GOLDEN SUN FINANCE CORPORATION represented by Rachelle L. Marmito, complainant,
RICARDO R. ALBANO, Sheriff III, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 62, Makati City, respondent.
[A.M. P-11-2888. July 27, 2011]
Respondent was charged of negligence and grave misconduct for levying a Honda Civic Sedan by virtue of a writ of execution. The complainant averred that the levy and sale of the motor vehicle by the respondent was illegal. It claimed that the respondent was negligent when he levied upon the motor vehicle and proceeded with the auction sale without looking into the car’s Certificate of Registration to determine whether it was encumbered or not. The encumbrance on the motor vehicle having been made prior to the suit filed by the Royal Makati Credit Resource, the complainant posited that its claim should have priority over the former’s claims. Required by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to comment on the charges against him, the respondent contended that he had no knowledge that the car was encumbered because the Certificate of Registration was never shown to him. He also had no knowledge that the car was the subject of a writ of replevin in another Civil Case. Thus, the respondent asked for the dismissal of the complaint, stressing that he had acted within the scope of his duty as sheriff when he enforced the writ of execution. The OCA recommended that the respondent be charged administratively.
(1) Whether or not the recommendation of the OCA is proper on the ground of negligence on the part of the respondent.
(1) No. The Court failed to find sufficient basis to declare the respondent administratively liable for simple neglect of duty. Section 9(b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states the manner by which judgments for money may be satisfied by levy. It is to emphasize that a sheriff’s duty to execute a writ is simply ministerial, and he is bound to perform only those tasks stated under the Rules of Court and no more. Any interest a third party may have on the property levied upon by the sheriff to enforce a judgment is the third party’s responsibility to protect through the remedies provided under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Thus, [the Court] cannot hold the respondent liable on the ground that the complainant cites. If at all, the respondent should have required, as a matter of sound established practice, the production of the certificate of registration, but this is an altogether different matter that [the Court] do not here pass upon.