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PART I

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Bar Review Guide

I. General Principles

A. Concept of Remedial Law

Procedure in General

The means whereby the court reaches out to restore rights and remedy wrongs, and includes
step which may be taken from beginning to the end of a case (Maritime Company of Philippines
vs. Paredes, 19 SCRA 569)

Kinds of Procedure

1. As to purpose
a. civil procedure refers to the enforcement of a private right
b. criminal procedure refers to the prosecution of an offense

2. As to formality
a. formal procedure requires to the enforcement of a private right
b. summary procedure where remedy sought is granted without delay, and without the
necessity of observing the procedure fixed for ordinary cases

What is Civil Procedure?

The method of conducting a judicial proceeding to resolve disputes involving private parties for
the purpose of enforcing private rights or obtaining redress for the invasion of rights.

Action and suit

In the Philippines, the terms action and suit are synonymous (Lopez vs. Compania de
Seguros (16 SCRA 855)

B. Substantive Law Distinguished from Remedial Law

1. Substantive Law the law that creates, defines, regulates, and extinguishes rights and
obligations

2. Remedial Law the law that provides the procedure or remedy for enforcement of rights and
obligations through courts of justice
C. Rule-making Power of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has the constitutional power to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts (Art. VIII, Sec. 5[5], Constitution).

The power of Congress under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions to repeal, alter, or supplement
rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure was taken away in the 1987 Constitution
(Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 132601, January 19, 1999).

1. Limitations on the rule-making power of the Supreme Court


a. The rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy
disposition of cases
b. The rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and
c. The rules shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights (Art. VIII, Sec 5[5],
Constitution)

In determining whether a rule prescribed by the Supreme court, for the practice and procedure
of the lower courts, abridges, enlarges, or modifies any substantive rights, the test is whether
the rule really regulates procedure, that is, the judicial process for enforcing rights and duties
recognized by substantive law and for justly administering remedy and redress for a disregard
or infraction of them. If the rule takes away a vested right, it is not procedural. If the rule creates
a right such as the right to appeal, it may be classified as a substantive matter; but if it operates
as a means of implementing an existing right then the rule deals merely with procedure. (Fabian
vs. Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998, 295 SCRA 40)

Procedural and Substantive Rules

Test whether rule really regulates procedure, the judicial process for enforcing rights
and duties recognized by substantive law and for justly administering remedy and redress for a
disregard or infraction thereof.

If it takes away a vested right, it is not procedural. If the rule creates a right such as the right to
appeal substantive.

If it operates as a means of implementing an existing right procedural

Eg: Where to prosecute an appeal or transferring venue of appeal


a. appeals from decisions of Ombudsman in administrative cases be made to CA, or
b. requiring that review of NLRC decisions be filed with CA (St. Martin Funeral Home vs
NLRC, 295 SCRA 494)

2. Power of the Supreme Court to amend and suspend procedural rules


Inherent power of SC to SUSPEND its own rules or to EXEMPT a particular case from the
operation of said rules (pro hac vice) whenever demanded by justice (Republic vs. CA 107
SCRA 504; De la Cruz vs. Court of Appeals, 510 SCRA 103).

The right to create rules necessarily carries with it the power to suspend the effectivity of its
creation.

The power to suspend or even disregard rules can be so pervasive and compelling as to alter
even that which the Court itself had already declared to be final (Apo Fruits Corp. vs. Land Bank
of the Philippines, G.R. No. 164195, October 12, 2010).

D. Nature of Philippine Courts

1. Meaning of a court

A court is a tribunal with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out
the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the
rule of law.
The system of courts that interpret and apply the law are collectively known as the judiciary

2. Court as distinguished from a judge

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of
judges. The judge conducts the trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the
witness and any other evidence presented by the parties of the case, assesses the credibility of
the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of
the law and his or her own personal judgment.

