Correct and appropriate docket fees

This much was directed in the 19 May 2008 Order issued by Branch 22 of the Manila RTC which determined that the case is a real action and admitted the Amended and Supplemental Complaint R-II Builders subsequently filed in the case. In obvious evasion of said directive to pay the correct docket fees, however, R-II Builders withdrew its Amended and Supplemental Complaint and, in lieu thereof, filed its Second Amended Complaint which, while deleting its causes of action for accounting and conveyance of title to and/or possession of the entire Asset Pool, nevertheless prayed for its appointment as Receiver of the properties comprising the same. In the landmark case of Manchester Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, this Court ruled that jurisdiction over any case is acquired only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee which is both mandatory and jurisdictional. Although it is true that the Manchester Rule does not apply despite insufficient filing fees when there is no intent to defraud the government, R-II Builders’ evident bad faith should clearly foreclose the relaxation of said rule. Having consistently sought the transfer of possession and control of the properties comprising the Asset Pool over and above the nullification of the Deed of Conveyance in favor of HGC, it follows R-II Builders should have paid the correct and appropriate docket fees, computed according to the assessed value thereof. (G.R. No. 192649; June 22, 2011)

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