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In Benatiro vs. Cuyos (G.R. No. 161220), It bears stressing that the

purpose of the conference was for the heirs to arrive at a compromise agreement over the estate of Evaristo Cuyos. Thus, it was imperative that all the heirs must be present in the conference and be heard to afford them the opportunity to protect their interests. The Court affirmed the decision of CA stating which concluded that due to the absence
of the respondents' consent, the legal existence of the compromise agreement did not stand on a firm ground. Section 3, Rule 47 of the Rules of Court provides that an action for annulment of judgment based on extrinsic fraud must be filed within four years from its discovery and, if based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches or estoppel.



The elements of a valid declaration of default are: 1. 2. 3. the court has validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defending party either by service of summons or voluntary appearance; the defending party failed to file the answer within the time allowed therefor and a motion to declare the defending party in default has been filed by the claiming party with notice to the defending party.

Three requirements must be complied with before the court can declare the defending party in default The rule on default requires the filing of a motion and notice of such motion to the defending party. It is not enough that the defendant fails to answer the complaint within the reglementary period. The trial court cannot motu proprio declare a defendant in default as the rules leave it up to the claiming party to protect his or its interests. WHERE THERE IS NO DECLARATION OF DEFAULT, ANSWER MAY BE ADMITTED EVEN IF FILED OUT OF TIME It is within the sound discretion of the trial court to permit the defendant to file his answer and to be heard on the merits even after the reglementary period for filing the answer

expires. The Rules of Court provides for discretion on the part of the trial court not only to extend the time for filing an answer but also to allow an answer to be filed after the reglementary period. Thus, the appellate court erred when it ruled that the trial court had no recourse but to declare petitioner spouses in default when they failed to file their answer on or before November 5, 1999. The rule is that the defendants answer should be admitted where it is filed before a declaration of default and no prejudice is caused to the plaintiff. Where the answer is filed beyond the reglementary period but before the defendant is declared in default and there is no showing that defendant intends to delay the case, the answer should be admitted. Therefore, the trial court correctly admitted the answer of petitioner spouses even if it was filed out of time because, at the time of its filing, they were not yet declared in default nor was a motion to declare them in default ever filed. Neither was there a showing that petitioner spouses intended to delay the case. WHERE ANSWER HAS BEEN FILED, THERE CAN BE NO DECLARATION OF DEFAULT ANYMORE Since the trial court already admitted the answer, it was correct in denying the subsequent motion of respondents to declare petitioner spouses in default. In Cathay Pacific Airways, Ltd. v. Hon. Romillo, Jr., the Court ruled that it was error to declare the defending party in default after the answer was filed. The Court was in fact even more emphatic in Indiana Aerospace University v. Commission on Higher Education: it was grave abuse of discretion to declare a defending party in default despite the latters filing of an answer.

If the defendant fails to file his answer on time, he may be declared in default upon motion of the plaintiff with notice to the said defendant. In case he is declared in default, the court shall proceed to render judgment granting the plaintiff such relief as his pleading may warrant, unless the court in its discretion requires the plaintiff to submit evidence. The defaulting defendant may not take part in the trial but shall be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings.
Since defendant filed a motion for extension of the reglementary period to answer only four days after it has expired, and her answer was already filed when she was declared in default, we consider it an abuse of discretion to deny her motion to set aside the order of default especially when the service of summons is predicated on an erroneous assumption of fact.

4. in Circle Financial Corporation v. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. 77315), Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa opined that the affidavit of merit may either be drawn up as a

separate document and appended to the motion for new trial or the facts which should otherwise be set out in said separate document may, with equal effect, be alleged in the verified motion itself. The Court therefore declares correct the pronouncement of both the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals that Circle's motion for new trial entitled "Verified Urgent Motion to Set Aside, etc." was defective, not only because it failed to allege either by separate affidavit or in the body of the motion itself, the particular facts claimed to constitute the fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence entitling it to relief, but also because it failed to demonstrate with any degree of persuasiveness, by affirmative averments, either in its aforesaid motion or in any other pleading, that it had in its favor a meritorious defense to the action for annulment of the foreclosure sale on the ground that the mortgage debt had been fully paid. that the failure of petitioners to attach to the motion for reconsideration the affidavit of merit showing that they have a valid and meritorious defense is a fatal defect which warrants the denial of said motion for reconsideration considering that said motion partakes of the nature of a motion to lift an order of default or a petition for relief from judgment where an affidavit of merit is an indispensable requirement. In the instant case, neither an affidavit of merit nor an affidavit of the declared absolutory causes (fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence) as regards the lawyer's failure to appear at the hearing, strictly sufficient in form and substance, as explicitly required under Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, in relation to Section 7, Rule 133 of the Rules of Cout, was attached to the motion for reconsideration. There was in other words, no declaratioln under oath to establish the lawyer's claimed illness (sprained ankle), conformably with the rule governing evidence on motion under Section 7 of Rule 133 of the Rules of Court. (Torno vs. Fortun G.R. No. 72622)



