The 2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (hereinafter, “2019 Amendments”), which takes effect on 1 May 2020, retains most of the provisions of Rule 10 (Amended and Supplemental Pleadings) under the 1997 Rules. [The summary of other Rules may be tracked through the Menu.]
I. AMENDMENTS BY LEAVE OF COURT
Except when amendment is a matter of right (see below), substantial amendments may be made only upon leave of court. But such leave shall be refused if it appears to the court that:
- (a) the motion was made with intent to delay, or
- (b) the motion was made with intent to confer jurisdiction on the court, or
- (c) the pleading stated no cause of action from the beginning which could be amended.
[Except the addition of items (b) and (c), the 2019 Amendments retains the provisions of this section in the old 1997 Rules.]
Orders of the court upon the matters provided in this Section shall be made upon motion filed in court, and after notice to the adverse party, and an opportunity to be heard.
The phrase “after notice to the adverse party” appears to be superfluous, but it is not. The above-quoted sentence already provides that a motion must be filed in court, and any motion, whether litigious or not, must be served on the other party sans a notice of hearing, as provided in the Rules on Motions. The sentence also provides that the adverse party must be given an “opportunity to be heard”, but this does not detract from the fact that a hearing in motions is discretionary on the court. Nevertheless, if the court decides not to conduct a hearing, the court must notify the other party as to the filing of a comment/opposition. It is settled that the filing of a comment/opposition constitutes an “opportunity to be heard”.
II. AMENDMENTS TO CONFORM TO OR AUTHORIZE PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE
The 2019 Amendments reproduces the rule that when issues not raised by the pleadings are tried with the express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings.
However, the 2019 Amendments now provides that no amendment of such pleadings deemed amended is necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence.
The procedure provided in the old 1997 Rules are as follows:
- Such amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues.
- If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation of the merits of the action and the ends of substantial justice will be subserved thereby.
- The court may grant a continuance to enable the amendment to be made.
There are reasons for the deletion of these provisions.
III. UNCHANGED PROVISIONS
Except the change of “he” to “he/she”, the 2019 Amendments retains the rest of the provisions of this section in the old 1997 Rules. These are:
i. Amendments in general
Pleadings may be amended by adding or striking out an allegation or the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party or a mistaken or inadequate allegation or description in any other respect, so that the actual merits of the controversy may speedily be determined, without regard to technicalities, in the most expeditious and inexpensive manner.
ii. Amendments as a matter of right
A party may amend his pleading once as a matter of right at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, in the case of a reply, at any time within 10 calendar days after it is served.
[Note, however, that a reply is now proper only when the defending party attaches an actionable document to his/her Answer. See Kinds of Pleadings.]
iii. Formal amendments
A defect in the designation of the parties and other clearly clerical or typographical errors may be summarily corrected by the court at any stage of the action, at its initiative or on motion, provided no prejudice is caused thereby to the adverse party.
iv. Supplemental pleadings
Upon motion of a party, the court may, upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit him or her to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented. The adverse party may plead thereto within 10 calendar days from notice of the order admitting the supplemental pleading.
v. Filing of amended pleadings
When any pleading is amended, a new copy of the entire pleading, incorporating the amendments, which shall be indicated by appropriate marks, shall be filed.
vi. Effect of amended pleadings
An amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. However, admissions in superseded pleadings may be offered in evidence against the pleader, and claims or defenses alleged therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall be deemed waived.
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