Sei sulla pagina 1di 12

G.R. No.

97805, September 02, 1992


NILO H. RAYMUNDO, PETITIONER, VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS,
SIXTEENTH DIVISION, HON. JUDGE, RTC, BR. 133, MAKATI, METRO MANILA
AND GALERIA DE MAGALLANES ASSOCIATION, INC., RESPONDENTS.

D EC I S I O N
NOCON, J.:

FACTS:
on July 5, 1989, the administrator of the Galleria de Magallanes Condominium discovered that
petitioner Nilo Raymundo, who was an owner/occupant of Unit AB-122 of said condominium,
made an unauthorized installation of glasses at the balcony of his unit in violation of Article IV,
Section 3 paragraph (d) of the Master Deed and Declaration of Restrictions of the Association,
which states that:
d. Nothing shall be done or placed in any unit or in the common areas which is beyond or will
impair the structural strength of the buildings or alter the original architecture, appearance and
specifications of the building, including the external facade thereof.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ASSOCIATION


Thereafter, the administrator of said condominium reported said violation to the Board of
Directors of the private respondent Galleria de Magallanes Association, Inc. in a special meeting
held on July 8,1989 and the former sent a letter dated July 12, 1989 to the petitioner demanding
the latter to remove the illegal and unauthorized installation of glasses at his unit.
Petitioner refused, consequently, private respondent filed a complaint for mandatory injunction
against petitioner on February 21, 1990 with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 133 in
Civil Case No. 90-490.
on March 23, 1990, instead of an Answer, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss with the trial
court on the ground that said court has no jurisdiction over the present case since a complaint for
mandatory injunction is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial
Court.

DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:


*Regional Trial Court - Makati: denied the Motion to Dismiss on account of lack of jurisdiction,
citing Section 21 of BP 129:
"Original jurisdiction in other cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction:
(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus
and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions; and
(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls."
*RTC -Makati (Motion for reconsideration): denied.
*Court of Appeals: dismissed petitioner's petition for certiorari and prohibition
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with restraining order and preliminary injunction
to annul and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 11, 1991.

ISSUE:
Which court has jurisdiction over the case considering that private respondent's sole pecuniary
claim of P10,000.00 as attorney's fees in Civil Case No. 90-490 is within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Court as provided for under Section 33 of B.P.

1
129?

RULING:
1. The RTC has jurisdiction since Sec 19 and 21 of BP 129 applies:
"Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction:
(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;
Sec. 21. Original Jurisdiction in other cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise original
jurisdiction:
(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus
and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions;
Private respondent's complaint is an action to compel the petitioner to remove the illegal and
unauthorized installation of glasses at Unit AB-122 of the condominium which is not capable of
pecuniary estimation and falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court.

2. ATTORNEY'S FEES IS ONLY INCIDENTAL TO THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE OF ACTION


-- removal of the illegal & unauthorized installation of the glasses made by the petitioner. the
question for resolution is whether or not the petitioner violated the provisions of the Master Deed
and Declaration of Restriction of the corporation, and if so, to remove the illegal and
unauthorized installation of glasses at Unit AB-122 of the Condominium. Clearly, the issue is
incapable of pecuniary estimation.

In the instant case, the claim of attorney's fees by the private respondent in the amount of
P10,000.00 is only incidental to its principal cause of action which is for the removal of the
illegal and unauthorized installation of the glasses made by the petitioner and therefore, said
amount is not determinative of the jurisdiction of the court.

3. THE COMPLAINT IS NOT MANDATORY INJUNCTION, IT IS MERELY A


PROVISIONAL REMEDY. Note should be taken, however, that the trial court had erroneously
considered the complaint as one for mandatory injunction, misled perhaps by the caption of the
complaint.
A writ for mandatory injunction is a provisional remedy. It is provisional because it constitutes a
temporary measure availed of during the pendency of the main action and it is ancillary because
it is a mere incident in and is dependent upon the result of the main action.

DISPOSITIVE:
Petition for certiorari & prohibition dismissed.

