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Rule 01 Civil Action and Criminal Action

GENERAL PROVISIONS A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
SECTION 1. Title of the Rules. These Rules shall be known and cited as the Rules of Court. prevention or redress of a wrong. (Sec. 3[a] Rule 1).
The Rules of Court do not have retroactive effect. They can, however, be made applicable to cases So the purpose of a civil suit is to enforce or protect your right or to prevent or redress a wrong.
pending at the time of their passage and therefore are retroactive in that sense.
The rule-making power of the SC has the following limitations: CLASSIFICATION OF CIVIL ACTION
1) Simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases; I. As to NATURE (Section 3 [a])
2) Uniform for all courts of the same grade; and a.) Ordinary Civil Actions
3) Shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights (Art. VIII Sec. 5[5], 1987 Constitution. b.) Special Civil Actions

In the interest of just and expeditious proceedings, the Supreme Court may suspend the application II. As to CAUSE or FOUNDATION:
of the Rules of Court and except a case from its operation because the Rules were precisely adopted a.) Real Actions
with the primary objective of enhancing fair trial and expeditious justice. b.) Personal Actions
c.) Mixed Actions
SEC. 2. In what courts applicable. These Rules shall apply in all the courts, except as otherwise provided
by the Supreme Court. III. As to PLACE OF FILING
Section 2, states in what court or courts the rules apply as it says “these rules shall apply in all the courts a.) Local Actions
except as otherwise provided by the Supreme Court.” Meaning, applicable to all courts except when the b.) Transitory Actions
SC say otherwise.
For example: The SUMMARY RULES on procedure which is applicable to some cases in the MTC. IV. As to OBJECT
Another example of when the SC says otherwise is Section 4, that the rules shall not apply to election a.) Action In Personam
cases, land registration, cadastral, naturalization, insolvency proceedings and other cases not herein b.) Action In Rem
provided for except by analogy. This is actually not a new provision. It used to be in Rule 143, now it is c.) Action Quasi In Rem
in Rule 1.
I. CLASSIFICATION AS TO NATURE
Sec. 3. Cases governed. These Rules shall govern the procedure to be observed in actions, civil or ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS and SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS
criminal, and special proceedings. The special civil actions are governed by Rules 62 to 71. Any action not among those mentioned is
xxxxxx automatically ordinary.
How come it mentions criminal cases and defines criminal actions when it is supposed to be 1997 Rules
on Civil Procedure? What are the special civil actions?
NO, Rule 1 is the general provision for the entire Rules of Court. You look at the title, “These rules shall Rules 62 to 71:
be known as the ‘Rules of Court.’” This is the common denominator from the first to the last Rule. That’s _Interpleader,
why it says there ‘special proceedings,’ ‘civil cases’ and ‘criminal cases.’ _Declaratory Relief,
xxxxx _Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus,
_Quo Warranto,
(a) A civil action is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or
_Expropriation,
the prevention or redress of a wrong.
A civil action may either be ordinary or special. Both are governed by the rules for ordinary civil _Foreclosure of Mortgage,
actions, subject to the specific rules prescribed for a special civil action. _Partition,
xxxxx _Forcible Entry, Unlawful Detainer and
_Contempt.
What is an action?
An action is the legal and formal demand of one’s right from another person made and insisted upon in There is a new one – Review of Final Decisions or Resolutions of the COMELEC and COA under Rule 64,
a court of justice. (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) but actually it says there, it is governed by Rule 65 which governs Certiorari.
One party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of a right or the prevention or redress Q: What is so important in distinguishing a special civil action from an ordinary civil action?
of a wrong. A: What makes an action special is simply because of the fact that there are some specific rules
What is a claim? prescribed for them which are not found in other rules. But to say that the rules on ordinary civil actions
It is a right possessed by one against another. do not apply to special civil actions is false. The law is very clear. Both are governed by the rules on
The moment said claim is filed before a court, the claim is converted into an action or suit. ordinary civil actions subject to the specific rules.
Action and suit Therefore, in case of conflict between the specific rule governing a particular type of civil action and the
In this jurisdiction, it is settled that the terms “action” and “suit” are synonymous. (Lopez v. Compania ordinary, then you follow the specific provision. But if the rules on special civil actions are silent, apply
de Seguros, 16 SCRA 855). the ordinary rules.
Give an example of a case where in the absence of a special provision in the rules on special civil actions deal with real property. It is important that the matter in litigation must also involve any of the following
the court had to apply the rules on ordinary civil actions by analogy. The case of AMBERTI vs CA - 195 issues: title to, ownership, possession, partition, foreclosure of mortgage or any interest in real property.
SCRA 659 [1991] Examples:
FACTS: This case involved a petition for certiorari (special civil action under Rule 65) and then before the _An action for damages to real property, while involving a real property, does not involve any of the
respondent could answer the petition, he withdrew the petition. Later on he changed his mind and re- issues mentioned.
filed the petition. The question that was asked by the SC is when you file a special civil action for certiorari _An action to recover possession of real property plus damages is a real action because possession of
and then before the other party could answer you withdraw it, is the withdrawal with or without the real property is involved. The aspect of damages is merely an incidental part of the main action, i.e.,
prejudice? Can you re-file it? recovery of possession of real property. However, an action to recover possession of a personal property
There is no rule in Rule 65 answering that question so the SC had to resort to the ordinary rules by is a personal action.
analogy. _Where the allegations as well as of the complaint do not claim ownership of the lots in question or
HELD: Certiorari is similar to appeal although it is not really an appeal. And the SC looked at the law on ask for possession of the same but instead seeks for the execution of a deed of sale by the defendants
appeal. What happens when you perfect your appeal and then later on you withdraw your appeal? What in favor of the plaintiff, the action is a personal action. (Adamos v. J. M. Tuazon & Co., Inc. 25 SCRA 529)
will happen to the order or judgment? Rule 50 says that if you withdraw the appeal, the judgment
appealed from will now become final and executory. Therefore, since it is now final and executory, you An action for specific performance is a personal action as long as it does not involve a claim of or
cannot change it anymore. recovery of ownership of real property. (Siosoco v. CA, 303 SCRA 186 citing La Tondena Distillers v.
“Applying the foregoing rules in a supplementary manner (or by analogy), upon the withdrawal of a Ponferrada, 264 SCRA 540)
petition in a special civil action before the answer or comment thereto has been filed, the case shall However, where a complaint is denominated as one of specific performance but nonetheless prays for
stand as though no appeal has been taken, so that the judgment or order of the lower court being the issuance of a deed of sale for a parcel of land for the plaintiff to acquire ownership of the land, its
questioned becomes immediately final and executory. Thus, a resolution granting the withdrawal of such primary objective and nature is one to recover the parcel of land itself and thus, is deemed a real action.
a petition is with prejudice and petitioner is precluded from bringing a second action based on the same (Gochan v. Gochan, 372 SCRA 356)
subject matter.” _If the action is denominated as one for specific performance, but the plaintiff actually seeks for the
Now, there are other classifications of civil actions which are not expressly stated in Section 3. The only issuance of a deed of assignment in his favor of certain shares of stocks to regain ownership and
one stated there is ordinary and special. possession of said shares, the action is not one for specific performance but a personal action for the
recovery or property. The docket fee therefore, should be computed based on the value of the property
CLASSIFICATION AS TO CAUSE OR FOUNDATION: and not based on the docket fee for specific performance (National Steel Corporation vs. CA 302 SCRA
REAL, PERSONAL or MIXED ACTIONS 522).
_Where it is alleged in the complaint that the defendant breached the contract so that the plaintiff
Real Action prays that the contract be rescinded and that the defendant be ordered to return possession of the
A REAL ACTION is briefly described as an action where the issue or the subject involved is title to, hacienda to the plaintiff, the ultimate purpose or end of the action is to recover possession of real
ownership, possession of or interest over a real property like accion publiciana, forcible entry, unlawful property and not a mere breach of contract (De Jesus vs. Coloso 1 SCRA 272)
detainer, foreclosure of mortgage or real property, partition of real property. (Sec. 1, R 4) (c.f. Section _Where the action to annul or rescind a sale of real property has as its fundamental and prime objective
19, BP 129 – controversy relates to real property) the recovery of real property, the action is real (Emergency Loan Pawnshop Inc. vs. CA 353 SCRA 89).
