Cases about Provisional Remedies

The follwing are provisional remedies under the Rules of Court

Rule 57 Preliminary Attachment

Rule 58 Preliminary Injunction

Rule 59 Receivership

Rule 60 Replevin

Rule 61 Support Pendente Lite

____

RELIMINARY ATTACHMENT

Silangan Textile Manufacturing Corp. vs. Hon. Demetria (GR 166719)

Attachment is an ancillary remedy. It is not sought for its own sake but rather to enable the attaching party to realize upon relief sought and expected to be granted in the main or principal action. Being an ancillary or auxiliary remedy, it is available during the pendency of the action which may be resorted to by a litigant to preserve and protect certain rights and interests therein pending rendition, and for purposes of the ultimate effects, of a final judgment in the case. They are provisional because they constitute temporary measures availed of during the pendency of the action and they are ancillary because they are mere incidents in and are dependent upon the result of the main action.

Republic of the Philippines vs. Estate of alfonso Lim, Sr (GR 164800)

Nature of Preliminary Attachment 

Attachment is an ancillary remedy applied for not for its own sake but to enable the attaching party to realize upon relief sought and expected to be granted in the main or principal action; it is a measure auxiliary or incidental to the main action. As such, it is available during the pendency of the action which may be resorted to by a litigant to preserve and protect certain rights and interests therein pending rendition, and for purposes of the ultimate effects, of a final judgment in the case. As a corollary proposition, an order granting an application for a writ of preliminary attachment cannot, owing to the incidental or auxiliary nature of such order, be the subject of an appeal independently of the main action.

Torres vs. Satsatin (GR 166759)

A writ of preliminary attachment is defined as a provisional remedy issued upon order of the court where an action is pending to be levied upon the property or properties of the defendant therein, the same to be held thereafter by the sheriff as security for the satisfaction of whatever judgment that might be secured in the said action by the attaching creditor against the defendant.

In Cuartero v. Court of Appeals, this Court held that the grant of the provisional remedy of attachment involves three stages: first, the court issues the order granting the application; second, the writ of attachment issues pursuant to the order granting the writ; and third, the writ is implemented. For the initial two stages, it is not necessary that jurisdiction over the person of the defendant be first obtained.However, once the implementation of the writ commences, the court must have acquired jurisdiction over the defendant, for without such jurisdiction, the court has no power and authority to act in any manner against the defendant. Any order issuing from the Court will not bind the defendant.

Security Pacific Assurance Corp. vs. Hon. Infante (GR 144740)

Under the Rules, there are two (2) ways to secure the discharge of an attachment. First, the party whose property has been attached or a person appearing on his behalf may post a security. Second, said party may show that the order of attachment was improperly or irregularly issued.

Allied Banking Corp. vs. South Pacific Sugar Corp.( GR 163692)

We take this opportunity to reiterate that an application for a writ of attachment, being a harsh remedy, is to be construed strictly in favor of the defendant. For by it, the reputation of the debtor may be seriously prejudiced. Thus, caution must be exercised in granting the writ. There must be more compelling reasons to justify attachment beyond a mere general assertion of fraud. This must be so lest we, asGarcia v. Reyes puts it, be spinning tight webs on gossamer filigrees.

Philippine Bank of Communications vs. CA (GRs 115678, 119723)

As was frowned upon in D.P. Lub Oil Marketing Center, Inc., not only was petitioners application defective for having merely given general averments; what is worse, there was no hearing to afford private respondents an opportunity to ventilate their side, in accordance with due process, in order to determine the truthfulness of the allegations of petitioner. As already mentioned, private respondents claimed that substantial payments were made on the proceeds of the trust receipts sued upon. They also refuted the allegations of fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation by averring that private respondent Filipinas Textile Mills could not have done these as it had ceased its operations starting in June of 1984 due to workers strike. These are matters which should have been addressed in a preliminary hearing to guide the lower court to a judicious exercise of its discretion regarding the attachment prayed for. On this score, respondent Court of Appeals was correct in setting aside the issued writ of preliminary attachment.

