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YU VS.

PACLEB, 580 SCRA 197


An action for specific performance is an action in personam. Being a judgment in personam, it is binding only
upon the parties properly impleaded therein and duly heard or given an opportunity to be heard.
Facts: WON the RTC case is binding upon respondent.
Petitioner spouses bought the langcaan property – NO, the action was one for specific
from javier who was not even the owner. The rtc performance, an in personam and therefore not
decided in their favor and ordered javier to deliver binding against persons who did not take part in
property to petitioner (civil case 741-93). The ca the proceedings.
reversed this and said that they were not buyers in
good faith and that civil case 741-93 did not vest Distinction between action in personam and in
them any right with regard to the property. rem

Petitioner spouses argue that the decision of the A proceeding in personam is a proceeding to
regional trial court in civil case no. 741-93 as to the enforce personal rights and obligations brought
rightful owner of the langcaan property is against the person and is based on the jurisdiction
conclusive and binding upon respondent even if of the person, although it may involve his right to,
the latter was not a party thereto since it involved or the exercise of ownership of, specific property,
the question of possession and ownership of real or seek to compel him to control or dispose of it in
property, and is thus not merely an action in accordance with the mandate of the court. xxx. An
personam but an action quasi in rem. action in personam is said to be one which has for
its object a judgment against the person, as
distinguished from a judgment against the
propriety (sic) to determine its state.

Specific performance is action in personam

Civil Case No. 741-93 is an action for specific


performance and damages filed by petitioner
spouses against Javier to compel performance of
the latter’s undertakings under their Contract to
Sell. The obligations of Javier under the contract to
sell attach to him alone, and do not burden the
Langcaan Property.

We have held in an unbroken string of cases that


an action for specific performance is an action in
personam. Being a judgment in personam, Civil Case
No. 741-93 is binding only upon the parties
properly impleaded therein and duly heard or
given an opportunity to be heard. Therefore, it
cannot bind respondent since he was not a party
therein. Neither can respondent be considered as
privy thereto since his signature and that of his late
first wife, Angelita Chan, were forged in the deed
of sale
DOMAGAS VS. JENSEN, 448 SCRA 663
In an action in personam, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is necessary for the court to validly try and
decide the case. Jurisdiction over the person of a resident defendant who does not voluntarily appear in court can
be acquired by personal service of summons as provided under Section 7, Rule 14 of the ROC or by substituted
service under certain circumstances. Strict compliance with the mode of service is required in order that the court
may acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant.
Domagas filed a forcible entry case in the MTC WON jurisdiction was validly acquired over
against Jensen. Jensen was out of the country at the Jensen. – NO.
time and so the summons and complaint was
served to her brother who was at the respondent’s Nature and purpose of proceedings determine
alleged residence. It was later found that the house whether action in rem, in personam, quasi in rem:
was neither the respondent Jensen’s house nor was
the person to whom summons was served her In personam: enforce personal rights and
brother or relative. The alleged residence in which obligations brought against the person and is
the summons was served was actually being based on the jurisdiction of the person. Purpose is
rented out to a third person. to impose some responsibility or liability directly
upon the person of the defendant (compel a
Nevertheless, MTC granted petitioner Domagas’ specific performance)
forcible entry but was later reversed by the RTC,
CA, and SC. Quasi in rem: brought against persons seeking to
subject the property of such persons to the
The Court held that since the summons was not discharge of the claims assiled. An individual is
properly served as the procedure for the modes of named as defendant and the purpose of the
service to one who is out of the country was not proceeding is to subject his interests therein to the
complied with. Neither were the other prescribed obligation or loan burdening the property.
modes of substituted service complied with and so
the Court held that the proceedings against Jensen An action for unlawful detainer or forcible entry
were null and void. is a real action and in personam because the
plaintiff seeks to enforce a personal obligation or
liability under Article 539 of the Civil Code

In an action in personam, jurisdiction over the


person of the defendant is necessary for the court
to validly try and decide the case. Jrusidcition over
the person of a resident defendant who does not
voluntarily appear in court can be acquired by
personal service of summons as provided under
Section 7, Rule 14 of the ROC.

If he cannot personally be served within a


reasonable time, substituted service may be made
in accordance with Section 8 of the same rule.

If he is temporarily out of the country, any of the


following modes of service may be resorted to:
1. Substituted service via section 8 rule 14
2. Person service outside the country with
leave of court
3. Service by publication with leave of court
4. Any other manner the court may deem
sufficient

Substituted service: If for justifiable causes, the


defendant cannot be served within a reasonable
time as provided in the preceding section, service
may be effected:
1. By leaving copies of the summons at the
defendants residence with some person of
suitable age and discretion residing
therein
2. By leaving the copies at defendants office
or regular place of business with some
competent person in charge thereof.

STRICT COMPLIANCE with the mode of service


is required in order that the court may acquire
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant.

In this case, the Return of Service filed by the


Sheriff states that there is no showing that the
house where the Sheriff found Oscar Layno was
actually Oscar’s residence or that of the
respondent’s. Neither is there showing that the
Sheriff tried to ascertain where the residence of the
respondent was on the said date.
Republic vs. Court of Appeals, 315 SCRA 600
An action to recover a parcel of land is in personam. As such, it is binding only between the parties that
were given an opportunity to hear the case.
An action to redeem, or to recover title to or
possession of, real property is not an action in
rem or an action against the whole world, like a
land registration proceeding or the probate of a
will; it is an action in personam, so much so that a
judgment therein is binding only upon the parties
properly impleaded and duly heard or given an
opportunity to be heard. Actions in personam and
actions in rem differ in that the former are directed
against specific persons and seek personal
judgments, while the latter are directed against the
thing or property or status of a person and seek
judgments with respect thereto as against the
whole world. An action to recover a parcel of land
is a real action but it is an action in personam, for it
binds a particular individual only although it
concerns the right to a tangible thing.

The appellate court, holding that the


proceedings before the trial court were in personam,
ruled that since petitioner was not a party to Civil
Case No. A-1759, it is not a real party-in-interest
and, therefore, has no personality to bring the
action for annulment of the judgment rendered in
that case. The appellate court said:

Private respondents are correct. Civil Case No. A-


1759 was purely for Ownership and
Possession. The decision sought to be annulled is
solely between the private respondents [the
Bustrias] and Porfirio Morado (Rollo, p.
142). Petitioner Republic was not a party in the case
and is not bound by the judgment rendered
therein.

CITIZEN SURETY VS. MELENCIO-HERRERA, 38 SCRA 369


In an action strictly in personam, personal service of summons, within the forum, is essential to the acquisition of
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court.
In other words, summons by publication cannot – consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights –
confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendants. The proper recourse is to attach on a property to convert
the proceedings into one in rem or quasi in rem.
Facts: WON summons made by publication is
sufficient for the court to acquire jurisdiction. –
Citizens Surety and Insurance Co (Citizens) NO. Service by publication is inapplicable in an
alleged that at the request of Santiago Dacanay, it action in personam.
issued 2 surety bonds to guarantee payment of P5K
promissory notes in favor Gregorio Fajardo In an action strictly in personam, personal service
and Manufacturers Bank & Trust Co respectively. of summons, within the forum, is essential to the
As security, the Santiago and Josefina Dacanay acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the
executed an Indemnity Agreement to jointly defendant, who does not voluntarily submit
indemnify Citizens for losses, costs and expenses himself to the authority of the court. In other
(with 12% annual interest) and a REM over a parcel words, summons by publication cannot –
of land in Baguio. The Dacanays failed to pay the consistently with the due process clause in the
promissory notes compelling Citizens to pay. The Bill of Rights – confer upon the court jurisdiction
Dacanays failed to reimburse Citizens however, over said defendants.
forcing the latter to cause the extrajudicial The proper recourse for the creditor is to locate
foreclosure of the mortgage and file a case to properties, real or personal, of the resident
recover the unsatisfied balance. defendant debtor with unknown address and
cause them two be attached, in which case, the
At petitioner’s request, the respondent Judge attachment converts the action into a proceeding in
caused summons to be made by publication in the rem or quasi in rem and the summons by
Philippines Herald. But despite such publication publication may be valid.
and deposit of copy with the Manila post office, the
defendant did not appear within 60 days from the Given the skill of debtors to conceal their
last publication. properties however, the decision of the respondent
Judge should be set aside and held pending in the
Plaintiff sought the defendants to be declared in archives until petitioner tracks down the
default, but the Judge eventually dismissed the whereabouts of the defendant’s person or
case, the suit being in personam and the properties
defendants not having appeared.

