Civ Proc Lectures by Dean Riano, Part IV
Smart Guys from the Little Theater
Transcribed Lectures of Dean Riano 2011, Part IV
III. Civil Procedure
1. Meaning of ordinary civil actions
One by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
2. Meaning of special civil actions
Generally follow the rules on ordinary civil actions, but there are some special rules only for it sometimes. That’s why it’s called special.
What is an action for rescission of a contract? Is it an ordinary civil action or a special civil action? It is an ordinary civil action. Annulment of a contract is also an ordinary civil action. Reformation of an instrument (incapable of PE) falls under declaratory relief and other similar remedies under Rule 63. Quieting of title falls under Rule 63 not as declaratory relief but other similar remedies. Consolidation of ownership falls under Rule 63 but not under declaratory relief but other similar remedies. Read the table of contents.
Saan mo ipafile ang application for preliminary attachment proceeding? Hindi mo yan pina-file separartely kasi yan ay provisional remedy. Ang titingnan mo ay principal remedy. Kung saan ang principal remedy, doon ang application for a writ of preliminary attachment.
Saan mo ipa-file ang support pendent elite? Hindi rin yan pina-file separately kasi provisional rememdy. Yong action for support ay sa Family Court or sa RTC kung walang FC.
Meron bang action for preliminary injunction? There’s none. There’s only action for injunction.
Which court has the jurisdiction to issue a provisional remedy? The court which has jurisdiction over the main action. Can an MTC issue a provisional remedy? Yes, if the main action is with the MTC.
3. Meaning of criminal actions
One by which the State prosecutes a person for an act or omission punishable by law.
4. Civil actions versus Special proceedings
Special proceedings establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. They are not there for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong. If you want a person to be declared as absent, use a special proceeding; do not go to an ordinary civil action.
1. The State is interested in the proceeding
2. Proceedings are in rem
3. Rules are for expediency
4. Usually not adversarial in the traditional sense of 2 contending private parties.
- Settlement of estate of deceased persons
- Guardianship and custody of children
- Rescission and revocation of adoption
- Hospitalization of insane patient
- Habeas corpus
- Change of name
- Voluntary dissolution of corporations
- Judicial approval of voluntary recognition of minor natural children;
- Constitution of family home
- Declaration of absence and death
- Cancellation of correction of entries in civil registry
5. Personal actions and real actions
A classification of actions according to foundation.
Real actions are those affecting title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion thereof, is situated.
The rule does not define personal actions. It says all other actions not falling under real actions are personal actions. If I file an action for damages, that is personal action; it has nothing to do with interest or title or possession to any real property. The same with an action for collection of a sum of money.
But not all action which deals with real property is a real action. Example: you leased an apartment belonging to me for 30k/month. A small apartment with a single room. Then after three months, when I came to you to collect the rental, I realized that it changed a lot, the floors which were made of Italian marbles are now gravel and sand from Boracay, you changed them. When I asked you why, you said you wished to have an environment that is as much close to nature as possible. Then I noticed that you tore down the wall of the apartment and replaced them with nipa wall. Everything was changed. When I realized it, I suffered from a mild heart attack. When I was revived I filed an action for damages for P5 million for destroying my apartment. Is it a real or a personal action? It is personal action. It’s not about title to the property, it’s not about possession or interest, it’s about damages. He did not want to pay, he resisted so I decided to file an action for unlawful detainer so I could regain possession of the premises. Real or personal? It is a real action because the issue is possession of real property. FE is also a real action. They are real actions in accordance with the nature of the action but they are not real actions in accordance with the objective of the action. Actions for UD and FE are real actions but they are in personam. An in personam action could be real.
An annulment of marriage is a personal action, it has nothing to do with real property, but it is in rem. No privity of real estate is mentioned or involved. An action for recognition of myself as a natural child is in personam directed against a person but it is also personal. An action for declaration of nullity of marriage is in rem but it is personal.
An action to collect a sum of money is personal and also in personam. Kasi nga directed to or against a particular defendant. An action for damages, personal and in personam. Cadastral and land registration case is real action and also in rem.
When the issue in the Bar exams is the venue of a complaint or an action, do not ask yourself this way: is it personam, in rem or quasi in rem? The question is, is it real or personal? It is the analysis for purposes of venue.
