Summary Procedure in Civil Cases

Victoria’s Milling co., inc vs. CA (GR168062)

Although it is alleged that there may be a technical error in connection with the service of summons, there is no showing of any substantive injustice that would be caused to IPI so as to call for the disregard of the clear and categorical prohibition of filing petitions for certiorari. It must be pointed out that the Rule on Summary Procedure, by way of exception, permits only a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over thesubject matter but it does not mention the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person.

It is a settled rule of statutory construction that the express mention of one thing implies the exclusion of all others. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. From this it can be gleaned that allegations on the matter of lack of jurisdiction over the person by reason of improper service of summons, by itself, without a convincing showing of any resulting substantive injustice, cannot be used to hinder or stop the proceedings before the MCTC in the ejectment suit. With more reason, such ground should not be used to justify the violation of an express prohibition in the rules prohibiting the petition for certiorari.

Gachon vs. Devera, Jr. (GR 116695)

May the Rule on Summary Procedure be interpreted liberally to allow the admission of an answer filed out of time due to alleged oversight?

Other than a plea for the liberal interpretation of the Rule on Summary Procedure, petitioners do not provide an adequate justification for the admission of their late answer. Oversight, which they candidly cite as the reason for their filing a motion for extension of time to file an answer, is not a justification. Oversight, at best, implies negligence; at worst, ignorance. The negligence displayed by petitioners is clearly inexcusable; ignorance of so basic a rule, on the other hand, can never be condoned. In either case, the directory application of the questioned provision is not warranted.

Soriente vs Estate of the late Concepcion (GR 160239)

The Court notes that the ejectment case filed by respondent against petitioner was docketed in the trial court as Civil Case No. 17973, the case against Alfredo Caballero was docketed as Civil Case No. 17974, while the case against Severina Sadol was docketed as Civil Case No. 17932. These cases were consolidated by the trial court.

Under Section 7 of the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, if a sole defendant shall fail to appear in the preliminary conference, the plaintiff shall be entitled to judgment in accordance with Section 6 of the Rule, that is, the court shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the Complaint and limited to what is prayed for therein. However, [t]his Rule (Sec. 7) shall not apply where one of two or more defendants sued under a common cause of action, who had pleaded a common defense, shall appear at the preliminary conference. Petitioner claims that the preceding provision applies to her as a defendant, since the ejectment cases were consolidated by the trial court, and she and Caballero filed the same Answer to the Complaint; hence, the trial court should not have rendered judgment against her when she failed to appear in the preliminary conference.

The Court holds that the italicized provision above does not apply in the case of petitioner, since she and Caballero were not co-defendants in the same case. The ejectment case filed against petitioner was distinct from that of Caballero, even if the trial court consolidated the cases and, in the interest of justice, considered the Answer filed by Caballero in Civil Case No. 17974 as the Answer also of petitioner since she affixed her signature thereto.

Considering that petitioner was sued in a separate case for ejectment from that of Caballero and Sadol, petitioners failure to appear in the preliminary conference entitled respondent to the rendition of judgment by the trial court on the ejectment case filed against petitioner, docketed as Civil Case No. 17973, in accordance with Section 7 of the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure.

Macadangdang vs. Gaviola (GR 156809)

Jurisdiction over forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases falls on the Metropolitan Trial Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. Since the case before the the MTCC was an unlawful detainer case, it was governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure. The purpose of the Rules on Summary Procedure is to prevent undue delays in the disposition of cases and to achieve this, the filing of certain pleadings is prohibited, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration.

However, the motion for reconsideration that petitioners allege to be a prohibited pleading was filed before the RTC acting as an appellate court. The appeal before the RTC is no longer covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure. The Rules on Summary Procedure apply before the appeal to the RTC. Hence, respondents motion for reconsideration filed with the RTC is not a prohibited pleading.

RP, Napocor vs Sunvar Realty (GR 194880)

Under the Rules on Summary Procedure, a certiorari petition under Rule 65 against an interlocutory order issued by the court in a summary proceeding is a prohibited pleading. The prohibition is plain enough, and its further exposition is unnecessary verbiage. The RTC should have dismissed outright respondent Sunvars Rule 65 Petition, considering that it is a prohibited pleading. Petitioners have already alerted the RTC of this legal bar and immediately prayed for the dismissal of the certiorari Petition. Yet, the RTC not only refused to dismiss the certiorari Petition, but even proceeded to hear the Rule 65 Petition on the merits.

Five Star Marketing company vs. Booc (GR 143331)

The record reveals that both the respondent and his counsel failed to appear at the preliminary conference scheduled on August 3, 1999. The only explanation offered to justify their non-appearance was the counsels unpostponable personal engagement in Manila, without specification as to the details thereof. Assuming that the counsels justification is acceptable, the same should be applied only as an explanation for the his non-appearance. However, no explanation at all was offered with respect to the respondents failure to appear. At the very least, the respondent should have attended the preliminary conference notwithstanding the absence of his counsel. Absent any clear justification for the party and counsels non-appearance, the defiance of the lawful order of the court as well as the well-entrenched rule laid down by the rules of procedure on the effect of non-appearance, cannot be allowed.

Bongato vs. Malvar (GR 141614)

Petitioner further argues that a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is not a prohibited pleading, but is allowed under Sec. 19(a) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. We agree.

xxx

Pursuant to Section 36 of BP 129, the Court on June 16, 1983, promulgated the Rule on Summary Procedure in Special Cases. Under this Rule, a motion to dismiss or quash is a prohibited pleading. Under the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, however, a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter is an exception to the rule on prohibited pleadings.

Atty. Enriquez vs. Judge Camarista (A.M. no. MTJ-97-1123)

The rules require courts to decide cases submitted for decision generally within three (3) months from the date of such submission. With respect to cases falling under the Rule on Summary Procedure, however, first level courts are only allowed thirty (30) days following the receipt of the last affidavit and position paper, or the expiration of the period for filing the same, within which to render judgment. The Rule on Summary Procedure was precisely enacted to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases. While the procedural requirement is directory it subjects the defaulting judge to administrative sanction for failure to observe the rule.

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