SC extends court closures in ECQ and MECQ areas to May 14

The Supreme Court (SC) has extended the physical closure of all courts and court offices in the National Capital Region, Abra, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Quirino, Rizal, Santiago City in Isabela, and in other areas currently under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14.

“These courts in ECQ and MECQ areas shall continue to operate during this period (May 3 to 14) through fully remote videoconferencing, which must be maximized so as not to delay the trial of cases and court processes,” the High Court said in a circular released on Friday.

Courts in those areas may still be reached through their respective hotlines and e-mail addresses as posted on the SC website as the said courts and court offices will still maintain a skeleton staff to attend to urgent matters.

The filing periods and service of pleadings and motions are also suspended and will resume on the seventh calendar day from the opening of the relevant court.

Meanwhile, the Court said courts and court offices in areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) will be open and shall operate “with a workforce of at least 25%.” — Bianca Angelica D. Añago