Book-Civil-Procedure-by-Regalado.pdf - R E M E D I A L LAW GENERAL PRINCIPLES 1 Classification of courts in the Philippines a Courts of general

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Unformatted text preview: R E M E D I A L LAW GENERAL PRINCIPLES 1. Classification of courts in the Philippines: a. Courts of general jurisdiction: Those competent to decide t h e i r own jurisdiction and to take cognizance of all kinds of cases, unless otherwise provided by the law or Rules. Example: Regional Trial Courts. Courts of special or limited jurisdiction: Those which have no power to decide t h e i r own jurisdiction and can only t r y c a s e s p e r m i t t e d b y s t a t u t e . E x a m p l e : Municipal Trial Courts. T h e J u v e n i l e a n d Domestic Relations C o u r t s had the r a n k of C o u r t s of F i r s t Instance b u t were courts of special jurisdiction. U n d e r B.P. Blg. 129, they have been integrated into t h e Regional Trial Courts as branches thereof. b. Courts of original jurisdiction: Those courts in which, u n d e r t h e law, actions or proceedings may originally be commenced. Courts of appellate jurisdiction: Courts which have the power to review on a p p e a l t h e decisions or orders of a lower court. c. Superior courts: Courts which have the power of review or supervision over a n o t h e r and lower court. Inferior courts: Those which, in relation to another court, a r e lower in r a n k and subject to review and supervision by t h e l a t t e r . While, in a generic sense, a court is considered an inferior court in relation to the powers of another tribunal higher in rank, in its technical sense and unless otherwise intended, it was formerly provided t h a t the phrase 1 R E M E D I A L LAW C O M P E N D I U M "inferior court" referred to t h e t h e n municipal or city courts (former Sec. 1, Rule 5, in relation to R.A. 3820 and R.A. 3828), now called Metropolitan, Municipal, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. Note, also, t h a t u n d e r Sec. 2, Rule 5, t h e t e r m "municipal t r i a l court" as used in t h e s e r e v i s e d R u l e s i n c l u d e s all o t h e r c o u r t s o f t h e s a m e r a n k . In legal circles, they a r e also called "courts of the first level." In some official issuances, the Supreme Court refers to t h e m as "first level courts." However, the "inferior courts" whose decisions a r e subject t o t h e a p p e l l a t e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e S u p r e m e Court (Sec. 17, R.A. 296) refer to all t h e courts lower t h a n t h e S u p r e m e Court. The t e r m "lower courts" is now used for t h a t purpose in t h e 1987 Constitution (Sec. 5[2], Art. VIII), in lieu of "inferior courts" used in t h e 1935 and 1973 Constitutions. d. Courts of record: Those whose proceedings are enrolled and which are bound to keep a w r i t t e n record of all trials and proceedings handled by t h e m (see Luzano vs. Romero, et al, L-33245, Sept. 30, 1971). Courts not of record: C o u r t s which a r e not required to k e e p a w r i t t e n record or t r a n s c r i p t of p r o c e e d i n g s held t h e r e i n . P r i o r to t h e effectivity of R.A. 6031 on A u g u s t 4, 1969, inferior courts were not of record; but if a municipal court of t h e capital of a province or a city court tried a criminal case w h e r e i n the imposable p e n a l t y is i m p r i s o n m e n t of more t h a n 6 m o n t h s b u t not exceeding 6 y e a r s and/or a fine of more t h a n P200 b u t not exceeding P6.000, its proceedings were required to be recorded as its decisions were appealable to t h e Court of Appeals or t h e S u p r e m e Court (R.A. 296, as a m e n d e d by R.A. 2613 a n d R.A. 3828, Sec. 87[c], last paragraph). However, u n d e r R.A. 2613, a m e n d i n g Sec. 45, R.A. 296, all inferior c o u r t s a r e now r e q u i r e d to record t h e i r proceedings a n d a r e accordingly courts of record. 