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DIGESTS

CITY OF DUMAGUETE v. PHIL PORTS AUTHORITY


Mayor Felipe Remollo filed an application for ORIGINAL
REGISTRATION OF TITLE OVER A PARCEL OF LAND with
IMPROVEMENTS under the Property Registration Decree
with the Dumaguete RTC.
Republic of the PH;
City of Dumaguete
Director of Lands
Not in OCEAN possession
MOTION TO DISMISS
OPPOSITION TO
OPPOSITORs MOTION TO
DISMISS
RTC lacked JD over the
case, as Sec. 14(1) of PD
Swamp reclaimed about 40
1529 refers only to
years ago, and City has been
alienable and disposable
in OCEAN possession
lands of the public domain
under a bona fide claim of Property not bound by any
ownership.
part of the sea
Foreshore land which is
not registerable

REPLY/REJOINDER TO
OPPOSITION TO
OPPOSITORs MOTION TO
DISMISS
No factual legal basis for
the claim of petitioner
that subject property is
reclaimed land. Petitioner
sought OR of its title over
the property acquired
through alleged
continuous possession
under Sec. 14(1) of PD
1529 and not RA 1899

RA 1899 authorized chartered


cities and municipalities to
undertake and carry out the
reclamation of foreshore
lands bordering them

RTC: Granted motion to dismiss


1. Cannot be applied for since lot is foreshore land
2. No formal declaration from executive that land is no
longer needed for public use or special industries
3. Did not consult with Sec of Finance and Sec of Public
Works
City of Dumaguete
PPA
MOTION TO DISMISS
1. Dismissal was
1. Petitioner violated 15.4
premature and
15.5 and 15.6. Petitioner
tantamount to a denial
did not set its MT for
of right to due process;
hearing even when the
has yet to present
said Motion could not be
evidence to prove
considered as nonfactual matters in
litigable.
support of its
2. RTC could not hear the MR
application
ex parte as they are
2. Engr. Dorado did not
prejudicial to the rights of
testify that the subject
respondent
property was a
3. Failure to comply with
foreshore lot at the
13.11 of the ROC when it
time petitioner
did not attach to the MR a
occupied and
written explanation why it
possessed the same
did not resort to personal
service of said motion
Hence MR is a mere scrap of
paper with no legal effect and
did not interrupt the
reglementary period to
appeal; RTC decision has
acquired finality.
RTC: Initially agreed that petitioner violated Rules 15 and 13
but after taking into consideration the Supplemental Motion
for Reconsideration of Petitioner, RTC issued another Order
setting aside its September 2007 Order (mere scrap of
paper).
PPA filed MR; denied by RTC:
Adjoining lots are already titled and bound by a City Road;
not foreshore land
PPA filed 65 with CA; granted and set aside RTC
Orders

City of Dumaguete filed for Petition for Review


assailing CA decision
SC:
1. RTC did not commit GADALEJ when it set aside the order
of dismissal of the case.
a. Goldloop Properties v. CA: Filing of MR did not stop
running of the period of appeal because of absence
of a notice of hearing required by Rule 15. A motion
that does not contain a notice of hearing is a mere
scrap of paper; it presents no question which merits
the attention of the court. Being a mere scrap of
paper, RTC had to disregard it. However, where a
rigid application of that rule will result in a manifest
miscarriage of justice, the rule may be relaxed,
especially if a party successfully shows that the
alleged defect in the questioned final and executor
judgment is not apparent on its face or from the
recitals concerned therein. Technicalities may be
disregarded in order to resolve the case; after all,
no party can even claim a vested right in
technicalities.
b. Samoso v. CA: The right to appeal should not be
lightly disregarded by a stringent application of
rules of procedure especially where the appeal is on
its face meritorious and the interests of substantial
justice would be served by permitting the appeal.
c. The MR and Supplemental MR cite meritorious
grounds that justify a liberal application of
procedural rules.
2. RTC dismissal of the case for lack of JD is patently
erroneous
a. Act 496 provides that JD over all applications for
registration of title to land was conferred upon CFIs
of the respective provinces in which the land
sought to be registered was situated
b. PRD still vested applications for land registration
with the CFI
c. BP 129: CFI RTC
3. Did not comply with 13.11 = no written explanation why
service or filing was not done personally

a. Maceda v. Encarnacion de Guman vda de


Magpantay, citing Solar Team Entertainment v.
Ricafort: A Court has discretion to consider a
pleading or paper as not filed if said rule is not
complied with. Personal service will do away with
the practice of some lawyers who, wanting to
appear clever, resort to the ff less than ethical
practices: (1) serving or filing pleadings by mail to
catch opposing counsel off-guard; (2)
procrastinating from claiming the parcel or not
claiming it at all. Exercise of discretion must
necessarily consider practicability of personal
service.
b. Musa v. Amor: Personal service would not be
practicable since distance between CA and Donsol,
Sorgon clearly warrants service by registered mail.
A written explanation why service was not done
personally might have been superfluous.
c. Counsel for petitioner holds office in Dumaguete
while Counsel for Reposndent holds office in QC.
Personal service of pleadings clearly not practicable
4. Sections 4, 5, and 6 of Rule 15
a. GR: Notice of hearing shall be directed to the
parties concerned, and shall state the time and
place for the hearing of the motion. If not
religiously complied with, they render the motion
pro forma. The motion is a useless piece of paper
that will not toll the running of the prescriptive
period.
b. Peculiar Circumstances PNB v. Paneda
i. Even if the Motion may be defective for
failure to address the notice of hearing of
said motion to the parties concerned, the
defect was cured by the courts taking
cognizance thereof and the fact that the
adverse party was otherwise notified of the
existence of said pleading. Records reveal
that notices in the Motion were addressed to
the respective counsels of private
respondents and were furnished with copies
of the same.

