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Chief justice orders closure of Bacolod courts until Jan. 31

All courts in Bacolod City will be physically closed starting Friday, January 14 until 31, on orders of Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

The chief justice issued the order taking into consideration that Bacolod City was placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 by the National Inter-Agency Task Force, Executive Judge Raymond Joseph Javier of the Bacolod Regional Trial Court said.

Javier, in a memorandum, said all courts housed inside the Bacolod City Hall of Justice will be physically closed to all users.

All in-court hearings inside the Hall of Justice are suspended but fully-remote video conferencing hearings may proceed on urgent matters subject to the discretion of the presiding judge, he added.

The litigants, lawyers, prosecutors and the general public are advised to call or send messages to the proper court through their hotlines, email addresses and Facebook accounts if available so it may be determined if the matter being raised is urgent, Javier said.

All calls and messages will be entertained from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, he said.

The filing period of pleadings and other court submissions that will be due during the period are extended until February 1, he added.

Solemnization of marriages from January 14 to 31 will be subject to the discretion of the concerned judge provided that proper health protocols are observed by those in attendance, including the minimum staff, Javier said.

Saturday duty is suspended, he said.*

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