No. 133913 ) Yes I will grant the petition. Under Article 1391 of the Civil Code, an action for annulment shall be brought within four years from the discovery of the fraud;that is, within four years from the discovery of the fraudulent statements made in the application.

In the case at hand, the defendant filed the petition to annul the judgment on the ground of extrinsic fraud, three years after the entry of judgment. There was absolutely no excuse why petitioner had to wait until the finality of the Decision in the case for quieting of title, before raising the issue of extrinsic fraud in order to annul the Decision in the reconstitution proceedings. Clearly, the facts constituting the fraud should have been known to petitioners predecessor-in-interest, when the Petition to quiet the title was filed in 1970. 7. Section 1, Rule II of the Revised Rules of Procedure provides that the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389[,] Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations. a case involving an agricultural land does not automatically make such case an agrarian dispute, upon which the DARAB has jurisdiction. The mere fact that the land is agricultural does not ipso facto make the possessor an agricultural lessee [or] tenant. The law provides for conditions or requisites before he can qualify as one and the land being agricultural is only one of them. In Mateo vs. CA(G.R. No. 128392), the appellees have neither tenurial arrangement of any kind with the appeallant nor with appellants predecessor-in-interest. Verily, there being no agrarian dispute between the parties, the DARAB has no jurisdiction over the case and the complaint for unlawful detainer was properly filed with the MTC of Las Pinas.

8. G.R. No. 121510, the Court ruled that, as in the case at bench, the defendant in an ejectment case having died before the rendition by the trial court of its decision therein, its failure to effectuate a formal substitution of heirs before its rendition of judgment, does not invalidate such judgment where the heirs themselves appeared before the trial court, participated in the proceedings therein, and presented evidence in defense of deceased defendant, it undeniably being evident that the heirs themselves sought their day in court and exercised their right to due process.

9. In Hodges vs. Garcia (G.R. No. L-12730) The facts have never been denied or contradicted by plaintiff, and they clearly show that the increase in area of Lot No. 2290 by the river bank was due to alluvion or accretions which it gradually received (from 1917 to 1939, or for a period of 22 years) from the effects of the current of the river. It should here be stated that in the cadastral proceedings wherein the land object of this action was sought to be registered by herein defendant Amador D. Garcia, plaintiff C.N.

Hodges did not file any opposition despite due publication of the notice of the application and hearing. The record also shows that the land now being claimed by plaintiff had been litigated in three civil cases. (Exhs. "4", "5" and "6".) In those cases, herein defendant was recognized as the owner of the land and held legally entitled to its possession.

--- G.R. No. 120384 Petitioner avers that respondents did not raise any objection when it presented evidence to prove payment to PNB. Hence, as provided for in Section 5, Rule 10 of the Revised Rules of Court, when issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects, as if they had been raised in the pleadings.

10. G.R. No. L-30683 For the same reasons, defendants' theory that new summons shoud have been issued for the amended complaint is untenable. The trial court ahd already acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defendants when they were served with summons on the basis of the original complaint and when they appeared and filed a motion to dismiss.

11. G.R. No. 107824 . An amendment to change the relief sought does not change the theory of a case. What is prohibited is a change in the cause of action ..Arches v. Villarruz (102 Phil. 661, 668 (1957)) While the rule allowing amendments to a pleading is subject to the
general limitation that the cause of action should not be substantially changed or that the theory of the case should not be altered, in the furtherance of justice, amendments to a pleading should be favored and the rules thereon should be liberally construed. In the present case, we find justification for allowing the admission of the amended complaint in order that the real question between the parties may be properly and justly threshed out, in a single proceeding, and thus avoid multiplicity of actions.

