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CIVIL PROCEDURE Case Digest

Case Assignment under Judge Wagan


Submitted by: Carisa H Barcena

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

Table of Contents JURISDICTION ________________________________________________________________ 3


NAVALES V ABAYA _________________________________________________________________ 4 GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT _____________________ 6 CEROFERR REALTY CORPORATION v. CA and ERNESTO D. SANTIAGO_________________________ 8 HILADO, et.al. v. CHAVEZ ___________________________________________________________ 11 HATIB ABBAIN vs. TONGHAM CHUA, ET AL., ___________________________________________ 15 TINITIGAN v TINITIGAN ____________________________________________________________ 16 FRANCEL REALTY CORPORATION v. RICARDO T. SYCIP, ___________________________________ 18 SPS. ATUEL - GALDIANO vs. SPS. VALDEZ ______________________________________________ 20

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

JURISDICTION

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

NAVALES V ABAYA G.R. No. 162318. October 25, 2004 FACTS: Petitioner questions the jurisdiction of the General Court-Martial to conduct the court-martial proceedings involving the petitioners being charged with violations of the Articles of War (Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended) in connection with their participation in the takeover of the Oakwood Premier Apartments in Ayala Center, Makati City on July 27, 2003. Petitioners stated that the offenses for which all the accused were charged were not serviceconnected, but absorbed and in furtherance of the crime of coup detat, the General CourtMartial no longer has jurisdiction over them. As such, respondents Gen. Abaya and the JAGO have no authority to constitute the General Court-Martial, to charge and prosecute the petitioners and their co-accused for violations of the Articles of War in connection with the July 27, 2003 Oakwood Incident. The petitioners posit that, as a corollary, there is no longer any basis for their continued detention under the Commitment Order dated August 2, 2003 issued by Gen. Abaya considering that the charge against them for coup detat had already been dismissed. The respondents contend that the Order dated February 11, 2004 promulgated by the RTC (Branch 148), insofar as it resolved the Omnibus Motion and declared that the charges against all the accused, including those excluded in the Amended Information, were not serviceconnected, is null and void. They aver that at the time that the said motion was resolved, petitioners 1Lt. Navales, et al. and Capt. Reaso, et al. (as movants therein) were no longer parties in Criminal Case No. 03-2784 as the charge against them was already dismissed by the RTC (Branch 61) in the Order dated November 14, 2003. Thus, 1Lt. Navales, et al. and Capt. Reaso, et al.no longer had any personality to pursue the Omnibus Motion since one who has no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court. In other words, the petitioners were not real parties in interest at the time that their Omnibus Motion was resolved by the RTC (Branch 148). ISSUE: Whether the General Court Martial has Jurisdiction over the case HELD: Court held that all charges before the court-martial against the accused were not serviceconnected, but absorbed and in furtherance of the crime of coup detat, cannot be given effect.
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