Time and again, we have held that the rules on the issuance of a writ of attachment must be construed strictly against the applicants. This stringency is required because the remedy of attachment is harsh, extraordinary and summary in nature. If all the requisites for the granting of the writ are not present, then the court which issues it acts in excess of its jurisdiction.

Republic of the Philippines vs. Maj. Gen Carlos F. Garcia (GR 167741)

Did the Sandiganbayan commit grave abuse of discretion when it rejected the Republics claim of exemption from the filing of an attachment bond? Yes.

Before a writ of attachment may issue, a bond must first be filed to answer for all costs which may be adjudged to the adverse party and for the damages he may sustain by reason of the attachment. However, this rule does not cover the State.

The pronouncement in Spouses Badillo applies in this case even if Spouses Badillo involved the filing of a supersedeas bond. The pronouncement that the State is not required to put up a bond for damages or even an appeal bond is general enough to encompass attachment bonds. Moreover, the purpose of an attachment bond (to answer for all costs and damages which the adverse party may sustain by reason of the attachment if the court finally rules that the applicant is not entitled to the writ) and a supersedeas bond (to answer for damages to the winning party in case the appeal is found frivolous) is essentially the same.

In filing forfeiture cases against erring public officials and employees, the Office of the Ombudsman performs the States sovereign functions of enforcing laws, guarding and protecting the integrity of the public service and addressing the problem of corruption in the bureaucracy.

The filing of an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment is a necessary incident in forfeiture cases. It is needed to protect the interest of the government and to prevent the removal, concealment and disposition of properties in the hands of unscrupulous public officers. Otherwise, even if the government subsequently wins the case, it will be left holding an empty bag.

 

 

Advertisements

Appeal by Certiorari to the Supreme Court (Rule 45)

Cadena vs CSC (GR 191412)

Perusal of the case records, however, reveals that despite due notice of said resolution by the counsel for the petitioner on March 24, 2010, no compliance therewith has been filed with this Court. We reiterate that Rule 45, Section 5 provides that the failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the contents of and the documents which should accompany a petition shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. Notably, the material dates appear crucial in this case, given that this petition was filed more than two months after the promulgation by the CA of its resolution denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration in CA-G.R. SP No. 103646. It has to be sufficiently established that the petition was timely filed within 15 days from the petitioner’s notice of the CA’s denial of her motion for reconsideration.

This Court, instead of dismissing the petition outright, granted the petitioner a reasonable opportunity to correct the deficiency on the material dates by issuing the March 16, 2010 resolution. Regrettably, the petitioner continued to defy this lawful order of the Court, thereby giving us all the more reason to deny the present petition.

Valdecantos vs. People (GR 148852)

Preliminarily, we find it necessary to give proper perspective to the instant petition. Originally filed as a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the same should be considered as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court as there is nothing to review on the merits due to its outright dismissal by the CA, for being insufficient in form and substance.

Ordinarily, the proper recourse of an aggrieved party from a decision of the CA is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. However, if the error, subject of the recourse, is one of jurisdiction, or the act complained of was perpetrated by a court with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the proper remedy available to the aggrieved party is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the said Rules. Inasmuch as the present petition principally assails the dismissal of the petition on ground of procedural flaws involving the jurisdiction of the court a quo to entertain the petition, it falls within the ambit of a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

Mangahas vs. CA (GR173375)

Under Rule 45, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari before this Court as we are not a trier of facts. Our jurisdiction in such a proceeding is limited to reviewing only errors of law that may have been committed by the lower courts. Consequently, findings of fact of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are final and conclusive, and cannot be reviewed on appeal. It is not the function of this Court to reexamine or reevaluate evidence, whether testimonial or documentary, adduced by the parties in the proceedings below. The preceding rule however, admits of certain exceptions and has, in the past, been relaxed when the lower courts findings were not supported by the evidence on record or were based on a misapprehension of facts, or when certain relevant and undisputed facts were manifestly overlooked that, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion.

Agote vs. Lorenzo (GR 142675)

Considering that judgments of regional trial courts in the exercise of their original jurisdiction are to be elevated to the Court of Appeals in cases when appellant raises questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law,while appeals from judgments of the [same courts] in the exercise of their original jurisdiction must be brought directly to the Supreme Court in cases where the appellant raises only questions of law, petitioner should have appealed the trial courts ruling to this Court by way of a petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, pursuant to Rule 41, Section 2 (c) of the same Rules, viz:

SEC. 2. Modes of appeal.

(a) xxx xxx xxx

(b) xxx xxx xxx

(c) Appeal by certiorari. In all cases where only questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.

By reason, then, of the availability to petitioner of the remedy of a petition for review under Rule 45, his right to resort to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was effectively foreclosed, precisely because one of the requirements for the availment of the latter remedy is that there should be no appeal, or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the remedies of appeal and certiorari being mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.

Shimizu vs. Magsalin (GR 170026)

Preliminarily, we resolve the claim that the petition violates Rule 45 of the Rules of Court on the attachment of material portions of the record. We note that FGU Insurance fails to discharge its burden of proving this claim by not specifying the material portions of the record the petitioner should have attached to the petition. At any rate, after a careful perusal of the petition and its attachments, the Court finds the petition to be sufficient. In other words, we can judiciously assess and resolve the present petition on the basis of its allegations and attachments.

After due consideration, we resolve to grant the petition on the ground that the December 16, 2003 dismissal order is null and void for violation of due process. We are also convinced that the appeal to challenge the dismissal order was properly filed under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. We further find that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 02-488 for failure to prosecute is not supported by facts, as shown by the records of the case.

Artistica Cermica, Inc. vs. Ciudad del Carmen Homeowners ass’n., Inc (GR 167583-84)

Petitioners ask for leniency from this Court, asking for a liberal application of the rules. However, it is quite apparent that petitioners offer no explanation as to why they did not appeal under Rule 45. Petitioners Petition, Reply and Memorandum are all silent on this point, probably hoping that the same would go unnoticed by respondents and by this Court. The attempt to skirt away from the fact that the 15-day period to file an appeal under Rule 45 had already lapsed is made even more apparent when even after the same was raised in issue by respondents in their Comment and memorandum, petitioners did not squarely address the same, nor offer any explanation for such omission. In Jan-Dec Construction Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, this Court explained why a liberal application of the rules cannot be made to a petition which offers no explanation for the non-observance of the rules, to wit:

“While there are instances where the extraordinary remedy of certiorari may be resorted to despite the availability of an appeal, the long line of decisions denying the special civil action for certiorari, either before appeal was availed of or in instances where the appeal period had lapsed, far outnumbers the instances where certiorari was given due course. The few significant exceptions are:

(a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictate;

(b) when the broader interests of justice so require;

(c) when the writs issued are null; and

(d) when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority.”

In the present case, petitioner has not provided any cogent explanation that would absolve it of the consequences of its failure to abide by the Rules. Apropos on this point are the Court’s observations in Duremdes v. Duremdes:

“Although it has been said time and again that litigation is not a game of technicalities, that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure so that issues may be properly presented and justly resolved, this does not mean that procedural rules may altogether be disregarded. Rules of procedure must be faithfully followed except only when, for persuasive reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure. Concomitant to a liberal application of the rules of procedure should be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to adequately explain his failure to abide by the rules.”

 

Appeal from MTC to RTC, How made

Sps. Morales vs. CA (GR 126196)

In an ejectment case, when a Municipal Trial Court receives evidence on the merits, but thereafter renders a decision erroneously dismissing the action on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, a Regional Trial Court on appeal may review the entire case on the merits and render judgment thereon as the proven facts and the law may warrant. This is in accord with the general principle that the Rules of Court must be construed to attain just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of an action or proceeding.

Sps. Badillo vs. Hon. Tayag (GR 143976)

In the present cases, the posting of a supersedeas bond is not necessary to stay the execution of the MTC Order. When a case involves provable rents or damages incurred by a government-owned or controlled corporation, the real party in interest is the Republic of the Philippines. When the State litigates, it is not required to put up a bond for damages or even an appeal bond — either directly or indirectly through its authorized officers — because it is presumed to be always solvent.