It is founded on privity of real estate and filed in the court of the place where the property or any part _Where an award of a house and lot to the plaintiff was unilaterally cancelled, an action that seeks to
thereof is situated. annul the cancellation of the award over the said house and lot is a personal action. The action does not
involve title to ownership or possession of real property. The nature of the action is one to compel the
Personal action recognition of the validity of the previous award by seeking a declaration that the cancellation is null and
All other actions or, when the issue is not one of those – meaning, it is founded on privity of contract, or void. (Hernandez v. DBP, 71 SCRA 290)
on quasi-delict, such as actions for a sum of money, or damages arising from breach of a contract, or for _An action to foreclose a real estate mortgage is a real action, but an action to compel the mortgagee
the enforcement or resolution of a contract, or for recovery of personal property, these are the to accept payment of the mortgage debt and to release the mortgage is a personal action. (Hernandez
PERSONAL ACTIONS. (Casilan vs. Tomassi, 90 Phil. 765; Cachero vs. Manila Yellow Taxicab, 101 Phil. 523; v. Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc. 81 SCRA 75)
Bautista vs. Piguing, L-10006, Oct. 31, 1957) _An action to annul a contract of loan and its accessory real estate mortgage is a personal action. In a
It is filed in the court where the plaintiff or any of the defendants resides, at the option of the plainitff. personal action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of personal property, the enforcement of a contract or
the recovery of damages. In contrast, in a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property,
Mixed Action or, as indicated in Section 2(a), Rule 4 of the then Rules of Court, a real action is an action affecting title
Some textwriters give a third classification: the MIXED ACTIONS where there is a mixture of real and to real property or for the recovery of possession, or for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of
personal actions. Mixed actions are such as pertain in some degree to both real and personal and, mortgage on, real property (Chua vs. Total Office Products and Services [Topros], Inc.,471 SCRA 500).
therefore, are properly reducible to neither of them, being brought for the specific recovery of land and
for damages sustained in respect of such land. (Dela Cruz vs. Seminary of Manila, 18 P{hil. 330) Although the main relief sought in the action is the delivery of the certificate of title, said relief, in
Like an action for recovery of a piece of land with damages it is a mixed action. However, it is more of turn depends upon who, between the parties, has a better right to the lot in question. It is not possible
real rather than personal. If the damage is only incidental, then it is more of a real action rather than a for the court to decide the main relief without passing upon the claim of the parties with respect to the
personal action like the case of TACAY. title to and possession of the lot in question. The action is a real action (Espineli vs. Santiago 107 Phil
In a real action realty or an interest therein is the subject matter of the action. 830).
However, not every action involving a real property is a real action because the realty may only be
incidental to the subject matter of the suit. To be a “real” action, it is not enough that the action must
_Where the sale is fictitious, with absolutely no consideration, it should be regarded as a non-existent on the strength of alleging facts which, if true, show an inconsistent interest, the action is IN REM.”
contract. There being no contract between the parties, there is nothing in truth to annul by action. The (Grey Alba vs. Dela Cruz, 17 Phil. 49; Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil. 421)
action, therefore, cannot be an action for annulment but one for recovery of a fishpond, a real action An example is a probate proceeding, cadastral proceeding.
(Pascual vs. PASCUAL 73 Phil. 561). The purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose through the judgment of a court, some
Significance of the distinction responsibility or liability directly upon the person of the defendant (Domagas vs. Jensen 448 SCRA 663)
The distinction between a real action and a personal action is important for the purpose of determining Examples:
the venue of the action. Questions involving the propriety or impropriety of a particular venue are A) An action for sum of money;
resolved by initially determining the nature of the action, i.e., if the action is personal or real. B) An action for damages.
A real action is “local”, i.e., its venue depends upon the location of the property involved in the location.
“Actions affecting title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be commenced and In an action in personam, no other than the defendant is sought to be held liable, not the whole world.
tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or To simplify the definition:
apportion thereof is situated.” (Sec. 1 Rule 4) ACTION IN PERSONAM is one where the purpose is to bind the parties or where any judgment that the
A personal action is ‘transitory,’i.e., its venue depends upon the residence of the plaintiff or the court will render in that case binds only the parties to the action and their privies or their successors-in-
defendant at the option of the plaintiff. A personal action “may be commenced and tried where the interest.
plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides or where the defendant or any of the principal ACTION IN REM is one where the purpose is to bind any and everyone or where the judgment which the
defendants resides, or in the case of a non-resident defendant, where he may be found, at the election court will render in the case binds not only the parties to the case but the whole world, then the action
of the plaintiff.” (Sec. 2 Rule 4). is in rem.
Hence, if the question involves the venue of an action, the analysis will necessarily involve the following To follow the language of the SC in the case of:
steps:
(a) A determination whether the action is real or personal CHING vs. CA – 181 SCRA 9
(b) An application of the rules on venue under Rules 4. HELD: “Actions in personam and actions in rem differ in that the former are directed against specific
persons and seek personal judgments, while the latter are directed against the thing or property or
Thus, an action for a sum of money, instituted by a resident of Manila against a resident of Quezon City, status of a person and seek judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world.”
shall be filed either in Manila or Quezon City at the election of the plaintiff because the action is personal.
An action to annul a sale of a land located in Baguio City where recovery of ownership is essentially the Action in personam
material issue in the case, must be filed in Baguio City. The action is a real action and must be filed in the EXAMPLE:
place where the property is situated regardless of the residence of the parties (Emergency Loan An action for the Recovery of land or accion publiciana.
Pawnshop Inc. vs. CA 353 SCRA 89). The case is filed by P against D and after trial the court rendered judgment in favor of P ordering D to
deliver the land to P. But here comes X claiming the same property. Is X barred from making his claim
CLASSIFICATION AS TO THE PLACE OF FILING: because the court, in the case of P vs. D already declared that P is entitled to the property? Is X bound
LOCAL ACTIONS and TRANSITORY ACTIONS by that judgment?
A: NO, because X is not a party to that case. She cannot be bound by a judgment where she is not a
LOCAL ACTION is an action which can only be instituted in a particular place. party. Hence, the action between P and D is an action in personam.
Good examples of local actions are real actions. Real actions are also automatically local actions. They
can only be instituted in the place where the property is situated. This is already provided by law (e.g. Action in Rem
accion publiciana, forcible entry, unlawful detainer – can only be filed where the land is situated.) 1) Action for annulment of marriage or declaration of nullity of marriage. Suppose the husband (H) files
TRANSITORY ACTIONS are those which follow the party wherever he may reside. (1 Am. Jur. 430) a case against his wife (W) to annul their marriage. After trial, the court rendered judgment annulling
Personal actions are transitory – its filing is based on where the plaintiff or where the defendant resides the marriage and it became final. So the parties are now both SINGLE.
at the option or election of the plaintiff. It is based on the residence of the parties.
H meets another girl, A, and courted her and proposed marriage.
CLASSIFICATION AS TO OBJECT OR PURPOSE Can A say the she I cannot marry H because I know you are married and as far as I am concerned I am
ACTIONS IN PERSONAM, IN REM and QUASI IN REM not bound by the judgment of annulment in the case between P and D because she was a not a party
ACTIONS IN PERSONAM vs. ACTIONS IN REM therein? When the court ruled in the case between H and W that the marriage is annulled is that
Definition judgment binding only on H and W, the parties therein
In personam action A: No it binds the whole world or anybody.
“If the technical object of the suit is to establish a claim generally against some particular persons, with
a judgment which, in theory, at least, binds his body or to bar some individual claim or objection, so 2) When an illegitimate child files a case against the father, for compulsory recognition and got a
that only certain persons are entitled to be heard, the action is IN PERSONAM.” (Grey Alba vs. Dela favorable judgment his/her status as a recognized child is not only binding on his/her father but is
Cruz, 17 Phil. 49; Sandejas vs. Robles, 81 Phil. 421) binding on the whole world.
