ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 19-97 February 14, 1997



Administrative Order No. 134-92 dated July 16, 1992 establishes a pairing system for single sala stations to expedite resolution of urgent matters requiring immediate action whenever the presiding judge is temporarily absent. However, attention has been called to the fact that unlike the pairing system established under Circular No. 7 of September 23, 1974 for multiple sala stations, the pairing system for single sala stations does not cover instances of vacancies in single sala stations. Administrative Order No. 134-92 is, therefore, hereby amended as follows:

1) IN THE EVENT OF VACANCY IN A SINGLE SALA STATION OR OF THE ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF THE JUDGE THEREOF and no acting judge has yet been designated, the Clerk of Court, upon request of any party, shall refer any urgent matter requiring immediate action to the nearest presiding judge of the appropriate Regional Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court with jurisdiction to act on the matter. Such presiding judge is authorized to hear and resolve any urgent matters, including applications for restraining orders, injunctions and other matters requiring immediate attention prior to the APPOINTMENT OF A NEW JUDGE, the return of the regular judge or the assignment of an acting judge, without prejudice to any subsequent action that may be taken by the judge to the particular case is eventually assigned. If the nearest trial court is a multiple sala station, the matter shall be referred to the Executive Judge, or in his absence, the presiding Judge authorized to act for the Executive Judge.

2) The clerk of court, before making such referral to the nearest presiding judge of the same level, shall certify that THE STATION IS VACANT, OR THAT THE PRESIDING JUDGE THEREOF IS ABSENT OR DISABLED and that no ACTING JUDGE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED. The RTC Executive Judge with jurisdiction over the MTC SINGLE SALA STATION CONCERNED or the Court Administrator in the case of an RTC SINGLE SALA STATION, shall immediately be notified of said referral.

3) The pairing judge shall act on all matters pertaining to the PAIRED SINGLE SALA STATION IN THE SAID STATION utilizing ITS personnel and facilities. His attendance THEREIN shall be deemed to be on official business. However, if his travel to the PAIRED SINGLE SALA STATION would cause delay in the trial or disposition of cases in his own court, he may act on all matters pertaining to the other court in his own station.

4) If there are two or more single sala courts more or less equidistant from the court WITHOUT A JUDGE, referral shall be made to the presiding judge most senior in the station, or if the judges are of equal seniority, then to the presiding judge with the least number of pending cases.

This Administrative Order shall take effect upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

February 14, 1997.


Chief Justice

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