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UMANDAP v SABIO W/n the substituted service was valid and regular so as to

Petitioner: Joel Umandap bring Umandap under the jurisdiction of the RTC?
Respondents: Judge Jose Sabio Jr., Domingo Estomo
G.R. No. 140244; August 29 2000; J. Gonzaga-Reyes PROVISION:
Rule 14, Section 7: (Substituted Service)
DOCTRINE: If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be served
The statutory requisites for substituted service must be strictly within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding
and faithfully complied with. The following must be found in the section, service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the
return of the sheriff: (a) indicate the impossibility of service of summons at the defendant's residence with some person of
summons within a reasonable time, (b) specify the efforts suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by
exerted to locate the petitioners and (c) state that it was leaving the copies at defendant's office or regular place of
served on a person of sufficient age and discretion residing business with some competent person in charge thereof.
therein.
HELD/RATIO:
FACTS Yes. The substituted service was valid and regular and RTC
1. Estomo filed a case against Umandap in the RTC of had jurisdiction over the person of Umandap.
Misamis Oriental. Judges have a right to rely on the sheriffs return
2. The Process Server effected substituted service when he because there is a presumption of regularity in the
could not find Umandap at his residence (which is also his performance of official functions, which can only be
place of work). He served the summons to Joseph David, overturned by contrary clear and convincing evidence. Thus,
the nephew of Umandaps wife. However, David refused to the sheriff is deemed to have regularly performed his function.
receive and acknowledge the summons but the server still Umandap did not present any proof of irregularity in the
left it with him. The servers return was submitted to the servers return.
RTC. A perusal of the servers return shows that it complied with
3. Umandap was declared to be in default by the RTC due to the requirements for substituted service set in Laus v Court of
failure to answer. Later, after Estomo presented his Appeals: (a) indicate the impossibility of service of
evidence, RTC rendered a judgment against Umandap summons within a reasonable time, (b) specify the efforts
causing the garnishment of his receivables and deposit. exerted to locate the petitioners and (c) state that it was
4. Umandap filed a Motion to Set Aside Judgment by Default served on a person of sufficient age and discretion
which was denied by the RTC. residing therein.
5. He appealed to the CA alleging the lack of jurisdiction of In the case-at-bar the return shows that the server complied
the RTC over his person because the substituted service with the requirements because of the following reasons: (a)
was improper and invalid since the servers return The return indicates the location or address of the defendant
apparently failed to show impossibility of personal service. where the summons was served, (2) It indicates the prior
attempts at personal service made by the process server
ISSUES which proved to be futile, prompting the latter to resort to
substituted service and (3) It indicates that summons was left DISPOSITION:
or tendered to Joseph David "receiving of said office." Petition is denied. CA decision is affirmed
Also, Umandap never alleged in any of his pleadings that
David was incompetent to receive the summons, or that he
was not a resident of Umandaps residence. Thus, the
presumption that the server tendered the summons upon
a person of sufficient age and discretion stands unrebutted.

OTHER DISCUSSIONS:
1. Umandaps receipt of copies of the order of default and the
judgment, evidenced by registry return receipts, proves
that he is knowledgeable about the case. Thus, he cannot
now feign ignorance of its existence and is deemed to be
guilty of laches for failure to seasonably act on the orders
he received from the court.
2. Service of summons upon the defendant is necessary in
order that a court may acquire jurisdiction over his person.
Any judgment without such service in the absence of a
valid waiver is null and void
3. Among the 2 modes of effecting substituted service, the
sheriff or server may choose that which will most likely
insure the effectiveness of service.
4. Statement of impossibility of prompt service (that efforts
were made to find the defendant personally and the failure
of such efforts)should be made in the proof of service
(return). This is because substituted service is a method
extraordinary in character, and hence may be used only as
prescribed in the circumstances authorized by statute.
5. Statutory requirements of substituted service must be
followed strictly, faithfully, and any substituted service
other than that authorized by the statute is considered
ineffective.
6. Certificate of service of summons by the sheriff is prima
facie evidence of the facts set out in such certificate and to
overcome the presumption arising from the sheriff's return,
the evidence must be clear and convincing.