Lawyerless court procedure OK’d, Chiz lauds SC

Press Release
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
October 8, 2008

PASAY CITY, Philippines –  Now anybody can go to court and handle his case from start to finish without the need for a lawyer.

The Supreme Court has already approved A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC or the “Rule of Procedure for Small Claim Cases” which provides a simpler and more inexpensive and expeditious means of settling disputes involving purely money claims than the regular civil process.

Small claims cases are civil claims which are exclusively for the payment or reimbursement of a sum of money not exceeding P100,000.

The new rule which became effective last October 1 makes court procedures inexpensive, informal and simple. An individual is allowed to handle his own case. One has to only fill out the ready-made available forms and procedural rules, including the rules of evidence, are not anymore required, thus there is no need for a lawyer.

Senator Chiz Escudero, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights said this new rule augurs well for both the plaintiff and the defendant as it encourages summary procedures which are notably rare in most of the country’s judicial courts.

This rule, he said will unclog our courts which will enable them to direct their focus more on other higher cases and act on these.

“Small claims courts will allow faster action without the complexity of the usual court procedures and the usual lawyer-client transaction. Most often, lawyers just complicate simple matters. This time, they are not allowed to appear in court unless they are either the plaintiff or the defendant.”

The procedure only entails one day hearing in which a judicial dispute resolution (JDR) judge will preside. “This is where an amicable settlement can already be achieved without going through court procedures anymore. It’s faster and economical for both parties in terms of expenses when you go to a regular court”.

Small claims courts will be heard in first level courts like the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.

The court may dismiss the case outright when any grounds for the dismissal of a civil case is apparent or obvious from the statement of claim and supporting documents.


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