NOTE:
In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal
action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is
considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts
[now municipal trial courts] or in the courts of first instance [now regional trial courts] would
depend on the amount of the claim.
However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, or
where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought,

2
this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be
estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance [now
regional trial courts].

De Leon vs Court of Appeals, 287 SCRA 94; GR No. 104796, March 6, 1998

(Civil Procedure Jurisdiction, Civil action not capable of pecuniary estimation, Docket Fees)

Facts: Private respondents filed in the RTC of Quezon City a complaint for annulment or rescission of a
contract of sale of two parcels of land against petitioners. Private respondents paid the docket fee of a
flat rate of P400.00 as provided in Rule 141, par 7 (b)(1) of the Rules of Court.

Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction by the trial
court by reason of private respondents non-payment of the correct amount of docket fees. Petitioners
argue that an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of real property is a real action and,
therefore, the amount of the docket fees to be paid by private respondent should be based either on the
assessed value of the property, subject matter of the action, or its estimated value as alleged in the
complaint, pursuant to the last paragraph of par 7(b) of Rule 141, as amended.

On the other hand, private respondents counter that an action for annulment or rescission of a contract
of sale of real property is incapable of pecuniary estimation and, so, the docket fees should be the fixed
amount of P400.00 in Rule 141, par 7(b)(1).

The trial court denied petitioners motion to dismiss but required private respondents to pay the amount
of docket fees based on the estimated value of the parcels of land in litigation as stated in the complaint.

The Court of Appeals held that an action for rescission or annulment of contract is not susceptible of
pecuniary estimation and, therefore, the docket fees should not be based on the value of the real
property, subject matter of the contract sought to be annulled or rescinded

Issue: WON in assessing the docket fees to be paid for the filing of an action for annulment or rescission
of a contract of sale, the value of the real property, should be used as basis.

Held: No. The action for annulment or rescission is considered as one which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation.

A review of the jurisprudence of this Court indicates that in determining whether an action is one the
subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this Court has adopted the criterion of
first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of
a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in
the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the
claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, or
where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, like in
suits to have the defendant perform his part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for
support, or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage, this Court has considered such

3
actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are
cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance.

Russel vs. Vestil, 304 SCRA 738; GR No. 119347, March 17, 1999

(Civil Procedures Jurisdiction; Civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of
pecuniary estimation)

Facts: Petitioners discovered a public document, which is a declaration of heirs and deed of confirmation
of a previous oral agreement, of partition, affecting the land executed by and among the respondents
whereby respondents divided the property among themselves to the exclusion of petitioners who are
entitled thereto as legal heirs also.

Petitioners filed a complaint, denominated DECLARATION OF NULLITY AND PARTITION against


defendants with the RTC claiming that the document was false and perjurious as the private
respondents were not the only heirs and that no oral partition of the property whatsoever had been
made between the heirs. The complaint prayed that the document be declared null and void and an
order be issued to partition the land among all the heirs.

Private respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over
the nature of the case as the total assessed value of the subject land is P5,000.00 which under section 33
(3) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the MTC.

Petitioners filed an Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss saying that the RTC has jurisdiction over the case
since the action is one which is incapable of pecuniary estimation within the contemplation of Section
19(l) of B.P. 129, as amended.

Issue: WON the RTC has jurisdiction over the nature of the civil case.

Held: Yes. The complaint filed before the Regional Trial Court is one incapable of pecuniary estimation
and therefore within the jurisdiction of said court.

In Singsong vs. Isabela Sawmill, the Supreme Court ruled that:

In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or
remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance
would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the
right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the
principal relief sought, this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation
may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance (now
Regional Trial Courts).

The main purpose of petitioners in filing the complaint is to declare null and void the document in
question. While the complaint also prays for the partition of the property, this is just incidental to the
main action, which is the declaration of nullity of the document above-described. It is axiomatic that

4
jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in
the complaint and the character of the relief sought, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all
or some of the claims asserted therein.

RODRIGO B. SUPENA, petitioner, vs. JUDGE ROSALIO G. DE LA ROSA, respondent.

