CIRCULAR NO. 30-91 September 30, 1991



For your information and guidance, quoted hereunder is the Resolution of the Court En Banc dated February 26, 1991:

RE: Guidelines on the functions of the office of the Court Administrator. The Court Resolved to APPROVE the guidelines on the functions of the Office of the Court Administrator, to wit:


I. General Considerations

A. The Supreme Court exercises administrative supervision over all lower courts. In the discharge of its administrative functions, the Court is assisted by the Court Administrator and the Deputy Court Administrators (P.D. No. 828, as amended by P.D. No. 842). The Court thus acts through the court administrators in the exercise of its administrative functions. (See A.M. No. 343-RTJ In Re: RTC Judge of Balanga, Bataan).

B. The rationalization of the allocation of duties and functions of the Office of the Court Administrator is needed for a more systematic work flow.

C. The Work attended to by the Office of the Court Administrator, either on its responsibility or with the approval of the Court En Banc, may be classified into the following categories:

1. Judicial discipline of lower court justices, judges and personnel;

2. Administrative interventions in case management of lower courts, including designation of Executive Judges and detail of judges to other courts;

3. Preparation of draft circulars;

4. Public assistance and information;

5. Personnel administration; and

6. Liaison with the Executive and Legislative Departments.

II. Matters to be attended by the Court En Banc

A. Disciplinary Matters

1. Justices and Judges Judicial discipline matters involving the justices and judges of all lower courts (Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Regional Trial Courts, metropolitan Trial Courts, MTCC, MCTC, Shari'a Courts) filed with the Office of the Court Administrator or the lower courts shall be immediately referred to the Court En Banc for appropriate action.

2. Lower Court Personnel

a. Light offenses

(1) Disciplinary matters involving light offenses as defined under the Civil Service Law (Administrative Code of 1987, and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Rep. Act. 6713) where the penalty is reprimand, suspension for not more than thirty days, or a fine not exceeding thirty days' salary, and as classified in Civil Service Resolution No. 30, Series of 1989, shall be acted upon by the appropriate supervisory official of the lower court concerned.

(2) The appropriate supervisory officials are the Presiding Justices/Presiding Judge of the lower collegiate courts and the Executive Judges of the trial courts with respect to the personnel of their respective courts, except those directly under the individual Justices and Judges, in which case, the latter shall be their appropriate supervisory officials.

(3) The complaint for light offenses whether filed with the Court, the Office of the Court Administrator, or the lower court shall be heard and decided by the appropriate supervisory official concerned.

b. Grave Or Less Grave Offenses

All administrative complaints for grave or less grave offenses as defined in the Codes hereinbefore referred to shall be immediately referred to the Court En Banc for appropriate action within 15 days from receipt by the Court Administrator if filed directly with him, otherwise, within 15 days likewise from receipt by him from the appropriate supervisory officials concerned.

c. Conduct of Investigation

(1) The investigation of administrative complaints by the appropriate supervisory officials shall, as much as practicable, conform with the Rules of Procedure established by the Civil Service Commission under Resolution No. 89-779.

(2) In light offenses, the respondent may appeal to the Court En Banc within 30 days from receipt of the administrative decision but appeal shall not stay enforcement thereof unless otherwise ordered by the Court En Banc or any Division to which the case may be assigned.

B. Designation of Judges

1. Designation of Executive Judges and Vice-Executive Judges as well as temporary detail of Judges to other branches as well as temporary detail of Judges to other branches or administrative areas shall be made by the Court En Banc.

2. Designation of Municipal Judges to act on cadastral cases as well as their temporary detail to other branches within the same administrative area, shall be made by the Executive Judge of the RTC with supervision over them.

3. Designation of Municipal Judges or their detail to branches outside the administrative area of supervision of their Executive Judge of the RTC shall be made by the Court En Banc.

C. Request for transfer of cases from one court, administrative area or judicial region to another and/or transfer of venue of cases to avoid miscarriage of justice as provided for in Section 5(4), Article VIII of the Constitution.