An example is an action for specific performance; action for breach of contract Take note that an action in rem and in personam have often been confused with the classification of real
In rem action and personal action, that an action in personam is also a personal action, or, when an action is in rem it
But, “if the object of the suit is to bar indifferently all who might be minded to make an objection of is also a real action.
any sort against the rights sought to be established, and if anyone in the world has a right to be heard
It is wrong. The basis of the classification is different. An action could be as to cause or basis a real action. (c) Such actions are essentially for the purpose of affecting the defendant’s interest in the property and
As to object, it could be in personam. In the same manner, it could be a personal action but an action in not to render a judgment against him (Valmonte vs. CA 252 SCRA 92);
rem. (d) attachment;
(e) foreclosure of mortgage (Banco Espanol Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921; Sahagun vs. CA 198 SCRA
3) E files a case against C to recover the possession of a piece of land. It is a REAL action because the 44).
subject is possession or ownership of real property. But because the purpose is to bind only E and C it is
also an action IN PERSONAM. It is a real action as to cause, but as to object, it is in personam. ILLUSTRATION: An action to foreclose a mortgage is the best example of a civil action quasi in rem
because there is a defendant (mortgagor) and the object of the case is to have the property mortgaged
4) P filed a case to annul his marriage with his wife D. It is a PERSONAL action because it does not involve sold or disposed of in order to satisfy the mortgage lien of the mortgagee. It is in personam because it is
title to, ownership etc., of his real property. It is about status. But it is also IN REM because the judgment directed only against the person who mortgaged to you but once the property is foreclosed, practically
therein is binding against the whole world. everybody has to respect it. That’s why it is called quasi in rem.
Or, to borrow the language of the SC in simplifying the term quasi in rem, quasi in rem means ‘against
5) An action for ejectment is a real action because it involves the issue of possession of real property. It the person in respect to the res, against the mortgagor in respect to the thing mortgaged.’
is also, however, an action in personam because the action is directed against a particular person who is Importance of the distinction
sought to be held liable (Sec. 1 Rule 4; Domagas vs. Jensen 448 SCRA 663) It determines whether the court must acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant and thus
determine the mode of serving summons.
6) An action for delaration of nullity of a marriage is a personal action (Tamano vs. Ortiz 291 SCRA 584;
Romualdez-Licaros vs. Licaros 401 SCRA 762) because it is not founded on real estate. It is also in rem If the action is in personam the court must acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, thru
action because the issue of the status of a person is one directed against the whole world. One’s status personal service of summons. Service of summons by publication is not allowed.
is a matter that can be set up against anyone in the world. On the other hand, an action for damages is But if it is in rem jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not required hence service of summons
both a personal and in personam action. by publication is sufficient.
Such is also true to quasi in rem action. What is important is that the court acquires jurisdiction over the
7) An action for specific performance is an action in personam (Jose vs. Boyon 414 SCRA 217). An action res.
for specific performance and/or rescission is not an action in rem (Gomez vs. CA 425 SCRA 98).
CIVIL ACTIONS vs. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
8) A cadastral proceeding is an action in rem (In Re Estate of Johnson 39 Phil. 156). Q: Define a special proceeding.
A: Rule 1, Section 3 [c]:
9) A land registration proceeding is an action in rem. Hence, the failure to give a personal notice to the c) A special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular
owners or claimants of the land is not a jurisdictional defect. It is the publication of such notice that fact. (2a, R2)
brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction (Adez Realty Inc. vs. Special proceedings should not be confused with a civil action. Special Proceedings are governed by Rules
CA 212 SCRA 623; Ting vs. Heirs of Diego Lirio 518 SCRA 263). 72-109 of the Rules of Court.
Distinguish a civil action from a special proceeding.
10) An action to recover real property is a real action. It is however, also an action in personam for it A: The following:
binds only a particular individual (Republic vs. CA 315 SCRA 600) 1.) A CIVIL ACTION is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or
the prevention or redress of a wrong, whereas,
QUASI IN REM
Text writers gave a sort of third classification as to object. This is called action quasi in rem. “QUASI” A SPECIAL PROCEEDING is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular
means almost. So, ‘quasi in rem’ is almost in rem. Actually, it is in personam but almost in rem. fact;
Q: Define an action quasi in rem. 2.) In a civil action, there are two (2) definite and particular adverse parties, the party who demands a
A proceeding to subject the interest of a named defendant over a particular property to an obligation or right, called a plaintiff, and the other whom the right is sought, called a defendant, whereas,
lien burdening it. Judgment is binding upon particular persons.
An action quasi in rem is actually in personam because it is directed only against a particular individual In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, while there is a definite party petitioner, there is no definite adverse party
but the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his property to the obligation or lien burdening it. The as the proceeding is usually considered to be against the whole world;
object of the case is the sale or other disposition of property of the defendant over which you have a 3.) A CIVIL ACTION requires the filing of formal pleadings, whereas
right or lien over the property.
An action quasi in rem is one wherein an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the In a SPECIAL PROCEEDING, relief may be obtained by mere application or petition;
proceeding is to subject his interest thereof to the obligation or lien burdening thje property (Asiavest 4.) The period to appeal in CIVIL ACTIONS is generally 15 days and the requirement is the filing of a
Limited vs. CA 296 SCRA 539). notice of appeal, whereas In SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS the period to appeal is 30 days and aside from
The object of an action quasi in rem is the sale or disposition of the property whether by attachment, notice of appeal, the law requires the filing of a record on appeal.
foreclosure or any other form of remedy (Banco Espanol-Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921). Of course the basic distinction is found in Section 3 – a civil action is one by which a party sues another
for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong. Whereas, a special
Examples of actions quasi in rem: proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.
(a) Action for partition; The object of a civil action is to enforce or protect a right or to prevent or redress a wrong. But the object
(b) Action for accounting. of a special proceeding is only to establish a status, a right or a particular fact.
If a creditor sues the debtor to collect an unpaid loan, is that a civil action or a special proceeding? That Civil actions are deemed commenced from the date of the filing and docketing of the complaint, without
is a civil action because the creditor wants to enforce or protect his right to collect. The creditor is taking into account the issuance and service of summons (Cabrera vs. Tiano, GR No. L-17299, July 31,
compelling the debtor to pay. It is adversarial. 1963).
A good example of a special proceeding is a petition for ADOPTION. It is a special proceeding because
the purpose is to establish a status of paternity and filiation between the adopter and adopted who may If the complete amount of the docket fee is not paid, the prescriptive period continues to run as the
not be related to each other. complaint is deemed not filed (Feria, 2001, p. 208)
An action can be commenced by filing the complaint by registered mail, in which case, it is the date of
What is adoption? mailing that is considered as the date of filing and not the date of the receipt thereof by the clerk of
This is how an author describes it. court.
“Adoption is one of the sacred mysteries of the law. It concerns the making of a natural person as a The second sentence of Section 5 states that, “If an additional defendant is impleaded in a later
legitimate child of another person without the intervention of sex. A man becomes a father of the child proceeding, the action is commenced with regard to him on a later date of the filing of such later
he did not sire. A woman becomes the mother of a child she did not bear. It is through the magic or pleading…”
fiction of the law that adopters become parents of children unrelated to them by blood, or if related,
the relationship is one of illegitimacy.” Example: Today (November 19, 1997), I filed a complaint against A. So, the action is commenced on Nov.
So you can adopt you own illegitimate child for the purpose of improving his status. So, when you file a 19, 1997. However next month, say, December 19, if there is an additional defendant, the date of the
petition for adoption, you are not suing somebody to enforce or protect a right or prevent or redress a commencement of the action with regards to the additional defendant is not the date when the original
wrong. The purpose is to create a status of parent and child between 2 people who are not related to action is filed, but on the date when he was included in the amended pleading.
each other. How do you interpret or construe the Rules of Court?
And when you file a petition for adoption, you are not filing a case against anybody. The case is not a Sec. 6. Construction. - These Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of
fight between two parties. There is a petitioner, the one who files, but there is no definite defending securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. (2a)
party. But it is directed against the whole world because once the adoption is granted, then, as far as The purpose of Procedural Law is to hasten litigation. So you do not interpret it to prolong a case. That
the whole world is concerned, they have to respect the status of the adopted as a child of the adopter. is based on the principle of liberal construction.
It is in rem. Generally, special proceedings are in rem. Cases should, as much as possible, be determined on the merits after the parties have been given full
But since it is directed against the whole world, anyone in the world can come forward and oppose the opportunity to ventilate their causes and defences, rather than on technicality or some procedural
petition, hence, publication is required. There is no particular person as defendant but in reality, anybody imperfection. After all, technical rules of procedure are not ends in themselves but are primarily devised
in the world can come forward and oppose it. That's the difference between a special proceeding and a to help in the proper and expedient dispensation of justice. In appropriate cases, therefore, the rules
civil action. may be construed liberally in order to meet and advance the cause of substantial justice (Land Bank vs.
