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Ryle 4 - VENUE

ANITA MANGILA VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 387 SCRA 162


(1) On venue stipulations. Venue stipulations in a contract, while considered valid and enforceable, do
not as a rule supersede the general rule set forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. In the absence
of qualifying or restrictive words, they should be considered merely as an agreement on additional
forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place.
(2) Sole proprietors hips do not possess a separate legal existence, the personal residence of the proprietor,
and not the business address of the business, is the basis for determining venue.
Facts: WON venue was improperly laid. – YES.
Petitioner Anita Mangila, a resident of
Pampanga, is a single proprietor exporting
Stipulations on venue merely adds an additional forum
sea foods and doing business under the name
absent restrictive words
and style of Seafoods Products. Private
respondent Loreta Guina is single proprietor Mangila raised the issue of improper venue due to the
providing freight forwarding service doing stipulation in the invoice that any litigation’s agreed venue is
business as Air Swift International, with Makati. However, the stipulation does not limit the venue
office address in Pasay, but with personal exclusively to Makati.
residence in Paranaque.
The Rules of Court provide that parties to an action may
Mangila contracted the freight forwarding agree in writing on the venue on which an action should be
services of Guina for shipment of sea food brought. However, a mere stipulation on the venue of an
products on a cash on delivery basis. action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case
in other venues. The parties must be able to show that such
On the first shipment, Mangila requested for
stipulation is exclusive. Thus, absent words that show the
seven days within which to pay Guina.
parties’ intention to restrict the filing of a suit in a particular
However, for the next three shipments,
place, courts will allow the filing of a case in any venue, as
Mangila failed to pay Guina the shipping
long as jurisdictional requirements are followed. Venue
charges despite several demands. Thus, Guina
stipulations in a contract, while considered valid and
filed before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay
enforceable, do not as a rule supersede the general rule set
City a case for collection of sum of money.
forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. In the absence
Argument of Mangila: Mangila filed a Motion of qualifying or restrictive words, they should be considered
to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue. merely as an agreement on additional forum, not as limiting
Guina’s invoice for the freight forwarding venue to the specified place.
service stipulates that if court litigation
Residence of Guina, not the address of her sole
becomes necessary to enforce collection, the
proprietorship, should be the basis of venue
agreed venue for such action is Makati.
Nevertheless, Pasay is not the proper venue for this case.
Argument of Guina: Guina filed an
Opposition asserting that although Makati Under the Rules of Court, venue in personal actions is where
appears as the stipulated venue, the same was the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be
merely an inadvertence by the printing press. found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides,
Moreover, Guina claimed that Mangila knew at the election of the plaintiff. The exception to this rule is
that Guina was holding office in Pasay City when the parties agree on an exclusive venue other than the
and not in Makati. places mentioned in the rules. But, as discussed, this
exception is not applicable in this case. Hence, the general
RTC: The trial court denied the Motion to
rule applies.
Dismiss and allowed the case to proceed. The
trial court thereafter ruled in favor of Guina, It was established in the lower court that petitioner resides
ordering Mangila to pay her outstanding in San Fernando, Pampanga while private respondent
balance. resides in Paranaque City. However, this case was brought
in Pasay City, where the business of Guina is found. This
would have been permissible had Guina’s business been a
corporation, but her business is a sole proprietorship.
A sole proprietorship does not possess a juridical personality
separate and distinct from the personality of the owner of the
enterprise. The law merely recognizes the existence of a sole
proprietorship as a form of business organization conducted
for profit by a single individual. Thus, not being vested with
legal personality to file this case, Air Swift International is not
the plaintiff in this case but rather Loreta Guina in her
personal capacity, her residence, and not the business
address of her sole proprietorship should be the basis for
determining venue.
NOCUM VS. TAN, 470 SCRA 639
Summary: Lucio Tan filed a complaint for damages with RTC Makati against PDI and Nocum based on
libelous articles they allegedly published against him (which had something to do with PAL). His first
complaint failed to allege either that Tan was a resident of Makati at the time the libel was allegedly committed
or that the articles were originally published in Makati, so it was dismissed by the RTC for improper venue.
Before finality of the order of dismissal, Tan filed an amended complaint, curing the defect. This was admitted.
PDI and Nocum opposed this on the ground that the RTC was divested of jurisdiction over the case because
of the defect in the original complaint. The SC affirmed the admission of the amended complaint, ruling that
the RTC acquired jurisdiction as venue is merely a procedural matter in a civil case.

