Abellana vs. Marave Digest

TWO ABELLANA’S VS. JUDGE MARAVEG.R. No. L-27760 May 29, 1974
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THESIS STATEMENT

Petitioners CRISPIN and FRANCISCO ABELLANA insisted that the Responded Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion arguing that he should have dismissed the civil action against them because there’s already a criminal action on appeal.

WHAT ARE THE RELIEFS SOUGHT?

DISMISSAL of Petitioners’ Civil Case

FACTS

  • Petitioner Francisco Abellana was prosecuted and found GUILTY with the City Court of Ozamis City of the crime of physical injuries through reckless imprudence in driving his cargo truck, hitting a motorized pedicab. However, he APPEALED.
  • During APPEAL, the injured party filed a separate and independent civil action in a branch of CFI Misamis Occ Branch II for CIVIL damages but this time included petitioner Crispin Abellana, alleged employer, as defendant. 
  • Both Abellana’s sought the dismissal of the civil action arguing that a criminal action was already on appeal, and no reservation for the filing thereof in the City Court of Ozamis.
  • 1967 April 28: Respondent Judge not persuaded, dismissed the appeal and the motion for reconsideration:
    • The criminal case decided by the City Court and appealed to this Court, injured parties failed to expressly waived their civil action in the City Court as required in Sec 1, Rule 111 ROC.
    • City Court convicted the accused, but on appeal to RTC/CFI, the judgment of the City Court was vacated and a trial de novo will have to be conducted. 
    • Offended parties expressly waived in this Court the civil action impliedly instituted with the criminal action, and reserve their right to institute a separate action as in fact, they did file
  • Trial de Novo – a trial in a higher court in which all the issues of fact or law tried in a lower court are reconsidered as if no previous trial had taken place
CRISPIN AND FRANCISCO ABELLANAHON. MARAVE, CFI Misamis Occ et al
Dismissal of the civil action. Criminal action was already on appealNo reservation for the filing thereof in the City Court of Ozamis.The issuance of the order was a grave abuse of discretion citing Sec 1 and 2 of Rule 111 “the civil action for recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charge is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party …reserves his right to institute it separately.”The Court’s constitutional power “to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure” is LIMITED in the sense that they “shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.” (also CONSTITUTIONAL)Offended parties failed to expressly waive or reserve the civil action in the City Court as required in Section 1, Rule 111On appeal to CFI or certiorari, the judgment of the City Court was vacated, a trial de novo starts. the offended parties expressly waived in this Court the civil action impliedly instituted with the criminal actionThis Court would be precluded from judging civil damages

Rule 111 Section 1 When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action.

Section 2. When separate civil action is suspended. — After the criminal action has been commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action.

ISSUES


Are the petitioners’ contention valid? No
Should Sec 1 and 2 of Rule 111 be literally applied? No.
It mislooked Section 7 of Rule 123, and restrictive interpretation will be a serious constitutional question.


Ratio

(1) The restrictive interpretation that the petitioners contend (citing Sec 1 and 2 of Rule 111)… gives rise to a serious constitutional question, violating substantive right of injured parties.
Rule 111 Section 1 When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action.Section 2. When separate civil action is suspended. — After the criminal action has been commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action.

Article 33 of the Civil Code is quite clear: “In cases of … physical injuries, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.” 

(2) Petitioners citing Sec 1 and 2 of Rule 111 MISLOOKED or IGNORED the Section 7 of Rule 123 or the de novo aspect of appealed cases from city courts…Section 7 of Rule 123: “An appealed case shall be tried in all respects anew in the Court of First Instance as if it had been originally instituted in that court.”There is a host of decisions/jurisprudence attesting to its observance. 

(3) The rule in this jurisdiction is that “Upon appeal by the defendant from a judgment of conviction by the municipal court, the appealed decision is vacated and the appealed case ‘shall be tried in all respects anew in the court of first instance as if it had been originally instituted in that court.” (People v. Jamisola, penned by Justice Dizon). 

PETITION is DISMISSED.

STATCON LESSON:

Quoting Justice Frankfurter: If the “vice of literalness” be insisted on procedural rules, social control will fail as it will obstruct opportunity of the litigant to vindicate his alleged right.



PONENTE: FERNANDO, J.

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by Bryan Villarosa

by Bryan Villarosa

Bacolod City-based Marketing Services Provider | Licensed Financial Advisor

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