Legal Ethics Case Digests – Grant of a Motion for Reconsideration
Gloria Lucas v. Judge Amelia A. Fabros
A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226. January 31, 2000
Facts : Complainant Lucas was the defendant in an ejectment case pending before respondent judge. She alleges that Judge Fabros granted the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration after the case had been dismissed the case for failure of plaintiff and her counsel to appear at the Preliminary Conference. She averred that it is elementary, under Section 19(c) of the Rules of Summary Procedure, that a motion for reconsideration is prohibited, but respondent judge, in violation of the rule, granted the motion for reconsideration. She added that, notwithstanding the fact that the respondent herself had pointed out in open court that the case is governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure, the judge ordered the revival of the case out of malice, partiality and with intent to cause an injury to complainant. Thus, the instant complaint, charging respondent judge with Gross Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Discretion
Held: NOT GUILTY. The SC held that respondent judge not guilty of gross ignorance of the law and grave abuse of discretion.
As a rule, a motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. This rule, however, applies only where the judgment sought to be reconsidered is one rendered on the merits. Here, the order of dismissal issued by respondent judge due to failure of a party to appear during the preliminary conference is obviously not a judgment on the merits after trial of the case. Hence, a motion for the reconsideration of such order is not the prohibited pleading contemplated under Section 19 (c) of the present Rule on Summary Procedure. Thus, respondent judge committed no grave abuse of discretion, nor is she guilty of ignorance of the law, in giving due course to the motion for reconsideration subject of the present