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GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 1

GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE


Suit. The prosecution or pursuit of some claim
or demand in a Court of Justice or any proceeding
in a Court of Justice in which a Plaintiff pursues his
remedy to recover a right or claim.
Bench warrant. A Writ issued directly by a
Judge to a law enforcement officer especially for
the arrest of a person who has been held in
contempt, disobeyed a subpoena, or failed to
appear for a hearing or Trial.
Indirect Contempt (or Constructive Contempt).
An act of contumacy or misbehavior perpetrated
outside of the sitting of the Court.
Direct Contempt of Court (or Contempt in
facie curiae). One committed in the presence of or
so near the Judge as to obstruct him in the
administration of justice. It is a contumacious act
done ex facie curiae (in the face of the court) and
may be punished summarily without hearing.
Civil action. An action by which a party sues
another either for the enforcement or protection of
a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
Special civil actions. Ordinary civil actions
made peculiar by the special rules applicable to
them that deviate from those prescribed for
ordinary civil proceedings. They include civil
actions under Rules 62 to 71 of the Rules of Court.
Criminal action refers to one by which the
State prosecutes a person for an act or omission
punishable by law.
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Special proceeding. A remedy by which a


party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a
particular fact.
Cause of action. The act or omission by which
a party violates a right of another. In relation to a
Complaint, it is a formal statement of the operative
facts that give rise to a remedial right or right of
action.
Right of action. The “remedial right” or “right
to relief” granted by law to a party to institute an
action against the person who has committed a
delict or wrong against him.
Jurisdiction. The authority to hear and
determine a cause —the right to act in a case. The
power and authority of a Court to hear and decide
a case.
Judgment or Final Order. A Judgment or Order
that disposes of the subject matter of an action in
its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or
action, leaving nothing more to be done except to
enforce by execution what the Court has
determined with finality.
Relief from Judgment. A legal remedy whereby
a party seeks to set aside a Judgment rendered
against him by a court whenever he was unjustly
deprived of a hearing or was prevented from taking
an appeal, in either case, because of fraud,
accident, mistake or excusable neglect.
Genuine issue. An issue of fact which calls for
the presentation of evidence as distinguished from
an issue which is fictitious or contrived or which
does not constitute a genuine issue for Trial.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 3

Summary judgment. A Judgment rendered


upon Motion by a party when there is no genuine
issue as to the existence of a material fact and the
moving party is entitled to a Judgment as a matter
of law.
Judgment on the pleadings. A Judgment which
the Court, on Motion of the adverse party, may
direct on such party’s pleading when an Answer
fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the
material allegations of the adverse party’s
pleading.
Demurrer to evidence. A Motion to Dismiss on
the ground of insufficiency of evidence and is
presented after the Plaintiff rests his case. It is an
objection by one of the parties in an action, to the
effect that the evidence which his adversary
produced is insufficient in point of law, whether
true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue.
Trial. The coming together of parties to a
dispute before the Court to present in a formal
setting their respective evidence on the basis of
which such Court will exercise it its authority to
adjudicate the claim or dispute.
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Production or inspection of documents or


things. The request of a party-litigant before the
Court in which the action is pending to issue an
Order directing a party to produce and permit the
inspection and copying or photographing of
documents, papers, books, etc., which are not
privileged; and in his custody or control, or
permitting entry into a land or other property in the
possession of a party for the purpose of inspecting,
measuring, surveying or photographing the same.
Request for admission by adverse party. A
mode of discovery which contemplates of
interrogatories that would clarify and tend to shed
light on the truth or falsity of the allegations in the
pleading.
Admission by adverse party. A party-to-party
process, done without Leave of Court and after the
issues have been joined or after the Defendant has
filed his Answer, involving a request for admission
by the adverse party of the genuineness of any
relevant documents attached to such request or of
the truth of any relevant matter of fact set forth in
said request.
Interrogatories to parties. A party-to-party
request for answers to written queries after the
Answer to the Complaint is filed.
Deposition pending appeal. The taking of
depositions of witnesses to perpetuate their
testimony for use in the event of further
proceedings in the Court in which a Judgment was
rendered, upon allowance by such Court in case an
Appeal has been taken from its Judgment, or before
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 5

