Civil Procedure: Rule 7 Formal Requirements
Sec. 1 Caption
The caption sets forth the name of the court, the title of the action, and the docket number if assigned.
The title of the action indicates the names of the parties. They shall be named in the original complaint or petition; but in subsequent pleadings, it shall be sufficient if the name of the first party in each side be stated with an appropriate indication when there are other parties.
Their respective participation in the case shall be indicated.
Sec. 2 The body
The body of the pleading sets forth its designation, the allegations of the party’s claims or defenses, the relief prayed for, and the date of the pleading.
(a) Paragraphs – The allegations in the body of a pleading shall be divided into paragraphs so numbered as to be readily identified, each of which shall contain a statement of a single set of circumstances so far as that can be done with convenience. A paragraph may be referred to by its number in all succeeding pleadings.
(b) Headings – when 2 or more causes of action are joined, the statement of the first shall be prefaced by the words “”first cause of action” of the second by
“second cause of action”, and so on for the others.
When one or more paragraphs in the answer are addressed to one of several causes of action in the complaint, they shall be prefaced by the words “answer to the first cause of action”, or “answer to the second cause of action” and so on; and when one or more paragraphs of the answer are addressed to several causes of action, they shall be prefaced by the words to that effect.
(c) Relief – The pleading shall specify the relief sought, but it may add a general prayer for such further or other relief as may be deemed just or equitable.
d) Date – Every pleading shall be dated.
Sec. 3 Signature and address
Every pleading must be signed by the party or counsel representing him, stating in either case his address which should not be a post office box.
The signature of counsel constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading; that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.
An unsigned pleading produces no legal effect. However, the court may, in its discretion, allow such deficiency to be remedied if it shall appear that the same was due to mere inadvertence and not intended for delay. Counsel who deliberately files an unsigned pleading, or signs a pleading in violation of this Rule, or alleges scandalous or indecent matter therein, or fails to promptly report to the court a change of his address, shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Sec. 4 Verification
Except when otherwise specifically required by law or rule, pleadings need not be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit.
A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief.
A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification based on “information and belief”, or upon “knowledge, information and belief”, or lacks proper verification shall be treated as an unsigned pleading.
Sec. 5 Certification against forum shopping
The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within 5 days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.
Failure to comply with the foregoing instruments shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion and after hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions
LECTURE ON STAGES OF TRIAL:
Motion: request for interlocutory order related to relief prayed for in pleading
Pleading: sets forth ultimate facts and defenses
Complaint: pleading that starts off civil action
Answer: defense against claims in complaint and present issues in case
Issue: allegation denied
Allegation: ultimate fact
L: Distinguish between: Conclusion of Law; Ultimate Facts; and Evidentiary Facts
a) not alleged therefore not need to be denied
b) acceptance of allegation
Defense: tends to defeat claim as alleged in complaint
L: prayer would be to dismiss for fact of merit
Counterclaim: if answer with affirmative relief
Negative defenses: which factual allegations in complaint alleged as issues
Issues: allegations and denials joined
General denial: accept everything: admission of everything: it specifically denies each and every allegation made by the plaintiff: therefore, no factual issues anymore and so no more need to go through trial or pre-trial
L: Counsel for P: file motion for judgment on the pleading
Specific denial proper: qualified, under oath and allege lack of knowledge or information sufficient to support a belief (WIT)
Affirmative defense: defeats allegations contained in complaint
Effect: if able to prove during hearing, then entire pleading of the other party is defeated
Eg. Defense of Lack of jurisdiction or failure to undergo a condition precedent. It is a new matter. Hypothetical admission but still avoidance. Relief prayed for is dismissal of complaint
Unlike Counterclaim: raises a relief other than dismissal of complaint; always allege a new matter will have specific and general denials.
Compulsory counterclaim: arises from the same transaction or relation. If not set up immediately, deemed barred
Test: the logical relationship test – if there is substantial duplication of efforts or that the same set of evidences will be used to prove the complaint and the counterclaim.
Reply: if no reply, matters raised in counterclaim deemed incontroverted
If with reply, all new matters raised in answer deemed controverted
Reply necessary when need to challenge new matters raised by affirmative defense. Can’t rely on implied setting up of specific denial
Document: res ipsa loquitur: thing speaks for itself
Deny under oath:
a) genuineness and due execution of the document
b) usury charges
L: Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
Joinder of Parties: arises from the same transaction or common question of fact or law
Joinder of Causes of Action: so long as the court has jurisdiction, party can raise all causes of action between the original P and D
P can raise all causes of action against D arising from different sources but if court has no J over the cause of action, can’t join cause of action
But if complaint filed with the RTCF for a sum of money, if the sum is within RTC’s jurisdiction, then can raise
If you want to bring in a new D, need to find commonality in cause of action originally raised, not commonality of parties.
Counsel for D: Remedies when a complaint is filed:
(note: D must wait until court acquires jurisdiction and serves him with summons (service, not summons, if court sends him other pleadings) or he can voluntarily appear and let the court acquire jurisdiction over him
file bill of particulars; file motion for extension of time for filing a pleading and file an amended pleading / supplemental pleading
1. MTD (filed by D)
1. Dismissal of action by notice or motion (filed by P)
1. Default (D not act)
1. Non-sut (P acts maliciously and not do what is required of him Rule 17 sec. 3
Or P acts passively)
L: the trial is not about justice, it’s about what you can prove
Source: University of the Philippines