Frequently Asked Questions
What is Court-Annexed Mediation (CAM)?
CAM is a voluntary process conducted under the auspices of the court by referring the parties to the Philippine Mediation Center (PMC) Unit for the settlement of their dispute, assisted by a Mediator accredited by the Supreme Court.
What are the cases subject to CAM?
The following cases shall be referred to CAM:
- All civil cases, except those which by law may not be compromised (Article 2035, New Civil Code);
- Special proceedings for the settlement of estates;
- The civil aspect of Quasi-Offenses under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code;
- The civil aspect of criminal cases where the imposable penalty does not exceed six years imprisonment and the offended party is a private person; and
- The civil aspect of theft (not qualified theft), estafa (not syndicated or large scale estafa), and libel.
What is Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR)?
JDR is a process whereby the judge (called the JDR Judge) employs conciliation, mediation or early neutral evaluation in order to settle a case at the pre-trial stage. In the event the JDR fails, then another judge (called the trial judge) shall proceed to hear and decide the case.
What are the cases subject to JDR?
The following cases shall be referred to JDR by Judges in areas declared as JDR sites:
- All cases which were not successfully settled in CAM;
- All appealed cases from the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the First Level Courts:
- over civil cases and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, under Section 33, paragraph (1) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980;
- over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer under Section 33, paragraph (2) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980;
- over civil cases involving title to or possession of real property or an interest therein under Section 33, paragraph (3) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980; and
- over a habeas corpus case decided by the judge of the first level court, in the absence of all the Regional Trial Court judges in the province or city, that are brought up on appeal from the special jurisdiction granted to the first level courts under Section 35 of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980.
What are the cases that cannot be referred to CAM and JDR?
The following cases shall not be referred to CAM and JDR:
- Civil cases which by law cannot be compromised, as follows:
- The civil status of persons;
- The validity of a marriage or a legal separation;
- Any ground for legal separation;
- Future support;
- The jurisdiction of courts; and
- Future legitime.
- Civil aspect of non-mediatable criminal cases;
- Petitions for Habeas Corpus;
- All cases under Republic Act No. 9262 (Violence against Women and Children); and
- Cases with pending application for Restraining Orders/Preliminary Injunctions.
However, in cases covered in numbers 1, 4 and 5 where the parties inform the court that they have agreed to undergo mediation on some aspects thereof, e.g., custody of minor children, separation of property, or support pendente lite, the court shall refer them to mediation.
What is Mediation Fee?
The mediation fee is the amount collected by the Clerk of Court from the filing of civil cases and private complainant in criminal cases.
What is Mediation Fund?
Mediation fund is the totality of the mediation fees, receipted and separated as a special fund, known as the SC-PHILJA-PMC Mediation Trust Fund, which is managed by the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
How much is collected as Mediation Fee?
In the Regional Trial Courts and the First-Level Courts, the Clerks of Court shall collect the amount of FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P500.00) upon the filing of the following:
- Complaint or an Answer with a mediatable permissive counterclaim or cross-claim, complaint-in-intervention, third-party complaint, fourth-party complaint, etc., in civil cases, a Petition, an Opposition, and a Creditors’ Claim in Special Proceedings;
- Complaint/Information for offenses with maximum imposable penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period or six years imprisonment, except where the civil liability is reserved or is subject of a separate action;
- Complaint/Information for estafa, theft, and libel cases, except where the civil liability is reserved or is subject of a separate action;
- Complaint/Information for Quasi-Offenses under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code;
- Intellectual Property cases;
- Commercial or corporate cases; and
- Environmental cases
The Clerks of Court of the First Level Courts shall collect the amount of FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P500.00) upon the filing of a Notice of Appeal with the Regional Trial Court.
The Clerks of Court of the Regional Trial Court shall collect the amount of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) upon the filing of a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals or the Sandiganbayan.
In the Court of Appeals and Court of Tax Appeals, the Clerks of Court shall collect the amount of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) upon the filing of a mediatable case, petition, special civil action, a comment/answer to the petition or action, and the appellee’s brief. The Clerk of Court of the Court of Tax Appeals shall also collect the amount of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) for the appeal from the decision of a CTA Division to the CTA En Banc.
Why is Mediation Fee collected even in areas where there are no PMC Units?
The mediation fee is intended as a contribution to promote mediation. It is not collected for mediation services rendered or to be rendered.
Are there any exemptions from payment of Mediation Fees?
Yes, the following are exempted from paying mediation fees:
- Pauper litigants as determined by the Court. However, despite such exemption, the court shall provide that the unpaid contribution to the Mediation Fund shall be considered a lien on any monetary award in a judgment favorable to the pauper litigant.
- The Republic of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities are exempt from paying the legal fees provided in the rule. Local Governments and Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCC) with or without independent charters are not exempt from paying such fees.
However, all court actions, criminal or civil, instituted at the instance of the provincial, city or municipal treasurer or assessor under Sec. 280 of the Local Government Code of 1991 shall be exempt from the payment of Court and Sheriff’s Fees.
- Tenant-Farmer, agricultural lessee or tiller, settler or amortizing owner-cultivator (P.D. No. 946, Sec. 16, June 17, 1976).
- Indigent Clients of the Public Attorney’s Office (OCA Circular No. 121-2007, Dec. 11, 2007).
- Clients of the National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) and of Legal Aide Offices in the Local Chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (OCA Circular No. 137-2009, October 7, 2009).
What is the purpose of the Mediation Fund?
The Fund shall be used for:
- Establishment of PMC Units;
- Training seminars/ workshops/ internship programs for Mediators;
- Payment of Mediators’ Fees;
- Compensation of the PMC Unit Staff;
- Payment of operating expenses;
- Advocacy and promotion of court-annexed mediation and other relevant modes of ADR; and
- Such other expenses as authorized by Section 9, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court.