Rep. Act No. 7055 did not divest the military courts of jurisdiction to try cases involving violations of Articles 54 to 70, Articles 72 to 92 and Articles 95 to 97 of the Articles of War as these are considered service-connected crimes or offenses. In fact, it mandates that these shall be tried by the court-martial. Indeed, jurisdiction is the power and authority of the court to hear, try and decide a case.[24] Moreover, jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action is conferred only by the Constitution or by law.[25] It cannot be (1) granted by the agreement of the parties; (2) acquired, waived, enlarged or diminished by any act or omission of the parties; or (3) conferred by the acquiescence of the courts.[26] Once vested by law on a particular court or body, the jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action cannot be dislodged by any body other than by the legislature through the enactment of a law. The power to change the jurisdiction of the courts is a matter of legislative enactment which none but the legislature may do. Congress has the sole power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the courts.[27] In view of the clear mandate of Rep. Act No. 7055, the RTC (Branch 148) cannot divest the General Court-Martial of its jurisdiction over those charged with violations of Articles 63 (Disrespect Toward the President etc.), 64 (Disrespect Toward Superior Officer), 67 (Mutiny or Sedition), 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and 97 (General Article) of the Articles of War, as these are specifically included as service-connected offenses or crimes under Section 1 thereof. Pursuant to the same provision of law, the military courts have jurisdiction over these crimes or offenses.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT G.R. No. 138381 April 16, 2002 Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: GSIS seeks the annulment of the COA decision affirming the resident auditors disallowance of monetary benefits granted to or paid by GSIS in behalf of its employees. After the effectivity of RA 6758 petitioner GSIS increased the benefits for its personnel, but the GSIS Corporate Auditor disallowed the said allowances and benefits without the necessary authorization required under the Corporate Compensation Circular No. 10. GSIS appealed before the COA, which affirmed the decision of its representative. GSIS filed a motion for reconsideration of the COA decision, invoking the ruling in De Jesus, et al. v. COA and Jamoralin.9 Corporate Compensation Circular No. 10 (CCC No. 10) was declared to be of no legal force or effect due to its non-publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. In view of this development, GSIS posited that the questioned disallowances no longer had any leg to stand on and that COA should consequently lift the disallowances premised on CCC No. 10. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether COA erred in its decision. HELD: We need not delve lengthily into this submission as this was earlier laid to rest by the Court in Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) v. COA,25 where we held that "the repeal by Section 16 of RA 6758 of 'all corporate charters that exempt agencies from the coverage of the system' was clear and expressed necessarily to achieve the purposes for which the law was enacted, that is, the standardization of salaries of all employees in government owned and/or controlled corporations to achieve 'equal pay for substantially equal work' ."26 As things now stand, GSIS is already exempt from salary standardization by express provision of R.A. 829127 a subsequent enactment approved on May 30, 1997 which amended the Revised GSIS Charter. But since GSIS was still governed by the latter at the time the increase in benefits were disallowed in audit, GSIS was then yet covered by the Salary Standardization Law, thereby making our ruling in PITC presently relevant and applicable. Petitioner GSIS did not squarely address the above finding of respondent COA or the Corporate Auditor. Instead, it based its arguments on the general assumption that all the benefits and allowances subject of this petition were disallowed on the basis of Section 12, R.A. No. 6758
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

and its implementing rules. This is beside the point, however, as it can readily be seen that respondent COA's ruling on the loyalty and service cash award is actually based on a purported CSC declaration relative thereto. As a result, there has been no real joinder of issues as far as these benefits are concerned. Coming now to G.R. No. 141625, the Court of Appeals did not commit any reversible error when it held that the petition filed before the GSIS Board questioning the legality of the deductions could proceed independently from the appeal brought by petitioner GSIS from the COA disallowances. No error could be attributed to the appellate court's finding that there was no identity of subject matter or issue between the COA proceedings and the retirees' claim before the GSIS Board.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

CEROFERR REALTY CORPORATION v. CA and ERNESTO D. SANTIAGO G.R. No. 139539. February 5, 2002 FACTS: Petitioner filed a complaint for damages and injunction before the RTC of QC against respondent. Praying that the latter be enjoined from possession and ownership over a lot covered by TCT No. RT-90200 (334555), and enjoin the respondent and his agents from using the said property as a Jeepney terminal. Respondent inturn claimed that he was not claiming the property claimed by petitioner Ceroferr, and that he had a legal right to fence Lot No. 90 since this belonged to him, and he had a permit for the purpose; that Ceroferr had no color of right over Lot No. 90 and, hence, was not entitled to an injunction to prevent Santiago from exercising acts of ownership thereon; and that the complaint did not state a cause of action. Due to the conflicting claims between the parties, the issue is now centered on the correctness of property boundaries which would necessarily result in an inquiry as to the regularity and validity of the respective titles of the parties. At this point, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint premised primarily on his contention that the trial court cannot adjudicate the issue of damages without passing over the conflicting claims of ownership of the parties over the disputed portion. Hence the trial court dismissed the case for lack of cause of action and lack of jurisdiction. The court held that plaintiff was in effect impugning the title of defendant which could not be done in the case for damages and injunction before it. Affirmed by the CA, hence the issue. ISSUE: Whether the trial court had jurisdiction to determine the identity and location of the property. Whether there is a cause of action RULING: The rules of procedure require that the complaint must state a concise statement of the ultimate facts or the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of the cause of action inadequate.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

