Thursday, February 23, 2012

Onate vs. Abrogar

Facts: Sun Life filed a complaint for sum of money with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against Onate, et. al. The prayer for the writ was granted by the Court. The Sheriff attempted to serve summons to Onate, et. al. but he was unsuccessful. Despite of this, the sheriff started to serve notices of garnishment upon banks, and notices of attachment upon other properties of Onate. The Sheriff was able to serve summons after the notice of garnishment. Onate argues that the attachment is improper because the RTC has not yet acquired jurisdiction over their persons. The SC said that whatever defects attended the attachment, these were cured when the sheriff was finally able to serve them the summons later on. Onate filed an MR. 

Issue: Whether or not the attachment is valid for having been cured by a subsequent service of summons 

Held: No. Sun Life uses Davao Lights v CA to bolster its argument that the defects in the attachment were cured by the subsequent service of summons. But this is a misreading of the Davao Lights case. What the Davao Lights case said is that a write of attachment may be issued and granted by the court, but it cannot be implemented until jurisdiction is acquired over the persons whose properties are subject to attachment. The subsequent service of summons, therefore, will not cure any defect in the attachment. 

The Court emphasized that at the very least, the writ of attachment must be served simultaneously with the service of summons before the writ ma be enforced. 

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