Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases (A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC; full text)

Note: In A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC dated 9 September 2008, the Supreme Court en banc approved “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases,” scheduled to take effect on 1 October 2008 for the pilot courts designated to apply the procedure for small claims cases following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. Read the Basic Q&A on the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases. Here’s the full text of the “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.”



SECTION 1. Title. — This Rule shall be known as “The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.”

SEC. 2. Scope. — This Rule shall govern the procedure in actions before the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts for payment of money where the value of the claim does not exceed One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) exclusive of interest and costs.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Rule:

(a) Plaintiff refers to the party who initiated a small claims action. The term includes a defendant who has filed a counterclaim against plaintiff;

(b) Defendant is the party against whom the plaintiff has filed a small claims action. The term includes a plaintiff against whom a defendant has filed a claim, or a person who replies to the claim;

(c) Person is an individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, association, or other juridical entity endowed with personality by law;

(d) Individual is a natural person;

(e) Motion means a party’s request, written or oral, to the court for an order or other action. It shall include an informal written request to the court, such as a letter;

(f) Good cause means circumstances sufficient to justify the requested order or other action, as determined by the judge; and

(g) Affidavit means a written statement or declaration of facts that are sworn or affirmed to be true.

SEC. 4. Applicability. — The Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall apply this Rule in all actions which are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal actions, either filed before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant to Rule 111 of the Revised Rules Of Criminal Procedure.

These claims or demands may be:

(a) For money owed under any of the following:

1. Contract of Lease;
2. Contract of Loan;
3. Contract of Services;
4. Contract of Sale; or
5. Contract of Mortgage;

(b) For damages arising from any of the following:

1. Fault or negligence;
2. Quasi-contract; or
3. Contract;

(c) The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

SEC. 5. Commencement of Small Claims Action. — A small claims action is commenced by filing with the court an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a Certification of Non-forum Shopping (Form 1-A, SCC), and two (2) duly certified photocopies of the actionable document/s subject of the claim, as well as the affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support the claim. No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Claim, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.

No formal pleading, other than the Statement of Claim described in this Rule, is necessary to initiate a small claims action.

SEC. 6. Joinder of Claims. — Plaintiff may join in a single statement of claim one or more separate small claims against a defendant provided that the total amount claimed, exclusive of interest and costs, does not exceed P100,000.00.

SEC. 7. Affidavits. — The affidavits submitted under this Rule shall state only facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiants which are admissible in evidence.

A violation of this requirement shall subject the party, and the counsel who assisted the party in the preparation of the affidavits, if any, to appropriate disciplinary action. The inadmissible affidavit(s) or portion(s) thereof shall be expunged from the record.

SEC. 8. Payment of Filing Fees. — The plaintiff shall pay the docket and other legal fees prescribed under Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court, unless allowed to litigate as an indigent.

A claim filed with a motion to sue as indigent (Form 6-SCC) shall be referred to the Executive Judge for immediate action in case of multi-sala courts, or to the Presiding Judge of the court hearing the small claims case. If the motion is granted by the Executive Judge, the case shall be raffled off or assigned to the court designated to hear small claims cases. If the motion is denied, the plaintiff shall be given five (5) days within which to pay the docket fees, otherwise, the case shall be dismissed without prejudice. In no case shall a party, even if declared an indigent, be exempt from the payment of the P1,000.00 fee for service of summons and processes in civil cases.

SEC. 9. Dismissal of the Claim. — After the court determines that the case falls under this Rule, it may, from an examination of the allegations of the Statement of Claim and such evidence attached thereto, by itself, dismiss the case outright on any of the grounds apparent from the Claim for the dismissal of a civil action.

SEC. 10. Summons and Notice of Hearing. — If no ground for dismissal is found, the court shall forthwith issue Summons (Form 2-SCC) on the day of receipt of the Statement of Claim, directing the defendant to submit a verified Response.

