Civil Law

Felisa De Roy vs Court of Appeals

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G.R. No. L-80718 – 157 SCRA 757 – Civil Law – Preliminary Title – Application of Laws – Publication of Laws – Publication of Supreme Court Decisions in the Official Gazette

The firewall of a burned out building owned by Felisa De Roy collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop occupied by the family of Luis Bernal resulting in injuries and the death of Bernal’s daughter. De Roy claimed that Bernal had been warned prior hand but that she was ignored.

In the RTC, De Roy was found guilty of gross negligence. She appealed but the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC. On the last day of filing a motion for reconsideration, De Roy’s counsel filed a motion for extension. It was denied by the CA. The CA ruled that pursuant to the case of Habaluyas Enterprises vs Japzon (August 1985), the fifteen-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended.

De Roy’s counsel however argued that the Habaluyas case should not be applicable because said ruling was never published in the Official Gazette.

ISSUE: Whether or not Supreme Court decisions must be published in the Official Gazette before they can be binding.

HELD: No. There is no law requiring the publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette before they can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is the bounden duty of a counsel as a lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated and published in the advance reports of Supreme Court decisions and in such publications as the SCRA and law journals.

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Read another version of the digest here: Duties of a lawyer

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