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Civil Procedure Rules 4 to 5

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RULE 4 Venue

AUCTION IN MALINTA, INC., VS. WARREN EMBES LUYABEN, G.R. NO.
173979, February 12, 2007 PABALAN

Doctrine:
Mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude parties from
bringing a case in other venues. It must be shown that such stipulation is exclusive.

Facts:
Warren Embes Luyaben won in the auction of petitioner. Respondent
paid for the equipment but petitioner was not able to produce the same.
Luyaben then filed a complaint for damages against Auction in Malinta,
Inc. (AIMI) in RTC-Kalinga where Luyaben resides.
AIMI moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper venue by
invoking the following stipulation in the Bidders Application and
Registration Bidding Agreement which states that: ALL COURT
LITIGATION PROCEDURES SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN THE
APPROPRIATE COURTS OF VALENZUELA CITY, METRO MANILA.

Issue:
WON stipulation in the Agreement effectively limits the venue of the case
exclusively to the proper court of Valenzuela City? -- NO.

Held:
The SC held that mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough
to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues. It must be shown that such
stipulation is exclusive. In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, such as
exclusively and waiving for this purpose any other venue, shall only preceding
the designation of venue, to the exclusion of the other courts, or words of similar
import, the stipulation should be deemed as merely an agreement on an additional
forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place.
In the instant case, the stipulation in the parties agreement, i.e., all Court
litigation procedures shall be conducted in the appropriate Courts of Valenzuela
City, Metro Manila, evidently lacks the restrictive and qualifying words that will limit
venue exclusively to the RTC of Valenzuela City. Hence, the Valenzuela courts
should only be considered as an additional choice of venue to those mentioned
under Section 2, Rule 4.
Being that Kalinga is where the aggrieved party resides, RTC-Kalinga is a
proper venue for the case at bar, following Rule 4 Section 2 of the Rules of Civil
Procedure, which states that:
Sec. 2. Venue of personal actions. All other actions may be commenced and tried
where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or
any of the principal defendants resides, or in the case of a nonresident defendant,
where he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff.


Gumabon vs. Larin G.R. No. 142523, November 27, 2001, 370 SCRA 638
TABAG

DOCTRINE: A court may motu proprio dismiss a claim when it appears from the
pleadings or evidence on record that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter;
when there is another cause of action pending between the same parties for the
same cause, or where the action is barred by a prior judgment or by statute of
limitations. Improper venue not being included in the enumeration, it should follow
that motu proprio dismissal on said ground would still not be allowed under the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure.

FACTS:
Petitioners executed a Deed of Sale With Right of Repurchase in favor of
respondent Aquilino Larin.
It was a sale of land in Pampanga.
The right of repurchase indicated that petitioner-vendors can buy the so
land at any time after each harvest of each crop year.
39 years later, petitioner filed a complaint before the RTC QC seeking the
return of the title from Larin who refused to turn over said title even after
payment of full amount.
Larin alleges that it was not an equitable mortgage but a sale w right to
repurchase. And that no amount was paid to him, and the repurchase right
has already expired. He filed a counterclaim.
Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss counterclaim because there was no
certification of non-forum shopping.
RTC dismissed counterclaim. Demurrer was also denied. Judge
eventually inhibited.

TC: When it was re-raffled, new Judge Ceguera dismissed the case on the ground
that being a real action, it should've been filed with the RTC Pampanga.

CA: CA denied petition even if it was assailed that Larin never alleged the issue of
venue or competence of the RTC QC
Civil Procedure Rules 4 to 5
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ISSUE: W/N a trial court judge can motu proprio dismiss an action for its improper
venue.

HELD: NO.
The motu proprio dismissal of a case was traditionally limited to instances
when the court clearly had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and when the
plaintiff did not appear during trial, failed to prosecute his action for an unreasonable
length of time or neglected to comply with the rules or with any order of the
court.Outside of these instances, any motu proprio dismissal would amount to a
violation of the right of the plaintiff to be heard. Except for qualifying and expanding
Section 2,[7] Rule 9, and Section 3,[8] Rule 17, of the Revised Rules of Court, the
amendatory 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure brought about no radical change.
Under the new rules, a court may motu proprio dismiss a claim when it
appears from the pleadings or evidence on record that it has no jurisdiction over the
subject matter; when there is another cause of action pending between the same
parties for the same cause, or where the action is barred by a prior judgment or by
statute of limitations. Improper venue not being included in the enumeration, it
should follow that motu proprio dismissal on said ground would still not be allowed
under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Sections 6,[10] Rule 16, of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure further provides that if no motion to dismiss has been filed, any of
the grounds for dismissal provided under the rules, including improper venue, may
be pleaded as an affirmative defense in the answer, and upon the discretion of the
court, a preliminary hearing may be made thereon as if a motion to dismiss has
been filed. But, as it is, improper venue not having been so raised by respondent as
a ground to dismiss, he must be deemed to have waived the same.

