Predictions for Civil Procedure MIDTERM Examination

Here are my predictions for our 2018 midterm examination in Civil Procedure. Good luck, guys!

[1] Define jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is the power of a court or tribunal to hear and decide a case. It also refers to the inherent authority of a court to control its processes.

[2] Enumerate exclusive and original jurisdiction of the RTC

The following are within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court:

[a] Actions the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation;
[b] Actions involving title to, possession of or interest in real property the assessed value of which exceeds 20,000 pesos or 50,000 pesos if within Metro Manila;
[c] Actions over civil actions the demand or claim of which exceeds 300,000 pesos or 400,000 pesos if within Metro Manila;
[d] Actions in admiralty or maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claim exceeds 300,000 pesos or 400,000 if within Metro Manila;
[e] Matters of probate, testate or intestate where the gross value of the estate exceeds 300,000 pesos or 400,000 pesos if within Metro Manila;
[f] Actions involving personal property valued at more than 300,000 pesos or 400,000 pesos if within Metro Manila; and
[g] All other cases not falling within the jurisdiction of any other court, tribunal, person, body or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

[3] What are prohibited pleadings in summary proceedings?

[a] Motion to dismiss the complaint, except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or failure to comply with barangay conciliation requirement;
[b] Motion for a bill of particulars;
[c] Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for opening of trial;
[d]  Petition for relief from judgment;
[e] Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;
[f] Memoranda;
[g] Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;
[h] Motion to declare the defendant in default
[i] Dilatory motions for postponement;
[j] Reply;
[k] Third-party complaints; and
[l] Interventions.

[4] Difference between accion publiciana and forcible entry/unlawful detainer

The difference is the lapse of time between the accrual of cause of action and the filing of the case in court. If within one (1) year, an action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer should be filed. If beyong one (1) year, an accion publiciana.

[5] Conditions precedent in filing civil action

Generally, all civil actions must go through barangay conciliation in compliance with the Local Government Code, unless expressly excluded or not covered by said law.

[6] Define action.

An action is a judicial demand for a person to comply with his obligation.

[7] Define cause of action

Cause of action is an act or omission in violation of the rights of another.

[8] Effect of splitting of cause of action

When two or more suits are insituted on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of one or judgment on any one is a ground for the dismissal of an action.

[10] Joinder in case of special civil actions

A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions:

(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties;
(b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules;
(c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
(d) Where the claims in all the causes action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. (Rule 2)

[11] Define real party-in-interest

A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. (Rule 3)

[12] Define necessary party

A necessary party is one who is not indispensable but who ought to be joined as a party if complete relief is to be accorded as to those already parties, or for a complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the action.

[13] Define indispensable party

An indispensable party is a real party-in-interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.

[14] Requisites of a class suit

Rule 3.12: "When the subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as parties, a number of them which the court finds to be sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully protect the interests of all concerned may sue or defend for the benefit of all. Any party in interest shall have the right to intervene to protect his individual interest."

[a] The subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest;
[b] Persons concerned are so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as parties
[c] Plaintiffs are sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully protect the interests of all concerned; and
[d] The suit is for the benefit of all.

[15] Define pleading

A pleading is a written statement of the respective claims and defenses of parties submitted to the court for appropriate judgement.

[16] Define complaint

A complaint is a pleading containing all the claims of a plaintiff against a defending party.

[17] Define answer

An answer is a pleading containing all the defenses of a defendant in response to the plaintiff's complaint.

[18] Define negative defense

A negative defense is the specific denial of the material fact or facts alleged in the pleading of the claimant essential to his cause or causes of action.

[19] Define counterclaim

A counterclaim is a claim which a defending party may have against an opposing party.

[20] Define venue

Venue is the place or the geographical area where an action should be filed. It simply means "place of trial."

[21] Define compulsory counterclaim

A compulsory counterclaim is one, being cognizable by the regular courts of justice, arises out of or is connected with the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of the opposing party's claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of parties over whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.

[22] Cross-claims

A cross-claim is any claim by one party against a co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter either of the original action or of a counterclaim therein.

