CASE: Gloria Lucas vs. Judge Amelia A. Fabros (A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226 January 31, 2000)

Ponente: Quisumbing, J.:

FACTS:

Lucas is a respondent in an ejectment case filed by Elenita. For failure of plaintiff (Elenita) and her counsel to appear at the Preliminary Conference,  Judge Fabros issued an Order dismissing the case. Subsequently, however, Judge Fabros issued an Order granting Elenita’s motion for reconsideration of the Order it earlier issued. Hence, the earlier dismissed case was revived.  This prompted Lucas to charge Judge Fabros of gross ignorance.

Lucas averred that it is elementary, under Section 19 (c) of the Rules of Summary Procedure, that a motion for reconsideration is prohibited, but Judge Fabros, in violation of the rule, granted the motion for reconsideration.

The complaint was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation. After its investigation, it finds that Judge Fabros abused its discretion when he entertained a motion for reconsideration, a prohibited pleading in summary procedure, thereby reviving the case of ejectment.

The Office of the Court Administrator recommended that Judge Fabros be fined in the amount of P2,000.00 for grave abuse of discretion.

ISSUE: Is the motion for reconsideration filed by Elenita a prohibited pleading as contemplated under the Revised Rules on Summary Proceeding?

RULING:

NO.

As a rule, a motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under the Rule on Summary Procedure.1âwphi1 

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 Judge Fabros 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 Rule on Summary Procedure. Thus, Judge Fabros 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 complaint.

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THINGS DECIDED:

As a rule, a motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under the Rule on Summary Procedure.This rule, however, applies only where the judgment sought to be reconsidered is one rendered on the merits.

 ‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis

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