New Trial or Reconsideration in Civil Procedure

Castro vs. Guevarra (GR 192737)

New trial is a remedy that seeks to temper the severity of a judgment or prevent the failure of justice. The effect of an order granting a new trial is to wipe out the previous adjudication so that the case may be tried de novo for the purpose of rendering a judgment in accordance with law, taking into consideration the evidence to be presented during the second trial. Consequently, a motion for new trial is proper only after the rendition or promulgation of a judgment or issuance of a final order.

A motion for new trial is only available when relief is sought against a judgment and the judgment is not yet final. Verily, in the case at bench, the filing by Spouses Guevarra of a motion for new trial was premature and uncalled for because a decision has yet to be rendered by the trial court in Civil Case No. 2187-00. Let it be underscored that the December 22, 2003 Decision of Judge Espaol was effectively set aside by the December 15, 2004 Omnibus Order of Judge Mangrobang. Hence, there is technically no judgment which can be the subject of a motion for new trial.

Yu vs. Samson-Tatad (GR 170979)

The Fresh period rule

The raison dtre for the fresh period rule is to standardize the appeal period provided in the Rules and do away with the confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be counted. Thus, the 15-day period to appeal is no longer interrupted by the filing of a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration; litigants today need not concern themselves with counting the balance of the 15-day period to appeal since the 15-day period is now counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration or any final order or resolution.

PNB vs. Hon. Paneda (GR 149236)

The main question is whether petitioners Motion for New Trial and Reconsideration is pro forma and, hence, it did not suspend the running of the period for appeal.

xxx

The subject Motion actually consists of two motions, a Motion for New Trial and a Motion for Reconsideration. While the Court agrees that the Motion for New Trial lacks merit for the reason that the documents sought to be presented are not newly discovered evidence, the Court does not agree that the Motion for Reconsideration is pro forma.

Balayan vs. Acorda (GR 153537)

a motion for reconsideration must first be filed with the lower court prior to resorting to the extraordinary writ of certiorari since a motion for reconsideration is still considered an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The rationale for the filing of a motion for reconsideration is to give an opportunity to the lower court to correct its imputed errors. Generally, only when a motion for reconsideration has been filed and subsequently denied can petitioner avail of the remedy of the writ of certiorari.

Fernandez vs. CA (GR 131094)

It is without question that Fernandez received a copy of the RTC Decision on 28 June 1994. Fourteen (14) days after the receipt of the decision or specifically on 12 July 1994, he filed a motion for reconsideration. This motion was denied by the RTC and the Order of denial was received by Fernandez on 29 November 1994. Applying Rule 37, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court, he had only one (1) day left to file a motion for new trial since a motion for new trial should be filed within the period to appeal, that is, within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment. The motion for new trial suspends the running of the period to appeal but does not extend the time within which an appeal must be perfected. Hence if denied, a movant, like Fernandez in this case has only the balance of the reglementary period within which to appeal. It bears repeating that Fernandez received a copy of the RTC decision on 28 June 1994. Applying Rule 41, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court, he had fifteen (15) days from receipt of the RTC decision to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration. He filed a motion for reconsideration fourteen (14) days after receipt of the decision. The motion was denied and he had only the remaining one (1) day to file a motion for new trial which day fell on 01 December 1994. Since 30 November 1994 was a holiday, Fernandez had up to 01 December 1994 to file the motion for new trial. Extant from the records, instead of a motion for new trial, he filed before the Court of Appeals on 01 December 1994 the motion for extension of time to file petition for review. Thereafter, and pending the resolution of his motion before the Court of Appeals, Fernandez went back to the RTC and filed on 09 December 1994 a motion for new trial.

Applying the foregoing, Fernandezs motion for new trial was filed out of time. The fifteen (15)-day period for filing a motion for new trial cannot be extended. As early as the case of Habaluyas v. Japzon, cited in Naguiat v. Intermediate Appellate Court, and reiterated in Tung Chin Hui v. Rodriguez,  motions for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration may no longer be filed before all courts, lower than the Supreme Court. The rule in Habaluyas applies even if the motion is filed before the expiration of the period sought to be extended because the fifteen (15) days period for filing a motion for new trial or reconsideration with said court is non-extendible. Thus, motions for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration may be filed only in connection with cases pending before the Supreme Court, which may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested. No such motion may be filed before any lower courts.

IN SUM, considering that a motion for new trial must be filed during the period for filing an appeal and that such period cannot be extended, Fernandez, by filing his motion for new trial beyond the period to appeal, had unwittingly sealed his fate and stripped himself of any further relief.

Barnes vs. Hon. Padilla (GR 160753)

As early as the 1986 case of Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. vs. Japson, the Court has consistently held that the fifteen-day reglementary period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration or new trial cannot be extended, except in cases pending with the Supreme Court as a court of last resort which may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested.

While the Court notes that the IRCA does not explicitly provide that the period of filing a motion for reconsideration is non-extendible, which was expressly stated in the Revised Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (RIRCA) that was in effect prior to the IRCA, it is noteworthy that the afore-quoted Section 1, Rule VII proviso in the IRCA is substantially the same provision in the RIRCA.

Thus, the IRCA simply reiterates that only a motion for reconsideration or new trial or an appeal shall stay the finality of a CA decision. A motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration therefore continues to be a prohibited pleading which cannot toll the running of the fifteen-day reglementary period. Neither jurisprudence nor the procedural rules provide for an exception.

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Author: Born2drinkStuff

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