Sie sind auf Seite 1von 8

1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7

2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

Rule 7
PARTS OF A PLEADING

This is more on Legal Forms, a third year subject. That is a bar subject. That is the last subject given
on the fourth Sunday. The last subject in the bar is Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises where an
examinee will be asked to prepare pleadings like answer, complaint, information.

Sec. 1 Caption. The caption sets forth the name of the court. The title of
the action, and 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 started with
an appropriate indication when there are other parties.
Their respective participation in the case shall be indicated.

ILLUSTRATION:

Republic of the Philippines


CAPTION 11th Judicial Region
Regional Trial Court of Davao
Branch 12

Juan dela Cruz,


Plaintiff Civil Case #12345
For: Annulment of Contract
TITLE -versus-

Osama bin Laden


Defendant

COMPLAINT

BODY Plaintiff, through counsel respectfully alleges that:


1. x x x x x x;
2. x x x x x x;
3. x x x x x x

So, there must be a caption, title. Take note, the title of the action indicates the names of the parties.
They shall all be named in the original complaint or petition; but in the subsequent pleadings, it shall
be sufficient if the name of the first party of each side be stated without the others. You only write the
first name of plaintiff and defendant and followed by the word ET AL.

Q: Suppose there are 20 plaintiffs and 20 defendants in the concept of permissive joinder of parties.
Now is it necessary that they shall be named?
A: In the complaint, YES. They shall all be named. It is possible that the title alone will reach 3 or
more pages.
BUT in subsequent pleadings like the answer, reply, it is not necessary to write the name of
everybody. What the law requires is to write the name of the first plaintiff followed by the term ET
AL. Example: Ms. Quitain, et al, plaintiffs vs. Ms. Pastor, et al, defendants.

So the rule is, it is only in the complaint where the name of all the parties are required to be stated,
but in subsequent pleadings, no need. But there is an EXCEPTION to this rule. There are instances
where the law does not require the name of the parties to be stated even in the complaint.

Q: What are the instances where the law does not require the name of the parties to be stated even
in the complaint?
Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 128
1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

A: These are the following:


1.) Subsequent Pleading (e.g. answer, reply, etc.) (Section 1);
2.) Class suit (Rule 3, Section 12);
3.) When the identity or name of the defendant is unknown (Rule 3, Section 14);
4.) When you sue an entity without judicial personality (Rule 3, Section 15);
5.) If a party is sued in his official capacity. Official designation is sufficient. [e.g. Mr. Acelar vs.
City Mayor of Davao.] (Unabia vs. City Mayor, 99 Phil. 253)

Sec. 2. The body. - The body of the pleading sets forth 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 as 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.
(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)

In the body, you state your allegations or defenses. Then at the end, you state the relief which we
call PRAYER what you are asking the court: Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be
rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff his loan of P1 million with interest of 10% p.a. from this date until
fully paid. Then, you end up with the date of the pleading: Davao City, Philippines, December 10, 1997.

A pleading is divided into paragraphs so numbered as to be readily identified. Normally, a


complaint starts: Plaintiff, thru counsel, respectfully alleges that x x x. Then first paragraph, second
paragraph and so on. The first paragraph is normally the statement of the parties and their addresses
which is required under Rule 6 where a complaint must state the names:

1. Plaintiff Juan dela Cruz is of legal age, a resident of Davao City whereas defendant Pedro
Bautista, is also of legal age and a resident of Davao City.
2. On such and such a date, defendant secured a loan from plaintiff in the amount of so much
payable on this date.
3. The loan is now overdue but defendant still refused to pay.

So every paragraph is numbered so that it can easily be identified in the subsequent pleadings. Pag-
sagot ng Answer, he will just refer to the #, I admit the allegations in paragraph #5)

Paragraph [b] is related to Rule 2 on joinder of causes of action. Can you file one complaint
embodying two or more causes of action? YES.

