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Case Digest - Remedial Law

DOMAGAS vs. JENSEN

GRN 158407 158407 January 17,2005

Callejo, Sr. J.:

FACTS:

Petitioner Domagas filed for a forcible entry case against Jensen. Summons and complaint were not served on respondent because the latter was apparently out of the country but it was received by respondent’s brother Oscar who was then at the respondent’s house. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner. Respondent did not appeal. August 20, 2000, respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for the annulment of the decision of MTC since the service of summons was ineffective, the respondent being out of the country. The RTC decided in favor of Jensen since there was no valid service of the complaint and summons. The CA affirmed the decision, ruling that the case was an ejectment case which is an action quasi in rem.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the action of petitioner in the MTC against respondent is an action in personam or quasi in rem.

RULING:

The action of the petitioner fro forcible entry is a real action and one in personam. The settled rule is that the aim and object of an action determine its character. Whether a proceeding is in rem or in personam or in quasi in rem is determined by its nature and purpose, and by these only. 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, 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. The purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose, through the judgment of a court, some responsibility or liability directly upon the person of the defendant. Of this character are suits to compel a defendant to specifically perform some act or actions to fasten a pecuniary liability on him. An action in personam is said to be one which has for its object a judgment against a person, as distinguished from a judgment against the proprietary to determine its state… Actions for recovery of real property are in personam.

v Actions quasi in rem deal with the status, ownership or liability of a particular property but which are intended to operate on these questions only as between the particular parties to the proceedings and not to ascertain or cut off the rights or interest of all possible claimants. The judgments therein are binding only upon the parties who joined in the action.

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PAGTAKHAN et al. vs. Court of Industrial Relations

GRN L- 23867 June 10, 1971

Zaldivar, J.:

FACTS:

On May 30, 1964 La Perla (respondents) file a motion for reconsideration to the order of CIR judge which is adverse to the former, dated May 20, 1964. On June 18, 7964 employee-complaints filed their opposition to the motion for reconsideration and in turn, on July 7, 1964 respondents filed their reply to complaints’ opposition. The motion for reconsideration was heard on an argument before the CIR en banc on August 24, 1964. CIR en banc set aside the order of trial judge of May 20, 1964 and ordering the return of the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the filing of a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order of a trial judge has the effect of automatically elevating the case from the sala of the CIR trial judge to the CIR en banc thereby suspending the proceedings before the trial court until the CIR en banc will have resolved the motion for reconsideration.

RULING:

We are of the considered view that the CIR en banc erred in holding that the trial judge should have suspended the hearing of the case upon the filing by the respondents of a motion for the reconsideration of the trial court’s order denying respondent’s motion to dismiss. It is the settled rule that an order denying a motion to dismiss action is an interlocutory order, and that interlocutory order is not appealable.

The settled rule that no appeal should be allowed from an interlocutory order… “to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action, which must necessarily suspend the hearing and decision on the merits of the case during the pendency appeal.” Thereby discouraging piecemeal appeals which delay the speedy disposition of the cases. The proceeding before one judge… which disposes of completely the case and gives an end to the litigation… unless the order is appealed… and the appeal should refer to a decision that is final which means a decision or order that has finally disposes of the pending action and nothing more can be done with it in the trial court.

Moran:

“… when the order of judgment does not dispose of the case completely but leaves something to be done, upon the merits, it is merely interlocutory.”


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QUELNAN vs. VHF PHILIPPINES

GRN 145911 July 7, 2004

Carpio-Morales, J.:

FACTS:

Petitioner purchased one condo unit from VHF from which he allegedly have overpaid in the amount of 270K. they agreed verbally to debit said amount for the purchase of another condo unit. Petitioner took possession of the second unit and later on found out that said unit was mortgaged and he was being charged the interests and penalties on the mortgage. An ejectment case was likewised filed against him. Petitioner failed to answer said case and after respondents presented the required documentary evidence. MeTC ordered his ejectment. Petitioner did not appeal this decision and he was in fact ejected from the unit. In 1994, petitioner filed a complaint for rescission (of the alleged verbal contract of sale) and damage against respondents. Petitioner’s counsel received the January 17, 1997 order declaring petitioner non-suited and accordingly dismissing the complaint on February 12, 1997. When petitioner’s counsel filed a manifestation and Ex-forte Motion, on January 24, 1997 an omnibus Motion to set aside said order, 12 days of the 15-day period had elapsed. The filing of the Omnibus Motion interrupted the period of appeal, and it began to run again when, on March 19, 1997 petitioner’s counsel received a copy of the Order of March 12, 1997 denying the Omnibus Motion.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the appeal on the Decision was timely.

RULING:

The denial of the motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal of a complaint is not an interlocutory order, but a final order as it puts end to the particular matte resolved, or settles definitely the matter therein disposed of, and nothing is left for the trial court to do other than execute the order.

Nothing being an interlocutory order, an order denying a motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal of a complaint is effectively an appeal of the order of dismissal itself.

The reference by petitioner, in his notice of appeal, to the March 12, 1999 order denying his omnibus Motion… should does be deemed to refer to the order of January 17, 1999 which declared him not-suited and accordingly dismissed his complaint.

If the proscription against appealing an order denying a motion for reconsideration is applied to any order, than there would have been no need to specially mention in the both sections of the Rules 39 & 41, there can be no mistaking that what is proscribed is to appeal from a denial of a motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order.


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APUYAN vs. HALDEMAN

GRN 129980 September 20, 2004

Azcuna, J.:

FACTS:

Apuyan filed for a petition for quieting of title against respondents. Respondents filed on answer alleging among other that they have been in possession of their respective properties since 1962 and that petitioner produced his title to the property through fraud. The trial court ordered the hearing suspended until the termination of the proceedings before the DENR. After DENR ruled in favor of petitioner herein, RTC held parties into a pre-trial agreement and subsequently ruled that petitioner was guilty of fraud and misrepresentation while respondents are the owners of the land in question by virtue of the documentary and oral evidence, including the dismissal of the ejectment case filed by petitioner against respondents. Plaintiff received a copy of the decision on October 17, 1996 and filed a motion for reconsideration on time. Reconsideration was denied and an appeal notice therefrom was filed but RTC ruled that plaintiff failed to perfect his appeal thus the order become final and executor. CA observed that “the notice of appeal filed with trial court on January 14, 1997 was not form the decision, but from the order denying the motion for reconsideration which cannot be done. It stated that although the notice of appeal prayed for the elevation of the entire records to the CA, it did not cure the defect in the notice of appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not CA erred in holding that the inadvertent omission in the petitioner’s notice of appeal to include the RTC’s decision as being appealed from is fatal to petitioner’s appeal.

RULING:

We rule in the affirmnative.

Section 9 of Rule 37 and Section 1 of Rule 41 of the present Rules of Civil Procedure… provide:

Sec 37. Remedy against denying a motion for new trial or reconsideration. An order denying a motion for new trial or reconsideration is not appealable, the remedy being an appeal from the judgment or final order.

Sec 41. An appeal may be taken from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to be appealable.

In the case at bar, we consider that an appeal from the order denying the motion for reconsideration of the judgment of the trial court as an appeal from a final order. Then trial court’s decision dated January 7, 1997 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the trial court’s decision dated October 9, 1996 is not an interlocutory order but a final order, as the trial court finally resolved therein the issues raised in the MR, which were already passed upon in the RTC’s decision. In effect, petitioner appealed from the final order of the trial court dated January 7, 1997 which appeal was filed on time.

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