c. Petitioner furnished respondent copies of his MR


and the Supplemental MR. RTC, in issuing its Order,
was able to consider the arguments presented by
both sides = substantial compliance by petitioner
with rules on notice of hearing for its MR and
Supplemental MR

agreement had already been entered into by the parties


in the second civil case, as Roxas-Cu and Carino explicitly
admitted sole responsibility for the vehicular accident by
entering into the compromise agreement.
RTC: DENIED MOTION TO BE DROPPED AS
DEFENDANTS
January 31, 2000: Petitioners filed an MR of RTCs
order denying their motion to be dropped as
defendants and set the date of hearing thereof on
February 15, 2000 at 8:30 AM. They also filed a
SEPARATE MOTION TO CANCEL THE HEARING for
PRESENTATION of EVIDENCE for the defense earlier
scheduled on FEBRUARY 3, 2000 so that their MR on
Feb 15 may not be rendered MOOT and ACADEMIC.
RTC: Denied the MR.
Petitioners CA through petition for certiorari
DENIED
Questioned order of RTC was interlocutory and could not
be assailed in a petition for certiorari
Res judicata did not apply insofar as the claim in Civil
Case was concerned

BACELONIA v. CA
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES after a vehicular accident.
Petitioners were defendants as operators of the school
shuttle service while Simeon Roxas-Cu and Daniel Carino
were the owner and driver of the cargo truck.
Petitioners filed a complaint for damages arising from
their co-defendants. They entered into a compromise
which led to the dismissal of the complaint in this case
between them.
Upon termination of testimony of the second witness for
the complainants, petitioners filed a motion to be dropped
as defendants on the ground that a compromise

IMPORTANT RATIO:
1. MR of the trial court reso on Jan. 10, 2000 was filed on
Jan. 31, 2000, the date and time of hearing thereof set on
February 15, 2000 at 8:30. 15.5 provides that the notice
of hearing shall be addressed to all the parties concerned
and shall specify the date and time of the hearing which
must not be later than 10 days after the filing of the
motion.
2. The scheduled hearing of the said MR was beyond the
period specified by the ROC which was not later than 10
days after filing of the motion
3. Motion that fails to religiously comply with the mandatory
provision of 15.5 is pro forma and presents no question
which merits the attention and consideration of the
court.

4. Mandatory character of 15.5 becomes specially


significant in this case considering the claim of PRs that
petitioners have been engaging in dilatory tactics.
a. Compromise agreement was already interposed by
the petitioners as one of the special and
affirmative defenses in their answer to the
complaint for damages in the earlier civil case
b. No longer legally possible for petitioners to file the
Motion to Exclude in the earlier case
5. Defense Motion to Exclude based on Compromise
Agreement that did not even bind the complainants
MR + Motion to Cancel Scheduled Hearing

neither was just compensation ever paid. PNR did not


replace the property.
Rustias went to the Ombudsman and it was only then that
PNR tendered an offer. Offer was inadequate and
unsatisfactory.
Rustias filed a COMPLAINT FOR PAYMENT OF JUST
COMPENSATION AND DAMAGES. PNR admitted it took
possession of the properties without filing an
expropriation suit.
RUSTIAS
PNR
Fair market value 2
Based on estimate of a
P250/sqm
reputable appraisal company,
only P7/sqm
RTC: In favour of PNRs rate, with 12% pa interest from 1938
PNR
MR as to interest rate

RUSTIAS
MR with advance notice of
appeal
Acceptance of PNRs rate
without any evidence
presented to support it

PNR v. RUSTIA
Rustias were co-owners of two parcels of land. 70 years
ago PNR took possession of about 6,658 sq.m. to build
railroad tracks. No expropriation suit was ever initiated,

Opposed MR with advance


notice of appeal as it
divested the RTC of its
Advance notice of appeal as
jurisdiction to act on both having been filed
motions. MT was a mere
simultaneously with the MR in
scrap of paper since (1)
the event the latter was
the notice of hearing
denied.
therein was addressed to
the clerk of court and not
to its counsel and (2) it
did not include any
explanation why personal
service was not made on
it
RTC: Dismissed petitioners MR; granted respondents MR
and ruled technical infirmities therein were not fatal to render
it a mere scrap of paper

PETITIONER filed another MR while RESPONDENTS


prayed for the issuance of a writ of execution. MR was
denied and issued a writ of execution.
PETITIONER filed a PETITION FOR CERTIORARI.
CA ruled in favour of petitioner.
Petitioner filed petition for certiorari with SC on the ff
grounds:
1. Respondents MR was merely a scrap of paper
because
a. Notice of hearing was addressed to the trial
courts clerk of court and not to its counsel
b. No explanation as to why respondents did not
personally serve the MR on it. Rules mandate
that a motion should be addressed to all
parties concerned
SC: Petition FAILS
1. Issues raised by petitioner became moot when Rustias
filed in the RTC an Amended Motion for Reconsideration
and Advance Notice of Appeal, which included a notice of
hearing addressed to petitioners counsel and
manifestation that the notice was served on said counsel
by registered mail due to distance between counsels
offices.
2. Pronouncement that a motion not directed to the parties
is fatally defective and that a motion that does not
comply with the requirements of Rules 14 and 15 is a
worthless piece of paper because of a number of cases
where technicality was set aside when necessary to
render justice to the litigants.

US v. RUIZ
US had a naval base in Zambales pursuant to the Military
Bases Agreement. It invited bids for repairs of its offender
system and the shoreline.
Eligio de Guzman and Co submitted bids and it received
two telegrams requesting it to confirm its price proposals
and for the name its bonding company. The company
complied with the requests.
De Guzman filed a complaint against the US Govt,
alleging the US had accepted its bids because A request
to confirm a price proposal confirms the acceptance of a
bid pursuant to the US bidding practices
Company received a letter from the US Navy stating that
De Guzmans company did not qualify because (1) of a
previous unsatisfactory performance rating on a repair
contract for the sea wall; and (2) contract had been
awarded to third parties.
Complaint is for specific performance to order defendants
to allow plaintiff to perform work on the projects and for
damages; also asked for writ of Prelim Injunction to
restrain defendants from entering into contracts with 3 rd
parties for work on the projects
Defendants entered their special appearance for purpose
of questioning KD of the court over the subject matter
(acts and omissions of individual defendants as agents of
defendant US)
Defendants filed a MOTION TO DISMISS. (DENIED)
Defendants filed for PROHIBITION to restrain perpetually
the proceedings in the case for lack of jurisdiction.
SC: PETITION MERITORIOUS