3. Classification of Philippine courts

1. Regular Courts Courts authorized to engage in the general administration of justice.

2. These courts derive their powers from the Constitution. At the apex is the Supreme Court.
Below the Supreme Court are three tiers of lower-level courts that initially decide controversies
brought about by litigants in the first instance.
a. Supreme Court
b. Court of Appeals
c. Regional Trial Court
d. Municipal Trial Court

3. Special Courts Tribunals that have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases or
controversies that special courts can hear are limited only to those that are specifically provided
in the special law creating such special courts. Outside of the specific cases expressly
mentioned in the provisions of the statute creating the special court, these courts have no
authority to exercise any powers of adjudication.
a. Sandiganbayan
b. Court of Tax Appeals
c. Sharia Court

3. Quasi-Judicial Agencies Technically judicial powers pertain to and are exercised only by
courts. However Philippine system of government allows administrative agencies to exercise
adjudicatory powers in certain types of controversies, particularly if same would facilitate the
attainment of the objectives for which the administrative agency has been created. Unlike
regular and special courts, quasi-courts do no possess judicial powers. Instead they possess
and in fact, exercise what are termed as quasi-judicial powers.

4. Courts of original and appellate jurisdiction

a. Court of original jurisdiction one where a case is originally commenced


1. Municipal Trial Court
2. Regional Trial Court
3. Court of Appeals
4. Supreme Court

b. Court of appellate jurisdiction one which has power or review over the decisions or orders
of a lower court
1. Regional Trial Court
2. Court of Appeals
3. Supreme Court

5. Courts of general and special jurisdiction

a. General jurisdiction courts which take cognizance of all kinds of cases, civil or criminal,
except those assigned to special courts and courts of limited jurisdiction
1. Regional Trial Court

b. Special jurisdiction courts which have the power to hear only certain types of cases, or are
clothed with special powers for the performance of specified duties beyond which they have no
authority of any kind.

1. Sandiganbayan
2. Court of Tax Appeals
3. Sharia Court

6. Constitutional and statutory courts

a. Constitutional those created by the Constitution


1. Supreme Court

b. Statutory those created by the legislature


1. Court of Appeals
2. Regional Trial Court
3. Municipal Trial Court
4. Sandiganbayan
5. Court of Tax Appeals
6. Sharia Court

7. Courts of law and equity


Philippine courts are both courts of law and equity. Hence, both legal and equitable jurisdiction
is dispensed with in the same tribunal. (US vs Tamparong, 31 Phil 321)

However, equity does not apply when there is a law applicable to a given case (Smith Bell Co.
vs. Court of Appeals, 267 SCRA 530). It is availed of only in the absence of a law and is never
availed of against statutory law or judicial pronouncements (Velez vs Demetrio, G.R. No.
128576, August 13, 2002).

8. Principle of judicial hierarchy

Pursuant to this doctrine, direct resort form the lower courts to the Supreme Court will not be
entertained unless the appropriate remedy cannot be obtained in the lower tribunals.

Rationale: (a) to prevent inordinate demands upon the SCs time and attention which are better
devoted to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and (b) to prevent further overcrowding
of the SCs docket.

Thus, although the SC, CA and the RTC have CONCURRENT jurisdiction to issue writs of
certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and injunction, such
concurrence does not give the petitioner unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum.

The SC will NOT ENTERTAIN DIRECT RESORT to it unless the redress desired cannot be
obtained in the appropriate courts and exceptional and compelling circumstance such as cases
of national interest and of serious implications, justify the extraordinary remedy of writ of
certiorari, calling for the exercise of its primary jurisdiction (Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog vs. Melicor,
455 SCRA 460).

9. Doctrine of non-interference or doctrine of judicial stability

This principle holds that courts of equal and coordinate jurisdiction cannot interfere with each
others orders (Lapu-Lapu Devt and Housing Corp vs. Group Management Corp, 338 SCRA
493). Hence, a RTC has no power or authority to nullify or enjoin the enforcement of a writ of
possession issued by another Regional Trial Court (Suico Industrial Corp. vs CA, 301 SCRA
212). The principle also bars a court from reviewing or interfering with the judgment of a co-
equal court over which has no appellate jurisdiction or power of review (Villamor vs. Salas, 203
SCRA 430).