SC RULING: Petition for Review on Certiorari is GRANTED. Civil case is reinstated
and remanded.


Paglaum Management v. Unionbank, June 18, 2012 ATIENZA

FACTS:
Paglaum Management and Development Corporation (PAGLAUM) is the
registered owner of three parcels of land located in the Province of Cebu with
Benjamin B. Dy, the president of petitioner Health Marketing Technologies, Inc.
(HealthTech) as co-owner. On 3 February 1994, Union Bank of the Philippines
(Union Bank) extended HealthTech a credit line in the amount of P 10,000,000
which was eventually increased to 36,500,000. This was secured by 3 real estate
mortgage on the lands. The venue in the real estate mortgage was stipulated to be
in Makati, Metro Manila or in the place where any of the Mortgaged Properties is
located (Cebu), at the absolute option of the Mortgagee, the parties hereto waiving
any other venue.
Unfortunately, Healthtech is having difficulties on paying its obligation.
They both executed a Restructuring Agreement whereby it states that that any
action or proceeding arising out of or in connection therewith shall be commenced in
Makati City, with both parties waiving any other venue. Healthtech still defaulted on
the obligation. Union Bank foreclosed the properties through an auction sale, bought
it as the sole bidder as secured a Certificate of Sale. Healthcare filed a complaint for
annulment of sale and titles on the RTC of MAKATI. The RTC ruled in favour of
Healthtech and restrained restraining Union Bank from proceeding with the auction
sale. Union Bank filed a Motion to Dismiss citing lack of jurisdiction and improper
venue. RTC of Makati granted Union Banks motion to dismiss. CA affirmed Makati
RTC. Hence this appeal to SC
Union Bank argues that the Restructuring Agreement only pertains to the
loan and does not affect the stipulations in the real mortgage which states that it has
the option to choose the venue. Healthtech argues the restructuring agreement also
carries with it the venue for the settlement of cases for the real mortgages.

ISSUE: WON Makati RTC is a proper venue for the case

HELD: YES
The SC held that an action to annul a real estate mortgage foreclosure
sale is no different from an action to annul a private sale of real property. Therefore,
this case falls under Rule 4. The general rule in Rule 4 is that the venue is on where
the property is located. However, among the exceptions is where the parties have
validly agreed in writing before the filing of the action on the exclusive venue
thereof. The SC adds that the mere stipulation on the venue of an action, however,
is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues. The parties
must be able to show that such stipulation is exclusive. Failure to do so would result
to the parties stipulating additional venues for the case.
In this case, both the stipulation in the Real Estate Mortgage and the
Restructuring Agreement has words of exclusivity. The SC held that the
Restructuring Agreement should prevail as this modified the entire loan obligation.
The later Restructuring Agreement reveals the intention of the parties to implement
a restrictive venue stipulation, which applies not only to the principal obligation, but
also to the mortgages

Note: In one of the Real Estate Mortgage, the phrase "parties hereto waiving" from
Civil Procedure Rules 4 to 5
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the entire phrase "the parties hereto waiving any other venue" was stricken from
the final executed contract. This was held not to be enough to show exclusivity.



