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Civil Procedure: Rule 47 - Annulment of Judgments of Final Orders and Resolutions

Annulment of Judgments of Final Orders and Resolutions

Section 1. Coverage. — This Rule shall govern the annulment by the Court of Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions in civil actions of Regional Trial Courts for which the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner. (n)

Section 2. Grounds for annulment. — The annulment may be based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction.

Extrinsic fraud shall not be a valid ground if it was availed of, or could have been availed of, in a motion for new trial or petition for relief. (n)

Section 3. Period for filing action. — If based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be filed within four (4) years from its discovery; and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches or estoppel. (n)

Section 4. Filing and contents of petition. — The action shall be commenced by filing a verified petition alleging therein with particularity the facts and the law relied upon for annulment, as well as those supporting the petitioner's good and substantial cause of action or defense, as the case may be.

The petition shall be filed in seven (7) clearly legible copies, together with sufficient copies corresponding to the number of respondents. A certified true copy of the judgment or final order or resolution shall be attached to the original copy of the petition intended for the court and indicated as such by the petitioner.

The petitioner shall also submit together with the petition affidavits of witnesses or documents supporting the cause of action or defense and a sworn certification that he has not theretofore commenced any other action involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency if there is such other action or proceeding, he must state the status of the same, and if he should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to promptly inform the aforesaid courts and other tribunal or agency thereof within five (5) days therefrom. (n)

Section 5. Action by the court. — Should the court find no substantial merit in the petition, the same may be dismissed outright with specific reasons for such dismissal.

Should prima facie merit be found in the petition, the same shall be given due course and summons shall be served on the respondent. (n)

Section 6. Procedure. — The procedure in ordinary civil cases shall be observed. Should trial be necessary, the reception of the evidence may be referred to a member of the court or a judge of a Regional Trial Court. (n)

Section 7. Effect of judgment. — A judgment of annulment shall set aside the questioned judgment or final order or resolution and render the same null and void, without prejudice to the original action being refiled in the proper court. However, where the judgment or final order or resolution is set aside on the ground of extrinsic fraud, the court may on motion order the trial court to try the case as if a timely motion for new trial had been granted therein. (n)

Section 8. Suspension prescriptive period. — The prescriptive period for the refiling of the aforesaid original action shall be deemed suspended from the filing of such original action until the finality of the judgment of annulment. However, the prescriptive period shall not be suspended where the extrinsic-fraud is attributable to the plaintiff in the original action. (n)

Section 9. Relief available. — The judgment of annulment may include the award of damages, attorney's fees and other relief.

If the questioned judgment or final order or resolution had already been executed the court may issue such orders of restitution or other relief as justice and equity may warrant under the circumstances. (n)

Section 10. Annulment of judgments or final orders of Municipal Trial Courts. — An action to annul a judgment or final order of a Municipal Trial Court shall be filed in the Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the former. It shall be treated as an ordinary civil action and sections 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 of this Rule shall be applicable thereto. (n)
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