Salient Points of the Amendments to Rules 41, 45, 58 and 65 of the Rules of Court

The Supreme Court recently approved certain amendments to the Rules of Court. On 4 December 2007, the SC issued A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, approving the proposed amendments to Rules 41, 45, 58 and 65 of the Rules of Court. The Resolution took effect on 27 December 2007, following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. The amendments include:

Rule 41 (Appeal from the Regional Trial Courts)

* Under the former provision, no appeal may be taken from “[a]n order denying a motion for new trial or reconsideration.” This was already removed in the amendment. In Neypes vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 141524, 14 September 2005) the SC noted that to “standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.” The SC also stated that “[h]enceforth, this ‘fresh period rule’ shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution.”

Rule 45 (Appeal by Certiorari to the Supreme Court)

* Section 1 of Rule 45 was amended to include the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) in the list of courts from which an appeal may be taken directly to the SC. The previous mode of appeal from a CTA decision is to the Court of Appeals (CA), through Rule 43. This is no longer the case since the CTA is of the same rank as the CA. Republic Act No. 9282 (2004) provides that the CTA “shall be of the same level as the Court of Appeals.”

* Section 1 now provides that the “petition may include an application for a writ of preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies” and that “[t]he petitioner may seek the same provisional remedies by verified motion filed in the same action or proceeding at any time during its pendency.”

Rule 58 (Preliminary Injunction)

* The following provision had been added to Section 5 of Rule 58: “The trial court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbyan or the Court of Tax Appeals that issued a writ of preliminary injunction against a lower court, board, officer, or quasi-judicial agency shall decide the main case or petition within six (6) months from the issuance of the writ.”

* Before the amendment, the language used with respect to the effectivity for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by lower courts is 20 days (or 60 days when issued by the CA) “from notice to the party or person sought to be enjoined.” The amendment uses “service,” instead of “Ĺ“notice.”

Rule 65 (Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus)

* The Rules of Court provides that a petition for certiorari “shall be filed in the Supreme Court or xxx.” The amendment removed the SC form the enumeration of courts where the petition may be filed (Section 4). This amendment, however, does not mean that no petition for certiorari may be filed with the SC, as the Constitution (Sec. 5, Article VIII) explicitly provides that the SC has original jurisdiction over “petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.”

* The amendment also removed the provision on extension of time to file the petition. This provision is no longer existent: “No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for compelling reasons and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days.”

* The amendment added this provision in Sec. 4: “In election cases involving an act or an omission of a municipal or a regional trial court, the petition shall be filed exclusively with the Commission on Elections, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.”

* The amendment also added this provision in Sec. 7 (“Expediting proceedings; injunctive relief”): “The public respondent shall proceed with the principal case within ten (10) days from the filing of a petition for certiorari with a higher court or tribunal, absent a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, or upon its expiration. Failure of the public respondent to proceed with the principal case may be a ground for an administrative charge.”

* The old provision in Sec. 8 (“Proceedings after comment is filed”) provides that “the court may dismiss the petition if it finds the same patently without merit or prosecuted manifestly for delay, or if the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration.” The amendment provides for additional sanctions in case of abuse of the process, thus: “In such event, the court may award in favor of the respondent treble costs solidarily against the petitioner and counsel, in addition to subjecting counsel to administrative sanctions under Rules 139 and 139-B of the Rules of Court.” This is a clear warning on parties and their counsels.

* Such warning is made even clearer with the addition of this provision, also in Sec. 8: “The Court may impose motu proprio, based on res ipsa loquitur, other disciplinary sanctions or measures on erring lawyers for patently dilatory and unmeritorious petitions for certiorari.”

3 thoughts on “Salient Points of the Amendments to Rules 41, 45, 58 and 65 of the Rules of Court

  1. melissa

    I wonder if the line “failure of the public respondent to proceed with the principal case may be a ground for an administrative charge” would apply to quasi-judicial bodies or tribunals over which the SC has no disciplinary authority. I doubt if the rules can ever define an administrative offense.

  2. Mario L.

    Sir May I ask a question (under amendment in Rule 58) whether the RTC can issue a 20 day TRO without notice and hearing? Please help me, i need the answer urgently pls…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *