Did you know that individuals who have financial obligations cannot anymore just easily get away from this agreement just like that? If the lender has already exhausted every other mean to make the debtor pay up, the debtor can actually be charged a civil case. Financial obligations such as payment to a (1) contract of lease; (2) contract of loan; (3) contract of services; (4) contract of sale; or (5) contract of mortgage and any monetary obligations arising from contracts are some of the examples of cases involving collection of money that can be filed.
All of these money concern cases can be filed in the Small Claims Court. This kind of court was solely created by the Supreme Court (SC) to address specifically these problems. Thus, by description, a Small Claims Court is intended only for monetary claims that involves only a small amount of money. Examples of such cases are (1) a case to collect money from a person who owes you (2) a case to collect payment for commission (3) a case to recover the deposit made for a lease after the expiration of the lease. These examples are all classified as civil cases in the Small Claims Court. This court only processes civil cases involving payment of money not exceeding P200,000.00.
With the creation of the Small Claims Court, reimbursement of money is simplified, inexpensive and expeditious. It is one effective and efficient legal method of getting back your money from the person who owes you. Not to mention that you are also in a way teaching this person a very hard lesson. Take note that a civil case filed against a person can go a long way in terms of records.
So, for you to be aware of your rights and the services offered by the government, below are steps and procedures on how to process filing of small claims in the country.
1. Find your Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
Since the case is automatically considered as a civil case, it is a must to file it in the nearest city where (1) where the plaintiff (the person suing) resides; or (2) where the defendant (the person being sued) resides; or (3) if the plaintiff is in the business of lending, banking and similar activities, in the city where the defendant resides, if the plaintiff has a branch in that city.
2. Fill up forms and file.
This is how to do it according to the Small Claims pamphlet from the Supreme Court. “Fill up an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a Certification Against Forum Shopping, Splitting a Single Cause of Action, and Multiplicity of Suits (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 Statement of Claim, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.”
3. Pay the necessary fees.
“The plaintiff shall pay the docket and other legal fees, unless allowed to litigate as an indigent.”
The court examines the case. Here are the possible things that might happen:
(a) “It may dismiss the case outright if it finds grounds to justify the dismissal.
(b) “If no ground for dismissal is found, the court shall issue Summons on the day of receipt of the Statement of Claim, directing the defendant to submit a verified Response.”
(c) “If the Defendant cannot be served with Summons, the court shall order the Plaintiff to cause the service of summons within thirty (30) days from Notice. Otherwise, the case shall be dismissed.”
(d) “The court shall also issue a Notice 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.”
(e) “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.”
4. A hearing is set.
“The parties shall appear at the designated date of hearing personally or through a representative authorized under a Special Power of Attorney. However, a lawyer cannot appear to represent the party. At the hearing, the judge shall exert efforts to bring the parties to an amicable settlement. If the case is settled, the settlement shall be reduced into writing, signed by the parties and submitted to the court for approval. If no settlement is reached, the hearing shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and terminated within the same day.”
5. A decision is made.
“After the hearing, the court shall render its decision within twenty-four (24) hours from termination of the hearing. The decision shall immediately be entered by the Clerk of Court in the court docket and a copy thereof forthwith served on the parties.”
The procedure above hopefully will help you get your money back in the fastest way. Just remember always to keep a proof that a person indeed owes you a certain amount of money.