Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Arbitration

Amendments to the Rules Governing a Motion to Dismiss

The Amended 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (Amended Rules), which became effective on 01 May 2020, revised the rules on motions to dismiss.

Rule 15, Sec. 12 of the Amended Rules states that a motion to dismiss is a prohibited pleading except when it raises any of the following grounds: (1) the court’s lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim; (2) the pendency of another action between the same parties for the same cause; and (3) the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment or by the statute of limitations (Rule 15, Sec. 12 [a]).

The adverse party may file an opposition to the motion to dismiss within five (5) calendar days from receipt thereof without need of an order from the court. The motion to dismiss shall then be resolved by the court within fifteen (15) calendar days from its receipt of the opposition, or upon expiration of the period to file such opposition (Rule 15, Sec. 5[c]).

It is within the discretion of the court whether to call for a hearing on the motion within fifteen (15) calendar days from filing (Rule 15, Sec. 6).

When the grounds for a motion to dismiss are instead raised in the answer as affirmative defenses, the court may conduct a summary hearing within fifteen (15) calendar days from the filing of the answer, and shall motu proprio resolve these defenses within thirty (30) calendar days from the filing of the answer (Rule 8, Sec. 12[d]).

The other grounds to dismiss under the former 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure should be pleaded as affirmative defenses in the answer. The trial court shall motu proprio resolve these defenses within thirty (30) calendar days from the filing of the answer (Rule 8, Sec. 12[c]).

The denial of affirmative defenses cannot be the subject of a motion for reconsideration or petition for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus. Instead, such denial may be raised on appeal after a judgment on the merits (Rule 8, Sec. 12[e]).

An order granting the following is considered a dismissal with prejudice and bars the refiling of the same action or claim: (1) a motion to dismiss; or (2) an affirmative defense (a) that the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment or by the statute of limitations, (b) that the claim or demand set forth in the plaintiff’s pleading has been paid, waived, abandoned or otherwise extinguished, or (c) that the claim on which the action is founded is unenforceable under the provisions of the statute of frauds (Rule 15, Sec. 13).


Click here to read the entire text of A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC (2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure).


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