Criminal Jurisdiction of Courts

Criminal Procedure

Criminal Procedure

People vs Lagon (185 SCRA 442)

  • Doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measure by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action rather than by the law in effect at the time of the commission of the offense charged firmly settled.
  • It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measured by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in effect at the time of the commission of the offense charged. Thus, in accordance with the above rule, jurisdiction over the instant case pertained to the then Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No. 818 had increased the imposable penalty for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level-in excess of the minimum penalty which a city court could impose.
  • Subject-matter jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined by the authority of the court to impose the penalty imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of a criminal information.
  • In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction.
  • Court of First Instance, taking cognizance of a criminal case coming under its jurisdiction, may, after trial, impose a penalty that is proper for a crime within the exclusive competence of a municipal or city court as the evidence would warrant. It may not be said, therefore, that the Court of First Instance would be acting without jurisdiction if in a simple seduction case, it would impose penalty of not more than six months of imprisonment, if said case, for the reason already adverted to, be held to fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, not a city or municipal court.

People vs Magallanes (149 SCRA 212)

  • Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information and not by the result of evidence after trial. It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, and not by the result of evidence after trial.
  • Allegation of “taking advantage of his position” or “taking advantage of their respective positions” incorporated in the informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of “offenses committed in relation to public office. In Montilla vs. Hilario,  such an allegation was considered merely as an allegation of an aggravating circumstance,  and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to public office, It says:
    • But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime.
  • The jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time of the commencement of the action.  Under the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed with the Sandiganbayan since at the time the informations were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861. But, would that jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975?
  • Jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in another tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated.  Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the courts, as the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No. 7975. They retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation.

Buaya vs Polo (169 SCRA 471)

  • General rule that the denial of a motio to dismiss or to quash being being nterlocutory in character, cannot be questioned by certiorari  and it cannot be the subject of appeal until final judgment or order rendered (See. 2, Rule 41, Rules of Court). the ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case is to enter a Plea, go to trial and if the decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment (Newsweek Inc. v. IAC, 142 SCRA 171).
  • The averments in the complaint or information characterize the crime to be prosecuted and the court before which it must be tried.
  • Jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases, the complaint must be examined for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the facts set out therein and the punishment provided for by law fall within the jurisdiction of the court where the complaint is filed. The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information, and not by the findings the court may make after the trial.

Fukuzume vs CA (474 SCRA 570)

  • Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.  Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by the accused.  Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly committed outside of that limited   territory. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case.  However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction.

Jimenez vs Nazareno (160 SCRA 1)

  • Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is terminated. But the question is this — was that jurisdiction lost when the accused escaped from the custody of the law and failed to appear during the trial? We answer this question in the negative. As We have consistently ruled in several earlier cases,6 jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is terminated.

Paderanga vs CA (247 SCRA 471) – Digested Case

  • The rationale behind the rule is that it discourages and prevents resort to the former pernicious practice whereby an accused could just send another in his stead to post his bail, without recognizing the jurisdiction of the court by his personal appearance therein and compliance with the requirements therefor.
  • A person is considered to be in the custody of the law (a) when he is arrested either by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued pursuant to Section 6, Rule 112, or by warrantless arrest under Section 5, Rule 113 in relation to Section 7, Rule 112 of the revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, or (b) when he has voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court by surrendering to the proper authorities.
  • The motion for admission to bail was filed not for the purpose or in the manner of the former practice which the law proscribes for the being derogatory of the authority and jurisdiction of the courts, as what had happened in Feliciano. There was here no intent or strategy employed to obtain bail in absentia and thereby be able to avoid arrest should the application therefore be denied.
  • In said case, the petitioner who was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, filed through counsel what purported to be an “Urgent Ex-parte Motion for Acceptance of Cash Bail Bond.” Said petitioner was at the time confined in a hospital recuperating from serious physical injuries which she sustained in a major vehicular mishap. Consequently, she expressly sought leave “that she be considered as having placed herself under the jurisdiction of (the Sandiganbayan) for purposes of the required trial and other proceedings.” On the basis of said ex-parte motion and the peculiar circumstances obtaining in that incident, the Sandiganbayan authorized petitioner to post a cash bail bond for her provisional liberty without need of her personal appearance in view of her physical incapacity and as a matter of humane consideration.
  • When the Sandiganbayan later issued a hold departure order against her, she question the jurisdiction of that court over her person in a recourse before this Court, on the ground that “she neither been arrested nor has she voluntarily surrendered, aside from the fact that she has not validly posted bail since she never personally appeared before said court” In rejecting her arguments, the Court held that she was clearly estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan for by her own representations in the urgent ex parte motion for bail she had earlier recognized such jurisdiction. Furthermore, by actually posting a cash bail was accepted by the court, she had effectively submitted to its jurisdiction over her person. Nonetheless, on the matter of bail, the Court took pains to reiterate that the same cannot be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary surrender.
 Based on the Syllabus of  Prof Ramon Makasiar – ADU

3 responses to “Criminal Jurisdiction of Courts

  1. Pingback: Prosecution of Offenses (Rule 110) | Legal Notes·

  2. Pingback: Rule 110 – Prosecution of Offenses (COMPILATION) | Legal Notes·

Share your opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Palitan )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Palitan )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Palitan )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Palitan )

Connecting to %s