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SC Disposal Memo

SC Disposal Memo

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01/03/2012

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ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 103-2011'
, TO : ALL PRESIDING 'JUDGES, BRANCH CLERKS OF
'COURT, AND DOCKET CLERKS OF THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS AND METROPOLITAN
TRIAL COURTS, AND CLERKS OF COURT OF THE
OFFICES OF THE CLERKS OF COURT OF THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS AND METROPOLITAN
TRIAL COURTS OF QUEZON CITY, MANILA CITY,
MAKATI CITY AND ANGELES CITY
RE: DECLARING A RECORDS DISPOSAL PERIOD AND
PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR THE DISPOSAL OF
LOWER COURT RECORDS IN QUEZON CITY,
MANILA CITY, MA.KATI CITY AND ANGELES CITY
WHEREAS, since the creation of the trial courts and their
reorganization, they have accumulated voluminous records and numerous
physical evidence over the last half a century;
WHEREAS, in contrast to the records and evidence amassed by the
trial courts over time, storage space is sorely lacking, leaving the courts with
no choice but to use up available space in the Halls of Justice to store
these records, papers and ,-,xhiLits, including public hallways and corridors,
stairwells, basements, and even fire exits;'
WHEREAS, although there are existing rules for the disposal of case
records, papers and exhibits, they have not been fully utilized because either
the trial courts have found the process burdensome, or they are reluctant to
dispose of records due to requests from parties for certifications and the like
even long after the termination of proceedings in a case; .
WHEREAS, the overcrowding brought about by the problem has
resulted in improper and unsafe storage-keeping practices, exposing such
records, papers and exhibits to the elements, and to irremediable loss, to the
prejudice of the litigants, as well as posing a continuing danger not only to
the courts and their personnel, but to the general public;
WHEREAS, there is thus an urgent need to resort to more practical
means of storage for court papers, when necessary, and their disposal when
proper, and in the long term, to an enduring monitoring and
productivity review mechanism that will be the touchstone for broader
reform support programs;
WHEREAS, to this end, OCA Memorandum Order No. 10-2011 was
issued creating the Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Disposal ofLower Court
Records chaired by the Honorable Court Administrator,· principally to
formulate the guidelines that will govern the disposal and storage by
electronic filing of court records, papers and exhibits;
WHEREAS, it has been determined that this project should first be
tested in pilot areas and for this purpose, the Ad Hoc Committee has selected
the trial courts of Quezon City, Manila City, Makati City and Angeles City
for such pilot testing based on the number of courts involved and the volume
of case records, papers and exhibits to be disposed of;
,
NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the foregoing
premises, the following guidelines for the disposal of court records (case
files, other court papers, and real evidence) shall be observed:
1. A Records Disposal Period is hereby declared to commence on July 16,
2011 until August 15, 2011 for all trial courts, both First Level Courts and
Second Level Courts, as well as the Offices of the Clerks of Courts, In
Quezon City, Manila City, Makati City and Angeles City.
2. The trial courts shall devote the entire period for the accomplishment of
the tasks herein assigned. Accordingly, hearings shall be scheduled and
conducted during the "Records Disposal Period II only on urgent matters and
incidents such as but not limited to applications for habeas corpus, writs of
amparo or habeas data, tempora,ry restraining order, and/or writ of
preliminary injunction, temporary/permanent protection order, applications
for bail, arraignment and trial of detained accused, motions for the lifting of
warrants of arrest, and the like. ..
3. During the Records Disposal Period, no application for leave, whether
filed by a judge, branch clerk of court, docket clerk, or court aide, or the
Clerk of Court or Assistant Clerk of Court in these stations, shall be
approved except for the 1)st ,ompelling reasons, to be determined by
Honorable Court Administrator.
4. The notice pf the Records Disposal Period shall be published once in
major dailies in the country with notice to the public to avail of the
opportunity to go to court during a retrieval period, if they desire to
withdraw any residual records prior to their scheduled destruction. To this
end, the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court shall conduct an
intensive information campaign for public awareness of these guidelines.
Notice of the intention to dispose of court records, papers and exhibits
shall also be posted by the trial courts concerned for the duration of the
Records Disposal Period in the individual branches, and in conspicuous
places in the Hall of Justice, the CitY Hall, and the Central Postal Office in
the station.
5. All trial court records, papers and exhibits, including object
evidence/exhibits which by their nature cannot be appended to case records,
in cases which have been closed all;d where all proceedings therein have
been terminated:
(a) for a period exceeding 20 years on the date of the
required inventory, shall be completely destroyed subject to the
retention of the decision, order or resolution that finally
disposes of the case. The period shall be reckoned from the
date of the finality of the decision, order or resolution disposing
of the case, if this be ascertaimible, and if not, from the 60
th
day
counted from date of the decision, order or resolution disposing
of the case.
The Presiding Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court shall
jointly sign a certification as to the last status of the case prior
to such destruction which shall be entered in the pertinent page
of the court's docket book.
(b) for at least seven years on the date of the required
inventory, shall be set aside for complete destruction subject to
the retention of certain documents, as hereinafter provided:
(b. I ) In all civil cases, special civil
actions, special proceedipgs, land registration
cases and commercial court cases: the complaint,
petition or other initiatory pleading; any
responsive pleading; the 'decision, order or
resolution that finally dis'poses of the case; the
certificate of finality, if issued; any outstanding
writ of execution; and in land registration cases,
the sepia film plan and the original o( the
technical description of the property subject matter
thereof.
(b.2) In all criminal cases: the information;
the decision, order or resolution that finally
disposes of the case; any proof of identity of the
accused, such as photographs, thumb prints, or any
other evidem of identity; the final discharge of
the accused from probation; and, the mittimus or
order of commitment of the accused to serve the
sentence imposed by the court.
(b.3) In all family court cases, whether civil
or criminal in nature: 'all r ~ c o r d s and exhibits.
These shall be maintained under the strict rule of
confidentiality as provided for under applicable
laws and circulars.
(b.4) In naturalization cases: the petition and
all its attachments; the decree, order or resolution
either granting or denying the petition; and the
subscribed oath as citizen of the applicant.
(b.5) Where the contents of a case record are
illegible and beyond recognition: if the status of
the case is known and verifiable as disposed from