Pag ang tanong ay what kind of summons will be proper against this non-resident? O di itatanong mo, is it in personam, in rem or quasi in rem? What summons will be used? The clerk of court will ask if it’s in personam, in rem or quasi in rem.
If you want to know whether in that particular case jurisdiction is necessary over the defendant, your question will be “is it in rem, in personam, or quasi in rem”. These principles have not been exploited in the Bar exam because they are difficult to understand. It was only asked in 2008 about partition, partition is quasi in rem. But there was a question there: how do you acquire jurisdiction over the defendant? Holy smoke! It should not be asked because in an action quasi in rem, jurisdiction over the defendant is not required.
Why do you need to know if an action is real or personal? In order to determine the venue. Why do you need to know if an action is in personam, in rem or quasi in rem? So that you will know if jurisdiction over the defendant is necessary and to determine what kind of summons will be served.
Example. Kapag ang action ay in personam, hindi ka pwede magpadala ng summons thru publication. This is the general rule. Because this action is directed to a particular person, and a summons by publication is directed to the whole world. If the defendant was not able to read such publication, then you still haven’t reached him/her. But if it’s an action in rem or quasi in rem, then publication is allowed.
6. Local and transitory actions
A real action is “local,” its venue depends upon the location of the property involved in the litigation. A personal action is “transitory,” its venue depends upon the residence of the plaintiff or the defendant at the option of the plaintiff.
7. Actions in rem, in personam and quasi in rem
A classification of actions according to the object of the actions.
Actions in rem
It is in rem when it is directed against the whole world. An action for the declaration of nullity of marriage is a personal action because it is not founded on real estate. It is also in rem because the issue of the status of a person is one directed against the whole world. A cadastral proceeding is an action in rem. A land registration proceeding is an action in rem. Hence, failure to give a personal notice to the owners or claimants of the land is not a jurisdictional defect. It is the publication of such notice that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction.
A proceeding in personam is a proceeding to enforce personal rights and obligations brought against the person and is based on the jurisdiction of the person, although it may involve his right to, or the exercise of ownership of, specific property, or seek to compel him to control or dispose of it in accordance with the mandate of the court. Purpose: to impose thru the judgment of a court some responsibility or liability directly upon the person of the defendant. No one other than the defendant is sought to be held liable. Example: an action for a sum of money; an action for damages.
Actions in personam
An action in personam is not necessarily a personal action. Nor is a real action necessarily an action in rem. An action to recover title, or possession of real property is a real action but it is an action in personam. It not brought against a person but against at the person upon whom the claim is made. An action for specific performance is an action in personam. An action for specific performance and/or rescission is not an action in rem. An action for damages is a personal action as well as an action in personam.
Actions quasi in rem
A proceeding quasi in rem is one brought against persons seeking to subject the property of such persons to the discharge of the claims assailed. An individual is named defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interests therein to the obligation or loan burdening the property. But the action is one brought against the whole world. The object is the sale or disposition of the property whether by attachment, foreclosure or any other form of remedy. Example: action for partition; action for accounting; attachment; and foreclosure or mortgage.
B. Cause of Action
1. Meaning of cause of action
It is the act or omission by which a party violates the rights of another. There is an existence of a right that was violated by someone who has the obligation to respect that right. In order to have a cause of action, do you have to prove the damage sustained? No need. Evidence of damage is not found in the definition. As long as you can establish a right, and that right was violated, there is damage automatically without need to prove it because you will be awarded anyway nominal damages for a vindication of a right, for the recognition of the right. If you want to recover actual damages, you have to prove the damage. You cannot recover actual or compensatory damages without evidence of the harm sustained.
Do you need a COA for every civil action? No. Only in ordinary civil actions are COAs mandatory. The concept of a COA ad defined in Sec.2 of Rule 2 does not always fit a special civil action. A declaratory relief for example, you want the court to state what your rights are under a law, a treaty, a statute, a deed, a will, before a violation occurs. In a COA definition, there is a cause of action. Here in declaratory relief, there is none. That’s why the definition of a COA does not fit. Also for interpleader where you are asking the court to decide who between 2 persons is the rightful claimant. It is filed a person whose rights are not violated. He cannot just determine who among 2 persons is the rightful owner of a property being claimed from me. There is no violation of my right. Also the definition of a COA does not apply to an administrative proceeding. You will be charged administratively not because of a violation of a right of another but because you violated a rule. If you violated a Civil Service rule, you will be charged administratively. It does not also apply to a criminal case.
