Posted by: Elmer Brabante | May 28, 2011

2011 Remedial Law Reviewer (Special Civil Actions)


I.    SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS (Rules 62 – 71)

Ordinary civil actions versus special civil actions 

(1)     Although both types of actions are governed by the rules for ordinary civil actions, there are certain rules that are applicable only to specific special civil actions (Sec. 3[a], Rule 1). The fact that an action is subject to special rules other than those applicable to ordinary civil actions is what makes a civil action special.

(2)     An ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of action (Sec. 1, Rule 2). This means that the defendant must have performed an act or omitted to do an act in violation of the rights of another (Sec. 2, Rule 2). These definitions do not fit the requirements of a cause of action in certain special civil actions. The cause of action as defined and required of an ordinary civil action finds no application to the special civil action of declaratory declaratory relief. In finds no application also in a complaint for interpleader. In this action, the plaintiff may file a complaint even if he has sustained no actual transgression of his rights. In fact, he actually has no interest in the subject matter of the action. This is not so in an ordinary civil action.

(3)     Ordinary civil actions may be filed initially in either the MTC of the RTC depending upon the jurisdictional amount or the nature of the action involved. On the other hand, there are special civil actions which can only be filed in an MTC like the actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer. There are also special civil actions which cannot be commenced in the MTC, foremost of which are the petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus.

(4)     The venue in ordinary civil actions is determined by either the residence of the parties where the action is personal or by the location of the property where the action is real. This dichotomy does not always apply to a special civil action. For instance, the venue in a petition for quo warranto iw where the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals sits if the petition is commenced in any of these courts and without taking into consideration where the parties reside. It is only when the petition is lodged with the RTC that the residence is considered in venue analysis. While in ordinary civil actions the residences of both the plaintiff and the defendant are factored in the determination, a petition for quo warranto failed in the RTC merely looks into the residence of the respondent, not that of the petitioner. But if it is the Solicitor General who commences the action, another special rule is followed because the petition may only be commenced in the RTC in Manila, in the Court of Appeals or in the Supreme Court.

(5)     While ordinary civil actions when filed are denominated as “complaints”, some special civil actions are not denominated as such but “petitions”.

(a)     Special civil actions initiated by filing of a Petition:

  1. Declaratory relief other than similar remedies;
  2. Review of adjudication of the COMELEC and COA;
  3. Certiorari, prohibition and mandamus;
  4. Quo warranto; and
  5. Contempt

(b)     Special civil actions initiated by filing of a Complaint:

  1. Interpleader;
  2. Expropriation;
  3. Foreclosure of real estate mortgage;
  4. Partition; and
  5. Forcible entry and unlawful detainer.

 

Jurisdiction and venue

(1)     The subject matter of a petition for declaratory relief raises issues which are not capable of pecuniary estimation and must be filed with the Regional Trial Court (Sec. 19[1], BP 129; Sec. 1, Rule 63). It would be error to file the petition with the Supreme Court which has no original jurisdiction to entertain a petition for declaratory relief (Untied Residents of Dominican Hill vs. Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems, 353 SCRA 782; Ortega vs. Quezon City Government, 469 SCRA 388).

 

Interpleader (Rule 62)

(1)     Interpleader is a person who has property in his possession or an obligation to render, wholly or partially without claiming any right therein, or an interest in which in whole or in part is not disputed by the claimants, comes to court and asks that the persons who consider themselves entitled to demand compliance with the obligation be required to litigate among themselves in order to determine finally who is entitled to the same.

(2)     Interpleader is a special civil action filed by a person against whom two conflicting claims are made upon the same subject matter and over which he claims no interest, to compel the claimants to interplead and to litigate their conflicting claims among themselves (Sec. 1).

 

Requisites for interpleader

(1)     There must be two or more claimants with adverse or conflicting interests to a property in the custody or possession of the plaintiff;

(2)     The plaintiff in an action for interpleader has no claim upon the subject matter of the adverse claims or if he has an interest at all, such interest is not disputed by the claimants;

(3)     The subject matter of the adverse claims must be one and the same; and

(4)     The parties impleaded must make effective claims.

 

When to file

(1)     Whenever conflicting claims upon the same subject matter are or may be made against a person who claims no interest whatever in the subject matter, or an interest which in whole or in part is not disputed by the claimants, he may bring an action against the conflicting claimants to compel them to interplead and litigate their several claims among themselves (Sec. 1).

 

Declaratory Reliefs and Similar Remedies (Rule 63)

(1)     An action for declaratory relief is brought to secure an authoritative statement of the rights and obligations of the parties under a contract or a statute for their guidance in the enforcement or compliance with the same (Meralco vs. Philippine Consumers Foundation, 374 SCRA 262). Thus, the purpose is to seek for a judicial interpretation of an instrument or for a judicial declaration of a person’s rights under a statute and not to ask for affirmative reliefs like injunction, damages or any other relief beyond the purpose of the petition as declared under the Rules.

(2)     The subject matter in a petition for declaratory relief is any of the following:

(a)     Deed;

(b)     Will;

(c)     Contract or other written instrument;

(d)     Statute;

(e)     Executive order or regulation;

(f)      Ordinance; or

(g)     Any other governmental regulation (Sec. 1).

(3)     The petition for declaratory relief is filed before there occurs any breach or violation of the deed, contract, statute, ordinance or executive order or regulation. It will not prosper when brought after a contract or a statute has already been breached or violated. If there has already been a breach, the appropriate ordinary civil action and not declaratory relief should be filed.

 

Who may file the action

(1)     Any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument or whose rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance or other governmental regulation may before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the RTC to determine any question of construction or validity arising and for a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder (Sec. 1).

(2)     Those who may sue under the contract should be those with interest under the contract like the parties, the assignees and the heirs as required by substantive law (Art. 1311, Civil Code).

(3)     If it be a statute, executive order, regulation or ordinance, the petitioner is one whose rights are affected by the same (Sec. 1, Rule 63). The other parties are all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration. The rights of person not made parties to the action do not stand to be prejudiced by the declaration (Sec. 2).

 

Requisites of action for declaratory relief

(1)     The subject matter must be a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, statute, executive order or regulation or ordinance;

(2)     The terms of said document or the validity thereof are doubtful and require judicial construction;

(3)     There must have been no breach of said document;

(4)     There must be actual justiciable controversy or the ripening seeds of one( there is threatened litigation the immediate future); there must be allegation of any threatened, imminent and inevitable violation of petitioner’s right sought to be prevented by the declaratory relief sought;

(5)     The controversy is between persons whose interests are adverse;

(6)     The issue must be ripe for judicial determination e.g. administrative remedies already exhausted;

(7)     The party seeking the relief has legal interest in the controversy; and

(8)     Adequate relief is not available thru other means.

(9)     Stated otherwise, the requisites are:

(a)     There must be a justiciable controversy;

(b)     The controversy must be between persons whose interests are adverse;

(c)     The party seeking the relief must have legal interest in the controversy; and

(d)     The issue is ripe for judicial determination (Republic vs. Orbecido III, 472 SCRA 114).

 

When court may refuse to make judicial declaration

(1) Grounds for the court to refuse to exercise declaratory relief;

(a)     A decision would not terminate the uncertainty or controversy which gave rise to the action; or

(b)     The declaration or construction is not necessary and proper under the circumstances as when the instrument or the statute has already been breached (Sec. 5).

(4)     In declaratory relief, the court is given the discretion to act or not to act on the petition. It may therefore choose not to construe the instrument sought to be construed or could refrain from declaring the rights of the petitioner under the deed or the law. A refusal of the court to declare rights or construe an instrument is actually the functional equivalent of the dismissal of the petition.

(5)     On the other hand, the court does not have the discretion to refuse to act with respect to actions described as similar remedies. Thus, in an action for reformation of an instrument, to quiet or to consolidate ownership, the court cannot refuse to render a judgment (Sec. 5).

 

Conversion to ordinary action

(1)     If before final termination of the case, a breach should take place, the action may be converted into ordinary action to avoid multiplicity of suits (Republic vs. Orbecido, G.R. No. 154380, Oct. 5, 2005).

(2)     Ordinary civil action – plaintiff alleges that his right has been violated by the defendant; judgment rendered is coercive in character; a writ of execution may be executed against the defeated party.

(3)     Special civil action of declaratory relief – an impending violation is sufficient to file a declaratory relief; no execution may be issued; the court merely makes a declaration.

