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THE SPECIAL THEORY OF JURISDICTION: A LOCALIZED DISQUISITION ONTHE UNIVERSE OF

JURISDICTION
IN THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL SYSTEM
by Jeffrey J. Roden
Candidate for Juris Doctor (J.D.)
U.P. College of Law (Class of 2009)
I. NATURE OF JURISDICTION
A. Semantic discussion.
1. Concept of jurisdiction
According to Professor Perfecto V. Fernandez, [j]urisdiction is the basic foundation of judicial
proceedings (Fernandez, Handbook on Civil Procedure, 31, citing Moody v. Port Clyde Development
Co., 102 Me. 365). The word jurisdiction is derived from two Latin words juris and dico I
speak by the law which means fundamentally the power or capacity given by the law to a court or
tribunal to entertain, hear, and determine certain controversies (In re: Adoption and Custody of
Underwood, 107 S.E. 2d608, 616; Wesley v. Schneckloth, 346 P. 3d 658, 660; Atwood v. Cox, 55 P. 2s
377, 380; Barrs v. State, 97 S.E. 86, 87; Long Flame Coal Co. v. State Compensation Comr, 163 S.E.
16, 19; 23A Words and Phrases 136).
2. Jurisdiction and exercise of jurisdiction
Prof. Fernandez also distinguished jurisdiction form the exercise of jurisdiction. According to him,
[j]urisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a cause, the right to act in a case. Since it is the
power to hear and determine, it does not depend either upon the regularity of the exercise of that
power or upon the rightfulness of the decision made. Jurisdiction should be distinguished from the
exercise of jurisdiction. The authority to decide a case at all and not the decision rendered therein is
what makes up jurisdiction. Where there is jurisdiction of the person and the subject matter, the
decision of all other questions arising in the case is but an exercise of that jurisdiction (Fernandez,
citing Century Ins. Co., Inc. v. F.A. Fuentes, 112 Phil. 1065; Phil. Refining Co. v. Ponce, 93 Phil. 269).
3. Distinctions
In illustrating the distinction between jurisdiction and cause of action, Fernandez cited the clear
distinction drawn in Florentin v. Garcia (5 SCRA 500). In this case, appellant contended that the court
acted without jurisdiction in recognizing and enforcing appellees title to the controverted land because
under the Public Land Law, the sale by which appellee claims title was void ab initio. The Court in this
case held that the Court of First Instance has original jurisdiction over cases involving reivindication of
title to real property. Even if true, the void conveyance did not affect the courts jurisdiction but only
the plaintiffs cause of action, i.e. her right to the remedy sought. According to Fernandez, assuming
that plaintiffs title was really void, the lower courts decision was at most tainted by error of law or
fact that was curable by appeal and did not constitute lack of jurisdiction. (Fernandez, at p. 32).
B. Formal discussion and proving.

1. Concept of jurisdiction
a. Theoretical framework; Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity.
(Dr. Albert Einstein, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Annalen der Physik, June 30, 1905;
expounded in Does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy content?, Annalen der Physik,
September 27, 1905)
E = mc2
where: E = energy
m= matter (occupies space and has mass)
c2 = speed of light squared (measured in terms of units of area traveled in units of time)
b. Formal definition of terms.
Let: J = jurisdiction
S = juridical space; where: S= (l x m)
l = legal grant of authority
m = juridical matters included in scope of authority (jurisdiction over the person and jurisdiction over
the subject matter)
T2 = juridical time (read as T squared); where: T2 = (Ti x Ta);
Ti = time of invocation in a timely and appropriate pleading sufficient in form and substance;
Ta = time of attachment through intention to pay and timely act of payment of correct prescribed filing
fees done in good faith
c. Formal statement of the Special Theory of Jurisdiction.
J = S x T2, that is jurisdiction is a function of the juridical space multiplied by the juridical time
squared (juridical time of invocation multiplied by juridical time of attachment);
d. Proof of the Special Theory of Jurisdiction: evidenced by the jurisprudence and the commentaries of
eminent jurists.
i. S is the juridical space. It is composed of the legal grant of authority multiplied by the scope of
juridical matters specified under the legal grant of authority.
Juristic Proof: In Herrera v. Barretto (25 Phil. 245, 251), the Supreme Court, in the words of Justice
Moreland, invoking American jurisprudence, defined jurisdiction simply as the authority to hear and
determine a cause the right to act in a case.

