To provide a simplified, informal, and inexpensive recourse for people to assert their claims without the assistance of a lawyer, A.M. No 08-8-7-SC or “The Revised Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Cases” offers a special procedure on all actions which are purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money not exceeding Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00), exclusive of interest and costs.
The claim or demand may be for money owed under a Contract of Lease, Contract of Loan, Contract of Services, Contract of Sale, or Contract of Mortgage. It may also be a claim for liquidated damages arising from contracts or a claim for the enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim.
Under the Rules, a small claims case is filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and is commenced by filing with the court an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim, a Certification of Non-Forum Shopping, Splitting a Cause of Action and Multiplicity of Suits and certified photocopies of the actionable document/s subjects of the claim, as well as the affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support the claim.
The plaintiff should pay the docket and other legal fees, unless allowed to litigate as an indigent. Personal appearance of parties is also requiring during hearings, and in case for a valid cause, any representative must not be a lawyer and must be related to or next-of-kin of the individual-party.
Small claims courts are tasked to resolved cases within twenty-four (24) hours from termination of the hearing and any decision of such court is final, executory and unappealable.
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