[23] Third-party complaint

A third-party complaint is a claim that a defending party may, with leave of court, file against a non-party for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief, in respect of his opponent's claim.

[24] Declaration of default

If the defending party fails to answer within the time allowed therefor, the court shall, upon motion of the claiming party with notice to the defending party, and proof of such failure, declare the defending party in default. Thereupon, the court shall proceed to render judgment granting the claimant such relief as his pleading may warrant, unless the court in its discretion requires the claimant to submit evidence. Such reception of evidence may be delegated to the clerk of court.

[a] Effect of order of default. — A party in default shall be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings but not to take part in the trial. (2a, R18)
[b] Relief from order of default. — A party declared in default may at any time after notice thereof and before judgment file a motion under oath to set aside the order of default upon proper showing that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence and that he has a meritorious defense. In such case, the order of default may be set aside on such terms and conditions as the judge may impose in the interest of justice. (3a, R18)
[c] Effect of partial default. — When a pleading asserting a claim states a common cause of action against several defending parties, some of whom answer and the others fail to do so, the court shall try the case against all upon the answers thus filed and render judgment upon the evidence presented. (4a, R18).
[d] Extent of relief to be awarded. — A judgment rendered against a party in default shall not exceed the amount or be different in kind from that prayed for nor award unliquidated damages. (5a, R18).
[e] Where no defaults allowed. — If the defending party in an action for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage or for legal separation fails to answer, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or not a collusion between the parties exists, and if there is no collusion, to intervene for the State in order to see to it that the evidence submitted is not fabricated. (6a, R18)

[25] Effect of amending a pleading

An amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. However, admissions in superseded pleadings may be received in evidence against the pleader, and claims or defenses alleged therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall be deemed waived.

[26] When to amend

A party may amend his pleading once as a matter of right at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, in the case of a reply, at any time within ten (10) days after it is served.

Except as provided in the next preceding section, substantial amendments may be made only upon leave of court. But such leave may be refused if it appears to the court that the motion was made with intent to delay. Orders of the court upon the matters provided in this section shall be made upon motion filed in court, and after notice to the adverse party, and an opportunity to be heard.

A defect in the designation of the parties and other clearly clerical or typographical errors may be summarily corrected by the court at any stage of the action, at its initiative or on motion, provided no prejudice is caused thereby to the adverse party.

[27] Failure to file counterclaim

If the counterclaim is compulsory, it is barred if not set up. If permissive, it may be raised in a different action.

[28] Define bill of particulars

A bill of particulars is a definite statement of any matter which is not averted with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable a defending party properly to prepare his responsive pleading.

[29] Non-compliance with order for bill of particulars

If the order is not obeyed, or in case of insufficient compliance therewith, the court may order the striking out of the pleading or the portions thereof to which the order was directed or make such other order as it deems just.

[30] Two-dismissal rule

A complaint may be dismissed by the plaintiff by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service of the answer or of a motion for summary judgment. Upon such notice being filed, the court shall issue an order confirming the dismissal. Unless otherwise stated in the notice, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that a notice operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has once dismissed in a competent court an action based on or including the same claim.

[31] Ejectment cases

Rule 70 of the Rules of Court

[32] Subject matters in pre-trial

Nature and purpose. — The pre-trial is mandatory. The court shall consider:

[a] The possibility of an amicable settlement or of a submission to alternative modes of dispute resolution;
[b] The simplification of the issues;
[c] The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;
[d] The possibility of obtaining stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents to avoid unnecessary proof;
[e] The limitation of the number of witnesses;
[f] The advisability of a preliminary reference of issues to a commissioner;
[g] The propriety of rendering judgment on the pleadings, or summary judgment, or of dismissing the action should a valid ground therefor be found to exist;
[h] The advisability or necessity of suspending the proceedings; and
[i] Such other matters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the action. (1a, R20)

[33] Marking of evidence

"Pre-trial, to stress, is way more than simple marking of evidence. Hence, it should not be ignored or neglected, as the counsels for respondent had." (G.R. No. 183608)

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