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Misjoinder of Causes of Action

When is there a misjoinder of causes of action?

There is misjoinder of causes of action when the conditions for joinder under Section 5, Rule 2 are not met. Section 5 provides

Sec. 5. Joinder of causes of action. - A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions:

(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties;

(b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules;

(c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and

(d) Where the claims in all the causes of action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction.

Is misjoinder of causes of action a ground for dismissal of an action?

● No. Misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A misjoined cause of action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of the court, be severed and proceeded with separately. (Sec. 6, Rule 2, Rules of Court)

● Misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal. Indeed, the courts have the power, acting upon the motion of a party to the case or sua sponte, to order the severance of the misjoined cause of action to be proceeded with separately. (Ada vs. Baylon, G.R. No. 182435, August 13, 2012) 

What if there is no objection to the improper joinder or the court did not motu proprio direct a severance? May the court simultaneously adjudicate all the erroneously joined causes of action?

A misjoined cause of action, if not severed upon motion of a party or by the court sua sponte, may be adjudicated by the court together with the other causes of action.

It should be emphasized that the foregoing rule only applies if the court trying the case has jurisdiction over all of the causes of action therein notwithstanding the misjoinder of the same. If the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over a misjoined cause of action, then such misjoined cause of action has to be severed from the other causes of action, and if not so severed, any adjudication rendered by the court with respect to the same would be a nullity. (Ada vs. Baylon)

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