CASE BRIEF 2019-0001

CASE: Asuncion Y. Arinola V. Angeles D. Almodiel, Jr., Interpreter II, MTCC, MASBATE CITY, MASBATE (A.M. No. P-19-3925 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 16-4635-P), January 07, 2019]

PONENTE: Caguiao, J.:

SUBJECT: Duties of Sheriff in the enforcement of the execution of judgement.

FACTS: Asuncion won in a suit for the collection of sum of money in the MTCC. The trial court ordered the respondents in the said case to pay the complainant P209,000.00. After the judgment has attained finality the trial court issued a Writ of Execution commanding Sheriff Angeles Amodiel, Jr. to enforce the judgment.

Four months having lapsed since the trial court issued the order directing Almodiel to proceed with the enforcement of the execution, no action had yet been taken by him, leading Complainant to send a letter to Judge-Designate Diana Tambago-Sanchez calling the attention of the court to Almodiel’s inaction on the writ of execution. Despite the letter, no action was taken on the enforcement of the writ, leading Complainant to file administrative complaint against Almodiel.

ISSUE:

(A) What are the duties of Almodiel as sheriff in the enforcement of the execution of judgement?

(B) Is Almodiel liable for neglect of duty?

RULING:

(A) Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court mandates the sheriff to make a return on the writ of execution to the Clerk or Judge issuing the Writ. Specifically, a sheriff is required: (1) to make a return and submit it to the court immediately upon satisfaction in part or in full of the judgment; and (2) if judgment cannot be satisfied in full, to state why full satisfaction cannot be made. As well, the sheriff is required to make a report every thirty (30) days in the proceedings being undertaken by him until judgment is fully satisfied.

Almodiel failed to do both. He neither fully enforced the judgment nor submitted his Sheriffs Report.

(B)

In Zamudio v. Auro, the Court ruled that:

“Failure to comply with Section 14, Rule 39 constitutes simple neglect of duty, which is defined as the failure of an employee to give one’s attention to a task expected of him and signifies a disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference.”

A judgment, if not executed, would be an empty victory on the part of the prevailing party; and sheriffs are the ones primarily responsible for the execution of final judgments. Thus, they are expected at all times to show a high degree of professionalism in the performance of their duties. Accordingly, disregard of the rules on execution of judgment is tantamount to neglect of duty.

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THINGS DECIDED:

A)       Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court mandates the sheriff to make a return on the writ of execution to the Clerk or Judge issuing the Writ. Specifically, a sheriff is required: (1) to make a return and submit it to the court immediately upon satisfaction in part or in full of the judgment; and (2) if judgment cannot be satisfied in full, to state why full satisfaction cannot be made. As well, the sheriff is required to make a report every thirty (30) days in the proceedings being undertaken by him until judgment is fully satisfied.

B) Failure to comply with Section 14, Rule 39 constitutes simple neglect of duty, which is defined as the failure of an employee to give one’s attention to a task expected of him and signifies a disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference.

 ‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis


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