Civil Procedure: Rule 3 Parties

Section 1.  Who may be parties; plaintiff and defendant. – Only natural or juridical persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil action.  The term “plaintiff’ may refer to the claiming party, the counter-claimant, the cross-claimant, or the third (fourth etc.)-party plaintiff.  The term “defendant” may refer to the original defending party, the defendant in a counterclaim, the cross-defendant, or the third (fourth, etc.)-party defendant.

Section 2.  Parties in interest. – A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.  Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.

Section 3.  Representatives as parties. – Where the action is allowed to be prosecuted or defended by a representative or someone acting in a fiduciary capacity, the beneficiary shall be included in the title of the case and shall be deemed to be the real party in interest.  A representative may be a trustee of an express trust, a guardian, an executor or administrator, or a party authorized by law or these Rules.  An agent acting in his own name and for the benefit of an undisclosed principal may sue or be sued without joining the principal except when the contract involves things belonging to the principal.

Section 4.  Spouses as parties. – Husband and wife shall sue or be sued jointly, except as provided by law.

Section 5.  Minor or incompetent persons. – A minor or a person alleged to be incompetent, may sue or be sued, with the assistance of his father, mother, guardian, or if he has none, a guardian ad litem.

Section 6.  Permissive joinder of parties. – All persons in whom or against whom any right to relief in respect to or arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative, may, except as otherwise provided in these Rules, join as plaintiffs or be joined as defendants, in one complaint, where any question of law or fact common to all such plaintiffs or to all such defendants, may arise in the action; but the court may make such orders as may be just to prevent any plaintiff or defendant from being embarrassed or put to expense in connection with any proceedings in which he may have no interest.

Section 7.  Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties. – Parties in interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.

Section 8.  Necessary party. – A necessary party is one who is not indispensable but who ought to be joined as a party if complete relief is to be accorded as to those already parties, or for a complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the action.

Section 9.  Non-joinder of necessary parties to be pleaded. – Whenever in any pleading in which a claim is asserted a necessary party is not joined, the pleader shall set forth his name, if known, and shall state why he is omitted.  Should the court find the reason for the omission unmeritorious, it may order the inclusion of the omitted necessary party if jurisdiction over his person may be obtained.

The failure to comply with the order for his inclusion, without justifiable cause shall be deemed a waiver of the claim against such party.

The non-inclusion of a necessary party does not prevent the court from proceeding in the action, and the judgment rendered therein shall be without prejudice to the rights of such necessary party.

section 10.  Unwilling co-plaintiff. – If the consent of nay party who should be joined as plaintiff can not be obtained, he may be made a defendant and the reason therefor shall be stated in the complaint.

Section 11.  Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties. – Neither misjoinder or non-joinder of parties is ground for dismissal of an action.  Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just.  Any claim against a misjoined party may be severed and proceeded with separately.

Section 12.  Class suit. – When the subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as parties, a number of them which the court finds to be sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully protect the interest of all concerned may sue or defend for the benefit of all.  Any party in interest shall have the right to intervene to protect his individual interest.

Section 13.  Alternative defendants. – Where the plaintiff is uncertain against who of several persons he is entitled to relief, he may join any or all of them as defendants in the alternative, although a right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right of relief against the other.

Section 14.  Unknown identity or name of defendant. – Whenever the identity or name of a defendant is unknown, he may be sued as the unknown owner, heir, devisee, or by such other designation as the case may require; when his identity or true name is discovered, the pleading must be amended accordingly.

Section 15.  Entity without juridical personality as defendant. – When two or more persons not organized as an entity with juridical personality enter into a transaction, they may be sued under the name by which they are generally or commonly known.

In the answer of such defendant the names and addresses or persons composing said entity must all be revealed.

Section 16. Death of party, duty of counsel. – Whenever a party to a pending action dies, and the claim is not thereby extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty (3) days after such death of the fact thereof, and to give the name and address of his legal representative or representatives.  Failure of counsel to comply with this duty shall be a ground for disciplinary action.

The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an executor or administrator and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor heirs.

The court shall forthwith order said legal representative or representatives to appear and be substituted within a period of thirty (30) days from notice.

