Chapter 11
(Judicial Fees)
Adhesive revenue   stamps,   called  DERECHO JUDICIAL  (Judicial   Fee)  stamps, were  created  for  use in Cuba and  Porto Rico  by  the  Royal  Order  of   May 31,   1855. The  use of   these  stamps  was  extended  to   the   Philippines  by  the  Royal  Order  of September   7,  1860   (September  7,  1859,   according   to  some   authorities).  These stamps,   which  were used   in   three  different  colonies,   are   listed  hereafter as issued  for   use  in SPANISH COLONIES.  DERECHO  JUDICIAL  stamps   for   use exclusively  in   the   Philippines were  first  issued   in  1866.   The  Derecho Judicial   stamps   issued   for   Spanish  Colonies   seem  to   have  remained  in use  in the  Philippines  for  several  years  subsequent   to 1866,  however,  and  in  1869 the  supply of   these  stamps   still  on hand  in  the  Philippines was overprinted, "HABlLITADO FOR LA  NACION",   (Made Valid  By  The  Nation).   Derecho   Judicial stamps  of   the  Spanish Colonies  bearing   this   surcharge were used only   in  the Philippines,   and   are   therefore   listed  hereafter   as Philippine   stamps. Derecho Judicial  stamps  continued  to   be  issued  for   the  Philippines from 1866 until   1885.

The term  DERECHO JUDICIAL means  JUDICIAL  FEE.    These  fees   included what in  American  jurisprudence  are  commonly  called   the   "costs" of  a  judicial  action. Judicial   fees were  collected   in both   civil  and  criminal  actions,  but  by far the greater   portion of   these  fees  arose  from civil   actions.  Judicial   fees were   apart   from,   and  in   addition   to,  the requirement   that  all   documents presented in  any  judicial. action,   as  well  as   the   judicial  record of   the nation,  must  be executed  upon  stamped  paper.  A  judicial   fee was charged, not only  for  every official   act of   the  judge  but  also  for  every official act of  every  subordinate official  of   the  court.   Judicial  Fees  also  included the   fees  prescribed by  law  for  certain expert  witnesses and   translators,   when the  services  of   such were  collected by  the  court  from the   litigants  and were paid  by  the  court,   or   by   the Treasury  Department,   to  the  persons  who  rendered such service.   The   large  number  of   judicial   fees which must  be  paid  made litigation before the Spanish colonial  courts  very costly  for  the  litigants. A complete   list of these   judicial   fees  is  far  too  lengthy  to be quoted here.

The  Tariff   of   Judicial   Fees   (Aranceles  Judiciales)  which was   in   force   in the Philippines in 1860,   when the   use  of   adhesive  DERECHO  JUDICIAL  stamps  was extended   to   the   Philippines,   was   that   authorized  by  the  Royal  Audiencia (Supreme Court of  the   Philippines   in  an Auto   (Decree)  dated February   21,   1850. At  the  request of   the  Audiencia  this   tariff  of   Judicial Fees was eventually given formal approval  by  the  King  in  the Royal  Order  of   June 20, 1866 which was  published  in  the Gaceta  de Manila   of  August  30, 1866,     The  Royal Order   of  June  20,   1866,   approved  the  Tariff  of   Judicial  Fees established  by  the  Auto of  February  21, 1850, declared  that Article   488   thereof   was equally  applicable   to  both civil  and  criminal  proceedings,   and  that in the  future  those Indies   (Native  Inhabitants)   who were not   insolvent  should  pay   the  portion of the  costs  corresponding   to   them  in accordance with  said  article;   and,   finally, that  in   the  future the Audiencia should remit for  Royal  approbation  the tariffs which   it might formulate and the  alteration which it night  believe necessary   to  make   in   these which  were in force.

The   Royal  Decree of July 8, 1893, approved  a new Tariff  of  Judicial   Fees for civil  cases  for the islands of  Porto Rico   and   the   Philippines.  The Tariff which was  approved  by   this   decree   lists  more   than  three  hundred different  services   for   which   judicial were collected. Among  the lowest items   was  P0.03   (0.15 U.S. currency)   collected  by  clerks  of   court for  each page of   the  acknowledgements   in which  they  make  note of   the  books   and  papers of   litigants  when  a  detailed  description  of   such   books   and  papers must be recorded.     Among  the   highest items   were:    P7.30  (3.75  US)  per   page  for  the translation  into current  Spanish of documents written  in Latin,   ancient Spanish,  Lemosin or Galician, dated  prior   to  the   eighteenth century   ( prior to January   1,   1700);     P6.00 per page  for   the translation of documents dated subsequent  to   December   31,   1699;   and   P12.50   per   page for  making   a critical paleographic analysis of  a document executed  to  the 18th century certifying  to  its authenticity or   falsity.  [57].    The Royal Decree of  May  18, 1894,   approved  a new Tariff  of   Judicial   Fees   for   Criminal   cases  f  for   Cuba, Porto Rico and the Philippines.     More  than  one  hundred  services   for  which judicial  fees were collected are  listed therein. [57]

The  Royal  Decree  creating  a  judicial   system  for    the   Spanish colonies provided very small   salaries for  the Judges,  but the  judicial   fees which  each judge  collected were  a part of   the   emoluments of   his  office.  Abuses  in the collection of   these  fees  were  recorded prior to the year 1600,  and  such  abuses seem  to  have been more  of  less  prevalent   as   long  as   judicial,   fees continued to form  a part of  the income  of  the judges.  In an  attempt  to  correct  these abuses Royal  Decrees  of   1845  and   1847  assigned much  larger  salaries   to the  Alcaldes Mayores   (Provincial   Judges)  and provided  that all  judicial   fees should  accrue  directly  to  the Treasury  instead of   being  paid  to  the  judges. The fees continued to be collected  in cash, however, and the Central Government seems to have  encountered difficulty   in obtaining an  honest  accounting for the fees thus collected by the officers of the  courts. This situation  prompted the Royal Order of  May 31, 1835, which provided that in the  future judicial   fees  should be collected not in cash but by affixing adhesive stamps to the documents to which  the fees  pertained. Revenue stamps were an accountable  property of the State and the   persons  who sold the stamps could be required to produce either the stamps or  the  money  representing  the value of   the  stamps which were sold. Thus  the misappropriation of  judicial fees was made more  difficult  and could be more easily detected.