the complaint to defray the actual travel expenses of the sheriff, process server or other court-authorized persons in the service of summons, subpoena and other court processes that would be issued relative to the trial of the case. In case the initial deposit of ONE THOUSAND (P1,000.00) PESOS is not sufficient, then the plaintiff or petitioner shall be required to make an additional deposit. The sheriff, process server or other court authorized person shall submit to the court for its approval a statement of the estimated travel expenses for service of summons and court processes. Once approved, the Clerk of Court shall release the money to said sheriff or process server. After service, a statement of liquidation shall be submitted to the court for approval. After rendition of judgment by the court, any excess from the deposit shall be returned to the party who made the deposit. x x x x (Emphasis ours) Sheriff’s expenses are not exacted for any service rendered by the court; they are the amount deposited to the Clerk of Court upon filing of the complaint to defray the actual travel expenses of the sheriff, process server or other court-authorized persons in the service of summons, subpoena and other court processes that would be issued relative to the trial of the case. It is not the same as sheriff’s fees under Section 10,18 Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, which refers to those imposed by the court for services rendered to a party incident to the proceedings before it.
Thus, in In Re: Exemption of Cooperatives from Payment of Court and Sheriff’s Fees Payable to the Government in Actions Brought Under R.A. 6938,19 the Court clarified that sheriff’s expenses are not considered as legal fees, ratiocinating that: The difference in the treatment between the sheriff’s fees and the sheriff’s expenses in relation with the exemption enjoyed by cooperatives is further demonstrated by the wording of Section 10, Rule 141, which uses "fees" in delineating the enumeration in the first paragraph, and "expenses" in qualifying the subsequent paragraphs of this provision. The intention to make a distinction between the two charges is clear; otherwise, the Rules would not have used different designations. Likewise, the difference between the two terms is highlighted by a consideration of the phraseology in the first sentence of the second paragraph of Section 10, Rule 141, which uses the clause "in addition to the fees hereinabove fixed," thereby unequivocally indicating that sheriff’s expenses are separate charges on top of the sheriff’s fees. (Italics supplied) The Court, however, is not unmindful of the predicament of PAO’s clients. In exempting PAO’s clients from paying docket and other legal fees, R.A. No. 9406 intended to ensure that the indigents and the less privileged, who do not have the means to pay the said fees, would not be denied access to courts by reason of poverty. Indeed, requiring PAO’s clients to pay sheriff’s expenses, despite their exemption from the payment of docket and other legal fees, would effectly fetter their free access to the courts thereby negating the laudable intent of Congress in enacting R.A. No. 9406.
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- Spring '14
- Supreme Court of the United States, habeas data