Maquiran v Judge Lopez; A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606; 20 Jun 2001

in Legal Chyme by

Patricia Maquiran filed a suit for damages arising from the death of her husband due to an accident. The case was assigned to the respondent judge and was submitted for decision in August 1994. However, up to the time Maquiran filed an administrative complaint against respondent judge on 16 Sep 1999, no decision had as yet been rendered on the civil case.

Whether on not respondent judge was grossly negligent in resolving the case before her court.

YES. Although we are inclined to be compassionate, respondent judge must realize that compassion has its limits. Respondent count have asked for time within which to decide cases, although not for such a long time as five years. Then, too, she could have gone on sick leave. But for her not to decide a case for five years cannot wholly be excused. A heavy caseload may excuse a judge’s failure to decide within the reglementary period, but not her failure to request an extension of time within which to decide the case on time.

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