2. Right of Action versus Cause of action
The concept of COA is substantive law. A COA while defined in the ROC is not coming from the Rules; the essence comes from substantive law. A right of action is procedural. It is a right to file the case. There cannot be w ROA without a COA. Article 1156 of the Civil Code enumerates the sources of a COA: law, contracts, quasi contracts, delicts, quasi delicts, and acts and omissions punished by law. That’s why when you are asked in civil procedure, what is the basis of your COA? Your basis will either be the law, the contract which is breached, a crime etc.
I borrowed money from X. On the due date of the obligation I did not pay. That he has a COA against me? Not yet because I still have not violated his right. He has no demand to pay. If he comes to me and demand payment but I do not pay and just turned my back, I know violate his right to be paid upon demand. He now has a COA. If on the due date of the obligation, he comes to me and said “I am reminding you of you debt to me.” I did not pay. Is there a violation? No, because it was not a demand, it was just a reminder. The demand must be clear and unequivocal requirement to comply with an obligation. If you did not demand from me on the due date of the obligation, the implication is that you voluntarily extended the obligation with a period. That’s why 1169 provides, no demand no delay.
3. Failure to state a cause of action
The allegations of a complaint run: the defendant borrowed P1M from the plaintiff. The defendant under promissory note hereto attached as Exh. A and forming an integral part of the complaint mentions that the debt is payable on Aug. 1, 2010. Until now the debt remains unpaid… Is there a correct statement of a COA? No; from the allegations, judgment cannot be rendered in favor of the plaintiff because there was no allegation of a sufficient COA. You will notice only the debt was mentioned, and the due date; it did not mention that there was demand to pay. The complaint was defective. Sa totoo, nagdemand sha pero hindi lang nya sinabi sa complaint. Actually he has a COA, but when he made the complaint, he did not state it. It’s not a case of an absence of a COA. It’s a case of failure to state a COA. Aside from the demand, the allegations must also include the fact that the debt is already due and demandable. These are the elements; if incomplete, failure to state COA!
Absence of a COA is not a ground for a motion to dismiss; it is a ground for demurrer to evidence according to the SC. Meaning there is no evidence that you do have a COA, demurrer to evidence is anchored on insufficiency of evidence.
4. Test of the sufficiency of a cause of action
Assuming that the allegations of the plaintiff are true, will the court be able to render judgment on the basis of the allegations of the plaintiff? If the answer is yes, it is sufficient.
But when can the court not be able to render a judgment? If the elements of the COA are not present. Example: you sued me for breach of contract; what are the 2 essential elements that must be found in the complaint? 1. The existence of the contract; 2. The violation of the contract. It is sufficient.
The test for sufficiency of a COA is the same with the test for the validity of an information. Are the elements of a felony mentioned in an information? If not, you cannot convict him on the basis of that information.
5. Splitting a single cause of action and its effects
If you have 1 COA, do not divide it into several parts making each part the subject of a separate complaint. Example: Dean Riano was hit by a running Mr. Javier along Recto. The latter slammed into his frail 60-year old body. He laid unconscious for several minutes. The doctor told him that his left and right legs, as well as his right and left arms were broken; also 3 of his ribs were broken, and the strands of his hair were removed. Can Dean Riano file separate complaints for each broken part? No; that would be splitting.
In every COA, there is a primary relief sought and the others are incidental reliefs. Example: you file an action for collection for a sum of money P500,000; this is the main claim, the payment of the principal; but then there was a stipulation to the interest; there was no payment of the interest; so there was a claim for the interest; if you file for the recovery of P500,000 and another for the interests, there’s a clear case of splitting of a COA. You only have to file a single complaint for this.
Bar: An action to recover shares of stock was filed. After it was recovered thru a final judgment, an action for the recovery of dividends received by the defendant was also filed. Was there splitting of a single COA? Yes; the 1st action should have included the recovery of dividends on the shares.