EXAMPLE: Angelo wants to file a case against Ina to collect three unpaid promissory notes. So,
there are three causes of action. The lawyer of Angelo decided to file only one complaint collecting the
three promissory notes. Now, how should he prepare the complaint containing the three promissory
notes?

Plaintiff respectfully alleges: 1. that he is of legal age x x x.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: In 1995, there was a loan secured amounting to so much and it is
not paid until now;
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: In 1995, there was a second loanbecame payable and is not
paid.
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: x x x x.

In other words, hiwa-hiwalayin mo. You indicate your different causes of action. That is how you
prepare your complaint. On the other hand, the defendant will answer:

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 129


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

ANSWER:
ANSWER TO THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION x x x,
ANSWER TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION x x x,
ANSWER TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION x x x.

Do not combine them together in one paragraph. Even in trial when you present your exhibits, you
might get confused because you combined all the three causes of action in one paragraph. But with
this one, the presentation is clearer, the outline is clearer and it is more scientifically arranged than
joining them in one story.

Under paragraph [c], the pleading must state the relief sought. But it may add a general prayer for
such further other relief as may be just and equitable like yung mga pahabol na Plaintiff prays for such
further or other relief which the court may be deemed just or equitable. Meaning, aside from the relief
sought, Kung meron ka pang gustong ibigay, okay lang. That is the general prayer.

Q: Is the prayer or relief part of the main action?


A: NO, it is part of the complaint or answer but it may indicate what is the nature of the cause of
action. Cause of actions are mere allegations. Prayer is not part of the action but it is important because
it might enlighten us on the nature of the cause of action. That is the purpose of relief or prayer.

EXAMPLE : Angelo filed a case against Ina for annulment of a contract of sale. If you look at the
caption, it is a personal action which should be instituted in the place where the parties reside. But if
you look at the prayer: Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that after trial, the deed of sale shall be annulled on
the ground of intimidation, and the ownership of the land sold to the defendant in Digos be ordered returned.
Actually, you are trying to recover the ownership of the land. So in other words, it is not a personal
action but a real action.

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

Signature and address every pleading must be signed by the party or the counsel representing
him. Take note of the prohibition now: You must state your address which should not be a post office
box because one difficulty is that the exact date when you claim your mail cannot be determined if it is
a P.O. box. But if it is served to his office, the exact date can easily be determined.

Before, I met a situation where the lawyer filed a motion or a pleading stating only his telephone
number. My golly! that is worse! How will I send my reply? Through telephone also? (sa text kaya?)

IMPLIED CERTIFICATION IN A PLEADING

Section 3, second paragraph:

The signature of counsel constitutes a certificate by him that he has read


the pleading; that to the best to his knowledge, information, and belief there
is good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.

Q: When a lawyer signs a pleading, what is he certifying?


A: Second paragraph says, he is certifying that he has read the pleading, that to the best of his
knowledge, information and belief, there is a good ground to support it, and it is not interposed for
delay. That is called as and IMPLIED CERTIFICATION IN A PLEADING (Arambulo vs. Perez, 78
Phil. 387). That was already asked in the bar once.

BAR QUESTION: What is the meaning of the phrase Implied Certification in a Pleading?
A: Implied Certification in a Pleading means that when a lawyer signs a pleading he is certifying
that he has read it, to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is a good ground to
support it, and it is not interposed for delay.

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 130


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

Section 3, last paragraph:

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

So, when a pleading is not signed it produces no legal effect. It is as if no pleading has been filed.

Q: Now, suppose it was just an inadvertent omission, it was not intentional maybe because he was
hurrying to file the pleading, the lawyer had it filed when actually he has not signed it yet.
A: Well, actually if that is in good faith, the court may forgive the counsel because the law says,
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. Maybe, alright, you sign it now in
order that it will produce a legal effect.