From this statement, our formal definition is proved that the juridical space of jurisdiction is composed
of: l = simply as the authority or the right; and m = to hear and determine a cause or to act in
a case.
According to Prof. Fernandez, citing Bouviers own definition of the term: Jurisdiction is the right of a
Judge to pronounce a sentence of the law in a case or issue before him, acquired through due process
of law (Fernandez, 31).
From this statement, our formal definition is proved that the juridical time of jurisdiction is 1) l = the
right of a Judge; and 2) m = to pronounce a sentence of the law in a case or issue before him.
ii. T2 is the juridical time of invocation multiplied by the juridical time of attachment. This statement
asserts that the juridical time of jurisdiction is a product of invocation and attachment. This also
means that proper invocation must concur with the requisites of attachment. Juridical time of
invocation is embodied in an appropriate pleading sufficient in form and substance. Juridical time of
attachment refers to the intention to pay and act of payment of the correct prescribed filing fees.
a) Juristic proof: DOCTRINE. Manchester Doctrine (Manchester Development Corporation v. Court
of Appeals, G.R. No. L-75919, May 7, 1987, 149 SCRA 562.): To put a stop to this irregularity,
henceforth all complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of
damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said
damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to
comply with this requirement shall not be accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from
the record. The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the
Court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended
pleading. The ruling in the Magaspicase, in so far as it is inconsistent with this pronouncement is
overturned and reversed.
From this statement, our formal definition is proved that the juridical time of jurisdiction is composed
of: 1) Ti = the invocation as contained in an appropriate complaint or pleading sufficient in form and
substance; and 2) Ta = The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the
prescribed docket
C. Resolution of the semantic discussion with the formal discussion and juristic proofs:
semantic
structure
of
the
proposed definition.
Jurisdiction is a function of the grant of legal authority to pronounce the meaning of the law in an
actual legal controversy properly presented before a tribunal and invoked through an appropriate
pleading sufficient in form and substance and satisfactory of the requisites for attachment.
II. ESSAY ON THE ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION; THE JURIDICAL SPACE AND THE
JURIDICAL TIME.
A. Illustration of the concepts of the juridical space and juridical time of jurisdiction; when
the issue of jurisdiction is raised.
General Rule : The issue of lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any time.
Exception : Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 22 Phil. 29 (1968)

MA. CONCEPCION L. REGALADO vs. ANTONIO S. GO, G.R. No. 167988 (February 6, 2007)
In this case, the client of Atty. Regalado was sued by Go. The NLRC resolved the decision of the labor
arbiter in favor of Go. Go raised it to the Court of Appeals (CA). Before the CA decided, Go entered
into a compromise agreement with the client of Regalado. The CA decides in favor of Go. Go then
claims he was misled into signing the agreement and files a motion with the CA with prayer to hold
Regalado in indirect contempt of court. Regalado denies having participated in the negotiation of the
agreement. CA asserts its motu proprio jurisdiction and metes penalty on Regalado. Regalado moves
for reconsideration and questions the jurisdiction of the CA. CA rules that Regalado is already in
estoppel because she willingly participated in the proceedings for indirect contempt. The Supreme
Court held that the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any time, and further held that the CA could
not exercise motu propriojurisdiction because of the motion filed by Go and then exonerated Atty.
Regalado.
RATIO DECIDENDI: In Sibonghanoy, the defense of lack of jurisdiction was raised for the first time
in a motion to dismiss filed by the Suretyalmost 15 years after the questioned ruling had been
rendered. At several stages of the proceedings, in the court a quo as well as in the Court of Appeals,
the Surety invoked the jurisdiction of the said courts to obtain affirmative relief and submitted its case
for final adjudication on the merits. It was only when the adverse decision was rendered by the Court
of Appeals that it finally woke up to raise the question of jurisdiction.
Clearly, the factual settings attendant in Sibonghanoy are not present in the case at bar. Petitioner
Atty. Regalado, after the receipt of the Court of Appeals resolution finding her guilty of contempt,
promptly filed a Motion for Reconsideration assailing the said courts jurisdiction based on procedural
infirmity in initiating the action. Her compliance with the appellate courts directive to show
cause why she should not be cited for contempt and filing a single piece of pleading to that
effect could not be considered as an active participation in the judicial proceedings so as to
take the case within the milieu ofSibonghanoy. Rather, it is the natural fear to disobey the
mandate of the court that could lead to dire consequences that impelled her to comply.
COMMENTS:
1. Formal discussion of the special problem posed by the Regaladoconfusion over the motu
proprio jurisdiction of Courts under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
a. Formal definition of terms:
Let: J = S x T2; the Special Theory of Jurisdiction;
J = jurisdiction
S = juridical space (S = l x m);
T2 = juridical time (T2 = Ti x Ta)
where: Ti = juridical time of invocation
(Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court)