City of Bacolod vs. San Miguel Brewery: the city filed an action to recover from SMB unpaid local taxes which have not been paid for a long time despite assessments sent; the court decided in favor of the city; SMB, when it received the decision, paid the taxes; 3 months after, the wise boys of the city remembered something: that SMB did not pay the surcharges and the penalties of the overdue taxes; the reason is they did not include in their prayer such recovery; so they filed an action to recover those surcharges on the taxes paid; the issue that went to the SC is very simple: was the 2nd suit already barred by the judgment on the 1st suit? The answer is yes. Kung nagclaim ka ng recovery of taxes dapat pati surcharges isinama mo na sa pag claim sa 1st case, they belong to a single COA.
Case, Labitoria: there was a case for partition against co-heirs; the one who filed the partition case already introduced improvements on the property but since it was owned in common he later on decided to take the part belonging to him; the court ordered the partition; after partition where the improvements went to the other heirs, he filed an action to recover the improvements on the property. The 2nd suit was barred. It should have been included in the 1st suit, he should have prayed for the recovery of the improvements introduced or its expenses when he filed the action for partition.
Actions actually have a main part and an incidental part. If you split the incidental part from the main part, that is splitting.
Sometimes a single act gives rise to distinct COAs. An act of negligence causing physical injuries is a COA under quasi-delict, culpa criminal, or independent civil action. A single act gives rise to many COAs because the sources are different provisions of the law. You can pursue them separately and there is no splitting of a COA because they are distinct COAs with different bases.
A split COA filed may be dismissed for litis pendentia. It could also be barred by res judicata. The rule does not say which case will be dismissed, the 1st one filed or the second, the rule is silent. It could also be dismissed for forum shopping, in which all cases will be dismissed.
Bar: While cruising on a highway, a taxicab driven by Miles hit an electric post. As a result thereof, its passenger Joey suffered serious injuries. Miles, the driver, was subsequently charged before the MTC with reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries. Thereafter, Joey filed a civil action against Lourdes, the owner of the taxi cab for breach of contract of carriage and also against Miles for quasi-delict. Lourdes and Miles filed a motion to dismiss the civil actions on the ground of litis pendentia, that is the pendency of the civil action impliedly instituted in the criminal action for reckless imprudence. Is there litis pendentia? None. The action for breach of contract against the taxi owner cannot be barred by the criminal action against the driver. The civil action for quasi-delict against the driver is a separate civil action under Art. 33 of the CC. They can be filed separately and may proceed independently of the criminal action and regardless of the results of the latter.
An obligation that is divisible gives rise to separate causes of actions. Example: an obligation payable in installments; each installments that will not be paid can be a source of a distinct COA. But if you wait for 5 defaults before filing the action on the 6th default, then you can no longer file an action for each, you have to lump in one action all the previous defaults.
The doctrine of anticipatory breach: if there are 12 installments and on the 1st installment the debtor already said that he can never ever pay any installment, you cannot file an action for all 12 installments, only 1 installment because of the doctrine of anticipatory breach. Only 1 action can be filed even if there are divisible obligations. The rationale being to avoid court dockets to be clogged. Ang marami pwedeng pag-isahin pero ang isa hindi pwedeng paramihin.
6. Joinder and misjoinder of causes of action
Presupposes there are several COAs that you could combine in 1 complaint. It is different from consolidation, you don’t call it consolidation.
Requisites of Joinder of Causes of Action:
a. The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties; (applicable only if there are several plaintiffs or several defendants; example: 1 plaintiff vs. several defendants or several plaintiffs vs. 1 defendant; several plaintiffs vs. several defendants)
b. The joinder shall NOT include special civil action or actions governed by special rules;
c. Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdiction, the joinder may be allowed in the RTC provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of the RTC and the venue lies therein;
d. Where the claims in all the COA are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction.
Ø If given a problem on joinder, immediately look at the number of parties. if there is only 1 plaintiff and 1 defendant, go to the 2nd requirement of the Rule. Skip the first. The keyword is a one-on-one situation. Example: Pedro filed an action against D. This is one-on-one, don’t look at joinder of parties. But if it says: several plaintiffs vs. 1 defendant or 1 plaintiff vs. several defendants, look at joinder of parties (ramble situation).
Ø Plaintiff vs. Defendant. Defendant owes P P350,000 on a separate promissory note. He also have another PN in favor of P for P375,000. And another separate PN for P200,000. And another for P100,000. How many COA are there if all the debts fall due and demands have been made but unable to pay? Four because each PN is a separate obligation. Can P file separate suits? Yes. But there can be also only 1 action filed against the defendant; this is a proper subject of joinder. Whether or not they come from different transactions is totally immaterial because this is a one-on-one situation. If filed under 1 complaint, you follow the totality rule so RTC will have jurisdiction.