If no legal representative is named by the counsel for the deceased party, or if the one s named shall fail to appear within the specified period, the court may order the opposing party within a specified time, to procure the appointment of an executor or administrator for the estate of the deceased and the latter shall immediately appear for and on behalf of the deceased.  The court charges in procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the opposing party, may be recovered as costs.

Section 17.  Death or separation of a party who is a public officer. – When a public officer is a party in an action in his official capacity and during its pendency dies, resigns, or otherwise ceased to hold office, the action may be continued and maintained by or against his successor if, within thirty (30) days after the successor takes office or such time as may be granted by the court, it is satisfactorily shown to the court by any party that there is a substantial need for continuing or maintaining it and that the successor adopts or continues or threatens to adopt or continue the action of his predecessor.  Before a substitution is made, the party or officer to be affected, unless expressly assenting thereto, shall be given reasonable notice of the application therefor and accorded an opportunity to be heard.

Section 18.  Incompetency or incapacity. – If a party becomes incompetent or incapacitated, the court, upon motion with notice, may allow the action to be continued by or against the incompetent or incapacitated person assisted by his legal guardian or guardian ad litem.

Section 19.  Transfer of interest. – In case of any transfer of interest, the actin may be continued by or against the original party, unless the court upon motion directs the person to whom the interest is transferred to be substituted in the action or joined with the original party.

Section 20.   Action on contractual money claims. – When the action is for recovery of money arising from contract, express or implied , and the defendant dies before entry of final judgment in the court in which the action was pending at the time of such death, it shall not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until entry or final judgment.  A favorable judgment obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be enforced in the manner especially provided in these Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate of a deceased person.

Section 21.  Indigent party. – A party may be authorized to litigate his action, claim or defense as an indigent if the court, upon an ex parte application and hearing, is satisfied that the party is one who has no money or property sufficient and available for food, shelter and basic necessities for himself and his family.

Such authority shall include an exemption from payment of docket and other lawful fees, and of transcripts of stenographic notes which the court may order to be furnished him   The amount of the docket and other lawful fees which the indigent was exempted from paying shall be alien on any judgment rendered in the case favorable to the indigent, unless the court otherwise provides.

Any adverse party may contest the grant of such authority at any time before judgment is rendered by the trial court.  If the court should determine after hearing that the party declared as an indigent is in fact a person with sufficient income or property, the proper docket and other lawful fees shall be assessed and collected by the clerk of court.  If payment is not made within the time fixed by the court, execution shall issue or the payment thereof; without prejudice to such other sanctions as the court may impose.

Section 22.  Notice to the Solicitor General. – In any action involving the validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, executive, order, presidential decree, rules or regulations, the court in its discretion, may require the appearance of the Solicitor General who may be heard in person or through a representative duly designated by him.

Filipinas  Industrial Corp. v. Sn. Diego, 23 SCRA 706 (’68)

FACTS: Pastor Ago filed a complaint vs. petitioner in his name as atty. in fact of Laiz. Petitioner filed a MTD on the ground that action was not brought in the name of the real party in interest.

HELD: Under the RoC, every action  must be brought in the name of the real party in interest. This provision is mandatory. The real party in interest  is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or is the party entitled to the avails of the suit. An atty.-in-fact is NOT  a real party in interest; there is no law permitting an action to be brought by an atty.-in-fact & hence, an action brought by him cannot be maintained. Even if the principal authorizes  his agent to  commence actions in a ct. for  & in behalf of the principal, such action must still be filed  in the name of the principal who is the real party in interest.

FILIPINAS:  Case dismissed due to lack of cause of action; not due to non-joinder of parties. Atty-in-fact can’t represent principal in the case since atty-in-fact was not the one injured

REPRESENTATIVE PARTIES:  Not the real parties but are allowed by law or the Rules to sue on behalf of the principal

Example of representative party authorized by the Rules:  Class suit

Plaintiffs sue in 2 capacities:  1) themselves; 2) on behalf of the parties of the class or those with an interest in the subject matter of the suit but are too numerous to be brought in the suit  (OPOSA V FACTORAN)

L:  What if defendant is a volleyball player of a sportsfest and the plaintiff wants to sue all participants of the sportsfest?

A:  Identify all and do not apply sec. 15 since identifiable and also a volleyball team is not a proper juridical entity.