2 GENERAL PRINCIPLES e. Constitutional courts: Those which owe t h e i r creation and existence to the Constitution and, therefore, cannot be legislated out of existence or deprived by law of the jurisdiction and powers unqualifiedly vested in them by the Constitution. The Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan are t h e only courts specifically provided for in the Constitution. With regard to the latter, the b e t t e r v i e w i s t h a t t h e S a n d i g a n b a y a n i s only a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - m a n d a t e d c o u r t since, a l t h o u g h its existence is provided for in the Constitution, its creation was by s t a t u t o r y e n a c t m e n t . Statutory courts: Those c r e a t e d , organized and with j u r i s d i c t i o n exclusively d e t e r m i n e d by law. Accordingly, all o t h e r c o u r t s i n t h e P h i l i p p i n e s a r e statutory courts. 2. The Court of Tax Appeals created by R.A. 1125 has been held to be a p a r t of the judicial system vested with special jurisdiction to act only on protests of private p e r s o n s a d v e r s e l y affected b y t h e t a x , c u s t o m s o r assessment laws (Ursal vs. CTA, et al., 101 Phil. 209). On March 30, 2004, said law was amended by R.A. 9282 e x p a n d i n g t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n of t h e Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and elevating its rank to the level of a collegiate court with special jurisdiction, of the same level as t h e Court of Appeals, and consisting of a Presiding Justice and 5 Associate Justices who shall sit en banc or in 2 divisions of 3 justices each. The court shall, inter alia, h a v e e x c l u s i v e a p p e l l a t e j u r i s d i c t i o n to review decisions of t h e Commissioner of I n t e r n a l Revenue in disputes arising from the tax law administered by the Bureau of I n t e r n a l Revenue, the Regional Trial Courts in local tax cases, the Commissioner of Customs in matters administered by the Bureau of Customs, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals in assessments of real property, t h e S e c r e t a r y of F i n a n c e and t h e Secretary of Trade and I n d u s t r y in m a t t e r s specified therein. The decision 3 R E M E D I A L LAW C O M P E N D I U M of said court en banc may be reviewed by t h e Supreme Court on certiorari p u r s u a n t to Rule 45 of the Rules of Court (see Appendix CC). 3. The distinction obtaining in o t h e r j u r i s d i c t i o n s between courts of law and courts of equity, and among civil, criminal and probate courts, does not apply in t h e Philippines wherein all courts are courts both of law and equity (Rustia vs. Franco, 41 Phil. 280; Roa, et al. vs. CA, et al., L 27294, June 28, 1983; Galman, et al. vs. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. No. 72670, Sept. 12, 1986); and Regional Trial Courts and, to a limited e x t e n t , t h e lower courts, exercise jurisdiction, according to t h e case involved, as civil, criminal or probate courts or courts of land registration. Before B.P. Blg. 129 became operative, t h e r e w e r e special c o u r t s , s u c h a s t h e J u v e n i l e a n d Domestic Relations Courts, t h e Circuit C r i m i n a l Courts and t h e Courts of A g r a r i a n Relations, which w e r e courts exercising only limited and special jurisdiction. 4. U n d e r our p r e s e n t s t a t u t o r y and j u r i s p r u d e n t i a l taxonomy, jurisdiction is classified, based on its n a t u r e , as follows: a. General jurisdiction, or t h e power to adjudicate all controversies except those expressly withheld from the p l e n a r y p o w e r s of t h e c o u r t ; a n d special or limited jurisdiction, which r e s t r i c t s t h e court's jurisdiction only to p a r t i c u l a r cases a n d subject to such limitations as may be provided by t h e governing law. b. Original jurisdiction, or t h e power of t h e court to t a k e judicial cognizance of a case i n s t i t u t e d for judicial action for the first time u n d e r conditions provided by law; a n d appellate jurisdiction, or t h e a u t h o r i t y of a court higher in r a n k to r e e x a m i n e t h