Thus, it would be unnecessary to ask the NHA to file a bond because to do so would be to indirectly require the government to submit the bond. And the State is not required to file a bond for the obvious reason that it is capable of paying its obligation. In any event, the NHA has already paid the appellate docket fees and filed the supersedeas bond as ordered by the RTC, albeit late.

Candido vs. Camacho (GR 136751)

In the case at bar, the remedy of the respondents is to file an appeal within the reglementary period after the issuance of the MTC decision. However, insofar as assailing the MTCs order of execution, we hold that the respondents appeal thereof would be too slow and inadequate to prevent the injurious effect of respondents imminent dispossession of the property. Thus, respondents filing of a petition for certiorari to assail the MTCs order for immediate execution of its decision is proper. However, we note that respondents petition for certiorari was not limited for said purpose as they likewise assailed the main decision of the MTC in the same petition. This is improper as appeal is still their appropriate remedy under the former Rules of Court (Section 1, Rule 40 — Appeal from Inferior Courts to Courts of First Instance). What compounded the matter is that the respondents had already a pending notice of appeal with the MTC to assail its decision in the forcible entry case. Clearly, by also assailing the decision of the MTC in the forcible entry case in their subsequent petition for certiorari, respondents are guilty of forum-shopping which carries the sanction of dismissal of both the petition for certiorari and the appeal filed by the respondents with the RTC.

Macadangdang vs. Gaviola (GR 156809)

The general rule is that a client is bound by the acts, even mistakes, of his counsel in the realm of procedural technique. There are exceptions to this rule, such as when the reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law, or when the application of the general rule results in the outright deprivation of one’s property through a technicality.

xxx

We find no reason to exempt respondents from the general rule. The cause of the delay in the filing of the appeal memorandum, as explained by respondents counsel, was not due to gross negligence. It could have been prevented by respondents counsel if he only acted with ordinary diligence and prudence in handling the case. For a claim of gross negligence of counsel to prosper, nothing short of clear abandonment of the clients cause must be shown. In one case, the Court ruled that failure to file appellants brief can qualify as simple negligence but it does not amount to gross neglience to justify the annulment of the proceedings below.

Sarmiento vs. Zaratan (GR 167471)

There are, indeed, reasons which would warrant the suspension of the Rules: (a) the existence of special or compelling circumstances, b) the merits of the case, (c) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of rules, (d) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory, and (e) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby. Elements or circumstances (c), (d) and (e) exist in the present case.

 

The suspension of the Rules is warranted in this case. The motion in question does not affect the substantive rights of petitioner as it merely seeks to extend the period to file Memorandum. The required extension was due to respondents counsels illness, lack of staff to do the work due to storm and flood, compounded by the grounding of the computers. There is no claim likewise that said motion was interposed to delay the appeal. As it appears, respondent sought extension prior to the expiration of the time to do so and the memorandum was subsequently filed within the requested extended period.Under the circumstances, substantial justice requires that we go into the merits of the case to resolve the issue of who is entitled to the possession of the land in question.

 

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.

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.

 

Demurrer to Evidence, How made

SPS. Gonzales vs. Bugaay (GR 173008)

The Court has previously explained the nature of a demurrer to evidence in the case of Celino v. Heirs of Alejo and Teresa Santiago as follows:

A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence and is presented after the plaintiff rests his case. It is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue. The evidence contemplated by the rule on demurrer is that which pertains to the merits of the case.

In passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient proof to sustain the judgment. Being considered a motion to dismiss, thus, a demurrer to evidence must clearly be filed before the court renders its judgment.

Choa vs. Choa (GR 143376)

A demurrer to evidence is defined as an objection or exception by one of the parties in an action at law, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law (whether true or not) to make out his case or sustain the issue. The demurrer challenges the sufficiency of the plaintiffs evidence to sustain a verdict. In passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient proof to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt.

