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SC: All courts ‘physically closed’ but can be reached online

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SC: All courts ‘physically closed’ but can be reached online

THE Supreme Court on Monday announced that all courts would be “physically closed” in view of the reimposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting midnight of August 4.

Administrative Circular 42-2020, signed by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, said from August 3 to 14, courts can be reached “through their respective hotline numbers, email addresses and/or Facebook accounts as posted on the website of the Supreme Court”.
“All inquiries on cases or transactions, including requests for documents and services, shall be coursed and acted upon through the said numbers, addresses and accounts of the concerned court, or through the Judiciary Public Assistance Section of the Supreme Court,” it said.

The high court also said raffle of cases shall proceed electronically or through video conferencing.

At the high tribunal, en banc and the three division sessions of the Justices shall be done through video conferencing.

“Upon the recommendation of the Court Administrator and the Clerk of Court en banc, the essential offices and services of the Court shall continue to operate in court with a skeleton-staff.”

“The Sandiganbayan, Court of Appeals and Court of Tax Appeals shall continue to receive petitions and pleadings electronically. They shall resolve and decide cases pending before them. Regular hearings shall be conducted through video conferencing,” the circular said.

For the Regional, Metropolitan and Municipal Trial Courts (RTC, MeTC and MTC), all pleadings shall be filed electronically and criminal and civil cases will be heard through video conferencing.

The executive judges shall assign a skeleton staff to be on duty during office hours in all court stations, the same circular said.