However, if the lawyer files a pleading which is UNSIGNED DELIBERATELY, sinadya, then,
according to the rules, he shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. That is practically
unethical no? Not only that, he is also subject to disciplinary action if he signs a pleading in violation
of this Rule or alleges scandalous or indecent matter therein, or fails to promptly report to the court a
change of his address. These are the grounds no.

Now, this ground fails to promptly report to the court a change of his address has been inserted in 1997
Rules, this was not found in the prior Rules. Siguro, the SC has discovered that this has been the cause
of delay in litigation.

Q: What do you mean by this?


A: A lawyer will file a pleading in court, he will say this is his address, and then he moves his office
without telling the court or the opposing counsel of his new address. So, the court will be sending
notices and orders to his old address and it is returned to sender because the lawyer already moved to
another place. So, it causes delay ba.

So, in order to penalize the lawyer, subject to disciplinary action, it is his obligation to inform the
court and even the opposing counsel about his new address so that all court orders, decisions and all
pleadings will be served on his address. I think what prompted the SC to insert this is the fact that it
has been the cause of delays in many cases.

VERIFICATION

Sec. 4. Verification.- Except when otherwise specifically required by law or


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

Q: What do you understand by verification in a pleading?


A: It means that there is an affidavit accompanying the pleading that the pleader will certify that he
prepared the pleading, that all allegations therein are true and correct. For example: In the pleading the
plaintiff will say:

I, Juan de la Cruz of legal age, after being sworn in


accordance with law, hereby say that:

I am the plaintiff in the above entitled case.


I caused the preparation of this complaint;
I read the allegations therein;

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 131


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

And they are true and correct of my own knowledge.

Signed
Affiant

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 2nd day of October


2001, in the City of Davao, Philippines.

Panfilo Corpuz
Notary Public

That is what you call verification of a pleading. That the pleader, whether plaintiff or defendant,
will attest that the allegations in his complaint or in his answer are true and correct of his own
knowledge. And then, he will sign it, and then below that, there will be the so-called JURAT -
Subscribed and sworn to before me on this ___ day of December 1997, in the City of Davao, Philippines. Then,
signed by the notary public. Meaning, statements, in the pleading are confirmed to be correct, under
oath, by the defendant. That is called, the verification of a pleading.

The purpose of verification is to insure good faith in the averments of a pleading. Although lack of
verification in a pleading is a formal defect, not jurisdictional defect, and can be cured by amendment.
(Phil. Bank of Commerce vs. Macadaeg, L-14174, Oct. 31, 1960)

Q: What do you think will happen if a pleading is verified by a party and it turns out that the
allegations are false? And that he deliberately made those allegations false and under oath.
A: Well, you know your Criminal Law. That will be a ground for the prosecution for the crime of
perjury, because that is a false affidavit. But if the pleading is not verified, even if they are false, there is
no perjury, because perjury requires a sworn statement by the accused.

Q: How is a pleading verified?


A: The law says, a pleading is verified by affidavit, that the affiant has read the pleading and that
the allegations therein are, true and correct of his knowledge and belief.

Q: Suppose I will say, the allegations there are true and correct based on my information and
belief.
A: According to the paragraph 3, verification is not sufficient, because you can always claim na
Ganoon pala, hindi pala totoo. Sorry ha? That is my information eh. Meron kang lusot ba. So, you
must say they are true and correct based on my own knowledge. Information will not suffice.

Under the prior rule, a proper verification must be based on knowledge the allegations therein
are true and correct of my own knowledge. Now, knowledge and belief, and yet the third paragraph
says, based on knowledge, information and belief is bawal. So, knowledge, information and belief is
improper, but knowledge and belief only is proper. So tanggalin mo lang yung information to make it
proper.

Q: What happens if a pleading is not verified when the law requires it to be verified? Is that a fatal
defect?
A: The pleading is defective but it is only a formal defect. The court still has jurisdiction over the
case. If the defect is formal, it can be cured by amending the pleading and verifying. So, it is a defective
pleading but the defect is formal, it is not substantial or jurisdictional. Therefore, the case should not be
dismissed. The pleading can be amended to include verification.