Casent Realty Dev. Corp vs. PHILBANKING (GR 150731)

What should be resolved in a motion to dismiss based on a demurrer to evidence is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the relief based on the facts and the law. The evidence contemplated by the rule on demurrer is that which pertains to the merits of the case, excluding technical aspects such as capacity to sue.

However, the plaintiffs evidence should not be the only basis in resolving a demurrer to evidence.The facts referred to in Section 8 should include all the means sanctioned by the Rules of Court in ascertaining matters in judicial proceedings. These include judicial admissions, matters of judicial notice,stipulations made during the pre-trial and trial, admissions, and presumptions, the only exclusion being the defendants evidence.

Celino vs. Heirs of Santiago (GR 161817)

A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence and is presented after the plaintiff rests his case. It is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue. The evidence contemplated by the rule on demurrer is that which pertains to the merits of the case.

Thus, as correctly held by the Court of Appeals, lack of legal capacity to sue is not a proper ground for a demurrer to evidence, pertaining as it does to a technical aspect, and it having nothing to do with the evidence on the merits of the complaint. Consequently, petitioners Demurrer to Evidence and Motion for Reconsideration should be denied, as the trial court did.

Salazar vs. People (GR 151931)

In criminal cases, the demurrer to evidence partakes of the nature of a motion to dismiss the case for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a case where the accused files a demurrer to evidence without leave of court, he thereby waives his right to present evidence and submits the case for decision on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution. On the other hand, if the accused is granted leave to file a demurrer to evidence, he has the right to adduce evidence not only on the criminal aspect but also on the civil aspect of the case if his demurrer is denied by the court.

If demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court, the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case unless the court also declares that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. If the trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability of the accused to the private offended party, said judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity for the reason that the constitutional right of the accused to due process is thereby violated.

xxx

The petitioner was granted leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence. The court issued an order granting the demurrer on its finding that the liability of the petitioner was not criminal but only civil. However, the court rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case and ordered the petitioner to pay for her purchases from the private complainant even before the petitioner could adduce evidence thereon. Patently, therefore, the petitioner was denied her right to due process.

Uy vs. Chua (GR 183965)

The essential question to be resolved in a demurrer to evidence is whether petitioner has been able to show that she is entitled to her claim, and it is incumbent upon RTC-Branch 24 to make such a determination. A perusal of the Resolution dated 25 June 2008 of RTC-Branch 24 in Special Proceeding No. 12562-CEB shows that it is barren of any discussion on this matter. It did not take into consideration any of the evidence presented by petitioner. RTC-Branch 24 dismissed Special Proceedings No. 12562-CEB on the sole basis of res judicata, given the Decision dated 21 February 2000 of RTC-Branch 9 in Special Proceeding No. 8830-CEB, approving the Compromise Agreement between petitioner and respondent.

Hence, the Resolution dated 25 June 2008 of RTC-Branch 24 should be deemed as having dismissed Special Proceeding No. 12562-CEB on the ground of res judicata rather than an adjudication on the merits of respondents demurrer to evidence. Necessarily, the last line of Section 1, Rule 33 of the Rules of Court should not apply herein and respondent should still be allowed to present evidence before RTC-Branch 24 in Special Proceedings No. 12562-CEB.

Heirs of Pasag vs. SPS. Parocha (GR 155483)

A demurrer to evidence is an instrument for the expeditious termination of an action; thus, abbreviating judicial proceedings. It is defined as an objection or exception by one of the parties in an action at law, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law (whether true or not) to make out his case or sustain the issue. The demurrer challenges the sufficiency of the plaintiffs evidence to sustain a verdict. In passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient proof to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt.

Pre-Trial in Civil Cases (Civil Procedure)

The Supreme Court came out with a directive thru A.M. 14-03-02-SC dated March 8, 2014 the piloting of Rules 22 and 24 of the draft Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, reproduced below. These Rules shall, beginning February 16, 2015, apply to all civil actions in the following first and second level courts that have not yet undergone pretrial.
The Supreme court identified some couts that will serve as project pilots therefore it is not yet applicable to all courts as of this writing.