Celad, GR No. 164876, Jan. 23, 2006)
Sec. 4. In what cases not applicable. - These Rules shall not apply to election cases, land registration,
cadastral, naturalization and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not herein provided for, except DE GUZMAN v_s_ _SANDIGANBAYAN - 256 SCRA 171
by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient. (R143a) HELD: “The Rules of Court was conceived and promulgated to set forth guidelines in the dispensation of
The Rules of Court do not apply to certain proceedings in court. justice but not to bind and chain the hand that dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves to
Q: What court proceedings where the Rules of Court are not applicable? or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. That is precisely why courts in rendering real
A: Election cases, land registration cases, cadastral cases, naturalization cases, insolvency proceedings, justice have always been, as they in facts ought to be conscientiously guided by the norm that when on
and other cases not herein provided for except by analogy of for suppletory purposes. the balance, technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights, and not the other way around.
In these cases, the Rules of Court are suppletory in character. In case of conflict between election law Truly then, technicalities, should give way to the realities of the situation.”
and the Rules of Court, forget the Rules of Court. But when the Election Code is silent, you apply the
Rules of Court by analogy or for suppletory purposes. So, the purpose of procedure is to help the hand that dispenses justice and not to tie these hands.
There are some election cases which fall within the jurisdiction of the courts, not necessarily COMELEC. Otherwise, the courts will become mere robots. And, as much as possible, courts should avoid
For example, violation of election code where the party may be adjudged to go to jail. That is a criminal technicalities to give way to the realities of the situation.
case. That is governed by the rules on criminal procedure. It is more on imprisonment. In one case, “Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a rapier’s thrust.” (Alonzo v. VIllamor)

Sec. 5. Commencement of an action. - A civil action is commenced by the filing of the original complaint SANTOS vs. CA – 198 SCRA 806
in court. If an additional defendant is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is commenced with HELD: Procedural “rules are not intended to hamper litigants or complicate litigation but, indeed, to
regard to him on the date of the filing of such later pleading, irrespective of whether the motion for provide for a system under which suitors may be heard in the correct form and manner and at the
its admission, if necessary, is denied by the court. (6a) prescribed time in a peaceful confrontation before a judge whose authority they acknowledge. The other
Q: When is a court action deemed commenced? alternative is the settlement of their conflict through the barrel of a gun.”
A: A civil action is commenced by the filing of the original complaint in court. Of course this is not really Meaning, the purpose of the rules is for people to fight each other in a civilized way. If you cannot accept
complete. The filing of the original complaint in court must be accompanied by the payment of the the judicial system, what is your alternative? The only alternative is to shoot your opponent. We will
correct docket fee. A complaint is not deemed filed until the docket fee is paid. This is important to settle our conflict through the barrel of a gun.
determine the exact date that the action has commenced because it is from that moment that the For all its shortcomings and its defects, the judicial system is still the civilized way of dealing with your
running of the prescriptive period is interrupted. opponent.
BAR QUESTION: When may lapses in the literal observance in the Rules of Court be excused?
A: In the case of
ORDINARY CIVIL ACTIONS
ETHEL CASE, ET AL vs. FERNANDO JUGO, ET AL – 77 Phil. 523 Rule 02
HELD: Lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure will be overlooked: CAUSE OF ACTION
1) when they do not involve public policy; SECTION 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of. - Every ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of
2) when they arose from an honest mistake or unforeseen accident; action. (n)
3) when they have not prejudiced the adverse party; and Section 1 of Rule 1 is entitled cause of action. Section 1 expresses the principle that every ordinary civil
4) when they have not deprived the court of its authority. action must be based on a cause of action. In other words, there cannot be a case unless you have a
cause of action.
One final note, while it is true that the Rules of Court should be liberally construed as a general rule, Under Rule 16, one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss is that your pleading states no cause of action.
there are certain provisions which according to the SC, should be strictly construed because they were Sec. 2. Cause of action, defined. - A cause of action is the act or omission by which a party violates a
intended precisely to minimize delay. These are provisions on: right of another. (n)
1) reglementary periods; Q: Define cause of action.
2) rule on forum shopping; A: CAUSE OF ACTION is an act or omission by which a party violates a right of another.
3) service of summons
ELEMENTS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION
A good example would be provisions which prescribe the time during which certain acts are going to be There are 3 main elements:
done, like the filing of an answer, because if you will disregard this, it will promote more delay rather 1) Existence of legal right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or
than expedite litigations. is created;
Another example is the filing of a notice of appeal. These are the provisions which are to be strictly 2) a correlative obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect and not to violate such right;
construed because while it is true that the Rules of Procedure are to be liberally construed, it is not a and
license to completely ignore these rules. Even the SC made the warning. Like in the cases of 3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff or constituting
ANTONIO vs. CA – 167 SCRA 127 a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain action for
HELD: “It is the common practice of litigants who have no excuse for not observing the procedural rules recovery of damages or other appropriate relief.
to minimize the same as mere technicalities. Then they cry for due process. These procedural rules are
in fact intended to ensure an orderly administration of justice precisely to guarantee the enjoyment of Briefly stated, it is the reason why the litigation has come about, it is the act or omission of defendant
substantive rights.” resulting in the violation of someone’s right. (Phil. National Construction v CA, 514 SCRA 569; Agrarian
LIMPOT vs. CA– 170 SCRA 367 Reform Beneficiaries Association v. Nicolas GR No. 168394, Oct. 6, 2008)
HELD: “Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their non-observance may There is a fourth element added by some cases and commentators – the element of damage suffered by
have resulted in prejudice to a party's substantive rights, as in this case. Like all rules, they are required the plaintiff.
to be followed except only when for the most persuasive of reasons they may be relaxed to relieve a Even if there is violation, if there is no damage, then what relief are you asking for? There can be no
litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with action where no damage is sustained.
the procedure prescribed. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities, this does not As a matter of fact, in a recent case, the SC remarked that wrong or injury without damage or damage
mean that the Rules of Court may be ignored at will and at random to the prejudice of the orderly without wrong does not constitute a cause of action since damages are merely part of the remedy
presentation and assessment of the issues and their just resolution.” allowed for the injury caused by a breach or wrong.
This reminds me of a lawyer who did not comply with the rules and he was arguing that the rules should Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right while damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the
be liberally construed. And then the judge says: “There is a thin line between liberal construction of the injury.
rules and gross ignorance of the rules!” It is either you did not follow the rules strictly or you do not
really know the rules. Cause of Action not an issue in administrative cases
The power of the SC to promulgate rules concerning pleadings, practice, and procedure includes the While the existence of a cause of action is one that is essential to the existence of a civil action, in
power to suspend the effectivity of such rules to provide an exception from the operation of said rules. administrative cases however, the issue is not whether the complainant has a cause of action against
It is within the inherent power of the Supreme Court to suspend its own rules in a particular case in order the respondent, but whether the respondent has breached the norms and standards of the office. (Mutia
to do justice (De Guia vs. De Guia, GR No. 135384, April 4, 2001). v. Purisima, 494 SCRA 448)
Reasons which would warrant the suspension of the Rules: Cause of Action in Specific Cases
1) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; In breach of contract cases, a cause of action does not require an allegation of the negligence of the
2) the merits of the case; defendant but merely the following elements:
3) a cause not entirely attributable to the faault or negligence of a party favored by the suspension of a.) The existence of a contract, and
the rules; b.) The breach of the contract. (Calalas v. CA SCRA 356; FGU Insurance Corp. v. GP Sarmeinto Trucking
4) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory and Corp. 386 SCRA 312)
5) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby (Sarmiento vs. Zaratan, GR No. 167471, Feb. 5,
2007) Thus, if a carrier is sued based on a breach of contract of carriage, negligence need not be proved by the
plaintiff, negligence not being an element of the cause of action of a suit predicated on a breach of
contract. This is true whether or not the defendant is a public or a private carrier. However, where the
defendant is a common carrier there is an additional reason for dispensing with proof of negligence, i.e.,
negligence of the common carrier is presumed. (Art. 1735 & Art. 1756 CC)
In quasi delict, negligence, as an element, must be alleged and proved. (Art. 2176 CC) but the negligence ANOTHER EXAMPLE: D borrowed money from you last year payable in January2010 but because you
of those persons described under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, although based on quasi delict is presumed. are in dire need of money you demanded payment. Suppose D does not pay can you file an action to
Under Art. 2180, following the well-recognized doctrine of vicarious liability, certain persons like the collect the amount from him? Do you have a cause of action?
father, mother, guardian, owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise, employee, the State, _RIGHT – the creditor has the right to collect;
and teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades are, under specified conditions, liable for acts _OBLIGATION – every debtor has the obligation to pay;
of persons for whom they are responsible. _DAMAGE – I have not recovered the money;
Thus, an employer for instance, is liable for the damage caused by his employees and household helpers _DELICT or wrong – there is NO delict yet.