TAMANO VS. ORTIZ, 291 SCRA 584


RTC has jurisdiction over all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations. In this case, both
petitioner and the deceased were married through a civil wedding. And whether or not they were likewise married
in a Muslim wedding, sharia courts are still not vested with original jurisdiction over marriages married under
civil and Muslim law.
Facts:: Whether or not instant case falls under the
On May 31, 1958, Senator Tamano married jurisdiction of the RTC and not the Sharia courts.
respondent Haja Putri Zorayda A. Tamano in civil – YES.
rites. Senator Tamano later married petitioner
Estrellita J. Tamano in civil rites on June 2, 1993. the instant case falls under the jurisdiction of the
Senator Tamano died on May 18, 1994. On RTC since petitioner and Tamano were married in
November 23, 1994, respondent Zorayda filed a accordance with the Civil Code. Thus, it is the Civil
Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage Code which governs over the instant case.
of Tamano and Estrellita on the ground that it was Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980,
bigamous. They contended that Tamano and the RTCs have jurisdiction over all matters
Estrellita misrepresented themselves as divorced involving the contract of marriage and marital
and single, thus making the entries in the marriage relations.
contract false and fraudulent. A court’s jurisdiction depends only upon the
allegations of the complaint, not the defenses set
Respondent Zorayda contended that Tamano up in the answer, motion to dismiss, or motion for
never divorced her and that Estrellita annulment reconsideration.
with her previouse marriage never became final
and executory for non-compliance with
publication requirements. Estrellita filed a motion
to dismiss said case alleging that the RTC does not
have jurisdiction over the matter. She alleged that
only a party to the marriage could file and action
for annulment. Petitioner Estrellita further
contended that Tamano and Zorayda were both
Muslim and married in Muslim rites, so the
jurisdiction to hear and try the instant case was
vested in the shari’a courts pursuant to Art. 155 of
the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.

RTC denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. Court


of Appeals denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss
on the grounds that instant case only falls under
the shari’a court’s jurisdiction when it is filed in
places with shari’a courts.

Petitioner then filed a petition for review on


certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the
decision of the Court of Appeals.
LA TONDEÑA DISTILLERS VS. PONFERRADA, 264 SCRA 540
A complaint for specific performance with damages is a personal action and may be filed in the proper court where
any of the parties reside.
Several private respondents filed an action for WON venue is improperly laid. – NO.
specific performance with damages before the RTC
of Bacolod City. The defendants allegedly reneged The complaint is one for specific performance with
on their contract to sell to them a parcel of land damages. Private respondents do not claim
located in Bago City - - a piece of property which ownership of the lot but in fact recognized title of
the latter sold to petitioner while the case was defendants by annotating a notice of lis pendens. In
pending before the said RTC. Private respondent one case, a similar complaint for specific
did not claim ownership but, by annotating a performance with damages involving real
notice of lis pendens on the title, recognized property, was held to be a personal action, which
defendants' ownership thereof. may be filed in the proper court where the party
resides. Not being an action involving title to or
Petitioners alleged that venue was improperly laid, ownership of real property, venue, in this case, was
and the complaint should have been filed before not improperly laid before the RTC of Bacolod
the RTC in Bago City where the land is situated. City.
CABUTIHAN VS. LANDCENTER CONSTRUCTION, 383 SCRA 353
It is important to identify the true nature of an action in order to determine the rules on venue applicable.
A personal action, the proper venue of the case is with the courts of the place where the plaintiff or the
defendant resides pursuant to Section 1 of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court.
Facts: WON the dismissal on the ground of venue being
Cabutihan filed an action for specific performance improperly laid is proper. – NO.
against Landcenter Construction and
Development Corporation with the RTC of Pasig. A breach of contract, two gives rise to two causes
According to Cabutihan, Landcenter Corporation of action arise namely: specific performance and
did not comply with their obligation in a Deed of rescission. In this case, Cabutihan sought for the
Undertaking wherein they agreed that Cabutihan payment of the services she rendered in favor of
would facilitate and assist Landcenter Corporation Landcenter. The action was based on a contract –
in recovering a parcel of land located in Paranaque the deed of undertaking.
in consideration of 20% of the land to be recovered.
Such action is for specific performance which is a
Thereafter, Landcenter Corporation filed a motion personal action. Being a personal action, the proper
to dismiss on the ground of improper venue. They venue of the case is with the courts of the place
contended that since the primary objective of where the plaintiff or the defendant resides
Cabutihan was to recover a property, it is a real pursuant to Section 1 of Rule 4 of the Rules of
action. Hence, the case should have been filed in Court.
the RTC of Paranaque where the land is situated
pursuant to the rules. Hence, the case was properly filed with the RTC of
Pasig. It need not be filed with the RTC of
The RTC granted the motion to dismiss. Paranaque, the place where the property is located.

On other issues:
Jurisdiction over subject matter: WON the misjoinder
of parties merits a dismissal (NO.) - Neither a
misjoinder nor a non-joinder of parties is a ground
for the dismissal of an action. Parties may be
dropped or added by order of the court, on motion
of any party or on the court’s own initiative at any
stage of the action. The RTC should have ordered
the joinder of such party, and noncompliance with
the said order would have been ground for
dismissal of the action.

Non-payment of docket fees. The relaxed rule was


applied here. In the Sunlife Insurance case, the
court allowed the late payment of docket fees
considering there was a showing of willingness to
pay and good faith on the part of the party.

What is a cause of action and why is it important?

Section 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of.
Every


ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of
action.
Sec. 2. Cause of action, defined.
A cause of action
is the act or omission by which a party violates a
right of another.
WON there was cause of action. – YES, all the elements
are of a cause of action are present:
1. Legal right – right to collect of Cabutihan
2. Obligation – to pay by Landcenter
3. Act or omission – non-payment

What is a personal action?


Action – an action where the issue is founded on a
privity of contract or on quasi-delict

As to cause or foundation: Real, personal and


mixed action
As to object: Action in personam, in rem and quasi
in rem

GO VS. UCPB, G.R. NO. 156187, 442 SCRA 264


The cancellation of the real estate mortgage, subject of the instant petition, is a real action, considering that a real
estate mortgage is a real right and a real property by itself. An action for cancellation of real estate mortgage is
necessarily an action affecting the title to the property. It is, therefore, a real action which should be commenced
and tried in the place where the subject property lies.
Facts: WON venue was proper. – NO.

