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Filing Fees in Criminal Cases


Can the offended party claim and prove damages in the criminal action where the complaint or information is silent as to such claim?

Yes. Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code provides that: “Every person criminally liable is also civilly liable." Therefore, even if the complaint or information is silent as to damages, the offended party has the right to claim and prove them in the criminal case, unless a waiver or a reservation of the civil action is made. (People vs. Rodriguez, July 29, 1959; Roa vs. dela Cruz, Feb. 13, 1960)


Does the offended party need to pay filing fees for damages claimed in a criminal case?

Where the amount of damages, other than actual, is specified in the complaint or information, the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in court (Sec. 1, Rule 111); otherwise the court will not acquire jurisdiction over such damages.  


May the court award these damages (MENTL) if they are not claimed or specified in the complaint or information?

When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral, nominal, temperate, or exemplary damages without specifying the amount thereof in the complaint or information, the filing fees thereof shall constitute a first lien on the judgment awarding such damages. (Sec. 1, Rule 111)


Do you need to pay filing fees for actual damages claimed in a criminal case?

No filing fees shall be required for actual damages except in BP 22 cases.


How about BP 22 cases? Are you to pay filing fees for BP 22 cases?

Yes. The offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check involved, which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed. Where the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated, moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the offended party shall pay additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. If the amounts are not so alleged but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by the court, the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the judgment. (Sec. 1, Rule 111)


What is the purpose for requiring filing fees for actual damages in BP 22 cases?

The purpose of the rule is to prevent the offended party from using the prosecutor’s office and the court as vehicles for recovery of the face value of the check, without paying the corresponding filing fees therefor.

"The special rule on BP 22 cases was added, because the dockets of the courts were clogged with such litigations; creditors were using the courts as collectors. While ordinarily no filing fees were charged for actual damages in criminal cases, the rule on the necessary inclusion of a civil action with the payment of filing fees based on the face value of the check involved was laid down to prevent the practice of creditors of using the threat of a criminal prosecution to collect on their credit free of charge." (Rodriguez vs. Ponferrada, G.R. Nos. 155531-34, July 29, 2005)

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