12. Filipino Fabricator vs. Magsino G.R. 47574--." These requirements under Rule 15, as we have often held, are mandatory, and the failure of the movant to comply with them renders his motion fatal. The petitioners' motion for bill of particulars filed on may 12, 1977, did not contain the notice of hearing and proof of service required by the Rules. This kind of motion, as we have already held in several cases (Firme v. Reyes, 92 SCRA 713, 715 [1979], citing therein several cases), is nothing but " mere scrap of paper." It presents no question which merits the attention and consideration of the court. In fact, it is not even considered a motion. A defective motion of this kind does not interrupt the running of the

period within which to file answer. As the motion filed by the petitioners was nothing but a useless scrap of paper which did not affect at all the running of the reglementary period to answer, the petitioners, who had not filed their answer to the complaint of respondent Atlas, should, as early as May 14, 1977 (the last day of the extended period to answer), have been declared in default.

13. Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. NLRC-- The established rule is that the date of delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of filing thereof in court, and that in such cases, the date of actual receipt by the court, and not the date of delivery to the private carrier, is deemed the date of filing of that pleading. 14. Jurisdiction over the person must be seasonably raised, i.e., that it is pleaded in a motion to dismiss or by way of an affirmative defense in an answer. Voluntary appearance shall be deemed a waiver of this defense. The assertion, however, of affirmative defenses shall not be constructed as an estoppel or as a waiver of such defense. 15. It is a well-settled rule that the existence of a cause of action is determined by the allegations in the complaint. 14 In the resolution of a motion to dismiss based on failure to state a cause of action, only the facts alleged in the complaint must be considered. The test in cases like these is whether a court can render a valid judgment on the complaint based upon the facts alleged and pursuant to the prayer therein. 15 Hence, it has been held that a motion to dismiss generally partakes of the nature of a demurrer which hypothetically admits the truth of the factual allegations made in a complaint. 16. Under the rules of civil procedure in ordinary civil actions, the private respondent could no longer file a motion to dismiss after he had been declared in default and had done nothing to lift or set aside the said default declaration. A defendant declared in default is not entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings nor to take part in the trial (Sec. 2, Rule 18, Rules of Court). While it is true that a defaulting defendant does not completely lose his standing under the revised Rules such as the right to appeal from the judgment without having to file a petition to set aside the order of default, the right to file a motion to dismiss is not among those granted to him (Cf. Sec. 4, Rule 13; Sec. 2, Rule 41).<re||an1w> It is not clear, therefore, why the respondent court acted favorably on the defendant's motion to dismiss more than eight months after having declared him in default.

17. a. Section 1. Who may intervene. A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be

adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding. b. Sec. 2. Time to intervene. The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion and served on the original parties. c. there are some instances, by way of exception, when intervention maybe a matter of right. These exceptions are: 1. when the intervenor turns out to be an indispensable party; and 2. class suit 18. Section 1, Rule 22, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: Section 1. How to compute time. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these Rules, or by order of the court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run is to be excluded and the date of performance included. If the last day of the period, as thus computed, falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall not run until the next working day.3
Whereas, the question has been raised if the period is extended ipso jure to the next working day immediately following where the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday so that when a motion for extension of time is filed, the period of extension is to be reckoned from the next working day and not from the original expiration of the period; NOW THEREFORE, the Court Resolves, for the guidance of the Bench and the Bar, to declare that Section 1, Rule 22 speaks only of "the last day of the period" so that when a party seeks an extension and the same is granted, the due date ceases to be the last day and hence, the provision no longer applies. Any extension of time to file the required pleading should therefore be counted from the expiration of the period regardless of the fact that said due date is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

19. It appears that, at said preliminary hearing, it was established that R-II Builders complaint did not involve an intra-corporate dispute and that, even if it is, venue was improperly laid since none of the parties maintained its principal office in Manila. While it is true, therefore, that R-II

Builders had no hand in the raffling of the case, it cannot be gainsaid that Branch 24 of the RTC Manila had no jurisdiction over the case. Rather than ordering the dismissal of the complaint, however, said court issued the 2 January 2008 order erroneously ordering the re-raffle of the case. In Atwel v. Concepcion Progressive Association, Inc.2 and Reyes v. Hon. Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 1423 which involved SCCs trying and/or deciding cases which were found to be civil in nature, this Court significantly ordered the dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction instead of simply directing the re-raffle of the case to another branch.