The doctrine of judicial stability or non-interference in the regular orders or judgments of a co-
equal court, as an accepted axiom in adjective law, serves as an insurmountable barrier to the
competencia of the Makati court to entertain the habeas corpus case on account of the previous
assumption of jurisdiction by the Cavite court, and the designation of petitioners as guardians
ad litem of the ward. This is based on the policy of peaceful co-existence among courts of the
same judicial plane. (Panlilio vs Salonga, G.R. No. 113087, June 27, 1994).

II. Jurisdiction

Juris and dico I speak by the law

Power or capacity conferred by the Constitution or by law to a court or tribunal to entertain, hear
and determine certain controversies, and render judgment thereon

A. Jurisdiction over the parties

1. How jurisdiction over the plaintiff is acquired

Over person of plaintiff acquired upon filing of complaint or initiatory pleading and paying
docket or filing fees;

2. How jurisdiction over the defendant is acquired

Over person of defendant service on him of coercive process in the manner provided by law
(summons) or his voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal (voluntary
appearance).

What is the effect of voluntary appearance?

The defendants voluntary appearance in the action shall be equivalent to SERVICE OF


SUMMONS.

However, inclusion in a motion to dismiss on other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over
the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance (Rule 14, Sec. 20).

NOTE:

a. Filing of a motion for reconsideration and appeal is tantamount to voluntary


submission to the jurisdiction of the court.
b. Any mode of appearance in court by a defendant or his lawyer is equivalent to service
of summons, absent any indication that the appearance of counsel was precisely to
protest the jurisdiction of the court over the person of defendant (Delos Santos vs
Montesa, 221 SCRA 15)

B. JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER

1. Meaning of jurisdiction over the subject matter

a. subject matter
1. The power to hear and determine cases of the general class to which the proceeding
in question belongs.
2. Determined by the LAW IN FORCE at the time of its institution. Once the court
acquires jurisdiction, it may not be ousted by any subsequent law placing jurisdiction in
another tribunal, except (a) when the law itself so provides or (b) the statute is clearly
intended to apply to actions pending before its enactment
3. Matter of legislative enactment which not but the legislature can change.
4. Once jurisdiction is acquired court RETAINS it until the final determination of the case
5. Never acquired by consent or acquiescence of the parties or by laches, nor by
unilateral assumption thereof by a tribunal.
6. Determined by the ALLEGATIONS in the complaint and the CHARACTER of the relief
sought.
7. Does not depend on pleas or defenses of defendant in an answer or motion to
dismiss.

2. Jurisdiction versus the exercise of jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is the authority to decide a cause and not the decision rendered therein. Where
there is jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter, the decision in all other questions
arising in the case is but an exercise of such jurisdiction. The errors which the court may commit
in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment which are the proper subject of
appeal. The errors raised by petitioners in their petition for annulment of judgment assail the
content of the decision of the trial court and not the courts authority to decide the suit. In other
words, they relate to the courts exercise of its jurisdiction, but petitioners failed to show that the
trial court did not have the authority to decide the case. (Tolentino vs Leviste, 443 SCRA 274)

3. Error of jurisdiction as distinguished from error of judgment

An error of judgment is on in which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction, and
which error is reversible only by an appeal. Error of jurisdiction is one where the act complained
of was issued by the court without or in excess of jurisdiction and which error correctible only by
the extraordinary writ of certiorari. Certiorari will not be issued to cure errors by the trial court in
its appreciation of the evidence of the parties, and its conclusions anchored on the said findings
and its conclusions of law. As long as the court acts within its jurisdiction, any alleged errors
committed in the exercise of its discretion will amount to nothing more than mere errors of
judgment. (Julies Franchise Corporation vs Ruiz, GR. No. 180988, August 28, 2009, 597 SCRA
463).

