AND CLERKS OF COURT OF THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS,
METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL
TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, SHARI'A DISTRICT COURTS
SHARI'A CIRCUIT COURTS AND THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES
ALL COMPLAINTS MUST SPECIFY THE AMOUNTS OF DAMAGES SOUGHT NOT ONLY IN
BODY OF THE PLEADING BUT ALSO IN THE PRAYER IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED AND
ADMITTED FOR FILING. THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGES SO SPECIFIED IN THE
SHALL BE THE BASIS FOR ASSESSING THE AMOUNT OF THE FILING FEES.
Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals", No. L-75919, May 7,
1987, 149 SCRA 562, this Court condemned the practice of counsel who,
filing the original complaint, omitted from the prayer any
of the amount of damages although the amount of over
million is alleged in the body of the complaint. This Court observed
"[T]his is clearly intended for no other purpose than to evade the
of the correct filing fees if not to mislead the docket clerk, in the
of the filing fee. This fraudulent practice was compounded when even as
this Court had taken cognizance of the anomaly and ordered an
petitioner through another counsel, filed an amended complaint,
all mention of the amount of damages being asked for in the body of the
complaint. x x x."
For the guidance
of all concerned, the warning given by the Court in the afore-cited
is reproduced hereunder:
warning that it will take drastic action upon a repetition of this
"To put a
this irregularity, henceforth, all complaints, petitions, answers and
similar pleadings should specify the amount of damages being prayed for
not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer and said
shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case.
pleading that fails to comply with this requirement shall not be
nor admitted or shall otherwise be expunged from the record.
jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby
vest jurisdiction in the Court, much less the payment of the docket fee
based on the amount sought in the amended pleading. The ruling in the
case [115 SCRA 193] insofar as it is inconsistent with this
is overturned and reversed."
this Circular is hereby enjoined.
Let this be circularized
to all the Courts hereinabove named and to the President and Board of
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which is hereby directed to
this Circular to all its members.
March 24, 1988.