|Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » The judge|
|Canon 1419.||§1. In each diocese and for all cases not expressly excepted by law, the judge of first instance is the diocesan bishop, who can exercise judicial power personally or through others according to the following canons.
§2. If a case concerns the rights or temporal goods of a juridic person represented by the bishop, the appellate tribunal judges in first instance.
|Canon 1420.||§1. Each diocesan bishop is bound to appoint a judicial vicar, or offcialis, with ordinary power to judge, distinct from the vicar general unless the small size of the diocese or the small number of cases suggests otherwise.
§2. The judicial vicar constitutes one tribunal with the bishop but cannot judge cases which the bishop reserves to himself.
§3. The judicial vicar can be given assistants who are called adjutant judicial vicars, or vice-officiales.
§4. Both the judicial vicar and adjutant judicial vicars must be priests, of unimpaired reputation, doctors or at least licensed in canon law, and not less than thirty years of age.
§5. When the see is vacant, they do not cease from their function and cannot be removed by the diocesan administrator; when the new bishop arrives, however, they need confirmation.
|Canon 1421.||§1. In a diocese, the bishop is to appoint diocesan judges, who are to be clerics.
§2. The conference of bishops can also permit the appointment of lay persons as judges; when it is necessary, one of them can be selected to form a college.
§3. Judges are to be of unimpaired reputation and doctors or at least licensed in canon law.
|Canon 1422.||The judicial vicar, adjutant judicial vicars, and other judges are appointed for a definite time, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1420, §5 and cannot be removed except for a legitimate and grave cause.|
|Canon 1423.||§1. With the approval of the Apostolic See, several diocesan bishops can agree to establish a single tribunal of first instance for their dioceses in place of the diocesan tribunals mentioned in can. 1419-1421. In this case, the group of bishops or a bishop they designate has all the powers which a diocesan bishop has over his own tribunal.
§2. The tribunals mentioned in §1 can be established either for any cases whatsoever or only for certain types of cases.
|Canon 1424.||In any trial, a single judge can employ two assessors who consult with him; they are to be clerics or lay persons of upright life.|
|Canon 1425.||§1. With every contrary custom reprobated, the following cases are reserved to a collegiate tribunal of three judges:
1. contentious cases: a) concerning the bond of sacred ordination; b) concerning the bond of marriage, without prejudice to the prescripts of cann. 1686 and 1688;
2. penal cases: a) concerning delicts which can entail the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state; b) concerning the imposition or declaration of an excommunication.
§2. The bishop can entrust more difficult cases or those of greater importance to the judgment of three or five judges.
§3. Unless the bishop establishes otherwise in individual cases, the judicial vicar is to assign the judges in order by turn to adjudicate individual cases.
§4. If it happens that a collegiate tribunal cannot be established in the first instance of a trial, the conference of bishops can permit the bishop, for as long as the impossibility continues, to entrust cases to a single clerical judge who is to employ an assessor and auditor where possible.
§5. The judicial vicar is not to substitute judges once they have been assigned except for a most grave cause expressed in a decree.
|Canon 1426.||§1. A collegiate tribunal must proceed collegially and render its sentences by majority vote.
§2. The judicial vicar or an adjutant judicial vicar must preside over a collegiate tribunal insofar as possible.
|Canon 1427.||§1. If there is a controversy between religious or houses of the same clerical religious institute of pontifical right, the judge of first instance is the provincial superior unless the constitutions provide otherwise; if it is an autonomous monastery, the local abbot judges in first instance.
§2. Without prejudice to a different prescript of the constitutions, if a contentious matter arises between two provinces, the supreme moderator will judge in first instance either personally or through a delegate; if the controversy is between two monasteries, the abbot superior of the monastic congregation will judge in first instance.
§3. Finally, if the controversy arises between physical or juridic religious persons of different religious institutes or of the same clerical institute of diocesan right or of the same lay institute, or between a religious and a secular cleric or lay person or a non-religious juridic person, the diocesan tribunal judges in first instance.
|Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » Auditors and relators|
|Canon 1428.||§1. The judge or the president of a collegiate tribunal can designate an auditor, selected either from the judges of the tribunal or from persons the bishop approves for this function, to instruct the case.
§2. The bishop can approve for the function of auditor clerics or lay persons outstanding for their good character, prudence, and doctrine.
§3. It is for the auditor, according to the mandate of the judge, only to collect the proofs and hand those collected over to the judge. Unless the mandate of the judge prevents it, however, the auditor can in the meantime decide what proofs are to be collected and in what manner if a question may arise about this while the auditor exercises his or her function.
|Canon 1429.||The president of a collegiate tribunal must designate one of the judges of the college as the ponens or relator who is to report about the case at the meeting of the judges and put the sentence into writing. For a just cause the president can substitute another in place of the original relator.|
|Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » The promoter of justice, the defender of the bond, and the notary|
|Canon 1430.||A promoter of justice is to be appointed in a diocese for contentious cases which can endanger the public good and for penal cases; the promoter of justice is bound by office to provide for the public good.|
|Canon 1431.||§1. In contentious cases, it is for the diocesan bishop to judge whether or not the public good can be endangered unless the intervention of the promoter of justice is prescribed by law or is clearly necessary from the nature of the matter.
§2. If the promoter of justice has intervened in a previous instance, such intervention is presumed necessary in a further instance.
|Canon 1432.||A defender of the bond is to be appointed in a diocese for cases concerning the nullity of sacred ordination or the nullity or dissolution of a marriage; the defender of the bond is bound by office to propose and explain everything which reasonably can be brought forth against nullity or dissolution.|
|Canon 1433.||If the promoter of justice or defender of the bond was not cited in cases which require their presence, the acts are invalid unless they actually took part even if not cited or, after they have inspected the acts, at least were able to fulfill their function before the sentence.|
|Canon 1434.||Unless other provision is expressly made:
1. whenever the law requires the judge to hear either both or one of the parties, the promoter of justice and the defender of the bond must also be heard if they take part in the trial;
2. whenever the request of a party is required in order for the judge to be able to decide something, the request of the promoter of justice or defender of the bond who takes part in the trial has the same force.
|Canon 1435.||It is for the bishop to appoint the promoter of justice and defender of the bond; they are to be clerics or lay persons, of unimpaired reputation, doctors or licensed in canon law, and proven in prudence and zeal for justice.|
|Canon 1436.||§1. The same person can hold the office of promoter of justice and defender of the bond but not in the same case.
§2. The promoter and the defender can be appointed for all cases or for individual cases; however, the bishop can remove them for a just cause.
|Canon 1437.||§1. A notary is to take part in any process, so much so that the acts are null if the notary has not signed them.
§2. Acts which notaries prepare warrant public trust.
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