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RULE 14, SEC. 11 B.D. LONG SPAN BUILDERS INC., vs. R.S.

AMPELAQUIO REALTY DEVELOPMENT, 2009 FACTS: B. D. Long Span Builders, Inc. and R. S. Ampeloquio Realty Development, Inc. are corporations duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. BD LONGSPAN and RS AMPELOQIO entered into an Agreement wherein BD LONGSPAN agreed to render "rip rapping" construction services at RS AMPELOQIOs Ampeloquio International Resort. RS AMPELOQIO failed to fulfill its obligations under the Agreements, resulting in the cancellation of the project. Petitioner demanded the return of the P800,000 cash bond, but respondent refused to do so. BD LONGSPAN filed with the RTC a complaint for rescission of contract and damages against RS AMPELOQIO. On 17 October 2002, summons and a copy of the complaint were served on respondent, through its staff member, Romel Dolahoy. Respondent failed to file an Answer or any responsive pleading to the complaint. Upon motion of petitioner, the RTC issued an Order declaring respondent in default, and allowing petitioner to present evidence ex parte. The RTC rendered a decision rescinding the contract. The CA rendered judgment which reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC. ISSUE; WON there was invalid service of summons upon RS AMPELOQIO, and hence the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over it. HELD: YES. Clearly, the summons was not served personally on the defendant (respondent) through any of the officers enumerated in Section 11 of Rule 14; rather, summons was served by substituted service on the defendants staff member, Romel Dolahoy. Substituted service was resorted to on the servers first attempt at service of summons, and there was no indication that prior efforts were made to render prompt personal service on the defendant. Moreover, nothing on record shows that Romel Dolahoy, the staff member who received the summons in respondents behalf, shared such relation of confidence ensuring that

respondent would surely receive the summons. Thus, following our ruling in Orion, we are unable to accept petitioners contention that service on Romel Dolahoy constituted substantial compliance with the requirements of substituted service. RATIO: Courts acquire jurisdiction over the plaintiffs upon the filing of the complaint. On the other hand, jurisdiction over the defendants in a civil case is acquired either through the service of summons upon them or through their voluntary 9 appearance in court and their submission to its authority. The service of summons is a vital and indispensable 10 ingredient of due process. As a rule, if defendants have not been validly summoned, the court acquires no jurisdiction over their person, and a judgment rendered against them is null and void. As a rule, summons should be personally served on the defendant. In case of a domestic private juridical entity, the service of summons must be made upon an officer who is named in the statute (i.e., the president, managing partner, general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer, or in-house 12 counsel), otherwise, the service is insufficient. The purpose is to render it reasonably certain that the corporation will receive prompt and proper notice in an action against it or to insure that the summons be served on a representative so integrated with the corporation that such person will know 13 what to do with the legal papers served on him. However, if the summons cannot be served on the defendant personally within a reasonable period of time, then substituted service may be resorted to. Nonetheless, the impossibility of prompt personal service must be shown by stating that efforts have been made to find 14 the defendant personally and that such efforts have failed. This is necessary because substituted service is in derogation of the usual method of service. It is a method extraordinary in character and hence may be used only as prescribed and in 15 the circumstances authorized by statute. The statutory requirements of substituted service must be followed strictly, faithfully and fully, and any substituted service other than 16 that authorized by statute is considered ineffective. In Orion Security Corporation v. Kalfam Enterprises, Inc., this Court held that in case of substituted service, there should be a report indicating that the person who received the summons in the defendants behalf was one with whom the defendant had a relation of confidence ensuring that the latter would actually receive the summons.
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RULE 14, SEC. 15 ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS vs. LICAROS, 2003 FACTS: Abelardo Licaros and Margarita Romualdez-Licaros were lawfully married. Marital differences, squabbles and irreconcilable conflicts transpired between the sposes such that they agreed to separate from bed and board. In the US, Margarita applied for divorce and such was granted together with a distribution of properties between her and Abelardo. Abelardo and Margarita executed an AGREEMENT OF SEPARATION OF PROPERTIES. This was followed by a petition filed before the Makati RTC for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains of the spouses and for the approval of the agreement of separation of properties. A decision was issued granting the petition and approving the separation of property agreement. For his part, Abelardo commenced a Civil Case, for the declaration o nullity of h.is marriage with Margarita, based on psychological incapacity. As Margarita was then residing at California, U.S.A., Abelardo initially moved that summons be served through the International Express Courier Service. The court a quo denied the motion. Instead, it ordered that summons be served by publication in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks, at the same time furnishing respondent a copy of the order, as well as the corresponding summons and a copy of the petition at the given address in the United States through the Department of Foreign Affairs, all at the expense of Abelardo. The Process Server submitted his Officers Return indicating that he had served a copy of summons and complaint with annexes together with the Order of the court upon Margarita care off the DFA (sent by mail) thru the receiving Clerk of the DFA, a person authorized to receive that kind of process who acknowledged the receipt thereof. The RTC rendered a decision declaring the marriage between Abelardo and Margarita as null and void. 9 years later, Margarita filed a petition to annul the decision of the Makati RTC with regard to the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains of the spouses and the declaration of nullity of the marriage of Margarita and Abelardo.

ISSUE: Whether Margarita was validly served with summons in the case for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Abelardo. HELD: YES. At the time Abelardo filed the petition for nullity of the marriage in 1991, Margarita was residing in the United States. She left the Philippines in 1982 together with her two children. The trial court considered Margarita a non-resident defendant who is not found in the Philippines. Since the petition affects the personal status of the plaintiff, the trial court authorized extraterritorial service of summons under Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. The term "personal status" includes family relations, particularly the relations 14 between husband and wife. Under Section 15 of Rule 14, a defendant who is a nonresident and is not found in the country may be served with summons by extraterritorial service in four instances: (1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff ; (2) when the action relates to, or the subject of which is property within the Philippines, in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent; (3) when the relief demanded consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines; or (4) when the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. In these instances, extraterritorial service of summons may be effected under any of three modes: (1) by personal service out of the country, with leave of court; (2) by publication and sending a copy of the summons and order of the court by registered mail to the defendants last known address, also with leave of court; or (3) by any other means the judge may consider sufficient. The trial courts prescribed mode of extraterritorial service does not fall under the first or second mode specified in Section 15 of Rule 14, but under the third mode. This refers to "any other means that the judge may consider sufficient." The Process Servers Return of 15 July 1991 shows that the summons addressed to Margarita together with the complaint and its annexes were sent by mail to the Department of Foreign Affairs with acknowledgment of receipt. The Process Servers certificate of service of summons is prima facie evidence of the facts as set out in the 16 certificate. Before proceeding to declare the marriage between Margarita and Abelardo null and void, the trial court stated in its Decision dated 8 November 1991 that "compliance with the jurisdictional requirements hav(e) (sic)

been duly established." We hold that delivery to the Department of Foreign Affairs was sufficient compliance with the rule. After all, this is exactly what the trial court required and considered as sufficient to effect service of summons under the third mode of extraterritorial service pursuant to Section 15 of Rule 14. RATIO: Summons is a writ by which the defendant is notified of the action brought against him. Service of such writ is the means 9 by which the court acquires jurisdiction over his person. As a rule, when the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines, Philippine courts cannot try any case against him because of the impossibility of acquiring jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in court. But when the case is one of actions in rem or quasi in 10 rem enumerated in Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, Philippine courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. In such instances, Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the res, and jurisdiction over the person of the nonresident defendant is not essential.