Civil Procedure: Relief from Judgments Orders or Other Proceedings

Relief from Judgments Orders or Other Proceedings (Rule 38)

  1. Basic Concept
    1. Petition for Relief – It is a legal remedy whereby a party seeks to set aside a judgment rendered against him by a court whenever he was unjustly deprived of hearing or was prevented from taking an appeal because of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. (Tan)
  2. Grounds
    1. a decision or order being assailed was entered into through fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence;
    2. The relief provided for is of equitable character, allowed only in exceptional cases as where there is no other available or adequate remedy
  3. Instances when remedy may be availed of
    1. Francisco vs Puno, – G.R. No. L-55694 October 23, 1981
      1. The relief provided for by this rule is not regarded with favor and the judgment would not be avoided where the party complaining “has, or by exercising proper diligence would have had, an adequate remedy at law, or by proceedings in the original action, by motion, petition, or the like to open, vacate, modify or otherwise obtain relief against, the judgment.” he remedy allowed by this rule is an act of grace, as it were, designed to give the aggrieved party another and last chance. Being in the position of one who begs, such party’s privilege is not to impose conditions, haggle or dilly-dally, but to grab what is offered him.

        In other words, where, as in this case, another remedy is available, as, in fact, private respondent had filed a motion for new trial and/or reconsideration alleging practically the same main ground of the petition for relief under discussion, which was denied, what respondent should have done was to take to a higher court such denial. A party who has filed a timely motion for new trial cannot file a petition for relief after his motion has been denied. These two remedies are exclusive of each other. It is only in appropriate cases where a party aggrieved by a judgment has not been able to file a motion for new trial that a petition for relief can be filed

    2. Supreme Court
    3. Cases governed by Rules on Summary Procedure and Procedure on Small Claims Case
  4. Where and When to file?
  5. Who may file?
    1. Alaban vs CA., 470 SCRA 697
  6. Formal requirements – A petition provided for in either of the preceding sections of this Rule must be;
    1. Verified;
    2. filed within 60 days after the petitioner learns of the judgment, final order, or other proceedings to be set aside, and not more than 6 months after such judgment or final order was entered, or such proceeding was taken;
    3. Must be accompanied with affidavits showing the fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence relied upon; and
    4. State the facts constituting the petitioner’s good and substantial cause of action or defense, as the case may be.
  7. When to file answer to the petition?
    1. If the petition is sufficient in form and substance to justify relief, the court in which it is filed, shall:
      1. Issue an order requiring the adverse parties to answer the same within 15 days from the receipt thereof;
      2. the order shall be served in such manner as the court may direct, together with copies of the petition and the accompanying affidavits.
  8. Remedy if writ of execution already issued
    1. While an order of execution is not appealable, the rule is not absolute since a party aggrieved by an improper or irregular execution is not without remedy, the court emphasized that to rule that a special civil action for certiorari constitutes the sole and exclusive remedy to assail a writ or order of execution would unduly restrict remedy available to a party prejudiced by:(Riano)
      1. an improper or illegal execution;
      2. the writ varies the judgment;
      3. there is a change in the situation for the parties;
      4. the writ was improvidently issued;
      5. the writ is defective in substance;
      6. the writ is issued against a wrong person
    2. Sec. 5. Preliminary injunction pending proceedings. The court in which the petition is filed, may grant such preliminary injunction as may be necessary for the preservation of the rights of the parties, upon the filing by the petitioner of a bond in favor of the adverse party all damages and costs that may be awarded to him by reason of issuance of such injunction or the other proceedings following the petition; but such injunction shall not operate to discharge or extinguish any lien which the adverse party may have acquired upon the property of the petitioner.(Tan)

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