Lawyers NEVER forget 30 Facts re Certiorari

Here are thirty (30) things to remember when contemplating on filing a petition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

General Rule: The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Court have concurrent jurisdiction when it comes to petitions for certiorari.

Exception: De los Reyes vs. People, 480 SCRA 294 [ 2006] Petition for certiorari to annul RTC orders filed with the SC should be dismissed. It should have been filed with the CA, following the principle of hierarchy of courts.

[1] If aggrieved, even a non-party may institute a petition for certiorari.

[2] Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are not available under the Rule on Summary Procedure (Sec. 19), in a petition for a writ of amparo (Sec. 19, Rule on the Writ of Amparo), and in a petition for a writ of habeas data (Sec. 19, Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data), It is also not available in small claims cases (Sec. 14 (g). A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC).

[3] If involving acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, the petition should be filed in CA (Sec. 4).

[4] This writ is directed against a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

[5] Not available as a remedy for the correction of the acts performed by a sheriff during the execution process, which acts are neither judicial nor quasi-judicial but are purely ministerial functions. Prohibition is the proper remedy.

[6] Where the function is merely investigative and recommendatory with no power to pronounce judgment on the controversy, it does not involve the exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial power. Hence, the acts may not be challenged in a petition for certiorari.

[7] A petition for certiorari must be based on jurisdictional grounds because as long as the respondent acted with jurisdiction, any error committed by him or it in the exercise thereof will amount to nothing than an error of judgment which may be reviewed by or corrected by appeal.

[8] Since the issue is jurisdiction, an original action for certiorari may be directed against an interlocutory order of the lower court prior to an appeal from the judgment. I think this is the exception rather than the general rule. As a rule, interlocutory orders must not assailed on certiorari during the pendency of the case except when the same is patently erroneous or is cause for the miscarriage of justice.

[9] The ground for the issuance of a writ of certiorari is grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

[10] A court's denial of motion to dismiss or to quash, being interlocutory, cannot be questioned by certiorari; it cannot be subject of appeal, until final order or judgment is rendered. What this means is that if the court denying motion of A rendered a decision in favor of A, there is no longer any reason for A to appeal. If, however, the decisions is adverse to A, he can go up to the next court in hierarchy and attach as one of the issues to be resolved or assign as one of the errors to be reviewer the denial of the motion.

Exceptions: Certiorari, Mandamus or Prohibition is appropriate:
DBP vs. La Campana Development Corp., 448 SCRA 384 [2005]

[a] When trial court issued the order without or excess of jurisdiction;
[b] When there is patent grave abuse of discretion by the trial court; or,
[c] When appeal would not prove to be a speedy and adequate remedy
as when an appeal would not promptly relieve defendants from
the injurious effects of the patently mistaken order.

[11] A mere denial of an application for an ex parte order for the seizure of evidence is not indicative of grave abuse of discretion where petitioner failed to point out specific instances where grave abuse of discretion was allegedly committed and how the respondent court supposedly exercised its power in a despotic, capricious or whimsical manner.

[12] A judge gravely abuses his discretion when he extends by twenty (20) days the 72-hour restraining order he initially issued because "in no case shall the total period of effectivity of the temporary restraining order exceed 20 day.".

[13] There is grave abuse of discretion where the trial court fails to determine a factual controversy before issuing a writ of demolition. Failure to do so is to disregard basic principles of due process because before demolition could be effected, the parties concerned must be heard.

[14] For the extraordinary writ of certiorari to issue, the petitioner must have no other recourse, appeal, for example, or any other remedy that makes the reparation of injury plain, speedy and adequate .

[15] Under the 2000 National Prosecution Service Rules on Appeal, the resolution of the Secretary of Justice affirming, modifying or reversing the resolution of the Investigating Prosecutor is final. The remedy of the aggrieved party is to file a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals since there is no more appeal or other remedy available in the ordinary course of law. To file an appeal with the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 is an improper remedy.[16] The CA is empowered under its certiorari jurisdiction to annul and declare void the questioned resolutions of the Secretary of Justice, but only on two grounds – lack of jurisdiction and grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The power to reverse and set aside partakes of an appellate jurisdiction which the CA does not have over judgments of the Secretary of Justice exercising quasi-judicial functions.

[17] A judgment or final order of the Court of Appeals on the petition for certiorari against the Secretary of Justice is reviewable by the Supreme Court by a petition for review under Rule 45, not the original action for certiorari under Rule 65. It is elementary that a writ of certiorari under Rule 65 where the remedy of appeal (like Rule 45) is available precludes certiorari.

[18] Generally, if appeal is available, certiorari cannot be resorted to. Appeal and certiorari mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.

[19] Certiorari filed instead of appeal during period of appeal did not toll period or prevent judgment from becoming final.

[20] Certiorari not substitute for lost appeal. Existence and availability of the right to appeal prohibits the resort to certiorari even if the error ascribed to the court is lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion in the findings of fact or law set out in the decision.

[21] If remedy of appeal lost due to petitioner’s neglect or error in choice of remedies, certiorari not substitute or tool to shield petitioner from adverse effects.

[a] When public welfare and advancement of public policy dictate.
[b] When broader interest of justice so requires.
[c] When writs issued are null and void.
[d] When questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority.
[e] Where appeal is not adequate, speedy and effective.
[f] In any such instances, special civil action of certiorari may be availed of: *** Even during the pendency of the case or even after judgment, or *** Even when appeal has been availed of

[22] Availability of appeal does not foreclose recourse to certiorari where appeal not adequate, or equally beneficial, speedy and sufficient.

[23] Rule may be relaxed when rigid application will result in manifest failure or miscarriage of justice.

[24] Where remedies not incompatible, filing of certiorari not abandonment of appeal. Appeal is from decision in main case while certiorari is against order denying motion for new trial.

[25] An appeal from a judgment does not bar a certiorari petition against the order granting execution pending appeal and the issuance of the writ of execution.

[24] However, a party is not allowed to question a decision on the merits and also invoke certiorari. Filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 and ordinary appeal under Rule 41 cannot be allowed because one remedy would necessarily cancel each other.

[25] It is the danger of failure of justice without the writ, not the mere absence of all legal remedies, that must determine the propriety of certiorari.

[26] In many instances, the Supreme Court has treated a petition for review under Rule 45 as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, where the subject of the recourse was one of jurisdiction, or the act complained of was perpetrated by a court with grave abuse or discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction but when the petition denominated as a Rule 45 petition neither involves any issue of jurisdiction nor a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals, it should be dismissed outright.

[27] A prior motion for reconsideration is required before certiorari can be filed.

[28] Although the RTC has the authority to annul final judgments, such authority pertains only to final judgments rendered by inferior courts and quasi-judicial bodies of equal ranking with such inferior courts. Given that DARAB decisions are appealable to the CA, the inevitable conclusion is that the DARAB is a co-equal body with the RTC and its decisions are beyond the RTC’s control.

[29] Rule 43 refers to appeals from judgments or orders of quasi-judicial agencies in the exercise of their quasi-judicial functions. On the other hand, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court specifically governs special civil actions for certiorari, Section 4 of which provides that if the petition involves acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless otherwise provided by law or the rules, the petition shall be filed in and cognizable only by the CA.
[30] Cases to read:

Alcaraz. vs. Gonzales. G.R. No. 164715, September 26, 2006
Bermudez vs.Gonzales, 347 SCRA 611 [2000]
Beso vs. Aballe, 326 SCRA 100 [2000]
Buan vs. Matugas, G.R. No. 161179, August 7, 2007
Bugarin vs. Palisoc, G.R. No. 157985, December 2, 2005,476 SCRA 587
China Banking Corporation vs. Asian Construction and Development Corporation, G.R. No. 158271, April 8, 2008
DBP vs. La Campana Development Corp., 448 SCRA 384 [2005]
De los Reyes vs. People, 480 SCRA 294 [ 2006]
Del Rosario vs. Galagot, 166 SCRA 429
Doran vs. Luczon,G.R.No. 151344, September 26, 2006
Estrera vs. CA, G.R. No. 154235, August 16, 2006
Lansang, Jr. vs. CA, 184 SCRA 230
MaƱacop vs. Equitable PCIBank, 468 SCRA 256
Marawi Marantao General Hospital vs. CA, 349 SCRA 321
Mejares vs. Reyes, 254 SCRA 425
Microsoft Corporation vs. Best Deal Computer Center Corporation, 389 SCRA 615 [2002]
Miguel vs. JCT Group, Inc., 458 SCRA 529 [2005]
New Frontier Sugar Corporation vs. RTC of Iloilo, G.R. No. 165001, January 31, 2007
Pamana, Inc. vs. CA, 460 SCRA 133 [2005]
PNB vs. Sayoc, 292 SCRA 365
Professional Regulations Commission vs. CA, 292 SCRA 155
Public Hearing Committee of the Laguna Lake Development Authority vs. SM Prime Holdings, Inc., G.R. No. 170599, September 22, 2010
Seven Brothers Shipping Corp. vs. CA, 246 SCRA 33 [1995]
Spouses Balanguan vs. CA, G. R. No. 174350, August 13, 2008
Springfield Development Corp. vs. Presiding Judge of RTC of Misamis Oriental, Branch 40, G.R. No. 142628, February 6, 2007
St. Peter Memorial Park vs. Campos, 63 SCRA 180
Tan, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, 292 SCRA 452

Project Jurisprudence is connected with the following:

Facebook page:
Twitter page:
YouTube channel:
Another YouTube channel: