CIRCULAR NO. 33-98 June 3, 1998

TO: ALL JUDGES OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS

SUBJECT: INVENTORY OF CRIMINAL CASES FALLING WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE FAMILY COURTS

Sec. 32 of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691, provides on the one hand, that the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over, among others, "all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof . . . ."

On the other hand, Section 5 of the Family Courts Act of 1997 provides that the Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases:

a) Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age, or where one or more of the victims is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense:

xxx xxx xxx

h) Cases against minor cognizable under the Dangerous Drugs act, as amended; [and]

j) Violations of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, as amended by Republic Act No. 7658.

To enable this Office to determine the present actual number of criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Family Courts filed with and handled by the first level courts, all judges of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts are hereby directed to cause (1) the taking of an inventory within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of this issuance of all criminal cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Family Courts filed with their respective courts; and (2) the preparation of the appropriate inventory list. The list shall indicate the case number and the status of each case whether for pre-trial, trial or submitted for decision. The list shall be submitted to the Court Management Office (Attention: The Chief, Statistical Reports Division) of the Office of the Court Administrator on or before Wednesday, 15 July 1998.

For strict compliance.

(Sgd.) ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO

Court Administrator

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