A complaint states a cause of action only when it has its three indispensable elements, namely: (1) a right in favor of the 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; and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. If these elements are not extant, the complaint becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. These elements are present in the case at bar. On the issue of jurisdiction, we hold that the trial court has jurisdiction to determine the identity and location of the vacant lot in question. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. The jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or pleadings filed by the defendant. While the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of an action, nevertheless, the party raising such question may be estopped if he has actively taken part in the very proceedings which he questions and he only objects to the courts jurisdiction because the judgment or the order subsequently rendered is adverse to him. In this case, respondent Santiago may be considered estopped to question the jurisdiction of the trial court for he took an active part in the case. In his answer, respondent Santiago did not question the jurisdiction of the trial court to grant the reliefs prayed for in the complaint. His geodetic engineers were present in the first and second surveys that the LRA conducted. It was only when the second survey report showed results adverse to his case that he submitted a motion to dismiss. Both parties in this case claim that the vacant lot is within their property. This is an issue that can be best resolved by the trial court in the exercise of its general jurisdiction.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

After the land has been originally registered, the Court of Land Registration ceases to have jurisdiction over contests concerning the location of boundary lines. In such case, the action in personam has to be instituted before an ordinary court of general jurisdiction. The regional trial court has jurisdiction to determine the precise identity and location of the vacant lot used as a jeepney terminal.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

HILADO, et.al. v. CHAVEZ G.R. No. 134742 September 22, 2004 Ponente: Callejo, SR., J. Facts: The property inquestion was owned by Celso Nene Zayco who lost his property when the bank foreclosed on his property when he failed to pay his account. Then after, the property was sold to Julieta C. Salgado, the Chairman of the Board of the respondent, Perpetual Help Development and Realty Corporation (PHDRC). TCT No. 133298 was, thereafter, issued in favor of PHDRC on January 18, 1985. No liens or encumbrances whatsoever or any notice that the property had been placed under the agrarian reform laws were annotated at the dorsal portion thereof. Subsequently, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) granted Emancipation Patents to the twenty (20) tenants on the property from April 28, 1988 to July 1, 1988 on the basis of which titles were issued in their favor during the period of September 16, 1988 to August 24, 1990. Then on August 26, 1997, the respondent filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the twenty (20) petitioners, who were all occupants-farmers on the property, with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Kabankalan City. The MTC granted the respondents petition. The petitioners asserted that the MTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action of the respondent in Civil Case No. 034-97, it being an agrarian dispute between the petitioners, as patentees, and the respondent; hence, the court a quos decision was null and void. They contended that the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicatory Board (PARAD) had exclusive jurisdiction over the action in Civil Case No. 034-97. The RTC found the petition sufficient in form and substance and directed the respondent to file its comment on or answer to the petition. On April 29, 1998, the RTC issued an Order declaring that the case involved only questions of law and not of facts, and ordered the parties to file their respective memoranda. 18 On May 26, 1998, the RTC rendered judgment dismissing the petition on the ground that the MTCC had exclusive jurisdiction over the action of the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 034-97 and over the persons of the defendants therein. The RTC also held that the petitioners failed to file a motion to dismiss the complaint in the MTCC and even participated in the proceedings therein; hence, they were estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the MTCC. The petitioners filed a motion
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

for reconsideration of the decision, but on June 26, 1998, the RTC issued an order denying the same. ISSUE: Whether the case should have been appealed before the CA rather than the SC Whether the MTCC has jurisdiction over the said case. Whether the court erred in its decision RULING: On the first issue, the court held that the remedy of a party aggrieved by the decision of the RTC, in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, is to appeal by writ of error to the Court of Appeals under Rule 4120 of the Rules of Court, in which questions of facts and/or of law may be raised by the parties. However, under Section 2(c),21 Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, where only questions of law are raised or are involved, the appeal shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules. However, even if only questions or issues are raised by the party in his appeal, it should be made to the Court of Appeals and not to the Supreme Court, unless there are compelling reasons to allow such appeal. On the second issue, the court held that on the issue of jurisdiction, Section 33, paragraph 2 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Section 3 of Rep. Act No. 7691 provides that Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court and Metropolitan Trial Court, have exclusive original jurisdiction over cases for unlawful detainer. The proceedings in ejectment cases are covered by Rule 70 of the Rules of Court and the Rules on Summary Procedure. However, such courts have no original jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian disputes under Rep. Act No. 6657, as amended, and the Rules of Procedure issued by the DARAB implementing said laws, which are within the exclusive original and appellate jurisdiction of the DARAB. The DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform programs. The rule is that the DARAB has jurisdiction to try and decide any agrarian dispute or any incident involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.24 In Tirona v. Alejo,25 we held that the MTCC has no jurisdiction over an ejectment case where the issue of possession is inextricably interwoven with an agrarian dispute.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

