Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1982 > May 1982 Decisions > Adm. Matter No. 2668-MJ May 22, 1982 - MARIANO B. LAUREL v. HERMENEGILDO C. CRUZ

4199 Phil. 243:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[Adm. Matter No. 2668-MJ. May 22, 1982.]

MARIANO B. LAUREL, Petitioner, v. JUDGE HERMENEGILDO C. CRUZ, Municipal Court of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Respondent.

SYNOPSIS


Respondent judge was administratively charged for his failure to decide a civil case within 90 days from the date the same was submitted for decision on December 28, 1979. In his Comment, he admitted the delay but explained that the original of the transcript of the stenographer who left for abroad without the court’s permission was found only during its recent annual inventory of cases and that thereafter, a decision thereon was made on December 28, 1981.

The Supreme Court did not find respondent judge’s explanation satisfactory, the collection of the records, transcripts and exhibits and the preparation of the decision being his sole responsibility which be had to accomplish within the period mandated by law In view however of his heavy case load and the number of cases he had disposed of during the years 1980-1981 and considering that this offense was his first infraction, respondent was merely admonished to be more assiduous in the performance of his duties and warned that a repetition of the same it fraction will be dealt with more severely.


SYLLABUS


1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; SUPREME COURT; ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OVER LOWER COURTS; ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUDGES; FAILURE TO DECIDE A CIVIL CASE WITHIN 90 DAYS FROM THE DATE IT IS SUBMITTED FOR DECISION; RESPONDENT’S EXPLANATION FOR THE DELAY UNSATISFACTORY. — The explanation of respondent that the original of the transcript of the case was missing and found only after its recent annual inventory of cases is not satisfactory. The date when the case was submitted for decision was December 28, 1979. From then on, the collation of the records, transcripts and exhibits and the preparation of the decision were the sole responsibility of the respondent judge and should have been finished within 90 days or on or before March 28, 1980, as mandated by law.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; PENALTY IMPOSABLE IN CASE AT BAR. — Considering the heavy load of the respondent and the number of cases disposed of by him during the calendar years 1980-1981, apart from the fact that this appears to be his first infraction, it is believed that he deserves some measure of leniency. He is admonished to be more assiduous in the performance of his duties and warned that a repetition of the infraction will be severely dealt with.


R E S O L U T I O N


PLANA, J.:


This is a complaint of Mr. Mariano B. Laurel against Judge Hermenegildo C. Cruz of the Municipal Court of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, for failing to decide Civil Case No. 7772 (Mariano B. Laurel v. Lourdes Sauza-Smith) of that Court within 90 days from the date the same was submitted for decision on December 28, 1979.

In his comment, Judge Cruz admitted that there was a delay in deciding the case but explained that —

"it was only recently that we located the original of the transcript of Stenographer V.V. Bustamante who has left for abroad without clearance or permission from the Court. When we conducted our traditional annual inventory of cases every December, we found the missing transcript, hence a decision was already made on said case on December 28, 1981, a copy of which is enclosed."cralaw virtua1aw library

The explanation of the respondent is not satisfactory. The date when the case was submitted for decision was December 28, 1979. From then on, the collation of the records, transcripts and exhibits and the preparation of the decision were the sole responsibility of the respondent judge and should have been finished within 90 days or on or before March 28, 1980, as mandated by law.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

Considering, however, the heavy load of the respondent and the number of cases disposed of by him during the calendar years 1980 and 1981, apart from the fact that this appears to be the first infraction of the respondent, it is believed that he deserves some measure of leniency. Accordingly, respondent Judge Hermenegildo C. Cruz is admonished to be more assiduous in the performance of his duties and warned that a repetition of the above infraction will be severely dealt with.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, Makasiar, Melencio-Herrera, Vasquez and Gutierrez, JJ., concur.




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