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. The employer’s negligence in the selection and Why? There is no delict yet because the account is payable next year. So, it is still premature to file a
supervision of his employee is presumed and his liability shall only cease if he successfully proves his collection case now because one element is missing. It is not based on a cause of action and is dismissible
observance of the diligence required of a good father of a family to prevent damage. under Rule 16.
When an injury is caused to another by the negligence of the employee there instantly arises the juris
tantum presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the employer either in the selection Cause of action must be unmistakably stated
or in the supervision, or both of the employee. The liability of the employer is direct and immediate and The mere existence of a cause of action is not sufficient for a complaint to prosper. Even if in reality the
is not conditioned upon a prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing of the plaintiff has a cause of action against the defendant, the complaint may be dismissed if the complaint or
insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the employer to prove his exercise of the pleading asserting the claim “states no cause of action”. (Sec. 1[g], Rule 16).
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of the employee (Manliclic vs. This means that the cause of action must unmistakably be stated or alleged in the complaint or that all
Calaunan GR No. 150157 January 25, 2007) the elements of the cause of action required by substantive law must clearly appear from the mere
Where the cause of action rests on a promissory note, filing the action before the due date of the reading of the complaint. To avoid an early dismissal of the complaint, the simple dictum to be followed
obligation would be premature because the obligation is one with a period. Whenever a period is is: “If you have a cause of action, then by all means, state it! State all of its elements in your pleading!”
designated in an obligation, the obligation becomes demandable only when the period arrives. Such Where there is a defect or an insufficiency in the statement of the cause of action, a complaint may be
period is presumed to be for the benefit of both parties and of course, also of the debtor. He cannot be dismissed not because of the absence or a lack of a cause of action but because the complaint “states
charged before the due date (Art. 1196, Civil Code) unless he loses the right to make use of the period no cause of action”. The dismissal will therefore, be anchored on a “failure to state a cause of action.”
(Art. 1198, Civil Code). The failure to state a cause of action does not mean that the plaintiff has “no cause of action.” It only
In an unlawful detainer case, the cause of action does not accrue unless there is a demand to vacate and means that the plaintiff’s allegations are insufficient for the court to know that the rights of the plaintiff
is not complied with. If, however, the suit is based on expiration of the lease, notice and demand are not were violated by the defendant. Thus, even if indeed the plaintiff suffered injury, if the same is not set
required. (Labastida v. CA, 287 SCRA 662) forth in the complaint, the pleading will state no cause of action even if factually or in reality the plaintiff
has a cause of action against the defendant.
EXAMPLE of Cause of Action:
A borrows money from B promising to pay on a date certain. Upon due date, A did not pay. Does B have Action distinguished from Cause of Action
a cause of action? Let us examine whether the elements are present. An action is the suit filed in court for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or
_RIGHT – the right of the creditor to get back his money; redress of a wrong. (Sec. 3[a]. Rule 2, Rules of Court. A cause of action is the basis of the action filed.
_OBLIGATION – The defendant has the obligation to pay back the loan under the law on contracts; Under the Rules of Court “every ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of action.” (Sec. 1, R 2).
_VIOLATION or delict or wrong – the account fell due and the debtor is supposed to pay the creditor,
but the former did not pay the latter; CAUSE OF ACTION vs. RIGHT OF ACTION
_DAMAGE – the creditor cannot get back his money. Another important subject in procedure is distinguishing a cause of action from a right of action.
So, the 4 elements are there. Of course, when you file a complaint against somebody, you do not prepare Q: Define right of action.
the complaint by enumerating the elements. In other words, you just narrate the facts. It is up for the A: Right of action is the right of the plaintiff to bring an action and to prosecute that action to final
defendant to analyze. It is the duty of the lawyer to analyze the complaint whether the 4 elements are judgment. (Marquez vs. Varela, 92 Phil. 373)
present. It is the right of a person to commence and prosecute an action to obtain the relief sought.
Q: What are the ELEMENTS of a right of action?
ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Damages arising from culpa aquiliana. You are crossing the street and you are A: There are three elements:
bumped by X who was driving a car causing you injuries and being hospitalized. You also failed to report 1.) the plaintiff must have a good cause of action;
for work. 2.) must be instituted by the proper party; and,
_RIGHT – it is the right of every person not to be molested. You have the right to walk peacefully and 3.) he/she must have performed all conditions precedent to the filing of the action.
not to be harmed; So, you cannot have a right of action unless you first have a cause of action. That is why the SC said in
_OBLIGATION – it is the obligation of every person driving to be careful so that he will not bump other the case of
people. You
do not have to enter into a contract with a person saying you will not bump him; DE GUZMAN, JR. vs. CA – 192 SCRA 507
_DELICT or wrong – because of your recklessness, you violated his right by injuring him; HELD: “The right of action springs from the cause of action, but does not accrue until all the facts which
_DAMAGE – I have to spend money in the hospital and I lost my income. constitute the cause of action have occurred. When there is an invasion of primary rights, then and not
The 4 elements are present. So there is a cause of action. In other words, you cannot imagine a civil case until then does the adjective or remedial law become operative, and under it arise rights of action. There
where the 4 elements are not present. can be no right of action until there has been a wrong – a violation of a legal right – and it is then given
by the adjective law.”
So, there can be no right of action until there has been a wrong, a violation of a legal right. There can be Purpose:
no right of action unless there is first a cause of action. To avoid the following:
And you must comply with the conditions precedent. You cannot file a case unless you comply with 1) Multiplicity of suits;
certain conditions and the best illustration of this element is the case of 2) Conflicting decisions; and
3) Unnecessary vexation and harassment of defendants.
PHILAM GENERAL INSURANCE CO. vs. SWEETLINES - 212 SCRA 194 This applies not only to complaints but also to counterclaims and cross-claims.
FACTS: This involves shipped cargoes from Manila to Davao but the goods were damaged while in transit.
Based on the damaged cargoes, the consignee filed a case against the carrier. Actually, in the bill of Q: What is splitting a single cause of action?
lading, there is a stipulation that if the consignee wants to file a case arising from the contract of carriage A: Splitting a cause of action is the act of instituting two or more suits for the same cause of action.
against the carrier, the consignee must first send a notice of loss to the carrier and then if the carrier will It is the practice of dividing one cause of action into different parts and making each part a subject of a
not honor it, that is the time the consignee can file a case before the court. Now, he went to court directly different complaint. (Bachrach vs. Icariñgal, 68 Phil. 287)
without filing a notice of loss to the carrier. In splitting a cause of action, the pleader divides a single cause of action, claim or demand into two or
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a right of action. more parts, brings a suit for one of such parts with the intent to reserve the rest for another separate
HELD: There is NO right of action because the consignee did not comply with the conditions precedent. action. (Quadra v. CA 497 SCRA 221)
“The right of action does not arise until the performance of all conditions precedent to the action. EXAMPLE: In a suit under a promissory note, you file a case to collect the principal; another action to
Performance or fulfillment of all conditions precedent upon which a right of action depends must be collect the interest; another action to collect attorney’s fees. So, there is only one note and you sue me
sufficiently alleged, considering that the burden of proof to show that a party has a right of action is three times but there is only one cause of action. Now, under the law, you have split your cause of action.
upon the person initiating the suit.” You should file only one case to recover the principal and the interest as well as the attorney’s fees.
“More particularly, where the contract of shipment contains a reasonable requirement of giving notice EXAMPLE: Damage (injury) suit: X, while walking was bumped by a vehicle. He filed one case against the
of loss of or injury to the goods, the giving of such notice is a condition precedent to the action for loss owner of the vehicle for reimbursement of hospital expenses; one case to recover his expenses for
or injury or the right to enforce the carrier’s liability.” medicine; another one for doctor’s fees; then another case for the lost income.
