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Code of Canon Law
IntraText CT - Text
Can. 1587 An incidental matter arises when, after the case has begun by the summons, a question is proposed which, even though not expressly raised in the petition which introduced the case, is yet so relevant to the case that it needs to be settled before the principal question.
Can. 1588 An incidental matter is proposed before the judge who is competent to decide the principal case. It is raised in writing or orally, indicating the connection between it and the principal case.
Can. 1589 §1 When the judge has received the petition and heard the parties, he is to decide with maximum expedition whether the proposed incidental matter has a foundation in, and a connection with, the principal matter, or whether it is to be rejected from the outset. If he admits it he must decide whether it is of such gravity that it needs to be determined by an interlocutory judgement or by a decree.
Can. 1590 §1 If the incidental matter is to be decided by judgement, the norms for a contentious oral process are to be observed unless, because of the gravity of the issue, the judge deems otherwise.
Can. 1591 Before the principal matter is concluded, the judge or the tribunal may for a just reason revoke or alter an interlocutory judgement or decree. This can be done either at the request of a party or ex officio by the judge after he has heard the parties.
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