Civil Procedure: Rule 14 Summons

Definition and purpose

Duty to issue,  Rule 14, Sec 1, 5


Content, Rule 14, Sec 2

If with leave of court, Rule 14, Sec. 17

Who serves, Rule 14, Sec 3

On Whom,

In general, Rule 14, Sec 1, 6

Entity without juridical personality, Rule 14, Sec 8

Associations, Rule 14, Sec 9

Domestic, Rule 14, Sec 11


Rebolido v. CA, 170 SCRA 800 (1989)

Facts:  Pepsi Cola was served summons, in connection w/ a case for damages arising fr. vehicle-collision, through Sison who represented herself as a person authorized to received ct. process as she was a secretary of the legal dept. of Pepsi Cola.  Later, Pepsi Cola was dissolved, & all its debts & liabilities were assumed by PEPSICO.  Meanwhile, Pepsi Cola was declared in default in the aforementioned case, & writ of execution was served on PEPSICO.  The latter now moves to vacate judgment, alleging lack of jurisdiction of the ct. as the summons was served on the legal secretary of Pepsi Cola, not PEPSICO.

Held:  There was valid service of summons.

1.  Although Pepsi Cola was already dissolved when summons was served, the same may be served upon the same person upon whom the process could be served before the dissolution.  Therefore, service to any of the persons in R 14  Sec. 13 is allowed.

2.  Purpose of Summons:  To render it reasonably certain that corporation will receive prompt & proper notice in an action vs. it.

3.  Liberal Interpretation of  Sec. 13:  That there is Substantial Compliance w/ the requirement of Sec. 13 if the purpose for the service of summons is attained, & the person served knew what to do w/ the legal papers served upon him.


Summit Trading v. Avendano, 146 SCRA 197 (1986)

Facts:  In connection w/ a case for redemption of lots filed vs. ST (Type!), summons were served on the Secretary of the President of  Summit Trading.  ST was later held in default.  Judgment was rendered vs. it.  ST filed MFR contending that ct. in the first place did not acquire jurisdiction over the company when it served summons on the Sec of the Pres. who is not an agent of the company.

Held:  Since the Secretary did not explain what she did to the summons, the logical assumption is that she gave it to her boss.  (SC here considered the fact that a copy of the default judgment held vs. ST was also served on the Sec. & the same reached the Pres., & consequently, ST was able to file a MFR.)

While Summit Trading is technically correct in contending that there was no strict compliance w/ Sec. 13, under the facts of this case, where the President contact the outside world normally through his Secretary, the latter may be regarded as an “agent” w/in the meaning of Sec. 13.

Note:  Remember that  SC did not rule that service upon Secretaries is always proper. It was only under the facts of the CAB that Sec. may be considered as an agent of the corporation.

Foreign, Rule 14, Sec 12

Public corporation, Rule 14, Sec 13

Minors, RuLe 14, Sec 10

Insane, incompetents, Rule 14, Sec 10

Prisoners, Rule 14, Sec 9

Unknown defendant, Rule 14, Sec 14

Residents temporarily out, Rule 14, Sec 18, 16


Venturanza v. CA, 156 SCRA 305 (1987)

Facts:   Venturanza was sued for collection of a sum of money.  Summons for V was served upon her father at his residence in Tondo.  V was later held in default.  V filed Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment on the ground that there was no proper service of summons when it was served not in her residence w/c was in Pasay City.

Held:  There was no proper service of summons.

1. It is only when defendant cannot be served w/in reasonable time that a substituted service  may be availed of under Sec. 8 (Pls. see Part VI).  The law requires an effort or attempt to personally serve the defendant, & only after this has failed that a substituted service may be availed of.  Why?  Bec. Substituted Service is in derogation of the usual method of service.  It is a method extraordinary in character & hence may be used only as prescribed in the circumstances authorized by statute.

2.  Substituted service is valid only if served at defendant’s residence, NOT former residence.  “Residence” means where he is living at the time service was made, even though temporarily out of the country.

Non-resident, Rule 14, Sec 15

Modes of service

Personal, Rule 14, Sec 6

Substituted, Rule 14, Sec 7


Laus v. CA, 219 SCRA 688 (1993)

Facts:  This is the 10-minute case.  Torres filed a complaint for Collection vs. Laus.  Deputy Sheriff went to Laus’ residence to serve summons, but found that there was no one in the house.  He waited for 10 minutes.  Then a three-wheeled vehicle (tricykol) came w/ the savior who claimed to be the maid in the house.  The Sheriff served summons upon the latter.  Laus was declared in default. Before he received the final judgment, Laus filed an MTD on the ground that there was ineffective service of summons bec. there was no indication that S first exerted efforts to serve the same personally before resorting to substituted service.

Held:  There was an ineffective service of summons.

General Rule:  Must serve personally.

Exception:  If cannot serve personally w/in reasonable period of time, may resort to Substituted Service.

How can Impossibility of Service be shown?  By stating efforts made to find defendant personally & the fact that such efforts failed.


