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2. Lower court judges and justices


1) How instituted

Proceedings for the discipline of judges of regular and special courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan may be instituted motu proprio by the Supreme Court or upon a verified complaint, supported by affidavits of person who have personal knowledge of the facts alleged therein or by documents which may substantiate said allegations, or upon an anonymous complaint, supported by public records of indubitable integrity. The complaint shall be in writing and shall state clearly and concisely the acts and omissions constituting violations of standards of conduct prescribed for Judges by law, the Rules of Court, or the Code of Judicial Conduct. (Section 1, A.M. No. 01-08-SC)

1) Action on the complaint

If the complaint is sufficient in form and substance, a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent, and he shall be required to comment within ten (10) days from the date of service. Otherwise, the same shall be dismissed. (Section 2, Ibid.)

2) By whom complaint investigated

Upon the filing of the respondent’s comment, or upon the expiration of the time for filing the same and unless other pleadings or documents are required, the Court shall refer the matter to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report, and recommendation or assign the case for investigation, report, and recommendation to a retired member of the Supreme Court, if the respondent is a Justice of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, or to a Justice of the Court of Appeals, if the respondent is a Judge of a Regional Trial Court or of a special court of equivalent rank, or to a Judge of the Regional Trial Court if the respondent is a Judge of an inferior court. (Section 3, Ibid.)

3) Hearing

The investigating Justice or Judge shall set a day of the hearing and send notice thereof to both parties. At such hearing the parties may present oral and documentary evidence. If, after due notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex parte. (Paragraph 1, Section 4, Ibid.)

The Investigating Justice or Judge shall terminate the investigation within ninety (90) days from the date of its commencement or within such extension as the Supreme Court may grant. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Ibid.)

4) Report

Within thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation, the investigating Justice or Judge shall submit to the Supreme Court a report containing findings of fact and recommendation. The report shall be accompanied by the record containing the evidence and the pleadings filed by the parties. The report shall be confidential and shall be for the exclusive use of the Court. (Section 5, Ibid.)

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