other court records, such as the docket book, the
entire record shall be complete.ly destroyed and the
Presiding Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court
shall jointly sign a certification that the case has
been disposed and its records are illegible, on the
pertinent page of the court's docket book.
However, if the status of the case is
unknown and unverifiable from other court
records, a hearing shall be called and the parties
shall be summoned to reconstitute the pertinent
records pursuant to applicable laws, to thereby
determine the status of the case and henceforth
apply these guidelines as may be fit.
(b.6) In the Office of the Clerks of Court in
the First Level Courts: undocketed cases, such as
cases for violation of B.P. BIg. 22, where an order
of dismissal has been issued due to non-payment of
filing fees pursuant to the applicable circulars, the
case record shall be completely destroyed but the
Office of the Clerk of Court concerned shall retain
the information and the order of dismissal for non­
payment of filing fees.
(b.7) In the Office of the Clerks of Court in
the Second Level Courts: in cases of extrajudicial
foreclosure of mortgage, when ten years have
passed from date of issuance of the certificate of
sale/final sale, the entire record shall be destroyed
but the Office of the Clerk of Court concerned
shall retain the certificate of sale/final sale.
(b.8) Notarial documents on file with the
Office of the Clerk of Court in the Second Level
Courts shall be kept intact, except the applications
for original ,md ;'enevyal notarial commissions
which shall bt.; letained only for a period of 2 years
from date of issuance of the commission, after
which the entire application shall be destroyed
completely, but the Office of the Clerk of Court
concerned shall retain the latest notarial
commission issued thereunder, as well as the
specimen signatures submitted by the applicant.
The period shall also be reckoned from the date of the finality of the
decision, order or resolution disposing of the case, if this be ascertainable,
and if not, from the 60
th
day counted from date of the decision, order or
resolution disposing of the case;
3. The procedure for disposal shall be as follows:
(a) Within 15 days from the date of publication of the
notice to dispose of court records by the Office of the Court
Administrator, any interested party may file ,til .!pplication to
retrieve any residual case record, i.e., the remaiuder of the case
file after detaching the documents for retention and scanning,
which the courts are not bound to electronically copy and
preserve, as afore-enumerated. This application shall be filed
with the branch concerned, where known; otherwise, the same
shall be filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court of the
station. After the lapse of the IS-day application period, no
other application for retrieval shall be acted upon by the courts.
No application for retrieval shall be accepted unless the
retrieval fee of PHPSOO.OO is paid to the Office of the Clerk of
Court under official receipt. . In the event that the case file
sought to be retrieved qm no longer be located, the fee shall be
refunded in full to the applicant upon certification by the branch
concerned or the Office of the Clerk of Court, as the case may
be, that it could no longer be located.
(b) Upon receipt of 'any application for retrieval of
residual records, the court concerned or the Office of the Clerk
of Court, as the case may be, shall draw up a "hold list"
. enumerating the case details covered by the application. The
records of cases appearing in the· "hold list" shall be set aside
for retrieval by the applicants.
(c) The Records Disposal Period shall be devoted
primarily to a sorting and segregation of each court's inactive
case records, which shall include archived cases, disposed
cases, and those in the dead files, to identify records for
destruction in accordance with these guidelines. The sorting
shall be conducted by the Judge assigned to the court, whether
in a permanent or acting capacity, and the Branch Clerk of
Court, together. In the Office of the Clerk of Court, the sorting
shall be conducted by the Clerk of Court and the Assistant
Clerk of Court together.
(d) In the course of the sorting and segregation by the
Judge and the BJ lct Clerk; of Court, the documents for
retention and scannlug, hS enumerated herein, shall be detached
from the case files and collated sequentially in accordance with
the case numbers and in the same order as they appear in the
accompanying list for each branch concerned.
A list shall then be m.... ' - . ~ of such residual records
segregated for disposal, indicating the case number, case title
and date filed for each case. This list sh'all be certified jointly
by the Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court. The prescribed
form (Form No. ~ shall be used in listing the cases
segregated for destruction, with the separate "hold list" for
cases where an application fof retrieval of residual records has
been filed.
(e) The lists embodied in the prescribed form shall be
submitted to the Executive Judge of the station by August 17,
2011, together with the collated documents retained for
electronic scanning and filing. The Executive Judge shall
thereafter compile all reports in the station and submit the same
to the Office of the Court Aqministrator no later than August
19,2011.
The Executive Judge snaIl furnish the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines Chapter offices in the affected station with a set
of the complete lists for "dissemination to their membership.
(f) The Court Administrator shall seek an authority for
destruction of such court records from the Executive Director,
National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) using the
prescribed NAP Forms 3-5 in compliance with Section 18 of
Article III and Article 46 of Rule 30 of Republic Act No. 9470
" and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, respectively.
4. Records, papers and exhibits set aside for electronic copying shall
be scanned and electronically copied in a manner to be determined most
expedient by the Office of the Court 'Administrator.
Once scanned, the electronic ,files shall be stored at a Central
Information Facility at the Office of the Clerk of Court of each station
concerned. Upon creation of such electronic files, the concerned Office of
the Clerk of Court, which shall be the custodian of the main copy, shall issue
any and all regarding "information stored in these electronic
files which are otherwise unverifiable.
5. The destruction of case records, papers and exhibits shall be
carried out through shredding and recycling, as the Office of the Court
Administrator may deem proper. '
6. The disposal of records in accordance with these guideHnes shall be
conducted periodically every seven years, as scheduled by the Office of the
Court Administrator. A mechanism for periodic monitoring and
productivity assessment review shall be set up per station and under the
supervision of the Office of the Court Administrator to gauge the short term
and long term efficiency of the project vis-a-vis its objectives, and as a
possible take-off point fOl thel i'eform support programs.
7. This Administrative Order' amends or otherwise supersedes AO
No. 170-2008 dated November 11, 2008 and all other prior court issuances
on the subject of records disposal which are inconsistent herev/ith.
Where there is a specific law governing the disposal of certain court
records, papers and/or exhibits, these guidelines shall not apply.
This Administrative Order shall take effect upon its issuance.
Issued this lrhday of July 2011.
Chief Justice