Mapa v. CA, 214 SCRA 417 (1993)

Facts:  A complaint for Recovery of sum of money was filed vs. High Peak Mining.  Summons was issued to be served upon Mapa, the chairperson, & upon other officers of the corporation.  However, said summons was served upon an employee of said corp.  Defendants were declared in default.  Defs. filed MTD & Set Aside Default Judgment on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the ct. over their person as the service of summons was improper, i.e., served upon an EE who may not be considered as an “agent” of the corporation; moreover, Sheriff did not indicate in his Return his efforts at serving summons personally before resorting to substituted service.

Held:  Court lacked jurisdiction.

1.  General Rule: Sheriff’s Return must show that prior attempts at personal service were made by the Sheriff & that such attempts had failed, prompting him to resort to Substituted service.  HOWEVER, it must be emphasized that Absence in the Sheriff’s Return of a statement about the impossibility of personal service DOES NOT conclusively prove that the service is invalid.  Proof of such prior attempts may be submitted by the plaintiff during the hearing of any incident assailing the validity of the substituted service. While Sheriff’ Return carries w/ it the presumption of regularity, that entries therein are deemed correct, it does not necessarily follow that an act done in relation to the official duty for w/c the return is made was not simply done bec. it is not disclosed therein.  Besides, the sheriff’s neglect in making such a disclosure should not unduly prejudice the plaintiff if what was undisclosed was in fact done.

2.  The EE may be considered as an “agent” for the purpose of Sec. 13, & there was a substantial compliance under the said sec. bec. in the CAB, petitioner failed to deny the statement in Sheriff’s Return that the EE is “authorized to receive process of this nature”,  said Return enjoying the presumption of regularity, & the logical conclusion is that she delivered the summons to the corporation.

3.   In an action in personam as in the CAB, personal service of summons w/in the forum is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the ct..

Extraterritorial, Rule 14, Sec 15


Dial Co. v. Soriano, 161 SCRA 737 (1988)

Dial Co. v. Soriano

Facts:  Dial is a foreign corporation organized & existing under the laws of UK, US & Malaysia.  It has NO agents, officers or office in the Philippines.   Imperial Vegetable Oil, a Phil. corp., entered, through its President, into several contracts w/ Dial for the delivery of coco oil by the former to the latter.  Later, IVO repudiated said contracts on the ground that they are “mere paper trading in futures” as no actual delivery of coco oil was really intended.  IVO also filed complaint for Damages vs. Dial.  RTC, upon motion of IVO, authorized the latter to effect Extraterritorial Service of Summons to Dial through DHL.  Dial, w/o submitting itself to court’s jurisdiction, filed MTD on the ground that Extraterritorial Service was improper, hence RTC acquired no jurisdiction.

Held:  There was an Improper service of summons.

1.  There are 4 instances when Extraterritorial service of summons can be properly done:

a)  Action affects status of the plaintiff

b)  Action relates to, or the subject of w/c is, property w/in the Phils., in w/c defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent

c)  When relief demanded consists in whole or in part, in excluding the def. fr. any interest in the property located in the Phils.

d)  Defendant non-resident’s property has been attached w/in the Phils.

2.  The CAB is purely an action for Injunction, not any of the 4.  This is  only an action in personam.        In any of the 4 instances, Court has jurisdiction over the RES, i.e. personal status or property, so jurisdiction over the person is NOT essential.

In Personam – an action vs. a person on the basis of his personal liability;

In Rem – action vs. the thing itself instead of vs. the person.

3.  In CAB, Court cannot subject Dial & Co. to processes of RTC w/c are powerless to reach them outside the region over w/c they exercise their authority.


Sievert v. CA, 168 SCRA 692 (1988)

Facts:   Sievert, a citizen & resident of the Phils. received by mail a Petition for Issuance of Preliminary Attachment w/o previously receiving any summons & copy of the complaint filed vs. him.  His counsel entered a special appearance for a limited purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the ct..

Held:  RTC has no jurisdiction over Sievert.

1.  Rule 57 Sec. 1.  —  Writ of Preliminary Attachment may be applied for by a plaintiff  “at the commencement of the action or at anytime thereafter…”  However, what should be identified is not the time when the action may be regarded as having commenced, as this is not necessarily fixed nor identical.  The Critical Time to be identified is when the trial ct. acquires authority under the law to act coercively vs. the defendant or his property in a proceeding in attachment.  Answer:  the time of the vesting of jurisdiction in the ct. over the person of the defendant in the main case. 

2.  NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT:  Attachment of property may be sought in order to bring RES w/in the jurisdiction of the ct., in substitution, as it were, of the body of the defendant.  Jurisdiction over the res & the person of the defendant is,  in such case, acquired by service of summons by publication, though that jurisdiction may be made effective only in respect of the res attached.

RESIDENT DEFENDANT:  A ct. w/c has not acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defendant cannot bind that def. whether in the main case or in an ancillary proceeding such as attachment proceedings.  The service of a Petition for Prelim Attachment w/o the prior or simultaneous service of summons & a copy of the complaint in the main case does not confer jurisdiction upon the issuing ct. over the person of the defendant.


