Civil Procedure: Rule 15 Motions
Municipality of Binan v. CA, 219 SCRA
FACTS: P filed a civil case for unlawful detainer vs. G. After filing an answer, G filed a Motion for Preliminary Hearing as if a Motion to Dismiss has been Filed on the ground that the complaint states no cause of action. The MTC, instead of conducting a hearing, rendered a judgment order in G to vacate the premises.
HELD: A motion for Preliminary Hearing is merely PERMISSIVE. Sec. 5 Rule 16 is not mandatory even when prayed for. It rests largely on the sound discretion of the TC & is not a matter of right demandable. A prelim hearing on an affirmative defense of lack of cause of action is not necessary since the question submitted is the sufficiency of allegation in the complaint itself.
International Container Terminal Services v, CA, 214 SCRA
Facts: ICTSI adopted its co-respondent PPA’s MTD the complaint vs. them filed by Sharp. When such MTD was granted, ICTSI moved for a reconsideration of said order insofar as it dismissed ICTSI’s counterclaim.
1. Dismissal of complaint on defendant’s own motion operated to also dismiss the counterclaim questioning the complaint.
2. Defendant himself joined PPA in moving for dismissal of complaint; it did not object to the dismissal. Secondly, compulsory claim was so intertwined w/ complaint that it could not remain pending for independent adjudication.
Calalang v. CA, 217 SCRA 462
Facts: The 7-year delay in the prosecution of the bank’s case was due to the several MTD’s w/c required oppositions & replies, pre-trial was reset several times, & the judges handling the case were constantly being replaced.
1. Though it is w/in the discretion of the TC to declare a party non-suited for non-appearance in pre-trial conference, such discretion must not be abused.
2. To constitute sufficient ground for dismissal, delay must not only be lengthy but also unnecessary & dilatory resulting in the trifling of judicial process.
Reference: University of the Philippines