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Demurrer to Evidence: Civil Case vs. Criminal Case


How do you distinguish the rule on demurrer to evidence in civil cases with the rule of demurrer in criminal cases?  

The following are the distinctions: 

1.  Effect if denied.

In civil cases, if the demurrer is denied, the defendant may proceed to present his evidence. In criminal cases, the accused may adduce his evidence only if the demurrer is filed with leave of court. He cannot present his evidence if he filed the demurrer without leave of court.

2.  Effect if granted.

In civil cases, if the demurrer is granted, the order of dismissal is appealable. In criminal cases, if the demurrer is granted, the order of dismissal is not appealable because of the constitutional policy against double jeopardy. The prosecution can no longer appeal because the accused has already been acquitted. 

3. Motu propio demurrer

In civil cases, the court cannot on its own initiative, dismiss the case after the plaintiff rests without any demurrer by the defendant; there is no such thing as motu propio demurrer. In criminal cases, the court may dismiss the action on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the chance to present its evidence. 

4. Leave of court

In civil cases, leave of court is not required before filing a demurrer. In criminal cases, leave of court may be filed with or without leave of court.

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