In this, my 12th year anniversary in practice, allow me to present a small lecture.
What is the law on amendment and supplemental pleadings?
It is governed by Rule 10 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. It states:
Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
Section 1. Amendments in general. Pleadings may be amended by adding or striking out an allegation or the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party or a mistaken or inadequate allegation or description in any other respect, so that the actual merits of the controversy may speedily be determined, without regard to technicalities, and in the most expeditious and inexpensive manner. (1)
Section 2. Amendments as a matter of right. A party may amend his pleading once as a matter of right at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, in the case of a reply, at any time within ten (10) days after it is served. (2a)
Section 3. Amendments by leave of court. Except as provided in the next preceding section, substantial amendments may be made only upon leave of court. But such leave may be refused if it appears to the court that the motion was made with intent to delay. Orders of the court upon the matters provided in this section shall be made upon motion filed in court, and after notice to the adverse party, and an opportunity to be heard. (3a)
Section 4. Formal amendments. A defect in the designation of the parties and other clearly clerical or typographical errors may be summarily corrected by the court at any stage of the action, at its initiative or on motion, provided no prejudice is caused thereby to the adverse party. (4a)
Section 5. Amendment to conform to or authorize presentation of evidence. When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried with the express or implied consent of the parties they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but failure to amend does not effect the result of the trial of these issues. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation of the merits of the action and the ends of substantial justice will be subserved thereby. The court may grant a continuance to enable the amendment to be made. (5a)
Section 6. Supplemental pleadings. Upon motion of a party the court may, upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit him to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented. The adverse party may plead thereto within ten (10) days from notice of the order admitting the supplemental pleading. (6a)
Section 7. Filing of amended pleadings. When any pleading is amended, a new copy of the entire pleading, incorporating the amendments, which shall be indicated by appropriate marks, shall be filed. (7a)
Section 8. Effect of amended pleadings. An amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. However, admissions in superseded pleadings may be received in evidence against the pleader, and claims or defenses alleged therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall be deemed waived. (n)
Are these rules applicable in Congress or any other government agency which is not a court?
If these offices do not have specialized rules on the matter, the rules I stated above is applicable as a supplement.
But we have to take note of the Section 147 of the House Rules that state:
Section 147. Suppletory Provisions. – The parliamentary practices of the Philippine Assembly, the House of Representatives, the Senate of the Philippines and the Batasang Pambansa shall be suppletory to these rules.
What is the difference between an amendment and a supplement?
According to the rules, an amendment is a modification of an original. Hence, we are only referring to only one pleading and the amendment merely modifies this original pleading (or affidavit, or any other document).
Now a supplement, as the rules state, states transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented. Simply put, a supplement adds to an original pleading (or affidavit).
So is an amended pleading considered a separate pleading?
Technically it is not because since it merely modifies an original pleading (or affidavit), there is no separate pleading to speak of.
How about a supplement?
Again, it is not technically because it merely adds to an original pleading. There is, again, no separate pleading to speak of.
But what is important in considering an amendment or a supplement?
Of course, the party that originally filed the pleading or the affidavit has to consent to such an addition or modification. Ideally, the supplement or amendment should be filed by the one that originally filed it.
Also, when an amendment or a supplement substantially changes the theory of the case, it may need the consent of the court, or the body that received it.
Happy 12th anniversary to me…