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d2015member Re: Request of the Plaintiffs, Heirs of the Passengers of the Doa Paz toSet Aside the Order

dated January 4, 1988 of Judge BD Chingcuangco (March 3, 1988) En Banc Facts: A complaint for damages amounting to more than P1.5 billion was filed in the name of the relatives/heirs of the victims of the worst sea disaster in history: the sinking of the Dona Paz which collided w/ another vessel The complaint was characterized as a class suit prosecuted by 27 plaintiffs in behalf of approx.. 4,000 people who are all close relatives/legal heirs of the passengers o They claim that the institution of a class suit is proper bec the identified plaintiffs are sufficiently numerous Together with the complaint was a Motion for Leave to File Case a Pauper Litigant bec a big majority of them have no means to finance the filing of the case. On the same day, their counsel submitted a certification of the City Assessor of Quezon City: according to the assessment records there is no property registered for taxation purposes in the names of 7 of the plaintiffs o The motion fo fila a case as pauper litigants was granted by Judge Chingcuangco to those 7 plaintiffs It is this order that the plaintiffs ask this Court to set aside. They ask that all be allowed to prosecute the case as pauper litigants and be exempt from filing fees Judge Chingcuangco says: o He opted to leave the matter of the propriety of the class suit to the judgment of the branch to which this case may be raffled although he personally would have freely allowed all plaintiffs to litigate as pauper litigants and close his eyes to the fact that one of them is the present Clerk of this Court and another RTC Judge o He suggested to the plaintiffs' counsel to seek the assistance of the SC which can exercise judicial activism by allowing (that which this Executive Judge cannot do), all plaintiffs to litigate as pauper litigants and consider the case as a class suit, in the highest interest of public service Defendant Sulpicio Lines says: o There were only 1,493 passengers at the time of the tragedy, not 4,000 o It is doubtful whether the 27 plaintiffs are sufficiently numerous and representative to fully protect the interests of all o There are in truth only 7 plaintiffs qualified to sue as pauper litigants

Issue/Held: Is this case one of a proper class suit? NO Ratio:

It is not the rule governing class suits (Sec 12, Rule 3 Rules of Court) that is involved in the proceedings at bar, but that concerning permissive joinder of parties in Section 6 of the Rule 3. Similarity: o The same transaction or series of transactions is involved o Common questions of fact or law are at issue Difference: o In a class suit, there is only one right or cause of action pertaining or belonging in common to many persons, not separately or severally to distinct individuals o To distinguish the rule on class suits from that of permissive joinder of parties is the numerousness of parties involved in a class suit. For a class suit to be allowed, it is needful inter alia that the parties be so numerous that it would be impracticable to bring them all before the court Permissive Joinder of Parties SEC. 6. Permissive joinder of parties. All persons in whom or against whom any right to relief in respect to or arising out of the same transaction or series of transaction is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative, may, except as otherwise provided in these rules, join as plaintiffs or be joined as defendants in one complaint, where any question of law or fact common to all such plaintiffs or to all such defendants may arise in the action; but the court may make such orders as may be just to prevent any plaintiff or defendant from being embarrassed or put texpense in connection with any proceedings in which he may have no interests. a) b) There are many persons who have distinct, separate rights against the same party or group of parties Those rights arise from the same transaction or series of transactions and there are common questions of fact or law

Class Suit SEC. 12. Class Suit. When the subject matter of his controversy is one of csurvivors and next of kin of the victims; each claimant is a class unto himself in terms of ommon or general interest to many persons, and the parties are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the court, one or more may sue or defend for the benefit of all. But in such case the court shall make sure that the parties actually before it are sufficiently numerous and representative so that all interests concerned are fully protected. Any party in interest shall have a right to intervene in protection of his individual interest. a) b) The subject matter in controversy is of common or general interest to many persons Those persons are so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring them all before the court.

(example: suit brought in behalf of numerous stockholders of a corporation to perpetually enjoin what is claimed to be a breach of trust act of the company's board of directors)

(example: employees dismissed by their employer on the same occasion for substantially the same reasons, allegedly without cause or justification, may join as plaintiff in a single action OR the owner of a tract of land whose property has been illegally occupied by many persons claiming different portions, may bring a single action against all illegal occupants) The plaintiff each have a material interest only in the damages properly due to him, not in those that may be payable to the others, although their rights thereto arise from the same transaction. (Meaning: There are as many rights of action as there are plaintiffs joined in the action.)

What makes the situation a proper case for a class suit: The circumstance that there is only one right or cause of action belonging in common to many persons, not separately or severally to distinct individuals The "true" class action, which is the invention of equity, is one which involves the enforcement of a right which is joint, common, or secondary or derivative.

d2015member It is a suit where the joinder of all interested parties would be essential. A judgment in a class suit (favorable or unfavorable to the class) is binding under res judicata upon all the members of the class, whether or not they were before the court. It is the non-divisible nature of the right sued on which determines both the membership of the class and the resjudicata effect of the final determination of the right.

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