A measure seeking to widen the jurisdiction of first and second level courts has been signed into law by President Duterte in a bid to hasten the disposition of cases.
Under Republic Act No. 11576, the jurisdiction of metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts in cities, municipal trial courts, and municipal circuit trial courts will be further expanded. The new law, seeking to unclog the dockets of these courts, amended the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980.
Under RA 11576, the regional trial courts shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction in all civil actions involving the title to, or possession of, real property valued at P400,000, from the previous P20,000 to P50,000.
The RTCs will also have jurisdiction on actions in all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the demand or claims exceeds P2 million as well as all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds P2 million. The previous jurisdictional threshold ranged between P100,000 to 200,000.
On jurisdiction of metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts in cities, municipal trial courts, and municipal circuit trial courts in civil cases, they will exercise jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate where the value of personal property, estate or the amount of the demand does not exceed P2 million.
These courts will also have jurisdiction in all civil actions that involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest where the assessed value does not exceed P400,000. Admiralty and maritime actions where the demand or claim does not surpass P2 million will also be under the jurisdiction of these courts.
The new law also included a provision on the delegated authority of the Supreme Court to adjust the jurisdictional amounts for the first and second level courts.
The law, signed by the President on July 30, takes effect 15 ays after publication in the Official Gazette or two newspapers.