Stages of a civil action (complete)


Below is a bird's eye view of how our justice system flows in a civil case. Please note that the following is merely an outline and discussions for each item is better treated in a separate post.

I. BEFORE FILING OF THE ACTION

Actions in General:
(1) Do you have a cause of action?
(2) What about right of action?

Parties:
(1) Who are the parties in this action?
(2) Who are the plaintiffs and the defendants in this case?
(3) What are the kinds of parties?

Requirements:
(1) Do you have legal capacity?
(2) Do you have standing to sue?
(3) Who is the real party in interest?

Joinder of Parties
(1) Which initial parties should be joined?
(2) Is the joinder of parties compulsory or permissive?
(3) Will there be third (fourth, etc.) party complaints?
(4) Is the action a class suit?
(5) Do we expect an intervention?
(6) Is the action an interpleader?
(7) Special Joinder Modes: (a) class suit, (b) intervention and (c) interpleader

Referral to barangay conciliation: (Please see ADR law.)
(1) Does the law require prior barangay conciliation as a condition sine qua non?
(2) Does the law, the rules or the contract require any mode of alternative dispute resolution before resorting to judicial intervention?

Kinds of Civil Actions

(1) Is the action ordinary and special?
(2) Is it personal or real?
(3) Is it in personam, in rem or quasi-in-rem?
(4) Is the action local and transitory?

Hierarchy of courts
(1) Which is the lowest court having jurisdiction over the case?

Jurisdiction
(1) Which court is given jurisdiction over the case?

Venue
(1) Which is the proper venue under the law or rules?
(2) Is there any contractual stipulation regarding venue?
(3) Is the stipulation restrictive or merely permissive?

Summary procedure
(1) Is the case subject to the rules on summary procedure?

Pleadings, Motions and Notice
(1) What are the general principles behind pleadings?
(2) What are the formal requirements? (a) Verification and (b) Certification of non-forum shopping
(3) What is the manner of making allegations in pleadings?
(4) What does a complaint look like?
(5) Should causes of action be joined?
(6) If yes, is the joinder permissive or compulsory?
(7) How are pleadings filed?
(8) How are pleadings served?
(9) What is the difference between filing and service of pleadings?

II. FILING OF THE ACTION

(1) How is the action commenced?
(2) Should docket fees be paid? If yes, how much should be paid?
(3) Is there a need for raffle of cases?
(4) Where will the case be raffled?
(5) Should you avail of provisional remedies?

III. COURT ACQUIRES JURISDICTION OVER THE PARTIES

(1) How is jurisdiction over the plaintiff acquired?
(2) How is jurisdiction over the defendant acquired?
(3) What are the effects of voluntary appearance?
(4) What are the modes of service of summons? (a) personal service, (b) substituted service, (c) constructive service (by publication) and (d) extraterritorial service
(5) What are the effects of a pleading attacking the court's jurisdiction over the person but invoking other defenses other than lack of jurisdiction?

IV. NOTICES AND MOTIONS
AFTER COURT'S ACQUISITION
OF JURISDICTION OVER THE PARTIES

Plaintiff’s Notice and Motions
(1) Can the plaintiff file a notice of dismissal of the complaint? (Rule 17, Section 1)
(2) Can the plaintiff file an amendment to the complaint? (Rule 10, Section 2)
(3) Can the plaintiff file a motion for leave of court to file a supplemental complaint? (Rule 10, Section 6)
(4) Can the plaintiff file a motion to declare defendant in default? (Rule 9, Section 3)

Defendant’s Motions
(1) Can the defendant file a motion to set aside order of default? (Rule 9, Section 3)
(2) Can the defendant file a motion for extension of time to file responsive pleading? (Rule 11,  Section 11)
(3) Can the defendant file a motion for bill of particulars? (Rule 12)
(4) Can the defendant file a motion to dismiss the complaint? (Rule 16) V. JOINDER OF ISSUES

Plaintiff’s Motions and Pleadings 
(1) Can the plaintiff file a motion to dismiss the complaint? (Rule 17, Sec. 2)
(2) Can the plaintiff file a motion to amend or supplement the complaint? (Rule 17, Secs. 3 and 6)
(3) Can the plaintiff file a motion for judgment on the pleadings? (Rule 34)
(4) Can the plaintiff file a motion for summary judgment? (Rule 35)
(5) Can the plaintiff file a motion to set pre-trial?

Plaintiff’s Other Papers
(1) Should the plaintiff file a reply?
(2) Should the plaintiff file an answer to the counterclaim?
(3) Should the plaintiff file a pre-trial brief?

Defendant’s Motions and Pleadings
(1) Should the defendant file a motion to dismiss the complaint due to the fault of the plaintiff?
(2) Should the defendant file an answer with or without counterclaim?
(3) Should the defendant file pre-trial briefs?

VI. PRE-TRIAL

Plaintiff
(1) Should the plaintiff file a motion to present evidence ex parte?
(2) Should the plaintiff file a motion to render judgment?
(3) Should the plaintiff file a motion to drop or add parties?

Defendant
(1) Should the defendant file a motion to dismiss?
(2) Should the defendant file a motion to postpone?
(3) Should the defendant file a motion for consolidation or severance?
(4) Should the defendant file a motion for trial by commissioner?
(5) Should the defendant file a motion to drop or add parties?

Joinder
(1) Should there be a joinder of claims or causes of action?
(2) Should there be joinder of parties?

VII. DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY

(1) Depositions
(2) Interrogatories to parties
(3) Admission by adverse party
(4) Production or inspections of documents or things
(5) Physical and mental examination of persons

VIII. TRIAL

(1) Should there be a motion for amendment to conform with the evidence/issues presented during trial?
(2) Should there be a motion to authorize presentation of evidence? (Rule 10, Sec. 5)

IX. AFTER TRIAL BUT BEFORE JUDGMENT

Plaintiff and Defendant
(1) Should the plaintiff and/or the defendant file a motion to submit memorandum?

Defendant: 
(1) Should the defendant file a motion for judgment on demurrer to evidence?

X. JUDGMENT

(1) What is the fallo?
(2) Which is more controlling: the body or the fallo?

XI. AFTER JUDGMENT

(1) Should the losing party file a motion for reconsideration?
(2) Should the losing party file a motion for new trial?

XII. APPEAL AND REVIEW

Before Judgment Becomes Final
(1) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of an ordinary appeal?
(2) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of a petition for review?
(3) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of a petition for review on certiorari?

After finality
(1) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of a petition for certiorari? (A petition for certiorari is not the same as an appeal on certiorari.)
(2) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of a petition for relief from judgment?
(3) Should the losing party avail of the remedy of a petition for annulment of judgment?

XIII. EXECUTION AND SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT

(1) There are, generally, two kinds of execution: (a) mandatory and (b) discretionary.
(2) There are different kinds of executions: (a) In case of death of party; (b) Of judgments for money; (c) Of judgments for specific act; (d) Of special judgments
(2) What are execution sales? (a) Sales on execution; (b) Conveyance of property sold on execution; (c) Redemption of property sold on execution

XIV. SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT

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