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The court also acquires jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff.It also has the effect of tolling the running of the prescriptive period. Payment of docket fees and acquisition of jurisdiction The filing of the complaint and the payment of the proper docket fees vests the court with jurisdiction over the subject matter. The court requires that all complaints, petitions, answers and similar pleadings must specify the amount of damages being prayed for in both the body of the pleading and in the prayer. Any defect in the original pleading resulting in underpayment of the docket fee cannot be cured by amendment because there is no original complaint over which the court has acquired jurisdiction. The rule on docket fees is subject to liberal interpretation: oIn case of nonpayment at the time of filing does not automatically cause the dismissal of the case, as long as the fee is paid within the applicable reglementary period. oIf the amount of docket fee is insufficient, the party filing will be required to pay the deficiency, but jurisdiction is not automatically lost. Payment of docket fees for cases on appeal The Rules now require that appellate docket and other lawful fees must be paid within the same period for taking an appeal. Payment of the docket fee within the prescribed period is mandatoryfor the perfection of an appeal. Without payment, the appellate court does not acquire jurisdiction and the decision sought to be appealed from becomes final and executory. Nonpayment is a valid ground for dismissal. Mere delay in payment confers a discretionarypower on the court to dismiss. B. Amendment of complaint (Rule 10) Amendment as a matter of right (Sec. 2, Rule 10) A plaintiff has the right to amend his complaint onceat any time before a responsive pleading is served by the other party or in case of a reply to which there is no responsive pleading, at any time within 10 days after it is served. This refers to an amendment made before the trial court. The CA is vested with jurisdiction to admit or deny amended petitions before it. Even if no responsive pleading has yet been served, if the amendment s subsequent to a previous amendmentmade as a matter of right, the subsequent amendment must be with leave of court. Before the service of a responsive pleading, a party has the absolute rightto amend, regardless of whether a new cause of action or change in theory is introduced. GR: filing an amended complaint is alwaysa matter of RIGHT if no responsive pleadinghas been served. EXCEPTION: leave of court is required to amend the complaint if a responsive pleading was already served. Applicability of mandamus The court would be in error if it refuses to admit an amended pleading when its exercise is a matter of right. Mandamus is the proper remedy.