Civil Procedure: Rule 2 Actions in General
Section 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of. – Every ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of action.
Section 2. Cause of action, defined. – A cause of action is the act or omission by which a party violates a right of another.
Section 3. One suit for a single cause of action. – A party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action.
Section 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of. – If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the others.
Section 5. Joinder of causes of action. – A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions:
(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties;
(b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules;
(c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
(d) Where the claims in all the causes of action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction.
Section 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. – Misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A misjoined cause of action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of the court, be severed and proceeded with separately.
Joseph v. Bautista, 170 SCRA 540 (’89)
FACTS: Joseph was a paying passenger in a cargo truck. The cargo truck tried to overtake a tricycle proceeding in the same direction. At the same time, a pick-up truck tried to overtake the cargo truck, thus the cargo truck was forced to veer towards the shoulder of the road & rammed a mango tree in the process. Joseph sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs. Joseph sued the owner of the cargo truck for breach of the contract of carriage & the owner of the pick-up for quasi-delict for injuries he sustained. The owner of the pick-up paid Joseph the amount he was claiming thru a settlement agreement. Joseph still wants to maintain the action vs. the truck owner claiming that he still has another cause of action vs. the latter, for breach of contract of carriage.
HELD: When there is only one delict or wrong (i.e. one injury), there is only one cause of action regardless of the number of rights that may have been violated belonging to one person (violation of contract of carriage & quasi-delict).
The singleness of a cause of action lies in the singleness of the delict or wrong violating the rights of one person. Nevertheless, if only one injury resulted fr. several acts, only 1 cause of action arises. In this case, the petitioner sustained a single injury on his person. That vested in him a single cause of action, albeit w/ the correlative rights of action vs. the different respondents thru appropriate remedies allowed by law.
The resps. having been found to be solidarily liable to the pet., the full payment made by some of the solidary debtors & their subsequent release fr. any & all liability to pet. inevitably resulted in the extinguishment & release fr. liability of other solidary debtors.
JOSEPH V BAUTISTA: NCC 2177: Bar v double recovery
City of Bacolod v. SM Brewery 29 SCRA
FACTS: The City of BCD passed an ordinance imposing a bottling tax for every case of soft drinks sold. For delinquency in paying said tax, a surcharge was to be imposed. For failure to pay said taxes on time, City of BCD sued SMB. The SC ruled in favor of the City & ordered SMB to pay taxes. Later, the City of BCD filed a second complaint vs. SMB to recover the surcharges it forgot to claim in the first case.
HELD: SMB’s failure to pay the taxes violated the City’s right to be paid. Thus, there was a single cause of action. However, under the ordinance, the City became entitled to 2 reliefs: payment of taxes & the corresponding surcharges. The act of the City of filing separate complaints for each of the two reliefs related to the same single cause of action resulted in the splitting of the cause of action. Under the rule that a party may not institute more than 1 suit for a single cause of action, the City’s 2nd complaint is barred by res judicata.
Bayang v. CA, 148 SCRA 91 (’87)
FACTS: Bayang sued Biong for Quieting of Title w/ damages in 1969, w/c resulted in a ruling in his favor in 1978. In 1978, Bayang sued Biong again but this time for the income earned fr. the land while it was still in the latter’s possession fr. 1970 to 1978.
HELD: The subject matter in the 2 cases are essentially the same as the income is only a consequence or accessory of the disputed property. The claim for income fr. the land is incidental to, & should have been raised by Bayang in his earlier claim for ownership of the land. As the filing of the 2 cases constitute splitting of the cause of action, the 2nd case is barred by the 1st. Also, for about 7 years, the petitioner made no move at all to amend his complaint to include a claim for the income supposedly received by private resp. during that period. He did not make the proper claim at the proper time & in the proper proceeding. Whatever right he might have had is now deemed waived bec. of his negligence.
Enriquez v. Ramos, 7 SCRA 265 (’63)
FACTS: Enriquez sold to Ramos 11 parcels of land for P101,000. Ramos paid 5,000 as down payment.( 2,500-cash, 2,500-check). To secure the 96,000 balance, Ramos mortgaged the land to the vendors. Enriquez filed a complaint vs. Ramos for stopping the ;payment of the check. Enriquez filed another case for foreclosure of the mortgage due to Ramos’ failure to comply w/ it’s conditions. Ramos now moves to dismiss the 2nd case on grounds that Enriquez split the cause of action.
HELD: An examination of the 1st complaint shows it was based on appellant’s having unlawfully stopped payment of the check for P2,500 she had issued in favor of appellees; while the complaint in the first action is for the non-payment of the balance of 96,000 guaranteed by the mortgage. The claim for 2,500 was therefore a distinct debt not covered by security; the security was for the balance of the purchase price amounting to 96,000. Therefore, there is no splitting of C of A in this case.
Cuevas v. Pineda, 143 SCRA 674 (’86)
FACTS. Priv. Resps. filed a complaint in the CFI for quieting of title alleging that they are the heirs of Igaya &, as such, are the rightful owners of the parcels of land. They came to know that petitioners have caused the preparation of a table-survey plan of the lots in the name of Cancio (prepared by Roxas for Cuevas). Petitioners then filed an Application for Free Patent for the lots, w/c was granted. Priv. resps. filed an administrative protest w/ the Bureau of Lands & Register of Deeds, seeking the recall & cancellation of the free patents. They then prayed for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction to declare null & void the free patents & be declared as the absolute owners. This was granted upon the posting of a bond. Meanwhile, a hearing on the protest did not materialize as the ct. had already issued the writ of preliminary injunction. Did the ct. actually acquire jurisdiction over the complaint?
HELD: Resps. have assumed inconsistent positions. After filing an administrative protest w/ the BoL, claiming the lands belong to them, they questioned the jurisdiction w/c they invoked of that same agency, claiming that it is the cts. & not the administrative tribunal that should settle the issue. At this time, both parties had already invoked the jurisdxn. of BoL, alleging that since the BoL, w/c had jurisdiction over the case, had already issued the free patents, the land had become private. Orderly procedure requires that BoL, on a matter w/in its competence & expertise, should first resolve the issues before it.
CUEVAS V PINEDA: Petition for Certiorari was dismissed on the ground of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies, not for lack of cause of action: was dismissed due to primary administrative jurisdiction = failure to undergo condition precedent
L: We are concerned with law, not with justice, which is why we’re not called the College of Justice but the College of Law. Technique lang lahat iyan.
LECTURE ON ACTIONS
Action : Remedy / Process
Cause of Action : Basis to file an action Rule 2 sec. 2
Prohibition against splitting a single cause of action:
1. Prevent multiplicity of suits
1. Prevent indirect violation / avoidance of res judicata rule
Remedy: Instead, file cause of action and ask for different reliefs
BAYANG: File supplemental pleading for new relief or file amendment to pleading to introduce new facts which arose after filing
RELIEF: Specific things asked from court or right granted by a specific court due to violation of another right.
Source: University of the Philippines