A single act may sometimes violate several rights of a person. Nevertheless the plaintiff has only one
BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a CAUSE OF ACTION from a RIGHT OF ACTION. cause of action regardless of the number of rights violated. If a car owner sustains injuries to his person
A: The following are the distinctions: and damage to his car as a result of the negligent driving of the defendant, two rights of the plaintiff
1) Cause of action is the delict or wrong committed by the defendant, whereas have been violated, namely, his personal right to be safe in his person and his property right to have his
Right of action refers to the right of the plaintiff to institute the action; car intact and free from any damage. Under the circumstances, the plaintiff can only file a single action
2) Cause of action is created by substantive law (e.g. rights under the Civil Code), whereas for the recovery of damages for both types of injuries. Filing an action to recover damages to his person
Right of action is regulated by procedural law; “Right of action is a remedial right belonging to some and later for damages to his car would be splitting a single cause of action. This is because there is one
persons, while cause of action is a formal statement of the operative facts that give rise to such remedial act of violation. If, however, a passenger in the same car was also injured, the injuries to the passenger
right.” (De Guzman vs. CA, supra) gives rise to a cause of action separate and distinct from those sustained by the car owner because
3) Right of action may be taken away by the running of the statute of limitations, by estoppel or other distinct rights belonging to different persons have been violated. The injured passenger may file a suit
circumstances which do not affect at all the cause of action. against the defendant separate from the suit filed by the car owner.
A cause of action for the reconveyance of title over property does not include a cause of action for
EXAMPLE: When a debtor borrows money and he does not pay. His failure to pay is the cause of action. forcible entry or unlawful detainer. They are distinct causes of action. What is involved in an ejectment
After 10 years, the right to collect has prescribed and you cannot recover anything. Actually, what is case is possession de facto or material possession. In an action for reconveyance, the issue is ownership.
barred is his right of action, not the cause of action because the moment he does not pay, there is already (Tecson v. Gutierez, 452 SCRA 781; de la Cruz v. CA, 133 SCRA 520).
a wrong and you cannot erase a wrong. The cause of action is not affected by prescription. In fact, the
Civil Code provides that the obligation is converted into natural obligation, which is based on equity Application of the rule against splitting a single cause of action
rather than a right. This rule applies not only to complaints but also to counterclaims and cross-claims. (Mariscal v. CA, 311
When we say that the action has prescribed we should mean that what has prescribed is the right of SCRA 51)
action not the cause of action. Example: The act of a defendant in taking possession of the plaintiff’s land by means of force and
intimidation constitutes a single act of dispossession but gives rise to two reliefs to the plaintiff:
Relief, Remedy and Subject Matter a) recovery of possession, and
Relief is the redress, protection, award or coercive measure which the plaintiff prays the court to render b) damages arising from the loss of possession. Both of these reliefs result from a single wrong hence,
in his favor as consequence of the delict committed by the defendant while remedy is the procedure or constitute but a single cause of action. Each of them cannot be the subject of two separate actions. IT is
appropriate legal form of relief of action which may be availed of by the plaintiff as the means to obtain procedurally erroneous for the plaintiff to file an action to recover possession and another action for
the desired relief. damages. Both remedies must be alleged and claimed in only one complaint. To file a separate action
Subject matter is the thing, wrongful act, contract or property which is directly involved in the action, for each relief is to split a single cause of action.
concerning which the wrong has been done and with respect to which the controversy has arisen.
Now if the defendant denies plaintiff’s allegations and avers that the action is just plain harassment and
SPLITTING A CAUSE OF ACTION claims for damages, attorney’s fees and litigation" expenses, he cannot file 3 counterclaims.
Sec. 3. One suit for a single cause of action. - A party may not institute more than one suit for a single The action for forcible entry should include not only the plea for restoration of possession but also claims
cause of action. (3a) for damages arising out of the forcible entry. The claim for damages cannot be filed separately
Section 3 is known as the rule against splitting the cause of action. (Progressive Development Corporation, Inc. vs. CA 301 SCRA 637).
The same principle applies to an action to recover the possession of a land. The action must also include EXAMPLE: There is the Recto Law (on Sales) which provides for 3 remedies of an unpaid seller of personal
the recovery of the fruits already taken from the land and appropriated by the defendant. A suit for properties: (1) rescind the contract of sale; (2) exact fulfillment of obligation; and (3) foreclosure of
recovery of the land and a separate suit to recover the fruits will not be sustained. Also, when one files mortgage. But even the law on Sales is very clear: the choice of one automatically bars resort to the
a complaint for unlawful detainer on the ground of non-payment of rentals, the complaint must include other because it will be against splitting the cause of action.
the recovery of the rentals in arrears, such recovery being an integral part of the cause of action for EXAMPLE: Credit Transactions: A bank has two (2) possible remedies against a debtor for non-payment
unlawful detainer. of a loan secured by a mortgaged say, piece of land: (1) foreclose the mortgage on the land; or (2) file an
A tenant illegally ejected from the land is entitled to two reliefs – one for reinstatement and another for action to collect the loan. Here, the bank cannot file a case against the debtor to collect the loan and at
damages. Since both reliefs arose from the same cause of action, they should be alleged in one complaint the same time file an action to foreclose the mortgage for it will be splitting the cause of action. So it is
(Gozon vs. Vda. De Barrameda 11 SCRA 376). either you enforce the principal contract of loan, or, you enforce the accessory contract of mortgage.
An action for the recovery of taxes should also include the demand for surcharges resulting from the This is what happened in the case of
delinquency in the payment of said taxes. The non-payment of taxes gave rise to two reliefs: (a) the
recovery of the unpaid taxes; and (b) the recovery of the surcharges resulting from non-payment of the DANAO vs. CA – 154 SCRA 446
taxes. These two reliefs are results of a single cause of action and which should be pursued in a single FACTS: The Danao spouses borrowed money from the bank, mortgaged their property and then they
complaint (City of Bacolod vs. San Miguel Brewery, Inc. 29 SCRA 819). failed to pay. The bank filed a civil action to collect the loan. After filing a civil action to collect the loan,
A bank cannot file a civil action against the debtor for the collection of the debt and then subsequently the bank instituted an action to foreclose the mortgage.
file an action to foreclose the mortgage. This would be splitting a single cause of action (Danao vs. CA HELD: “Anent real properties in particular, the Court has laid down the rule that a mortgage creditor
154 SCRA 446; Industrial Finance Corp. vs. Apostol 177 SCRA 521). may institute against the mortgage debtor either a personal action for debt or a real action to foreclose
It has been held however, that an action to collect the amount of the loan will not preclude a subsequent the mortgage. In other words, he may pursue either of the two remedies, but not both.”
action for the rescission of the mortgage based on violation of the conditions of the mortgage (Enriquez “Evidently, the prior recourse of the creditor bank in filing a civil action against the Danao spouses and
vs. Ramos 7 SCRA 26). subsequently resorting to the complaint of foreclosure proceedings, are not only a demonstration of the
prohibited splitting up of a cause of action but also of the resulting vexation and oppression to the
Sec. 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of. - If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of debtor.”
the same cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a
ground for the dismissal of the others. (4a) RULES IN DETERMINING THE SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION IN CONTRACTS WITH SEVERAL
The remedy of the defendant is a motion to dismiss or if such motion is not filed, to allege it in the answer STIPULATIONS
as an affirmative defense. RULE #1 (General Rule):
A contract embraces only one cause of action because it may be violated only once, even if it contains
Q: What are the effects of splitting a cause of action? several stipulations. (Quioque vs. Bautista, L-13159, Feb. 28, 1962)
A: Under Section 4, the following are the effects: EXAMPLE: P enters into a contract with N which contains 3 stipulations: (#1) that next month, P will
1.) The filing of one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the other. This assumes a situation where deliver to N 100 sacks of rice; (#2) on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100 sacks of corn; and (#3)
there is already another action pending between the same parties for the same cause. This is one ground on the same date, P will also deliver to N 100 sacks of sugar. When the day arrived, nothing was
for dismissal of a case, LITIS PENDENTIA. (Rule 16 – Motion to Dismiss, Section 1 [e]) delivered. So three stipulations were violated.
