a superior court to review and revise the judicial
Example of excess of jurisdiction: action of a lower court. (Ballentine’s Law Dict.,
2nd Ed., pp. 91 and 917) If one court has the
power to correct the decision of a lower court, the
power of this court is appellate. This is because it

6
is commenced somewhere else and it is just 2. Jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and
reviewing the decision of the said lower court. 3. Territorial jurisdiction, i.e. the case should be filed in
the place where the crime was committed.
Note that in certiorari petition, the action of the superior court is
not to correct but to annul. The power exercised by the superior Q: What are the elements of jurisdiction in civil cases?
court is the power of control and supervision over an inferior
court, not appellate, that is, to limit the inferior court within its
A: The following:
jurisdiction, its authority.

a.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter ;


3. EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION and CONCURRENT OR
b.) Jurisdiction over the person of the parties to
COORDINATE
the case;
JURISDICTION
c.) Jurisdiction over the res; and
d.) Jurisdiction over the issues.
a.) EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION is that possessed by a
court to the exclusion of all others.
Q: Now, what happens if in a particular case one of these is
missing?
b.) CONCURRENT or COORDINATE JURISDICTION is
that possessed by the court together with another
A: The proceedings become questionable. The proceedings
or other courts over the same subject matter, the
become void. The judgment is not binding. That is the
court obtaining jurisdiction first retaining it to the
effect of lack of jurisdiction. The proceedings are tainted
exclusion of the others, but the choice of court is with illegality and irregularity.
lodged in those persons duly authorized to file the
action. (Villanueva vs. Ortiz, 58 O.G. 1318, Feb.
12, A. JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER
1962)
Q: Define jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Q: Are there certain types of cases or petitions where I can file it
directly with the SC or file with the CA or file it with the RTC? A: Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the power of the court
to hear and determine cases of the general class to which
the proceedings in question belong. (Banco Español-Filipino
A: YES and the best example is a petition for HABEAS
vs. Palanca, 37 Phil. 291)
CORPUS. The SC, CA and RTC share concurrent jurisdiction
to entertain petitions for habeas corpus.
In other words, it is the jurisdiction over the nature of the
action. In criminal cases you have light, less grave and grave
In effect, these are the instances when the SC, CA and RTC
offenses. In civil cases we have such actions as actions for sum
exercise concurrent jurisdiction. There can also be concurrent
of money, actions not capable of pecuniary estimation, real and
jurisdiction among branches of a multiple sala court.
personal actions, action in rem, action in personam etc. This is
what we call the NATURE or classification OF THE ACTION.
Exclusionary Principle
When a complaint is filed in court, the basic questions that ipso
The court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes all others. facto are to be immediately resolved by the court on its own are:
a) What is the nature of the action filed?
Another principle that may be relevant is the policy of judicial b) Does the court have authority to try and determine
hierarchy. that class of actions to which the one before it
belongs?
4. TERRITORIAL AND EXTRA-TERRITORIAL
Jurisdiction over the “subject matter” is not to be confused
Territorial jurisdiction - exercised within the limits of the place with the term “subject matter of the action”.
where the court is located.
Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is the proper ground
Extra-territorial jurisdiction - exercised beyond the confines of for a motion to dismiss. This is broad enough to include the
the territory where the court is located. “nature of the action.” The term should not be confused with
the terms “subject or subject matter of the action” which
refer to the physical facts, the things real or personal, the
Examples: Writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are money, lands or chattels and the like, in relation to which
enforceable only within the region where the issuing court is the suit is prosecuted and not the delict or wrong
located; while a writ of execution can be enforced even outside committed by the defendant.
said territory.
So if you talk about declaration of nullity of marriage the
ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION IN CIVIL CASES subject matter of the action is the marriage of the parties
involved not any other contract but the nature of the action is
The word jurisdiction as applied to the faculty of exercising
that it is not capable of pecuniary estimation; if it is for
judicial power is used in different but related senses which are:
foreclosure of mortgage, the thing or subject of the action is the
1. The authority of the court to entertain a particular property mortgaged, in specific performance or rescission of
kind of action, or
contract, it is the contract involved that is the subject matter of
2. Administer a particular kind of relief depending on the the action.
issues raised;
3. It may refer to the power of the court over or to bind
Q: How is jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the
the parties, or
action acquired?
4. Over or to bind the property which is the subject of the
litigation.
A: Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law,
which may be either the Constitution or a statute(Tyson’s
In your study of criminal procedure where you also studied the
Super
law on jurisdiction, we studied the authority of the court over
Concrete, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 461 SCRA 435; de la Cruz
the cases as determined by the imposable penalty; its authority
vs. CA, 510 SCRA 103; Guy vs. CA, December 10, 2007), and is
to bind the accused and the prosecution; its authority to grant
never acquired by consent or submission of the parties or
the relief which is either acquittal or conviction and over the
by their laches. This is a matter of legislative enactment which
place where the offense charged is alleged to have been
none but the legislature can change. (MRR Co. vs Atty. Gen. 20
committed.
Phil. 523; Otibar vs. Vinson, L-18023, May 30, 1962) It cannot
be acquired by an agreement of the parties, waiver, or
So there are what we call elements of jurisdiction in criminal failure to object (silence).
cases, otherwise, the proceeding will be illegal. These elements
are:
So Congress plays an important role in the exercise of
judicial power, namely:
1. Jurisdiction over the subject matter;

7
1. It creates the rights which are sought to be In Ignacio and other ejectment cases (Salandanan vs. Tizon 62
protected or enforced; SCRA 388; Concepcion vs. CFI of Bulacan 119 SCRA 222),
2. It defines jurisdiction over the subject matter. where tenancy was the defense, the court went beyond the
Both are of course in the form of substantive allegations of the complaint in determining jurisdiction
laws. over the subject matter and required the presentation of
evidence to prove or disprove the defense of tenancy. After
The law that confers jurisdiction refers to substantive law, not a finding the real issue to be tenancy, the cases were
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
procedural law. It likewise does not refer to an administrative
order or circular (Malaloan vs. CA, 232 SCRA 249).
In Salmorin vs. Zaldivar, GR No. 169691, July 23, 2008, the
plaintiff entered into an agreement with the defendant
Q: Suppose I will file a case against you in a wrong court.
designating him as administrator of a lot with a monthly salary
Actually what you should do is file a motion to dismiss (or in
of P150. The defendant allegedly did not comply with the terms
criminal cases a motion to quash.) but you did not. Since you
of the agreement when he failed to till the vacant areas as
did not object, you did not file a motion to dismiss, you did not
agreed. This compelled the plaintiff to terminate his services
file a motion to quash, did the ‘wrong’ court acquire jurisdiction
and eject him from the lot. When the defendant refused to
over the case?
vacate the property, the plaintiff filed a complaint for unlawful
detainer against him in the MCTC.
A: NO. Jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be
conferred by silence of the parties or by waiver. Estoppel or
In his Answer, the defendant alleged the existence of a tenancy
waiver or silence or failure to object cannot vest jurisdiction in
relationship between him and the plaintiff. Thus, he claimed
the wrong court because jurisdiction over the subject matter is
that the case was an agrarian matter over which the MCTC had
conferred by law. And when the court has no jurisdiction, the
no jurisdiction.
court by itself or motu propio has the power to dismiss.

The Court found that the plaintiff alleged the following:


Q: How is the subject matter or nature (class) of the action
determined?
(1) That he possessed the subject lot;
A: It is a settled rule that jurisdiction over the subject (2) That he instituted the defendant as administrator
matter is determined by the allegations in the complaint thereof;
(Baltazar vs. Ombudsman, 510 SCRA 74) regardless of (3) That the defendant failed to administer the subject lot
whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to his claims by not having the vacant areas thereof planted;
asserted therein (Gocotano vs. (4) That for the defendant’s failure to administer the
Gocotano 469 SCRA 328; Cadimas vs. Carrion GR No. subject lot, his services as administrator was
180394, Sept. 29, 2008). terminated;
(5) That he advised defendant through registered mail to
It does not depend upon the pleas or defenses of the leave or vacate the subject lot; and
defendant in his answer or motion to dismiss. (Cardenas vs. (6) That the defendant refused to vacate the subject lot
Camus, L-19191, July 30, 1962; Edward J. Nell Co. vs. without justification.
Cubacub, L-20842, June 23,
1965; Serrano vs. Muñoz Motors, L-25547, Nov. 27, 1967) The Court ruled that from its material allegations, the complaint
concerned the unlawful detainer by the defendant of the subject
How do you determine then jurisdiction over the subject lot, a matter which is properly within the jurisdiction of the
matter? regular courts.

It is determined by facts alleged in the complaint and the The allegation of tenancy in the defendant’s answer did not
automatically deprive the MCTC of its jurisdiction because the
law in force at the time of the commencement of the
jurisdiction of the court over the nature of the action and the
action. (Mercado v. Ubay 187 SCRA 719) This is true in subject matter thereof cannot be made to depend upon the
defenses set up in the court or upon a motion to dismiss.
criminal and civil cases. Otherwise, the Court ruled, the question of jurisdiction would
depend almost entirely on the defendant. Accordingly, the
Examples: MCTC does not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment case
by the simple expedient of a party raising as defense
therein the alleged existence of a tenancy relationship
A case of Serious Physical Injuries was alleged in the between the parties. It is however, the duty of the court to
information filed with the CFI which was then vested with receive evidence to determine the allegations of tenancy. If
jurisdiction over this type of cases, even if the medical certificate after hearing, tenancy had in fact been shown to be the real
attached to the records shows that the injuries are only slight issue, the court should dismiss the case for lack of
which falls under the jurisdiction of the municipal court. The jurisdiction.
CFI may convict for slight physical injuries. Jurisdiction was
determined from the allegations in the information. (People v. The Court further stressed that a tenancy relationship
Ocaya, 83 SCRA 218[1978]) cannot be presumed. There must be evidence to prove the
tenancy relations such that all its indispensable elements
In a civil case for collection of sum of money where the must be established, to wit:
complaint alleges that the totality of the demand is
P350,000.00, the case is properly filed with the RTC even if the (1) The parties are the landowner and tenant;
defendant is able to prove that it is only P50,000.00 for (2) The subject is agricultural land;
jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the (3) There is consent by the landowner;
allegations in the complaint not the defense or evidence (4) The purpose is agricultural production; (5) There is
presented. personal cultivation; and
(6) There is sharing of the harvests.
Exception to the rule that jurisdiction is determined by the
allegations of the complaint All these requisites are necessary to create tenancy
relationship, and the absence of one or more requisites will
The general rule is not applied with rigidity in ejectment not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant. All these
cases in which the defendant averred the defense of the elements must concur. It is not enough that they are
existence of tenancy relationship between the parties. alleged.

In Ignacio vs. CFI of Bulacan (42 SCRA 89), it was held, ”that The statement that jurisdiction is conferred by substantive law is
while the allegations in the complaint make out a case of not accurate because only jurisdiction over the subject matter is
forcible entry, where tenancy is averred by way of defense conferred by substantive law. Jurisdiction over the parties, issues
and is proved to be the real issue, the case should be and res is governed by procedural laws.
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction as the case should properly be
filed with the then Court of Agrarian No Retroactive Effect of Law on Jurisdiction
Reform (now DARAB) (De la Cruz vs. CA 510 SCRA 103)

8
Jurisdiction being a matter of substantive law, the of jurisdiction of the trial court at the time the instant
established rule is that statute in force at the time of the claim was filed before it. (Garcia vs.
Martinez 90 SCRA 331 [1979])
commencement of the action determines jurisdiction – RA
7691 has no retroactive application. (Yu Oh v. CA GR No. Read also Atlas Fertilizer vs. Hon. Exaltacion Navarro,
125297, June 6, 2003) This follows the general rule on 149
SCRA 432)
application of laws.

How Jurisdiction Over the Subject Matter is Acquired By


Q: Why is jurisdiction substantive not procedural? the Court

A: Because the law vests, defines, regulates, authority or power. 1. It is conferred by law applicable at the time of the
commencement of the action; and
Doctrine of Continuity of jurisdiction (Adherence of 2. Jurisdiction must be properly invoked by filing the
Jurisdiction) complaint or information.

Under this rule, jurisdiction, once it attaches cannot be DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION
ousted by the happening of subsequent events although of
such a character which should have prevented jurisdiction Statement of the Doctrine
from attaching in the first instance (Ramos vs. Central Under this doctrine, courts will not resolve a controversy
Bank of the Phil. 41 SCRA 586 [1971]). involving a question which is within its jurisdiction and
also of an administrative tribunal, especially where the
The court, once jurisdiction has been acquired, retains that question demands the exercise of sound administrative
jurisdiction until it finally disposes of the case (De La Rosa vs. discretion requiring the special knowledge and experience
Roldan, 501 SCRA 34). of said tribunal in determining technical and intricate
matters of fact. (Villaflor vs. CA, GR No. 95694, Oct. 8,
1997).
As a consequence of this principle, jurisdiction is not affected by
a new law placing a proceeding under the jurisdiction of another
tribunal except when otherwise provided in the statute or if the Where a case is such that its determination requires the
statute is clearly intended to apply to actions pending even expertise, specialized skills and knowledge of the proper
before its enactment (People vs. Cawaling, 293 SCRA 267) administrative bodies because technical matters or intricate
questions of fact are involved, then relief must be obtained in an
administrative proceeding before a remedy will be supplied by
Thus, when RA No. 7691 expanded the jurisdiction of the first the courts even though the matter is within the proper
level courts, said courts acquired jurisdiction over cases that jurisdiction of a court. This is the doctrine of primary
under BP 129 were originally within the jurisdiction of the RTC. jurisdiction. It applies “where a claim is originally cognizable
But cases pending already with the RTC at the time of the in the courts, and comes into play whenever enforcement of
effectivity of the law were not affected by such new law unless the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a
the parties by agreement, pursuant to Sec. 7 therein, agreed to regulatory scheme, have been placed within the special
transfer the pending cases from the RTC to the lower courts competence of an administrative body, in such case, the
especially those which have reached the pre-trial stage. judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues
In an action for ejectment, if the defendant voluntarily to the administrative body for its view.” (US v. Western
surrenders the premises subject of the action to the plaintiff, Pacific Railroad Co., 352 US 59; Industrial Enterprises, Inc. v.
the surrender of the property does not divest the court of CA, 184 SCRA 426)
jurisdiction (Pamintuan vs. Tiglao 53 Phil. 1)
Example: Damages is claimed arising from the collision between
If the court has jurisdiction to act on a motion at the time it was the claimant's vessel and that of another. Such claim can of
filed, that jurisdiction to resolve the motion continues until the course be determined by the courts. But in order to enforce
matter is resolved and is not lost by the subsequent filing of a such claim before the courts, there must be a determination of
notice of appeal. (Asmala vs. Comelec, 289 SCRA 746) which vessel is at fault. This is issue is placed within the special
special competence of the Maritime Industry Authority or
The trial court did not lose jurisdiction over the case involving a Philippine Coast Guard which administrative body regulates sea
public official by the mere fact that said official ceased to be in travel. Under this situation courts should defer to the
office during the pendency of the case (Flores vs. Sumaljag, 290 jurisdiction of such administrative body for it has the
SCRA 568). Also, the jurisdiction that the court had at the time competence to determine which vessel is at fault. Its finding
of the filing of the complaint is not lost by the mere fact that the then can serve as basis or premise for the legal consequences to
respondent judge ceased to be in office during the pendency of be then defined by the court.
the case (Victory Liner vs. Bellosillo, 425 SCRA 79).
In Far East Conference v. US 342 US 570 (1952) the Court
Even the finality of the judgment does not totally deprive defined the primary jurisdiction doctrine as:
the court of jurisdiction over the case. What the court loses
if the power to amend, modify or alter the judgment. Even A principle, now firmly established, that in cases raising issues
after the judgment has become final, the court retains of fact not within the conventional expertise of judges or cases
jurisdiction to enforce and execute it (Echegaray vs. Sec. of
requiring the exercise of administrative discretion, agencies
Justice, 301 SCRA 96; Republic vs. Atlas Farms, 345 SCRA
created by Congress for regulating the subject matter should
296).
not be passed over. This is even though the facts after they have
been appraised by specialized competence serve as a premise for
Exception to the Rule of Adherence/Continuity of legal consequences to be judicially defined. Uniformity and
Jurisdiction consistency in the regulation of business entrusted to a
particular agency are secured, and the limited functions of
1. When there is an express provision in the statute review by the judiciary are more rationally exercised, by
on retroactive application; or preliminary resort for ascertaining and interpreting the
2. The statute is clearly intended to apply to actions circumstances underlying legal issues to agencies that are
pending before its enactment; or better equipped than courts by specialization, by insight
3. The statute is curative. This means that even if gained through experience, and by more flexible procedure.
originally there was no jurisdiction, the lack of
jurisdiction may be cured by the issuance of the Since the inception of the doctrine courts have resisted
amendatory decree which is in the nature of a creating any fixed rules or formulas for its application,
curative statute with retrospective application to a “in every case the question is whether the reasons for the
pending proceeding and cures that lack of existence of the doctrine are present and whether the
jurisdiction. Thus, in a case, while the CFI has no purposes it serves will be aided by its application in the
jurisdiction over a complaint for damages arising from particular litigation.” As the origin and evolution of the
the dismissal of a radio station manager which was primary jurisdiction doctrine demonstrate, the reasons for
filed on August 2, 1976, PD 1367 vesting the court the existence and the purposes it serves are two-fold: the
with jurisdiction over such type of cases cured the lack desire for the uniformity and the reliance on
administrative expertise. Thus, in determining whether to

9
apply the primary jurisdiction doctrine, we must examine an answer, raise the lack of jurisdiction as an affirmative
whether doing so would serve either of these purposes. defense because this defense is not barred under the omnibus
motion rule
These same tests were applied by our courts in the
determination of whether or not to apply the doctrine of primary Thus, the prevailing rule is that jurisdiction over the
jurisdiction. Spouses Jose Abejo and Aurora Abejo, et a., v. subject matter may be raised at any stage of the
Hon. Rafael de la proceedings, even for the first time on appeal (Calimlim vs.
Cruz, etc. et al., 149 SCRA 654, citing Pambujan Sur United Ramirez, 118 SCRA 399; Francel Realty Corporation vs.
Mine Sycip 469 SCRA 424).
Workers v. Samar Mining Co., In., 94 Phil. 932, 941 [1954])
The issue is so basic that it may be raised at any stage of
See GMA Network, Inc., v. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the proceedings, even on appeal. In fact, courts may take
G.R. cognizance of the issue even if not raised by the parties.
There is thus no reason to preclude the Court of Appeals,
No. 160703, September 23, 2005.
for example, from ruling on this issue even if the same has
not yet been resolved by the trial court below (Asia
International Auctioneers, Inc. vs. GR No. 163445, Dec. 18,
In Paat v. CA, 266 SCRA 167 the Court said that enforcement 2007).
of forestry laws, rules and regulations and the protection,
development and management of forest lands fall within the Lack of jurisdiction is one of those excepted grounds where the
primary and special responsibilities of the DENR. By the very court may dismiss a claim or a case at any time when it appears
nature of the functions, the DENR should be given a free hand from the pleadings or the evidence on record that any of those
unperturbed by judicial intrusion to determine a controversy ground exists, even if they were not raised in the answer or in a
which is well within its jurisdiction. The assumption therefore motion to dismiss. That the issue of lack of jurisdiction was
of the replevin suit by the trial court filed by the private raised only by the defendants in their memorandum filed before
respondents constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the trial court did not render them in estoppel (Vda. De Barrera
the domain of the administrative agency’s prerogative. vs. Heirs of Vicente Legaspi GR No. 174346 Sept. 12, 2008).

Quasi-judicial bodies like the CSC are better equipped in When the court dismisses the complaint for lack of jurisdiction
handling cases involving the employment status of over the subject matter, should it refer or forward the case to
employees of those in the civil service since it is within the another court with the proper jurisdiction? It is submitted that
field of its expertise. (Paloma v. Mora GR No. 157783, Sept. the court should not do so. Its only authority is to dismiss the
23, 2005) complaint and not to make any other order.
Objections to Jurisdiction and Estoppel by Laches
Doctrine of Ancillary Jurisdiction
Estoppel means you cannot disown your act by which you have
It involves the inherent or implied power of the court to misled another while laches means abandonment of a right for
determine issues incidental to the exercise of its primary failure to assert it for a long time.
jurisdiction.
GR: You can raise your objection on jurisdiction over the
Under its ancillary jurisdiction, a court may determine all subject matter even for the first time on appeal.
questions relative to the matters brought before it, regulate
the manner in which a trial shall be conducted, determine
the hours at which the witnesses and lawyers may be heard, The ONLY exception is when there is estoppel by laches, as
direct the disposition of money deposited incourt in the laid down in TIJAM vs. SIBONGHANOY ( Tijam vs.
course of the proceedings, appoint a receiver an grant an Sibonghanoy 23 SCRA 29, April 15, 1968).
injunction, attachment or garnishment.
In this case, a complaint for collection cognizable by the inferior
Doctrine of Judicial Stability or Non-Interference court was filed in the CFI. The jurisdiction was not questioned.
The CFI issued a writ of preliminary attachment but was
dissolved when the defendant filed a counterbond thru a surety.
GR: No court has the authority to interfere by injunction After trial, the court rendered a judgment against the
with the judgment of another court of coordinate
defendants. That decision became final and a motion for
jurisdiction or to pass upon or scrutinize and much less
execution was filed and granted. When implemented, the writ of
declare as unjust a judgment of another court. (Industrial
execution was unsatisfied so the plaintiff moved that the writ be
Enterprises, Inc. vs. CA GR No. 88550, April 18, 1990)
executed against the counterbond. The surety filed an
opposition and sought to be relieved from liability. The motion
Exc: The doctrine of judicial stability does not apply where was denied on ground that the surety was not notified. Plaintiff
a third party claimant is involved. (Santos vs. Bayhon, GR then filed a second motion for execution against the
No. 88643, July 23, 1991). counterbond notifying the surety this time. Since the surety
Objections to jurisdiction over the subject matter failed to oppose the motion was granted. The surety moved to
quash the writ against the counterbond but was denied. The
The court may on its own initiative object to an erroneous surety went to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the order.
jurisdiction and may ex mero motu take cognizance of lack The surety filed a motion for extension of time to file a motion to
of jurisdiction at any point in the case and has a clearly for reconsideration which the CA granted. However, instead of
recognized right to determine its own jurisdiction (Fabian filing a motion for reconsideration the surety filed this time a
vs. Desierto, 295 SCRA 470). “When it appears from the motion to dismiss on ground that the CFI did not have
pleadings or evidence on record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. Instead of deciding the CA
jurisdiction over the subject matter,…the court shall dismiss certified the case to the Supreme Court because the issue raised
the same” (Sec. 1, Rule 9, Rules of Court) is purely legal.

The earliest opportunity of a party to raise the issue of The Court emphatically declared: “The facts of the case show
jurisdiction is in a motion to dismiss filed before the filing or that from the time the Surety became a quasi-party on July 31,
service of an answer. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject 1948, it could have raised the question of the lack of
matter is a ground for a motion to dismiss (Sec. 1(b), Rule 16, jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Cebu to take
Rules of Court). If no motion is filed, the defense of lack of cognizance of the present action by reason of the sum of money
jurisdiction may be raised as an affirmative defense in the involved which, according to the law then in force, was within
answer (Sec. 6, Rule 16) the original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts. It failed to
do so. Instead, at several stages of the proceedings, in the court
Under the Omnibus Motion rule, a motion attacking a pleading a quo as well as in the CA, it invoked the jurisdiction of said
like a motion to dismiss, shall include all grounds then courts to obtain affirmative reliefs and submitted its case for a
available, and all objections not so included shall be deemed final adjudication on the merits. It was only after an adverse
waived (Sec. 8 Rule 15). The defense of lack of jurisdiction over decision was rendered by the CA that it finally woke up to raise
the subject matter is however, a defense not barred by the the question of jurisdiction. Were we to sanction such conduct
failure to invoke the same in a motion to dismiss already filed. on its part we would in effect be declaring as useless all the
Even if a motion to dismiss was filed and the issue of proceedings had in the present case since it was commenced on
jurisdiction was not raised therein, a party may, when he files July 19, 1948 and compel the judgment creditors to go up their

10
Calvary once more. The inequity and unfairness of this is not to be heard, and to render a judgment binding upon his
only patent but revolting.” person.
(21C.J.S., Courts, Sec. 11, 1990)
In other words, while jurisdiction as a rule, may be raised at any
stage of the proceedings (Panganiban vs. CA, 321SCRA 51, 59 Q: In criminal cases, how does the court acquire jurisdiction
[1999]), a party may be stopped from raising such questions if over the person of the accused?
he has actively taken part in the very proceedings which he
questions, belatedly objecting to the court’s jurisdiction in the A: By having him
event that the judgment or order subsequently rendered is
adverse to him. (Alday v. FGU Insurance Corporation, 350 SCRA
(1) arrested;
113, 120 [2001]).
(2) by service of the warrant of arrest; or
(3) by his voluntary surrender.
In general sense, estoppel by laches is failure or neglect for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do what ought
to have been done earlier. The failure to act warrants the Q: Even if he is not arrested, can the court try an accused?
presumption that one has abandoned his right or that he had
acquiesced to the correctness and fairness of what has been A: Of course not, because the court has not acquired
resolved. The doctrine of estoppel is based on public policy jurisdiction over his person. There must first be an arrest or
intended to discourage stale claims. Estoppel is not a question surrender. The accused can post bail and be released but if he
of time unlike the statute of limitations. It is rather based on jumps bail there can be trial in absentia. There will be a valid
the inequity or unfairness of permitting a claim to be decision because the court has already acquired jurisdiction. Of
asserted at a time such claim is presumed to have been course we cannot enforce the decision until we catch him.
abandoned. (Sps. Guillermo Agbada and Maxima Agbada v.
Inter-Urban Developers, Inc. GR 144029, Sept. 19, 2002) How does the court acquire jurisdiction over the person?

The fact pattern common among those cases wherein the In civil cases, it is also a must that the court acquires
Court invoked estoppel to prevent a party from questioning jurisdiction over the person of the parties. The manner by
jurisdiction is a party’s active participation in all stages of which the court acquires jurisdiction over the parties
a case, including invoking the authority of the court in depends on whether the party is the plaintiff or the
seeking affirmative relief and questioning the court’s defendant.
jurisdiction only after receiving a ruling or decision adverse
to his case for the purpose of annulling everything done in
the trial in which he has actively participated. As clearly As to Plaintiff
pointed out in Lao vs. Republic 479 SCRA 439: “A party
who has invoked the jurisdiction of the court over a Jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff is acquired by
particular matter to secure affirmative relief cannot be his/her filing of the complaint or petition. By doing so, he
permitted to afterwards deny the same jurisdiction to submits himself/herself to the jurisdiction of the court.
escape liability.” (Davao Light & Power Co. Inc. v. CA, 204 SCRA 343, 348
[1991])
The Supreme Court frowns upon the undesirable practice of
submitting one’s case for decision, and then accepting the Example: X, a resident of Melbourne, Australia, presented a
judgment only if favorable, but attacking it for lack of complaint against Y, a resident of Manila, before the CFI of
jurisdiction if it is not (Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. ALS Manila for accounting and damages. X never came to the
Management and Development Corporation, 427 SCRA 564). Philippines to file the suit and is only represented in this case
by counsel. Y files a motion to dismiss the complaint on the
Bar by Estoppel Is An Exception and Not the General Rule ground that the court acquired no jurisdiction over the person
of X.
Q: Should the complaint be dismissed on said ground? Why?
The doctrine laid down in Tijam is the exception to, and not the
general rule (Pangilinan v. CA, 321 SCRA 51, 59 [1999]).
A: No. It is a recognized procedural rule that jurisdiction over
the plaintiff is acquired by his/her filing of the complaint in
Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of
court. By filing the complaint through his/her counsel, X
jurisdiction only in cases in which the factual milieu is
invoked the jurisdiction of the court over his person.
analogous to that of Tijam.

In Tijam, the defense of lack of jurisdiction was raised for the As to Defendant
first time in a motion to dismiss filed by the Surety almost
fifteen (15) years after the questioned ruling had been rendered. Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is required only
At several stages of the proceedings, in the court a quo as well in action in personam (Asiavest Limited vs. CA, 296 SCRA
as in the Court of Appeals, the Surety invoked the jurisdiction of 539). Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a
the said courts to obtain affirmative relief and submitted its prerequisite in an action in rem and quasi in rem (Gomez vs. CA
case for final adjudication on the merits. It was only when the 425 SCRA 98; Biaco vs. Phil. Countryside Rural Bank 515
adverse decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals that it SCRA 106.
finally woke up to raise the question of jurisdiction (Regalado vs.
Go, GR No. 167988, February6, 2007) Jurisdiction Over the Person of the Defendant in Actions in
Personam, How Acquired
Inspite of Tijam and subsequent cases which invoked it, the
rule that the lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is obtained either
raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal, still by a valid service of summons upon him or by his/her
remains the prevailing rule and Tijam should be confined only voluntary submission to the court’s authority. (Ang Ping vs.
to situations prevailing in a particular case viewed in the light of CA, 310 SCRA 343, 349 [1999]; Davao Light vs. CA)
the special circumstances surrounding it.
The service of summons is intended to give official notice to
JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON (PARTIES) the defendant or respondent that an action has been
commenced against him. He is thus put on guard as to the
demands of the plaintiff as stated in the complaint. The
Q: Define jurisdiction over the person.
service of summons is an important element in the
operation of a court’s jurisdiction upon a party to a suit
A: Jurisdiction over the person is the power to render a because it is the means by which the court acquires
personal judgment against a party to an action or jurisdiction over his person. Without service of summons,
proceeding through the service of process or by voluntary or when the service is improper, the trial and the judgment
appearance of a party during the progress of a cause. (Banco being in violation of due process, are both null and void.
Español-Filipino vs. Palanca, 37 Phil. 291) (Avon Insurance PLC v. CA, 278 SCRA 312, 325 [1997])

It is the power of the court to bring before it persons to be The mode of acquisition of jurisdiction over the plaintiff and the
affected by the judgment so as to give him an opportunity defendant applies to both ordinary and special civil actions
like mandamus or unlawful detainer cases (Bar 1994).

11
First Instance: UPON SERVICE ON HIM OF COERCIVE construed as a voluntary submission to the court’s
jurisdiction is an appearance that seeks affirmative relief
PROCESS IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW except when the relief is for the purpose of objecting to the
jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant.

The first instance when a court acquires jurisdiction over the


Certain actions which could be construed as voluntary
person of the defendant is through a service upon him of the
appearance are:
appropriate court process which in civil law is called service of
summons. This is the counterpart of warrant of arrest in
criminal procedure. 1.) when the defendant’s counsel files the
corresponding pleading thereon;
2.) when the defendant files a motion for
So if the defendant was never served with summons, any
judgment rendered by the court will not bind him. Even if he is reconsideration of the judgment by default;
the loser in the case, judgment cannot be enforced because the 3.) when the defendant files a petition to set aside
court did not acquire jurisdiction over his person. the judgment of default;
4.) when the defendant and plaintiff jointly submit
The same principle holds true in criminal cases. A court cannot a compromise agreement for the approval of
try and convict an accused over whose person the court never the court;
acquired jurisdiction. In criminal cases, the court acquires 5.) when the defendant files an answer to the
jurisdiction over the person through the issuance and service contempt charge;
of a warrant of arrest. The warrant cannot have its effect even if 6.) when the defendant files a petition for
it was issued, if the same had not been served, i.e. by effecting certiorari
the arrest of the accused by virtue of a warrant. without questioning the court’s jurisdiction over
his person (Navale v. CA, 253 SCRA 705, 709, 710,
709-712
Q: In criminal cases, how can the warrant of arrest be effected?
[1996])

A: Once an information has been filed in court, the court issues


Objections to jurisdiction over the person of the defendant
a warrant. Then, the arresting officer will arrest the accused.
The court acquires jurisdiction by ENFORCEMENT OF
SERVICE for effective arrest of the accused pursuant to the An objection to the jurisdiction over the person of the
warrant of arrest. 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 may be pleaded as an affirmative
Second Instance: BY HIS VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION TO THE defense in the answer (Sec. 6 Rule 16).

JURISDICTION OF THE COURT If a motion to dismiss has been filed, the objection to the
lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant must
Another way to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the be pleaded in the same motion where such ground is
accused even if the accused is not arrested is through available at the time the motion is filed, otherwise it is
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER. Since there is no more need for the deemed waived pursuant to the omnibus motion rule. The
warrant, the court will recall the same. defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant is not one of those defenses which are not
deemed waived if not raised in the motion to dismiss. Only
In civil cases, it is the voluntary submission of the defendant to lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, litis pendentia,
the jurisdiction of the court. res judicata and prescription are not waived (Sec. 1 Rule 9
in relation to Sec. 8 Rule 15).
Q: Defendant was served with summons improperly or
irregularly therefore, he could question the jurisdiction of the Effect of pleading additional defenses aside from lack of
court over his person. But instead, he did not question the jurisdiction over the person of the defendant
jurisdiction of the court despite the defective service of court
process. Did the court acquire jurisdiction over the person of
Under the former procedure, if the defendant raises the
the defendant?
objection of lack of jurisdiction over his person in a motion to
dismiss, the motion must rely only on that particular ground. If
A: YES, because jurisdiction over the person can be the defendant appears in court, objects to its jurisdiction over
acquired by: his person and at the same time alleges other grounds, the
appearance would be deemed a general appearance which was
a.) waiver; in effect a voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court
b.) consent; or (Republic vs. Kerr 18 SCRA 207; WANG Laboratories VS.
c.) lack of objection by the defendant. (MRR Mendoza 156 SCRA 44).
Co. vs.
Atty. Gen. 20 Phil. 523) The above rule was re-examined in La Naval Drug
Corporation vs. CA 236 SCRA 78). The pronouncements in
This is unlike the jurisdiction over subject matter wherein the said case are now embodied in Sec. 20 of Rule 14 which
case could be dismissed upon filing in the wrong court. The SC provides: ****The inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other
said that when you remained silent despite the defects, your grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of
silence has cured the defect. Meaning, the jurisdiction over your the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance.
person was acquired by waiver, or consent, or lack of objection. C. JURISDICTION OVER THE RES

Q: Distinguish jurisdiction over the subject matter from RES is the Latin word for “thing.” It is applied to an object,
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant? subject matter (not nature of the action), status, considered
as the defendant in the action or as the object against
which, directly, proceedings are taken. (Black’s 5th Ed.,
A: Lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant 1172)
may be cured by waiver, consent, silence or failure to
object, whereas jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot
be cured by failure to object or by silence, waiver or Q: Define jurisdiction over the res.
consent. (MRR Co. vs. Atty. Gen. 20
Phil. 523) A: Jurisdiction over the res is the power or authority of the
court over the thing or property under litigation. (Perkins
Voluntary Appearance as Voluntary Submission To v. Dizon, 69 Phil. 186, 190 [1939])
Court’s Jurisdiction
It is the power to bind the “thing”.
Voluntary appearance must be the kind that constitutes
voluntary submission to the court’s jurisdiction. Voluntary How is it acquired?
submission to the court’s jurisdiction cannot be inferred from
the defendant’s mere knowledge or existence of a case against It is acquired either by the (a) the seizure of the property
him/her. In general, the form of appearance that would be under legal process whereby it is brought into actual or

12
constructive custody of the court’ or (b) as a result of the A: Jurisdiction over the issue is the authority to try and
institution of legal proceedings, in which the power of the decide the issues raised in the pleadings of the parties.
court is recognized and made effective. (Macahilig vs. Heirs (Reyes vs. Diaz, 73 Phil. 484)
of Grace M. Magalit, GR No. 141423, Nov. 15, 2000)
Q: What are pleadings?
Q: A files a case for recovery of ownership against B over a piece
of land. What is the res of the case? A: Rule 6, Section 1 - Pleadings are the written allegation of
the parties of their respective claims and defenses
A: The piece of land is the res of the case. submitted to the court for trial and judgment.

What is the nature of the action? In a civil case, pleadings are written statements of the respective
positions of the parties, namely, the claims for the plaintiff and
To recover ownership of real property or real action. defenses for the defendant.

Q: However, res may not be tangible. For example, X is an EXAMPLE: X files a case for collection of sum of money against
illegitimate child. She wants to be acknowledged by her father. Y. The pleading that X will file will contain the written
statements of his claim. He will narrate there for instance that Y
Thus, she filed a case against her father for compulsory
borrowed money from him promising to pay it on a day certain
but when it became due no payment was made despite
recognition. What is the res?
demands so he suffered actual loss or damage aside from moral
damage.
By way of response, X will file his position in writing stating his
A: The res is the status of the child because it is the object of defenses like denying the loan; the promissory note is a forgery
the litigation. or admitting the loan but claiming that it had already been paid
or the action has prescribed. This written statement of his
Q: Why is jurisdiction over the res important? position containing his defense or defenses is a pleading called
an answer. In the answer Y can also allege claims, if he has any
A: Sometimes it is a substitute for jurisdiction over the against the plaintiff like the case is merely intended to harass
person. There are instances when the court cannot acquire him for which reason he suffered damages. This is called a
jurisdiction over the defendant like when he is abroad. But if counterclaim, another pleading and X can in turn file an answer
the court acquires jurisdiction over the res, the case may go on. to the counterclaim where he will state his defense/s as regards
Even if the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over the person of the claim contained in the counterclaim.
the defendant, jurisdiction over the res becomes a substitute
over the person. Based on their allegations and counter-allegations the court will
know what issues are to be resolved.
In the example of action for compulsory recognition, even if the
defendant is a non-resident who is out of the country the object Q: So, if X says that Y borrowed money, and never paid
of litigation is status here in the Philippines, then acquisition of him, while Y, in answer states that he did borrow but
jurisdiction over the res confers jurisdiction to the court even if already paid it, what issue is being presented to be
the defendant is abroad. The res here is the thing or object or resolved by the court?
status against which or in relation to which the judgment can
be enforced. A: The issue is, whether the obligation is still existing or is
Acquisition of jurisdiction over the res by actual seizure is it already extinguished by payment. So that is how the
exemplified by an attachment proceeding where the court will know what it will try in this case.
property is seized at the commencement of the action or at
some subsequent stage in the action. It is also acquired
Q: Let us suppose that after the trial, the court said in its
through a legal provision which authorizes the court to
exercise authority over a property or subject matter such as decision that the obligation has been extinguished by
suits involving a person’s status or property located in the condonation. Will that bind?
Philippines in actions in rem or quasi in rem. (Banco
Espanol Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921, 927 [1918]; Perkins v. A: No, because the parties did not raise condonation as the
Dizon; Sec. 15, Rule 14, Rules of Court.) issue. So the court decided that issue over which it never
acquired jurisdiction.
In Land Registration cases or probate proceedings,
jurisdiction is acquired by compliance with procedural In other words, the court should only rule on what the parties
requisites, such as publication. raised in their pleadings. That is what we call jurisdiction over
the issue.
In a petition for change of name, the title of the petition
must be complete by including the name sought to be Jurisdiction over the issue is, therefore, conferred and
adopted; otherwise, the court acquires no jurisdiction over determined by the pleadings of the parties.
the proceedings. (Telmo vs. Republic, 73 SCRA 29 (1976).
Jurisdiction over the issues may also be determined and
D. JURISDICTION OVER THE ISSUES conferred by stipulation of the parties as when in the pre-
trial, the parties enter into stipulation of facts and
Meaning of Issue documents or enter into an agreement simplifying the
issues of the case (Sec. 2 Rule 18)
An issue is a disputed point or question to which parties to
an action have narrowed down their several allegations and Jurisdiction over the issues may also be conferred by
upon which they are desirous of obtaining a decision. waiver or failure to object to the presentation of evidence
(Black’s 5th Ed., 745 citing Muller v. Muller, 235 Cal App. 2 nd on a matter not raised in the pleadings. Here the parties try
341, 45 Cal. Rptr 182, with their express or implied consent issues not raised by
184) the pleadings. The issues tried shall be treated in all
respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings (Sec. 5
Rule 10).
How Jurisdiction Over The Issues Is Conferred and
Determined
Jurisdiction Over the Subject Matter Distinguished from
Jurisdiction Over the Issues

Jurisdiction over the issues is conferred by the pleadings and by


In order to determine whether or not a court has jurisdiction
the express (stipulation) or implied (failure to object to
over the issue or issues of the case, one must examine the
evidence) consent of the parties because an issue not duly
pleadings.
pleaded may be validly tried and decided by the court as long as
there is no objection from the parties. Jurisdiction over the
Q: Define jurisdiction over the issues. subject matter is conferred by law and cannot be subject to the

13
agreement of the parties. (Vda de Victoria v. CA, GR No. No doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a
147550, Jan. 26, 2005) A: The following are the distinctions: decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or
reversed except by the court sitting en banc. (Sec. 4(3))
1.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the
power to hear and try a particular case, How a Case Before a Division is Referred to the Court en
while banc

Jurisdiction over the issues is the power At any time after a Division takes cognizance of a case and
of the court to resolve legal questions before a judgment or resolution therein rendered becomes final
involved in the case; and executor, the Division may refer the case en consulta to the
2.) Jurisdiction over the subject matter is court en banc which, after consideration of the reasons of the
acquired division for such referral, may return the case to the Division or
upon filing of the complaint, while accept the case for decision or resolution.

Jurisdiction over the issues of the case is Cases assigned to a Division including motions for
acquiredupon filing of the answer which joins the reconsideration which in the opinion of at least 3 members
issues involved in the case. merit the attention of the court en banc and are accepted by the
majority vote of the actual members of the court en banc may
be considered as en banc cases.
When An Issue Arises Even If Not Raised In the Pleadings

A resolution of the Division denying a party’s motion for referral


Although it is a rule that jurisdiction over the issue is to be
to the Court en banc of any division shall be final and not
determined by the pleadings of the parties, an issue may arise
appealable to the Court en banc.
in a case without it being raised in the pleadings. This happens
when the parties try an issue with their consent. Under Sec. 5,
Rule 10 of the Rules of Court, when issues not raised by the When a decision or resolution is referred by a division to the
pleadings are tried with the express or the implied consent of Court en banc, the latter may in the absence of sufficiently
the parties, they shall be treated in all respects, as if they had important reasons decline to take cognizance of the same, in
been raised in the pleadings. Thus, if evidence on a claim for which case, the decision or resolution shall be returned to the
salary differential is not objected to, the Labor Arbiter correctly referring Division. (Circular No. 2-89 effective March 1, 1989)
considered the evidence even if the claim is not mentioned in
the complaint. (Cindy and Lynsy Garment v. NLRC, 284 SCRA En Banc Cases
38, 45 [1998])
In a resolution dated February 23, 1984, the following are
Take note that jurisdiction over the issues in civil cases is considered en banc cases:
acquired after defendant has filed an answer. In criminal cases,
jurisdiction over the issues is acquired when the accused enters
a.) Cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any
a plea of not guilty or pleads guilty but seeks to prove a treaty, executive agreement, law, ordinance or
mitigating circumstance.
executive order or regulation is in question;
b.) Criminal cases in which the decision imposes the death
For a decision to be effective, the court must acquire the penalty;
jurisdiction over the subject matter, the person, the res in case c.) Cases raising novel questions of law;
the defendant is not around, and the last is jurisdiction over the d.) Cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers and
issue.
consuls;
e.) Cases where a doctrine or principle laid down by the
court en banc or in division may be modified or
reversed;
JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER f.) Cases assigned to a division including motions for
reconsideration which in the opinion of at least 3
THE SUPREME COURT members merit the attention of the Court en banc
and are acceptable to a majority vote of the actual
membership of the Court en banc;
The highest court of the land is the Supreme Court. It was not
g.) All other cases as the Court en banc by a majority of its
affected by the Judiciary Law (BP 129) which reorganized the
actual membership may deem
judiciary in 1983. Being a constitutional court, its jurisdiction is
of sufficient
found in the fundamental law itself. The SC is both an original
importance to merit its attention;
and appellate court.
h.) Cases where the penalty to be imposed is the dismissal
of a judge, officer, or employee of the SC,
Composition disbarment of a lawyer, or suspension of any of
them for a period of more than one year or a fine
It is composed of the Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices. of
P10,000.00, or both;
The Constitution ordains that the President appoints the i.) Cases involving decisions, resolutions or orders of
members of the SC and judges of lower courts from a list of at the Sandiganbayan, Comelec, COA,
least three nominees prepared by the JBC for every vacancy and or Military
requires the President to issue appointments, for lower courts, Tribunals;
within 90 days from submission of the list (Art. VIII, Sec. 9) and j.) Habeas corpus against government or military officials;
to fill the vacancy of the SC within 90 days from its occurrence.
(Art. VIII Sec. 4(1). All such appointments need no confirmation. Principal Functions of the Supreme Court
(Sec. 9)
a. Adjudication (Judicial Power)
Divisions and En Banc b. Administration or Disciplinary power
c. Rule-making (Rule-making Power)
The SC sits either en banc or in divisions of 3, 5 or 7 members.
At present, it has 3 divisions of 5 members each.
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT

A decision or resolution of a division, when concurred in by a


Article VIII, Section 5, paragraph 1 of the 1987 Constitution
majority of its members who actually took part in the
enumerates the ORIGINAL jurisdiction of the SC:
deliberations on the issues in a case and voted thereon, and in
no case without the concurrence of at least 3 of such members,
is a decision or resolution of the SC. (Sec. 4(3) Art. VIII Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the
Constitution). following powers:

The Court en banc is not an appellate court to which decisions [1] Exercise original jurisdiction over cases
or resolutions of a division may be appealed. (Circular No. 2-89) affecting ambassadors, other public

14
ministers and consuls, over petitions for 2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or
certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law
warranto, and habeas corpus. or the Rules of Court may provide, final
judgments and orders of lower courts in:
Note that the foregoing provision does not define a) All cases in which the constitutionality
the original jurisdiction of the SC as exclusive, or validity of any treaty, international or
hence it can be concurrent or exclusive. executive agreement, law, presidential
decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
ordinance, or regulation is in question.
When is it exclusive and when concurrent?

b) All cases involving the legality of any


Original Exclusive tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any
penalty imposed in relation thereto.
The ORIGINAL EXCLUSIVE jurisdiction of the SC refers to
petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition and c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any
mandamus as defined in Rule 65 against the following: lower court is in issue.

a) the CA (Judiciary Act of 1948); d) All criminal cases in which the penalty
b) the COMELEC (Art. IX Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution); imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
c) COA (Art. IX Sec. 7 1987 Constitution; and
d) Sandiganbayan (PD No. 1606); e) All cases in which an error or question
e) Court of Tax Appeals because it has now the same rank of law is involved.
as the CA by virtue of RA 9282.
If (a), (b), and (c) also involve questions
Original Concurrent of facts or mixed questions of fact and
of law, the aggrieved party shall appeal
to the Court of Appeals; and its final
A. With CA – T he cases where its original jurisdiction is
judgment may be appealed to the
CONCURRENT with the CA are: petitions for the issuance
Supreme Court. (Subpar 4, Third Par.
of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus against the
Sec. 17, Judiciary Act or RA 544)
following:

a) All cases in which the constitutionality or


a. the CSC (RA No. 7902);
validity of any treaty, international or
b. Central Board of Assessment Appeals (PD No. 464; BP executive agreement, law, presidential decree,
Blg. proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or
129; RA No. 7902); regulation is in question.
c. NLRC (St. Martin Funeral Homes vs. NLRC 295 SCRA
494; RA No. 7902) or the Secretary of Labor under the
So if the RTC, which has the power, declares the law as
Labor Code.
unconstitutional, the same has to be appealed directly to
d. Quasi-judicial agencies (BP Blg. 129; RA No. 7902; Heirs
the SC. It cannot pass through the CA because the SC has
of
exclusive appellate jurisdiction regarding the matter.
Hinog vs. Melicor, 455 SCRA 460)
e. Also, issuance of writ of certiorari, prohibition and
b) All cases involving the legality of any tax,
mandamus against the RTC.
impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty
imposed in relation thereto.
B. CONCURRENT with the RTC – are those actions affecting
ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls (Sec.
This is related to the legality of tax cases – whether a tax or
21[2] BP Blg 129; Art. VIII Sec. 5 1987 Constitution).
tax penalty is legal or not. However, whatever decision the
lower court gives, it has to be appealed directly to the SC.
C. CONCURRENT with the CA and RTC – are those involving
habeas corpus, quo warranto, and writs of certiorari,
c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower
prohibition, and mandamus against inferior courts and
court is in issue
bodies (Secs. 9[1], 21[2]2, BP Blg. 129; Art. VIII Sec. 5,
1987 Constitution).
EXAMPLE: The RTC or the MTC says it has jurisdiction or it
has no jurisdiction over a case. The aggrieved party, it if wants
For example, a petition for mandamus against the MTC of to raise that issue, it must go to the SC. When the issue is
Cebu City can be filed with the SC, CA, or RTC although purely jurisdiction, the SC shall have exclusive appellate
the policy of the Supreme Court is that it should be filed jurisdiction.
with the RTC based on the hierarchy of the courts. (Vergara
vs. Suelto, 156 SCRA 758)
Now, when the law says all cases in which the jurisdiction of
any lower court is in issue, the cases involve 100% pure
D. CONCURRENT WITH CA, SANDIGANBAYAN and RTC – jurisdiction as an issue. There are no factual issues involved. If
are petitions for issuance of writ of Amparo and petitions the issue of jurisdiction is mixed with a factual issue, the appeal
for Habeas Data, where the action involves public data or should be in the CA without prejudice to the filing of the same
government office. with the SC later. So, this is 100% issue of jurisdiction. No
factual issue is involved.
E. Finally, with the advent of the new law (RA 8249), there is
now a CONCURRENCE between the SC and the d) All criminal cases in which the penalty
Sandiganbayan in so far as petitions for certiorari, imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, injunction and
other ancillary writs in aid of the Sandiganbayan's
APPELLATE JURISDICTION i.e. only in connection with a We discussed this in Criminal Procedure.
case appealed to the Sandiganbayan.
e) All cases in which only an error or question of
This concurrent jurisdiction is subject to the doctrine of law is involved.
hierarchy of courts (Liga ng mga Barangay National vs. Atienza
420 SCRA 562; Lacson Hermanas Inc. vs. Heirs of Ignacio 462 Take note that ONLY an error or question of law is involved. So,
SCRA 290). if there is a mixed question of law and a question of fact, appeal
must be filed with the CA. You only go to the SC if the appeal is
APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT 100% legal. That applies to both criminal and civil cases.

The appellate jurisdiction is found in Section 5, Paragraph (2), QUESTIONS OF LAW and QUESTIONS OF FACT
Article VIII 1987 Constitution:
There is a question of law when the doubt or difference arises as
to what the law is on a certain set of facts. There is a question of

15
fact when the doubt or difference arises as to the truth or Article VII, Section 4, last paragraph, 1987 Constitution:
falsehood of the alleged facts (Sps. Santos vs. CA 337 SCRA 67).
“The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall
Example: Where the question is whether or not the debtor has be the sole judge of all contests relating to
paid the debt, the issue is one of fact. Where the question is the election, returns, and qualifications of
whether or not the manner of payment is of the type which the President or Vice-President, and may
produces the legal effect of extinguishing the obligation, the promulgate its rules for the purpose.”
issue becomes one of law. Also, when under the set of facts the
issue is whether or not the law on double sales applies, there is If there’s an electoral protest for the President and Vice-
a question of law. President, the matter is not to be decided by the COMELEC but
by the SC acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
When the issue involves a review of the evidence, it involves a
question of fact because evidence, as defined, is the means, Judicial Review of Presidential Proclamation of Martial or
sanctioned by the rules, of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding Suspension of the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
the truth respecting a matter of fact. (Sec. 1 Rule 128)
Article VII, Section 18 (3), 1987 Constitution – Commander-in-
In an action for declaration of nullity of marriage the basis is Chief
psychological incapacity. The RTC/Family Court dismissed the
case finding that there was no psychological incapacity. If the Clause
plaintiff wants to appeal from that judgment, can she appeal “The Supreme Court may review, in an
directly to the SC? Is it a question of fact or law? appropriate proceeding filed by any
citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis
of the proclamation of martial law or the
No. The appeal should be to the CA. The issue raised is a
suspension of the privilege of the writ or
question of fact because there is need to review the evidence to extension thereof, and must promulgate
resolve it. its decision thereon within thirty days
from its
Suppose the court nullified the marriage on ground of filing.”
impotence and the defendant wants to appeal because he wants
to raise the issue whether or not impotence is a ground for So, the SC, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen
declaration of nullity of marriage this would be a question of law review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of
because there is no need for review of the evidence to resolve it. martial law. Meaning, the SC can inquire into the basis on why
So appeal is to the SC. martial law is declared.

OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS DEALING WITH This is intended to prevent the Supreme Court from invoking
THE the Political Question doctrine laid down in many earlier cases
that it is the prerogative of the President to determine, at his
JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT discretion, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the
proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of
Article IX, Section 7, paragraph (a), 1987 Constitution: the writ or the extension thereof.
“Each Commission shall decide by a
majority vote x x x. Unless otherwise Congress and Jurisdiction of the SC
provided by this Constitution or by law,
any decision, order, or ruling of each 1.) Article VIII, Section 2, 1987 Constitution:
Commission may be brought to the
Supreme Court on certiorari by the
aggrieved party within thirty days from The Congress shall have the power to
receipt of a copy thereof.” define, prescribe, and apportion the
jurisdiction of the various courts but may
not deprive the Supreme Court of its
The COMELEC, COA and the CSC act also as courts of justice.
jurisdiction over cases enumerated in
They have powers to decide certain cases within their
Section 5 hereof.
jurisdiction. Election cases are covered by the COMELEC,
claims against the government, by COA and eligibility or
removal from government service of an appointive employee, by Congress may change or even remove the jurisdiction of the RTC
CSC. or CA. The law can change them because jurisdiction over the
subject matter is conferred by law. However, Congress does not
have the power to lessen or deprive the Supreme Court of its
Now, according to Section 7, any decision, order or ruling of
jurisdiction under Section 5, Article VIII.
these commissions may be brought to the SC on certiorari, etc.
So you will see that the decisions of the constitutional
commissions are reviewable by the SC. 2.) However Article VI, Section 30 states:

However, Congress amended the Judiciary Law particularly “No law shall be passed increasing the
Section 9 on the jurisdiction of the CA by now making decisions appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as
of the CSC no longer appealable to the SC directly but provided in this Constitution without its
appealable to the CA. So based on the present law, out of the advice and concurrence.”
three constitutional commissions, the only ones whose
decisions are appealable directly to the SC are those of the Thus , Congress cannot lessen but it can increase the SC’s
COMELEC and the COA powers and jurisdiction, PROVIDED it is with the latter's advice
and concurrence.
What is the basis for Congress to pass such a law where a
decision of a constitutional body (CSC) is reviewable by a non- So more or less, these are the scattered provisions of the
constitutional body? Constitution dealing with the SC’s jurisdiction.

Under the Constitution, decisions of the constitutional The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts
commissions are appealable to the SC. Does Congress have the
power to change that by making it appealable to the CA? There are important principles worthy of note in relation to the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Yes because the provision, it says: “Unless otherwise provided


The SC is not a trier of facts which means that passing
by this Constitution or by law..” Meaning, the decisions are
upon a factual issue is not within the province of the Court
appealable to the SC unless otherwise provided by law. The
(Romy’s Freight Service vs. Castro, 490 SCRA 160). The
Constitution itself gave Congress the power to change it. findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are not generally
reviewable by the SC (Sarmiento vs. Yu 497 SCRA 513).
SC as Presidential Electoral Tribunal Also, factual findings of the trial court, particularly when
affirmed by the Court of Appeals, are generally binding on

16
the Court (Tan vs. GVT Engineering Services 498 SCRA 93; powers, issued E.O. #33 amending the Judiciary Law and
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Lazar0-Baldazo GR No. 170815 changed the name of IAC to CA (referring to the jurisdiction of
February 2, 2007). the IAC).

It is not the function of the SC to determine the weight of the Many people thought that the CA of President Aquino under
evidence supporting the assailed decision (JR Blanco vs. E.O. #33 is actually the IAC under another name only, but in a
Quasha 318 SCRA 373). However, factual issues may be case decided by the SC, reported in
delved into and resolved where the findings and
conclusions of the trial court or the quasi-judicial bodies
IN RE: LETTER OF ASSOCIATE JUSTICE REYNATO S. PUNO
are frontally inconsistent with the findings of the CA (Office
– 210 SCRA 589 [1992]
of the Ombudsman vs. Tongson 499 SCRA 567).

HELD: “It is the holding of the Court that the present Court
Exceptions
of Appeals is a new entity, different and distinct from the
Court of Appeals or the Intermediate Appellate Court
While it is settled rule that the SC in the exercise of its power of
review is not a trier of facts, jurisprudence has, however, existing prior to Executive Order No. 33, for it was created
recognized several exceptions in which factual issues may be in the wake of the massive reorganization launched by the
resolved by the SC, namely: revolutionary government of Corazon C. Aquino in the
aftermath of the people power (EDSA) revolution in 1986.”
a.) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation,
surmises or conjectures; Section 5 of EO 33 also amended Sec. 9 of BP 129 to read as
b.) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd follows:
or impossible; “The Court of Appeals shall have the power to
c.) when there is grave abuse of discretion; receive evidence and perform any and all acts
d.) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of necessary to resolve factual issues raised in (a)
facts; cases falling within its original jurisdiction, such
e.) when the findings of facts are conflicting; as actions for annulment of judgments of regional
f.) when in making its findings the CA went beyond the trial courts, as provided in paragraph (2) hereof;
issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to and in (b) cases falling within its appellate
the admissions of both appellant and appellee; jurisdiction wherein a motion for new trial based
g.) when the findings are contrary to the trial court; only on the ground of newly discovered evidence is
h.) when the findings are conclusions without citation of granted by it.”
specific evidence on which they are based;
i.) when the facts set forth in the petition, as well as in the So, Section 9 of BP 129, which defines the second highest court
petitioner’s main and reply briefs, are not of the land, has been amended by E.O. #33. In February 1995,
disputed by the respondent; it was amended again by RA 7902, known as “The Act
j.) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed expanding the
absence of evidence and contradicted by the jurisdiction of the CA.”
evidence on record; and RA 7902 restored the power of the CA to try cases and conduct
k.) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant hearings, receive evidence, and perform any and all acts
facts not disputed by the parties, which, if necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within
properly considered, could justify a different the original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to
conclusion (Cristobal Cruz vs. Cristobal 498 SCRA grant new trials or further proceedings (without limiting the
37; Heirs of Dicman vs. Carino 490 SCRA 240; motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence). Trials
Safeguard Security Agency Inc. vs. Tangco 511 or hearings in the CA must be continuous and completed within
SCRA 67; De Los Santos vs. Elizalde 514 SCRA 3 months unless extended by the Chief Justice.
14; NPC vs. De la Cruz GR No. 156093 Feb. 2,
2007; Spouses Yu vs. Ngo Yet Te GR No. 155868 The essential features of the CA’s jurisdiction are as
Feb. 6, 2007). follows:

ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS


JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
Original Concurrent
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
[1] Section 9, paragraph 1, BP 129

The jurisdiction of the CA is now governed by BP 129 or the


Section 9 – Jurisdiction – The Court of Appeals shall
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. BP 129 was passed in
exercise:
1983 by the former Batasang Pambansa which practically
abolished all the regular courts at that time, and also the
special courts except the SC which cannot be abolished by (1) Original jurisdiction to issue writs of
Congress. What was also spared was the Court of Tax Appeals mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas
which was likewise not affected. corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs
or processes whether or not in aid of its
appellate jurisdiction.
In lieu of these, other courts were created. The constitutionality
of BP 129 was challenged as violative of the security of tenure of
Note: Refer to discussion the original concurrent jurisdiction of
the judges. But its constitutionality was sustained in the case of
the SC with the CA; with the CA and RTC etc.
DELA LLANA vs. ALBA, 112 SCRA 294.

The cases where its original jurisdiction is CONCURRENT with


The CA is composed of over 69 justices after new divisions were
the SC are: petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari,
created, one based in Cebu City and the other in Cagayan de
prohibition, mandamus against the following:
Oro City pursuant to RA 8246.

They decide cases by a division of three. They sit en banc only • the CSC (RA No. 7902);
for administrative matters not to decide a case as it would be • Central Board of Assessment Appeals (PD No. 464; BP
impractical considering their number. Blg. 129; RA No. 7902);
• NLRC (St. Martin Funeral Homes vs. NLRC 295 SCRA
494; RA No. 7902) or the Secretary of Labor under the
Before BP 129, the court was also called the “Court of Appeals,”
Labor Code.
the counterpart of the present CA, though the CA now is
• Quasi-judicial agencies (BP Blg. 129; RA No. 7902; Heirs
different and more powerful than the old one. BP 129 abolished
of Hinog vs. Melicor, 455 SCRA 460)
the old CA and created another court which was called the
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (IAC). • Also, issuance of writ of certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus against the RTC.

So, from the 1983 to 1986, it was called the IAC. After the EDSA
Revolution, President Aquino, pursuant to her law-making CONCURRENT with the SC and RTC are those involving habeas
corpus, quo warranto, and writs of certiorari, prohibition, and

17
mandamus against inferior courts and bodies (Secs. 9[1], And not only RTC’s. The law says “and quasi-judicial agencies,
21[2]2, BP Blg. 129; Art. VIII Sec. 5, 1987 Constitution). instrumentalities, boards or commissions…” Not only
decisions of the RTC but also of quasi-judicial agencies or
For example, a petition for mandamus against the MTC of Cebu bodies, also called administrative bodies.
City can be filed with the SC, CA, or RTC although the policy of
the Supreme Court is that it should be filed with the RTC based Administrative bodies are actually part of the executive branch
on the hierarchy of the courts. (Vergara vs. Suelto, 156 SCRA but they act just like courts of justice. They can decide cases
758) and there are hundreds of administrative agencies in the
Philippines. And therefore, if you lose a case before anyone of
these bodies, or tribunals, you appeal the decision not with the
Q: Being concurrent, what will happen if such a case is filed
SC, but to the CA.
simultaneously in the CA and SC?

The amendments by RA 7902 is even more specific by


A: The consequence is found in Section 17 of the Interim Rules.
adding this phrase, “including the SEC, SSS, the Employees
In other words, the Interim Rules are still intact.
Compensation commission and the Civil Service
Commission (CSC).”
Interim Rules, Sec. 17. Petitions for writs of certiorari,
etc. - No petition for certiorari, mandamus,
That is the addition.
prohibition, habeas corpus or quo warranto may be
filed in the IAC if another similar petition has been
filed or is still pending in the SC. Nor may such CSC – Before this law was passed, under the Constitution,
petition be filed in the SC if a similar petition has decisions of the CSC are appealed to the SC together with the
been filed or is still pending in the IAC, unless it is COMELEC and the COA. But with the passage of RA 7902, the
to review the action taken by the IAC on the appeal from the CSC has been transferred to the CA, so what is
petition filed with it. A violation of this rule shall left behind in the Constitution are the COMELEC and the COA.
constitute contempt of court and shall be a cause
for the summary dismissal of both petitions, Obviously, the purpose of this statute is to unburden the SC
without prejudice to the taking of appropriate with so many cases.
action against the counsel or party concerned.

The phrase “except those falling within the appellate


Original Exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court…”means all cases should
[2] Section 9, paragraph 2, BP 129 be appealed to the CA except those which belong to the SC
under the
Constitution. We know that already.
(2) “Exclusive” jurisdiction over actions
for annulment of judgments of Regional
Trial Courts; And also “except those falling under the Labor Code of the
Philippines.”
Q: Actions for annulment of judgments of RTC’s, is this similar
to an appeal? Is this the same as appealing the decision of the A labor case is not supposed to be filed in court but with a
RTC to the CA? quasijudicial agency known as the NLRC and you start in the
local level – from the Labor Arbiter, then the decisions of the
Labor Arbiter are appealable to the NLRC and then from there,
A: No, because in appeal, you are invoking the appellate where will you go?
jurisdiction of the CA. Here in paragraph 2, it is not appellate
but original jurisdiction. Meaning, you are filing an action
before the CA for the first time. And the nature of the action is Q: Is the decision of the NLRC appealable before the CA because
to annul a judgment of the RTC. it is also a quasi-judicial agency and under the law, all
decisions of quasi-judicial agencies are supposed to be appealed
to the CA.
The implementation is found in Rule 47 of the Rules.

A: NO. The decision of the NLRC is an exception – except those


APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS under the appellate jurisdiction of the SC under the
Constitution and in accordance with the Labor Code (PD 422).
Paragraph 3, Sec. 9 of BP 129 defines the appellate jurisdiction
of the CA.
NLRC decisions cannot be appealed to the CA and the only way
to elevate it is to the SC by what we call certiorari, not appeal.
[3] Section 9, paragraph 3, BP 129 (This is already modified in the St. Martin Funeral Homes
vs. NLRC case.) Also, decisions of the Secretary of Labor, under
(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all the Labor Code are not reviewable by the CA, but they are
final judgments, decisions, resolutions, reviewable directly by the SC.
orders or awards of the RTCs and
quasijudicial agencies, instrumentalities, And then there is the phrase, "the provisions of this Act, and
boards or commissions, including the of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph
Securities and Exchange Commission, the (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary
Social Security Commission, the Act of 1948.”
Employees Compensation Commission and
the Civil Service
So, the new Judiciary Law still makes some reference to the old
Commission, except those falling within
law. This shows that the entire 1948 Judiciary Law has not
the appellate jurisdiction of the SC in
accordance with the Constitution, the been totally repealed. Some provisions are still intact because
Labor Code of the Philippines under PD of the reference.
442, as amended, the provisions of this
Act, and of subparagraph Now what is this subparagraph 1 of the third paragraph?
(1) of the third paragraph and
subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph It only applies to criminal cases. EXAMPLE: A person is
of Sec. 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. sentenced to reclusion perpetua, his co-accused is sentenced to
Take note, the appellate jurisdiction of the CA is EXCLUSIVE. reclusion temporal or prison mayor, and all of them will appeal,
Now, if you will analyze paragraph 3, you will notice that the CA all of them should go to the SC. Otherwise, you will be splitting
is a powerful court because it has exclusive appellate the appeal into two parts. (Modified in the People vs Mateo
jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolution, case as discussed in Criminal Procedure.)
orders or awards of RTC’s. So as a general rule, if the RTC,
anywhere in the country renders a decision and you want to
Subparagraph 4 of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 refers
appeal, whether civil or criminal, chances are it will go the to
to appeal from the RTC on pure legal question which should
CA. It is a powerful court, because it covers all RTC’s and the
be filed with the SC.
appellate jurisdiction is exclusive.

Q: Suppose there are questions of fact, or it is an appeal on


questions of fact and questions of law?

18
A: Under the 1948 Judiciary Law, you cannot appeal directly to now that since the CA is a very powerful court, it can take the
the SC. You must appeal to the CA. place of the RTC? A: That is already interpreted in the case of

The same thing when the issue is on the constitutionality of a LINGER AND FISHER vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE
treaty, law, legality of tax, when the jurisdiction of the lower COURT –
court is in issue, as explained here in this paragraph of the 125 SCRA 522 [1983]
Judiciary Act of 1948, if the appeal is 100% constitutional
issue, jurisdictional or legality issue – appeal is to the SC under HELD: The power of the CA to receive evidence refers only
the Constitution. But if it is mixed with questions of fact, do to incidental facts which were not 100 percent touched
not go to the SC. You go first to the CA. That is what the upon, or matters which were simply overlooked by the trial
paragraph is all about. court. You cannot opt not to present evidence before the
RTC. It only refers to incidental facts.
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction
“Evidence necessary in regards to factual issues raised in
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of ordinary appeal from cases falling within the Appellate Court’s original and
the RTC and the Family Courts (Sec. 9[3] BP Blg. 129). 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
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of petition for review
Appellate Court would hold an original and full trial of a
from the RTC rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its
main factual issue in a case, which properly pertains to
appellate jurisdiction (Sec. 22 BP Blg. 129; Rule 43, Rules of
Trial Courts.”
Court; Sec. 9 BP Blg. 129)

Exclusive appellate jurisdiction by way of petition for review


from the decisions, resolutions or orders or awards of the CSC,
Central Board of Assessment Appeals and other bodies JURISDICTION OF THE
mentioned in Rule 43 (Sec. 9[3]), BP Blg. 129) and of the Office
of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS
(Enemecio vs. Office of the Ombudsman 419 SCRA 82; Gonzales
vs. Rosas 423 SCRA 488).
Q: How many RTC’s are there in the Philippines?
Note that under RA No. 9282, the judgments AND FINAL
ORDERS OF THE Court of Tax Appeals are no longer appealable
BP 129 Section 13 (1) Creation of Regional
by way of petition for review to the CA. Judgments of the CTA Trial Courts – There are hereby created
rendered en banc are appealable to the SC by way of Rule 45 thirteen (13) Regional Trial Courts, one for
(Sec. 11 RA No. 9282) each of the following regions: x x

Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over decisions of MTCs in So the Judiciary law has divided the country into 13 areas
cadastral or land registration cases pursuant to its delegated called JUDICIAL REGIONS. From the 1st to the 12th, the 13th
jurisdiction (Sec. 34 BP Blg. 129 as amended by RA No. 7691). is actually in the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila.
This is because decisions of MTCs in these cases cases are Every division is divided into branches.
appealable in the same manner as decisions of RTCs (Sec. 34
BP Blg. 129). Every RTC judge is appointed to a region which shall be his
permanent station, and his appointment states the branch of
Power to try and conduct hearings the court and seat to which he shall be originally assigned.
However, the SC may assign temporarily an RTC judge to
[4] Section 9, last paragraph, BP 129: another region as public interest may require, provided that
such temporary assignment shall not last longer than 6 months
without the consent of the RTC judge concerned.
The Court of Appeals shall have the power
to try cases and conduct hearings, receive
evidence and perform any and all acts The SC shall define the territory over which a branch of the RTC
necessary to resolve factual issues raised in shall exercise his authority. The law provides:
cases falling within its original and
appellate jurisdiction, including the power BP 129, Section 18. Authority to define
to grant and conduct new trials or further territory appurtenant to each branch – The
proceedings. Trials or hearings in the CA Supreme Court shall define the territory
must be continuous and must be completed over which a branch of the Regional Trial
within three (3) months unless extended by Court shall exercise its authority. The
the Chief Justice. (As amended by RA 7902) territory thus defined shall be deemed to
be the territorial area of the branch
Even if the CA is not a trial court, under the law it has the concerned for purposes of determining the
power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and venue of all suits, proceedings or actions,
perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues in whether civil or criminal, as well as
cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, determining the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts over which the said
proceedings (Sec. 9 [3], BP 129 as amended by RA 7902). The
branch may exercise appellate
CA may pass upon factual issues as when a petition for
jurisdiction. The power herein granted
certiorari is filed before it (Alcazaren vs. Univet Agricultural
shall be exercised with a view to making
Products, Inc. 475 SCRA 636).
the courts readily accessible to the people
of the different parts of the region and
This paragraph shows that the present CA is a more powerful making the attendance of litigants and
court than before. It is a unique court. Aside from being an witness as inexpensive as possible.
appellate court, it also acts as a trial court. It may receive
evidence but only those evidence which were overlooked by the Though RTC Cebu City is found in the 7 th Judicial Region,
trial court. It can order a new trial or conduct a new trial itself. which includes Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor
province, its territorial area is not the entire region, (7 th Judicial
The CA may pass upon factual issues as when a petition for Region), where it belongs or even the entire province of Cebu or
certiorari is filed before it(Alcazaren vs. Univet Agricultural limited to Cebu City only because it depends on the territory as
Products, Inc. 475 SCRA 636) or in petitions for writ of amparo defined by the SC.
or habeas corpus data or in case of actions to annul judgment
of the RTC over which the CA has original jurisdiction (Bar Now, the law says, the SC has the power to define the area of its
2008). branch for purposes of supervising that area and the MTC
there. Now, as early as 1983, the SC has already come out with
Q: If an issue of fact is tried before the RTC, can I always ask the administrative order defining the area of responsibility of
the CA to allow me to present evidence? Does it mean to say each branch throughout the Philippines.

19
Interim Rules, Sec. 2. Territorial Jurisdiction of which is a counterpart of specific performance. (Russel vs.
Courts. - Vestil, 304 SCRA, 739, 744-745 [1999])

Such ruling was, however, modified in Go vs. UCPB, GR No.


156182 Nov. 11, 2004 where the court declared the following as
a) MetTCs, MTCs and MCTCs shall exercise real actions:
their jurisdiction in the city, municipality
1) judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage;
or circuit for which the judge thereof is
2) actions to annul real estate mortgage;
appointed or designated.

for the reason that a real estate mortgage is a real right as well
b) A Regional Trial Court shall exercise its
jurisdiction within the area defined by the as a real property. So an action to cancel or annul a real estate
SC as the territory over which the mortgage necessarily affects title to the real property, hence a
particular branch concerned shall exercise real action and jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value
its authority, in accordance with Sec. 18 of of the property.
BP 129.
A complaint for expropriation is incapable of pecuniary
estimation (Barangay San Roque vs. Heirs of Pastor, 334 SCRA
Jurisdiction of the RTC
127).
An action seeking to annul a resolution of a government-owned
EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION– Note Section 19 was and controlled corporation is an action incapable of pecuniary
amended by RA 7691, effective April 15, 1994 and entitled “An estimation (Polomolok Water District vs. Polomolok General
Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Consumers Association GR No. 162124, October 19, 2007).
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts”.

An action to annul a Deed of Declaration of Heirs and for a


CONCURRENT ORIGINAL JURISDICTION with other courts – partition of land with an assessed value of P5,000.00 is an
Section 21 action incapable of pecuniary estimation where the partition
aspect is only incidental to the action for annulment (Russel vs.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION – Section 22 Vestil 304 SCRA 739).

An action for partition of a real property located in Taytay Rizal


and with an assessed value of P20,000.00, the resolution of
EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE which involves the determination of hereditary rights, is an
RTC action incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus, should be
filed in the RTC (Suggested answer UP Law Center Bar 2000)
Sec. 19 Jurisdiction in civil cases – Regional Trial Note: This answer could also be subject to an alternative
answer, when it is argued that an action for partition is one
Courts shall exercise exclusive original
which involves interest in real property. Hence, jurisdiction
jurisdiction: would be dependent on the assessed value of the property.

[1] In all civil actions in which the subject An action for specific performance to compel the defendant to
of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary execute a deed of conveyance covering a parcel of land with an
estimation. assessed value of P19,000.00 is an action incapable of
pecuniary estimation because the main issue is whether or not
there is a right to compel specific performance (Suggested
What does incapable of pecuniary estimation mean? answer, UP Law Center Bar 2000). Note: This answer is subject
to an alternative answer which asserts that where the primary
In an action incapable of pecuniary estimation, the basic issue purpose of the action is to recover or obtain ownership of the
is one other than the recovery of a sum of money. If ever there is real property, the action is one affecting title to real property
a claim for money, it should only be incidental to the main and is, therefore, a real action. In a real action, jurisdiction is
issue. determined by the assessed value of the property.

Where the action is principally the recovery of a sum of money, An action for specific performance is one generally considered
the action is one capable of pecuniary estimation and incapable of pecuniary estimation (Russel vs. Vestil, supra).
jurisdiction would then depend on the amount of the claim
exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorneys fees, The amount of damages that may be claimed in addition to the
litigation expenses and costs. (Raymundo vs. CA, 213 SCRA 457 prayer for specific performance is not determinative of
[1992]; Singsong vs. Isabela Sawmill, 88 SCRA 623 [1979]) jurisdiction. Thus, an action for specific performance and
damages of P200,000.00 is cognizable by the RTC even if the
The basic issue in an action incapable of pecuniary estimation amount of damages sought to be recovered is within the
is one other than the recovery of money. In this kind of action jurisdiction of the MTC.
the money claim is merely incidental (ibid)
Where, however, the demand is in the alternative, as in an
How to determine whether the action is capable or action to compel the defendant to deliver the house by
incapable of pecuniary estimation- completing its construction or to pay the sum of P644.31, the
action is one that is capable of pecuniary estimation (Cruz vs.
Tan 87 Phil. 627). Thus an action for specific performance or in
“In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of
a the alternative, for damages in the amount of P180,000.00 is
which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this Court has
one capable of pecuniary estimation. Here, the amount of
adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the
damages is determinative of jurisdiction (Bar 1997).
principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the
recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
pecuniary estimation and whether jurisdiction is in the MTCs or If as gleaned from the complaint, the principal relief sought by
the CFIs would depend on the amount of the claim. However, the complaint is for the court to issue an injunction against the
where the basic issue is something other than the right to adverse party and his representatives to permanently enjoin
recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely them from preventing the survey of the subject land, the
incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, complaint is not a possessory action but one for injunction. As
this Court has considered such actions as cases where the such, the subject matter of litigation is incapable of pecuniary
subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, estimation and properly cognizable exclusively by the RTC
and are cognizable exclusively by the CFI.” under Sec. 19(1) of BP Blg. 129, as amended by RA No. 7691
(Bokingo vs. CA 489 SCRA 521).

Examples: of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation are


those for specific performance, support, or foreclosure of An action for injunction is within the jurisdiction of the RTC
mortgage or annulment of judgment, also actions questioning being an action incapable of pecuniary estimation. (Bar 1997).
the validity of a mortgage, annulling a deed of sale or
conveyance and to recover the price paid and for rescission

20
An action for replevin of a motorcycle valued at P150,000.00 is shall be adjusted after five (5) years from
capable of pecuniary estimation. The basis of jurisdiction is the the effectivity of this Act to Four hundred
value of the personal property sought to be recovered. The thousand pesos (P400,000,00).
amount of P150,000.00 falls within the jurisdiction of the MTC.
(Bar 1997). [4] In all matters of probate, both testate
and intestate, where the gross value of the
An action for interpleader is capable of pecuniary estimation. If estate exceeds One Hundred Thousand
the subject of interpleader is real property, then the pesos (P100,000.00) [now php300,000] or,
jurisdictional amount is determined by the assessed value of the in probate matters in Metro Manila, where
land. If it be personal property, then the value of the property. such gross value exceeds Two Hundred
Thousand pesos (P200,000.00) [now
P400,000].
Hence, an action of interpleader to determine who between the
defendants is entitled to receive the amount of P190,000.00
from the plaintiff is within the jurisdiction of the MTC (Bar In the subject of Wills and Succession, when a person dies, his
1997; Makati Development Corporation vs. Tanjuatco 27 SCRA estate, his property will be settled for the benefit of his creditors
401). and heirs. That is what you call either as testate or intestate
proceedings depending on whether the deceased left a will or
none.
[2] In all civil actions which involve the
title to, or possession of, real property or
any interest therein, where the assessed If there are debts due the decedent, thus, payable by his/her
value of the property involved exceeds estate, settlement would mean liquidation, which includes
P20,000 or for civil actions in Metro inventory of all the assets and obligations payable, payment of
Manila, where such value exceeds P50,000 the debts, then distribution of the residue to the heirs. This is
except actions for forcible entry into and done by the court thru an administrator appointed by it or thru
unlawful detainer of lands and buildings; the executor appointed by the decedent.
original jurisdiction over which is Q: Where should the estate of the deceased person be settled,
conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial RTC or MTC?
Courts, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;
A: It depends on how much is the gross value of his estate. If it
So in all real actions outside of forcible entry and unlawful exceeds P300,000, RTC. If it is P300,000 or less, it should be
detainer, jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the with the MTC. In Metro Manila again, the gross should be more
real property subject thereof. than P400,000.

What is a real action? The jurisdiction of the court as a probate or intestate court
relates only to matters having to do with the settlement of the
It is one affecting title to or possession of real property, or estate and probate of the will of the decedent but does not
interest therein. (Sec. 1, Rule 4) extend to the determination of questions of ownership that arise
during the proceedings.
Examples: would be accion publiciana (an action to recover
possession of real property), accion reinvidicatoria (action to [5] In all actions involving the contract of
recover ownership of real property), quieting of title, provided marriage and marital relations.
the assessed value of the property exceeds P20,000.00.
Most of these cases are under the Family Code and now fall
So, for a lesser value, MTC has jurisdiction. This is why MTCs under the jurisdiction of family courts (RA 8369, The Family
now have jurisdiction over accion publiciana when the value of Courts Act of 1997). But because family courts have not yet
the property is P20,000 or less. been constituted, the SC has designated RTCs to take
cognizance of such cases.
In forcible entry and unlawful detainer, jurisdiction lies with the
MTC regardless of the assessed value. Q: What are the possible actions which you can imagine
involving the contract of marriage and marital relations?
Now, if in Metro Manila, the value is P50,000.
[3] In all civil actions in admiralty and A: Annulment of marriage, legal separation, declaration of
maritime jurisdiction where the demand or nullity, dissolution of the absolute community of husband and
claim exceeds One Hundred Thousand wife, and action for support.
pesos (P100,00.00) [now PhP 300,000.00]
or, in Metro Manila, where such demand or RA 8369, SECTION 5.Jurisdiction of Family
claim exceeds Two Hundred Thousand Courts. — The Family Courts shall have
pesos exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and
(P200,000.00)[now, PhP 400,000]. decide the following cases:

EXAMPLE: The shipper will ship to you goods involving a xxxxxx


common carrier and while in transit, the goods are lost or they
are totally damaged. You would like to file a claim or a case d) Complaints for annulment of marriage,
against the carrier, what kind of a case is it? That is an
declaration of nullity of marriage and those
admiralty or maritime case.
relating to marital status and property relations
of husband and wife or those living together
Q: In which court will you file it?
under different status and
agreements, and petitions for dissolution of
A: It depends on how much is your claim. If your claim of the
conjugal partnership of gains;
damaged or lost cargo exceeds P300,000, then, RTC; if it is
P300,000 or less, MTC. In Metro Manila, the jurisdictional
amount is higher – it should be over P400,000. xxxxxx

RA 7691, Sec. 5. After five (5) years from No. 6 will be discussed later.
the effectivity of this Act, the jurisdictional
amounts mentioned in Sec. 19(3), (4), and [7] In all civil actions and special
(8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. proceedings falling within the exclusive
129 as amended by this Act, shall be original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and
adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos Domestic Relations Court and of the
(P200,000.00). Five (5) years thereafter, Court of Agrarian Relations as now
such jurisdictional amounts shall be provided by law;
adjusted further to Three hundred
thousand pesos (P300,000.00): Provided,
however, That in the case of Metro Manila, Before BP 129 or before 1980, there were special courts existing.
the abovementioned jurisdictional amounts

21
Among these courts were the so called Juvenile and Domestic A: RTC and you ask for higher compensation.
Relations Courts (JDRC). Then you have the Court of Agrarian
Relations (CAR) which tried cases involving tenancy, [8] In all cases in which the demand,
agricultural lessor, agricultural lessee, agricultural lands. exclusive of interest, damages of whatever
When BP 129 was enacted, the CAR and the JDRCs were kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses,
abolished together with the other courts created by law. Cases and costs or the value of the property in
which they used to handle were automatically transferred to the controversy exceeds One Hundred
RTC. That was after BP 129 took effect. Thousand pesos (P100,000.00) [now
P300,000] or, in such other cases in Metro
What were the cases which were usually falling within the Manila, where the demand, exclusive of
original jurisdiction of the former JDRC? the above-mentioned items exceeds Two
Hundred Thousand pesos
(P200,000.00)[now P400,000]
Usually, those involving family and children, like support filed
by the child against his father, compulsory recognition, custody
of children, adoption proceedings. The best example is money claim. Most cases which go to court
now are money claims – an action to collect sum of money.
Under BP 129, all of these are now within the jurisdiction of
RTC. Q: Unpaid loan – you would like to collect an unpaid loan of
your debtor. Where will you file your case?
HOWEVER, this has been amended again by RA 8369 (Family
Courts Act of 1997) and these cases are now under the A: It depends on how much are you collecting. If it is over
jurisdiction of the FAMILY COURTS: (See Sections 5 [b], [c], [e], P300,000 outside Metro Manila – RTC, in Metro Manila, –
[g]) P400,000. If the amount that you are collecting is only
P300,000 or less obviously, you file your case in the MTC.
RA 8369, SECTION 5.Jurisdiction of
Family Courts. — The Family Courts shall If the value of the claim is > P300,000 – RTC
have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear
and decide the following cases: If the value of the claim is = or < P300,000 – MTC

xxxx Q: Suppose the principal amount that you borrowed from me is


P300,000, the interest is P30,000. And you are collecting
b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, P10,000 for moral damages, another P10,000 for expense of
habeas corpus in relation to the litigation, etc. So my total claim is P350,000. Where will I file
latter; the case?

c) Petitions for adoption of children and the A: MTC. In determining the jurisdictional limit of P300,000, do
revocation thereof; not include the interest, damages, attorney’s fees, etc. So you
deduct those from the principal claim even if you put them in
xxxx your complaint because the law says, “xxx exclusive of interest,
damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses,
and costs xxx.”
g) Petitions for declaration of status of
children as abandoned, dependent or
neglected children, petitions for voluntary Q: What are litigation expenses and costs?
or involuntary commitment of children;
the suspension, termination, or restoration A: Costs are not the same as attorney’s fees and litigation
of parental authority and other cases expenses. Actually, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses are
cognizable under Presidential Decree No. part of damages. Costs are governed by Rule 141, while
603, Executive Order No. 56, (Series of attorney’s fees and litigation expenses are governed by the Civil
1986), and other related laws; Code.

xxxxx
ACTIONS PURELY FOR DAMAGES

As regards the law transferring the jurisdiction of the CAR to the


SITUATION: Suppose the action is purely for damages, like
RTC, it became partially obsolete with the enactment of the
breach of contract of carriage. Instead of bringing you to your
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or RA 6657 (June
destination, you ended up in the hospital. You now sue the
15, 1988). Under the CARL, all agrarian disputes between
common carrier for damages and your claim is P1 million for
landlord and tenant, lessor and lessee were transferred to the
injuries, moral, exemplary, etc. Where will you file the case?
DAR particularly the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB), making
them quasi-judicial cases. So, from CAR to RTC, from RTC to
DARAB 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
So the RTC has NO jurisdiction, EXCEPT in the following 2
excluding damages applies only if the damages are INCIDENTAL
cases QUISMUNDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS - 201 SCRA 609
to the action. If the main cause of action is 100% damages, you
[1991]
include it in determining tire P300,000 jurisdictional limit of the
MTC.
HELD: “Wth the enactment of Executive Order No.
229, which took effect on August 29, 1987, the EXAMPLE: Ms. Pastor rode on a PAL fight. The plane crashed
Regional Trial Courts were divested of their general but she survived. She claims for damages for breach of contract
jurisdiction to try agrarian reform matters. The said of carriage amounting to P1 million.
jurisdiction is now vested in the Department of
Agrarian Reform. Said provisions thus delimit the
jurisdiction of the regional trial courts in agrarian Q: Where will she file her case?
cases only to two instances:
A: RTC because the amount of the claim for damages exceeded
1. petitions for the determination of just compensation to P300,000. Since the case is purely for damages, it is included in
landowners; and determining the jurisdiction of the court.
2. prosecution of criminal offenses under said Act.
The rule is, you only exclude the damages if it is a secondary
claim. But if damages is the primary or only claim, you
determine whether the total claim for damages is above
EXAMPLE: If you are a landowner and your agricultural land is
P300,000, or equal to or less than P300,000.
placed under the CARP coverage, the government will fix the
payment for you. The trouble is that you did not agree on the
amount of payment. You want to contest the amount of The SC said in this Circular, “the exclusive damages of whatever
compensation payable, in which court will you file your action? kind” in determining the jurisdiction under Section 19

22
paragraph [8] applies to cases where the damages are merely “The factual allegations in the complaint seeking for the
incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action. performance of an obligation of a written contract which is a
However, if the claim for damages is the main cause of action, matter clearly incapable of pecuniary estimation prevail over
the amount of such claim should be considered in determining the designation of the complaint as one for the sum of
the jurisdiction. money and damages.”

EXAMPLE: P will file a case against D to recover a piece of land As may be seen from the foregoing enumeration, jurisdiction
worth P20,000.00 only. But her claim for damages exceeds is determined:
P300,000.
(1) by the nature of the action; or
Q: In what court will P file a civil case where she wants to (2) by the value of the demand; or
recover a piece of land with value of only P20,000? (3) by the value of the property involved.

A: MTC because of paragraph [2]. As regards the damages of [6] In all cases not within the exclusive
P300,000.00, MTC still has jurisdiction because such damages, jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person
being incidental, is not included in determining the jurisdiction or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
of the RTC. functions

Now, the law says, “exclusive of interest, damages of whatever Practically, this makes the RTC the universal catcher – what
kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs or THE does not belong to any other court, belongs to the RTC. That’s
VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IN CONTROVERSY exceeds what this provision is saying.
P300,000….”
That is why, because of this, there are problems reaching the
Q: What is the property in controversy? SC on jurisdiction – whether a case belongs to this, to the
regular court or to a special quasi-judicial body. And we are
A: Obviously here, the property is PERSONAL PROPERTY not going to go over some of these cases.
real. If the property sought to be recovered is real, apply
paragraph [2] of Section 19 on recovery of real property. SANDOVAL vs. CANEBA - 190 SCRA 77 [1990]

Q: You want to recover your car which your friend borrowed but FACTS: The quarrel in this case involves the owner of the
did not return, which court has jurisdiction? subdivision and the buyer. Later on, the buyer refused to
pay the unpaid installments. The subdivision developer filed
A: MTC if the value is P300,000.00 or less, and RTC, if over. a case for the collection of unpaid installments over the
subdivision lots.
Q: Who shall determine the value or how should the value be
determined? HELD: The regular courts have no jurisdiction. That should
be decided by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
(HLURB) formerly known as NHA. Under PD 957, it is the
A: In determining the jurisdiction of the court, over the subject HLURB not the RTC or MTC which has the jurisdiction to
matter, the allegations in the complaint governs. hear a case involving non-payment of installments over
subdivision lots.
Let us go to some interesting cases on this provision.
The counterpart of this case was the case of

ORTIGAS AND CO., LTD PARTNERSHIP vs. HERRERA - 120 CT TORRES ENTERPRISES, INC. vs. HIBIONADA – 191
SCRA 89 [1983] SCRA
268 [1990]
FACTS: A entered into an agreement with B where A
deposited the sum of P50,000 with B. After certain FACTS: This is also the case between the buyers of a
conditions are complied B has to return the amount to A. subdivision lot against the subdivision developer. Only this
According to A the conditions are already complied with but time it is the subdivision lot buyers who are suing the
B still refuses to return the money. So A filed a complaint developer of the subdivision. The subdivision lot owners
which he denominated as sum of money and since he is filed against the subdivision developer for not maintaining
only asking for the return of P50,000, A filed the case in the properly the roads of the subdivision. So they filed a case
MTC. for specific performance with damages to compel the
developer to comply with the contract to maintain the
roads.
ISSUE #1: Whether or not the MTC has jurisdiction over the
case. HELD: The jurisdiction is with the HLURB and not with the
regular courts. But according to the plaintiff “But I’m also
HELD: The MTC has NO jurisdiction. It should be filed in claiming for damages so that it should be filed before the
the RTC. It is not an action to collect a loan. You are not regular courts. How can the HLURB award damages? Only
recovering a loan. You are compelling him to comply with the regular courts can award the damages.” Can the HLURB
the agreement – to return the money after certain award damages? According to the SC:
conditions are complied with. You are trying to enforce your
agreement. therefore your action is an action for SPECIFIC “The argument that only courts of justice can adjudicate
PERFORMANCE which should be tried by the RTC under claims resoluble under the provisions of the Civil Code is
paragraph [1]. out of step with the fast-changing times. There are
hundreds of administrative bodies now performing this
“When a party to a contract has agreed to refund to the function by virtue of a valid authorization from the
other party a sum of money upon compliance by the latter legislature. This quasi-judicial function, as it is called, is
of certain conditions and only upon compliance therewith exercised by them as an incident of the principal power
may what is legally due him under the written contract be entrusted to them of regulating certain activities falling
demanded, the action is one not capable of pecuniary under their particular expertise.”
estimation.” So it is cognizable by the RTC.
So quasi-judicial bodies are now authorized to award damages.
ISSUE #2: But according to the plaintiff, when he filed the
complaint, it is entitled “for sum of money” which should As a matter of fact in Labor Relations, the question is asked
fall under paragraph [8]. Is the plaintiff correct? whether the NLRC is authorized to grant damages also to an
HELD: NO. The plaintiff is wrong. The title of the action is employee, moral and exemplary, which normally is only
not determinative on the court. Just like the rule on awarded by courts. The Labor Code says yes. In other words,
contracts where the nature of the contract is not determined even damages now can be awarded by administrative bodies
by the title but by stipulation. such as NLRC.

23
FAJARDO vs. BAUTISTA – 232 SCRA 291 [1994] Let’s go to Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). That is
the government body which administers all government
examination for professionals except members of the law
profession. Now, this is what happened in the case of
FACTS: Isabelo and Marita Jareno are the owners and
developers of a subdivision. Fajardo and others, as buyers,
signed separate contracts each designated a contract to sell LUPANGCO ET AL vs. COURT OF APPEALS - 160 SCRA 848
under which for consideration therein stated, the Jarenos [1988]
bound themselves to sell to Fajardo et al the lot subject FACTS: Lupangco et al were BS Accounting graduates and
thereof, and after the latter shall have paid the purchase reviewing to take the CPA exams in 1985.
price and interest shall execute in favor of Fajardo et al the
corresponding deeds of sale. There were some anomalies (leakages) in the 1985 CPA
Board Examination. By next year, the PRC passed a
When these contracts to sell are still ongoing the Jarenos resolution prohibiting CPA examinees to attend review
sold these lots to other buyers and the title was transferred classes or conferences because of leakages. They are
to the second buyer. So when Fajardo et al learned about it, prohibited from receiving any handouts, review materials or
they filed separate complaints with the RTC for annulment any tip from any school, college or university. That was
of the sale to the other buyers. Resolution No. 105 of the PRC.

Now, according to Fajardo, the jurisdiction of the case So petitioners Lupangco et al, all CPA reviewers filed an
belongs to the RTC and not with the HLURB because the injunction suit against the PRC and to declare the
titles of the lots are transferred to the other buyers. It is no resolution unconstitutional. They filed it with the RTC. The
longer under the name of Jareno. Secondly, their action is PRC moved to dismiss alleging that the RTC has no
for the annulment of title to a third person. Thirdly, these jurisdiction over the case because the one which has the
third persons are not the developers; fourthly, under the jurisdiction is the CA – exclusive jurisdiction to review any
Judiciary Law, actions involving title to a real property are decision, order, ruling or- resolution of any quasi-judicial
to be tried by the RTC. body. And the PRC is a quasijudicial body. So their
resolution can only be questioned before the CA and not
HELD: The RTC still has NO jurisdiction because the case with the RTC.
involved unsound real estate business practice on the part of
the subdivision owners and developers. Under the law, HELD: The PRC is WRONG because PRC is not only a
unsound real estate business practice is under the HLURB. The quasijudicial body, it is also a quasi-legislative body. It also
practice in the case is not a sound real estate business – I am a acts as legislative body by issuing rules and regulations.
developer, I enter into a contract with you and then later on I
sold the contract to a third person, that is unsound! Now, what kind of resolution is being questioned here? It is
a resolution pursuant to its purely administrative function.
“By virtue of P.D. 1344, the HLURB has the exclusive It is a measure to preserve the integrity of licensure
jurisdiction to hear and decide the matter. In addition to examination. Therefore, it does not belong to the CA. It is
involving unsound real estate business practices, the not the type of resolution contemplated by Section 9.
complaints also involve specific performance of the
contractual and statutory obligations of the owners or “The authority of the CA to review all resolutions of all
developers of the subdivision.” So it is still with the HLURB quasijudicial bodies pursuant to the law does not cover
and not with the regular courts. rules and regulations of general applicability issued by the
administrative body to implement its purely administrative
BENGUET CORPORATION vs. LEVISTE – 204 SCRA 99 policies and functions like Resolution No. 105 which was
[1991] adopted by the PRC as a measure to preserve the integrity
of licensure examinations.” So that is not the resolution
reviewable by the CA.
FACTS: A mining company entered into an operations
agreement for management with another mining company. Now, under what provision under Section 19 can we justify
Then later on, one wants to file a case for rescission of the the jurisdiction of the RTC in the case. The SC said: It is
agreement for one reason or another. So it was filed with the under paragraph 1 where the case is incapable of pecuniary
RTC. estimation or, it may fall under paragraph 6 where the case
is not within the exclusive jurisdiction by any court,
tribunal or- body exercising Judicial or quasi-judicial
HELD: The RTC has NO jurisdiction again because PD
functions.
1281 vested with the Bureau of Mines with
jurisdictional supervision and control over all issues on
mining claims and that the Bureau of Mines shall have So, if it is not reviewable by the CA, in what court can you
the original exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide question the resolution? Definitely, not the CA, definitely not
cases involving the cancellation and enforcement of the SC. I don’t think it’s with the NLRC. So it will fall under the
mining contracts. jurisdiction of the RTC. Or, it can also fall under paragraph [1,]
where the subject matter of the suit is not capable of pecuniary
The trend is to make the adjudication of mining cases a purely estimation because what is the nature of the demands is to
administrative matter. Another case is the case of declare unconstitutional this resolution. So it belongs to the
jurisdiction of the RTC.
MACHETE vs. COURT OF APPEALS - 250 SCRA 176 [1995]

BERNARDO vs. CALTEX PHIL. INC. - 216 SCRA 170 [1992]


FACTS: This case involves the collection by the landowner of
unpaid back rentals from his leasehold tenants. The landowner
FACTS: Under E.O. No. 172, when there is a dispute
filed the money claims before the RTC.
between an operator or dealer and an Oil company
regarding dealership agreement, the case shall be under the
HELD: The RTC has no jurisdiction over cases for collection jurisdiction of the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB). So any
of back rentals for the leasehold tenants. This is an dispute regarding their relationship agreement except
agrarian dispute which exclusively cognizable by the disputes arising out of the relationship as debtor and
DARAB. creditor. So if the dispute arose out of the relationship as
debtor and creditor, it should be filed with the RTC.
“The failure of petitioners to pay back rentals pursuant to the
leasehold contract with landowner is an issue which is clearly Now what happened here is that on December 5, 1990,
beyond the legal competence of the trial court to resolve. The Bernardo, a dealer of Caltex, ordered gasoline from Caltex.
doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to So he ordered in the morning. At 6:00 at night on the same
arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the day, there was a price increase. So when the gasoline was
jurisdiction over which is initially lodged delivered the following day, Caltex charged Bernardo for the
increased price. Bernardo refused to pay and he filed a case
with an administrative body of special competence.”
before the RTC. Caltex argued that the case should be filed
with the ERB.

24
HELD: The RTC has jurisdiction because “a contract of sale administration of justice (Sec. 233 BP Blg. 129) Jurisdiction
of petroleum products was here perfected between Caltex over intra-corporate controversies
and its operator/dealer Bernardo; that in virtue of the
payment admittedly made by Bernardo, Caltex became a
“debtor” to him in the sense that it was obligated to make Sec. 5.2 of the Securities Regulation Code (RA No 8799) provides
delivery to Bernardo of the petroleum products ordered by that the RTCs shall exercise original and exclusive jurisdiction
him; and that the only issue is the manner by which Caltex to hear and decide the following cases:
shall perform its commitment in Bernardo’s favor. It is
rather one cognizable by the Regional Trial Court, as a a.) Cases involving devises or schemes employed by or any
dispute indeed ‘arising out of their relationship as debtor act, of the board of directors, business associates, its
and creditor.’” officers or partnership, amounting to fraud and
misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the
“What the controversy is all about, to repeat, is simply the interest of the public and/or of the stockholders,
prices at which the petroleum products shall be deemed to partners, members of associations or organizations
have been purchased from Caltex by Bernardo in December registered with the Commission.
5, 1990. This is obviously a civil law question, one
determinable according to the provisions of the Civil Code b.) Controversies arising out of inter-corporate or
and hence, beyond the cognizance of the Energy Regulatory partnership relations, between and among
Board.” stockholders, members or associates; between any or
all of them and the corporation, partnership or
Lack of Jurisdiction by RTC on Customs Matters association of which they are stockholders, members
or associates, respectively, and between such
corporation, partnership or association and the state
The RTC is devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity
insofar as it concerns their individual franchise or
or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by
right to exist as such entity.
the Bureau of Customs, and to enjoin or otherwise interfere
with the said proceedings even if the seizure was illegal. Such
act does not deprive the Bureau of Customs of jurisdiction c.) Controversies in the election or appointments of
thereon. (RV Marzan Freight, Inc. v. CA, 424 SCRA 596) directors, trustees, officers or managers of such
corporations, partnerships or associations; and
The Court held that the Trial court was incompetent to pass
upon and nullify: (1) the seizure of the cargo in the d.) Petitions of corporations, partnerships or associations to
abandonment proceedings, and (2) the declaration made by the be declared in the state of suspension of payments in
District Collector of Customs that the cargo was abandoned and cases where the corporation, partnership or
ipso facto owned by the government. It, likewise, has no association possesses sufficient property to cover all
jurisdiction to resolve the issue of whether or not the private its debts but foresees the impossibility of meeting them
respondent was the owner of the cargo before it was gutted by when they respectively fall due or in cases where the
fire. The trial court should have rendered judgment dismissing corporation, partnership or association has no
the complaint, without prejudice to the right of the private sufficient assets to cover its liabilities, but is under the
respondent to ventilate the issue before the Commissioner of management of a Rehabilitation Receiver or
Customs and/or to the CTA as provided for in the Tariff and Management Committee.
Customs Code.

Disputed Assessments CONCURRENT ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE


RTC
The CTA has jurisdiction over disputed assessments, and the
ordinary courts over non-disputed ones. Failure of a taxpayer to Sec. 21. Original jurisdiction in other cases. -
appeal to the CTA makes the assessment final and executory. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise
Thereafter, if a collection suit is filed in the court, there can no original jurisdiction:
longer be any inquiry on the merits of the original case.
(Republic v. Dy Chay 1 SCRA 975; Olivares v. Marquez, 438 [1] In the issuance of writs of certiorari,
SCRA 679) prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
habeas corpus, and injunction which may
Non-Disputed Assessments be enforced in any part of their respective
regions;
As provided in RA 9262, the CTA has:
Q: What is the difference between the original jurisdiction of the
RTC in Section 21 and the original jurisdiction of the RTC in
“(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction in tax collection cases Section 19?
involving final and executory assessments for taxes, fees,
charges and penalties; Provided, however, that collection cases
where the principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of A: In Section 19, you have the EXCLUSIVE original jurisdiction,
charges and penalties, claimed is less than P1M shall be tried whereas in Section 21 you have the original jurisdiction but
by the proper MTC, MetTC and RTC. CONCURRENT with other courts.

The tax collection case would fall under the jurisdiction of the Thus “original” jurisdiction stated in Section 21 is also shared
first level courts where the amount does not exceed with the SC and CA. Therefore , the SC, CA, and RTC have
P300,000.00 or in MM where it does not exceed P400,000.00. original concurrent jurisdiction under Section 21. Like issuance
of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
habeas corpus, etc. This is concurrent with the CA and the SC.
Where, however, what is being questioned is the very authority Such writs may be issued by (a) the RTC under Section 19; (b)
and power of the assessor, acting solely and independently, to CA under Section 9; and (c) SC under Article VIII Section 5 of
impose the assessment and of the treasurer to collect the tax, the Constitution. The 3 courts share concurrent jurisdiction
and not merely the amounts of the increase in the tax, over these cases.
jurisdiction over the case was properly with the trial courts.
(Olivares v. Marquez 438 SCRA 679)
However the only difference is that writs issued by an RTC can
only be enforced in the same region where the RTC belongs.
Special jurisdiction to try special cases Unlike writs issued by the SC and CA, they can be enforced
anywhere in the Philippines.
Certain branches of the RTC may be designated by the SC to
handle exclusively criminal cases, juvenile and domestic [2] In actions affecting ambassadors and other
relations cases, agrarian cases, urban and land reform cases public ministers and consuls.
The SC and RTC have original concurrent jurisdiction in actions
which do not fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls.
and agencies, and/or such other special cases as the SC may Section 21 paragraph 2 states only of the concurrent original
determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient jurisdiction of the SC and RTC. Section 19 on the jurisdiction

25
of CA does not include the action stated in section 21 paragraph as long as your appeal is on time and properly made, the CA will
2 as part of its (CA’s) jurisdiction. entertain it.

APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE RTC It is different, however, in a case under the appellate jurisdiction
of the RTC, even if your appeal is on time and properly made,
Sec. 22. Appellate jurisdiction. - Regional there is no assurance that the CA will entertain the appeal. The
Trial Courts shall exercise appellate CA may give it due course only when your petition for review
jurisdiction over all cases decided by shows prima facie evidence that the lower court has committed
MetTCs, an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal or
MTCs and MCTCs in their respective modification of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed.
territorial jurisdictions. Such cases shall
be decided on the basis of the entire Summary of RTC jurisdiction:
record of the proceedings had in the court
of origin and such memoranda and/or
1.) As to the EXCLUSIVE original jurisdiction –
briefs as may be submitted by the parties
or required by the RTCs. The decision of Section 19 (BP 129);
the RTCs in such cases shall be appealable 2.) As to its original CONCURRENT jurisdiction –
by petition for review to the CA which Section 21 (BP 129);
may give it due course only when the 3.) As to its APPELLATE jurisdiction – Section 22
petition show prima facie that the lower (BP
court has committed an error of fact or 129)
law that will warrant a reversal or
modification of the decision or judgment JURISDICTION OF FAMILY COURTS
sought to be reviewed.

Under RA 8369, the Family Courts shall have exclusive


Now take note that the RTC also has appellate jurisdiction jurisdiction over the following civil cases:
under Section 22. These are cases decided by the MTC. So they
act as a sort of ‘court of appeals.’ The RTC exercises appellate
jurisdiction over all cases decided by the MTC in their respective 1. Petitions for guardianship, custody of children and
territorial jurisdiction. habeas corpus involving children;

Q: How will the RTC decide on the appeal? 2. Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation
thereof;

A: It shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the


3. Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of
proceedings had in the court of origin (MTC) such as
nullity of marriage and those relating to status and
memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted. This means
property relations of husband and wife or those living
that witnesses will not be made to appear again in the appeal.
together under different status and agreements, and
It is only a matter of reviewing the testimony, stenographic
notes, evidence presented, memoranda and briefs by the RTC petitions for dissolution of conjugal partnership of
judge. gains;

Q: What are memoranda and briefs? 4. Petitions for support and/or acknowledgment;

5. Summary judicial proceedings brought under the


A: It is where the appealing party will argue that the decision is
provisions of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise
wrong and try to convince the judge that the decision is wrong,
known as the “Family Code of the Philippines”;
and the other party to counter act that the decision is correct.

6. Petitions for declaration of status of children as


Q: Assuming that the case is originated in the MTC and
abandoned, dependent, or neglected children, petition
subsequently dismissed by the RTC on appeal, is the decision
for voluntary of involuntary commitment of children,
by the RTC rendered pursuant to its appellate jurisdiction
the suspension, termination or restoration of parental
appealable to the CA?
authority and other cases cognizable under PD No.
603,
A: YES, but the mode of appeal is now different. The decision of E.O. No. 56 (series of 1986) and other related laws;
the RTC in such cases shall be appealable by petition to review
to the CA. The CA may or may not give it due course.
7. Petitions for the constitution of the family home (Sec. 5
Q: What is the difference between an appeal made from the RTC
RA 8369).
to CA and appeal from the MTC to RTC, which is dismissed by
the latter and subsequently appealed to the CA?
In areas where there are no Family Courts, the above
A: The former (RTC – CA) is in pursuance to the original enumerated cases shall be adjudicated by the Regional Trial
jurisdiction of the RTC. The latter (MTC-RTC-CA) is in Court (Sec. 17, RA No. 8369).
pursuance to the appellate jurisdiction of the RTC. (They are
governed by different rules) To illustrate:

JURISDICTION OF THE
Pursuant to Pursuant to
original appellate MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS
jurisdiction of the RTC: jurisdiction of the RTC:
Actually, when you know the jurisdiction of the RTC,
COURT OF COURT OF automatically you know the jurisdiction of the MTC. In criminal
cases for example, RTC has jurisdiction when the penalty
APPEALS APPEALS
imposable is imprisonment of more than 6 years until death
penalty. So, necessarily, if it is 6 years or below, the MTC has
Ordinary appeal Petition for Review jurisdiction. Same with civil cases.
(Rule 41) (Rule 42)
RTC RTC Summary of jurisdiction of MTC:

Ordinary Appeal a) As to original jurisdiction – Section 33


(Rule 40) b) As to delegated jurisdiction – Section 34
MTC c) As to special jurisdiction – Section 35

A.) EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MTC


Unlike in a case under the original jurisdiction of the RTC,
where an appeal to the CA is a matter of course. Meaning, for

26
Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial lien on the judgment awarding such
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal damages.
Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. -
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Where the amount of damages, other than
Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts actual, is specified in the complaint or
shall exercise: information, the corresponding filing fees
shall be paid by the offended party upon the
1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil filing thereof in court.
actions and probate proceedings,
testate and intestate, including the
Except as otherwise provided in these Rules,
grant of provisional remedies in
no filing fees shall be required for actual
proper cases, where the value of the
damages.
personal property, estate, or amount
of the demand does not exceed One
hundred thousand pesos (b) The criminal action for violation of Batas
(P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila Pambansa Blg. 22 shall be deemed to include
where such personal property, estate, the corresponding civil action. No reservation
or amount of the demand does not to file such civil action separately shall be
exceed two hundred thousand pesos allowed.
(P200,000.00), exclusive of interest,
damages of whatever kind, attorney's
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and
fees, litigation expenses, and costs,
civil actions, the offended party shall pay in
the amount of which must be
full the filing fees based on the amount of the
specifically alleged: Provided, That
check involved, which shall be considered as
interest, damages of whatever kind,
attorney's fees, litigation expenses, the actual damages claimed. Where the
and costs shall be included in the complaint or information also seeks to
determination of the filing fees: recover liquidated, moral, nominal,
Provided further, That where there temperate or exemplary damages, the
are several claims or causes of actions offended party shall pay additional filing fees
between the same or different parties, based on the amounts alleged therein. If the
embodied in the same complaint, the amounts are not so alleged but any of these
amount of the demand shall be the damages are subsequently awarded by the
totality of the claims in all the causes court, the filing fees based on the amount
of action, irrespective of whether the awarded shall constitute a first lien on the
causes of action arose out of the same judgment.
or different transactions.
EMNACE vs CA (2001) GR 126334
RA 7691, Sec. 5. After five (5) years from the effectivity of
this Act, the jurisdictional amounts mentioned in Sec. Payment of Filing fees In Case Civil Aspect Is Deemed Impliedly
19(3), (4), and (8); and Sec. 33(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg.
129 as amended by this Act, shall be adjusted to Two Instituted In the Criminal Action:
hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00). Five (5) years
thereafter, such jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted In any event, the Court now makes that intent plainer, and in
further to Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00): the interest of clarity and certainty, categorically declares for
Provided, however, That in the case of Metro Manila, the
guidance of all concerned that when the civil action is deemed
abovementioned jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted
after five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act to Four impliedly instituted with the criminal in accordance with
hundred thousand pesos (P400,000,00). Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court – because the offended
party has not waived the civil action, or reserved the right to
Well if you know the jurisdiction of the RTC on money claims institute it separately, or instituted the civil action prior to the
and probate cases, automatically you will also know that of the criminal action – the rule is as follows: (1) when the amount of
MTC. the damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or
information filed in court, then the corresponding filing fees
Under the law, it is only the principal claim or the main claim shall be paid by the offended party upon filing thereof in court
which is computed. Interest, damages of whatever kind, for trial; (2) in any other case, however, -- i.e. when the amount
attorneys fees, litigation expenses and cost are not included in of damages is not so alleged in the complaint or information
determining the jurisdiction when they are merely incidental to
filed in court the corresponding filing fees need not be paid and
or a consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases
where the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or one shall simply constitute a first lien on the judgment, except in an
of the causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be award for actual damages. (General vs. Hon. Claravall, et al.,
considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court. 195 SCRA 623)

Jurisdiction and Payment of Docket Fees Q: Suppose there was no mention of any claim for moral or
exemplary damages, by not stating the amount claimed, can he
Even if the amount of damages and attorney’s fees do not still prove them during the trial? YES
determine jurisdiction, they must still be specifically alleged in
the complaint for the purpose of payment of docket fees. Thus, But he did not pay docket fee?
the higher the amount one is claiming the higher the filing fee.
A: Never mind, once it is awarded, there is now a lien in the
Why pay the docket fee? judgment for the payment of the docket fee.

Because it is not simply the filing of the complaint or For Independent Civil Actions
appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the
prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction In the case of Sun Insurance if the damages was not mentioned
over the subject matter or nature of the action. (Sun Insurance in the complaint in the civil case they are deemed waived. If it is
Office Ltd. [SIOLI] v. Asuncion 170 SCRA 274, 285 [1989]) mentioned, and the amount is fixed you must pay the docket fee
at the start of the case though if it is not complete, you are
Let us review what we learned in criminal procedure. given the chance to complete the payment or amend the
SECTION 1. Xxxxxx complaint within reasonable time.

When the offended party seeks to enforce In criminal cases, even if there is no mention of damages in the
civil liability against the accused by way of information, you can still prove and claim them as long as there
moral, nominal, temperate, or exemplary is no waiver or reservation.
damages without specifying the amount
thereof in the complaint or information, the When docket fee is due for actual damage:
filing fees therefore shall constitute a first

27
So in criminal cases, if the claim for moral or exemplary additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien
damages is mentioned in the information, you must pay the on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of
docket fee upon filing of the information. But whether alleged in the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy
the information or not, you can claim for actual damages and to enforce said lien and assess and collect the
additional fee.
there is no docket fee for actual damages except in cases under
BP 22. That is the exception which is now embodied in Section 1
paragraph [b] which was taken from SC circular 57-97 – there is
Payment of docket fee and counterclaims
no payment of docket fee for actual damages except in criminal
cases for violation of BP 22 because paragraph [b] says:
Second rule:
“The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims…”
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil
actions, the offended party shall pay in full the filing
Re Compulsory Counterclaim
fees based on the amount of the check involved, which
shall be considered as the actual damages claimed.
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
OTHER CASES ON FILING FEE IN CIVIL CASES: docket fees not only for permissive counterclaim but also for
compulsory counterclaims. But the SC suspended the
In the case of enforcement of the new rates of legal fees under Rule 141
effective September 21, 2004, with respect to compulsory
counterclaims, among others. It did not suspend the imposition
MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORP. vs. CA – 149 SCRA
of legal fees.
562

However, in Korea Technologies Co. Ltd. Vs. Lerma, 542 SCRA


FACTS: The plaintiff files a complaint and paid the docket
1, January 7, 2008, the Court said:
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 amount as the court will grant. “On July 17, 1998, at the time PGSMC filed its Answer
Respondent contended, on the other hand, that it cannot be incorporating its counterclaims against KOGIES, it was not
done, there is a necessity to state the exact amount of the liable to pay filing fees for said counterclaim being compulsory
damages in order to determine the correct amount of the in nature. We stress, however, that effective August 16, 2004,
docket fee. So the plaintiff amended the complaint and paid under Sec. 7 of Rule 141, as amended by AM No. 04-2-04-SC,
the balance of the docket fees. docket fees are now required to be paid in compulsory
counterclaim or cross claims.”
ISSUE: Whether or not the subsequent amendment cures the
defect? And the third rule laid down in Sun Insurance:

HELD: No, the defect is incurable. Thus, the action has to If the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleadings,
be dismissed. The court acquires no jurisdiction over the the filing fee therefor shall be a lien in the judgment. It shall be
case. The remedy is to re-file the complaint and pay again the responsibility of the clerk of Court or his duly-authorized
the complete amount of the docket fee. The prior payment deputy to enforce the lien, assess and collect the additional fee.
made is forfeited in as much as the defect in the first
complaint is incurable. Q: When can this possibly happen?

So based on the MANCHESTER ruling, you cannot cure the A: That can happen for example if I ask for damages. A man was
defect by merely amending the complaint. hospitalized because of physical injuries. While still in the
hospital he filed an action for damages and based the amount of
However, the SC, after reflecting on what it said in the case of damages on the current billing but alleged that he continues to
MANCHESTER, realized the harshness of their decision. This incur expenses as may be determined in the course of trial. He
Manchester ruling was relaxed in the subsequent case of SUN paid the docket fee corresponding to the amount mentioned.
INSURANCE OFFICE which is now the governing law: After trial he was able to establish expenses in the sum of
P50,000.00.
SUN INSURANCE OFFICE LTD. vs. COURT OF APPEALS –
170 Q: Can the court award the P 50,000?
SCRA 274 [1989]
A: Yes, because the additional expenses came only after the
filing of the case. The additional docket fee will constitute a lien
HELD: Thus, the Court rules as follows: on the award.

1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or The Sun Insurance is a leading case on docket fee. It was
appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of followed with a third case in December 1989 which further
the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court clarified the SUN INSURANCE ruling. This is the case of
with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature
of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory TACAY vs. RTC OF TAGUM, DAVAO DEL NORTE - 180
pleading is not accompanied by payment of the SCRA 433 [1989]
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. NOTE: When this case was filed, there was no SUN
INSURANCE decision yet. The guiding rule
was still
2. The same rule applies to permissive
MANCHESTER. But while this was pending the SUN INSURANCE
counterclaims, third party claims and similar
was already out.
pleadings, which shall not be considered filed
until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefore FACTS: The case was for recovery of land with damages. So it is
not purely for damages. So the amount of filing fee is assessed
is paid. The court may also allow payment of said
fee within a reasonable time but also in no case based on the assessed value of the land because it is a real
action, which the plaintiff paid.
beyond its applicable prescriptive or reglementary
period.
Defendant moved to dismiss based on MANCHESTER because
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a the plaintiff did not specify in the complaint how much damages
claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and he was claiming. Now the RTC of Tagum denies the motion to
payment of the prescribed filing fee but, dismiss. The defendant goes to the SC citing MANCHESTER.
subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
specified in the pleading, or if specified the same Of course the SC said that the Manchester ruling was no longer
has been left for determination by the court, the controlling because of Sun Insurance.

28
But it enunciated another rule. Issue: Is the lawyer required to pay a filing fee?

HELD: “Where the action involves real property and a related HELD: Yes. “It may be true that the claim for attorney's fees
claim for damages as well, the legal fees shall be assessed on was but an incident in the main case, still, it is not an
the basis of both: escape valve from the payment of docket fees because as in
all actions, whether separate or as an offshoot of a pending
a) the value of the property and proceeding, the payment of docket fees is mandatory. The
b) the total amount of related damages sought. docket fee should be paid before the court would validly act
on the motion.”
The court acquires jurisdiction over the action if the filing of the
initiatory pleading is accompanied by the payment of the SUSON vs. COURT OF APPEALS - 278 SCRA 284 [August 21,
requisite fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the time of the filing 1997)
of the pleading, as of the time of full payment of the fees within
such reasonable time as the court may grant, unless, of course, FACTS: Mortz filed a case against Charles in Leyte. After
prescription has set in the meantime.” filing, the court dismissed the case because it should be
filed in Cebu. Mortz wrote a letter to the Office of the Court
In other words, the total docket fee must be based on the Administrator (OCA) asking that the docket fee paid in Leyte
assessed value of the land and for the damages. Thus: be considered applicable to Cebu. OCA granted his request.
Charles questioned it because of the rule that the payment of
docket fee is jurisdictional.
1. If the docket fee for the recovery of land is paid but
none for the damages, do not dismiss the entire case!
Just do not consider the claim for the damages. Or, HELD: “The OCA has neither the power nor the authority to
2. second option, citing SUN INSURANCE, give him exempt any party not otherwise exempt under the law or under
reasonable time to pay the balance. the Rules of Court in the payment of the prescribed docket fees.
It may be noteworthy to mention here that even in the Supreme
Court, there are numerous instances when a litigant has had to
While Sun Insurance relaxed the rule (as to how or when to
re-file a petition previously dismissed by the Court due to a
complete the payment), it did not however, effect any change in
technicality (violation of a pertinent Circular), and in these
the rule that it is not only the filing of the complaint but also
instances, the litigant is required to pay the prescribed docket
the payment of the docket fee that is necessary for the
fee and not apply to the re-filed case the docket fees paid in the
acquisition of the jurisdiction of the court over the complaint
earlier dismissed case.”
filed. (Gensoli & Co. v. NLRC, 289 SCRA 407, 413 [1998]). If the
filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment
of the docket fees, the court may allow payment of the fee within “In the case at bar, in the strict sense, Mortz’s complaint cannot
a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable be deemed to have been ‘re-filed’ in Cebu City because it was
prescriptive or reglementary period. (Colarina v. CA, 303 SCRA not originally filed in the same court but in the RTC Leyte.
647, 654 [1999]) Thus, when Mortz’s complaint was docketed by the clerk of
court of the RTC Cebu City, it became an entirely separate case
from that dismissed by the RTC of Leyte due to improper venue.
Other interesting cases on docket fees.
As far as the case in Cebu is concerned, while undoubtedly the
order of dismissal is not an adjudication on the merits of the
No “file now, pay later” policy case, the order, nevertheless, is a final order. This means that
when private respondent did not appeal therefrom, the order
FILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORP vs. COURT OF became final and executory for all legal intents and purposes.”
APPEALS –
171 SCRA 674 [1989] DE LEON vs. COURT OF APPEALS – 287 SCRA 94 [March 6,
FACTS: Adrian dela Paz sued all oil companies (Shell, 1998]
Caltex, Mobil, etc.) of the Philippines for infringement of
patent with prayer for the payment of reasonable
compensation for damages. According to him, these
FACTS: The question for decision is whether in assessing the
companies used in their operation a certain type of machine
docket fees to be paid for the filing of an action for annulment or
which he claimed he invented. His patent was infringed.
rescission of a contract of sale, the value of the real property,
Thus, all these companies are all liable to him for royalties.
subject matter of the contract, should be used as basis, or
The estimated yearly royalty due him is P236,572. Since the
whether the action should be considered as one which is not
violation has been for many years already, his claims
capable of pecuniary estimation and therefore the fee charged
reached millions. The trial court ordered him to pay
should be a flat rate of P400.00 as provided in Rule 141, Section
P945,636.90 as docket fee. He had no money so he
7(b)(1) of the Rules of Court.
questioned it. The trial court ruled:

Defendant argued that an action for annulment or rescission of


“We will allow you to file the case and the docket fee is
a contract of sale of real property is a real action and, therefore,
deductible from whatever judgment of damages shall be
the amount of the docket fees to be paid by Plaintiff should be
awarded by the court.”
based either on the assessed value of the property, subject
matter of the action, or its estimated value as alleged in the
HELD: There is no such thing as file now pay later. No complaint.
justification can be found to convert such payment to
something akin to a contingent fee which would depend on
Since Plaintiff alleged that the land, in which they claimed an
the result of the case.
interest as heirs, had been sold for P4,378,000.00 to defendant,
this amount should be considered the estimated value of the
“Filing fees are intended to take care of court expenses in land for the purpose of determining the docket fees.
the handling of cases in terms of cost of supplies, use of
equipments, salaries and fringe benefits of personnel, etc.,
Plaintiff countered that an action for annulment or rescission of
computed as to man hours used in handling of each case.
a contract of sale of real property is incapable of pecuniary
The payment of said fees therefore, cannot be made
estimation and, so, the docket fees should be the fixed amount
dependent on the result of the action taken, without
of P400.00 in Rule 141, Section 7(b).
entailing tremendous losses to the government and to the
judiciary in particular.” HELD: Plaintiff is correct. “In determining whether an action
is one the subject matter of which is not capable of
pecuniary estimation, this Court has adopted the criterion
Q: What is the remedy of the plaintiff if he/she cannot really pay of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or
the filing fee? remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of
money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary
A: Have himself declared by the court as a pauper litigant. estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal
courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the
LACSON vs. REYES - 182 SCRA 729 amount of the claim. “
FACTS: There was a case filed and then the lawyer filed a
motion to direct the plaintiff to pay him his attorney’s fees – However, where the basic issue is something other than the
a motion for payment of attorney’s fees. right to recover a sum of money, or where the money claim

29
is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal Not satisfied, petitioner filed the instant petition for review,
relief sought, like in suits to have the defendant perform his raising the same issues resolved by the Court of Appeals,
part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for namely:
support, or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a
mortgage, this Court has considered such actions as cases I. Failure to pay the proper docket fee;
where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in
terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of
Xxxx xxxx xxxx
first instance.”

It can be readily seen that respondents' primary and ultimate


“The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second class
objective in instituting the action below was to recover the
cases, besides the determination of damages, demand an
decedent's 1/3 share in the partnership's assets. While they ask
inquiry into other factors which the law has deemed to be
for an accounting of the partnership's assets and finances, what
more within the competence of courts of first instance,
they are actually asking is for the trial court to compel
which were the lowest courts of record at the time that the
petitioner to pay and turn over their share, or the equivalent
first organic laws of the Judiciary were enacted allocating
value thereof, from the proceeds of the sale of the partnership
jurisdiction.”
assets. They also assert that until and unless a proper
accounting is done, the exact value of the partnership's assets,
“Actions for specific performance of contracts have been as well as their corresponding share therein, cannot be
expressly pronounced to be exclusively cognizable by courts ascertained. Consequently, they feel justified in not having paid
of first instance and no cogent reason appears, and none is the commensurate docket fee as required by the Rules of Court.
here advanced by the parties, why an action for rescission
(or resolution) should be differently treated, a "rescission"
We do not agree. The trial court does not have to employ
being a counterpart, so to speak, of ‘specific performance’.”
guesswork in ascertaining the estimated value of the
partnership's assets, for respondents themselves voluntarily
“In both cases, the court would certainly have to undertake
an investigation into facts that would justify one act or the pegged the worth thereof at Thirty Million Pesos
other. No award for damages may be had in an action for (P30,000,000.00). Hence, this case is one which is really not
rescission without first conducting an inquiry into matters beyond pecuniary estimation, but rather partakes of the nature
which would justify the setting aside of a contract. Issues of of a simple collection case where the value of the subject assets
the same nature may be raised by a party against whom an or amount demanded is pecuniarily determinable. While it is
action for rescission has been brought, or by the plaintiff true that the exact value of the partnership's total assets cannot
himself.” be shown with certainty at the time of filing, respondents can
and must ascertain, through informed and practical estimation,
“It is, therefore, difficult to see why a prayer for damages in the amount they expect to collect from the partnership,
an action for rescission should be taken as the basis for
particularly from petitioner, in order to determine the proper
concluding such action as one capable of pecuniary
estimation — a prayer which must be included in the main amount of docket and other fees. 14 It is thus imperative for
action if plaintiff is to be compensated for what he may have respondents to pay the corresponding docket fees in order that
suffered as a result of the breach committed by defendant, the trial court may acquire jurisdiction over the action.
and not later on precluded from recovering damages by the
rule against splitting a cause of action and discouraging Nevertheless, unlike in the case of Manchester Development
multiplicity of suits.”
Corp.

“Thus, although eventually the result may be the recovery of v. Court of Appeals, 16 where there was clearly an effort to
land, it is the nature of the action as one for rescission of defraud the government in avoiding to pay the correct docket
contract which is controlling.” fees, we see no attempt to cheat the courts on the part of
“Since the action of Plaintiff against Defendant is solely for respondents. In fact, the lower courts have noted their
annulment or rescission which is not susceptible of expressed desire to remit to the court "any payable balance or
pecuniary estimation, the action should not be confused lien on whatever award which the Honorable Court may grant
and equated with the ‘value of the property’ subject of the them in this case should there be any deficiency in the payment
transaction; that by the very nature of the case, the of the docket fees to be computed by the Clerk of Court." 17
allegations, and specific prayer in the complaint, sans any
There is evident willingness to pay, and the fact that the docket
prayer for recovery of money and/or value of the
transaction, or for actual or compensatory damages, the fee paid so far is inadequate is not an indication that they are
assessment and collection of the legal fees should not be trying to avoid paying the required amount, but may simply be
intertwined with the merits of the case and/or what may be due to an inability to pay at the time of filing. This consideration
its end result.” may have moved the trial court and the Court of Appeals to
declare that the unpaid docket fees shall be considered a lien on
In Go vs. UCPB, GR No. 156182 Nov. 11, 2004 the court the judgment award.
declared the following as real actions:
Petitioner, however, argues that the trial court and the Court of
3) judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage; Appeals erred in condoning the non-payment of the proper legal
4) actions to annul real estate mortgage; fees and in allowing the same to become a lien on the monetary
or property judgment that may be rendered in favor of
for the reason that a real estate mortgage is a real right as well respondents. There is merit in petitioner's assertion. The third
as a real property. So an action to cancel or annul a real estate
paragraph of Section 16, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court states
mortgage necessarily affects title to the real property, hence a
real action and jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value that:
of the property.
The legal fees shall be a lien on the monetary or property
judgment in favor of the pauper-litigant.
EMNACE vs CA (2001) GR 126334
Respondents cannot invoke the above provision in their favor
Issue: Whether or not respondent Judge acted without because it specifically applies to pauper-litigants. Nowhere in
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in taking the records does it appear that respondents are litigating as
cognizance of a case despite the failure to pay the required paupers, and as such are exempted from the payment of court
docket fee; fees.

On August 8, 1996, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed The rule applicable to the case at bar is Section 5(a) of Rule 141
decision, 12 dismissing the petition for certiorari, upon a finding of the Rules of Court, which defines the two kinds of claims as:
that no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction was committed by the trial court in issuing the
1) those which are immediately ascertainable; and
questioned orders denying petitioner's motions to dismiss.

30
2) those which cannot be immediately ascertained as to docket fees within a reasonable time before the expiration of the
the exact amount. applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.

This second class of claims, where the exact amount still has to In the recent case of National Steel Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 25
be finally determined by the courts based on evidence this Court held that:
presented, falls squarely under the third paragraph of said
Section 5(a), which provides: The court acquires jurisdiction over the action if the filing of the
In case the value of the property or estate or the sum claimed is initiatory pleading is accompanied by the payment of the
less or more in accordance with the appraisal of the court, the requisite fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the time of the filing
difference of fee shall be refunded or paid as the case may be. of the pleading, as of the time of full payment of the fees within
(Emphasis ours) such reasonable time as the court may grant, unless, of course,
prescription has set in the meantime.
In Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 19
this Court pronounced that the above-quoted provision "clearly It does not follow, however, that the trial court should have
contemplates an initial payment of the filing fees corresponding dismissed the complaint for failure of private respondent to pay
to the estimated amount of the claim subject to adjustment as the correct amount of docket fees. Although the payment of the
to what later may be proved." 20 Moreover, we reiterated therein proper docket fees is a jurisdictional requirement, the trial court
the principle that the payment of filing fees cannot be made may allow the plaintiff in an action to pay the same within a
contingent or dependent on the result of the case. Thus, an reasonable time before the expiration of the applicable
initial payment of the docket fees based on an estimated prescriptive or reglementary period. If the plaintiff fails to
amount must be paid simultaneous with the filing of the comply within this requirement, the defendant should timely
complaint. Otherwise, the court would stand to lose the filing raise the issue of jurisdiction or else he would be considered in
fees should the judgment later turn out to be adverse to any estoppel. In the latter case, the balance between the appropriate
claim of the respondent heirs. docket fees and the amount actually paid by the plaintiff will be
considered a lien or any award he may obtain in his favor.
The matter of payment of docket fees is not a mere triviality. (Emphasis ours)
These fees are necessary to defray court expenses in the
handling of cases. Consequently, in order to avoid tremendous Accordingly, the trial court in the case at bar should determine
losses to the judiciary, and to the government as well, the the proper docket fee based on the estimated amount that
payment of docket fees cannot be made dependent on the respondents seek to collect from petitioner, and direct them to
outcome of the case, except when the claimant is a pauper- pay the same within a reasonable time, provided the applicable
litigant. prescriptive or reglementary period has not yet expired. Failure
to comply therewith, and upon motion by petitioner, the
Applied to the instant case, respondents have a specific claim — immediate dismissal of the complaint shall issue on
1/3 of the value of all the partnership assets — but they did not jurisdictional grounds.
allege a specific amount. They did, however, estimate the
partnership's total assets to be worth Thirty Million Pesos TOTALITY RULE
(P30,000,000.00), in a letter addressed to petitioner.
Now, continuing with Section 33, it says there in paragraph [1]:
Respondents cannot now say that they are unable to make an
estimate, for the said letter and the admissions therein form
“Provided further, That where there are
part of the records of this case. They cannot avoid paying the
several claims or causes of actions between
initial docket fees by conveniently omitting the said amount in the same or different parties, embodied in
their amended complaint. This estimate can be made the basis the same complaint, the amount of the
for the initial docket fees that respondents should pay. Even if it demand shall be the totality of the claims
were later established that the amount proved was less or more in all the causes of action, irrespective of
whether the causes of action arose out of
than the amount alleged or estimated, Rule 141, Section 5(a) of
the same or different transactions.”
the Rules of Court specifically provides that the court may
refund the excess or exact additional fees should the initial
Under This rule, where there are several claims or causes of
payment be insufficient. It is clear that it is only the difference actions between the same or different parties, embodied in the
between the amount finally awarded and the fees paid upon same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality
filing of this complaint that is subject to adjustment and which of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether
may be subjected to a lien. the causes of action arose out of the same or different
transactions (Sec. 33 as amended by RA No. 7691; PANTRANCO
North Express Inc. vs. Standard Insurance Company Inc., 453
In the oft-quoted case of Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Hon.
SCRA 482).
Maximiano Asuncion, this Court held that when the specific
claim "has been left for the determination by the court, the
ILLUSTRATION of joinder of causes of action:
additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the
judgment and it shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court
The defendant secured from me two loans covered by 2
or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess
promissory notes and all of them are due and he has not paid
and collect the additional fee." Clearly, the rules and me any. Let's say each note covers a principal amount of
jurisprudence contemplate the initial payment of filing and P175,000.00.
docket fees based on the estimated claims of the plaintiff, and it
is only when there is a deficiency that a lien may be constituted I decided to file one complaint embodying 2 causes of action
on the judgment award until such additional fee is collected. against him although I have the option also to file 2 separate
complaints. If you will look at the value of each claim which is
Based on the foregoing, the trial court erred in not dismissing P175,000 that is triable by the MTC but if you will add the
claims that will be P350,000.00.
the complaint outright despite their failure to pay the proper
docket fees. Nevertheless, as in other procedural rules, it may be
Q: Which court will have jurisdiction?
liberally construed in certain cases if only to secure a just and
speedy disposition of an action. While the rule is that the
A: The RTC because the jurisdictional amount is the total
payment of the docket fee in the proper amount should be
amount.
adhered to, there are certain exceptions which must be strictly
construed.
Never mind that there are 2 separate loans because the law says
“irrespective of whether the cause of action arose out of the
In recent rulings, this Court has relaxed the strict adherence to same or different transactions.”
the Manchester doctrine, allowing the plaintiff to pay the proper

31
In the example, there are two causes of action arising from two Q: In an action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer, can the
separate transactions. Illustrate a joinder of causes of action party present evidence of ownership?
arising from only one transaction.
A: The general rule is NO because the MTC cannot adjudicate
Suppose the loan is payable in installments on separate dates. ownership. That has to be threshed out in the proper civil action
Each failure is a cause of action. in the RTC. But if evidence of ownership is presented in the
forcible entry or unlawful detainer case, it is only incidental and
Now in the examples, there is only one plaintiff and one it is only resolved to determine the issue of possession. Such
defendant. declaration of ownership is not final. The question of ownership
must be litigated in a separate action in the RTC.
Let us now proceed to the third paragraph of Section 33 as
What about when there are several plaintiffs or defendants?
amended by R.A. 7691:

EXAMPLE: There are four (4) passengers riding on a public


Real Actions other then Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer
vehicle. They were all injured when the bus met an accident and
all of them were hospitalized. So after they were discharged, the
four of them wanted to sue the bus company for damages [3] Exclusive original jurisdiction in all
arising from contract of carriage or culpa contractual. They civil actions which involve title to, or
decided to file only one complaint and, in effect, joined the 4 possession of, real property or any interest
causes of action. therein where the assessed value of the
property or interest therein does not
exceed Twenty thousand pesos
Q: What will be now the basis of jurisdiction the claim of each
(P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro
plaintiff or the totality of the claims of the 4 plaintiffs?
Manila, where such assessed value does
not exceed Fifty thousand pesos
A: The totality of the claims. You apply the totality rule because (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest,
the law says “where there are several claims or cause of action damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees,
between the same or different parties.” litigation expenses and costs: Provided,
That in cases of land not declared for tax
So whether the parties are the same or the parties are different purposes, the value of such property shall
embodied in the same complaint the amount of the demand be determined by the assessed value of the
shall be the totality of the claims the totality rule applies in both adjacent lots. (As amended by RA 7691)
situations.
Aside from forcible entry and unlawful detainer, MTCs now have
jurisdiction over other real actions or actions involving title to or
Totality Rule subject to rule on joinder of parties
possession, or any interest therein, like accion publiciana and
Where two or more plaintiffs, having separate causes of action,
accion reinvidicatoria cases where the assessed value of the
sue one defendant or a plaintiff sues one or more defendants in
land should not exceed P20,000. In Metro Manila, it is not
a single complaint, based on several causes of action for or
exceeding P50,000 In cases of land not declared for taxation
against each other, respectively, the totality rule applies only
purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by the
where there is a common question of fact or law among them as
assessed value of the adjacent lots.. That is the amendment
provided in Section 6 of Rule 3.
brought about by RA 7691 which expanded the jurisdiction of
the MTC.
When there are several parties-plaintiffs or defendants and
there are several causes of action, as in the last example given,
An accion reivindicatoria is a suit which has for its object the
when you join the causes of action there will necessarily be a
recovery of possession over the real property as owner. It
joinder of parties. In such a case there can only be a proper
involves recovery of ownership and possession based on said
joinder of causes of action when there is a proper joinder of
ownership.
parties and the totality rule applies only when the joinder is
proper.
An accion publiciana is one for the recovery of possession or
the right to possess. It is also referred to as an ejectment suit
Q: When is a joinder of parties proper?
after the expiration of one year after the occurrence of the cause
of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the
A: It is proper when there is a common question of fact and law. realty. It is considered a plenary action to recover the right of
Note also that joinder of parties is permissive (Sec. 6, R3) possession when dispossession is effected by means other than
unlawful detainer or forcible entry.
Jurisdiction of the MTC in Forcible Entry and Unlawful
Detainer Q: What is the Assessed value?

Sec. 33[2] Exclusive original jurisdiction A: The assessed value of real property can have reference only to
over cases of forcible entry and unlawful the tax rolls in the municipality where the property is located,
detainer: Provided, That when, in such and is contained in the tax declaration. It is elementary that the
cases, the defendant raises the question of
tax declaration indicating the assessed value of the property
ownership in his pleadings and the
enjoys the presumption of regularity as it has been issued by
question of possession cannot be resolved
the proper government agency (Hilario vs. Salvador, 457 SCRA
without deciding the issue of ownership,
815).
the issue of ownership shall be resolved
only to
determine the issue of possession. x x x x” In Vda. De Barrera vs. Heirs of Legaspi, GR No. 174346,
Sept. 12, 2008, the facts point to a complaint for reconveyance
These are called accion interdictal and the only issue is physical of possession of real property with preliminary injunction and
possession of the property. The two cases should not be damages filed in the RTC of Tangub City. One of the defenses
confused with accion publiciana which is also the recovery of raised by the defendants was the court’s lack of jurisdiction over
possession. the 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
In unlawful detainer, the plaintiff prays not only to eject the contention of the defendant holding that since the complaint
defendant but also to claim for back rentals or the reasonable alleged the estimated value of the land as P50,000.00, such
amount of the use and occupation of the property in case of allegation must prevail over the assessed value of P11,160.00
forcible entry. relied upon by the defense. What determines the nature of the
action and the jurisdiction over the complaint, said the trial
Q: Suppose the unpaid rentals already amount to almost half a court, are the facts alleged in the complaint and not those
million pesos, where should the case be filed? alleged in the answer of the defendants. The CA affirmed.

A: The case should still be filed with the MTC. What determines On appeal by certiorari the SC held:
jurisdiction is the nature of the action, and not the amount of
recoverable rentals.

32
“The subject land has an assessed value of P11,160.00 as habeas corpus or applications for bail in
reflected in the Tax Declaration No. 7565, a common exhibit of criminal cases in the province or city
the parties. The bare claim of respondents that it has a value of where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit.
P50,000.00 thus fails. The case, therefore, falls within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the municipal trial court. This is what we call special jurisdiction. It only applies to two (2)
types of cases: (1) Habeas corpus and (2) hearing of petitions
It was error then for the RTC to take cognizance of the for bail.
complaint based on the allegation that “the present estimated
value of the land is P50,000.00”…The estimated value, Remember that habeas corpus is not within the jurisdiction of
commonly referred to as the fair market value of the property.” the MTC. It is with the RTC. In an application for bail the RTC
also has jurisdiction because the offense may be a heinous one,
B.) DELEGATED JURISDICTION OF THE MTC but under the law on criminal procedure you can file a petition
for bail to have your temporary freedom while the case is going
Sec. 34. Delegated Jurisdiction in Cadastral on. That’s supposed to be in the RTC.
and Land Registration Cases. - MetTCs,
MTCs and MCTCs may be assigned by the But suppose there is no available RTC judge, all of them are
Supreme Court to hear and determine sick or all of them are attending a convention (this actually
cadastral or land registration cases happened in Davao in 1990) Section 35 provides that the MTC,
covering lots where there is no controversy in the absence of RTC judges, can hear and decide on habeas
or opposition, or contested lots where the corpus case petitions and applications or petitions for bail in
value of which does not exceed One criminal cases.
hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), That is allowed because of the urgency of the situation. There is
such value to be ascertained by the no need for a SC authorization. However, this is only allowed in
affidavit of the claimant or by agreement the absence of the RTC judges. But if the RTC judge comes
of the respective claimants if there are back, he has to take over the petition.
more than one, or from the corresponding
tax declarations of the real property. Their
decisions in these cases shall be appealable REVISED RULE ON SUMMARY PROCEDURE as amended by
in the same manner as decisions of the A.M. 02-11-09-SC, effective November 25, 2002
RTCs. (As amended by RA 7691)
Cases subject to summary procedure
As a rule cadastral and land registration cases
fall under the jurisdiction of the RTC. (a) Forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases; and
(b) All other claims where the total claim does not exceed
Q: What is the difference between a land registration proceeding P100,000.00 (outside Metro Manila), or does not
and a cadastral proceeding? exceed P200,000.00 (Metro Manila) exclusive of
interests and costs. Probate proceedings are not
A: Cadastral is compulsory registration. covered by the rule on summary procedure even if the
gross value of the estate does not exceed P100,000.00
or P200,000.00.
This is related to your study of Land, Titles and Deeds (The
Property Registration Decree). When you file a petition for land
registration, the object is to have your property registered and Some basic principles to be remembered in civil cases subject to
fall under the Torrens System of the Land Registration. a summary procedure:

Q: Now, what is this delegated jurisdiction all about? (a) Not all pleadings in an ordinary civil action are allowed
in a summary procedure. The only pleadings allowed
A: It refers only to cadastral and land registration cases which
are (1) complaint; (2) compulsory counterclaim; (3)
involve the titling of property under the Torrens system or
crossclaim pleaded in the answer, (4) answers to these
cadastral land registration.
pleadings (Sec. 3)
(b) The court in a summary procedure may dismiss the
Under the Property Registration Decree, only the RTC has case outright on any of the grounds for the dismissal
authority to entertain land registration and cadastral cases. But of a civil action (Sec. 4)
now, Section 34 gives the Supreme Court the authority to (c) Should the defendant fail to answer the complaint
DELEGATE to MTCs to hear and decide land registration and within the period of ten (10) days from service of
cadastral cases under the following conditions: summons, the court may motu proprio, or on motion
of the plaintiff, render judgment (not an order
declaring the defendant in default) as may be
1.) when there is no controversy or nobody is
warranted by the facts alleged and limited to what is
contesting your petition; or prayed for (Sec. 6)
2.) even if the petition is contested where the value of (d) There shall be preliminary conference held but there
the land to be titled does not exceed P100,000. shall be no trial. Instead the parties shall submit
affidavits and position papers (Secs ,8,9)
(e) Within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the last
affidavits and positions papers, or the expiration of the
In which case, these MTCs can decide and their decisions are
period for filing the same, the court shall render
appealable directly to the CA because in exercise of delegated
judgment (Sec. 10)
jurisdiction it is acting as an RTC.
(f) As a rule a motion to dismiss is not allowed except on
either of two grounds (1) lack of jurisdiction over the
The value of the lot shall be ascertained by the affidavit of the subject matter, or (2) failure to comply with the
claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are barangay conciliation proceedings (Sec. 19(a))
more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the (g) Although a petition for certiorari is prohibited in cases
real property. subject to summary procedure, the Court in one case
allowed the petition because the trial court gravely
Now do not confuse this P100,000 (Section 34) with the P20,000 abused its discretion by indefinitely suspending the
under Section 33. Section 34 deals with cadastral and land proceedings in ejectment cases thus, acting contrary to
registration cases. Section 33 involves civil cases (accion the purposes of the Rules on Summary Procedure. The
publiciana, etc.) SC recognized that because the order of the trial court
cannot be appealed from it being an interlocutory and
C.) SPECIAL JURISDICTION OF MTC since the proceedings are covered by the Rules on
Summary Procedure, a ‘procedural void’ exists.
Invoking its power to suspend the rules to promote
Sec. 35. Special jurisdiction in certain cases.
substantial justice, the SC gave due course to the
- In the absence of all the Regional Trial
petition pro hac vice because of the extraordinary
Judges in a province or city, any
circumstances of the case. The Court observed that
Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial
allowing the petition would avoid the mischiefs sought
Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may
to be curbed by the Rules and would give spirit and life
hear and decide petitions for a writ of

33
to the Rules on Summary Procedure (Go vs. CA 297 1. streamlining procedural rules to eliminate
SCRA 574). provisions that cause delay and permit dilatory
(h) It must be emphasized that in a civil case governed by tactics;
the Rules on Summary Procedure, no hearing is
2. re-engineering the jurisdictional structure of the
conducted. Instead, the parties are required to submit
courts to ensure easy geographical access to the
their respective position papers (Five Star Marketing
Corporation vs. Booc, 535 SCRA 28). courts particularly by the poor litigants;
3. improving the case management system toward
Q: Now, what are the PROHIBITED documents, motions, or more transparency, accountability and integrity of
pleadings under the Summary Rules? A: The following (Under the judicial process and for better efficiency; and
Section 19): 4. strengthening of the mediation mechanism to
promote early dispute resolution nationwide.
1.) Motion to quash except when your ground
is
a.) lack of jurisdiction over the subject
matter; or This involves the institutionalization of court-annexed
b.) failure to comply with the Barangay mediation, and the establishment of a Mediation Center to
Conciliation; continually monitor and assess the performance of the system
2.) Motion for bill of particulars; and provide training and research.
3.) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration
of a judgment, or for reopening of trial; your Notwithstanding the absence of a law at the present time
remedy here is appeal; creating small claims courts in our country, the Supreme Court
4.) Petition for relief from judgement; through a program in partnership with ABA-ROLI and USAID,
5.) Motion for extension of time to file an can promulgate and implement a simplified rule of procedure
affidavit;
exclusively for small claims and assign a certain number of
6.) Memoranda;
existing first level courts to take cognizance of small claims.
7.) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or
This does not need legislative action as the Court can designate
prohibition against any interlocutory orders
several first level courts all over the country to jump-start the
issued by the court;
8.) Motion to declare the defendant in default; pilot project. Thus, pursuant to its rule-making power, the
9.) Dilatory motions postponements; Court under the present Constitution can adopt a special rule of
10.) Reply; procedure to govern small claims cases and select pilot courts
11.) Third-party complaints; that would empower the people to bring suits before them pro se
12.) Interventions; to resolve legal disputes involving simple issues of law and
Jurisdiction Over Small Claims Cases procedure without the need for legal representation and
Introduction of the Concept of Small Claims Court in the extensive judicial intervention. This system will enhance access
Philippines to justice especially by those who cannot afford the high costs of
litigation even in cases of relatively small value. It is envisioned
The idea of establishing Small Claims Courts in the Philippines that by facilitating the traffic of cases through simple and
was first proposed to the Supreme Court through a study expeditious rules and means, our Court can improve the
conducted in 1999 by Justice Josue N. Bellosillo, former Senior perception of justice in this country, thus giving citizens a
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. After observing small renewed “stake” in preserving peace in the land. This is a
claims courts and interviewing judges of such courts in Dallas, hopeful message to our people that
Texas, United States in 1999, Justice Bellosillo proposed in a
Report that courts can be established in the Philippines to Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases “there is no need
handle exclusively small claims without the participation of to despair for there is deliverance in law; that is a promise that
lawyers and where ordinary litigants can prosecute and defend has been fulfilled by law in the past; it is a promise law will
a small claims action through readymade forms. He envisioned again fulfill in the future.” In December 2007, the Supreme
the small claims courts as another positive approach, in Court established a Technical Working Group composed of the
addition to mandatory pre-trial, for solving court congestion and Court Administrator, the Program Management Office
delay.The study and report was subsequently endorsed for Administrator, selected judges and other officials of the
legislative action to Senator Franklin Drilon who later funded a Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to
project for this purpose. At the regular session of the Fourteenth undertake the following activities:
Congress, House Bill No. 2921 entitled “An Act Establishing
Small Claims Courts” was introduced by Congressman Jose V. 1) The development of Rules and Procedures to
Yap. Thereafter, on July 3, 2007, Senate Bill No. 800 entitled Implement Pilot Small Claims Courts;
“Philippine Small Claims Court Act” was filed by Senator Ramon 2) The establishment of Criteria to Select Appropriate
A. Revilla, Jr. and, on September 3, 2007, the bill passed First Regions/Judges for Pilot Small Claims Courts and set
Reading and was referred to the Committee(s) on Justice and Peso Limits for the Small Claims Courts
Human Rights and Finance. The same is still pending with 3) Through the Philippine Judicial Academy, the conduct
these committees at present. In 2007, the United States Agency of training programs for Judges and their personnel
for International Development (USAID) awarded a two-year grant participating in the Pilot Small Claims Courts project;
to the American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA- and
ROLI) to pursue judicial reform activities in the Philippines for 4) The employment of “Justice on Wheels” buses to
the fiscal period October 2007 to September 30, 2009 . In a launch pilot small claims tribunals.
letter to Chief Justice Reynato S.
Puno dated October 10, 2007, ABA-ROLI proposed the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases 1
establishment of small claims pilot courts among first level
courts in different regions of the Philippines. The small claims A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC
pilot court project was proposed by ABA to USAID after
consultation with various Supreme Court officials in RULE OF PROCEDURE
conjunction with the 2000 Action Plan for Judicial Reform.
Among the critical issues being addressed by the APJR are case FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES
congestion and delay. The congestion of case dockets is central
to a multitude of problems, either as cause or effect; it is either EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008
the 34 A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC manifestation or the source of other
difficulties. Addressing this concern is thus an imperative8
MANILA, PHILIPPINES
which is why present reforms in judicial systems and
procedures have included the following:
SEPTEMBER 2008

34
RULE OF PROCEDURE to Rule 111 of the Revised Rules Of Criminal
Procedure. These claims or demands may be:
FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES
(a) For money owed under any of the following:
SECTION 1. Title.—This Rule shall be known as
“The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.” 1.Contract of Lease;

SEC. 2. Scope.—This Rule shall govern the 2.Contract of Loan;


procedure in actions before the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal 3.Contract of Services;
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts for
payment of money where the value of the claim 4.Contract of Sale; or
does not exceed One Hundred Thousand Pesos
(P100,000.00) exclusive of interest and costs. 5.Contract of Mortgage;

Explanatory Note: The purpose of a small claims process is to (b) For damages arising from any of the following:
provide an inexpensive and expeditious means to settle disputes
over small amounts. For purposes of the project, the amount 1.Fault or negligence;
has been set for claims involving amounts of not more than 2.Quasi-contract; or
P100,000.00. The theory behind the small claims system is that
ordinary litigation fails to bring practical justice to the parties 3.Contract;
when the disputed claim is small, because the time and expense
required by the ordinary litigation process is so disproportionate (c) The enforcement of a barangay amicable
to the amount involved that it discourages a just resolution of settlement or an arbitration award involving a
the dispute. The small claims process is designed to function money claim covered by this Rule pursuant to
quickly and informally. There are no attorneys, no formal Sec. 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known
pleadings and no strict legal rules of evidence. The small claims as the Local Government Code of 1991.
court system is not a “typical inferior court.” Parties are
encouraged to file small claims court actions to resolve their Explanatory Note: The kinds of cases that can be filed in Small
minor disputes as opposed to resorting to self-help or forcible Claims Court vary, but the case must seek money only. For
means to seek their remedy. (Pace v. Hillcrest Motor Co., 161 example, a suit cannot be brought in Small Claims Court to
Cal. Rptr. 663, 664 Ct. App. 1980) force a person or business to fix a damaged good; or to demand
fulfillment of a promised obligation which is not purely for
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.—For purposes of this money, or to seek money to compensate for pain and suffering.
Rule: Some of the kinds of cases which are allowed as small claims
include the following:
(a) Plaintiff refers to the party who initiated a small
claims action. The term includes a defendant 1. Actual damage caused to vehicles, other personal
who has filed a counterclaim against plaintiff; property, real property or person;
2. Payment or reimbursement for property, deposit, or
(b) Defendant is the party against whom the money loaned;
plaintiff has filed a small claims action. The 3. Payment for services rendered, insurance claim, rent,
term includes a plaintiff against whom a commissions, or for goods sold and delivered;
defendant has filed a claim, or a person who 4. Money claim pursuant to a contract, warranty or
replies to the claim; agreement; and
5. Purely civil action for payment of money covered
(c) Person is an individual, corporation, bybounced or stopped check.
partnership,limited liability partnership,
association, or other juridical entity endowed
with personality by law; SEC. 5. Commencement of Small Claims Action.—A
small claims action is commenced by filing with the
(d) Individual is a natural person; court an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim
(Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a
(e) Motion means a party’s request, written or oral, Certification of Non-forum Shopping (Form 1-A, SCC),
to the court for an order or other action. It shall and two (2) duly certified photocopies of the actionable
include an informal written request to the court, document/s subject of the claim, as well as the
such as a letter; affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support
the claim. No evidence shall be allowed during the
(f) Good cause means circumstances sufficient to hearing which was not attached to or submitted
justifythe requested order or other action, as together with the Claim, unless good cause is shown for
determined by the judge; and the admission of additional evidence.

(g) Affidavit means a written statement or No formal pleading, other than the Statement of Claim
declaration of facts that are sworn or affirmed to described in this Rule, is necessary to initiate a small
be true. claims action.

SEC. 4. Applicability.—The Metropolitan Trial SEC. 6. Joinder of Claims.—Plaintiff may join in a


Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal single statement of claim one or more separate small
Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts claims against a defendant provided that the total
shall apply this Rule in all actions which are: (a) amount claimed, exclusive of interest and costs, does
purely civil in nature where the claim or relief not exceed P100,000.00.
prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or
reimbursement of sum of money, and (b) the civil SEC. 7. Affidavits.—The affidavits submitted under this
aspect of criminal actions, either filed before the Rule shall state only facts of direct personal knowledge
institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon of the affiants which are admissible in evidence.
the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant

35
A violation of this requirement shall subject the party, SEC. 10. Summons and Notice of Hearing.—If no
and the counsel who assisted the party in the ground for dismissal is found, the court shall
preparation of the affidavits, if any, to appropriate forthwith issue Summons (Form 2-SCC) on the day
disciplinary action. The inadmissible affidavit(s) or of receipt of the Statement of Claim, directing the
portion(s) thereof shall be expunged from the record. defendant to submit a verified Response.

SEC. 8. Payment of Filing Fees.—The plaintiff shall pay The court shall also issue a Notice (Form 4-SCC) to
the docket and other legal fees prescribed under Rule both parties, directing them to appear before it on
141 of the Revised Rules of Court, unless allowed to a specific date and time for hearing, with a warning
litigate as an indigent. that no unjustified postponement shall be allowed,
as provided in Section 19 of this Rule. The
A claim filed with a motion to sue as indigent (Form 6- summons and notice to be served on the defendant
SCC) shall be referred to the Executive Judge for shall be accompanied by a copy of the Statement of
immediate action in case of multi-sala courts, or to the Claim and documents submitted by plaintiff, and a
Presiding Judge of the court hearing the small claims copy of the Response (Form 3-SCC) to be
case. If the motion is granted by the Executive Judge, accomplished by the defendant. The Notice shall
the case shall be raffled off or assigned to the court contain an express prohibition against the filing of
designated to hear small claims cases. If the motion is a motion to dismiss or any other motion under
denied, the plaintiff shall be given five (5) days within Section 14 of this Rule.
which to pay the docket fees, otherwise, the case shall
be dismissed without prejudice. In no case shall a SEC. 11. Response.—The defendant shall file with
party, even if declared an indigent, be exempt from the the court and serve on the plaintiff a duly
payment of the P1,000.00 fee for service of summons accomplished and verified Response within a non-
and processes in civil cases. extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of
summons. The Response shall be accompanied by
Explanatory Note: A plaintiff may commence an action in the certified photocopies of documents, as well as
small claims court by filing a Statement of Claim under oath affidavits of witnesses and other evidence in
with the Clerk of the first level court in person or by mail. The support thereof. No evidence shall be allowed
claim form shall be a simple nontechnical form approved or during the hearing which was not attached to or
adopted by the Supreme Court. The claim form shall set forth submitted together with the Response, unless good
cause is shown for the admission of additional
1) the name and address of the defendant, if known; evidence.
2) the amount and the basis of the claim;
3) that the plaintiff, where possible, has demanded SEC. 12. Effect of Failure to File Response.—
payment and, in applicable cases, possession of the Should the defendant fail to file his Response
property; within the required period, the court by itself shall
render judgment as may be warranted by the facts
4) that the defendant has failed or refused to pay, and
alleged in the Statement of Claim limited to what
where applicable, has refused to surrender the
is prayed for.
property; and
5) that the plaintiff understands that the judgment on his
The court however, may, in its discretion, reduce
or her claim will be conclusive and without a right of
the amount of damages for being excessive or
appeal.
unconscionable.

