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Question:

The plaintiff, a Manila resident, sued the defendant, a resident of Malolos, Bulacan,
in the RTC-Manila for a sum of money. When the sheriff tried to serve the summons with a
copy of the complaint on the defendant at his Bulacan residence, the sheriff was told that
the defendant had gone to Manila for business and would not be back until the evening of
that day. So, the sheriff served the summons, together with a copy of the complaint, on the
defendants 18-year-old daughter, who was a college student. For the defendants failure to
answer the complaint within the reglementary period, the trial court, on motion of the
plaintiff, declared the defendant in default. A month later, the trial court rendered
judgment holding the defendant liable for the entire amount prated for in the complaint.
Seven years after the entry of judgment, the plaintiff filed an action for its revival.
Can the defendant successfully oppose the revival of the judgment by contending
that it is null and void because the RTC-Manila did not acquire jurisdiction over
his person? Why?

Related laws and jurisprudence:


1. Jurisdiction cannot be acquired over the defendant without service of summons,
unless he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the court. (Habana v.
Vamenta)
2. Whenever practicable, the summons shall be served by handing a copy thereof to
the defendant in person, or, if he refuses to receive and sign for it, by tendering it
to him. (Sec. 6, Rule 14, ROC)
3. If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be served within a reasonable time
as provided in the preceding section, service may be effected by leaving copies of
the summons at the defendants residence with some person of suitable age and
discretion then residing therein, or by leaving the copies at defendants office or
regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof. (Sec. 7,
Rule 14, ROC)
4. The impossibility of personal service should be explained in the proof of service
showing that efforts were exerted therefor, hence the resort to substituted service
and such facts must be reported in the proof of service, otherwise the substituted
service is invalid. (Keister v. Navarro)

Answers:

1. Yes, because the sheriff did not exert sufficient effort to serve summons
personally on the defendant within a reasonable time and hence the RTC-Manila
did not acquire jurisdiction over his person.
2.
Yes. The defendant can successfully oppose the revival of said judgment for
lack of jurisdiction.
Basic is the rule that for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the defendant,
he must be served summons, unless he voluntarily submits to courts
jurisdiction.
Here, the summons was not served to him. The sheriff served the summons to
the defendants daughter without
3. Yes. The court did not acquire jurisdiction over the defendant because of an
invalid service of summons. As a rule, summons should be personally served on
the defendant. It is only when summons cannot be served personally within a
reasonable time that substituted service may be resorted to.
4.

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