Title
Revised Guidelines in the Disposal and/or Destruction of Court Records, Papers and Exhibits
Reference
Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 170-08
Date
2008-11-11

November 11, 2008

SUPREME COURT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 170-08

TO : All Presiding Justices and Clerks of Court of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals and All Judges and Clerks Court of the Regional Trial Courts, Sharia' District Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and Sharia' Circuit Courts
SUBJECT : Revised Guidelines in the Disposal and/or Destruction of Court Records, Papers and Exhibits

1. The court records, papers and exhibits subject of the disposal and/or destruction must pertain to cases terminated for at least seven (7) years, EXCEPT the following, which shall remain in the office storage of every court, to wit:

(a) Naturalization cases;

(b) Big land cases;

(c) Precedent-setting cases without records in the Supreme Court;

(d) Death Penalty cases; and

(e) Criminal cases where the Board of Pardons and Parole may require certain documents, important court exhibits, extended resolutions resolving motions for reconsideration, and the like . . .

The phrase "court records, papers and exhibits" refers to basic pleadings and various supporting papers, documents and exhibits attached to the expediente or rollo but do not cover decisions of terminated cases. Decisions must still be maintained in the archives of the respective courts. In addition, a duplicate original copy of each decision must be sent to the Supreme Court Library to preserve repositorial value of judicial statements set forth therein;

2. After the last day of the retention period, a request for the disposal and/or destruction of court records, papers, and exhibits shall be filed with the Office of the Court Administrator, using the prescribed form (Form 1). The request shall be acted upon by the Court Administrator within thirty (30) days from receipt hereof;

3. The Court Administrator shall seek an authority from the Executive Director, National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) using the prescribed NAP Forms 3-5 in compliance with Section 18 of Article III and Article 46 of Rule 30 of the cHCSDa

4. The Court Administrator shall inform the requesting lower court about the approved authority obtained from the NAP ten (10) days from notice;

5. Notices of the intention to dispose of and/or destroy court records, papers and exhibits must be posted for at least thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of notice from the Office of the Court Administrator relative to the approved authority secured from NAP, at the main entrances of three (3) conspicuous public places such as the Hall of Justice, Provincial Capitol, City or Municipal Hall, and the Post Office;

6. Corresponding notices relative to such disposal and/or destruction of court records, papers, and exhibits shall be sent to the parties and/or counsel of record who may wish to retrieve documents/evidence from said court records at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of actual disposal and/or destruction;

7. The disposal and/or destruction must be carried out after the expiration of thirty (30) days as provided in the preceding paragraph, and shall be undertaken by selling or burning the court records, papers and exhibits, or by some other practicable manner;

8. The sale or burning shall be conducted in the presence of the Presiding Justice/Executive Judge/Presiding Judge, the Clerk of Court and the Representatives from the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) and Commission on Audit (COA). Thereafter, the concerned representatives must be furnished with the approved Certificate of Disposal of Records (NAP Form 5) and its accompanying Request for Authority to Dispose of Records (NAP Form 3) and Records Management Analysis Report (NAP Form 4);

9. The Clerk of Court shall issue the corresponding official receipt to the buyer of the disposed court records, papers, or exhibits, and the amount collected therefor shall be recorded in a separate report of collection specifying the nature of the income; CacHES

10. The Clerk of Court shall remit to the Judiciary Development Fund the proceeds from the sale under a separate Remittance Advice to the credit of the court involved with notice of such remittance furnished the Office of the Court Administrator;

11. Within thirty (30) days after the disposal and/or destruction of court records, papers, and exhibits in accordance with the preceding procedures, the Clerk of Court shall prepare a Disposal Report with attachments as mentioned in paragraph 8 duly noted by the Presiding Justice/Executive Judge/Presiding Judge, and submit the same to the Office of the Court Administrator;

12. The Disposal Report must specify the: (a) court records, papers, and exhibits disposed of and/or destroyed, (b) compliance with the basic requirements for the disposal and/or destruction of said court records, papers, and exhibits, and (c) facts concerning the exhaustive efforts by the court concerned to notify the parties and/or counsel of records as prescribed in paragraph 6 hereof; and

13. Non-submission of the Disposal report shall be subject to administrative sanctions as the Court may appropriately impose.

The provisions of this Administrative Order shall not be applicable to court records, papers, and exhibits where there is a specific law providing the disposal and/or destruction thereof.

Strict observance of the above rules/procedures is hereby enjoined.

This Administrative Order amends or otherwise supersedes

(SGD.) REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice