Counterclaims: Permissive or Compulsory?

Petitioners also question the trial court's ruling that their counterclaim is permissive. The Supreme Court has laid down the following tests to determine whether a counterclaim is compulsory or not, to wit:

[1] Are the issues of fact or law raised by the claim and the counterclaim largely the same?
[2] Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on defendants claims, absent the compulsory counterclaim rule?
[3] Will substantially the same evidence support or refute plaintiffs claim as well as the defendants counterclaim? and
[4] Is there any logical relation between the claim and the counterclaim, such that the conduct of separate trials of the respective claims of the parties would entail a substantial duplication of effort and time by the parties and the court?

Tested against the above-mentioned criteria, the Supreme Court agrees with the view of the RTC that Rosita's counterclaim for the recovery of her alleged share in the sale of the Morayta property is permissive in nature. The evidence needed to prove respondents' claim to recover the amount of P3,000,000.00 from petitioners is different from that required to establish Rosita's demands for the recovery of her alleged share in the sale of the subject Morayta property. The recovery of respondents' claim is not contingent or dependent upon the establishment of Rosita's counterclaim such that conducting separate trials will not result in the substantial duplication of the time and effort of the court and the parties.
In Sun Insurance Office, Ltd., (SIOL) v. Asuncion, the Supreme Court laid down the rules on the payment of filing fees, to wit:

[1] It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
[2] The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third-party claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
[3] Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.

In order for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over her permissive counterclaim, Rosita is bound to pay the prescribed docket fees. Since it is not disputed that Rosita never paid the docket and filing fees, the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over her permissive counterclaim. Nonetheless, the trial court ruled on the merits of Rosita's permissive counterclaim by dismissing the same on the ground that she failed to establish that there is a sharing agreement between her and Arturo with respect to the proceeds of the sale of the subject Morayta property and that the amount of P3,000,000.00 represented by the check which Rosita and Alice encashed formed part of the proceeds of the said sale. (G.R. No. 155033; December 19, 2007)