The plaintiff should attach to the claim all documents necessary


SEC. 13. Counterclaims Within the Coverage of
to prove his/her right to reliefs prayed for. The form or
this Rule.— If at the time the action is
accompanying instructions shall include information that the
commenced, the defendant possesses a claim
plaintiff
against the plaintiff that (a) is within the coverage
of this Rule, exclusive of interest and costs; (b)
1. may not be represented by an attorney;
arises out of the same transaction or event that is
2. has no right of appeal; and
the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim; (c) does
3. may ask the court to waive fees for filing and serving not require for its adjudication the joinder of third
the claim on the ground that the plaintiff is indigent parties; and (d) is not the subject of another
unable to pay them, using the forms approved by the pending action, the claim shall be filed as a
Supreme Court for that purpose. counterclaim in the Response; otherwise, the
defendant shall be barred from suit on the
SEC. 9. Dismissal of the Claim.—After the court counterclaim.
determines that the case falls under this Rule, it may,
from an examination of the allegations of the The defendant may also elect to file a counterclaim
Statement of Claim and such evidence attached against the plaintiff that does not arise out of the
thereto, by itself, dismiss the case outright on any of same transaction or occurrence, provided that the
the grounds apparent from the Claim for the dismissal amount and nature thereof are within the coverage
of a civil action. of this Rule and the prescribed docket and other
legal fees are paid.
Explanatory Note: Jurisdiction and venue requirements in
small claims actions shall be the same as in other civil actions Explanatory Note: If a defendant has a claim against a plaintiff
provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure. A defendant may that exceeds the limits stated in Section 2 of this Rule, and the
challenge jurisdiction or venue or court location by including claim relates to the contract, transaction, matter, or event which
these defenses in his Response before appearing in the is the subject of the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant may
scheduled hearing. In all cases, even if the defendant does not commence an action against the plaintiff in a court of competent
ask for dismissal of the case in the Response or appear at the jurisdiction. If said claim which is beyond the limit of money
hearing, the court shall inquire into the facts sufficiently to claim provided in this Rule is filed with the Response before the
determine whether jurisdiction and authority of the court over Small Claims Court, the latter shall dismiss the counterclaim.
the action are proper, and shall make its determination
accordingly. SEC. 14. Prohibited Pleadings and Motions.—The
following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not
be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:

36
(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the interpreter or other competent interpreter of the language or
ground of lack of jurisdiction; dialect known to the party is not available to aid that party in a
(b) Motion for a bill of particulars; small claims action, at the first hearing of the case the court
(c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a shall postpone the hearing one time only to allow the party the
judgment, or for reopening of trial; opportunity to obtain another individual (other than an
(d) Petition for relief from judgment; attorney) to assist that party. Any additional continuances shall
be at the sound discretion of the court.
(e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings,
affidavits, or any other paper;
SEC. 18. Non-appearance of Parties.—Failure of
(f) Memoranda;
the plaintiff to appear shall be cause for the
(g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or
dismissal of the claim without prejudice. The
prohibition against any interlocutory order
defendant who appears shall be entitled to
issued by the court;
judgment on a permissive counterclaim.
(h) Motion to declare the defendant in default;
(i) Dilatory motions for postponement;
Failure of the defendant to appear shall have the
(j) Reply; same effectas failure to file a Response under
(k) Third-party complaints; and (l) Interventions. Section 12 of this Rule. This shall not apply where
one of two or more defendants who are sued under
SEC. 15. Availability of Forms; Assistance by a common cause of action and have pleaded a
Court Personnel.—The Clerk of Court or other common defense appears at the hearing. Failure of
court personnel shall provide such assistance as both parties to appear shall cause the dismissal
may be requested by a plaintiff or a defendant with prejudice of both the claim and counterclaim.
regarding the availability of forms and other
information about the coverage, requirements as SEC. 19. Postponement When Allowed.—A request
well as procedure for small claims cases. for postponement of a hearing may be granted only
upon proof of the physical inability of the party to
SEC. 16. Appearance.—The parties shall appear at appear before the court on the scheduled date and
the designated date of hearing personally or time. A party may avail of only one (1)
through a representative authorized under a postponement.
Special Power of Attorney (Form 5-SCC) to enter
into an amicable settlement, to submit to Judicial Explanatory Note: A party may submit an oral or written
Dispute Resolution (JDR) and to enter into request to postpone a hearing date for good cause, as follows:
stipulations or admissions of facts and of
documentary exhibits. 1) If the written request is in writing, it may be made
SEC. 17. Appearance of Attorneys Not Allowed.— either by letter or on a form adopted or approved by
No attorney shall appear in behalf of or represent a the Supreme Court;
party at the hearing, unless the attorney is the
2) The request shall be filed before the hearing date and
plaintiff or defendant.
accompanied by proof of physical inability, unless the
court determines that the requesting party has good
If the court determines that a party cannot cause to file the request on the date of hearing itself;
properly present his/ her claim or defense and and
needs assistance, the court may, in its discretion,
3) If the court finds that the interests of justice would be
allow another individual who is not an attorney to
served by postponing the hearing, the court shall do so
assist that party upon the latter’s consent.
and shall notify all parties by mail on the same day of
the new hearing date, time and place.
Explanatory Note: Except as permitted by this section, no
attorney shall appear in a small claims action except when the
This Section does not limit the inherent power of the court to
latter shall maintain or defend an action in any of the following
order postponements of hearings in strictly appropriate
capacities:
circumstances. The postponement fee of One Hundred Pesos (or
as provided in Rule 141, Revised Rules of Court, as amended on
(1) By or against himself or herself; Legal Fees) shall be charged and collected before the filing of a
(2) By or against a partnership in which he or she is a request for postponement and rescheduling of a hearing date.
general partner and in which all the partners are
attorneys; or SEC. 20. Duty of the Court.—At the beginning of
(3) By or against a professional corporation of which he or the court session, the judge shall read aloud a
she is an officer or director and of which all other short statement explaining the nature, purpose and
officers and directors are attorneys. the rule of procedure of small claims cases.

Nothing in this section shall prevent an attorney from doing any SEC. 21. Judicial Dispute Resolution.—At the
of the following: hearing, the judge shall conduct Judicial Dispute
Resolution (JDR) through mediation, conciliation,
1) Providing advice to a party to a small claims action, early neutral evaluation, or any other mode of JDR.
either before or after the commencement of the action; Any settlement (Form 7-SCC) or resolution (Form 8-
or SCC) of the dispute shall be reduced into writing,
2) Submitting an affidavit as a witness for a party in signed by the parties and submitted to the court
order to state facts of which he or she has personal for approval (Form 12-SCC).
knowledge and about which he or she is competent to
do so. SEC. 22. Failure of JDR.—If JDR fails and the
parties agree in writing (Form 10-SCC) that the
If the court determines that a party does not speak or hearing of the case shall be presided over by the
understand judge who conducted the JDR, the hearing shall so
proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and
English or Filipino sufficiently to comprehend the proceedings or terminated within one (1) day.
give testimony, to the questions of the court, if any, and needs
assistance in so doing, the court may permit another individual Absent such agreement, (a) in case of a multi-sala
(other than an attorney) to assist that party. If the court court, the case shall, on the same day, be

37
transmitted (Form 11-SCC) to the Office of the statutory origin, a remedy that may be exercised only in the
Clerk of Court for immediate referral by the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law
Executive Judge to the pairing judge for hearing authorizing such exercise.
and decision within five (5) working days from
referral; and (b) in case of a single sala court, the The applicable provisions of the law allowing appeals from
pairing judge shall hear and decide the case in the decisions of the first level courts are Sections 36 and 38 of B.P.
court of origin within five (5) working days from Blg. 129, as amended, also known as “The Judiciary
referral by the JDR judge. Reorganization Act of 1980.” The procedure on appeal is subject
to the limitations and restrictions provided by this Act and any
Explanatory Note: In hearings before the small claims court, such rules as the Supreme Court may hereafter prescribe. Sec.
witnesses shall still be sworn in. The judge shall conduct the 36 of B.P. Blg. 129 provides an instance wherein the Supreme
hearing in an informal manner so as to do substantial justice Court may adopt special procedures, including cases where
between the parties. The judge shall have the discretion to appeal may not be allowed, to achieve an expeditious and
admit all evidence which may be of probative value although not inexpensive determination of particular cases requiring
in accordance with formal rules of practice, procedure, pleading summary disposition.
or evidence provided in the Rules of Court, except that privileged
communications shall not be admissible. The object of such SEC. 24. Execution.—If the decision is rendered in
hearings shall be to determine the rights of the litigants on the favor of the plaintiff, execution shall issue upon
merits and to dispense expeditious justice between the parties. motion (Form 9-SCC).

An interventionist role by judges in such hearings is effective in SEC. 25. Applicability of the Rules of Civil
eliciting evidence from litigants in person. It is seen by Procedure.— The Rules of Civil Procedure shall
unrepresented parties as a “helping hand” which they apply suppletorily insofar as they are not
appreciate, provided that judges avoid the danger of appearing inconsistent with this Rule.
to be partial. By discussing the facts of the case, judges find
what common ground does exist between the parties. This tends SEC. 26. Effectivity.—This Rule shall take effect on
to narrow the differences between the parties and make the final October 1, 2008 for the pilot courts designated to
judicial decision easier – whereas traditional open court trials, apply the procedure for small claims cases
with the presence of lawyers and the use of cross-examination following its publication in two newspapers of
tend to polarize the parties, increase antagonism and heighten general circulation.
the differences.
A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC
In this regard, Lord Woolf, Great Britain’s case management
expert, has observed: FORM 1-SCC

“The role of the judge in small claims is not only that of


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
an adjudicator. It is a key safeguard of the rights of
both parties. In most cases, the judge is effectively a
substitute for a legal representative. His duty is to _______________________________
ascertain the main matters at issue, to elicit the
evidence, to reach a view on the facts of the matter and _______________________________
to give a decision.
_______________________________
In some cases he may encourage the parties to settle. In doing
so he should ensure that both parties have presented the __________________________,
evidence and called the witnesses germane to their case and
that he has identified and considered any issue of law which is Plaintiff,
pertinent to the case in hand. He must also hold the ring and
ensure that each party has a fair chance to present his own vs. Civil Case No. ________________ For:
case and to challenge that of his opponent.”
______________________
The key judicial skills in conducting such hearings are to
maintain a balance between informality and fairness, to ensure __________________________, Defendant.
a level playing field and to protect the weak and the scrupulous.
In practice, this is achieved by preventing interruptions and
parties talking over each other, and making it clear that both x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
parties will have plenty of time to say all that they wish before
the end of the hearing. STATEMENT OF CLAIM

SEC. 23. Decision.—After the hearing, the court Plaintiff respectfully alleges:
shall render its decision on the same day, based on
the facts established by the evidence (Form 13- 1. The personal circumstances of the parties are as follows:
SCC). The decision shall immediately be entered by
the Clerk of Court in the court docket for civil NAME OF PLAINTIFF/S SEX AGE CIVIL STATUS
cases and a copy thereof forthwith served on the
parties. The decision shall be final and ______________________ ______ _____ _________
unappealable.
INDIVIDUAL___ CORPORATION___ PARTNERSHIP___
Explanatory Note: Despite the relative informality of the SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP ___
procedure, judgments are based upon a strict application of the
substantive law and an objective judicial analysis of the facts. NAME OF
The judge is duty-bound to give the legal basis for the findings.
REPRESENTATIVE:________________________________________
The prohibition against appeals assures immediate and swift
justice. _

The right to appeal is not a natural right nor a part due process. ADDRESS ZIP CODE
It is merely a statutory privilege and a procedural remedy of

38
___________________________________________________ PLACE WHERE FILED
_________

NAME OF DEFENDANTS//S SEX AGE CIVIL STATUS


FORM 1-A-SCC
______________________ ______ _____ _________
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION OF
INDIVIDUAL___ CORPORATION__ _PARTNERSHIP___
SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP ___ NON-FORUM SHOPPING

NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE: I, _________________________________, of legal age,


________________________________________ ____________________ ______________________________, and a
resident of
ADDRESS ZIP CODE __________________________________________________ , after
having been duly sworn to in accordance with law, hereby,
___________________________________________________ depose and say:
_________
1. That I am the _________________ in the above-entitled case and
have caused this ______________________________ to be prepared;
2. Plaintiff is suing defendant for:
that I read and understood its contents which are true and
correct of my own personal knowledge and/or based on
CAUSE OF ACTION
authentic records;

_____ Collection of Sum of Money _____


2. That I have not commenced any action or proceeding involving
Damages the same issue in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or
any other tribunal or agency; that to the best of my knowledge,
no such action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme Court,
_____ Civil aspect of Criminal Case the Court of Appeals or any other tribunal or agency, and that,
if I should learn thereafter that a similar action or proceeding
has been filed or is pending before these courts or tribunal or
_____ Enforcement of Barangay Agreement
agency, I undertake to report that fact to the Court within five
(5) days therefrom.
Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases 13

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this


3. Plaintiff’s cause of action arose from and is evidenced by: ____________ day of __________________, 20 __.
_______________________
ACTIONABLE DOCUMENT/S AFFIDAVIT/S
_____ Promissory Note/Undertaking How many: _____ Affiant

_____ Contract/Agreement SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this _________ day of


_____________, 20 ___ .
_____ Receipt
NOTARY PUBLIC
_____ Others
(citizenship) (civil status)
4. The principal obligation of defendant/s amounting to
P_____________________ became due and demandable on (Name)
______________.

Interest at the rate of ______% per annum/per month accrued


on the principal sum due from such date of default. FORM 2-SCC

5. Despite repeated demands by plaintiff, the latest of which was


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
on _______________, defendant has failed to pay the obligation.

_______________________________
6. _____(a) This claim has been referred to the appropriate
barangay authorities but no settlement was reached between
the parties. A Certificate to _______________________________

File Action was issued to the plaintiff, the original of which is _______________________________
attached hereto.
__________________________,
_____(b) The parties are not covered by the barangay mandatory
conciliation process under the Local Government Code of the Plaintiff,
Philippines.
vs. Civil Case No. ________________ For:
Prayer
________________________

WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully prays for judgment to be


rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff the amount of
__________________________, Defendant.
P________________________, with interest at the rate of ____% per
annum/ per month, from ___________, until fully paid.
___________________________; _____20___.
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

PLAINTIFF
SUMMONS

39
TO: ____________________ _____ Moral Damages of P______________________

____________________ _____ Exemplary Damages of P_____________________


____________________
_____ Costs of suit
GREETINGS:
Prayer
You are hereby required, within ten (10) days from receipt of this
Summons, to file with this Court and serve on plaintiff, your WHEREFORE, defendant respectfully prays for judgment to be
verified Response to the attached Statement of Claim. The form rendered dismissing the Statement of Claim, and granting the
of the required Response is attached hereto. counterclaims, ordering plaintiff to pay defendant the following
sums:
You are required to submit with your Response copies of
documents as well as affidavits of any witness to stand as your _____ Actual Damages of P______________________
evidence in this case.
_____ Moral Damages of P______________________
You must present the original documents on the day of the
hearing. A motion to dismiss is prohibited and shall not be _____ Exemplary Damages of P_____________________
entertained.
_____ Costs of suit
Your failure to respond within the 10-day period will authorize
the Court to render judgment based solely on the Statement of DEFENDANT
Claim.

(VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION


Witness my hand under the seal of this Court, this ____ day of
______, 20____, at _____________________, Philippines.
OF NON- FORUM SHOPPING, if with permissive counterclaim)

BRANCH CLERK OF COURT

FORM 4-SCC

FORM 3-SCC
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


_______________________________

_______________________________
_______________________________

_______________________________
_______________________________

_______________________________
__________________________,

__________________________,
Plaintiff,

Plaintiff,
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For:

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For: _______________________

_______________________
__________________________,
Defendant.
__________________________, Defendant.

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
NOTICE OF HEARING

RESPONSE
Once issues are joined upon the filing of the defendant’s
Response, this case will be called for Judicial Dispute
Defendant/s respectfully allege/s:
Resolution (JDR) and hearing before the Presiding Judge of this
Court on __________________ at ___________.
1. Defendant admits all the allegations in paragraph/s ________ of
the Statement of Claim.
Failure of the plaintiff to appear at the JDR and hearing shall
cause the dismissal of the Statement of Claim, and the
2. Defendant specifically denies all the allegations in paragraphs
defendant who appears shall be entitled to a judgment on his
________ of the Statement of Claim.
counterclaim. On the other hand, failure of the defendant to
3. Defendant opposes the grant of the prayer in the Statement of
appear at the JDR and hearing shall cause the Court to render
Claim for the following reasons, as supported by the attached
judgment based solely on the Statement of Claim.
documents and affidavits:

A party may not be represented by a lawyer, but may authorize


(enumerate defenses)
any other representative to appear in his behalf and participate
in all the proceedings as if the party represented were present.
4. As the Statement of Claim is baseless, defendant is entitled to For this purpose, the required authority should be evidenced by
the following counterclaims: accomplishing the attached Form 5-SCC (Special Power of
Attorney).
_____ Actual Damages of P______________________

WITNESS the HON. _________________________, Presiding Judge

40
of this Court, this ____ day of _____________, 20___, at 1. I am a resident of ___________________;
__________________________, Philippines.
2. My gross income and that of my immediate family does not
BRANCH CLERK OF COURT exceed __________________ ;

3. I do not own real property with an assessed value of more


than (amount as provided in the Revised Rules of Court, as
FORM 5-SCC SPECIAL POWER amended) as shown by the attached Certification issued by
OF ATTORNEY the Office of the City/Municipal Assessor and the
City/Municipal Treasurer’s Office;
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
4. Due to financial constraint, I cannot afford to pay for the
I, _______________________, of legal age, single/married, with expenses of a court litigation as I do not have enough funds
residence at ___________________________ do hereby appoint, for food, shelter and other basic necessities;
name and constitute ________________________________, likewise 5. Should the court render judgment in my favor, the amount of
of legal age, singe/married, with residence at the docket and other legal fees which I was exempted from
________________________________ as my true and legal paying shall be a lien on the judgment, unless the court
representative to act for and in my name and stead and to orders otherwise.
represent me during the hearing of Civil Case No. __________, to
enter into amicable settlement, to submit to alternative modes of WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed
dispute resolution and to make admissions or stipulations of that I be exempted from the payment of docket and other legal
facts and documents without further consultation from me. fees as indigent pursuant to Section 21, Rule 3 in relation to
Section 18, Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court.
I hereby grant my representative full power and authority to
execute and perform every act necessary to render effective the Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are likewise
power to compromise as though I myself have so performed it prayedfor.
and hereby approving all that he may do by virtue of these
presents. PLAINTIFF

In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand this ______ day of


____________________, 20_______, at ________________.
_____________________________ FORM 7-SCC

Principal REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

_____________________ _______________________________

Agent _______________________________

Witnesses: ________________________ _______________________________


___________________________
__________________________,
(ACKNOWLEDGMENT)
Plaintiff,

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For:


FORM 6-SCC
_______________________
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

__________________________, Defendant.
_____________________________

_____________________________ x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

_____________________________ MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF COMPROMISE AGREEMENT

__________________________, The parties respectfully allege that:

Plaintiff, 1. Plaintiff filed this claim against defendant for:

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For: _____________ collection of sum of money _____________

_______________________ damages

__________________________, Defendant. _____________ civil aspect of criminal case

_____________ enforcement of barangay agreement


x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

_____________ recovery of personal property


MOTION TO PLEAD AS INDIGENT

2. The parties have come to an amicable settlement and have


_____________________, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully
executed a compromise agreement with the following terms
alleges that:
and conditions. (copy terms and condition here)

41
3. The parties agree that the approval of this agreement by the Plaintiff Defendant
Court shall put an end to this litigation, except for purposes
of execution in case of default.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the parties respectfully FORM 9-SCC


pray that the court approve this agreement and render
judgment on the basis thereof.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

_______________________________________, 20_______.
_______________________________

_______________________ ________________________
_______________________________

Plaintiff Defendant
_______________________________

__________________________,

FORM 8-SCC
Plaintiff,

(Motion for voluntary dismissal of the claim and counterclaim) vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For:

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES _______________________

_______________________________
__________________________, Defendant.
_______________________________

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
_______________________________

MOTION FOR EXECUTION


__________________________,

Plaintiff/Defendant, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully


Plaintiff,
alleges that:

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For:


1. On _______________, a judgment was rendered by the Court,
_______________________ the dispositive portion of which reads:

2. The judgment is final and unappealable.


__________________________, Defendant.
3. The defendant/plaintiff has not complied with the judgment.

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed

that a
JOINT MOTION

Plaintiff and defendant, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully


writ of execution be issued to implement the judgment of the
allege that:
Court dated __________________.

1. Plaintiff and defendant have mutually and voluntarily settled


_______________________________________, 20_______.
their 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
other.
NOTICE OF HEARING

WHEREFORE, premises considered, plaintiff and defendant


NAME OF DEFENDANT
respectfully pray that the plaintiff’s statement of claim and
defendant’s counterclaim incorporated in his response be
dismissed. (IF FILED BY PLAINTIFF)

Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are likewise NAME OF PLAINTIFF
prayed for.
_______________________________________, 20_______. (IF FILED BY DEFENDANT)

_____________________________ NAME OF CLERK OF COURT.


____________________________
Please be notified that the undersigned will submit the foregoing
motion for the consideration and approval of the Court on
Plaintiff Defendant
_________________ at
To the Branch Clerk of Court: _______________________________________, 20_______.
________________________
Please submit the foregoing motion for the consideration of the
Court without hearing and further argument from the parties. Plaintiff/Defendant

__________________________ _________________________

42
FORM 10-SCC _______________________________________, 20_______.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ______________________________

_______________________________ JUDGE

_______________________________

_______________________________ FORM 12-SCC

__________________________, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

Plaintiff, _______________________________

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For: _______________________________

_______________________ _______________________________ __________________________,

Plaintiff,
__________________________, Defendant.

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For:

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
_______________________

AGREEMENT
__________________________, Defendant.
Having failed to resolve the matter through Judicial Dispute
Resolution, plaintiff and defendant hereby agree that Judge
_________________ shall continue with the hearing on the instant x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
matter and hereby waive their right to have a different judge
hear the case. _______________________________________, DECISION BASED ON COMPROMISE AGREEMENT
20_______.
Plaintiff filed this case against defendant for
___________________________ _______________________ Plaintiff _____________________ in the amount of
Defendant
________________________.

Defendant denied plaintiff’s claim on the ground of


_________________ and set up a counterclaim for
FORM 11-SCC _______________________.

(Referral to pairing judge) The parties, however, reached an amicable settlement and
submitted to the court a compromise agreement, the terms and
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES conditions of which are as follows:

_______________________________ It appearing that the agreement is not contrary to law, morals,


good customs, public moral and public policy, and pursuant to
_______________________________ Articles 2028 and

_______________________________ 2037 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the same is hereby
APPROVED and ADOPTED as the Decision of this court.
__________________________,
The parties are hereby ordered to faithfully comply with the
Plaintiff, terms and conditions of the agreement.

vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For: _______________________________________, 20_______.

_______________________ ________________________

JUDGE
__________________________, Defendant.

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
FORM 13 – SCC

ORDER
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

In view of the failure of judicial dispute resolution and there


_______________________________
being no agreement from the parties to let the undersigned
continue hearing the instant case, the record of this case is
transmitted to the Office of the Clerk of Court for immediate _______________________________
referral by the Executive Judge to the Pairing Judge for hearing
and decision pursuant to Section 21 of the Rule of Procedure for _______________________________
Small Claims Cases.
__________________________,
SO ORDERED.

43
Plaintiff, Wherefore, the (claim/counterclaim) is (granted/denied). This
vs. Civil Case No. ______________ For: court orders ____________________ to pay to
_______________________ the amount of (state the monetary
_______________________
award or damages) with interest of (if applicable under Civil
Code and/or settled jurisprudence) until fully paid.

__________________________, Defendant.
SO ORDERED.

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x (Date of decision.)

DECISION (Signature)

This is a small claims action for (state which of the claims or Presiding Judge (or Pairing Judge in the absence of written
demands below is the subject of the action filed): agreement of theparties that the case shall beheard by the
Presiding Judgewho conducted the JDR)
[For money owed under any of the following:
Copy furnished:

1. Contract of lease;
All parties

2. Contract of loan;
Office of the Clerk of Court of ____________

3. Contract of services;

4. Contract of sale; or
RATIONALE of the Proposed Rule of Procedure for Small
Claims
5. Contract of mortgage; Cases

For damages arising from: A. Introduction

1. Fault or negligence; The most significant recurring theme of every program for
judicial reform of the Supreme Court is the pressing need for a
2. Quasi-contract; or more accessible, much swifter and less expensive delivery of
justice.
3. Contract;
Undeniably, the slow grind of the wheels of justice is the result
The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an of a variety of factors, foremost of which is the perennial
arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this congestion of court dockets which has transformed court
Rulepursuant to Section 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise litigation into a protracted battle, that invariably exhausts the
known as The Local Government Code of 1991]. time, effort and resources of party-litigants, especially the poor.
Many strategies have been devised to unclog heavy court
Plaintiff alleges that (state material allegations and prayer in the dockets, and one such approach is the use of mandatory Pre-
Statement of Claim). trial and Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as
mediation, arbitration and conciliation. Another scheme that
has been widely used in many foreign legal systems but which
Defendant alleges that (state reasons for denial of the claim and
has yet to be tried in the Philippines is the small claims case
other material allegations in the Response including
processing method used by small claims courts, often referred
counterclaims, if any).
to as the “People’s Court,” as it comes most directly into contact
with the citizenry of a jurisdiction.
On (date), both parties appeared during the hearing conducted
by (state name of Judge who conducted the JDR. State whether
Small claims courts are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear
parties appeared personally or through a specially authorized
civil cases between private litigants. Courts authorized to try
representative).
small claims may also have other judicial functions, and the
name by which such a court is known varies by jurisdiction: it
Considering the failure of the parties to arrive at any settlement
may be known by such names as county court or magistrate’s
of the dispute, this court proceeded with the hearing of the case
court. Small claims
which was terminated on __________________.

courts can be found in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New


The issue to be resolved by this
Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United
court is whether
Kingdom and the United States.
_______________________________________________________ ______.
Plaintiff’s evidence consists of: (state documents of plaintiff,
B. The History and the Reforms of Small Claims Court
affidavits submitted, if any, and statements made by plaintiff
and witnesses under oath during the hearing).
1. In the United States – For almost a century now, small
claims courts have provided a form of alternative
Defendant’s evidence consists of: (state documents of defendant,
dispute resolution (ADR) in the United States.
affidavits submitted, if any, and statements made by defendant
and witnesses under oath during the hearing).
Originating around 1912 or 1913, these courts were
established primarily as a means for small businesses to
This court finds that the claim of plaintiff (or defendant in a
collect money from borrowers through a process that was
counterclaim) is (state whether meritorious or devoid of merit)
faster, less formal, and less expensive than traditional civil
under Article/Section (state the applicable provisions of law) or
litigation. Following the lead of the establishment of the
pursuant to established jurisprudence (cite applicable
initial small claims court in Kansas, USA in 1912 or 1913,
jurisprudence). In this case, this court found that (state first the
every state in the United States has created some form of a
factual findings established by the evidence and then the legal
small claims court system.
conclusions).

44
Although the financial claims limits, methods of procedure, tort gradually increased from £50 in 1888 to £5,000 in
and overall structure vary from state to state, the concept 1984.
is essentially the same, i.e., that relatively minor disputes,
involving dollar amounts that are insufficient to warrant The purpose and structure of the county court system has in
processing the case through the normal court procedure, many ways remained the same since 1846. The aim is still to
justify expeditious and simplified handling. make civil justice available locally – there are now 223 county
courts in England and Wales. They have continued to be
The consumer justice reform movements of the 1960s and responsive to the needs of smaller cases which, although small
1970s brought renewed research and interest in the small in terms of their financial value, are important to the litigants
claims courts. This movement emphasized the need for involved. However, recent decades have seen two major changes
reform of small claims courts to facilitate the adjudication in relation to small claims – first, the introduction of a dedicated
of consumer grievances. small claims procedure in 1973 and secondly, the introduction
of the Civil Procedure Rules reforms of 1998 with emphasis on
Although “consumer justice reformers” were concerned that proportionality.
businesses and corporations were more likely to use attorneys
in small claims courts thereby placing inexperienced individual Since January 1996, when the small claims limit in England
defendants at a disadvantage, studies showed that defendants and Wales was trebled overnight to £3,000, district judges have
with an attorney were more likely to win against plaintiffs than been expected to play the role of “interventionist” and assist
unrepresented defendants, whereas plaintiffs without attorneys litigants in presenting their own cases personally at small
did just as well as represented plaintiffs against unrepresented claims hearings. Like adjudicators in other parts of the world,
defendants. district judges in these countries have been encouraged to
intervene to an increasing extent at small claims hearings. Such
The result was an appraisal of the need to bar attorneys and interventionism is, indeed, vital and although there may be wide
collection agencies from the small claims courts. variations between jurisdictions in the methods that are
adopted to deal with small claims, the idea of the adjudicator
Small claims courts in the United States are often considered freely entering the arena of the dispute to assist unrepresented
courts of equity and are not necessarily bound by the letter of litigants is fundamental in almost all matters about small
the law. These courts have flexibility to use more holistic claims.
approaches to problem solving and dispute resolution than what
is typical. Most judges act according to what makes sense to 4. Small Claims Tribunals in Singapore – The Small
them, even if this means setting aside legal formalities. Claims Tribunals in Singapore have been in operation
Moreover, traditional rules of evidence and court processes do since 1 February 1985. The Tribunals have fulfilled an
not apply. integral role in providing the community with
accessible justice for civil claims involving small
The rules of small claims courts emphasize conciliation and amounts. Various features and programs have been
pragmatism over winning, and rules of evidence and civil put in place to enhance access to justice for the
procedure have been simplified to allow maximum access to the community, by removing barriers such as cost, delay,
courts by individuals unable to afford an attorney. distance, time and inconvenience. The Tribunals,
constituted as part of the Subordinate Courts of
2. Small Claims Courts in Canada – All provinces in Singapore, were established for the primary purpose of
Canada have procedures for small claims. In general, providing a quick and inexpensive avenue for the
there are two different models. In most provinces, as in resolution of small claims arising from disputes
British Columbia, Alberta, and new Brunswick, small between consumers and suppliers. There was a need
claims courts operate independently of the superior for a less expensive and less formal forum to deal with
courts. In other jurisdictions, the small claims courts such small claims. Hence, in 1985, the Small Claims
are either Tribunals Act was passed, which authorized the
setting up of one or more Tribunals to help consumers
branches or divisions of the superior courts
who have claims of up to $2,000 relating to disputes
arising from contracts for the sale of goods or the
The small claims courts are meant to be an easier and less
provision of services.
expensive way to resolve disputes than in the superior
courts. Small Claims Court procedure is regulated both by
provincial legislation and rules in most provinces. It is
simplified and less costly with no strict pleading
requirements and formal discovery process.

3. Small Claims Courts in England and Wales – From


early times, England had a tradition of local courts
where ordinary men could pursue justice in the form of
civil claims without the aid of lawyers. Some were set
up by local statutes, others by custom. These local
courts could not keep pace with the changes in society
brought about by the Industrial Revolution. By the
1830s, the decade of great liberal reform, there was a
great public awakening to the urgent need for
constitutional reform in the administration of justice.
The result was the County Courts Act of 1846,
described in its preamble as an “Act For The More
Easy Recovery of Small Debts and
Demands in England.” It was initially a poor man’s
court. Andrew Amos, the first judge at Marylebone
County, described regular litigants as being “a great
proportion of the poorer classes, gaining their
livelihoods by bricklaying, gardening or other out of
door occupations and who subsist upon credit in the
winter months, and complaints against whom are
usually issued in the summer months.” The county
court’s jurisdiction for claims brought in contract and

45
A civil action may either be ordinary
or special. Both are governed by the
rules for ordinary civil actions, subject
to the specific rules prescribed for a
special civil action.

xxxxx

Rule 01 What is an action?

GENERAL PROVISIONS An action is the legal and formal demand of one’s right from
another person made and insisted upon in a court of justice.
SECTION 1. Title of the Rules. These Rules shall
(Bouvier’s Law Dictionary)
be known and cited as the Rules of Court.
One party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection
The Rules of Court do not have retroactive of a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
effect. They can, however, be made
applicable to cases pending at the time of
their passage and therefore are retroactive What is a claim?
in that sense.
It is a right possessed by one against another.
The rule-making power of the SC has the following
limitations: The moment said claim is filed before a court, the claim is
converted into an action or suit.
1) Simplified and inexpensive procedure for the
speedy disposition of cases; Action and suit
2) Uniform for all courts of the same grade; and
3) Shall not diminish, increase or modify In this jurisdiction, it is settled that the terms “action” and
substantive rights (Art. VIII Sec. 5[5], 1987 “suit” are synonymous. (Lopez v. Compania de Seguros, 16
Constitution. SCRA 855).

In the interest of just and expeditious Civil Action and Criminal Action
proceedings, the Supreme Court may
suspend the application of the Rules
of Court and except a case from its A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues another for the
operation because the Rules were enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress
precisely adopted with the primary of a wrong. (Sec. 3[a] Rule 1). So the purpose of a civil suit is to
objective of enhancing fair trial and enforce or protect your right or to prevent or redress a wrong.
expeditious justice.
A criminal action “is one by which the State prosecutes a
SEC. 2. In what courts applicable. These person for an act or omission punishable by law” (Sec. 3[b] Rule
Rules shall apply in all the courts, 1)
except as otherwise provided by the
Supreme Court.
It has been ruled that …”proceedings are to be regarded as
criminal when the purpose is primarily punishment, and civil
Section 2, states in what court or courts the rules apply as it
when the purpose is primarily compensatory…” (People vs.
says “these rules shall apply in all the courts except as
Godoy @$# SCRA 64).
otherwise provided by the Supreme Court.” Meaning, applicable
to all courts except when the SC say otherwise. CLASSIFICATION OF CIVIL ACTION

For example: The SUMMARY RULES on procedure which is I. As to NATURE (Section 3 [a])
applicable to some cases in the MTC. a.) Ordinary Civil Actions
b.) Special Civil Actions
Another example of when the SC says otherwise is Section 4,
that the rules shall not apply to election cases, land II. As to CAUSE or FOUNDATION:
registration, cadastral, naturalization, insolvency proceedings a.) Real Actions
and other cases not herein provided for except by analogy. This b.) Personal Actions
is actually not a new provision. It used to be in Rule 143, now it c.) Mixed Actions
is in Rule 1.
III. As to PLACE OF FILING
Sec. 3. Cases governed. These Rules a.) Local Actions
shall govern the procedure to be b.) Transitory Actions
observed in actions, civil or criminal,
and special proceedings.
IV. As to OBJECT
a.) Action In Personam
xxxxxx
b.) Action In Rem
How come it mentions criminal cases and defines criminal
c.) Action Quasi In Rem
actions when it is supposed to be 1997 Rules on Civil
Procedure?

NO, Rule 1 is the general provision for the entire Rules of Court. I. CLASSIFICATION AS TO NATURE
You look at the title, “These rules shall be known as the ‘Rules
of Court.’” This is the common denominator from the first to the ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS and SPECIAL CIVIL
last ACTIONS
Rule. That’s why it says there ‘special proceedings,’ ‘civil cases’
and ‘criminal cases.’ The special civil actions are governed by Rules 62 to 71. Any
action not among those mentioned is automatically ordinary.
xxxxx
What are the special civil actions?
(a) A civil action is one by which a
party sues another for the Rules 62 to 71:
enforcement or protection of a right,
or the prevention or redress of a
• Interpleader,
wrong.
• Declaratory Relief,

46
• Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus,
• Quo Warranto, Personal action
• Expropriation,
• Foreclosure of Mortgage, All other actions or, when the issue is not one of those –
• Partition, meaning, it is founded on privity of contract, or on quasi-delict,
• Forcible Entry, Unlawful Detainer and  such as actions for a sum of money, or damages arising from
Contempt. breach of a contract, or for the enforcement or resolution of a
contract, or for recovery of personal property, these are the
There is a new one – Review of Final Decisions or Resolutions of PERSONAL ACTIONS. (Casilan vs. Tomassi, 90 Phil. 765;
the COMELEC and COA under Rule 64, but actually it says Cachero vs. Manila Yellow Taxicab, 101 Phil. 523; Bautista vs.
there, it is governed by Rule 65 which governs Certiorari. Piguing, L-10006, Oct. 31, 1957)

Q: What is so important in distinguishing a special civil action It is filed in the court where the plaintiff or any of the
from an ordinary civil action? defendants resides, at the option of the plainitff.

A: What makes an action special is simply because of the fact Mixed Action
that there are some specific rules prescribed for them which are
not found in other rules. But to say that the rules on ordinary Some textwriters give a third classification: the MIXED ACTIONS
civil actions do not apply to special civil actions is false. The law where there is a mixture of real and personal actions. Mixed
is very clear. Both are governed by the rules on ordinary civil actions are such as pertain in some degree to both real and
actions subject to the specific rules. personal and, therefore, are properly reducible to neither of
them, being brought for the specific recovery of land and for
Therefore, in case of conflict between the specific rule governing damages sustained in respect of such land. (Dela Cruz vs.
a particular type of civil action and the ordinary, then you follow Seminary of Manila, 18 P{hil. 330)
the specific provision. But if the rules on special civil actions are
silent, apply the ordinary rules. Like an action for recovery of a piece of land with damages it is a
Give an example of a case where in the absence of a special mixed action. However, it is more of real rather than personal. If
provision in the rules on special civil actions the court had to the damage is only incidental, then it is more of a real action
apply the rules on ordinary civil actions by analogy. The case of rather than a personal action like the case of TACAY.

AMBERTI vs CA - 195 SCRA 659 [1991] In a real action realty or an interest therein is the subject matter
of the action.
FACTS: This case involved a petition for certiorari (special
civil action under Rule 65) and then before the respondent However, not every action involving a real property is a real
could answer the petition, he withdrew the petition. Later action because the realty may only be incidental to the subject
on he changed his mind and re-filed the petition. The matter of the suit. To be a “real” action, it is not enough that the
question that was asked by the SC is when you file a special action must deal with real property. It is important that the
civil action for certiorari and then before the other party matter in litigation must also involve any of the following issues:
could answer you withdraw it, is the withdrawal with or title to, ownership, possession, partition, foreclosure of
without prejudice? Can you re-file it? mortgage or any interest in real property.

There is no rule in Rule 65 answering that question so the SC Examples:


had to resort to the ordinary rules by analogy.

• An action for damages to real property, while involving a


HELD: Certiorari is similar to appeal although it is not real property, does not involve any of the issues
really an appeal. And the SC looked at the law on appeal. mentioned.
What happens when you perfect your appeal and then later
on you withdraw your appeal? What will happen to the
order or judgment? Rule 50 says that if you withdraw the • An action to recover possession of real property plus
appeal, the judgment appealed from will now become final damages is a real action because possession of the real
and executory. Therefore, since it is now final and property is involved. The aspect of damages is merely an
executory, you cannot change it anymore. incidental part of the main action, i.e., recovery of
possession of real property. However, an action to
recover possession of a personal property is a personal
“Applying the foregoing rules in a supplementary manner (or
action.
by analogy), upon the withdrawal of a petition in a special
civil action before the answer or comment thereto has been
filed, the case shall stand as though no appeal has been • Where the allegations as well as of the complaint do not
taken, so that the judgment or order of the lower court claim ownership of the lots in question or ask for
being questioned becomes immediately final and executory. possession of the same but instead seeks for the
Thus, a resolution granting the withdrawal of such a execution of a deed of sale by the defendants in favor of
petition is with prejudice and petitioner is precluded from the plaintiff, the action is a personal action. (Adamos v.
bringing a second action based on the same subject matter.” J.
M. Tuazon & Co., Inc. 25 SCRA 529)
Now, there are other classifications of civil actions which are not
expressly stated in Section 3. The only one stated there is • An action for specific performance is a personal action as
ordinary and special. long as it does not involve a claim of or recovery of
ownership of real property. (Siosoco v. CA, 303 SCRA
186 citing La Tondena Distillers v. Ponferrada, 264 SCRA
CLASSIFICATION AS TO CAUSE OR FOUNDATION: 540)

REAL, PERSONAL or MIXED ACTIONS However, where a complaint is denominated as one of specific
Real Action performance but nonetheless prays for the issuance of a deed of
sale for a parcel of land for the plaintiff to acquire ownership of
the land, its primary objective and nature is one to recover the
A REAL ACTION is briefly described as an action where the parcel of land itself and thus, is deemed a real action. (Gochan
issue or the subject involved is title to, ownership, possession of v. Gochan, 372 SCRA 356)
or interest over a real property like accion publiciana, forcible
entry, unlawful detainer, foreclosure of mortgage or real • If the action is denominated as one for specific
property, partition of real property. (Sec. 1, R 4) (c.f. Section 19, performance, but the plaintiff actually seeks for the
BP 129 – controversy relates to real property) issuance of a deed of assignment in his favor of certain
shares of stocks to regain ownership and possession of
It is founded on privity of real estate and filed in the court of the said shares, the action is not one for specific
place where the property or any part thereof is situated. performance but a personal action for the recovery or
property. The docket fee therefore, should be computed
based on the value of the property and not based on the

47
docket fee for specific performance (National Steel or in the case of a non-resident defendant, where he may be
Corporation vs. CA 302 SCRA 522). found, at the election of the plaintiff.” (Sec. 2 Rule 4).

• Where it is alleged in the complaint that the defendant Hence, if the question involves the venue of an action, the
breached the contract so that the plaintiff prays that the analysis will necessarily involve the following steps:
contract be rescinded and that the defendant be ordered
to return possession of the hacienda to the plaintiff, the (a) A determination whether the action is real or personal
ultimate purpose or end of the action is to recover (b) An application of the rules on venue under Rules 4.
possession of real property and not a mere breach of
contract (De Jesus vs. Coloso 1 SCRA 272)
Thus, an action for a sum of money, instituted by a resident of
Manila against a resident of Quezon City, shall be filed either in
• Where the action to annul or rescind a sale of real Manila or Quezon City at the election of the plaintiff because the
property has as its fundamental and prime objective the action is personal.
recovery of real property, the action is real (Emergency
Loan Pawnshop Inc. vs. CA 353 SCRA 89).
An action to annul a sale of a land located in Baguio City where
recovery of ownership is essentially the material issue in the
• Where an award of a house and lot to the plaintiff was case, must be filed in Baguio City. The action is a real action
unilaterally cancelled, an action that seeks to annul the and must be filed in the place where the property is situated
cancellation of the award over the said house and lot is a regardless of the residence of the parties (Emergency Loan
personal action. The action does not involve title to Pawnshop Inc. vs. CA 353 SCRA 89).
ownership or possession of real property. The nature of
the action is one to compel the recognition of the validity
CLASSIFICATION AS TO THE PLACE OF FILING:
of the previous award by seeking a declaration that the
LOCAL ACTIONS and TRANSITORY ACTIONS
cancellation is null and void. (Hernandez v. DBP, 71
SCRA LOCAL ACTION is an action which can only be instituted in a
290) particular place.

• An action to foreclose a real estate mortgage is a real Good examples of local actions are real actions. Real actions are
action, but an action to compel the mortgagee to accept also automatically local actions. They can only be instituted in
payment of the mortgage debt and to release the the place where the property is situated. This is already
mortgage is a personal action. (Hernandez v. Rural Bank provided by law (e.g. accion publiciana, forcible entry, unlawful
of Lucena, detainer – can only be filed where the land is situated.)
Inc. 81 SCRA 75)
TRANSITORY ACTIONS are those which follow the party
• An action to annul a contract of loan and its accessory wherever he may reside. (1 Am. Jur. 430) Personal actions are
real estate mortgage is a personal action. In a personal transitory – its filing is based on where the plaintiff or where the
action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of personal defendant resides at the option or election of the plaintiff. It is
property, the enforcement of a contract or the recovery of based on the residence of the parties.
damages. In contrast, in a real action, the plaintiff seeks
the recovery of real property, or, as indicated in Section CLASSIFICATION AS TO OBJECT OR PURPOSE
2(a), Rule 4 of the then Rules of Court, a real action is an
action affecting title to real property or for the recovery of ACTIONS IN PERSONAM, IN REM and QUASI IN
possession, or for partition or condemnation of, or REM
foreclosure of mortgage on, real property (Chua vs. Total
Office Products and Services [Topros], Inc.,471 SCRA
ACTIONS IN PERSONAM vs. ACTIONS IN REM
500).

Definition
• Although the main relief sought in the action is the
delivery of the certificate of title, said relief, in turn
depends upon who, between the parties, has a better In personam action
right to the lot in question. It is not possible for the court
to decide the main relief without passing upon the claim “If the technical object of the suit is to establish a claim
of the parties with respect to the title to and possession generally against some particular persons, with a
of the lot in question. The action is a real action (Espineli judgment which, in theory, at least, binds his body or to
vs. Santiago 107 Phil 830). bar some individual claim or objection, so that only
certain persons are entitled to be heard, the action is IN
• Where the sale is fictitious, with absolutely no PERSONAM.” (Grey Alba vs. Dela Cruz, 17 Phil. 49;
Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil. 421)
consideration, it should be regarded as a non-existent
contract. There being no contract between the parties,
there is nothing in truth to annul by action. The action, An example is an action for specific performance; action for
therefore, cannot be an action for annulment but one for breach of contract
recovery of a fishpond, a real action (Pascual vs.
PASCUAL 73 Phil. 561). In rem action

Significance of the distinction But, “if the object of the suit is to bar indifferently all who
might be minded to make an objection of any sort
The distinction between a real action and a personal action is against the rights sought to be established, and if
important for the purpose of determining the venue of the anyone in the world has a right to be heard on the
action. Questions involving the propriety or impropriety of a strength of alleging facts which, if true, show an
particular venue are resolved by initially determining the nature inconsistent interest, the action is IN REM.” (Grey Alba
of the action, i.e., if the action is personal or real. vs. Dela Cruz, 17 Phil. 49; Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil.
421)

A real action is “local”, i.e., its venue depends upon the location
An example is a probate proceeding, cadastral proceeding.
of the property involved in the location. “Actions affecting title to
or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be
commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction The purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose
over the area wherein the real property involved, or apportion through the judgment of a court, some responsibility or
thereof is situated.” (Sec. 1 Rule 4) liability directly upon the person of the defendant
(Domagas vs. Jensen 448 SCRA 663)
A personal action is ‘transitory,’i.e., its venue depends upon
the residence of the plaintiff or the defendant at the option of Examples:
the plaintiff. A personal action “may be commenced and tried
where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides or A) An action for sum of money;
where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides, B) An action for damages.

48
In an action in personam, no other than the defendant is sought PERSONAM. It is a real action as to cause, but as to
to be held liable, not the whole world. object, it is in personam.

To simplify the definition: 4) P filed a case to annul his marriage with his wife D. It is
a PERSONAL action because it does not involve title to,
ACTION IN PERSONAM is one where the purpose is to bind the ownership etc., of his real property. It is about status.
parties or where any judgment that the court will render in that But it is also IN REM because the judgment therein is
case binds only the parties to the action and their privies or binding against the whole world.
their successors-in-interest.
5) An action for ejectment is a real action because it
ACTION IN REM is one where the purpose is to bind any and involves the issue of possession of real property. It is
everyone or where the judgment which the court will render in also, however, an action in personam because the action
the case binds not only the parties to the case but the whole is directed against a particular person who is sought to
world, then the action is in rem. be held liable
(Sec. 1 Rule 4; Domagas vs. Jensen 448 SCRA 663)
To follow the language of the SC in the case of:
6) An action for delaration of nullity of a marriage is a
personal action (Tamano vs. Ortiz 291 SCRA 584;
CHING vs. CA – 181 SCRA 9
Romualdez-Licaros vs. Licaros 401 SCRA 762) because it
is not founded on real estate. It is also in rem action
because the issue of the status of a person is one
HELD: “Actions in personam and actions in rem differ in directed against the whole world. One’s status is a
that the former are directed against specific persons and matter that can be set up against anyone in the world.
seek personal judgments, while the latter are directed On the other hand, an action for damages is both a
against the thing or property or status of a person and seek personal and in personam action.
judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world.”
7) An action for specific performance is an action in
Action in personam personam (Jose vs. Boyon 414 SCRA 217). An action for
specific performance and/or rescission is not an action
EXAMPLE: in rem (Gomez vs. CA 425 SCRA 98).

An action for the Recovery of land or accion publiciana. 8) A cadastral proceeding is an action in rem (In Re Estate
of Johnson 39 Phil. 156).
The case is filed by P against D and after trial the court
rendered judgment in favor of P ordering D to deliver the land to 9) A land registration proceeding is an action in rem.
P. But here comes X claiming the same property. Is X barred Hence, the failure to give a personal notice to the owners
from making his claim because the court, in the case of P vs. D or claimants of the land is not a jurisdictional defect. It is
already declared that P is entitled to the property? Is X bound the publication of such notice that brings in the whole
by that judgment? world as a party in the case and vests the court with
jurisdiction (Adez Realty Inc. vs. CA 212 SCRA 623; Ting
vs. Heirs of Diego Lirio 518 SCRA 263).
A: NO, because X is not a party to that case. She cannot be
bound by a judgment where she is not a party. Hence, the
10) An action to recover real property is a real action. It is
action between P and D is an action in personam. however, also an action in personam for it binds only a
particular individual (Republic vs. CA 315 SCRA 600)
Action in Rem QUASI IN REM
Text writers gave a sort of third classification as to object. This
1) Action for annulment of marriage or declaration of nullity is called action quasi in rem. “QUASI” means almost. So, ‘quasi
of marriage. Suppose the husband (H) files a case in rem’ is almost in rem. Actually, it is in personam but almost
against his wife (W) to annul their marriage. After trial, in rem.
the court rendered judgment annulling the marriage and
it became final. So the parties are now both SINGLE. H
Q: Define an action quasi in rem.
meets another girl, A, and courted her and proposed
marriage.
A proceeding to subject the interest of a named defendant over a
particular property to an obligation or lien burdening it.
Can A say the she I cannot marry H because I know
Judgment is binding upon particular persons.
you are married and as far as I am concerned I am not
bound by the judgment of annulment in the case
between P and D because she was a not a party An action quasi in rem is actually in personam because it is
therein? When the court ruled in the case between H directed only against a particular individual but the purpose of
and W that the marriage is annulled is that judgment the proceeding is to subject his property to the obligation or lien
binding only on H and W, the parties therein burdening it. The object of the case is the sale or other
A: No it binds the whole world or anybody. disposition of property of the defendant over which you have a
right or lien over the property.
2) When an illegitimate child files a case against the father,
for compulsory recognition and got a favorable judgment An action quasi in rem is one wherein an individual is named as
his/her status as a recognized child is not only binding defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his
on his/her father but is binding on the whole world. interest thereof to the obligation or lien burdening thje property
(Asiavest Limited vs. CA 296 SCRA 539).
Take note that an action in rem and in personam have
often been confused with the classification of real and The object of an action quasi in rem is the sale or disposition of
personal action, that an action in personam is also a the property whether by attachment, foreclosure or any other
personal action, or, when an action is in rem it is also a form of remedy (Banco Espanol-Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil.
real action. 921).

It is wrong. The basis of the classification is different. An Examples of actions quasi in rem:
action could be as to cause or basis a real action. As to
object, it could be in personam. In the same manner, it (a) Action for partition; (b)
could be a personal action but an action in rem. Action for accounting.
(c) Such actions are essentially for the purpose of
3) E files a case against C to recover the possession of a affecting the defendant’s interest in the property and
piece of land. It is a REAL action because the subject is not to render a judgment against him (Valmonte vs. CA
possession or ownership of real property. But because 252 SCRA 92);
the purpose is to bind only E and C it is also an action IN (d) attachment;

49
(e) foreclosure of mortgage (Banco Espanol Filipino vs. 15 days and the requirement is the filing of a
Palanca 37 Phil. 921; Sahagun vs. CA 198 SCRA 44). notice of appeal, whereas

ILLUSTRATION: An action to foreclose a mortgage is the best In SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS the period to appeal
example of a civil action quasi in rem because there is a is 30 days and aside from notice of appeal,
defendant (mortgagor) and the object of the case is to have the the law requires the filing of a record on
property mortgaged sold or disposed of in order to satisfy the appeal.
mortgage lien of the mortgagee. It is in personam because it is
directed only against the person who mortgaged to you but once Of course the basic distinction is found in Section 3 – a civil
the property is foreclosed, practically everybody has to respect action is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement
it. That’s why it is called quasi in rem. or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
Whereas, a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party
Or, to borrow the language of the SC in simplifying the term seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.
quasi in rem, quasi in rem means ‘against the person in respect
to the res, against the mortgagor in respect to the thing The object of a civil action is to enforce or protect a right or to
mortgaged.’ prevent or redress a wrong. But the object of a special
proceeding is only to establish a status, a right or a particular
Importance of the distinction fact.

It determines whether the court must acquire jurisdiction over If a creditor sues the debtor to collect an unpaid loan, is that a
the person of the defendant and thus determine the mode of civil action or a special proceeding? That is a civil action
serving summons. because the creditor wants to enforce or protect his right to
If the action is in personam the court must acquire jurisdiction collect. The creditor is compelling the debtor to pay. It is
over the person of the defendant, thru personal service of adversarial.
summons. Service of summons by publication is not allowed.
A good example of a special proceeding is a petition for
But if it is in rem jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is ADOPTION. It is a special proceeding because the purpose is to
not required hence service of summons by publication is establish a status of paternity and filiation between the adopter
sufficient. and adopted who may not be related to each other.

Such is also true to quasi in rem action. What is important is What is adoption?
that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res.
This is how an author describes it.
CIVIL ACTIONS vs. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
“Adoption is one of the sacred mysteries of
Q: Define a special proceeding. the law. It concerns the making of a natural
person as a legitimate child of another person
without the intervention of sex. A man
A: Rule 1, Section 3 [c]:
becomes a father of the child he did not sire.
A woman becomes the mother of a child she
c) A special proceeding is a remedy by did not bear. It is through the magic or
which a party seeks to establish a status, a fiction of the law that adopters become
right, or a particular fact. (2a, R2) parents of children unrelated to them by
blood, or if related, the relationship is one of
Special proceedings should not be confused with a civil action. illegitimacy.”
Special Proceedings are governed by Rules 72-109 of the Rules
of Court. So you can adopt you own illegitimate child for the purpose of
improving his status. So, when you file a petition for adoption,
Distinguish a civil action from a special proceeding. you 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 child between 2 people who are not related to each
A: The following:
other.
1.) A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues
another for the enforcement or protection And when you file a petition for adoption, you are not filing a
of a right, or the prevention or redress of case against anybody. The case is not a fight between two
a wrong, whereas, parties. There is a petitioner, the one who files, but there is no
definite defending party. But it is directed against the whole
world because once the adoption is granted, then, as far as the
A SPECIAL PROCEEDING is a remedy by whole world is concerned, they have to respect the status of the
which a party seeks to establish a status, adopted as a child of the adopter. It is in rem. Generally,
a right, or a particular fact; special proceedings are in rem.