Ø Suppose that the defendant is also a lessee of P who has failed to pay rentals and there has already been a demand to pay and vacate, can this action be joined with the action above? No. There is now UD which is a special civil action expressly prohibited by the 2nd rule on joinder of COAs.
Ø Suppose there are 4 defendants, all neighbors who owe P amounts of money; demand has been made, but still did not pay. Can P join them in one complaint? Now you look at the rule on joinder of parties, Sec. 6 of Rule 3.
Requisites of Permissive Joinder of Parties:
- Right to relief arises out of the same transaction or series of transactions, whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative;
- There is a question of law or fact common to all the plaintiffs and defendants;
- Such joinder is not otherwise proscribed by the provisions of the Rules on jurisdiction and venue.
Ø The above are separate PNs executed by different people, these are transactions totally unrelated to each other, therefore they cannot be joined. You have to file separate complaints against the defendants.
Ø The perfect example would be: 2 injured passengers of a bus filing 1 complaint for quasi-delict against the driver. There are 2 distinct COAs, passenger 1 can sue the driver under his own complaint, and passenger 1 can sue the driver under his own complaint. But they can join as plaintiffs under 1 complaint against the driver. You have now to comply with the rule on joinder of parties because this is no longer a non-on-one situation. There are now 2 plaintiffs against 1 defendant. The rule says the plaintiffs must be related under a single transaction or a series of transactions, and there must be a common question of law or of fact. Where they injured under a single accident? Yes. Same transaction. Could there be a common question of law or of fact? Yes- whether the driver was negligent. So, there can be a joinder.
Ø But in the course of the action where he hit an electric post, he hit another car with passenger C who was injured; the circumstances of C are not the same with the circumstances of the 2 earlier passengers; the joinder is not clear.
Ø Another example is recovery of money under a PN signed by 4 joint debtors. The plaintiff ,ay file a separate complaint against each debtor but he can only recover as to that debtor’s art of the debt. He can also join all COA in a single complaint against all joint debtors.
Ø Can you join an action for rescission of a contract with an action to collect a sum of money? Say rescission of a contract of a sale of a car. Yes. They are on ordinary actions. Nothing there is a special civil action. What are the special civil actions
Types of Special Civil Actions :
- Eminent Domain
- Declaratory Relief
- Quo warranto
- Partition of real estate
- Foreclosure of mortgage
- Unlawful detainer
l. Forcible Entry
Ø If it is a one-on-one case, do not anymore look at the rule on joinder of parties, look if there is a special civil action. If there is, then it must be severed.
Ø A joinder of COA and of parties is not compulsory. It is permissive.
C. Parties to Civil Actions
Is the word plaintiff always the original plaintiff? No. can the original defendant become the plaintiff in the same proceeding? Yes; when he file a counterclaim, a cross-claim, a third-party complaint, he is a plaintiff in that sense. The original plaintiff also becomes a defendant in these instances.
Who may be parties to a civil action? Can a natural person be a party? Yes. Can a juridical person be a party? Yes. Can some neither natural nor juridical person be a party? Only natural persons, or juridical persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties to a civil action. Under the Labor Code, a labor organization duly registered in accordance by the Code can file suits.
Know the concept of real parties in interest, their definition will be in the exams, Dean Riano can feel it.
1. Real Parties in interest; Indispensable parties; Representatives as parties; Necessary parties; Indigent Parties; Alternative defendants
Real parties in interest
Parties who stand to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the parties entitled to the avails of the suit.
It’s not enough to be a natural person, it’s not enough to be a juridical person, it’s not enough to be an entity authorized by law, in order to sue or be sued or be a party to a civil action. What is important is you have to be a real party in interest.
There are 2 general types of real parties in interest:
i.) The indispensable parties
Ang indispensable party hindi pwedeng wala; kung wala sya, there will never be a final determination of the case. The keywords there will be final determination. When the party is indispensable there is a compulsory joinder.
ii.) The necessary parties.
Pwedeng matuloy ang kaso kahit walang necessary parties. kaya lang wala kang complete relief and full recovery kapag hindi mo isinali ang ibang necessary party. Pero kapag indispensable party, hindi pwedeng wala sha sa suit.
