SC orders swift actions on family, commercial cases

Published April 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Rey Panaligan

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the country’s trial court judges to act promptly on all commercial and family cases that may be filed during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) when courts are on physical shutdown.


Commercial and family cases are handled by commercial and family courts, respectively, which have been designated by the SC among the various regional trial courts (RTCs).

The April 5, 2020 new circular issued by Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez means that commercial and family cases, not only criminal cases and posting of bail, must be resolved with dispatch by designated judges during ECQ.

An example of a commercial case is a monetary claim between two businesses. Adoption is an example of a family case.

The circular designates judges-on-duty and “in stations, cities, and provinces where there are commercial court and family court judges, all urgent matters concerning commercial cases and family cases shall be referred to the commercial court and family court judges-on-duty, respectively.”

It mandates that “judges-on-duty, together with their skeleton-staff, must stay at their respective residences, and shall only go to their courts once if it has been determined that an urgent matter has to be acted upon (on that specific day). Otherwise, they need not go to their courts.”

It also states that “pleadings filed shall first be sent electronically to the judges-on-duty who may determine their urgency in their respective residences and thereafter act accordingly.”

The SC has also started implementing on Monday, April 6, the online filing of criminal cases and posting of bails before all trial courts in the country.

Several remedial measures have been adopted by the SC for the swift resolution of cases and avoidance of backlogs as a result of the physical shutdown of all courts in view of the rising incidents of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

All SC circulars and those issued by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) may be viewed at the SC website –