Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases (A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC; full text)

Note: In A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC dated 9 September 2008, the Supreme Court en banc approved “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases,” scheduled to take effect on 1 October 2008 for the pilot courts designated to apply the procedure for small claims cases following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. Read the Basic Q&A on the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases. Here’s the full text of the “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.”

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RULE OF PROCEDURE FOR SMALL CLAIMS CASES

SECTION 1. Title. — This Rule shall be known as “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.”

SEC. 2. Scope. — This Rule shall govern the procedure in actions before the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts for payment of money where the value of the claim does not exceed One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) exclusive of interest and costs.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Rule:

(a) Plaintiff refers to the party who initiated a small claims action. The term includes a defendant who has filed a counterclaim against plaintiff;

(b) Defendant is the party against whom the plaintiff has filed a small claims action. The term includes a plaintiff against whom a defendant has filed a claim, or a person who replies to the claim;

(c) Person is an individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, association, or other juridical entity endowed with personality by law;

(d) Individual is a natural person;

(e) Motion means a party’s request, written or oral, to the court for an order or other action. It shall include an informal written request to the court, such as a letter;

(f) Good cause means circumstances sufficient to justify the requested order or other action, as determined by the judge; and

(g) Affidavit means a written statement or declaration of facts that are sworn or affirmed to be true.

SEC. 4. Applicability. — The Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall apply this Rule in all actions which are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal actions, either filed before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant to Rule 111 of the Revised Rules Of Criminal Procedure.

These claims or demands may be:

(a) For money owed under any of the following:

1. Contract of Lease;
2. Contract of Loan;
3. Contract of Services;
4. Contract of Sale; or
5. Contract of Mortgage;

(b) For damages arising from any of the following:

1. Fault or negligence;
2. Quasi-contract; or
3. Contract;

(c) The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

SEC. 5. Commencement of Small Claims Action. — A small claims action is commenced by filing with the court an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a Certification of Non-forum Shopping (Form 1-A, SCC), and two (2) duly certified photocopies of the actionable document/s subject of the claim, as well as the affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support the claim. No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Claim, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.

No formal pleading, other than the Statement of Claim described in this Rule, is necessary to initiate a small claims action.

SEC. 6. Joinder of Claims. — Plaintiff may join in a single statement of claim one or more separate small claims against a defendant provided that the total amount claimed, exclusive of interest and costs, does not exceed P100,000.00.

SEC. 7. Affidavits. — The affidavits submitted under this Rule shall state only facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiants which are admissible in evidence.

A violation of this requirement shall subject the party, and the counsel who assisted the party in the preparation of the affidavits, if any, to appropriate disciplinary action. The inadmissible affidavit(s) or portion(s) thereof shall be expunged from the record.

SEC. 8. Payment of Filing Fees. — The plaintiff shall pay the docket and other legal fees prescribed under Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court, unless allowed to litigate as an indigent.

A claim filed with a motion to sue as indigent (Form 6-SCC) shall be referred to the Executive Judge for immediate action in case of multi-sala courts, or to the Presiding Judge of the court hearing the small claims case. If the motion is granted by the Executive Judge, the case shall be raffled off or assigned to the court designated to hear small claims cases. If the motion is denied, the plaintiff shall be given five (5) days within which to pay the docket fees, otherwise, the case shall be dismissed without prejudice. In no case shall a party, even if declared an indigent, be exempt from the payment of the P1,000.00 fee for service of summons and processes in civil cases.

SEC. 9. Dismissal of the Claim. — After the court determines that the case falls under this Rule, it may, from an examination of the allegations of the Statement of Claim and such evidence attached thereto, by itself, dismiss the case outright on any of the grounds apparent from the Claim for the dismissal of a civil action.

SEC. 10. Summons and Notice of Hearing. — If no ground for dismissal is found, the court shall forthwith issue Summons (Form 2-SCC) on the day of receipt of the Statement of Claim, directing the defendant to submit a verified Response.

The court shall also issue a Notice (Form 4-SCC) to both parties, directing them to appear before it on a specific date and time for hearing, with a warning that no unjustified postponement shall be allowed, as provided in Section 19 of this Rule.

The summons and notice to be served on the defendant shall be accompanied by a copy of the Statement of Claim and documents submitted by plaintiff, and a copy of the Response (Form 3-SCC) to be accomplished by the defendant. The Notice shall contain an express prohibition against the filing of a motion to dismiss or any other motion under Section 14 of this Rule.

SEC. 11. Response. — The defendant shall file with the court and serve on the plaintiff a duly accomplished and verified Response within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of summons. The Response shall be accompanied by certified photocopies of documents, as well as affidavits of witnesses and other evidence in support thereof. No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Response, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.

SEC. 12. Effect of Failure to File Response. — Should the defendant fail to file his Response within the required period, the court by itself shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the Statement of Claim limited to what is prayed for. The court however, may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of damages for being excessive or unconscionable.

SEC. 13. Counterclaims Within the Coverage of this Rule. — If at the time the action is commenced, the defendant possesses a claim against the plaintiff that (a) is within the coverage of this Rule, exclusive of interest and costs; (b) arises out of the same transaction or event that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim; (c) does not require for its adjudication the joinder of third parties; and (d) is not the subject of another pending action, the claim shall be filed as a counterclaim in the Response; otherwise, the defendant shall be barred from suit on the counterclaim.

The defendant may also elect to file a counterclaim against the plaintiff that does not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, provided that the amount and nature thereof are within the coverage of this Rule and the prescribed docket and other legal fees are paid.

SEC. 14. Prohibited Pleadings and Motions. — The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:

(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction;

(b) Motion for a bill of particulars;

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

(d) Petition for relief from judgment;

(e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits, or any other paper;

(f) Memoranda;

(g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;

(h) Motion to declare the defendant in default;

(i) Dilatory motions for postponement;

(j) Reply;

(k) Third-party complaints; and

(l) Interventions.

SEC. 15. Availability of Forms; Assistance by Court Personnel. — The Clerk of Court or other court personnel shall provide such assistance as may be requested by a plaintiff or a defendant regarding the availability of forms and other information about the coverage, requirements as well as procedure for small claims cases.

SEC. 16. Appearance. — The parties shall appear at the designated date of hearing personally or through a representative authorized under a Special Power of Attorney (Form 5-SCC) to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) and to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documentary exhibits.

SEC. 17. Appearance of Attorneys Not Allowed. — No attorney shall appear in behalf of or represent a party at the hearing, unless the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant.

If the court determines that a party cannot properly present his/her claim or defense and needs assistance, the court may, in its discretion, allow another individual who is not an attorney to assist that party upon the latter’s consent.

SEC. 18. Non-appearance of Parties. — Failure of the plaintiff to appear shall be cause for the dismissal of the claim without prejudice. The defendant who appears shall be entitled to judgment on a permissive counterclaim.

Failure of the defendant to appear shall have the same effect as failure to file a Response under Section 12 of this Rule.

This shall not apply where one of two or more defendants who are sued under a common cause of action and have pleaded a common defense appears at the hearing.

Failure of both parties to appear shall cause the dismissal with prejudice of both the claim and counterclaim.

SEC. 19. Postponement When Allowed. — A request for postponement of a hearing may be granted only upon proof of the physical inability of the party to appear before the court on the scheduled date and time. A party may avail of only one (1) postponement.

SEC. 20. Duty of the Court. — At the beginning of the court session, the judge shall read aloud a short statement explaining the nature, purpose and the rule of procedure of small claims cases.

SEC. 21. Judicial Dispute Resolution. — At the hearing, the judge shall conduct Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) through mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, or any other mode of JDR. Any settlement (Form 7-SCC) or resolution (Form 8-SCC) of the dispute shall be reduced into writing, signed by the parties and submitted to the court for approval (Form 12-SCC).

SEC. 22. Failure of JDR. — If JDR fails and the parties agree in writing (Form 10-SCC) that the hearing of the case shall be presided over by the judge who conducted the JDR, the hearing shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and terminated within one (1) day.

Absent such agreement, (a) in case of a multi-sala court, the case shall, on the same day, be transmitted (Form 11-SCC) to the Office of the Clerk of Court for immediate referral by the Executive Judge to the pairing judge for hearing and decision within five (5) working days from referral; and (b) in case of a single sala court, the pairing judge shall hear and decide the case in the court of origin within five (5) working days from referral by the JDR judge.

SEC. 23. Decision.—After the hearing, the court shall render its decision on the same day, based on the facts established by the evidence (Form 13-SCC). The decision shall immediately be entered by the Clerk of Court in the court docket for civil cases and a copy thereof forthwith served on the parties.

The decision shall be final and unappealable.

SEC. 24. Execution. — If the decision is rendered in favor of the plaintiff, execution shall issue upon motion (Form 9-SCC).

SEC. 25. Applicability of the Rules of Civil Procedure. — The Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply suppletorily insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Rule.

SEC. 26. Effectivity.—This Rule shall take effect on October 1, 2008 for the pilot courts designated to apply the procedure for small claims cases following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation.

