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Bacelonia vs. CA Case Digest

An answer which asserts a compulsory counterclaim need not include a certificate of non-forum shopping since such pleading is not initiatory in character.

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After the presentation of the second witness of plaintiff, the Bacelonias filed a motion to be dropped as defendants from the civil case involving quasi-delict, as their other co-defendants have admitted responsibility to the accident. The trial court denied the motion and scheduled the reception of defense evidence.

On January 31, 2000, the petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the trial court’s order denying their motion and set the date of hearing thereof on February 15, 2000 at 8:30 am.

The trial court denied the motion to reconsider. Petitioners elevated the denial before the CA which affirmed the trial court’s decision.


Was the denial by the trial court of the motion for reconsideration, proper?


Yes. Rule 15, Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Court on motions provides:
Section 5. Notice of hearing.- The notice of hearing shall be addressed to all parties concerned, and shall specify the time and date of the hearing which must not be later than ten (10) days after the filing of the motion. 

It is clear then that the scheduled hearing of the said motion for reconsideration was beyond the period specified by the Revised Rules of Court which was not later than ten (10) days after the filing of the motion, or no later than February 10, 2000. Significantly, the above provision of Rule 15, Section 5 uses the mandatory term must in fixing the period within which the motion shall be scheduled for hearing. A motion that fails to religiously comply with the mandatory provision of Rule 15, Section 5 is pro forma and presents no question which merits the attention and consideration of the court. (Bacelonia vs. CA, G.R. No. 143440. February 11, 2003)

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