1. Principle of independence and equality of States provide


that a State is exempt from being sued in the court of
another State without the formers consent or waiver.
2. Rules of International Law have evolved. Because
activities of states have multiplied, it has been necessary
to distinguish between
a. Sovereign and governmental acts (jure imperii)
b. Proprietary acts (jure gestionis)
c. State immunity now extends only to acts jure
imperii
3. Respondent judge recognized the restrictive doctrine of
State immunity but held that contract for repair of
wharves or shoreline is not a governmental function
although it may partake of a public nature or character.
a. Lyons Inc: When a sovereign state enters into a
contract with a private person, the state can be
sued upon the theory that it has descended to the
level of an individual from which it can be implied
that it has given its consent to be sued under the
contract. Misplaced
b. In Lyons the plaintiff brought suit to collect several
sums of money on account of a contract between
plaintiff and defendant. The Court sustained the
lower court who dismissed the action for damages
because of failure to exhaust the administrative
remedies provided in the contract. Statement in
respect of the waiver of State immunity from suit
was purely gratuitous and therefore obiter.
4. Restrictive application of State immunity proper only
when the proceedings arise out of commercial
transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial
activities, or economic affairs. Only applies to business
contracts, not where the contract relates to the exercise
of its sovereign functions.
a. In this case projects are an integral part of the
naval base which is devoted to the defense of both
the US and the PH
5. Correct test for application of State immunity is not the
conclusion of a contract by a State but the legal nature of
the act is shown in Syquia v Lopez
a. Syquia: Contract of lease for use of three
apartment buildings by US military officials

b. RPI was the US Government and any judgment for


back or increased rentals or damages will have to
be paid by the US Government; it is an action
against the US Govt
c. Contracts were jure imperii not jure gestionis
Makasiars dissent:
1. When US Govt confirmed the acceptance of a bid of a
private company for repairs, it is deemed to have
entered into a contract and thus waived the mantle of
sovereign immunity from suit and descended to the
level of an ordinary citizen.
2. Justice and fairness dictate that a foreign government
that commits a breach of its contractual obligation by
unilateral cancellation of the award for the project by
the US, through its agency, should not be allowed to
take undue advantage of a party who may have
legitimate claims against it by seeking refuge behind the
shield of non-suability.
SEAFDEC v. RUIZ:
1. RP became a signatory to the Agreement establishing
SEAFDEC. It is an intergovernmental organization which
enjoys functional independence and freedom from the
control of the state in whose territory its office is located.
2. Jovito Salong and Pedro Yap: IOs are autonomous and
beyond the control of any one State, so they have a
distinct juridical personality independent of the municipal
law of the State where they are situated
3. Opinion No. 139, Series of 1984: An international
organization is immune from local jurisdiction

PHILVILLE VS JAVIER
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ; Dec. 13, 2007
NATURE
Instant petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- This case traces its antecedents to a verified complaint filed by
Mercedes Javier, herein respondent with the RTC for damages and
injunction. Impleaded as defendant was PHILVILLE Development
and Housing Corporation (PHILVILLE).
- The complaint alleges that spouses Crisanto (now deceased) and
Javier have been tenant-cultivators of
a 5.5 hectare parcel of rice land owned by Felimon Emperado, a
holder of a free patent.
- Sometime in 1977, PHILVILLE proposed to buy the land for
conversion into a housing subdivision.
Spouses Javier, PHILVILLE and Emperado then entered into a
Kasulatan ng Pagsasalin at Kusang Loob na Pagsusuko. Among the
terms agreed upon by the parties was that the Javiers would be
given a 2,000 square meter lot as a disturbance compensation.
However, instead of giving them a single lot measuring 2,000 sq.m.
what they received were 2 separate lots of 1,000 sq. m. each
located far apart. This prompted Mercedes tosue PHILVILLE for
damages.
- In its answer, PHILVILLE specifically denied the allegations in the
complaint and raised the following
affirmative and special defenses: (1) the complaint fails to state a
cause of action; (2) it does not allege

that the parties resorted to conciliation proceedings before the


barangay; and (3) plaintiff is estopped
from filing the complaint.
- Mercedes filed a motion for leave of court to amend her
complaint. In her attached amended complaint,
she alleged that the Kasulatan did not express the true agreement
of the parties and that the sale is
void as it was executed within the 5-year prohibitive period from
the issuance of the free patent.
- The trial court denied the motion, holding that the proposed
amendment is inconsistent with the cause
of action in the original complaint; and that the proposed
amendment is the subject of another civil
case between the same parties pending before another branch of
the trial court.
- PHILVILLE moved to dismiss the original complaint alleging that
the plaintiff had filed a protest with the
Land Management Bureau seeking the revocation of the free patent
issued to Emperado and the reversion of the land to the public
domain.
- the trial court granted PHILVILLEs motion to dismiss
- Mercedes filed a motion for reconsideration of the said Order but
it was denied. This prompted her to
interpose an appeal to the CA which reversed the order and
remanded the cast to the trial court.
- PHILVILLE filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by
the Appellate Court. Hence, the instant petition for review on
certiorari.
ISSUE
WON the motion to dismiss should be denied
HELD YES.
Ratio Section 1, Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Court then
applicable provides:
SEC. 1. Grounds. Within the time for pleading a motion to
dismiss the action may be made on any of the following grounds:
(a) That the court has no jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant or over the subject of the action or
suit;
(b) That the court has no jurisdiction over the nature of the action
or suit;
(c) That venue is improperly laid;
(d) That the plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue;
(e) That there is another action pending between the same parties
for the same cause;

(f) That the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment or by


statute of limitations;
(g) That the complaint states no cause of action;
(h) That the claim or demand set forth in the plaintiffs pleading has
been paid, waived, abandoned, or otherwise extinguished;
(i) That the claim on which the action or suit is founded is
unenforceable under the provisions of the statute of frauds;
(j) The suit is between members of the same family and no earnest
efforts towards a compromise have been made.
In J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Rafor, this Court interpreted within
the time for pleading to mean within the time to answer.
Reasoning Under Section 1, Rule 11, the time to answer is 15 days
after service of summons upon the defendant. In the instant case,
we note that PHILVILLEs motion to dismiss the complaint was filed
after it had filed its answer.
- The only exceptions to the rule, as correctly pointed out by the
CA, are: (1) where the ground raised is lack of jurisdiction of the
court over the subject matter; (2) where the complaint does not
state a cause of action; (3) prescription; and (4) where the evidence
that would constitute a ground for the dismissal of the complaint
was discovered only during the trial. None of the foregoing grounds
is present in PHILVILLEs motion to dismiss.