21. Accordingly, when a party adopts an improper remedy, his petition may be dismissed outright. for employing the improper mode of appeal, the case should have been

22. NO. We hold the view that whether an appeal involves only questions of law or both questions of fact and law, this question should best be left for the determination of an appellate court and not by the court which rendered the subject decision appealed from. As questions of facts and law are intended to be raised by petitioner, the proper forum for the petitioner's appeal would then unquestionably be the Intermediate Appellate Court.
By dismissing the appeal on the ground that it was misdirected because the case was resolved by it on a pure question of law, the trial court committed a grave error. Respondent Judge should have allowed the Intermediate Appellate Court to decide whether or not the petitioner's appeal involves only a question of law and not arrogate unto himself the determination of this question.


24. Yes. Rule 37,

Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court, a motion for new trial should be filed within the period to appeal, that is, within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment. The motion for new trial suspends the running of the period to appeal but does not extend the time within which an appeal must be perfected. Rule 41, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court, he had fifteen (15) days from receipt of the RTC decision to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration. In the case at bar, Fernandez filed a motion for reconsideration fourteen (14) days after receipt of the decision. The motion was denied and he had only the remaining one (1) day to file a motion for new trial which day fell on 01 December 1994. Since 30 November 1994 was a holiday, Fernandez had up to 01 December 1994 to file the motion for new trial.

25. Fresh Period Rule when the High Court is allowing a fresh period of 15 days within

which to file a notice of appeal in the RTC, counted from receipt of the order dismissing or denying a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration.

nonpayment of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees within the reglementary period as provided under Section 4, Rule 41, supra, is a ground for the dismissal of an appeal under Section 1(c) of Rule 50. Notwithstanding the mandatory nature of the requirement of payment of appellate docket fees, the Court also recognize that its strict application is qualified by the following: first, failure to pay those fees within the reglementary period allows only discretionary, not automatic, dismissal; second, such power should be used by the court in conjunction with its exercise of sound discretion in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play, as well as with a great deal of circumspection in consideration of all attendant circumstances.

27. Rules of Procedure must be faithfully followed. But the rules may be relaxed, for

persuasive and weighty reasons, to relieve a litigant of an injustice commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure.39 In the case of La Salette College v. Victor Pilotin,40 we held: Notwithstanding the mandatory nature of the requirement of payment of appellate docket fees, we also recognize that its strict application is qualified by the following: first, failure to pay those fees within the reglementary period allows only discretionary, not automatic, dismissal; second, such power should be used by the court in conjunction with its exercise of sound discretion in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play, as well as with a great deal of circumspection in consideration of all attendant circumstances.
Like, payment of insufficient fees was caused by the erroneous assessment made by the Clerk of Court, and there was no intention to defraud the government. Court held that despite the jurisdictional nature of the rule on payment of docket fees, the appellate court still has the discretion to relax the rule in meritorious cases.

28. Rule 44 does not provide that non-submission of copies of the approved record on appeal is a ground to dismiss an appeal. Quite plainly, the rule only reads that should there be "any unauthorized alteration, omission or addition in the approved record of appeal," the same should be considered as a ground for dismissal. Petitioners construction of the rules would unduly extend its meaning and application as there is no mention therein that non-submission of the required copies is a ground to dismiss an appeal. 29. Gen. Rule: It is well-settled that a party who has not appealed from a Decision cannot seek any relief other than what is provided in the judgment appealed from. Exception:

There exists a strong and compelling reason to warrant an exception to the rule that a judgment creditor is entitled to execution of a final and executory judgment against a party especially if that party failed to appeal. (city trust Banking corp. vs. CA) Where the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based, or where the appellate court's findings are contrary to those of the trial court, or where the appellate court drew incorrect conclusions of fact, this Court has not declined the review of factual matters. (Universal Motors Corp. vs. CA)

30. In fact, this Court exercises its constitutional power to promulgate special rules of procedure

by adopting Sections 60 and 61 of RA 6657 declaring a petition for review as the proper mode of appeal to the Court of Appeals.
We ruled that the Rules of Court does not categorically prescribe ordinary appeal as the exclusive mode of appeal from decisions of Special Agrarian Courts. The reference by Section 61 to the Rules of Court in fact even supports the mode of a petition for review as the appropriate way to appeal decisions of the Special Agrarian Courts.