Nasaktan ka, hindi mo alam kung sino sa 2 tao ang nag cause og iyong harm or loss or damage. Anong remedy mo? Idemanda mo silang 2 in the alternative. Alternative plaintiffs, yes theoretically. “In whom..in the alternative” – plaintiffs. “Against whom… in the alternative” – defendants. There are also alternative COAs and alternative defenses.
2. Compulsory and permissive joinder of parties
A joinder of COA and of parties is not compulsory. It is permissive. There is only 1 instance where a joinder of parties is compulsory, it’s in Sec. 7 of Rule 3. Parties in interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or as defendants. When the party is indispensable there is a compulsory joinder.
Remember the example on the joint obligation where the debt of each debtor is P250,000 each. Can the plaintiff sue 1 debtor alone without including the others? Yes. But he will only recover 250,000. The other debtors are necessary parties because without them, there will be no full recovery of 1 million.
But Sec. 9 imposes an obligation upon the plaintiff to state the names of the necessary parties and the reasons why they are not included in the suit. Absent this requirement, there could be a waiver of your right against the other parties.
If P sues 1 debtor alone under a solidary obligation, the debtor is an indispensable party because P cannot collect without suing him. What about the other debtors, are they necessary or indispensable? Neither because P can collect everything from that 1 debtor alone under that solidary obligation. P can collect from any of the debtors.
3. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties
Neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties is a ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of a court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just. Any claim against a misjoined party may be severed and proceeded with separately (Sec. 11 Rule 3).
When an indispensable party is not impleaded, the court’s 1st option is not to dismiss but to order that that party be joined thru a proper amendment of the pleading. If the order was not followed or complied with, the court can now dismiss the complaint not on the basis of non-joinder but on the basis of Sec. 3 of Rule 17, failure to obey the order of the court, fault of the plaintiff.
Should an action be prosecuted and defended by the real party in interest? No. In the name of the real party in interest, not by, but in his name. Example: minors sue with the assistance of parents or guardians, not thru their parents or guardians.
4. Class Suit
You will be asked to determine if a class suit exists. You go by definitions. Sec. 13 of Rule 3. When the subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons so numerous that is it impracticable to join all as parties, a number of them which the court finds to be sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully protect the interests of all concerned may sue or defend for the benefit of all. Any party in interest shall have the right to intervene to protect his individual interest.
Requisites of a Class Suit:
- Subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons; (this will be the focal point of the Bar)
- Parties affected are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to the court;
- Parties bringing the class suit are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and have the legal capacity to file the action.
Example: Wowowee stampede some years ago where more than 70 people died. Assuming there is an average of 20 heirs per person who died, then it would be 20x70 plus, they would be numerous. The heirs of those who died, assuming they filed a class suit against ABS-CBN; is there a class suit? No. The law says common or general interest in the subject matter, not the issue or the question or the facts. Each person who died is a separate SM. Each lola who died is not a common or general lola to the other heirs.
Example: Each fisherman in Guimaras affected by the oil spill in the area has a separate interest as to his income. He is not interested in the income of other fishermen. A class suit is not possible. Remedy is to file individual suits and have them consolidated.
Example: Princess of the Stars, June 2008. There is no class suit.
Case: A barrio that put up a big wooden coin bank for the common fund of everyone. Each person who has extra coins will drop them in that wooden bank. It has been there for 7 years that each depositor can no longer identify his contribution and how much. One day, the coin bank disappeared. The treasurer also disappeared. When he was found, the entire barrio filed a class suit against him for an action to recover the giant coin bank. Is it proper? Yes. There is a common interest; each barrio folk can no longer identify his share in the coin bank. The keyword is if you can no longer identify what is yours. Your interest is merged with the interests of others, then there is common or general interest.
Opposa vs. Factoran: the basis of the class suit is the protection of the environment. There is a class suit even in the name of future generations, there is intergenerational responsibility. The plaintiffs, in behalf of the generations yet to come, filed a class suit against then DENR Secretary Fulgencio Factoran to prevent the rape of the forests and the environment and recall all timber licenses issued before and to prevent issuance of more licenses. The issue that went to court is, is there class suit? The SC, thru Justice Davide, said yes because there was a common or general interest in the SM which is the environment and the natural resources. Can you identify which is yours in the environment and the natural resources? No.
