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PHILIPPINE COURTS All Philippine courts, including inferior courts are

now courts of record (RA 2613).
I. Structure
c. Kinds of Courts
i. Constitutional Court – is one created by a
direct constitutional provision. Ex: Supreme
Court of the Philippines (Sec 1, Art VIII of
the 1987 Constitution). NOTE: the SC is the
only constitutional court in the Philippines.
ii. Statutory Court – is one created by law
other than the constitution. All courts in the
Philippines, except for the SC, are statutory
RELEVANCE: constitutional courts may only
be abolished by an amendment in the
constitution, since it is the constitution that
created them. Statutory courts can be
abolished by law. However, under the present
constitution, the congress cannot pass a law
reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines
the security of tenure of its Members (Article
VIII, Sec. 2). Therefore, the constitution has
effectively set a limit to the power of congress
to define, prescribe, and apportion the
jurisdiction of various courts.
iii. Courts of original jurisdiction – where actions
and proceedings are originally filed with. It
means the jurisdiction to take cognizance of
a case at its inception, try it and pass
II. Philippine Courts as courts of law a. judgment upon the law and facts.
Law and Equity iv. Courts of appellate jurisdiction – where it has
Philippine courts are courts of both law and the power of review over the decisions or
equity. orders of a lower court.
Article 9 of the NCC: “No judge or court shall
decline to render judgment by reason of the
silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.” JURISDICTION
Judges may then decide a case based on
equity when there is no law. Definition: the power and authority of the court to hear, try
i. “Equity follows the law” – if there is a clear law and decide a case.
that is applicable to the case, then equity cannot a. Jurisdiction vs. exercise of jurisdiction:
be used in lieu of it. Equity denotes a concept of “As distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction,
fairness, justness and right dealing among men. It jurisdiction is the authority to decide a case, and not the
seeks to reach and do complete justice where the decision rendered therein. Where there is jurisdiction
courts of law are incompetent to do so because of over the person and the subject matter, the decision on
the inflexibility of the rules and lack of power to all other questions arising in the case is but an exercise
adapt their judgments to the special of such jurisdiction. And the errors which the court may
circumstances of the case. It is availed only in the commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of
absence of a law and is never availed of judgment which are the proper subject of an appeal.”
against statutory law or judicial (Heirs of Maura So v. Obliosca, G.R. No. 147082,
pronouncements. January 28, 2008.)

In Sps Poon vs Prime Savings Bank, (GR No 183794, June Relevance: If the court has no jurisdiction at all, it
13, 2016, note that although there is a law that is applicable in cannot render a valid judgment. Hence, a decision of
the case, the Court agreed with the decision of the lower a court without jurisdiction is null and void. However, if
courts, which applied equity, and allowed the PDIC to recover the court commits an error in the exercise of its
half of the “unused” portion of the advanced payment for the jurisdiction, it does not make the rendered judgment
rentals. Why was this allowed? Because there is also a law void, it merely makes it a proper subject of an appeal.
permitting the judge to use equity (Article 8 of the NCC).
b. Philippine Courts as court of record Distinguish error of jurisdiction vs error of judgment.
“Courts of record” are those which keep a written
account of each proceedings. One attribute of a SUGGESTED ANSWER:
court of record is the strong presumption as to An error of judgment is one which the court may commit in
the veracity of its records that cannot be the exercise of its jurisdiction. Such an error does not
collaterally attacked except for fraud. deprive the court of jurisdiction and is correctible only by

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appeal; whereas an error of jurisdiction is one which the court NOTE: annexes/attachments form part of the complaint.
acts without or in excess of its jurisdiction. Such an error The court can look at the complaint and the annexes to
renders an order or judgment void or voidable and is determine the nature and relief sought of the action.
correctible by the special civil action of certiorari. (Dela Cruz
vs. Moir, 36 Phil. 213; Cochingyan vs. Claribel, 76 SCRA 361; In Penta Pacific Realty Corp. vs. Ley Construction & Dev.
Fortich vs. Corona, April 24, 1998, 289 SCRA 624; Artistica Corp. (GR No. 161589, Nov. 24, 2014), it was discussed that
Ceramica, Inc. vs. Ciudad Del Carmen Homeowner‟s to determine jurisdiction over the subject matter, you only
Association, Inc., G.R. Nos. 167583-84, June 16, 2010). look at the complaint, and not the answer. In this case, the
Court declared that the complaint sufficiently alleged all the
requisites for unlawful detainer, and therefore, jurisdiction
b. Types of Jurisdiction would fall under the MTC.
i. Original jurisdiction
ii. Appellate jurisdiction EXAMPLE of LAWS (statute or fundamental law)
NOTE: Under the present constitution, the SC, CONFERRING JURISDICTION:
through it expanded certiorari jurisdiction, has the
 Section 5, Article 8 of the 1987 Philippine
power to review the acts not only of the inferior courts,
Constitution that enumerated the original and
but also of other branches and instrumentalities of the
appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
government to determine whether there has been
NOTE: Congress cannot decrease the original
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. They also
of jurisdiction. cannot increase the appellate jurisdiction of the
iii. Exclusive jurisdiction – precludes the idea of co- SC without the SC’s concurrence or ….
existence and refers to jurisdiction possessed to the  BP 129, as amended by RA 7691
exclusion of others.
iv. Concurrent jurisdiction – also called “coordinate Pertinent provisions of BP 129, as amended by RA 7691:
jurisdiction”, is the power of different courts to take
cognizance of the same subject matter. Where there
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall
is concurrent jurisdiction, the court first taking
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction.
cognizance of the case assumes jurisdiction to the
exclusion of others.
"(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is
incapable of pecuniary estimation; NOTE: incapable of
c. Kinds/Aspects of Jurisdiction
pecuniary estimation – no monetary value can be assigned
i. Jurisdiction over the subject matter or designated.
ii. Jurisdiction over the parties
Example: specific performance, support, or foreclosure of
iii. Jurisdiction over the issues of the case; and
mortgage or annulment of judgment; also actions
iv. Jurisdiction over the res or the thing involved in
questioning the validity of a mortgage, annulling a deed of
the litigation
sale or conveyance and to recover the price paid and for
"(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession
of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed
Definition: the power of a particular court to hear the
value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos
type of case that is before it.
(P20,000,00) or, for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such
value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) except
a. How conferred – only by law (either statutes or the
actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or
constitution itself). Why? Because the constitution itself
buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the
(Article VIII, Section 2) vested congress the power to
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal
define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of various
Circuit Trial Courts;
courts through legislation. Hence, it can only be conferred
by law.
"(3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where
the demand or claim exceeds One hundred thousand pesos
NOTE: The case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy (GR No. L21450,
(P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila, where such demand or
April 15, 1968) is an exception and should only ever be
claim exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00);
applied where the facts of case are similar to that of the
NOTE: At present, this is now P300,000 in cases outside of
Tijam case (the case was file barely a month after the act
Metro Manila, and P400,000 in Metro Manila, as a result of the
amending the jurisdiction of the courts took effect, the
adjustments authorized in Sec. 5 of RA 7691.
petitioner took 15 years to question the jurisdiction of the
court, etc). The principle that jurisdiction over the subject
"(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate,
matter is conferred by law is not only a general rule but an
where the gross value of the estate exceeds One hundred
ironclad rule. It cannot be conferred or left to the will or
thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in probate matters in
actions of the parties. Therefore, the rule still stands that the
Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two
lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter can be raised at
Hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00);
any time, even on appeal, and parties who actively
NOTE: At present, this is now P300,000 in cases outside of
participated in the case are not necessarily estopped in
Metro Manila, and P400,000 in Metro Manila, as a result of
questioning the court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter.
the adjustments authorized in Sec. 5 of RA 7691.
b. How determined – by the allegations in the complaint.

