Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jurisdiction of courts

By law or the Constitution itself, courts are vested with jurisdiction to hear and try specific cases. If a case is filed with the wrong court, it will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of Metropolitan/Municipal Trial Courts/Municipal Trial Courts in Cities

1. All civil cases, the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, and all probate proceedings, where the value of personal property, estate or amount of demand does not exceed Php 200,000. exclusive of interest, damages, litigation and other expenses (in Metro Manila, the amount should be Php 400,000.)

2. All cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer (ejectment)

3. All civil cases which involve title to or possession of real property or any interest therein where the assessed value does not exceed Php 20,000. (in Metro Manila Php 50,000.) exclusive of interest, damages, litigation and other expenses

4. Civil cases under the rules on summary procedure

5. All offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six years, regardless of the fine or other imposable accessory or other penalties including the civil liability (in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, the MTC has exclusive original jurisdiction)

6. Petitions for issuances of original certificates of titles

Jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts
A. Exclusive original jurisdiction
1. All civil cases in which the subject of litigation cannot be estimated in monetary terms

2. All civil cases which involve title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, where the assessed value of the property exceeds Php 20,000. (in Metro Manila exceeding Php 50,000.) Exceptions: forcible entry and unlawful detainer of lands and buildings

3. All actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claim exceeds Php 100,000 (in Metro Manila, over Php 200,000)

4. All probate matters, both testate and intestate where the gross value of the estate exceeds Php 100,000 (in Metro Manila, the value must exceed Php 200,000.)

5. All actions involving the marriage contract and marital relations (annulment, legal separation, support, etc)

6. All cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or quasi-judicial body

7. All civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court (JDRC) and the Court of Agrarian Relations

8. All other cases in which the demand or the value of personal property, exclusive of interest, damages, litigation and other costs, exceeds Php 200,000. (in Metro Manila, the value must exceed Php 400,000.)

9. Intra-corporate disputes (formerly under the SEC); intellectual property cases
B. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by the lower courts (MTCs) in their respective territorial jurisdictions

C. Concurrent jurisdiction
with the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against all lower courts; habeas corpus and quo warranto

Note: Republic Act 8369, approved on October 28, 1997, established the Family Court, with jurisdiction over adoption, guardianship, custody of children, support, acknowledgment, complaints for annulment or nullity of marriage, criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below 18 years of age, domestic violence against women and children, etc.
Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals

A. Original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, quo warranto and auxiliary writs and processes

B. Exclusive jurisdiction over actions for the annulment of judgments rendered by the Regional Trial Courts

C. Concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court over petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus filed against the RTCs, the Civil Service Commission, the Court of Tax Appeals, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, commissions and other quasi-judicial bodies or agencies.

D. Concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court and RTCs over petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus filed against lower courts and quasi-judicial bodies; petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto.

E. Appellate jurisdiction over ordinary appeals from RTCs, except in cases exclusively appealable to the Supreme Court; petitions for review from the RTCs in all cases appealed to it from the lower courts; petitions for review from the Civil Service Commission, the Court of Tax Appeals and the other quasi-judicial bodies or agencies (e.g. National Labor Relations Commission)

Note: The Sandiganbayan handles cases of government officials and employees with salary grades 27 and above.

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
A. Original exclusive jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus filed against the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, the Commission on Elections, Commission on Audit, and the Department of Labor and Employment

B. Concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed against the Regional Trial Courts, the Civil Service Commission, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, the Court of Tax Appeals, Securities and Exchange Commission, other quasi-judicial bodies

C. Concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed against the lower courts and certain quasi-judicial bodies; petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto

D. Concurrent jurisdiction with the RTCs over actions against ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls

E. Appellate jurisdiction over petitions for review on certiorari from the CA, Sandiganbayan and RTCs on questions of law only; criminal cases in which the penalty imposed by the trial court is either death or reclusion perpetua (“life imprisonment”) on questions of fact and law.