ignorance of the law
It is the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) that has jurisdiction over disputes
involving membership, officers, meetings, and election of members of the Board
of Directors of homeowners association – not the courts.
of jurisdiction is an elementary principle that judges should be knowledgeable
of – not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
judge did not have the judicial authority to hear and decide the issues
involved in Civil Case No. 2003-433 for want of jurisdiction because they refer
to lack of quorum during the meeting of complainants’ homeowners association.
ignorance of the law, respondent judge was fined P40,000.00. (A.M. No.
RTJ-07-2078, October 12, 2010)
Judges: Undue delay
in deciding a case
Supreme Court in Re: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional
Trial Court, Branches 4 and 23, Manila, and Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch
14, Manila, 353 Phil, 199, 218 (1998) stressed that:
suffering endured by just one person - whether plaintiff, defendant or accused
– while awaiting a judgment that may affect his life, honor, liberty and
property, taints the entire judiciary’s performance in its solemn task of
administering justice. Inefficient, indolent or neglectful judges are as
equally impermissible in the judiciary as the incompetent and dishonest ones.
Any of them tarnishes the image of the judiciary or brings it to contempt,
dishonor or disrespect and must then be administratively dealt with or
criminally prosecuted, if warranted, and punished accordingly.
reason for the delay in resolving Criminal Case No. 4173-41-76, i.e.
complainant’s insistence on being represented by a PAO lawyer is not acceptable
because it is his duty to ascertain that complainant was properly represented
during trial and if not, to appoint a counsel de officio.
should at all times remain in full control of the proceedings in his sala.
Court management is his responsibility.
For undue delay in
resolving a case, respondent judge was fined P10,000.00 to be deducted from his
retirement benefits. (A.M. No. MTJ-101754, October 20, 2010)
Interpreter: Simple misconduct
vs. Orfila, 338 Phil. 828 (1997)the Court admonished that shouting at each
other within the court premises exhibits discourtesy and disrespect not only
towards co-workers but to the court as well; and in Casanova, Jr. vs.
Cajayon, 448 Phil. 573 (2003), the Court also stressed that any fighting or
misunderstanding among court employees is a disgraceful sight reflecting
adversely on the good image of the judiciary. Professionalism, respect for the
rights of others, good manners, and right conduct are expected of all judicial
officers and employees.
behavior of both respondents may be considered normal as both got irritated due
to a misunderstanding, yet their conduct is disgraceful especially so because
it was done during office hours and right there in the courtroom in the
presence of their co-workers.
simple misconduct, both respondents were fined P1,000 each and sternly warned.
(A.M. No. P-08-2487 and A.M. No. P-08-2493, September 29, 2010)
money from party-litigants purportedly “for fiscal and judge” and “for warrant
officer” is a common modus operandi of some court employees who prefer to walk
the crooked path.
stenographer did just that to complainant – soliciting P20,000 purportedly to
facilitate the latter’s case pending in their court
resigned a month after the complaint against her was filed thinking perhaps
that she could escape responsibility. She was mistaken. The Supreme Court in
a line of cases declared that resignation is not and should not be a convenient
way or strategy to evade administrative liability when a court employee is
facing administrative sanction.
misconduct, the respondent’s retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits,
were declared forfeited. Also, her Civil Service eligibility was cancelled. (A.M.
No. P-10-2785, September 21, 2010)
Philippine Judicial Academy
Adolfo S. Azcuna
Founding Chancellor Emeritus
Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera
Research, Publication and Linkages Office (RPLO)
Prof. Sedfrey M. Candelaria
Eulogia M. Cueva
Orlando B. Cariño
Nennette G. Zaldivar
Rodrigo G. Javier
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