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"(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and actual relief sought involves the title to, or possession of, real
marital relations; property, or any interest therein. If it does, then par. 2, instead
NOTE: This is now handled by a special court, the Family of par. 1 will apply, and the assessed value of the real property
Court (this is an RTC designated to act as a special court). must be alleged to determine which court has jurisdiction. (For
further reading, see case of Sps. Trayvilla vs. Sejas G.R.
"(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any No. 204970, February 1, 2016)
court, tribunal, person or body exercising jurisdiction of any
court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or., quasi- Differentiate from the case of Surviving Heirs of Bautista vs.
judicial functions; Lindo (G.R. No. 208232, March 10, 2014): In Heirs of Bautista,
NOTE: This is why the RTC is often called a court of the case was about the sale of a free-patent land through a deed
general jurisdiction. of sale that the seller now wants to repurchase by virtue of his right
under Sec. 119 of Public Land Act. He filed a complaint to
"(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within repurchase before the RTC. Respondents argued that since he did
the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and not allege the assessed value of the property and that the right to
Domestic Relations Court and of the Court of Agrarian repurchase is a real action capable of pecuniary estimation, the
Relations as now provided by law; and case should be then be dismissed.
However, according to the SC, this is a civil action incapable of
"(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of pecuniary estimation, cognizable by the RTC. “Petitioner
interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, (seller) filed a complaint to enforce his right granted by law to
litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in recover the lot subject of free patent. Ergo, it is clear that his
controversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos action is for specific performance, or if not strictly such action,
(P100,000.00) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, then it is akin or analogous to one of specific performance, one
where the demand exclusive of the abovementioned items incapable of pecuniary estimation.
exceeds Two Hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00)." It does not involve title to or possession of the lots since the
NOTE: At present, this is now P300,000 in cases outside of reacquisition of the lots is incidental to the exercise of the right
Metro Manila, and P400,000 in Metro Manila, as a result of by the latter to redeem said lots pursuant to Sec. 119 of CA 141.
the adjustments authorized in Sec. 5 of RA 7691. The reconveyance of the title to petitioners is solely dependent
on the exercise of such right to repurchase the lots in question
SUMMARY OF JURISDICTIONAL AMOUNT FOR SEC. 19, and is not the principal or main relief or remedy sought.”
PAR. 2 OF BP 129, AS AMENDED- involve the title to, or NOTE: What was sought here is the enforcement of his right,
possession of, real property, or any interest therein) the reconveyance of title was merely incidental and purely
NOTE: reckoned using the assessed value of the property depends on whether he has the right to repurchase. The
OUTSIDE METRO MANILA difference lies between the nature of the principal action or
P20,000 or below MTC remedy sought. (See similar case of Russell vs. Vestil, G.R.
More than P20,000 RTC No. 119347. March 17, 1999)
P50,000 or below MTC Question: What if a case that should be filed in a special court,
More than P50,000 RTC like the commercial court, is instead filed in a regular court,
should it be dismissed?
Answer: No. Where a case that should be filed in a special court
was filed in a regular court, it should be referred to the executive
judge for re-docketing. Any difference regarding the applicable
PAR. 3, 4 and 8 OF BP 129, AS AMENDED
docket fees should be duly accounted for. On the other hand,
OUTSIDE METRO MANILA docket fees already paid shall be duly credited, and any excess,
P300,000 or below MTC refunded. The assigning of special courts is only a matter of
More than P300,000 RTC expediency and efficiency, not jurisdiction. (Gonzales vs JGH
WITHIN METRO MANILA Land Inc, G.R. No. 202664, November 20, 2015)
P400,000 or below MTC
More than P400,000 RTC
Question: You want to file a case for annulment of deed of
sale of a real property with an assessed value of P10,000. Or Definition: The legal power of the court to render judgment
you want to file a case for specific performance, but what is against a party to an action or proceeding.
asked is actually the conveyance of a real property with an
assessed value of P10,000, where should you file it? a. How acquired:
Answer: Since the assessed value of the real property is 1. Over plaintiff – upon filing of the complaint, the
P10,000, it should be filed in the MTC, applying par. 2, Sec 19 plaintiff himself to the jurisdiction of the court.
of BP 129. Even if typically, the action for specific performance 2. Over defendant –
is one that is incapable of pecuniary estimation, what is asked 1. Through service of summons; or
is not merely performance, but transfer of title. Hence, it falls 2. Voluntary appearance – Section 23 of the
under the category of civil actions which involve the title to real Rules provides that the defendant's voluntary
property, or any interest therein (par. 2). Note that the appearance in the action shall be equivalent
amendment of the law forces us to look further into actions that to service. When a defendant voluntarily
are typically incapable of pecuniary estimation (annulment of appears, he is deemed to have submitted
deed of sale, specific performance, quieting of title, etc) when it himself to the jurisdiction of the court.
involves a real property. We need to ask further if the action or

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Instances of actions amounting to voluntary How conferred and determined:

appearance: By the allegations in the pleadings of the parties. In order to
(1) when his counsel files the corresponding determine whether or not a court has jurisdiction over the
pleading thereon; issue or issues of the case, one must examine the
(2) when a defendant files a motion for pleadings. Whether or not a court has jurisdiction over a
reconsideration of the judgment by default;
specific issue is a question that requires nothing but an
(3) when he files a petition to set aside the
judgment of default; examination of the pleadings.
(4) when he and the plaintiff jointly submit a This may be conferred by the consent of the parties.
compromise agreement for approval of the trial
court. Illustration: Plaintiff filed a case for collection of sum of money
in the amount of P1M as evidenced by a promissory note. The
Question: When will an appearance amount to a voluntary loan was payable on November 2017 and demand has been
appearance? made. However, the debtor/defendant still failed to pay. In the
Answer: Generally, if the defendant seeks for an affirmative answer to the complaint, the debtor/defendant admitted the
relief with the court (e.g. answers the complaint even without existence of the loan, however, he insists that he has paid
summons or files a motion to dismiss). However, if he goes to P2.5M and that in fact, there is now overpayment. Based on
court to make a conditional appearance (ad cautelam) the pleadings, the issue here is whether the plaintiff can
questioning the jurisdiction of the court, he is not deemed to demand for the P1M. Since the promissory note is admitted
have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. and is not questioned, then the court will not decide on the
issue of its authenticity anymore.
Question: If you file a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack If, on the other hand, the promissory note is denied by the
of jurisdiction over your person, and you invoke additional defendant in his answer (there is no debt because the note is a
grounds like prescription of the cause of action, are you forgery), the court can now decide on the issue of the
deemed to have made a voluntary appearance? authenticity of the promissory note. Jurisdiction of the court
Answer: No. In the case of La Naval Drug Corp. v. CA (GR over the issue is conferred by the allegations and also the
L-103200, Aug. 31, 1994), the Court ruled “that a defendant admissions during pre-trial.
may, in fact, feel enjoined to set up, along with his objection to
the court's jurisdiction over his person, all other possible
defenses. It thus appears that it is not the invocation of any of PAYMENT OF CORRECT AMOUNT OF FILING FEES
such defenses, but the failure to so raise them, that can result
in waiver or estoppel.”
“It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate
Sec. 20 of Rule 14: “xxx The inclusion in a motion to initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed
dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over
over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a the subject- matter or nature of the action. Where the
voluntary appearance.” filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by
The rule, as it now stands, allows the raising of defences in payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment
addition to lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case
without creating an inference of a voluntary submission to the beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary
jurisdiction of the court. period.” (Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. vs
Asuncion, G.R. Nos. 79937-38. February 13, 1989)

JURISDICTION OVER THE RES NOTE: Jurisdiction of the court will not attach without
payment. The case cited above mentions of the exception
Definition: the court’s jurisdiction over the thing or the property where the payment within a reasonable time after filing is
which is the subject of the action. This type of jurisdiction is allowed.
necessary when the action is in rem or quasi in rem.

