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Kinds Of Pleadings

Section 1. Pleadings defined. Pleadings are the written statements of the respective
claims and defenses of the parties submitted to the court for appropriate judgment. (1a)

Section 2. Pleadings allowed. The claims of a party are asserted in a complaint,

counterclaim, cross-claim, third (fourth, etc.)-party complaint, or complaint-in-

The defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading asserting a claim
against him.

An answer may be responded to by a reply. (n)

Section 3. Complaint. The complaint is the pleading alleging the plaintiff's cause or
causes of action. The names and residences of the plaintiff and defendant must be
stated in the complaint. (3a)


Parts of a Pleading

Section 1. Caption. The caption sets forth the name of the court, the title of the
action, and the docket number if assigned.

The title of the action indicates the names of the parties. They shall all be named in the
original complaint or petition; but in subsequent pleadings, it shall be sufficient if the
name of the first party on each side be stated with an appropriate indication when there
are other parties.

Their respective participation in the case shall be indicated. (1a, 2a)

Section 2. The body. The body of the pleading sets fourth its designation, the
allegations of the party's claims or defenses, the relief prayed for, and the date of the
pleading. (n)

(a) Paragraphs. The allegations in the body of a pleading shall be divided into
paragraphs so numbered to be readily identified, each of which shall contain a
statement of a single set of circumstances so far as that can be done with
convenience. A paragraph may be referred to by its number in all succeeding
pleadings. (3a)
(b) Headings. When two or more causes of action are joined the statement of
the first shall be prefaced by the words "first cause of action,'' of the second by
"second cause of action", and so on for the others.

When one or more paragraphs in the answer are addressed to one of several
causes of action in the complaint, they shall be prefaced by the words "answer to
the first cause of action" or "answer to the second cause of action" and so on;
and when one or more paragraphs of the answer are addressed to several
causes of action, they shall be prefaced by words to that effect. (4)

(c) Relief. The pleading shall specify the relief sought, but it may add a
general prayer for such further or other relief as may be deemed just or
equitable. (3a, R6)

(d) Date. Every pleading shall be dated. (n)

Section 3. Signature and address. Every pleading must be signed by the party or
counsel representing him, stating in either case his address which should not be a
post office box.

The signature of counsel constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the
pleading; that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief there is good ground
to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.

An unsigned pleading produces no legal effect. However, the court may, in its
discretion, allow such deficiency to be remedied if it shall appear that the same was
due to mere inadvertence and not intended for delay.

General Rule for Counsel: Counsel who deliberately files an unsigned pleadings, or
signs a pleading in violation of this Rule, or alleges scandalous or indecent matter
therein, or fails promptly report to the court a change of his address, shall be subject to
appropriate disciplinary action. (5a)

Section 4. Verification. Except when otherwise specifically required by law or rule,

pleadings need not be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit .(5a)

A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the
allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief.

A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification based on "information

and belief", or upon "knowledge, information and belief", or lacks a proper verification,
shall be treated as an unsigned pleading. (6a)

Section 5. Certification against forum shopping. The plaintiff or principal party shall
certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief,
or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he
has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same
issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his
knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such
other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and
(c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or
is pending, he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court
wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.

Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere
amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the
dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion and
after hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of
the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without
prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the
party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same
shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct
contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions. (n)


Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings

Section 1. In general. Every pleading shall contain in a methodical and logical

form, a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on which the party
pleading relies for his claim or defense, as the case may be, omitting the statement of
mere evidentiary facts. (1)

If a defense relied on is based on law, the pertinent provisions thereof and their
applicability to him shall be clearly and concisely stated. (n)

Section 2. Alternative causes of action or defenses. A party may set forth two or
more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one
cause of action or defense or in separate causes of action or defenses. When two or
more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently
would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or
more of the alternative statements. (2)

Section 3. Conditions precedent. In any pleading a general averment of the

performance or occurrence of all conditions precedent shall be sufficient. (3)