LACAP v. LEE
Victor Facundo mortgaged two parcels of land to Monte de Piedad
Savings Bank. In 1981, the Sps Lacap assumed to pay Facundos
mortgage obligation to the bank. They failed to pay and the bank
foreclosed. They bought the same at the auction.
Bank allowed spouses to stay under a lessor-lessee agreement.
Spouses introduced improvements worth P500,000 after relying
on banks assurance the property would be sold back to them. On
May 1996, their representative went to pay the rent but the bank
refused to accept saying it was sold to another person.
They called the bank, the VP of which told them to submit a
written offer for P1.1M. They complied the following day but the
bank turned down the offer. On June 1996, they received a letter
demanding they vacate the premises because it was owned by
respondent Jouvet Lee.
Lacaps instituted a case for CANCELLATION OF SALE AND
DAMAGES WITH AN APPLICATION FOR PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION.
Respondent filed a COMPLAINT FOR UD against the lacaps in
the Davao MTC.
DAVAO MTC: In favour of Lee
Lacaps APPEALED to DAVAO RTC, which affirmed the MTC
decision, with modification that Lee should reimburse Lee for the
improvements introduced on the premises.
Respondent filed an MR praying for deletion of order to reimburse the
Lacaps. MR granted by the Davao RTC.

Petitioner filed an MR. Denied. Appealed to the CA. Ground:


1. Serious errors of fact and law in entertaining the complaint for UD
despite lack of JD considering the issue recovery of the right to
possess was the subject matter of an AP which was properly
cognizable by the RTC.
CA: Dismissed Lacaps petition
1. MTC had JD over the case as the complaint sufficiently alleged
possession was unlawfully withheld from Lee and that petitioners
refused to vacate
2. Petitioners argument that respondents ownership was assailable
due to banks violation of its promise to first offer the subject
property to them was an issue the CA could not touch upon as it
was the subject matter of a separate case filed before the Davao
RTC.
3. Petitioner NOT builders in good faith as their payment of rentals to
the bank was an indication they were lessees. Art. 1678 not Art.
448 shall govern.
Lacaps filed petition for CERTIORARI (45)

2.

Lacaps:
1. The Courts a quo erred in oversimplifying the issue in the case.
Since they were questioning the title of the respondent over the
subject property, the case for unlawful detainer was no longer
limited to the question of possession but also involved the
question of ownership. Courts should not have evaded ruling on
the issue of ownership as a pre-req to determination and
resolution of issue of physical possession.
2. Anchors claim on Sec. 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure:
When the defendant raises the defense of ownership in his
pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved
without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership
shall be resolved only to determine issue of possession.
3. They question Lees ownership on the ground that the bank failed
to offer them the subject property, making respondents title
defective.

3.

SC:
1. Defense of ownership contemplated by said rule refers to a
asituation where defendants either claim ownership of subject
property or attributes said ownership to another person other

6.

4.

5.

than the plaintiff. It does not apply where the defendants


merely question the validity of the title of the plaintiff. Petitioner
spouses must anchor the legality of their material possession
of the property on a claim of title in order for the court to be
able to touch on the legality of the issue of ownership.
a. They do not claim ownership over the subject premises
to support their right to possess the property in their
reply.
b. They do not claim having a better right to the property
by way of transfer of title through one of the modes of
transferring ownership.
c. Alleged violation of their right of priority or first opetion
to buy the premises is not the defense of ownership
contemplated in Sec. 16.
Cases they cited are inappropos.
a. Oronce: maintained ownership over property by
claiming contract of sale w/ assumption of mortgage
was an equitable mortgage
b. Refugia v. CA: defendants claimed title over the subject
property by contending they paid for the purchase of
the property
Petitioners admit they do not own the subject parcels of land.
As third persons to the contract of sale between the bank and
respondent, they are only questioning the validity of the
transfer of title to respondent.
Supposed issue of ownership cannot be ruled upon by the
courts a quo is because the same is also the subject of a
separate pending case for cancellation of sale filed by the
petitioners themselves against the respondent before the
Davao RTC.
By questioning the ownership of respondent, petitioners are
raising a defense that serves at the main COA in the complaint
for the cancellation of sale.
a. This is prohibited by the rule on the alleged litis
pendencia.
b. To ask the courts a quo to rule on the alleged defense
of ownership is to pre-empt the ruling of Davao RTC
Branch 13.
A party is prohibited from splitting his cause of action for the
reason that it will unnecessarily clog the court dockets, waste
the time and money of the parties, and perpetrate an abuse of

the legal system by filing cases of the same nature in the hope
of insuring a favourable judgment.

Arthur Del Rosario and Alexander Del Rosario v


Hellenor Donato and Rafael Gonzaga
G.R. No. 180595; March 5, 2010; Abad
[Adopted with modifications]
Doctrine: The test of sufficiency of a complaint is whether or
not, assuming the truth of the facts that plaintiff
alleges in it, the court can render judgment
granting him the judicial assistance he seeks.
Judgment would be right only if the facts he alleges
constitute a cause of. Absent any of these, the
complaint would have failed to state a cause of
action.
I.

Facts

In January 2002, Philip Morris Products, Inc. wrote to the


NBI for assistance in curtailing the proliferation of fake
Marlboro cigarettes in Angeles City, Pampanga. In
response, Hellenor Donato (NBI agent) conducted
surveillance work and confirmed that storage and sale of
such cigarettes were being conducted in the house of
Alexander del Rosario at 51 New York Street, Villasol
Subdivision.

Donato applied for a search warrant with Branch 57 of the


RTC of Angeles City on March 5 but the warrant was not
issued until a week later on March 12. NBI agents led by
Rafael Gonzaga conducted the search, which yielded
no fake cigarettes.

Petitioners Del Rosario filed a COMPLAINT FOR P50


million in DAMAGES with Branch 62 of the RTC of
Angeles City against respondents and 2 more NBI agents.

The respondents ANSWERED the complaint with a


MOTION TO DISMISS on the grounds of:
a) failure to state a cause of action;
b) forum shopping; and
c) immunity from suit.

The RTC denied the motion to dismiss. MR was also


denied.

Respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the CA,


which granted the petition and annulled the RTC order. It
held that:
o In alleging merely that the NBI agents unlawfully
procured the search warrant, without stating the facts
making the procurement unlawful, the complaint failed
to state a cause of action; and
o The plaintiffs were guilty of forum-shopping as they
should have filed their claim for damages through a
MOTION FOR COMPENSATION with the court that
issued the search warrant.

CA denied the MR, hence this Petition for Review.

II. Issues-Held
WON the complaint failed to state a cause of action:

No, the allegations of the Del Rosarios in their


complaint do not state a cause of action.

The test of sufficiency of a complaint is whether or not,


assuming the truth of the facts that plaintiff alleges in it,
the court can render judgment granting him the judicial
assistance he seeks. Judgment would be right only if the
facts he alleges constitute a cause of. Absent any of
these, the complaint would have failed to state a cause of
action. (NOTE: The portions of the COMPLAINT quoted in
the decision are reproduced in the Appendix.)

Essentially, all that the Plaintiffs allege is that the NBI


agents used an unlawfully obtained a search warrant
against them. The evidence to support such allegation
was the fact that no fake cigarettes were found contrary
to the agents sworn statements in getting the warrant.
But the Court held that judicially ordered search that fails
to yield illicit articles does not itself render the order
unlawful.
o There is no allegation that respondent NBI agents
fabricated testimony to obtain the search warrants.
The allegation that the warrants were illegally obtained
was merely a conclusion of law.
o While a motion to dismiss assumes the truth of the
facts alleged in the complaint, the assumption does
not extend to conclusions of law. Statements of
conclusions of law expose the complaint to a motion to
dismiss for lack of cause of action.

The allegation that the search warrant was served in a


malicious manner was also insufficient. Allegations of bad
faith, malice and other related words without ultimate
facts to support the same are mere conclusions of law.
o The broad assertion that the search was conducted in
plain view of members of the community does not
support their claim of malicious enforcement as there

is nothing inherently wrong with enforcing search


warrants in full view of neighbors.
In fact, when the respondents are not present during
the search, the rules require the presence of two
residents of the same locality.

WON the Del Rosarios were guilty of forum-shopping:

WON the procedural issues raised by the petitioners


have any merit:
No, due to the holding of the CA that the complaint
failed to state a cause of action.

Objections:
o Failure of NBI agents to file a motion for
reconsideration of the RTC Order denying their motion
to dismiss within 15 days
o Resort to special civil action of certiorari to challenge
the denial of their Motion to Dismiss
o Propriety of including their Motion to Dismiss in their
answer
o CAs grant of a 15-day extension to file a petition for
certiorari
o Being represented by private counsel rather than the
OSG

The Court finds no sufficient reason to dwell on these


objections due to the rulings on the principal issues and it
finds on errors in the disposition of the CA of the same.

No, the Del Rosarios had the right to seek damages by


separate civil action for the wrong inflicted on them
by an improperly obtained or enforced search
warrant.

The CA relied on AM 02-1-06-SC governing search and


seizure in Civil Actions for Infringement of Intellectual
Property Rights. However, the warrant in this case was not
issued under such rule as Philip Morris did not file a civil
action for infringement of trademark.

Instead, Philip Morris sought the assistance of NBI for the


apprehension and prosecution of those reportedly selling
fake cigarettes. In turn, NBI applied for a search warrant
under Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. This
rule does not provide for the filing of counterclaims
against those who have improperly sought the issuance of
a search warrant. The Del Rosarios have the right to seek
damages in a separate civil action for the wrong inflicted
on them by an improperly obtained or enforced search
warrant, unfortunately in this case, their complaint as
worded failed to state a proper cause of action.

WON the NBI agents wrongfully included Arthur del


Rosario in the warrant since he neither owned nor
resided in the premises subject of the warrant:
No, the rules do not require respondents in search warrants
to be residents of the premises searched.

Petition DENIED and Decision of the Court of Appeals


dismissing the case is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that
such dismissal is WITHOUT PREJUDICE

APPENDIX
2.4 On 12 March 2002, elements of the [NBI] x x x led by
Defendant Rafael I. Gonzaga x x x entered by force the
premises belonging to Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario situated
at No. 51 New York Street, Villasol Subdivision, Angeles City,
pursuant to a Search Warrant unlawfully obtained from
the [RTC] of Angeles City, Branch 57 x x x.

xxxx
2.6 Contrary to the sworn statements given before the
court by defendants Hellenor D. Donato Jr. x x x and
contrary to the allegation in Search Warrant No. 0209A, no `fake Marlboro cigarettes and their packaging'
were found at No. 51 New York Street, Villasol Subdivision,
Angeles City x x x.
2.7 The inclusion of Plaintiff Arthur del Rosario in
Search Warrant No. 02-09 had no factual basis
considering that the premises searched is the property solely
of Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario.
2.8 Worse the enforcement of Searched [sic] Warrant No. 0209 was just part of the series of raids and searches that was
conducted in Angeles City and Pampanga, which was done
with much publicity in the community and had tended to
include the Plaintiffs in the same category as other persons
and entities who were in fact found to be dealing with fake
Marlboro cigarettes.
xxxx
3.2 The baseless sworn allegations that Plaintiffs had under
their control and possession counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes
and packaging to obtain a search warrant, and the malicious
service of the such warrant at the residential premises
of Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario in full and plain view
of members of the community, as part of the series of
raids and operations conducted within Angeles City and
Pampanga during that period, has tainted irreversibly the
good names which Plaintiffs have painstakingly built and
maintained over the years.
xxxx
3.4 Plaintiffs were subjected to so much humiliation and
embarrassment by the raid conducted on the subject

residential premises, and subjected them to much


unwarranted speculation of engaging in the sale of fake
merchandise.