Res – a “thing” or “object”. RELATED CONCEPTS


1. By placing the property or thing under the court’s
custody (custodial legis); or Definition: where courts have concurrent jurisdiction over a
2. Constructive seizure (e.g. attachment of property); or subject matter, a case must be filed before the lowest court
3. Statutory authority conferring upon the court the possible having the appropriate jurisdiction, except if one can
power to deal with the property or thing within the advance a special reason which would allow a party direct
court’s territorial jurisdiction (e.g. suits involving the resort to a higher court.
status of the parties or the property in the Philippines
of non-resident defendants). Rationale for the rule (especially if concerned with the SC):
(a) it would be an imposition upon the precious time of the
Court; and
JURISDICTION OVER THE ISSUES (b) it would cause an inevitable and resultant delay, intended
or otherwise, in the adjudication of cases, which in some
Definition: the power of the court to try and decide the issues instances had to be remanded or referred to the lower court as
raised in the pleadings of the parties. the proper forum under the rules of procedure, or as better

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equipped to resolve the issues because the Court is not a


Exceptions (where direct resort to the SC is allowed): Definition: jurisdiction, once it attaches, continues until the
a) When there are special and important reasons clearly termination of the case. Jurisdiction is determined at the time
stated in the petition; of the institution of the action.
b) When dictated by public welfare and the
advancement of public policy; In the case of Escobal vs . Hon. Garchitorena (G.R. No.
c) When demanded by the broader interest of justice; 124644. February 5, 2004), after the prosecution has rested
d) When the challenged orders were patent nullities; or its case and the accused has presented his evidence in the
e) When analogous exceptional and compelling RTC, the RTC judge forwarded the case to the Sandiganbayan
circumstances called for and justified the immediate to conform with R.A. No. 7975 (amending the jurisdiction of the
direct handling by the court. Sandiganbayan).The Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan
ordered the case to be remanded to the RTC. It reasoned that
Question: Distinguish the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme under P.D. No. 1606 (the law in force at the time of the
Court Section 1, par (2), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution and institution of the criminal action), as amended by R.A. No. 7975
the certiorari jurisdiction under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court? (the subsequent law which amended the jurisdiction of the
Answer: In Section 1, par (2), Article VIII of the 1987 Sandiganbayan), the RTC retained jurisdiction over the case.
Constitution, the certiorari jurisdiction pertains to any branch The Court agreed with the Sandiganbayan and mentioned that
and instrumentality of the government, while the certiorari “jurisdiction of the court acquired at the inception of the case
jurisdiction under Rule 65 seeks to correct the discretion of the continues until the case is terminated.”
lower courts and other judicial bodies.
OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES “The doctrine of judicial stability or non-interference in
the regular orders or judgments of a co-equal court is
Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction an elementary principle in the administration of justice:
Courts actually have jurisdiction over the case but an no court can interfere by injunction with the judgments
administrative body/agency has the competence to or orders of another court of concurrent jurisdiction
resolve the case. As a result, the court must first allow the having the power to grant the relief sought by the
determination of the administrative agency. injunction. The rationale for the rule is founded on the
concept of jurisdiction: a court that acquires jurisdiction
Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies over the case and renders judgment therein has
“Before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the jurisdiction over its judgment, to the exclusion of all
courts, it is a pre-condition that he avail himself of all other coordinate courts, for its execution and over all
administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy its incidents, and to control, in furtherance of justice,
within the administrative machinery can be resorted to by the conduct of ministerial officers acting in connection
giving the administrative officer every opportunity to decide with this judgment.”
on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such NOTE: This also applies to administrative courts/quasi-
remedy must be exhausted first before the court's power of judicial bodies (e.g. you appeal the decision of the NLRC
judicial review can be sought. The premature resort to the to the CA, not to RTC since NLRC and RTC are co-equal.)
court is fatal to one's cause of action.” (Samar II Electric
Cooperative, Inc vs Seludo Jr. G.R. No. 173840. April

The doctrines of primary jurisdiction and exhaustion of RULE MAKING POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT
administrative remedies are subject to certain exceptions:
(a) where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking SECTION 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following
the doctrine; powers:
(b) where the challenged administrative act is patently xxx
illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction; (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and
(c) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice,
that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant; and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice
(d) where the amount involved is relatively so small as to of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
make the rule impractical and oppressive; underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and
(e) where the question involved is purely legal and will inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of
ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice; cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade,
(f) where judicial intervention is urgent; and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
(g) where the application of the doctrine may cause great rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-
and irreparable damage; judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved
(h) where the controverted acts violate due process; by the Supreme Court.
(i) where the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative NOTE: The 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress to
remedies has been rendered moot; repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice
(j) where there is no other plain, speedy and adequate and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading,
remedy; (k) where strong public interest is involved; and practice and procedure is no longer shared by this Court with
(l) in quo warranto proceedings. Congress, more so with the Executive.

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than to take justice in our own hands. Injury ≠ damage. Note

CONSTRUCTION OF RULES IN CIVIL PROCEDURE in this case that A was in good faith.

Section 6. Construction. — These Rules shall be liberally QUESTION: If you are making the complaint, where do you
construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, find the rights and duties of parties?
speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and ANSWER: substantive law.
proceeding. ii. Failure to State a Cause of Action vs Lack of Cause of
NOTE: Compliance with the procedural rules is the general
rule, and abandonment thereof should only be done in the FAILURE TO STATE A LACK OF CAUSE OF
most exceptional circumstances and save for the most CAUSE OF ACTION ACTION
persuasive reasons, strict compliance with the rules is enjoined insufficiency of the pleading insufficiency of evidence
to facilitate orderly administration of justice. ground for dismissal under raised in a demurrer to
Rule 16 evidence under Rule 33
PRE-FILING SCENARIOS after the plaintiff has rested
its case
can be made at the earliest usually made after
Civil action is the redress of a civil wrong. stages of an action questions of fact have
been resolved on the basis
CAUSE OF ACTION of stipulations, admissions or
evidence presented (after
Definition: the act or omission by which a party violates a right the plaintiff rested his case)
of another. can be determined only can be determined from
from the allegations in the evidentiary matters

“The test of sufficiency of facts alleged in the complaint as Failure to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action
constituting a cause of action is whether or not admitting the are really different from each other. On the one hand, failure
facts alleged, the court could render a valid verdict in to state a cause of action refers to the insufficiency of the
accordance with the prayer of the complaint. pleading, and is a ground for dismissal under Rule 16 of the
Rules of Court. On the other hand, lack of cause [of] action
That in determining sufficiency of cause of action, the court refers to a situation where the evidence does not prove the
takes into account only the material allegations of the complaint cause of action alleged in the pleading. Justice Regalado, a
and no other, is not a hard and fast rule. In some cases, the court recognized commentator on remedial law, has explained the
considers the documents attached to the complaint to truly distinction:
determine sufficiency of cause of action.” (Fluor Daniel, Inc,- “. . . What is contemplated, therefore, is a failure to
Philippines v. E.B. Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd., GR No. state a cause of action which is provided in Sec.
659648) 1(g) of Rule 16. This is a matter of insufficiency of the
pleading. Sec. 5 of Rule 10, which was also included
NOTE: It is not enough that a party has, in effect, a cause of as the last mode for raising the issue to the court,
action. The rules of procedure require that the complaint must refers to the situation where the evidence does not
contain a concise statement of ultimate or essential facts prove a cause of action. This [lack of cause of
constituting the plaintiff’s cause of action. action] is, therefore, a matter of insufficiency of
evidence. Failure to state a cause of action is different
i. Elements of Cause of Action from failure to prove a cause of action. The remedy in
1. A right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and the first is to move for dismissal of the pleading, while
under whatever law it arises or is created; the remedy in the second is to demur to the evidence,
2. An obligation on the part of the defendant not to hence reference to Sec. 5 of Rule 10 has been
violate such right; and eliminated in this section. The procedure would
3. An act or omission on the part of the defendant in consequently be to require the pleading to state a
violation of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a cause of action, by timely objection to its deficiency; or,
breach of the obligation of the defendant to the at the trial, to file a demurrer to evidence, if such
plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for motion is warranted.”
recovery of damages or other relief. (Pacaña-Contreras vs Rovilla Water Supply,
Inc., GR No. 223751, December 2, 2013)
A, on the honest belief that there is a case against B, filed a iii. Test of Sufficiency of Cause of Action
case in court. As a result, B was constrained to hire a lawyer,
forced to be absent from his work to attend hearings, and has “The test of sufficiency of a cause of action rests on whether,
suffered wounded feelings and sleepless nights. The judge hypothetically admitting the facts alleged in the complaint
then dismisses the case. to be true, the court can render a valid judgment upon the
Is there damage to B because of the case? same, in accordance with the prayer in the complaint. This
This is a case of damage sans injury. There is damage (loss of is the general rule.” (Heirs of Lorito C. Maramag vs.
income, attorney’s fees) but there is no injury. We have the right to Maramag, GR No. 181132, June 5, 2009)
litigate because it’s preferred that we bring a case to court

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NOTE: The inquiry is to the sufficiency, not the veracity of the (a) it will not violate the rules on jurisdiction, venue and
material allegation. Whether those allegations are true or not is joinder of parties, and
beside the point, for their truth is hypothetically admitted by the (b) the causes of action arise out of the same contract,
motion. transaction or relation between the parties, or are for
NOTE FURTHER: The court ought not to consider matters demands for money or are of the same nature and
outside of the complaint in determining whether or not a character. (Republic vs Hernandez, GR No. 117209,
complaint states a cause of action. There is no need to require February 9, 1996)
the presentation of evidence. However, the court may look on
the attachments in the complaint.
EXCEPTION: exceptions, such that there is no hypothetical
admission of the veracity of the allegations if: Change of name embodied in the petition for adoption not
1. the falsity of the allegations is subject to judicial notice; valid. A petition for adoption and a petition for change of name
2. such allegations are legally impossible; are two special proceedings which, in substance and purpose,
3. the allegations refer to facts which are inadmissible in are different from and are not related to each other, being
evidence; respectively governed by distinct sets of law and rules. There
4. by the record or document in the pleading, the is no relation between the two petitions, nor are they of the
allegations appear unfounded; or same nature or character, much less do they present any
5. there is evidence which has been presented to the common question of fact or law, which conjointly would warrant
court by stipulation of the parties or in the course of their joinder. (Republic vs Hernandez, GR No. 117209,
the hearings related to the case. February 9, 1996)

QUESTION: Why do the courts need not look at, the allegations in
the defense of a defendant to determine whether the cause of
action has been sufficiently alleged in the allegations? ILLUSTRATION OF THE THIRD CONDITION:
ANSWER: Because the inquiry must be made on the NOTE: there really is no joinder of causes of action in this case
complaint, not the answer. since the Court ruled that there is only one cause of action.

A complaint for the annulment of the sale/MOA, recovery of

JOINDER/MISJOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION possession of a real property and damages filed in the RTC of
the residence of the plaintiff and not where the property is
RULE 2. Section 5. Joinder of causes of action. — A party located is improper. Under the third condition (Rule 2, Sec 5 of
may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as RoC), if one cause of action falls within the jurisdiction of the
many causes of action as he may have against an opposing RTC and the other falls within the jurisdiction of the MTC, the
party, subject to the following conditions: action should be filed in the RTC. If the causes of action have
(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply different venues, they may be joined in any of the courts of
with the rules on joinder of parties; proper venue. Hence, a real action and a personal action may
(b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or be joined either in the RTC of the place where the real property
actions governed by special rules; is located or where the parties reside.
(c) Where the causes of action are between the same Petitioners here only have one cause of action: the breach of
parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the the MOA upon the latters’ refusal to pay the first two
joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court instalments as agreed upon, and turn over to the petitioners
provided one of the causes of action falls within the the possession of the real property (real action). The claim for
jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and damages (personal action) was merely incidental.
(d) Where the claims in all the causes action are The action of the plaintiff for the rescission of the MOA on
principally for recovery of money, the aggregate account of the respondents breach thereof and the latter’s
amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. failure to return the premises subject of the complaint to the
petitioners, and the respondents’ eviction therefrom is a real
A joinder of causes of action is the uniting of two or more action. As such, the action should have been filed in the
demands or right of action in a complaint. The question of the proper court where the property is located, not at the
joinder of causes of action involves in particular cases a residence of the plaintiff. (Spouses Decena vs Spouses
preliminary inquiry as to whether two or more causes of action Piquero, GR No. 155736, March 31, 2005)
are alleged.
In declaring whether more than one cause of action is alleged, the ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE BOOK and the DISCUSSION:
main thrust is whether more than one primary right or subject of 1. D and C lives in Cebu City. D is the debtor of C for
controversy is present. A cause of action may be single although P350,000 due on January 1, 2018. D likewise owes
the plaintiff seeks a variety of remedies. The mere fact that the C P300,000 due on January 10, 2018. D has not
plaintiff prays for multiple reliefs does not indicate that he has paid the debts despite demand.
stated more than one cause of action. (Spouses Decena vs a. May C file a single suit against D for the
Spouses Piquero, GR No. 155736, March 31, 2005) collection of both debts despite the claims
being actually separate causes of action and
each having arisen out of different
While joinder of causes of action is largely left to the option of a transactions?
party litigant, Section 5, Rule 2 of our present Rules allows YES. C may file a single suit for the collection
causes of action to be joined in one complaint conditioned of both debts. When the cause of action
upon the following requisites: accrue in favor of the same plaintiff and

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against the same defendant, i.e. there is only alternative and one of them if made independently would be
one plaintiff and one defendant, it is not sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the
necessary to ask whether or not the causes insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements.
of action arouse out of the same transaction
or series of transactions and that there exists
a question of law or common fact to all SPLITTING A SINGLE CAUSE OF ACTION
plaintiffs or defendants. This question is only
relevant when there are multiple plaintiffs or RULE 2. Section 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of.
multiple defendants. — If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same
b. Is C obliged to join the cause of action cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits
against B? in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the
NO. The joinder of separate causes of action, others.
where allowable, is permissive and not
mandatory in the absence of a contrary Remedy of defendant: file a motion to dismiss. If the first
statutory provision, even though the causes of action is pending when the second action is filed, the latter
action arose from the same factual setting and may be dismissed based on litis pendencia. If a final judgment
might under applicable joinder rules be joined. has been rendered in the first action when the second action is
c. Where must the suit be filed? filed, the latter may be dismissed based on res judicata.
In the RTC since the total amount of the
debts is within that court’s jurisdiction. Under NOTE: the phraseology of the rule does not necessarily
the Rules, where the claims in all the cause confine the dismissal to the second action. As to which action
of action are principally for the recovery of should be dismissed would depend upon judicial discretion and
money, the aggregate amount claimed shall the prevailing circumstances of the case.
be the test for jurisdiction. This situation
follows the so-called totality test for purposes TESTS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER TWO SUITS RELATE TO
2. Assume that aside from the above claims, C, as 1. whether the same evidence would support and
lessor, also wants to eject D from the apartment sustain both the first and second causes of action
occupied by D as his lessee. (also known as the “same evidence” test);
a. May the action be joined with the claims 2. whether the defences in one case may be used to
for money? substantiate the complaint in the other;
NO. An action for ejectment is a special 3. whether the cause of action in the second case
civil action. This kind of action cannot be existed at the time of the filing of the first complaint.
joined with ordinary civil actions. (Umale vs Canoga Park Development Corporatin,
654 SCRA 155, 162)
3. Assume that C has the following causes of action
against D: (a) 1 million based on a note; (b) 1 million based SITUATION: A owes 1 million with 12% annual interest to
on torts; and (c) foreclosure of real estate mortgage. B, due on January 1, 2018. A also owes B P500,000 due on
(a) May the causes of action be joined? January 10, 2018.
They can be joined except the action for 1) Can you file two different cases for collection of sum of
foreclosure of real estate mortgage which is money?
a special civil action. YES. There are two different cause of action arising from
4. Suppose P is a passenger in a bus owned by O and difference transactions that can be split.
driven by D. Because of the negligence of D, P sustained 2) Can B file a case to collect the 1 million and another
injuries when the vehicle fell into a ditch by the roadside. case to collect the 12% interest?
1. May P, as plaintiff, join O and D as defendants in NO. Both suits arose from the same cause of action, hence
the same complaint based on a quasi-delict? they must be filed together in one suit.
YES. The liability of O and D arose out of the
same accident which gave rise to a common
question of law or fact. O may be sued under
a quasi-delict, as an employer of D if P so
requires. Two main categories:
1. Plaintiff – claiming party or more appropriately,
RULE 2. Section 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. — Misjoinder original claiming party and one who files the complaint
of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A or party claiming in a counterclaim, etc.
misjoined cause of action may, on motion of a party or on the 2. Defendant – party against whom there is a claim.
initiative of the court, be severed and proceeded with separately.
RULE 3. Section 2. Parties in interest. — A real party in
ALTERNATIVE CAUSES OF ACTION interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by
the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
RULE 8. Section 2. Alternative causes of action or defenses. suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every
— A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real
defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one cause of party in interest.
action or defense or in separate causes of action or defenses.
When two or more statements are made in the
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Under our procedural rules, "a case is dismissible for lack of