The laying of venue is procedural rather than substantive, relating as it does to jurisdiction of the court over the person
rather than the subject matter. Venue relates to trial and not to jurisdiction. It is a procedural, not a jurisdictional,
matter. It relates to the place of trial or geographical location in which an action or proceeding should be brought and not
to the jurisdiction of the court. It is meant to provide convenience to the parties, rather than restrict their access to the
courts as it relates to the place of trial. In contrast, in criminal actions, it is fundamental that venue is jurisdictional it
being an essential element of jurisdiction.
Facts: WON the RTC acquired jurisdiction over the civil case
Tan filed a complaint for damages against upon the filing of the original complaint for damages. –
Nocum, PDI, Umali and ALPAP with the RTC YES
Makati. The complaint failed to state the
residence of the complainant at the time of The cause of action is for damages arising from libel,
the alleged commission of the offense or the jurisdiction over which is vested with the RTC pursuant to
place where the libelous article was printed Art. 360 of the RPC designating a CFI to try a libel case.
and first published. He sought moral and PDI and Nocum argue that the original complaint failed to
exemplary damages for allegedly malicious confer jurisdiction on the RTC because of its deficiencies: it
and defamatory imputations in a news article. merely contained the office address of Tan and not his actual
residence or the place where the news reports were first
PDI and Nocum filed a joint answer, alleging: published. This is a matter of venue, not jurisdiction.
- The complaint failed to state a cause of
action The allegations of venue do not confer jurisdiction on the
- The defamatory statements alleged RTC, nor did the dismissal on the ground of the lack thereof
were general conclusions without divest the court of jurisdiction over the case. The failure to
factual premises allege such only gave the RTC the power, upon motion, to
- The news report was privileged as it dismiss the complaint on the ground that the venue was not
was a fair and true report on matters of properly laid.
public interest concerning a public
figure Venue has nothing to do with jurisdiction, except in
criminal cases. This is a civil case for damages, and so
failure to allege venue is not a jurisdictional impediment.
- Malice was negated by publication in PDI and Nocum would have been correct if this were a
the same article of Tan’s or PAL’s side criminal case for libel because such would have gone into the
of the dispute with the pilot’s union. territorial jurisdiction of the court.

ALPAP and Umali also filed their joint In fact, they recognized the jurisdiction of the RTC by filing
answer, alleging: their answers to the complaint, albeit questioning the
- There is no cause of action propriety of venue instead of filing a motion to dismiss.
- Venue was improperly laid
- Tan was not a real party in interest.

RTC Makati dismissed the complaint without


prejudice on the ground of improper venue.
Tan sought reconsideration and admission of
the amended complaint. This was granted.

PDI, Nocum, ALPAP, and Umali filed two


petitions for certiorari with the CA which
were consolidated and dismissed. Their
respective MRs were denied. Hence, recourse
to the SC.
DACOYCOY VS. IAC, G.R. NO. 74854, APRIL 2, 1991
Summary: Dacoycoy filed a case in Antipolo RTC for the annulment of deeds of sale and surrender of
produce & payment of damages for a parcel of rice land in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The RTC dismissed the
case motu propio for being filed on the wrong venue.

The SC held that the court may not dismiss a case motu propio for being filed on the wrong venue because venue is a
matter of convenience of the parties. Only the parties may object to the venue.
FACTS: Dacoycoy, a resident of Cainta, Rizal, WON the trial court may motu proprio dismiss a complaint
filed before in RTC Antipolo branch a on the ground of improper venue?—NO.
complaint against De Guzman praying for the
annulment of 2 deeds of sale involving a Jurisdiction treats of the power of the court to decide a case
parcel of rice land situated in Barrio Estanza, on the merits. Venue deals on the locality, the place where
Lingayen, Pangasinan, the surrender of the the suit may be had.
produce thereof and damages for private
respondent's refusal to have said deeds of sale The laying of venue is procedural rather than substantive. It
set aside upon petitioner's demand. Before relates to the jurisdiction of the court over the person rather
summons could be served to De Guzman, than the subject matter. Provisions relating to venue establish
RTC Executive Judge issued an order a relation between the plaintiff and the defendant and not
requiring counsel for petitioner to confer with between the court and the subject matter. Venue relates to
respondent trial judge on the matter of venue. trial not to jurisdiction, touches more of the convenience of
After said conference, the trial court dismissed the parties rather than the substance of the case.
the complaint on the ground of improper
venue. It found that the action is a real action RTC has jurisdiction over the subject matter according to
over a parcel of land outside the territorial Section 19(2) of BP 129: exclusive original jurisdiction over “all
jurisdiction of the RTC. civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real
property, or any interest therein x x x"
IAC: affirmed RTC’s dismissal of the
complaint The RTC could have acquired jurisdiction over the
defendant, either by his voluntary appearance in court and
PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT: The right to his submission to its authority, or by the coercive power of
question the venue of an action belongs solely legal process exercised over his person. The RTC should have
to the defendant and that the court or its exhausted the alternative modes of service of summons.
magistrate does not possess the authority to
confront the plaintiff and tell him that the Unless and until the defendant objects to the venue in a
venue was improperly laid, as venue is motion to dismiss, the venue cannot be truly said to have
waivable. been improperly laid, as for all practical intents and
purposes, the venue, though technically wrong, may be
RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT: The acceptable to the parties for whose convenience the rules on
dismissal of the complaint is proper because venue had been devised. The trial court cannot pre-empt the
the same can "readily be assessed as a real defendant's prerogative to object to the improper laying of
action." He asserts that "every court of justice the venue by motu proprio dismissing the case.
before whom a civil case is lodged is not even
obliged to wait for the defendant to raise that
venue was improperly laid. The court can take
judicial notice and motu proprio dismiss a suit
clearly denominated as real action and
improperly filed before it.
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK PHILS. VS. ROSEMOORE MINING, 518 SCRA 123
The venue of real actions affecting properties found in different provinces is determined by the SINGULARITY or
PLURALITY of the transactions involving said parcels of land. Where said parcels are the object of one and the same
transaction, the venue is in the court of any of the provinces wherein a parcel of land is situated.
Facts: WON Rosemoor committed forum-shopping in filing the
Private respondent Rosemoor Mining and Malolos case during the pendency of the Manila case. – NO.
Development Corporation filed an action for
damages, accounting, release of the balance of The rule on venue of real actions is provided in Section 1,
the loan and machinery and annulment of Rule 4 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which reads in
foreclosure sale against petitioner before the part:
RTC of Manila. Petitioner filed an Urgent
Motion to Dismiss the private respondent's Section 1. Venue of Real Actions. Actions affecting
complaint on the ground of improper venue. title to or possession of real property, or interest
Consequently, the private respondent therein, shall be commenced and tried in the proper
amended its Complaint, this time praying for court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the
Accounting, Release of the Balance of the Loan real property involved, or a portion thereof, is
and Damages. The RTC of Manila issued an situated.
Omnibus Resolution denying the same for
lack of merit. Private respondent filed a The venue of the action for the nullification of the foreclosure
Second Amended Complaint, dropping sale is properly laid with the Malolos RTC although two of
Lourdes Pascual as plaintiff and impleaded the properties together with the Bulacan properties are
the officers of the petitioners as defendants. situated in Nueva Ecija. The venue of real actions affecting
Private respondent filed another action for properties found in different provinces is determined by the
Injunction with Damages before the RTC of SINGULARITY or PLURALITY of the transactions involving
Malolos, Bulacan. The filing of the above said parcels of land. Where said parcels are the object of one
mentioned case prompted the petitioner to file and the same transaction, the venue is in the court of any of
a second Motion to Dismiss before the RTC of the provinces wherein a parcel of land is situated.
Manila on the ground of forum shopping. The
Manila RTC denied the second Motion to Elements of forum-shopping: (a) identity of parties, or at
Dismiss for lack or merit. A third Motion to least such parties as represent the same interests in both
Dismiss Civil Case was filed by the petitioner actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for,
with the Manila RTC this time raising the the reliefs being founded on the same facts; and (c) the
issue of jurisdiction. The Manila RTC denied identity with respect to the two preceding particulars in the
petitioner's third Motion to Dismiss Civil Case two cases is such that any judgment rendered in the pending
on the ground that petitioner was already cases, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res
estopped to raise the issue. Court of Appeals judicata in the other case.
affirmed the Manila RTC Orders.
(1) As to the existence of identity of parties, several bank
officers and employees impleaded in the Amended
Complaint in the Manila case were not included in
the Malolos case.

(2) As regards the identity of rights asserted and reliefs


prayed for, the main contention of Rosemoor in the
Manila case is that the Bank had failed to deliver the
full amount of the loan, as a consequence of which
Rosemoor demanded the remittance of the
unreleased portion of the loan and payment of
damages consequent thereto.

In contrast, the Malolos case was filed for the purpose of


restraining the Bank from proceeding with the consolidation
of the titles over the foreclosed Bulacan properties because
the loan secured by the mortgage had not yet become due
and demandable. Moreover, the Malolos case is an action to
annul the foreclosure sale that is necessarily an action
affecting the title of the property sold. It is therefore a real
action which should be commenced and tried in the province
where the property or part thereof lies.

The Manila case, on the other hand, is a personal action


involving as it does the enforcement of a contract between
Rosemoor, whose office is in Quezon City, and the Bank,
whose principal office is in Binondo, Manila. Personal actions
may be commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of
the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendants or
any of the principal defendants resides, at the election of the
plaintiff.