Petitioner Go and Looyuko are co-owners of Noah’s Ark In a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of
International, etc. They secured mortgages over certain real property, or as provided for in Section 1, Rule
parcels of land located in Mandaluyong City to obtain a 4, a real action is an action affecting title to or
loan. possession of real property, or interest therein.
These include partition or condemnation of, or
Go filed complaint (in RTC Pasig) for cancellation foreclosure of mortgage on, real property. The
of Real Estate mortgages and damages with prayer venue for real actions is the same for regional trial
for TRO and preliminary injunction against UCPB courts and municipal trial courts -- the court which
and its officers. (Cancel mortgage and prevent sale) has territorial jurisdiction over the area where the
UCPB, instead of filing an answer, filed a motion real property or any part thereof lies.
to dismiss on several grounds, one of which is that
venue was improperly laid. Personal action is one brought for the recovery of
personal property, for the enforcement of some
Go contends that the action was a personal action contract or recovery of damages for its breach, or
and venue is properly laid. for the recovery of damages for the commission of
an injury to the person or property. The venue for
personal actions is likewise the same for the
regional and municipal trial courts -- the court of
the place where the plaintiff or any of the principal
plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any of
the principal defendants resides, at the election of
the plaintiff, as indicated in Section 2 of Rule 4.

The cancellation of the real estate mortgage, subject


of the instant petition, is a real action, considering
that a real estate mortgage is a real right and a real
property by itself. An action for cancellation of real
estate mortgage is necessarily an action affecting
the title to the property. It is, therefore, a real action
which should be commenced and tried in the place
where the subject property lies.
GOCHAN VS. GOCHAN 372 SCRA 356
The court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees. The liberal
interpretation of the rules relating to the payment of docket fees as applied in the case of Sun Insurance cannot
apply when the respondents have never demonstrated any willingness to abide by the rules and to pay the correct
docket fees.
Facts: WON the respondent filed and paid the
necessary docket fees to warrant court’s
Respondents filed a complaint against petitioners jurisdiction. – NO. Sun Insurance case not
for specific performance and damages alleging applicable.
that the petitioners that offered to buy their shares
of stock,in consideration of P200M and multiple
properties. Accordingly, respondents claimed that The rule is well-settled that the court acquires
they are entitled to the conveyance of the jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment
properties, in addition to the amount of of the prescribed docket fees. In the case of Sun
P200,000,000.00, which they acknowledge to have Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) v. Asuncion,12 this
received from petitioners plus damages. Court held that it is not simply the filing of the
complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but
Petitioners filed their answer, raising the the payment of the prescribed docket fee that vests
following affirmative defences one of which is the a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject
lack of jurisdiction by the trial court for non- matter or nature of the action.
payment of the correct docket fees;
Petitioners, that the complaint is in the nature of a
Trial court ruled in favor of the defendants. It cited real action which affects title to real properties;
that respondents paid the necessary filing and hence, respondents should have alleged therein
docket fees of at least P165K. the value of the real properties which shall be the
basis for the assessment of the correct docket fees.

It is necessary to determine the true nature of the


complaint in order to resolve the issue of whether
or not respondents paid the correct amount of
docket fees therefor. In this jurisdiction, the dictum
adhered to is that the nature of an action is
determined by the allegations in the body of the
pleading or complaint itself, rather than by its title
or heading. The caption of the complaint below
was denominated as one for "specific performance
and damages." The relief sought, however, is the
conveyance or transfer of real property, or
ultimately, the execution of deeds of conveyance in
their favor of the real properties enumerated in the
provisional memorandum of agreement. Under
these circumstances, the case below was actually a
real action, affecting as it does title to or possession
of real property.

The complaint filed with the trial court was in the


nature of a real action, although ostensibly
denominated as one for specific performance.
Consequently, the basis for determining the correct
docket fees shall be the assessed value of the
property, or the estimated value thereof as alleged
by the claimant.

In the case of Sun Insurance, in case the filing of the


initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment
of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of
the fee within a reasonable time but in no case
beyond the applicable prescriptive period.
However, the liberal interpretation of the rules
relating to the payment of docket fees as applied in
the case of Sun Insurance cannot apply to the
instant case as respondents have never
demonstrated any willingness to abide by the rules
and to pay the correct docket fees.
AYALA CORP. VS. MADAYAG, 181 SCRA 687
The amount of any claim for damages arising on or before the filing of the complaint or any pleading should be
specified. The exception contemplated as to claims not specified or to claims although specified are left for
determination of the court is limited only to any damages that may arise after the filing of the complaint or similar
pleading for then it will not be possible for the claimant to specify nor speculate as to the amount thereof.
Facts: WON there was a failure to pay the required
Private spondents filed against petitioners an docket fees. – YES, but this failure will not result
action for specific performance with damages in in the dismissal of the case, but simply the
the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Petitioners filed expungement of the additional exemplary
a motion to dismiss on the ground that the lower damages prayed for, for which docket fees have
court has not acquired jurisdiction over the case as not been paid.
private respondents failed to pay the prescribed
docket fee and to specify the amount of exemplary According to the guidance laid down in the case
damages both in the body and prayer of the of Sun Insurance:
amended and supplemental complaint. The trial Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a
court denied the motion and the subsequent claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and
motion for reconsideration. payment of the prescribed filing fee but,
subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
The main thrust of the petition is that private specified in the pleading, or if specified, the same
respondent paid only the total amount of P1,616.00 has been left for determination by the court, the
as docket fees instead of the amount of P13,061.35 additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien
based on the assessed value of the real properties on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the
involved as evidenced by its tax declaration. Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to
Further, petitioners contend that private enforce said lien and assess and collect the
respondents failed to specify the amount of additional fee.
exemplary damages sought both in the body and
the prayer of the amended and supplemental The trial court misinterpreted the above
complaint. paragraph by considering it to mean that where in
the body and prayer of the complaint there is a
prayer, say for exemplary or corrective damages,
the amount of which is left to the discretion of the
Court, there is no need to specify the amount being
sought, and that any award thereafter shall
constitute a lien on the judgment.

Tacay v. Regional Trial Court: The phrase "awards


of claims not specified in the pleading" refers only
to "damages arising after the filing of the
complaint or similar pleading as to which the
additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien
on the judgment."

The amount of any claim for damages arising on or


before the filing of the complaint or any pleading
should be specified. While it is true that the
determination of certain damages as exemplary or
corrective damages is left to the sound discretion
of the court, it is the duty of the parties claiming
such damages to specify the amount sought on the
basis of which the court may make a proper
determination, and for the proper assessment of
the appropriate docket fees. The exception
contemplated as to claims not specified or to claims
although specified are left for determination of the
court is limited only to any damages that may arise
after the filing of the complaint or similar pleading
for then it will not be possible for the claimant to
specify nor speculate as to the amount thereof.

The amended and supplemental complaint in the


present case, therefore, suffers from the material
defect in failing to state the amount of exemplary
damages prayed for.

