When other forms of damages constitute complaint's primary relief

In civil actions for damages arising from malicious prosecution, the SC has held that the other forms of damages being prayed for by the plaintiff, e.g., exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses, are not merely incidental to or consequences of the main action but constitute the primary relief prayed for by the complaint. (G.R. No. 173915; February 22, 2010).
In the instant case, the complaint filed in Civil Case No. 5794-R is for the recovery of damages for the alleged malicious acts of petitioners. The complaint principally sought an award of moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorneys fees and litigation expenses, for the alleged shame and injury suffered by respondent by reason of petitioners utterance while they were at a police station in Pangasinan. It is settled that jurisdiction is conferred by law based on the facts alleged in the complaint since the latter comprises a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs causes of action. It is clear, based on the allegations of the complaint, that respondents main action is for damages. Hence, the other forms of damages being claimed by respondent, e.g., exemplary damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses, are not merely incidental to or consequences of the main action but constitute the primary relief prayed for in the complaint.

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