2.) In a civil action, there are two (2) definite But since it is directed against the whole world, anyone in the
and particular adverse parties, the party world can come forward and oppose the petition, hence,
who demands a right, called a plaintiff, publication is required. There is no particular person as
and the other whom the right is sought, defendant but in reality, anybody in the world can come forward
called a defendant, whereas, and oppose it. That's the difference between a special
proceeding and a civil action.
In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, while there is a
definite party petitioner, there is no Sec. 4. In what cases not applicable. - These
definite adverse party as the proceeding Rules shall not apply to election cases,
is usually considered to be against the land registration, cadastral, naturalization
whole world; and insolvency proceedings, and other
cases not herein provided for, except by
3.) analogy or in a suppletory character and
A CIVIL ACTION requires the filing of formal
pleadings, whereas whenever
practicable and convenient. (R143a)

The Rules of Court do not apply to certain proceedings in court.


In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, relief may be
obtained by mere application or petition;
Q: What court proceedings where the Rules of Court are not
The period to appeal in CIVIL ACTIONS is applicable?
4.) generally

50
A: Election cases, land registration cases, cadastral cases, cases, therefore, the rules may be
naturalization cases, insolvency construed liberally in order to meet
proceedings, and other cases not herein and advance the cause of
provided for except by analogy of for substantial justice (Land Bank vs.
suppletory purposes. Celad, GR No. 164876, Jan. 23,
2006)
In these cases, the Rules of Court are
suppletory in character. In case of conflict between election law DE GUZMAN vs SANDIGANBAYAN - 256 SCRA 171
and the Rules of Court, forget the Rules of Court. But when the
Election Code is silent, you apply the Rules of Court by analogy HELD: “The Rules of Court was conceived and
or for suppletory purposes. promulgated to set forth guidelines in the dispensation
of justice but not to bind and chain the hand that
dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves
There are some election cases which fall within the jurisdiction
to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial
of the courts, not necessarily COMELEC. For example, violation
discretion. That is precisely why courts in rendering
of election code where the party may be adjudged to go to jail.
real justice have always been, as they in fact ought to
That is a criminal case. That is governed by the rules on
be, conscientiously guided by the norm that when on
criminal procedure. It is more on imprisonment.
the balance, technicalities take a backseat against
substantive rights, and not the other way around.
Sec. 5. Commencement of an action. - A civil Truly then, technicalities, should give way to the
action is commenced by the filing of the realities of the situation.”
original complaint in court. If an So, the purpose of procedure is to help the hand that dispenses
additional defendant is impleaded in a justice and not to tie these hands. Otherwise, the courts will
later pleading, the action is commenced
become mere robots. And, as much as possible, courts should
with regard to him on the date of the filing
avoid technicalities to give way to the realities of the situation.
of such later pleading, irrespective of
whether the motion for its admission, if
necessary, is denied by the court. (6a) In one case, “Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a
rapier’s thrust.” (Alonzo vs. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315)
Q: When is a court action deemed commenced?
That’s why the SC said in another case:
A: A civil action is commenced by the filing of the original
complaint in court. Of course this is not really complete. The SANTOS vs. CA – 198 SCRA 806
filing of the original complaint in court must be accompanied by
the payment of the correct docket fee. A complaint is not
deemed filed until the docket fee is paid. This is important to HELD: Procedural “rules are not intended to hamper
determine the exact date that the action has commenced litigants or complicate litigation but, indeed, to provide for a
because it is from that moment that the running of the system under which suitors may be heard in the correct
prescriptive period is interrupted. form and manner and at the prescribed time in a peaceful
confrontation before a judge whose authority they
Civil actions are deemed commenced from the date of the filing acknowledge. The other alternative is the settlement of their
and docketing of the complaint, without taking into account the conflict through the barrel of a gun.”
issuance and service of summons (Cabrera vs. Tiano, GR No.
L17299, July 31, 1963). Meaning, the purpose of the rules is for people to fight each
If the complete amount of the docket fee is not paid, the other in a civilized way. If you cannot accept the judicial system,
prescriptive period continues to run as the complaint is deemed what is your alternative? The only alternative is to shoot your
not filed (Feria, 2001, p. 208) opponent. We will settle our conflict through the barrel of a gun.

An action can be commenced by filing the complaint by For all its shortcomings and its defects, the judicial system is
registered mail, in which case, it is the date of mailing that is still the civilized way of dealing with your opponent.
considered as the date of filing and not the date of the receipt
thereof by the clerk of court.
BAR QUESTION: When may lapses in the literal observance in
the Rules of Court be excused?
The second sentence of Section 5 states that, “If an additional
defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is
A: In the case of
commenced with regard to him on the date of the filing of such
later pleading…”
ETHEL CASE, ET AL vs. FERNANDO JUGO, ET AL – 77 Phil.
523
Example: Today (November 19, 1997), I filed a complaint
against A. So, the action is commenced on Nov. 19, 1997.
However next month, say, December 19, if there is an additional HELD: Lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure
defendant, the date of the commencement of the action with will be overlooked:
regards to the additional defendant is not the date when the
original action is filed, but on the date when he was included in 1) when they do not involve public policy;
the amended pleading. 2) when they arose from an honest mistake or unforeseen
accident;
How do you interpret or construe the Rules of Court? 3) when they have not prejudiced the adverse party; and
4) when they have not deprived the court of its authority.
Sec. 6. Construction. - These Rules shall be
liberally construed in order to promote One final note, while it is true that the Rules of Court should be
their objective of securing a just, speedy liberally construed as a general rule, there are certain
and inexpensive disposition of every provisions which according to the SC, should be strictly
action and proceeding. (2a) construed because they were intended precisely to minimize
delay. These are provisions on:
The purpose of Procedural Law is to hasten litigation. So you do
not interpret it to prolong a case. That is based on the principle 1) reglementary periods;
of liberal construction. 2) rule on forum shopping;
3) service of summons
Cases should, as much as possible, be determined on the merits
after the parties have been given full opportunity to ventilate A good example would be provisions which prescribe the time
their causes and defences, rather than on technicality or some during which certain acts are going to be done, like the filing of
procedural imperfection. After all, technical rules of procedure an
are not ends in themselves but are primarily devised to help in
the proper and expedient dispensation of justice. In appropriate

51
answer, because if you will disregard this, it will promote more delay rather than expedite litigations.

Another example is the filing of a notice of appeal. These are 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
not a license to completely ignore these rules. Even the SC made the warning. Like in the cases of

ANTONIO vs. CA – 167 SCRA 127

HELD: “It is the common practice of litigants who have no excuse for not observing the procedural rules to minimize the same as mere
technicalities. Then they cry for due process.
These procedural rules are in fact intended to ensure an orderly administration of justice precisely to guarantee the enjoyment of
substantive rights.”

LIMPOT vs. CA– 170 SCRA 367

HELD: “Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed


simply because their non-observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party's substantive rights, as in this case. Like all rules, they
are required to be followed except only when for
the most persuasive of reasons they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his
thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure
prescribed. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities, this does not mean that the Rules of Court may be ignored at
will and 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)

ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS Sec. 2. Cause of action, defined. - A cause of


action is the act or omission by which a
Rule 02 party violates a right of another. (n)

Q: Define cause of action.


CAUSE OF ACTION
SECTION 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of. - A: CAUSE OF ACTION is an act or omission by which a party
Every ordinary civil action must be based violates a right of another.
on a cause of action. (n)
ELEMENTS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION
Section 1 of Rule 1 is entitled cause of action. Section 1
expresses the principle that every ordinary civil action must be
There are 3 main elements:
based on a cause of action. In other words, there cannot be a
case unless you have a cause of action.
1) Existence of legal right in favor of the plaintiff by
whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is
Under Rule 16, one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss is
created;
that your pleading states no cause of action.

52
2) a correlative obligation on the part of the named described under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, although based on
defendant to respect and not to violate such right; and quasi delict is presumed.

3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant in Under Art. 2180, following the well-recognized doctrine of
violation of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a vicarious liability, certain persons like the father, mother,
breach of the obligation of the defendant to the guardian, owners and managers of an establishment or
plaintiff for which the latter may maintain action for enterprise, employee, the State, and teachers or heads of
recovery of damages or other appropriate relief. establishments of arts and trades are, under specified
conditions, liable for acts of persons for whom they are
responsible.
Briefly stated, it is the reason why the litigation has come about,
it is the act or omission of defendant resulting in the violation of
someone’s right. (Phil. National Construction v CA, 514 SCRA Thus, an employer for instance, is liable for the damage caused
569; Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association v. Nicolas GR by his employees and household helpers acting within the scope
No. 168394, Oct. 6, 2008) of their assigned tasks. The employer’s negligence in the
selection and supervision of his employee is presumed and his
liability shall only cease if he successfully proves his observance
There is a fourth element added by some cases and of the diligence required of a good father of a family to prevent
commentators – the element of damage suffered by the plaintiff. damage.

Even if there is violation, if there is no damage, then what relief When an injury is caused to another by the negligence of the
are you asking for? There can be no action where no damage is employee there instantly arises the juris tantum presumption of
sustained. law that there was negligence on the part of the employer either
in the selection or in the supervision, or both of the employee.
The liability of the employer is direct and immediate and is not
As a matter of fact, in a recent case, the SC remarked that conditioned upon a prior recourse against the negligent
wrong or injury without damage or damage without wrong does employee and a prior showing of the insolvency of such
not constitute a cause of action since damages are merely part employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the employer to prove
of the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or his exercise of diligence of a good father of a family in the
wrong. selection and supervision of the employee (Manliclic vs.
Calaunan GR No. 150157 January 25, 2007)
Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right while damage is the
loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury. Where the cause of action rests on a promissory note, filing the
action before the due date of the obligation would be premature
Cause of Action not an issue in administrative cases because the obligation is one with a period. Whenever a period
is designated in an obligation, the obligation becomes
demandable only when the period arrives. Such period is
While the existence of a cause of action is one that is essential presumed to be for the benefit of both parties and of course,
to the existence of a civil action, in administrative cases also of the debtor. He cannot be charged before the due date
however, the issue is not whether the complainant has a cause (Art. 1196, Civil Code) unless he loses the right to make use of
of action against the respondent, but whether the respondent the period (Art. 1198, Civil Code).
has breached the norms and standards of the office. (Mutia v.
Purisima, 494 SCRA 448)
In an unlawful detainer case, the cause of action does not
accrue unless there is a demand to vacate and is not complied
Cause of Action in Specific Cases with. If, however, the suit is based on expiration of the lease,
notice and demand are not required. (Labastida v. CA, 287
In breach of contract cases, a cause of action does not require SCRA 662)
an allegation of the negligence of the defendant but merely the
following elements:
EXAMPLE of Cause of Action:

a.) The existence of a contract, and A borrows money from B promising to pay on a date certain.
Upon due date, A did not pay. Does B have a cause of action?
b.) The breach of the contract. (Calalas v. CA SCRA 356; Let us examine whether the elements are present.
FGU Insurance Corp. v. GP Sarmeinto Trucking Corp.
386
• RIGHT – the right of the creditor to get back his
SCRA 312) money;

Thus, if a carrier is sued based on a breach of contract of


• OBLIGATION – The defendant has the obligation to
carriage, negligence need not be proved by the plaintiff,
pay back the loan under the law on contracts;
negligence not being an element of the cause of action of a suit
predicated on a breach of contract. This is true whether or not
the defendant is a public or a private carrier. However, where • VIOLATION or delict or wrong – the account fell due
the defendant is a common carrier there is an additional reason and the debtor is supposed to pay the creditor, but the
for dispensing with proof of negligence, i.e., negligence of the former
common carrier is presumed. (Art. 1735 & Art. 1756 CC) did not pay the latter;

In quasi delict, negligence, as an element, must be alleged and • DAMAGE – the creditor cannot get back his money.
proved. (Art. 2176 CC) but the negligence of those persons

53
So, the 4 elements are there. Of course, when you file a Where there is a defect or an insufficiency in the statement of
complaint against somebody, you do not prepare the complaint the cause of action, a complaint may be dismissed not because
by enumerating the elements. In other words, you just narrate of the absence or a lack of a cause of action but because the
the facts. It is up for the defendant to analyze. It is the duty of complaint “states no cause of action”. The dismissal will
the lawyer to analyze the complaint whether the 4 elements are therefore, be anchored on a “failure to state a cause of action.”
present.
The failure to state a cause of action does not mean that the
ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Damages arising from culpa aquiliana. plaintiff has “no cause of action.” It only means that the
You are crossing the street and you are bumped by X who was plaintiff’s allegations are insufficient for the court to know that
driving a car causing you injuries and being hospitalized. You the rights of the plaintiff were violated by the defendant. Thus,
also failed to report for work. even if indeed the plaintiff suffered injury, if the same is not set
forth in the complaint, the pleading will state no cause of action
• RIGHT – it is the right of every person not to be even if factually or in reality the plaintiff has a cause of action
molested. You have the right to walk peacefully and against the defendant.
not to be harmed; Action distinguished from Cause of Action

• OBLIGATION – it is the obligation of every person An action is the suit filed in court for the enforcement or
driving to be careful so that he will not bump other protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
people. You (Sec. 3[a]. Rule 2, Rules of Court. A cause of action is the basis
do not have to enter into a contract with a person of the action filed. Under the Rules of Court “every ordinary civil
saying you will not bump him; action must be based on a cause of action.” (Sec. 1, R 2).

• DELICT or wrong – because of your recklessness, you CAUSE OF ACTION vs. RIGHT OF ACTION
violated his right by injuring him;
Another important subject in procedure is distinguishing a
cause of action from a right of action.
• DAMAGE – I have to spend money in the hospital and I
lost my income.
Q: Define right of action.
The 4 elements are present. So there is a cause of action. In
other words, you cannot imagine a civil case where the 4 A: Right of action is the right of the plaintiff to bring an action
elements are not present. and to prosecute that action to final judgment. (Marquez vs.
Varela, 92 Phil. 373)
ANOTHER EXAMPLE: D borrowed money from you last year
payable in January2010 but because you are in dire need of It is the right of a person to commence and prosecute an action
money you demanded payment. Suppose D does not pay can to obtain the relief sought.
you file an action to collect the amount from him? Do you have
a cause of action? Q: What are the ELEMENTS of a right of action?

• RIGHT – the creditor has the right to collect; A: There are three elements:
• OBLIGATION – every debtor has the obligation to pay;
 DAMAGE – I have not recovered the money;  1.) the plaintiff must have a good cause of action;
DELICT or wrong – there is NO delict yet. 2.) must be instituted by the proper party; and,
3.) he/she must have performed all conditions
Why? There is no delict yet because the account is payable next precedent to the filing of the action.
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
action and is dismissible under Rule 16. 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
Cause of action must be unmistakably stated
DE GUZMAN, JR. vs. CA – 192 SCRA 507
The mere existence of a cause of action is not sufficient for a
complaint to prosper. Even if in reality the plaintiff has a cause HELD: “The right of action springs from the cause of action,
of action against the defendant, the complaint may be dismissed but does not accrue until all the facts which constitute the
if the complaint or the pleading asserting the claim “states no cause of action have occurred. When there is an invasion of
cause of action”. (Sec. 1[g], Rule 16). primary rights, then and not until then does the adjective
or remedial law become operative, and under it arise rights
This means that the cause of action must unmistakably be of action. There can be no right of action until there has
stated or alleged in the complaint or that all the elements of the been a wrong – a violation of a legal right – and it is then
cause of action required by substantive law must clearly appear given by the adjective law.”
from the mere reading of the complaint. To avoid an early
dismissal of the complaint, the simple dictum to be followed is:
“If you have a cause of action, then by all means, state it! State So, there can be no right of action until there has been a wrong,
all of its elements in your pleading!” a violation of a legal right. There can be no right of action unless
there is first a cause of action.

54
And you must comply with the conditions precedent. You
cannot file a case unless you comply with certain conditions
and the best EXAMPLE: When a debtor borrows money and he does not pay.
illustration of this element is the case of His failure to pay is the cause of action. After 10 years, the right
to collect has prescribed and you cannot recover anything.
Actually, what is barred is his right of action, not the cause of
PHILAM GENERAL INSURANCE CO. vs. SWEETLINES - 212 action because the moment he does not pay, there is already a
SCRA 194 wrong and you cannot erase a wrong. The cause of action is not
affected by prescription. In fact, the Civil Code provides that the
obligation is converted into natural obligation, which is based
on equity rather than a right.
FACTS: This involves shipped cargoes from Manila to Davao
but the goods were damaged while in transit. Based on the
damaged cargoes, the consignee filed a case against the When we say that the action has prescribed we should mean
carrier. Actually, in the bill of lading, there is a stipulation that what has prescribed is the right of action not the cause of
that if the consignee wants to file a case arising from the action.
contract of carriage against the carrier, the consignee must
first send a notice of loss to the carrier and then if the carrier Relief, Remedy and Subject Matter
will not honor it, that is the time the consignee can file a case
before the court. Now, he went to court directly without filing a Relief is the redress, protection, award or coercive measure
notice of loss to the carrier. which the plaintiff prays the court to render in his favor as
consequence of the delict committed by the defendant while
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a right of action. remedy is the procedure or appropriate legal form of relief of
action which may be availed of by the plaintiff as the means to
obtain the desired relief.
HELD: There is NO right of action because the consignee did
not comply with the conditions precedent. Subject matter is the thing, wrongful act, contract or property
which is directly involved in the action, concerning which the
wrong has been done and with respect to which the controversy
“The right of action does not arise until the performance of
has arisen.
all conditions precedent to the action. Performance or
fulfillment of all conditions precedent upon which a right of
action depends must be sufficiently alleged, considering SPLITTING A CAUSE OF ACTION
that the burden of proof to show that a party has a right of
action is upon the person initiating the suit.” Sec. 3. One suit for a single cause of action. -
A party may not institute more than one
suit for a single cause of action. (3a)
“More particularly, where the contract of shipment contains
a reasonable requirement of giving notice of loss of or injury
Section 3 is known as the rule against splitting the cause of
to the goods, the giving of such notice is a condition
action.
precedent to the action for loss or injury or the right to
enforce the carrier’s liability.”
Purpose:
BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a CAUSE OF ACTION from a
RIGHT OF ACTION. To avoid the following:

A: The following are the distinctions: 1) Multiplicity of suits;


2) Conflicting decisions; and
1) Cause of action is the delict or wrong committed by 3) Unnecessary vexation and harassment of defendants.
the defendant, whereas

Right of action refers to the right of the plaintiff to This applies not only to complaints but also to counterclaims
institute the action; and cross-claims.

2) Cause of action is created by substantive law (e.g. Q: What is splitting a single cause of action?
rights under the Civil Code), whereas
A: Splitting a cause of action is the act of instituting two or
Right of action is regulated by procedural law; “Right more suits for the same cause of action.
of action is a remedial right belonging to some
persons, while cause of action is a formal statement of It is the practice of dividing one cause of action into different
the operative facts that give rise to such remedial parts and making each part a subject of a different complaint.
right.” (De (Bachrach vs. Icariñgal, 68 Phil. 287)
Guzman vs. CA, supra)
In splitting a cause of action, the pleader divides a single cause
3) Right of action may be taken away by the running of of action, claim or demand into two or more parts, brings a suit
the statute of limitations, by estoppel or other for one of such parts with the intent to reserve the rest for
circumstances which do not affect at all the cause of another separate action. (Quadra v. CA 497 SCRA 221)
action.

55
EXAMPLE: In a suit under a promissory note, you file a case to attorney’s fees and litigation" expenses, he cannot file 3
collect the principal; another action to collect the interest; counterclaims.
another action to collect attorney’s fees. So, there is only one
note and you sue me three times but there is only one cause of The action for forcible entry should include not only the plea for
action. Now, under the law, you have split your cause of action. restoration of possession but also claims for damages arising
You should file only one case to recover the principal and the out of the forcible entry. The claim for damages cannot be filed
interest as well as the attorney’s fees. separately (Progressive Development Corporation, Inc. vs. CA
301 SCRA 637).
EXAMPLE: Damage (injury) suit: X, while walking was bumped
by a vehicle. He filed one case against the owner of the vehicle The same principle applies to an action to recover the
for reimbursement of hospital expenses; one case to recover his possession of a land. The action must also include the recovery
expenses for medicine; another one for doctor’s fees; then of the fruits already taken from the land and appropriated by
another case for the lost income. the defendant. A suit for recovery of the land and a separate
suit to recover the fruits will not be sustained. Also, when one
A single act may sometimes violate several rights of a person. files a complaint for unlawful detainer on the ground of non-
Nevertheless the plaintiff has only one cause of action payment of rentals, the complaint must include the recovery of
regardless of the number of rights violated. If a car owner the rentals in arrears, such recovery being an integral part of
sustains injuries to his person and damage to his car as a result the cause of action for unlawful detainer.
of the negligent driving of the defendant, two rights of the
plaintiff have been violated, namely, his personal right to be safe A tenant illegally ejected from the land is entitled to two reliefs –
in his person and his property right to have his car intact and one for reinstatement and another for damages. Since both
free from any damage. Under the circumstances, the plaintiff reliefs arose from the same cause of action, they should be
can only file a single action for the recovery of damages for both alleged in one complaint (Gozon vs. Vda. De Barrameda 11
types of injuries. Filing an action to recover damages to his SCRA 376).
person and later for damages to his car would be splitting a
single cause of action. This is because there is one act of
An action for the recovery of taxes should also include the
violation. If, however, a passenger in the same car was also
demand for surcharges resulting from the delinquency in the
injured, the injuries to the passenger gives rise to a cause of
payment of said taxes. The non-payment of taxes gave rise to
action separate and distinct from those sustained by the car
two reliefs: (a) the recovery of the unpaid taxes; and (b) the
owner because distinct rights belonging to different persons
recovery of the surcharges resulting from non-payment of the
have been violated. The injured passenger may file a suit
taxes. These two reliefs are results of a single cause of action
against the defendant separate from the suit filed by the car
and which should be pursued in a single complaint (City of
owner.
Bacolod vs. San Miguel Brewery, Inc. 29 SCRA 819).

A cause of action for the reconveyance of title over property does


A bank cannot file a civil action against the debtor for the
not include a cause of action for forcible entry or unlawful
collection of the debt and then subsequently file an action to
detainer. They are distinct causes of action. What is involved in
foreclose the mortgage. This would be splitting a single cause of
an ejectment case is possession de facto or material possession.
action (Danao vs. CA 154 SCRA 446; Industrial Finance Corp.
In an action for reconveyance, the issue is ownership. (Tecson v.
vs. Apostol 177 SCRA 521).
Gutierez, 452 SCRA 781; de la Cruz v. CA, 133 SCRA 520).

It has been held however, that an action to collect the amount of


Application of the rule against splitting a single cause of
the loan will not preclude a subsequent action for the rescission
action
of the mortgage based on violation of the conditions of the
mortgage (Enriquez vs. Ramos 7 SCRA 26).
This rule applies not only to complaints but also to
counterclaims and cross-claims. (Mariscal v. CA, 311 SCRA 51)
Sec. 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect
of. - If two or more suits are instituted on
Example: The act of a defendant in taking possession of the the basis of the same cause of action, the
plaintiff’s land by means of force and intimidation constitutes a filing of one or a judgment upon the
single act of dispossession but gives rise to two reliefs to the merits in any one is available as a ground
plaintiff: for the dismissal of the others. (4a)

a) recovery of possession, and The remedy of the defendant is a motion to dismiss or if such
b) damages arising from the loss of possession. Both of motion is not filed, to allege it in the answer as an affirmative
these reliefs result from a single wrong hence, defense.
constitute but a single cause of action. Each of them
cannot be the subject of two separate actions. IT is
procedurally erroneous for the plaintiff to file an action Q: What are the effects of splitting a cause of action?
to recover possession and another action for damages.
Both remedies must be alleged and claimed in only one A: Under Section 4, the following are the effects:
complaint. To file a separate action for each relief is to 1.) The filing of one is available as a ground for the
split a single cause of action. dismissal of the other. This assumes a situation
where there is already another action pending
between the same parties for the same cause. This
Now if the defendant denies plaintiff’s allegations and avers that is one ground for dismissal of a case, LITIS
the action is just plain harassment and claims for damages, PENDENTIA. (Rule 16 – Motion to Dismiss, Section
1 [e])

56
DANAO vs. CA – 154 SCRA 446

FACTS: The Danao spouses borrowed money from the


bank, mortgaged their property and then they failed to pay.
The bank filed a civil action to collect the loan. After filing a
civil action to collect the loan, the bank instituted an action
to foreclose the mortgage.

a judgment upon the merits in any one is available


HELD: “Anent real properties in particular, the Court has
2.) as a laid down the rule that a mortgage creditor may institute
ground for the dismissal of the others. This refers to a
against the mortgage debtor either a personal action for
judgment that is final and executor. That is what you
debt or a real action to foreclose the mortgage. In other
call barred by prior judgment or RES ADJUDICATA,
words, he may pursue either of the two remedies, but not
which is also a ground for dismissal under Rule 16,
both.”
Section 1 [f].

“Evidently, the prior recourse of the creditor bank in filing a


civil action against the Danao spouses and subsequently
EXAMPLE: A collection case was already decided a long time resorting to the complaint of foreclosure proceedings, are
ago dismissing it because the court found that the promissory not only a demonstration of the prohibited splitting up of a
note was a forgery. Now, you are reviving the same case – you cause of action but also of the resulting vexation and
are filing again. Under Section 4, the judgment in the first case oppression to the debtor.”
years ago would be cited as a basis for the dismissal of the
second case.
RULES IN DETERMINING THE SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF
ACTION
Note: if the ground is pendency of another action, the IN CONTRACTS WITH SEVERAL STIPULATIONS
phraseology of the rule (Sec. 4 R 2) no longer confines the
dismissal to the second action. As to which action should be
RULE #1 (General Rule):
dismissed would depend upon judicial discretion and the
prevailing circumstances of the case.

A contract embraces only one cause


SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION
of action because it may be violated
only once, even if it contains several
stipulations. (Quioque vs. Bautista,
L-13159, Feb. 28, 1962)
Q: How do you determine the singleness of a cause of action?

EXAMPLE: P enters into a contract with N which contains 3


A: The singleness of a cause of action is determined by the
stipulations: (#1) that next month, P will deliver to N 100 sacks
singleness of the delict or wrong committed by the
of rice; (#2) on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100 sacks
defendant and not by the number of remedies that the law
of corn; and (#3) on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100
grants the injured party. Meaning, a single delict may give rise
sacks of sugar. When the day arrived, nothing was delivered. So
to two or more possible remedies but it does not mean to say
three stipulations were violated.
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 18, 1958) Q: How many causes of action does N have against P?

EXAMPLE: Obligations and Contracts: A violation or a breach of A: ONE. The contract is only one cause of action even if it
contract could give rise to a civil action for specific performance contains several stipulations. The cause of action is not based
or a civil action for rescission of contract. However, it does not on the number of paragraphs violated but on the contract itself.
mean to say that the injured party can file both or one after the
other. Otherwise, he will be splitting his cause of action. RULE #2 (Exception to the General Rule):

EXAMPLE: There is the Recto Law (on Sales) which provides for A contract which provides for several
3 remedies of an unpaid seller of personal properties: (1) rescind stipulations to be performed at
the contract of sale; (2) exact fulfillment of obligation; and (3) different times gives rise to as many
foreclosure of mortgage. But even the law on Sales is very clear: causes of action as there are
the choice of one automatically bars resort to the other because violations. (Larena vs. Villanueva, 53
it will be against splitting the cause of action. Phil. 923)

EXAMPLE: Credit Transactions: A bank has two (2) possible EXAMPLE: A loan with a promissory note where the principal
remedies against a debtor for non-payment of a loan secured by amount is payable in installment. The first installment is
a mortgaged say, piece of land: (1) foreclose the mortgage on the payable in 2008, the second installment in this year, and the
land; or (2) file an action to collect the loan. Here, the bank third installment is payable in 2010 without any acceleration
cannot file a case against the debtor to collect the loan and at clause. So, there is only one contract of loan but the principal is
the same time file an action to foreclose the mortgage for it will payable in three installments at different times.
be splitting the cause of action. So it is either you enforce the
principal contract of loan, or, you enforce the accessory contract For non- payment of the first installment, the creditor has a
of mortgage. This is what happened in the case of cause of action and can file one case.

57
Q: Next year, he did not pay the second installment, can the SEC. 5. Joinder of causes of action. - A party
creditor file another case? may in one pleading assert, in the
alternative or otherwise, as many causes
A: YES, because this time it is the exception. Every installment of action as he may have against an
opposing party, subject to the following
is one cause of action even if there is only one note. Remember
conditions:
that they are to be performed at different times.

xxxxx
RULE #3 (Exception to the exception):

Q: What do you mean by joinder of causes of action?


All obligations which have matured
at the time of the suit must be
integrated as one cause of action in A: Joinder of causes of action is the provision of the Rules
one complaint, and those not so which allows a party to join in one pleading two or more causes
included would be barred. (Larena of actions against the opposing party.
vs. Villanueva, 53 Phil. 923)
It is the assertion of as many causes of action as a party may
EXAMPLE: In 2008, the debtor did not pay but the creditor did have against another in one pleading. It is the process of uniting
not file any case. Then this year, the second installment was not two or more demands or rights in one action.
also paid.
Example: D is the debtor of C for P350,000.00 due on January
Q: Is the creditor correct if he files two separate actions? 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 pay both debts despite demand.
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
installment, this time, when he files for collection of the unpaid How many causes of action are there? There are two because
second installment, everything must be integrated. If you do there are two contracts and therefore two violations. So C can
not file a claim for one, it is deemed barred. file two separate actions for collection without violating the
prohibition against splitting a single cause of action.
So for example, if you will wait for the entire note to mature, you
cannot apply rule 2. You should only file one action and you go But can C file only one action by joining the two causes of
back to the general rule. action? Yes under this Section 5.

Doctrine of Anticipatory Breach C may file a single suit against D for the collection of both debts,
despite the claims being actually separate causes of actions and
having arisen out of different transactions.
RULE #4 (Exception to Rule #2)
THE PRINCIPLE: You cannot file more than one case when you
have only one cause of action but the law allows you to file one
An unqualified and positive refusal
to perform a contract, though the case for more than one cause of action.
performance thereof is not yet due,
may, if the renunciation goes into Q: Under Section 5, is the creditor obliged to file one complaint
the whole contract, be treated as a for the 2 promissory notes?
complete breach which will entitle
the injured party to bring the action
A: NO, because joinder of causes of action is permissive. He may
at once. (Blossom & Co. vs. Manila
or may not.
Gas Corp., 55 Phil. 226)
EXAMPLE: Let us suppose that in the preceding problems when
the first installment fell due the creditor demanded payment for When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same plaintiff
and against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one plaintiff
the first installment from the debtor but the latter refused to
pay claiming that there was no loan and the promissory note is and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or not the
causes of action arose out of the same transaction or series of
a forgery how many causes of action are there?
transactions. This question is only relevant when there are
multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants. In the hypothetical
Now, in that kind of statement, he is not only repudiating the just discussed in the example, is C obliged to join the causes of
first installment. He is repudiating the entire note. So under action against D?
rule #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
No. He may file a single suit for each of the claims if he desires
installment which fell due, then another for the others, it will be
useless because he will still maintain the same position. So you because each debt is a separate cause of action. Joinder of
causes of action is not compulsory. It is merely permissive.
do not wait anymore for the 2nd and 3rd installments to fall
due. You file only one case for the entire breach. There is a
total breach for a continuing obligation and there is now only ALTERNATIVE and CUMULATIVE Joinder of Causes of
one cause of action for the entire promissory note. (Blossoms & Action Q: How may causes of action be joined?
Co. v. Manila Gas Corporation, 55 Phil. 226) The anticipatory
breach committed by the defendant entitles the plaintiff to only A: Causes of action may be joined either: (a) alternatively or (b)
one cause of action. cumulatively.

JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION

58
An ALTERNATIVE JOINDER exists when your cause of action is hypothetically, either in one cause of action or
either one or the other. You are not seeking relief from both but defense or in separate causes of action or defenses.
from either one.
When two or more statements are made in the
alternative and one of them if made independently
A CUMULATIVE JOINDER exists when you are seeking relief for
all your causes of action. would be sufficient, the pleading is not made
insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of
ALTERNATIVE joinder; Example: the alternative statements. (2) Requisites for
proper joinder of causes of action

A is the importer of the goods that were shipped on board a Q: When is joinder of causes of action allowed?
carrier. Upon reaching Cebu City, they were unloaded by the
arrastre or stevedoring operator. But when the goods were A: Under Section 5, joinder of causes of action is allowed under
delivered to A they were already in a damaged condition. A the following conditions:
complained to the arrastre which denied liability claiming that
the goods were damaged already before unloading. Then when A
went to the carrier, it passed the blame to the arrastre. a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with
the rules on joinder of parties;

b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or


A here has two (2) possible causes of action: (1) an action
actions governed by special rules;
against the stevedoring operator under the contract of
depositary under the law on Credit Transaction; Or, (2) an
action against the carrier under the Law on Transportation. So c) Where the causes of action are between the same
there are 2 possible causes of action. parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions,
the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court
provided one
Q: Can A file a complaint incorporating the two (arrastre and
of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of
the carrier) both as defendants?
said court and the venue lies therein; and

A: YES, that is allowed. This is alternative joinder because A is


d) Where the claims in all the causes of action are
not claiming from both of them, but either one or the other.
principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount
Another Example: C is a passenger riding on a public utility
claimed
vehicle which collided with another vehicle and she is not sure
shall be the test of jurisdiction. (5a)
who is at fault. If the fault lies with the other vehicle, and the
driver of the bus where C was riding is not at fault, then her
cause of action against the other vehicle is quasi-delict. But if a.) The party joining the causes of action shall
the fault lies with the driver of the bus where she was riding, comply with the rules on joinder of parties
her cause of action is culpa contractual. So she has 2 possible
causes of action. The rule on joinder of parties is Rule 3, Section 6 which
provides that two (2) or more persons can join as plaintiffs in
Q: Is it possible for C to file one complaint naming both the one complaint or can be joined as defendants in one complaint,
drivers or both operators as defendants? provided there is a common question of fact or law involved
in that case. In other words, before there can be a proper
joinder of causes of action there must must be a proper
A: YES. Either of them is liable to her. That is alternative joinder joinder of parties. Proper joinder of parties requires that
of causes of action. the right to relief should arise out of the same transaction
or series of transactions and that there exists a common
CUMULATIVE JOINDER question of law or fact.

Examples: Refer to prior illustrations When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same plaintiff
and against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one plaintiff
and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or not the
That is why the manner of joining the defendants alternatively
causes of actions arose of the same transaction or series of
or otherwise should be correlated with Rule 3, Section 13 and
transactions as stated beforehand. This question is only
Rule 8, Section 2:
relevant when there are multiple plaintiffs or multiple
defendants. So in our hypothetical case where D borrowed from
RULE 3, SEC. 13. Alternative defendants. - C two separate amounts of P350,000.00 each covered by two
Where the plaintiff is uncertain against separate promissory notes, C can opt to file one complaint
who of several persons he is entitled to joining together the two causes of action arising from the
relief, he may join any or all of them as violations of the promissory notes.
defendants in the alternative, although a
right to relief against one may be
inconsistent with a right of relief against EXAMPLE: Two or more passengers riding on the same bus,
the other. (13a) met an accident. All of them were injured. Every passenger who
gets injured has a cause of action separate and distinct from
each other because there are separate contracts of carriage
RULE 8, SEC. 2. Alternative causes of action
violated. So they decided to file a damage suit.
or defenses. - A party may set forth two or more
statements of a claim or defense alternatively or Q: Can they be joined in one complaint?

59
A: YES because there is a common question of fact or law. They FACTS: (This is still a good ruling) A stockholder of a
are riding on the same bus, meeting the same accident, against corporation who is also the creditor of the corporation
the same operator. So there is a joinder of parties under Rule 3. decided to file one complaint against the corporation
And if the joinder of parties under Rule 3 is proper, then their asserting several causes of action, among them is his right
causes of action can also be joined under Rule 2 because the as a stockholder under the Corporation Code and also his
condition is: “shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties.” right as a creditor under the Civil Code.

Q: Suppose these passengers were riding on different buses HELD: The joinder is improper. In the first place, one is
owned by the same operator. All of them met an accident. Well governed by a quasi-judicial body (SEC). So how can the
of course the same kind of case: damage suit, breach of contract RTC try a case when the cause of action is pertaining to the
against the same operator. Now, can their causes of action be SEC and it is governed by the special rules of the SEC? So
joined? you cannot join that.
c.) Where the causes of action are between the same
A: NO. They cannot be joined because there is no common parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions,
question of fact or law. The defense of the operator here is the joinder
different from his defense there. Meaning, passenger A has may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one
nothing to do with the complaint of passenger B because there of
is no common denominator between them. So if you cannot join the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said
them under Rule 3, the joinder of causes of action under Rule 2 court and the venue lies therein
is also improper.
Distinguish joinder of causes of actions from joinder of PROBLEM: M encroached on two parcels of land belonging to
parties. me both located IN Cebu City. In one parcel of land, the
assessed value is only P20,000. In another parcel of land, the
Joinder of causes of action refers to the procedural device assessed value is P1 million. I would like to file a case of action
whereby a party who asserts various claims against the same or publiciana against him. The first accion publiciana is triable by
several parties, files all his claims against them in a single the MTC (P20,000). The other accion publiciana is triable by the
complaint. The joinder will not involve a joinder of parties when RTC.
the causes of action joined accrued in favor of the same plaintiff
against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one plaintiff
Q: Can I join them?
against the same defendant. This means that a joinder of
causes of action will not necessarily involve a joinder of parties.
A: YES, and it must be filed it in the RTC. The jurisdiction of
the RTC will prevail. Venue, of course, is Cebu City.
Joinder of parties is a procedural device that may be employed
when there are various causes of actions that accrue in favor of
one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants, i.e., there Examples of “but pertain to different venues or jurisdiction”
is a plurality of parties. A joinder of parties requires that before
parties can be joined under a single complaint the right to relief PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an
must arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions assessed value of P20,000. And then he encroached in another
and there must be a common question of law or fact. A joinder land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P1 million.
of parties may or may not be involved in a joinder of causes of You will notice that in the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is in
action. the MTC for the case accion publiciana and the venue is
Lapulapu because the property is situated there. In the other
b.) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or case, the jurisdiction is in the RTC and the venue is Cebu City.
actions governed by special rules
Q: Can I file a case against M joining the 2 cases?
Assume that aside from the above claims of C against D, C who
happens to be the lessor of D wants to eject D from the A: YES.
apartment occupied by D as lessee. May the action be joined
with the claims for money? Q: Where is now the governing venue?

No. An action for ejectment is a special action which cannot be A: The venue of the RTC case prevails. Therefore, the case must
joined with ordinary action. The joinder does not include special be filed in Cebu City.
civil actions or those governed by special rules. The reason is
confusion in the application of procedural rules would certainly
arise from the joinder of ordinary and special civil actions in a PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an
single complaint. 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. You will notice that in the Lapulapu land, the
Assume that C has the following causes of action against D: (a) jurisdiction is RTC for the case accion publiciana. In the other
P1M based on a PN; (b) P1M based on torts; and (c) foreclosure case, the jurisdiction is also in the RTC of Cebu City. So both
of real estate mortgage. May the causes of action be joined? actions, RTC.

Yes, except the foreclosure of real estate mortgage, which is a Q: In which RTC will you file the case joining the causes of
special civil action. action?

UNION GLASS AND CONTAINER CORP vs. SEC - 126 SCRA A: Either Lapulapu or Cebu City because both are RTCs.
31

60
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an encouraged because it minimizes multiplicity of suits and
assessed value of P20,000. And then he encroached in another inceonvenience on the part of the parties.
land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P20,000
also. In the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is MTC for the case
accion publiciana. In the other case, the jurisdiction is also in SEC. 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. -
Misjoinder of causes of action is not a
the MTC. So both actions, MTC.
ground for dismissal of an action. A
misjoined cause of action may, on motion
Q: Can I join in one complaint the 2 actions? of a party or on the initiative of the court,
A: NO, because the law says provided one of the causes of be severed and proceeded with separately.
action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue (n)
lies therein. One of them belongs to the RTC. In the example,
both belong to the MTC. There is misjoinder when two (2) or more causes of action were
joined in one complaint when they should no be joined.
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land more than one year ago
and the land has an assessed value of only P20,000. So if I will EXAMPLE: A case joining an accion publiciana case and a
file an accion publiciana, it has to be filed with the MTC. On the forcible entry case which is not proper because a special civil
other hand, A encroached my other parcel of land more than action (forcible entry) cannot be joined. In this case there is
one year ago and the assessed value of the land is P1 million. So misjoinder of causes of action.
my cause of action there is also accion publiciana but triable by
the RTC. So I decided to file a case naming both of them as Example: If an action for forcible entry is joined in one
defendants. 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
Q: Can they be joined under Section 5? complaint upon motion of a party or by the court motu proprio
and proceeded with separately in another action.
A: NO. The law allows only if it is between the same parties.
This time the parties are not the same. Plus the fact that you Under Section 6, if there is misjoinder, you do not dismiss the
might violate paragraph [a] – there is no common question of case. The remedy is to ask the court that the misjoined case be
fact and law between them. severed and tried separately. Now, the counterpart, which is still
present is misjoinder of parties under Rule 3, Section 11:
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Cebu City one month
ago and then he encroached on another land of mine (assessed RULE 3, Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder
value of P1 million) also located in Cebu City two years ago. of parties. - Neither misjoinder nor non-
Therefore, one case is forcible entry triable by the MTC and the joinder of parties ground for dismissal of an
latter is accion publiciana triable by the RTC. 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
Q: Can I join them under paragraph [c] although they belong to
of the action and on such terms as are just.
MTC and RTC? A claim against a misjoined party may be
severed and
A: NO, you cannot join them because of paragraph [b] – a proceeded with separately. (11a)
forcible entry is special civil action which is also governed by the
Summary Procedure. You cannot join a special civil action. So So misjoinder of parties and misjoinder of causes of action are
what is violated here is not paragraph [c] but paragraph [b]. not grounds for dismissal of an action. Just remove the
misjoined cause of action or the misjoined party.
d.) where the claims in all the causes of action are
principally for
recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall
be the test of jurisdiction

The last is only a repetition of the old rule: TOTALITY RULE.


There is nothing new here. So judiciary law, totality rule, basta
sums of money.

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

61
Situation: B sued “Rama Eatery.” So, it is “B vs. Rama Eatery.”
It is wrong. 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 person. But the defect is not really
substantial. It is only a formal defect that can easily be
Rule 03 corrected.

PARTIES TO CIVIL ACTIONS CLASSES OF Juridical person as parties


PARTIES:
The juridical persons who may be parties are those enumerated
in Art. 44 of the Civil Code, namely:
I. Real Parties in Interest II.
Representative Parties
1.) The State and its political subdivisions;
III. Permissive Parties
2.) Other corporations, institutions and entities for
IV. Indispensable Parties
public interest or purpose, created by law; and
V. Necessary Parties
3.) Corporations, partnerships, and associations for
private
Sec. 1. Who may be parties; plaintiff and defendant. - interest or purpose to which the law grants a juridical
Only natural or juridical persons, or entities personality, separate and distinct from that of each
authorized by law may be parties in a civil action. shareholder, partner or member.
The term "plaintiff" may refer to the original
claiming party, the counter-claimant, the cross-
claimant, or the third (fourth, etc.)-party plaintiff. “ENTITIES AUTHORIZED BY LAW”
The term "defendant" may refer to the original
The best example is Section 15 of this rule.
defending party, the defendant in a counterclaim,
the cross-defendant, or other third (fourth, etc.)-
party defendant. (1a) Section 15. Entity without juridical
personality as defendant.- When two or more
Notes: persons not organized as an entity with
juridical personality enter into a
transaction, they may be sued under the
There are two main categories of parties in a civil action name by which they are generally or
namely, the plaintiff and the defendant. commonly known.

The plaintiff is the claiming party or more appropriately, the In the answer of such defendant the names
original claiming party and is the one who files the complaint. and addresses of the persons composing
The term however, does not exclusively apply to the original said entity must all be revealed.
plaintiff. It may also apply to a defendant who files a
counterclaim, a cross-claim or third party complaint. Hence
Thus, if A, B, C, D and E without incorporating themselves or
Section 1 defines “plaintiff” as the claiming party, the counter-
without registering as a partnership, enter into transactions
claimant, the cross-claimant or the third-party plaintiff, etc.
using the common name “Ocean Quest Corporation”, they may
be sued as such. When the defendant “corporation” answers,
The defendant does not only refer to the original defending the names of A, B, C, D and E and their addresses must be
party. If a counterclaim is filed against the original plaintiff, the revealed. Note however, that the authority to be a party under
latter becomes a defendant and the former, a plaintiff in the this section is confined only to being a defendant and not as a
counterclaim. Hence, in Sec. 1, the term “defendant” refers also plaintiff. This is evident from the words, “they may be sued”.
to a defendant in a counterclaim, the cross-defendant or the
third-party defendant, etc.
Another example of an entity authorized by law which may not
be a natural or juridical person is a labor union or organization
Q: Who may be parties to a civil case? under the Labor Code. It is an entity authorized by law to file a
case in behalf of its members. Although it may not have been
A: Only the following may be parties to a civil action: incorporated under the Corporation Law but registered under
the Labor Code. A legitimate labor organization may sue and be
sued in its registered name (Art. 242 [e], Labor Code of the
1) He nuts be either:
Philippines).
a. natural or
b. juridical persons or
c. entities authorized by law.
What are the others?
2) he must have the legal capacity to sue; and 3)
he must be a real party-in-interest. 1) An estate of a deceased person may be a party to an
action. (Limjoco v. Intestate Estate of Fragante, 8 Phil.
So, you cannot sue or be sued unless you are either a person or 776; Nazareno v. CA 343 SCRA 637)
an entity authorized by law.
2) The Roman Catholic Church may be a party and as to
A dead man cannot sue and he cannot be sued because he has its properties, the archbishop or diocese to which they
no more personality. belong may be a party. (Barlin v. Ramirez 7 Phil 47;
Verzosa v. Fernandez 49 Phil. 627)

62
3) A dissolved corporation may prosecute and defend That definition is taken from the leading case of SALONGA VS.
suits by or against it provided that the suits occur WARNER BARNES & CO. (88 Phil. 125). That is exactly how it is
within 3 years after its dissolution, and the suits are in defined and that definition has been repeated through the
connection with the settlement and closure of its years.
affairs. (Sec. 122,
Corporation Code) To be a real party- in- interest, the interest must be “real”,
which is present substantial interest as distinguished from a
4) Under Sec. 21 of the Corporation Code of the mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate or
Philippines, a corporation by estoppel is precluded consequential interest. (Rayo v. Metrobank, 539 SCRA 571;
from denying its existence and the members thereof Fortich v. Corona 289 SCRA 624; Figuracion v. Libi 539 SCRA
can be sued and be held liable as general partners. 50. It is an interest that is material and direct, as distinguished
from a mere incidental interest in the question. (Samaniego v.
5) A contract of partnership having a capital of three Aguila 334 SCRA 438; Mayor Rhustom Dagadag v. Tongnawa
thousand pesos or more but which fails to comply with 450 SCRA 437).
the registration requirements is nevertheless liable as
a partnership to third persons(Art. 1772 in relation to The determination of who the real party-in-interest is requires
Art. going back to the elements of a cause of action. Evidently the
1768 Civil Code). owner of the right violated stands to be the real party-in-
interest as plaintiff and the person responsible for the
6) A political party incorporated under Act 1459 (now BP violation is the real party-in-interest as defendant.(Lee v.
Romillo 161 SCRA 589). Thus, in a suit for violation of a
68, Corporation Code)
contract, the parties-in-interest would be those covered by the
operation of the doctrine of relativity of contracts under Art.
1311 of the Civil Code, namely, the parties, their assignees and
Remedy when a party impleaded is not authorized to be a heirs. Likewise in a suit for annulment of a contract, the real
parties in interest would be those who are principally or
party- As to plaintiff: subsidiarily bound by the contract. (Art. 1397 Civil
Code)

Where the plaintiff is not a natural or a juridical person or an every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name
of the real party in interest
entity authorized by law, a motion to dismiss may be filed on
the ground that “the plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue.” (Sec. So a complaint is dismissible if it is not made in the name of the
1[d] R 16) When plaintiff is not the real party in interest: real party in interest.

In an action to recover ownership over or title to a piece of land ,


Also, if the plaintiff has capacity to sue but he is not the ‘real
party in interest’, the ground for dismissal is a ‘failure to state a you do not file a case against the tenant. He is not the real
cause of action (Aguila vs. CA 319 SCRA 246; Balagtas vs. CA party in interest. You must file the case against the owner of the
317 SCRA 69) not lack of legal capacity to sue.’ land.

As to defendant: Neither can your boyfriend file the case.

Where it is the defendant who is not any of the above, the When you are riding in a common carrier which collided and
complaint may be dismissed on the ground that the “pleading you were injured, do not file a case against the driver for
asserting the claim states no cause of action” or “failure to state damages. Your contract is not with the driver. Your contract is
a cause of action” (Sec. 1[g], R 16) because there cannot be a with the operator. So you file a case of culpa contractual against
cause of action against one who cannot be a party to a civil the owner or operator.
action.
GENERAL RULE: In a breach of contract, the real parties in
I. REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST interest are the parties to the contract. So strangers, as a rule,
have no business suing in a contract because they are not real
Sec 2. Parties in interest. - A real party in parties in interest.
interest is the party who stands to be
benefited or injured by the judgment in BALIWAG TRANSIT vs. CA - 169 SCRA 649 [1989 BAR]
the suit, or the party entitled to the avails
of the suit. Unless otherwise authorized
FACTS: A student who was riding in one of the Baliwag
by law or these Rules, every action must
buses met an accident. So, an action was filed where the
be prosecuted or defended in the name of
parents and the injured boy were the co-plaintiffs against
the real party in interest. (2a)
Baliwag Transit. While the case was going on, the boy
entered into amicable settlement with the bus company.
Q: Who is a real party in interest? Based on the settlement, Baliwag moved to dismiss the
case. The parents objected, “We are objecting because we
A: A real party in interest is the party who stands to be are also plaintiffs. We didn’t know about the settlement. We
benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party were the ones who spent money, therefore it should not be
entitled to the avails of the suit. (Section 2) dismissed simply because our son is withdrawing the case.”

63
HELD: The parents are not the real party in interest. They HELD: NO. The real property in interest is the principal, the
were not the passengers. The real parties in a contract of owner of the property. K is only an attorney-in-fact. An
carriage are the parties to the contract itself. “In the attorney-in-fact cannot use in his own name because he is
absence of any contract of carriage between the not the real party in interest. K is given the authority to sue,
transportation company and the parents of the injured to manage, hire a lawyer but not as the plaintiff because the
party, the parents are not real parties in interest in an real party in interest is A. The complaint should be
action for breach of contract.” captioned as “A, plaintiff vs. L, defendant.”

Of course, if the child is a minor the parents can file as Q: Suppose the caption will read: “K, as attorney-in-fact of A,
representatives but not as principal party. plaintiff vs. L, defendant” is the complaint properly filed?

EXCEPTION: When there is a stipulation in the contract A: NO. This is even worse because K is admitting that he is only
favorable to a third person (stipulation pour autrui – Art. 1311, an attorney-in-fact so it becomes more obvious that he is not
NCC)
the real party in interest. If K wants to include his name, it
Example: Third-Party Liability (TPL) in insurance. A insured his should read: “A, plaintiff, represented by K, his attorney-in-fact
car with B for TPL. A bumped C. C can file a case against A and vs. L, defendant.” Q: Does the law require A to come here to file
B to recover from the insurance contract. In other words, while
the case?
only A and B are the parties to the insurance contract yet the
third party liability stipulation is intended to benefit a third
party who may be damaged by A while driving his car. A: NO. Take note that the law does not require the principal (A)
to come back to file the case because the plaintiff can invoke the
Also parties who have not taken part in a contract may show jurisdiction of the court by filing the complaint and paying the
that they have a real interest affected by its performance or docket fee.
annulment. In other words, those who are not principally or
subsidiarily obligated in a contract, in which they had no Should a lawful possessor be disturbed in his possession, it is
intervention, may show their detriment that could result from it. the possessor, not necessarily the owner of the property, who
Thus, Article 1313 of the Civil Code provides that “creditors are can bring the action to recover the possession. The argument
protected in cases of contracts intended to defraud them.” that the complaint states no cause of action because the suit
Further, Article 1381 of the Civil Code provides that contracts was filed by a mere possessor and not by the owner is not
entered into in fraud of creditors may be rescinded when the correct (Phil. Trust Company vs. CA 320 SCRA 719).
creditors cannot in any manner collect the claims due them.
Thus, a creditor who is not a party to a contract can sue to
Suits for corporations:
rescind the contract to redress the fraud committed upon him.