DECISION

HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:

In his verified complaint dated June 16, 1993, Mr. Rodrigo B. Supena, President of Mortgagee BPI
Agricultural Development Bank (BAID, for short), charges respondent Judge Rosalio G. de la Rosa with
gross ignorance of the law for issuing an unlawful Order, dated May 25, 1993, in Foreclosure Case No.
93-822, entitled, "BPI Agricultural Development Bank v. PQL Realty Incorporated." The Order in effect
held in abeyance the public auction sale set on May 26, 1993, per Notice of Extrajudicial Sale of one (1)
parcel of land, together with the building and all the improvements existing thereon, described and
covered by TCT No. 112644 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila, on the basis of a mere Ex-Parte Motion to
Hold Auction Sale in Abeyance filed by Mortgagor, PQL Realty Incorporated (PQL, for short).

The antecedent facts are as follows:

On April 1, 1993, mortgagee BAID decided to extrajudicially foreclose the Real Estate
Mortgage[1] executed by mortgagor PQL in the former's favor. Accordingly, BAID petitioned theEx-
Officio Sheriff of Manila to take the necessary steps for the foreclosure of the mortgaged property and its
sale to the highest bidder.

On April 21, 1993, Jesusa P. Maningas, the Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of Manila, issued a Notice
of Extrajudicial Sale, scheduling the public auction sale on May 26, 1993 at 10:00 o'clock a.m. in front of
the City Hall Building, Manila. Said notice was subsequently published in the People's Journal Tonight on
May 4, 11 and 19, 1993.

However, on May 25, 1993, or one day before the scheduled sale, the Hon. Rosalio G. de la Rosa, in his
capacity as Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, issued an Order holding in abeyance
the scheduled public auction sale, on the basis of a mere ex-parte motion filed by PQL, a copy of which
was received by mortgagee-complainant only on May 31, 1993. Complainant avers that, said order is, for
all practical intents and purposes, a restraining order for an indefinite period, issued without the proper
case being filed and without the benefit of notice and hearing, or even an injunction bond from which
the mortgagee may seek compensation and restitution for the damages it may suffer by reason of the
improper cancellation of the auction sale.

The only ground relied upon by the ex-parte Motion, "that the parties have agreed to hold the
foreclosure proceedings in Makati and not in Manila," is patently without merit, according to the
complainant, as the venue of foreclosure proceedings is fixed by law and cannot be subject of
stipulation. In sum, complainant submits that the actuations of respondent judge in granting the ex-
parte motion of mortgagor were without basis and highly suspicious.

5
Respondent, in his comment, maintains that he held in abeyance the extrajudicial foreclosure and sale of
the property mortgaged supposed to be held on May 26, 1993 and instead scheduled the same for
hearing on June 16, 1993 (which however did not transpire), to determine two issues: first, whether the
venue in Foreclosure Proceeding No. 93-822 was improperly laid in light of the stipulation in the "Loan
Agreement" duly entered into by both parties and acknowledged before a Notary Public which provides:

"14) VENUE OF ACTIONS Any action or suit brought under this Agreement or any other documents
related hereto shall be instituted in the proper Courts of Makati, Metro Manila, Republic of the
Philippines."[2]

and, secondly, in order to determine the veracity of the mortgagor's allegation that the Five Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) paid to BPI Agri-Bank last January, 1993 does not reflect and does not
appear to have been credited or deducted from the accounts of mortgagor. It was, allegedly, under the
principle of fair play, equity and substantial justice which compelled him to issue the Order dated May
25, 1993.[3]

We find the respondent judge culpable as charged.

Any judge, worthy of the robe he dons, or any lawyer, for that matter, worth his salt, ought to know that
different laws apply to different kinds of sales under our jurisdiction. We have three different types of
sales, namely: an ordinary execution sale, a judicial foreclosure sale, and an extrajudicial foreclosure
sale. An ordinary execution sale is governed by the pertinent provisions of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court
on Execution, Satisfaction and Effect of Judgments. Rule 68 of the Rules, captioned Foreclosure of
Mortgage, governs judicial foreclosure sales. On the other hand, Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No.
4118, otherwise known as "An Act to Regulate the Sale of Property under Special Powers Inserted in or
Annexed to Real Estate Mortgages," applies in cases of extrajudicial foreclosure sales of real estate
mortgages.[4]