4. How jurisdiction is conferred and determined

Conferred by the Law in Force at the time of its institution. Determined by the ALLEGATIONS in
the complaint and the CHARACTER of the relief sought

5. Doctrine of primary jurisdiction

The doctrine of primary jurisdiction precludes the courts from resolving a controversy over which
jurisdiction has initially been lodged with an administrative body of special competence. (Fajardo
vs. Flores, G.R. No. 167891, January 15, 2010)

6. Doctrine of adherence of jurisdiction

Once jurisdiction attaches it cannot be ousted by the happening of subsequent events although
of such a character which should have prevented jurisdiction from attaching in the first instance
[the rule of adherence of jurisdiction] (Ramos vs Central Bank of the Philippines, 41 SCRA 565;
Lee vs Presiding Judge, MTC of Legaspi City, Br I, 145 SCRA 408).

Once the court acquires jurisdiction, it may not be ousted by any subsequent law placing
jurisdiction in another tribunal, except (a) when the law itself so provides or (b) the statue is
clearly intended to apply to actions pending before its enactment.

Once jurisdiction is acquired, court RETAINS it until the final determination of the case

7. Objections to jurisdiction over the subject matter

When can the issue of jurisdiction be raised?

General rule jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action may be challenged AT
ANY STAGE of the proceedings.

Exception when there is ESTOPPEL

Party assailing jurisdiction of court must raise it at the first opportunity. While an order or
decision rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be assailed at any stage, a
partys ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in the proceedings without questioning the jurisdiction until and
adverse resolution is issued will BAR or ESTOP such party from attacking the courts
jurisdiction, especially when an adverse judgment has been rendered (Soliven vs Fastforms
Phils., Inc., 440 SCRA 389)
A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court to secure affirmative relief against his
opponent and after failing to obtain such relief, repudiate such jurisdiction (Salva vs CA, 3014
SCRA 632). This includes the filing of a counterclaim. Such practice cannot be tolerated for
reasons of public policy (Oca vs CA, 278 SCRA 642)

The earlies opportunity of a party to raise the issue of jurisdiction is in a motion to dismiss filed
before the filing or service of an answer. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is a ground
for a motion to dismiss (Sec. 1[b], rule 16). If no motion to dismiss is filed, the defense of lack of
jurisdiction may be raised as an affirmative defense in the answer (Sec. 6, Rule 16).

Under the omnibus motion rule, a motion attacking a pleading like a motion to dismiss shall
include all grounds then available, and all objections not so included shall be deemed waived,
except lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter (Sec. 8, Rule 15).

Jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even for the
first time on appeal (Francel Realty Corporation vs Sycip , 469 SCRA 424)

Courts may take cognizance of the issue even if not raised by the parties themselves. No
reason to preclude the CA, for example, from ruling on this issue even if the same had not been
resolved by the trial court (Asia International Auctioneers, Inc. vs G.R. No. 163445, December
18, 2007)

8. Effect of estoppel on objections to jurisdiction

Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog vs Melicor, G.R. No. 140954, April 12, 2005

After recognizing the jurisdiction of the trial court by seeking affirmative relief in their motion to
serve supplemental pleading upon private respondents, petitioners are effectively barred by
estoppel from challenging the trial courts jurisdiction. If a party invokes the jurisdiction of a
court, he cannot thereafter challenge the courts jurisdiction in the same case. To rule otherwise
would amount to speculating on the fortune of litigation, which is against the policy of the Court.

Salva vs CA, 304 SCRA 632

Facts: Squatters around San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro were relocated in NFA lot.
Actual occupants of lot filed forcible entry complaint against relocated families and Mindoro
Governor Josephine Sato.