personality to sue upon proof that the plaintiff is not the UNWILLING CO-PLAINTIFF
real party-in-interest, hence grounded on failure to state a
cause of action. (Magallanes vs Palmer Asia, Inc., GR No. RULE 3. Section 10. Unwilling co-plaintiff. — If the consent of
205179, January 18, 2015) any party who should be joined as plaintiff can not be obtained,
he may be made a defendant and the reason therefor shall be
stated in the complaint.
Definition: one whose interest will be affected by the court's 1. natural persons;
action in the litigation, and without whom no final determination 2. juridical persons;
of the case can be had. 3. entities authorized by law; and
4. minors as parties (may sue or be sued with parent/s
NOTE: Joinder of indispensable party is mandatory. However, or guardian ad litem).
failure to implead an indispensable party will not cause the
dismissal of the case. What will cause the dismissal of the NOTE: Under Article 44 of the Civil Code, an association is
case is if there is a lawful order from the court directing the considered a juridical person if the law grants it a personality
plaintiff to implead the indispensable party but the plaintiff did separate and distinct from that of its members.
not follow such order. NOTE FURTHER: Fact showing one’s capacity to sue or be
sued must be averred.
An indispensable party is one whose interest will be affected
by the court's action in the litigation, and without whom no final
determination of the case can be had. The party's interest in INDIGENT/PAUPER LITIGANTS
the subject matter of the suit and in the relief sought are so
inextricably intertwined with the other parties' that his legal May be allowed to sue as indigent when court authorizes him.
presence as a party to the proceeding is an absolute necessity. The application and the hearing to litigate as an indigent litigant
In his absence there cannot be a resolution of the dispute of may be made ex parte.
the parties before the court which is effective, complete, or IF ALLOWED: exempt from payment of docket fees,
equitable. There are two essential tests of an indispensable transcripts, notes. Such amount will be a lien on the judgment
party: rendered unless court provides otherwise.
(1) can relief be afforded the plaintiff without the
presence of the other party?; and
(2) can the case be decided on the merits without CLASS SUIT
prejudicing the rights of the other party?
If both questions are answered in the affirmative, then the party Definition: an action where one or more may sue for the
is an indispensable party. (Philippine National Bank vs Heir benefit of all if the requisites for said action are complied with.
of Militar, GR No. 164801, August 18, 2005)
(a) subject matter: common or general interest to many
NECESSARY PARTY persons. Not commonality in the questions of facts or
law involved in the issue, but commonality in the
Definition: those whose presence is necessary to adjudicate subject matter.
the whole controversy, but whose interests are so far (b) persons: too numerous that it is impracticable to join
separable that a final decree can be made in their absence all as parties
without affecting them. (c) parties that are actually before the court are
sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully
INDISPENSABLE PARTY NECESSARY PARTY protect the interest of all concerned.
(d) the representative sue or defend for the benefit of all.
must be joined must be added whenever
mandatory permissive 1. Residents of a town where injured by gas leak of a
Interest in the subject matter Interest in the subject matter plant. (each must prove own injury)
is inseparable is separable 2. Relatives of victims of a plane crash.
joined for case to proceed Joined to afford complete 3. Corporation to recover property of its members, owned in
and to avoid dismissal in relief to parties and avoid their personal capacity. (interests are conflicting)
case there is a court order for multiple suit 4. Recovery of portions of a property, as each could
joinder of parties allege and prove their respective rights. No identical
If not joined ALL court If not joined, court may title.
actions are null and void decide and decision is 5. Recover real property individually held
without prejudice to the rights 6. Damages for personal reputation (libelous article
of necessary parties against individual sugar planters)

The General Rule with reference to the making of parties in a

civil action requires, of course, the joinder of all necessary
parties wherever possible, and the joinder of all indispensable

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parties under any and all conditions, the presence of those latter On the other hand, the question as to "real party-in-interest" is

being a sine qua non of the exercise of judicial power. whether he is "the party who would be benefited or injured
An exceptional situation is a class suit where there are by the judgment," or the "party entitled to the avails of the
numerous persons all in the same plight and all together suit."
constituting a constituency whose presence in the litigation is
absolutely indispensable to the administration of justice. Here Real party-in-interest, on the other hand, is a concept in civil
the strict application of the rule as to indispensable parties would procedure and is expressly defined in the Rules of Court as the
require that each and every individual in the class is sufficiently one who would be benefited or injured by the judgment, or one
represented to enable the court to deal properly and justly with entitled to the avails of the suit. "Interest" within the meaning of
that interest and with all other interests involved in the suit. in the rule means material interest or an interest in issue and to be
the class suit, then, representation of a class interest which will affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in
be affected by the judgment is indispensable; but it is not the question involved or a mere incidental interest. Otherwise
indispensable to make each member of the class an actual stated, the rule refers to a real or present substantial interest as
party. (Borlasas vs Polistico) distinguished from a mere expectancy. (Nazareno v. City of
In Constitutional law, where the issue in the case is considered
to be of transcendental importance or of paramount public
i. UNKNOWN DEFENDANT interest, the requirements on locus standi is relaxed and the
RULE 3. Section 14. Unknown identity or name of defendant. petitioner is considered a property party.
— Whenever the identity or name of a defendant is unknown, he Absent any constitutional issues, you cannot invoke
may be sued as the unknown owner heir devisee, or by such transcendental importance or paramount public interest in order
other designation as the case may require, when his identity or to gain standing or personality to file the suit.
true name is discovered, the pleading must be amended
RULE 3. Section 13. Alternative defendants. — Where the IF CLAIM SURVIVES court shall order legal
plaintiff is uncertain against who of several persons he is entitled DEATH representative of the
to relief, he may join any or all of them as defendants in the deceased to appear and be
alternative, although a right to relief against one may be Examples: substituted for the deceased
inconsistent with a right of relief against the other. (a) those arising from within 30 days from notice.
EXAMPLE: You were in a car accident. The accident was delicts
(b) based on tortious death Duty of counsel of the
caused by the cars of A and B colliding with your car. As a result, (c) recovery of real and party who died: inform the
you would now want to sue for damages. However, you are not personal prop, enforce court within thirty (30) days
sure who really is responsible for the accident. You can then sue lien, quieting title after such death of the fact
both A and B as alternative defendants. (d) ejectment case thereof, and to give the name
(e) recovery of money and address of his legal
JOINDER OF PARTIES based on express/ representative or
implied contract. representative
Person made a party to the Party is not joined when he is against the estate of If no heirs: court to appoint
action although he should supposed to be joined but is deceased. executor/administrator.
not be impleaded not impleaded If heirs are minors or

