Posted by: Elmer Brabante | September 30, 2009

Remedial Law Reviewer: Fundamental Concepts


I.       FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS 

REMEDIAL LAW is that branch of law which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtaining redress for their invasion [Bustos vs. Lucero, 81 Phil. 640].  It is also known as Adjective Law. 

SUBSTANTIVE LAW is one which creates, defines, and regulates rights. 

PROCEDURE is the method of conducting a judicial proceeding.  It includes whatever is embraced in the technical terms, pleadings, practice, and evidence.  It is the means by which the power or authority of a court to hear and decide a class of cases is put to action [Manila Railroad vs. Atty. General, 20 Phil. 523]

JURISDICTION is the power to hear and decide cases [Herrera vs. Baretto & Joaquin, 25 Phil. 245].  It is the power with which courts are invested with the power of administering justice, that is, for hearing and deciding cases.  In order for the court to have authority to dispose of a case on the merits, it must acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties [Republic Planters Bank vs. Molina, 166 SCRA 39]

JURISDICTION

VENUE

The authority to hear and determine a case The place where the case is to be heard or tried
A matter of substantive law A matter of procedural law
Establishes a relation between the court and the subject matter Establishes a relation between plaintiff and defendant, or petitioner and respondent
Fixed by law and cannot be conferred by the parties May be conferred by the act or agreement of the parties

PRINCIPLE OF THE EXERCISE OF EQUITY JURISDICTION is a situation where the court is called upon to decide a particular situation and release the parties from their correlative obligations but if it would result in adverse consequences to the parties and the public, the court would go beyond its power to avoid negative consequences in the release of the parties [Agne vs. Director of Lands, 181 SCRA 793; Naga Telephone Co. vs. CA, 48 SCAD 539]

ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION: 

(1) Jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the case (2) Jurisdiction over the parties (3) Jurisdiction over the res
It is conferred by law (BP 129), and does not depend on the objection or the acts or omissions of the parties or anyone of them [Republic vs. Sangalang, 159 SCRA 515].

 

It is not waivable, except in cases of estoppel to question or raise jurisdiction [Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA 29].

It is determined upon the allegations made in the complaint, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled or not, to recover upon the claim asserted therein, a matter resolved only after and as a result of the trial.

Jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff is acquired by the filing of the initiatory pleading, like a complaint.

 

Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired by the proper service of summons, or by his voluntary appearance in court and his submission to the authority of the court [Paramount Industries vs. Luna, 148 SCRA 564].

 

It is acquired by the seizure of the thing under legal process whereby it is brought into actual custody of law, or it may result from the institution of a legal proceeding wherein the power of the court over the thing is recognized and made effective [Banco-Español Filipino vs. Palanca, 37 Phil. 291].

  ELEMENTS OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION: 

(1) Territorial jurisdiction (2) Jurisdiction over the subject matter (3) Jurisdiction over the person of the accused
It is determined by the geographical area over which a court presides, and the fact that the crime was committed, or any of its essential ingredients took place within said area [US vs. Jueves, 23 Phil. 100]. It is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information in accordance with the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of its commission [US vs. Mallari, 24 Phil. 366]. It is acquired by the voluntary appearance or surrender of the accused or by his arrest [Choc vs. Vera, 64 Phil. 1066].

INSTANCES WHEN A COURT MAY LOSE JURISDICTION EVEN IF IT HAS BEEN ATTACHED TO IT: 

1 When a subsequent law provides a prohibition for the continued exercise of jurisdiction [Rilloraza vs. Arciaga, 21 SCRA 717].
2 Where the law penalizing an act which is punishable is repealed by a subsequent law.  The reason is that, the State loses the power to prosecute when the law is repealed, hence, the court has no more power to decide [People vs. Pastor, 77 Phil. 1000].
3 When accused is deprived of his constitutional right such as where the court fails to provide counsel for the accused who is unable to obtain one and does not intelligently waive his constitutional right [Chavez vs. CA, 24 SCRA 663].
4 When the proceeding s in the court acquiring jurisdiction is terminated, abandoned or declared void [Seven vs. Pichay, 108 Phil. 419].
5 When the statute expressly provides, or is construed to the effect that it intended to operate as to actions pending before its enactment [Bengzon vs. Inciong, 91 SCRA 284].
6 Once appeal has been perfected [Alma vs. Abbas, 18 SCRA 836].
7 When the law is curative [Garcia vs. Martinez, 90 SCRA 331].

DOCTRINE OF JUDICIAL STABILITY:  Should one branch be permitted to equally assert, assume, or retain jurisdiction over a case in controversy over which another coordinate or co-equal branch has already assumed jurisdiction, then that would be sanctioning undue interference by one branch over another.  With that, judicial stability would be meaningless precept in a well-ordered administration of justice [Parcon vs. CA, 111 SCRA 262].

JURISDICTION OF METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS: 

  1. Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and
  2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of the kind, nature, value or amount therof; provided, however, that in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof. [Sec. 2, RA 7691]. 

JURISDICTION OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS (RTC): 

  1. In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;
  2. In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds P20,000, or for civil actions in Metro Manila where such value exceeds P50,000 except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the MeTC, MTC, and MCTC;
  3. In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claim exceeds P200,00, or in Metro Manila where such demand or claim exceeds P400,00;
  4. In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds P200,00 or probate mattes in Metro Manila where such value exceeds P400,000;
  5. In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations;
  6. In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising juridicial or quasi-judicial functions;
  7. In all civil actions and civil proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Court of Agrarian Relations as now provided by law; and
  8. In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest and damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and cost or the value of the property in controversy exceeds P200,000, or in such other cases in Metro Manila where the demand, exclusive of the above-mentioned items exceeds P400,000. 

JURISDICTION OF COURT OF APPEALS (CA): 

  1. Original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction;
  2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of RTCs;
  3. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, or awards of RTCs  and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards, or omissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1948;
  4. The CA shall have the power to receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in (a) cases falling within its original jurisdiction, such as actions for annulment of judgments of RTCs, (b) cases falling within its appellate jurisdiction where a motion for new trial based only on newly discovered evidence is granted by it. 

JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT (SC): 

  1. Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and other petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.
  2. All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law, which shall be heard by the SC en banc, and all other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be heard en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of the majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues in the case and voted thereon;
  3. Cases on matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and in no case, without the concurrence of at least three of such Members.
  4. The Supreme Court has the power to:

(a)    exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus;

(b)    review, revise, reverse, modify, of affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(1)    all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulations is in question;

(2)    all cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto;

(3)    all cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue;

(4)    all criminal cases in which the penalty imposed in reclusive perpetua or higher;

(5)    all cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.

 CLASSES OF JURISDICTION: 

General – power to adjudicate all controversies except those expressly withheld from the plenary powers of the court.

Special or Limited – restricts the courts jurisdiction only to particular cases and subject to such limitations as may be provided by the governing law.

Original – power of the court to take judicial cognizance of a case instituted for judicial action for the first time under conditions provided by law.

Appellate – authority of a court higher in rank to re-examine the final order or judgment of a lower court which tried the case now elevated for judicial review.

Exclusive – power to adjudicate a case or proceeding to the exclusion of all other courts at that stage.

Concurrence/Confluent/Coordinate – power conferred upon different courts, whether of the same or different ranks, to take cognizance at the same stage of the same case in the same or different judicial territories.

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