Newsweek vs. IAC: a case involving the sugar planters and barons in Negros Occidental. Several writers of Newsweek Asia visited the place and they wrote an article about the exploitation of the plantation workers. It was written in such a fashion that every sugar planter would really shrink in shame and would feel like fading in a wall. The title of the article is Island of Fear. It showed how the sakada were living in a very pitiful condition. They would earn 1 peso a day but 45 cents of that 1 peso would go back to the landowners as payment of their debts. It was outlined in the article which hurt the feelings of the sugar planters and their families. They came together to file a class suit against Newsweek Asia. Was there a class suit? No problem with their number, what about the common or general interest? The SC said none. Each sugar planter is only considered with his own reputation, he is not concerned with the reputation of the other planters. There is no common or general interest in each’s reputation. No class suit.
Mathay vs. Consolidated Corporation: this has not yet come out in the exams. There was a wide tract of land divided into let’s say 1,000 equal squares at 100sm each. Each square is occupied by a family composed of ten. They have been living there for many years to wake up 1 day to find each of them given a note to vacate because the land and the parcels of land were already titled in the name of a corporation named Land Grabbing Corporation with a primary purpose of land grabbing. They filed a suit for reconveyance. Is there a class suit? None. Each family has interest only on the land it occupies. There is no common or general interest.
Bar: an airplane carrying 200 passengers crashed somewhere in the jungles of Agusan. All the passengers and crew perished. The relatives of the fatalities filed for themselves and in behalf of all the relatives in the mishap a class suit for damages totaling 5M pesos against the airline. The propriety of the class suit is questioned by the defendant. Is there a class suit? None. Because there is no common or general interest in the SM of the controversy. Each of the plaintiffs has a separate claims for damages.
Bar, 1994: 400 residents of Barrio Ramos initiated a class action suit thru Albert, a former mayor of the town, to recover damages sustained due to their exposure to toxic wastes and fumes emitted by the cooking gas plant of a top fuel corporation located at the town. Is the class suit proper? None. No common general interest in each other’s illness.
5. Suits against entities without juridical personality
There are friends, A, B and C who owns a motor shop operating under the name Macho Boys Corporation. The truth is the latter is not registered with the SEC, no such corporation, it has not juridical personality. They were able to borrow 2M from XYZ Bank. They were not able to pay the loan so the bank sued them as Macho Boys Corp. Their defense was that the complaint cannot state a COA because it cannot sue somebody which has no legal capacity. Can they be sued under the name MBC? Yes (Sec. 15). But if it was somebody who borrowed money from them, can they sue under the name MBC? No because they have no legal capacity to sue. Who will be eventually liable? The 3 of them that’s why when they file their answer, they must state their names and addresses because they will be the ones liable.
6. Effect of death of party litigant
Let us assume that there is a case going on and the defendant died during the pre-trial. First, the court will be notified, within 30 days from the death, by the counsel of the deceased, it is his duty. What will the court do? The court will ask itself: is this an action that survives the death of a party? Or is this an action that is extinguished by the death of a party? Then the court will look at the nature of the case. If it is say an action for legal separation, the court will dismiss it, no need to go on. If it is say money claim, it survives. Claims against property survives even claims against UD cases survive. If the plaintiff wants to continue it, it can be continued because once jurisdiction has attached, it remains with the court until the termination of the proceedings, adherence of jurisdiction. So if it is a money claim against the defendant, the court will call the lawyer of the deceased and ask for a substitute such as the heir. But you cannot force the heir to substitute the deceased, in this case the lawyer must get an administrator for purposes of that suit. If the defendant cannot produce an administrator, the plaintiff can procure it. Pwedeng masingil later on sa judgment. Tuloy ang kaso. Judgment against the deceased thru a substitute. Can you file a motion for the execution of the judgment if you were the plaintiff who won the case? No. the judgment should be presented as a claim against the estate. Special proceedings will come in. do not ask for a writ of execution. Rule 86.
A claim of real property will not be extinguished. That’s why the next step is substitution. The substitute will fall under the jurisdiction of the court not thru summons, but thru the order of substitution. This is an instance where jurisdiction over the person will apply even if there is no summons- when the defendant dies.
It is the same if it was the plaintiff who died. The rules work both ways. Example: the plaintiff dies in an action to recover a sum of money, the defendant cannot rejoice because he has no debt anymore.