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Kim Zeus Ga-an

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW

Manila Railroad Co. vs. Attorney- General


GR. No. 6287, December 1, 1911 20 Phil 523
Facts:
In the month of December, 1907, the plaintiff began an action in the Court of First
Instance of the Province of Tarlac for the condemnation of certain real estate, stated by the
plaintiff in his complaint to be located in the Province of Tarlac. It is alleged in the complaint that
the plaintiff is authorized by law to construct a railroad line "from Paniqui to Tayug in the
Province of Tarlac," and it is for the purpose of condemning lands for the construction of such
line that this action is brought. The land sought to be condemned is 69,910 square meters in
area. The complaint states that before beginning the action the plaintiff had caused to be made
a thorough search in the office of the registry of property and of the tax where the lands sought
to be condemned were located and to whom they belonged. As a result of such investigations
the plaintiff alleged that the lands in question were located in the Province of Tarlac.

On the 4th day of October the plaintiff gave notice to the defendants that on the 9th day
of October a motion would be made to the court to dismiss the action upon the ground that the
court had no jurisdiction of the subject matter, it having just been ascertained by the plaintiff that
the land sought to be condemned was situated in the Province of Nueva Ecija, instead of the
Province of Tarlac, as alleged in the complaint. This motion was heard and, after due
consideration, the trial court dismissed the action upon the ground presented by the plaintiff.
This appeal is taken from said judgment of dismissal.
The decision of the learned trial court was based entirely upon the proposition, already
referred to, that in condemnation proceedings, and in all other proceedings affecting title to land,
the Court of First Instance of a given province has no jurisdiction, power or authority where the
land is located in another province, and that no such power, authority, or jurisdiction can be
conferred by the parties.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court of First Instance of one province has the power and authority to take
cognizance of an action by a railroad company for the condemnation of real estate located in
another province.
Held:
The condemnation of a real estate by a railroad corporation is governed by the special
acts relating thereto, and the provisions of Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure which
have to do with the venue of an action in condemnation proceedings generally are not
applicable to the proceedings by a railroad company to condemn lands. It was not intended to
meet a situation presented by an action to condemn lands extending contiguously form one end
of the country to the other.
Actions to confirm title to real estate, or to secure a partition of real estate, or to cancel
clouds, or remove doubts from the title to real estate, or to obtain possession of real estate, or to
recover damages for injuries to real estate, or to establish any interest, right, or title in or to real
estate, or actions for the condemnation of real estate for public use, shall be brought in the
province were the lands, or some part thereof, is situated; actions against executors,
administrators, and guardians touching the performance of their official duties, and actions for
account and settlement by them, and actions for the distribution of the estates of deceased
persons among the heirs and distributes, and actions for the payment of legacies, shall be
brought in the province in which the will was admitted to probate, or letters of administration
were granted, or the guardian was appointed.

The failure of a defendant to object to the venue of the action at the time of entering his
appearance in the action shall be deemed a waiver on his part of all objection to the place or
tribunal in which the action is brought, except in the actions referred to in the first sixteen lines of
this section relating to real estate, and actions against executors, administrators, and guardians,
and for the distribution of estates and payment of legacies.

The Court hold that the terms of section 377 providing that actions affecting real property
shall be brought in the province where the land involved in the suit, or some part thereof, is
located, do not affect the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance over the land itself but relate
simply to the personal rights of parties as to the place of trial.

The Court so hold it cannot affect the decision in the case for the reason that the
defendants are not objecting to the venue and are not asking for a change thereof. They have
not only expressly submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court but are here asking that
that jurisdiction be maintained against the efforts of the plaintiff to remove it. Wherefore, the
case was remanded to the Court of First Instance of Tarlac with discretion to proceed with the
action according to law.

