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Auction in Malinta, Inc. vs. Luyaben Case Digest


Mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues. It must be shown that such stipulation is exclusive.

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Facts: 

Luyaben filed a complaint for damages against Auction in Malinta, Inc. in RTC-Kalinga where Luyaben resides. Auction moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper venue by invoking the following stipulation in their agreement: ALL COURT LITIGATION PROCEDURES SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN THE APPROPRIATE COURTS OF VALENZUELA CITY, METRO MANILA.


Issue:

Did the stipulation in the Agreement effectively limit the venue of the case exclusively to the proper court of Valenzuela City?


Held:

No. Mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues. It must be shown that such stipulation is exclusive.  In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, such as “exclusively” and “waiving for this purpose any other venue, “shall only” preceding the designation of venue, “to the exclusion of the other courts,” or words of similar import, the stipulation should be deemed as merely an agreement on an additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place. (Auction in Malinta, Inc. vs. Luyaben, G.R. No. 173979, February 12, 2007)

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