e final order or j u d g m e n t of a lower court which tried t h e case now elevated for judicial review. c. Exclusive jurisdiction, or t h e power to adjudicate a case or proceeding to t h e exclusion of all o t h e r courts 4 GENERAL PRINCIPLES at t h a t s t a g e ; and concurrent jurisdiction, sometimes referred to as confluent or coordinate jurisdiction, which is the power conferred upon different courts, whether of the same or different r a n k s , to take cognizance at the same stage of t h e s a m e case in the same or different judicial territories. Concurrent original jurisdiction between trial courts of different r a n k s has in the main been eliminated by B.P. Blg. 129. For instance, there is no more concurrent j u r i s d i c t i o n in adoption or g u a r d i a n s h i p proceedings between inferior courts and the present Regional Trial Courts as was provided by the Judiciary Act with respect to the former Courts of First Instance, which Act also provided for concurrence in criminal cases and special civil actions. However, as among courts of the same rank, it appears t h a t a p h a s e of concurrent original jurisdiction still obtains in some instances as, for example, in civil and criminal cases for libel or the settlement of the estate of a n o n r e s i d e n t w i t h p r o p e r t i e s in different judicial regions. Withal, in point of strict law, these situations are m a t t e r s of venue except in criminal cases for libel, s i n c e i n c r i m i n a l p r o c e d u r e , v e n u e is, a s a r u l e , jurisdictional. For a discussion of other criminal cases covered by t h e s a m e r u l e , see t h e P r e l i m i n a r y Considerations in Criminal Procedure in Volume Two of this work. Where such concurrence exists, the court first taking cognizance of the case does so to the exclusion of the o t h e r courts, although the Supreme Court may order a t r a n s f e r of venue or place of trial to another court of competent jurisdiction. At any r a t e , B.P. Blg. 129 provides for concurrent original j u r i s d i c t i o n between the S u p r e m e Court and either t h e Court of Appeals or the Regional Trial Courts, or among all t h r e e courts in certain cases. To illustrate, the S u p r e m e Court has concurrent original jurisdiction with t h e Court of Appeals in petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition and m a n d a m u s against 5 R E M E D I A L LAW C O M P E N D I U M the Regional Trial Courts; with the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts over the same petitions against the inferior courts; and with the Regional Trial Courts in actions affecting ambassadors, other public m i n i s t e r s and consuls. 5. Also, u n d e r B.P. Blg. 129, delegated jurisdiction is provided for, i.e., t h e g r a n t of a u t h o r i t y to inferior courts to hear and determine cadastral and land registration cases u n d e r certain conditions (see Sec. 34, infra); and special jurisdiction, which is t h e power of inferior courts to h e a r and decide petitions for a writ of habeas corpus or applications for bail in t h e absence of all the Regional Trial J u d g e s in t h e province or city (see Sec. 35, infra). T h i s l a t t e r t y p e of j u r i s d i c t i o n w a s formerly included, with variations, in w h a t was known as the interlocutory jurisdiction of inferior courts u n d e r t h e Judiciary Act. 6. M e n t i o n m u s t also be m a d e of t h e territorial jurisdiction of a court, which refers to t h e geographical area within which its powers can be exercised. As already stated, this a s s u m e s importance in criminal cases wherein considerations of t h e territory vis-a-vis t h e locus of t h e crime d e t e r m i n e not only t h e venue of t h e case b u t t h e jurisdiction of t h e court; and, in civil cases, t h e venue of real or mixed actions. In all cases, t h e S u p r e m e Court and the Court of Appeals have national jurisdiction; t h e Regional Trial C o u r t s have regional jurisdiction; a n d t h e inferior courts have such t e r r i t o r i a