Law on succession does not


apply where the designation of
insurance beneficiaries is clear

MARAMAG v. MARAMAG
The Heirs of Loreto Maramag filed against respondents a
PETITION FOR REVOCATION and/or REDUCTION of
INSURANCE PROCEEDS for being void and/or inofficious, with a
prayer for a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary
injunction.
Petitioner were legitimate wife and children while respondents are
the concubine and illegitimate children, and both Insular and
Grepalife.
Legit family
Insurance Companies
Illegitimate children only
INSULAR
entitled to legitime of the
legitimate children, thus,
Loreto misrepresented his wife
proceeds released to Odessa
and illegitimate children as his
and to the other children were
legitimate wife and children. It
inofficious and should be
disqualified Eva as a beneficiary.
reduced
Complaint/petition failed to state a
Petitioners could not be
cause of action insofar as it
deprived of their legitimes
sought to declare as void the
designation of Eva as beneficiary
because Loreto revoked her
designation
GREPALIFE
Eva was not designated as a
beneficiary. Claims filed by the
illegit children were denied
because Loreto misrepresented
his age in his insurance
application form.
Case was premature, there being
no claim filed by legitimate family
of Loreto

MOVED the issues raised in


their respective answers be
resolved first
COMMENT
Issue raised by insurance
companies were purely legal
Designation of a beneficiary is
an act of liberality or a
donation and is subject to
provisions of Art. 752 and 772.
RTC: MTD granted with respect to children; case proceeds as to
concubine
1. NCC 2011 provides contracts of insurance are governed by
special laws. Insurance Code is principal law on insurance.
Only in case of deficiency in the Insurance Code should the
NCC be resorted to.
2. Art 53 of IC: Insurance proceeds shall be applied exclusively
to the proper interest of the person in whose name for whose
benefit is made, unless otherwise specified in the policy. Since
defendants are named as primary beneficiaries, and no
showing that plaintiffs were also included as beneficiaries,
insurance proceeds must be paid to defendants.
3. Law on testamentary succession does not apply. Beneficiary in
a contract of insurance is not the donee spoken in the law of
donation. Insurance indemnity does not partake of a donation.
Cannot be considered as an advance of the inheritance which
can be subject to collation.
4. Cause of action only against Eva as a concubine, as NCC
2012 provides that a person forbidden from receiving any
donation under NCC 739 cannot be named beneficiary of a life
insurance policy of the person who cannot make any donation
to him. Insurance contract remains valid but indemnity must go
to legal heirs and not the concubine.
INSULAR and GREPALIFE filed MRs
1. Petition failed to state a cause of action

2. Proceeds were divided among the 3 children as the remaining


named beneficiaries.
3. Grepalife: Premiums paid had already been refunded
Petitioners comment:
1. Whether the complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a
cause of action must be determined solely on the basis of the
allegations in the complaint, such that defenses of Insular and
Grepalife would be better threshed out during trial.
RTC: Granted I & Gs MRs, case was dismissed against them
1. It is only in cases where there are no beneficiaries designated
or when the only designated beneficiary is disqualified that the
proceeds should be paid to the estate of the insured
2. Distribution of the insurance proceeds governed by IC,
provisions of NCC are irrelevant and inapplicable
3. Matter of Loretos misrepresentation was premature;
appropriate action may be filed upon only denial of the claim of
the named beneficiaries for the insurance proceeds by
Grepalife
APPEALED TO CA; DISMISSED for LACK of JD (pure question of
law)
APPEALED TO CA
a. In determining the merits of a MTD for failure to state a
cause of action, may the Court consider matters which were
not alleged in the Complaint, particularly the defenses put
up by the defendants in their Answer
b. In granting an MR of an MTD for failure to state a COA, did
not the RTC engage in examination and determination of
what were the facts and their probative value, or the truth
thereof
c. Are members of the legitimate family entitled to proceeds of
insurance for the concubine?
SC:
1. Grant of MTD was based on RTCs finding that petition failed to
state a COA, as provided for in Rule 16.1(g)
2. COA is the act or omission by which a party violates a right of
another. A complaint states a COA when it contains 3 elements:
a. Legal right of the plaintiff
b. Correlative obligation of the defendant

c. Act/omission of the defendant in violation of the legal


right
d. If any of these elements is absent, complaint becomes
vulnerable to MTD based on 16.1(g)
3. GR: The test of sufficiency of a cause of action rests on whether,
hypothetically admitting the facts alleged in the complaint to be
true, Court can render a valid judgment upon the same, in
accordance with the prayer in the complaint. Exceptions:
a. Falsity of allegations is subject to judicial notice
b. Allegations are legally impossible
c. Allegations refer to facts which are inadmissible in
evidence
d. By the record or document in the pleading, allegations
appear unfounded; or
e. There is evidence which has been presented to the Court
by stipulation of the parties or in the course of the
hearings related to the case
4. Evident from face of the omplaint that petitioners are not entitled
to a favourable judgment in light of Art. 2011 which expressly
provides insurance contracts shall be governed by special laws
i.e. the Insurance Code
a. Sec. 53 of IC provides that it is obvious that the only
persons entitled to claim the insurance proceeds are
either the insured, if still alive, or the beneficiary, if the
insured is already deceased, upon maturation of the
policy
i. Exception: Where insurance contract was
intended to benefit 3rd persons

cancelled for failure of the lessee to make the


improvements and comply with the terms and
conditions of the lease contract.

SANTIAGO v. DE LOS SANTOS


Luis Santiago applied for registration of a parcel of land. He
attached documents indicative of the land being public in
character, thus lending support to the opposition of the Director of
Forestry and the Director of Lands, and Pacita de los Santos.
Judge Cecilia Munoz Palma dismissed the suit.
Santiago applied for registration of title over a parcel of land in
San mateo, Rizal. It was opposed by the Director of Lands,
Director of Forestry, and by Mrs. Pacita V. De Los Santos.
Defendants moved to dismiss on the ground that the property
applied for is a portion of the public demain which was leased to
De Los Santos under a Pasture Lease Agreement.
Santiago requested that the registration case be calendared for
hearing in view of the fact that a portion of the said parcel of land
subject of the registration has already been released by the Sec.
of Agriculture and Natural Resources for agricultural purposes as
evidenced by its August 10, 1961 order. Attached were documents
which proved that the subject land was part of the public domain.
His claim was anchored in OCEAN possession.
Irlanda v. Pitarque: JBL Reyes, in Joes Radio and Electrical
Supply v. Alto Electronics Corp: An admission made in the
pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such
admission and are conclusive as to him, and that all proofs
submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should
be ignored.
New counsel extricated him from his predicament by insisting on
the MTD filed by DLS was not entitled to recognition as there was
a general order of default except as to the Bureau of Lands and
the Bureau of Forestry, not lifted as to her, and that she had no
interest to oppose the application of the registration.
SC: No purpose for presenting evidence because he
could not prove OCEAN possession
Juanito Santiago, Luis son, was one of the lessees of
the timber area sought to be registered. Lease was