. and the Central Postal Office in the station. including object evidence/exhibits which by their nature cannot be appended to case records. or the Clerk of Court or Assistant Clerk of Court in these stations. A Records Disposal Period is hereby declared to commence on July 16.ry restraining order.ompelling reasons. 3. shall be approved except for the 1)st . Accordingly.WHEREAS. 2011 until August 15. The trial courts shall devote the entire period for the accomplishment of the tasks herein assigned. Notice of the intention to dispose of court records. no application for leave. 4. for and in consideration of the foregoing premises. 10-2011 was issued creating the Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Disposal ofLower Court Records chaired by the Honorable Court Administrator. Makati City and Angeles City for such pilot testing based on the number of courts involved and the volume of case records. Makati City and Angeles City. papers and exhibits to be disposed of. in cases which have been closed all. whether filed by a judge. 2. it has been determined that this project should first be tested in pilot areas and for this purpose. and in conspicuous places in the Hall of Justice. the following guidelines for the disposal of court records (case files.· principally to formulate the guidelines that will govern the disposal and storage by electronic filing of court records. OCA Memorandum Order No. To this end. and the like. if they desire to withdraw any residual records prior to their scheduled destruction. the Ad Hoc Committee has selected the trial courts of Quezon City. Manila City. All trial court records. arraignment and trial of detained accused. papers and exhibits. writs of amparo or habeas data. branch clerk of court. to this end. hearings shall be scheduled and conducted during the "Records Disposal Period II only on urgent matters and incidents such as but not limited to applications for habeas corpus. NOW. Manila City. . . papers and exhibits. other court papers. docket clerk. papers and exhibits shall also be posted by the trial courts concerned for the duration of the Records Disposal Period in the individual branches. temporary/permanent protection order. both First Level Courts and Second Level Courts. In Quezon City. and real evidence) shall be observed: 1. or court aide. tempora. WHEREAS. to be determined by th~ Honorable Court Administrator. and/or writ of preliminary injunction. THEREFORE. 2011 for all trial courts. as well as the Offices of the Clerks of Courts. the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court shall conduct an intensive information campaign for public awareness of these guidelines. The notice pf the Records Disposal Period shall be published once in major dailies in the country with notice to the public to avail of the opportunity to go to court during a l5~day retrieval period. motions for the lifting of warrants of arrest.d where all proceedings therein have been terminated: . the CitY Hall. 5. During the Records Disposal Period. applications for bail.

