CASE: Estate of Felomina G. Macadangdang, represented by Atty. Oswaldo Macadangdang Vs. Lucia Gaviola, et. al. G.R. No. 156809 March 4, 2009 

Ponente: CARPIO, J.:

FACTS: Atty. Oswaldo Macadangdang (Atty. Macadangdang), acting as administrator of the Estate of Felomina G. Macadangdang, filed an action for Unlawful Detainer against Lucia Gaviola et. al. They were occupying, by mere tolerance, portions of four parcels of land in the name of the late Felomina G. Macadangdang.

In a Decision, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) ruled in favor of Atty. Macadangdang.

Gaviola et. al. appealed from the MTCCs Decision.

In an Order, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City dismissed the appeal for Gaviola et. al.’s  failure to file an appeal memorandum.

Subsequently, Gaviola et. al. filed a Motion for Reconsideration/New Trial.

The RTC issued an Order denying Gaviola et. al.’s motion for reconsideration. The RTC ruled that it no longer had jurisdiction over the motion after the dismissal of respondents appeal.

They (Gaviola et. al.) then filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals assailing the RTCs Order.

In its Decision, the Court of Appeals set aside the RTC Order and remanded the case to the RTC.

The Court of Appeals ruled that failure to file the appeal memorandum within the period granted by the appellate court would only result to abandonment of appeal, which could lead to its dismissal upon failure to move for its reconsideration. Here there was a timely Motion for Reconsideration filed by Gaviola et. al. Thus, the RTC erred in denying respondents motion for reconsideration on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Hence, the petition for review before the Supreme Court.

Atty. Macadangdang alleged that the Court of Appeals erred when it allowed the filing of a motion for reconsideration before the RTC. He emphasized that the case stemmed from an unlawful detainer case where the Rules on Summary Procedure apply and under the said Rules, a motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading. He also alleged that due to the mandatory character of Section 7(b), Rule 40 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the RTC correctly dismissed the appeal.

The Issue

Is the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Gaviola et. al. before the RTC a prohibited pleading?

The Ruling of this Court

NO.

Since the case before the the MTCC was an unlawful detainer case, it was governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure. The purpose of the Rules on Summary Procedure is to prevent undue delays in the disposition of cases and to achieve this, the filing of certain pleadings is prohibited, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration.

However, the motion for reconsideration that Atty. Macadangdang alleged to be a prohibited pleading was filed before the RTC acting as an appellate courtThe appeal before the RTC is no longer covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure. The Rules on Summary Procedure apply before the appeal to the RTC. Hence, respondents motion for reconsideration filed with the RTC is not a prohibited pleading.

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THINGS DECIDED:

a)  Motion for Reconsideration filed before the RTC ACTING AS AN APPELLATE COURT is no longer covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure.  It is not, therefore, a prohibited pleading.

b) In Lucas vs. Fabros, while the MR was filed in the court of origin (MTC), the same was considered by the SC as not prohibited pleading considering that the subject if the MR is a judgment rendered not on the merits of the case.

          ‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis

See Full Text: Estate of Felomina G. Macadangdang, represented by Atty. Oswaldo Macadangdang Vs. Lucia Gaviola, et. al.

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