SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 3

Hi guys! I am soooooo sorry that it took me a while to write this and for being so slow in updating my blogs. I’ve been having some problems with my connection lately so it has been difficult to post my blogs, but worry not! I now have a more stable connection (welcome to the Philippines) and I will be able to regularly update you guys. So let’s get it on, shall we? 😀

** If you haven’t read part one and part two then I would suggest you do as you might not be able to follow the contents of this blog.**

We ended up with the possible lineup of hearings in a small claims court. Now, let us continue our journey!… to information!… hurrah! Hurrah! >o<

After the judge who’s in charge of my case heard all of the criminal cases, which for your information really took a lot of time, he went inside the office and let his people, the sheriff and the bailiff, handle the civil cases. Most of it were collection of sum of money, including mine. The most important thing and the only thing that matters when it comes to collection of sum of money is that both parties compromise and have an agreement. If, after the trusted people of the judge talked to the parties, there’s no agreement formed, that’s the time the judge will talk to them.

As for my case, it was the sheriff who handled us and a compromise agreement was formed. Let me repeat what I said in part 1 of my small claims blog:

“No one gets imprisoned from debt.”

If you are expecting or wanting your debtor to get jailed then I assure you that you will fail. However, if your debtor is not willing to pay then a writ of execution or other forced mode payments will probably be executed by the sheriff. I read online that holding wages in the bank is possible.

If your debtor says s/he is willing to pay and both parties settle with an agreement, the sheriff will write and print the conditions for you. Remember to add the filing fee you paid when you filed the case to the amount that you agreed upon. So say, for example, he agreed to pay you a total of 30,000 Philippine Peso and your filing fee is 4,000 PHP, You should make him pay 34,000 PHP. If you only put in 30,000 PHP then it’s like he will only pay you 26,000 PHP. The debtor usually carries or pays back the filing fee the creditor or collector spent. It is usually the case for any lawsuit.

What if the debtor doesn’t abide by the agreements/ conditions? Don’t worry! Be happy! There’s still a ray of hope if ever your debtor misses a payment or breaks any of the conditions written in your compromise agreement. A writ of execution will be executed by the sheriff, just like I said above.

What is a writ of execution?

A writ of execution means that the sheriff will be given the authorization to collect any or all of the properties of the debtor. He will then auction it and use the money collected to pay the debtor’s debt to you.

It will be better to specify everything in the compromise agreement you’ll be making. Make sure to specify exact date of payment, mode of payment, and place of payment, if possible, especially for installments. The person who owes me always used pity to get her way. She would always act as if she didn’t do anything wrong and she always gave excuses and made her personal problem mine. Yes guys, if you were in my situation, you’d be losing your brains too. That’s the problem with our society sometimes ,right? They always favor those who look pitiful, even if those people are just faking it. So stating specifics would be important. Trust me on this one. I’ve said “trust me” in almost all of my blogs so basically just trust me. Hahaha. Back to the topic— Stating specifics will somewhat decrease the level of doubt you are having or you will be having with regards to the payment of debt to you.

After the compromise agreement has been finalized then all you need to do is to wait. There a lot of possible situations that can result to non-payment of debt to you. I will keep it to myself for the debtors (sorry guys) to not take advantage.

Just be patient and wait.

I hope I was able to help you in some way.Please take note that this blog was written based on my experience only. Basing it from the nature of my case which was “collection of sum of money”. For other civil cases, I don’t think I’ll be able to help that much. The most powerful thing is research and asking the right people.

Please keep in mind that Estafa is different from Payment of Debt. Don’t get the two mixed up. If you are not sure then ask an expert, meaning a lawyer.

If you have questions regarding small claims for “collection of sum of money” tho, I can answer them and help you in the best way I can. Good day guys! See you on my next blog! 😀

If you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section , like my page on facebook @spontanaileous , and send me your queries! I would try my best to help

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

See you in the next blog!

SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES Part 2

After all the time, money, and effort you spent and exerted, your case will finally be heard by a judge. Like I said in the first part of this blog, SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES, upon submission of your case to the office, your case and all the other cases filed by other people will be put into a raffle to find out which branch will handle it. You’ll be informed about the branch when you are called back in the office to receive the “Notice of Hearing.” The date and time of the hearing is included in the said document.

On the day of your hearing, make sure to be on time. The judge handling my case was sometimes late. However, not because the judge is late doesn’t mean you can also be late. You are not always sure how many minutes the judge will be late for. Also it’s always better to be on time for any appointment you might have. My case schedule was at 8 am. So as much as I wanted to extend my beauty sleep, I had to wake up early to avoid jeepney queues and, most especially, traffic.

The time indicated on the Notice of Hearing they give you is probably the same time written on the documents of all the other cases that will be heard together with yours. It will be numbered just like the picture below.