The court shall also issue a Notice (Form 4-SCC) to both parties, directing them to appear before it on a specific date and time for hearing, with a warning that no unjustified postponement shall be allowed, as provided in Section 19 of this Rule.

The summons and notice to be served on the defendant shall be accompanied by a copy of the Statement of Claim and documents submitted by plaintiff, and a copy of the Response (Form 3-SCC) to be accomplished by the defendant. The Notice shall contain an express prohibition against the filing of a motion to dismiss or any other motion under Section 14 of this Rule.

SEC. 11. Response. — The defendant shall file with the court and serve on the plaintiff a duly accomplished and verified Response within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of summons. The Response shall be accompanied by certified photocopies of documents, as well as affidavits of witnesses and other evidence in support thereof. No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Response, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.

SEC. 12. Effect of Failure to File Response. — Should the defendant fail to file his Response within the required period, the court by itself shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the Statement of Claim limited to what is prayed for. The court however, may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of damages for being excessive or unconscionable.

SEC. 13. Counterclaims Within the Coverage of this Rule. — If at the time the action is commenced, the defendant possesses a claim against the plaintiff that (a) is within the coverage of this Rule, exclusive of interest and costs; (b) arises out of the same transaction or event that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim; (c) does not require for its adjudication the joinder of third parties; and (d) is not the subject of another pending action, the claim shall be filed as a counterclaim in the Response; otherwise, the defendant shall be barred from suit on the counterclaim.

The defendant may also elect to file a counterclaim against the plaintiff that does not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, provided that the amount and nature thereof are within the coverage of this Rule and the prescribed docket and other legal fees are paid.

SEC. 14. Prohibited Pleadings and Motions. — The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:

(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction;

(b) Motion for a bill of particulars;

(c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;

(d) Petition for relief from judgment;

(e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits, or any other paper;

(f) Memoranda;

(g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;

(h) Motion to declare the defendant in default;

(i) Dilatory motions for postponement;

(j) Reply;

(k) Third-party complaints; and

(l) Interventions.

SEC. 15. Availability of Forms; Assistance by Court Personnel. — The Clerk of Court or other court personnel shall provide such assistance as may be requested by a plaintiff or a defendant regarding the availability of forms and other information about the coverage, requirements as well as procedure for small claims cases.

SEC. 16. Appearance. — The parties shall appear at the designated date of hearing personally or through a representative authorized under a Special Power of Attorney (Form 5-SCC) to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) and to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documentary exhibits.

SEC. 17. Appearance of Attorneys Not Allowed. — No attorney shall appear in behalf of or represent a party at the hearing, unless the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant.

If the court determines that a party cannot properly present his/her claim or defense and needs assistance, the court may, in its discretion, allow another individual who is not an attorney to assist that party upon the latter’s consent.

SEC. 18. Non-appearance of Parties. — Failure of the plaintiff to appear shall be cause for the dismissal of the claim without prejudice. The defendant who appears shall be entitled to judgment on a permissive counterclaim.

Failure of the defendant to appear shall have the same effect as failure to file a Response under Section 12 of this Rule.

This shall not apply where one of two or more defendants who are sued under a common cause of action and have pleaded a common defense appears at the hearing.

Failure of both parties to appear shall cause the dismissal with prejudice of both the claim and counterclaim.

SEC. 19. Postponement When Allowed. — A request for postponement of a hearing may be granted only upon proof of the physical inability of the party to appear before the court on the scheduled date and time. A party may avail of only one (1) postponement.

SEC. 20. Duty of the Court. — At the beginning of the court session, the judge shall read aloud a short statement explaining the nature, purpose and the rule of procedure of small claims cases.

SEC. 21. Judicial Dispute Resolution. — At the hearing, the judge shall conduct Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) through mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, or any other mode of JDR. Any settlement (Form 7-SCC) or resolution (Form 8-SCC) of the dispute shall be reduced into writing, signed by the parties and submitted to the court for approval (Form 12-SCC).