RULE 5 Uniform Procedure in Trial Courts/ Summary Procedure

Republic v. Sunvar Development, June 20, 2012, G.R. No. 194880 BOMBALES

DOCTRINE: Under the rules on Summary Procedure, a certiorari petition under
Rule 65 against an interlocutory order issued by the court in a summary pleading is
a prohibited pleading.
FACTS:
Petitioners Republic and NAPOCOR are registered co-owners of a parcel
of land which they leased to the Technology Resource Center Foundation,
Inc.,(TRCFI) for a period of 25 years ending on December 31, 2002.
The TRCFI was given the right to sublease this land to Sunvar, through
sublease agreements with the common provision that their sublease
agreements were going to expire on December 31, 2002, the date that the
TRCFIs lease agreements with the petitioners would expire.
In 1987, when the government was reorganized, the TCFRI was replaced
with the Philippine Development Alternatives Foundation (PDAF). Before
the expiration date, Sunvar wrote to PDAF and expressed its desire to
renew the sublease over the subject property and proposed an increased
rental rate and a renewal period of another25 years. PDAF forwarded the
letter to petitioners. By June 25, 2002, PDAF had informed Sunvar of
petitioners decisions not to renew the lease.
When the lease contract and the sublease agreements expired,
petitioners recovered all the rights over the subject property. BUT,
respondent Sunvar continued to occupy the property.
Six years after the expiry date, petitioner Republic, through the Office of
the Solicitor General (OSG), advised respondent Sunvar to vacate the
subject property. Although Sunvar duly received the Notice, it still did not
vacate the property.
Almost a year after the first notice, respondent Sunvar received from
respondent OSG a final notice to vacate within 15 days. When the period
lapsed, respondent Sunvar again refused to vacate the property.
Petitioners then filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer with the MTC of
Makati City.
Sunvar moved to dismiss the complaint, questioning the jurisdiction of the
MeTC as the action was supposed to an accion publiciana rather than one
for unlawful detainer.
The MeTC denied respondents Motion to Dismiss
Then Sunvar filed a Rule 65 Petition for Certiorari with the RTC of Makati
City to assail the denial by the MeTC of respondents Motion to Dismiss.
Petitioner questioned the RTCs jurisdiction and prayed for the outright
dismissal of the petition.
The RTC denied the motion for dismissal and granted the Rule 65 Petition,
directing the MeTC to dismiss the Complaint for unlawful detainer for lack of
jurisdiction. Thus, the instant petition.

ISSUE: Did the RTC violate the Rules on Summary Procedure when it took
cognizance and granted the certiorari petition filed by Sunvar?

HELD: YES
SC Ruling: Under the rules on Summary Procedure, a certiorari petition under Rule
65 against an interlocutory order issued by the court in a summary pleading is a
prohibited pleading. Hence, the RTC should have dismissed Sunvars petition
outright for being a prohibited pleading.

Petitioners have already alerted the RTC of this legal bar and immediately prayed
for dismissal of the certiorari petition yet the RTC not only refused to dismiss the
certiorari petition but even proceeded to hear the Rule 65 petition on merits

According to former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, the proper remedy in such
cases is an ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment on the merits incorporating in
said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory order.

Allowing appeals from interlocutory orders would result in the sorry spectacle of a
case being subject of a counter productive ping pong to and from the appellate court
as often as a trial court is perceived to have made an error in any of its interlocutory
rulings.


GERLIE M. UY VS. JUDGE ERWIN B. JAVELLANA, A.M. No. MTJ-07-1666,
September 05, 2012 ] BUENAVENTURA

Doctrine: The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure was precisely adopted to
promote a more expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases, and to enforce
the constitutional rights of litigants to the speedy disposition of cases.
Civil Procedure Rules 4 to 5
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Facts:
This administrative case arose from a verified complaint for "gross
ignorance of the law and procedures, gross incompetence, neglect of duty, conduct
improper and unbecoming of a judge, grave misconduct and others," filed by Public
Attorneys Gerlie M. Uy (Uy) and others against Presiding Judge Erwin B. Javellana
(Javellana) of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), La Castellana, Negros Occidental.
Judge Javellana was grossly ignorant of the Revised Rule on Summary
Procedure. Public Attorneys Uy and Bascug cited several occasions as examples:
(a) In Crim. Case No. 04-097, entitled People v. Cornelio, for Malicious Mischief,
Judge Javellana issued a warrant of arrest after the filing of said case despite
Section 16 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure; (b) In Crim. Case No. 04-
075, entitled People v. Celeste, et al., for Trespass to Dwelling, Judge Javellana did
not grant the motion to dismiss for non-compliance with the Lupon requirement
under Sections 18 and 19(a) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, insisting
that said motion was a prohibited pleading; (c) Also in People v. Celeste, et al.,
Judge Javellana refused to dismiss outright the complaint even when the same was
patently without basis or merit, as the affidavits of therein complainant and her
witnesses were all hearsay evidence; and (d) In Crim. Case No. 02-056, entitled
People v. Lopez, et al., for Malicious Mischief, Judge Javellana did not apply the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure and, instead, conducted a preliminary
examination and preliminary investigation in accordance with the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, then set the case for arraignment and pre-trial, despite
confirming that therein complainant and her witnesses had no personal knowledge
of the material facts alleged in their affidavits, which should have been a ground for
dismissal of said case.