G.R. No. L-25795

October 29, 1966

LOPEZ, petitioners, vs. PARAS,


FACTS:
In the month of February 1964, petitioners Roy P. Villasor, as administrator of the
intestate estate of the spouses Manuel M. Mejia and Gloria Lazatin (Special Proceedings No.
48181 of the Court of First Instance of Manila), together with his co-petitioners Angelina Mejia
Lopez and Aurora Mejia Villasor and other heirs of said spouses, entered into a contract with
respondent Trinidad T. Lazatin for the development and subdivision of three parcels of land
belonging to said intestate estate. Subsequently Lazatin transferred his rights under the contract
to the Terra Development Corporation. Months later, petitioners and other co-heirs filed an
action in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City for the rescission of said contract for alleged
gross and willful violation of its terms.
Upon petition of the parties thus charged, the City Fiscal of Angeles reinvestigated the
case on March 7, 1965 to give them an opportunity to present exculpatory evidence, and after
the conclusion of the reinvestigation the parties charged moved for the dismissal of the case
mainly on the ground that the City Court of Angeles had no jurisdiction over the offense because
the private document that contained the alleged false statement of fact was signed by them
outside the territorial limits of said city. As the resolution of this motion to dismiss was delayed
and in the meantime the City Court had set Criminal Case No. C-2268 for arraignment, the
defendants secured from said court several postponements of the arraignment.
Finally, in view of the City Fiscal's continued failure to act on the motion to dismiss the
case, petitioners filed on November 26, 1965 with the City Court a motion to quash upon the
ground that said court had no jurisdiction over the offense charged. The complainants in the
case with the conformity of the City Fiscal filed an opposition thereto, and on February 3,
1966 the respondent judge denied said motion to quash and reset the arraignment of all the
defendants on March 5 of the same year. In view thereof, petitioners filed the present action
for certiorariand prohibition.

ISSUE:
Whether the City Court of Angeles has jurisdiction to try and decide the case.

HELD:
YES but the court of Angeles has no jurisdiction over the criminal act, but the importance
of this case is when and where a falsification of document comes in. In the present case, it is
the claim of petitioners a claim supported by the record that Angelina M. Lopez and Aurora
M. Villasor signed the private document wherein they are alleged to have made a false
statement of fact, the first within the territorial jurisdiction of Makati, and the second within the
territorial jurisdiction of Quezon City, both within the province of Rizal. We now come to consider
the question of when and where is the offense of falsification of a private document deemed
consummated or committed. Upon this point, We have ruled clearly and definitely in U.S. vs.
Infante, 36 Phil. 146, that the crime of falsification of a private document defined and penalized
by Article 304 of the Penal Code (now paragraph2, Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code) is
consummated when such document is actually falsified with the intent to prejudice a third
person, whether such falsified document is or is not thereafter put to the illegal use for which it
was intended.
It is settled law in criminal actions that the place where the criminal offense was
committed not only determines the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction.
Indeed, the lack of jurisdiction of the City Court of Angeles over the criminal offense
charged being patent, it would be highly unfair to compel the parties charged to undergo trial in
said court and suffer all the embarrassment and mental anguish that go with it.

G.R. No. 75919

May 7, 1987

MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL., petitioners,


vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, CITY LAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, STEPHEN ROXAS,
ANDREW LUISON, GRACE LUISON and JOSE DE MAISIP, respondents.

FACT:
A complaint for specific performance was filed by Manchester Development Corporation
against City Land Development Corporation to compel the latter to execute a deed of sale in
favor Manchester. Manchester also alleged that City Land forfeited the formers tender of
payment for a certain transaction thereby causing damages to Manchester amounting to
P78,750,000.00. This amount was alleged in the BODY of their Complaint but it was not
reiterated in the PRAYER of same complaint. Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00 only.
Said docket fee is premised on the allegation of Manchester that their action is primarily for
specific performance hence it is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The court ruled that there is
an under assessment of docket fees hence it ordered Manchester to amend its complaint.
Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount of claim for damages to P10M.
Said amount was however again not stated in the PRAYER.

