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Adrian Dela Paz vs CA

FACTS:
-Petitioner(Pet)-holder of a letter of patent issued by the Patent Office for
his alleged
invention(Coco-diesel fuel for diesel engines and
its manufacture)
-filed complaint-RTC-infringement of patent with compensation
and
damages against the respondents.
-amount of damages were not mentioned in the complaint
-at the hearing-Pet estimated the yearly royalty due him from
respondents to be approximately P236,572,350.00.
-Respondents(Resp)-at the hearing-discovered that Pet paid only P252.00
as filing fee
based on his claim for attys fees in the
sum of P200K.
-orally moved for dismissal of the complaint FOR FAILURE
OF PET.
TO PAY THE CORRECT FILING FEE
-TC-denied Resps Motion to Dismiss and order Pet. to pay the correct filing
fee in the sum of P945,636.90 computed at P4.00 per P1K in excess of the 1 st
P150K based on P236,572,350.00, the amount Pet. Seeks to recover.
-Pet-filed MR
-TC-allowed the Pet. to pay the required additional docket fee after the
termination of the case, to be deducted from whatever judgment in damages
shall be awarded by the Court.
-CA- ruled that filing fees are required to be paid in order for the Court to
acquire
jurisdiction over the case.
-Pet-hence, during the pendency of the case, filed application as pauper
litigant to lessen the docket fee, he also
filed an
amended complaint
reducing his claims and file
(again)a 2nd amended complaint
with
leave of court, the reason behind this is that the Pet. was trying to
accommodate his finances for payment of prescribed docket fees.
-CA- Denied the motion to litigate as pauper
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner may have the right to amend his
complaint to accommodate his finances for payment of prescribed docket
fees.
HELD:
Yes.

It appears that petitioner, during the pendency of his motion to litigate as a pauper, has
continuously paid additional sums for the prescribed docket fees amounting to at least
P50,000.00, almost equivalent to his annual gross income of P56,271.24. Clearly, the
subsequent amendments of his complaint were done for no other reason than to
accommodate his finances. Hence, while petitioners manner of paying the docket fees in
installments should normally be disallowed, it would be more unfair for this Court to
sanction respondents conduct of prolonging the proceedings of the case in a patent design
to wear out the petitioner before conveniently raising the issue of prescription. Equity
demands that procedural rules be relaxed considering the peculiar circumstances availing
in the case at bar. It would be grossly unjust if petitioners claim against respondents, who
have allegedly reaped the profits of his lifetime work, would be dismissed for the sole

reason that his finances are not sufficient to allow him to file his claim.
-SC-Reversed the CAs decision