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SUN INSURANCE OFFICE,LTD., (SIOL) E.B.

PHILIPPS AND ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT A COURT ACQUIRES JURISDICTION


D.J.WARBY vs. HON. MAXIMIANO ASUNCION AND MANUEL ON THE GROUND OF NON PAYMENT OF THE CORRECT AND
CHUA UY PO TIONG PROPER DOCKET FEE.

FACTS: HELD: YES.


SIOL filed a complaint with RTC Makati, for the consignation of a It was held that it is not simply the filing of the complaint or
premium refund on a fire insurance policy with a prayer for the judicial appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket
declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong. fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature
Private respondent was declared in default for failure to file the required of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied
answer within the reglementary period. by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within
a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or
On the other hand, private respondent (Manuel Uy Po Tiong) filed reglamentary period. Same rule goes for permissive counterclaims, third
a complaint in the RTC QC for the refund of premiums and the issuance of party claims and similar pleadings.
a writ of preliminary attachment, initially against SIOL thereafter including
E.B. Philipps and D.J. Warby. The complaint sought,the payment of In herein case, obviously, there was the intent on the part of PR to
actual,compensatory,moral,exemplary and liquidated damages,attorneys defraud the government of the docket fee due not only in the filing of the
fees, expenses of litigation and costs of suit. original complaint but also in the filing of the second amended complaint.
However, a more liberal interpretation of the rules is called for considering
Private respondent paid only 210 pesos as docket fee although it that, unlike in Manchester, the private respondent demonstrated his
may be inferred from the body of the complaint that the damages sought to willingness to abide by the rules by paying the additional docket fees as
be collected is about 50 million pesos. SIOL s counsel raised his objection. required.

Judge Asuncion issued a supplemental order requiring the parties Where a trial court acquires jurisdiction in like manner, but
to comment on the Clerk of Courts letter-report signifying her difficulty in subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or
complying since the pleadings filed by private respondent did not indicate if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the
the exact amount to be recovered. additional filing fee shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the
responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce
1st complaint claim for damages 10 million pesos paid 39,786 as docket fee. said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.
2nd supplemental complaint 20 million pesos in addition to 44,601,623.70
actaul and compensatory damages and atty fees (7 mos after filing paid
80,396 docket fee)

The complaint underwent a number of amendments to make way


for subsequent re-assessments of the amount of damages sought as well as
the corresponding docket fees. The respondent demonstrated his willingness
to abide by the rules by paying the additional docket fees as required.

During pendency of the petition private respondent paid additional


docket fee of 62,432.90