[ G.R. No. L-7024, May 26, 1954 ]
ROMAN TOLSA, PETITIONER, VS. HONORABLE ALEJANDRO J. PANLILIO, JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA AND ATAYDE BROTHERS AND COMPANY, RESPONDENTS.
D E C I S I O N
Although respondent Judge in his order of dismissal did not state the reason why he ruled that he had no jurisdiction over the case, we presume that he was of the belief that plaintiff Tolsa was entitled only to the amount of P765 awarded to him as indemnity in the criminal case, and that for this reason, the Municipal Court had jurisdiction. We have already held in several decisions that what determines the jurisdiction of a court in civil cases is not the amount that plaintiff is entitled to recover under the allegations of the complaint and under the law but the amount sought to be recovered, usually contained in the prayer. In the recent case of Lim Bing It vs. Hon. Fidel Ibañez, et al., 92 Phil., 799, also a case of certiorari but which we regarded as one for mandamus, wherein the petitioner therein filed an action in the court of First Instance of Manila to recover P4,526.30, exclusive of interest, itemized as follows: P326.30 for merchandise bought on credit; P2,000 for damages, and P2,200 as attorney's fees, and where the trial court pronounced itself as without jurisdiction on the ground that "the cause of action" was only for the amount of P326.30, we held that the amount which determines the jurisdiction of the courts of general jurisdictions is the amount sought to be recovered and not the amount found after trial to be due; and as we found that the respondent Judge therein erred in holding that he had no jurisdiction, we granted the petition and directed him to decide the case.
Finding the present petition for certiorari which we regard as a petition for mandamus to be well-founded, the same is hereby granted, and setting aside the order of dismissal of respondent Judge, he is hereby directed to reinstate Civil Case No. 19557 and hear the same. No costs.
Paras, C. J., Pablo, Bengzon, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, and Concepcion, JJ., concur.