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Code of Canon Law
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TITLE VIII: CHALLENGING THE JUDGEMENT (Cann. 1619 - 1640)
CHAPTER I : THE PLAINT OF NULLITY OF THE JUDGEMENT
Can. 1619 Without prejudice to cann. 1622 and 1623, whenever a case concerns the good of private individuals, acts which are null with a nullity established by positive law are validated by the judgement itself, if the nullity was known to the party making the plaint and was not raised with the judge before the judgement.
1° it was given by a judge who was absolutely non-competent;
2° it was given by a person who has no power to judge in the tribunal in which the case was decided;
3° the judge was compelled by force or grave fear to deliver judgement;
4° the trial took place without the judicial plea mentioned in can. 1501, or was not brought against some party as respondent;
5° it was given between parties of whom at least one has no right to stand before the court;
6° someone acted in another's name without a lawful mandate;
7° the right of defence was denied to one or other party;
8° the controversy has not been even partially decided.
Can. 1621 In respect of the nullity mentioned in can. 1620, a plaint of nullity can be made in perpetuity by means of an exception, or within ten years of the date of publication of the judgement by means of an action before the judge who delivered the judgement.
1° contrary to the requirements of can. 1425, §1, it was not given by the lawful number of judges;
2° it does not contain the motives or reasons for the decision;
3° it lacks the signatures prescribed by the law;
4° it does not contain an indication of the year, month, day and place it was given;
5° it is founded on a judicial act which is null and whose nullity has not been remedied in accordance with can. 1619;
6° it was given against a party who, in accordance with can. 1593, §2, was lawfully absent.
Can. 1624 The judge who gave the judgement is to consider the plaint of its nullity. If the party fears that the judge who gave the judgement is biased, and consequently considers him suspect, he or she can demand that another judge take his place in accordance with can. 1450.
Can. 1626 §1 A plaint of nullity can be made not only by parties who regard themselves as injured, but also by the promotor of justice and the defender of the bond, whenever they have a right to intervene.
§2 Within the time-limit established in can. 1623, the judge himself can retract or correct an invalid judgement he has given, unless in the meantime an appeal joined to a plaint of nullity has been lodged, or the nullity has been remedied by the expiry of the time-limit mentioned in can. 1623.
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