Remedial Law

Jurisdiction of the MeTC, MTC, MCTC, and the RTC under B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. 7691 and OCA Circular 45-2019

JURISDICTION OF METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS:

Section 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases.

Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction, and 

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof.

Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the value of the personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) or, in Metro Manila where such personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000), exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs shall be included in the determination of filing fees: Provided, further. That where there are several claims or causes of actions between the same or different parties, embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions, 

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession, and 

(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots.

Section 34. Delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases. – 

Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots where the value of which does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000), such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts.

Section 35. Special jurisdiction in certain cases. – In the absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or city, any Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a writ of habeas corpus or applications for bail in criminal cases in the province or city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit.

Section 87. Original jurisdiction to try criminal cases. – Justices of the peace and judges of municipal courts of chartered cities shall have original jurisdiction over:

(a) All violations of municipal or city ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions;

(b) All criminal cases arising under the laws relating to:

(1) Gambling and management or operation of lotteries;

(2) Assaults where the intent to kill is not charged of evident upon the trial;

(3) Larceny, embezzlement and estafa where the amount or money or property stolen, embezzled, or otherwise involved, does not exceed the sum or value of two hundred pesos;

(4) Sale of intoxicating liquors;

(5) Falsely impersonating an officer;

(6) Malicious mischief;

(7) Trespass on government or private property;

(8) Threatening to take human life;

(9) Illegal possession of firearms, explosives and ammunition;

(10) Illegal use of aliases; and

(11) Concealment of deadly weapons.

(c) Except violations of election laws all other offenses in which the penalty provided by law is imprisonment for not more than three years, or a fine of not more than three thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The jurisdiction of a justice of the peace and judge of a municipal court shall not extend to civil actions in which the subject of litigation is not capable of pecuniary estimation, except in forcible entry and detainer cases; nor those which involve the legality of any tax, impost or assessment; nor to actions involving admiralty or maritime jurisdiction; nor to matters of probate, the appointment of trustees or receivers, nor to actions for annulment of marriages; Provided, however, That justices of the peace may, with the approval of the Secretary of Justice, be assigned by the respective [District Judge in each case to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots the value of which does not exceed ten thousand pesos, such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants, if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of real property.

Where there are several claims or causes of action between the same parties embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the demand in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions, but where the claims or causes of action joined in a single complaint are separately owned by or due to different parties, each separate claim shall furnish the jurisdiction test. In forcible entry and detainer proceedings, the justice of the peace or judge of the municipal court shall have original jurisdiction, but the said justice or judge may receive evidence upon the question of title therein, whatever may be the value of the property, solely for the purpose of determining the character and extent of possession and damages for detention. In forcible entry proceedings, he may grant preliminary injunctions, in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court to prevent the defendant from committing further acts of dispossession against the plaintiff.

JURISDICTION OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS (RTC):

Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:

(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;

(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) or, for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such the value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts; 

(3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claim exceeds Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) or, in Metro Manila, where such demand or claim exceeds Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000); 

(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) or, in probate matters in Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000); 

(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations; 

(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; 

(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Courts of Agrarian Relations as now provided by law; and 

(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, where the demand, exclusive of the abovementioned items exceeds Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000). 

Section 45. Appellate jurisdiction. – Courts of First Instance shall have appellate jurisdiction over all cases arising in city and municipal courts, in their respective provinces, except over appeals from cases tried by municipal judges of provincial capitals or city judges pursuant to the authority granted under the last paragraph of Section 87 of this Act.

Section 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter.

Section 21. Original jurisdiction in other cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction:

(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions; and 

(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls.

Section 22. Appellate jurisdiction. – 

Regional Trial Courts shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Courts. 

The decision of the Regional Trial Courts in such cases shall be appealable by petition for review to the Court of Appeals which may give it due course only when the petition shows prima facie that the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal or modification of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed.

Section 23. Special jurisdiction to try special cases. – The Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively criminal cases, juvenile and domestic relations cases, agrarian cases, urban land reform cases which do not fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies, and/or such other special cases as the Supreme Court may determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice.

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