Goodyear Philippines, Inc. v Anthony Sy and Jose Lee


G.R. No.154554; 09 Nov 2005; Panganiban, J.
Digest by Dudday
FACTS
1. 30 Apr 1986: Goodyears 6-wheeler Isuzu vehicle
which it owned since 1983 was hijacked. It made a
report to the PNP which issued an alert alarm over the
vehicle as stolen. The same vehicle was recovered in
1986 as well.
2. 12 Sep 1996: Goodyear sold the vehicle to Anthony Sy,
who later sold it to Jose Lee on 29 Jan 1997. Lee,
however, was not able to register the vehicle in his
name due to a certification from the PNP that it was
stolen. The facts showed that PNP failed to lift the alert
alarm over the vehicle when it was recovered. The
vehicle was impounded and Lee was criminally
charged. Because of this, Lee filed an action for
rescission of the contract plus damages against Sy
(original complaint).
3. Sy informed Goodyear about the denial of Lees
registration because of the alarm, so Goodyear
requested the PNP to lift the stolen vehicle alarm
status.
4. Notwithstanding the grant of the request, Sy still filed
a third-party complaint against Goodyear in connection
with the original complaint. Sys theory was that
Goodyear breached its warranty over the vehicle.
5. Goodyear filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the 3 rd
party complaint failed to state a cause of action, and
even if it did, such cause of action was already
extinguished.
6. RTC dismissed the 3rd party complaint on the ground
that it failed to state a cause of action since it did not

show that the vehicle did not belong to Goodyear


when the latter sold it to Sy. The mere fact that PNP
failed to remove the vehicle from alert status as a
stolen vehicle does not make Goodyear less of the
owner thereof. Hence, Goodyear, the 3rd party
defendant, is not guilty of any breach resulting from
any flaw in the title over the subject vehicle.
7. CA reversed RTC and declared that the 3 rd party
complaint stated a cause of action. It stated that
Goodyear failed to make good the warranty that the
vehicle is free from all liens, encumbrances and legal
impediments ,in the Deed of Sale executed in favor of
Sy; and that Goodyear impaired Sys right to protect
and enforce the warranty when the vehicle was
refused registration because of the non-lifting of the
alert status.
8. Hence, Goodyear filed the present petition for review
on certiorari before the SC.
ISSUE
Whether a cause of action was stated in the 3 rd party
complaint [No]
RESOLUTION AND RATIO
The 3rd party complaint does not state a cause of action
against Goodyear.
Cause of Action act or omission by which a party
violates the right of another
o Elements of Cause of Action
a. Legal right of the plaintiff
b. Correlative obligation of defendant to respect
that legal right
c. Act or omission of defendant that violates such
right
o Test to determine whether an initiatory pleading
states a cause of action: Admitting the truth of the
facts alleged, can the court render a valid
judgment in accordance with the prayer?
o To answer the question above, only the material
allegations in the complaint, the appended annexes
or documents, other pleadings of the plaintiff, and

admissions in the record may be considered by the


Court; extraneous facts and circumstances or other
matters are not considered.
In the present case, the third element (act or omission
of defendant that violates such right) is missing. The third
party complaint did not allege any act or omission that
Goodyear had committed in violation of Sys right to the
subject vehicle or that had proximately caused injury or
prejudice to Sy. No connection was laid out between the
owners sale of the vehicle and its impounding by the PNP
that makes Goodyear liable to Sy. Neither was there any
breach of its obligation to uphold the warranties covering
the sale.
Goodyear was indisputably the owner of the
vehicle when the same was sold to Sy in 1996.
The mere fact that the police did not lift the
alert status did not make petitioner less of an
owner. The Deed of Sale attached to the third
party complaint stated that Goodyear was the
absolute owner of the vehicle when it was
executed. There was no contrary assertion made
in the complaint regarding the matter.
The first warranty that the vendor has a right to
sell the thing at the time that its ownership is
passed on to the vendee, was not breached as
proven by the fact that Sy was able to enjoy the
legal and peaceful possession of the thing. In
fact, he was also able to sell the thing to
another person (Lee). The impoundment of the
vehicle was a result of the PNPs failure, a fault
not caused by Goodyear.
The second warranty, that the thing shall be
free from any charge or encumbrance not
declared or known to the vendee, was not
breached as well. There was no claim, liability or
some other right attached to the vehicle that
would lessen its value. The impoundment, as
well as the denial of its registration, is not the
hindrance or obstruction in the contemplation of
the law. Besides, even if there was a breach of

the implied warranty, no notice of any breach


had been given by Sy to Goodyear within a
reasonable time, nor within the time for filing an
action for damages for breach of implied
warranties (6 months from delivery of the thing
sold).
Petition granted. CA decision reversed, RTC
decision dismissing the third party complaint on
the ground that it does not state a cause of action,
reinstated.

properties. They refused.

from the estate of the spouses


Eugenio and Maria would be to
permit intestate succession by an
illegitimate child would be to
permit intestate succession by an
illegitimate child from the
legitimate parent of his father.
Not shown the estate of the
spouses of Eugenio and Maria
have been settled and its
obligations have been paid
Properties enumerated in the
complaint were proceeded
against by way of execution to
satisfy a judgment against
Eugenio and Maria, which
petitioner Ulpiano repurchased

BALO v. CA
Private reposndent Josefina Garrido filed a COMPLAINT FOR
JUDICIAL PARTITION of REAL PROPERTIES and
ACCOUNTING WITH DAMAGES against petitioners Ulpiano Balo
et al before the Letre RTC. She alleges she and petitioners are coowners of undivided parcels of land located at Mayorga, Leyte.
Owned by grandparents Ulpiano Sr and Maximino
petitioners and Josefina Garrido, daughter of Maximino Balo and
Salvacion Sabulao.
Josefina Garrido
Balos
After death of her grandfather,
MTD
petitioners took possession of
Failure of complaint to state COA.
the real properties without her
She failed to alleged legitimacy,
consent. She requested a fair
which is fatal considering NCC
and equal partition of the
992. To allow plaintiff to inherit