Citizen’s Surety v. Herrera, 38 SCRA 369 (1972)

Facts:  Citizen’s Surety filed complaint for reimbursement of money vs. Dacanay.  Since Dacanay’s address was unknown, CS petitioned the Court that summons be made by publication.  Petition was granted, but still no Dacanay appeared.  (Kung kayo ba s’ya lalabas kayo?) CS asked the ct. that Dacanay be held in Default.  Trial ct. denied  since this is an action in personam, & dismissed the case.

Held:  The judge was correct that the Court could not validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-appearing defendant, absent a personal service of summons w/in the forum.  Otherwise, there would be a violation of Due Process.

The proper recourse for the creditor is to locate properties, real or personal, of the resident defendant debtor w/ unknown address & cause them to be attached under R57 Sec. 1(f), in w/c case, the attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem,  & the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid & effective.


                        Consolidated Plywood v. Breve, 166 SCRA 589 (1988)

Facts:  Consolidated Plywood  & Mindanao Hemp Export are co-owners of real property: land & building.  Consolidated undertook to repair & improve the property, subject to reimbursement fr. Mindanao of 1/2 of costs.  After Mindanao refused to pay, a suit for collection was filed by Consolidated.  When summons was issued, it was found out that Mindanao was no longer doing business at its former address.  Can summons be served by publication?

Held:  No.  Suit is for the collection of an amount of money–a personal action, ct. cannot acquire jurisdiction over the person by serving summons by publication.  The proper recourse for a creditor is to locate properties, real or personal, of the resident defendant debtor w/ unknown address & cause them to be attached under R57 Sec. 1(f), in w/c case, the attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem,  & the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid & effective.

Waiver of service, Rule 14, Sec 20


            Delos Santos v. Montesa, 221 SCRA 15 (1993)

Facts:  In connection w/ a complaint for Ejectment filed vs. De los Santos,  summons was served upon the latter through her mother as the process server failed to locate the defendant.  DLS filed an MFR of MC decision, alleging, inter alia, that the summons was improperly served.

Held: While it may appear that there is no proof that it was impossible to personally serve the summons, & the statutory norms on service of summons were not strictly complied w/, by the acts of the petitioner’s counsel, such defects are deemed erased.  (Counsel filed MFR )  Appearance of counsel is equivalent to summons unless such is made to protest the jurisdiction of the ct. over the person of the defendant.  The MFR filed cannot be treated as a special appearance as it raised other grounds than the invalid service of summons, i.e. failure to state COA,  no Katarungang Pambarangay).


Return of  service, Rule 14, Sec 4

Proof of service, Rule 14, Sec 18

Publication, Rule 14, Sec 19

Registered mail, Rule 14, Sec 19



Venturanza – residence means “actual residence”

What make time reasonable is the efforts exerted by the sheriff in serving the summons personally to the defendants.

Remedies in default judgment:

1. Motion for New Trial

2. Appeal

3. Motion for Relief from Judgment

4. Motion to Set Aside Judgment


A judgment rendered without jurisdiction never prescribes, passage of time can never correct the judgment of a court which has never acquired jurisdiction.


Personal and real actions are important in determining venue of actions.

Actions in personam and in rem are important for service of summons.

Actions affecting personal actions are actions in rem and therefore extraterritorial service by publication may be made.


Options for service of summons:

1. Personal service

2. Substituted service

3. Extraterritorial service: not a mode of service, principally

(a) personal

(b) service by publication (always accompanied by registered mail)


Service of other Pleadings: Rule 13    Service of Summons: Rule 14

1. Personal Delivery                                        1.  Personal Service

To party/counsel                                              To the defendant only

Residence, to person of suitable                     no such thing as service by registered

Age and Discretion                                         mail

Purpose: acquisition of jurisdiction

2. Substituted Service                                                 2.  Substituted Service

3. Extraterritorial Service

Either personally or by publication

File a motion for leave of court inorder to be able to serve extraterritorially


Extraterritorial Service by publication – may be made only in four (4) instances as enumerated in §15 of Rule 14 and Dial Co. v. Soriano.


In rem for publication.

Resident temporarily out may be served extraterritorially, personally

Can apply to a foreigner having residence in the Philippines


Source:  University of the Philippines


About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on December 18, 2011, in Civil Procedure and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The M.T.C served a summons for me for 3 Misdemeanor case, and the court messenger delivered the Summons to my sister house which is the Witness against me. She received the Summons a she signed it. I’ll don’t even know that we have a Hearing schedule on the following day and I’d missed the court. What the Judge did was, He make me Convicted on that case for my absent. He made a decision and imposed me a Judgement and issue me a Warrant of Arrest. I’ve been arrested by the Authority and put me in jail, I’d stay in jail for almost a month before the judge let me be release temporarily under the custody of one of the Public Servant of the community like the Municipal Counselor. I’ve file A Motion for Probation and until this time He never make any ORDER so I could bring it over to the Probation Office in our Provincial Capitol. Is it the right and proper to impose and follow the due process of Law ? What can you advise for me to understand that I am in the right truck of the Law…..

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