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Lucas vs. Fabros Case Digest


The motion for reconsideration prohibited by Section 19 (c) of the Rules of Summary Procedure is that which seeks reconsideration of the judgment rendered by the court after trial on the merits of the caseThe 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.

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Facts: 

Lucas charged Judge Fabros with Gross Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Discretion. She alleged that she was a defendant in an ejectment case pending before the sala of said judge. Judge Fabros dismissed the ejectment case for failure of plaintiff and her counsel to appear at the Preliminary Conference. However, she granted the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the dismissal order. Lucas 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.


Issue:

Did Judge Fabros erred in granting the motion for reconsideration?


Held:

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 involving Sec. 15 (c) of the Rules on Summary Procedure, later Sec. 19 (c) of the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure effective November 15, 1991: "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. (Lucas vs. Fabros, A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226. January 31, 2000)

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