Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Arbitration

All Courts To Remain Physically Closed Until 30 April 2020

On 08 April 2020, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Circular Number 34-2020 ordering all court premises nationwide to remain closed to the general public during the extended Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until 30 April 2020.

As a result, all hearings nationwide, except on urgent matters, shall remain suspended until the ECQ is lifted. In addition, the filing of petitions and appeals, complaints, motions, pleading, other court submissions, and all court actions on non-urgent matters that fall due up to 30 April 2020 are extended for thirty (30) calendar days counted from 01 May 2020. Nevertheless, pleadings and other court submissions may still be filed by the parties within the reglementary period on or before 30 April 2020 through electronic means, if available. Night courts and Saturday courts shall likewise remain suspended during the same period.

Notwithstanding the physical closure of all courts during the period of ECQ, the courts shall continue to operate from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday to act on urgent matters such as posting of bail, submission of other urgent pleadings, and online filing of criminal complaints and information that must be transmitted by court users from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Thus, the scheduling of justices and judges-on-duty, together with the skeleton staff, shall continue until 30 April 2020. In the meantime, Justices and Judges shall continue to draft from their respective homes decisions and orders which shall be promulgated once the courts are fully operational.

Click here to read the full text of SC Administrative Circular 34-2020.

Click to read the related article Prosecutors Limited to Inquest and Urgent Matters During the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

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