Courts suspend hearings in July for records disposal

Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - July 1, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - All courts around the country, including those in Cebu, will suspend hearings, except for urgent matters, within this month to give way for the disposal of records of long-decided cases and old documents of terminated cases.

The physical inventory of cases and disposable records was made pursuant to a Supreme Court en banc resolution dated December 16, 2015, which sets guidelines in the disposition or destruction of court records for terminated cases for at least five years and above.

During the records disposal period, judges and court personnel are required to segregate the disposable or residual records and extract those that should be retained and kept.

While trial courts do not conduct hearings during this period, they still have to attend urgent matters like applications for writs of habeas corpus, amparo or habeas data, temporary restraining orders, permanent protection orders, bail matters, and lifting of warrants of arrest, as well as arraignment of detained accused.

The memorandum for inventory covers first level courts (Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court) and second level courts (Regional Trial Court).

Litigants, lawyers and other interested persons who may want to obtain the disposable or residual records of all terminated cases or the old notarized documents are advised to make a request for such records before the branch that decided the cases or the concerned office of the clerk of court who is in possession of the documents.

Applicants would have to fill out a form provided and submit it within the whole month of August 2016. In the absence of said application, the records shall be subject to disposal during the whole month of September 2016.  (FREEMAN)





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