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Rules of Court, Rules 31 to 56 cases

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These are some of the required cases to be read in relation to the Rules of Court.
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  TRIAL Trial by Commissioner or Ex Parte Hearing Before Clerk of Court Lim Tanhu v. Ramolete ISSUE: May ex-parte hearing before a clerk of court be motu proprio ordered by the Judge upon default of the defendant or some of the defendants? RULING: No. Parties must agree in writing NOTE: But trial by Commissioner may be made upon consent of parties or upon the discretion of the court Continental Bank v. Tiangco FACTS: The CFI of Manila rendered a decision, ordering Income and Acceptance Corporation, Star Life Insurance Corporation and Primitive E. Domingo to pay solidarily Lo the Continental Bank the sum of P46,300.81, with twelve percent interest per annum until the principal has been fully paid, plus attorney's fees of three thousand pesos and the costs. That judgment was rendered on the basis of the evidence which was presented before the deputy clerk of court who was commissioned. Lo received the same after the defendants were declared in default for nonappearance at the pre-trial. As no appeal was interposed from the said judgment, it became final and executory. It was not satisfied. ISSUE: Whether or not a judgment rendered by the Clerk of Court acting as Commissioner is valid. RULING: Yes. The defendants or private respondents did not question in the lower court its delegation to the deputy clerk of court of the duty to receive plaintiff's evidence. There is no showing that they were prejudiced by such a procedure, that the commissioner committed any mistake or abuse of discretion, or that the proceedings were vitiated by collusion and collateral fraud. It is too late at this hour for them to question the reception of plantiff's evidence by the deputy clerk of court acting as commissioner. NHA v. CA FACTS: At the pre-trial, the PHHC presented its evidence, all documentary exhibits (A, B, C, D, & E). Defendant MENDIOLA likewise marked his evidence (Exhibits 1-5 ). Thereafter, upon agreement of the parties, the Trial Court appointed a commissioner to receive the evidence for the defendant. ISSUE: Whether or not the lack of written consent to be referred to trial by Commissioner invalidates the judgment. RULING: Rule 33 provides: SECTION 1. Reference by consent. —  By written consent of both parties, filed with the clerk, the court may order any or all of the issues in a case to be referred to a commissioner to be agreed upon by the parties or to be appointed by the court. As used in these rules the word 'commissioner' includes a referee, an auditor and an examiner. Although admittedly there was no written consent by both parties, that issue was raised only in the Court of Appeals. It was not even set up in the motion for reconsideration of the Trial Court's decision filed by PHHC. Besides, the alleged lack of written consent does not invalidate the proceedings. NOTE: It is true that lack of written consent invalidates the findings done on a trial by Commissioner; however, such issue may not be raised for the first time on appeal. Gochangco v. CFI of Negros Occidental ISSUE: Whether or not the ex-parte reception of evidence before the Clerk of Court is null and void. RULING: No. That declaration (declaration that reception of evidence by Clerk of Court is null and void) does not reflect long observed and established judicial practice with respect to default cases. It is not quite consistent, too, with the several explicitly authorized instances under the Rules where the function of receiving evidence and even of making recommendatory findings of facts on the basis thereof may be delegated to commissioners, inclusive of the Clerk of Court. These instances are set out in Rule 33, treating of presentation of evidence before commissioners, etc., in particular situations, such as (1) when the trial of an issue of fact requires the examination of a long account, or (2) when the taking of an account is necessary for the information of the court, or (3) when issues of fact arise otherwise than upon the pleadings or while carrying a judgment or order into effect. DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE Definition Heirs of Emilio Santioque v. Heirs of Emilio Calma Demurrer to evidence authorizes a judgment on the merits of the case without the defendant having to submit evidence on his part as he would ordinarily have to do, if it is shown by plaintiff’s evidence that the latter is not entitled to the relief sought. In the present case, petitioners failed to prove the material allegations in their complaint that Emilio Santioque applied for and was granted Patent No. 18577 and that OCT No. 1112 was issued on the basis thereof. Petitioners rely on the tax documents to substantiate their claim over the subject property. However, it is axiomatic that tax receipts and tax declarations of ownership for taxation purposes do not constitute sufficient proof of ownership. They must be supported by other effective proofs. Radiowealth Finance Co. v. Del Rosario When a demurrer to evidence granted by a trial court is reversed on appeal, the reviewing court cannot remand the case for further proceedings. Rather, it should render  judgment on the basis of the evidence proffered by the plaintiff. Inasmuch as defendants in the present case admitted the due execution of the Promissory Note both in their Answer and during the pretrial, the appellate court should have rendered judgment on the bases of that Note and on the other pieces of evidence adduced during the trial.  