Dean Jara Lecture Notes in Remedial Law 2013 Plea of guilty – in civil cases, specific denial is not applied, if pleaded, the court cannot compel the defendant to explain why plea of guilt was given. Denial without specificity – in civil cases, it is tantamount to admission of allegations in the pleadings, and thus could lead to a judgment on the pleadings. This is not allowed in criminal cases. Quantum of evidence – guilt should be proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases, while only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases. Jurisdiction of courts in civil actions, laws governing: 1. Constitution 2. Judiciary Act of 1848 (RA 296) 3. BP 129 and its amendments 4. Law creating the family court (1997) 5. Law creating the Sandiganbayan General Law on jurisdiction: BP 129 and its amendments. Note: The cases formerly taken in cognizance by the abolished Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court came under the jurisdiction of the RTC under BP 129, which is in the concept of exclusive original jurisdiction. Then came the special law creating the Family Court, which provides that the said court has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving marriage, adoption, cases involving minors, habeas corpus involving minors, and other civil or criminal cases involving minors. BP 129 vs. special law on jurisdiction – the special law generally prevails. (General law shall give way to special law, except if the special law specifically provides otherwise or that the law allows parties to stipulate pertaining to the matter of jurisdiction.) Jurisdiction is a matter of substantive law. This is not necessarily true. (Dean Jara) Substantive law deals with jurisdiction over the subject matter and/or jurisdiction over the nature of the action . This is the aspect of jurisdiction governed by BP 129 and the other substantive laws on jurisdiction. Other aspects of jurisdiction governed by procedural law: Jurisdiction over the person of the litigants – governed by the RoC Jurisdiction over the property involved – governed by the RoC Jurisdiction over the issues of the case – governed by the RoC Thus, jurisdiction as part of substantive law is limited to a court to decide the case insofar as the subject matter of the case or the nature of the action. Jurisdiction over the litigants, the issues of the case and property involved are governed mostly by procedural law, mostly under the Rules of Court. BP 129 does not mention anything about the SC. It begins with the CA downwards, up to the MTC and the Sharia Courts. Supreme Court exercises its authority from the Constitution. In the Constitution, the SC exercises original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. But the Constitution does not say that original jurisdiction of the SC is exclusive, nor about the appellate jurisdiction being exclusive. The basis for this is in the old Judiciary Act of 1948 where SC jurisdiction is delineated in a very thorough manner, providing exclusive original and appellate jurisdiction of the SC. Note that BP 129
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