INDISPENSABLE PARTIES should be joined. incapacitated: court

NOTE: Neither misjoinder or non-joinder are grounds for appoints guardian ad litem
dismissal of actions. It only becomes a ground for dismissal if If no legal representative is
the court orders to drop/join but parties do not follow. (Sec 3,
Rule 17, RoC) named by counsel or the
one named fails to appear:
specified time to procure the
appointment of an executor
Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in or administrator for the estate
some cases, suits are brought not by parties who have been of the deceased and the
personally injured by the operation of a law or by official latter shall immediately
action taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters appear for and on behalf of
who actually sue in the public interest. Hence, the question in the deceased
standing is whether such parties have "alleged such a personal IF CLAIM DOES NOT extinguish the action.
stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that SURVIVE DEATH Dismiss case.
concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of
issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination Substitution by the heirs is not a matter of jurisdiction, but
of difficult constitutional questions." a requirement of due process. It protects the right of due
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process belonging to any party, that in the event of death the Based on privity of contracts
deceased litigant continues to be protected and properly or for the recovery of sums of
represented in the suit through the duly appointed legal money.
representative of his estate. The application of the rule on Proceeding to enforce
substitution depends on whether or not the action survives the personal rights and
death of the litigant. Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court obligations brought against
enumerates the following actions that survive the death of the person and is based on
a party, namely: (1) recovery of real or personal property, or the jurisdiction of the person,
an interest from the estate; (2) enforcement of liens on the although it may involve his
estate; and (3) recovery of damages for an injury to person or right to, or to exercise of the
property. On the one hand, Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of ownership of, specific
Court lists the actions abated by death as including: (1) property, or seek to compel
claims for funeral expenses and those for the last sickness of him to control or dispose of it
the decedent; (2) judgments for money; and (3) all claims for in accordance with the
money against the deceased, arising from contract, express or IN PERSONAM mandate of the court.
implied [NOTE: these actions under Rule 86 may survive if Based on the personal
filed within the time limited in the notice of creditors published
by the executor or administrator] (Sulpicio Lines v. Napoleon liability of the defendant.
Sesante) Purpose: impose upon the

defendant a responsibility or
ACTION liability.
NOTE: An action for
Definition: legal and formal demand of one’s right from
another person made and insisted upon in a court of justice. injunction is an action in
TYPES OF ACTIONS An action against the thing
It affects title to or itself.
possession of real IN REM
property, or an interest One instituted and enforced
therein. against the whole world.
Not every action involving One brought against persons
seeking to subject the
real property is a real action property of such persons to
because the realty may only the discharge of the claims
be incidental to the subject assailed.
matter of the suit. Example is Purpose: subject his
an action for damages to real
property, while involving interests to the obligation or
realty is a personal action loan burdening the property.
because although it involves Deals with the status,
real property, it does not
REAL involve any of the issues ownership or liability or a
mentioned. QUASI IN REM particular property but which
The fundamental and prime are intended to operate on
these questions only as
objective must be related between parties to the
with real property. proceeding and not to
Matter in litigation: title to, ascertain or cut-off rights of
interests of all possible
ownership, possession, claimants.
partition, foreclosure of When you avail of the
mortgage or any interest in
the real prop. provisional remedy for
Thus, Real property + attachment, you convert the
action to one of quasi in rem.
matter in litigation = real
The plaintiff seeks the
recovery of personal KNOWING THE DISTINCTION
PERSONAL property, the enforcement The distinction between real action and personal action is
of a contract or the important for the purpose of determining the venue of the
recovery of damages. action.

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REAL ACTION PERSONAL ACTION An in personam or in rem action is a classification of actions

“local” “transitory” according to the object of the action. A personal and real action
venue depends upon the venue depends upon the is a classification according to foundation. It is in rem when
location of the property residence of the plaintiff or directed against the whole world, and in personam when
involved in the litigation the defendant at the option of directed to a particular person.
the plaintiff.
EXAMPLE: An action to recover a parcel of land is a real action,
but it is an action in personam, for it binds a particular individual
IN PERSONAM VS IN REM VS QUASI IN REM; only, although it concerns the right to a tangible thing.


The distinction is important to determine whether or not VENUE
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is required
and consequently to determine the type of summons to be Definition: place or the geographical area where an action is
employed. to be filed and tried.

Jurisdiction over the person Venue is not a matter of substantive law. It is merely procedural.
of the defendant is necessary
IN PERSONAM for the court to validly try and REAL ACTION PERSONAL ACTION
decide a case against said “local” “transitory”
defendant. venue depends upon the venue depends upon the
Jurisdiction over the person location of the property residence of the plaintiff or
IN REM of the defendant is not a involved in the litigation the defendant at the option of
prerequisite to confer the plaintiff.
jurisdiction over the res.
Jurisdiction over the person NOTE: Forcible entry and detainer actions shall be
QUASI IN REM of the defendant is not a commenced and tried in the municipal trial court of the
prerequisite to confer municipality or city wherein the real property involved, or a
jurisdiction over the res. portion thereof, is situated.


(1) by the seizure of the property under legal process, If any of the defendants does not reside and is not found in the
whereby it is brought into actual custody of the law; or Philippines, and the action affects the personal status of the
(2) as a result of the institution of legal proceedings, in plaintiff, or any property of said defendant located in the
which the power of the court is recognized and made Philippines, the action may be commenced and tried in the
effective. court of the place where the plaintiff resides, or where the
property or any portion thereof is situated or found.
NOTE: Nonetheless, summons must be served upon the
defendant not for the purpose of vesting the court with WHEN THE RULES ON VENUE DOES NOT APPLY
jurisdiction but merely for satisfying the due process (a) In those cases where a specific rule or law
requirements. provides otherwise; or
(b)Where the parties have validly agreed in writing
before the filing of the action on the exclusive venue
In a personal action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of personal 1. This applies regardless if the action is real or personal.
property, the enforcement of a contract or the recovery of 2. The agreement on venue must be (a) in writing; (b)
damages. In a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real made before the filing of the action, and (c) exclusive
property, or, as indicated in section 2(a) of Rule 4, a real action is as to the venue.
an action affecting title to real property or for the recovery of 3. Use of the words “exclusively”, “only”, “solely”, “to the
possession, or for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of a exclusion of all other courts”, “in no other court save – “,
mortgage on, real property. “particularly”, “nowhere else but/except” is sufficient to
make the restriction mandatory and exclusive.
An action in personam is an action against a person on the basis 4. In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, the
of his personal liability, while an action in rem is an action against stipulation should be deemed as merely an
the thing itself, instead of against the person. Hence, a real action agreement on an additional forum, not as limiting the
may at the same time be an action in personam and not venue to the specified place.
necessarily an action in rem. (Hernandez v. Rural Bank of
Lucena, Inc.) QUESTION: What if the plaintiff assails the entire contract itself
that contains a stipulation on venue, will the stipulation on
NOTE: It does not mean that just because it is a personal venue subsist?
action, that it is an action in personam or that because it is a ANSWER: No. The plaintiff here is challenging the whole
real action, it is an action in rem or quasi in rem. document.
QUESTION: What if it is only the terms and conditions of the
contract that is challenged, will the stipulation on venue subsist?
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ANSWER: Yes. The challenge was only limited to parts of the referred to may be submitted to the Secretary of Justice, or his
contract and did not include the stipulation on venue. duly designated representative, whose ruling thereon shall be
b) MEMBERS OF THE SAME FAMILY (Article 151, Family
Definition: matters which must be complied with before a Code)
cause of action arises. When a claim is subject to a condition Art. 151. No suit between members of the same family shall
precedent, the compliance of the same must be alleged in the prosper unless it should appear from the verified complaint or
pleading. petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been
made, but that the same have failed. If it is shown that no such
A) BARANGAY CONCILIATION efforts were, in fact, made, the case must be dismissed.

