Saturday, April 18, 2015

Payment and disbursement of fees for the execution of a writ

"x x x.
The duties of sheriffs in the implementation of writs are explicitly laid down in Section 10, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended, which reads:

Sec. 10. Sheriffs, process servers and other persons serving processes. – x x x

x x x x

With regard to sheriff’s 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 anamount estimated by the sheriff, subject to 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, the sheriff’s expenses shall be taxed as cost against the judgment debtor. (Emphasis supplied)

The aforesaid rule enumerated the steps to be followed in the payment and disbursement of fees for the execution of a writ, to wit: (1) the sheriff must prepare and submit to the court anestimate of the expenses he would incur; (2) the estimated expenses shall be subject to court approval; (3) the approved estimated expenses shall be deposited by the interested party with the Clerk of Court, who is also the ex-officio sheriff; (4) the Clerk of Court shall disburse the amount to the executing sheriff; (5) the executing sheriff shall thereafter liquidate his expenses within the same period for rendering a return on the writ; and (6) any amount unspent shall be returned to the person who made the deposit. It is clear from the enumeration that sheriffs are not authorized to receive direct payments from a winning party. Any amount to be paid for the execution ofthe writ should be deposited with the Clerk of Court and it would be the latter who shall release the amount to the executing sheriff. The amount deposited should be spent entirely for the execution only and any remainder of the amount should be returned.
x x x."

See - 
A.M. No. P-14-3272, November 11, 2014
[Formerly: OCA IPI No. 14-4264-P]

Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Davao City, Respondent.