So you just have to wait for your turn, which I can say, can take a minute to 4 hours. Possibly more. So be patient. You should practice patience at home if you’re not the patient type. You can . Keep calm, breathe, and enjoy the show… I mean, the case hearings before yours. Remember the saying “Good things happen to those who are patient.”… or was it “to those who wait”? Well, it has the same meaning anyway. Haha. So do not lose your cool. I repeat DO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL.

In case you are wondering, “Peo” here means “People of the Philippines”. It is usually used or seen in criminal cases. I just had to share this as this abbreviation almost gave me a heart attack on the day my case was finally heard. Please. Don’t ask. My heart goes “dudugs, dudugs” (“thump, thump”- Filipino version, in case you didn’t get it hahaha) every time I remember that day. I was confused as to what “Peo”meant and how it was related to my case. I searched online to check what it meant and what came out was “Professional Employer Organization”. I didn’t see how the said organization was connected to case I filed. I was in major panic thinking of a possible reason I could be filed a case on. I almost cried. When I heard what it meant, I had a hint that it was a typo. I WAS PRAYING that it be a typo. I calmed down a bit. My sister and bf helped a lot. Support from friends and family is very important guys. I realized it that time hahaha. And when my name and the other party’s name was called, I was able to confirm that it was a typo. I shouted “Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord! God loves me! OMG! O-M-G!” in my mind. It was like there was a ray of light from above. You may think that I’m being too dramatic but that was seriously how i felt that time. LMAO

Well, would you look at that, I shared my story after all. Right after I told you not to ask. Hahaha. Okay, let’s go back to our discussion…

Make sure to dress appropriately. In Baguio, Sleeveless tops/ dresses are not allowed. So you have to check if your place has the same rule. From what I read, other countries wear formal or semi-casual clothes during small claims hearings. All the videos and articles I watched and read about small claims in other countries say that presenting yourself properly is very important. So I did what they suggested: to dress nicely. I felt weird tho on the day of my first scheduled hearing. It seemed like I was a bit overdressed because I was wearing a semi casual dress while all the other people were wearing normal day to day clothes. And there I discovered that here in the Philippines, most people don’t give a dang about formality. It might depend on each place tho. But it will be better to wear a semi casual outfit just in case. So that if other people in the courtroom are wearing the same then you would be safe. And if ever they aren’t, you would still be safe. Being in the middle is safe. Hahaha

Arriving too early if you have the same schedule as I did will kind of have a disadvantage. Well, at least that’s what happened to me. They won’t let you enter earlier than 8 am unless you are an employee. But if you do arrive early and haven’t had your breakfast yet before going to the place, then it’s better to go find a store where you can buy some snacks. It’s not good to go to your hearing with an empty stomach. Why? Well, you can think clearer and focus more on your case when your stomach is not growling. Trust me, if you are lined up 2nd or 3rd to the last, you’d be thankful you ate. If you can eat a full breakfast, then that would be so much better.

Criminal cases might be scheduled together with civil cases. So if there are criminal cases on the same day and time frame, the judge will hear the criminal cases first. I observed that the judge first hears cases that involves lawyers. Criminal cases usually take up more time than civil cases. On my part, I found it quite interesting to listen to the lawyers defend their clients. There were some who were already spouting nonsense but still kept on going and even repeating their nonsensical argument. I am not a lawyer but I do know if someone is in the wrong. Even the judge himself was shaking his head and smiling from ear to ear. I thought he was gonna crack. Glad he didn’t and I sure am glad the judge who handled my case and those other cases had a good sense of humor. Hahaha.  Also, for me, it is quite interesting to witness cases because you learn a lot from it too.

Well, I will end this part here as I feel like it’s too long, and you are getting bored. LOL. I will be uploading the 3rd and last part shortly. Meanwhile:

If you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section , like my page on facebook @spontanaileous , and send me your queries! I would try my best to help

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

Ready to read the third part? Click here: SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 3

Small Claims in the Philippines

**This topic is intended to be shared to legal-aged readers. If you are under-aged, kindly discontinue reading unless you are with an adult who’s able to give you proper guidance in this matter. **

I have recently been thru a small claims case here in the Philippines. Don’t worry guys, I didn’t do anything wrong to anybody. Instead, I was the one who was wronged. So you are safe with me. 😉

Let us not dig into my story cause I know that it will either bore you to death or kill you from excitement. Either way, it will still kill you and you’ll end up dead. Haha

I’m sorry for being a bit morbid and for talking about deaths, I’ve been watching ElementaryBlacklist, and The Walking Dead lately and it’s affecting me. *Yikes!*

Let’s go back to our main topic for today…

A lot of us have entertained the thought of suing someone at least once in our lives. It may be a friend or acquaintance who owed you money, a tenant who didn’t pay his lease, a landlord who didn’t give back your security deposit, or any other situation you’ve been in which involves the collection of a certain sum of money. Many of us dismiss the thought since we can already foresee the cost it will bring in our pockets. It is a well-known fact that lawyers are not cheap. The money you will be spending on a lawyer might even be higher than the amount you are supposed to collect from the person who owes you. So, who in their right mind would do that, right? Unless you are a person who has money to spend. If so, then please adopt me *puppy eyes*. >0< LOL, I’m kidding.

