- versus -
Judge RODOLFO P. BELTRAN, RTC, Branch 34, and
Sheriff ERNESTO A. MENDOZA, OCC,
A.M. No. P-06-2184
(formerly A.M. No. 06-2443-RTJ)
PUNO, c.j., Chairperson,
September 27, 2007
D E C I S I O N
verified Sinumpaang Salaysay dated
On the date
the complaint was filed, respondent Judge had already retired. Records show that he left the judiciary on
recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), the complaint
against respondent sheriff was referred to Executive Judge Dorentino Z.
Courts internal Resolution of
After a review
of the Memorandum dated
Dorentino Z. Floresta, RTC,
In a sworn statement,
Marcela Guilas-Gamis charged Ernesto A. Mendoza, Sheriff IV, RTC, Office of the
Clerk of Court,
P3,000.00 which he asked for the expenses in the
implementation of the writ of execution.
Likewise, sheriff Ernesto Mendoza failed to implement the Special Order
issued by MTC, Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija despite his receipt of P6,000.00
and the total amount of P15,000.00.
investigation of the case on
she claimed that the said amount represents the reimbursement of the expenses
of sheriff Ernesto Mendoza for the implementation of the Special Order.
x x x x x x x x x
Investigating Judge Floresta found that respondent sheriff was not remiss in his duties and therefore recommended that the charges of gross dereliction of duty, incompetence and dishonesty be dismissed. Judge Floresta, however, found respondent sheriff to have violated Section 10 of Rule 141, as amended (not Section 9) for his failure to remit the amount collected from the complainant as part of the sheriffs fee for the implementation of the writ of execution.
x x x x x x x x x
applied the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Antonio Rodriguez v.
Vicente P. Aposaga, Jr, etc., A.M. No. P-03-1671, January 31, 2005, and
recommended that sheriff Ernesto Mendoza be fined in the amount of
and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be
dealt with more severely for violation of Sec. 10 of Rule 141. He further recommended that the charges for
gross dereliction of duty, incompetence and dishonesty be DISMISSED.
After a careful evaluation of the records of the case, the undersigned fully concur with the investigation report and recommendation of the Investigating Judge, finding the same to be in accordance with the existing rules and jurisprudence.
Pertinent provision of Section 10 of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended, reads:
Sec. 10. Sheriffs, process servers and other persons serving processes. With regard to sheriffs expenses in executing writs issued pursuant to court orders or decisions or safeguarding the property levied upon, attached or seized, including kilometrage for each kilometer of travel, guards fees, warehousing and similar charges, the interested party shall pay said expenses in an amount estimated by the sheriff, subject to the approval of the court. Upon approval of said estimated expenses, the interested party shall deposit such amount with the clerk of court and ex-officio sheriff, who shall disburse the same to the deputy sheriff assigned to effect the process, subject to liquidation within the same period for rendering a return on the process. The liquidation shall be approved by the court. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party making the deposit. A full report shall be submitted by the deputy sheriff assigned with his return, and the sheriffs expenses shall be taxed as costs against the judgment debtor.
In the instant case, respondent, instead of preparing an estimate of expenses to be incurred in implementing the writ of execution and thereafter securing the courts approval thereof, merely verbally estimated the expenses and directly conveyed the same to complainant, which the latter then paid to respondent. Respondent sheriff should have known better. He should have secured the approval of the estimated expenses and advised the complainant to deposit the approved amount with the Office of the Clerk of Court.
The sheriff is obliged to secure the approval of the issuing court of the estimated expenses and fees for implementation of the writ of execution (Vda. de Gillego v. Roxas, 235 SCRA 158 ). Costs or rough estimates for the implementation of the writ of demolition and possession must be submitted to the court for approval (Miro v. Tan, 235 SCRA 405 ).
It bears emphasis that high standards are expected of sheriffs, they being agents of the law (Balanag, Jr. v. Osita, 388 SCRA 630 ). They are mandated to perform the duties of their office earnestly, faithfully and honestly.
In the case of Roberto
Ignacio v. Rodolfo Payumo, Deputy Sheriff, RTC, Quezon City, A.M. No.
Carmelita S. Danao v. Jesus T. Franco, Sheriff IV, RTC, Branch 215,
pesos and sternly warned for having been found guilty of violation of Sec. 9
(now Sec. 10) of Rule 141 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
considered, the undersigned respectfully recommend to the Honorable Court that
respondent sheriff Ernesto A. Mendoza, RTC-OCC,
ACCORDINGLY, and as recommended by Court Administrator
Christopher O. Lock and Deputy Court Administrator Jose P. Perez, respondent sheriff
Ernesto A. Mendoza is imposed a FINE of Two
Thousand Pesos (
P2,000.00) for violation of
Section 10, Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court.
REYNATO S. PUNO
RENATO C. CORONA
ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
CANCIO C. GARCIA