l jurisdiction as may be defined by t h e S u p r e m e Court p u r s u a n t to Secs, 25, 28 and 3 1 , B.P. Blg. 129. Other classifications of original jurisdiction are based on t h e s u b j e c t - m a t t e r or t h e n a t u r e of t h e action being t r i e d b y t h e c o u r t , s u c h a s civil, c r i m i n a l , p r o b a t e , a d m i r a l t y a n d maritime, juvenile and domestic relations, a g r a r i a n , a n d land r e g i s t r a t i o n . Most of t h e s e different a r e a s of jurisdiction a r e exercised by t h e r e g u l a r t r i a l 6 GENERAL PRINCIPLES courts, since t h e special c o u r t s like t h e circuit c r i m i n a l courts a n d t h e juvenile a n d domestic relations courts have been abolished. With respect to t h e latter, domestic cases are now generally h a n d l e d by t h e newly created Family Courts, hereinafter discussed. Other subjects of controversies r e q u i r i n g special t r a i n i n g a n d knowledge, such as t a x a t i o n , labor a n d s e c u r i t i e s , a r e h a n d l e d by quasi-judicial agencies, subject to t h e power of judicial review by t h e a p p e l l a t e c o u r t s . 7. Jurisdiction and venue are distinguished as follows: a. Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and d e t e r m i n e a case; v e n u e is t h e place w h e r e t h e case is to be h e a r d or t r i e d . b. J u r i s d i c t i o n is a m a t t e r of s u b s t a n t i v e law; v e n u e , of p r o c e d u r a l law. c. J u r i s d i c t i o n e s t a b l i s h e s a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e court a n d t h e s u b j e c t - m a t t e r ; v e n u e , a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n plaintiff a n d d e f e n d a n t , o r p e t i t i o n e r and r e s p o n d e n t . d. J u r i s d i c t i o n is fixed by law a n d c a n n o t be conferred by t h e p a r t i e s ; v e n u e may be conferred by t h e act or a g r e e m e n t of t h e p a r t i e s (Manila Railroad Co. vs. Attorney-General, 20 Phil. 523). In c r i m i n a l cases, t h e v e n u e of t h e crime goes into the t e r r i t o r i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n of t h e court (Lopez vs. Paras, L-25795, Oct. 29, 1966), hence w h e r e the c r i m i n a l action is i n s t i t u t e d not in t h e place specified by t h e Rules a n d declared by t h e s u b s t a n t i v e law as w i t h i n t h e t e r r i t o r i a l jurisdiction of t h e t r i a l court, t h e motion to q u a s h should be g r o u n d e d on lack of j u r i s d i c t i o n , a n d not i m p r o p e r venue. 8. T h e a u t h o r i t y to decide a case and not t h e decision r e n d e r e d t h e r e i n i s w h a t m a k e s u p jurisdiction. W h e r e t h e r e is j u r i s d i c t i o n , t h e decision of all q u e s t i o n s a r i s i n g in t h e case is b u t an exercise of jurisdiction (De la Cruz 7 R E M E D I A L LAW C O M P E N D I U M vs. Moir, Ramolete, court may same time 36 Phil. 213; Associated Labor Union vs. L-23527, Mar. 31, 1965). Consequently, a have jurisdiction over t h e case b u t at t h e act in excess of such jurisdiction. 9. The e r r o r s which a c o u r t may c o m m i t in t h e exercise of jurisdiction differ from e r r o r s of j u d g m e n t . T h e f o r m e r is r e v i e w a b l e in an o r i g i n a l a c t i o n for c e r t i o r a r i , while t h e l a t t e r i s c o r r e c t i b l e b y a p p e a l (Henderson, et al. vs. Tan, etc., et al., 87 Phil. 466; Maritime Co. of the Phil. vs. Paredes, L-24811, Mar. 3, 1967; Bulan vs. Masakayan, L-24428, June 26, 1968; Palma vs. Q & S, Inc., L-20366, May 19, 1986). E r r o r s of j u r i s d i c t i o n r e n d e r a j u d g m e n t void or, at l e a s t voidable (see Sec. l[a] and [b], Rule 16; Rule 65), while e r r o r s of j u d g m e n t are grounds for reversal only if it is shown t h a t prejudice has been caused thereby (Banco Espahol-Filipino vs. Palanca, 37 Phil. 821; Bimeda vs. Perez, et al., 93 Phil. 636). 