As ruled in Tacay the trial court may either order


said claim to be expunged from the record as it did
not acquire jurisdiction over the same or on
motion, it may allow, within a reasonable time, the
amendment of the amended and supplemental
complaint so as to state the precise amount of the
exemplary damages sought and require the
payment of the requisite fees therefor within the
relevant prescriptive period.
NEGROS ORIENTAL PLANTERS ASSOCIATION VS. HON. PRESIDING JUDGE OF NEGROS,
575 SCRA 575
(1) VERIFICATION: a party’s knowledge must be specifically alleged under oath to be either personal
knowledge or at least based on authentic records. One cannot merely state that he believes the statements made
in the pleading nor merely has knowledge that they are true and correct.
(2) Failure to properly verify will amount to regard the pleading as UNSIGNED. - Improper verification
subjects the pleading to the court’s discretion to allow the defect to be remedied.
(3) Where the party does not deliberately intend to defraud the court in paying docket fees, the liberal doctrine
in Sun Insurance and not the strict rule in Manchester will apply.
Facts: WON the CA committed an error. – NO.
Campos and NOPA entered into two separate
contracts denominated as Molasses Sales As to verification
Agreement. Campos allegedly paid in full, but was Clearly, the amendment introduced by A.M. No.
only able to receive a partial delivery of the 00-2-10 to Sec. 4, Rule 7 was in order to make the
molasses because of a disagreement as to the verification requirement stricter, such that the
quality of the products being delivered. More than party cannot now merely state under oath that he
six years after NOPA filed its answer, NOPA filed believes the statements made in the pleading. He
a motion to dismiss on the ground of an alleged cannot even merely state under oath that he has
failure of Campos to file the correct filing fee. knowledge that such statements are true and correct.
According to NOPA, Campos deliberately His knowledge must be specifically alleged under
concealed in his complaint the exact amount of oath to be either personal knowledge or at least based
actual damages by opting to estimate the value of on authentic records. A pleading, therefore, wherein
the unwithdrawn molasses in order to escape the the verification is merely based on the party’s
payment of the proper docket fees. RTC denied the knowledge and belief produces no legal effect,
motion to dismiss. CA dismissed petition for subject to the discretion of the court to allow the
certiorari ruling that there was no substantial deficiency to be remedied. In the case at bar, the
compliance with the procedural requirements Court of Appeals, in the exercise of this discretion,
because petitioner failed to allege in its verification refused to allow the deficiency in the Verification
that the allegations therein are true and correct of to be remedied, by denying NOPA’s motion for
his personal knowledge or based on authentic reconsideration with attached amended petition
records and failure to attach the necessary for certiorari.
documents on its pleadings as required by Section
1, Rule 65, Rules in Civil Procedure. In its very nature, the discretionary control
conferred upon the trial judge over the
proceedings had before him implies the absence of
any hard-and-fast rule by which it is to be
exercised, and in accordance with which it may be
reviewed, it may only be overturned on appeal
when there is abuse of discretion and violation of
substantial rights.

The case at bar demonstrates a situation in which


there is no effect on the substantial rights of a
litigant.

On the docket fees


NOPA’s petition for certiorari is seeking the
reversal of the orders of the RTC denying NOPA’s
motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to pay
the proper docket fees. The alleged deficiency in
the payment of docket fees by Campos, if there is
any, would not inure to the benefit of NOPA. There
is therefore no substantive right that will be
prejudiced by the Court of Appeals’ exercise of
discretion in the case at bar. While the payment of
docket fees is jurisdictional, it is nevertheless
unmistakably also a technicality. Ironically, in
seeking the leniency of this Court on the basis of
substantial justice, NOPA is ultimately praying for
a Writ of Certiorari enjoining the action for breach
of contract from being decided on the merits.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. A
party cannot expect its opponent to comply with
the technical rules of procedure while, at the same
time, hoping for the relaxation of the technicalities
in its favor.
There was therefore no grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the Court of Appeals warranting this
Court’s reversal of the exercise of discretion by the
former. However, even if we decide to brush aside
the lapses in technicalities on the part of NOPA in
its petition for certiorari, we nevertheless find that
such petition would still fail.

Furthermore, NOPA seeks for the application of


this Court’s ruling in Manchester case wherein we
ruled that the court acquires jurisdiction over any
case only upon payment of the prescribed docket
fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar
pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the
court, much less the payment of the docket fee
based on the amount sought in the amended
pleading. In denying NOPA’s motion to dismiss,
the RTC cited Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion,
wherein we modified our ruling in Manchester
and decreed that where the initiatory pleading is
not accompanied by the payment of the docket fee,
the court may allow payment of the fee within a
reasonable period of time, but in no case beyond
the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
The aforesaid ruling was made on the justification
that, unlike in Manchester, the private respondent
in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) demonstrated
his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the
additional docket fees required.

NOPA claims that Sun is not applicable to the case


at bar, since Campos deliberately concealed his
claim for damages in the prayer. In the case at bar,
the circumstances clearly show that there was no
deliberate intent to defraud the Court in the
payment of docket fees, the case of Sun should be
applied, and the Motion to Dismiss by NOPA
should be denied.
ABRENICA VS. ABRENICA, G.R. NO. 169420, 502 SCRA 614
The rules of procedure were formulated to achieve the
ends of justice, not to thwart them. The application of the Rules may be relaxed only when rigidity would
result in a defeat of equity and substantial justice.
Facts: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in the
Respondents filed with the Securities and non-application of a liberal construction of the
Exchange Commission (SEC) two cases against rules resulting in the refusal to admit petitioner’s
petitioner regarding an alleged refusal of petition for review. – NO.
petitioner to return and transfer partnership funds.
The SEC initially heard the cases but they were Under Rule 1, Section 6 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
later transferred to the RTC of Quezon City Procedure, liberal construction of the rules is the
pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799, which controlling principle to effect substantial justice.
transferred jurisdiction over intra-corporate Thus, litigations should, as much as possible, be
controversies from the SEC to the courts. The RTC decided on their merits and not on technicalities.
rendered a decision in favor of respondents, This does not mean, however, that procedural
causing petitioner to file with the Court of Appeals rules are to be ignored or disdained at will to suit
a Motion for Leave of Court to Admit Attached the convenience of a party. Procedural law has its
Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Revised own rationale in the orderly administration of
Rules of Court. The CA, however, denied said justice, namely, to ensure the effective enforcement
motion as well as the subsequent Motion for of substantive rights by providing for a system that
Reconsideration. obviates arbitrariness, caprice, despotism, or
whimsicality in the settlement of disputes. Hence,
Petitioner invokes liberal construction of the it is a mistake to suppose that substantive law and
rules in seeking reversal of the above resolutions. procedural law are contradictory to each other, or
He alleges that his appeal was not filed late but that as often suggested, that enforcement of procedural
he only resorted to the wrong mode of appeal; that rules should never be permitted if it would result
realizing his error, he immediately filed the Motion in prejudice to the substantive rights of the
For Leave to Admit Petition for Review; that his litigants.
notice of appeal had the effect of tolling the period
of perfecting his appeal under Rule 43 of the Rules Litigation is not a game of technicalities, but every
of Court; that although unaware of A.M. No. 04-9- case must be prosecuted in accordance with the
07-SC, he appealed four days after receiving the prescribed procedure so that issues may be
consolidated decision through a notice of appeal, properly presented and justly resolved. Hence,
thus showing his "sincerity" in appealing the rules of procedure must be faithfully followed
decision. except only when for persuasive reasons, they may
be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not
commensurate with his failure to comply with the
prescribed procedure. Concomitant to a liberal
application of the rules of procedure should be an
effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to
explain his failure to abide by the rules.

"Oversight" and "excusable negligence" have


become an all too familiar and ready excuse on the
part of lawyers remiss in their bounden duty to
comply with established rules. Rules of procedure
are tools designed to promote efficiency and
orderliness as well as to facilitate attainment of
justice, such that strict adherence thereto is
required. The application of the Rules may be
relaxed only when rigidity would result in a defeat
of equity and substantial justice.

