Hermanas (H) v Heirs of Cenon Ignacio (CH) (Hierarchy of Courts) Facts: Cenon buys a 1000 sqm lot from Hermanas inc

. Cenon takes po of the land and fenced the land. Sometime in 1996, Cenon dies. As of the date of his death, the title to the land had not yet been delivered to Cenon by Hermanas. Cenon's Heirs (CH) ask for delivery of the title. Hermanas say's it can't because the same lot had already been sold to a 3 rd party (Rowena Coleman). A case is filed by Cenon's heirs with the RTC for the recovery of the lot. Hermanas counters that RTC has no jurisdiction since the matter should be brought to the HLURB. RTC says Hermanas is wrong. Hermanas petitions to the SC for certiorari under rule 65 of RTC decision. Issue: Can H go directly to SC for a rule 65 against CH? (SC after all has original jurisdiction to issue certiorari against RTC) Held: No. At the outset, the instant petition for certiorari should have been filed with the Court of Appeals and not with this Court pursuant to the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. Disregard of this rule warrants the outright dismissal of the petition. While the Court’s original jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is concurrent with the Regional Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, we emphasized in Liga ng mga Barangay National v. Atienza, Jr.,8 that such concurrence does not allow an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. A direct invocation of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition. Although the invocation of this Court’s jurisdiction is available to petitioner on the ground that this case raises a pure question of law, specifically, the issue of jurisdiction, the proper recourse is not a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 but an appeal via a petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, which should have been filed within 15 days from notice of the denial of its motion for reconsideration12 on October 22, 2004. Even if we treat the instant petition as an appeal under Rule 45, the same will not prosper having been filed only on November 30, 2004, way beyond the 15 day reglementary period. H's case is dismissed outright for violating Hierarchy of Courts.

Heirs of Hinog (HH) v Melicor (M) (Hierarchy of Courts) Facts: The Balanes own a 1399 sq mtr parcel of land. They lease the same to Hinog at a nominal rate of 100 per annum for 10 years. After the 10 year lease had expired, the Balanes wanted their land back. Hinog refuses to return the land to them, alleging that he had become the owner of the said land by virtue of purchase of the land from a certain Pahac, with the knowledge and conformity of the Balanes. Hinog dies prior to the resolution of the case. HH takes over (without being formally substituted in Hinog's stead) and appoint a new counsel, Atty. Petalcorin. Atty. P approaches the case from a novel perspective, seeking to expunge the entire case from the record as the RTC, according to Atty. P had not acquired jurisdiction over the case, since the B's failed to pay the docket fees and that the same failure is jurisdictional. Judge Melicor takes note of this, but allows the B's to reinstate the case after filing the appropriate docket fees. Atty. P files an MR that is denied by the RTC. Atty. P files a rule 65 against Judge M with the SC. Issue: Was Atty. P's act of filing a rule 65 proper? Held: No. First, it was violative of the doctrine of judicial Hierarchy. Secondly, certiorari under Rule 65 is a remedy narrow in scope and inflexible in character. It is not a general utility tool in the legal workshop. It offers only a limited form of review. Its principal function is to keep an inferior tribunal within its jurisdiction. It can be invoked only for an error of jurisdiction, that is, one where the act complained of was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction, not to be used for any other purpose, such as to cure errors in proceedings or to correct erroneous conclusions of law or fact. A contrary rule would lead to confusion, and seriously hamper the administration of justice. Petitioners utterly failed to show that the trial court gravely abused its discretion in issuing the assailed resolutions. On the contrary, it acted prudently, in accordance with law and jurisprudence.

Baviera v Paglinawan (DOJ State Prosecutor) and StanChart (Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction) Facts: Standard Chartered Bank is a multinational bank doing business in the Philippines. SCB is licensed to engage in fiduciary and trust and banking activities. It is not however, licensed by the SEC to deal in securities. Despite this, SCB solicits investments from local investors to invest in GTMPF. Baviera invests with SCB. Subsequently, Baviera's investments tank and lose more than 60% of their initial value. Baviera files a case for estafa against SCB. Also, B files a case for violation of the 8.1 of the SEC code against SCB. DOJ dismisses the latter case for not having been filed with the SEC first. Petitioner moves for an MR which is also denied, hence the recourse to a rule 65 with the SC. Issue: Was the DOJ correct in dismissing the case for violation of the SEC code outright for not having been filed with the SEC first? Held: Yes. A criminal charge for violation of the Securities Regulation Code is a specialized dispute. Hence, it must first be referred to an administrative agency of special competence, i.e., the SEC. Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, courts will not determine a controversy involving a question within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the specialized knowledge and expertise of said administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. The Securities Regulation Code is a special law. Its enforcement is particularly vested in the SEC. Hence, all complaints for any violation of the Code and its implementing rules and regulations should be filed with the SEC. Where the complaint is criminal in nature, the SEC shall indorse the complaint to the DOJ for preliminary investigation and prosecution as provided in SEC code. We thus agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioner committed a fatal procedural lapse when he filed his criminal complaint directly with the DOJ. Verily, no grave abuse of discretion can be ascribed to the DOJ in dismissing petitioner’s complaint.

