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Code of Canon Law

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        • TITLE VIII: CHALLENGING THE JUDGEMENT (Cann. 1619 - 1640)
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Can. 1628 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1629, a party who considers him or herself to be injured by a judgement has a right to appeal from the judgement to a higher judge; in cases in which their presence is required, the promotor of justice and the defender of the bond have likewise the right to appeal.

Can. 1629 No appeal is possible against:

a judgement of the Supreme Pontiff himself, or a judgement of the Apostolic Signatura;

a judgement which is null, unless the appeal is lodged together with a plaint of nullity, in accordance with can. 1625;

a judgement which has become an adjudged matter

a decree of the judge or an interlocutory judgement, which doesnot have the force of a definitive judgement, unless the appeal is lodged together with an appeal against the definitive judgement;

a judgement or a decree in a case in which the law requires that the matter be settled with maximum expedition.

Can. 1630 §1 The appeal must be lodged with the judge who delivered the judgement, within a peremptory time-limit of fifteen canonical days from notification of the publication of the judgement.

§2 If it is made orally, the notary is to draw up the appeal in writing in the presence of the appellant.

Can. 1631 If a question arises about the right of appeal, the appeal tribunal is to determine it with maximum expedition, in accordance with the norms for an oral contentious process.

Can. 1632 §1 If there is no indication of the tribunal to which the appeal is directed, it is presumed to be made of the tribunal mentioned in cann. 1438 and 1439.

§2 If the other party has resorted to some other appeal tribunal, the tribunal which is of the higher grade is to determine the case, without prejudice to can. 1415.

Can. 1633 The appeal is to be pursued before the appeal judge within one month of its being forwarded, unless the originating judge allows the party a longer time to pursue it.

Can. 1634 §1 To pursue the appeal, it is required and is sufficient that the party request the assistance of the higher judge to amend the judgement which is challenged, enclosing a copy of the judgement and indicating the reasons for the appeal.

§2 If the party is unable to obtain a copy of the appealed judgement from the originating tribunal within the canonical time-limit, this timelimit is in the meantime suspended. The problem is to be made known to the appeal judge, who is to oblige the originating judge by precept to fulfil his duty as soon as possible.

§3 In the meantime, the originating judge must forward the acts to the appeal court in accordance with can. 1474.

Can. 1635 The appeal is considered to be abandoned if the time-limits for an appeal before either the originating judge or the appeal judge have expired without action being taken.

Can. 1636 §1 The appellant can renounce the appeal, with the effects mentioned in can. 1525.

§2 Unless the law provides otherwise, an appeal made by the defender of the bond or the promotor of justice, can be renounced by the defender of the bond or the promotor of justice of the appeal tribunal.

Can. 1637 §1 An appeal made by the plaintiff benefits the respondent, and vice versa.

§2 If there are several respondents or plaintiffs, and the judgement is challenged by only one of them, or is made against only one of them, the challenge is considered to be made by all and against all whenever the thing requested is an individual one or the obligation is a joint one.

§3 If one party challenges a judgement in regard to one ground, the other party can appeal incidentally on the other grounds, even if the canonical time-limit for the appeal has expired. This incidental case is to be appealed within a peremptory time-limit of fifteen days from the day of notification of the principal appeal.

§4 Unless the contrary is clear, an appeal is presumed to be against all the grounds of the judgement.

Can. 1638 An appeal suspends the execution of the judgement.

Can. 1639 §1 Without prejudice to the provision of can. 1683, a new ground cannot be introduced at the appeal grade, not even by way of the useful accumulation of grounds. So the joinder of the issue can concern itself only with the confirmation or the reform of the first judgement, either in part or in whole.

§2 New evidence is admitted only in accordance with can. 1600.

Can. 1640 With the appropriate adjustments, the procedure at the appeal grade is to be the same as in first instance. Unless the evidence is to be supplemented, however, once the issue has been joined in accordance with can. 1513 §1 and can. 1639 §1, the judges are to proceed immediately to the discussion of the case and the judgement.

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