JOINDER OF PARTIES (Sec. 6)  not necessary that parties be indispensable or necessary parties

a.  Necessary or proper party (Sec. 8)  Case may proceed, only plaintiff may not be able to obtain complete relief

Aranico-Rabino v. Aquino, 80 SCRA 254 (’77)

Facts:  Petitioners filed a complaint for recovery of a lot w/c priv. resp. claims to be owned by one Meimban & his successors-in-interest.  The ct. ordered the complaint be amended to include all the heirs of the late Meimban in order that there will be a final adjudication of the rights of the parties in the case.  Counsel for petners. refused.

Held:  The heirs of  Meimban are indispensable parties who should be included in the complaint in order that there will be a final adjudication of the rights of the parties in their case.

ARANICO:  Dismissal not due to failure to implead a party but due to contumacious refusal to comply with the order of the court; misjoiner or non-joinder is not basis for the dismissal of case

Laperal Dev. Co. v. CA, 223 SCRA 261 (’93)

Facts:  Counsel sought recovery of atty.’s fees fr. Sunbeams Foods referred to in the complaint as “Mr. Laperal’s Corporation” but w/c was not joined by name as a party-defendant.

Held:  Sunbeams should have been joined as a party-deft. in order that the judgment of the lower ct. could legally affect it.  But even if it was not impleaded, the ct. could still validly proceed w/ the case bec. Sunbeams was not an indispensable party but only a proper party.  A proper party is one w/c ought to be a party if complete relief is to be accorded as between those already parties.  A party is indispensable if no final determination can be had of an action unless it is joined either as plff. or deft.


LAPERAL DEVT V CA –  Proper party.  Sunbeam only a necessary party and therefore not a party to the compromise agreement.  But atty can’t collect atty’s fees since there was a udicial admission as to waiver of all claims

Barfel Dev. Co. v. CA, 223 SCRA 268 (’93)

Facts:  Barfel (seller) & Reginas (seller) concluded an agreement to buy/sell 2 parcels of land w/c the former warranted to be free fr. liens & encumbrances except for the BPI mortgage.  Reginas found out later that there was a second mortgage in favor of PISO Bank. Things went sour & Reginas found out that Barfel was selling the land to other parties. Reginas brought suit.  Reginas filed an amended complaint impleading PISO as additional party.

Held:  The reason for the amendment impleading PISO is to compel the latter to accept payment & release the 2nd mortgage thereby enabling Barfel to deliver to Reginas the titles free fr. all liens & encumbrances.  But, PISO is NOT a party to the contracts w/c are the subject of the action for specific performance & damages between Barfel & Reginas.   PISO is not a party to the transactions & is thus not an indispensable party.  PISO is a 2nd mortgagee, whatever the outcome of the litigation between Reginas & Barfel.  A “real interest” means a present substantial interest, as distinguished fr. a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest.  Complete relief by Reginas vs. Barfel can be had even if PISO was not impleaded as a party deft in the original case.

Also, amendment sought is a substantial one. Priv. resp. will have to present additional evidence on PISO.  Effect would be to start trial anew w/ parties recasting theories of the case.

BARFEL:  disclosure, not existence of 2nd mortgage is the issue.  The 2nd mortgagee is liable to plaintiff in Contract to Purchase.  Not a proper party.  Mortgages follow property wherever it goes, thus, PISO can’t become a party since there is no cause of action against it.

b. Indispensable (Sec. 7)  If not impleaded, case cannot proceed since there can be no final determination.

Oposa v. Factoran, 224 SCRA 792 (’93)

Facts:  Plaintiffs-minors duly represented & joined by their parents instituted this taxpayers’ class suit vs. the Secretary of DENR to order the latter to cancel of timber license agreements (TLA) & to cease & desist fr. renewing & granting new TLAs.  The suit was filed for themselves & others who are equally concerned about the preservation of natural resources but are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the ct.. The minors also asseverate that they represent their generation as well as the generations yet unborn.

Held:  The case is a class suit: the subject matter of the complaint is of common & general interest not just several but to all citizens of the Phils.  Parties are so numerous that it is impracticable, if not totally impossible, to bring them all before the ct..  Plaintiffs are so numerous & representative enough to insure full protection of all concerned interests.