Dacanay v Yrastorza (Doctrine of Finality of Judgment) (Hierarchy of Courts) Facts: Dacanay (D – an administrator of the estate of Tereso Fernandez) files a case for recovery of real property against respondents Samaco. D amends his complaint several times over the course of the matter to implead other people including Mercader and the Kersaws. On Dec 12, 1995, the RTC dismisses D's complaint for lack of merit. D appeals to CA but the said appeal is denied. D files a motion to extend time with the SC. The motion is also denied. The case against D became final as both CA and SC entered judgment over D's motion. The judgment against D becomes final. D is ordered to pay 70k to pvt. Rsp's for atty. Fees and damages. Pvt respondents file a motion to have the judgment executed with the RTC. The RTC grants the motion. D files a case for certiorari with the SC against the RTC to stay the execution, alleging that what should be executed upon should be the estate and not him. Issue: Was the filing with the SC proper? Held: At the outset, we note that petitioner filed his petition for certiorari directly in this Court. This is a violation of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. He should have filed his petition in the CA before seeking relief from this Court. Thus, this petition can be dismissed outright for being procedurally infirm. Moreover, the petition lacks merit. The RTC decision sought to be executed has long attained finality. Once a judgment attains finality, it becomes immutable and unalterable. A final and executory judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law and regardless of whether the modification is attempted to be made by the court rendering it or by the highest court of the land. This is the doctrine of finality of judgment. It is grounded on fundamental considerations of public policy and sound practice that, at the risk of occasional errors, the judgments or orders of courts must become final at some definite time fixed by law.

Ernesto Morales v CA (Exclusive Appellate JD of SC vs Orig Actions) Facts: Morales has been charged before the RTC acting as a DDC with a violation of the dangerous drug act for possessing drugs. The amount of drugs Morales possessed however, warrants a max penalty not exceeding six years. Morales questions the jurisdiction of the RTC to act upon the matter on account of this fact. The RTC says that it has jurisdiction. Morales thus files a rule 65 with the CA. Meanwhile, the OSG agrees with Morales that the RTC has no jurisdiction but questions the jurisdiction of CA to entertain the rule 65, as according to the OSG, it is the SC alone that may issue special civil actions for certiorari involving the jurisdiction of an inferior court. CA agrees with OSG and dismisses Morales case for certiorari. Issue: Is the OSG and the CA correct in their opinion that only the SC may rule 65 lower courts? Held: No. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that it had no jurisdiction over petitioner's special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Under Section 9(1) of B.P. Blg. 129, the Court of Appeals has concurrent original jurisdiction with the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 5(1) of Article VIII of the Constitution and Section 17(1) of the Judiciary Act of 1948, and with the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 21(7) of B.P. Blg. 129 to issue writs of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and quo warranto. These are original actions, not modes of appeals. Since what the petitioner filed in CA-G.R. SP No. 40670 was a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, the original jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals thereon is beyond doubt. This error of the Court of Appeals was due to its misapplication of Section 5(2)(c) of Article VIII of the Constitution and of that portion of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 vesting upon the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on certiorari as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in all cases in which the jurisdiction of any inferior court is in issue. It forgot that this constitutional and statutory provisions pertain to the appellate — not original — jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, as correctly maintained by the petitioner. An appellate jurisdiction refers to a process which is but a continuation of the original suit, not a commencement of a new action, such as that of a special civil action for certiorari. The general rule is that a denial of a motion to dismiss or to quash in criminal cases is interlocutory and cannot be the subject of an appeal or of a special civil action for certiorari. Nevertheless, this Court has allowed a special civil action for certiorari where a lower court has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in denying a motion to dismiss or to quash. The petitioner believed that the RTC below did so; hence, the special civil action for certiorari before the Court of Appeals appeared to be the proper remedy.