When the corporate offices have been illegally searched, the


A mere agent, who is not an assignee of the principal cannot
corporate officer is not the real party in interest to question the
bring suit under a deed of sale entered into in behalf of his
search. The right to contest the transgression belongs to the
principal because it is the principal, not the agent who is the
corporation alone which has a personality of its own separate
real party in interest (Uy vs. CA 314 SCRA 69). In case the
and distinct from that of an officer or a stockholder. The
action is brought against the agent, the action must be brought
objection to an unlawful search and seizure is purely personal
against an agent acting in his own name and for the benefit of
and cannot be availed of by third persons (Stonehill vs. Diokno
an undisclosed principal without joining the principal, except
20 SCRA 383).
when the contract involves things belonging to the principal.
The real party-in-interest is the party who would be benefited or
injured by the judgment or is the party entitled to the avails of Derivative suit:
the suit. An attorney-in-fact is not a real party-in-interest and
that there is no law permitting an action to be brought by and However, even if the cause of action belongs to the corporation,
against an attorney-in-fact (Carillo vs. CA 503 SCRA 66). if the board refuses to sue despite demand by the stockholders
to sue and protect or vindicate corporate rights, a stockholder is
SALONGA vs. WARNER BARNES – 88 Phil. 125 [Bar Problem] allowed by law to file a derivative suit in the corporate name. In
such a suit, the real party-in-interest is actually the corporation
and the stockholder filing the action is a mere nominal party
FACTS: A decided to go abroad but she has properties in
(Asset Privatization Trust vs. CA 300 SCRA 579)
the Philippines. So she executed a special power of attorney
in favor of K giving the latter “full power to administer, to
collect all my money; to withdraw my money in the bank; Partnerships:
with full power to sue these people who owe me; with the
authority to hire a lawyer; and enter into a contract. Under Art. 1768 of the Civil Code a partnership has a juridical
Practically, you are my alter ego.” And then A went abroad. personality separate and distinct from that of each of the
partners. Hence, if the contract was entered into by the
K started to manage the property. One of the tenants failed partnership in its name, it is the partnership, not its officers or
to pay rentals. So in accordance with the authority, he hired agents which should be impleaded in any litigation involving
a lawyer. In preparation of the complaint, it was stated in property registered in its name. A violation of this rule will
the caption, “K, plaintiff vs. L, defendant.” result in dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a cause
of action (Aguila vs. CA 319 SCRA 345).
ISSUE: Is the action properly filed?
Failure to include the name of a party in the pleading

64
The mere failure to include the name of a party in the title of the to file an action to annul timber license agreements issued by
complaint is not fatal because the Rules of Court requires the the state under the following principles:
courts to pierce the form and go into the substance and not be
misled by a false or wrong name in the pleadings. The 1. inter-generational responsibility;
averments are controlling and not the title. Hence, if the body 2. inter-generational justice;
indicates the defendant as a party to the action, his omission in
3. the right of the Filipinos to a balnced and healthful
the title is not fatal (Vlasons Enterprises vs. CA 310 SCRA 26).
ecology; and
4. minors repersent themselves and the generation to
Rule on ‘standing’ as distinguished from the concept or come.
‘real party-in-interest’
Example: TRUSTEE; EXECUTOR; ADMINISTRATOR. Another
Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of example is a trustee of an express trust, or executor or
justice on a given question. IN private suits, standing is administrator of the estate of a deceased person. When a person
governed by the ‘real party-in-interest’ rule found in dies, what survives after him is his estate which represents
Section 2 Rule 3 of the Rules of Court which provides that everything that is left behind. This later on will be given to his
‘every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name heirs. But for the meantime under the law on succession, the
of the real party-in-interest’(Baltazar vs. Ombudsman GR executor or administrator will take charge of his property.
No. 136433 December 6, 2006)

Q: If the estate of the deceased has some collectibles, who will


However, the concept of ‘standing’ because of its file the case?
constitutional underpinnings is very different from
A: The administrator or executor as the representative party. If
questions relating to whether or not a particular party is
you want to sue the estate, you should sue the estate through
a real party-in-interest. Although both are directed
the administrator or executor.
towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain
an action, the concept of standing requires an analysis of
broader policy concerns. The question as to who the real CHING vs. CA– 181 SCRA 9
partyin-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 FACTS: A wanted to sue D, who owes her a sum of money.
(Kilosbayan Inc. vs. Morato 246 SCRA 540). The problem is, she cannot locate D’s whereabouts. Also, A
II. REPRESENTATIVE PARTY is not certain whether D is dead or alive. So, to play it safe,
what A did was to file a case against the “defendant and/or
the estate of defendant.” A obtained a judgment against the
Sec. 3. Representatives as parties. - Where ‘defendant and/or the estate of defendant.’
the action is allowed to be prosecuted or
defended by a representative or someone Later on when the judgment was enforced, it turned out
acting in a fiduciary capacity, the that D was already dead but he has properties left behind.
beneficiary shall be included in the title of So, they started to take hold of his properties. Now, the
the case and shall be deemed to be the real heirs of D challenged the decision.
party in interest. A representative may be
a trustee of an express trust, a guardian, an
executor or administrator, or a party
authorized by law or these Rules. An agent ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid judgment against the
acting in his own name and for the benefit ‘defendant/or the estate of the defendant.”
of an undisclosed principal may sue or be
sued without joining the principal except HELD: The decision is void. “The decision of the lower court
when the contract involves things insofar as the deceased is concerned, is void for lack of
belonging to the principal.
jurisdiction over his person. He was not, and he could not
(3a) have been validly served with summons. He had no more
civil personality. His juridical personality, that is fitness to
Section 3 is consistent with Section 2 because under Section 2, be subject of legal relations, was lost through death (Arts.
you cannot sue and be sued if you are not the real party in 37 and
interest. Section 3 allows one who is not a real party in interest 42 Civil Code).”
to sue and be sued in behalf of somebody else but requires the
beneficiary to be named in the Complaint being the real party in “The same conclusion would still inevitably be reached
interest. notwithstanding joinder of B’s estate as co-defendant. It is a
well-settled rule that an estate can sue or be sued through
an
Example: GUARDIAN. Suppose J, a minor was injured, a case
executor or administrator in his representative capacity.”
for damages can be filed in behalf of the minor. A minor cannot
sue and be sued but she is the real party in interest. The law
allows the parents to come in and also be the plaintiff. The So, the Court cited Section 3. In order to bind the estate,
parents are what we the representative party. The law still you should sue the executor or the administrator of his
requires for the minor to be included in the case. The law states estate. So, either way, the case cannot prosper.
that “the beneficiary shall be included in the title of the case
and shall be deemed to be the real party in interest.” The last sentence of Section 3:

In Oposa vs. Factoran GR No. 101083, 1993, minors An agent acting in his own name and for
represented by their parents were held as real parties in interest the benefit of an undisclosed principal
65
may sue or be sued without joining the guardian, the court has to appoint a guardian called the
principal except when the contract guardian ad litem.
involves things belonging to the principal.
A person need not be judicially declared incompetent it being
The agent cannot sue because the principal is the real party in sufficient that his incompetency be alleged in the corresponding
interest. But when an agent acts in his own name and for the pleading.
benefit of an undisclosed principal, he may sue and be sued, III. PERMISSIVE PARTY
EXCEPT when the contract involves things belonging to the
principal. Under the exception, the principal has really to be
Sec 6. Permissive joinder of parties. - All
included. The agent cannot file a case where the principal will
persons in whom or against whom any
lose his property without being named as part to the case. right to relief in respect to or arising out
of the same transaction or series of
Sec 4. Spouses as parties. - Husband and wife transactions is alleged to exist, whether
shall sue or be sued jointly, except as jointly, severally, or in the alternative,
provided by law. (4a) may, except as otherwise provided in
Normally, the husband and the wife should sue and be sued these Rules, join as plaintiffs or be joined
together. Even if the wife borrowed money alone and you want as defendants in one complaint, where any
to sue the woman, still the husband should be included. Why? question of law or fact common to all such
In the property relationship between the husband and wife, they plaintiffs or to all such defendants may
are governed by absolute community or conjugal partnership. arise in the action; but the court may
Whether you like it or not, the implication of the wife is also the make such orders as may be just to
implication of the husband because of the property relationship. prevent any plaintiff or defendant from
being embarrassed or put to expense in
connection with any proceedings in which
In the same manner, if the wife wants to collect, even if the he may have no interest. (6)
husband does not know anything about it, the husband should
still be named as party plaintiff, on the ground again that the
Section 6 is known as permissive joinder of parties. This is
income that she can get redounds to the benefit of the conjugal
related to Section 5 [a] of Rule 2 on joinder of causes of action.
partnership.

Q: May two or more persons join in one complaint as plaintiffs?


And there were decided cases in the past where even if for
Or can two or more persons be joined together as defendants?
example, a wife sues without the husband, the defect is not
fatal but merely formal. The complaint should not be dismissed.
All that is to be done is to amend the complaint impleading the A: YES, under two conditions, to wit:
husband. (Cuyugan vs. Dizon, 76 Phil. 80)
1.) There is a right to relief in favor of or against the
Q: Give an exception to that general rule that husband and wife parties joined in respect to or arising out of the
shall sue or be sued jointly. same transaction or series of transactions; and

A: The EXCEPTIONS are: 2.) There is a question of law or fact common to the
parties joined in the action.
1) in case of Complete Separation of Property (Article 145,
Family Code), and 2) under Article 111, Family Code: An additional condition is that the such joinder is not otherwise
proscribed by the provision of the rules on jurisdiction and
venue.
Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage,
alienate, encumber or otherwise dispose of
his or her exclusive property without the Series of Transactions
consent of the other spouse and appear
alone in court to litigate with regard to the This pertains to transactions connected with the same subject
same. (Family Code) matter of the suit.

3) Another is when a spouse without just cause PROBLEM: Suppose some passengers riding a particular
abandons the other or fails to comply with his common carrier are injured because of an accident. All of them
or her obligations to the family with respect to want to sue the operator of the carrier for damages arising out
the marital, parental or property relations. of the breach of contract of carriage. Under the Law on
Transportation, it is possible for each passenger to file his own
case because their causes of action are different from each
Sec 5. Minor or incompetent persons. - A other. But can they be joined together in one complaint against
minor or a person alleged to be the common carrier?
incompetent, may sue or be sued, with the
assistance of his father, mother, guardian, A: YES because there is a common question of law or fact in the
or if he has none, a guardian ad litem. (5a) causes of actions of the injured passengers: the evidence is
identical; the issues whether the carrier is at fault are the came;
Section 5 is related to Section 3. The minor or incompetent the witnesses for both parties will be the same; the report will
person must be assisted by the parents and considered as be the same; the defense of the operator against one party will
representative party. Incompetent persons include insane be the same defense as against the other passenger. So, since
people or mentally retarded people. They are supposed to be there is a common denominator on their causes of action, they
under the custody of other persons, the guardians. If no can be joined.

66
It would be different if the passengers were riding on different A: Yes.
buses belonging to the same company, and all of them met an
accident. What happened to Passenger No. 1 does not concern Q: Is there joinder of causes of action?
Passenger No. 2. The evidence will not be the same. So, there is
no common denominator – no common question of fact.
Therefore, they cannot be joined. A: Yes.

PROBLEM: Suppose a story appeared in the Inquirer where 5 Q: Is there joinder of parties?
people were called as jueteng kings. They were allegedly
involved in jueteng. Now, the five of them want to sue the A: NONE, because there is only one plaintiff and one defendant.
Inquirer for damages arising from libel. Is it possible for the five
(5) people named in the article to file only one complaint against So, there can be joinder of causes of action without joinder of
the editor and publisher of the Inquirer? parties because there is only one plaintiff and one defendant.
But if you join parties in Rule 3, automatically, there is joinder
A: YES because it is of the same story. Their names appeared in of causes of action. This is the relationship of these two
the same story. It is not a different issue. So there is a common provisions.
question of fact and law in their cause of action.
Finally, the last two types of parties to the action are the so-
PROBLEM: M, while driving a car, bumped another vehicle, called indispensable parties and necessary parties. (Section 7
injuring the driver and causing injury to other passengers. So, and Section 8, respectively)
there are three offended parties : the owner of the vehicle, the
driver of the vehicle , and the passenger. There are three(3) INDISPENSABLE PARTY and NECESSARY
causes of action. Can they join in one complaint against Myra, PARTIES
the owner of the car which bumped them?
Sec. 7. Compulsory joinder of indispensable
A: YES because there is a common question of fact and law. parties. Parties in interest without whom
There is only one accident. no final determination can be had of an
action shall be joined either as plaintiffs
Q: But suppose the three of them will file 3 separate cases or defendants. (7)
against M, can it be done?
Sec. 8. Necessary party. A necessary party
A: yes, because it is a permissive joinder of parties, not is one who is not indispensable but who
ought to be joined as a party if complete
mandatory.
relief is to be accorded as to those already
parties, or for a complete determination or
Q: Why does the law encourage joinder of parties? settlement of the claim subject of the
action. (8a)
A: The following are the reasons:
Notes:
1) to promote convenience in trial;
2) to prevent multiplicity of suits; An indispensable party is a real party in interest
3) to expedite the termination of the litigation; and without whom no final determination can be had of an
4) to attain economy of procedure under which several action. (Sec. 7) Without the presence of this party, the
demands arising out of the same occurrence may be tried judgment cannot attain real finality. (Servicewide
together thus avoiding the repetition of evidence relating to Specialists, Inc. v. CA 318 SCRA 493; De Castro v.
facts common to the general demands. CA 384 SCRA 607)

Now, take note that when there is joinder of parties, there is (See also Lucman vs. Malawi GR No. 159794 December 19,
automatically a joinder of causes of action. That is why one of 2006)
the conditions or limitations in joinder of causes of action is you
must observe the rule on joinder of parties. If joinder of parties
is improper under Rule 3, the joinder of causes of action is also A person is not an indispensable party, however, if his interest
proper under Rule 2, Section 5 in the controversy or subject matter is separable from the
interest of the other parties, so that it will not necessarily be
directly or injuriously affected by a decree which does complete
Principle: WHEN THERE IS JOINDER OF PARTIES, THERE justice between them. Also, a person is not an indispensable
IS ALSO A JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION. BUT THERE party if his presence would merely permit complete relief
CAN BE A JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION WITHOUT A between him and those already parties to the action, or if he has
JOINDER OF PARTIES.
no interest in the subject matter of the action. It is not a
sufficient reason to declare a person to be an indispensable
EXAMPLE: When there is only one plaintiff and one defendant: party that his presence will avoid multiple litigation. In a joint
Suppose Melissa will secure three (3) loans from me. obligation for instance, the interest of one debtor is separate
Q: How many causes of action do I have if M will not pay me? and distinct from that of his co-debtor and a suit against one
debtor does not make the other an indispensable party to the
A: Three suit.

Q: Now, can I join them in one complaint? Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties

67
Although normally, a joinder of parties is permissive (Sec. 6 exercise of judicial power, for without him, no final
Rule 3), the joinder of a party becomes compulsory when the determination can be had of the action. (Borlasa vs. Polistico, 47
one involved is an indispensable party. Clearly, the rule directs Phil. 345) Stated otherwise, an indispensable party must be
a compulsory joinder of indispensable parties (Sec. 7, Rule 3). joined because the court cannot proceed without him. Hence,
his presence is mandatory.
The presence of all indispensable parties is a condition sine
qua non for the existence of judicial power. It is precisely A NECESSARY PARTY ought to be joined whenever possible
in order to adjudicate the whole controversy and avoid
when an indispensable party is not before the court that the
multiplicity of suits, but if for some reason or another he
action should be dismissed. Thus, the plaintiff is mandated to cannot be joined, the court may proceed without him and the
implead all the indispensable parties considering that the judgment shall not prejudice his rights. (Ibid.) His presence is
absence of one such party renders all subsequent actions of the not mandatory because his interest is separable from that of the
court null and void for want of authority to act, not only as to indispensable party. He has to be joined whenever possible to
afford complete relief to those who are already parties.
their absent parties but even as to those present. One who is
not a party to a case is not bound by the decision of the court;
Q: Give examples of indispensable party.
otherwise, he will be deprived of his right to due process
(Sepulveda, Sr. vs. Pelaez 450 SCRA 302). Dismissal for A: In an action for partition of land, all the co-owners thereof
failure to implead an indispensable party are indispensable parties. (De Lara vs. De Lara, 2 Phil. 294) In
an action for annulment of partition, all of the heirs must be
made parties. (Caram vs. CA, 101 Phil. 315) In an action for
It has been ruled on various occasions that since the joinder of
recovery of ownership of land, the person who claims to be the
indispensable parties is compulsory, the action should be
dismissed when indispensable parties are not impleaded or are owner of the land is the indispensable party defendant and not
not before the court. The absence of indispensable parties the one in possession as tenant. (Sanidad vs. Cabotaje, 5 Phil.
renders all subsequent actions of the trial court null and 204; Manza vs. Santiago, 96 Phil. 938)
void for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent
parties but even as to those present (MWSS vs. CA 297 Joint debtor
SCRA 287).
He is an indispensable party in a suit against him but a
Need of an order to implead an indispensable party necessary party in a suit against his co-debtor.

It is noteworthy that the Court in its rulings did not hold that Solidary debtor
the failure to join an indispensable party results in the outright
dismissal of the action. An outright dismissal is not the
In a suit brought by a creditor against one solidary debtor, the
immediate remedy authorized by the Rules because under
other solidary debtor is neither indispensable nor a necessary
the Rules a nonjoinder (or misjoinder) of parties is not a
party.
ground for dismissal of an action. Instead, parties may be
dropped or added by the court on motion of any party or on
its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such Q: Give examples of necessary party.
terms as are just (Sec. 11 Rule 3). It is when the order of the
court to implead an indispensable party goes unheeded may A: In an action for collection of debt instituted by the creditor
the case be dismissed. The court is fully clothed with the against the surety, the principal debtor is merely a necessary
authority to dismiss a complaint due to the fault of the party. (Vaño vs. Alo, 95 Phil. 495) In an action for recovery of
plaintiff as when, among others, he does not comply with debt instituted by the creditor against the debtor, the guarantor
any order of the court (Sec. 3 Rule 17; Plasabas vs. CA GR
or surety is merely a necessary property. (Ibid.) In an action for
No. 166519, March 31, 2009). (See also Pamplona
foreclosure of a real estate mortgage instituted by the first
Plantation Co. vs. Tinghil 450 SCRA 421).
mortgagee, the second mortgagee is merely a necessary party.
(Somes vs. Gov’t of Phil., 62 Phil. 432)
Effect of absence of indispensable party
REVIEW: What is the difference between a surety and a
In a relatively recent case, the Court held that whenever it guarantor? The liability of guarantor to the creditor is only
appears to the court in the course of a proceeding that an secondary. Meaning, the guarantor is only liable to the creditor
indispensable party has not been joined, it is the duty of the if the principal debtor cannot pay like when the debtor is
court to stop the trial and to order the inclusion of such party. insolvent. On the other hand, a surety is principally liable to
The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent the creditor whether or not the debtor can pay.
actuations of the court null and void, for want of authority to
act not only as to the absent parties, but even as to those
PROBLEM: In credit transactions, there is a creditor, debtor
present. Accordingly, the responsibility of impleading all the
and surety. Debtor borrowed money from the creditor, then
indispensable parties rests on the plaintiff. The defendant does
another acted as the surety. Now, suppose the debtor will not
not have the right to compel the plaintiff to prosecute the action
pay, the creditor files now a case against the surety without the
against a party if he does not wish to do so, but the plaintiff will
debtor. The debtor was not included in the case.
have to suffer the consequences of any error he might commit in
exercising his option (Uy vs. CA 494 SCRA 535).
Q: Can the case proceed even without the debtor being sued?
Q: Distinguish indispensable from necessary party.
A: YES, the case may proceed.
A: An INDISPENSABLE PARTY must be joined under any and
all conditions, his presence being a sine qua non of the
68
Now, the surety may be ordered to pay who can sue the was assigned to D with the consent of S thereby novating
principal debtor for reimbursement. Meaning, there is still a the obligation.
future case. Thus, there could be no complete relief between
those who are parties. So, the debtor is a necessary party, and PROBLEM: K borrowed money from D. A is the guarantor. D
not indispensable. But it is advisable to join the debtor in one filed a case against K. She did not include the guarantor.
case, so that when the creditor claims from the surety, the latter
can automatically claim from the debtor. Multiplicity of suits is
Q: Can the case proceed even without the guarantor?
then, avoided.

A: YES because the guarantor is merely a necessary party. And


A and B are the signatories in a PN which reads: “We promise to
if the debtor turns out to be insolvent, the creditor will now file
pay to the order of C P1M on February 27, 2009. On due date
another case against the guarantor.
the debtors failed to pay.

REVIEW: What is the difference between joint debtors and


(a) May C sue A alone?
solidary debtors? In solidary, the creditor can collect the whole
obligation from any of the debtors without prejudice to the right
Yes. The cause of action against A is separate and distinct of the latter for reimbursement of his share in the obligation
from the cause of action against B. The tenor of the note from his codebtors. On the other hand, in joint obligation, the
discloses merely a joint obligation. In a joint obligation the creditor can only get from a debtor the latter’s share in the
credit or debt shall be divided into as many equal shares as whole obligation. Meaning, the creditor cannot compel the
there are creditors and debtors, the credits or debts being debtor to pay the share of his co-debtor. Kanya-kanya tayo.
considered distinct from each other. (Art. 1208 CC). Being
debtors in a joint obligation, the debtors then are liable
PROBLEM: M and C are JOINT debtors of P100,000 (50-50
separately for P500,000.00 each.
sharing). D is the creditor. Both did not pay D.

(b) Is A in a suit against him by C a necessary or an


Q: If D files a case against M only, can the case proceed without
indispensable party? He is an indispensable party.
C?
Without him being impleaded as defendant, C cannot
collect the P500,000.00 share of A. Without A there
cannot be a final determination of the case against A: YES but D can only collect from M up to P50,000 because of
him. their joint obligation. C is only necessary insofar as M’s share is
concern. But M is indispensable party insofar as his share is
concern.
(c) In the suit by C against A is B a necessary or an
indispensable party? B is not an indispensable party.
C can collect from A P500,000.00 without impleading Q: But if D wants to collect the entire P100,000, what should
B. He is only a necessary party. Without B being made she do?
a party to the action, C cannot have a complete relief,
i.e., he cannot collect his entire credit of P1M. If he A: She should file a case against both M and C.
desires a complete recovery, B must be impleaded. PROBLEM: M and C are SOLIDARY debtors of P100,000 (50-50
sharing). D is the creditor. Both did not pay D.
(3) In the above example, assuming that the debtors bound
themselves to pay the P1M solidarily, would B an indispensable Q: If D files a case against M only, can the case proceed without
or necessary party to a suit by C against A? He would not be a C?
necessary party. Complete relief could be had by C without
joining B because the obligation is solidary. A could be ordered
A: YES and M is required to pay D the whole amount of the debt
to pay the entire obligation of P1M. Neither is B an
because of solidary obligation. Then M can proceed against C for
indispensable party. There could be a complete and final
reimbursement. Be is merely necessary party.
determination of the action for a sum of money without B being
joined.
Sec. 9. Non-joinder of necessary parties to be
pleaded. Whenever in any pleading in
Solidarity does not make a solidary debtor an indispensable
which a claim is asserted a necessary party
party in a suit filed by the creditor against another solidary
is not joined, the pleader shall set forth his
debtor. (Republic v. Sandiganbayan 173 SCRA 72; Operators name, if known, and shall state why he is
Inc. v. American Biscuit Company 154 SCRA 738) omitted. Should the court find the reason
for the omission unmeritorious, it may
(4) B Bought a car from S on an installment basis. A chattel order the inclusion of the omitted
mortgage was executed on the car in favor of S to secure the necessary party if jurisdiction over his
obligation. Before the payment was completed, B sold the car to person may be obtained.
D. It was agreed between B and D that D would be responsible
for the monthly installments. D failed to pay three installments. The failure to comply with the order for his
inclusion, without justifiable cause, shall
May S sue D alone in the foreclosure or replevin suit? He be deemed a waiver of the claim against
cannot. B must be made defendant. B is an indispensable party such party.
in relation to S. The foreclosure or replevin is premised on
the default of B, the debtor. S would have no right to The non-inclusion of a necessary party
foreclose the mortgage or repossess the car without does not prevent the court from
establishing the default of B unless the obligation of B to S proceeding in the action, and the
judgment rendered therein shall be

69
without prejudice to the rights of such non-joinder at parties is not a ground for a motion to dismiss
necessary party. (8a, 9a) because at any stage of the case, the court can order a
misjoined party to be removed or a party not joined to be
Duty of Pleader When a Necessary Party is not joined included.

While a necessary party is not indispensable to the final Q: Do you know what ‘MISJOINDER of parties’ mean?
determination of the action, said party ought to be joined
whenever possible. If a pleader has no intent to implead a A: It means that two or more parties should not be joined but
necessary party, the pleader is under obligation to: (a) set forth they are improperly joined. A good example is, if there is no
the name of said necessary party, if known, and (b) state the common question of fact or law. Meaning, you do not have any
reason why the necessary party is omitted. A reason justifying business to be here but you are joined or misjoined. That is
the nonjoinder of a necessary party is when said party is what we call misjoinder of parties. It is also known as “spurious
outside the jurisdiction of the court. class suit.”

Effect of justified failure to implead a necessary party Well, ‘NON-JOINDER’ is different. A party who should be joined
was not joined such as a necessary party.
Assuming that a necessary party cannot be impleaded, his non-
inclusion does not prevent the court from proceeding with the Q: What happens if a party is misjoined or if there is a non-
action. The judgment rendered shall be without prejudice to the joinder, should the case be dismissed?
rights of such necessary party.
A: No, that is not a ground for dismissal.
When court may order joinder of a necessary party and
effect of failure to comply
Q: So what is the remedy then?
A: The remedy is to order the removal of the party who is
However, if the court finds no valid reason for not impleading a misjoined, or to order the inclusion of the party who should be
party, the court may order the inclusion of the necessary party joined. And that is not a defect which should cause the
under Section 9. And take note that under the new rules, the dismissal of the case because the court can always issue an
failure to comply with the order of inclusion without justifiable order ordering the removal of a misjoined party or the inclusion
cause shall be deemed a waiver of the claim against such of joinder of a party who should be included.
(necessary) party.
Sec. 10. Unwilling co-plaintiff. If the consent
Effect of failure to obey order of the court to add or drop a
of any party who should be joined as
party
plaintiff cannot be obtained, he may be
made a defendant and the reason therefor
shall be stated in the complaint. (10) Even if neither misjoinder nor non-joinder is a ground of
dismissal of the action, the failure to obey the order of the court
to drop or add a party is a ground for the dismissal of the
This is particularly true with INDISPENSABLE parties because
complaint under Sec. 3, R 17.
the case cannot proceed without him/her.

EXAMPLE: There are 4 brothers and 1 sister. They have to file a Q: Does it mean to say therefore, that the plaintiff has the
license to include anybody in an action? Like for example, I
case against somebody to recover property which they believe
was owned by their parents. Then, brother 4 say to sister 1, “Let have a case against somebody in the class, the trouble is in the
meantime, I cannot identify who among you who did the wrong
us file a case.” But sabi ni sister 1, “Pilitin mo muna ako.” Then
she says, “Ayoko nga, hindi mo ako pinilit eh!” Meaning, all of to me. So I will file a case against all of you. Anyway later on, I
can dump you. Now, is this allowed?
them will suffer because ayaw ni sister 1 mag-file ng kaso.

A: NO. That is not a license. What the law contemplates,


Q: Now, what is the remedy of the 4 brothers?
according to the SC, the party was joined in good faith believing
that he was a defendant but actually it turned out to be wrong.
A: Under Section 10, include the one who refused as one of the So, you have no right to sue anybody just like that. That is not
defendants. If there is unwilling plaintiff, name him as an excuse for suing any party left and right. In the case of
defendant whether he likes it or not.
REPUBLIC vs. SANDIGANBAYAN – 173 SCRA 72 [1989]
MISJOINDER AND NON-JOINDER OF PARTIES

Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties.


HELD: Section 11 of Rule 3 “does not comprehend
Neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of
whimsical and irrational dropping or adding of parties in a
parties is ground for dismissal of an
complaint. What it really contemplates is erroneous or
action. Parties may be dropped or added
mistaken nonjoinder and misjoinder of parties. No one is
by order of the court on motion of any
party or on its own initiative at any stage free to join anybody in a complaint in court only to drop him
of the action and on such terms as are unceremoniously later at the pleasure of the plaintiff. The
just. Any claim against a misjoined party rule presupposes that the original inclusion had been made
may be severed and in the honest conviction that it was proper and the
proceeded with separately. (11a) subsequent dropping is requested because it turned out
that such inclusion was a mistake. And this is the reason
why the rule ordains that the dropping is ‘on such terms as
This is similar to Section 6 of Rule 2 – misjoinder of causes of are just’” (also Lim Tan Hu vs. Ramolete 66 SCRA 425).
action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. Misjoinder or
70
Note: that objections to defects in parties should be made at the An action does not become a class suit merely because it is
earliest opportunity, i.e. the moment such defet becomes designated as such in the pleadings. Whether the suit is or
apparent, by a Motion to Strike the Names of the Parties is not a class suit depends upon the attendant facts.
impleaded. Objections to misjoinder cannot be raised for the (Mathay v. Consolidatred Bank & Trust Company, 58
first time on appeal. SCRA 559; Borlasa v. Polistico 47 Phil. 345)

CLASS SUIT Q: What are the CONDITIONS FOR A VALID CLASS SUIT?

SEC. 12. Class suit. When the subject A: Under Section 12, the following are the conditions of a
matter of the controversy is one of valid class suit:
common or general interest to many 1) The subject matter of the controversy is one of
persons so numerous that it is common or general interest to many persons
impracticable to join all as parties, a (such as the funds of the association in the case
number of them which the court finds to of
be sufficiently numerous and POLISTICO); and
representative as to fully protect the
interests of all concerned may sue or
defend for the benefit of all. Any party in 2) The parties are so numerous that it is
interest shall have the right to intervene impracticable to bring them all before the court;
to protect his individual interest. (12a) 3) The parties actually before the court are
sufficiently numerous and representatives as to
fully protect the interests of all concerned; and
GENERAL RULE: if there are several real parties in interest,
they shall be included in the case whether indispensable or
necessary. Example: There are 30 of us. The general rule is 4) The representatives sue or defend for the benefit
that all parties in interest, indispensable or necessary shall be of all. Berses v. Villanueva 25 Phil. 473; Sulo ng
included because under Sec. 2 “every action must be Bayan, Inc. v. Araneta 72 SCRA 347)
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party-in-
interest.” A class suit does not require a commonality of interest in the
questions involved in the suit. What is required by the Rules
EXCEPTION: to the General Rule: Class Suit. is a common or general interest in the subject matter of the
litigation. The ‘subject matter’ of the action is meant the
physical, the things real or personal, the money, lands,
A class suit is an action where one or more may sue for the chattels, and the like, in relation to the suit which is
benefit of all implying that the parties are so numerous and it is prosecuted and not the delict or wrong committed by the
impracticble to bring them all to court. defendant. It is not also a common question of law that
sustains a class suit but a common interest in the subject
The requisites for said class action must also be complied with. matter of the controversy. (Mathay v. Consolidated & Trust
Bank 58 SCRA 559)
Meaning, some of you will sue to represent the rest. That is also
known as the “doctrine of virtual representation.” The There is no class suit in an action filed by 400 residents
concept of a class suit was first enunciated in the old case of initiated through a former mayor, to recover damages sustained
due to their exposure to toxic wastes and fumes emitted by the
cooking gas plant of a corporation located in the town. Each of
BORLAZA vs. POLISTICO – 47 Phil. 345
the plaintiffs has a separate and distinct injury not shared by
other members of the class. Each supposed plaintiff has to
prove his own injury. There is no common or general interest in
FACTS: This case has something to do with raffle. A group the injuries allegedly suffered by the members of the class.
of people decided to form an association which they called
“Turnuhang Polistico.” You become a member of this
There is no class suit in an action for damages filed by the
association by contributing a certain sum of money. And
relatives of the fatalities in a plane crash. There is no common
then every Sunday after mass, half of the collection will go
or general interest in the injuries or death of all passengers in
to the treasurer of the association. The other half will be
the plane. Each has a distinct and separate interest which must
raffled off. This has been going on for months and years.
be proven individually.
The time came when the funds of the association became
very big. Some of the members, in behalf of all the
members, decided to file a case against the officers to Example is a taxpayer’s suit – filed in behalf of all the taxpayers
render an accounting of all the amounts. The real parties in the Philippines. And there is no specific number of persons
in interest would be the members. that is provided by law.

ISSUE: Is the suit filed by some members in behalf of some Another example is a stckholder's derivative suit, though both
members proper? are subject to the other requisites of the corresponding
governing law especially on the issue of locus standi. (Regalado,
p. 97)
HELD: YES, because if We will require all the members to
appear, it will be quite impossible. Therefore, some
members must be made to sue but only in behalf of all the Now, we will go to some interesting cases on class suit decided
members who are not around and it is impracticable to by the Supreme Court:
bring them all to the court. A number of them may sue for
the benefit of all. SULO NG BAYAN vs. ARANETA, INC – 72 SCRA 347 [1976]

71
FACTS: This concerns the big property of the Araneta’s in then DENR Secretary Factoran. The prayer in the case is to
Quezon City. It has been the subject matter of litigation for order the DENR to cancel all existing Timber License
the past years – 3 or 4 decades. It is a big track of land in Agreements (TLA’s), to cease and desist from proceeding,
Quezon City occupied by so many people who want to accepting, processing, renewing all accruing new TLA’s. So,
acquire it. They are questioning the title of the Araneta’s in effect, it prays for a total log ban in the country to
So, Sulo (torch) ng Bayan is the association of squatters. preserve the remaining forest all over the Philippines.
Since the properties of the Araneta is very big, they
subdivided it. Then a case was filed by Sulo ng Bayan These young boys sue with their parents. They are suing in
Association against Araneta to annul the title of the latter. their behalf, in behalf of the other citizens who are of their
age because they stand to suffer if the environment will be
ISSUE #1: Whether or not the action was filed in the name of deteriorated. They say that they are entitled to the full
the real in interest. benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resources of our
country’s rich tropical rainforests. They say, the case was
HELD: Sulo ng Bayan is not the real party in interest. It filed for themselves and others for the preservation of our
violates Section 2 – “the action must be prosecuted and rainforest and we are so numerous that it is impracticable
defended in the name of the real parties in interest.” The to bring all plaintiffs to court. They say that they represent
members occupying the land are the plaintiffs. The their generations and generations yet unborn.
association is not the one occupying the lot. So, the first
question is, who should be the plaintiff? It should be the HELD: The civil case is indeed a class suit. The case
members. however has a special and novel element. The personality of
the minors to sue for the succeeding generations is based
ISSUE #2: Whether or not the action was properly pleaded on the concept of inter-generational responsibility insofar as
as a class suit a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Every
generation has a responsibility to preserve the ecology. The
minors’ right to a healthful environment constitute at the
HELD: NO. This is the more important reason why they same time the performance of the obligation to ensure the
cannot qualify as a class suit: In a class suit, the subject protection of the rights or the generations to come.
matter is of common interest to all.
Q: In case of doubt, should a class suit be allowed?
To illustrate:
A: NO. When the issue is not so clear, a class suit should not be
You are Occupant No. 1, and occupies a particular lot over allowed because class suit is an exception to the general rule
which he/she has interest in but he/she does not have that all parties should be included.
interest over the 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 occupant is only on the lot he CADALIN vs. POEA ADMINISTRATOR – 238 SCRA 721 [1995]
occupies.

What should be done is for all of them to sue together to cover HELD: While it is true that class suit is allowed, it should
the entire property, for each one has a lot. So, in that case, be allowed with caution because the fact that you represent
Section 6 should be applied – permissive joinder of parties others is only a fiction of law. For all you know, those others
because there is a common question of fact. This is more of may not want to be represented. That is why the court is
permissive joinder of Parties rather than a class suit. That’s why extra- cautious in allowing class suits because they are the
you can confuse Section 6 with Section 12. But the permissive exceptions to the condition sine qua non requiring joinder of
joinder of parties requires that all should be impleaded. Unlike all indispensable parties.
in a class suit, the subject matter is of interest to everybody and
we cannot all be joined because we are so numerous. In an improperly instituted class suit, there would be no
problem it the decision secured is favorable to the plaintiffs.
BULIG-BULIG KITA KAMAGANAK ASSOCIATION, ET AL vs. The problem arises where the decision is adverse to them.
SULPICIO LINES – May 19, 1989 In which case, the parties who are impleaded through their
selfappointed representatives would surely plead denial of
due process.
RE: Doña Paz Tragedy

Q: Distinguish a representative suit from a class suit.


FACTS: There we so many relatives who filed a case against
Sulpicio Lines and there was an attempt to file a class suit
in behalf of everyone who were drowned including those A: In the case of
who were not identified. LIANA’S SUPERMARKET vs. NLRC – 257 SCRA 186 [May 31,
1996]
HELD: That cannot be. The survivors have no interest in
the death of other passengers. The interest in this case is FACTS: A labor union filed a case against the employer in
individual. What would have been proper is permissive behalf of hundreds of employees. Is this a representative
joinder of parties because of common question of tact or suit or a class suit?
law, but not class suit.
HELD: “What makes the situation a proper case for a
OPOSA vs. FACTORAN – 224 SCRA 12 [1993] class suit is the circumstance that there is only one
FACTS: Oposa et al were all minors. Some were small boys right or cause of action pertaining or belonging in
duly represented by their parents. They filed a case against common to many persons, not separately or severally

72
to distinct individuals. The object of the suit is to obtain You filed a case against the operators of two vehicles. In effect,
relief for or against numerous persons as a group or as an your cause of action is either culpa aquiliana or culpa
integral entity, and not as separate, distinct individuals contractual. Is that not inconsistent? The law says, “although a
whose rights or liabilities are separate from and right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right
independent of those affecting the others.” against the other.” In other words, even if the two causes of
action are inconsistent with each other, it is allowed.
In a representative suit, there are different causes of action
pertaining different persons. As a matter of fact, this is the best policy because the plaintiff is
a sure winner. The only question is, who among the two will be
“In the present case, there are multiple rights or causes of held liable.
action pertaining separately to several, distinct employees
who are members of respondent Union. Therefore, the Although the law is silent, if there is such a thing as “alternative
applicable rule is that provided in Rule 3 on Representative defendants,” there is no reason why the grounds for “alternative
Parties. Nonetheless, as provided for in the Labor Code, a plaintiffs” should not be allowed.
legitimate labor organization has the right to sue and be
sued in its registered name. This authorizes a union to file Q: May plaintiffs join in the alternative?
a representative suit for the benefit of its members in the
interest of avoiding an otherwise cumbersome procedure of
joining all union members in the complaint, even if they A: YES, plaintiffs may join in the alternative under the same
number by the hundreds.” For convenience, the Labor Code principle as alternative joinder of defendants. When several
allows a union to file a representative suit. persons are uncertain as to who among them is entitled to relief
from a certain defendant, they may join as plaintiffs in the
alternative. This is also sanctioned by the rule on permissive
It is important to note the following: joinder of parties (Pajota vs. Jante, L-6014, Feb. 8, 1955). Thus,
the principal and his agent may join as plaintiffs in the
1) CLASS SUIT alternative against a defendant. If the agency is proved, the
2) REPRESENTATIVE SUIT relief is awarded to the principal. If not, award is then made to
3) DERIVATIVE SUIT – only peculiar to the corporation the agent.
law where the minority files a suit in behalf of the
entire corporation because an intra-corporate remedy Just as the rule allows a suit against defendants in the
is useless or because of the failure of the board of alternative, the rule also allows alternative causes of action and
directors, deliberate or otherwise, to act in protection alternative defenses (Sec. 2 Rule 8; Sec.5[b] Rule 6; Sec. 20,
of the corporation (Black’s 5 th Ed. 399; Lim vs. Lim-Yu Rule 14)
352 SCRA 216).
Assume that X, a pedestrian, was injured in the collision of two
vehicles. He suffered injuries but does not know with certainty
In a derivative, suit, the cause of action belongs to the which vehicle caused the mishap. What should X do if he wants
corporation and not to the stockholder who initiates the suit. In to sue?
a class suit, the cause of action belongs to the members of the
class. He should sue the vehicle drivers/owners in the alternative.

Class suit and permissive joinder of parties 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
In a class suit there is one single cause of action pertaining to contends that he has not received the goods. P claims otherwise
numerous persons while in permissive joinder there are and insists that D had received the goods. Should P sue D or
multiple causes of action separately belonging to several should he sue E? P should sue both but in the alternative.
persons.
Plaintiff may sue the shipping company and the arrastre
operator alternatively for the recovery of damages to goods
shipped through a maritime vessel (Rizal Surety & Insurance
Company vs. Manila 70 SCRA 187).
ALTERNATIVE DEFENDANTS
Sec. 14. Unknown identity or name of
Sec. 13. Alternative defendants. Where the defendant. Whenever the identity or name
plaintiff is uncertain against who of several of a defendant is unknown, he may be
persons he is entitled to relief, he may join sued as the unknown owner, heir, devisee,
any or all of them as defendants in the or by such other designation as the case
alternative, although a right to relief may require; when his identity or true
against one may be inconsistent with a name is discovered, the pleading must be
right of relief against the other. (13a) amended accordingly.
(14)
Alternative defendants is also related to alternative causes of
action – even if your right against one is inconsistent with your Requisites:
right to relief against the other party, you may file a suit against
the alternative defendant. (c.f. Rule 2, Section 5 – Joinder of 1) there is a defendant;
Causes of Action)
2) his/her identity is unknown;

73
1) there are two or more persons not organized as a
3) fictitious name may be used because of ignorance of juridical entity;
defendant's true name and said ignorance is alleged in 2) they enter into a transaction;
the complaint; 3) a wrong or delict is committed against a third person
in the course of such transactions.
4) identifying description may be used; sued as unknown
owner, heir, deviseee or other designation; Rule 1, Section 1 provides that only natural of juridical persons
may be sued.
5) amendment to the pleading when true name is
discovered; and Entity without juridical personality as defendant. Under the old
law, this was known as suing two or more persons involved in a
6) defendant is the defendant being sued, not a mere business under a common name. When two or more persons
additional defendant. transact in a business under a common name, they may be
sued under their common name.
Service of summons upon a defendant whose identity is
unknown may be made by publication in a newspaper of Q: Who are really the defendants here?
general circulation in accordance with Sec. 14 of Rule 14.
A: The persons involved.
Q: Can you sue somebody who is unknown?
Now, it is worded in this manner: “When two or more persons
A: YES, under Section 14. not organized as an entity with juridical personality,” instead of
a ‘common name.’ You cannot sue the entity because it has no
juridical personality. But you do not also know the members of
BAR PROBLEM: While L was walking on the street. He was
that entity, so the law allows you to file a case against the
bumped by a car, say a Toyota Altis, 2001 model, color blue.
entity.
Now, so far, he could not determine who is the owner. If you are
the lawyer of L, how would you sue the defendant?
Under the second paragraph of Section 15, when the defendants
file an answer, they must file under their names as they are
A: Under Section, I will sue the owner of that car as an
really the real parties in interest. When the lawyer answers the
unknown defendant. I can place in my complaint, “L’, plaintiff,
complaint, he is duty-bound to provide the names of all the
vs. the registered owner of Honda motor vehicle with plate
defendants.
number so and so.” And later if you discover the true identity of
the owner, we can amend the complaint to place the name of Q: How do you summon this kind of defendant?
the defendant.
A: Rule 14, Section 8:
Section 14 is similar with Rule 110 in Criminal Procedure – a
case may be filed against an unknown accused. RULE 14, Sec. 8. Service upon entity without
juridical personality. When persons
associated in an entity without juridical
RULE 110, SEC. 7. Name of the accused. – The
personality are sued under the name by
complaint or information must state the name and
which they are generally or commonly
surname of the accused or any appellation or
known, service may be effected upon all
nickname by which he has been or is known. If his
the defendants by serving upon any one of
name cannot be ascertained, he must be described
them, or upon the person in charge of the
under a fictitious name with a statement that his
office or place of business maintained in
true name is unknown.
such name. But such service shall not bind
individually any person whose connection
If the true name of the accused is with the entity has, upon due notice, been
thereafter disclosed by him or appears in severed before the action was brought. (9a)
some other manner to the court, such true
name shall be inserted in the complaint or
Correlate this with Rule 36, Section 6:
information and record. (7a)

ENTITY WITHOUT JURIDICAL PERSONALITY AS Sec. 6. Judgment against entity without


juridical personality. When judgment is
DEFENDANT
rendered against two or more persons sued
as an entity without juridical personality,
Sec. 15. Entity without juridical personality as the judgment shall set out their individual
defendant. When two or more persons not or proper names, if known. (6a)
organized as an entity with juridical
personality enter into a transaction, they
GENERAL RULE: actions must be filed against real parties in
may be sued under the name by which
they are generally or commonly known. interest.

In the answer of such defendant, the EXCEPTIONS: (When may an action be filed without naming all
names and addresses of the persons the parties in involved?)
composing said entity must all be revealed.
1. Class suit (Section 12, Rule 3);
Requisites:

74
2. Entity without juridical personality (Section 15, • Actions to recover real and personal property, actions to
Rule enforce a lien thereon, and actions to recover damages
3); for an injury to person or property and suits based on
3. Any co--owner may bring an action for ejectment the alleged tortious acts of the defendant survive. (Board
(Article 487, New Civil Code) of Liquidators v. Kalaw 20 SCRA 987). An action for
quieting of title with damages is an action involving real
property. It survives and the claim is not extinguished by
Instances where substitution of parties is proper
the death of a
party. (Saligumba v. Calanog GRT+ 143365 Dec. 4, 2008)
EFFECT OF DEATH OF A PARTY

• An action of ejectment survives the death of a party. It


Sec. 16. Death of party; duty of counsel. continues until judgment because the issue concerning
Whenever a party to a pending action dies, the illegality of the defendant’s possession is still alive,
and the claim is not thereby extinguished,
and upon its resolution depends the corollary issue of
it shall be the duty of his counsel to
whether and how much damages may be recovered.
inform the court within thirty (30) days
(Tanhueco v. Aguilar 33 SCRA 236; Vda de Salazar v. CA;
after such death of the fact thereof, and to
Florendo jr. v.Coloma 129 SCERA 304)
give the name and address of his legal
representative or representatives. Failure
of counsel to comply with this duty shall • Actions for the recovery of money, arising from a contract
be a ground for disciplinary action. express or implied are not extinguished by the death of
the defendant. (Sec. 20 R 3)
The heirs of the deceased may be allowed
to be substituted for the deceased, without
requiring the appointment of an executor Duty of lawyer of the deceased
or administrator and the court may
appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor
It is the duty of the lawyer of the deceased to inform the
heirs.
court within 30 days after the death of the party thereof. He
must inform the court and give the name and address of his
The court shall forthwith order said legal legal representative/s (e.g. administrator or executor of the
representative or representatives to appear estate)
and be substituted within a period of thirty
(30) days from notice.
In legal ethics, the lawyer- client relationship is automatically
terminated by the death of the client because the lawyer-client
If no legal representative is named by the relationship is personal. Neither does he become the counsel of
counsel for the deceased party, or if the
the heirs of the deceased unless his services are engaged by
one so named shall fail to appear within
said heirs (Lawas vs. CA 146 SCRA 173). But procedurally, he
the specified period, the court may order
must tell the court and give the name of the legal
the opposing party, within a specified
representative. The latter may re-hire the lawyer but under a
time, to procure the appointment of an
executor or administrator for the estate of new contract.
the deceased and the latter shall
immediately appear for and on behalf of The purpose there is for substitution so that the legal
the deceased. The court charges in representative will be ordered substituted. And there is a
procuring such appointment, if defrayed by new provision under the new rules. That is, failure of the
the opposing party, may be recovered as counsel to comply with his duty shall be a ground for
costs. (16, 17a) disciplinary action. That is not found in the prior rule. So, the
lawyer can be subjected to disciplinary action.
First of all, there are cases when a party to a pending action
dies and the claim is not thereby extinguished (this is what they Upon receipt of the notice of death, the court shall
called an action which survives as we will explain later) and determine whether or not the claim is extinguished by such
there are certain actions where if a party dies, the claim is death. If the claim survives, the court shall order the legal
automatically extinguished. Meaning, the death of a party representative or representatives of the deceased to appear
causes death of the action. But these are very few. In majority of and be substituted for the deceased within 30 days from
cases when the party dies, the case or the cause of action notice (Sec. 16 Rule 3). The substitution of the deceased
continues. would not be ordered by the court in cases where the death of
the party would extinguish the action because substitution is
proper only when the action survives (Aguas vs. Llamas 5 SCRA
Examples of actions which survive the death of a party:
959)

• Actions and obligations arising from delicts survive


So the provision continues, “the heirs of the deceased may be
(Aguas
allowed to be substituted for the deceased without requiring the
v. Llamas 5 SCRA 959)
appointment of an executor or administrator. And the court may
appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor heirs.
• Actions based on the tortious conduct of the defendant
survive the death of the latter. (Melgar v. Benviaje 179
So, other than the legal representative, which refers to the
SCRA 196) executor or administrator, the alternative will be to
substitute the heirs, such as the surviving children, wife or
spouse.

75
Although there was a case decided by the SC way back in 1986 proceeding to which he is a stranger. A party to be affected by a
in the case of personal judgment must have a day in court and an opportunity
to be heard. (Vda. De Haberer v. CA 104 SCRA 534; Fereira v.
LAWAS vs. CA – 146 SCRA 173 Vda de Gonzales 104 Phil.
143; Torres v. CA 278 SCRA 793)

HELD: “The priority of substitution would be the executor Note this portion in the case of:
or administrator not the heirs. The heirs would only be
allowed to be substituted if there is: VDA. DE SALAZAR vs. CA– 250 SCRA 303 [November 23,
1) An unreasonable delay in the appointment of 1995]
administrator or executor, or
2) when the heirs resort to extrajudicial partition
FACTS: This is an ejectment case. The defendant died while
But outside of those two reason, the law always gives priority the case is going on. What is the procedure? There should
to the administrator or executor.” be substitution. But there was no substitution in the case
for ten years, until it was decided. The court was not
Under the rule, priority is given to the legal representative of informed of the death of the defendant. Until finally, there
the deceased. That is, the executor or the administrator of his was a decision.
estate. Many courts do not enforce it strictly. Normally, patay
na, “O! Ito ang heirs o!” “OK! Substitute!” Actually, that is ISSUE: When there is failure to effectuate the substitution
wrong based on LAWAS case. The priority is given to the of heirs before the rendition of judgment, is the judgment
administrator or executor. It is only when there is jurisdictionally defective?
unreasonable delay in the appointment, or when the heirs
resort to extrajudicial partition because there is no more HELD: NO, “the judgment is valid where the heirs
administrator or executor in extrajudicial settlement. themselves appeared before the trial court and participated
in the proceedings. Therein, they presented evidence in
Lawas ruling is no longer applicable defense of the deceased defendant. It is undeniably evident
that the heirs themselves sought their day in court and
exercised their right to due process.”

Under the second paragraph of Sec. 16 of Rule 3 states: “ … The In other words, when there was a defect the heirs however
heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the cannot use that because they themselves appeared and
deceased, without requiring the appointment of an executor or continued the case. So, in effect, there was estoppel.
administrator…”
No requirement for service of summons
The second paragraph of the rule is plain and explicit. The heirs
may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased without Service of summons is not required to effect a substitution.
requiring the appointment of an administrator or executor. Nothing in Sec. 16 of this Rule mandates service of summons.
However, if within the specified period a legal representative Instead of service of summons the court shall, under the
authority of the same provision, order the legal
fails to appear, the court may order the opposing counsel,
representative of the deceased to appear and be substituted
within a specified period, to process the appointment of an for the said deceased within 30 days from notice.
administrator or executor who shall immediately appear for the
estate of the deceased. The previous pronouncement of the By virtue of the same rule, it is significant to know that it is
Court in Lawas v. CA xxxxx is no longer true. Thus, the heirs do not the amendment of the pleading, but the order of
not need to first secure the appointment of an administrator of substitution and its service that effects the substitution of
the deceased by his representative or heir.
the estate of the deceased because the very moment of death,
they stepped into the shoes of the deceased and acquired the Note: If the action does not survive (like the purely personal
rights as devisee/legatee. Said heirs may designate one or some actions of support, annulment of marriage, and legal separation),
of them as their representative before the trial court. (San Juan the court shall simply dismiss the case. It follows then that
v. Cruz GR No. 167321, July 31, 2006) Purpose and substitution will not be required.
Importance of substitution of the deceased
EFFECT OF DEATH OF A PARTY ON MONEY
The purpose behind the rule on substitution of parties is CLAIMS
the protection of the right of every party to due process. It
is to ensure that the deceased would continue to be Now, one of the radical changes again introduced by the new
properly represented in the suit through the duly appointed rules is the effect of the death of the defendant in a money claim
legal representative of the estate. (Torres v. CA 278 SCRA – action to collect a sum of money.
793; Vda de Salazar v. CA 250 SCRA 305)

Sec. 20. Action on contractual money claims.