Luckily, for people like me who are both sane not to spend on lawyers more than the money to be collected and don’t really have much in their pockets, in short BROKE, the Small Claims Cases have been made available to the Philippines.

Just a bit of a background check…

Small claims court is a special court wherein the rules are simplified, the setting is informal,  the process is easier and faster, disputes are resolved quickly ( State of California, DCA), and… for the best part…. CHEAP.

This special court was finally implemented in the Philippines on March 2010 and, after seeing a high success rate, an improved and revised rules of procedure was enacted on February 2016 (Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court, Manila).

Procedure

So here are the steps that you must follow before and during the filing of your case.

  1. When trying to resolve the situation with the person who owes you money fails, go to their barangay and try resolving it there. Agreements will be formed and signed by the parties and the witnesses, the barangay officials.
  2. After the other party fails to deliver, which then breaks the agreement formed in the barangay, ask the officials for a Certificate to File Action. The Certificate to File Action is a document that will certify that you tried to resolve the issue on your own and with the barangay first before filing the case to the court.
  3. Collect all documents you have which are related to the case and can be used as proof. This will strengthen your chance to win and would make it easier for the judge to understand your story. Remember, the court always base its judgement on the evidence you show them. So bring all documents like receipts, letters, contracts, pictures of conversations, and the Certificate to File Action. Make sure to bring the original copies when you file your case.
  4. Fill in Form-1-SCC and Form-1-A-SCC. There is a form available online but you can also get a copy from the municipal trial court. Small claims cases are usually held in your municipality’s trial court. As for me, I went to the window which processes small claims cases. This will actually do you good as you can ask questions or clarify whatever concerns you may have.
  5. After filling up the forms, photocopy it and the other documents that you will be passing for evidence. Complete copies for the judge and the person you will be filing a case on. If you have multiple people to file a case on, provide a set of copies for each one. The original copy will be your copy but they’ll be needing it so that they can certify the photocopies. Make sure to bring all the documents that you would like to use as evidence. You will not be allowed to bring additional evidence to the court upon the day of your trial.
  6. After you have completed all the copies for the documents needed, file your case at the small claims window of your municipality’s trial court. You will need to pay a fee for it. I think the amount will depend on the money you will be collecting. I would suggest that you ask them first.
  7. After filing and paying, the staff will give you your copy. You will have to wait for the announcement on which branch or judge will hear your case. They use a draw lots method to identify which case goes to which branch. I believe that this is to avoid the use of connections if ever you or the person you’ll be filing a case on knows the judge of a certain branch. You will then wait for the sheriff to give you a Notice of Hearing. The sheriff will also be sending a Notice of Hearing, Summon, and copy of the evidences you passed to the other party.

Things to take note:

  1. Terms:

Plaintiff- The person filing the case

Defendant- The person being filed a complaint on.

  1. One mistake I did when I passed the documents I have for evidence is that I printed a timeline of the events that happened. DO NOT DO THIS. I forgot that all the evidence I submitted will also be seen by the defendant. Both parties are given a month before the trial to review the evidences. Therefore, doing this would get rid of your leverage.
  2. Your case will be heard at least 30 days after you have filed it. It is highly encouraged that you seek the help of an advisor before the trial. Ask all the questions you have like how to handle the case, how to present your side, and what will be the best options for you to be able to get your money back.
  3. Make sure to put the address of the defendant where you know s/he can surely be found. If you don’t, and the sheriff wasn’t able to locate the defendant on the address you have given, you will be asked to serve the notice on your own and your case will be moved to another day or month/s. This will postpone everything and you would have to wait again.
  4. Do not expect that you will be able to collect anything immediately.

Well guys, I hope this helps you. I will be posting another blog on how to prepare for your small claims trial and what happens inside the court and probably after.

Remember our motto? Even the Smallest Detail can Matter.

This doesn’t only apply to our nails but also to our everyday lives, especially to court cases. 😉

References:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/basic_info.shtml

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/smallclaims/SMALL%20CLAIMS%20PAMPHLET.pdf

CHECK OUT THE SECOND PART HERE:

SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 2

Do you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section or like my page on facebook @spontanaileous.

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

See you in the next blog!