Petitioner-minors can, for themselves, for others of their generation, & for the succeeding generation, file a class suit.  Their personality to sue in behalf of succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced & healthful  ecology is concerned.  Every generation has a responsibility to preserve the rhythm & harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced & healthful ecology.  The minor’s assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.

OPOSA V FACTORAN. Are unborn children w/ capacity to be party to a suit?  No, but purposes of this class suit, SC used intergenerational responsibility argument.  Limit Consti Art 11 sec. 16 to ecological suits.  L’s note:  no legal basis, natural law only.  Also, other Art. 11 provisions hortatory and not basis for a class action suit.  Not all taxpayers’ suits are class suits

L:  Is the environment property?  Note:  not need to be property to be subject of a suit.

Mathay v. Consolidated Bank, 58 SCRA 559 (’74)

Facts:  The stockholders of Consolidated Mines filed a class suit vs. the Board of Organizers of Consolidated Bank of alleged anomalies in the incorporation of the latter to w/c the stockholders were subscribers.

Held:  The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are:  (1) the subject matter of  the controversy be one of common or general interest to many persons; &  (2) such persons be so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring them all in ct..  An action does not become a class suit bec. it is designated as such in the pleadings: it depends upon the attending facts & the complaint, or other pleading initiating the class action should allege the existence of the necessary facts.

As to the 1st element: the interest that appellants-plff. & intervenors & the CMI stockholders had in the subject matter was several, not common or general in the sense required by law.  Each one had a determinable interest, each had a right, if any, only to his respective portion of the stocks None of them had an interest, or a right to, the stock to w/c another was entitled.

As to the 2nd element, the number of said CMI subscribing stockholder was not stated in the complaint.  Thus, the ct. could not infer or make sure that the parties before it were sufficiently numerous & representative.

Veterans Manpower & Protective Services v, CA, 214 SCRA 286 (’92)

FACTS: Petitioner filed a complaint vs. the PC Chief & PC-SUSIA, government agencies regulating security services, to compel said agencies to issue licenses to petitioner.

HELD: The State may not be sued w/o its consent. Invoking this rule, the PC Chief & PC- SUSIA, being instrumentalities of the national gov’t. exercising a primarily governmental function may not be sued w/o the Gov’t’s consent. This doctrine is also applicable to complaints filed vs. officials of the state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties.

A public official may sometimes be held in his personal or private capacity if he acts in bad faith or beyond  his authority or jurisdiction. In this case, however, the acts were performed as part of official  duties  w/o malice, gross negligence or bad faith. Thus, no recovery may be had vs. them in their private capacity as well.

LECTURE ON PARTIES:  Remedies available for certain situations.  L at his most practical.

1. P not the real party in interest but act as a plaintiff

Counsel for D:  MTD since no cause of action.  No injury v his person

1. X an Indispensable party but P refuses to bring him in as an indispensable party

Eg.  Co-owner sues for partition of property owned in common; thus, he must implead all co-owners in order that final determination might be made.  What if P sues only 1 co-owner?  (ARANICO-RABINO)

Counsel for D:  Plan A)  Motion to implead the other co-owners

Plan B)  If court refuses to implead the other co-owners, file MTD for lack of due process for failure to implead an indispensable party

Plan C)  Go to CA for certiorari on grounds of grave abuse of discretion on part of trial court judge for refusing to iplead indispensable party w/o whom there can be no final determination of the case.

To determine whether or not a party is indispensable:

Proper joinder of parties:  Parties necessary

Permissive joinder of parties:  not necessarily imply that parties indispensable or necessary

Rule 3 sec. 6 same transaction or common question of law or fact is involved

1. Party becomes insane

Counsel for D:  Rule 3 sec. 18 file motion to bring guardian of insane party brought in as a representative.  If insane > 18 years old, ask for guardian ad litem

1. Party dies.  His counsel duty bound to inform court of such fact and of his legal representative

If there is no rep, court will order Counsel for D to procure appointment of executor or administrator

NOTE:  Personal action:  remedy filed where cause of action involves personal property or right.  Subject matter involves personal property and others.  Not a real action which involves title to or possession of real property.  Important for proper venue.


Source:  University of the Philippines


About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Civil Procedure and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi! I just want to ask if a husband who did not sign the application for a credit card be a party-defendant in the collection case in the event that a case is filed in court? Thank you.

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