The well-entrenched principle is that the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is determined by the material allegations of the complaint and the law, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein.26 In Movers-Baseco Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. Cyborg Leasing Corporation,27 we ruled that the jurisdiction of the court over the nature of the action and the subject matter thereof cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the court or upon a motion to dismiss for, otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the defendant.28 Once jurisdiction is vested, the same is retained up to the end of the litigation. We also held in Arcelona v. Court of Appeals29 that in American jurisprudence, the nullity of a decision arising from lack of jurisdiction may be determined from the record of the case, not necessarily from the face of the judgment only. The MTCC does not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties. But it is the duty of the court to receive evidence to determine the allegations of tenancy. If after hearing, tenancy had in fact been shown to be the real issue, the court should dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.32 In this case, there is no showing that the DAR ever approved the reclassification of the property. It appears that the reclassification of the landholding was unilaterally made by the Sangguniang Bayan despite the issuance to the petitioners of Emancipation Patents and transfer certificates of title in their names over the portions of the landholdings respectively occupied by them. The petitioners appended to their petition in the RTC a Certification of the Register of Deeds indicating that thirteen (13) of the petitioners were issued transfer certificates of title based on the Emancipation Patents filed with said office, made of record in the Primary Entry Book on September 16, 20, and 22, 1998; and an LBP certificate stating that eighteen (18) of the petitioners had made advance payments for the portions of the landholding occupied by them. And yet, the RTC dismissed the petition and affirmed the ruling of the MTCC that it had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint. It is evident from the face of the complaint and the pleadings of the parties and the appendages thereof that the issue of possession of the subject property was inextricably interwoven with the issue of whether the Emancipation Patents issued by the DAR to the petitioners were valid. Under the DAR Rules of Procedure, the DARAB has primary and exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving the issuance and cancellation of Emancipation Patents. Moreover, the respondent claimed possession over the property based on TCT No. 133298, which had already
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

been partially cancelled by the Emancipation Patents and Torrens titles issued to the petitioners. On the third issue, we reject the contention of the respondent that the decision of the MTCC had become final and executory because of the petitioners failure to pe rfect the appeal therefrom; hence, immutable. Neither do we agree with the respondents contention that by participating in the proceedings before the MTCC, the petitioners were estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the MTCC. Since the judgment here on its face is void ab initio, the limited periods for relief from judgment in Rule 38 are inapplicable. That judgment is vulnerable to attack "in any way and at any time, even when no appeal has been taken." It is settled that jurisdiction over the judgment cannot be changed by agreement of the parties or by the act or omission of each of them that will contravene the legislative will. A party should not be allowed to divest a competent court of its jurisdiction, whether erroneously or even deliberately in derogation of the law.45 In this case, the counsel of the petitioners opted to assail in a direct action the decision of the MTCC, instead of perfecting their appeal or assailing the decision of the MTCC disallowing their appeal. The petitioners believed that the decision of the MTCC was null and void for want of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action filed therein; hence, they are not proscribed from assailing such decision in a direct action. The remedy resorted to by their counsel should not prejudice and bar them from assailing the MTCC decision before the RTC on a petition to annul the same for lack of jurisdiction. Neither are they estopped from assailing the decision, simply because they filed their answer and motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action. After all, the only relief prayed for by them in their answer was the dismissal of the complaint.

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

HATIB ABBAIN vs. TONGHAM CHUA, ET AL., G.R. No. L-24241 February 26, 1968 Ponente: SANCHEZ, J.: FACTS: Respondent Tonghan Chua filed a suit for "forcible entry and illegal, detainer" against petitioner-appellant Hatib Abbain with the Justice of the Peace Court of Bongao, Sulu. The said court ruled infavor of the respondent and ordered the petitioner to vacate the premises and place Tongham Chua in possession of the plantation, with costs. Thenafter, petitioner filed a petition before the Court of First Instance of Sulu against respondent Tongham Chua and Judge Mariano Managul, questioning the jurisdiction of the said court, but the CFI of Sulu affirmed the said decision. Hence an appeal was filed before the CA, ruling that "petitioner has not presented any proof or showing of landlord and tenant relationship between the parties" to bring the case within the jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations, and that upon the allegations of the complaint in Civil Case No. 21, the case is "clearly one of ejectment." ISSUE: Whether the court has jurisdictions over the said case. HELD: The court held that the Court of First Instance of Sulu had no jurisdiction on the said case, on the ground that respondent had clearly averred that petitioner as his tenant and that there was a landlord-tent that existed between the two parties. Also because the case comes within the coverage of the statutory provision (Section 31, R.A. 1199) heretofore mentioned that "[a]ll cases involving the dispossession of a tenant by the land-holder," shall be under the "original and exclusive jurisdiction of such court as may now or hereafter be authorized by law to take cognizance of tenancy relations and disputes" and the broad sweep of Section 7, Republic Act 1267, which lodged with the Court of Agrarian Relations "original and exclusive jurisdiction . . . to consider, investigate, decide, and settle all questions, controversies or disputes involving all those relationships established by law which determine the varying rights of persons in the cultivation and use of agricultural land where one of the parties works the land." Jurisprudence has since stabilized the jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations over cases of this nature. 4 Such exclusive authority is not divested by a mere averment on the part of the tenant that he asserts ownership over the land, "since the law does not exclude from the jurisdiction" of the Court of Agrarian Relations, "cases in which a tenant claims ownership over the land given to him for cultivation by the landlord." 5