Ta = juridical time of attachment through the requisite payment of correct prescribed amount of
docket fees; (not an issue in this case)
Ti = S: {mp} U S: {vp}; that is, the juridical time of invocation is the union of the invocation of
jurisdiction either through the set of the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court or the set of jurisdiction
through a verified petition.
S: {mp} = The set of motu proprio jurisdiction of the court under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of
Court;
S: {vp} = The set of jurisdiction of the court under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court based on
the filing of a verified petition
U = union;
= intersection;
b. Formal statement of the Regalado confusion:
General Rule : Ti = S: {mp} U S: {vp}
Juridical Situation : Ti = S: {mp} S: {vp}
(as perceived by the Court)
In Regalado, the Supreme Court erroneously thought that there existed on the juridical plane an
intersection between the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court and the motion filed by Go. This means
that the Court thought that the motion filed by Go posed a legal obstacle to the Court of Appealsmotu
proprio jurisdiction. This is error. With respect to that portion wherein it prays for the Court to
pronounce Regalado in indirect contempt of court, the Motion filed by Go does not exist juridically
because it is not the verified petition required under the rules. Therefore, there is no juridical
obstacle to the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court.
c. Proposed solution to remove the Regalado confusion:
the Roden corrective eternity equation: R
S: {vp} = R; where: R = (1/0) = ;
where: = undefined or pleading does not exist
The proposed solution is that the Court should have considered, at least on the juridical plane, that
the Motion filed by Go, insofar as it prays that Atty. Regalado be held in indirect contempt, is juridically
undefined and/or non-existent for failure to comply with the requirement for an appropriate pleading.
Therefore, the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court may come into operation.
General Rule : J: Ti = S: {mp} U S: {vp}
Juridical Situation : J: Ti = S: {mp} U S: {vp}

(accurate juridical situation; that the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals may come into
operation)
2. Semantic discussion of the special problem posed by theRegalado confusion over
the motu proprio jurisdiction of Courts under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
The first problem with the Supreme Courts ruling in Regalado is that it is the result of confusion. In
this case, the Court miscomprehended the legal situation of the case presented before it and, as a
result, misapplied themotu proprio jurisdiction of the Court over proceedings for indirect contempt
under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. The text of the said provision of law is clear. There are
two modes of commencing proceedings for indirect contempt: first, motu proprio by the Court; and
second, a verified petition. Assuming and even conceding that the pleading filed by Go was
insufficient for non-compliance with the requirements as to form, contents and payment of filing fees;
then the legal effect is that no verified petition for indirect contempt was filed by Go. It is as if there is
no formal charge, and there was in contemplation of law none at any point in time, before the Court of
Appeals to commence a proceeding for indirect contempt. As such, there is no legal obstacle for the
Court to acquire motu proprio jurisdiction. From the legal standpoint, therefore, the Court of Appeals
was correct in assuming motu propriojurisdiction and issuing a show cause order to respondent Atty.
Regalado.
3. Semantic discussion of the problem of precedent posed byLeonidas v. Judge Supnet, 446
Phil. 53 (2003).
The second problem with Regalado is the problem of precedent. In its decision the Supreme Court
reasoned:
It is true in Leonidas v. Judge Supnet, this Court ruled that the contempt proceedings was considered
commenced by the court motu proprio even if the show cause order came after the filing of the
motions to cite for contempt filed by the adverse party. The Decision thus reads:
Thus, independently of the motions filed by the Tamondong Spouses, it was the Pasay MTC which
commenced the contempt proceedings motu proprio. No verified petition is required if proceedings for
indirect contempt are initiated in this manner, and the absence of a verified petition does not affect
the procedure adopted.
It is true that the Tamondong Spouses did file a Motion To Cite Plaintiff for Contempt Of Court, dated
May 17, 2000. In this pleading they prayed that Union Bank be declared in indirect contempt of court
for its disobedience to the Pasay MTCs Order dated May 9, 2000. This Order dated May 9, 2000
specifically directed Union Bank to return immediately to the defendants the replevied motor vehicle.
However, the Tamondong Spouses unverified motion dated May 17, 2000 cannot invalidate the
contempt proceedings because these proceedings were initiated by respondent judge motu proprio in
accordance with Section 4, Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
This above-cited case, however, has no application in the case at bar for the factual milieu of the cases
are different from each other. In Leonidas, there was an order of the court that was utterly violated by
Union Bank. Thus, even in the absence of the motion of spouses Tamondong to cite Union Bank in
contempt, the court a quo on its own can verily initiate the action. In the present case, the appellate
court could not have acquired knowledge of petitioner Atty. Regalados misbehavior without
respondent Gos Manifestation with Omnibus Motion reiterating the alleged deceitful conduct
committed by the former.