 

Proceedings considered as similar remedies

(1)     Similar remedies are:

(a)     Action for reformation of an instrument;

(b)     Action for quieting of title; and

(c)     Action to consolidate ownership (Art. 1607, Civil Code).

 

Reformation of an instrument

(1)     It is not an action brought to reform a contract but to reform the instrument evidencing the contract. It presupposes that there is nothing wrong with the contract itself because there is a meeting of minds between the parties. The contract is to be reformed because despite the meeting of minds of the parties as to the object and cause of the contract, the instrument which is supposed to embody the agreement of the parties does not reflect their true agreement by reason of mistake, inequitable conduct or accident. The action is brought so the true intention of the parties may be expressed in the instrument (Art. 1359, CC).

(2)     The instrument may be reformed if it does not express the true intention of the parties because of lack of skill of the person drafting the instrument (Art. 1363, CC). If the parties agree upon the mortgage or pledge of property, but the instrument states that the property is sold absolutely or with a right of repurchase, reformation of the instrument is proper (Art. 1365, CC).

(3)     Where the consent of a party to a contract has been procured by fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, and an instrument was executed by the parties in accordance with the contract, what is defective is the contract itself because of vitiation of consent. The remedy is not to bring an action for reformation of the instrument but to file an action for annulment of the contract (Art. 1359, CC).

(4)     Reformation of the instrument cannot be brought to reform any of the following:

(a)     Simple donation inter vivos wherein no condition is imposed;

(b)     Wills; or

(c)     When the agreement is void (Art. 1666, CC).

 

Consolidation of ownership

(1)     The concept of consolidation of ownership under Art. 1607, Civil Code, has its origin in the substantive provisions of the law on sales. Under the law, a contract of sale may be extinguished either by legal redemption (Art. 1619) or conventional redemption (Art. 1601). Legal redemption (retracto legal) is a statutory mandated redemption of a property previously sold. For instance, a co-owner of a property may exercise the right of redemption in case the shares of all the other co-owners or any of them are sold to a third person (Art. 1620). The owners of adjoining lands shall have the right of redemption when a piece of rural land with a size of one hectare or less is alienated (Art. 1621). Conventional redemption (pacto de retro) sale is one that is not mandated by the statute but one which takes place because of the stipulation of the parties to the sale. The period of redemption may be fixed by the parties in which case the period cannot exceed ten (10) years from the date of the contract. In the absence of any agreement, the redemption period shall be four (4) years from the date of the contract (Art. 1606). When the redemption is not made within the period agreed upon, in case the subject matter of the sale is a real property, Art. 1607 provides that the consolidation of ownership in the vendee shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property without a judicial order, after the vendor has been duly heard.

(2)     The action brought to consolidate ownership is not for the purpose of consolidating the ownership of the property in the person of the vendee or buyer but for the registration of the property. The lapse of the redemption period without the seller a retro exercising his right of redemption, consolidates ownership or title upon the person of the vendee by operation of law. Art. 1607 requires the filing of the petition to consolidate ownership because the law precludes the registration of the consolidated title without judicial order (Cruz vs. Leis, 327 SCRA 570).

 

Quieting of title to real property

(1)     This action is brought to remove a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. The action contemplates a situation where the instrument or a record is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title to real property. This action is then brought to remove a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. It may also be brought as a preventive remedy to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein (Art. 476).

(2)     The plaintiff need not be in possession of the real property before he may bring the action as long as he can show that he has a legal or an equitable title to the property which is the subject matter of the action (Art. 477).

 

Review of Judgments and Final Orders or Resolution of the COMELEC and COA (Rule 64)

(1)     A judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on certiorari under Rule 65 (Sec. 2). The filing of a petition for certiorari shall not stay the execution of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed, unless the SC directs otherwise upon such terms as it may deem just (Sec. 8). To prevent the execution of the judgment, the petitioner should obtain a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction because the mere filing of a petition does not interrupt the course of the principal case.

(2)     Decisions of the Civil Service Commission shall be appealed to the Court of Appeals which has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all judgments or final orders of such commission (RA 7902).

(3)     The petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. The filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration of said judgment or final order or resolution, if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned, shall interrupt the period herein fixed. If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the remaining period, but which shall not be less than five (5) days in any event, reckoned from notice of denial (Sec. 3).

(4)     Note that petition for review from decisions of quasi-judicial agencies to the CA should be within 15 days and does not stay the decision appealed. Petition for review from decisions of the RTC decided in its appellate jurisdiction filed to the CA should be filed within 15 days and stays execution, unless the case is under the rules of Summary Procedure. Special civil actions of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus, from Comelec and COA should be filed within 30 days, and does not stay the decision appealed. Bottomline: Decisions of quasi-judicial bodies are not stayed by appeal alone. Decisions of regular courts are stayed on appeal. Although in petition for review on certiorari to the SC via Rule 45, there is no express provision on effect of appeal on execution.

(2)     The “not less than 5 days” provision for filing a pleading applies only to:

(a)     filing an answer after a denial of a MtD;

(b)     filing an answer after denial or service of a bill of particulars;

(c)     filing an special civil action for certiorari from a decision of the Comelec or CoA after denial of a MfR or MNT. It does not apply to filing appeal from decisions of other entities after denial of a MfR or MNT. In such cases, either the parties have a fresh 15 days, or the balance.

 

Application of Rule 65 under Rule 64

(1)     Sec. 7, Art. IX-A of the Constitution reads, “unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, any decision, order or ruling of each commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof.” The provision was interpreted by the Supreme Court to refer to certiorari under Rule 65 and not appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 (Aratuc vs. COMELEC, 88 SCRA 251; Dario vs. Mison, 176 SCRA 84). To implement the above constitutional provision, the SC promulgated Rule 64.

 

Distinction in the application of Rule 65 to judgments of the COMELEC and COA and the application of Rule 65 to other tribunals, persons and officers

 

Rule 64

Rule 65

Directed only to the judgments, final orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and COA; Directed to any tribunal, board or officers exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;
Filed within 30 days from notice of the judgment; Filed within 60 days from notice of the judgment;
The filing of a motion for reconsideration or a motion for new trial if allowed, interrupts the period for the filing of the petition for certiorari. If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the remaining period, but which shall not be less than 5 days reckoned from the notice of denial. The period within which to filed the petition if the motion for reconsideration or new trial is denied, is 60 days from notice of the denial of the motion.

 

 

Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus (Rule 65)

(1)     Certiorari is a remedy for the correction of errors of jurisdiction, not errors of judgment. It is an original and independent action that was not part of the trial that had resulted in the rendition of the judgment or order complained of. More importantly, sine the issue is jurisdiction, an original action for certiorari may be directed against an interlocutory order of the lower court prior to an appeal from the judgment (New Frontier Sugar Corp. vs. RTC of Iloilo, GR 165001, Jan. 31, 2007).

(2)     Where the error is not one of jurisdiction, but of law or fact which is a mistake of judgment, the proper remedy should be appeal. Hence, if there was no question of jurisdiction involved in the decision and what was being questioned was merely the findings in the decision of whether or not the practice of the other party constitutes a violation of the agreement, the matter is a proper subject of appeal, not certiorari (Centro Escolar University Faculty and Allieid Workers Union vs. CA, GR 165486, May 31, 2006).

(3)     Filing of petition for certiorari does not interrupt the course of the principal action nor the running of the reglementary periods involved in the proceeding, unless an application for a restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction to the appellate court is granted (Sec. 7). Neither does it interrupt the reglementary period for the filing of an answer nor the course of the case where there is no writ of injunction (People vs. Almendras, 401 SCRA 555).

(4)     In a summary proceeding, petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus against an interlocutory order of the court are not allowed (Sec. 19, RRSP).

(5)     Certiorari is not and cannot be made a substitute for an appeal where the latter remedy is available but was lost through fault or negligence. The remedy to obtain a reversal of judgment on the merits is appeal. This holds true even if the error ascribed to the lower court is its lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or the exercise of power in excess thereof, or grave abuse of discretion. The existence and availability of the right to appeal prohibits the resort to certiorari because one of the requirements for certiorari is that there is no appeal (Bugarin vs. Palisoc, GR 157985, Dec. 5, 2005).

(6)     Exceptions to the rule that certiorari is not available when the period for appeal has lapsed and certiorari may still be invoked when appeal is lost are the following:

(a)     Appeal was lost without the appellant’s negligence;

(b)     When public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictates;

(c)     When the broader interest of justice so requires;

(d)     When the writs issued are null and void; and

(e)     When the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority (Chua vs. CA, 344 SCRA 136).