Clearly, with the foregoing premises, it cannot be said that


respondents committed forum-shopping.
POLYTRADE CORPORATION VS. BLANCO, 30 SCRA 187
Unless restrictive words are used, stipulation on venue are construed to be merely permissive, adding another possible
venue.
Facts: WON venue was properly laid. – YES.
Plaintiff Polytrade Co. filed a case to recover
the purchase price of rawhide against The stipulation where the parties agree to sue or be sued in
Defendant Blanco in the Court of First the Courts of Manila, was held not to preclude the filing of
Instance of Bulacan. Plaintiff has its principal the suit in the residence of the plaintiff or of the defendant.
office located in Makati, JP Rizal while The Court held that the plain meaning of the stipulation is
defendant Victoriano Blanco resides in that the parties merely consented to be sued in Manila. The
Maycauayan, Bulacan. Prior to the case filed qualifying words that “Manila” and “Manila alone is the
by the plaintiff, both parties made a written venue” are totally absent. The stipulation is merely
stipulation in their contract that ***that the permissive.
parties agree to sue and be sued in the Courts
of Manila*** Blanco moved to dismiss the Example of permissive stipulation:
case on the ground of improper venue because “In case of litigation, jurisdiction shall be vested in the court
as per in the contract suit the parties agreed in of Davao City” – absence of qualifying or restrictive words in
writing that the stipulation abovementioned the agre
must be followed. Hence, because of such
covenant he can only be sued in the courts of
Manila.
SPOUSES LANTIN VS. LANTION, 499 SCRA 718
Summary and Doctrine:
The Lantins borrowed money from the Planters Development Bank and executed a real estate mortgage for
their properties. They were not able to pay their loans so PDB foreclosed on the properties to partially satisfy
the debt. The Lantins filed a complaint in Batangas to annul the foreclosure stating that the REM only covered
their peso loans which they had fully paid already. PDB filed a motion to dismiss due to improper venue since
in their agreement, any suit arising from the agreement should be filed in Makati. Judge Lantion dismissed
the complaint and the Lantins appealed. The Court held that under Sec. 4(b) of the Rules on Civil Procedure, the
rules on venue will not apply when the parties stipulate the venue to the exclusion of other possible venues. Here, the
agreement between PDB and the Lantins explicitly stated that all suits arising from the agreement shall be
filed exclusively in the proper Makati courts. Thus, the dismissal of the complaint by Judge Lantion was valid.
Facts: WON the stipulation on the loan agreement is an exclusive
Spouses Lantin took several dollar and peso venue stipulation under Sec. 4(b) of the Rules. – YES.
loans from Planters Development Bank
(PDB) and executed mortgages and Under Section 4 (b) of Rule 4 of the 1997Rules of Civil
promissory notes to cover the loans. The Procedure, the general rules on venue of actions shall not
Lantins defaulted on their loans so PDB apply where the parties, before the filing of the action, have
foreclosed on the properties to partially satisfy validly agreed in writing on an exclusive venue.
the Lantins’ debt. Subsequently, the Lantins
filed a The mere stipulation on the venue of an action, however, is
not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other
Complaint for Declaration of Nullity and/or venues. The parties must be able to show that such
Annulment of Sale and/or stipulation is exclusive. In the absence of qualifying
Mortgage, Reconveyance, Discharge or restrictive words, the stipulation should be deemed as
of Mortgage, Accounting, Permanent merely an agreement on an additional forum, not as
Injunction, and Damages with the RTC of Lipa limiting venue to the specified place. Under the agreement, it
City, Batangas against PDB. According to the is clear that the Lantins and PDB agreed that any suit arising
Lantins, the REM only covered the peso loans from the contract should be brought exclusively in the
which they have already paid off, and not the proper Makati court (or to any court that PDB wants to), as
dollar loans. PDB filed a motion to dismiss on the Lantins had waived the right to choose the venue of the
the ground of improper venue since according action. The Lantins only assailed of the coverage of the loan
to their agreement the venue of any suit agreement and the validity of the loan agreement itself. since
should be Metro Manila. Judge (Jane Aurora) the issues of whether the mortgages should be properly
Lantion dismissed the complaint because of discharged and whether these also cover the dollar loans,
improper venue. Lantins asked for a arose out of the said loan documents, the stipulation on
reconsideration which was denied. Lantins venue is also applicable thereto.
claim that since they are assailing the
validity of the loan documents, then the
stipulation stating that Metro Manila should
be the venue of any suit is also in question.
They also argue that the venue stipulated in
the agreement is not the exclusive venue
stipulation covered by Section 4(b) of the
Rules on Civil Procedure.