11 thoughts on “Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases (A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC; full text)

  1. dark justice

    In Small Claims Cases, if the action is for a sum of money arising from a contract of loan or any other contract whatsoever, will the court admit as evidence a contract which is not notarized? For example, checks issued as proof of indebtedness or simple promissory notes not notarized by a notary public?

    Reply
  2. Racky Buscano

    Will this also apply to an unpaid sales commission based only on a verbal or mutual agreement(no contract). What are the possible valid supporting evidence to prove that the company and I had such agreement?

    Reply
  3. ENGRLI2

    good morning sir,

    di lang po kasi ako makatulog don sa naging desisyon ng judge sa amin sa malolos.

    ako po ang nagsampa ng kaso ng small claims para masingil ko ang may utang sakin na si mr. valencia na 24,100 pero nung kinuha ko ang desisyon ng korte bakit naging ganon ang desisyon at ako pa ang magbabayad ng 25,000 kay mr. valencia dahil daw sa moral damages..

    ako napo ang dehado lalo pa akong naging dehado sa naging desiyon at masaklap pala nito parang wala na palang appeal ito.

    paano naman po ang gagawin ko at di ako makapaniwala kung bakit may batas tayong ganito? hindi po ba foul ang ginawa ng judge sakin? ako ang nagsampa ng kaso pero ung naging desisyon ako pa ang hinatulan na magbabayad don sa may utang sakin..

    di po ako makapaniwala

    sana matulungan nyo po ako kung ano ang gagawin ko

    humihingi ng tulong

    lito bernardino
    09175258629

    Reply
  4. mary jane

    Hello just wanna ask how if diko na po nakikita at wala naku contact duon sa taong may utang or atraso sakin panu po gagawin ko para masingil ko ung perang inutang sakin please help po.

    Angeles pampanga po location ko thanks,

    Reply
  5. Abu Gado

    Lito Bernardino,

    Nagkaroon ba ng hearing? Pwede mo ba ma discuss ang detalye ng hearing ninyo?

    Paano mo siningil si Mr. Valencia ng hindi ka pa nagsampa ng kaso?

    Abu Gado

    Reply
  6. hayde D.

    Good Morning Sir,

    Hi po nanguatng po ako sa lending company ng 25k ngayon po may balance pa akong almost 12k.Di po ako nalapagbayad dahil po nawalan ako ng trabaho.Umabot na po sa 17k dahil sa interest.Ngayon po pumunta ako sa opisina nila para sana makapag settle na mgbabayad ako ng 3k a mnth.Sabi po ng isang taga pamahala nila may tubo po daw na 3500 buwan buwan.Hindi po ako nakapag hulog sa takdang panahon na naipangako ko kasi po na pag isip ko na para wala rin ako hinuhulog kung mgbabayad ako ng 3k tapos nagkakainterest ng 3500. Gusto ko na po sanang mgbayad kaya lang sana wala na pong interest at yung 12k na lang..Humihiling po ako ng tulong sa inyo..Salamat..

    Reply
  7. Bel S.

    Hi, nagsampa po ng complaint sa barangay ang kapitbahay namin na pambabato ng sasakyan at inaakusahan ang menor de edad ko na pamangkin at kaibigan nya. Alam naman po namin na hindi totoo ang ibinibintang kay hindi kami nakipgkasundo sa barangay hearings na bayaran ang anumay naging sira sa sasakyan. Una po sabi sa hapon ng sabado between 4-5pm nangyari at nakita daw ng kapatid nya. Kung totoo po na ganun bakit hindi po sila lumabas upang mgreklamo. Araw-araw po ay nilalagyan nila ng cover ang sasakyan nila dahil ito ay hindi naman naka park ito sa garahe kundi sa kalsada sa tapat ng kanilang bahay. Imposible nman ndi nila agad makikita kung meron nga nagging damage sa bubungan ng sasakyan. Wala po kami nadinig na kahit ano kalampag o ingay na nabato ang kanilang sasakyan. Pangalawa, martes na nang sila ay magreklamo at ang inaakusahan na nila ay ang kaibigan ng pamangkin ko. Ito ay bigla na lng hinila at hinawakan ang t-shirt sa leeg ng bata ng kapatid na supposedly nakakita ng pambabato at sinutok ang bata sa ulo at dinibdiban at pilit na pinapaamin na sya ang may gawa. Pagtapos ay lumabas ba din ang mga kapatid na babae at hinila ang bata sa isang corner ng kanilang tindahan at pinilit na pinaamin at kanilang ni-record at kinunan ng video sa celfone ang pag-amin tapos ay isinakay sa kanilang kotse at dinala sa bahay upang kausapin ang lola. Pero di po nila sinabi sa lola ang pangyayaring pananakit. Nalaman na lng ito kinabukasan kya ndi na napa medical ang bata. Ano po ba ang ikakaso sa mga bata civil o criminal? Maari po ba kami mabigyan ng tulong ng gobyerno para sa pagtatanggol dahil wla nman din kami kakayahan upang mgbayad ng malaki sa abugado. Wala naman po kasi katotohanan ang sinasabi ng kapitbahay naming. Mgsasampa din po ng child abuse ang lola ng sinaktan bata. Ano po ang maari naming gawin legal action? Paano po ang kapakanan ng mga bata na 13yrs old lang?