GENERAL RULE: All disputes are subject to Barangay This rule shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject
conciliation pursuant to the Revised Katarungang Pambaragay of compromise under the Civil Code.
law and prior recourse thereto is a precondition before filing a
complaint in court or any government offices. The phrase "members of the family" must be construed in
EXCEPTIONS: relation to Article 150 of the Family Code, to wit:
1. Where one party is the government, or any Art. 150. Family relations include those:
subdivision or instrumentality thereof; (1) Between husband and wife;
2. Where one party is a public officer or employee and (2) Between parents and children;
the dispute relates to the performance of his official (3) Among other ascendants and descendants; and
functions; (4) Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or
3. Where the dispute involves real properties located in halfblood.
different cities or municipalities, unless the parties
thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable Article 151 of the Family Code must be construed strictly, it
settlement by an appropriate Lupon; being an exception to the general rule. Hence, a sister-in-law
4. Any complaint by or against corporations, or brother-in-law is not included in the enumeration.
partnerships or juridical entities, since only individuals (Martinez vs Martinez)
shall be parties to barangay conciliation proceedings
either as complainants or respondents; When a stranger is a party in a case involving family members,
5. Disputes involving parties who actually reside in the requisite showing of earnest efforts to compromise is no
barangays of different cities or municipalities, except longer mandatory. The case is then taken out of the ambit of
where such barangay units adjoin each other and the Article 151 of the Family Code. (Hontiveros vs. RTC of Iloilo)
parties agree to submit their differences to amicable
settlement by an appropriate Lupon; NOTE: A motion to dismiss may be filed if a condition precedent
6. Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as for filing of the claim has not been complied with. The case may be
preliminary injunction, attachment, delivery f personal dismissed upon motion of the defendant/s, not for lack of
property and support during pendency of the action; jurisdiction of the court but for failure to comply with a condition
7. Any class of disputes which the President may precedent. Note that the dismissal is not moto proprio.
determine in the interest of justice or upon
recommendation of the Secretary of Justice; and
8. Actions to annul judgment upon a compromise which MANNER OF MAKING ALLEGATIONS IN THE
may be filed directly in court. COMPLAINT


(a) Disputes between persons actually residing in the
same barangay shall be brought for amicable Ultimate Facts: facts essential to one’s cause of action or
settlement before the lupon of said barangay. defense.
(b) Those involving actual residents of different Important and substantial facts which either directly form the
barangays within the same city or municipality shall basis of the plaintiff's primary right and duty, or directly make
be brought in the barangay where the respondent or up the wrongful acts or omissions by the defendant. Must be
any of the respondents actually resides, at the contained in the pleading.
election of the complaint.
(c) All disputes involving real property or any interest Evidentiary facts: those which tend to prove or establish said
therein shall be brought in the barangay where the ultimate facts.
real property or the larger portion thereof is situated.
(d) Those arising at the workplace where the contending Conclusions of law: determination of a judge or ruling
parties are employed or at the institution where such authority regarding the law that applies in a particular case.
parties are enrolled for study, shall be brought in the
barangay where such workplace or institution is
Objections to venue shall be raised in the mediation proceedings
before the punong barangay; otherwise, the same shall be
deemed waived. Any legal question which may confront the
punong barangay in resolving objections to venue herein

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WHAT SOULD BE CONTAINED IN A PLEADING Verification The general rule is that a

pleading need not be under
oath/verified. A pleading will
PART CONTAINS be verified only when a
Caption name of the court, title of the verification is required by a
action, docket number is law or by a rule.
assigned Certification against forum a sworn certification annexed
It is not the caption but the shopping to the pleading and
simultaneously filed
allegations contained therein therewith: (a) that he has not
which determine the nature theretofore commenced any
of the action and relief action or filed any claim
sought. Thus, the court may involving the same issues in
pass upon the real issues as any court, tribunal or quasi-
raised in the allegations. judicial agency and, to the
Title names of the parties and best of his knowledge, no
their participation indicated. such other action or claim is
(plaintiff, defendant, pending therein; (b) if there is
intervenor) such other pending action n
Body sets forth its designation, or claim, a complete
allegations, reliefs, and date. statement of the present
Paragraphs: Shall be status thereof; and (c) if he
should thereafter learn that
divided into paragraphs and the same or similar action or
shall be so numbered for claim has been filed or is
ready identification. pending, he shall report that
Heading: Two or more fact within five (5) days
therefrom to the court
causes of action shall be wherein his aforesaid
named “FIRST CAUSE OF complaint or initiatory
ACTION…. SECOND pleading has been filed.
Relief: specific sought, but a FRAUD OR MISTAKE

general prayer for such RULE 8. Section 5. Fraud, mistake, condition of the mind. —
further or other relief as may In all averments of fraud or mistake the circumstances
be deemed just or equitable constituting fraud or mistake must be stated with particularity.
is allowed.. Malice, intent, knowledge, or other condition of the mind of a
Date: Every pleading shall person may be averred generally.

be dated.
Signature and address Must be signed by the
plaintiff or counsel, indicating
either’s address. Definition: a written instrument or document where the cause of
An unsigned pleading action or defense of a party is based upon. An actionable
document or instrument shall be set forth in the pleading, and the
produces no legal effect, but original or a copy thereof shall be attached to the pleading as an
the court may, in its exhibit, which shall be deemed to be a part of the pleading, or said
discretion, allow such copy may with like effect be set forth in the pleading.
deficiency to be remedied if it
shall appear that the same RULE 8. Section 8. How to contest such documents. — When an
was due to mere action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied in
inadvertence and not or attached to the corresponding pleading as provided in the
intended for delay. preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of the
NOTE: The signature of instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse
party, under oath specifically denies them, and sets forth what
counsel constitutes a he claims to be the facts, but the requirement of an oath does
certificate by him that he has not apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party to
read the pleading; that to the the instrument or when compliance with an order for an inspection
best of his knowledge, of the original instrument is refused.
information, and belief there
is good ground to support it; No rule is more settled than that in an action based on a written
and that it is not interposed instrument attached to the complaint, if the defendant fails to
for delay. specifically deny under oath the genuineness and due execution

