The Supreme Court has denied the petition of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) for its clients to be exempted from paying sheriff’s expenses.
In a full court decision, the Court denied the second motion for reconsideration filed by PAO chief Persida V. Rueda-Acosta in which she said that the clients in the PAO office in Region VII are being charged P1,000 for sheriff’s expenses upon the filing of a civil action in court.
Acosta argued that Section 6 of Republic Act No. 94062 (R.A.No. 9406) exempts PAO’s clients from the payment of docket and other court fees.
The Court said it was not unmindful of the problem of PAO’s clients, who are mostly indigents.
The Court said authorizing PAO officials and employees to serve the summons, subpoenas and other court processes in behalf of their clients would relieve it of “the burden of paying for the sheriff’s expenses despite their non-exemption from the payment thereof under Section 6 of R.A. No. 9406.”
“The amount to be defrayed in the service of summons, subpoena and other court processes in behalf of its clients would consequently have to be taken from the operating expenses of P AO. In turn, the amount advanced by PAO as actual travel expenses may be taken from the amount recovered from the adversaries of PAO’s clients as costs of suit, attorney’s fees or contingent fees prior to the deposit thereof in the National Treasury,” the Court ruled.