G.R. No. 103922 : July 9 1996
FACTS: Petitioner served written interrogatories on respondent Komatsu Industries’ counsel.The interrogatories were not, however, answered by the respondent by reason of which petitioner SLDC filed a motion to dismiss the action with prejudice based on Sec. 5, Rule 29 of the Rules of Court. An opposition to the motion to dismiss was filed by respondent Komatsu Industries alleging inter alia that there was no valid service of the written interrogatories inasmuch as the service was made on the respondent’s counsel and not directly upon any of the respondent’s officers who were competent to testify in its behalf, pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 25 of the Revised Rules of Court. In an order dated March 14, 1991, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss.Petitioner SLDC filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. Petitioner SLDC filed a petition for review before this Court but it was referred to the Court of Appeals by resolution dated July 17, 1991. The CA ruled that that there was a valid service and the failure of the respondent to answer the interrogatories would warrant the dismissal of the case. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition, hence, this petition for review before us. Petitioner SLDC now argues that the civil action should have been ordered dismissed with prejudice because of private respondent’s deliberate, knowing, and continued refusal to answer the written interrogatories. The respondent court, therefore, committed grave abuse of discretion and/or disregarded the usual course of judicial proceedings when it refused to order the dismissal of the civil case. Petitioner invokes Section 5, Rule 29 of the Rules of Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be dismissed for failure to answer the written interrogatories? Yes.
HELD: YES. While the case should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 29, nevertheless, such cannot be considered as grave abuse of discretion and therefore, correctable by certiorari. Certiorari is not available to correct errors of procedure or mistakes in the judge’s findings and conclusions and thatcertiorari will not be issued to cure errors in proceedings or to correct erroneous conclusions of law and fact. Furthermore, the denial of a motion to dismiss or to quash, being interlocutory, cannot be questioned by certiorari, it cannot be subject of appeal, until final judgment or order is rendered.