if issued.(a) for a period exceeding 20 years on the date of the required inventory. These shall be maintained under the strict rule of confidentiality as provided for under applicable laws and circulars.4) In naturalization cases: the petition and all its attachments. such as photographs. shall be set aside for complete destruction subject to the retention of certain documents. (b. the certificate of finality. The Presiding Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court shall jointly sign a certification as to the last status of the case prior to such destruction which shall be entered in the pertinent page of the court's docket book. special civil actions. and in land registration cases. such as the docket book. order or resolution disposing of the case. and if not.2) In all criminal cases: the information. order or resolution either granting or denying the petition. The period shall be reckoned from the date of the finality of the decision. whether civil or criminal in nature: 'all r~cords and exhibits. (b. order or resolution that finally disposes of the case. land registration cases and commercial court cases: the complaint. from the 60 th day counted from date of the decision. and the subscribed oath as citizen of the applicant. shall be completely destroyed subject to the retention of the decision. petition or other initiatory pleading. I ) In all civil cases. order or resolution that finally dis'poses of the case. any outstanding writ of execution. the final discharge of the accused from probation. the . (b. any proof of identity of the accused.5) Where the contents of a case record are illegible and beyond recognition: if the status of the case is known and verifiable as disposed from other court records. as hereinafter provided: (b. any responsive pleading. (b. the 'decision. or any other evidem of identity. and. order or resolution disposing of the case. the sepia film plan and the original o( the technical description of the property subject matter thereof. if this be ascertaimible. order or resolution that finally disposes of the case. thumb prints. the decree. the decision. special proceedipgs. (b) for at least seven years on the date of the required inventory. the mittimus or order of commitment of the accused to serve the sentence imposed by the court.3) In all family court cases.

order or resolution disposing of the case.ly destroyed and the Presiding Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court shall jointly sign a certification that the case has been disposed and its records are illegible. to thereby determine the status of the case and henceforth apply these guidelines as may be fit. (b. 22. if the status of the case is unknown and unverifiable from other court records.. However.entire record shall be complete. and if not.!pplication to Administrator. except the applications for original .md . if this be ascertainable.6) In the Office of the Clerks of Court in the First Level Courts: undocketed cases. (b.. letained only for a period of 2 years from date of issuance of the commission. BIg. i. the remaiuder of the case . any interested party may file retrieve any residual case record. order or resolution disposing of the case.7) In the Office of the Clerks of Court in the Second Level Courts: in cases of extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage. but the Office of the Clerk of Court concerned shall retain the latest notarial commission issued thereunder. after which the entire application shall be destroyed completely. when ten years have passed from date of issuance of the certificate of sale/final sale. the case record shall be completely destroyed but the Office of the Clerk of Court concerned shall retain the information and the order of dismissal for non­ payment of filing fees. a hearing shall be called and the parties shall be summoned to reconstitute the pertinent records pursuant to applicable laws.P. such as cases for violation of B. (b.8) Notarial documents on file with the Office of the Clerk of Court in the Second Level Courts shall be kept intact.e. from the 60 th day counted from date of the decision.'enevyal notarial commissions which shall bt. the entire record shall be destroyed but the Office of the Clerk of Court concerned shall retain the certificate of sale/final sale. 3. where an order of dismissal has been issued due to non-payment of filing fees pursuant to the applicable circulars. as well as the specimen signatures submitted by the applicant. The procedure for disposal shall be as follows: (a) Within 15 days from the date of publication of the notice to dispose of court records by the Office of the Court . The period shall also be reckoned from the date of the finality of the decision.til . on the pertinent page of the court's docket book.

