Nuffnang

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.

Case Digest - Business Organization, Moral Damages for juridical persons

PNB vs. RITRATTO GRP

GRN 142616 July 31, 2001

Kapunan, J.:

FACTS:

PNB-IFL, a subsidiary company of PNB extended credit to Ritratto in the amount $300,000 secured by the real estate mortgages on two parcels of land located in Makati. Said credit was increased until April 1998. Respondent’s outstanding obligations up to that time stood at $1,497,274.40. Pursuant to the terms of the mortgage, PNB-IFL thru PNB, foreclosed the property and were subject to public auction.

Respondents filed a complaint for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order. PNB filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of failure to state a cause of action and the absence of any privity between respondents and petitioner. Trial Court issued the writ of preliminary injunction and denied PNB’s motion to dismiss. In the impugned decision, the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not PNB is privy to the loan contracts entered into by respondent & PNB-IFL.

RULING:
...The contract questioned is one entered into between responded and PNB-IFL. Petitioner was admittedly an agent of the latter who acted as an agent with limited authority and specific duties under a special power of attorney incorporated in the real estate mortgage. It is not privy to the loan contracts entered into by them. Yet, despite the recognition that PNB is a mere agent, the respondents, in their complaint, prayed that PNB be ordered to recompute the scheduling accordance with the terms and conditions in the documents evidencing the credit facilities, and crediting the amount previously paid to PNB by respondent.

The mere fact that a corporation owns all of the stocks of another corporation, taken alone is not sufficient to justify their being treated as one entity. If used to perform legitimate functions, a subsidiary’s separate existence may be respected, and the liability of the parent corporation as well as the subsidiary will be confined to those arising in their respective business. The courts may, in the exercise of judicial discretion, step in to prevent the abuses of separate entity privilege and pierce the veil of corporate entity.

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Filipinas Broadcasting vs. Ago Medical Center

GRN 141994 January 17, 2005

Carpio, J.:

FACTS:

Rima & Alegre were host of FBNI radio program “Expose”. Respondent Ago was the owner of the Medical & Educational center, subject of the radio program “Expose”. AMEC claimed that the broadcasts were defamatory and owner Ago and school AMEC claimed for damages. The complaint further alleged that AMEC is a reputable learning institution. With the supposed expose, FBNI, Rima and Alegre “transmitted malicious imputations and as such, destroyed plaintiff’s reputation. FBNI was included as defendant for allegedly failing to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. The trial court found Rima’s statements to be within the bounds of freedom of speech and ruled that the broadcast was libelous. It ordered the defendants Alegre and FBNI to pay AMEC 300k for moral damages.”

ISSUE:

Whether or not AMEC is entitled to moral damages.

RULING:

A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral damages because, unlike a natural person, it cannot experience physical suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings, serious anxiety, mental anguish or moral shock. Nevertheless, AMEC’s claim, or moral damages fall under item 7 of Art – 2219 of the NCC.

This provision expressly authorizes the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander or any other form of defamation. Art 2219 (7) does not qualify whether the plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person such as a corporation can validly complain for libel or any other form of defamation and claim for moral damages. Moreover, where the broadcast is libelous per se, the law implied damages. In such a case, evidence of an honest mistake or the want of character or reputation of the party libeled goes only in mitigation of damages. In this case, the broadcasts are libelous per se. thus, AMEC is entitled to moral damages. However, we find the award P500,000 moral damages unreasonable. The record shows that even though the broadcasts were libelous, per se, AMEC has not suffered any substantial or material damage to its reputation. Therefore, we reduce the award of moral damages to P150k.

v JOIN TORT FEASORS are all the persons who command, instigate, promote, encourage, advice countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, as who approve of it after it is done, for its benefit.

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Mangila vs. CA/Loreta Guina

GRN – 125027 August 12, 2002

Carpio, J.:

FACTS:

Petitioner Mangila hired the freight service of private respondent Guina for the importation of seafoods to USA. Petitioner failed to pay the services rendered by Air Swift International a business operating under the sole proprietorship of Guina. The latter filed a case for collection of money but summons were unsuccessfully served thus a writ of Preliminary Attachment was issued. Petitioner filed a motion to discharge without submitting herself to the jurisdiction of the court. The CA upheld the validity of the issuance of the writ attachment and sustained the filing of the case in Pasay as the proper venue, despite stipulation in the contract that in case of complaints, cases should be filed in Makati City. Pasay City is the office location of Air Swift.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the venue of the swift was properly laid when it was filed in Pasay City where the sole proprietorship business of the respondent was located.

RULING:

A mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude the parties from bringing a case in other venues. The partiers must be able to show that the stipulation is exclusive. In the present case… there are no qualifying or restrictive words in the invoice that would evince the intention of the parties that Makati is the only or exclusive venue where the action would be instituted. Nevertheless, we hold that Pasay is not the proper venue.

In this case it was established that petitioner resides in Pampanga while respondent resides in ParaƱaque. The case was filed in Pasay where the business is located.

A sole proprietorship does not possess a juridical personality separate and distinct from the personality of the owner of the enterprise… The law does not vest a separate legal personality on the sole proprietorship to empower it to file or defend an action in court. Thus, not being vested with legal personality to file this case, the sole proprietorship is not the plaintiff but Guina herself.