In the case at bar, the trial court, acting on respondents’ demurrer to evidence, dismissed the Complaint on the ground that the plaintiff had adduced mere hearsay evidence. However, on appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court because the genuineness and the due execution of the disputed pieces of evidence had in fact been admitted by defendants. Applying Rule 33, Section 1 of the 1997 Rules of Court, the CA should have rendered judgment on the basis of the evidence submitted by the petitioner. While the appellate court correctly ruled that “the documentary evidence submitted by the [petitioner] should have been allowed and appreciated xxx,” and that “the petit ioner presented quite a number of documentary exhibits xxx enumer ated in the appealed order,”  we agree with petitioner that the CA had sufficient evidence on record to decide the collection suit. A remand is not only frowned upon by the Rules, it is also logically unnecessary on the basis of the facts on record. Siayngco v. Castibolo Rule 35 provides: SECTION 1. Effect of judgment on demurrer to evidence. —  After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his evidence, the defendant without waiving his right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal or the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. However, if the motion is granted and the order of dismissal is reversed on appeal, the movant loses his right to present evidence in his behalf. In the cited case, applying the rule on demurrer to evidence as thus restated, this Court held that the trial court after denying the motion to dismiss for insufficiency of plaintiff's evidence or demurrer to the evidence, should permit the defendant to present his own evidence and give him his day in court, regardless of whether or not the defendant has made a reservation of his right to present his evidence in the event of denial of his motion or demurrer. Nepomuceno v. COMELEC ISSUE: Whether or not there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC in simply dismissing the motion to dismiss for its failure to state the facts and the law on which its order denying petitioners' demurrer to evidence. RULING:  In Estrada vs. Sto. Domingo, We have ruled that ... Section 12, Article VIII, Constitution and Section 1, Rule 36, Rules of Court, which require express findings of fact in a decision, have no application to the questioned Order. Here involved is not a decision on the merits but a mere order upon a motion to reconsider. The judge could simply dish out a routine capsule form order denied for lack of merit' or 'motion for reconsideration denied.' And yet, that kind of order would serve to immunize the judge against an unlawful neglect of duty charge. ... The challenged order being merely an interlocutory order and not a final judgment or decision, no abuse of discretion was committed by respondent Comelec in its failure to state the facts and the law on which its order denying petitioners' demurrer to evidence is based. Bautista v. Sarmiento ISSUE: Whether or not there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Judge in ordering the defendant to present his evidence after the denial of demurrer to evidence, thus, relying on the weakness of the defenses evidence rather than the strength of the plaintiff’s case.   RULING: We find petitioners' aforesaid submission utterly devoid of merit. Such a procedure finds support in the case of Arbriol vs. Homeres wherein we held that —  Now that the Government cannot appeal in criminal cases if the defendant would be placed thereby in double jeopardy (Sec. 2, Rule 118), the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of the evidence after the prosecution has rested terminates the case then and there. But if the motion for dismissal is denied, the court should proceed to hear the evidence for the defense before entering judgment regardless of whether or not the defense had reserved its right to present evidence in the event its motion for dismissal be denied. The reason is that it is the constitutional right of the accused to be heard in his defense before sentence is pronounced on him. Of course if the accused has no evidence to present or expressly waives the right to present it, the court has no alternative but to decide the case upon the evidence presented by the prosecution alone. (Emphasis supplied) David v. Rivera It may be well to point out that certiorari does not lie to review an interlocutory order denying a motion to dismiss, even if it is in the form of a demurrer to evidence filed after the plaintiff had presented his evidence and rested his case. Being interlocutory, an order denying a demurrer to evidence is not appealable. Neither can it be the subject of a petition for certiorari. After such denial, the petitioners should present their evidence and if the decision of the trial judge would be adverse to them, they could raise on appeal the same issues raised in the demurrer. However, it is also settled that the rule admits of an exception, i.e., when the denial of a demurrer is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS Falcasantos v. How Suy Ching It is already a rule in this jurisdiction that one who prays for  judgment on the pleadings without offering proof as to the truth of his own allegations, and without giving the opposing party an opportunity to introduce evidence, must be understood to admit the truth of all the material and relevant allegations of the opposing party, and to rest his motion for  judgment on those allegations taken together with such of his own as are admitted in the pleadings. (Evangelista vs. De la Rosa) As the parties had submitted the case at bar on the pleadings without introducing any evidence, the plaintiff must be considered as having admitted the material allegation in the answer that he had known of the sale in question long before nine days prior