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NCR courts remain physically closed

August 20, 2021 Hector Lawas 426 views

All courts in the National Capital Region (NCR), except the Supreme Court (SC), shall be physically closed during the duration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

But according to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, these courts shall continue to operate online and conduct videoconferencing for urgent cases such as, but not limited to, application for bail, release due to acquittal or dismissal of cases, habeas corpus, applications for temporary protection orders for Violence Against Women and Children cases, and analogous circumstances.

The said courts may be reached through hotline numbers and electronic mail.

The time for filing and service of pleadings and motions during the said period is suspended and shall resume after seven calendar days counted from the first day of the physical reopening of courts.

Also, the essential judicial offices in all courts shall maintain a skeleton workforce to attend to all urgent matter and concerns.

Meanwhile, offices in the SC will reopen starting Monday as the NCR moves to MECQ.

But in a memorandum order, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said that these SC offices shall maintain a skeleton workforce as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

“Effective August 23, 2021 and until further notice, the offices in the Supreme Court shall be physically opened. However, considering the still alarming number of reported COVID-19 infections, there still a necessity to maintain a reduced workforce in the various offices of the Supreme Court,” read Memorandum Order No. 72-2021.

Likewise, the SC extended its previous order requiring the filing of pleadings and other documents through online, registered mail or via accredited private couriers.

“.. For exceptionally urgent matters, personal filing of the pleadings or submission may be done through the (SC’s) Docket Receiving Section of the Judicial Records Office, ” the memorandum said.

But the order stated that personal filing may be done “only after the concerned personnel of the Docket Receiving Section shall have properly communicated and cleared the matter with the proper office and have received official confirmation that the matter covered by the pleading or submission being personally filed is indeed urgent.”