10. Requisites for t h e exercise of jurisdiction and how the court acquires such jurisdiction: a. Jurisdiction over the plaintiff or petitioner: This is acquired by t h e filing of t h e complaint, p e t i t i o n or initiatory pleading before t h e court by t h e plaintiff or petitioner. b. Jurisdiction over the defendant or respondent: This is acquired by the voluntary a p p e a r a n c e or submission by the defendant or r e s p o n d e n t to the c o u r t or by coercive p r o c e s s i s s u e d by t h e c o u r t to him, generally by the service of s u m m o n s (Sharuff vs. Bubla, L-17029, Sept. 30, 1964; Aban vs. Enage, L-30666, Feb. 25, 1983). c. Jurisdiction over the subject-matter: This is conferred by law and, unlike jurisdiction over t h e p a r t i e s , cannot be conferred on t h e court by t h e v o l u n t a r y act or a g r e e m e n t of t h e p a r t i e s . 8 GENERAL PRINCIPLES d. Jurisdiction over the issues of the case: This is d e t e r m i n e d a n d conferred by t h e p l e a d i n g s filed in t h e case by t h e p a r t i e s , or by t h e i r a g r e e m e n t in a p r e - t r i a l order or stipulation, or, at t i m e s , by t h e i r implied consent as by t h e failure of a p a r t y to object to evidence on an issue not covered by t h e p l e a d i n g s , as provided in Sec. 5, Rule 10 (see Lazo, et al. vs. Republic Surety & Insurance Co., Inc., L-27365, Jan. 30, 1970). e. Jurisdiction over the res (or t h e p r o p e r t y or t h i n g which is t h e subject of t h e litigation): This is acquired by the a c t u a l or c o n s t r u c t i v e s e i z u r e by t h e court of t h e thing in q u e s t i o n , t h u s placing it in custodia legis, as in a t t a c h m e n t or g a r n i s h m e n t ; or by provision of law which recognizes in t h e c o u r t t h e power to deal w i t h t h e p r o p e r t y o r s u b j e c t - m a t t e r w i t h i n its t e r r i t o r i a l j u r i s diction, a s i n l a n d r e g i s t r a t i o n p r o c e e d i n g s o r s u i t s involving civil s t a t u s or r e a l p r o p e r t y in t h e P h i l i p p i n e s of a n o n r e s i d e n t d e f e n d a n t . In two i n s t a n c e s , t h e c o u r t a c q u i r e s jurisdiction to try t h e case, even if it h a s not a c q u i r e d jurisdiction over the p e r s o n of a n o n r e s i d e n t d e f e n d a n t , as long as it h a s jurisdiction over t h e res, as w h e n t h e action involves t h e p e r s o n a l s t a t u s of t h e plaintiff or p r o p e r t y in t h e Philippines in w h i c h t h e d e f e n d a n t claims an i n t e r e s t (see Sec. 15, Rule 14). In s u c h cases, t h e service of s u m m o n s by p u b l i c a t i o n a n d notice to t h e d e f e n d a n t is m e r e l y t o c o m p l y w i t h d u e p r o c e s s r e q u i r e m e n t s (Banco Espanol-Filipino vs. Palanca, 37 Phil. 921; De Midgely vs. Ferandos, et al., L-34314, May 13, 1975). Under Sec. 133 of t h e C o r p o r a t i o n C o d e , w h i l e a f o r e i g n corporation doing b u s i n e s s in t h e P h i l i p p i n e s w i t h o u t a license c a n n o t sue or i n t e r v e n e in any action here, it may be sued or p r o c e e d e d a g a i n s t before our c o u r t s or administrative tribunals. 1 1 . As a g e n e r a l proposition, t h e jurisdiction of t h e court is d e t e r m i n e d by t h e s t a t u t e in force at t h e t i m e of t h e c o m m e n c e m e n t of t h e action (People vs. Paderna, 9 R E M E D I A L LAW C O M P E N D I U M L-28518, Jan. 29, 1968; People vs. Mariano, et al., L-40527, June 30, 1976; Lee, et al. vs. Presiding Judge, etc., et al, G.R. No. 68789, Nov. 10, 1986), unless such s t a t u t e provides for its retroactive application, as w h e r e it is a c u r a t i v e legislation (Atlas Fertilizer Corp. vs. Navarro, etc., et al., G.R. No. 72074, April 30, 1987). 12. The settled rule is t h a t the jurisdiction of t h e court over t h e subject-matter is d e t e r m i n e d by t h e alleg a t i o n s of t h e c o m p l a i n t (Edward J. Nell & Co. vs. Cubacub, L-20843, June 23, 1965; Time, Inc. vs. Reye...
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