Doctrine of Primary Administrative Jurisdiction

NESTLE PHILS. vs. UNIWIDE Sales (GR 174674)

Under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, courts will not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.

Fabia vs. CA (GR 132684)

RESOLUTION

In light of the amendment brought about by RA 8799, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction no longer precludes the simultaneous filing of the criminal case with the corporate/civil case.

In cases involving specialized disputes, the practice has been to refer the same to an administrative agency of special competence in observance of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. The Court has ratiocinated that it cannot or will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered.

Samar II Electronic Cooperative vs. Seludo, Jr. (GR 173840)

It may not be amiss to reiterate the prevailing rule that the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special competence of an administrative agency. In such a case, the court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may suspend the judicial process pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the parties would not be unfairly disadvantaged, dismiss the case without prejudice.

Corollary to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. The Court, in a long line of cases, has held that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the courts, it is a pre-condition that he avail himself of all administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can be resorted to by giving the administrative officer every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction, then such remedy must be exhausted first before the courts power of judicial review can be sought. The premature resort to the court is fatal to ones cause of action. Accordingly, absent any finding of waiver or estoppel, the case may be dismissed for lack of cause of action.

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The doctrines of primary jurisdiction and exhaustion of administrative remedies are subject to certain exceptions, to wit:

(a) where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the doctrine; (b) where the challenged administrative act is patently illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction;

(c) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant;

(d) where the amount involved is relatively so small as to make the rule impractical and oppressive;

(e) where the question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice;

(f) where judicial intervention is urgent;

(g) where the application of the doctrine may cause great and irreparable damage;

(h) where the controverted acts violate due process;

(i) where the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot;

(j) where there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy;

(k) where strong public interest is involved; and (l) in quo warranto proceedings.

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Author: Born2drinkStuff

SEO/Content/Article/BMR Writer

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