RTC: DENIED MTD


1. Complaint clearly states Eugenio and Maria had two children and
that plaintiff is Maximinos daughter.
2. Complaint annexes 13 tax decs in the name of Eugenio Balo Sr.
She prayst for partition in accordance with Art. 982. No evidence
may be alleged or considered to test the sufficiency of the
complaint except the facts pleaded therein. Improper to inject into
the allegation, facts not alleged and use them as basis for
decision on the motion. COURT IS NOT PERMITTED TO GO
BEYOND AND OUTSIDE OF THE ALLEGATION IN THE
COMPLAINT FOR DATA OR FACTS. Allegation of illegitimacy
and claim of absolute ownership are modifications and
unreasonable inferences.
MR (DENIED) CA (DISMISSED)
ISSUE: Whether allegations in the complaint were sufficient to
support a cause of action for partition may be found in private
respondents complaint (YES)
1. In a MTD for failure to state a cause of action, the inquiry is into
the sufficiency, not the veracity, of the material allegations. The
inquiry is confined to the four corners of the complaint, and no
other.

a. Garcon v. Redemptorist Fathers: Test of the sufficiency of


the facts alleged in the complaint is whether or not,
admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid
judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of
the complaint
b. Galeon v. Galeon: If the allegations of the complaint are
sufficient in form and substance, but their veracity and
correctness are assailed, it is incumbent upon the to deny
the MTD and require the defendant to answer and go to
trial to prove his defense.
2. 8.1 provides that complaint needs only to allege the ultimate facts
upon which private respondent bases her claim. In her claim, she
asserted that
a. The parcels of land were owned by her grandparents and
that they had two children
b. She is the daughter of Maximino Balo
c. That petitioner Ulpiano took possession of the real
properties immediately after the death of plaintiffs
grandfather
d. That Ulpiano et al refuse to have the property partitioned
3. Insistence that private respondent prove her legitimacy shall not
succeed
a. Briz v. Briz: Proof of legal acknowledgement is not a
prerequisite before an action for partition may be filed.
There is no absolute necessity requiring that the action to
compel acknowledgment should have been instituted and
prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior to the action in
which that same plaintiff seeks additional relief in the
character of heir. A natural child having a right to compel
acknowledgment, but who has not been in fact legally
acknowledged, may maintain partition (Siguiong v.
Siguiong). And the same person may intervene in
proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his
deceased natural father or mother (Capistrano v. Fabella).
4. In partition proceedings, dismissal prior to answer is premature
a. Roque v. IAC: In a complaint for partition, the plaintiff
seeks first, a declaration that he is a co-owner of the
subject properties, and second, the conveyance of his
lawful shares. An action for partition is at once an action for
declaration of co-ownership and for segregation and
conveyance of a determine portion of the properties
involved.

5. Vda de Daffon: Action for partition filed by plaintiffs was met by a


MTD filed by defendants based on grounds of failure of complaint
to state a cause of action, waiver, abandonment and
extinguishment of the obligation.
6. Prescription: The MTD filed by petitioners did not ipso facto
establish prescription. An allegation of prescription can effectively
be used in an MTD only when the complaint on its face shows that
indeed the action has already prescribed, otherwise, the issue of
prescription is one involving evidentiary matters requiring a fullblown trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a mere
motion to dismiss.

a. Complaint for cancellation of title and reconveyance with damages


b. Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
Court:
RTC Dismissed complaint on ground of lack of cause of action

HEIRS of YPON v. RICAFORTE aka


GAUDIOSO YPON
DOCTRINE: The Court held that the determination of who are the decedents
lawful heirs must be made in the proper special proceeding for such purpose, and not
in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and/or possession. If filed in an
ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and/or possession, complaint shall be
dismissed.

Petitioners: Heirs of Magdaleno Ypon


Respondents: Gaudioso Ypon, allegedly Magdaleno Ypons only son and
heir, and the Register of Deeds of Toledo City
Action:

Facts:
1. Petitioners filed a complaint for cancellation of title and
reconveyance with damages after Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte aka
Gaudioso Ypon executed an affidavit of self-adjudication and
transferring all the parcels of land of Magdaleno to himself.
Magdaleno died intestate and childless, thus petitioners were his
collateral relatives and successors-in-interest.
2. In his answer, GY alleged he is Magdalenos lawful son, as
evidenced by a certificate of live birth, two letters from Polytechnic
School, and his passport. By way of affirmative defense, he claimed
a. petitioners had no COA against him
b. complaint fails to state COA
c. case is not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest as it was
not shown petitioners were real heirs
3. RTC dismissed complaint because
a. No cause of action against GY
b. Though plaintiffs established their relationship to Magdaleno
in a special proceeding for issuance of letters of
administration, this did not mean they could automatically be
considered compulsory heirs
c. Gaudioso successfully established filiation through
documentary evidence
ISSUES:
Whether or not the dismissal of the RTC of the complaint was proper
(NOOO)

If the allegations furnish sufficient basis by which the complaint can be


maintained, the same should not be dismissed, regardless of the defenses that
may be averred by the defendants
Petitioners alleged that they are the lawful heirs of Magdaleno and based on the
same, prayed that the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Gaudioso be
declared null and void and that the transfer certificates of title issued in the
latters favor be cancelled. While the foregoing allegations, if admitted to be
true, would consequently warrant the reliefs sought for in the said complaint, the

rule that the determination of a decedents lawful heirs should be made in the
corresponding special proceeding precludes the RTC, in an ordinary action for
cancellation of title and reconveyance, from granting the same
Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA: The Court held that the determination of who
are the decedents lawful heirs must be made in the proper special proceeding
for such purpose, and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and/or
possession
Litam, et al. v. Rivera: the declaration of heirship must be made in a special
proceeding, and not in an independent civil action
Exceptions:

The need to institute a separate special proceeding for the


determination of heirship may be dispensed with for the sake
of practicality, as when the parties in the civil case had
voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already
presented their evidence regarding the issue of heirship, and
the RTC had consequently rendered judgment thereon; or

When a special proceeding had been instituted but had been


finally closed and terminated, and hence, cannot be re-opened.

While a court usually focuses on the complaint in determining


whether the same fails to state a cause of action, a court cannot
disregard decisions material to the proper appreciation of the
questions before it.