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Boston Equity Resources vs CA

June 19, 2013

Petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money with a


prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment
against the private respondents, spouses Toledo.

In her answer, the wife alleged that her husband (co-


defendant) was already dead. Hence, she filed a Motion
to Dismiss.

The trial court denied the Motion for having filed out of
time. Respondent wife filed a Motion for Reconsideration
which was also denied by the RTC on the ground that the
barred by estoppel by laches.

petition stating the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over


the person of the deceased husband.

the jurisdiction over the person of her husband.

In the case at bar, the trial court did not acquire


jurisdiction over the person of Manuel since there was no
valid service of summons upon him, precisely because he
was already dead even before the complaint against him
and his wife was filed in the trial court.

was filed more than six years after her amended answer
was filed. According to petitioner, respondent had several
opportunities, at various stages of the proceedings, to
straight years. Citing the doctrine laid down in the case
of Tijam, et al. v. Sibonghanoy, petitioner claimed that
respondent’s failure to raise the question of jurisdiction at
an earlier stage bars her from later questioning it,
especially since she actively participated in the
proceedings conducted by the trial court.

consider that the concept of jurisdiction has several


aspects, namely: (1) jurisdiction over the subject matter;
(2) jurisdiction over the parties; (3) jurisdiction over the
issues of the case; and (4) in cases involving property,
jurisdiction over the res or the thing which is the subject
of the litigation.

The aspect of jurisdiction which may be barred from being


assailed as a result of estoppel by laches is jurisdiction
over the subject matter.

Here, what respondent was questioning in her motion to


over the person of defendant Manuel. Thus, the principle
of estoppel by laches finds no application in this case.
Instead, the principles relating to jurisdiction over the
person of the parties are pertinent herein.

The "objection on jurisdictional grounds which is not


waived even if not alleged in a motion to dismiss or the
answer is lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. x x
x Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter can always
be raised anytime, even for the first time on appeal, since
jurisdictional issues cannot be waived x x x subject,
however, to the principle of estoppel by laches."

Since the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person


of a party to a case is not one of those defenses which
are not deemed waived under Section 1 of Rule 9, such
defense must be invoked when an answer or a motion to
dismiss is filed in order to prevent a waiver of the defense.
If the objection is not raised either in a motion to dismiss
or in the answer, the objection to the jurisdiction over the
person of the plaintiff or the defendant is deemed waived
by virtue of the first sentence of the above-quoted Section
1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court.