Havrie vs. Meriden Resources Inc. 557 SCRA 353 (2008)

Cause of Action

JOSEPH VS. BAUTISTA, FEBRUARY 23, 1989


A cause of action is understood to be the delict or wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation
of the primary rights of the plaintiff. It is true that a single act or omission can be violative of various rights at the
same time, as when the act constitutes juridically a violation of several separate and distinct legal obligations.
However where there is only one delict or wrong, there is but a single cause of action regardless of the number of
rights that may have been violated belonging to one person. The singleness of a cause of action lies in the singleness
of the- delict or wrong violating the rights of one person. Nevertheless, if only one injury resulted from several
wrongful acts, only one cause of action arises.
Facts: Whether respondent judge erred in declaring that
Petitioner, with a cargo of livestock, boarded the the release of claim executed by petitioner in favor
cargo truck at Dagupan City. While said cargo of respondents Sioson, Villanueva and Pagarigan
truck was negotiating the National Highway inured to the benefit of respondent Perez. – NO.
proceeding towards Manila, defendant Domingo
Villa tried to overtake a tricycle likewise A cause of action is understood to be the delict or
proceeding in the same direction. At about the wrongful act or omission committed by the
same time, a pick- up truck, supposedly owned by defendant in violation of the primary rights of the
respondents Antonio Sioson and Jacinto plaintiff. The singleness of a cause of action lies in
Pagarigan, then driven by respondent Lazaro the singleness of the- delict or wrong violating the
Villanueva, tried to overtake the cargo truck which rights of one person. Nevertheless, if only one
was then in the process of overtaking the tricycle, injury resulted from several wrongful acts, only
thereby forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the one cause of action arises.
shoulder of the road and to ram a mango tree. As a
result, petitioner sustained a bone fracture in one There was only one cause of action involved
of his legs although the bases of recovery invoked by
petitioner against the defendants therein were
Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against not necessarily Identical since the respondents
respondent Patrocinio Perez, as owner of the cargo were not identically circumstanced. However, a
truck, based on a breach of contract of carriage and recovery by the petitioner under one remedy
against respondents Antonio Sioson and Lazaro necessarily bars recovery under the other. This, in
Villanueva, as owner and driver, respectively, of essence, is the rationale for the proscription in
the pick-up truck, based on quasi-delict. our law against double recovery for the same act
or omission which, obviously, stems from the
Petitioner apparently could not ascertain who the fundamental rule against unjust enrichment.
real owner of said cargo truck was
Respondents thru their insurer, paid petitioner's The respondents having been found to be
claim for injuries sustained in the amount of P solidarity liable to petitioner, the full payment
1,300.00. made by some of the solidary debtors and their
subsequent release from any and all liability to
By reason thereof, petitioner executed a release of petitioner inevitably resulted in the
claim releasing from liability the following parties, extinguishment and release from liability of the
viz: Insurance Corporation of the Philippines, other solidary debtors, including herein
Alberto Cardeno, Lazaro Villanueva, Antonio respondent Patrocinio Perez.
Sioson and Jacinto Pagarigan. The claim that there was an agreement entered into
between the parties during the pre-trial conference
They also paid respondent Perez' claim for that, after such payment made by the other
damages to her cargo truck in the amount of P respondents, the case shall proceed as against
7,420.61. respondent Perez is both incredible and
unsubstantiated.
Respondents Sioson, Pagarigan, Cardeno and
Villanueva filed a "Motion to Exonerate and
Exclude Defs/ Cross defs.
Thereafter, respondent Perez filed her "Opposition
to Cross-defs.' and Counter Motion" to dismiss.
The so- called counter motion to dismiss was
premised on the fact that the release of claim
executed by petitioner in favor of the other
respondents inured to the benefit of respondent
Perez, considering that all the respondents are
solidarity liable to herein petitioner.
MONZON VS. SPOUSES RELOVA VS. ADDIO PROPERTIES, INC., 565 SCRA 514
A cause of action is the act or omission by which a party violates the right of another. A cause of action
exists if the elements are present:
1. Right in favor of plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created
2. An obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right
3. An act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of plaintiff or constituting
breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action
for recovery of damages

Facts: Whether or not there was a cause of action against


Spouses Relova and Perez filed a petition for Atty Luna. – No.
injunction since Monzon issued promissory notes
to the respective spouses with lots as security (2A- Rule 68 governs judicial foreclosure of mortgages.
Perez, Lot 2B- Relova). Monzon was indebted to Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgages which was
Coastal Lending which foreclosed the property what transpired in the case at bar is governed by
due to the non-payment of Monzon’s 3.4 million Act 3135. Unlike Rule 68, Act 3135 does not grant
debt. Addio was the highest bidder in the sale. to junior encumbrancers the right to receive the
There was an excess of 1.6 M from Addio’s balance of the purchase price. The only right given
payment of 5M. The Spouses contend that they to second mortgagees in said issuances is the right
should be given the residue as stated in Rule 68, to redeem foreclosed property pursuant to Sec 6 of
Sec 4. The residue money is with Atty. Luna (clerk Act 3135 “any person having lien on the property
of court). However, case at bar involves subsequent to mortgage or deed of trust under
Extrajudicial Foreclosure (Act 3135) and not Rule which the property is sold, may redeem the same
68’s judicial foreclosure. Spouses do not have cause at any time within the term of one yr from and after
of action against Atty. Luna. Case is remanded date of the sale.
back to trial court to check if motion for injunction A cause of action is the act or omission by which a
is to be treated as complaint for collection of party violates the right of another. A cause of
money. action exists if the elements are present:
1. Right in favor of plaintiff by whatever
means and under whatever law it arises or
is created
2. An obligation on the part of the named
defendant to respect or not to violate such
right
3. An act or omission on the part of such
defendant violative of the right of plaintiff
or constituting breach of the obligation of
defendant to the plaintiff for which the
latter may maintain an action for recovery
of damages

In view of the foregoing, the respondent spouses


do not have a cause of action against Atty Luna for
the delivery of amounts. The case should be
dismissed in so far Atty Luna is concerned but the
same is not necessarily true with respect to
Monzon.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 514
SCRA 569
All requisites for a valid COA are present. (a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever
law it arises or is created; (b) an obligation on the part of the defendant to respect and not to violate such right; and
(c) an act or omission on the part of the defendant constituting a violation of the plaintiff’s right or breach of the
obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff.
On 18 November 1985, petitioner Philippine Whether or not the plaintiff has a cause of action
National Construction Corporation (PNCC) given the fact that PNCC failed to pay the
executed a contract of lease with private remaining balance despite several demands. –
respondents, stipulating to pay rent for the use of YES.
land, at the monthly rate of P 20,000.00 payable
yearly in advance. The said land is to be used by PNCC’s contention is that the cause of action is
petitioner as site for a rock crushing plant. The premature, since it is still on the process of
term of lease is for five years, commencing on the satisfying its obligation to MCS and has not yet
date of issuance of an industrial clearance by the violated the latter’s rights. A: THERE IS A CAUSE
Ministry of Human Settlements (Ministry). OF ACTION. All requisites for a valid COA are
present. (a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by
On 7 January 1986 PNCC obtained a Temporary whatever means and under whatever law it arises
Use Permit from the Ministry for the proposed or is created; (b) an obligation on the part of the
rock crushing project. Nine days later private defendant to respect and not to violate such right;
respondents wrote to PNCC, asking for the first and (c) an act or omission on the part of the
annual rental, and assuring that they have stopped defendant constituting a violation of the plaintiff’s
considering proposals of other aggregates plants in right or breach of the obligation of the defendant to
favor of PNCC. the plaintiff.

