Manotoc v. Court of Appeals 499 SCRA 21 Facts: Mrs. Agapita Trajano sought the enforcement of a foreign judgment rendered by the US District Court of Hawaii against Ma. Imelda M. Manotoc (Imee Marcos) for the wrongful death of Mr. Archimedes Trajano committed by military intelligence in the Philippines allegedly working for Manotoc. The RTC issued summons for Manotoc addressed at Alexandra Homes, Pasig. It was served on a Macky dela Cruz described as a caretaker of her unit. Manotoc failed to file her answer and was declared in default. On October 1993, manotoc filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over her person, stating that she is not a resident of the said condo and that she does not hold office there, as well as that Macky dela Cruz is not her representative or employee. Thus no valid service was made. Further, she states that she is a resident of Singapore. On October 1994, the RTC denied the motion. On December 1994, denied her MR for lack of merit. Manotoc filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA on January 1995, that was denied on March 1997, and the MR denied on April 1997. The CA ruled that: 1) As per findings of the trial court, the residence of Manotoc was indeed at Alexandra Homes. 2) The disembarkation/embarkation cord and certification were hearsay. It rejected a proof of her residency in Singapore based on her passport in which two pages were withheld. Issue: Whether there was valid substituted service. Held: No. In actions strictly ‘in perosnam’jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is mandatory and can be complied with valid service of summons. Manuel A. Rodriguez II FEU – Institute of Law
Civil Procedure Digests
Service of Summons
If defendant cannot be served, for excusable reason, within a reasonable time, substituted service can be resorted to. It is extraordinary in character and a derogation of the usual method of service thus rules for such must be faithfully complied with. The requirements of valid substituted service if there is impossibility of prompt personal service which is 15-30 days for the sheriff are: 1) By leaving copies of summons at defendant’s residence with a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein or by leaving copies at the defendant’s office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge. 2) The sheriff must narrate in specific details how service in person became impossible. 3) The attempt must be extraordinary and at least three times. The person of suitable age and discretion must be at least 18 years old, able to read the summons written in English, and must be with confidential relation to defendant. A competent person in charge can be the president or manager. The substituted service was invalid because the sheriff did not comply with the requirements. Macky dela Cruz was not a representative of Manotoc. Therefore, since there was no valid service of summons, there was no jurisdiction acquired. The RTC’s decision is null and void.