to be able to file a case against your debtor under the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases, the money claim should not exceed P100,000, which should already include interests and penalty fees (if there’s any). If the money being claimed is more than that amount, then the plaintiff would have to go to regular court.
Here are the basic steps in filing for a Small Claims Case in the Philippines:
1.Go to either one of these places to file your case:
1.First level court of the city where you live
2.First level court of the city where your debtor (defendant) lives
2.First level courts are defined as any of the following:
1.Metropolitan Trial Court
2.Municipal Trial Courts in Cities
3.Municipal Trial Court
4.Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
3.Go to the Office of the Clerk of Court and fill up the following forms:
1.Information for Plaintiff
2.Statement of Claim
3.Certification of Non-Forum Shopping
4.As plaintiff, you would also need to accomplish a Verified Statement of Claim which certifies that all information you gave is correct and you have not filed the same case in any other court.
5.You would also need to provide other important documents that will show sufficient proof that the loan occurred, this can be ANY of the following:
1.Signed contracts by the defendants
2.Promissory notes, receipts, bank deposit slips, checks and other “paper trails”
3.Latest demand letter with proof of delivery and proof of receipt
4.Affidavits of witnesses
6.After this, the plaintiff will then have to pay a small amount to file the case. According to a lawyer friend, this is usually around P1,250.00.
What happens next?
Now that all the documents are submitted, and all administrative fees are paid, the court will then assign the case to a judge (through a raffle) and if it’s found that there is merit to the case, the defendants will be given a Summon, Notice of Hearing, Information for the Defendant, Response Form and other documents.
Then, the plaintiff will be informed and will be sent a Notice of Hearing which will state the scheduled date and time of appearance in court.
During the Settlement Discussion, the two parties, with the mediation of the judge, will have the chance to settle the case. If no agreement happens, the case will now move to a court hearing which should occur on the same day.
Lastly, at the hearing, the judge will now make his or her decision regarding the case.