D. Amendment, modification and/or revocation of Administrative Orders and Circulars issued by the Supreme Court.

E. Matters for policy determination.

III. Matters to be attended by the Court Administrator

A. Personnel Administration

Appointments of all lower court personnel shall be processed by the Office of the Court Administrator, Assisted by the Administrative Division, in accordance with the guidelines of the Court En Banc dated, April 9, 1987. A list of proposed appointees shall be submitted to the Court En Banc and their Commissions shall be signed by the Court Administrator or the Deputy Court Administrators upon approval of their appointments by the Court En Banc. Any protest against these appointments shall be resolved by the Court En Banc.

B. Public Assistance and Information

The Office of the Court Administrator shall attend to all matters of public assistance and information, requests for expeditious action on pending cases in the lower courts, indorsements from other government agencies and other matters which do not involve administrative or judicial adjudications, including queries on status of cases in the lower courts and on such other matters relative to pertinent circulars, memoranda, or administrative orders of the Supreme Court.

C. Other Administrative Matters

1. Requests of judges and court personnel for advice on routine administrative matters where the Court has laid down guiding policies;

2. Administrative problems of lower courts regarding assignment, detail and transfer of court personnel;

3. Applications for leave of absence of judges and court personnel in accordance with policies laid down by the Court;

4. Applications for compulsory retirement of judges and court personnel;

5. Confirmation or approval of designations of court personnel as Officers-in-Charge of the offices of the Clerk of Court and Brach Clerk of Court;

6. Financial matters such as (a) Claims for counsel de oficio fees, (b) Travel expense vouchers of judges and employees of the lower courts, (c) Payrolls of judges and personnel of the lower courts, and (d) Budgetary proposals;

7. Amendments, modifications or revocation of designation extended by Executive Judges to Acting Municipal Trial Court Judges in the exercise of their power under Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1975;

8. Designation of non-court employees possessing special skills or qualifications such as interpreters for deaf and dumb or witnesses who speak only foreign languages;

9. Withholding, suspension and release of salaries of judges, clerks of court or branch clerks of court or personnel in charge who fail to submit their respective monthly reports;

10. Periodic investigation and audit of the conditions of lower courts and their dockets;

11. Request of judges and court personnel for permission to travel abroad;

12. Request of judges and court personnel for authority to travel outside of their stations (within the country) or to attend local seminars on official time, and to issue the corresponding certificates of appearance;

13. Preparation of drafts of administrative/office orders and circulars pursuant to resolutions of the Court and/or upon the instruction of the Chief Justice;

14. Circulation of pertinent decrees, letters of instruction, proclamations or circulars of the Office of the President and/or of the Court or of the Chief Justice;

15. Authority or permit to teach, engage in business, practice a profession, etc., subject to the guidelines that the Court may issue;

16. Providing technical support and assistance in personnel training, seminars, dialogues and other development programs for judges and court personnel approved by the Court;

17. Reported destruction of records of cases, properties and equipment of all lower courts;

18. Payment of per diems and transportation expenses of detailed judges and court personnel under the existing policies of the Court;

19. Action on other matters that the Court or the Chief Justice may assign relative to the administrative supervision of lower courts;

20. Supervision of the personnel in the Office of the Court Administrator.

D. Liaison with Executive and Legislative Departments

The Office of the Court Administration shall be responsible for all liaison and coordination activities with the Legislative and Executive departments as well as with local government officials and the military, subject to the following guidelines:

1. The independence of the Judiciary shall in no way be compromised by any statement of policies from the Office of the Court Administrator;

2. Where action by the Office of the Court Administrator is requested by the Legislative or Executive department on matters not covered by existing policies, guidelines, or circulars of the Court, it shall be cleared with the Chief Justice, including matters which pertain to internal court operators and those deemed to be confidential; and

3. The Office of the Court Administrator shall not act on any matter involving financial transactions expenditures, although it may submit its recommendation to the Chief Justice.

September 30, 1991.


Court Administrator

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