Plaintiffs won in MTC. RTC affirmed. Sato filed notice of appeal. CA dismissed appeal for being
wrong remedy and ordered entry of judgment. MTC issued writ of execution. Sato filed certiorari
and prohibition with CA which was dismissed. Sato filed MR on the ground that MTC had no
jurisdiction because the squatters were relocated on a different lot. CA granted MR and
dismissed plaintiffs complaint for forcible entry.
Ruling: SC reversed CA decision issue of jurisdiction never raised before MTC, RTC, and CA.
Raised for the first time in MR. Party assailing jurisdiction of court must raise it at the first
opportunity. While an order or decision rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be
assailed at any stage, a partys ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in the proceedings, without
questioning the jurisdiction until an adverse resolution is issued will bar or estop such party from
attacking the courts jurisdiction. Settled rule: a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court
to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and after failing to obtain such relief, repudiate
such jurisdiction.

C. Jurisdiction over the issues

1. Authority to try and decide the issues raised by the pleadings of the parties
2. Conferred by the PLEADINGS or EXPRESS CONSENT of the parties
3. An issue not duly pleaded may be tried and decided if no timely objection is made by
the parties
4. In certain cases, as in probate proceedings, jurisdiction over the issues is conferred
by law

D. Jurisdiction over the res or property in litigation

Acquired by the court over the property or thing in contest, and is obtained by seizure under
legal process of the court

May result either from the SEIZURE of thing under legal process whereby it is brought into
actual custody of law, or INSTITUTION of legal proceedings whereby the power of the court
over the thing is recognized and made effective.

E. Jurisdiction of Courts

1. Supreme Court

A. Original Jurisdiction
1. Exclusive

Petitions for issuance of writs of certiorati, prohibition, and mandamus against the
following:
a. Court of Appeals
b. Commission on Elections en banc
c. Commission on Audit (Sec. 7, Art. IX-A, 1987 Constitution)
d. Sandiganbayan
e. Court of Tax Appeals en banc
f. Ombudsman in criminal and non-administrative disciplinary cases

2. Concurrent
a. with Court of Appeals
1. Petitions for writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus against the Civil Service
Commission
2. Petitions for writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus against the National Labor
Relations Commission under the Labor Code (Sec. 9, Batas 129, as amended by R.A.
No. 7902, St. Martins Funeral Homes vs National Labor Relations Commission, G.R.
No. 130866, September 16, 1998, 295 SCRA 494)

b. with Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Courts


1. Petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto
2. Actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of laws concerning monopolies and
combinations in restraint of trade

c. with Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Regional Trial Courts


1. Petitions for certiorati, prohibition, and mandamus relating to an act or omission of a
municipal trial court, or of a corporation, a board, and officer or person
2 Petitions for issuance of writ of amparo (Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC or The Rule on
the Writ of Amparo, effective October 24, 2007)

d. with Regional Trial Courts

Actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls (Sec. 5[1], Article VIII,
1987 Constitution; Sec. 21[2], Batas Pambansa Blg. 129)

B. Appellate Jurisdiction

1. Ordinary Appeal

From the Court of Appeals, in all criminal cases involving offenses for which the penalty
imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment; or a lesser penalty is imposed for offenses
committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to
the more severe offense for which the penalty of death is imposed (Sec. 13[c], rule 124, as
amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective October 15, 2004, Sec. 13[b], Rule 124)

2. Petition for Review on Certiorari

a. Appeals from Court of Appeals (Sec. 17, R.A. No. 296, as amended by R.A. No. 5440; Sec.
5[2], Article VIII, 1987 Constitution; Rule 45, 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure)

b. Appeals from the Sandiganbayan on pure questions of law, except cases where the penalty
imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death (Sec. 7, P.D. No. 1606, as amended
by R.A. No. 8249; Nunez vs Sandiganbayan, No. L-50581-50617, January 20, 1982, 111 SCRA
433; Rule 45, Ibid.)
c. Appeals from judgments or final orders of Regional Trial Courts exercising original jurisdiction
in the following:
a. All cases is which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or
executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
ordinance, or regulation is in question