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SUNGA v LACSON

GR No. L-26055
April 29, 1968

FACTS
- The petitioners filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction to stop the respondents from
demolishing their houses in Tondo Manila. The court ordered summons to be served on the respondents
ONLY after the petitioners have paid the corresponding Sherriff’s fees. 10 days later, the court ordered the
issuance of the preliminary injunction ONLY after the petitioners filing of 1,000 to be approved by the court.
o The bond was paid by the petitioners; however, they did not ask the court to APPROVE the bond.
Jurisdiction over the respondents were therefore not acquired since no summons were formally sent
to them.
- After four months, the respondents asked the court to dismiss the case which the court granted. Petitioners
filed a motion for reconsideration.

RULING
- Yes, the respondents can cause the dismissal of the action.
- Petitioners base their claim on Section 1 of Rule 17 which provides that an action may be dismissed only by
the plaintiff at ANY TIME BEFORE the service of answer.
- Petitioners did not take into consideration that although no summons were served to the respondents, their
voluntary appearance in court is equivalent to the service of summons. The respondents act of filing the
motion to dismiss the case was an act of submission by the respondent to submit itself to the jurisdiction of
the court.
- Illicit major: where the major premise is distributed in the conclusion, but not in the major premise.
o Illicit major: Section 1 of Rule 17
o Minor premise: It does not preclude the respondents from filing the motion to dismiss, considering
how it has taken the petitioners a long time to act. It is a right