Non-compliance with the rules on substitution of a deceased
When the action is for recovery of money
party renders the proceedings of the trial court infirm because arising from contract, express or implied,
the court acquired no jurisdiction over the person of the legal and the defendant dies before entry of
representative of heirs of the deceased (Brioso v. Rili-Mariano final judgment in the court in which the
396 SCRA 549) because no man should be affected by a action was pending at the time of such
76
death, it shall not be dismissed but shall A: I will distinguish Is that an ACTION WHICH DOES NOT
instead be allowed to continue until entry SURVIVE or an ACTION WHICH SURVIVES?
of final judgment. A favorable judgment
obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be
enforced in the manner especially
ACTION WHICH DOES NOT SURVIVE
provided in these Rules for prosecuting
claims against the estate of a deceased
person. (21a) An action which does not survive is an action which is abated
upon the death of a party. The case cannot go on once a party
dies. And normally, that refers to actions which are purely
personal in character like an action for annulment of marriages,
Requisites:
an action for declaration of the nullity of marriage or, an action
for legal separation, or an action for support. These are the
1) the action must primarily be for recovery of money, cases arising from the Family Code.
debt, or interest therein;
2) the claim, subject of the action, arose from contract,
Example: The husband files a case against the wife for
express of implied; and
annulment of marriage or legal separation. One of them dies.
3) defendant dies before the entry of final judgment of the
When one of the parties dies, the marriage is dissolved. There is
court in which the action was pending.
nothing to annul because the marriage is already dissolved. So,
these are the actions which are purely personal .
Under this section, the death of the defendant will not result in
the dismissal of the action. The deceased shall be substituted
Q: So, what is the effect of the death of the party in actions
by his legal representatives in the manner provided for in Sec.
which does not survived?
16 of this Rule 3 and the action continues until the entry of
final judgment.
A: The case is dismissed!
However, execution shall not issue in favor of the winning party.
The final judgment should be filed as a claim against the estate 1) ACTIONS WHICH SURVIVE –
of the decedent without need of proving the claim. 2a.) CONTRACTUAL MONEY CLAIMS:

The best example here is an action to collect an unpaid loan. 2a1.) If it is the plaintiff who dies, the case
And while the case is pending the defendant died. What will will continue. The heirs or legal
happen to the case? The law says: If the defendant dies before representatives will proceed. So, there is
the entry of the final judgment in the court at the time of death, substitution.
it shall not be dismissed but it shall instead be allowed to
continue until entry of final judgment. 2a2.) If it is the defendant who dies, the
question is when did he die? Before entry of
Under the OLD RULES, the case shall be dismissed. So, the civil final judgment or after entry? This is where
case is not suspended but it will be dismissed and the creditor Section 20 will come in.
can file a case against the estate of the deceased under the
Rules on Special Proceedings. But definitely the civil case dies 2a2a.) If the defendant died before entry
when the defendant dies. of final judgment, you apply Section
20 of Rule 3. Meaning, the case shall
Now, under the NEW RULE, the case will not be dismissed not be dismissed but shall be allowed to
but rather, the case will now continue until entry of final continue until entry of final judgment.
judgment. Meaning, until it becomes final and executory. And the favorable judgment obtained by
the plaintiff therein shall be enforced in
the manner especially provided in these
Q: But of course, if the judgment is favorable to you (the
Rules for prosecuting claims against the
plaintiff), can you move to execute? Can you move to execute
estate of a deceased person, and that is
the decision against the property of the defendant?
Section 5 of Rule 86.

A: NO, because the law provides, “xxx a favorable judgment


2a2b.) If the defendant died after the
obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be enforced in the manner
entry of the final judgment but before
specially provided in these Rules for prosecuting claims against
execution (after the judgment became
the estate of a deceased person.”
final but before there could be levy or
execution) you cannot move to
Q: And what is that procedure? execute. Again, you apply Section 5 of
Rule 86 which is the governing rule –
A: YOU FILE A CLAIM against the estate under Section 5, Rule you file your judgment as a claim against
86 of the Rules of Court, but there will be no execution. the estate of the deceased defendant.
[Section 5, Rule 86] The purpose there is,
[Note: SEE OUTLINE AT THE LAST PART OF THIS RULE.] so 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.
2a2c) If the defendant died after levy or
While there is a case and a party dies, what will happen to the
execution but before the auction sale,
case?
we will now apply Section 7[c] of Rule 39:

77
Rule 39, Sec. 7. Execution in case of to adopt or continue the action of his
death of party. In case of the death of predecessor. Before a substitution is made,
party, execution may issue or be the party or officer to be affected, unless
enforced in the following manner: expressly assenting thereto, shall be given
reasonable notice of the application
xxxxxx therefor and accorded an opportunity to be
heard. (18a)

(c) In case of the death of the


judgment obligor, after execution is Requisites:
actually levied upon any of his
property, the same may be sold for the 1) public officer is a party to an action in his official
satisfaction of the judgment capacity;
obligation, and the officer making the
sale shall account to the 2) during the pendency of the action he either dies,
corresponding executor or resigns, or other wise ceases to hold office;
administrator for any surplus in his
hands. (7a)
3) it is satisfactorily shown to the court by any party,
within 30 days after the successor takes office, that
Meaning, if death occurs after the levy, auction sale proceeds as
there is a substantial need for continuing or
scheduled. And if there is an excess, the excess shall be
maintaining the action;
delivered to the administrator or executor.

4) that the successor adopts or continues or threatens to


2b.) NON-CONTRACTUAL MONEY CLAIMS:
adopt or continue the action of his predecessor; and

EXAMPLE: an action for recovery of property, real or


5) the party or officer affected has been given reasonable
personal like replevin, forcible entry, unlawful notice of the application therefor and accorded an
detainer, action publiciana, action reinvidicatoria, or
opportunity to be heard.
action for damages, (damages that is not the same for
transaction of money because damages arising from
culpa aquiliana is one not arising from contract.)
Q: What will happen to the case?
If a party dies in an action which survives which is a
noncontractual money claim, obviously, there is A: The following:
substitution of parties. So, what are these non-
contractual money claims which survive? These are 1) If the successor intends to continue with the policy.
those mentioned in Section 7 of Rule 86 and Section 1
of Rule 87. That is in the study of Special Proceedings
EXAMPLE: Mayor Pascua threatened to demolish the
on settlement of the estate of a deceased person.
building of Mr. Nuere as a hazard. If Mayor Pascua
dies, Vice-Mayor Angeles becomes the mayor. If Vice-
Note: What Section 20 says is that: before the case can be Mayor Angeles who is now the mayor says that he will
decided and the defendant dies (in actions involving money continue with the demolition, he will be substituted
claims) the case shall not be dismissed but shall instead be and he is given 30 days to comment.
allowed to continue until entry of final judgment. BUT
CONTINUE AGAINST WHOM? Against the deceased? Now, to my
2) If the successor does not adopt the policy, the case will
mind, you correlate this with Section 16 --- there should still be
be dismissed.
substitution.

Sec. 18. Incompetency or incapacity. If a


But assuming, there was no substitution and the heirs fought in party becomes incompetent or
the case; there is waiver because the defect is procedural. Just incapacitated, the court, upon motion
like what happened in the case of VDA. DE SALAZAR vs CA 250 with notice, may allow the action to be
SCRA 305). Actually, what Section 20 emphasized is that, the continued by or against the incompetent
action shall not be dismissed but shall continue – to emphasize or incapacitated person assisted by his
that it is now different compared with the prior RULE. But legal guardian or guardian ad litem.
obviously, there will always be a substitution (19a)

Sec. 17. Death or separation of a party who is EXAMPLE: F files a case against K. While the case is pending, K
a public officer. When a public officer is a becomes insane. The case will continue but K has to be assisted
party in an action in his official capacity by 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 This is related to Rule 3, Section 3 on representative party but
against his successor if, within thirty (30) in Section 3, K should be already insane before the case is filed.
days after the successor takes office or such
time as may be granted by the court, it is Sec. 19. Transfer of interest. In case of any
satisfactorily shown to the court by any transfer of interest, the action may be
party that there is a substantial need for continued by or against the original party,
continuing or maintaining it and that the unless the court upon motion directs the
successor adopts or continues or threatens person to whom the interest is transferred

78
to be substituted in the action or joined property, the proper docket and other
with the original party. (20) lawful fees shall be assessed and collected
by the clerk of court. If payment is not
General Rule: The rule does not consider the transferee an made within the time fixed by the court,
indispensable party. Hence, the action may proceed without the execution shall issue for the payment
need to imp lead him. thereof, without prejudice to such other
sanctions as the court may impose.
(22a)
Exception: When the substitution by or joinder of the
transferee is ordered by the court.
In criminal cases, the court assigns a counsel de officio. Under
the Constitution on Bill of Rights, no person shall be denied
A transferee pendent lite: access to courts by reason of poverty.

1) stands in exactly the same position as its predecessor- In civil cases, a plaintiff need not pay docket fee if he is an
ininterest, th original defendant; and indigent if he files an application (ex-parte application) to allow
2) bound by the proceedings had in the case before the him to litigate as an indigent litigant. But if the indigent wins,
property was transferred to it, even if not formally he has to pay the fees – file now, pay later) – the amount shall
included as defendant. (Herrera, vol. 1 p. 405) be a lien on any favorable judgment.

The case will be dismissed if the interest of plaintiff is The third paragraph is new. The other party may contest the
transferred to defendant unless there are several plaintiffs, in claim of the indigent if he is really an indigent or not.
which case, the remaining plaintiffs can proceed with their own
cause of action.
Sec. 22. Notice to the Solicitor General. In any
action involving the validity of any treaty,
EXAMPLE: R files a case against L to recover a piece of land. law, ordinance, executive order,
While the case is pending, L sold the land to E. E now assumes presidential decree, rules or regulations,
the risk and takes the property subject to the outcome of the the court, in its discretion, may require
case. the appearance of the Solicitor General
who may be heard in person or through a
Q: Can the case continue against L? representative duly designated by him.
(23a)

A: YES.
The rule is that only the Solicitor General can bring and defend
actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and that
1) If L loses and cannot pay, E is subsidiarily actions filed in the name of the Republic of the Philippines or its
liable; 2) L can be removed and E will be agencies and instrumentalities, if not initiated by the Solicitor
substituted; or 3) L can stay and E will be General will be summarily dismissed. The authority of the
added. Solicitor General is embodied in Sec. 35(1) Chapter 12, Title III
and Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Cooperative
Development Authority vs. Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries
Cooperative 382 SCRA 552).
In all 3 cases, E will be bound by the judgment.
EXAMPLE: M files a case against K for declaration of nullity on
Sec. 21. Indigent party. A party may be the ground of psychological incapacity. K alleges that Article 38
authorized to litigate his action, claim or of the Family Code is unconstitutional. So the court will rule on
defense as an indigent if the court, upon the validity of the law in which case, the Solicitor General has to
an ex parte application and hearing, is be involved in the case to defend the validity of the law.
satisfied that the party is one who has no
money or property sufficient and available
for food, shelter and basic necessities for REASON: The Solicitor General is the legal counsel of the
himself and his family. Republic of the Philippines whose duty is to defend all the
official acts of the Government.
Such authority shall include an exemption
from payment of docket and other lawful
fees, and of transcripts of stenographic
notes which the court may order to be
furnished him. The amount of the docket
and other lawful fees which the indigent
was exempted from paying shall be a lien
on any judgment rendered 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

79
3. affirmative defense in an answer;
4. voluntary submission to the court where the case is
filed;
5. laches

Dismissal based on improper venue

1) The trial court cannot motu proprio dismiss a case on


the ground of improper venue. The court may motu
proprio dismiss an action in case of lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter, litis pendencia, res judicata
and prescription, but not for improper venue. (Rudolf
Lietz Holdings, Inc. v. Register of Deeds of Paranaque
City, 344 SCRA 68; Universal Robina Corp. v. Lim GR
154338, Oct.
5, 2007)

2) Unless and until the defendant objects to the venue in


a motion to dismiss, the venue cannot be truly said to
be improperly laid, because the venue although
technically wrong may be acceptable to the parties for
whose convenience the rules on venue have been
devised. The trial court cannot preempt the
defendant’s prerogative to object to the improper laying
of the venue by motu proprio dismissing the case.
(Dacuycoy v. IAC 195 SCRA
641)

When court may motu proprio dismiss based on improper


venue

The court may dismiss on improper venue, at its instance, in an


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 as may be attached thereto on any of the grounds
apparent therefrom. The dismissal may be made outright, which
Rule 4 means that the court may do so without need of waiting for the
filing of a motion to dismiss. (Sec. 4, Rules on Summary
Procedure)
VENUE OF ACTIONS

How venue is determined


Q: Define venue.

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


A: VENUE is the place, or the geographical area where an action the initial step is to determine if the action is personal or real. If
is to be filed and tried. In civil cases, it relates only to the place of it is personal, the venue is transitory hence, the venue is the
the suit and not to the jurisdiction of the court. (Manila Railroad residence of the plaintiff or the defendant at the option of the
Company vs. Attoryney General, 20 Phil. 523) plaintiff. If the defendant is a non-resident, the venue is the
residence of the plaintiff or where the non-resident defendant
may be found, at the election of the plaintiff.(Sec. 3)
Venue not a matter of substantive law

If the action is real, the venue is local hence, the venue is the
Venue is procedural and not substantive. In civil cases, venue is place where the real property involved, or any portion thereof, is
not a matter of jurisdiction. (Heirs of Pedro Lopez vs. de Castro, situated. (Sec. 1). However, when the defendant is a non-
324 SCRA 591 [2000]). Venue becomes jurisdictional only in a resident and is not found in the Philippines, and the action
criminal case. In the latter case, where the information is filed affects the personal status of the plaintiff, or any property of the
in a place where the offense was not committed, the information defendant located in the Philippines, the venue is the residence
may be quashed for lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. of the plaintiff or where the property or any portion thereof is
(Sec. 3, R 117) This is not so in a civil case where improper situated. (Sec. 3)
venue is not equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Because it is
merely procedural, the parties can waive the venue of a case.
VENUE OF REAL ACTIONS
Means of waiving venue:
Section 1. Venue of real actions. Actions
affecting title to or possession of real
1. failure to object via motion to dismiss; property, or interest therein, shall be
2. affirmative relief sought in the court where the case is commenced and tried in the proper court
filed even if venue is improper; which has jurisdiction over the area

80
wherein the real property involved, or a party but is only a NOMINAL PARTY. So, the residence of the
portion thereof, is situated. sheriff is not considered the sheriff being a nominal party only.

Forcible entry and detainer actions shall be This is the original concept of forum shopping which is
commenced and tried in the municipal legitimate but had later been abused. That is why there is a SC
trial court of the municipality or city case where Justice Panganiban cited the history of forum
wherein the real property involved, or a shopping entitled
portion thereof, is situated. (1[a], 2[a]a) FIRST PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL BANK vs. CA (252 SCRA
259), January 24, 1996)
Q: Why does the law say “tried in the proper court?”
How to distinguish real from personal action
A: It is because proper court will now be the MTC or the RTC,
depending on the assessed value of the property. There are instances when it is easy to distinguish whether the
action is real or personal and there are also instances when it is
The venue is the placed where the real property or any portion difficult.
thereof is located.
EXAMPLE: An action for annulment of a contract of sale or
If a property is located at the boundaries of two places: file the rescission of contract of sale of real property. Generally, an
case in either place at the option of the plaintiff. action for annulment or rescission is a personal action. But
suppose, I will file a complaint to annul or rescind a contract or
When the case involves two properties located in two a deed of sale over a parcel of land which we made one year ago
different places: 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?
1) if the properties are the object of the same transaction,
file it in any of the two places; and
2) if they are the subjects of two distinct transactions, It is a real action because the primary object of the suit is to
separate actions whould be filed in each place unless recover the ownership of real property. It seems to be personal
properly joined. but in reality it is a real action. So the venue is governed by
Section 2.
But there are also actions which appear to be real but in reality,
are personal actions. Like what happened in the case of

VENUE OF PERSONAL ACTIONS


LA TONDEÑA DISTILLERS INC vs. PONFERRADA - 264
SCRA 540
Sec. 2. Venue of personal actions. All other [1996]
actions may be commenced and tried
where the plaintiff or any of the principal
plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant
or any of the principal defendants resides, FACTS: A entered into a contract where she committed
or in the case of a non-resident defendant herself to sell her land to B. A even placed a lis pendens on
where he may be found, at the election of the property but later she backed out. So B will file a case
the plaintiff. (2[b]a) against A for specific performance to compel her to sign the
deed of sale.
Venue of personal actions:
ISSUE: Is this real or personal action?
1) Where the plaintiff or any of the principa plaintiffs
resides; HELD: It is a PERSONAL ACTION because you are not
2) where the defendant or any of the principal defendants questioning my ownership. Here, the plaintiff recognizes
resides; or that the defendant is still the owner, which is the reason
3) in case of a non-resident defendant but found in the why he is still filing the case to compel him to sell.
Philippines, in the place where he may be found.
Thus, it should be filed at the residence of the parties. “The
Note: All at the election of the plaintiff. complaint is one for specific performance with damages.
Private respondents do not claim ownership of the lot but in
fact recognized title of defendants by annotating a notice of
Situation: suppose, there are four (4) plaintiffs and 4
lis pendens. In one case, a similar complaint for specific
defendants and the 4 plaintiffs reside in 4 different cities or
performance with damages involving real property, was held
municipalities. So there are 8 choices for venue because the law
to be a personal action, which may be filed in the proper
says, “where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs or
court where the party resides. Not being an action involving
where the defendant or any of the principal defendants reside…”
title to or ownership of real property, venue, in this case,
was not improperly laid before the RTC of Bacolod City.”
NOTE: PRINCIPAL PLAINTIFF, PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT. (Adamos vs. Tuazon 25 SCRA 30 [1968])
Because there is such a thing as nominal defendant and
nominal plaintiff..
Q: Where several or alternative reliefs are sought in an action,
and the reliefs prayed for are real and personal, how is venue
EXAMPLE of a nominal party: When a party wants to file a determined?
case to annul an execution sale or to annul a levy, normally it
impleads the sheriff as party. But the sheriff is not the principal
81
A: Where several or alternative reliefs are prayed for in the CLAVECILLA RADIO SYSTEM vs. ANTILLON – 19 SCRA 39
complaint, the nature of the action as real or personal is [1967]
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 real property, the venue of the action is in the province FACTS: Clavecilla was sued in Cagayan de Oro City.
where the property lies, notwithstanding the alternative relief Clavecilla questioned the venue because its head office is in
sought, recovery of damages, which is predicated upon a Manila. The plaintiff argued that it can be sued because it
declaration of nullity of the title. (Navarro vs. Lucero, 100 Phil. has a branch in Cagayan.
146)

ISSUE: Is a corporation resident of any city or province wherein


Where a lessee seeks to establish his right to the hacienda, it has an office or branch?
which was subsequently sold, for the purpose of gathering the
crops thereon, it is unnecessary to decide whether the crops are
real or personal property, because the principal claim is HELD: NO. Any person, whether natural or juridical, can
recovery of possession of land so that he may gather the fruits only have one residence. Therefore, a corporation cannot be
thereof. (LTC vs. Macadaeg, 57 O.G. 3317) allowed to file personal actions in a place other than its
principal place of business unless such a place is also the
residence of a co-plaintiff or defendant.
Now, going back to Section 2.
The ruling in the case of ANTILLON was reiterated in the 1993
case of YOUNG AUTO SUPPLY CO. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
(223 SCRA 670)

Because the law said “where the plaintiff or any of the principal
RESIDENCE OF THE PARTIES plaintiffs..” So if the corporation is suing with someone from
Cebu
Where is the residence of the parties? Because residence in law City, even if its head office is in Manila, the corporation can file
could mean DOMICILE OR LEGAL RESIDENCE, it could be in Cebu City because of the residence of my co-plaintiff or the
ACTUAL OR PHYSICAL RESIDENCE. residence of the defendant. But outside of that, a corporation
cannot sue outside of its head office because its residence is
there. That is the case of YOUNG AUTO SUPPLY.
With the exception of only one case, the word ‘residence’ and
‘venue’ has been uniformly interpreted by the SC to mean
ACTUAL or PHYSICAL RESIDENCE not legal domicile. Alright, “OR IN THE CASE OF A NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT
there are so many casesalready: CO vs. CA (70 SCRA 296); WHERE HE
FULE vs. CA (14 SCRA 189); HERNANDEZ vs. RURAL BANK OF MAY BE FOUND”
THE PHIL (81 SCRA 75); RAYMOND vs. CA (166 SCRA 50);
ESCUERTE vs. CA (193 3CRA 54).
Suppose the defendnt is not residing here in the Philippines but
EXCEPT for one case decided way back in 1956 – the case of is just on vacation and you want to sue him. What is now the
point of reference?
CORRE vs. CORRE – 100 Phil 221
Did you notice the phrase “or in the case of a non-resident
defendants where he may be found.” Now what does that mean?
FACTS: An American who resides in San Francisco who It means to say that the defendant is not actually residing in the
came to the Philippines rented an apartment in Manila to Philippines but he is temporarily around because he is found in
sue his wife who is a Filipina. The wife is from Mindanao. the Philippines. Example is a balikbayan who is still on
And then the American husband filed the case in Manila vacation.
because he rented an apartment in Manila.
PROBLEM: Suppose a Filipino who is already residing abroad
HELD: You are not a resident of Manila. Your residence is decided to come back this Christmas for a vacation. When he
in San Francisco – that is your domicile. So that is to landed at the Manila Domestic Airport, you met him as your
compel the American to file the case in the residence of the friend and the first thing he requested you is if he could borrow
wife rather than the wife going to Manila. some pesos because his money is in dollars. He borrowed from
you P15,000.00 promising to pay in a week’s time.. One week
later, still he has not paid you and obviously it seems he will not
pay you. So you decided to sue him while he is around to
So the case of CORRE is the only exception where the SC said, collect, where is the venue of the action?
“residence means domicile.” All the rest, physical! In the case of
CORRE, maybe the SC there was just trying to help the Filipina.
A: The law says, generally where the plaintiff resides or where
If we will interpret the rule on venue as physical, it is the
the defendant resides. The trouble is, the defendant has no
Filipina who will be inconvenienced.
residence here because he is already residing abroad. But he is
temporarily here in the Philippines.
RESIDENCE OF A CORPORATION
You can sue him where he may be found. If he decides to stay in
Under Rule 1, a corporation can sue and be sued. But what is Cebu, that is where the proper venue rather his permanent
the residence of a corporation? Under the corporation law, the residence. So where he may be found is the alternative venue.
residence of a corporation is the place where its head or main The phrase “where he may be found” means where he may be
office is situated.

82
found here in the Philippines for a non-resident defendant but
temporarily staying in the Philippines. 2) Non-resident not found in the Philippines

Q: Suppose a defendant is a non-resident and he is not even


here. Like for example, your neighbor borrowed money from you
and the nest thing you heard is that he left the country. He has
already migrated to the states. Of course you know his address
An action may be filed only when:
there. Can 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
A: NO, you cannot. Charge it to experience. plaintiff and venue is the place where the
Q: Why can you not sue a person not residing here in the plaiantiff resides; or
Philippines and is not found here in the first place?
2.) The action affects the property or any portion
thereof of
A: There is no way for Philippine courts to acquire jurisdiction said defendants is located here in the Philippines, and
over his person. Otherwise, he will not be bound by the venue is the place where the property or any portion
decision. thereof is located.

But in our discussion on the element of jurisdiction: subject ACTION THAT AFFECTS THE PERSONAL STATUS OF THE
matter, person, res and issues, I told you that the res or the PLAINTIFF
thing in dispute is important because sometimes it takes the
place of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. So even if
the Philippine court cannot acquire jurisdiction over the person
of the defendant but the subject of the controversy (res) is in the EXAMPLE: A young child was abandoned by his illegitimate
Philippines, then the non-resident defendant can also be sued father. The illegitimate father left the Philippines for good. The
in the Philippines. The court can now acquire jurisdiction over son wants to file a case against the father for compulsory
the res, subject and since the res is here, the judgment can be recognition, at least to improve his status.
enforced. It is not a useless judgement anymore.
Q: Can the child file a case for compulsory acknowledgment
EXAMPLE: He is there but he is the owner of a piece of land here in the Philippines against the father for compulsory
here. I want to file a case to recover ownership over the land acknowledgment?
here in the Philippines.
A: YES because the action involves the person status of the
Q: Can I sue the non-resident defendant? plaintiff. The res is the status of the plaintiff who happens to be
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 THE ACTION AFFECTS THE PROPERTY OR ANY PORTION
judgment can be enforced – transfer the property to you. So it is THEREOF OF SAID DEFENDANTS LOCATED HERE IN
not a useless judgment. That is what Section 3 is all about. THE PHILIPPINES

Sec. 3. Venue of actions against nonresidents. Example: The defendant who is already abroad owns a piece of
- If any of the defendants does not reside land located here in the Philippines and I want to recover the
and is not found in the Philippines, and ownership of the piece of land.
the action affects the personal status of
the plaintiff, or any property of said Q: What is the res?
defendant located in the Philippines, the
action may be commenced and tried in the
A: The res is the land which is situated here in the Philippines.
court of the place where the plaintiff
Therefore I can sue that defendant even if he is there because
resides, or where the property or any
portion thereof is situated or found, (2[c]a) the court can acquire jurisdiction over the res.

Q: What is the difference between the non-resident defendant in In order to validly sue in the Philippine court, a defendant who
Section 2 and the non-resident defendant in Section 3? is no longer residing here and is no longer found here, the
action must be:
A: In Section 2, the non-resident defendant may be found in the
Philippines. But in Section 3, he does not reside and is not 1) action in rem; or 2)
found in the Philippines. So, physically, he is not around. at least quasi-in rem.

Venue of ordinary civil actions against non-residents: 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
1) Non-resident but found in the Philippines; action quasi-in rem.

a) for personal actions, where the plaintiff resides or But if the action is purely in personam, then there is no way by
where he may be found at the election of the
which you can sue him. Example is an action to collect an
plaintiff; unpaid loan.
b) for real actions, where the property is located.

83
Q: Where is now the proper venue of the action against the
nonresidents? While the first two rarely pose a problem, the third has been a
A: The law says where the plaintiff resides – action which affects source of controversy in the past.
the personal status of defendants, where the property of the
defendant located here in the Philippines A stipulation that “any suit arising from this contract shall be
filed only in Quezon City” is exclusive in character and is clear
Sec. 4. When rule not applicable. - This rule shall not enough to preclude the filing of the case in any other place. In
this case, the residences of the parties are not to be considered
apply - a)In those cases where a specific rule or law
in determining the venue of the action.
provides otherwise; or
How about a stipulation that the “parties agree to sue and be
b)Where the parties have validly agreed in sued in the courts of Manila?”
writing before the filing of the action on the
exclusive venue thereof. (3a, 5a)
POLYTRADE CORP. vs. BLANCO – 30 SCRA 187
A.) IN THOSE CASES WHERE A SPECIFIC RULE OR LAW
PROVIDES OTHERWISE;
FACTS: C and J are both residing here in Cebu City. J
Q: What cases provide for venue of the action which may be borrowed money from C, and executed a promissory note in
different from what Rule 4 says? favor of the latter which says, “I promise to pay C the sum
of P200,000 one year from today. In case of a suit arising
A: The following: from this promissory note, the parties agree to sue and be
sued in the City of Manila.”
1.) A civil action arising from LIBEL under Article 360
of the 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
Libel could give rise to a civil action for the venue on ground that the venue is agreed upon which is
damages. It is considered under the RPC Manila. According to C, the venue is correct because both of
us are residing here in Cebu City and under Rule 4, the
as one of the independent civil actions.
venue is where I reside or you reside, at my option.
The criminal action for libel shall be filed
simultaneously or separately in the RTC
ISSUE: Who is correct in this case?
of the:

a.) province or city where the libelous article HELD: Plaintiff is correct notwithstanding the stipulation.
is printed and first published; or Why? When. the parties stipulated on the venue of the civil
b.) where any of the offended parties actually action, other than those found in the Rule of Court, the
resides at the time of the commission of stipulated venue is considered merely as an ADDITION to
the offense. where the parties reside. Unless the stipulation contains
RESTRICTIVE words which shows the intention of the
parties to limit the place stipulated as the exclusive venue.
If one of the offended party is a public officer,
whose office is in the City of Manila at the time of
So in the second exception where there is an agreement in
the commission of the offense, the action shall be
writing on the exclusive venue, the word exclusive is very
filed (a) in the RTC of Manila, or (b) in the RTC of important as taken in the ruling in POLYTRADE vs. BLANCO. So
the province where he held office at the time of the if the venue is not exclusive, Rule 4 still applies and the
commission of the offense. stipulated venue is just an additional one.

2.) Section 5 (4), Article VIII, 1987 Constitution – The Of course, there are stipulations where you can see clearly the
SC may intention of the parties to limit the venue. But sometimes, there
order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a are stipulations in which it is difficult to decipher the real
miscarriage of justice as what happened in the case of intention of the parties whether exclusive or not. Examples of
Mayor Sanchez. clear stipulations which calls for the application of the
POLYTRADE ruling: in the City of Manila only or the suit shall be
filed in the City of Manila and in no other place.
B.) WHERE THE PARTIES HAVE VALIDLY AGREED IN
WRITING The Polytrade doctrine was further applied in the case of
BEFORE THE FILING OF THE ACTION ON THE EXCLUSIVE Unimasters Conglomeration Inc. v. CA 267 SCRA 759. In this
VENUE THEREOF. case, it was ruled that a stipulation stating that “all suits
arising out of this Agreement shall be filed with/in the proper
The parties may agree on a specific venue which could be in a courts of Quezon City,” is only permissive and does not limit the
place where neither of them resides. Take note that the venue to the Quezon City courts. As explained the said case:
stipulation must be:
“In other words, unless the parties made very clear, by
1) in writing; employing categorical and suitably limiting language, that they
2) made before the filing of the action and 3) wish the venue of the actions between them to be laid only and
exclusive as to the venue. exclusively at a definite place, and to disregard the prescriptions

84
of Rule 4, agreements on venue are not to be regarded as
mandatory or restrictive, but merely permissive, or d. “All court litigation procedures shall be conducted in
complementary of said rule.xxxThere must be, to repeat, the appropriate courts of Valenzuela City, Metro
accompanying language clearly and categorically expressing their Manila” (Auction in Malinta, inc. v. Luyaben GR
purpose and design that actions between them be litigated only 173979, Feb. 12,
at the place named by them, regardless of the general precepts of 2007)
Rule 4; and any doubt or uncertainty as to the parties’ intentions
must be resolved against giving their agreement a restrictive or
mandatory aspect. Any other rule would permit of individual, Examples of words with restrictive meanings are: xxx “only”,
subjective judicial interpretations without stable standards, “solely”, “exclusively in this court”, “in no other court save –“,
which could well result in precedents in hopeless inconsistency.” “particularly”, “nowhere else but/except --, or words of equal
import xxx” (Pacific Consultants International Asia, Inc. v.
Schonfeld, GR 166920 Feb. 19, 2007)
However, there are cases in which you cannot find the word
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 Cases like Hoechst, Inc. v. Torres, 83 SCRA 297 and Bautista v.
happened in the 1994 case of de Borja 18 SCRA 474 and other rulings contrary to the
Polytrade doctrine are deemed superseded by current decisions
on venue.
GESMUNDO vs. JRB REALTY CORP – 234 SCRA 153

In Supena v. de la Rosa 334 Phil. 671, it was ruled that Hoechst


FACTS: This involves a lease contract which contain a
had been rendered obsolete by recent jurisprudence applying
stipulation on venue. Here is the language of the lease
the doctrine enunciated in Polytrade (Auction in Malinta Inc. v.
contract: “venue for all suits, whether for breach hereof or
Luyaben)
damages or any cause between the LESSOR and the
LESSEE, and persons claiming under each, being the courts
of appropriate jurisdiction in Pasay City…” This conflict was resolved in the case of PHIL. BANKING vs.
TENSUAN (228 SCRA 385) where the SC ruled that the ruling in
BAUTISTA vs. DE BORJA and HOECHST PHILS. vs. TORRES has
In other words, if there is a case, they agreed to file it in the
been rendered obsolete by the POLYTRADE ruling and
court of Pasay City.
subsequent cases reiterated it. So the ruling in POLYTRADE is
the correct ruling. Forget what the SC said in the
ISSUE: Is this intention of the parties to make Pasay City an abovementioned two cases.
exclusive venue?
When stipulation would be contrary to public policy of making
HELD: Pasay City is the exclusive venue. “It is true that in courts accessible to all who may have need of their service
Polytrade Corporation v. Blanco, a stipulation that ‘The
parties agree to sue and be sued in the City of Manila’ was
held to merely provide an additional forum in the absence SWEET LINES vs. TEVES – 83 SCRA 361
of any qualifying or restrictive words. But here, by laying in
Pasay City the venue for all suits, the parties made it plain
that in no other place may they bring suit against each FACTS: This is a Cagayan de Oro case which involves Sweet
other for breach contract or damages or any other cause Lines, a shipping company with the head office in Cebu.
between them and persons claiming under each of them.” The respondent Teves is the former City Fiscal of Davao
In other words, the intention of the parties is to make Pasay City, former Mayor and became judge of CFI of Cagayan de
City the exclusive venue. Oro
City.
The following stipulations were likewise treated as merely
permissive and did not limit the venue: There was a group of passenger who rode on the Sweet
Lines bound for Cebu City. During the trip, they were given
a. xxxThe agreed venue for such action is Makati, Metro a crude treatment by the officers of the vessel. When they
Manila, Philippines (Mangila v. CA 435 Phil. 870). came back in Cagayan de Oro City, they filed a suit for
damages against Sweet Lines. They file the case in the
b. “In case of litigation hereunder, venue shall be in the former CFI, now RTC, of Cagayan de Oro City because the
plaintiffs are residents of Cagayan de Oro City.
City Court or Court of First Instance of Manila as the
case may be for determination of any and all questions
Sweet Lines filed a motion to dismiss questioning the venue
arising thereunder.” (Phil. Bank of Communications v.
of the action because in the ticket issued by Sweet Lines, it
Trazo, GR
is stipulated that “…in case of a civil action arising from the
165500, Sug. 30, 2006) contract of carriage, the venue of the action shall be the City
of Cebu ONLY and in no other place.” So there is a restrictive
c. “It is hereby agreed that in case of foreclosure of this word. Obviously the lawyers of Sweet Lines knew about
mortgage under ACT 3135, as amended, and Polytrade because they moved to dismiss the case citing
Presidential Decree No. 385, the auction sale shall be this case.
held at the capital of the province, if the property is
within the territorial jurisdiction of the province Judge Teves denied the motion to dismiss the case despite
concerned, or shall be held in the city, if the property the stipulation. According to him, it is unfair. If I will
is within the territorial jurisdiction of the city dismiss the case based on this stipulation, the aggrieved
concerned”(Langkaan Realty Development, Inc. v. parties will be discouraged in going to Cebu. It is very
UCPB GR 139427, Dec. 8, 2000) expensive and they will be inconvenienced. But, if the case

85
will go on in Cagayan de Oro, it will not inconvenienced HELD: The ruling in Sweet Lines vs. Teves does not apply.
Sweet Lines because they have their branch office, their You are bound by the stipulation. Why? You are a lawyer so
manager and their own lawyer. you klnow the implication of the stipulation signed.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cagayan de Oro is the proper venue. Q: Distinguish JURISDICTION from VENUE.

HELD: YES. Judge Teves was correct in not dismissing the A: The following are the distinctions:
case.
1) JURISDICTION refers to the authority of the court to
First of all, the stipulation is placed in the ticket. These hear the case, whereas
people never even bothered to read this. Nakalagay na iyan
diyan eh. So either you take it or you leave it. Therefore, the VENUE refers only to the place where the action is
passengers did not have a hand in preparing that to be heard or tried;
stipulation. So the contract is a contract of adhesion.
2) JURISDICTION over the subject matter cannot he
Second, again for the sake of equity, to be fair that these waived; whereas
poor people will be compelled to go to Cebu to file a case
there. They will be discouraged. It is very expensive to go
VENUE is waivable and can be subject of agreement;
back and forth to Cebu. Whereas, Sweet Lines has the
resources, the means, the lawyers here in Cagayan to
litigate. Therefore, it would be inequitable to compel them 3) JURISDICTION is governed by substantive law –
or to apply the stipulation there. Judiciary Law, BP 129; whereas

VENUE is governed by procedural law – Rule 4 of the


The ruling in SWEET LINES is an exception to POLYTRADE Rules of Court;
despite the exclusive stipulation. The SC said that the refusal of
the court to apply it is correct. There is no grave abuse of 4) JURISDICTION establishes a relation between the
discretion on the part of Judge Teves. court and the subject matter; whereas

ARQUERO vs. FLOJO – 168 SCRA 54 VENUE creates a relation between the plaintiff and
defendant, or petitioner and respondent; and

FACTS: Arquero here is lawyer and the municipal mayor of 5) JURISDICTION or lack of it over the subject matter
the municipality of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan Valley. He sent a is a ground for a motu proprio dismissal; whereas
telegram through the RCPI branch in Cagayan addressed to
a Congressman in stating: I will go there to Manila, I will VENUE is not except in cases subject to summary
see you in your office on this particular date. procedure.

When he went to the office of the congressman after a few


days, who was mad at him telling him “So you are here to BAR QUESTION: State in what instance the jurisdiction and
ask for a favor for your own but your telegram was charged venue coincide.
collect! Arquero was stunned and embarrassed because he
paid for the telegram.
Upon his return to Cagayan, he filed an action for damages
A: In CRIMINAL CASES because in criminal cases, venue is
against RCPI. But in the RCPI telegraph form, there is a
territorial jurisdiction. But in civil cases, jurisdiction and venue
stipulation that “venue of any action shall be the court of
are two different things. They do not coincide.
Quezon City alone and in no other courts.” So the venue is
restrictive and RCPI filed a motion to dismiss citing as
ground improper venue.

The trial court granted the motion. Arquero went to the SC


citing the case of SWEET LINES where despite the fact of a
restrictive stipulation, SC refused to apply the POLYTRADE
ruling.

86
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.

PROCEDURE IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL parties submitted to the court for


COURTS Rule 6 appropriate judgment. (1a)

KINDS OF PLEADINGS Q: Define pleadings


SECTION 1. Pleadings Defined. Pleadings
are the written statements of the A: PLEADINGS are the written statements of the respective
respective claims and defenses of the claims and defenses of the parties submitted to the court for
appropriate judgment. (Section 1) Under the Rules, “pleadings” system is based on codified rules or written set of procedure as
cannot be oral because they are clearly described as “written” distinguished from common laws procedure. (Marquez and
statements. Gutierrez Lora v.
Varela, 92 Phil. 373)
This is the document where a party will state his claim against
the defendant; or where the defendant will state also his Sec. 2 – Pleadings allowed – The claims of a
defense. Pleadings merely tell a story. You tell your story there, party are asserted in a complaint,
the other party will tell his story. counterclaim, cross-claim, third (fourth,
etc.)
Necessity and purpose of pleadings – party complaint, or
complaint-inintervention.
1) Pleadings are necessary to invoke the jurisdiction of
the court (71 C.J.S. Pleadings). It is necessary, in order The defenses of a party are alleged in the
to confer jurisdiction on a court, that the subject answer to the pleading asserting a claim
matter be presented for its consideration in a mode against him.
sanctioned by law and this is done by the filing of the
complaint or other pleading. Unless a complaint or An answer may be responded to by a reply.
other pleading is filed, the judgment of a court of (n)
record is void and subject to collateral attack even
though it may be a court which has jurisdiction over Section 2 tells us what pleadings are allowed by the Rules of
the subject matter referred to in the judgment. Court. In a civil case, there are actually two (2) contending
parties:
2) Pleadings are intended to secure a method by which
the issues may be properly laid before the court. 1) the person suing or filing a claim; and
(Santiago v. 2) the person being sued or defending.
de los Santos 61 SCRA 146).
Q: If you are the claimant or the plaintiff, in what pleading do
3) Pleadings are designed to present, define and narrow you assert your claim?
the issues, to limit the proof to be submitted in the
trial, to advise the court and the adverse party of the
A: Complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third-party complaint
issues and what are relied upon as the causes of
or fourth-party complaint, etc.
action or
defense. (71 CJS)
On the other hand, if you are the party sued, you also have to
file your pleading or your defense. It is known as the ANSWER.
The counterpart of pleadings in criminal procedure is The defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading
information, or the criminal complaint where a prosecutor will asserting a claim against him. If I file a complaint against you,
tell what crime you are being accused – what you did, time, the in response, you will file an answer.
victim, etc.

In the last paragraph, an answer may be responded by a REPLY.


Construction of pleadings I file a complaint. You file an answer invoking your defenses. If I
want to respond to your defenses, I will file a REPLY.
In this jurisdiction, all pleadings shall be liberally construed so
as to do substantial justice (Concrete Aggregate Corp. v. CA 266 COMPLAINT ANSWER REPLY
SCRA 88). Pleadings should receive a fair and reasonable
construction in accordance with the natural intendment of the
words and language used and the subject matter involved. The That is the pattern.
intendment of the pleader is the controlling factor in construing Q: Summarizing all of them, what are the known pleadings
a pleading and should be read in accordance with its substance, recognized by the law on Civil Procedure?
not its form.
A: There are seven (7) types of pleadings:
While it is the rule that pleadings should be liberally construed,
it has also been ruled that a party is strictly bound by the 1) Complaint;
allegations, statements or admissions made in his pleading and 2) Answer;
cannot be permitted to take a contradictory position. (Santiago 3) Counterclaim;
v. de los Santos 61 SCRA 146) 4) Cross-claim;
5) Reply
Construction of ambiguous allegations in pleadings 6) Third (Fourth, Fifth, etc.) – Party Complaint; 7)
Complaint-in-Intervention.
In case there are ambiguities in the pleadings, the same must
be construed most strongly against the pleader and that no Pleadings allowed under the Rules on Summary Procedure
presumptions in his favor are to be indulged in. This rule
proceeds from the theory that it is the pleader who selects the
Note however, that when a case falls under the Rules on
language used and if his pleading is open to different
Summary Procedure, the only pleadings allowed to be filed are:
constructions, such ambiguities must be at the pleader’s peril.
(61 Am Jur, Pleading)
1) Complaint;
2) Compulsory Counterclaim;
System of pleading in the Philippines
3) Cross-claim pleaded in the Answer; and
4) Answers thereto (Sec. 3 [A]II, Rules on Summary
The system is the Code Pleading following the system observed
Procedure)
in some states of the US like California and New York. This
2) legal conclusions, conclusions or inferences of facts
Permissive Counterclaims, third-party complaints, reply and from facts not stated, or incorrect inferences or
pleadings-in-intervention are prohibited. (Sec. 9, IV) conclusions from facts stated;
3) the details of probative matter or particulars of
Pleading and motion evidence, statements of law, inferences and
arguments;
4) an allegation that a contract is valid or void is a mere
1.) the purpose of a pleading is to submit a claim or
conclusion of law.
defense for appropriate judgment while the
purpose of a motion is to apply for an order not
For EXAMPLE: Mr. P wants to sue Mr. R to collect an unpaid
included in the judgment; loan. Mr. R borrowed money from Mr. P and refused to pay.
Normally, it starts with an introduction: “Plaintiff, through
2.) a pleading may be initiatory like a complaint while counsel, respectfully alleges that…” Then it is followed by
a motion can never be such as it is filed in a case paragraphs which are numbered. For instance:
that is already pending in court;
Illustration:
3.) A pleading is always filed before judgment while a
motion may be filed after judgment;
1) Plaintiff Mr. P, of legal age, is a resident of 79 P. del
Rosario St., Cebu City; whereas defendant Mr. R also
4.) There are only 9 kinds of pleadings while any of legal age, is a resident of 29 Pelaez St. Cebu City
application for a relief other a judgment can be
where summons and other processes of this
made in a motion' however, there are only three
court may be served;
motions which actually seek judgment namely:

a) a motion for judgment on the pleadings (R 2) On Nov. 7, 2008, defendant secured a loan from
34); plaintiff in the sum of P30,000.00 payable within
b) a motion for summary judgment (R 35); one (1) year form said date with legal interest;
c) Demurrer to Evidence
3) The account is already due and despite repeated
5.) a pleading must be written while a motion may be demands, defendant failed and refused to pay;
oral
when made in open court or in the course of a hearing
or trial. PRAYER
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be
A.) COMPLAINT rendered against the defendant ordering him to pay the loan
of P30,000.00 and interest in favor of the plaintiff.
Sec. 3. Complaint – The complaint is the
pleading alleging the plaintiff’s cause or Plaintiff further prays for such other reliefs as may be just and
causes of action. The names and equitable under the premises.
residences of the plaintiff and defendant Your allegations must contain the four (4) elements of a Cause
must be stated in the complaint. of Action – the Right, the Obligation, the Delict or Wrong or
Violation of Your Right, and the Damage.

Q: Define complaint B.) ANSWER

A: COMPLAINT is the pleading where the plaintiff will allege his Sec. 4 – Answer – An answer is a pleading
cause or causes of action. A complaint is also called the in which a defending party sets forth his
INITIATORY PLEADING because it is actually the first pleading defenses. (4a)
filed in court. It is the pleading that initiates the civil action.
Q: What is the pleading where you respond?
Rule 8 requires that it should contain a concise statement of the
ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action not
A: It is called the ANSWER. That is where you will state your
evidentiary facts or legal conclusions.
defenses. That is why an ANSWER is called a Responsive
Pleading.
Ultimate facts refer to the essential facts constituting the
plaintiff's cause of action.
Q: Why is it called “Responsive Pleading”?

The fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving


A: Because it is the pleading which is filed in response to the
the statement of the cause of action insufficient.
complaint or a pleading containing a claim. It is where you
respond to the cause of action. That is where you state your
Test of sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint: defenses.

Determine whether upon the averment of facts, a valid judgment So you can file an answer to the complaint; answer to the
may be properly rendered. counterclaim, answer to the cross-claim, etc.

What are not ultimate facts: It is something which is not found in Criminal Procedure.

1) evidentiary or immaterial facts;


Q: If you are charged with a crime, how do you answer?
A: By pleading guilty or not guilty. That is the answer. When While it is a denial in form, its substance actually has the effect
you plead guilty, and the offense is not punishable by reclusion of an admission because of a too literal denial of the allegations
perpetua to death it is the end. sought to be denied. This arises when the pleader merely
repeats the allegations in a negative form.
There is no writing of defenses, no written answer in criminal
cases. It (pleadings) only applies to civil cases where you allege In the example above, when the answer states:
your defenses.
"The defendant did not secure a loan from the plaintiff on Nov.
Q: What are the defenses under the Rules? 6, 2008 in the amount of P30,000.00 payable within one year."

A: That is Section 5. b.) Answer; AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

Sec. 5 – Defenses – Defenses may either be Q: Define an AFFIRMATIVE defense.


negative or affirmative.
A: In paragraph (b), it is briefly called a defense of confession
A NEGATIVE DEFENSE – is the specific and avoidance because, while the defendant may admit the
denial of the material fact or facts alleged material allegation in the complaint, however, he will plead a
in the pleading of the claimant essential new matter which will prevent a recovery by the plaintiff. I
to his cause or causes of action. admit what you are saying in the complaint but still you are not
entitled to recover from me.
An AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE – is an
allegation of a new matter which, while EXAMPLE: Defendant may say: Defendant admits the allegation
hypothetically admitting the material
in par. 2 of the Complaint, but alleges that the action has
allegations in the pleading of the claimant,
prescribed.
would nevertheless prevent or bar
recovery by him. He confesses to having borrowed money but avoids liability by
asserting prescription.

Defenses may either be negative or affirmative.


Examples of affirmative defenses are: fraud, statute of
limitations, release, payment, illegality, statute of frauds,
b.) Answer; NEGATIVE DEFENSES; estoppel, former recovery, discharge in bankruptcy, and any
other matter by way of confession and avoidance.
Q: Define a NEGATIVE defense.
A: Paragraph [a]: Briefly, it is a defense of specific denial where Suppose, you sue me for damages arising from
you deny the statement in the complaint and you state the facts breach of contract. I admit I entered into a
and the reason/s on which your denial is based. In a negative contract but I have no obligation to comply
defense, the defendant specifically denies a material fact or facts because the contract is null and void. Or, the
alleged in the pleading of the claimant essential to his cause of contract is illegal. Or, the stipulation is contrary
action. to public policy, therefore, I am not bound. I
admit what you say but I am not liable because of
EXAMPLE: The complaint says in paragraph 2, “On November the illegality of the subject matter of the
6, 2008, defendant secured a loan from plaintiff in the amount contract.
of P30,000.00 payable one (1) year from November 6,2008.

The defendant will say in his answer: 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
“Defendant specifically denies the allegation in for specific performance or for damages. Then I say: “It’s true
Paragraph 2 of the complaint. The truth of the that I entered into a contract with you. It’s true I did not
matter being that he never secured any loan from comply. But there is nothing you can do because the contract
plaintiff because he does not even know the is oral and the contract is covered by the statute of frauds. In
plaintiff and he did not see his face before.” order to be enforceable, we should have reduced it into writing.
Since we never reduced it into writing, I am not bound to
comply.”
That is a negative defense. You said I borrowed money from you.
“No, I don’t even know you. I have not seen you before.” He
denies the existence of the loan. That is known as the negative c.) COUNTERCLAIMS
defense. It is a denial of a material fact which constitutes the
plaintiff’s cause of action. That’s why it is briefly called a Sec. 6. Counterclaim. - A counterclaim is
“Defense of Specific Denial”. any claim which a defending party may
have against an opposing party. (6a)
Insufficient denial or denial amounting to admissions:
EXAMPLE: You file a case against me for damage to your car.
According to you in your complaint, while you were driving your
1. General denial; and
car along the highway carefully, I came along driving recklessly
2. denial in the form of negative pregnant
and bumped your car causing damages amounting to
P50,000.00 for repair. Your allegation is based on negligence on
Negative pregnant is a denial in such form as to imply or my part.
express an admission of the substantial fact which apparently is
controverted. It is form of denial which really admits the
My answer is denial: “That is not true! I deny that! I was the
important facts contained in the allegations to which it relates.
one driving carefully and you were driving carelessly and
negligently. Therefore, if you are the proximate cause of the
accident, I’m not liable for the damage of your car.” That’s my
answer – I’m not liable because you are negligent. Because you administrator of the estate of A. The real plaintiff is the
were the one negligent, my car was also damaged. I am not estate of A. X is just the legal representative. Therefore, you
liable for the damage on your car. As a matter of fact, you are cannot file a counterclaim against X in the latter’s personal
the one that should be held liable to pay for the damage of my capacity when X is suing W in a representative capacity.
car. I am now claiming for the damage of P50,000.00. That is
called COUNTERCLAIM. The SC said that the plaintiff should be sued in a counterclaim
in the SAME CAPACITY that he is suing the defendant. That’s a
Nature of a counterclaim principle to remember.
PERMISSIVE & COMPULSORY
A counterclaim is in the nature of a cross-complaint. Although it COUNTERCLAIMS
may be alleged in the answer, it is not part of the answer. Upon
its filing, the same proceedings are had as in the original
complaint. For this this reason it is to be answered within ten
Sec. 7 – Compulsory counterclaim – A
(10) days from service.
compulsory counterclaim is one which,
being cognizable by the regular courts of
According to a lawyer who is fluent in Cebuano, he called it justice, arises out of or is connected with
balos. He was explaining to his client that they have the transaction or occurrence constituting
counterclaim. the subject matter of the opposing party’s
Therefore, there is one civil case but there are two (2) causes claim and does not require for its
involved – the main cause of action in the complaint and that in adjudication the presence of third parties
the counterclaim. There are two (2) issues to be resolved by the of whom the court cannot acquire
court. jurisdiction. Such a counterclaim must be
within the jurisdiction of the court both as
to the amount and the nature thereof,
Q: If your complaint against me is to recover a sum of money, except that in the original action before
should my counterclaim also involve recovery of sum of money? the Regional Trial Court, the counterclaim
may be considered compulsory.
A: NO. There is no such rule that these two (2) cases should be
similar in nature. (De Borja vs. De Borja, 101 Phil. 911) It is Under the Rules, there are two types of counterclaim:
possible for you to file case for recovery of a piece of land and
my counterclaim is recovery of damages arising from a vehicular
1) COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM and,
accident.
2) PERMISSIVE COUNTERCLAIM.

Q: Suppose your claim against me is One (1) Million, is it


Q: How do you distinguish one from the other? When is a
possible that my counterclaim against you is Two (2) Million?
counterclaim compulsory and when is it permissive?

A: YES. There is no rule which limits my counterclaim to the A: The ELEMENTS of a COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM are
same amount you are claiming. A counterclaim need not found in Section 7. If we will outline Section 7, we will see that a
diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party, counterclaim is compulsory if the following requisites are
but may claim relief exceeding in amount or different in kind present:
from that sought by the opposing party. (De Borja vs. De Borja,
101 Phil. 911)
1) It is cognizable by the regular courts of justice;
Q: You file a case against me for recovery of unpaid loan. My
counterclaim is, rescission of partnership contract. Is the 2) It arises out of or it is connected with a transaction or
counterclaim proper? occurrence constituting a subject matter of the
opposing
party’s claim;
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 the same parties. If you will not allow me to file my 3) It does not require for its adjudication the presence of
counterclaim against you, that will be another case in the third parties of whom the court cannot acquire
future. So to avoid multiplying suits, clogging the dockets of the jurisdiction;
court and making the proceedings more expensive, violating the
purpose of the rules, the parties are allowed to include all their 4) It must be within the jurisdiction of the court, both as
claims against each other in one case. to the amount and the nature thereof, except that in
an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim
Same capacity rule may be
considered compulsory regardless of the amount; and
DE BORJA vs. DE BORJA - 101 Phil 911
5) The defending party has a counterclaim at the time he
files his answer.