The case at bench involves an extrajudicial foreclosure sale of a real estate mortgage executed by
mortgagor PQL in favor of mortgagee BAID. If the main concern of respondent judge in holding in
abeyance the auction sale in Manila scheduled on May 26, 1993 was to determine whether or not venue
of the execution sale was improperly laid, he would have easily been enlightened by referring to the
correct law, definitely not the Rules of Court, which is Act No. 3135, as amended particularly Sections 1
and 2, viz:

"SECTION 1. When a sale is made under a special power inserted in or attached to any real estate
mortgage hereafter made as security for the payment of money or the fulfillment of any other
obligation, the provisions of the following sections shall govern as to the manner in which the sale and
redemption shall be effected, whether or not provision for the same is made in the power.

SEC. 2. Said sale cannot be made legally outside of the province in which the property sold is
situated; and in case the place within said province in which the sale is to be made is the subject of
stipulation, such sale shall be made in said place or in the municipal building of the municipality in which
the property or part thereof is situated."

Here, the real property subject of the sale is situated in Felix Huertas Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila. [5] Thus, by
express provision of Section 2, the sale cannot be made outside of Manila. Moreover, were the intention
of the parties be considered with respect to venue in case the properties mortgaged be extrajudicially

6
foreclosed, they even unequivocably stipulated in the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage itself under
paragraph 15 that:

"xxx xxx xxx

It is hereby agreed that in case of foreclosure of this mortgage under Act 3135, as amended by Act 4118,
the auction sale, in case of properties situated in the province, shall be held at the capital thereof."[6]

Respondent judge, therefore, had no valid reason to entertain any doubt as to the propriety of the venue
of the auction sale in Manila. The law as well as the intention of the parties cannot be more emphatic in
this regard.

Respondent judge, however, refers to the venue stipulation in the Loan Agreement signed by the parties
to the effect that, "Any action or suit brought under this Agreement or any other documents related
hereto shall be instituted in the proper courts of Makati x x x." [7] And under the pertinent provisions of
Rule 4 of the Rules of Court on Venue of Actions, which provide:

"Sec. 2. Venue in Courts of First Instance (a) Real actions. Actions affecting title to, or for recovery of
possession, or partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of mortgage on, real property, shall be
commenced and tried in the province where the property or any part thereof lies.

Sec. 3. Venue by agreement. By written agreement of the parties the venue of an action may be changed
or transferred from one province to another."

venue of the auction sale should have been laid in Makati as mutually agreed upon by the parties.

Again, in this regard, we reiterate that the law in point here is Act No. 3135, as amended, which is a
special law, dealing particularly on extrajudicial foreclosure sales of real estate mortgages, and not the
general provisions of the Rules of Court on Venue of Actions. In fact, even Section 5, Rule 4, is quite
explicit in stating that:

"When rule not applicable. This rule shall not apply in those cases where a specific rule or law provides
otherwise."

The failure of respondent to recognize this is an utter display of ignorance of the law to which he swore
to maintain professional competence.[8] Furthermore, provisions quoted by respondent under Rule 4
pertains to the venue of actions, which an extrajudicial foreclosure is not. Section 1, Rule 2 defines
an action in this wise:

"Action means an ordinary suit in a court of justice, by which one party prosecutes another for the
enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong."

Hagans v. Wislizenus[9] does not depart from this definition when it states that "[A]n action is a formal
demand of one's legal rights in a court of justice in the manner prescribed by the court or by the law. x x
x." It is clear that the determinative or operative fact which converts a claim into an "action or suit" is the
filing of the same with a "court of justice." Filed elsewhere, as with some other body or office not a court
of justice, the claim may not be categorized under either term. [10] Unlike an action, an extrajudicial
foreclosure of real estate mortgage is initiated by filing a petition not with any court of justice but with
the office of the sheriff[11] of the province where the sale is to be made. By no stretch of the imagination
can the office of the sheriff come under the category of a court of justice. And as aptly observed by the

7
complainant, if ever the executive judge comes into the picture, it is only because he exercises
administrative supervision over the sheriff. But this administrative supervision, however, does not
change the fact that extrajudicial foreclosures are not judicial proceedings, actions or suits.