SEC. 22. Failure of JDR. — If JDR fails and the parties agree in writing (Form 10-SCC) that the hearing of the case shall be presided over by the judge who conducted the JDR, the hearing shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and terminated within one (1) day.

Absent such agreement, (a) in case of a multi-sala court, the case shall, on the same day, be transmitted (Form 11-SCC) to the Office of the Clerk of Court for immediate referral by the Executive Judge to the pairing judge for hearing and decision within five (5) working days from referral; and (b) in case of a single sala court, the pairing judge shall hear and decide the case in the court of origin within five (5) working days from referral by the JDR judge.

SEC. 23. Decision.—After the hearing, the court shall render its decision on the same day, based on the facts established by the evidence (Form 13-SCC). The decision shall immediately be entered by the Clerk of Court in the court docket for civil cases and a copy thereof forthwith served on the parties.

The decision shall be final and unappealable.

SEC. 24. Execution. — If the decision is rendered in favor of the plaintiff, execution shall issue upon motion (Form 9-SCC).

SEC. 25. Applicability of the Rules of Civil Procedure. — The Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply suppletorily insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Rule.

SEC. 26. Effectivity.—This Rule shall take effect on October 1, 2008 for the pilot courts designated to apply the procedure for small claims cases following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation.


76 thoughts on “Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases (A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC; full text)

  1. AvatarLeopoldo

    Nag File fo ako ng kaso at nagkaron na ng decision na dapat kami g bayaran small claims din po nag matured na ang kaso at sheriff na rin po yung taong may utang sa amin pero hangang ngayon pati sheriff hinde makasingil sa may utang sa amin. Ano po ba ang dapat naming gawin since may desition na ang court na dapat kami g bayaran government employee po ang may utang sa amin DENR ng catarman penro for almost 7 years na po to pero puro pangako lng sa amin ano po ba ang step n dapat naming gawin 50k ang dapat nyang bayaran. Salamat po.

  2. AvatarKristen

    hi, how to determine which court to file petition. I am the complainant, I reside in Taguig, the persons / corporation I am complaining are in varied locations, Manila and Q.C. Where will I file the case? Thank you.

  3. Avataranton

    kumuha po ako ng appliance sa isang store under AEON ngaun na late ako ng payment sa first month tapos nakabayd ako ng magkasunod na two months at delay na ko ng almost e months kasi nga nagkaroon ng kakapusan sa financially although nag iinform naman ako sa kanila..kaso nasa law firm na ang pangalan ko at ung mga gamit na kinuha ko 1 month palang sira na at di daw nila sakop ang warranty as per aeon kasi pera lang ang sa kanila.although woth 17k lang lahat yun at napakataas ng mga penalty nila 300 per month. makatarungan ba yun?

  4. Avatarlhube

    Hi po..
    Atty,ask ko lang po..sinampahan po kc ako ng estafa case ng financier nmin ng 5’6 kasi po nag ahente ako dahil inalok nila ako ..ngayon po HND n mkabayad ang ibng nkkautang,kya ang gnwa po namin is kami n ang mgbbyad sa about ng aming makakaya,pero ayaw tanggapin ng mga financier ggawin daw po nya lahat para mapakulong kmi,at ang utang namin ay 113,030 lang. Pero dumating smin is 257,030 napo..advice naman po pls

    1. AvatarLee

      hindi po puwede mailipat ang utang sa inyo yun mga pinautang niya po ang kailangan niya singilin hindi po yun empleyado na inutusan niya magpautang

  5. Avatarphoebe

    Hello po Atty,

    May friend po ako before na nakiswipe nang computer sa cc ko agreed namin na monthly payment with in 12 months since may work naman however po nag resign po xaaa company sabi ko po sakanya bigay na lg nya ang PC sakin para hnd na po xa mag bayad pero away nya po wala din xang binabayad sakin everymonth gusto ko po sana matapos na to kasi mo ako po na perwisyo sa pag bayad kasi credit card ko po pangalan ko po ang madadali total of 42000 plus po yung computer try try ko po xang kausapin nang matino pero wala talaga wala po ako nang address nya kaya hnd po ako maka pag file nang small claims binlock nya din ako sa facebook I need an advice po thanks

  6. AvatarMelissa

    Magandang araw po.. nais ko lamang pong humingi ng legal advice.