 

 

Definitions and distinctions

Certiorari

Prohibition

Mandamus

 

Certiorari is an extraordinary writ annulling or modifying the proceedings of a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions when such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, there being no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law (Sec. 1, Rule 65).

 

Prohibition is an extraordinary writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, to desist from further proceedings when said proceedings are without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with abuse of its discretion, there being no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law (Sec. 2, Rule 65).

 

Mandamus is an extraordinary writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person, to do an act required to be done:

(a)     When he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; or

(b)     When one unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the other is entitled (Sec. 3, Rule 65).

Directed against a person exercising to judicial or quasi-judicial functions Directed against a person exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions, or ministerial functions Directed against a person exercising ministerial duties
Object is to correct Object is to prevent Object is to compel
Purpose is to annul or modify the proceedings Purpose is to stop the proceedings Purpose is to compel performance of the act required and to collect damages
Person or entity must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion Person or entity must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion Person must have neglected a ministerial duty or excluded another from a right or office

 

Prohibition

Injunction

Always the main action May be the main action or just a provisional remedy
Directed against a court, a tribunal exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions Directed against a party
Ground must be the court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction Does not involve a question of jurisdiction

Prohibition

Mandamus

To prevent an act by a respondent To compel an act desired
May be directed against entities exercising judicial or quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions May be directed against judicial and non-judicial entities
Extends to discretionary functions Extends only to ministerial functions

Mandamus

Quo warranto

Clarifies legal duties, not legal titles Clarifies who has legal title to the office, or franchise
Respondent, without claiming any right to the office, excludes the petitioner Respondent usurps the office

 

Requisites

Certiorari

Prohibition

Mandamus

That the petition is directed against a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;

The petition is directed against a tribunal, corporation, board or person exercising judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions; The plaintiff has a clear legal right to the act demanded;

 

The tribunal, board or officer has acted without, or in excess of jurisdiction or with abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess or jurisdiction The tribunal, corporation, board or person must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction; It must be the duty of the defendant to perform the act, which is ministerial and not discretionary, because the same is mandated by law;
There is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. There is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The defendant unlawfully neglects the performance of the duty enjoined by law;
Accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject of the petition, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and sworn certification of non-forum shopping under Rule 46. Accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment or order subject of the petition, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and sworn certification of non-forum shopping under Rule 46. There is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

 

Injunctive relief

(1)     The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders expediting the proceedings, and it may also grant a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such proceedings. The petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case (Sec. 7).

(2)     The public respondent shall proceed with the principal case within ten (10) days from the filing of a petition for certiorari  with a higher court or tribunal, absent a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, or upon its expiration. Failure of the public respondent to proceed with the principal case may be a ground for an administrative charge (AM 07-7-12-SC, Dec. 12, 2007).

 

Certiorari  distinguished from Appeal by Certiorari; Prohibition and Mandamus distinguished from Injunction; when and where to file petition

Certiorari as a Mode of Appeal (Rule 45) Certiorari as a Special Civil Action (Rule 65)

 

Called petition for review on certiorari, is a mode of appeal, which is but a continuation of the appellate process over the original case;

 

A special civil action that is an original action and not a mode of appeal, and not a part of the appellate process but an independent action.

Seeks to review final judgments or final orders;

May be directed against an interlocutory order of the court or where not appeal or plain or speedy remedy available in the ordinary course of law

Raises only questions of law;

Raises questions of jurisdiction because a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction;

Filed within 15 days from notice of judgment or final order appealed from, or of the denial of petitioner’s motion for reconsideration or new trial;

Filed not later than 60 days from notice of judgment, order or resolution sought to be assailed and in case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the 60 day period is counted from notice of denial of said motion;

Extension of 30 days may be granted for justifiable reasons

Extension no longer allowed;

Does not require a prior motion for reconsideration;

Motion for Reconsideration is a condition precedent, subject to exceptions

Stays the judgment appealed from;

Does not stay the judgment or order subject of the petition unless enjoined or restrained;

Parties are the original parties with the appealing party as the petitioner and the adverse party as the respondent without impleading the lower court or its judge;

The tribunal, board, officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions is impleaded as respondent

Filed with only the Supreme Court

May be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, or Regional Trial Court
SC may deny the decision motu propio on the ground that the appeal is without merit, or is prosecuted manifestly for delay, or that the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration.

 

 

(1)     The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive. The antithetic character of appeal and certiorari has been generally recognized and observed save only on those rare instances when appeal is satisfactorily shown to be an inadequate remedy. Thus, a petitioner must show valid reasons why the issues raised in his petition for certiorari could not have been raised on appeal (Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank vs. CA, 334 SCRA 305).

Prohibition and Mandamus distinguished from Injunction; when and where to file petition

 

Prohibition

Mandamus

Injunction

Prohibition is an extraordinary writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, to desist from further proceedings when said proceedings are without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with abuse of its discretion, there being no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law (Sec. 2, Rule 65). Mandamus is an extraordinary writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person, to do an act required to be done:

(a)         When he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; or

(b)         When one unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the other is entitled (Sec. 3, Rule 65).

Main action for injunction seeks to enjoin the defendant from the commission or continuance of a specific act, or to compel a particular act in violation of the rights of the applicant. Preliminary injunction is a provisional remedy to preserve the status quo and prevent future wrongs in order to preserve and protect certain interests or rights during the pendency of an action.
Special civil action Special civil action Ordinary civil action
To prevent an encroachment, excess, usurpation or assumption of jurisdiction; To compel the performance of a ministerial and legal duty; For the defendant either to refrain from an act or to perform not necessarily a legal and ministerial duty;
May be directed against entities exercising judicial or quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions May be directed against judicial and non-judicial entities Directed against a party
Extends to discretionary functions Extends only to ministerial functions Does not necessarily extend to ministerial, discretionary or legal functions;
Always the main action Always the main action May be the main action or just a provisional remedy
May be brought in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, or in the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the territorial area where respondent resides. May be brought in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, or in the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the territorial area where respondent resides. May be brought in the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the territorial area where respondent resides.

 

Exceptions to filing of motion for reconsideration before filing petition

(1)  When the issue is one purely of law;

(2)     When there is urgency to decide upon the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the government or of the petitioner;

(3)     Where the subject matter of the action is perishable;

(4)     When order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction or there was no due process;

(5) When questions have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court;

(6) When is urgent necessity for the resolution of the question;

(7) When Motion for Reconsideration would be useless, e.g. the court already indicated it would deny any Motion for Reconsideration;

(8) In a criminal case, where relief from order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable;

(9) Where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object;

(10) When petitioner is deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for urgent relief; and

(11) When issue raised is one purely of law or public interest is involved;

 

Reliefs petitioner is entitled to

(1)     The primary relief will be annulment or modification of the judgment, order or resolution or proceeding subject of the petition. It may also include such other incidental reliefs as law and justice may require (Sec. 1). The court, in its judgment may also award damages and the execution of the award for damages or costs shall follow the procedure in Sec. 1, Rule 39 (Sec. 9).

Where to file petition

Supreme Court Subject to the doctrine of hierarchy of courts and only when compelling reasons exist for not filing the same with the lower courts
Regional Trial Court If the petition relates to an act or an omission of an MTC, corporation, board, officer or person
Court of Appeals only If the petition involves an act or an omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or rules
Court of Appeals or the Sandiganbayan Whether or not in aid of appellate jurisdiction
Commission on Elections In election cases involving an act or an omission of an MTC or RTC
As amended by AM No. 07-7-12-SC, Dec. 12, 2007  

 

(1)     A petition for certiorari must be based on jurisdictional grounds because as long as the respondent acted with jurisdiction, any error committed by him or it in the exercise thereof will amount to nothing more than an error of judgment which may be reviewed or corrected by appeal (Microsoft Corp. vs. Best Deal Computer Center Corp., GR 148029, Sept. 24, 2002; Estrera vs. CA, GR 154235, Aug. 16, 2006).

 

Effects of filing of an unmeritorious petition

(1)     The Court may impose motu propio, based on res ipsa loquitur, other disciplinary sanctions or measures on erring lawyers for patently dilatory an unmeritorious petition for certiorari (AM 07-7-12-SC, Dec. 12, 2007). The court may dismiss the petition if it finds the same patently without merit or prosecuted manifestly for delay, or if the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. In such event, the court may award in favor of the respondent treble costs solidarily against the petitioner and counsel, in addition to subjecting counsel to administrative sanctions under Rules 139 and 139-B.