Granting arguendo that an extrajudicial foreclosure sale can be classified as an "action or suit" (which it
is not) and that the venue stipulation in the Loan Agreement would gain relevance, respondent judge still
committed a grievous error in holding the auction sale in abeyance due to improper laying of venue. We
again quote the subject stipulation for easy reference, to wit:

"14) VENUE OF ACTIONS Any action or suit brought under this Agreement or any other documents
related hereto shall be instituted in the proper Courts of Makati, Metro Manila, Republic of the
Philippines."

Written stipulations as to venue are either mandatory or permissive. In interpreting stipulations, inquiry
must be made as to whether or not the agreement is restrictive in the sense that the suit may be filed
only in the place agreed upon or merely permissive in that the parties may file their suits not only in the
place agreed upon but also in the places fixed by the rules. [12]

In Polytrade Corporation v. Blanco,[13] the stipulation on venue there involved read:

"The parties agree to sue and be sued in the Courts of Manila."

The Court, in ruling that venue had been properly laid in the then Court of First Instance of Bulacan (the
place of defendant's residence), said:

"x x x. An accurate reading, however, of the stipulation, 'The parties agree to sue and be sued in the
Courts of Manila,' does not preclude the filing of suits in the residence of plaintiff or defendant. The
plain meaning is that the parties merely consented to be sued in Manila. Qualifying or restrictive words
which would indicate that Manila and Manila alone is the venue are totally absent therefrom. We cannot
read into that clause that plaintiff and defendant bound themselves to file suits with respect to the last
two transactions in question only or exclusively in Manila. For, that agreement did not change or transfer
venue. It simply is permissive. The parties solely agreed to add the courts of Manila as tribunals to which
they may resort. They did not waive their right to pursue remedy in the courts specifically mentioned in
Section 2 (b) of Rule 4. Renuntiatio non praesumitur." [14]

In Lamis Ents. v. Lagamon,[15] the promissory note sued on had the following stipulation:

"In case of litigation, jurisdiction shall be vested in the Court of Davao City."

The collection suit was instituted in the then Court of First Instance of Tagum, Davao, where the
defendant resides, and not in Davao City as stipulated. We rejected the defense of improper venue and,
citing the case of Polytrade, therein held:

"x x x. Anent the claim that Davao City had been stipulated as the venue, suffice it to say that a
stipulation as to venue does not preclude the filing of suits in the residence of plaintiff or defendant
under Section 2 (b), Rule 4, Rules of Court, in the absence of qualifying or restrictive words in the
agreement which would indicate that the place named is the only venue agreed upon by the parties. The
stipulation did not deprive Maningo of his right to pursue remedy in the court specifically mentioned in
Section 2 (b)-of Rule 4, Rules of Court, Renuntiatio non praesumitur. x x x.[16]

8
In Western Minolco v. Court of Appeals,[17] the clause on venue read:

"The parties stipulate that the venue of the actions referred to in Section 12.01 [Article XII of the
Agreement] shall be in the City of Manila."

The initial action was commenced in the then Court of First Instance of Baguio and Benguet instead of
Manila. This Court took the occasion to reiterate once more the Polytradedoctrine:

"x x x. In any event, it is not entirely amiss to restate the doctrine that stipulations in a contract, which
specify a definite place for the institution of an action arising in connection therewith, do not, as a rule,
supersede the general rules on the matter set out in Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, but should be
construed merely as an agreement on an additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place. [18]

It is true that there have been early decisions of the Supreme Court inconsistent with the Polytrade line
of cases, notably Bautista v. de Borja.[19] and Hoechst Philippines, Inc. v. Torres.[20] However, Lamis
Enterprises and Western Minolco followed by Moles v. Intermediate Appellate Court,[21] Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation v. Sherman,[22] Nasser v. Court of Appeals,[23] and Surigao Century Sawmill
Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals[24] settled the matter by treading the path blazed by Polytrade. Hence, the
inevitable conclusion to be drawn, which respondent judge should have appreciated and followed, is
that Bautista and Hoechst Philippines have been rendered obsolete by the Polytrade line of
cases. Needless to say, the more recent jurisprudence shall be deemed modificatory of the old
ones. Restating the settled rule, therefore, as belabored by this Court in Philippine Banking Corporation
v. Tensuan,[25] venue stipulations in a contract, while considered valid and enforceable, do not as a rule
supersede the general rule set forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. In the absence of qualifying
or restrictive words, they should be considered merely as an agreement on additional forum, not as
limiting venue to the specified place. They are not exclusive but, rather permissive.