In reply, PNCC argued that the contract must


commence on the date of issuance by the Ministry
of an industrial clearance in their favor. It also
expressed its desire to terminate the contract it
executed with respondents, due to “financial, as
well as technical difficulties.” Respondents refused to
accede to PNCC’s request for pre termination and
on 19 May 1986, instituted an action against PNCC
for Specific Performance with Damages. Trial court
ruled in favor of respondents and ordered PNCC
to pay rentals for two years, with legal interests
plus attorney’s fees. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the trial court upon appeal by
PNCC; hence, this case.
VIEWMASTER CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION VS. ROXAS, 335 SCRA 540
In determining the existence of a cause of action, only the statements in the complaint may properly be considered.
Lack of cause of action must appear on the face of the complaint and its existence may be determined only by the
allegations of the complaint, consideration of other.
Facts: WON Petitioner’s complaint failed to state cause
Allen Roxas applied for a loan with FMIC in order of action. – YES.
to obtain funds to be used to bid for the control and
ownership of State Investment where Viewmaster The test of determining the sufficiency of the
acted as guarantor. Roxas entered with statements in a complaint as setting forth a cause
Viewmaster upon the following conditions: (1) of action is enunciated in the case of Fil-Estate Golf
50% of stock shall be sold to viewmaster (2) and Development, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals,to wit:
development of certain parcel of lands.
"In determining whether or not a complaint states a
cause of action, only the allegations in the complaint
must be considered. As held in the recent case of
FMIC granted the loan. Despite demand by Navoa v. Court of Appeals (251 SCRA 545):
Viewmaster, Roxas failed and refused to comply
with such conditions. “A cause of action is the fact or combination of facts
which affords a party a right to judicial
interference in his behalf. The requisites for a cause
of action are: (a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by
whatever means and under whatever law it arises
or is created, (b) an obligation on the part of the
defendant to respect and not to violate such right;
and (c) an act or omission on the part of the
defendant constituting a violation of the plaintiff’s
right or breach of the obligation of the defendant to
the plaintiff. Briefly stated, it is the reason why the
litigation has come about; it is the act or omission
of the defendant resulting in the violation of
someone’s right.”

In determining the existence of a cause of action,


only the statements in the complaint may properly
be considered. Lack of cause of action must appear
on the face of the complaint and its existence may
be determined only by the allegations of the
complaint, consideration of other facts being
proscribed and any attempt to prove extraneous
circumstances not being allowed.

In this case, the facts as given are not sufficient


enough for the court to arrive at an equitable
judgment.
SAN LORENZO VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, INC. VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 288 SCRA 115
A complaint states a cause of action where it contains three essential elements of a cause of action, namely: (1) the
legal right of the plaintiff, (2) the correlative obligation of the defendant, and (3) the act or omission of the defendant
in violation of said legal right. If these elements are absent, the complaint becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss
on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. To emphasize, it is not the lack or absence of cause of action that
is a ground for dismissal of the complaint but rather the fact that the complaint states no cause of action.
Facts: WON ADEC ALLEGED A CAUSE OF ACTION.
0 YES.
Private respondent Almeda Development and A motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to
Equipment Corporation (ADEC) alleged that it has state a cause of action in the complaint
acquired a property from Ponciano L. Almeda by hypothetically admits the truth of the facts alleged
virtue of a deed of sale. therein. However, the hypothetical admission is
limited to the relevant and material facts well
ADEC prayed for the issuance of a temporary pleaded in the complaint and inferences fairly
restraining order directing the San Lorenzo deductible therefrom. The admission does not
Company, Inc. and its agents "to cease and desist extend to conclusions or interpretations of law; nor
from making the petitioner a member of the San does it cover allegations of fact the falsity of which
Lorenzo Village Association, Inc. and prohibiting is subject to judicial notice.
the petitioner from constructing a taller building The allegation of ADEC that it is the owner of the
on its lot and the San Lorenzo Village Association, property on the strength of the deed of sale should
Inc. from collecting membership fee and monthly be deemed hypothetically admitted, giving it
dues and other assessments." Therein private capacity to file the proceedings below. The trial
respondent SLVAI filed a motion to dismiss the court was correct in saying that `[p]laintiff has
petition on the grounds of lack of cause of and lack shown its interest in the subject property, . . . As
of ADEC's personality to sue. It alleged that ADEC successor in interest of the registered owner,
was not a registered owner of the parcel of land plaintiff step into the shoes of the latter,
covered by TCT No. 47348; that the sale of the consequently, it can sue and be sued.” In this case,
property by Ponciano L. Almeda to ADEC could all three elements were present. The complaint
not bind third parties. included the title of the vendor who sold the land
to ADEC, the status of ADEC as successor-in-
ADEC opposed the motion to dismiss contending interest, and the altered physical environment
that it had a cause of action against SLVAI because along Pasay road, which are all allegations well
as the (new) owner of the lot involved, it cannot be within the hypothetical admission principle.
compelled to become a member of the SLVAI for to
do so would unduly limit its use of the property.
It is not "lack or absence of cause of action" that
is a ground for dismissal of the complaint, but
rather, that "the complaint states no cause of
action".

Remedy for lack/absence of cause of action


(insufficiency of factual basis) - demurrer of
evidence, the dismissal on this basis results in res
judicata

Remedy for failure to state cause of action(


insufficiency of allegations in the complaint) –
Motion to Dismiss, the dismissal does not amount
to res judicata and the petition can still file an
amended complaint.
ZEPEDA VS. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, 504 SCRA 126
The consequences enumerated in Sec. 3(c) of Rule 29 would only apply where the party upon whom the written
interrogatories is served refuses to answer a particular question in the set of written interrogatories and despite an
order compelling him to answer the particular question, still refuses to obey the order.
Facts: WON the complaint states a cause of action. –
Spouses Zepeda filed a complaint for nullification YES.
of foreclosure proceedings and loan documents
against respondent Chinabank. After Chinabank’s Petitioners have a cause of action (COA) based on
MTD was denied, it filed an answer with special their allegations in the complaint.
affirmative defenses and a set of written  The test in determining whether an
interrogatories with 20 questions, which were initiatory pleading states a COA:
unanswered by petitioner Spouses. The RTC Admitting the truth of the facts
denied Chinabank’s affirmative defenses which alleged, can the court render a valid
led Chinabank to file a petition for certiorari judgment in accordance with the
arguing that the complaint should be dismissed prayer?
pursuant to Rule 29, Sec. 3(c) as the Spouses failed
to answer Chinabank’s written interrogatories. The Petitioners specifically alleged that Chinabank
Court here ruled that the cited provision applies acted in bad faith when it extrajudicially foreclosed
only when the party upon whom the written the mortgaged property notwithstanding the
interrogatories is served refuses to answer a approval of the restructuring of their loan
particular question in the set of written obligation. They also alleged lack of notice.
interrogatories. In this case, the petitioners failed to Assuming these allegations to be true, petitioners
answer the whole set of written interrogatories; can seek the nullification of the foreclosure since
thus, Chinabank should have filed a motion based these would render the foreclosure void.
on Sec. 5 and not Sec. 3(c) of Rule 29.
The fact that petitioners admitted that they failed
to redeem the property does not preclude them
from seeking to nullify the extrajudicial
foreclosure. Precisely, they seek to nullify the
proceedings based on circumstances obtaining
prior to and during the foreclosure which render it
void.
SEA-LAND SERVICE, INC. VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 327 SCRA 135
In the determination of whether or not the complaint states a cause of action, the annexes attached to the complaint
may be considered, they being parts of the complaint.
Petitioner Sea-Land Services, Inc. and private WON the CA erred in looking at the annexes to
respondent A.P. Moller/Maersk Line (hereinafter conclude that the complaint stated a cause of
referred to as "AMML"), both carriers of cargo in action.- NO.
containerships as well as common carriers, entered
into a contract entitled, "Co-operation in the Respondent Court of Appeals did not err in
Pacific"[2] (hereinafter referred to as the reading the Complaint of Florex and respondent
"Agreement"), a vessel sharing agreement whereby AMMLs Answer together with the Third Party
they mutually agreed to purchase, share and Complaint to determine whether a cause of action
exchange needed space for cargo in their respective is properly alleged. In Fil-Estate Golf and
containerships. Under the Agreement, they could Development, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, the Supreme
be, depending on the occasion, either a principal Court ruled that in the determination of whether
carrier (with a negotiable bill of lading or other or not the complaint states a cause of action, the
contract of carriage with respect to cargo) or a annexes attached to the complaint may be
containership operator (owner, operator or considered, they being parts of the complaint.
charterer of containership on which the cargo is
carried).

