Judgment on the Pleadings and Summary Judgment Differentiated

Sunbanun vs. Go (GR 163280)

Petitioner, in moving for a judgment on the pleadings without offering proof as to the truth of her own allegations and without giving respondent the opportunity to introduce evidence, is deemed to have admitted the material and relevant averments of the complaint, and to rest her motion for judgment based on the pleadings of the parties.

Basbas vs. Sayson (GR 172660)

Petitioners principally assail the CAs affirmance of the RTCs Order granting respondents Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and/or Summary Judgment.

In Tan v. De la Vega, citing Narra Integrated Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the court distinguished summary judgment from judgment on the pleadings, viz:

The existence or appearance of ostensible issues in the pleadings, on the one hand, and their sham or fictitious character, on the other, are what distinguish a proper case for summary judgment from one for a judgment on the pleadings. In a proper case for judgment on the pleadings, there is no ostensible issue at all because of the failure of the defending party’s answer to raise an issue.

On the other hand, in the case of a summary judgment, issues apparently exist i.e. facts are asserted in the complaint regarding which there is as yet no admission, disavowal or qualification; or specific denials or affirmative defenses are in truth set out in the answer but the issues thus arising from the pleadings are sham, fictitious or not genuine, as shown by affidavits, depositions, or admissions. x x xx.

Simply stated, what distinguishes a judgment on the pleadings from a summary judgment is the presence of issues in the Answer to the Complaint. When the Answer fails to tender any issue, that is, if it does not deny the material allegations in the complaint or admits said material allegations of the adverse partys pleadings by admitting the truthfulness thereof and/or omitting to deal with them at all, a judgment on the pleadings is appropriate.

On the other hand, when the Answer specifically denies the material averments of the complaint or asserts affirmative defenses, or in other words raises an issue, a summary judgment is proper provided that the issue raised is not genuine. A genuine issue means an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence, as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived or which does not constitute a genuine issue for trial.

Wood Technology Corporation vs. Equitable Banking Corp. (GR 153867)

Applying the requisites of a judgment on the pleadings vis–vis a summary judgment, the judgment rendered by the RTC was not a judgment on the pleadings, but a summary judgment. Although the Answer apparently raised issues, both the RTC and the Court of Appeals after considering the parties pleadings, petitioners admissions and the documents attached to the Complaint, found that the issues are not factual ones requiring trial, nor were they genuine issues.

First Leverage and Services Group vs. Solid Builders, Inc. (GR 155680)

Summary judgment is a procedural device resorted to in order to avoid long drawn out litigations and useless delays where the pleadings on file show that there are no genuine issues of fact to be tried. A genuine issue is such issue of fact which requires the presentation of evidence as distinguished from a sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim. There can be no summary judgment where questions of fact are in issue or where material allegations of the pleadings are in dispute. A party who moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the absence of any genuine issue of fact, or that the issue posed in the complaint is so patently unsubstantial as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial, and any doubt as to the existence of such an issue is resolved against the movant.

 

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Author: Born2drinkStuff

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