OCA held: The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), in its report dated January
2, 2006, found Judge Javellana liable for gross ignorance of the law or procedure
when he did not apply the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure in cases
appropriately covered by said Rule

SC Ruling: Affirmed OCA's ruling

HELD: The SC ruled that the judge committed a gross ignorance of the law and
upheld the decision of the OCA
The cases People v. Cornelio and People v. Lopez, et al. pending before
Judge Javellana were both for malicious mischief which falls under the jurisdiction of
the MTCs under the Revised Rule of Summary Procedure. The crime of malicious
mischief is committed by any person who deliberately causes damage to the
property of another through means not constituting arson. Article 329 of the same
Code should be applied. If the amounts of the alleged damage to property in People
v. Cornelio and People v. Lopez, et al., P 6,000.00 and P 3,000.00, respectively, are
proven, the appropriate penalty for the accused would be arresto mayor in its
medium and maximum periods which under Article 329(a) of the Revised Penal
Code, would be imprisonment for two (2) months and one (1) day to six (6) months.
Clearly, these two cases should be governed by the Revised Rule on Summary
Procedure.
Judge Javellanas issuance of a Warrant of Arrest for the accused in
People v. Cornelio is in violation of Section 16 of the Revised Rule on
Summary Procedure, categorically stating that "the court shall not order the arrest
of the accused except for failure to appear whenever required." Judge Javellana
never claimed that the accused failed to appear at any hearing. His justification that
the accused was wanted for the crime of attempted homicide, being tried in another
case, Crim. Case No. 04-096, is totally unacceptable and further indicative of his
ignorance of law. People v. Cornelio, pending before Judge Javellanas court as
Crim. Case No. 04-097, is for malicious mischief, and is distinct and separate from
Crim. Case No. 04-096, which is for attempted homicide, although both cases
involved the same accused. Proceedings in one case, such as the issuance of a
warrant of arrest, should not be extended or made applicable to the other.
In People v. Lopez, et al., Judge Javellana conducted a preliminary
investigation even when it was not required or justified.The Revised Rule on
Summary Procedure does not provide for a preliminary investigation prior to the
filing of a criminal case under said Rule.
Judge Javellana did not provide any reason as to why he needed to
conduct a preliminary investigation in People v. Lopez, et al. We stress that the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure was precisely adopted to promote a
more expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases, and to enforce the
constitutional rights of litigants to the speedy disposition of cases.
Judge Javellana cannot be allowed to arbitrarily conduct proceedings
beyond those specifically laid down by the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure,
thereby lengthening or delaying the resolution of the case, and defeating the
express purpose of said Rule.
We further agree with the OCA that Judge Javellana committed a blatant
error in denying the Motion to Dismiss filed by the accused in People v. Celeste, et
al. and in insisting that said Motion was a prohibited pleading, even though the case
was never previously referred to the Lupong Tagapamayapa as required by
Sections 18 and 19(a) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. A case which
has not been previously referred to the Lupong Tagapamayapa shall be dismissed
without prejudice. A motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to comply with the
Civil Procedure Rules 4 to 5
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Lupon requirement is an exception to the pleadings prohibited by the Revised Rule
on Summary Procedure. Given the express provisions of the Revised Rule on
Summary Procedure.
We find irrelevant Judge Javellanas argument that referral to the Lupon is
not a jurisdictional requirement. The following facts are undisputed: People v.
Celeste, et al. was not referred to the Lupon, and the accused filed a Motion to
Dismiss based on this ground. Judge Javellana should have allowed and granted
the Motion to Dismiss (albeit without prejudice) filed by the accused in People v.
Celeste, et al.
The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure has been in effect since
November 15, 1991. It finds application in a substantial number of civil and criminal
cases pending before Judge Javellanas court. Judge Javellana cannot claim to be
unfamiliar with the same.
Every judge is required to observe the law. When the law is sufficiently
basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it; and anything less than that
would be constitutive of gross ignorance of the law. In short, when the law is so
elementary, not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
Resultantly, Judge Javellana cannot invoke good faith or lack of deliberate
or malicious intent as a defense. His repeated failure to apply the Revised Rule on
Summary Procedure in cases so obviously covered by the same is detrimental to
the expedient and efficient administration of justice, for which we hold him
administratively liable.
As for Judge Javellanas refusal to dismiss People v. Lopez, et al. and
People v. Celeste, et al., however, we exonerate him of the administrative charges
for the same. Judge Javellana is correct that the appreciation of evidence is already
within his judicial discretion. Any alleged error he might have committed in this
regard is the proper subject of an appeal but not an administrative complaint. We
remind Judge Javellana though to adhere closely to the Revised Rule on Summary
Procedure in hearing and resolving said cases.