2.) a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the others. This Q: How many causes of action does N have against P?
refers to a judgment that is final and executor. That is what you call barred by prior judgment or RES A: ONE. The contract is only one cause of action even if it contains several stipulations. The cause of
ADJUDICATA, which is also a ground for dismissal under Rule 16, Section 1 [f]. action is not based on the number of paragraphs violated but on the contract itself.

EXAMPLE: A collection case was already decided a long time ago dismissing it because the court found RULE #2 (Exception to the General Rule):
that the promissory note was a forgery. Now, you are reviving the same case – you are filing again. Under A contract which provides for several stipulations to be performed at different times gives rise to as
Section 4, the judgment in the first case years ago would be cited as a basis for the dismissal of the many causes of action as there are violations. (Larena vs. Villanueva, 53 Phil. 923)
second case. EXAMPLE: A loan with a promissory note where the principal amount is payable in installment. The first
Note: if the ground is pendency of another action, the phraseology of the rule (Sec. 4 R 2) no longer installment is payable in 2008, the second installment in this year, and the third installment is payable
confines the dismissal to the second action. As to which action should be dismissed would depend upon in 2010 without any acceleration clause. So, there is only one contract of loan but the principal is payable
judicial discretion and the prevailing circumstances of the case. in three installments at different times.
For non- payment of the first installment, the creditor has a cause of action and can file one case.
SINGLENESS OF A CAUSE OF ACTION Q: Next year, he did not pay the second installment, can the creditor file another case?
Q: How do you determine the singleness of a cause of action? A: YES, because this time it is the exception. Every installment is one cause of action even if there is only
A: The singleness of a cause of action is determined by the singleness of the delict or wrong committed one note. Remember that they are to be performed at different times.
by the defendant and not by the number of remedies that the law grants the injured party. Meaning,
a single delict may give rise to two or more possible remedies but it does not mean to say the injured RULE #3 (Exception to the exception):
party can avail of all those remedies simultaneously or one after another. (Bachrach vs. Icariñgal, supra; All obligations which have matured at the time of the suit must be integrated as one cause of action in
David vs. De la Cruz, L-11656, April 18, 1958) one complaint, and those not so included would be barred. (Larena vs. Villanueva, 53 Phil. 923)
EXAMPLE: Obligations and Contracts: A violation or a breach of contract could give rise to a civil action EXAMPLE: In 2008, the debtor did not pay but the creditor did not file any case. Then this year, the
for specific performance or a civil action for rescission of contract. However, it does not mean to say that second installment was not also paid.
the injured party can file both or one after the other. Otherwise, he will be splitting his cause of action. Q: Is the creditor correct if he files two separate actions?
A: He is wrong. When all the installment are already due and the creditor has not filed any case for the ALTERNATIVE and CUMULATIVE Joinder of Causes of Action
collection of the first installment, this time, when he files for collection of the unpaid second installment, Q: How may causes of action be joined?
everything must be integrated. If you do not file a claim for one, it is deemed barred. A: Causes of action may be joined either: (a) alternatively or (b) cumulatively.
So for example, if you will wait for the entire note to mature, you cannot apply rule 2. You should only An ALTERNATIVE JOINDER exists when your cause of action is either one or the other. You are not
file one action and you go back to the general rule. seeking relief from both but from either one.
A CUMULATIVE JOINDER exists when you are seeking relief for all your causes of action.
Doctrine of Anticipatory Breach
RULE #4 (Exception to Rule #2) ALTERNATIVE joinder; Example:
An unqualified and positive refusal to perform a contract, though the performance thereof is not yet A is the importer of the goods that were shipped on board a carrier. Upon reaching Cebu City, they were
due, may, if the renunciation goes into the whole contract, be treated as a complete breach which will unloaded by the arrastre or stevedoring operator. But when the goods were delivered to A they were
entitle the injured party to bring the action at once. (Blossom & Co. vs. Manila Gas Corp., 55 Phil. 226) already in a damaged condition. A complained to the arrastre which denied liability claiming that the
EXAMPLE: Let us suppose that in the preceding problems when the first installment fell due the creditor goods were damaged already before unloading. Then when A went to the carrier, it passed the blame to
demanded payment for the first installment from the debtor but the latter refused to pay claiming that the arrastre.
there was no loan and the promissory note is a forgery how many causes of action are there? A here has two (2) possible causes of action: (1) an action against the stevedoring operator under the
Now, in that kind of statement, he is not only repudiating the first installment. He is repudiating the contract of depositary under the law on Credit Transaction; Or, (2) an action against the carrier under
entire note. So under rule #4, the creditor can file a case for the entire loan of because it has been the Law on Transportation. So there are 2 possible causes of action.
repudiated. If you only file only one for the first installment which fell due, then another for the others, Q: Can A file a complaint incorporating the two (arrastre and the carrier) both as defendants?
it will be useless because he will still maintain the same position. So you do not wait anymore for the A: YES, that is allowed. This is alternative joinder because A is not claiming from both of them, but either
2nd and 3rd installments to fall due. You file only one case for the entire breach. There is a total breach one or the other.
for a continuing obligation and there is now only one cause of action for the entire promissory note. Another Example: C is a passenger riding on a public utility vehicle which collided with another vehicle
(Blossoms & Co. v. Manila Gas Corporation, 55 Phil. 226) The anticipatory breach committed by the and she is not sure who is at fault. If the fault lies with the other vehicle, and the driver of the bus where
defendant entitles the plaintiff to only one cause of action. C was riding is not at fault, then her cause of action against the other vehicle is quasi-delict. But if the
fault lies with the driver of the bus where she was riding, her cause of action is culpa contractual. So she
JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION has 2 possible causes of action.
SEC. 5. Joinder of causes of action. - A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, Q: Is it possible for C to file one complaint naming both the drivers or both operators as defendants?
as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following A: YES. Either of them is liable to her. That is alternative joinder of causes of action.
conditions:
xxxxx CUMULATIVE JOINDER
Q: What do you mean by joinder of causes of action? Examples: Refer to prior illustrations
A: Joinder of causes of action is the provision of the Rules which allows a party to join in one pleading That is why the manner of joining the defendants alternatively or otherwise should be correlated with
two or more causes of actions against the opposing party. Rule 3, Section 13 and Rule 8, Section 2:
It is the assertion of as many causes of action as a party may have against another in one pleading. It is RULE 3, SEC. 13. Alternative defendants. - Where the plaintiff is uncertain against who of several
the process of uniting two or more demands or rights in one action. persons he is entitled to relief, he may join any or all of them as defendants in the alternative, although
Example: D is the debtor of C for P350,000.00 due on January 5, 2008. D likewise owes C P350,000.00 a right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right of relief against the other. (13a)
due on February 13, 2008. Both debts are evidenced by distinct promissory notes. D did not pay both RULE 8, SEC. 2. Alternative causes of action or defenses. - A party may set forth two or more statements
debts despite demand. of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one cause of action or defense or in
How many causes of action are there? There are two because there are two contracts and therefore two separate causes of action or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and
violations. So C can file two separate actions for collection without violating the prohibition against one of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the
splitting a single cause of action. insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements. (2)
But can C file only one action by joining the two causes of action? Yes under this Section 5.
C may file a single suit against D for the collection of both debts, despite the claims being actually Requisites for proper joinder of causes of action
separate causes of actions and having arisen out of different transactions. Q: When is joinder of causes of action allowed?
A: Under Section 5, joinder of causes of action is allowed under the following conditions:
THE PRINCIPLE: You cannot file more than one case when you have only one cause of action but the law a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties;
allows you to file one case for more than one cause of action. b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules;
Q: Under Section 5, is the creditor obliged to file one complaint for the 2 promissory notes? c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or
A: NO, because joinder of causes of action is permissive. He may or may not. jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one
When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same plaintiff and against the same defendant, i.e., of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
there is only one plaintiff and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or not the causes of d) Where the claims in all the causes of action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate
action arose out of the same transaction or series of transactions. This question is only relevant when amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. (5a)
there are multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants. In the hypothetical just discussed in the example, is
C obliged to join the causes of action against D? a.) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties
No. He may file a single suit for each of the claims if he desires because each debt is a separate cause of The rule on joinder of parties is Rule 3, Section 6 which provides that two (2) or more persons can join
action. Joinder of causes of action is not compulsory. It is merely permissive. as plaintiffs in one complaint or can be joined as defendants in one complaint, provided there is a
common question of fact or law involved in that case. In other words, before there can be a proper HELD: The joinder is improper. In the first place, one is governed by a quasi-judicial body (SEC). So how
joinder of causes of action there must must be a proper joinder of parties. Proper joinder of parties can the RTC try a case when the cause of action is pertaining to the SEC and it is governed by the special
requires that the right to relief should arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions and rules of the SEC? So you cannot join that.
that there exists a common question of law or fact.