 

Quo Warranto (Rule 66)

(1)     Quo warranto is a demand made by the state upon some individual or corporation to show by what right they exercise some franchise or privilege appertaining to the state which, according to the Constitution and laws they cannot legally exercise by virtue of a grant and authority from the State (44 Am. Jur. 88-89).

(2)     It is a special civil action commenced by a verified petition against (a) a person who usurps a public office, position or franchise; (b) a public officer who performs an act constituting forfeiture of a public office; or (c) an association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without being legally incorporated or without lawful authority to do so (Sec. 1).

 

Distinguish from Quo Warranto in the Omnibus Election Code

Quo Warranto (Rule 66)

Quo Warranto (Election Code)

Subject of the petition is in relation to an appointive office; Subject of the petition is in relation to an elective office;
The issue is the legality of the occupancy of the office by virtue of a legal appointment; Grounds relied upon are: (a) ineligibility to the position; or (b) disloyalty to the Republic.
Petition is brought either to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or the Regional Trial Court; May be instituted with the COMELEC by any voter contesting the election of any member of Congress, regional, provincial or city officer; or to the MeTC, MTC or MCTC if against any barangay official;
Filed within one (1) year from the time the cause of ouster, or the right of the petitioner to hold the office or position arose; Filed within ten (10) days after the proclamation of the results of the election;
Petitioner is the person entitled to the office; Petitioner may be any voter even if he is not entitled to the office;
The court has to declare who the person entitled to the office is if he is the petitioner. When the tribunal declares the candidate-elect as ineligible, he will be unseated but the person occupying the second place will not be declared as the one duly elected because the law shall consider only the person who, having duly filed his certificate of candidacy, received a plurality of votes.

 

When government commence an action against individuals

(1)     Quo warranto is commenced by a verified petition brought in the name of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines by the Solicitor General, or in some instances, by a public prosecutor (Secs. 2 and 3). When the action is commenced by the Solicitor General, the petition may be brought in the Regional Trial Court of the City of Manila, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court (Sec. 7)

(2)     An action for the usurpation of a public office, position or franchise may be commenced by a verified petition brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines thru the Solicitor General against:

(a)     A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise;

(b)     A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law, constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his office;

(c)     An association which acts a corporation within the Philippines without being legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act (Sec. 1).

 

When individual may commence an action

(1)     The petition may be commenced by a private person in his own name where he claims to be entitled to the public office or position alleged to have been usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another (Sec. 5). Accordingly, the private person may maintain the action without the intervention of the Solicitor General and without need for any leave of court (Navarro vs. Gimenez, 10 Phil. 226; Cui vs. Cui, 60 Phil. 37). In bringing a petition for quo warranto, he must show that he has a clear right to the office allegedly being held by another (Cuevas vs. Bacal, 347 SCRA 338). It is not enough that he merely asserts the right to be appointed to the office.

 

Judgment in Quo Warranto action 

(1)     When the respondent is found guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising a public office, position or franchise, judgment shall be rendered that such respondent be ousted and altogether excluded therefrom, and that the petitioner or relator, as the case may be, recover his costs. Such further judgment may be rendered determining the respective rights in and to the public office, position or franchise of the parties to the action as justice requires (Sec. 9).

 

Rights of a person adjudged entitled to public office

(1)     If the petitioner is adjudged to be entitled to the office, he may sue for damages against the alleged usurper within one (1) year from the entry of judgment establishing his right to the office in question (Sec. 11).

 

Expropriation (Rule 67)

(1)     Expropriation is an exercise of the State’s power of eminent domain wherein the government takes a private property for public purpose upon payment of just compensation.

Matters to allege in complaint for expropriation

(1)     An expropriation proceeding is commenced by the filing of a verified complaint which shall:

(a)     State with certainty the right of the plaintiff to expropriation and the purpose thereof;

(b)     Describe the real or personal property sought to be expropriated; and

(c)     Join as defendants all persons owning or claiming to own, or occupying, any part of the property or interest therein showing as far as practicable the interest of each defendant. If the plaintiff cannot with accuracy identify the real owners, averment to that effect must be made in the complaint (Sec. 1).

Two stages in every action for expropriation

(1)     Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to expropriate – this includes an inquiry into the propriety of the expropriation, its necessity and the public purpose. This stage will end in the issuance of an order of expropriation if the court finds for the plaintiff or in the dismissal of the complaint if it finds otherwise.

(2)     Determination of just compensation through the court-appointed commissioners (National Power Corporation vs. Joson, 206 SCRA 520).

When plaintiff can immediately enter into possession of the real property, in relation to RA 8974

(1)     Except for the acquisition of right-of-way, site or location for any national government infrastructure project through expropriation, the expropriator shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of the real property involved if he deposits with the authorized government depositary an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation to be held by such bank subject to the orders of the court. such deposit shall be in money, unless in lieu thereof the court authorizes the deposit of a certificate of deposit of a government bank of the Philippines payable on demand to the authorized government depositary (Sec. 2, Rule 67).

New system of immediate payment of initial just compensation

(1)     For the acquisition of right-of-way, site or location for any national government infrastructure project through expropriation, upon the filing of the filing of the complaint, and after due notice to the defendant, the implementing agency shall immediately pay the owner of the property the amount equivalent to the sum of (1) 100 percent of the value of the property based on the current relevant zonal valuation of the BIR; and (2) the value of the improvements and/or structures as determined under Sec. 7 of RA 8974 (Sec. 4, RA 8974).

Defenses and objections

(1)     Omnibus Motion Rule — Subject to the provisions of Sec. 1, Rule 9, a motion attacking a pleading, order, judgment or proceeding shall include all objections then available, and all objections not so included shall be deemed waived (Sec. 8, Rule 15).

(2)     If a defendant has no objection or defense to the action or the taking of his property, he may file and serve a notice of appearance and a manifestation to that effect, specifically designating or identifying the property in which he claims to be interested, within the time stated in the summons. Thereafter, he shall be entitled to notice of all proceedings affecting the same.

If a defendant has any objection to the filing of or the allegations in the complaint, or any objection or defense to the taking of his property, he shall serve his answer within the time stated in the summons. The answer shall specifically designate or identify the property in which he claims to have an interest, state the nature and extent of the interest claimed, and adduce all his objections and defenses to the taking of his property. No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint shall be alleged or allowed in the answer or any subsequent pleading.

A defendant waives all defenses and objections not so alleged but the court, in the interest of justice, may permit amendments to the answer to be made not later than ten (10) days from the filing thereof. However, at the trial of the issue of just compensation, whether or not a defendant has previously appeared or answered, he may present evidence as to the amount of the compensation to be paid for his property, and he may share in the distribution of the award (Sec. 3)..

 

Order of Expropriation

(1)     If the objections to and the defenses against the right of the plaintiff to expropriate the property are overruled, or when no party appears to defend as required by this Rule, the court may issue an order of expropriation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be expropriated, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the taking of the property or the filing of the complaint, whichever came first.

A final order sustaining the right to expropriate the property may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. Such appeal, however, shall not prevent the court from determining the just compensation to be paid.

After the rendition of such an order, the plaintiff shall not be permitted to dismiss or discontinue the proceeding except on such terms as the court deems just and equitable (Sec. 4).

Ascertainment of just compensation

(1)     The order of expropriation merely declares that the plaintiff has the lawful to expropriate the property but contains no ascertainment of the compensation to be paid to the owner of the property. So upon the rendition of the order of expropriation, the court shall appoint not more than three (3) commissioners to ascertain the just compensation for the property. Objections to the appointment may be made within 10 days from service of the order of appointment (Sec. 5). The commissioners are entitled to fees and their fees shall be taxed as part of the costs of the proceedings, and all costs shall be paid by the plaintiff except those costs of rival claimants litigating their claims (Sec. 12).

(2)     Where the principal issue is the determination of just compensation, a hearing before the commissioners is indispensable to allow the parties to present evidence on the issue of just compensation. Although the findings of the commissioners may be disregarded and the trial court may substitute its own estimate of the value, the latter may do so only for valid reasons, that is where the commissioners have applied illegal principles to the evidence submitted to them, where they have disregarded a clear preponderance of evidence, or where the amount allowed is either grossly inadequate or excessive.

