Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Prohibition under Rule 65

"x x x.

The standard under Rule 65 for the issuance of the writ of prohibition is "grave abuse of discretion" and not mere "abuse of discretion." The difference is not a simple matter of semantics. The writs governed by Rule 65 – certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition – are extraordinary remedies designed to correct not mere errors of judgment (i.e., in the appreciation of facts or interpretation of law) but errors of jurisdiction (i.e., lack or excess of jurisdiction). Unlike the first category of errors which the lower tribunal commits in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the latter class of errors is committed by a lower tribunal devoid of jurisdiction or, alternatively, for exercising jurisdiction in an "arbitrary or despotic manner." By conflating "abuse of discretion" with "grave abuse of discretion," the Court of Appeals failed to follow the rigorous standard of Rule 65, diluting its office of correcting only jurisdictional errors.

x x x."