the taking of an Appeal if the time for it has not


expired.
Deposition before action. The the taking by a
person who expects to be a party to an action but
is presently unable to bring it and who desires to
perpetuate his own testimony or that of another
person of such testimony by way of oral
examination or written interrogatories, upon Order
of the Court after a Verified Petition for Deposition
has been filed by him in the Court of the place
where any of the expected adverse parties resides.
Commission. An instrument issued by a Court
of Justice or other competent Tribunal to authorize
a person to take depositions or to do any other act
by authority of such Court or Tribunal.
Letters Rogatory. An instrument sent in the
name and by the authority of a Judge or Court to
another, requesting the latter to cause to be
examined, upon interrogatories filed in a cause
pending before the former, a witness who is within
the jurisdiction of the Judge or Court to whom such
letters are addressed.
Deposition pending action. The taking of the
testimony of a person, whether a party or not, at
the instance of another, by way of oral examination
or written interrogatories. This can be done either
by Leave of Court, after jurisdiction has been
obtained over a Defendant or over the property
which is the subject of the action, or without such
leave, after an Answer has been served.
Deposition. A mode of discovery intended as a
means to compel the disclosure of facts relevant in
a suit or court proceeding which are known to a
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party or other persons. It is the written testimony


of a witness given in the course of a judicial
proceeding in advance of the Trial or hearing upon
oral examination or in response to written
interrogatories and where an opportunity is given
for cross-examination.
Discovery. The procedure by which a party in
an action is allowed to obtain before Trial
knowledge of relevant facts and material evidence
in the possession of the adverse party or a witness.
Modes of discovery. The deposition-discovery
mechanism set forth in Rules 23 to 28 which
comprises the various modes or instruments of
discovery meant to serve as a device, along with
the Pre-Trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and
clarify the basic issues between the parties and as
a device for ascertaining the facts relative to those
issues.
Subpoena ad Testificandum. A process
directed to a person requiring him to attend and to
testify at the hearing or the Trial of an action, or at
any investigation conducted by competent
authority, or for the taking of his deposition.
Subpoena duces tecum. A process directed to
a person requiring him to bring with him any
books, documents, or other things under his
control.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 7

Intervention. A proceeding in a suit or action


by which a third person is permitted by the Court
to make himself a party, either joining the Plaintiff
in claiming what is sought by the Complaint, or
joining the Defendant in resisting the claims of the
Plaintiff, or demanding something adversely to
both of them. The act or proceeding by which a
third person becomes a party in a suit pending
between others. The admission, by Leave of Court,
of a person not an original party to the pending
legal proceedings, by which such person becomes
a party to it for the protection of some right or
interest alleged by him to be affected by such
proceedings.
Pre-Trial Order. An Order embodying the
agreements reached at the Pre-Trial Conference
which shall control the subsequent course of the
Trial and should not be disturbed unless there
would be manifest injustice.
Pre-Trial Brief. A document prepared by the
legal counsel for a Plaintiff or for a Defendant that
summarizes the facts of a case and the legal
arguments to be presented during the Trial. It
typically includes applicable case law, rules of
procedure and other information relevant to the
case.
Pre-Trial. A proceeding held before an official
Trial, especially to clarify points of law and facts. It
is a compulsory conference held among the Judge
and the parties to the action and the latter’s
respective counsels set by the Plaintiff by Motion,
after the service and filing of the last pleading and
before Trial, for the purpose of simplifying the
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issues, expediting the procedure and exploring the