The consignee refused to pay for the cargo,


alleging that delivery thereof was delayed. Thus,
Florex filed a complaint against respondent
Maersk-Tabacalera Shipping Agency (Filipinas),
Inc. for reimbursement of the value of the cargo
and other charges.

Respondent AMML filed its Answer[4] alleging


that even on the assumption that Florex was
entitled to reimbursement, it was petitioner who
should be liable. Accordingly, respondent AMML
filed a Third Party Complaint against petitioner on
November 10, 1992, averring that whatever
damages sustained by Florex were caused by
petitioner, which actually received and
transported Florex’s cargo on its vessels and
unloaded them. Petitioner filed a Motion to
Dismiss the Third Party Complaint on the ground
of failure to state a cause of action and lack of
jurisdiction, the amount of damages not having
been specified therein.
The lower court denied the MTD, prompting
petitioner to filed a petition for certiorari with the
CA. The CA denied the same, using the annexes to
conclude that there was a sufficient allegation of a
cause of action.
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 301 SCRA 637
The court prohibits splitting of a single cause of action. In this case, the restoration of possession and demand for
actual damages in the case before the MeTC and the demand for damages with the RTC both arise from the same
cause of action, i.e., the forcible entry by petitioner into the leased premises.
May 27, 1991: Petitioner leased the a parcel of land WON RTC should dismiss the case on the
with a commercial building in Araneta Center pendency of another action filed by same lessee
Cuabo to Westin Seafood Market Inc. for 9 years against same lessor. – NO. No claim for damages
and 3 months with a monthly rental fee of arising out of forcible entry or unlawful detainer
P600,000. may be filed separately and independently of the
claim on restoration of possession
October 19, 1992: Respondents Westin failed to pay
rentals despite several demands (constituting Sec 1 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provides that
breach of contract) arrearages amounting to P any person deprived of the possession of any land
8,608,284.66 or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy
or stealth or against whom the possession of any
October 31, 1992 – Petitioner repossessed the land or building is unlawfully withheld, may bring
leased premises and made inventories of the an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court
movable properties and scheduled a public auction against the person or persons unlawfully
with notice to the respondents. withholding or depriving of possession, together
with damages and cost.
Nov 26, 1992: Respondent Westin filed with MeTC
a Complaint for Forcible Entry with Damages and Sec 1 par (e) Rule 16 of the Rules of Court states
a prayer for TRO. (praying for restoration by the that the pendency of another action between the
lessor, damages fpor the deterioration of same parties for the same cause is a ground for
perishable foodstuff causing loss of profits) dismissal of an action.

