CIVIL PROCEDURE A. Actions
D. WHEN PARTIES MAY DIRECTLY GO TO COURT
Q. In a case, two parties are residents of the same municipality but others are residents of different municipalities. Is there a need for prior barangay conciliation? Why?
A. No more. In Candido vs. Macapagal, 221 S 328, it was said that the fact that petitioner Candido and respondent Contreras are residents of the same municipality will not justify compulsory conciliation under PD 7160, it appears that other respondents are residents of different municipalities. Petitioners can file the case directly in court without resorting to barangay conciliation.
Q. When may objections to venue be raised?
A. Objections to venue shall be raised in the mediation proceedings before the punong barangay;
otherwise, the same shall be deemed waived. Any legal question which may confront the punong barangay in resolving objections to venue herein referred to may be submitted to the Secretary of Justice or his duly designated representative whose ruling thereon shall be binding.
Q. Alice filed a complaint for damages against her next-door neighbor Rosa for P100,000 with prayer for preliminary attachment. She alleged that Rosa intrigued against her honor by spreading unsavory rumors about her among their co-workers at the Phoenix knitwear factory located at Valenzuela.
After pre-trial the court muto proprio referred the case for amicable settlement between the parties to the Lupon Tagapamayapa of Brgy. 2 Zone 3 in Valenzuela where the factory is located. Rosa questioned the order contending that the court had no authority to do so as both parties had already gone through pre-trial where amicable settlement was foreclosed and the parties were already going to trial.
(1) Comment on Rosa’s contention. Explain.
(2) Rosa also opposed the referral to the Lupon Tagapamayapa of Brgy. 2 Zone 3 claiming that the venue was wrong as the proper Lupon was that of Brgy. 1 Zone 5 where she and Alice reside. Is Rosa’s contention valid? Explain.
(3) Suppose that the Lupon of Brgy 2 Zone 3 is successful in forgoing an amicable settlement between Alice and Rosa, is the compromise immediately executory? Explain.
(4) How, when, and by whom shall the compromise agreement be enforced? Explain. (1995 Bar Exams) A.
(1) Rosa is not correct. The Local Government Code of 1991 provides that in non-criminal cases not falling within the authority of the Lupon, the court may at any time before the trial refer the case to the Lupon concerned for amicable settlement. (Sec 408 RA 7160)
(2) No, because the law also provides that the venue of disputes arising at the workplace of the contending parties shall be brought in the barangay where such workplace is located. (Sec 409[d], RA 7160).
(3) No, because any compromise settlement shall be submitted to the court which referred the case for approval. Sec. 416, RA 7160).
(4) Upon approval thereof, it shall have the force and effect of a judgment of the court and shall be enforced in accordance with Sec 6 Rule 39, execution by motion or by independent action.
Q. AB filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against AS before the MTC, Baguio City without referring it first to the barangay Lupon for conciliation. A motion to dismiss was filed on the ground of failure to comply with the requirements of conciliation alleging that bothparties are residents of Baguio City, although the complaint stated that defendant has a postal office address in Baguio City. If you were the judge, rule on the objection.
A. I will deny the motion. As ruled by the SC in the case of Boleyley vs. Villanueva 14 Sept. 1999, there is no need to comply with the conciliation requirement under the Katarungan Pambarangay Law in the absence of showing in the complaint that the parties reside in the same city or municipality. Plaintiff’s complaint should have alleged defendant’s actual residence, not his postal address. The allegation of defendant’s actual residence would have been ideal to determine the venue. In procedural law, however, specifically for the purposes of venue, the residence of a person is his personal, actual or physical habitation or his actual residence or place of abode, which may not necessarily be his legal residence or domicile. The complaint clearly implies that the parties do not reside in the same city or municipality because the postal office address is not included in the term “residence”.
Q. What is the effect of the conciliation proceeding on the prescriptive period for offenses and cause of action?
A. While the dispute is under mediation, conciliation or arbitration, the prescriptive periods for offenses and causes of action under existing laws shall be interrupted upon filing of the complaint with the punong barangay. The prescriptive periods shall resume upon receipt by the complainant of the certification of repudiation or of the certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat secretary. But such interruption shall not exceed 60 days from the filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.
Q. Petitioner Diu filed a complaint against private respondent Pagba before the Barangay Chairman of Naval, Biliran. The Brgy. Chairman set the case for hearing but private respondent failed to appear. When the case was set again for hearing, the parties appeared but they failed to reach an amicable settlement.
Accordingly, the barangay chairman issued a certification to File Action. Petitioners then filed their complaint before the MTC of Naval. Private respondent moved to dismiss the complain on the ground that no Pangkat was convened to settle the dispute. Rule on the motion.
A. The motion should be denied for lack of merit. The SC held in the case of Diu vs. CA 19 Dec. 1995, while no pangkat was constituted it is not denied that the parties met at the office of the barangay chairman for possible settlement. The efforts of the barangay chairman, however, proved futile as no agreement was reached. Although no pangkat was formed, we believe that there was substantial compliance with the law. It is noteworthy that under Sec 412 of the Local Government Code, the confrontation before the lupon chairman or the pangkat is sufficient compliance with the precondition for filing the case in court.
Q. A compromise agreement between A and B was entered into in the municipal court in an ejectment suit.
An action to annul the judgment was filed in the RTC which action was being sought to be dismissed for failure of the plaintiff to resort to barangay conciliation. Is the contention correct? Why?
A. No. It cannot be dismissed on the ground of pre maturity or failure to resort to barangay conciliation because a compromise is immediately executory and beyond the
Authority of Barangay. An administrative body like the lupon cannot overturn the judgment of a court.
(Sanchez vs. Tupas, 158 SCRA 459).
Q. For failure of the tenant, X to pay rentals, A the court- appointed administrator of the estate of Henry Datu, decides to file an action against the former for the recovery of possession of the leased premises located in Davao City and for the payment of accrued rentals in the total amount of P25,000.
Is prior referral to the Lupon necessary? (1991 Bar Exams)
A. No, because the law applies only to disputes between natural persons and does not apply to juridical person such as the estate of a deceased.
III. RULE OF PROCEDURE FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES ( AM No. 08-8-7-SC) A. SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY OF THE RULE
It covers cases at the MTC where the value of the claim does not exceed P100,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs. It applies in all actions which are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal
actions, either filed before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court. These claims or demands may be:
1. For money owed under any of the following contracts: Lease, Loan, Services, Sale, or Mortgage.
2. For damages arising from: Fault or negligence, Quasi-contract, or Contract
3. The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.