Civil Procedure: Motion to Dismiss

Motion to Dismiss (Rule 16)

  1. Grounds – Sec 1. Grounds. – Within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim, a motion to dismiss may be made on any of the following grounds:
    1.  That the court has no jurisdiction over the person of the defending party;
    2. That the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim;
    3. That the venue is improper;
    4. That the plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue;
    5. That there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause;
    6. That the cause of action is barred by prior judgment or by the statute of limitation;
    7. That the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of action:
    8. That the claim or demand set forth in the plaintiff’s pleading has been paid, waived, abandoned, or otherwise extinguished;
    9. That the claim on which the action is founded is unenforceable under provisions of the statute of frauds; and
    10. That a condition precedent for filing the claim has not been complied with;
  2. Failure to state action vs Lack of cause of action
    Failure to state action Lack of cause of action
    Distinction refers to the insufficiency of the allegations in the pleading refers to the insufficiency of the factual basis for the action
    When to raise dismissal at the earliest stages of the proceedings through a motion to dismiss under Rule16 of the Rules of Court or before the defendant file an answer any time after the questions of fact have been resolved on the basis of stipulations, admissions or evidence presented by the plaintiff. Or after the evidence of the plaintiff had been presented
    Remedy to move for dismissal of the pleading to demur to the evidence
    1. Essential Elements of cause of action
      1. a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created;
      2. an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and
      3. an act or omission on the part of the named defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages.
    2. Heirs of Magdaleno  Ypon vs RicaforteGR. No. 198680, July 8, 2013
      1. Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. This must take precedence over the action for recovery of possession and ownership. The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a status or right.

        Verily, while a court usually focuses on the complaint in determining whether the same fails to state a cause of action, a court cannot disregard decisions material to the proper appreciation of the questions before it. Thus, concordant with applicable jurisprudence, since a determination of heirship cannot be made in an ordinary action for recovery of ownership and/or possession, the dismissal of Civil Case was altogether proper.

    3. Zuniga-Santos vs Santos_Gran et alGR. No. 197380, October 8, 2014
      1. a failure to state a cause of action which is provided in Sec. 1(g) of Rule 16. This is a matter of insufficiency of the pleading. Sec. 5 of Rule 10, which was also included as the last mode for raising the issue to the court, refers to the situation where the evidence does not prove a cause of action. This is, therefore, a matter of insufficiency of evidence. Failure to state a cause of action is different from failure to prove a cause of action. The remedy in the first is to move for dismissal of the pleading, while the remedy in the second is to demur to the evidence, hence reference to Sec. 5 of Rule 10 has been eliminated in this section. The procedure would consequently be to require the pleading to state a cause of action, by timely objection to its deficiency; or, at the trial, to file a demurrer to evidence, if such motion is warranted.

        A complaint states a cause of action if it sufficiently avers the existence of the three (3) essential elements of a cause of action, namely: (a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (b) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and (c) an act or omission on the part of the named defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages.

        A judicious examination of petitioner’s Amended Complaint readily shows its failure to sufficiently state a cause of action. Contrary to the findings of the CA, the allegations therein do not proffer ultimate facts which would warrant an action for nullification of the sale and recovery of the properties in controversy, hence, rendering the same dismissible.

  3. When filed? –  Sec 1. Grounds. – Within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim,
    1. Exceptions
      1. If the Ground of the motion to dismiss is lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, Res judicata, lis pendens, or prescription, and such ground appear from the pleadings or the evidence on record, the motion to dismiss may be filed even after the answer had been filed.
    2. Remedies if Denied
      1. If the motion to dismiss is denied, the movant may filed his answer within the remaining period but which shall not be less than 5 days in any event, reckoned from notice of denial.
        Day filed the Motion Balance from the Denial Days left to file answer Rule
        1 9 9 the movant may filed his answer within the remaining period
        2 8 8
        3 7 7
        4 6 6
        5 5 5
        6 4 5
        7 3 5 but which shall not be less than 5 days in any event, reckoned from notice of denial.
        8 2 5
        9 1 5
        10 0 5
      2. Remedy on dismissed complaint by through the Motion to Dismiss
        1. Alma Jose vs JavellanaGR. No. 158239, Januart 25, 2012
          1. The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory order is well known. The first disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing more to be done except to enforce by execution what the court has determined, but the latter does not completely dispose of the case but leaves something else to be decided upon. An interlocutory order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered. The test to ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is interlocutory or final is: does the order or judgment leave something to be done in the trial court with respect to the merits of the case? If it does, the order or judgment is interlocutory; otherwise, it is final. A final order is appealable, to accord with the final judgment rule enunciated in Section 1, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court to the effect that “appeal may be taken from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to be appealable;” but the remedy from an interlocutory one is not an appeal but a special civil action for certiorari.
    3. Elements of Res Judicata – for it to serve as an absolute bar to a subsequent action, the following requisites must concur;
      1. There must be a final judgment or order;
      2. The court rendering it must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties;
      3. It must be a judgment or order on the merits; and
      4. There must be, between the two cases, identity of parties, subject matter, and cause of action.
        1. FELS Energy Inc. vs Province of Batangas, G.R. No. 168557, February 16, 2007
          1. Yes, Res judicata pervades every organized system of jurisprudence and is founded upon two grounds embodied in various maxims of common law, namely: (1) public policy and necessity, which makes it to the interest of the State that there should be an end to litigation – republicae ut sit litium; and (2) the hardship on the individual of being vexed twice for the same cause – nemo debet bis vexari et eadem causa. A conflicting doctrine would subject the public peace and quiet to the will and dereliction of individuals and prefer the regalement of the litigious disposition on the part of suitors to the preservation of the public tranquility and happiness.

            Courts will simply refuse to reopen what has been decided. They will not allow the same parties or their privies to litigate anew a question once it has been considered and decided with finality. Litigations must end and terminate sometime and somewhere. The effective and efficient administration of justice requires that once a judgment has become final, the prevailing party should not be deprived of the fruits of the verdict by subsequent suits on the same issues filed by the same parties.

    4. Laches as ground
      1. Pineda vs Heirs of Eliseo GuevarraG.R. No. 143188, February 14, 2007
        1. The elements of laches must be proved positively. Laches is evidentiary in nature which could not be established by mere allegations in the pleadings and can not be resolved in a motion to dismiss. At this stage therefore, the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of laches is premature. Those issues must be resolved at the trial of the case on the merits wherein both parties will be given ample opportunity to prove their respective claims and defenses.
    5. Effects of Failure to raise defense
      1. Exceptions

One thought on “Civil Procedure: Motion to Dismiss

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: