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CIVIL PROCEDURE (CASE DIGESTS)

1
for the exclusive use of EH406 A.Y.2017-18

EULALIA RUSSELL, petitioner vs. HONORABLE AUGUSTINE A. VESTIL, respondent


G.R. No. 119347. March 17, 1999

ONE LINER: The Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction over actions incapable of pecuniary estimation.

FACTS:
The subject land in question was previously owned by the spouses Casimero Tautho and Cesaria
Tautho. Upon the death of said spouses, the property was inherited by their legal heirs, herein
petitioners and private respondents.

The lot had remained undivided until petitioners discovered a public document denominated
DECLARATION OF HERIS AND DEED OF CONFIRMATION OF A PREVIOUS ORAL AGREEMENT OF
PARTITION to the exclusion of petitioners.

Petitioners filed a complaint against private respondents denominated DECLARATION OF


NULLITY AND PARTITION with the RTC of Mandaue City, claiming that the document was false and
perjurious as the private respondents were not the only heirs and that no oral partition of the property
had actually been made between the heirs.

Private respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction which,
respondent judge granted.

PETITIONERs ARGUMENT
Petitioners claims that the RTC has jurisdiction over the case since the action is one for annulment of a
document which is incapable of pecuniary estimation within the contemplation of Section 19 (1) of B.P.
129, as amended.

RESPONDENTs ARGUMENT
They insist that the action is one for re-partition and that the RTC has no jurisdiction because the total
assessed value of the subject land is P5,000.00, which under Section 33 (3) of B.P. 129, as amended by
R.A. 7691 falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the MCTC of Liloan, Compostela, Cebu.

ISSUE:
I. Whether or not the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction over the case.

HELD:
Yes. The Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction.

In Singson vs. Isabela Sawmill, the Court held that: If the claim is primarily for the recovery of a sum of
money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation. However, where the basic issue is
something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental
to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has considered such actions as cases
where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable
exclusively by the Regional Trial Courts.

Examples of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation are those for specific performance, support, or
foreclosure of mortgage or annulment of judgment; also actions questioning the validity of a
mortgage, annulling a deed of sale or conveyance and to recover the price paid and for rescission.