The problem with Regalado is that Leonidas is precedent and applies to the formers factual
parameters because of the following reasons: first, inRegalado as in Leonidas, the pleading filed by the
private complainant was unverified; second, in Regalado as in Leonidas, the Order of the Court
exercising its contempt powers came after the pleading was already filed; and, third, in Regalado as
in Leonidas, certain acts of the respondent contravened a specific command of the court concerning a
controversy over which it has jurisdiction and pending before it; in Leonidas, it was against an Order
of the court to return immediately to the defendants the replevied motor vehicle.; while in Regalado,
it was a Decision of the Court of Appeals resolving the labor dispute on appeal before it. In other
words, in both cases, the respondents committed acts which are grounds for indirect contempt of
court, falling under Section 3, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. Thus, following the principle stare decisis
et non quieta movere (follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled), then the
Court should have applied the doctrine in Leonidas to Regalado insofar as the issue of jurisdiction is
concerned.
4. The calculus of alternative solutions.
There is an alternative legal solution for Regalado to arrive at the same conclusion that it did without
having to oust the Court of Appeals of itsmotu proprio jurisdiction over indirect contempt proceedings
under Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. We submit that the Court should have recognized
the motu proprio jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals. Now in order to have arrived at the same
conclusion of exonerating Atty. Ma. Concepcion Regalado, then the Supreme Court should have instead
adopted the reasoning of petitioner Regalado that since she did not have any participation whatsoever
in negotiating the amicable settlement between her client and complainant Go, then she should be
exonerated.
B. When jurisdiction vests.
INTERCONTINENTAL BROADCASTING CORPORATION (IBC-13), Rep. by Its President
Renato Bello vs. HON. ROSE MARIE ALONZO LEGASTO and ANTONIO SALVADOR, G.R. No.
169108 April 18, 2006
In this case, it is alleged that the complainant did not pay the correct filing fees upon filing the
complaint. Respondent moved for dismissal or at least suspension of proceedings until complainant
has paid the correct filing fees. The trial denied the motion to dismiss, ruling that the difference in
amount constitutes a lien on the judgment. The Supreme Court upheld the trial court.
COMMENTS:
1. Semantic definition of the concept of juridical time of jurisdiction. The concept of juridical
time of jurisdiction is a function of the concurrence of two operative facts. The first is the filing of an
appropriate pleading sufficient in form and substance. The second is the payment of the prescribed
filing fees. When these two operative facts concur, jurisdiction of the court attaches.
2. Formal definition of the concept of juridical time of attachment of jurisdiction as derived
from the rule under the Manchesterdoctrine (Manchester Development Corporation v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. L-75919, May 7, 1987, 149 SCRA 562.).
Let: J = S x T2; the Special Theory of Jurisdiction;
J = jurisdiction

S = juridical space (S = l x m);