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

TINITIGAN v TINITIGAN G.R. No. L-45418 October 30, 1980 Ponente: MAKASIAR, J.: FACTS: Petitioner Teofista Payumo Tinitingan (Payumo for short) is the wife of the respondent Severino Tinitigan Sr. (Tinitingan), and Efren, Elsa and Severino Jr. are their children. In the case at bar, the couple had several properties on in Pasay City and in Paranaque, the Pasay property was leased by Payumo to PENTEL for a term of 4 years, while the Paranaque property was leased by Payumo and her children to UNITED ELECTRONICS CORP (UNITED). Both transactios did not have the consent of respondent Tinitigan. Then after, Tinitigan sought to annul the contract of lease executed by Payumo infavor of United, as the conjugal partner and shareholder of Molave Development Corporation. He also moved to restrain Payumo and his children from encumbering or disposing properties in the name of the Molave Development Corporation or those in the name of SeverinoTinitigan Sr. and TeofistaPayuran. The said petition was granted by the court. Then respondent Tinitigan sought for the judicial approval of sae of their Pasay property to PENTEL having the priority right to purchase, on the ground that the sale was necessary to pay the outstanding conjugal obligations that were overdue and to forestall the foreclosure of mortgaged conjugal property. The court granted the said petition, but his wife and children moved for the reconsideration of the owner on the ground that the sale would result in substantial and tremendous losses because the property sought to be sold is a suitable condominium and/or hotel site and would, therefore, command a higher price. But the said motion was denied as there was no other offers for the sale of the property. The Pasay property was sold, but not to PENTEL but to Chiu Chin Siong (Chiu), however the said sale was contested by the petitioners. But the court denied their petition, which was also upheld by the CA, upon appeal. ISSUE: Whether the lower court has the jurisdiction to authorize the sale of the conjugal property. RULING: The court ruled that the court has jurisdiction over the said case on the ground that respondent Tinitigan prayed among others "to restrain the defendant-relatives of the plaintiff from encumbering or disposing properties in the name of the Molave Development Corporation or those in the name of SeverinoTinitiganSr, and TeofistaPayuran." This, in effect, brings the Loring property by TCT No. 15923 within the jurisdiction of the court which issued the order. Certainly,
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

a motion in relation thereto is but proper. Furthermore, it is worth repeating that the said motion to seek judicial approval of sale in lieu of marital consent amounts to compliance with legal requirement delineated in Article 166, supra. The issuance of the order dated September 29, 1975 was, henceforth, pursuant to a validly acquired jurisdiction, in keeping with a well-entrenched principle that "jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law. It is determined by the allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein - a matter that can be resolved only after and as a result of the trial. Nor may the jurisdiction of the court be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or upon the motion to dismiss, for, were we to be governed by such rule, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely upon the defendant. But it is necessary that jurisdiction be properly involved or called into activity by the firing of a petition, complaint or other appropriate pleading. Nothing can change the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter. None of the parties to the litigation can enlarge or diminish it or dictate when it shall be removed. That power is a matter of legislative enactment which none but the legislature may change"