Section 4. Capacity. Facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the
authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity or the legal existence
of an organized association of person that is made a party, must be averred. A party
desiring to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of
any party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, shall do so by specific
denial, which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the
pleader's knowledge. (4)

Section 5. Fraud, mistake, condition of the mind. In all averments of fraud or mistake
the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake must be stated with particularity. Malice,
intent, knowledge, or other condition of the mind of a person may be averred

Section 6. Judgment. In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign

court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the
judgment or decision without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it. (6)

Section 7. Action or defense based on document. Whenever an action or defense is

based upon a written instrument or document, the substance of such instrument or
document shall be set forth in the pleading, and the original or a copy thereof shall
be attached to the pleading as an exhibit, which shall be deemed to be a part of the
pleading, or said copy may with like effect be set forth in the pleading. (7)

Section 8. How to contest such documents. When an action or defense is founded

upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the corresponding pleading as
provided in the preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument
shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath specifically denies
them, and sets forth what he claims to be the facts, but the requirement of an oath does
not apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument or
when compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused.

Section 9. Official document or act. In pleading an official document or official act, it

is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act done in compliance with
law. (9)

Section 10. Specific denial. A defendant must specify each material allegation of
fact the truth of which he does not admit and, whenever practicable, shall set forth
the substance of the matters upon which he relies to support his denial. Where a
defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall specify so much of it as
is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. Where a defendant is without
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment
made to the complaint, he shall so state, and this shall have the effect of a denial. (10a)

Section 11. Allegations not specifically denied deemed admitted. Material averment
in the complaint, other than those as to the amount of unliquidated damages, shall be
deemed admitted when not specifically denied. Allegations of usury in a complaint to
recover usurious interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath. (1a, R9)
Section 12. Striking out of pleading or matter contained therein. Upon motion made
by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is permitted by
these Rules, upon motion made by a party within twenty (20) days after the service of
the pleading upon him, or upon the court's own initiative at any time, the court may
order any pleading to be stricken out or that any sham or false, redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter be stricken out therefrom. (5, R9)


Effect of Failure to Plead

Section 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded. Defenses and objections not
pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. However,
when it appears from the pleadings or the evidence on record that the court has no
jurisdiction over the subject matter, that there is another action pending between
the same parties for the same cause, or that the action is barred by a prior judgment
or by statute of limitations, the court shall dismiss the claim. (2a)

Section 2. Compulsory counterclaim, or cross-claim, not set up barred. A

compulsory counterclaim, or a cross-claim, not set up shall be barred. (4a)

Section 3. Default; declaration of. 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.
(1a, R18)

(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,
(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)

RULE 110

Prosecution of Offenses

Section 1. Institution of criminal actions. Criminal actions shall be instituted as


(a) For offenses where a preliminary investigation is required pursuant to section

1 of Rule 112, by filing the complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of
conducting the requisite preliminary investigation.

(b) For all other offenses, by filing the complaint or information directly with the
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, or the complaint with
the office of the prosecutor. In Manila and other chartered cities, the complaint
shall be filed with the office of the prosecutor unless otherwise provided in their

The institution of the criminal action shall interrupt the running period of prescription of
the offense charged unless otherwise provided in special laws. (1a)

Section 2. The Complaint or information. The complaint or information shall be in

writing, in the name of the People of the Philippines and against all persons who appear
to be responsible for the offense involved. (2a)

Section 3. Complaint defined. A complaint is a sworn written statement charging a

person with an offense, subscribed by the offended party, any peace officer, or other
public officer charged with the enforcement of the law violated. (3)

Section 4. Information defined. An information is an accusation in writing charging a

person with an offense, subscribed by the prosecutor and filed with the court. (4a)

Section 5. Who must prosecute criminal actions. All criminal actions commenced by
a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of
the prosecutor. However, in Municipal Trial Courts or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
when the prosecutor assigned thereto or to the case is not available, the offended
party, any peace officer, or public officer charged with the enforcement of the law
violated may prosecute the case. This authority cease upon actual intervention of the
prosecutor or upon elevation of the case to the Regional Trial Court. (This Section was
repealed by A.M. No. 02-2-07-SC effective May 1, 2002)

The crimes of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted except upon a
complaint filed by the offended spouse. The offended party cannot institute criminal
prosecution without including the guilty parties, if both alive, nor, in any case, if the
offended party has consented to the offense or pardoned the offenders.