possibility of amicable settlement, among others.
Laches. 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.
Motion to Dismiss. The application for relief by
the Defendant or the Responding Party principally
praying for the dismissal of the Complaint or
Pleading asserting a claim based on grounds which
are patent on the face of the Complaint or on
defenses available to the Defendant at the time of
the filing of the Complaint.
Motion. An application for relief other than by
a pleading.
Voluntary appearance. The voluntary
submission to the jurisdiction of the Court. It is an
appearance in whatever form and without explicit
objection to the jurisdiction of the Court over the
person which is considered a submission to the
jurisdiction of the Court over such person.
Legal guardian. A person duly appointed by a
court of competent authority to exercise care and
custody of or parental authority over the person of
such child or employee.1
Guardian ad litem. A person appointed by the
Court in which the action or proceeding is pending
1
Claridades, A., Philippine legal Lexicon, 2015 Edition
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 9

to represent the Defendant who is a minor, insane


or otherwise an incompetent, and who therefore
lacks the legal capacity to make Decisions for
himself.
Competent person in charge (of the
Defendant’s office or regular place of business).
One who is managing the office or business of
Defendant, such as the president or manager, and
must have sufficient knowledge to understand the
following the obligation of the Defendant in the
summons, its importance, and the prejudicial
effects arising from inaction on the summons.
Discretion. The ability to make Decisions
which represent a responsible choice and for which
an understanding of what is lawful, right or wise
may be presupposed.
Person of suitable age and discretion. A
person who has attained the age of full legal
capacity (18 years old and above) and is
considered to have enough discernment to
understand the importance of a summons.
Reasonable time. So much time as is
necessary under the circumstances for a
reasonably prudent and diligent man to do,
conveniently, what the contract or duty requires
that should be done, having a regard for the rights
and possibility of loss, if any, to the other party.
Alias summons. Another summons issued by
the Clerk of Court, upon Plaintiff’s demand, when
the previous summons is returned without being
served on any of the Defendants or has been lost.
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Summons. A Writ by which the Defendant is


notified of the action brought against him. Service
of such writ is the means by which the Court
acquires jurisdiction over his person. Jurisdiction
over the person of the Defendant is acquired
through coercive process, generally by the service
of summons issued by the Court, or through the
Defendant's voluntary appearance or submission to
the Court.
Notice of lis pendens. An announcement to the
whole world that a particular real property is in
litigation, and serves as a warning that one who
acquires an interest over said property does so at
his own risk, or that he gambles on the result of the
litigation over said property.
Filing. The act of presenting the pleading or
other paper to the Clerk of Court.
Service. The act of providing a party with a
copy of the pleading or paper concerned. In
practice, service means the delivery or
communication of a pleading, notice or some other
paper in a case, to the opposite party so as to
charge him with receipt of it and subject him to its
legal effect.
Bill of particulars. A more definite statement,
ordered by the Court on Motion of a party, the
office of which is limited to making more particular
or definite the ultimate facts in a pleading that
were alleged too generally or not averred with
sufficient definiteness or particularly as to enable
an adverse party properly to prepare his
Responsive Pleading or to prepare for Trial.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 11

Reply. A pleading the office or function of


which is to deny or allege facts in denial or
avoidance of new matters alleged by way of
defense in the Answer and thereby join or make
issue as to such new matters.
Supplemental pleading. A pleading that only
serves to bolster or add something to the primary
pleading. In other words, it is a supplement that
exists side by side with the original and therefore
does not replace that which it supplements.
Formal amendment. The summary correction
by the Court of a defect in the designation of the
parties and other clearly clerical or typographical
errors at any stage of the action, at its initiative or
on Motion, provided, that NO prejudice is caused
thereby to the adverse party.
Default. The failure of the Defending Party
(Defendant) to answer within the period allowed for
it by the Rules. It does not arise from his failure to
appear at a Pre-Trial Conference nor from his failure
to present evidence.
Actionable document. A written instrument
upon which an action or defense is based.
Conditions precedent. Matters which must be
complied with before a cause of action arises.
Ultimate facts. The essential facts constituting
the Plaintiff's cause of action, or such facts as are
so essential that they cannot be stricken out
without leaving the statement of the cause of
action inadequate. Those facts which the expected
evidence will support. The facts which the evidence
on the Trial will prove, and not the evidence which
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will be required to prove the existence of those