Appointment of Commissioners; Commissioner’s report; Court action upon commissioner’s report

(1)     Appointment. Upon the rendition of the order of expropriation, the court shall appoint not more than three (3) competent and disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and report to the court the just compensation for the property sought to be taken. The order of appointment shall designate the time and place of the first session of the hearing to be held by the commissioners and specify the time within which their report shall be submitted to the court.

Copies of the order shall be served on the parties. Objections to the appointment of any of the commissioners shall be filed with the court within ten (10) days from service, and shall be resolved within thirty (30) days after all the commissioners shall have received copies of the objections (Sec. 5).

(2)     Proceedings. Before entering upon the performance of their duties, the commissioners shall take and subscribe an oath that they will faithfully perform their duties as commissioners, which oath shall be filed in court with the other proceedings in the case. Evidence may be introduced by either party before the commissioners who are authorized to administer oaths on hearings before them, and the commissioners shall, unless the parties consent to the contrary, after due notice to the parties to attend, view and examine the property sought to be expropriated and its surroundings, and may measure the same, after which either party may, by himself or counsel, argue the case. The commissioners shall assess the consequential damages to the property not taken and deduct from such consequential damages the consequential benefits to be derived by the owner from the public use or purpose of the property taken, the operation of its franchise by the corporation or the carrying on of the business of the corporation or person taking the property. But in no case shall the consequential benefits assessed exceed the consequential damages assessed, or the owner be deprived of the actual value of his property so taken (Sec. 6).

(3)     Report. The court may order the commissioners to report when any particular portion of the real estate shall have been passed upon by them, and may render judgment upon such partial report, and direct the commissioners to proceed with their work as to subsequent portions of the property sought to be expropriated, and may from time to time so deal with such property. The commissioners shall make a full and accurate report to the court of all their proceedings, and such proceedings shall not be effectual until the court shall have accepted their report and rendered judgment in accordance with their recommendations. Except as otherwise expressly ordered by the court, such report shall be filed within sixty (60) days from the date the commissioners were notified of their appointment, which time may be extended in the discretion of the court. Upon the filing of such report, the clerk of the court shall serve copies thereof on all interested parties, with notice that they are allowed ten (10) days within which to file objections to the findings of the report, if they so desire (Sec. 7).

(4)     Action upon the report. Upon the expiration of the period of ten (10) days referred to in the preceding section, or even before the expiration of such period but after all the interested parties have filed their objections to the report or their statement of agreement therewith, the court may, after hearing, accept the report and render judgment in accordance therewith; or, for cause shown, it may recommit the same to the commissioners for further report of facts; or it may set aside the report and appoint new commissioners; or it may accept the report in part and reject it in part; and it may make such order or render such judgment as shall secure to the plaintiff the property essential to the exercise of his right of expropriation, and to the defendant just compensation for the property so taken (Sec. 8).

 

Rights of plaintiff upon judgment and payment

(1)     After payment of the just compensation as determined in the judgment, the plaintiff shall have the right to enter upon the property expropriated and to appropriate the same for the public use or purpose defined in the judgment or to retain possession already previously made in accordance with Sec. 2, Rule 67.

(2)     Title to the property expropriated passes from the owner to the expropriator upon full payment of just compensation (Federated Realty Corp. vs. CA, 477 SCRA 707).

 

Effect of recording of judgment

(1)     The judgment entered in expropriation proceedings shall state definitely, by an adequate description, the particular property or interest therein expropriated, and the nature of the public use or purpose for which it is expropriated. When real estate is expropriated, a certified copy of such judgment shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the place in which the property is situated, and its effect shall be to vest in the plaintiff the title to the real estate so described for such public use or purpose (Sec. 13).

 

Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage (Rule 68)

(1)     A real estate mortgage is an accessory contract executed by a debtor in favor of a creditor as security for the principal obligation. This principal obligation is a simple loan or mutuum described in Art. 1953, Civil Code. To be a real estate mortgage, the contract must be constituted on either immovables (real property) or inalienable real rights. If constituted on movables, the contract is a chattel mortgage (Art. 2124, CC).

(2)     A mortgage contract may have a provision in which the mortgage is a security for past, present and future indebtedness. This clause known as a dragnet clause or blanket mortgage clause has its origins in American jurisprudence. The Supreme Court ruled that mortgages given to secure future advancements are valid and legal contracts (Prudential Bank vs. Alviar, 464 SCRA 353).

 

Judgment on foreclosure for payment or sale

(1)     If after the trial, the court finds that the matters set forth in the complaint are true, it shall render a judgment containing the following matters:

(a)     An ascertainment of the amount due to the plaintiff upon the mortgage debt or obligation, including interest and other charges as approved by the court, as well as costs;

(b)     A judgment of the sum found due;

(c)     An order that the amount found due be paid to the court or to the judgment obligee within the period of not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days from the entry of judgment; and

(d)     An admonition that in default of such payment the property shall be sold at public auction to satisfy the judgment (Sec. 2).

(2)     The judgment of the court on the above matters is considered a final adjudication of the case and hence, is subject to challenge by the aggrieved party by appeal or by other post-judgment remedies.

(3)     The period granted to the mortgagor for the payment of the amount found due by the court is not just a procedural requirement but s substantive right given by law to the mortgagee as his first chance to save his property from final disposition at the foreclosure sale (De Leon vs. Ibañez, 95 Phil. 119).

 

Sale of mortgaged property; effect

(1)     The confirmation of the sale shall divest the rights in the property of all parties to the action and shall vest their rights in the purchaser, subject to such rights of redemption as may be allowed by law (Sec. 3). The title vests in the purchaser upon a valid confirmation of the sale and retroacts to the date of sale (Grimalt vs. Vasquez, 36 Phil. 396).

(2)     The import of Sec. 3 includes one vital effect: The equity of redemption of the mortgagor or redemptioner is cut-off and there will be no further redemption, unless allowed by law (as in the case of banks as mortgagees). The equity of redemption starts from the ninety-day period set in the judgment of the court up to the time before the sale is confirmed by an order of the court. once confirmed, no equity of redemption may further be exercised.

(3)     The order of confirmation is appealable and if not appealed within the period for appeal becomes final. Upon the finality of the order of confirmation or upon the expiration of the period of redemption when allowed by law, the purchaser at the auction sale or last redemptioner, if any, shall be entitled to the possession of the property and he may secure a writ of possession, upon, motion, from the court which ordered the foreclosure unless a third party is actually holding the same adversely to the judgment obligor (Sec. 3).

 

Disposition of proceeds of sale

(1)     The proceeds of the sale of the mortgaged property shall, after deducting the costs of the sale, be paid to the person foreclosing the mortgage, and when there shall be any balance or residue after paying off the mortgage debt due, the same shall be paid to junior encumbrancers in the order of their priority. If there be any further balance after paying them or if there be no junior encumbrancers, the same shall be paid to the mortgagor or any person entitled thereto (Sec. 4).

 

Deficiency judgment

(1)     If there be a balance due to the plaintiff after applying the proceeds of the sale, the court, upon motion, shall render judgment against the defendant for any such balance. Execution may issue immediately if the balance is all due the plaintiff shall be entitled to execution at such time as the remaining balance shall become due and such due date shall be stated in the judgment (Sec. 6). Note that the deficiency judgment is in itself a judgment hence, also appealable.

(2)     No independent action need be filed to recover the deficiency from the mortgagor. The deficiency judgment shall be rendered upon motion of the mortgagee. The motion must be made only after the sale and after it is known that a deficiency exists. Before that, any court order to recover the deficiency is void (Govt. of PI vs. Torralba, 61 Phil. 689). It has been held that the mortgagor who is not the debtor and who merely executed the mortgage to secure the principal debtor’s obligation, is not liable for the deficiency unless he assumed liability for the same in the contract (Philippine Trust Co. vs. Echaus Tan Siua, 52 Phil. 852). Since a deficiency judgment cannot be obtained against the mortgagore who is not the debtor in the principal obligation, mortgagee may have to file a separate suit against the principal debtor.

 

Instances when court cannot render deficiency judgment

(1)     Where the debtor-mortgagor is a non-resident and who at the time of the filing of the action for foreclosure and during the pendency of the proceedings was outside the Philippines, it is believed that a deficiency judgment under Sec. 6 would not be procedurally feasible. A deficiency judgment is by nature in personam and jurisdiction over the person is mandatory. Having been outside the country, jurisdiction over his person could not have been acquired.

