Helper woes

Dear Atty. Joji,


Our house helper absconded from her job without prior notice. While having to find her replacement is one issue, the bigger concern is that she owes us almost P100,000. We want to take legal action because such amount of money is hard to come by. What type of case can we file to pursue this matter legally?




Dear Maris,


Based on the facts you provided, filing a “Small Claims” case before the lower-level court or the Metropolitan Trial Court is applicable in your case. A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC or “The 2016 Revised Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Cases” provides:

Small claims refer to cases involving monetary disputes where the amount in question does not exceed P1,000,000, excluding interest and costs. The purpose of a small claims process is to provide a simpler and a more inexpensive and expeditious means of settling disputes involving purely money claims. The claim or demand may be:

(a) For money owed under any of the following:

  1. Contract of Lease;
  2. Contract of Loan and other credit accommodations;
  3. Contract of Services; or
  4. Contract of Sale of personal property, excluding the recovery of the personal property, unless it is made the subject of a compromise agreement between the parties.

The procedure on small claims cases was promulgated for faster resolution of claims. Since the amount of claim is relatively small, it is the court’s policy not to keep these cases from dragging for long periods before finally being decided. Since the proceedings must be speedy, inexpensive, and informal, the procedure was simplified. However, it is important to note that in Small Claims Cases, parties are generally not allowed to be represented by lawyers.

A case for Small Claims may be commenced as follows:

SEC. 6. Commencement of Small Claims Action. — A small claims action is commenced by filing with the court an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a Certification Against Forum Shopping, Splitting a Single Cause of Action, and Multiplicity of Suits (Form 1-A-SCC), and two (2) duly certified photocopies of the actionable document/s subject of the claim, as well as the affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support the claim. No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Statement of Claim, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence.

Alternatively, an action for breach of her employment contract, if any, may be filed against her for her sudden departure without providing proper notice. Hope this helps.


Atty. Joji Alonso

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