T2 = juridical time (T2 = Ti x Ta)
where: Ti = juridical time of invocation
(as contained in the complaint, not an issue in this particular case of IBC because a pleading sufficient
in form and substance was filed)
Ta = juridical time of attachment through the requisite payment of correct prescribed amount of
docket fees;
T2 or F (Ti x Ta) = Ti x Ta;
Ta = (I + P)f;
or Ta = If + Pf, by distributive property
3. Roden hypothesis on the elements of intention to pay correct prescribed fees in
determining the juridical time of attachment of jurisdiction.
The attachment of jurisdiction is a function of two operative elements: first, the filing of a pleading
sufficient in form and substance; and second, the intention on the part of the complainant to pay the
correct filing fees. When these two elements concur, then jurisdiction attaches. Intention is proved by
discoverable attributes such as payment of correct filing fees within a reasonable time, the ratio
between filing fees erroneously paid in good faith and the correct filing fees owed the government,
time ratio between date when filing fees were erroneously paid and the correct filing fees owed the
government were actually paid, and other discoverable manifestations of intent to pay.
Let: J = S x T2; the Special Theory of Jurisdiction;
J = jurisdiction
S = juridical space (S = l x m);
T2 = juridical time (T2 = Ti x Ta)
where: Ti = juridical time of invocation (as contained in the complaint, not an issue in this particular
case because a pleading sufficient in form and substance was filed)
Ta = juridical time of attachment through the requisite payment of correct prescribed amount of
docket fees;
T2 or F (Ti x Ta) = Ti x Ta;
Ta = (I + P)f;
or Ta = If + Pf, by distributive property

where: If = intent to pay; and


Pf = act of payment of filing fees
F = fees
J: Ta is a function of intent to pay correct filing fees plus the act of payment of correct filing fees;
Roden hypothesis on the elements of intention to pay correct prescribed filing fees for determining the
juridical time of the attachment of jurisdiction:
If = (Ia + Ib + Ic + + In);
where: Ia = intention to pay correct filing fees within reasonable time and prescriptive/reglementary
period;
Ib = ratio between filing fees erroneously paid and correct filing fees owed the government;
Ic = time ratio between date when filing fees where erroneously paid and correct filing fees owed the
government were actually paid;
In = other discoverable attributes and/or properties of intention to pay the correct filing fees.
4. Proof of the Roden hypothesis: framework of the jurisprudence.

b) DOCTRINE. Manchester doctrine (Manchester Development Corporation v.


Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. L-75919, May 7, 1987, 149 SCRA 562.): To put a stop to this irregularity,
henceforth all complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of
damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said
damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to
comply with this requirement shall not be accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from
the record. The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the
Court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended
pleading. The ruling in the Magaspi case, in so far as it is inconsistent with this pronouncement is
overturned and reversed.
c) DOCTRINAL CLARIFICATION. In Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) v. Asuncion, G.R. Nos.
79937-38, February 13, 1989, 170 SCRA 274, 285, the Court laid down the following rules:
1. RULE. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the
payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter
or the nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment
of docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond
the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. PLEADINGS COVERED BY THE RULE. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, thirdparty claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee

prescribed therefor is paid. The court may also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but
also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
3. EFFECT OF AN AWARD NOT SPECIFIED IN THE PLEADING; FILING FEE A LIEN ON JUDGEMENT
Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and
payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified
in the pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the additional
filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of
Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.
4. Exceptions; based on payment within prescriptive and/or reglementary period. Payment of docket
fees within a reasonable period but within the prescriptive or reglementary period sustains the
jurisdiction of the Court;
Exceptions; based on lack of fraudulent intention. When there is no intention to defraud the
government, Manchester does not apply; such as when complainant relied on the computation made
by the Clerk of Court.
a) Subsequently in Tacay v. Regional Trial Court of Tagum, Davao Del Norte, G.R. Nos. 8807577, December 20, 1989, 180 SCRA 433, the phrase awards of claims not specified in the pleading
was clarified to refer only to damages arising after the filing of the complaint or similar pleading.
b) In Proton Pilipinas Corporation v. Banque Nationale de Paris, G.R. No. 151242, June 15,
2005, 460 SCRA 260, 274-276, a case in which the docket fees paid by the plaintiff were also
insufficient, we held that: With respect to petitioners argument that the trial court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the case in light of the insufficient docket fees, the same does not lie.
c) The ruling in Sun Insurance Office was echoed in the 2005 case ofHeirs of Bertuldo Hinog v.
Hon. Achilles Melicor, G.R. No. 140954, April 12, 2005, 455 SCRA 460, 475, Plainly, while the
payment of the prescribed docket fees is a jurisdictional requirement, even its non-payment at the
time of filing does not automatically cause the dismissal of the case, as long as the fees is paid within
the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period, more so when the party involved demonstrates a
willingness to abide by the rules prescribing such payment. Thus, when insufficient filing fees
were initially paid by the plaintiffs and there was no intention to defraud the government,
the Manchester rule does not apply.
d) RATIO DECIDENDI IN THE IBC CASE. In the IBC case, the respondent relied on the assessment
made by the docket clerk which turned out to be incorrect. The payment of the docket fees, as
assessed, negates any imputation of bad faith or an intent to defraud the government by the
respondent. Thus, when insufficient filing fees were initially paid by the respondent and there was no
intention to defraud the government, theManchester rule does not apply (Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v.
Melicor, G.R. No. 140954, April 12, 2005, 455 SCRA 460, 475). Hence, the trial court properly
acquired jurisdiction over the instant suit.
5. The provision on liens on judgment under the Rules of Court.
a) Section 2 of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court:
Sec. 2. Fees in lien. Where the court in its final judgment awards a claim not alleged, or a relief
different from, or more than that claimed in the pleading, the party concerned shall pay the additional

fees which shall constitute a lien on the judgment in satisfaction of said lien. The clerk of court shall
assess and collect the corresponding fees.
6. Some advance problems in remedial law.
a) The Problem of Attachment. The first problem in the framework of the jurisprudence is that the
time differential granted under the exception carved by Sun Insurance Office establishes a reckoning
period for the attachment of jurisdiction other than the date when filing fees are paid. It creates a
time differential between the filing of the pleading and the payment of the filing fees. We submit that
since the rule is that jurisdiction can never be ousted once it attaches, then there must be a definitive
criterion for determining the reckoning date of when jurisdiction attaches. In other words, under
the Manchester doctrine and viewed from the legal standpoint, there is no pleading properly before
the Court at any point in time before the correct filing fees are paid. As applied to the IBC case then,
the trial court should have required payment of the correct filing fees before proceeding with the case.
b) The Problem of Administration. The second problem in the IBC ruling, as raised by the petitioner
in the IBC case, is that non-payment, or even mere insufficiency of payment of filing fees would yield
the following consequences: first, it would encourage the filing of suits with insufficient filing fees or
none at all; and, second, it would encourage the filing of suits with overblown claims for damages
since the payment of filing fees can be delayed, postponed or perhaps done in an installment or
staggered manner.
c) The Standard of Intention to Pay in Good Faith. The other basis for the exception, which is the
presence or absence of intention to defraud the government, is, in our opinion, the more suitable
criterion; albeit requiring operationalization.
d) The Problem of Prescription. X filed a complaint against Y. The complaint is sufficient in form and
substance. But X paid insufficient filing fees. In the meantime, the prescriptive period for the cause of
action of X against Y lapses. Y raises the issue of lack of jurisdiction on the ground of insufficient filing
fees and prescription of the cause of action. X pays additional sums of money to satisfy the
requirement of correct filing fees. Y moves for dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction and prescription. Y interposes the defense that the subsequent payment of the differential
between the insufficient filing fees and the correct filing fees cured the defect in the filing of the
complaint. Rule on the motion;
e) The Problem of Legal Status. What is the legal status of the pleading between the date of filing
and the date of payment of correct filing fees? Upon payment of the correct filing fees, what is the
date when jurisdiction is deemed to have attached? Did jurisdiction attach on the earlier date when
the pleading was filed but without payment of the correct filing fees or the latter date when the correct
filing fees were paid?
f) The Problem of Forum Shopping. X filed a complaint against Y. The complaint is sufficient in form
and substance. But X paid insufficient filing fees. X filed another case against Y based on the same
cause of action but in a different court. The second complaint is sufficient in form and substance and X
paid the correct filing fees. In the meantime, the prescriptive period for the cause of action of X
against Y lapses. In the first case, Y raises the issue of lack of jurisdiction on the ground of insufficient
filing fees and prescription of the cause of action. X then pays additional sums of money to satisfy the
requirement of correct filing fees in the first case. Y moves for dismissal of the complaint in the first
case on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, prescription and forum shopping. The Court in the second
case dismissed the complaint. Rule on the issues.

