Remedial Law

LUCAS vs. JUDGE AMELIA A. FABROS A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226. January 31, 2000 Summary Procedure

FACTS:

Gloria Lucas charged respondent, Judge Amelia A. Fabros with Gross Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Discretion relative to Civil Case No. 151248.

Complainant, who was the defendant in the aforecited case, alleged that Judge Amelia A. Fabros issued an Order dated February 26, 1997 granting the plaintiffs motion for reconsideration of the Order dated January 13, 1997, which dismissed the case for failure of plaintiff and her counsel to appear at the Preliminary Conference.

Complainant averred that it is elementary, under Section 19 (c) of the Rules of Summary Procedure, that a motion for reconsideration is prohibited, but respondent judge, in violation of the rule, granted the motion for reconsideration.

She added that, notwithstanding the fact that the respondent herself had pointed out in open court that the case is governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure, the judge ordered the revival of the case out of malice, partiality and with intent to cause an injury to complainant.

The Office of the Court Administrator recommended that respondent judge be fined in the amount of P2,000.00 for grave abuse of discretion.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion,  and is guilty of ignorance of the law, in giving due course to the motion for reconsideration subject of the present complaint.

RULING:

The Court finds the OCA’s recommendation without factual and legal basis.

As a rule, a motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Thus,

“SEC. 19. Prohibited pleadings and motions. The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule.

xxx

(c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;

xxx”

This rule, however, applies only where the judgment sought to be reconsidered is one rendered on the merits.

As held by the Court in an earlier case: “The motion prohibited by this Section is that which seeks reconsideration of the judgment rendered by the court after trial on the merits of the case.”

]Here, the order of dismissal issued by respondent judge due to failure of a party to appear during the preliminary conference is obviously not a judgment on the merits after trial of the case.

Hence, a motion for the reconsideration of such order is not the prohibited pleading contemplated under Section 19 (c) of the present Rule on Summary Procedure.

Thus, respondent judge committed no grave abuse of discretion, nor is she guilty of ignorance of the law, in giving due course to the motion for reconsideration subject of the present complaint.

The complaint filed against respondent Judge Amelia A. Fabros is DISMISSED.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.