G.R. No. 182738. February 24, 2014.
MAIN TOPIC – Rule 29.
Manuel Sanchez, stockholder of Capitol Hills filed a (1) petition for nullification of the annual meeting of stockholders and the special meeting of stockholders and (2) Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents which includes: list of stockholders, all proxies, specimen signatures of all stockholder and tape recordings of the stockholders’ meeting. The production, inspection and photocopying must be undertaken in the office premises of Capitol within reasonable business hours of a business day before the pre-trial. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, however, the Court denied the MR and ordered the immediate implementation of inspection and production of documents.
During the inspection, unreasonable excuses are given which shows unwillingness to comply with the directive. The matter was reported to the trial court, and the Court orders Capitol Hills to comply with the directive and failure to comply with all the requirements will cite them in contempt and order defendants solidarily to pay a fine of P10,000.00 for every day of delay to comply with the order.
Whether or not the threatened imposition of sanction for contempt of court and the possible payment of a fine amounting to P10,000.00 for every day of delay is inapplicable
No. person guilty of disobedience of or resistance to a lawful order of a court or commits any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice may be punished for indirect contempt.
Under Section 3, Rule 29 of the Rules, if a party or an officer or managing agent of a party refuses to obey an order to produce any document or other things for inspection, copying, or photographing or to permit it to be done, the court may make such orders as are just. The enumeration of options given to the court under Section 3, Rule 29 of the Rules is not exclusive, as shown by the phrase “among others.” The penalty mentioned therein only serves as a reminder to caution petitioners of the consequence of possible nonobservance of the long-overdue order to produce and make available for inspection and photocopying of the requested records/documents. In case of another failure or refusal to comply with the directive, the court or respondent could formally initiate the indirect contempt proceedings pursuant to the mandatory requirements of the Rules and existing jurisprudence.
Under Section 3, Rule 29 of the Rules, if a party or an officer or managing agent of a party refuses to obey an order to produce any document or other things for inspection, copying, or photographing or to permit it to be done, the court may make such orders as are just.