Duterte signs bill expanding jurisdiction of metropolitan, municipal trial courts
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure expanding the jurisdiction of municipal and metropolitan trial courts in a bid to unclog the dockets of second level courts in the country.
Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11576, which amends the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, or the Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.
Under the newly-signed law, first level courts may now resolve civil actions of real property with an assessed value not exceeding P400,000, from the current P50,000 maximum.
These courts will also be assigned exclusive jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the demand does not exceed P2 million.
They will also have exclusive jurisdiction in admiralty and maritime actions where the demand or claim does not exceed P2 million.
First level courts include Metropolitan Trial Courts (MeTC), Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCC); Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
Meanwhile, the jurisdictional amount under Regional Trial Courts (RTC) in all civil actions involving the title to, or possession of, real property should exceed to P400,000, over P2 million for actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and also over P2 million for all matters of probate, both testate and intestate.
The RTCs shall also have jurisdictional supervision over “all cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kinds, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds P2 million.”
The law further delegates to the Supreme Court (SC) the power to further increase or decrease the jurisdictional threshold of the first and second level courts in line with the SC’s power of administrative supervision over all courts.
Senate starts plenary debates on bill seeking to decongest RTC dockets
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