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JOEL R. UMANDAP vs. JUDGE SABIO, G..R. NO.

140244, August 29, 2000

Doctrine: Indeed, intheabsence of contraryevidence, apresumptionexists that a sheriff has


regularlyperformedhisofficialduty.

Requirements that should be in the Return to justify substituted service: it must 1)


indicatetheimpossibilityofserviceofsummonswithinareasonabletime,2)specifytheefforts
exertedtolocatethepetitioners,and3)statethatitwasservedonapersonofsufficientageand
discretionresidingtherein.

Facts:
Respondent Estomo filed against Umandap an action for damages based on breach of
contract. ProcessserverMarmolejoeffectedasubstitutedserviceofthesummonsandcopyof
thecomplaintuponpetitioner,byleavingacopy thereofatUmandap'sresidenceandoffice
addresstoacertainJosephDavid(nephewofUmandap'swife)whorefusedtoacknowledgethe
same.
Petitionerfailedtofilehisanswer,andthus,uponmotionofEstomo,hewasdeclaredin
default; Estomo then was allowed to present evidence ex parte. And finally a judgment was
renderedagainstUmandap.Umandapthereafterfiledamotiontosetasidejudgmentbydefault.
ThiswasdeniedandhencepetitionerraisedtotheCAviarule65,raisingthattherewereno
validserviceofsummonsandthusthecourtfailedtoacquirejurisdiction.Hebasesthisclaimon
the ground that allegedly, the process server's return failed to show on its face the
impossibilityofpersonalservice.TheCAhoweverdeniedhispetitionupholdingthepresumption
ofregularityofthetheprocessserver'sserviceofsummonsandreturn.

Issue:W/Ntherewasavalidserviceofsummons.
Held:Yes
Ratio:

1. Thecourtsummarizedfirsttherulespertainingtosubstitutedserviceofsummons:
a.) Basicrule:serviceofsummonsisnecessarytoacquirejurisdictionovertheperson
ofthe defendant. Withoutsuchservice,anyjudgmentintheabsenceofavalid
waiverisnullandvoid.

b.) Sec6Rule14generalruleisthatsummonsmustbeservedpersonally.

c.) Sec7Rule14But,exceptionisthatifpersonalservicecantbemadewithina
reasonabletimeaftereffortstolocatehimhavefailed,substitutedservicemaybe
made.

d.) The substituted service should be availed only when the defendant cannot be
servedpromptlyinperson.

e.) Impossibilityofpromptserviceshouldbeshownbystatingtheeffortsmadetofind
thedefendantpersonallyandthefailureofsuchefforts.Thestatementshouldbe
madeintheproofofservice.Thisisnecessarybecausesubstitutedserviceisin
derogation of the usual method of service. Substituted service is a method
extraordinary in character, and hence may be used only as prescribed in the
circumstances authorized by statute. Thus, the statutory requirements of
substituted service must be followed strictly, faithfully, and any substituted
serviceotherthanthatauthorizedbythestatuteisconsideredineffective.

2. Thecourtruledthatthepresumptionofregularity,astheCAruled,stands.Indeed,inthe
absenceofcontraryevidence,apresumptionexiststhatasheriffhasregularlyperformed
his official duty.To overcome the presumption arising from the sheriffs certificate, the
evidencemustbeclearandconvincing.

3. Aperusaloftheprocessserversreturnintheinstantcaseshowscompliancewiththe
requirements of substituted service in accordance with the requirements set forth in
jurisprudence,enumeratedasfollows:

a.) IndicatetheimpossibilityofserviceofsummonswithinareasonabletimeThe
returnindicatesthelocationoraddressofthedefendantwherethesummonswas
served.Itislikewisenotdeniedthattheaddressstatedtherein,No.143rdSt.,
NewManila,QuezonCity,isboththeresidenceandofficeaddressofpetitionerat
thetimethesummonswasserved.Thus,theplaceofserviceisnotinissue. We
havenoreasontodisbelieveordisregardthestatementinthereturnthat
personalserviceofsummonswasattemptedonseveraloccasions.

b.) SpecifytheeffortsexertedtolocatethepetitionersItindicatestheeffortsand/or
prior attempts at personal service made by the process server and that such
attemptsservicemadebytheprocessserverandthatsuchattemptshadproved
futile,promptingthelattertoresorttosubstitutedservice.Theallegationthatthe
processserverwenttohishouseonlyonceisunsubstantiatedandmerelyself
serving.Hedoesnotfulfillthe'clearandconvincing'rule.

c.) State that it was served on a person of sufficient age and discretion residing
thereinThereturnindicatesthatJosephDavidwasthereceivingofsaidoffice,
whichsufficientlyconveysthathewasapersonofsufficientageanddiscretion
residingtherein,taskedasheistoreceivefortheoffice.Healsoneverallegedthat
JosephDavidwasincompetenttoreceivethesummons;hence,thepresumption
holds.