The agreement between the Lantins and PDB


states
that: “[i]n the event of suit arising out of or in
connection with this mortgage and/or
the promissory note/s secured by this
mortgage, the parties hereto agree to bring
their causes of auction (sic) exclusively in the
proper court of Makati, Metro Manila or at
such other venue chosen by the Mortgagee, the
Mortgagor waiving for this purpose any other
venue. I/We further submit that the venue
of any legal action arising out of this note shall
exclusively be at the proper court of Metropolitan
Manila, Philippines or any other venue chosen by
the BANK, waiving for this purpose any other
venue provided by the Rules of Court.
SWEET LINES VS. TEVES, MAY 19, 1978
A stipulation limiting venue on the back of a transport ticket may be disregarded if it works against the convenience of
the plaintiffs for reasons of public policy.
Facts: WON a common carrier engaged in inter-island shipping
Atty. Leovigildo Tandog and Rogelio Tiro can stipulate through condition printed at the back of
bought tickets for Tagbilaran City via the Port passage tickets to its vessels that any and all actions arising
of Cebu. Since many passengers were bound out of the contract of carriage should be filed only in a
for Surigao, M/S "Sweet Hope would not be particular province or city. – NO. That is against public
proceeding to Bohol policy.

They went to the proper branch office and was Conditions printed on a ticket is a contract of adhesion. A
relocated to M/S "Sweet Town" where they contract of adhesion is not that kind of a contract where the
were forced to agree "to hide at the cargo parties may sit down to deliberate, discuss and agree
section to avoid inspection of the officers of specifically on all its terms, but rather, one which
the Philippine Coastguard." and they respondents took no part at all in preparing the same. It
were exposed to the scorching heat of the sun merely mposed upon passengers they paid for the fare for the
and the dust coming from the ship's cargo of freight they wanted to ship, without giving them an option
corn grits and their tickets were not honored to negotiate or agree to the terms.
so they had to purchase a new one
Condition No. 14 printed at the back of the passage tickets
They sued Sweet Lines for damages and for should be held as void and unenforceable for the following
breach of contract of carriage before the reasons
Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental - It is not just and fair to bind passengers to the terms
who dismissed the complaint for improper of the conditions printed at the back of the passage
venue. It granted a motion to dismiss tickets, on which Condition No. 14 is printed in fine
premised on the condition printed at the back letters
of the tickets. - Sustaining the condition will prejudice rights and
interests of innumerable passengers in different s of
the country who, under Condition No. 14, will have
to file suits against petitioner only in the City of
Cebu .
- It is subversive of public policy on transfers of venue
of actions
- Thehilosophy underlying the provisions on transfer
of venue of actions is the convenience of the plaintiffs
as well as his witnesses and to promote the ends of
justice
UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. VS. CA, 267 SCRA 759
Summary. Kubota and Unimasters agreed to have all suits arising out of tthere agreement be filed with
appropriate courts of QUEZON CITY. Unimasters filed action for recovery of money before RTC-
TACLOBAN, his principal place of business. Kubota moved to dismiss case on the ground of improper
venue. Court held that Absent additional words and expressions definitely and unmistakably denoting the
parties' desire and intention that actions between them should be ventilated only at the place selected by
them, Quezon City -- or other contractual provisions clearly evincing the same desire and intention -- the
stipulation should be construed, not as confining suits between the parties only to that one place, Quezon
City, but as allowing suits either in Quezon City or Tacloban City, at the option of the plaintiff Unimasters.