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

FRANCEL REALTY CORPORATION v. RICARDO T. SYCIP, G.R. No. 154684/ September 8, 2005 Ponente: PANGANIBAN, Acting CJ: FACTS: Petitioner FRANCEL REALTY CORP. (FRANCEL) entered into a contract to sell with respondent RICARDO SYCIP (Sycip) to be paid on installment basis, after having paid the downpayment and the title transferred unto the respondents name, the latter refused to pay the balance of the amount due. Hence, petitioner filed an illegal detainer case against respondent before the MTC of Cavite, respondent moved to have the case dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, also because there was a pending case before the HLURB regarding the said property and the MTC accordingly dismissed the case filed before him by the petitioner. Petitioner appealed the dismissal before the CA, which held that the case involved not just reconveyance and damages, but also a determination of the rights and obligations of the parties to a sale of real estate under PD 957; hence, the case fell exclusively under the jurisdiction of the HLURB. Hence the petition. Petitioner argues that the CAs affirmation of the trial courts dismissal of its case was erroneous, considering that a full-blown trial had already been conducted. In effect, it contends that lack of jurisdiction could no longer be used as a ground for dismissal after trial had ensued and ended. ISSUES: Whether the HLURB has jurisdiction over the said case. Whether a full-blown trial raise laches on the issue of lack of jurisdiction. RULING: The above argument is anchored on estoppel by laches, which has been used quite successfully in a number of cases to thwart dismissals based on lack of jurisdiction. Tijam v. Sibonghanoy,[9] in which this doctrine was espoused, held that a party may be barred from questioning a courts jurisdiction after being invoked to secur e affirmative relief against its opponent. In fine, laches prevents the issue of lack of jurisdiction from being raised for the first time on appeal by a litigant whose purpose is to annul everything done in a trial in which it has actively participated.[10] Laches is defined as the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. [11]
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

The ruling in Sibonghanoy on the matter of jurisdiction is, however, the exception rather than the rule.[12] Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of lack of jurisdiction only in cases in which the factual milieu is analogous to that in the cited case. In such controversies, laches should be clearly present; that is, lack of jurisdiction must have been raised so belatedly as to warrant the presumption that the party entitled to assert it had abandoned or declined to assert it. [13] That Sibonghanoy applies only to exceptional circumstances is clarified in Calimlim v. Ramirez,[14] which we quote: A rule that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and uph eld in decisions so numerous to cite is that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject-matter of the action is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or agreement of the parties. The lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which stemmed principally from the ruling in the cited case of Sibonghanoy. It is to be regretted, however, that the holding in said case had been applied to situations which were obviously not contemplated therein. The exceptional circumstance involved in Sibonghanoy which justified the departure from the accepted concept of non-waivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored and, instead a blanket doctrine had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonghanoy not as the exception, but rather the general rule, virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored principle that the issue of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel.[15]

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

SPS. ATUEL - GALDIANO vs. SPS. VALDEZ G.R. No. 139561. June 10, 2003 Ponente: CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Atty Manuel Cab is the owner of two parcels of land Agusan del Sur, he appointed Atuel as the admimistrator of his property. Then came Valdez, the nephew of Atuel whom he recommended to Cab to lease a portion of his property, thus Cab and Valdez entered into a contract wherein the latter leased the 1.25 hectare portion of Cabs property for a period of two years. Then after Cab allowed the Sps. Atuel and Sps. Galdiano to occupy the 2000 sqm portion of his property and the spouses constructed their respective homes on it. A few years later, the Sangguniang Bayan of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur approved the town plan of the Municipality of Sibagat which classified the Cab Property as residential, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Human Settlements Regulatory Commission. And issued an emancipation patent to Valdez whom the MARO of Sibagat Agusan del Norte identified as a tenant and deemed to be the owner of the land. But before the said issuance of the emancipation patent, Cab had informed Valdez that the lease contract have already expired and should stop cultivating and leave the said property. Cab upon learning the issuance of the emancipation patent, petitioned before the DAR to cancel the said patent. And during that period the HLURB classified the Cab Property as 90 percent residential and the remaining 10 percent as a park or open space. And while the case was pending the spouses Valdez filed a complaint before the DARAB for recovery of possession with damages against the petitioner. Petitioners on the other hand stated that there was no cause of action against them since the owner of the said lot was Cab and had been occupying the property since 1964, before the respondent Sps. Valdez leased a portion of the Cab property. Also petitioners pointed out that the emancipation patent issued to them is void since the property is covered by a Free Patent issued to Cab, and has already been classified as a residential lot and no longer covered by PD no. 27. However, the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator, ruled infavor of the respondent and ordered the petitioner to vacate the property. The said decision was affirmed by the DARAB central office and by the CA. Hence the issue. ISSUE: Whether the property is under the jurisdiction of the DARAB. RULING:

BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

The court ruled that the DARAB has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the Spouses Valdezs complaint for recovery of possession of the Subject Lot. Though the parties do not challenge the jurisdiction of the DARAB, the Court may motu proprio consider the issue of jurisdiction. The Court has discretion to determine whether the DARAB validly acquired jurisdiction over the case. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by law . It may not be conferred on the court by consent or waiver of the parties where the court otherwise would have no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action. In the instant case, the allegations in the complaint, which are contained in the decision of the MARO, indicate that the nature and subject matter of the instant case is for recovery of possession or accion publiciana. The issue to be resolved is who between the Spouses Valdez on one hand, and the Spouses Atuel and the Spouses Galdiano on the other, have a better right to possession of the 2,000-square meter Subject Lot forming part of the PD 27 Land. The Spouses Atuel and the Spouses Galdiano likewise raise the issue of ownership by insisting that Cab is the real and lawful owner of the Subject Lot. In Cruz v. Torres, this Court had occasion to discuss the nature of an action to recover possession or accionpubliciana, thus: xxx This is an action for recovery of the right to posses and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding in a regional trial court to determine the better right of possession of realty independently of the title. Accionpubliciana or plenaria de posesion is also used to refer to an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. In such case, the regional trial court has jurisdiction. xxx For the DARAB to acquire jurisdiction over the case, there must exist a tenancy relations between the parties. This Court held in Morta, that in order for a tenancy agreement to take hold over a dispute, it is essential to establish all its indispensable elements, to wit: xxx 1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural

lessee. xxx[29] (Emphasis supplied) In the instant case, the Spouses Atuel and the Spouses Galdiano are not and do not claim to be the owners of the 2,000-square meter Subject Lot where their houses are constructed. They also do not claim ownership to any other portion of the PD 27 Land. They and the Spouses Valdez have no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian relations whatsoever that will bring this
BARCENA, CARISA

CIVIL PROCEDURE CASE DIGEST JUDGE WAGAN SY 2012-2013

controversy within Section 3(d) of RA No. 6657.[31] The instant case is similar to Chico v. CA,[32] where this Court ruled that the DARAB had no jurisdiction over a case which did not involve any tenurial or agrarian relations between the parties. Since the DARAB has no jurisdiction over the present controversy, it should not have taken cognizance of the Spouses Valdezs complaint for recovery of possession. Jurisdiction over an accionpubliciana is vested in a court of general jurisdiction.[33] Specifically, the regional trial court exercises exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve x xx possession of real property. [34] However, if the assessed value of the real property involved does not exceed P50,000.00 in Metro Manila, and P20,000.00 outside of Metro Manila, the municipal trial court exercises jurisdiction over actions to recover possession of real property.[35] Moreover, the municipal trial court exercises jurisdiction over all cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer. The Court of Appeals correctly stated that the DARAB has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of registered emancipation patents. However, the Spouses Valdezs complaint for recovery of possession does not involve or seek the cancellation of any emancipation patent. It was the Spouses Atuel and the Spouses Galdiano who attacked the validity of the emancipation patent as part of their affirmative defenses in their answer to the complaint. The rule is well settled that the jurisdiction of the court (or agency in this case) cannot be made to depend on the defenses made by the defendant in his answer or motion to dismiss. If such were the rule, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the defendant.[36] Jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be acquired through, or waived by, any act or omission of the parties.[37] The active participation of the parties in the proceedings before the DARAB does not vest jurisdiction on the DARAB, as jurisdiction is conferred only by law. The courts or the parties cannot disregard the rule of non-waiver of jurisdiction. Likewise, estoppel does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over a cause of action. [38] The failure of the parties to challenge the jurisdiction of the DARAB does not prevent this Court from addressing the issue, as the DARABs lack of jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint. Issues of jurisdiction are not subject to the whims of the parties. [39] In a long line of decisions, this Court has consistently held that an order or decision rendered by a tribunal or agency without jurisdiction is a total nullity.[40] Accordingly, we rule that the decision of the DARAB in the instant case is null and void. Consequently, the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the DARAB is likewise invalid. This Court finds no compelling reason to rule on the other issues raised by the Spouses Atuel and the Spouses Galdiano.

BARCENA, CARISA