 

Judicial foreclosure versus extrajudicial foreclosure

Extra-judicial Foreclosure (Act 3135)

Judicial foreclosure (Rule 68)

No complaint is filed; Complaint is filed with the courts;
There is a right of redemption. Mortgagor has a right of redemption for 1 year from registration of the sale; No right of redemption except when mortgagee is a banking institution; equity of redemption only (90 to 120 days, and any time before confirmation of foreclosure sale);
Mortgagee has to file a separate action to recover any deficiency; Mortagagee can move for deficiency judgment in the same action
Buyer at public auction becomes absolute owner only after finality of an action for consolidation of ownership; Buyer at public auction becomes absolute owner only after confirmation of the sale;
Mortgagee is given a special power of attorney in the mortgage contract to foreclose the mortgaged property in case of default. Mortgagee need not be given a special power of attorney.

 

Equity of redemption versus right of redemption

Equity of Redemption

Right of Redemption

The right of defendant mortgagor to extinguish the mortgage and retain ownership of the property by paying the debt within 90 to 120 days after the entry of judgment or even after the foreclosure sale but prior to confirmation. A right granted to a debtor mortgagor, his successor in interest or any judicial creditor or judgment creditor or any person having a lien on the property subsequent to the mortgage or deed of trust under which the property is sold to repurchase the property within one year even after the confirmation of the sale and even after the registration of the certificate of foreclosure sale.
May be exercised even after the foreclosure sale provided it is made before the sale is confirmed by order of the court. There is no right of redemption in a judicial foreclosure of mortgage under Rule 68. This right of redemption exists only in extrajudicial foreclosures where there is always a right of redemption within one year from the date of sale (Sec. 3, Act 3135), but interpreted by the Court to mean one year from the registration of the sale.
May also exist in favor or other encumbrances. If subsequent lien holders are not impleaded as parties in the foreclosure suit, the judgment in favor of the foreclosing mortgagee does not bind the other lien holders. In this case, their equity of redemption remains unforeclosed. A separate foreclosure proceeding has to be brought against them to require them to redeem from the first mortgagee or from the party acquiring the title to the mortgaged property. General rule: In judicial foreclosures there is only an equity of redemption which can be exercised prior to the confirmation of the foreclosure sale. This means that after the foreclosure sale but before its confirmation, the mortgagor may exercise his right of pay the proceeds of the sale and prevent the confirmation of the sale.
If not by banks, the mortgagors merely have an equity of redemption, which is simply their right, as mortgagor, to extinguish the mortgage and retain ownership of the property by paying the secured debt prior to the confirmation of the foreclosure sale. Exception: there is a right of redemption if the foreclosure is in favor of banks as mortgagees, whether the foreclosure be judicial or extrajudicial. This right of redemption is explicitly provided in Sec. 47 of the General Banking Law of 2000. While the law mentions the redemption period to be one year counted from the date of registration of the certificate in the Registry of Property

 

 

Partition (Rule 69)

(1)     Partition is the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among those to whom it may belong (Cruz vs. CA, 456 SCRA 165).  It presupposes the existence of a co-ownership over a property between two or more persons. The rule allowing partition originates from a well-known principle embodied in the Civil Code, that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain the co-ownership. Because of this rule, he may demand at any time the partition of the property owned in common (Art. 494).

(2)     Instances when a co-owner may not demand partition at any time:

(a)     There is an agreement among the co-owners to keep the property undivided for a certain period of time but not exceeding ten years (Arft. 494);

(b)     When partition is prohibited by the donor or testator for a period not exceeding 20 years (Art. 494);

(c)     When partition is prohibited by law (Art. 494);

(d)     When the property is not subject to a physical division and to do so would render it unserviceable for the use for which it is intended (Art. 495);

(e)     When the condition imposed upon voluntary heirs before they can demand partition has not yet been fulfilled (Art. 1084).

 

Who may file complaint; Who should be made defendants

(1)     The action shall be brought by the person who has a right to compel the partition of real estate (Sec. 1) or of an estate composed of personal property, or both real and personal property (Sec. 13). The plaintiff is a person who is supposed to be a co-owner of the property or estate sought to be partitioned. The defendants are all the co-owners. All the co-owners must be joined. Accordingly, an action will not lie without the joinder of all co-owners and other persons having interest in the property (Reyes vs. Cordero, 46 Phil. 658). All the co-owners, therefore, are indispensable parties.

Matters to allege in the complaint for partition

(1)     The plaintiff shall state in his complaint, the nature and extent of his title, an adequate description of the real estate of which partition is demanded, and shall join as defendants all other persons interested in the property (Sec. 1). He must also include a demand for the accounting of the rents, profits and other income from the property which he may be entitled to (Sec. 8). These cannot be demanded in another action because they are parts of the cause of action for partition. They will be barred if not set up in the same action pursuant to the rule against splitting a single cause of action.

Two (2) stages in every action for partition

(1)     A reading of the Rules will reveal that there are actually three (3) stages in the action, each of which could be the subject of appeal: (a) the order of partition where the property of the partition is determined; (b) the judgment as to the accounting of the fruits and income of the property; and (c) the judgment of partition (Riano, Civil Procedure (A Restatement for the Bar), 2007).

Order of partition and partition by agreement

(1)     During the trial, the court shall determine whether or not the plaintiff is truly a co-owner of the property, that there is indeed a co-ownership among the parties, and that a partition is not legally proscribed thus may be allowed. If the court so finds that the facts are such that a partition would be in order, and that the plaintiff has a right to demand partition, the court will issue an order of partition.

(2)     The court shall order the partition of the property among all the parties in interest, if after trial it finds that the plaintiff has the right to partition (Sec. 2). It was held that this order of partition including an order directing an accounting is final and not interlocutory and hence, appealable; thus, revoking previous contrary rulings on the matter. A final order decreeing partition and accounting may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby.

(3)     Partition by agreement. The order of partition is one that directs the parties or co-owners to partition the property and the parties may make the partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, if they agree among themselves. If they do agree, the court shall then confirm the partition so agreed upon by all of the parties, and such partition, together with the order of the court confirming the same, shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the place in which the property is situated (Sec. 2). There always exists the possibility that the co-owners are unable to agree on the partition. If they cannot partition the property among themselves, the next stage in the action will follow, the appointment of commissioners.

 

Partition by commissioners; Appointment of commissioners, Commissioner’s report; Court action upon commissioner’s report

Sec. 3. Commissioners to make partition when parties fail to agree. — If the parties are unable to agree upon the partition, the court shall appoint not more than three (3) competent and disinterested persons as commissioners to make the partition, commanding them to set off to the plaintiff and to each party in interest such part and proportion of the property as the court shall direct.

Sec. 4. Oath and duties of commissioners. — Before making such partition, the commissioners shall take and subscribe an oath that they will faithfully perform their duties as commissioners, which oath shall be filed in court with the other proceedings in the case. In making the partition, the commissioners shall view and examine the real estate, after due notice to the parties to attend at such view and examination, and shall hear the parties as to their preference in the portion of the property to be set apart to them and the comparative value thereof, and shall set apart the same to the parties in lots or parcels as will be most advantageous and equitable, having due regard to the improvements, situation and quality of the different parts thereof.

Sec. 5. Assignment or sale of real estate by commissioners. — When it is made to appear to the commissioners that the real estate, or a portion thereof, cannot be divided without prejudice to the interests of the parties, the court may order it assigned to one of the parties willing to take the same, provided he pays to the other parties such amounts as the commissioners deem equitable, unless one of the interested parties asks that the property be sold instead of being so assigned, in which case the court shall order the commissioners to sell the real estate at public sale under such conditions and within such time as the court may determine.

Sec. 6. Report of commissioners; proceedings not binding until confirmed. — The commissioners shall make a full and accurate report to the court of all their proceedings as to the partition, or the assignment of real estate to one of the parties, or the sale of the same. Upon the filing of such report, the clerk of court shall serve copies thereof on all the interested parties with notice that they are allowed ten (10) days within which to file objections to the findings of the report, if they so desire. No proceeding had before or conducted by the commissioners shall pass the title to the property or bind the parties until the court shall have accepted the report of the commissioners and rendered judgment thereon.

Sec. 7. Action of the court upon commissioners’ report. — Upon the expiration of the period of ten (10) days referred to in the preceding section, or even before the expiration of such period but after the interested parties have filed their objections to the report or their statement of agreement therewith, the court may, upon hearing, accept the report and render judgment in accordance therewith; or, for cause shown, recommit the same to the commissioners for further report of facts; or set aside the report and appoint new commissioners; or accept the report in part and reject it in part; and may make such order and render such judgment as shall effectuate a fair and just partition of the real estate, or of its value, if assigned or sold as above provided, between the several owners thereof.