ISSUE:
When does a court acquire jurisdiction? Whether or not the amended complaint should
be admitted.

HELD:
The court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
docket fee.
No. The docket fee, its computation, should be based on the original complaint. A case is
deemed filed only upon payment of the appropriate docket fee regardless of the actual date of
filing in court. Here, since the proper docket fee was not paid for the original complaint, its as if
there is no complaint to speak of. As a consequence, there is no original complaint duly filed
which can be amended. So, any subsequent proceeding taken in consideration of the amended
complaint is void.
Manchesters defense that this case is primarily an action for specific performance is not
merited. The Supreme Court ruled that based on the allegations and the prayer of the
complaint, this case is an action for damages and for specific performance. Hence, it is capable
of pecuniary estimation.
Further, the amount for damages in the original complaint was already provided in the
body of the complaint. Its omission in the PRAYER clearly constitutes an attempt to evade the
payment of the proper filing fees. To stop the happenstance of similar irregularities in the future,
the Supreme Court ruled that from this case on, all complaints, petitions, answers and other
similar pleadings should specify the amount of damages being prayed for not only in the body of
the pleading but also in the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in the assessment of
the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to comply with this requirement shall not bib
accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from the record.

G.R. Nos. 88075-77 December 20, 1989


MAXIMO TACAY, PONCIANO PANES and ANTONIA NOEL, petitioners,
vs.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF TAGUM Davao del Norte, Branches 1 and 2, Presided by
Hon. Marcial Fernandez and Hon. Jesus Matas, respectively, PATSITA GAMUTAN, Clerk of
Court, and GODOFREDO PINEDA, respondents.
FACTS:
These were two separate cases originally filed by Godofredo Pineda at the RTC of
Tagum for recovery of possession (accion publiciana) against three defendants, namely Antonio
Noel, Ponciano Panes, and Maximo Tacay. Pineda was the owner of 790 sq. meter land
evidence by TCT No. T-56560. The previous owner of such land allowed the three defendants to
use or occupy the same by mere tolerance. Pineda having himself the need to use the property,
demanded the defendants to vacate the premises and pay reasonable rental therefore, but such

demands were refused. The complaint was challenged in the Motions to Dismiss filed by each
defendant alleging that it did not specify the amounts of actual, nominal and exemplary
damages, nor the assessed value of the property, that being a ground to bar the determination
of the RTCs jurisdiction in deciding the case. The Motions to Dismiss were denied and the
claims for damages in the complaint were expunged for failure to specify the amounts. Thus, the
defendants filed a Joint Petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition, as well as a temporary
restraining order against the RTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the amount of damages claimed and the assessed value of the property
are relevant in the determination of the courts jurisdiction in a case for recovery of possession
of property.

HELD:
Yes. Where the action involves real property and a related claim for damages as well,
the legal fees shall be assessed on the basis of both (a) the value of the property and (b) the
total amount of related damages sought. The Court acquires jurisdiction over the action if the
filing of the initiatory pleading is accompanied by the payment of the requisite fees, or, if the fees
are not paid at the time of the filing of the pleading, as of the time of full payment of the fees
within such reasonable time as the court may grant, unless, of course, prescription has set in
the meantime. But where-as in the case at bar-the fees prescribed for an action involving real
property have been paid, but the amounts of certain of the related damages (actual, moral and
nominal) being demanded are unspecified, the action may not be dismissed.
The Court undeniably has jurisdiction over the action involving the real property,
acquiring it upon the filing of the complaint or similar pleading and payment of the prescribed
fee. And it is not divested of that authority by the circumstance that it may not have acquired
jurisdiction over the accompanying claims for damages because of lack of specification thereof.
What should be done is simply to expunge those claims for damages as to which no amounts
are stated, which is what the respondent Courts did, or allow, on motion, a reasonable time for
the amendment of the complaints so as to allege the precise amount of each item of damages
and accept payment of the requisite fees therefore within the relevant prescriptive period.

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