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Barrazona vs. RTC of Baguio Case Digest


The basic rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the complaint at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted.

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Facts:

San-an Realty filed with the RTC a complaint for collection of sum of money against Barrazona, alleging that the latter defaulted in the payment of the monthly rentals and that it has demanded the payment of her overdue account, now amounting to P971,838.15, the last demand to vacate and payment of arrears having been made in writing on March 27, 2002. 

Barrazona filed a motion to dismiss on the ground, among others, that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the complaint considering that the allegations therein clearly indicate that the action is one for ejectment (illegal detainer) which is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC.

The RTC denied the motion. Hence, Barrazona filed a petition for certiorari before the SC. 


Issue:

Which court has jurisdiction over the case? 


Held:

The MTC. 

The basic rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the complaint at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted.

This allegation of the complaint clearly shows that respondent made several demands upon petitioner to pay her overdue rentals and to vacate the premises; and that the last demand to pay and vacate in writing was on March 27, 2002. Respondent thus complied with Section 2, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Indeed, while the complaint is captioned "Collection of Sum of Money with Damages," the allegations therein show that respondent’s action is for ejectment. All ejectment cases are within the jurisdiction of the MTC. (Barrazona vs. RTC, G.R. No. 154282, April 7, 2006)

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