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Monday, March 25, 2013

EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT: IS NOTICE OF HEARING REQUIRED?


In a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution relative a decision which has already become final and executory by reason of the non-filing of appeal within the prescribed period, must there be notice served on the adverse party and a hearing conducted first before such decision can be executed?

          Instructive on this matter is the case of
 ANAMA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No.187021, January 25, 2012 where it was held that:

Elementary is the rule that every motion must contain the mandatory requirements of notice and hearing and that there must be proof of service thereof. The Court has consistently held that a motion that fails to comply with the above requirements is considered a worthless piece of paper which should not be acted upon.  The rule, however, is not absolute. There are motions that can be acted upon by the court ex parte if these would not cause prejudice to the other party. They are not strictly covered by the rigid requirement of the rules on notice and hearing of motions.

The motion for execution of the Spouses Co is such kind of motion. It cannot be denied that the judgment sought to be executed in this case had already become final and executory. As such, the Spouses Co have every right to the issuance of a writ of execution and the RTC has the ministerial duty to enforce the same. This right on the part of the Spouses Co and duty on the part of the RTC are based on Section 1 and Section 2 of Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure provides, as follows: 

Section 1.  Execution upon judgments or final orders. – Execution shall issue as a matter of right, on motion, upon a judgment or order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected.
If the appeal has been duly perfected and finally resolved, the execution may forthwith be applied for in the court of origin, on motion of the judgment obligee, submitting therewith certified true copies of the judgment or judgments or final order or orders sought to be enforced and of the entry thereof, with notice to the adverse party.
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          As can be gleaned therefrom, under Paragraph 1 of Section 1 of Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, the Spouses Co can have their motion for execution executed as a matter of right without the needed notice and hearing requirement to petitioner. This is in contrast to the provision of Paragraph 2 of Section 1 and Section 2 where there must be notice to the adverse party. In the case of Far Eastern Surety and Insurance Company, Inc. v. Virginia D. Vda. De Hernandez, it was written:

          It is evident that Section 1 of Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court does not prescribe that a copy of the motion for the execution of a final and executory judgment be served on the defeated party, like litigated motions such as a motion to dismiss (Section 3, Rule 16), or motion for new trial (Section 2, Rule 37), or a motion for execution of judgment pending appeal (Section 2, Rule 39), in all of which instances a written notice thereof is required to be served by the movant on the adverse party in order to afford the latter an opportunity to resist the application.

Based on the quoted decision, it is clear that the mandatory requirement of notice and hearing involving litigated motions do not apply to a motion for writ execution of a judgment that has already become final and executory because no appeal was perfected within the prescribed period. This is because the  execution of such final decision is precisely no longer a litigated matter. Execution of such judgment is a matter of right. 





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