    Sa ilalim po ng small claim cases.. ang nagpautang po ba ay maaaring humingi ng additional charges para sa paggamit nya ng credit collection company?

    For example po..36k ang loan ko, then nagkaron po sya ng interest na 27k… bali po 63k po ang dapat namin bayaran sa coop.. sa korte po ba maaari syang humingi ng additional charge bukod sa 63k para sa ginamit nyang credit collection company?

    Salamat po..sana po may sumagot

    1. AvatarLee

      hindi po puwede magkaron ng additional charge ang utang niyo dahil bawal po sa small claims ang ganun, yun initial debt lang po ang puwede nila singilin sa inyo

  7. Avatarella

    Hi I was in debt with a lending company I tried topay kahit 3k every payday but stop ng August po 2 months pa lang pero pinapa subpeona na ko nung lending.

  8. Avatarmarie

    tanong ko lng po if nag punta ba ang sheriff sa bahay ng may utang pwede po ba sya kumuha ang sheriff ng gamit sa bahay ng nanay nya kung saan sya nakatira, kahit hindi nya ito pag aari? 20k lng po yun utang at wala kapasidad magbayad yun may utang dahil walang trabaho ? salamat po sa sasagot

  9. Avatarjo

    good day po
    May umutang po sa akin ng 100K.
    May kontrata po kami na may 5000 pesos monthly interest
    Notarized po yung kontrara
    Pag nag file po ba ako ng small claim
    puede ko i claim yung unpaid interest?
    di na kasi sya nag babayad ng interest pati yung capital ko.

  10. AvatarJo Anna

    Good Day po, may kaibigan po ako na umutang ng paninda ko not more than 4k po kinuha nya na paninda sakin. tas nag agree ako sa kanya na every payday yung payment nang order nya. Walang pirmahan na naganap kasi maliit na halaga yung inutang nya. nang singilin k sya after 2 months ay andaming alibi na sinabi nya. Pero ok sakin hanggang ngayon po na 2 1/2 months na utang nya pinapahirapan nya po ako na pano sya magbabayad skin. Ako na nga lang po nag adjust na kalahati lg muna bayaran na para d sya mahirap. Ano pong legalities na gagawin ko. Sana matulungan nyo po ako.

  11. AvatarPatrick

    attorney may nagpadala po kasi sakin ng 800 pesos tapos gusto niyang bawiin. nung pinadala niya yun nag thank you ako sa kanya tapos sabi niya utang daw yun kaya wag akong mag thank you. edi umoo lang ako and then sabi niya sasampahan niya daw ako ng small claims kapag di ko binalik yung pera. humingi ako sa kanya ng tulong at di ako nangutang. ano po pwede kong gawin?

  12. AvatarKim

    Nag sampa ako ng kaso small claim msy desition na ang court na mag bayad sa amin at meron nadin sheriff na nag middle man pero hinde pa rin nag bayad almost 5 years na hangang ngayon wala pa din. Ano po ba ang dapat gawin para mag bayad yung may utang sa amin:

  13. AvatarAyds

    tanong ko lang po sa author nitong forum, malaki po ba ang posibilidad na yong principal amount nalang ang bayaran ng may utang?

  14. AvatarFerdy

    Hi po nagfile po ako ng small claims against dun sa taong umutang skn ng 100k, ngaun po napag desisyunan na ng korte n magbabayad cla skn ng 5k mnthly for 22mnths,, ngaun po ni isang beses nde po cla nkapagbayad skn,, nung sinisingil ko po cla ang sbe nila wala daw cla pera,, Tanung ko po, anu po ang pwede kong gawin pagkatapos nilang nde sumunod s pinagkasunduan nmin?


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