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141.

ROSENDO ALBA, minor, represented by his mother and natural


guardian, Armi A. Alba, and ARMI A. ALBA, in her personal capacity,
vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ROSENDO C. HERRERA
G.R. No. 164041. July 29, 2005

Facts:
Respondent Rosendo filed a petition for cancellation of some entries
in the birth certificate of petitioner minor in the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) Manila. On April 1, 1997, the RTC granted the petition in a
decision which became final and executory on June 2, 1997 and in
an order dated August 11, 1997 granting the amendment of the
decretal portion of the decision. Armi and petitioner minor filed a
petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals (CA)
on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction over their
person. The CA dismissed the petition and the motion for
reconsideration was denied. The petitioner filed this petition for
certiorari assailing the decision and the resolution of the CA.

ISSUES:
1) Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person
of petitioner and her minor child; and
2) Whether or not extrinsic fraud exist to warrant the annulment of
judgment.

RULING:

Under Section 2, Rule 47 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil


Procedure, judgments may be annulled on the grounds of lack of
jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud.

Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person of
petitioner and her minor child depends on the nature of private
respondents’ action. A petition for correction is an action in rem, an
action against a thing and not against a person. Jurisdiction over the
res is acquired either (a) by the seizure of the property under legal
process, whereby it is brought into actual custody of the law; or (b) as
a result of the institution of legal proceedings, in which the power of
the court is recognized and made effective. The service of summons
or notice to the defendant is not for the purpose of vesting the court
with jurisdiction but merely for satisfying the due process
requirements
In this case, the filing with the trial court of the petition for
cancellation vested the latter jurisdiction over the res. The actual
publication of the Order, conferred jurisdiction upon the respondent
court to try and decide the case. While nobody appeared to oppose
the instant petition during the hearing, that did not divest the court
from its jurisdiction over the case and of its authority to continue
trying the case. For, the rule is well-settled, that jurisdiction, once
acquired continues until termination of the case.

The ground of extrinsic fraud was not proven. Extrinsic fraud exists
when there is a fraudulent act committed by the prevailing party
outside of the trial of the case, whereby the defeated party was
prevented from presenting fully his side of the case by fraud or
deception practiced on him by the prevailing party. Here, the
documents presented only tend to prove private respondents’
previous ownership of the unit and the subsequent transfer thereof to
Armi, but not the claimed live-in relationship of the parties. In sum,
the substantive and procedural aspects of the case do not warrant
the annulment of the trial court’s decision. The petition is dismissed.

142.
REGALADO P. SAMARTINO vs. LEONOR B. RAON, et al.
G.R. No. 131482. July 3, 2002

Facts:
Respondents instituted a complaint for ejectment against petitioner Regalado P.
Samartino. Summons was served on the brother of petitioner as petitioner was
confined at the National Bureau of Investigation Treatment and Rehabilitation
Center (NBI-TRC). The trial court, despite the written certification from NBI-TRC,
granted respondents motion to declare petitioner in default and ordered them to
present evidence ex-parte. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of
respondents.

Petitioner’s counsel filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cavite City, a
motion to set aside judgment. The motion was treated as an appeal, the RTC
affirmed the decision of the MTC which became final. Accordingly, the court of
origin issued a writ of execution.

On November 25, 1996, petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for relief from
judgment but it was dismissed and the Motion for Reconsideration was denied. A
second Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied. On the same day, a writ
of demolition was issued commanding the sheriff to remove the building and
improvements made by petitioner on the subject premises and to deliver the
possession thereof to respondents.
Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA) which
the CA dismissed and the Motion for Reconsideration was also denied. Hence
this petition for review.

ISSUE:
Whether or not service of summons has been validly effected.

RULING:

No. The summons was ineffective.


In actions in personam, summons on the defendant must be served by handing a
copy thereof to the defendant in person, or, if he refuses to receive it, by
tendering it to him. If efforts to serve the summons personally to defendant is
impossible, service may be effected by leaving copies of the summons at the
defendants dwelling house or residence with some person of suitable age and
discretion residing therein, or by leaving the copies at the defendants office or
regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof. Failure
to do so would invalidate all subsequent proceedings on jurisdictional grounds.

The impossibility of personal service justifying availment of substituted service


should be explained in the proof of service, why efforts exerted towards personal
service failed. The pertinent facts and circumstances attendant to the service of
summons must be stated in the proof of service or Return of Summons,
otherwise, the substituted service cannot be upheld. There being no valid
substituted service of summons, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over
the person of petitioner.

All told, the Municipal Trial Court and the RTC of Cavite City did not have
jurisdiction over the person of petitioner. Hence, all proceedings had as regards
petitioner were null and void. Necessarily, the enforcement of the writ of
execution as well as the sale at public auction of petitioner’s real property to
satisfy the void judgment must also be declared of no legal effect. In view of the
foregoing, the petition is granted.