St. Martin Funeral Home vs NLRC (Concurrent OJ of SC and CA for rule 65 against lower courts and quasicourts) Facts: Bienvenido Aricayos (BA) files a case for illegal dismissal against SMFH. SMFH on the other hand, claims that it was justified in dismissing BA because BA 1.) Misappropriated 38k from the co. 2.) Is not an employee of SMFH but rather a mere volunteer. The Lab Arb finds merit in SMFH allegations. BA appeals with the NLRC who subsequently reverses the decision of Lab Arb. SMFH files a petition for certiorari under rule 65 with the SC. Issue: Where should rule 65 against the NLRC be first addressed to? Held: With the CA according to the SC. In this case, the SC remands the case to the CA for certiorari. Under the present state of the law, there is no provision for appeals from the decision of the NLRC. The SC argues thus... “RA 7902 Section 9 (3) Exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service Commission, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.” What this law merely does according to the SC is to prevent the CA from having appellate jurisdiction over Labor Cases falling under the EAJ of the SC. But since the NLRC, a creature of the labor code...has no provisions for appeal, there can thus be said no appellate jurisdiction within the SC. What the SC may do is merely to conduct judicial review under rule 65. There no rule restricting the CA from also conducting a rule 65 on the NLRC, the SC finds it fitting that the CA may now conduct rule 65's on NLRC decisions. Special civil action of certiorari is within the concurrent original jurisdiction of this Court and the Court of Appeals

Cubero vs Laguna West Facts: Cubero along with some other folks enter into a JVA with Belle Corp to develop several hectares of CARP land owned by Cubero and folks in Tanuan Batangas. Upon learning of this deal, Laguna West files 9 ex parte motions to have adverse claims attached on the subject lots, claiming that LW had a prior JVA with the predecessors in interest of Cubero and folks and that these same JVA's were registered as adverse claims over the previous titles of the subjects lots. Belle for its part alleges that the JVA between LW and the predecessors in interest are void ab initio since they were executed within the 10 year prohibitory period under RA 6657 (CAR law of '88). RTC dismisses the case, holding that the matter must be brought before the DARAB first since it involves a question over which DARAB has primary jurisdiction. The MR is rejected hence the present petition for review on certiorari. Issue: Does DARAB have original jurisdiction over this matter? Held: Yes. In the recent case of Islanders CARP-Farmers Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative Development, Inc. v. Lapanday Agricultural and Development Corp.,23 this Court elucidated on the scope of an agrarian dispute, viz: The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters, with exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL). Included in the definition of agrarian disputes are those arising from other tenurial arrangements beyond the traditional landowner-tenant or lessor-lessee relationship. Expressly, these arrangements are recognized by Republic Act No. 6657 as essential parts of agrarian reform. Thus, the DARAB has jurisdiction over disputes arising from the instant Joint Production Agreement entered into by the present parties. In cases where allegations of violation or circumvention of land reform laws have been raised, this Court has declined to address them, it stating that petitioners must first plead their case with the DARAB. There is no reason why this Court should now hold otherwise. Bonus Reading: (Distinction between original and exclusive jurisdiction: Original jurisdiction means jurisdiction to take cognizance of a cause at its inception, try it and pass judgment upon the law and facts, while exclusive jurisdiction precludes the idea of co-existence and refers to jurisdiction possessed to the exclusion of others.)

DAR vs Cuenca Facts: Cuenca owns roughly 81 hectares of land in Lac Carlota City. The MARO of DAR, Noe Fortunado notices this and subjects the large landholding to CARP by issuing a Notice of Coverage to Cuenca on September 21 1999. Cuenca files a complaint with the RTC to have the notice annulled on the ground that EO 405 (which amended CARL) was unconstitutional since it was issued at a time when Cory Aquino no longer had law making powers. MARO files a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the matter. The RTC issues the TRO against MARO. MARO files an MR but the same is denied. DAR thereafter files a rule 65 against the RTC with the CA, alleging GADLEJ on the part of RTC. CA dismisses the matter holding that since the msin point of this case was a question of constitutionality of EO 405 and not an agri dispute, the same fellw within the jurisdiction of the RTC. Hence the present petition. Issue: Does the RTC really have jurisdiction over this matter? Held: No. All controversies on the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), even though they raise questions that are also legal or constitutional in nature. All doubts should be resolved in favor of the DAR, since the law has granted it special and original authority to hear and adjudicate agrarian matters. According to the DAR, the issue involves the implementation of agrarian reform, a matter over which the DAR has original and exclusive jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 50 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657). On the other hand, private respondent maintains that his Complaint assails mainly the constitutionality of EO 405. He contends that since the Complaint raises a purely legal issue, it thus falls within the jurisdiction of the RTC. We do not agree. Two basic rules have guided this Court in determining jurisdiction in these cases. First, jurisdiction is conferred by law. And second, the nature of the action and the issue of jurisdiction are shaped by the material averments of the complaint and the character of the relief sought. The defenses resorted to in the answer or motion to dismiss are disregarded; otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend entirely upon the whim of the defendant. A careful perusal of respondent’s Complaint shows that the principal averments and reliefs prayed for refer -- not to the "pure question of law" spawned by the alleged unconstitutionality of EO 405 -- but to the annulment of the DAR’s Notice of Coverage. The DAR can not be ousted from its authority by the simple expediency of appending an allegedly constitutional or legal dimension to an issue that is clearly agrarian.

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