The offenses of seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness shall not be prosecuted
except upon a complaint filed by the offended party or her parents, grandparents or
guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by any of them.
If the offended party dies or becomes incapacitated before she can file the complaint,
and she has no known parents, grandparents or guardian, the State shall initiate the
criminal action in her behalf.

The offended party, even if a minor, has the right to initiate the prosecution of the
offenses of seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness independently of her
parents, grandparents, or guardian, unless she is incompetent or incapable of doing so.
Where the offended party, who is a minor, fails to file the complaint, her parents,
grandparents, or guardian may file the same. The right to file the action granted to
parents, grandparents or guardian shall be exclusive of all other persons and shall be
exercised successively in the order herein provided, except as stated in the preceding

No criminal action for defamation which consists in the imputation of the offenses
mentioned above shall be brought except at the instance of and upon complaint filed by
the offended party. (5a)

The prosecution for violation of special laws shall be governed by the provisions thereof.

Section 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. A complaint or information is

sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by
the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of
the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the
place where the offense was committed.

When an offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall be included in
the complaint or information. (6a)

Section 7. Name of the accused. The complaint or information must state the name
and surname of the accused or any appellation or nickname by which he has been or is
known. If his name cannot be ascertained, he must be described under a fictitious
name (e.g John Doe and Jane Doe) with a statement that his true name is

If the true name of the accused is thereafter disclosed by him or appears in some other
manner to the court, such true name shall be inserted in the complaint or information
and record. (7a)

Section 8. Designation of the offense. The complaint or information shall state the
designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting
the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances. If there is no
designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the
statute punishing it. (8a)

Section 9. Cause of the accusation. The acts or omissions complained of as

constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be
stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in
the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to
know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and aggravating
circumstances and for the court to pronounce judgment. (9a)

Section 10. Place of commission of the offense. The complaint or information is

sufficient if it can be understood from its allegations that the offense was committed or
some of the essential ingredients occurred at some place within the jurisdiction of the
court, unless the particular place where it was committed constitutes an essential
element of the offense or is necessary for its identification. (10a)

Section 11. Date of commission of the offense. It is not necessary to state in the
complaint or information the precise date the offense was committed except when it is a
material ingredient of the offense. The offense may be alleged to have been committed
on a date as near as possible to the actual date of its commission. (11a)

Section 12. Name of the offended party. The complaint or information must state the
name and surname of the person against whom or against whose property the offense
was committed, or any appellation or nickname by which such person has been or is
known. If there is no better way of identifying him, he must be described under a
fictitious name.

(a) In offenses against property, if the name of the offended party is unknown,
the property must be described with such particularity as to properly identify the
offense charged.

(b) If the true name of the of the person against whom or against whose properly
the offense was committed is thereafter disclosed or ascertained, the court must
cause the true name to be inserted in the complaint or information and the
(c) If the offended party is a juridical person, it is sufficient to state its name, or
any name or designation by which it is known or by which it may be identified,
without need of averring that it is a juridical person or that it is organized in
accordance with law. (12a)

Section 15. Place where action is to be instituted.

(a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the
court of the municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where
any of its essential ingredients occurred.

(b) Where an offense is committed in a train, aircraft, or other public or private

vehicle while in the course of its trip, the criminal action shall be instituted and
tried in the court of any municipality or territory where such train, aircraft or other
vehicle passed during such its trip, including the place of its departure and

(c) Where an offense is committed on board a vessel in the course of its voyage,
the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the first port of entry
or of any municipality or territory where the vessel passed during such voyage,
subject to the generally accepted principles of international law.

(d) Crimes committed outside the Philippines but punishable under Article 2 of
the Revised Penal Code shall be cognizable by the court where the criminal
action is first filed. (15a)