G.R. No. 152150. December 10, 2008.
Main Topic – Rule 50.
Unibandcard, engaged in the business of extending credit accommodations, instituted a collection suit against Spouses Padua. During the pre-trial, petitioners filed a motion to declare Unibancard non-suited due to insufficiency of the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by Unibancard to authorize Atty. Noel Mingoa to appear in its behalf. The RTC granted the motion and dismissed the case. Unibancard filed a Notice of Appeal Ad Cautelam with the Court of Appeals, however, they failed to file appellant’s brief within the period provided by the Court. They explained that a computer virus plagued all the computers of its counsel’s law firm and rendered the file containing its appellant’s brief inaccessible. Spouses Padua filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal on the ground that the Notice of Appeal was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period to appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The CA denied motion to dismiss appeal and Motion for reconsideration for the denial the dismissal of appeal.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied the petitioners’ motion to dismiss appeal and motion for reconsideration on the ground of delay in the service of appellant’s brief by Unibancard.
No. Nowhere in the Motion to Dismiss Appeal did petitioners allege that it suffered any material injury by the 10-day delay in the service of appellant’s brief by Unibancard. Section 1, Rule 50, which provides specific grounds for dismissal of appeal, manifestly “confers a power and does not impose a duty. Moreover, it is directory, not mandatory.” With the exception of Section 1(b), the grounds for the dismissal of an appeal are directory and not mandatory, and it is not the ministerial duty of the court to dismiss the appeal.
Grounds for dismissing an appeal under Section 1 of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court are discretionary upon the Court of Appeals.