TRO was issued and parties agreed on the Res Judicata requires that there must be between
following: action sought to be dismissed and the other action
a. respondent shall deposit 8600000 to the court as the following elements:
security for the payment of back rentals a. identity of the parties
b. petitioner to defer sale of movable properties of b. identity of the right asserted and relief being
Westin prayed for
c. petitioner shall allow retrieval of perishable c. identity in 2 preceding particulars
items inside the premises
d. petitioner to allow 3 personnel to maintain Sec 3 Rule 2 of Rules of Court that a party may not
restaurant equipment institure more than one suit for a single cause of
e. if no settlement on negotiation for restoration, action. Under Sec.4 of the same Rule, if two or
hearing on the merits shall proceed more suits are instituted on the basis of the same
cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment
Respondent Westin did not comply in its upon the merits in any one is available as a ground
undertaking. for the dismissal of the other or others. Cause of
action is defined by Sec 2 of Rule of 2 as the act of
Respondent instituted another action for damages omission by which a party violates a right of
in RTC. Praying for moral and exemplary damages another.
for unrealized profits of the restaurant.
Simply stated, the restoration of possession and
Petitioner filed a Motion to dismiss on the ground demand for actual damages in the case before the
of litis pendencia and forum shopping but was MeTC and the demand for damages with the RTC
archived by the presiding judge on July 2, 1993 both arise from the same cause of action, i.e., the
since the case is being heard in MeTC. forcible entry by petitioner into the leased
premises.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration and
reiterated motion to dismiss. A comparative study of the two (2) complaints
filed by private respondent against petitioner
Before the motion to dismiss could be resolved, before the two (2) trial courts shows that not only
respondent file with RTC an amended complaint are the elements of res adjudicata present, at least
in August 18, 1993. insofar as the claim for actual and compensatory
damages is concerned, but also that the claim for
Sept 14, 1993: Urgent exparte motion for the issuance damages—moral and exemplary in addition to
of TRO and motion to grant preliminary actual and compensatory—constitutes splitting a
prohibitory. single cause of action. Since this runs counter to the
rule against multiplicity of suits, the dismissal of
Presiding Judge Santiago denied motion to dismiss the second action becomes imperative.
and admitted the amended complaint and granted
TRO. The other claims for moral and exemplary
damages cannot also succeed considering that
Petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari these sprung from the main incident being heard
and prohibition before the Court of Appeals on the before the MeTC. Jurisprudence is unequivocal
ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to that when a single delict or wrong is committed—
lack of jurisdiction and allowing forum shopping like the unlawful taking or detention of the
and taking cognizance despite lack of jurisdiction. property of another—there is but one single cause
of action regardless of the number of rights that
CA dismissed the petition on the following may have been violated, and all such rights should
grounds: be alleged in a single complaint as constituting one
1. Failure of the petitioner in filing MR, which is a single cause of action In a forcible entry case, the
prerequisite to institution of a petition for certiorari real issue is the physical possession of the real
and prohibition property. The question of damages is merely
2. Elements of Litis Pendencia was lacking to secondary or incidental, so much so that the
justify the dismissal of the action for damages amount thereof does not affect the jurisdiction of
3.claims in forcible entry had no direct relation in the court. In other words, the unlawful act of a
the kind of damages being claimed before the RTC deforciant in taking possession of a piece of land
(high handed manner of petitioner to reacquire by means of force and intimidation against the
possession and sale of movable properties found rights of the party actually in possession thereof is
inside the restaurant) a delict or wrong, or a cause of action that gives rise
to two (2) remedies, namely, the recovery of
possession and recovery of damages arising from
the loss of possession, but only to one action. For
obvious reasons, both remedies cannot be the
subject of two (2) separate and independent
actions, one for recovery of possession only, and
the other, for the recovery of damages.
UMALE VS. CANOGA PARK DEVELOPMENT, G.R. NO. 167246, JULY 20, 2011
Generally, a suit may only be instituted for a single cause of action. If two or more suits are instituted on the basis
of the same cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment on the merits in any one is ground for the dismissal of
the others. Several tests exist to ascertain whether two suits relate to a single or common cause of action, such as
whether the same evidence would support and sustain both the first and second causes of action (also known as the
“same evidence” test) or whether the defenses in one case may be used to substantiate the complaint in the other.
Also fundamental is the test of determining whether the cause of action in the second case existed at the time of the
filing of the first complaint. The facts clearly show that the filing of the first ejectment case was grounded on the
petitioner’s violation of stipulations in the lease contract, while the filing of the second case was based on the
expiration of the lease contract.
TESTS IN DETERMINING WHETHER TWO SUITS RELATE TO A SINGLE CAUSE OF ACTION:
1. Same evidence test
2. Whether the same defenses in one case may be used to substantiate the complaint in the other
3. Whether the cause of action in the second case existed at the time of the filing of the first complaint
Facts: Whether Civil Case Nos. 8084 and 9210 involve
On January 4, 2000, the parties entered into a the same cause of action. – NO.
Contract of Lease on an eight hundred sixty (860)-
square-meter prime lot located in Ortigas Center, The SC ruled that Civil Case Nos. 8084 and 9210
Pasig City owned by the respondent. The involve different causes of action.
respondent acquired the subject lot from Ortigas & Generally, a suit may only be instituted for a single
Co. Ltd. Partnership through a Deed of Absolute cause of action. If two or more suits are instituted
Sale, subject to the some conditions on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing
of one or a judgment on the merits in any one is
On October 10, 2000, before the lease contract ground for the dismissal of the others. Several tests
expired, the respondent filed an unlawful detainer exist to ascertain whether two suits relate to a
case against the petitioner before the Metropolitan single or common cause of action, such as whether
Trial Court (MTC)-Branch 68, Pasig City. The the same evidence would support and sustain both
respondent used as a ground for ejectment the the first and second causes of action (also known
petitioner’s violation of stipulations in the lease as the “same evidence” test),or whether the
contract regarding the use of the property. MTC defenses in one case may be used to substantiate
decide in favor of the respondent. RTC-Branch 155 the complaint in the other. Also fundamental is the
affirmed. The case, however, was re-raffled to the test of determining whether the cause of action in
RTC-Branch 267, granted the petitioner’s motion, the second case existed at the time of the filing of
thereby reversing and setting aside the MTC- the first complaint.
Branch 68 decision. Accordingly, Civil Case No.
8084 was dismissed for being prematurely filed. Of the three tests cited, the third one is especially
Thus, the respondent filed a petition for review applicable to the present case, i.e., whether the
with the CA. During the pendency of the petition cause of action in the second case existed at the
for review, the respondent filed on May 3, 2002 time of the filing of the first complaint – and to
another case for unlawful detainer against the which we answer in the negative. The facts clearly
petitioner before the MTC. Respondent used as a show that the filing of the first ejectment case was
ground for ejectment the expiration of the parties’ grounded on the petitioner’s violation of
lease contract. MTC rendered a decision in favor stipulations in the lease contract, while the filing of
of the respondent. On appeal, the RTC-Branch 68 the second case was based on the expiration of the
reversed and set aside the decision of the MTC- lease contract. At the time the respondent filed the
Branch 71, and dismissed Civil Case No. 9210 on first ejectment complaint on October 10, 2000, the
the ground of litis pendentia. lease contract between the parties was still in effect.
The lease was fixed for a period of two (2) years,
from January 16, 2000, and in the absence of a
renewal agreed upon by the parties, the lease
remained effective until January 15, 2002. It was
only at the expiration of the lease contract that the
cause of action in the second ejectment complaint
accrued and made available to the respondent as a
ground for ejecting the petitioner. Thus, the cause
of action in the second case was not yet in existence
at the time of filing of the first ejectment case. Thus,
the respondent cannot be said to have committed a
willful and deliberate forum shopping.
FLORES VS. MALLARE-PHILIPPS, 144 SCRA 377
Where the claims or causes of action joined in a single complaint are separately owned by or due to different parties,
each separate claim shall furnish the jurisdictional test.
See table below.
Flores sued the resps for the collection of sum of See ratio below.
money with the RTC
The first cause of action alleged in the complaint
was against Ignacio Binongcal for refusing to pay
the amount of P11,643representing cost of truck
tires which he purchased on credit from Flores on
various occasions from August to October, 1981;
The second cause of action was against
resp Fernando Calion for allegedly refusing to pay
the amount of P10,212 representing cost of truck
tires which he purchased on credit from pet on
several occasions from March, 1981 to January,
1982.
Binongcal filed a MTD on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction since the amount of the demand
against said resp was only P11,643.00, and under
Section 19(8) of BP129 the RTC shall exercise
exclusive original jurisdiction if the amount of the
demand is more than P20K.
Although another person, Fernando Calion, was
allegedly indebted to pet in the amount of
P10,212.00, his obligation was separate and
distinct from that of the other resp. Calion joined
in moving for the dismissal of the complaint.
RTC dismissed the complaint.

WON the RTC correctly applied permissive joinder of parties? – The RTC correctly dismissed it on
account of the misjoinder since the claims against the respondents are separate and distinct and less
than 20k (thus not RTC)
 SC stated that petitioner’s arguments are partly correct insofar as that there is no difference
between the former and present rules in cases where a plaintiff sues a defendant on two or more
separate causes of action.
 In such cases, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes
of action irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different
transactions. Thus if the total demand exceeds twenty thousand pesos, then the regional
trial court has jurisdiction
 But if the causes of action are separate and independent, their joinder in one complaint
is permissive and not mandatory, and any cause of action where the amount of the
demand is twenty thousand pesos or less may be the subject of a separate complaint filed
with a metropolitan or municipal trial court.
 BUT there is a difference between the former and present rules in cases where two or more
plaintiffs having separate causes of action against a defendant join in a single complaint.

Old Rule New Rule


Plaintiff sues Totality of the claims in all the CoA Totality of the claims in CoA
defendant on two irrespective of whether the COA arose irrespective of whether the COA arose
or more separate out of the same or diff transactions. If out of the same or diff transactions. If
Causes of Action the total demand exceeds P20K – RTC the total demand exceeds P20K – RTC
has jurisdiction has jurisdiction

If the CoA are separate and If the Coa are separate and
independent, their joinder in one independent, their joinder in one
complaint is permissive and not complaint is permissive and not
mandatory, and any cause of action mandatory, and any cause of action
where the amount of the demand is 20K where the amount of the demand is 20K
or less may be the subject of a separate or less may be the subject of a separate
complaint filed with a metropolitan or complaint filed with a metropolitan or
MTC. MTC.
Where two or more The causes of action in favor of the two Where the claims or causes of action
plaintiffs having or more plaintiffs or against the two or joined in a single complaint are
separate CoA more defendants should arise out of the separately owned by or due to different
against a defendant same transaction or series of parties, each separate claim shall
join in a single transactions and there should be a furnish the jurisdictional test
complaint common question of law or fact, as
provided in Section 6 of Rule 3. The former rule applied only to cases of
permissive joinder of parties plaintiff.
However, it was also applicable to cases
of permissive joinder of parties
defendant.
 In cases of permissive joinder of parties, whether as plaintiffs or as defendants, under Section 6 of
Rule 3, the total of all the claims shall now furnish the jurisdictional test. Needless to state also, if
instead of joining or being joined in one complaint separate actions are filed by or against the
parties, the amount demanded in each complaint shall furnish the jurisdictional test.
 RTC correctly held that the jurisdictional test is subject to the rules on joinder of parties pursuant
to Section 5 of Rule 2 and Section 6 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court and that, after a careful
scrutiny of the complaint, it appears that there is a misjoinder of parties for the reason that the
claims against respondents Binongcal and Calion are separate and distinct and neither of which
falls within its jurisdiction.