(1) Unless the parties make very clear, by employing categorical and suitably limiting language, that they wish the
venue of actions between them to be laid only and exclusively at a definite place, and to disregard the
prescriptions of Rule 4, agreements on venue are not to be regarded as mandatory or restrictive, but merely
permissive, or complementary of said rule.
(2) Improper venue in civil cases is not a jurisdictional defect, in fact it may be waived if not properly raised in a
motion for dismiss. Just because venue is improperly laid does not necessarily mean the court does not have
jurisdiction.
Facts: WON venue was improperly laid. – NO.
Kubota and Unimasters entered into a
Dealership Agreement for Sales and Services Since convenience is the raison d'etre of the rules of venue,
of Kubota’s products in Samar and Leyte. venue stipulations should be deemed permissive merely, and
Their Contract contained that: “All suits that interpretation should be adopted which most serves the
arising out of this agreement shall be filed parties' convenience.
with/in the proper courts of QUEZON
CITY,” and that “Unimasters is bound to Because restrictive stipulations are in derogation of this
obtain a credit line with Metrobank-Tacloban general policy, the language of the parties must be so clear
in the amount of 2M to answer for its and categorical as to leave no doubt of their intention to limit
obligations to Kubota” the place or places, or to fix places other than those indicated
in Rule 4, for their actions. Of essence is the ascertainment of
Five years later, Unimasters filed an action in the parties' intention in their agreement governing the venue
RTC-Tacloban against Kubota, Go and of actions between them.
Metrobank-Tacloban for damages for breach
of contract, injunction with prayer for TRO.
The RTC issued a TRO enjoining Metrobank The construction placed on venue stipulations is that they do
from authorizing payment of any alleged not negate but merely complement or add to the codal
obligation of Unimasters to Kubota against standards of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court. In other words,
the credit line, or charging Unibank for any unless the parties make very clear, by employing
amount paid and released to Kubota. Set categorical and suitably limiting language, that they wish
injunction hearing to Jan 10. the venue of actions between them to be laid only and
exclusively at a definite place, and to disregard the
Kubota filed 2 motions—one for dismissal prescriptions of Rule 4, agreements on venue are not to be
of case on the ground of improper venue and regarded as mandatory or restrictive, but merely
another for transfer of injunction hearing to permissive, or complementary of said rule.
Jan. 11, 1994 because of unavailability of
counsel due to prior commitment
CASE AT BAR: Absent additional words and expressions
RTC dismissed Kubota’s motion to dismiss. definitely and unmistakably denoting the parties' desire
The RTC explained: Kubota’s principal place and intention that actions between them should be
of business is in Quezon City, while ventilated only at the place selected by them, Quezon City -
Unimaster’s principal place of business is in - or other contractual provisions clearly evincing the same
Tacloban. Thus, the proper venue is either desire and intention -- the stipulation should be construed,
Tacloban or Quezon City. QC and Manila, as not as confining suits between the parties only to that one
agreed upon in the Dealership Agreement, are place, Quezon City, but as allowing suits either in Quezon
additional places other than the place stated City or Tacloban City, at the option of the plaintiff
(UNIMASTERS in this case).
in the Rules of Court. The filing in Tacloban
then, is proper. With regard to KUBOTA's theory that the Regional Trial
Court had "no jurisdiction to take cognizance of
UNIMASTERS' action considering that venue was
Kubota challenged the Orders via special civil improperly laid." This is not an accurate statement of legal
action of certiorari and prohibition, principle. It equates venue with jurisdiction; but venue has
contending that it has been issued with grave nothing to do with jurisdiction, except in criminal actions.
abuse of discretion This is fundamental. The action at bar, for the recovery of
more than 20,000, is assuredly within the jurisdiction of
CA agreed with Kubota: The stipulation RTC.Assuming that the venue were improperly laid in the
respecting venue in the agreement limited the Court where the action was instititred, the Tacloban RTC,
venue of all suits arising thereunder only and that would be a procedural, not a jurisdictional
exclusively to the “proper courts of Quezon impediment—precluding ventilation of this case before that
City.” CA denied MR. Court of wrong venue notwithstanding that the subject
matter is within its jurisdiction. However, If the objection to
PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT: Unibank venue is waived by the failure to set it up in a motion to
claims that in the absence of qualifying or dismiss, the RTC would proceed in perfectly regular fashion
restrive words, venue stipulations in a it it then tried and decided the action.
contract should be considered merely as
agreement on additional forum, not as
limiting venue to the specified place.

RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT: That


stipulation limited all actions to be filed only
and exclusively in the stipulated venues—
proper courts of Quezon City; that RTC-
Tacloban has no
PACIFIC CONSULTANTS VS. SCHONFELD, 516 SCRA 209
While they are considered valid and enforceable, venue stipulations in a contract do not, as a rule, supersede the general
rule set forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court in the absence of qualifying or restrictive words. Mere invocation
of one of the parties’ foreign citizenship does not amount to forum non conveniens.
Respondent Schonfeld is a Canadian citizen WON the Philippine Labor Arbiter can take cognizance
who is a resident alien of the Philippines. over the case notwithstanding what was stated in the
Having acquired an employment permit, he Employment Contract stipulating a venue. – YES.
worked for Pacicon Philippines, Inc. (PPI) as
Sector Manager. He was subsequently fired Yes, the Philippine Labor Arbiter may take cognizance over
because PPI had not been successful in the the case. The settled rule on stipulations regarding venue, as
water and sanitation sector. He was, however, held by this Court in the vintage case of Philippine Banking
requested to stay put at his job for a while. Corporation v. Tensuan, is that while they are considered
valid and enforceable, venue stipulations in a contract do not,
as a rule, supersede the general rule set forth in Rule 4 of the
Respondent filed with PPI several claims. PPI Revised Rules of Court in the absence of qualifying or
partially settled some of his claims but refused restrictive words. They should be considered merely as an
to pay the rest, which prompted Schonfeld to agreement or additional forum, not as limiting venue to the
file for illegal dismissal. specified place. They are not exclusive but, rather permissive

In this case, no restrictive word on venue was provided such


as “sole”, “exclusive” or “only.”