to the filing of the complain. It may be  argued that, under section 1 of Rule 11 of the Rules of Court, if the plaintiff fails to make a reply, as in the case at bar, all the new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted; but are of the opinion that said provision is not applicable to cases submitted on the pleadings. The reason is obvious. Where the parties pursue the course of a regular trial, the plaintiff may disprove by competent evidence any new matter alleged in the answer, while the defendant may establish also by competent evidence his own allegation. In other words, the opportunity is mutual for each party to prove or disprove any new fact deemed to be controverted by the failure of the plaintiff to file a reply to an answer. Evangelista v. Dela Rosa While the pleadings involved in the case just cited were the plaintiff's complaint and the answer of the defendant Enrique Carmelo, the reasons therein given in support of the holding that the party who prayed for judgment on the pleadings therein without offering proof as to the truth of his own allegations and without giving the opposing party an opportunity to introduce evidence, must be understood to admit the truth of all the material and relevant allegations of the opposing party and to rest his motion for judgment on those allegations taken together with such of his own as are admitted in the pleadings, are equally applicable to the present case where the movant submitted his motion without offering proof as to the truth of the allegations contained therein, even only in the form of affidavits or depositions, and without giving the opposing party an opportunity to introduce evidence in rebuttal. Marcy’s Inc. v. Verde  While it is true that a motion for judgment on the pleadings is understood to be an admission by the movant of the truth of all the material and relevant allegations of the party, and that he (movant) rest his motion for judgment on those allegations taken together with such of his own as are admitted in the pleadings, the admission refers only to allegations of fact and cannot be made to include conclusions of law. In this case, the statements constituting defendants-appellants' special and affirmative defenses are not just factual declarations, but conclusions of law premised on the assumption that under the stipulation of the contract, the lease provided for a conventional term of indefinite duration terminable only upon the will of the lessees. (The provision that the contract of lease shall be impliedly renewed and be deemed to be on monthly basis is not admitted because it is also a conclusion of law) Rodriguez v. Llorente This is a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, the RD, and one Juliana Moreno. The respondents filed a lengthy answer in which they, without specifically denying any of the allegations of the petition, set forth very fully their version of the facts of the case. To this answer the petitioners demurred, but upon hearing, counsel for the petitioners moved for judgment on the pleadings, which is equivalent to a withdrawal of the demurrer. Araneta vs. Perez Irrelevant matters on the pleadings are not deemed admitted even if a motion for judgment on the pleadings is filed. Abubakar Tan v. Tian Ho There are questions of fact that have to be clarified before the court may adjudge the herein defendant liable to the plaintiff for the amount claimed by the latter. There is, therefore, no occasion in this case for rendering a judgment on the pleadings, considering that defendant, in his answer, tenders an issue which cannot be brushed aside without the presentation of evidence. The rule is settled that judgment on the pleadings can only be rendered when the pleading of the party against whom the motion is directed, be he the plaintiff or defendant, does not tender any issue, or admits all the material allegations of the pleading of the movant. Otherwise, judgment on the pleadings cannot be rendered. Taleon v. Sec. of Public Works  Now the Rules of Court authorizes the trial court to render  judgment on the pleadings or a summary judgment, as justice may require, if at the pre-trial it finds that facts exist which would warrant such judgment. All the necessary facts being already before the court a quo, no further trial was required. Its decision rendered at that stage was therefore sanctioned by the Rules. Judgment on the Pleadings vs. Summary Judgment Narra Integrated Corp. v. CA The existence or appearance of ostensible issues in the pleadings, on the one hand, and their sham or fictitious character, on the other, are what distinguish a proper case for summary judgment from one for a judgment on the pleadings. In a proper case for judgment on the pleadings, there is no ostensible issue at all because of the failure of the defending party’s answer to raise an issue. On the other hand, in the case of a summary judgment, issues apparently exist  –  i.e. facts are asserted in the complaint regarding which there is as yet no admission, disavowal or qualification; or specific denials or affirmative defenses are in truth set out in the answer  –  but the issues thus arising from the pleadings are sham, fictitious or not genuine, as shown by affidavits, depositions, or admissions. In other words, a judgment on the pleadings is a  judgment on the facts as pleaded, while a summary judgment is a judgment on the facts as summarily proven by affidavits, depositions, or admissions. As such, even if the answer does tender issues —  and therefore a judgment on the pleadings is not proper —  a summary judgment may still be rendered on the plaintiff's motion if he can show that the issues thus tendered are not genuine, sham, fictitious, contrived, set up in bad faith, or patently unsubstantial. The trial court can determine