FACTS: A died, of course, what survives after that is the


The fifth requisite is not found in Section 7 but in Rule 11,
estate. X was appointed as administrator or legal
Section 8:
representative. W owes a sum of money to the estate of A
and X filed a case against W to collect the unpaid loan. X is
called the REPRESENTATIVE PARTY under Rule 3, Section Rule 11, Sec. 8. Existing counterclaim or
3. W filed an answer and stated that W has a claim against crossclaim. - A compulsory counterclaim or
X. W filed a counterclaim against X in the case. a crossclaim that a defending party has at
the time he files his answer shall be
contained therein.
HELD: The counterclaim is improper. When X sued W, X is
(8a, R6)
not suing in his own personal capacity. He is acting as
Another way of saying it is, the counterclaim has already Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of or connected with the
matured at the time he files his answer. That is the fifth subject matter of your claim or not?
requisite.
Q: What happens if one of these requisites is missing? A: YES. We are talking of the same subject matter. Thus, the
counterclaim is compulsory.
A: If one of the five requisites is missing, the counterclaim is
permissive in nature. PROBLEM: T files a case against me for recovery of a piece of
land. My counterclaim against her is damages arising from a
Discussion of the elements vehicular collision.

First Element: A COUNTERCLAIM TO BE COMPULSORY Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of a subject matter of your
MUST BE COGNIZABLE BY THE REGULAR action?
COURTS.
A: NO. It is completely different. Thus, that is a permissive
In other words, if you file a complaint against me and I have a counterclaim.
counterclaim against you in the Labor Code, then it cannot be
classified as a compulsory claim because how can I invoke MELITON vs. CA – 216 SCRA 485
against you a claim which is cognizable by the NLRC before the
RTC?

HELD: “It has been postulated that while a number of


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

PROBLEM: Now, suppose the counterclaim is PERMISSIVE. My PROBLEM: Now, the defendant would like to claim for
cause of action against her is damages arising against a reimbursement for the necessary expenses that he spent in my
vehicular collision. lot. The case I filed against you is forcible entry in the MTC.
Your necessary expenses amount to P350,000.
Q: Is the counterclaim allowed?
Q: Should you raise it as a compulsory counterclaim in the
A: Yes, allowed. forcible entry case?

Q: My decision is not to file a counterclaim but to file another A: NO.


case against her. Is that allowed?
Q: Does it arise out of or connected with the transaction which
A: Yes, that is allowed. Meaning, I may or may not raise it as a is the subject matter of the main action? Why not compulsory?
counterclaim because it is permissive. I am permitted to raise it
as a counterclaim but I am not obliged. I may decide to file A: Because the MTC has no jurisdiction over the P350,000
another action against you. That is the importance between a amount for the necessary expenses. This time, that is the
compulsory counterclaim and a permissive counterclaim. missing element.

Third Requisite: IT DOES NOT REQUIRE FOR ITS Q: How will the defendant claim reimbursement?
ADJUDICATION PRESENCE OF THIRD PARTIES OF WHOM
THE COURT CANNOT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION. A: He has to file with the RTC a case for reimbursement. He
cannot use that as a counterclaim for the forcible entry case
Meaning, if my counterclaim against you will involve the because the MTC has no jurisdiction on a counterclaim where
presence of an indispensable party who is, let’s say, abroad, and the amount is over P300,000.00.
therefore, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over him, if I
don’t allege it as counterclaim in my answer, I will not be barred I will reverse the problem:
from filing a separate action.
PROBLEM: The plaintiff filed against the defendant an action
Fourth Element: THAT THE COUNTERCLAIM MUST BE for accion publiciana – recovery for a piece of land where the
WITHIN THE value of the property is P1 million. So the case should be filed in
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT BOTH AS TO THE AMOUNT the RTC. Now, the defendant is claiming for the reimbursement
AND NATURE THEREOF of the improvements thereon (necessary expenses) amounting to
P50,000.
Q: Should the defendant raise that as a counterclaim in the
Rules: accion publiciana case?

1) A counterclaim before the MTC must be within the A: YES.


jurisdiction of the said court, both as to the amount
and nature thereof.
In the first example, the counterclaim is above the jurisdiction
of the MTC. This time, the amount for the counterclaim is below
2) In an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim
the jurisdiction of the RTC. So the RTC can claim jurisdiction.
may be considered compulsory regardless of the
amount.
Q: How can the RTC try a counterclaim when the claim is only
P50,000?
3) However, the nature of the action is always material
such that unlawful detainer cannot be set up in the
RTC. A: It is in accordance with the exception under Section 7:
“except that in an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim
may be considered compulsory regardless of the amount.” This
4) If a counterclaim is filed in the MTC in excess of its
means that the main action is accion publiciana—RTC. The
jurisdictional amount, the excess is considered waived
counterclaim is reimbursement for necessary expenses with
(Agustin v. Bacalan GR No. 46000, March 18, 1985)
arose out of the same land. Normally, the RTC cannot try that
but the answer to this question is YES.
In Calo v. Ajax In'tl GR No. 22485, March 16, 1968, the remedy
where a counterclaim is beyond the jurisdiction of the MTC is to
The RTC can award a claim for damages even though the claim
set off the claims and file a separate action to collect the
is below its jurisdiction. The principle is: Since the counterclaim
balance.
is compulsory, jurisdiction over the main action automatically
carries with it jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim.
Q: I will file a case against you for forcible entry. I want to The compulsory counterclaim is merely incidental to the main
recover a piece of land. Where is the jurisdiction of that case? action. Jurisdiction of the RTC over the main action necessarily
carries with it jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim
A: MTC. which is merely ancillary.
If the main action is with the MTC, it cannot try the automatically joined by the allegations of the complaint (Gojo v.
counterclaim with the RTC. It is beyond its jurisdiction. It is not Goyala, GR No. 26768, Oct. 30, 1970)
covered by the exception. But if it is the main action which is
within the jurisdiction of the RTC, it can try a counterclaim General Rule: A compulsory counterclaim not set up in the
which is below its jurisdiction provided it arose out or is answer is deemed barred.
connected with the transaction.
Exceptions:
That exception is not written in the prior rules but it is a
recognized exception laid down by the SC which is now written
1. if it is a counterclaim which either matured or was
down in the law. In the case of
acquired by a party after serving his answer. In this
case it may be pleaded by filing a supplemental answer
MACEDA vs. CA – 176 SCRA 440 or pleading before judgment (Sec. 9 R 11);

2. When a pleader fails to set-up a counterclaim through


HELD: “The jurisdiction of the MTC in a civil action for sum oversight, inadvertence, excusable negligence, or when
of money is limited to a demand that does not exceed justice requires, he may, by leave of court, set up the
P100,000 (now P300,000) exclusive of interest and costs. A counterclaim by amendment of the pleading before
counterclaim beyond its jurisdiction and limit may be judgment (Sec. 10, R 11).
pleaded only by way of defense to weaken the plaintiff’s
claim, but not to obtain affirmative relief.” The filing of a motion to dismiss and the setting up of a
compulsory counterclaim are incompatible remedies. In the
Fifth Requisite: THE DEFENDING PARTY HAS A event that a defending party has a ground for dismissal and a
COUNTERCLAIM AT THE TIME HE FILES HIS compulsory counterclaim, he must choose only one remedy. If
ANSWER he decides to file a motion to dismiss, he cannot set up his
counterclaim. But if he opts to set up his counterclaim, he may
How can I make a claim against you which is not yet existing? still plead his ground for dismissal as an affirmative defense in
Even if all the other requisites are present, the counterclaim his answer.
would still not be compulsory because how can one invoke
something now which he can acquire in the future? COUNTERCLAIMS IN CRIMINAL CASES
So, those are the five essential elements. You remove one, the
counterclaim becomes permissive. JAVIER vs. IAC – 171 SCRA 605

Q: Again. What is the importance of distinguishing whether the FACTS: The Javier spouses filed a criminal case against
counterclaim is compulsory or permissive? Leon Gutierrez Jr, under BP 22 or the Bouncing Check Law,
for issuing a bad check. The criminal case was filed before
A: If the counterclaim is compulsory, the defendant is obliged the RTC of Makati. The complainants did not reserve the
under the law to raise it as a counterclaim in the action where civil action. The implication is that the claim for civil
he is being sued. If he fails to invoke it, it is barred forever (Rule liability is deemed instituted with the criminal case.
9 Section 2).
Gutierrez in turn filed a civil action for damages against the
If the counterclaim is permissive, the defendant has a choice of Javier spouses in the RTC of Catarman, Northern Samar,
raising it as a counterclaim in the case filed against him or he where he accused the spouses of having tricked him into
may decide to file another action against the plaintiff, raising it signing the check.
as his cause of action. It is permitted but not obliged.
What happened now is that he was being criminally sued in
Compulsory and Permissive Counterclaim compared: Makati but defending himself in Catarman, Northern
Samar. He is explaining in the Samar court what he should
1) A compulsory counterclaim arises out of or is be doing in the Makati court.
necessarily connected with the transaction or
occurrence that is the subject matter of the other HELD: The civil case in Samar should be dismissed. It must
party's claim, while a be in the Makati court that Gutierrez, as accused in the
permissive counterclaim is not; criminal charge of violation of BP 22, should explain why he
issued the bouncing check. He should explain that story in
2) A compulsory counterclaim does not require for its Makati and not in Samar.
adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the
court cannot acquire jurisdiction while a permissive This should have been done in the form of a counterclaim
counterclaim may require such; for damages for the alleged deception by the Javier spouses.
In fact, the counterclaim was compulsory and should have
3) A compulsory counterclaim is barred it not set up in been filed by Gutierrez upon the implied institution of the
the action, while a permissive counterclaim is not; civil action for damages in the criminal case.

4) A compulsory counterclaim need not be answered, no What the SC is saying is, since the civil action for damages is
default, while a permissive counterclaim must be impliedly instituted in the criminal case, and he wants to hold
answered otherwise the defendant can be declared in you liable for filing this case, he should file a counterclaim
default. against you 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 such thing as a counterclaim in a criminal
A plaintiff who fails or chooses not to answer a compulsory
case, because, normally, counterclaims are only recognized in
counterclaim may not be declared in default, principally
civil cases. But since the civil action is deemed instituted in the
because the issues raised in the counterclaim are deemed
criminal case, the accused can file a counterclaim against the Sec. 8. Cross-claim. A cross-claim is any
offended party in the criminal action. claim by one party against a co-party
arising out of the transaction or
The trouble in this ruling is that, it has been subjected to a lot occurrence that is the subject matter
either of the original action or of a
of criticisms by academicians – professors of Remedial Law,
counterclaim therein. Such cross-claim
authors – they criticized the ruling. It provokes more problems
may include a claim that the party against
than answers. A justice of the SC remarked, “I think we made a
whom it is asserted is or may be liable to
mistake (privately ba) in the Javier ruling. Kaya it was never
the cross-claimant for all or part of a claim
repeated. asserted in the action against the
crossclaimant.(7)
The SC, in 1997, had another chance to comment on Javier in
the case of— A cross claim is a claim by one party against a co-party. It may
be a claim by defendant against his co-defendant arising out of
the subject matter of the main action.
CABAERO vs. CANTOS - 271 SCRA 392
Examples:
NOTE: Here, the Javier ruling was set aside.
• In an action for damages against the judgment creditor
HELD: “The logic and cogency of Javier notwithstanding, and the Sheriff for having sold real property of the
some reservations and concerns were voiced out by plaintiff, the Sheriff may file a cross-claim against the
members of the Court during the deliberations on the judgment creditor for whatever amount he may be
present case. These were engendered by the obvious lacuna adjudged to pay the plaintiff.
in the Rules of Court, which contains no express provision
for the adjudication of a counterclaim in a civil action • In an action against a co-signer of a promissory note
impliedly instituted in a criminal case.” one of whom is merely an accommodation party, the
latter may file a cross-claim against the party
“By the foregoing discussion, we do not imply any fault in accommodated for whatever amount he may be
Javier. The real problem lies in the absence of clear-cut adjudged to pay the plaintiff.
rules governing the prosecution of impliedly instituted civil
actions and the necessary consequences and implications • J and P are solidary debtors for the sum of
thereof. For this reason, the counter-claim of the accused P100,000.00 because they signed a promissory note in
cannot be tried together with the criminal case because, as favor of D to collect the sum of P100,000.00. However,
already discussed, it will unnecessarily complicate and although J signed the promissory note, he did not get
confuse the criminal proceedings. Thus, the trial court a single centavo. Everything went to P. Both of them
should confine itself to the criminal aspect and the possible are now sued. According to J, “Actually there is a
civil liability of the accused arising out of the crime. The possibility that I will pay the P100,000 to Dean when
counter-claim (and cross-claim or third party complaint, if actually I did not even get a single centavo out of it.
any) should be set aside or refused cognizance without Everything went to P!” Therefore, J will now file a case
prejudice to their filing in separate proceedings at the against P where he will allege that if J will be held
proper time.” liable to D, P will reimburse him (J). So, J will also file
a claim in the same action against P.
“At balance, until there are definitive rules of
procedure to govern the institution, prosecution and Now, the claim filed by J against his co-defendant P is
resolution of the civil aspect and the consequences called a CROSS-CLAIM where J is called defendant in
and implications thereof impliedly instituted in a the case filed by D and a cross-claimant against P. P is
criminal case, trial courts should limit their also the defendant in the case filed by D and a
jurisdiction to the civil liability of the accused arising crossdefendant with respect to the cross-claim filed by
from the criminal case.” J. So that is another case which a defendant is filing
against another defendant.

This means SC admitted that the Javier doctrine put more Limitations on Cross-Claim
problems and confusions in the absence of specific rules. The
counterclaim should not be tried together in a criminal case.
1. Must arise out of the subject matter of the complaint
The trial court should confine itself in the criminal action and
or counterclaim;
that the counterclaim should be set aside without prejudice to
2. Can be filed only against a co-party; and
its right in setting up actions in the civil action.
3. Is proper only when the cross claimant stands to be
prejudiced by the filing of the action against him.
NOTE: The ruling in the case of CABAERO is now incorporated
in the last paragraph of Section 1, paragraph [a], Rule 111 of
the 2000 Revised Criminal Procedure:
Purpose: To settle in a single proceeding all the claims of the
different parties in the case against each other in order to avoid
“No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-
multiplicity of suits (Republic vs. Paredes, GR No. L-12548, May
party complaint may be filed by the
20, 1960).
accused in the criminal case, but any
cause of action which could have been the Take note that the cross-claim of J against P is merely an off-
subject thereof may be litigated in a shoot of the case filed by D against J and P. Meaning, it arises
separate civil action.” out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject
matter of the case filed by D against them.
D.) CROSS-CLAIMS
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, “Well, since we are already here, I also have a claim 1.) Mortz and Charles, plaintiffs, filed a case against
against P for damages arising from a vehicular collision.” Jet and Pao, defendants. There are two plaintiffs
suing two different defendants on a promissory
Q: Is the cross-claim allowed in the problem? note. Both Jet and Pao signed the promissory note
in favor of Mortz and Charles:
A: NO. The cross-claim is improper. It has no connection with
the complaint of D against J and P. A counter-claim must COMPLAINT (Collection case – Main
always arise out of a transaction or occurrence that is the
Action) MORTZ and CHARLES,
subject matter of the main action.
plaintiffs
BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a COUNTERCLAIM from a
CROSSCLAIM. -versus-
JET and PAO, defendants
A: The following are the distinctions:

2.) Now, according to Jet, every centavo of the loan


1) A COUNTERCLAIM is a complaint by the
defendant against the plaintiff, whereas, went to Pao. So Jet files a cross-claim against Pao:

A CROSS-CLAIM is a claim by a defendant against a CROSS-CLAIM ON THE MAIN ACTION


co-defendant; Defendant JET, now cross-claimant

2) The life of the CROSS-CLAIM depends on the life -versus-


of the main action. A cross-claim is merely a
consequence of the case filed by the plaintiff Defendant PAO, now cross-defendant
against the defendants. No main action, no
crossclaim (RUIZ, JR. vs. CA, infra). Whereas,
3.) Jet also says, “Actually I have a case against Mortz
and Charles because they entered my land and
In a COUNTERCLAIM, you can kill the main
gathered some of its product”. So, he filed a
action, still the counterclaim survives.
counterclaim against both Mortz and Charles. In
the counter-claim of Jet, the defendants are Mortz
3) A COUNTERCLAIM may be asserted whether or
and Charles for the accounting of the
not it arises out of the same transaction or
occurrence improvements on the land:
that is the subject matter of the action, whereas,
COUNTERCLAIM OF JET
A CROSS-CLAIM must always arise out of the same Defendant JET, now plaintiff
transaction or occurrence that is the subject
matter of the action. -versus-
Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now co-
Example: P case filed against J to collect a loan. J defendants
files a COUNTERCLAIM against P to recover a
piece of land. That is allowed and that is a
4.) Mortz now will answer the counterclaim of Jet,
permissive counterclaim. But suppose D files a
case to collect a loan against J and P. J files a “Actually,
CROSS-CLAIM against P to recover a piece of the damages on land was not caused by me but
land. Charles. So Mortz files a cross-claim against co-
plaintiff Charles arising out to the counterclaim of Jet:

Q: Will it be allowed?
CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM
OF JET
A: Not allowed! It has no connection with the
subject matter of the main action.
Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-claimant

Take note that a cross-claim is any claim by one party against a -versus-
coparty arising out of the transaction of occurrence that is the
Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-defendant
subject matter of the original action or of a counterclaim
therein. So, a cross-claim may arise either out of the original
action or counterclaim therein. 5.) Now, according to Pao, “Actually last month, a car
owned by both of you (Mortz and Charles) bumped
EXAMPLE: J and P file a case against D. D files his answer with my car and that my car was damaged.” So, P filed
a counterclaim against the plaintiffs J and P. So J and P will a counterclaim against Mortz and Charles for the
now become defendants with respect to the counterclaim filed damage of the car.
by D. So J now can file a cross-claim against P arising out of the COUNTERCLAIM OF PAO
counterclaim. Defendant PAO, now plaintiff
-versus-
HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE: Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now defendants

6.) But Charles says, “I’m not the owner of the car but
Mortz. So he files a cross-claim against Mortz: adjudication of said cross-claim. In which case, the
cross-claim is considered permissive;

CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM OF 3) cross-claim that may mature or may be acquired after
PAO service of the answer (Riano 2007, p. 285)

Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-claimant COUNTER COUNTERCLAIM and COUNTER CROSS-


CLAIM
-versus-

Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-defendant Sec. 9. Counter-counterclaims and


countercross-claims. A counterclaim may be
There are six (6) cases which are to be decided in the same asserted against an original counter-
action. This rarely happens, but it is possible under the rules. claimant.
The obvious PURPOSE of these is to avoid multiplicity of suits
and toward these ends. According to the SC, the rules allow in a A cross-claim may also be filed against an
certain case and even compel a petitioner to combine in one original cross-claimant.(n)
litigation these conflicting claims most particularly when they
arise out of the same transaction. The rule does not only allow a
Section 9 is a new provision. There is such a thing as
permissive counterclaim but the parties are even compelled to
countercounterclaim and counter-cross-claim. The concept of
raise them in a compulsory counter-claim.
countercounter-claim is not new. As a matter of fact, that was
asked in the bar years ago.
RUIZ, JR. vs. CA – 212 SCRA 660
EXAMPLE: C filed against you an action to collect a loan. You
filed a counterclaim against her to recover a piece of land. Of
FACTS: Dean files a case against Jet and Pao. Jet files a course, she has to answer your counterclaim. But she will say,
crossclaim against Pao. After a while, the case against Jet “Actually you have been molesting me with your claim when
and Pao was dismissed. actually you have no right over my land.” So, she files an
injunction to stop you from molesting her. In other words,
ISSUE: What happens to the cross-claim of Jet against Pao? based on your counter-claim against her to recover my land,
she will file a counterclaim to stop you from molesting her. In
effect, there is counterclaim to a counterclaim.
HELD: When the main action was dismissed, the cross-
action must also be dismissed. The life of a cross-claim
depends on the life of the main action. If the main action is COUNTER-CROSS-CLAIM
dismissed, the cross-claim will have to be automatically
dismissed. E.) REPLY

“A cross-claim could not be the subject of independent Sec. 10. Reply. A reply is a pleading, the
adjudication once it lost the nexus upon which its life office or function of which is to deny, or
depended. The cross-claimants cannot claim more rights allege facts in denial or avoidance of new
than the plaintiffs themselves, on whose cause of action the matters alleged by way of defense in the
crossclaim depended. The dismissal of the complaint answer and thereby join or make issue as
divested the cross-claimants of whatever appealable to such new matters. If a party does not
interest they might have had before and also made the file such reply, all the new matters alleged
cross-claim itself no longer viable” in the answer are deemed controverted.

Whereas, the counterclaim can exist alone without the If the plaintiff wishes to interpose any claims
complaint. arising out of the new matters so alleged, such
claims shall be set forth in an amended or
supplemental complaint.(11)
EXAMPLE: Pao filed a case against Jet for the recovery of a
piece of land. Jet’s counterclaim is damages arising from a
ILLUSTRATION: Plaintiff files a complaint against a defendant
vehicular accident. If the complaint is dismissed the
to collect an unpaid loan. D files his answer and raises a new
counterclaim of Jet can still remain alive even if the main action
matter, affirmative defense. According to the defendant, the
is dead.
obligation is already paid. Plaintiff said that you have paid the
But in a cross-claim, once the main action is dead, the cross-
other loan. In other words, the plaintiff would like to deny or
claim is also automatically dead too. What is there to reimburse
dispute the defendant’s affirmative defense of payment.
when the complaint has been dismissed?

Q: Can I file a pleading to dispute your defense?


There is an opinion to the effect that the dismissal of the
complaint carries with it the dismissal of a cross-claim which is
purely defensive but not a cross claim seeking an affirmative A: Yes, that pleading is called a REPLY.
relief.
Q: How do you classify a reply?
If a cross-claim is not set up, it is barred: except
A: It is a responsive pleading because it is the response of the
1) when it is outside the jurisdiction of the court; plaintiff to the affirmative defense raised in the defendant’s
answer.
2) if the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over third
parties whose presence is necessary for the An answer is a response to the complaint and the reply is a
response to the answer.
PLAINTIFF DEFENDANT

1. Complaint
Q: Assuming that you would like to answer my reply,
what pleading would you file? 2. a.) Answer
b.) Counterclaim
A: None. That is the last pleading. So, reply is 3. a.) Reply to answer
considered as the last pleading.
b.) Answer to counterclaim
4. Reply to answer to counterclaim
Effect of failure to file a reply

Q: Suppose I filed a complaint, you filed an answer


any other relief, in respect of his
invoking payment. I failed to reply. What is the effect if the
opponent's claim. (12a)
plaintiff fails to reply? Is he admitting the correctness of the
defense?
THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT is the procedure for bringing into a
case a third person who is not a party to the case.
A: No. As a general rule, the failure to file a reply has no effect.
Section 10 says that if a party does not file such reply, all the
new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted. It is a procedural device whereby a “third party” who is neither a
Meaning, all the affirmative defenses raised in the answers are party nor privy to the act or deed complained of by the plaintiff,
automatically denied. may be brought into the case with leave of court, by the
defendant, who acts as third-party plaintiff to enforce against
such third-party defendant a right for contribution, indemnity,
So, whether you file a reply or not, the defenses are deemed
subrogation or any other relief, in respect of the plaintiff’s claim.
automatically disputed. The filing of a reply is OPTIONAL.
The third-party complaint is actually independent of and
separate and distinct from the plaintiff’s complaint. Were it not
Exceptions: for this provision of the Rules, it would have to be filed
independently and separately from the original complaint by the
1) Where the answer is based on an actionable document defendant against the third party.
(Sec. 8 R 8); and The purpose of a third-party complaint is to enable a defending
2) To set up affirmative defenses in the counterclaim party to obtain contribution, indemnity, subrogation or other
((Rosario vs. Martinez, GR No. L-4473, Sept. 30, 1952) relief from a person not a party to the action.

Note: Only allegations of usury in a Complaint to recover EXAMPLE: A plaintiff files a case against a defendant to collect
usurious interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath. a loan when there are two solidary debtors and one of them is
Hence, if the allegation of usury is contained in an answer it is compelled to pay everything so that defendant will drag into the
not necessary for the plaintiff to file a reply thereto in order to picture the co-debtor for contribution or indemnity. If the two of
deny that allegation under oath. (Regalado, p. 146) them were sued as defendants, all one has to do is to file a
crossclaim against his co-defendant. BUT since only one is
A reply should not be confused with the answer to a sued, the remedy is to avail of Section 11.
counterclaim which is also filed by the plaintiff.
Q: Give the distinctions between ANSWER TO COUNTER-CLAIM Take note that filing a third-party complaint is not a matter of
and REPLY. right.
THERE MUST BE LEAVE OF COURT, unlike counterclaim or
A: The following: cross-claim, where you do not need any motion or leave of
court.

1) A REPLY is a response to the defenses interposed


by the defendant in his answer, whereas There is a close relationship between a cross-claim and a
thirdparty complaint because a cross-claim must arise out of
the subject matter of the main action. A third-party complaint
An ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is a response to a must be also related to the main action. It cannot be a cause of
cause of action by the defendant against the plaintiff; action which has no relation to the main action.

EXAMPLE: The plaintiff files a case against the surety and the
2) The filing of a REPLY is generally optional, principal debtor, so both of them are defendants, and the surety
whereas seeks reimbursement for whatever amount he may be compelled
to pay the plaintiff. What kind of pleading would he file against
The filing of an ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is his co-defendant (the principal debtor)? CROSS-CLAIM.
generally mandatory under Rule 11 because if the
plaintiff fails to file an answer to the counterclaim, he BUT if the plaintiff files a case ONLY against the surety, because
will be declared in default on the counterclaim. anyway the principal debtor is not an indispensable party and
the surety would like to seek reimbursement from the person
OUTLINE OF FLOW OF PLEADINGS who benefited from the loan, he cannot file a cross-claim
against anybody because he is the lone defendant. It is possible
for him to just file an answer. If he loses and pays the plaintiff,
F. THIRD (FOURTH, ETC.) – PARTY COMPLAINT then he will file another case against the principal debtor for
reimbursement.
Sec. 11. Third, (fourth, etc.) - party complaint.
A third (fourth, etc.) party complaint is a But if he wants everything to be resolved in the same case, what
claim that a defending party may, with kind of pleading will he file? He must resort a THIRD-PARTY
leave of court, file against a person not a COMPLAINT and implead the principal debtor.
party to the action, called the third
(fourth, etc.) party defendant, for
contribution, indemnity, subrogation or
The PURPOSE of a third-party complaint is for the third party BAR QUESTION: Janis files a case against Nudj to recover an
plaintiff to ask the third party defendant for: unpaid loan. Now the reason is that Carlo also owes Nudj.
Nudj says, “I cannot pay you because there is a person who has
1.) Contribution; also utang to me. What I will pay you depends on his payment
2.) Indemnity; to me.” File agad si Nudj ng third-party complaint against
Carlo. Is the third-party complaint proper?
3.) Subrogation; or
4.) any other relief in respect to the opponent’s claim.
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
CONTRIBUTION
Andrew to Nudj. Walang connection. Anong pakialam ni Janis
sa utang ni Andrew kay Nudj? Not in respect to his opponent’s
Example #1: Two debtors borrowed P100,000 from Janis claim.
(creditor) and they shared the money 50-50. When the debt fell
due, the creditor filed a case against one of them. So, one of
BAR QUESTION: How do you determine whether a 3rd-party
them is being made to pay the P100,000. Not only his share
complaint is proper or improper? What are the tests to
but also his cosolidary debtor. So if I am the one liable when
determine its propriety?
actually my real liability is only 50,000. What will I do? I will
file a third party complaint against my co-debtor for
contribution. A: Case of
Example #2: If Andrew and Carlo are guilty of a quasi-delict
and the injured party files an action for damages against CAPAYAS vs. CFI – 77 PHIL. 181
Andrew only, Andrew may file a third-party complaint against
Carlo for contribution, their liability being solidary (Article 2194, HELD: There are four (4) possible tests to determine the
New Civil propriety of a third-party complaint. In order for it to be
Code) allowed, it must pass one of them. That is the reason when
you file it, you need the permission of the court to
INDEMNIFICATION determine whether it is proper or not and the original
plaintiff may object to the propriety of the third-party
Example #1: Two people signed a promissory note in favor of complaint.
the creditor. But actually the entire amount went to you and
none for me. When the note fell due, I was the one sued. So I There are the FOUR TESTS (any one will do):
will file a third-party complaint against you for indemnity. You
have to return to me every centavo that I will pay the creditor. 1. A third-party complaint is proper if it arises out of
the same transaction on which plaintiff is based,
Example #2: A surety sued for recovery of debt by the creditor or although arising out of another or different
may file a third-party complaint against the principal debtor for transaction, is connected with the plaintiff's claim.
indemnity. (Article 2047, New Civil Code)
EXAMPLE: A creditor sued only one solidary
SUBROGATION debtor. So you can file a third-party
complaint for contribution. Anyway, there is
Subrogation - You step into the shoes of someone else. Your only one loan and our liability arises out of
the same promissory note.
obligation is transferred to me.

EXAMPLE: Where a house is leased by a lessee and he (A third-party complaint is proper if the
subleased the property to a third person who is now occupying thirdparty’s complaint, although arising out
the property. In effect, the sub-lessee stepped into the shoes of of another transaction, is connected with the
the original lessee. If the property is damaged and the lessor plaintiff’s claim.)
sues the lessee for damages to his leased property, the lessee or
sub-lessor can file a third-party complaint and have the sub- EXAMPLE: The car owner is sued for culpa
lessee for subrogation because actually, you stepped into the aquiliana for damages arising from vehicular
shoes when you occupied the leased property. (Articles 1651 collision and he files a third-party complaint
and 1654, New Civil Code) against the insurance company for indemnity
based on the contract of insurance. So it is
For ANY OTHER RELIEF IN RESPECT TO THE connected with plaintiff’s claim, and that is
OPPONENTS CLAIM precisely the purpose of my insurance
coverage.
EXAMPLE: When I buy the property of Mr. Cruz and after a
while, here comes Mr. Dee filing a case against me to claim 2. Whether the third party defendant would be liable
ownership of the land. But I bought it from Mr. Cruz who to the original plaintiff or to the defendant for all
warranted that he is the real owner. So I will now file third-party or part of the plaintiff's claim against the original
complaint against Mr. Cruz to enforce his warranty – warranty defendant. Although the third party defendant's
against eviction. (Article 1548, New Civil Code) liability arises out of another transaction.

Take note that there is always a connection between the main EXAMPLE: Sublease. Roy leased his property
complaint and the third-party complaint because the condition to Eric. Eric subleased it to Rudolph. If Roy’s
is “contribution, indemnification, subrogation and any other property is damaged, Roy will sue Eric. But
relief in respect to your opponents claim.” There is always a Eric will also sue Rudolph. The sub-lessor
relation between the third party-complaint and the main has the right to file a third-party complaint
complaint against you. Here is a bar question... against the sub-lessee for the damaged leased
property which is now occupied by the sub-
lessee. The third-party defendant Rudolph
would be liable to plaintiff’s (Roy’s) claim. OTHER RELIEF” – so broad that it cover a direct liability of
Rudolph will be liable to Roy for Roy’s claim a third party defendant to the original plaintiff.
against Eric although the liability of Rudolph
arises out of another transaction (Sub-lease ISSUE #2: How can the court award damages to Philip
contract) based on the theory of culpa aquiliana when his complaint
is based on culpa contractual? Can Lewee be held liable for
3. Whether the third party defendant may assert any culpacontractual?
defense which the third party plaintiff has or may
have against plaintiff’s claim. HELD: YES. That is also possible because “the primary
purpose of this rule is to avoid circuitry of action and to
EXAMPLE: Tato is a registered owner of a car dispose of in one litigation, the entire subject matter arising
and then sold it to Philip. Philip is the actual from a particular set of fact it is immaterial that the third-
owner. However, Philip did not register the party plaintiff asserts a cause of action against the third
sale to the LTO. The registered owner is si party defendant on a theory different from that asserted by
Tato lang gihapon although he is no longer the plaintiff against the defendant. It has likewise been
the real owner. While Philip was driving that held that a defendant in a contract action may join as
car it bumped the car of Lewee Tanduay. third-party defendants those liable to him in tort for the
Lewee researched the owner of the car at LTO plaintiff’s claim against him or directly to the plaintiff.”
and ang lumabas ay si Tato. So ang ginawa
ni Lewee, ang kinasuhan nya ay si Tato na Another interesting case which is to be compared with the
walang malay...under the law, the registered abovementioned case is the 1989 case of
owner is liable. Of course, when Tato got the
complaint, “Wala akong alam sa sinasabi nyo,
that car is no longer mine. I sold that two SHEAFER vs. JUDGE OF RTC OF OLONGAPO – 167 SCRA
386
years ago, I have no idea what happened.”

NOTE: This case although it refers to third-party complaint


So obviously, Tato arrived at the conclusion
is related to criminal procedure. This is similar to the case
that si Philip and nakabangga. Tato filed a
of JAVIER where the issue is, is there such a thing as a
third-party complaint against Philip because
counterclaim in a criminal case where the offended party
he is the real owner. When Philip got the
did not make a reservation. In SHAFER, is there such a
third-party complaint, and because he knows
thing as a third-party complaint in a criminal case?
the story, in fact he was the one driving, ang
ginawa niya, nilabanan niya ng diretso si
Lewee. Meaning, instead of Tato fighting FACTS: Shafer while driving his car covered by TPL,
Lewee, Philip fought Lewee directly. Frontal bumped another car driven by T. T filed a criminal case
na ba. Sabi ni Philip, “I was not at fault, you against S for physical injuries arising from reckless
(Lewee) are at fault.” So here is a situation imprudence. T did not make any reservation to file a
where Lewee sues Tato, Tato sues Philip but separate civil action. So obviously, the claim for civil
Philip fights Lewee, as if he is the real liability is deemed instituted.
defendant, then the third party complaint
must be proper. It must be related. Shafer was covered by the insurance, so he filed a third-
party complaint against the insurance company insofar as
Take note that there is a close similarity between a third-party the civil liability is concerned. The insurance company
complaint and a cross-claim because as we have learned, a questioned the propriety of d third-party complaint in a
crossclaim must also be related to the same action. criminal case, because according to the insurance
company, the third-party complaint is entirely different
from the criminal liability.
SAMALA vs. VICTOR – 170 SCRA 453
ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of a third-party complaint in a
criminal case is procedurally correct.

FACTS: This case involves a vehicular accident. Philip,


HELD: Yes, it is proper. There could be a third party
while riding on a passenger jeep owned by Tato, the jeep
complaint in a criminal case because an offense causes two
was bumped by the truck of Lewee, injuring Philip. Philip
classes of injuries – the SOCIAL and the PERSONAL injury.
filed a case for damages arising from breach of contract
In this case, the civil aspect of the criminal case is deemed
against Tato. Tato filed a third-party complaint against
impliedly instituted in the criminal case. Shafer may raise
Lewee. After trial, the court found that Tato has not at fault.
all defenses available to him in so far as the criminal and
The fault is entirely against Lewee . So the action against
civil aspects are concerned. Shafer’s claim of indemnity
Tato was dismissed, but the court held that Lewee be
against the insurance company are also the claim by the
directly liable to Philip.
victim in the criminal claim. Therefore Shafer’s claim
It was questioned by Lewee. Lewee claims that is should be
against the insurance company is related to the criminal
Tato who is liable to Philip because Philip did not sue me
case. So similar to Javier that an accused may also file a
(Lewee), “Bakit ako ang ma-liable hindi naman ako ang
compulsory counterclaim in a criminal case when there is
dinemanda ni Philip? So procedurally, I am liable to Tato,
no reservation.
Tato is liable to Philip.”

ISSUE #1: Can Lewee, a third-party defendant, be held liable


BUT in the light of the ruling in the case of
directly to Philip, the original plaintiff?

CABAERO vs. CANTOS, supra


HELD: YES, that is possible. In a third-party complaint,
normally Lewee is liable to Tato. But Lewee can be made
liable to Philip, or Lewee can be made liable to both Philip The SHAFER ruling has to be set aside for the meantime
and Tato because that is covered by the phrase “OR ANY because there is no such thing as third-party complaint in
criminal cases now. In other words, forget it in the A files a B files a 3rd C files a 4th D files a
meantime. Also, forget counterclaims in criminal cases even complaint party party 5th party
if they arose out of the main action. against B complaint complaint complaint
against C against D against E
This case refers to JAVIER on whether or not there is such a A’s car was bumped by B. But B contented that the reason that
thing as a compulsory counterclaim in criminal cases. SC he bumped A’s car was because he was bumped by C and the
said, “Huwag muna samok!” If we will allow it in criminal same goes to C, D, E. B then files a 3rd party complaint against
cases it will only complicate and confuse the case. The C. C files a 4th party complaint against D. D files a 5th party
attention might be divested to counterclaims or cross-claims complaint against E. Meaning, pasahan, ba. They will throw
or thirdparty complaints, etc. the liability to the one who did it. That is a good hypothetical
example of how a fourth, fifth, sixth party complaint can come
HELD: “The trial court should confine itself to the criminal into play.
aspect and the possible civil liability of the accused arising
out of the crime. The counter-claim (and cross-claim or Rule on Venue and Jurisdiction Inapplicable
third party complaint, if any) should be set aside or refused
cognizance without prejudice to their filing in separate Jurisdiction over the third-party complaint is but a continuation
proceedings at the proper time.” of the main action and is a procedural device to avoid
multiplicity of suits. Because of its nature, the proscription on
We will go to the old case of jurisdiction and venue applicable to ordinary suits may not
apply. (Eastern Assurance vs. Cui, 105 SCRA 622 [1981])
REPUBLIC vs. CENTRAL SURETY CO – 25 SCRA 641 [1968]
Grounds for Denial of Third-Party Complaint
FACTS: Hannah filed a case against Rina for a liability
amounting to P350,000. So it was filed in RTC. Rina filed a a. When allowance would delay resolution of the original
third-party complaint against ConCon Insurance Company case or when the third-party defendant could not be
for indemnity insurance but the maximum insurance is only located; and
P50,000. The insurance company moved to dismiss on the
ground that the court has no jurisdiction because third- b. When extraneous matters to issue of possession would
party complaint is only for P50,000 which is supposed to be unnecessarily clutter a case of forcible entry.(del
within the competence of the MTC. Rosario v. Jimenez 8 SCRA 549)

ISSUE: Is the insurance company correct? Summons on third, fourth, etc. party defendant must be served
for the court to acquire jurisdiction over his person, since he is
not an original party.
HELD: NO. The insurance company is wrong. The third-
party complaint is only incidental. The third-party A third-party complaint is not proper in an ction for declaratory
complaint need not be within the jurisdiction of the RTC relief (Comm. of Customs vs. Cloribel, GR No. L - 21036, June
where the principal action is pending because the third- 30, 1977)
party complaint is really a continuation and an ancillary to
the principal action. If the court acquires jurisdiction over Where the trial court has jurisdiction over the main case, it also
the main action, automatically, it acquires jurisdiction over has jurisdiction over the third-party complaint, regardless of the
the third-party complain which is mainly a continuation of amount involved as a third-party complaint is merely auxiliary
the principal action. to an is a continuation of the main action (Rep. vs. Central
Surety and Insurance Co. GR No. L 27802, Oct. 26, 1968)
Now, the same situation happened in another case. The case of
Sec. 12. Bringing new parties. - When the
EASTERN ASSURANCE vs. CUI – 105 SCRA 642 presence of parties other than those to the
original action is required for the granting
FACTS: Carol is a resident of Davao City. Cathy is a of complete relief in the determination of a
resident of Cebu City. Carol filed a case before the RTC of counterclaim or cross-claim, the court
shall order them to be brought in as
Davao City against Cathy. Cathy files a third-party
defendants, if jurisdiction over them can
complaint against Joy, a resident of Manila. Is the venue
be obtained.
proper?

Distinguished from a Third-Party Complaint


HELD: The venue is proper because the venue of the main
action is proper. So automatically third-party complaint is
also proper. The third-party has to yield to the jurisdiction A third party complaint is proper when not one of the third-
and venue of the main action. party defendants therein is a party to the main action. If one or
more of the defendants in a counterclaim or cross-claim is
already a party to the action, then the other necessary parties
Now of course, if there’s such a thing as 3rd party complaint,
may be brought in under this section.
there is also a 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th complaint. That is possible
but everything is with respect to his opponent’s claim.
The best example of Section 12 is the case of:
EXAMPLE:
SAPUGAY vs. CA – 183 SCRA 464
A B C D
E FACTS: Mobil Philippines filed a case against Sapugay, its
gasoline dealer. Sapugay filed an answer and interposed a
counterclaim for damages against Mobil and included
Cardenas (the manager of Mobil) who is not a plaintiff.
ISSUE: Whether or not the inclusion of Cardenas in the
counterclaim is proper where he is not a plaintiff in the
Mobil case. C

HELD: The inclusion of Cardenas is proper. The general rule A vs. B; B vs. C. Normally, B will defend himself against the
that the defendant cannot by a counterclaim bring into the complaint of A and C will defend himself in the complaint of B.
action any claim against persons other than the plaintiff, That is supposed to be the pattern. Normally, C does not file a
admits of an exception under this provision (Section 12) – direct claim against A. But the law allows C in defending
meaning, if it is necessary to include a 3rd person in a himself, to answer the claim of A. The law allows him to file a
counterclaim or cross-claim, the court can order him to be direct counterclaim against A.
brought in as defendants. In effect, the bringing of Cardenas
If C has the right to frontally meet the action filed by A –
in the case is sanctioned by the Rules.
meaning, C will fight A directly – if C has the right to assert any
defense which B has against A and even for C to litigate against
The case of SAPUGAY should not be confused with the case of: A, then it must be a proper third party complaint. That has
happened several times.
CHAVEZ vs. SANDIGANBAYAN – 198 SCRA 282
FACTS: Petitioner Francisco Chavez (former solicitor EXAMPLE: B owns a car which was already sold to C. The
general) represented the government for PCGG. The case trouble is that B never registered the transaction. On the
arose out of PCGG cases wherein Enrile was sued for record, B is still the registered owner. Then C, while driving the
accumulation of his ill-gotten wealth. Enrile filed an answer car, meets an accident and injures A. When A looked at the
to the complaint. Enrile contends that the case is record, the owner is B. So A files a case against B. So B will file
harassment suit whose mastermind was the Solicitor a third party complaint against the real owner (C). Now, C can
General himself. Enrile files a counterclaim against Chavez. frontally meet the complaint filed by A. That is the best example
(Enrile’s lawyer maybe well aware of the Sapugay case the where you have the right against the original plaintiff or even
one sued is the lawyer.) Chavez questioned such assert a counterclaim against him. As a matter of fact, that last
counterclaim contending that he was not a plaintiff. test is now incorporated as a new provision (Section 13).
Sandiganbayan denied such contention.
In the case of:
HELD: The inclusion of plaintiff’s lawyer is improper.
SINGAPORE AIRLINES vs. CA – 243 SCRA 143 [1995]
“To allow a counterclaim against a lawyer who files a
complaint for his clients, who is merely their representative
in court and not a plaintiff or complainant in the case
FACTS: Aying filed a case against Bugoy. Bugoy filed a third
would lead to mischievous consequences. A lawyer owes his
party complaint against and Cyle who wants to frontally
client entire devotion to his genuine interest, warm zeal in
meet the main complaint filed by Aying
the maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion
of his utmost learning and ability. A lawyer cannot properly
attend to his duties towards his client if, in the same case, HELD: If that is your purpose, you have to file two (2)
he is kept busy defending himself.” answers – you file an answer to the third party complaint
and you file a second answer to the main complaint filed by
Aying.
Q: Is the SC suggesting that a lawyer who sued in a harassment
case can get away with it? Does that mean to say that the
lawyer is immune from suit? “A third-party complaint involves an action separate and
distinct from, although related to, the main complaint. A
third-party defendant who feels aggrieved by some
A: NO, the SC does not say a lawyer enjoys a special immunity
allegations in the main complaint should, aside from
from damage suits. However, when he acts in the name of the
answering the third-party complaint, also answer the main
client, he should not be sued in a counterclaim in the very same
complaint.”
case where he has filed only as a counsel and not as party. Only
claims for alleged damages or other causes of action should be
filed in a separate case. Thus, if you feel that the lawyer is Normally, Cyle answers the 3rd party complaint of Bugoy and
acting maliciously, you file a complaint but in a separate case. does not answer to the complaint of Aying. But according to
That’s why the case of Sapugay should not be confused with SINGAPORE case, if Cyle feels aggrieved by the allegations of
Chavez. Aying, he should also answer the main complaint of Aying.
Practically, he shall answer the 3rd party complaint and the
main complaint.
Sec. 13. Answer to third (fourth, etc.) party
complaint. - A third (fourth, etc.)-party
defendant may allege in his answer his
defenses, counterclaims or cross-claims,
including such defenses that the third
(fourth, etc.)-party plaintiff may have
against the original plaintiff in respect of
the latter's claim against the third-party
plaintiff. (n)

ILLUSTRATIONS: A files a case against B

B files a 3rd party complaint against


BUT in subsequent pleadings like the answer, reply, it is not
necessary to write the name of everybody. What the law requires
is to write the name of the first plaintiff followed by the term ‘ET
AL”. Example: Ms. Quitain, et al, plaintiffs vs. Ms. Pastor, et al,
defendants.
Rule 7

So the rule is, it is only in the complaint where the name of all
PARTS OF A PLEADING the parties are required to be stated, but in subsequent
pleadings, no need. But there is an EXCEPTION to this rule.
There are instances where the law does not require the name of
the parties to be stated even in the complaint.
Sec. 1 – Caption. The caption sets forth the
name of the court. The title of the action,
and docket number if assigned. Q: What are the instances where the law does not require the
name of the parties to be stated even in the complaint or
pleading?
The title of the action indicates the names
of the parties. They shall all be named in
the original complaint or petition; but in
subsequent pleadings it shall be sufficient
if the name of the first party on each side
be started with an appropriate indication
when there are other parties.
A: These are the following:
Their respective participation in the case
shall be indicated. 1.) Subsequent Pleading (e.g. answer, reply, etc.)
(Section 1);
ILLUSTRATION:
2.) Class suit (Rule 3, Section 12);

CAPTION contains the following: 3.) When the identity or name of the defendant is
Republic of the Philippines unknown (Rule 3, Section 14);
1) the name of the court;
11th Judicial Region
2) the title of the action and 4.) When you sue an entity without judicial
3) the docket number if assigned. Regional Trial Court of Davao personality
Branch 12
Juan dela Cruz,
Plaintiff Civil Case #12345
TITLE
-versus- For: Annulment of Contract
Osama bin Laden
Defendant

COMPLAINT

BODY sets forth: Plaintiff, through counsel respectfully alleges that:


1. x x x x x x;
1) its designation;
2) the allegation of the party's claims and defenses;
3) the relief prayed for; and 2. x x x x x x;
4) the date of the pleading 3. x x x x x x

So, there must be a caption, title. Take note, the title of the (Rule 3, Section 15);
action indicates the names of the parties. They shall all be
named in the original complaint or petition; but in the 5.) If a party is sued in his official capacity. Official
subsequent pleadings, it shall be sufficient if the name of the designation is sufficient. [e.g. Mr. Acelar vs. City
Mayor of Davao.] (Unabia vs. City Mayor, 99 Phil.
first party of each side be stated without the others. You only
253)
write the first name of plaintiff and defendant and followed by
the word ‘ET AL”.
Variance between caption and allegations in the pleading

Q: Suppose there are 20 plaintiffs and 20 defendants in the It is not the caption of the pleading but the allegations therein
concept of permissive joinder of parties. Now is it necessary that which determine the nature of the action and the court shall
they shall be named? grant relief warranted by the allegations and proof even if no
A: In the complaint, YES. They shall all be named. It is possible such relief is prayed for (Solid Homes Inc. vs. CA, 271 SCRA
that the title alone will reach 3 or more pages. 157; Banco Filipino vs. CA, 332 SCRA 241; Lorbes vs. CA 351
SCRA 716). Thus, a complaint captioned as unlawful detainer is
actually an action for forcible entry where the allegations show
that the possessor of the land was deprived of the same by second paragraph and so on. The first paragraph is normally
force, intimidation, strategy, threat or stealth. Likewise, a the statement of the parties and their addresses which is
complaint for unlawful detainer is actually an action for required under Rule 6 where a complaint must state the names:
collection of a sum of money where the allegations of the
complaint do not disclose that the plaintiff demanded upon the 1. Plaintiff Juan dela Cruz is of legal age, a resident of
defendant to vacate the property but merely demanded to pay Davao City whereas defendant Pedro Bautista, is also
the rentals in arrears. of legal age and a resident of Davao City.

In one case, while the complaint was denominated as one for 2. On such and such a date, defendant secured a loan
specific performance, the allegations of the complaint and the from plaintiff in the amount of so much payable on this
relief prayed for actually and ultimately sought for the execution date.
of a deed of conveyance to effect a transfer of ownership of the
property in question. The action therefore, is a real action
3. The loan is now overdue but defendant still refused to
(Gochan vs. Gochan, 372 SCRA 256). Also although the
pay.
complaint was denominated as one for reformation of the
instrument, the allegations of the complaint did not preclude
the court from passing upon the real issue of whether or not the So every paragraph is numbered so that it can easily be
transfer between the parties was a sale or an equitable mortgage identified in the subsequent pleadings. So in his Answer, the
as the said issue has been squarely raised in the complaint and defendant will just refer to the #, “I admit the allegations in
had been the subject of arguments and evidence of the parties. paragraph #5)
(Lorbes vs. CA 351 SCRA 716).
Paragraph [b] is related to Rule 2 on joinder of causes of action.
If the petitioner filed before the SC a petition captioned “Petition Can you file one complaint embodying two or more causes of
for Certiorari” based on Rule 65 but the allegations show that action? YES.
the issues raised are pure questions of law, the cause of action
is not one based on Rule 65 which raises issues of jurisdiction, EXAMPLE: Angelo wants to file a case against Ina to collect
but on Rule 45 which raises pure questions of law. The three unpaid promissory notes. So, there are three causes of
allegations of the pleading determine the cause of action and action. The lawyer of Angelo decided to file only one complaint
not the title of the pleading (De Castro vs. Fernandez, Jr. GR collecting the three promissory notes. Now, how should he
No. 155041, Feb. 14, 2007) prepare the complaint containing the three promissory notes?

Sec. 2. The body. - The body of the Plaintiff respectfully alleges: 1. that he is of legal
pleading sets forth its designation, the age x x x.
allegations of the party's claims or FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: In 1995, there was
defenses, the relief prayed for, and the a loan secured amounting to so much and
date of the pleading. (n) it is not paid until now;

a) Paragraphs - the allegations in the body SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: In 1995, there
of a pleading shall be divided into was a second loan…became payable and
paragraphs so numbered as to be readily is not paid.
identified, each of which shall contain a
statement of a single set of circumstances
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: x x x x.
so far as that can be done with
convenience. A paragraph may be referred
to by its number in all succeeding So, you indicate your different causes of action. That is how
pleadings. (3a) you prepare your complaint. On the other hand, the defendant
(b) Headings - When two or more causes of will answer:
action are joined, the statement of the
first shall be prefaced by the words ANSWER:
"First cause of action", of the second by
"second cause of action," and so on for
the others. ANSWER TO THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION x x x,

(c) Relief - The pleading shall specify the ANSWER TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION x x
relief sought, but it may add a general
prayer for such further or other relief as x, ANSWER TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION x x
may be deemed just or equitable. (3a,
R6) x.

(d) Date - Every pleading shall be dated. (n)


Do not combine them together in one paragraph. Even in trial
In the body, you state your allegations or defenses. Then at the when you present your exhibits, you might get confused
end, you state the relief which we call PRAYER – what you are because you combined all the three causes of action in one
asking the court: “Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that paragraph. But with this one, the presentation is clearer, the
judgment be rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff his loan outline is clearer and it is more scientifically arranged than
of P1 million with interest of 10% p.a. from this date until fully joining them in one story.
paid.” Then, you end up with the date of the pleading: “Davao
City, Philippines, December 10, 1997.” Under paragraph [c], the pleading must state the relief sought.
But it may add a general prayer for such further other relief as
A pleading is divided into paragraphs so numbered as to be may be just and equitable like yung mga pahabol na “Plaintiff
readily identified. Normally, a complaint starts: “Plaintiff, thru prays for such further or other relief which the court may deem
counsel, respectfully alleges that x x x.” Then first paragraph, just or equitable.”
The relief or prayer, although part of the complaint, does not “The preparation and signing of a pleading constitute legal work
constitute a part of the statement of the cause of action. It does involving practice of law which is reserved exclusively for the
not also serve to limit or narrow the issues presented (UBS vs. members of the legal profession. Accordingly however, counsel
CA 332 SCRA 534) may delegate the signing of a pleading to another lawyer but
cannot do so in favor of one who is not. In so ruling the Court
It is the material allegations of the complaint, not the legal cites The Code of Professional Responsibility, the pertinent
consequences made therein or the prayer that determines the provision on which provides:
relief to which the plaintiff is entitled. (Banco F