The argument that the forum is not convenient solely on the


basis of the citizenship of one of the parties (Respondent was
a Canadian citizen) is not tenable unless the factors showing
non forums conveniens are factually proved.
HYATT ELEVATORS VS. GOLDSTAR ELEVATORS, G.R. NO. 161026, OCTOBER 24, 2005
Summary and dotrine: Hyatt is a domestic corporation with address at the 6th Floor, Dao I Condominium,
Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation. Goldstar is a domestic
corporation with address at 6th Floor, Jacinta II Building, 64 EDSA, Guadalupe, Makati City. Hyatt filed at
the RTC of Mandaluyong, a complaints against LGISC and LGIC. The complaint was amended to additionally
implead Goldstar as part-defendant. Goldstar filed a motion to dismiss on the ground was venue is improper
because both corporations’ place of business is in Makati. The Court held that the venue was improper. A
corporation, which is a juridical person, however, has no residence in the same sense in which this term is
applied to a natural person. THUS, for practical purposes, a corporation is in a metaphysical sense a resident
of the place where its principal office is located as stated in the articles of incorporation.

Residence of a corporation is the place where its principal office is established. the residence or domicile of a juridical
person is fixed by "the law creating or recognizing" it. Under Section 14(3) of the Corporation Code, the place where the
principal office of the corporation is to be located is one of the required contents of the articles of incorporation, which
shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Facts: WON venue was improperly laid. – YES.
GOLDSTAR is a domestic corporation
primarily engaged in the business of Section 2 of Rule 4 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court: "Sec.
marketing, distributing, selling, importing, 2. Venue of personal actions. - All other actions may be
installing, and maintaining elevators and commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of the
escalators, with address at 6th Floor, Jacinta principal plaintiff resides, or where the defendant or any of
II Building, 64 EDSA, Guadalupe, Makati the principal defendant resides, or in the case of a non-
City. resident defendant where he may be found, at the election of
the plaintiff."

HYATT is a domestic corporation similarly


engaged in the business of selling, Residence is the permanent home -- the place to which,
installing and maintaining/servicing whenever absent for business or pleasure, one intends to
elevators, escalators and parking return. Residence is vital when dealing with venue.
equipment, with address at the 6th Floor,
Dao I Condominium, Salcedo St., Legaspi
Village, Makati, as stated in its Articles of A corporation, which is a juridical person, however, has no
Incorporation. residence in the same sense in which this term is applied to a
natural person. THUS, for practical purposes, a corporation
is in a metaphysical sense a resident of the place where its
HYATT filed at the RTC of Mandaluyong, a principal office is located as stated in the articles of
Complaint for unfair trade practices and incorporation. Residence of a corporation is the place where
damages under Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the its principal office is established.
Civil Code against LG Industrial Systems Co.
Ltd. (LGISC) and LG International
Corporation (LGIC). LGISC and LGIC filed a In Art. 51, Civil Code “When the law creating or
Motion to Dismiss raising the following recognizing them, or any other provision does not fix the
grounds: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the domicile of juridical persons, the same shall be understood
persons of defendants, summons not having to be the place where their legal representation is
been served on its resident agent; (2) established or where they exercise their principal
improper venue; and (3) failure to state a functions." Thus, the residence or domicile of a juridical
cause of action. MTD was denied. person is fixed by "the law creating or recognizing" it.
Subsequently, HYATT filed a motion for Under Section 14(3) of the Corporation Code, the place
leave of court to amend the complaint, where the principal office of the corporation is to be
alleging LGISC transferred all its located is one of the required contents of the articles of
organization, assets and goodwill to LG incorporation, which shall be filed with the Securities and
OTIS. Thus, LGISC was to be substituted or Exchange Commission (SEC).
changed to LG OTIS, its successor-in-
interest. Likewise, the motion averred that
GOLDSTAR was being utilized by LG IN THE CASE AT BAR: No question as to the residence
OTIS and LGIC in perpetrating their of respondent. As to the petitioner, its principal place of
unlawful and unjustified acts against business is Makati, as indicated in its Articles of
HYATT. Thus, GOLDSTAR additionally Incorporation. The place indicated in the articles of
impleaded as a party-defendant. incorporation becomes controlling in determining the
venue for this case.

Trial court admitted the Amended Complaint.


GOLDSTAR filed a Motion to Dismiss the HYATT argues that the Rules do not provide that when the
amended complaint, raising the following plaintiff is a corporation, the complaint should be filed in the
grounds: (1) the venue was improperly laid,location of its principal office as indicated in its articles of
as neither HYATT nor defendants reside in incorporation. Jurisprudence has, however, settled that the
Mandaluyong City, where the original case place where the principal office of a corporation is located,
as stated in the articles, indeed establishes its residence.
was filed; and (2) failure to state a cause of
action since the amended complaint fails toInconclusive are the bare allegations of petitioner that it had
closed its Makati office and relocated to Mandaluyong City,
allege with certainty what specific ultimate
acts Goldstar performed. and that respondent was well aware of those circumstances.
Assuming arguendo that they transacted business with each
other in the Mandaluyong office of petitioner, the fact
Trial court: Denied the motion to dismiss; remains that, in law, the latter's residence was still the place
holding that the venue is properly laid. indicated in its Articles of Incorporation.

