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ANITA MANGILA V CA

Doctrines:
A mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in
other venuesthe parties must be able to show that such stipulation is exclusive; Venue stipulations in a
contract, while considered valid and enforceable, do not as a rule, supersede the general rule set forth in
Rule 4 of the
Revised Rules of Court
It is the residence of the proprietor which should be considered as one of the proper venues, not the
business address of the sole proprietorship
Facts:
In 1988, petitioner Anita Mangilas company Seafood Products hired the freight forwarding service of
private respondent Loreta Guinas Air Swift International, a sole proprietorship, to deliver assorted
seafood products to Guam. They agreed that Mangila would pay cash on delivery; however, she
requested for seven days within which she would pay Guina for the first shipment. But after three more
shipments, Mangila still hasnt paid, and the shipping charges amounted to around P100k. The contracted
stated that in case of suit, the parties agreed that proceedings would be instituted in Makati, Metro
Manila. However, when Guina sued for collection of sum of money, she did so before the Pasay City
RTC, where Air Swift had its principal place of business.
Mangila moved to dismiss the case on account of improper venue, since the contract stipulates that the
case should have been filed in Makati. Guina argues that Makati was added by mere inadvertence by
the printing press. She furnished an affidavit by the printing presss general manager admitting such
inadvertence. She also said that Mangila knew that Air Swift had its business in Pasay. The RTC ruled
that Mangila should pay Guina the P100k plus interest and attorneys fees. The CA upheld it.
Issues:
1.
W/N the case should be dismissed due to improper venue
Held/Ratio:
YES, but for different reasons than those alleged by Mangila. While their stipulation as to venue is valid
pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, it didnt contain any qualifying or restrictive words that would
show their intent to have Makati as the exclusive venue. As such, it should just be treated as an
agreement to an additional forum. Thus, the courts will allow the filing of any case in any venue as long as
the jurisdictional requirements are followed.
However, the case should still be dismissed because the Pasay City RTC does not have territorial
jurisdiction over the case. Under the Rules of Court, the general rule in personal actions is that the proper
venue to file the case is where the defendant or plaintiff resides. The exception to this rule is when parties
agree to an exclusive venue, which as shown, they did not. In the complaint, it wasnt Guinas personal
address that was alleged but the business address of her sole proprietorship, Air swift. However, sole
proprietorships do not have a separate juridical personality. As such, they cant file a suit. The case
should have been filed either in Pasay (where Guina resides) or Pampanga (where Mangila resides).
The objective of the rules on venue is to ensure a just and orderly administration of justice. This objective
wont be attained if the plaintiff is given unrestricted freedom to choose where to file the complaint.
JUST IN CASE SIR ASKS: Another issue in this case was w/n there was a proper implementation of a
writ of preliminary attachment. The SC decided that there was not because the lower court implemented
the writ before it had jurisdiction over the person of Mangila. When they served the summons to her
household help in Pampanga, she was in Guam. While Guina could have availed of provisional remedies,
and while the writ was properly issued, it was improperly implemented. Well-settled is the rule that while a
writ can be issued even if the court did not have jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, it cannot be
implemented until such jurisdiction is attained.