whether there is a genuine issue on the basis of the pleadings, admissions, documents, affidavits and/or counter-affidavits submitted by the parties to the court. SUMMARY JUDGMENTS Ontimare v. Elep  For summary judgment to be proper, two (2) requisites must concur, to wit: (1) there must be no genuine issue on any material fact, except for the amount of damages; and (2) the moving party must be entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Roque v. Encarnacion The plaintiff does not deny the fact that she was married to Policarpio Bayore in the year 1930, and that the latter is alive and the marriage still subsisting. May this counterclaim be decided by the summary judgment proceeding? Our answer must be in the negative, first, because an action to annul a marriage is not an action to recover upon a claim or to obtain a declaratory relief, and second, because it is the avowed policy of the State of prohibit annulment of marriages by summary proceedings. An action to recover upon a claim means an action to recover a debt or liquidated demand for money. This is the restricted application of the rule in  jurisdictions where the proceeding has been adopted. Agcanas v. Nagum Rule 34, section 3 categorically provides that summary  judgments may be rendered upon motion and after hearing only if the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file together with the affidavits, show that, except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a  judgment as a matter of law. It is evident under this rule that a summary judgment can be rendered only where there are no questions of fact in issue or where the material allegations of the pleadings are not disputed. SolidBank v. CA Rule 34, Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides two (2) requisites for summary judgment to be proper: (1) there must be no genuine issue as to any material fact, except for the amount of damages; and (2) the party presenting the motion for summary judgment must be entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. In the case at bar, it cannot be said that the foregoing requisites are present. There is a genuine issue, the resolution of which requires the presentation of evidence, i.e., whether or not Solidbank’s claim is included in the purchase agreement as among the properties and items purchased and assumed by FEBTC from Pacific Bank/Central Bank. While the counsel for FEBTC did say that in principle he is not objecting to the motion for summary judgment and “that they will have no objection if the Court will just require the parties to submit affidavit and counter-affidavits in support to their respective contentions,” this should not be taken out of context for in the same manifestation, said counsel clearly expressed that he does not agree that there are no material issues raised in the pleadings. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. v. Guerero  The Bank filed its motion for partial summary judgment pursuant to Section 2, Rule 34 of the old Rules of Court which reads: “Section 2. Summary judgment for defending party. –  A party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory relief is sought may, at any time, move with supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in his favor as to all or any part thereof  .”  A court may grant a summary judgment to settle expeditiously a case if, on motion of either party, there appears from the pleadings, depositions, admissions, and affidavits that no important issues of fact are involved, except the amount of damages. In such event, the moving party is entitled to a  judgment as a matter of law. In a motion for summary judgment, the crucial question is: are the issues raised in the pleadings genuine, sham or fictitious, as shown by affidavits, depositions or admissions accompanying the motion? A genuine issue means an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. A perusal of the parties’ respective pleadings would show that there are genuine issues of fact that necessitate formal trial. Guerrero’s complaint before the RTC contains a statement of the ultimate facts on which he relies for his claim for damages. He is seeking damages for what he asserts as “illegally withheld taxes charged against interests on his checking account with the Bank, a returned check worth US$18,000.00 due to signature verification problems, and unauthorized c onversion of his account.” In its Answer, the Bank set up its defense that the agreed foreign law to govern their contractual relation bars the recovery of damages other than actual. Apparently, facts are asserted in Guerrero’s complaint while specific denials and affirmative defenses are set out in the Bank’s answer.  True, the court can determine whether there are genuine issues in a case based merely on the affidavits or counter-affidavits submitted by the parties to the court. However, as correctly r uled by the Court of Appeals, the Bank’s motion for partial summary judgment as supported by the Walden affidavit does not demonstrate that Guerrero’s claims are sham, fictitious or contrived. On the contrary, the Walden affidavit shows that the facts and material allegations as pleaded by the parties are disputed and there are substantial triable issues necessitating a formal trial. Guevara v. CA A granted partial motion for summary judgment, being merely interlocutory and not a final judgment, does not become final and executory due to failure to appeal said judgment. Thus, said judgment may still be set aside or annulled. Tamo v. Gironella 1.   Respondent judge's summary dismissal of the case without trial on the misconception that there were no factual issues between the contending parties (as against his own statement in the same decision that
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