Period to file motion for reconsideration
"My lawyer, who recently withdrew as my counsel due to an appointment in the government, informed me that she received the adverse decision from the court on Nov. 22, 2019. She mentioned that although the decision was received by her office on November 22, a driver, unrelated to her in any capacity, i.e. either in a personal or a professional capacity, received the decision from the mailer a week earlier from November 22. Apparently, the driver who received the decision is also a worker in the building where my previous lawyer’s law office was located. I do not have a lawyer at this moment. Thus, considering the court’s adverse decision with respect to my complaint due to the court’s misapprehension of the law, what, if any, is my remedy and until when can I exercise it?
The answer to your first query is found in the Rules of Court, specifically Section 1 of Rule 37, viz:“Section 1. Grounds of and period for filing motion for new trial or reconsideration.
“Within the period for taking an appeal, the aggrieved party may move the trial court to set aside the judgment or final order and grant a new trial for one or more of the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights of said party:xxx
“Within the same period, the aggrieved party may also move for reconsideration upon the grounds that the damages awarded are excessive, that the evidence is insufficient to justify the decision or final order, or that the decision or final order is contrary to law.”Your allegation dictates that the reason for the adverse decision was due to the court’s misapprehension of the proper application of the law. Succinctly, an application of the above-mentioned rule to your case would warrant the filing of a motion for reconsideration on the ground that the decision is contrary to law. On this note, the period to file the motion for reconsideration would be for 15 days from the receipt of the decision of the court.Proceeding to the second query, you mentioned that the decision was received a week earlier from the mailer by a driver working in the same building where your previous lawyer’s Law office was located. But the actual receipt by the Law office of your previous lawyer was only on Nov. 22, 2019. Pertinently, the question is whether the date of receipt by the driver commences the period to file the Motion for Reconsideration or only upon the receipt on Nov. 22, 2019 by the law office.The answer to the second query is found in Rule 13, Sections 7 and 10 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
“Sec. 7. Service by mail.“Service by registered mail shall be made by depositing the copy in the office, in a sealed envelope, plainly addressed to the party or his counsel at his office, if known, otherwise at his residence, if known, with postage fully pre-paid, and with instructions to the postmaster to return the mail to the sender after ten (l0) days if undelivered. If no registry service is available in the locality of either the sender or the addressee, service may be done by ordinary mail.xxx“Sec. 10. Completeness of service.“Personal service is complete upon actual delivery. Service by ordinary mail is complete upon the expiration of ten (10) days after mailing, unless the court otherwise provides. Service by registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee, or after five (5) days from the date he received the first notice of the postmaster, whichever date is earlier.” (Emphases and underscorings supplied)Under the rules, a copy of the court’s decision should be deposited in the law office of the lawyer and not elsewhere in the building. In fact, as provided in Section 10, Rule 13 as quoted above, service by registered mail is completed only upon actual receipt by the addressee, which in this case is your previous lawyer in her law office.Although the mailer might have deposited the decision to a person working in the same building where the law office is located, the same cannot bind the lawyer and the party on the face of a clear violation of the rule requiring service to be made at the counsel’s office.On this score, it must be remembered that a leased space located inside a building should be distinguished from the entire building when speaking of one’s abode and commercial address.In sum, you can file a motion for reconsideration within 15 days from receipt on Nov. 22, 2019.We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our narration of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com"
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"Period to file motion for reconsideration"
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and updated on 15 September 2021