Notwithstanding the above fundamental considerations, respondent judge still issued the May 25, 1993
Order stopping indefinitely the foreclosure sale scheduled the following day on May 26, 1993. Clearly, he
can be held accountable for ignorance of the foregoing jurisprudential developments on the applicable
rules governing venue stipulations.

It has been said that when the law transgressed is elementary, the failure to know or observe it
constitutes gross ignorance of the law.[26] In this case, a mere reference by respondent judge to Act No.
3135, as opposed to Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court, as well as the Deed of the Real Estate
Mortgage itself, would dictate that there is no justification whatsoever for him to hold in abeyance the
extrajudicial foreclosure sale scheduled on May 26, 1993 in front of the City Hall of Manila. A judge owes
it to the public and to the legal profession to know the very law he is supposed to apply to a given
controversy as mandated by the Code of Judicial Conduct. [27] He is called upon to exhibit more than just a
cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. [28] There will be great faith in the
administration of justice if there be a belief on the part of the parties that the occupants of the bench
cannot justly be accused of an apparent deficiency in their grasp of legal principles. [29] Unfortunately,
respondent judge, instead of inspiring faith and confidence in the administration of justice, committed a
rank disservice to its cause when he issued the May 25, 1993 Order based on the inapplicable provisions
of the Rules of Court.

9
As to the second averment of respondent judge, that he issued the May 25, 1993 Order so as to
determine the truthfulness of the mortgagor's allegation that the P500,000.00 previously paid to the
mortgagee BAID was not duly credited nor deducted from the accounts of the mortgagor, suffice it to
state that the same, by no means, provide any justification for the highly questionable actuation of
respondent judge in issuing the subject Order. This matter, respondent judge ought to have known,
should have been the subject of a proper court action for the purpose of seeking a temporary restraining
order with prayer for a possible injunction to stop the scheduled extrajudicial foreclosure sale. Definitely,
a mere ex-parteMotion to Hold Auction Sale in Abeyance is not the proper remedy, and this recourse by
PQL evinces a clear attempt on its part to shortcut the entire process. Unfortunately, respondent judge
fell prey to this scheme, wittingly or unwittingly. Instead of providing some legal justification for his
irregular conduct in issuing the questioned Order, this flimsy argument advanced by the respondent
judge all the more has convinced this Court of his culpability.

WHEREFORE, the Court, resolving to hold respondent Judge Rosalio G. de la Rosa administratively liable
for gross ignorance of the law, imposes on him a FINE of P2,000.00, the same to be deducted from
whatever retirement benefits he may be entitled to receive from the government.

Manchester Devt. Corp et al. vs CA

149 SCRA 562 Remedial Law Civil Procedure Payment of Docket Fees Claimed
Damages must be Stated in the BODY and PRAYER of pleadings
A complaint for specific performance was filed by Manchester Development Corporation
against City Land Development Corporation to compel the latter to execute a deed of sale in
favor Manchester. Manchester also alleged that City Land forfeited the formers tender of
payment for a certain transaction thereby causing damages to Manchester amounting to
P78,750,000.00. This amount was alleged in the BODY of their Complaint but it was not
reiterated in the PRAYER of same complaint. Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00
only. Said docket fee is premised on the allegation of Manchester that their action is
primarily for specific performance hence it is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The court
ruled that there is an under assessment of docket fees hence it ordered Manchester to
amend its complaint. Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount of claim
for damages to P10M. Said amount was however again not stated in the PRAYER.
ISSUE: Whether or not the amended complaint should be admitted.
HELD: No. The docket fee, its computation, should be based on the original complaint. A
case is deemed filed only upon payment of the appropriate docket fee regardless of the
actual date of filing in court. Here, since the proper docket fee was not paid for the original
complaint, its as if there is no complaint to speak of. As a consequence, there is no original
complaint duly filed which can be amended. So, any subsequent proceeding taken in
consideration of the amended complaint is void.
Manchesters defense that this case is primarily an action for specific performance is not
merited. The Supreme Court ruled that based on the allegations and the prayer of the
complaint, this case is an action for damages and for specific performance. Hence, it is
capable of pecuniary estimation.

10
Further, the amount for damages in the original complaint was already provided in the body
of the complaint. Its omission in the PRAYER clearly constitutes an attempt to evade the
payment of the proper filing fees. To stop the happenstance of similar irregularities in the
future, the Supreme Court ruled that from this case on, all complaints, petitions, answers
and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of damages being prayed for not only
in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in
the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to comply with this
requirement shall not bib accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from the
record.

Sun Insurance v Asuncion Digest


G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989

Facts:

Petitioner Sun Insurance (or SIOL) files a complaint for the annulment of a decision on the consignation
of fire insurance policy. Subsequently, the Private Respondent (PR) files a complaint for the refund of
premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment in a civil case against SIOL. In addition,
PR also claims for damages, attorneys fees, litigation costs, etc., however, the prayer did not state the
amount of damages sought although from the body of the complaint it can be inferred to be in amount
of P 50 million. Hence, PR originally paid only PhP 210.00 in docket fees.The complaint underwent a
number of amendments to make way for subsequent re-assessments of the amount of damages sought
as well as the corresponding docket fees. The respondent demonstrated his willingness to abide by the
rules by paying the additional docket fees as required.

Issue: Did the Court acquire jurisdiction over the case even if private respondent did not pay the
correct or sufficient docket fees?

YES.

It was held that it is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the
payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or
nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the
docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglamentary period. Same rule goes for permissive counterclaims, third party
claims and similar pleadings.

In herein case, obviously, there was the intent on the part of PR to defraud the government of the docket
fee due not only in the filing of the original complaint but also in the filing of the second amended
complaint. However, a more liberal interpretation of the rules is called for considering that, unlike
in Manchester, the private respondent demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the
additional docket fees as required.

11
Where a trial court acquires jurisdiction in like manner, but subsequently, the judgment awards a claim
not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the
additional filing fee shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of
Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.

Tacay vs RTC of Tagum GR Nos 88075-77 December 20, 1989

Tacay vs RTC of Tagum


GR Nos. 88075-77
December 20, 1989

Facts:
These were 2 separate cases originally filed by Godofredo Pineda at the RTC of Tagum for recovery of
possession (acciones publiciana) against 3 defendants, namely: Antonia Noel, Ponciano Panes, and
Maximo Tacay.

Pineda was the owner of 790 sqm land evidenced by TCT No. T-46560. The previous owner of such land
has allowed the 3 defendants to use or occupy the same by mere tolerance. Pineda, having himself the
need to used the property, has demanded the defendants to vacate the property and pay reasonable
rentals therefore, but such were refused.

The complaint was challenged in the Motions to Dismiss filed by each defendant alleging that it did not
specify the amounts of actual, nominal, and exemplary damages, nor the assessed value of the property,
that being bars the determination of the RTCs jurisdiction in deciding the case.

The Motions to Dismiss were denied but the claims for damages in the complaint were expunged for
failure to specify the amounts. Thus, the defendants filed a Joint Petition for certiorari, mandamus,
prohibition, and temporary restraining order against the RTC.

Issue:
Whether or not the amount of damages claimed and the assessed value of the property are relevant in
the determination of the courts jurisdiction in a case for recovery of possession of property?

Decision:
Determinative of the courts jurisdiction in a recovery of possession of property is the nature of the
action (one of accion publicaina) and not the value of the property, it may be commenced and
prosecuted without an accompanying claim for actual, nominal or exemplary damages and such action
would fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the RTC. The court acquired jurisdiction upon the
filing of the complaint and payment of the prescribed docket fees.

12