    Reply
  8. jerry

    Hi, thank you for reading my message. I am from USA. I have a good friend over the years, and 1 day her brother had a paralizing stroke when we were going out after eating. Anyway, he needed 24 hour service, and she ran out of money and pleaded with me to help her and she would pay me back with interest. Well, that was in 2011, and after helping her several times, unforunatley her brother still died after a couple years. Anyway, i loaned her 2800.00 US dollars, plus she said she would pay interest. I still like her, and see her every year when i go to Cebu city searching for a wife. She runs a real estate agency, or works for one, and has a nice home and resources, but to this day, has not paid back 1 pecos. I have emails, and messages stating shewill pay it back, and of course , her word. I go to Cebu city for only about 3 weeks each year, so how can i file a claim? And is it legal for me to file a claim? And if i win,is the judgement enforced? I am not a mean guy, but i know she has resources to pay , or start paying back the money she owes me. She has at least 1 car also….. I only have emails, and a few wetern union receipts to show the loans. The rest i sent by xoom.com. And also, the hug and handshake of a friend , i thought. Thank you again, for reading my message, and i do really appreciate your reply, and expertise.

    Sincerely,

    jerry pitzen

    Reply
  9. ajerica

    I just want to ask if small claims expires? I was once involved in a group loan last 2008. Iwas able to pay 26k out from the 60k amount of loan wc was only 54k net… I was not able to pay the remaining balance because two of my groupmates suddenly disappeared out of nowhere.. The company wanted me and the other remaining person in the group (bec we were 5) to pay the balances of the three persons who disappeared. I told them I cannot allow such thing bec there would be nothing left for me if they do that.. Yet, they still did, which caused me to resign bec I felt like I’m not getting anything out from working..I have not heared from them since then… Just this year 2015, I received a letter from them telling me to settle my bal which is now over a hundred thousand pesos.. Is this still valid? I need to know.

    Reply
  10. Jun

    Good Afternoon!

    Sir Lawyer,

    Ako po si Jun, taga bicol.

    Ako po ay nag invest ng pera sa isang tao sa Pili, Camarines Sur. Umabot po ng 544,000 yung nainvest ko sa kanila. Sa hindi katagalan, hindi na po makapagbayad ng interes yung pig investan ko at nagsabi hindi na daw po sila magpapatuloy magpa invest. Meron naman po silang contract at bounced checks na binigay saakin. Ngayon po ay nahihirapan ako marecover yung mga pera ko.

    Ang masama pa po nito yung pera na pig invest ko ay mga inutang ko din po sa credit card through cash loan program
    Metrobank – 120,000
    Easwestbank – 185,000
    Citibank – 85,000

    Yung ibang pera po ay sarili ko na. Nainganyo po kasi ko umutang kasi 1% lang po interest nila per month. Kayang kaya po sana mabayaran sapagkat kumukita 7% interest yung pera na inutang ko.
    Nang tumigil po yung investment operation, naiwan po ako sa mga utang. Ngayon po ay lumulubo na yung mga interest ng mga bangko at hindi ko na po sila kayang bayaran.
    Tanging 10,400 lang kada buwan ang inaasahan ko na sweldo at ang mahirap po ay manganaganak pa po yung asawa ngayon June, 2016. Kailangan ko po ngayon ng pera sa panganganak ng asawa ko.

    Palagi po ako tinatawagan ng mga bangko at nagsabi na mag pafile na po sila ng civil claims versus saakin. Hindi ko po alam ang gagawin ko.

    Ano po kaya ang mangyayari saakin?
    Pwede po ba nila e hold yung sahod ko?
    Makukulong po ba ako nito?

    Wala pa po ako pambayad ng abogado sa claim ko sa pinautang ko.
    Wala din po ako pambayad sa abogado ko para sa depensa ng claims ko.

    Paki email po ako sir mam sa dapat ko pong gawin.

    Salamat po

    Jun

    Reply

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