2019 Rules of Civil Procedure (A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC)

Below is a list (or summary) of proposed amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Note that A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC has not yet been approved by the Supreme Court en banc. This is merely a proposal submitted by the Sub-Committee on Revision via a resolution.

You can download the full PDF version below.

[1] The proposed amendments have made the Rules more gender-sensitive, adding "or her" to provisions that only say "him."

[2] A reply only be filed if the answer attaches an actionable document.

[3] The proposal would want to make an express provision saying: "Affirmative defenses may also include grounds for the dismissal of a complaint. specifically, that the court has no jurisdiction, etc."

[4] The proposal would want to make it clear that a COMPULSORY counterclaim not raised in the same action is barred.

[5] A cross-claim "may cover all or part of the original complaint."

[6] "Rejoinder" has been revived but is allowed only if and when the reply attaches an actionable document.

[7] A third-party complaint shall be denied admission, and the court shall require the defendant to institute a separate action, where: (a) the third-party defendant cannot be located within 30 days from the grant of a leave; (b) matters extraneous to the issue in the principal case are raised; or (c) the effect would be to introduce a new and separate controversy into the action.

[8] The knowledge, information and belief of a counsel signing a document or a pleading must be formed "after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances."

[9] The filing of a pleading must not be for any improper purpose; must be warranted by existing jurisprudence; must be supported by a non-frivolous argument; the case has or will likely have evidentiary support; and the denials of facts in the pleading are warranted by evidence.

[10] If the counsel signs a signature in violation of the rules mentioned in [8] and [9], the court may punish the lawyer, law firm or party. If the penalty is monetary, the lawyer or law firm cannot pass it to the client.

[11] A pleading must be verified by an affidavit.

[12] In a certificate of non-forum shopping, the authorization of the affiant to act on behalf of a party, whether in the form of a secretary's certificate or a special power of attorney, should be attached to the pleading.[13] Every pleading must now state details about witnesses and about pieces of documentary or object evidence.

[14] In pleading a judgment or a decision, an authenticated copy thereof must be attached to the pleading.

[15] Resolution of affirmative defenses shall be within 30 days.

[16] Affirmative defenses, if denied, must be assigned as an error on appeal.

[17] If an amendment by leave is intended to delay, the court SHALL refuse. The same is true if it attempts to confer jurisdiction to the court or if the pleading stated no cause of action from the beginning.

[18] It is proposed that the period to answer be 30 days.

[19] To answer a counterclaim or cross-claim, 20 days. To reply, 15 days. To answer a supplemental complaint, 20 days.

[20] Extension to file an answer shall only be allowed once.

[21] Filing is the act of submitting the pleading or other paper to court.

The list above will be updated from time to time as our team reviews the proposed amendments.