When the causes of action accrue in favor of the same plaintiff and against the same defendant, i.e., c.) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or
there is only one plaintiff and one defendant, it is not necessary to ask whether or not the causes of jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of
actions arose of the same transaction or series of transactions as stated beforehand. This question is action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein
only relevant when there are multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants. So in our hypothetical case PROBLEM: M encroached on two parcels of land belonging to me both located IN Cebu City. In one
where D borrowed from C two separate amounts of P350,000.00 each covered by two separate parcel of land, the assessed value is only P20,000. In another parcel of land, the assessed value is P1
promissory notes, C can opt to file one complaint joining together the two causes of action arising from million. I would like to file a case of action publiciana against him. The first accion publiciana is triable
the violations of the promissory notes. by the MTC (P20,000). The other accion publiciana is triable by the RTC.
EXAMPLE: Two or more passengers riding on the same bus, met an accident. All of them were injured. Q: Can I join them?
Every passenger who gets injured has a cause of action separate and distinct from each other because A: YES, and it must be filed it in the RTC. The jurisdiction of the RTC will prevail. Venue, of course, is
there are separate contracts of carriage violated. So they decided to file a damage suit. Cebu City.
Q: Can they be joined in one complaint?
A: YES because there is a common question of fact or law. They are riding on the same bus, meeting the Examples of “but pertain to different venues or jurisdiction”
same accident, against the same operator. So there is a joinder of parties under Rule 3. And if the joinder PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an assessed value of P20,000. And then he
of parties under Rule 3 is proper, then their causes of action can also be joined under Rule 2 because the encroached in another land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P1 million. You will notice
condition is: “shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties.” that in the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is in the MTC for the case accion publiciana and the venue is
Q: Suppose these passengers were riding on different buses owned by the same operator. All of them Lapulapu because the property is situated there. In the other case, the jurisdiction is in the RTC and the
met an accident. Well of course the same kind of case: damage suit, breach of contract against the same venue is Cebu City.
operator. Now, can their causes of action be joined? Q: Can I file a case against M joining the 2 cases?
A: NO. They cannot be joined because there is no common question of fact or law. The defense of the A: YES.
operator here is different from his defense there. Meaning, passenger A has nothing to do with the Q: Where is now the governing venue?
complaint of passenger B because there is no common denominator between them. So if you cannot A: The venue of the RTC case prevails. Therefore, the case must be filed in Cebu City.
join them under Rule 3, the joinder of causes of action under Rule 2 is also improper. PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an assessed value of P1 million. And then he
encroached in another land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P1 million also. You will
Distinguish joinder of causes of actions from joinder of parties. notice that in the Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is RTC for the case accion publiciana. In the other case,
Joinder of causes of action refers to the procedural device whereby a party who asserts various claims the jurisdiction is also in the RTC of Cebu City. So both actions, RTC.
against the same or several parties, files all his claims against them in a single complaint. The joinder will Q: In which RTC will you file the case joining the causes of action?
not involve a joinder of parties when the causes of action joined accrued in favor of the same plaintiff A: Either Lapulapu or Cebu City because both are RTCs.
against the same defendant, i.e., there is only one plaintiff against the same defendant. This means that PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Lapulapu with an assessed value of P20,000. And then he
a joinder of causes of action will not necessarily involve a joinder of parties. encroached in another land of mine in Cebu City with an assessed value of P20,000 also. In the
Joinder of parties is a procedural device that may be employed when there are various causes of actions Lapulapu land, the jurisdiction is MTC for the case accion publiciana. In the other case, the jurisdiction
that accrue in favor of one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants, i.e., there is a plurality of is also in the MTC. So both actions, MTC.
parties. A joinder of parties requires that before parties can be joined under a single complaint the right Q: Can I join in one complaint the 2 actions?
to relief must arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions and there must be a common A: NO, because the law says provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said
question of law or fact. A joinder of parties may or may not be involved in a joinder of causes of action. court and the venue lies therein. One of them belongs to the RTC. In the example, both belong to the
b.) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules MTC.
Assume that aside from the above claims of C against D, C who happens to be the lessor of D wants to PROBLEM: M encroached on my land more than one year ago and the land has an assessed value of
eject D from the apartment occupied by D as lessee. May the action be joined with the claims for money? only P20,000. So if I will file an accion publiciana, it has to be filed with the MTC. On the other hand, A
No. An action for ejectment is a special action which cannot be joined with ordinary action. The joinder encroached my other parcel of land more than one year ago and the assessed value of the land is P1
does not include special civil actions or those governed by special rules. The reason is confusion in the million. So my cause of action there is also accion publiciana but triable by the RTC. So I decided to file
application of procedural rules would certainly arise from the joinder of ordinary and special civil actions a case naming both of them as defendants.
in a single complaint. Q: Can they be joined under Section 5?
Assume that C has the following causes of action against D: (a) P1M based on a PN; (b) P1M based on A: NO. The law allows only if it is between the same parties. This time the parties are not the same.
torts; and (c) foreclosure of real estate mortgage. May the causes of action be joined? Plus the fact that you might violate paragraph [a] – there is no common question of fact and law
Yes, except the foreclosure of real estate mortgage, which is a special civil action. between them.
PROBLEM: M encroached on my land in Cebu City one month ago and then he encroached on another
UNION GLASS AND CONTAINER CORP vs. SEC - 126 SCRA 31 land of mine (assessed value of P1 million) also located in Cebu City two years ago. Therefore, one case
FACTS: (This is still a good ruling) A stockholder of a corporation who is also the creditor of the is forcible entry triable by the MTC and the latter is accion publiciana triable by the RTC.
corporation decided to file one complaint against the corporation asserting several causes of action, Q: Can I join them under paragraph [c] although they belong to MTC and RTC?
among them is his right as a stockholder under the Corporation Code and also his right as a creditor
under the Civil Code.
A: NO, you cannot join them because of paragraph [b] – a forcible entry is special civil action which is
also governed by the Summary Procedure. You cannot join a special civil action. So what is violated
here is not paragraph [c] but paragraph [b].

d.) where the claims in all the causes of action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate
amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction
The last is only a repetition of the old rule: TOTALITY RULE. There is nothing new here. So judiciary law,
totality rule, basta sums of money.
As can be gleaned from Sec. 6(a) and (c) of the Truth in Lending Act, the violation of the said Act gives
rise to both criminal and civil liabilities. Rule 2, Section 5 of the Rules of Court allows these actions to
be joined in one petition. (UCPB vs. Sps. Samuel and Odette Beluso, GR No. 159912, Aug. 17, 2007).
Splitting a cause of action and joinder of causes of action
Splitting is prohibited because it causes multiplicity of suits and double vexation on the part of the
defendant while joinder is encouraged because it minimizes multiplicity of suits and inceonvenience on
the part of the parties.

SEC. 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. - Misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal of
an action. A misjoined cause of action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of the court, be
severed and proceeded with separately. (n)
There is misjoinder when two (2) or more causes of action were joined in one complaint when they
should no be joined.

EXAMPLE: A case joining an accion publiciana case and a forcible entry case which is not proper
because a special civil action (forcible entry) cannot be joined. In this case there is misjoinder of causes
of action.
Example: If an action for forcible entry is joined in one complaint with the causes of actions based on
several promissory notes, the complaint should not be dismissed based on the misjoinder of the
forcible entry case. Instead, the cause of action predicated on forcible entry may be severed from the
complaint upon motion of a party or by the court motu proprio and proceeded with separately in
another action.
Under Section 6, if there is misjoinder, you do not dismiss the case. The remedy is to ask the court that
the misjoined case be severed and tried separately. Now, the counterpart, which is still present is
misjoinder of parties under Rule 3, Section 11:

RULE 3, Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties. - Neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties
ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion
of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just. A claim
against a misjoined party may be severed and proceeded with separately. (11a)
So misjoinder of parties and misjoinder of causes of action are not grounds for dismissal of an action.
Just remove the misjoined cause of action or the misjoined party