Agulto vs. Tecson (GR 145276)

While it would have been more prudent for counsel of petitioners to inquire from the RTC whether or not the pre-trial had in fact been scheduled on the date suggested by her, the duty of the court to serve notice of pre-trial should not be shifted to the counsels of the parties (or to the parties themselves). Otherwise, the mandatory character of the notice of pre-trial will be for naught.

Tiu vs. Middleton (GR 134998)

Pre-trial is an essential device for the speedy disposition of disputes. Hence, parties cannot brush it aside as a mere technicality. Where the pre-trial brief does not contain the names of witnesses and the synopses of their testimonies as required by the Rules of Court, the trial court, through its pre-trial order, may bar the witnesses from testifying. However, an order allowing the presentation of unnamed witnesses may no longer be modified during the trial, without the consent of the parties affected.

Carlos vs. Cruz (GR 182426)

While heavy pressures of work was not considered a persuasive reason to justify the failure to set the case for pre-trial in Olave v. Mistas, however, unlike the respondents in the said case, herein respondent never failed to comply with the Rules of Court or any order of the trial court at any other time. Failing to file a motion to set the case for pre-trial was her first and only technical lapse during the entire proceedings. Neither has she manifested an evident pattern or a scheme to delay the disposition of the case nor a wanton failure to observe the mandatory requirement of the rules. Accordingly, the ends of justice and fairness would best be served if the parties are given the full opportunity to litigate their claims and the real issues involved in the case are threshed out in a full-blown trial. Besides, petitioners would not be prejudiced should the case proceed as they are not stripped of any affirmative defenses nor deprived of due process of law.

This is not to say that adherence to the Rules could be dispensed with. However, exigencies and situations might occasionally demand flexibility in their application. Indeed, on several occasions, the Court relaxed the rigid application of the rules of procedure to afford the parties opportunity to fully ventilate the merits of their cases.  This is in line with the time-honored principle that cases should be decided only after giving all parties the chance to argue their causes and defenses.  Technicality and procedural imperfection should thus not serve as basis of decisions.

Tolentino vs. Laurel (GR 181368)

In the case at bar, the trial court gave petitioners every chance to air their side and even reconsidered its first order declaring petitioners in default. Notwithstanding, petitioners and their counsel failed to take advantage of such opportunity and disregarded the legal processes, by continuously failing to appear during the pre-trial of the case without any valid cause. Clearly, when the trial court allowed the respondents to present evidence ex parte due to the continued failure of the petitioners to attend the pre-trial conference, it did so in accordance with Rule 18 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and with due regard to the constitutional guarantee of due process. Plainly, petitioners cannot complain that they were denied due process. What the fundamental law prohibits is total absence of opportunity to be heard. When a party has been afforded opportunity to present his side, he cannot feign denial of due process.

In The Philippine American Life & General Insurance Company v. Enario, the Court held that pre-trial cannot be taken for granted.  It is not a mere technicality in court proceedings for it serves a vital objective: the simplification, abbreviation and expedition of the trial, if not indeed its dispensation.

BPI vs. Dando (GR 177456)

The counsel of BPI invokes heavy pressures of work to explain his failure to file the Pre-Trial Brief with the RTC and to serve a copy thereof to Dando at least three days prior to the scheduled Pre-Trial Conference. True, in Olave v. Mistas, we did not find heavy pressures of work as sufficient justification for the failure of therein respondents counsel to timely move for pre-trial. However, unlike the respondents in Olave, the failure of BPI to file its Pre-Trial Brief with the RTC and provide Dando with a copy thereof within the prescribed period under Section 1, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, was the first and, so far, only procedural lapse committed by the bank in Civil Case No. 03-281. BPI did not manifest an evident pattern or scheme to delay the disposition of the case or a wanton failure to observe a mandatory requirement of the Rules. In fact, BPI, for the most part, exhibited diligence and reasonable dispatch in prosecuting its claim against Dando by immediately moving to set Civil Case No. 03-281 for Pre-Trial Conference after its receipt of Dandos Answer to the Complaint; and in instantaneously filing a Motion for Reconsideration of the 10 October 2003 Order of the RTC dismissing Civil Case No. 03-281.