G.R. No. 2487. May 01, 1905

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4 Phil. 531

[ G.R. No. 2487. May 01, 1905 ]




As a general rule, the judgments of the Courts of First Instance are
final in criminal cases appealed from courts of justices of the peace.
(United States vs. Sy Tay, 1 Phil. Rep.,35.)

The same rule applies to the judgments of the municipal court of the
city of Manila in such cases. (United States vs. Bian Jeng,1 1 Off.
Gaz., 433.)

But in cases involving the validity or constitutionality of any law,
there is such an appeal by virtue of the provisions of section 43 of
General Orders, No. 58. That section is as follows:

“From all final judgments of the Courts of First
Instance or courts of similar jurisdiction, and in all cases in which
the law now provides for appeals from said courts, an appeal may be
taken to the Supreme Court as hereinafter prescribed. Appeals shall
also lie from the final judgments of justices of the peace in criminal
cases to the courts of the next superior grade, and the decisions of
the latter thereon shall be final and conclusive except in cases
involving the validity or constitutionality of a statute, wherein
appeal may be made to the Supreme Court.”

There is nothing in this section which requires the claim of
illegality to be specifically set up and claimed in the lower court as
is required by section 709 of the Revised Statutes of the United States
in cases of writs of error from the Supreme Court of the United States
to the supreme court of a State. The ordinance of the city of Manila is
a law within the meaning of section 43.

When an appeal to which a defendant is entitled is refused, mandamus
is the proper remedy. (Alemany vs. Sweeney,1 1 Off. Gaz., 857.)

The fact, if it be a fact, that if the plaintiff is imprisoned by virtue of this judgment he can, upon a writ of habeas corpus,
attack the validity of the ordinance for the violation of which he was
convicted is no bar to the prosecution of this suit of mandamus.
(Collins vs. Wolfe, No. 2520.2)

Upon the facts stated in the complaint, the plaintiff is entitled to
prosecute an appeal to this court; but upon such appeal the only
question to be considered will be that of the validity or invalidity of
the ordinance. We can not review the evidence nor pass upon any other
question of law which may appear in the record.

This case is before us upon a demurrer interposed by the defendant
judge. The demurrer is overruled, and this defendant is given ten days
from the date of this decision in which to answer. If no answer is
filed within that period the clerk will, without further proceedings,
enter a final judgment in this case in favor of the plaintiff,
directing the defendant judge to admit an appeal in the said case and,
if bail is given, restraining the defendant sheriff from imprisoning
the plaintiff, Pablo Trinidad, until the final determination of such

Arellano, C. J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.

Date created: April 24, 2014


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