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of the instrument, the same is deemed admitted. (Imperial V. CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING
CA) The certification against forum shopping is a sworn statement
certifying to the following matters:
(a) That the party has not commenced or filed any claim
Thus to deny the genuineness and due execution of the involving the same issues in any court, tribunal, or
document the following requisites must concur: quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his
1. There must be a specific denial in the responsive pleading of knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending;
the adverse party (b) That if there is such other pending action or claim, a
2. The said pleading must be under oath complete statement of the present status thereof; and
3. The adverse party must set forth what he claims to be the (c) That if he should therefore learn that the same or
facts. similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he
Failure to comply with such would make the document shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to
admitted. the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory
pleading has been filed.
The purpose of which is to enable the adverse party to know (d) The certification is mandatory under Sec. 5, Rule 7,
beforehand whether he will have to meet the issue of but nor jurisdictional (Robert Development Corp. vs.
genuineness or due execution of the document during trial. In Quitain, 315 SCRA 150).
several cases, the court has held that notwithstanding the
failure of the parties to file a responsive pleading specifically NOTE: A certification of non-forum shopping is required only in
denying the genuineness and due execution of the document, a complaint or other initiatory pleading (eg. permissive
compliance can still be made because parties stated in their counterclaim, cross-claim, 3rd, 4 party complaint, complaint in
pleading facts that would show denial of the existence of such intervention, petition or any application in which a party asserts
documents. (Spouses Sy. vs. Wesmont Bank) a claim).
There is no need to file a certificate of non-forum shopping in
NOTE: This also applies to replies. Generally, non-filing of the case of compulsory counterclaims. But advice ni dean, file a
reply makes the new allegation automatically deemed certificate of non-forum shopping anyway even if you’re filing a
controverted. However, if the defense is based on an actionable compulsory counterclaim.
document, a reply under oath must be made in order to deny the
genuineness and due execution of such actionable document. THREE WAYS TO COMMIT FORUM SHOPPING
1. Filing multiple cases based on the same cause of
action and with the same prayer, the previous case
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM not having been resolved yet (where the ground for
SHOPPING dismissal is litis pendentia);
2. Filing multiple cases based on the same cause of
RULE 7. Section 4. Verification. — Except when otherwise action and the same prayer, the previous case having
specifically required by law or rule, pleadings need not be been finally resolves (where the ground for dismissal
under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit. is res judicata); and
3. Filing multiple cases based on the same cause of
A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read action, but with different prayers (splitting of causes of
the pleading and that the allegations therein are true and action where the ground for dismissal is also either
correct of his knowledge and belief. litis pendentia or res judicata).

A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification WHO EXECUTES CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM
based on "information and belief", or upon "knowledge, SHOPPING
information and belief", or lacks a proper verification, shall be WHO EXECUTES EXCEPTION
treated as an unsigned pleading. CERTIFICATION
Plaintiff or principal party, not If, for reasonable or
The absence of a verification or the non-compliance with the the counsel. It is the justifiable reasons, the party-
verification requirement does not necessarily render the petitioner and not the pleader is unable to sign, he
pleading defective. It is only a formal and not a jurisdictional counsel who is in the best must execute a Special
requirement. The requirement is a condition affecting only the position to know whether he Power of Attorney
form of the pleading (Sarmeinto vs. Zaratan, GR 167471, or it actually filed or cause designating his counsel of
Feb. 5, 2007). The absence of a verification may be corrected the filing of a petition. record to sign on his behalf.
by requiring an oath. The rule is in keeping with the principle This must be a specific SPA
that rules of procedure are established to secure substantial for the purpose of filing a
justice and that technical requirements may be dispensed with certification of non-forum
in meritorious cases (Pampanga Development Sugar Co. vs. shopping and not a general
NLRC, 272 SCRA 737). The court may order the correction of SPA.
the pleading or act on an unverified pleading if the attending In case of multiple parties, Under reasonable or
circumstances are such that strict compliance would not fully the certification must be justifiable circumstances, as
serve substantial justice, which after all, is the basic aim for the signed by all the plaintiffs or when the plaintiffs or
rules of procedure (Robert Development Corp. vs. Quitain,
petitioners in a case. petitioners share a common
315 SCRA 150).
interest and invoke a
common cause of action or
defense, the signature of
only one of them
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substantially complies with upon motion and after

the rule. hearing.
Juridical entities can only The following officials or NOTE: The court cannot
perform physical acts employees of the company
through properly delegated can sign the verification and moto proprio dismiss the
individuals. Hence, the certification without need of a case in this situation.
certification may be executed board resolution: submission of a false shall constitute indirect
by properly authorized (1) the Chairperson of the contempt of court, without
certification or non-
persons. Board of Directors, prejudice to the
compliance with any of the
(2) the President of a corresponding administrative
With respect to a corporation, and criminal actions.
corporation, the certification (3) the General Manager or shall be ground for summary
must be executed by an Acting General Manager, dismissal with prejudice
officer or member of the (4) Personnel Officer, and and shall constitute direct
board of directors or by one (5) an Employment contempt, as well as a cause
who is duly authorized by a Specialist in a labor case. willful and deliberate for administrative sanctions.
resolution of the board of forum shopping
directors; otherwise, the The rationale behind the rule NOTE: In this case, the court
complaint will have to be is that these officers are "in a can dismiss the case right
dismissed. position to verify the away without any motion or
truthfulness and correctness hearing.
of the allegations in the
The lack of certification against forum shopping is
generally not curable by the submission thereof after the In Traveno, et al. v. Bobongon Banana Growers Multi-
filing of the petition. Section 5, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Purpose Cooperative, et al., the Court restated the
Civil Procedure provides that the failure of the petitioner to jurisprudence on non-compliance with the requirements on, or
submit the required documents that should accompany the submission of defective, verification and certification against
petition, including the certification against forum shopping, forum shopping:
shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. The same
rule applies to certifications against forum shopping signed by 1. A distinction must be made between non-compliance
a person on behalf of a corporation which are unaccompanied with the requirement on or submission of defective
by proof that said signatory is authorized to file a petition on verification, and non- compliance with the requirement
behalf of the corporation. on or submission of defective certification against
forum shopping.
In certain exceptional circumstances, however, the Court has 2. As to verification, non-compliance therewith or a
allowed the belated filing of the certification. In Loyola v. Court defect therein does not necessarily render the
of Appeals, et al. (245 SCRA 477 [1995]), the Court considered pleading fatally defective. The court may order its
the filing of the certification one day after the filing of an submission or correction or act on the pleading if the
election protest as substantial compliance with the attending circumstances are such that strict
requirement. In Roadway Express, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, et compliance with the Rule may be dispensed with in
al. (264 SCRA 696 [1996]), the Court allowed the filing of the order that the ends of justice may be served thereby.
certification 14 days before the dismissal of the petition. In Uy 3. Verification is deemed substantially complied with
v. LandBank, supra, the Court had dismissed Uys petition for when one who has ample knowledge to swear to
lack of verification and certification against nonforum shopping. the truth of the allegations in the complaint or
However, it subsequently reinstated the petition after Uy petition signs the verification, and when matters
submitted a motion to admit certification and nonforum alleged in the petition have been made in good
shopping certification. In all these cases, there were special faith or are true and correct.
circumstances or compelling reasons that justified the 4. As to certification against forum shopping, non-
relaxation of the rule requiring verification and compliance therewith or a defect therein, unlike in
certification on non-forum shopping. verification, is generally not curable by its
subsequent submission or correction thereof,
(LDP Marketing Inc. v Monter) unless there is a need to relax the Rule on the ground
of "substantial compliance" or presence of "special
circumstances or compelling reasons."
EFFECTS OF NON-COMPLIANCE; WILLFUL AND 5. The certification against forum shopping must be
DELIBERATE FORUM SHOPPING; AND SUBMISSION OF signed by all the plaintiffs or petitioners in a case;
FALSE CERTIFICATION otherwise, those who did not sign will be dropped as
Failure to comply with the cause for the dismissal of the parties to the case.' Under reasonable or justifiable
Rule on certification of case without prejudice,
circumstances, however, as when all the plaintiffs or
non-forum shopping unless otherwise provided, petitioners share a common interest and invoke a
common cause of action or defense, the signature of
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only one of them in the certification against forum

shopping substantially complies with the Rule.
6. Finally, the certification against forum shopping
must be executed by the party-pleader, not by his
counsel. If, however, for reasonable or justifiable
reasons, the party-pleader is unable to sign, he must
execute a Special Power of Attorney designating his
counsel of record to sign on his behalf.

NOTE: If you failed to attach a certificate of non-forum shopping

and your case gets dismissed, you can file a motion for
reconsideration and advance the presence of "special
circumstances or compelling reasons."
However, you also need to cure the complaint together with the
MR and attach a certificate of non-forum shopping.

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