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Navale vs CA February 20, 1996 Jurisdiction over parties

(Civil Procedure)

Plaintiff: Navale, etc. Defendant: CA, MTC, Yasay. Ponente: Romero FACTS: Yasay: owner; Navale, et al: illegal settler. MTCC Yasay filed a case for FORCIBLE ENTRY WITH DAMAGES in MTCC in CDO. With prayer for preliminary injunction and return of the possession of the land in which they claimed ownership. MTCC: Issued the writ! Navale, et al were declared in default for failure to appear. MTCC: ruled in favor of Yasay. Judgment has become final and writs of execution and demolition were issued. RTC Navale filed PETITION FOR CERTIORARI with RTC. They questioned the order of default, arguing that they had never been summoned to answer the complaint. RTC: dismissed petition summons were served but either they refused to receive and/or give their names. Hence, sheriff just left copies at the their residences. CA -affirmed ISSUE: Whether or not MTCC acquired jurisdiction over them. YES! RATIO: JURISDICTION OVER THE DEFENDANT: acquired by service of summons (Rule 14, Sec 7) OR defendants voluntary appearance in action. Service of summons: Rule 14, Sec 7, RoC: summons may be served personally by handing a copy to the defendant in person, or if he refuses to receive it, by tendering it to him. Instances of voluntary appearance: 1. Filing of pleading 2. Filing of motion for reconsideration of judgment by default. 3. Filing petition to set aside judgment of default. 4. Submission of compromise agreement with plaintiff. THERE WAS A VALID SERVICE OF SUMMONS: In this case, it was shown that summons were duly served but they refused to receive and/or declined to give their names. Pressumption that sheriff regularly performed his official duties. ASSUMING INVALID SERVICE OF SUMMONS, MTCC STILL ACQUIRED JURISDICTION THROUGH VOLUNTARY APPEARANCE. (1) Filed their answer to the complaint. (2) Pleaded that they be allowed to vacate the premises within an extended period. (3) Etc. *all these are a clear manifestation that they voluntarily submitted themselves to he jurisdiction of MTCC. Any form of appearance in court by the defendant, his authorized agent/atty, is equivalent to service except where such appearance is precisely to object to the jurisdiction of the court over his person. Also, they shouldve questioned the jurisdiction from the very start. (OBITER) however, if the Court has no jurisdiction over SUBJECT MATTER or NATURE OF ACTION, the defense of lack of jurisdiction may be raised ANYTIME.