 

Judgment and its effects

(1)     The judgment shall state definitely, by metes and bounds and adequate description, the particular portion of the real estate assigned to each party, the effect of the judgment shall be to vest in each party to the action in severalty the portion of the real estate assigned to him.

(2)     If the whole property is assigned to one of the parties upon his paying to the others the sum or sums ordered by the court, the judgment shall state the fact of such payment and of the assignment of the real estate to the party making the payment, and the effect of the judgment shall be to vest in the party making the payment the whole of the real estate free from any interest on the part of the other parties to the action.

(3)     If the property is sold and the sale confirmed by the court, the judgment shall state the name of the purchaser or purchasers and a definite description of the parcels of real estate sold to each purchaser, and the effect of the judgment shall be to vest the real estate in the purchaser or purchasers making the payment or payments, free from the claims of any of the parties to the action.

(4)     A certified copy of the judgment shall in either case be recorded in the registry of deeds of the place in which the real estate is situated, and the expenses of such recording shall be taxed as part of the costs of the action (Sec. 11).

 

Partition of personal property

(1)     The provisions of this Rule shall apply to partitions of estates composed of personal property, or of both real and personal property, in so far as the same may be applicable (Sec. 13).

 

Prescription of action

(1)     Prescription of action does not run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owner or co-heirs as long as there is a recognition of the co-ownership expressly or impliedly (Art. 494).

(2)     The action for partition cannot be barred by prescription as long as the co-ownership exists (Aguirre vs. CA, 421 SCRA 310).

(3)     But while the action to demand partition of a co-owned property does not prescribe, a co-owner may acquire ownership thereof by prescription where there exists a clear repudiation of the co-ownership and the co-owners are apprised of the claim of adverse and exclusive ownership.

 

Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer (Rule 70)

(1)     The actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer belong to the class of actions known by the generic name accion interdictal (ejectment) where the issue is the right of physical or material possession of the subject real property independent of any claim of ownership by the parties involved (Mendoza vs. CA, 452 SCRA 117 [2005]).

(2)     Accion Interdictal comprises two distinct causes of action:

(a)     Forcible entry (detentacion), where one is deprived of physical possession of real property by means of force, intimidation, strategy, threats or stealth;

(b)     Unlawful Detainer (desahuico), where one illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied.

 

Definitions and Distinction

Forcible Entry

Unlawful Detainer

The possession of the defendant is unlawful from the beginning; issue is which party has prior de facto possession; The possession of the defendant is lawful from the beginning becomes illegal by reason of the expiration or termination of his right to the possession of the property;
The law does not require previous demand for the defendant to vacate; Plaintiff must first make such demand which is jurisdictional in nature;
The plaintiff must prove that he was in prior physical possession of the premises until he was deprived by the defendant; and The plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession;
The one year period is generally counted from the date of actual entry on the property. The one-year period is counted from the date of last demand.

 

 

Distinguished from accion publiciana and accion reinvindicatoria

Accion Publiciana

Accion Reinvindicatoria

A plenary ordinary civil action for the recovery of the better right of possession (juridical possession), must be filed after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. In other words, if at the time of the filing of the complaint more than one year had elapsed since defendant had turned plaintiff out of possession or defendant’s possession had become illegal, the action will be not one of forcible entry or unlawful detainer but an accion publiciana (Valdez vs, CA, GR 132424, May 2, 2006). An action for the recovery of the exercise of ownership, particularly recovery of possession as an attribute or incident of ownership;
The basis of the recovery of possession is the plaintiff’s real right of possession or jus possessionis, which is the right to the possession of the real property independent of ownership. The basis for the recovery of possession is ownership itself.

 

 

How to determine jurisdiction in accion publiciana and accion reinvindicatoria

(1)     The actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the MTC, MeTC and MCTC (Sec. 33[2], BP 129; RA 7691) and shall be governed by the rules on summary procedure irrespective of the amount of damages or rental sought to be recovered (Sec. 3, Rule 70).

(2)     In actions for forcible entry, two allegations are mandatory for the MTC to acquire jurisdiction: (a) plaintiff must allege his prior physical possession of the property; and (b) he must also allege that he was deprived of his possession by force, intimidation, strategy, threat or stealth. If the alleged dispossession did not occur by any of these means, the proper recourse is to file not an action for forcible entry but a plenary action to recover possession (Benguet Corp. Cordillera Caraballo Mission, GR 155343, Sept. 2, 2005).

(3)     Both actions must be brought within one year from the date of actual entry on the land, in case of forcible entry, and from the date of last demand, in case of unlawful detainer (Valdez vs. CA, GR 132424, May 2, 2006).

(4)     Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations of the complaint. The mere raising of the issue of tenancy does not automatically divest the court of jurisdiction because the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the allegations of the complaint and is not dependent upon the defenses set up by the defendant (Marino, Jr. vs. Alamis, 450 SCRA 198 [2005]).

 

Who may institute the action and when; against whom the action may be maintained

(1)     Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding section, a person deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs (Sec. 1).

(2)     Unless otherwise stipulated, such action by the lessor shall be commenced only after demand to pay or comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee, or by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no person be found thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith after fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the case of buildings (Sec. 2).

 

Pleadings allowed

(1)     The only pleadings allowed to be filed are the complaint, compulsory counterclaim and cross-claim pleaded in the answer, and the answers thereto. All pleadings shall be verified (Sec. 4).

 

Action on the complaint

(1)     The court may, from an examination of the allegations in the complaint and such evidence as may be attached thereto, dismiss the case outright on any of the grounds for the dismissal of a civil action which are apparent therein. If no ground for dismissal is found, it shall forthwith issue summons (Sec. 5).

 

When demand is necessary

(1)     Unless there exists a stipulation to the contrary, an unlawful detainer case shall be commenced only after the demand to pay or comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee (Sec. 2). The requirement for a demand implies that the mere failure of the occupant to pay rentals or his failure to comply with the conditions of the lease does not ipso facto render his possession of the premises unlawful. It is the failure to comply with the demand that vests upon the lessor a cause of action.

(2)     The demand may be in the form of a written notice served upon the person found in the premises. The demand may also be made by posting a written notice on the premises if no person can be found thereon (Sec. 2). It has been ruled, however, that the demand upon a tenant may be oral (Jakihaca vs. Aquino, 181 SCRA 67). Sufficient evidence must be adduced to show that there was indeed a demand like testimonies from disinterested and unbiased witnesses.

 

Preliminary injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction

(1)     The court may grant preliminary injunction, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 58, to prevent the defendant from committing further acts of dispossession against the plaintiff. A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry or unlawful detainer may, within five (5) days from the filing of the complaint, present a motion in the action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof (Sec. 15).

 

Resolving defense of ownership

(1)     The assertion by the defendant of ownership over the disputed property does not serve to divest the inferior court of its jurisdiction. The defendant cannot deprive the court of jurisdiction by merely claiming ownership of the property involved (Rural Bank of Sta. Ignacia vs. Dimatulac, 401 SCRA 742; Perez vs. Cruz, 404 SCRA 487). If the defendant raises the question of ownership and the issue of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the question of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession (Sec. 3, RA 7691).

(2)     When the defendant raises the issue of ownership, the court may resolve the issue of ownership only under the following conditions:

(a)     When the issue of possession cannot be resolved without resolving the issue of ownership; and

(b)     The issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession (Sec. 16).

Such judgment would not bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building. The resolution of the MeTC on the ownership of the property is merely provisional or interlocutory. Any question involving the issue of ownership should be raised and resolved in a separate action brought specifically to settle the question with finality (Roberts vs. Papio, GR 166714, Feb. 9, 2007).

 

How to stay the immediate execution of judgment

(1)     Defendant must take the following steps to stay the execution of the judgment:

(a)     Perfect an appeal;

(b)     File a supersedeas bond to pay for the rents, damages and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from; and

(c)     Deposit periodically with the RTC, during the pendency of the appeal, the adjudged amount of rent due under the contract or if there be no contract, the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the premises (Sec. 19).

(2)     Exceptions to the rule:

(a)     Where delay in the deposit is due to fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence;

(b)     Where supervening events occur subsequent to the judgment bringing about a material change in the situation of the parties which makes execution inequitable; and

(c)     Where there is no compelling urgency for the execution because it is not justified by the circumstances.