CA: Venue was clearly improper, because


none of the litigants "resided" in Indeed, it is a legal truism that the rules on the venue of
Mandaluyong City, where the case was filed. personal actions are fixed for the convenience of the
Makati was the principal place of business of plaintiffs and their witnesses. Equally settled, however, is
both respondent and petitioner, as stated in the principle that choosing the venue of an action is not
the latter's Articles of Incorporation, that place left to a plaintiff's caprice; the matter is regulated by the
was controlling for purposes of determining Rules of Court. To insist that the proper venue is the actual
the proper venue. The fact that petitioner had principal office and not that stated in its Articles of
abandoned its principal office in Makati years Incorporation would indeed create confusion and work
prior to the filing of the original case did not untold inconvenience. Enterprising litigants may, out of
affect the venue where personal actions could some ulterior motives, easily circumvent the rules on
be commenced and tried. venue by the simple expedient of closing old offices and
opening new ones in another place that they may find
well to suit their needs.

ANG VS. ANG, G.R. NO. 186993, AUGUST 22, 2012


Although the general rule is that the venue is chosen at the election of the plaintiff, there can be no election as to the
venue of the filing of a complaint when the plaintiff has no residence in the Philippines. In such case, the complaint may
only be filed in the court of the place where the defendant resides.
Facts: WON the complaint must be dismissed on the ground that
Spouses Alan & Em Ang (respondents) venue was improperly laid. YES.
obtained a loan ($300k) from Theodore &
Nancy Ang (petitioners), also, a promissory It is a legal truism that the rules on the venue of personal
note was executed in favor of the petitioners actions are fixed for the convenience of the plaintiffs and
wherein they promised to pay the latter the their witnesses. Equally settled, however, is the principle that
said amount, with interest at the rate of 10% choosing the venue of an action is not left to a plaintiff’s
per year, upon demand. However, despite caprice; the matter is regulated by the Rules of Court. The
repeated demands, the respondents failed to petitioners’ complaint for collection of sum of money is a
pay the petitioners. Since the loan already personal action. The Rules give the plaintiff the option of
amounted to almost $720k, inclusive of choosing where to file his complaint. He can file it in the place
interest, petitioner, who were then resident in (1) where he himself or any of them resides, or (2) where the
LA, executed their SPA in favor of Atty. defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found.
Aceron for the purpose of filing an action in The plaintiff or the defendant must be residents of the place
court against the respondents. where the action has been instituted at the time the action is
commenced.
A complaint for collection of sum of money
was then filed with the RTC-QC. If the plaintiff does not reside in the Philippines, the
complaint in such case may only be filed in the court of the
Respondent moved for the dismissal of the place where the defendant resides. In Cohen and Cohen v.
complaint in the grounds of improper venue Benguet Commercial Co., Ltd., 34 Phil. 526 (1916), the Court
and prescription asserting that the complaint held that there can be no election as to the venue of the filing
against them may only be filed in the court of of a complaint when the plaintiff has no residence in the
the place where either they or the petitioners Philippines. In such case, the complaint may only be filed in
reside. Respondent reside in Bacolod while the court of the place where the defendant resides.
petitioner reside in LA.
Interest within the meaning of the Rules of Court means
RTC: denied respondent’s motion to dismiss. material interest or an interest in issue to be affected by the
Since Atty. Aceron is the duly appointed decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere
attorney-in-fact of petitioners, venue of the curiosity about the question involved. A real party in interest
action may lie where re resides as provided in is the party who, by the substantive law, has the right sought
Sec. 2, Rule 4, of the 1997 RoC. to be enforced.
 Respondents claim that Atty. Aceron,
being merely a representative of the The rules on venue, like the other procedural rules, are
petitioners, is not a real party in designed to insure a just and orderly administration of justice
interest in the case; hence, his or the impartial and evenhanded determination of every
residence should not be considered in action and proceeding. Obviously, this objective will not be
determining the proper venue of the attained if the plaintiff is given unrestricted freedom to
said complaint. choose the court where he may file his complaint or petition.
CA: Complaint should have been filed in The choice of venue should not be left to the plaintiff's whim
Bacolod City. or caprice. He may be impelled by some ulterior motivation
in choosing to file a case in a particular court even if not
allowed by the rules on venue.