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Code of Canon Law
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Can. 1592 §1 If a respondent is summoned but does not appear, and either does not offer an adequate excuse for absence or has not replied in accordance with can. 1507 §1, the judge is to declare the person absent from the process, and decree that the case is to proceed to the definitive judgement and to its execution, with due observance of the proper norms.
Can. 1593 §1 If the respondent thereafter appears before the judge, or replies before the trial is concluded, he or she can bring forward conclusions and proofs, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1600; the judge is to take care, however, that the process is not deliberately prolonged by lengthy and unnecessary delays.
§2 Even if the respondent has neither appeared nor given a reply before the case is decided, he or she can challenge the judgement; if the person can show that there was a just reason for being absent, and that there was no fault involved in not intimating this earlier, a plaint of nullity can be lodged.
Can. 1595 §1 A party, whether plaintiff or respondent, who is absent from the trial, and who does not establish the existence of a just impediment, is bound to pay the expenses which have been incurred in the case because of this absence, and also, if need be, to indemnify the other party.
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