Q: Does the law require every pleading to be verified?


A: NO. The GENERAL RULE is, pleadings need not be under oath, EXCEPT when otherwise
specifically required by law or this rule. When the law or rules require a pleading to be verified, then it
must be verified, otherwise it is formally detective. If the law is silent, verification is not necessary and
the pleading is filed properly.

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 132


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

Now, if you ask me, what are the pleadings which the law or the Rules of Court require to be
verified, there are many. They are scattered throughout the Rules and we will meet some in the course
of going over the Rules. I think that question has already been asked 3 times in the BAR. The last time
was in 1995. Meaning, the examiner was asking for the exceptions. You cannot find one rule or one
section where you will get all the answers in that section because they are scattered, sabog eh. So,
practically, it requires the Bar candidate to have a grasp of the entire Rules so that he will be able to
recall as many pleadings as there are, which require. From time to time we will go on, we will meet
them.

BAR QUESTION: Name as many pleadings as you can which must be verified.
A: The following: (taken from the 4th year Remedial Law transcription)
1.) Rule 8 when you deny the due execution of an actionable document;
2.) Summary Rules all pleadings under summary rules should be verified;
3.) Special Civil Actions petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.

I remember that years ago, there was a student who asked me this question:
Q: Now, on the other hand, suppose a pleading does not require verification but the lawyer had it
verified. What is the effect?
A: There is no effect, just surplusage! A pleading in general is not required to be verified. But I will
verify it. Is there something wrong with it? Technically, none. But if it is required to be verified and you
omit the verification, it is formally defective.

So he said, In other words Sir, it is better pala that you will verify every pleading para sigurado.
No harm man kaya? At least, even if there is a verification, when it is not required, no harm. Thats
true, no harm but if a lawyer does that, that only shows he does not know the rules. He cannot identify
which pleading requires to be verified because he will automatically verify everything.

And the second effect, if a pleading is not verified, and the statement is false, there is no perjury.
Now I verify it, and it turns out to be deliberately false, you are courting a criminal prosecution for
your client for perjury. In other words, you create a crime of perjury when actually there should be
none in the first place. The policy may be playing it safe but it produces other effects. Ignorance of the
rules!

CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING

Sec. 5. Certification against forum shopping.-- The plaintiff or the


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 commence 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 status thereof; and
c)if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has
been filed or pending, he shall report that fact within (5) days therefrom 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 the 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)

You know what is forum shopping? I think you have an idea about that, no? Forum Shopping is an
unethical practice when a lawyer or a party files identical cases in two or more tribunals hoping that if
he may fail in one case, he will succeed in another forum. Now, maybe this practice has become
rampant before, not so much in Davao City but maybe in Metro Manila because most of the abuses in
the bar happen in Metro Manila not in the provinces.

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 133


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

Maybe because of these abuses, the SC has decided to put down this provision in order to assure
good faith. So everytime you file a complaint you must certify under oath that you have not filed any
other case of this nature in any other court. More or less, you will follow the language found in the first
paragraph. And this requirement was originally found in a Circular 04-94 of the SC. It is now
incorporated in the new rules in Section 5.

Q: What is the effect if a complaint or a third-party complaint is filed in court without the
certification on non-forum shopping?
A: That is a ground by itself for an automatic dismissal of the complaint.

Now take note that the certification of non-forum Shopping is not only required in the complaint
but the law says: Complaint or other initiatory pleadings such as counterclaims, cross-claims, third-
party complaints. Therefore, all these pleadings require certification against forum shopping.

Now lets go to the second paragraph.

Again, what is the possibility if the complaint is filed without the certification against forum
shopping? That is a ground by itself for the dismissal of the complaint.

