Canon Text
Canon 1501.A judge cannot investigate any case unless a plea, drawn up in accordance with canon law, is submitted either by a person whose interest is involved, or by the promotor of justice.
Canon 1502.A person who wishes to sue another must present a petition to a judge who is lawfully competent. In this petition the matter in dispute is to be set out and the intervention of the judge requested.
Canon 1503.§1 A judge can admit an oral plea whenever the plaintiff is impeded from presenting a petition or when the case can be easily investigated and is of minor significance.

§2 In both cases, however, the judge is to direct a notary to record the matter in writing. This written record is to be read to, and approved by, the plaintiff, and it takes the place of a petition written by the plaintiff as far as all effects of law are concerned.
Canon 1504.The petition by which a suit is introduced must:

1° state the judge before whom the case is being introduced, what is being sought and from whom it is being sought;

2° indicate on what right the plaintiff bases the case and, at least in general terms, the facts and evidence to be submitted in support of the allegations made;

3° be signed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s procurator, and bear the day, the month and the year, as well as the address at which the plaintiff or the procurator resides, or at which they say they reside for the purpose of receiving the acts;

4° indicate the domicile or quasi-domicile of the respondent.
Canon 1505.§1 Once he has satisfied himself that the matter is within his competence and the plaintiff has the right to stand before the court, the sole judge, or the presiding judge of a collegiate tribunal, must as soon as possible by his decree either admit or reject the petition.

§2 A petition can be rejected only if:

1° the judge or the tribunal is not legally competent;

2° it is established beyond doubt that the plaintiff lacks the right to stand before the court;

3° the provisions of can. 1504 nn. 1-3 have not been observed

4° it is certainly clear from the petition that the plea lacks any foundation, and that there is no possibility that a foundation will emerge from a process.

§3 If a petition has been rejected by reason of defects which can be corrected, the plaintiff can draw up a new petition correctly and present it again to the same judge.

§4 A party is always entitled, within ten canonical days, to have recourse, based upon stated reasons, against the rejection of a petition. This recourse is to be made either to the tribunal of appeal or, if the petition was rejected by the presiding judge, to the collegiate tribunal. A question of rejection is to be determined with maximum expedition.
Canon 1506.If within a month of the presentation of a petition, the judge has not issued a decree admitting or rejecting it in accordance with can. 1505, the interested party can insist that the judge perform his duty. If, notwithstanding this, the judge does not respond within ten days of the party’s request, the petition is to be taken as having been admitted.
Canon 1507.§1 In the decree by which a plaintiff’s petition is admitted, the judge or the presiding judge must call or summon the other parties to court to effect the joinder of the issue; he must prescribe whether, in order to agree the point at issue, they are to reply in writing or to appear before him. If, from their written replies, he perceives the need to convene the parties, he can determine this by a new decree.

§2 If a petition is deemed admitted in accordance with the provisions of can. 1506, the decree of summons to the trial must be issued within twenty days of the request of which that canon speaks.

§3 If the litigants in fact present themselves before the judge to pursue the case, there is no need for a summons; the notary, however, is to record in the acts that the parties were present at the trial.
Canon 1508.§1 The decree of summons to the trial must be notified at once to the respondent, and at the same time to any others who are obliged to appear.

§2 The petition introducing the suit is to be attached to the summons, unless for grave reasons the judge considers that the petition is not to be communicated to the other party before he or she gives evidence.

§3 If a suit is brought against a person who does not have the free exercise of personal rights, or the free administration of the matters in dispute, the summons is to be notified to, as the case may be, the guardian, the curator, the special procurator, or the one who according to law is obliged to undertake legal proceedings in the name of such a person.
Canon 1509.§1 With due regard to the norms laid down by particular law, the notification of summonses, decrees, judgements and other judicial acts is to be done by means of the public postal service, or by some other particularly secure means.

§2 The fact and the manner of notification must be shown in the acts.
Canon 1510.A respondent who refuses to accept a document of summons, or who circumvents the delivery of a summons, is to be regarded as lawfully summoned.
Canon 1511.Without prejudice to the provision of can. 1507 §3, if a summons has not been lawfully communicated, the acts of the process are null.
Canon 1512.Once a summons has been lawfully communicated, or the parties have presented themselves before a judge to pursue the case:

1° the matter ceases to be a neutral one;

2° the case becomes that of the judge or of the tribunal, in other respects lawfully competent, before whom the action was brought;

3° the jurisdiction of a delegated judge is established in such a way that it does not lapse on the expiry of the authority of the person who delegated;

4° prescription is interrupted, unless otherwise provided;

5° the suit begins to be a pending one, and therefore the principle immediately applies ‘while a suit is pending, no new element is to be introduced’.

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