7. Summation statements on the Special Theory of Jurisdiction, the Roden corrective


eternity equation to remove the Regalado confusion, and the Roden hypothesis on the
elements of payment of prescribed fees as a requisite for the juridical time of jurisdiction to
attach: the proposed calculus of solutions for legal analysis and further research.
a. Payment within Reasonable Time and Prescription Period Analysis. The question of jurisdiction is
to be determined on the basis of the willingness of the complainant to pay the correct filing fees within
a reasonable time but always within the prescribed or reglementary period. This is the rule laid down
by the Supreme Court in the Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion case (1989).
b. Intention Analysis. The question of jurisdiction is to be determined on the basis of whether there
was intent to defraud the government. This is the rule laid down in the case of Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog
v. Hon. Achilles Melicor, G.R. No. 140954, April 12, 2005, 455 SCRA 460). The rule is that if the
differential in the payment of correct filing fees is NOT attributable to intent on the part of the
complainant to defraud the government, then the court has jurisdiction. Conversely, if the differential
is attributable to intent on the part of the complainant to defraud the government, then the court has
no jurisdiction.
c. Negligence Analysis, Absence of Intent. In the absence of intention on the part of the complainant
to defraud the government, would negligence be a criterion to justify dismissal for lack of jurisdiction?
What kind of negligence if at all would justify dismissal? Simple negligence only or gross negligence?
d. Policy-weighing Analysis. The rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective
of securing just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding (Section 6, Rule 1,
Rules of Court). The policy considerations to be weighed by the Court are: on one hand, the policy of
liberal construction of the rules; and, on the other, the possibility of opening the floodgates to
pleadings filed with insufficient filing fees due to a relaxed policy on the part of the Court.
e. Equity Analysis. The Court shall take into consideration other factors such as equity, fairness, and
the administration of substantive justice. The problem with this form of analysis is that it
institutionalizes a tendency to depart from generality and uniformity and adopts a solution to legal
issues on a case-to-case basis.
f. Money Ratio Analysis. The Supreme Court may prescribe a rule based on ratio. The proposed rule
would set a range of ratio between the amount of filing fees actually paid and the amount due to the
government. We submit that this range of ratio would operationalize the issue on whether or not there
was intention to defraud the government.
g. Time Ratio Analysis The Supreme Court may also prescribe a rule based on time ratio. The
proposed rule would set a range of time ratio between the date when the incorrect filing fees were
paid and the date when the correct filing fees were paid. In addition to the money ratio analysis, this
rule would operationalize the issue on whether or not there was intention to defraud the government.
h. Correspondence between Statement of Claims-to-Reliefs Prayed for Semantic Analysis. This is the
rule laid down by the Supreme Court in the Manchester case. The rule is that there should be a
correspondence between the statement of the damages being claimed and the reliefs being prayed for.
The semantic structure of the doctrine in Manchester states: To put a stop to this irregularity,
henceforth all complaints, petitions, answers, and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of
damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said
damages shall be included in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to

comply with this requirement shall not be accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from
the record.
i. Previous Incidents and/or Behavioral Pattern of Counsel and/or Complainant Analysis. The
Supreme Court may also prescribe a rule based on previous incidents of non-payment of correct filing
fees by the legal counsel of the complainant and/or even by the complainant himself or herself. The
proposed rule is that permission by the Court may be granted for the complainant to subsequently pay
the differential in the correct filing fees based on the behavioral pattern in previous cases, if such is
the case. The basis for this can be observations, comments, reprimands contained in court orders,
decisions, resolutions, awards, etc. of which the courts may take judicial notice. In addition to
the Money Ratio Analysis and the Time Ratio Analysis, this rule would operationalize the question of
whether or not there was intention to defraud the government.