Q: Now, suppose I will amend the complaint because at first there was no certification of non-
forum shopping, therefore, automatically the defect is cured. Now, is it automatic?
A: Look at the 2nd paragraph, it says, 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. Meaning, you can still re-file the case with the inclusion of the
certification against forum shopping. Pwede mong ulitin, you re-file the same complaint. That is the
meaning of without prejudice.

Unless otherwise provided, upon the motion after hearing meaning, it is now discretionary on
the court to determine whether to dismiss or not to dismiss. Of course, it is a ground for dismissal, but
the court may say, Okay, we will just amend it. We will not dismiss. But definitely, you cannot insist
that because I already amended, everything is cured. That is for the court to determine whether to
dismiss or not to dismiss. So, mere amendment does not cure automatically the missing certification.

I think this provision that mere amendment does not cure automatically the missing certification for
non-forum shopping was taken by the SC from its ruling in the 1995 case of

KAVINTA vs. CASTILLO, JR.


249 SCRA 604

HELD: The mere submission of a certification under Administrative Circular No. 04-94
after the filing of a motion to dismiss on the ground of non-compliance thereof does not ipso
facto operate as a substantial compliance; otherwise the Circular would lose its value or
efficacy.

As a matter of fact, if the certification is deliberately false there are many other sanctions
contempt, possible administrative actions against the lawyer or criminal case for perjury.

Now, in permissive counterclaims, there must be a certification of non-forum shopping, otherwise


the case will be dismissed. Some lawyers argue that the certification is not required in compulsory
counterclaims. It is only required in permissive counterclaims because in permissive counterclaims, the
claimant has two choices: (1.) to file a counterclaim in the same case, or (2.) to file a separate case.
Another view is that, since Section 5 does not distinguish, we should not distinguish.

However, that issue is now resolved in the 1998 case of

SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL vs. SURLA


294 SCRA 382 [Aug. 17, 1998]

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 134


1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 7
2001 Edition Parts of a Pleading

HELD: The certification of non-forum shopping applies only to permissive


counterclaims because there is no possibility of forum shopping in compulsory
counterclaims.
The proviso in the second paragraph of Section 5, Rule 7, of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, i.e., that the violation of the anti-forum shopping rule shall not be curable by
mere amendment . . . but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice,
being predicated on the applicability of the need for a certification against forum shopping,
obviously does not include a claim which cannot be independently set up.


published by

LAKAS ATENISTA 1997 1998: FOURTH YEAR: Anna Vanessa Angeles Glenda Buhion Joseph
Martin Castillo Aaron Philip Cruz Pearly Joan Jayagan Anderson Lo
Yogie Martirizar Frecelyn Mejia Dorothy Montejo Rowena Panales Regina Sison
Ruby Teleron Marilou Timbol Maceste Uy Perla Vicencio Liberty Wong Jude Zamora
Special Thanks to: Marissa Corrales and July Romena

SECOND YEAR: Jonalyn Adiong Emily Alio Karen Allones Joseph Apao
Melody Penelope Batu Gemma Betonio Rocky Cabarroguis Charina Cabrera
Marlon Cascuejo Mike Castaos Karen de Leon Cherry Frondozo Jude Fuentes Maila Ilao
Ilai Llena Rocky Malaki Jenny Namoc Ines Papaya Jennifer Ramos Paisal Tanjili

LAKAS ATENISTA 20012002: REVISION COMMITTEE: Melissa Suarez Jessamyn Agustin


Judee Uy Janice Joanne Torres Genie Salvania Pches Fernandez Riezl Locsin
Kenneth Lim Charles Concon Roy Acelar Francis Ampig Karen Cacabelos
Maying Dadula Hannah Examen Thea Guadalope Myra Montecalvo Paul Ongkingco
Michael Pito Rod Quiachon Maya Quitain Rina Sacdalan Lyle Santos Joshua Tan
Thaddeus Tuburan John Vera Cruz Mortmort

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 135