 

Summary procedure, prohibited pleadings

(1)     Forcible entry and unlawful detainer actions are summary in nature designed to provide for an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or the right to possession of the property involved (Tubiano vs. Riazo, 335 SCRA 531). These action shall both fall under the coverage of the Rules of Summary Procedure irrespective of the amount of damages or unpaid rental sought to be recovered (Sec. 3).

(2)     Prohibited pleadings and motions:

(a)     Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or failure to comply with section 12;

(b)     Motion for a bill of particulars;

(c)     Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;

(d)     Petition for relief from judgment;

(e)     Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;

(f)      Memoranda;

(g)     Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;

(h)     Motion to declare the defendant in default;

(i)       Dilatory motions for postponement;

(j)       Reply;

(k)     Third-party complaints;

(l)       Interventions

 

Contempt (Rule 71)

(1)     Contempt is a disregard of, or disobedience to the rules or orders of a judicial body, or an interruption of its proceedings by disorderly behavior or insolent language, in its presence or so near thereto as to disturb the proceedings or to impair the respect due to such body (17 C.J.S. 4).

(2)     Contempt of court is disobedience to the court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice and dignity. It signifies not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the court’s orders but also conduct tending to bring the authority of the court and the administration of law into disrepute or, in some manner to impede the due administration of justice (Siy vs. NLRC, GR 158971, Ausg. 25, 2005).

(3)     The reason for the power to punish for contempt is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of their institution. Without such guarantee, said institution would be resting on shaky foundation (Cornejo vs.Tan, 85 Phil. 772).

(4)     It is inherent in all courts; its existence is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to the enforcement of judgments, orders and mandates of the courts, and consequently, to the due administration of justice (Perkins vs. Director of Prisons, 58 Phil. 271).

(5)     Contempt proceedings has dual function:

(a)     Vindication of public interest by punishment of contemptuous conduct; and

(b)     Coercion to compel the contemnor to do what the law requires him to uphold the power of the Court, and also to secure the rights of the parties to a suit awarded by the Court (Regalado vs. Go, GR 167988, Feb. 6, 2007).

 

Kinds of contempt; Purpose and nature of each

(1)     Civil or Criminal, depending on the nature and effect of the contemptuous act.

(2)     Direct or indirect, according to the manner of commission.

Civil Contempt

Criminal Contempt

It is the failure to do something ordered to be done by a court or a judge for the benefit of the opposing party therein and is therefore and offense against the party in whose behalf the violated order was made; It is a conduct directed against the authority and dignity of the court or a judge acting judicially; it is an obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect;
The purpose is to compensate for the benefit of a party; The purpose is to punish, to vindicate the authority of the court and protect its outraged dignity;
The rules of procedure governing contempt proceedings or criminal prosecutions ordinarily are inapplicable to civil contempt proceedings. Should be conducted in accordance with the principles and rules applicable to criminal cases, insofar as such procedure is consistent with the summary nature of contempt proceedings.

 

Direct Contempt

Indirect Contempt

In general is committed in the presence of or so near the court or judge as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before it; It is not committed in the presence of the court, but done at a distance which tends to belittle, degrade, obstruct or embarrass the court and justice;
Acts constituting direct contempt are:

a)    Misbehavior in the presence of or so near the court as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before it;

b)    Disrespect toward the court;

c)    Offensive personalities towards others;

d)    Refusal to be sworn as a witness or to answer as a witness;

e)    Refusal to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so (Sec. 1);

f)     Acts of a party or a counsel which constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping (Sec. 1, Rule 7);

g)    Unfounded accusations or allegations or words in a pleading tending to embarrass the court or to bring it into disrepute (Re: Letter dated 21 Feb. 2005 of Atty. Noel Sorreda, 464 SCRA 32);

Acts constituting indirect contempt are:

(a)  Misbehavior an officer of a court in the performance of his official duties or in his official transactions;

 (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto;

(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this Rule;

(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;

(e)   Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without authority;

(f)    Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;

(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him (Sec. 3);

 

 

Remedy against direct contempt; penalty

(1)     The penalty for direct contempt depends upon the court which the act was committed;

(a)     If the act constituting direct contempt was committed against an RTC or a court of equivalent or higher rank, the penalty is a fine not exceeding 2,000 pesos or imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or both;

(b)     If the act constituting direct contempt was committed against a lower court, the penalty is a fine not exceeding 200 pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) day, or both (Sec. 1)’;

(c)     If the contempt consists in the refusal or omission to do an act which is yet within the power of the respondent to perform, he may be imprisoned by order of the court concerned until he performs it (Sec. 8).

(2)     A person adjudged in direct contempt may not appeal therefrom. His remedy is a petition for certiorari or prohibition directed against the court which adjudged him in direct contempt (Sec. 2). Pending the resolution of the petition for certiorari or prohibition, the execution of the judgment for direct contempt shall be suspended. The suspension however shall take place only if the person adjudged in contempt files a bond fixed by the court which rendered the judgment. This bond is conditioned upon his performance of the judgment should the petition be decided against him.

 

Remedy against indirect contempt; penalty

(1)     The punishment for indirect contempt depends upon the level of the court against which the act was committed;

(a)     Where the act was committed against an RTC or a court of equivalent or higher rank, he may be punished by a fine not exceeding 30,000 pesos or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or both;

(b)     Where the act was committed against a lower court, he may be punished by a fine not exceeding 5,000 pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one month, or both. Aside from the applicable penalties, if the contempt consists in the violation of a writ of injunction, TRO or status quo order, he may also be ordered to make complete restitution to the party injured by such violation of the property involved or such amount as may be alleged and proved (Sec. 7);

(c)     Where the act was committed against a person or entity exercising quasi-judicial functions, the penalty imposed shall depend upon the provisions of the law which authorizes a penalty for contempt against such persons or entities.

(2)     The person adjudged in indirect contempt may appeal from the judgment or final order of the court in the same manner as in criminal cases. The appeal will not however have the effect of suspending the judgment if the person adjudged in contempt does not file a bond in an amount fixed by the court from which the appeal is taken. This bond is conditioned upon his performance of the judgment or final order if the appeal is decided against (Sec. 11).

 

How contempt proceedings are commenced

(1)     Proceedings for indirect contempt may be initiated motu proprio by the court against which the contempt was committed by an order or any other formal charge requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt.

In all other cases, charges for indirect contempt shall be commenced by a verified petition with supporting particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers involved therein, and upon full compliance with the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings for civil actions in the court concerned. If the contempt charges arose out of or are related to a principal action pending in the court, the petition for contempt shall allege that fact but said petition shall be docketed, heard and decided separately, unless the court in its discretion orders the consolidation of the contempt charge and the principal action for joint hearing and decision (Sec. 4).

Acts deemed punishable as indirect contempt

(1)     After a charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt:

(b)     Misbehavior an officer of a court in the performance of his official duties or in his official transactions;

 (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto;

(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this Rule;

(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;

(e)   Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without authority;

(f)    Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;

(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him (Sec. 3).

(2) Failure by counsel to inform the court of the death of his client constitutes indirect contempt within the purview of Sec. 3, Rule 71, since it constitutes an improper conduct tending to impede the administration of justice.

When imprisonment shall be imposed

(1)     When the contempt consists in the refusal or omission to do an act which is yet in the power of the respondent to perform, he may be imprisoned by order of the court concerned until he performs it (Sec. 8). Indefinite incarceration may be resorted to where the attendant circumstances are such that the non-compliance with the court order is an utter disregard of the authority of the court which has then no other recourse but to use its coercive power. When a person or party is legally and validly required by a court to appear before it for a certain purpose, and when that requirement is disobeyed, the only remedy left for the court is to use force to bring the person or party before it.

(2)     The punishment is imposed for the benefit of a complainant or a party to a suit who has been injured aside from the need to compel performance of the orders or decrees of the court, which the contemnor refuses to obey although able to do so. In effect, it is within the power of the person adjudged guilty of contempt to set himself free.

 

Contempt against quasi-judicial bodies

 (1)     The rules on contempt apply to contempt committed against persons or entities exercising quasi-judicial functions or in case there are rules for contempt adopted for such bodies or entities pursuant to law, Rule 71 shall apply suppletorily (Sec. 12).

(2)     Quasi-judicial bodies that have the power to cite persons for indirect contempt can only do so by initiating them in the proper RTC. It is not within their jurisdiction and competence to decide the indirect contempt cases. The RTC of the place where contempt has been committed shall have jurisdiction over the charges for indirect contempt that may be filed (Sec. 12).

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Responses

  1. sir, your discussion on the subject matter is very useful.

  2. Thank you.. God speed.


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