file after detaching the documents for retention and scanning. where known. . to identify records for destruction in accordance with these guidelines. which the courts are not bound to electronically copy and preserve. 2011.~ of such residual records segregated for disposal. '-. hS enumerated herein. the documents for retention and scannlug. no other application for retrieval shall be acted upon by the courts. that it could no longer be located. enumerating the case details covered by the application. indicating the case number. the court concerned or the Office of the Clerk of Court. otherwise. The Executive Judge shall thereafter compile all reports in the station and submit the same . A list shall then be m. No application for retrieval shall be accepted unless the retrieval fee of PHPSOO. whether in a permanent or acting capacity. disposed cases. After the lapse of the IS-day application period. In the Office of the Clerk of Court. the sorting shall be conducted by the Clerk of Court and the Assistant Clerk of Court together. The sorting shall be conducted by the Judge assigned to the court. ~ shall be used in listing the cases segregated for destruction. as the case may be. together. (c) The Records Disposal Period shall be devoted primarily to a sorting and segregation of each court's inactive case records. of Court. the same shall be filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court of the station. as afore-enumerated. (b) Upon receipt of 'any application for retrieval of residual records. This list sh'all be certified jointly by the Judge and the Branch Clerk of Court. The prescribed form (Form No. (d) In the course of the sorting and segregation by the Judge and the BJ lct Clerk.OO is paid to the Office of the Clerk of Court under official receipt. with the separate "hold list" for cases where an application fof retrieval of residual records has been filed.. shall be detached from the case files and collated sequentially in accordance with the case numbers and in the same order as they appear in the accompanying list for each branch concerned. which shall include archived cases. the fee shall be refunded in full to the applicant upon certification by the branch concerned or the Office of the Clerk of Court. . shall draw up a "hold list" . and the Branch Clerk of Court. The records of cases appearing in the· "hold list" shall be set aside for retrieval by the applicants. case title and date filed for each case. as the case may be. This application shall be filed with the branch concerned. In the event that the case file sought to be retrieved qm no longer be located. and those in the dead files. together with the collated documents retained for electronic scanning and filing. (e) The lists embodied in the prescribed form shall be submitted to the Executive Judge of the station by August 17.

A mechanism for periodic monitoring and productivity assessment review shall be set up per station and under the supervision of the Office of the Court Administrator to gauge the short term and long term efficiency of the project vis-a-vis its objectives. and as a possible take-off point fOl thel i'eform support programs. National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) using the prescribed NAP Forms 3-5 in compliance with Section 18 of Article III and Article 46 of Rule 30 of Republic Act No. respectively. (f) The Court Administrator shall seek an authority for destruction of such court records from the Executive Director. Chief Justice . Once scanned.to the Office of the Court Aqministrator no later than August 19. the concerned Office of the Clerk of Court. The Executive Judge snaIl furnish the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Chapter offices in the affected station with a set of the complete lists for "dissemination to their membership. The destruction of case records. papers and/or exhibits. The disposal of records in accordance with these guideHnes shall be conducted periodically every seven years. 7. as the Office of the Court Administrator may deem proper. This Administrative Order shall take effect upon its issuance. ' 6. 4. Upon creation of such electronic files. which shall be the custodian of the main copy. This Administrative Order' amends or otherwise supersedes AO No. Where there is a specific law governing the disposal of certain court records.files shall be stored at a Central Information Facility at the Office of the Clerk of Court of each station concerned. these guidelines shall not apply. 9470 " and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. papers and exhibits shall be carried out through shredding and recycling. 2008 and all other prior court issuances on the subject of records disposal which are inconsistent herev/ith. shall issue any and all ce~ifications regarding "information stored in these electronic files which are otherwise unverifiable. papers and exhibits set aside for electronic copying shall be scanned and electronically copied in a manner to be determined most expedient by the Office of the Court 'Administrator. the electronic . Issued this lrh day of July 2011. Records.2011. 5. 170-2008 dated November 11. as scheduled by the Office of the Court Administrator.

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