facts.
Forum shopping. The institution of two or
more actions or proceedings involving the same
parties for the same cause of action, either
simultaneously or successively, on the supposition
that one or the other court would make a favorable
disposition.
Certification of non-forum shopping. The
certification under oath by the Plaintiff or Principal
Party in the Complaint or other initiatory pleading
asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn
certification annexed to it and simultaneously filed
with it: (a) that he has NOT commenced prior to
such Complaint any action or filed any claim
involving the same issues in any Court, Tribunal or
Quasi-Judicial Agency and, to the best of his
knowledge, NO such other action or claim is
pending in those fora; (b) that IF there is such
other pending action or claim, a complete
statement of its present status; and (c) that if he
should learn after filing the Petition that the same
or similar action or claim has been filed or is
pending, he shall report that fact within five (5)
days therefrom to the Court wherein his aforesaid
Complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed. It is
also called Certificate of non-forum shopping and
Certification against forum shopping.
Verification. A certification under oath by a
party or a person who has authority to act for a
party that he has read the Pleading or Motion and
that he certifies to the truth of the facts stated in
such Pleading or Motion on the basis of his own
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 13

personal knowledge or authentic documents in his


possession.
Signed pleading. A pleading that is signed
either by the party himself or his counsel.
Third (or fourth, etc.)-party Complaint. A claim
that a Defending Party may, with Leave of Court,
file against a person not a party to the action,
called the Third (or Fourth, etc.) - Party Defendant
for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any
other relief, in respect of his opponent’s claim. A
procedural device whereby a "Third (or Fourth,
etc.) Party" who is neither a party nor privy to the
act or deed complained of by the Plaintiff may be
brought into the case, with Leave of Court, by the
Defendant who acts as “Third (or Fourth, etc.) -
Party Plaintiff” to enforce against such “Third (or
Fourth, etc.) - Party Defendant” a right for
contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other
relief, in respect of the Plaintiff's claim.
Affidavit of Merit. A sworn statement which
must accompany the Petition for Relief from
Judgment showing the facts constituting the
Petitioner’s good and substantial cause of action or
defense, as the case may be. It serves as the
jurisdictional basis for the Court to entertain a
Petition for Relief.
Execution. The fruit and end of the suit and is
very aptly called the life of the law. It is the process
which carries into effect a Decree or Judgment.
Satisfaction of Judgment. The payment of the
amount of the writ; or a lawful tender of such
payment, or the conversion by sale of the debtor's
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property into an amount equal to that due. It may


be done otherwise than upon an execution.
Execution as a matter of right. The right of the
prevailing party to have the executory Judgment
rendered in his favor enforced by way of
a Motion within five (5) years from the date of
entry of such Judgment.
Several Judgment. A judgment rendered
against one or more Defendants and NOT against
all of them, leaving the action to proceed against
the others.
Separate Judgment. A judgment that disposes
of a claim among several others presented in a
case after a determination of the issues material to
a particular claim and all Counterclaims arising out
of the transaction or occurrence which is the
subject matter of said claim.
Partial Judgment. A judgment that disposes of
one or more issues in a case when there is NO
dispute as to the material facts and a party is
entitled to Judgment as a matter of law.
Supersedeas bond. A bond, either in cash or a
surety bond, filed by the losing party in an ordinary
civil action to secure the performance or to satisfy
the Judgment appealed from in case it is affirmed
on Appeal in favor of the prevailing party. A bond
required to be filed by the adverse party desiring to
stay the discretionary execution of a Judgment or
Final Order pending Appeal for the purpose of
securing the performance of such Judgment or Final
Order in case of its affirmation by the Appellate
Court.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN CIVIL PROCEDURE 15

Action for Revival of Judgment. A procedural


means of securing the execution of a previous
Judgment which has become dormant after the
passage of five (5) years without it being executed
upon Motion of the prevailing party. It is NOT
intended to re-open any issue affecting the merits
of the Judgment Debtor's case NOR the propriety or
correctness of the first Judgment.

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