|Code of Canon Law|
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CHALLENGE OF THE SENTENCE (Cann. 1619 - 1640)
COMPLAINT OF NULLITY AGAINST THE SENTENCE
Can. 1619 Without prejudice to cann. ⇒ 1622 and ⇒ 1623, whenever a case involves the good of private persons, the sentence itself sanates the nullities of acts established by positive law which were not declared to the judge before the sentence even though they were known to the party proposing the complaint.
Can. 1620 A sentence suffers from the defect of irremediable nullity if:
1/ it was rendered by an absolutely incompetent judge;
2/ it was rendered by a person who lacks the power of judging in the tribunal in which the case was decided;
3/ a judge rendered a sentence coerced by force or grave fear;
4/ the trial took place without the judicial petition mentioned in ⇒ can. 1501 or was not instituted against some respondent;
5/ it was rendered between parties, at least one of whom did not have standing in the trial;
6/ someone acted in the name of another without a legitimate mandate;
7/ the right of defense was denied to one or the other party;
8/ it did not decide the controversy even partially.
Can. 1621 The complaint of nullity mentioned in ⇒ can. 1620 can be proposed by way of exception in perpetuity and also by way of action before the judge who rendered the sentence within ten years from the date of the publication of the sentence.
Can. 1622 A sentence suffers from the defect of remediable nullity only if:
1/ it was rendered by an illegitimate number of judges contrary to the prescript of ⇒ can. 1425, §1;
2/ it does not contain the motives or reasons for the decision;
3/ it lacks the signatures prescribed by law;
4/ it does not indicate the year, month, day, and place in which it was rendered;
5/ it is based on a null judicial act whose nullity was not sanated according to the norm of ⇒ can. 1619;
6/ it was rendered against a party legitimately absent according to ⇒ can. 1593, §2.
Can. 1623 A complaint of nullity in the cases mentioned in ⇒ can. 1622 can be proposed within three months from the notice of the publication of the sentence.
Can. 1624 The judge who rendered the sentence deals with the complaint of nullity. If the party fears that the judge who rendered the sentence challenged by the complaint of nullity is prejudiced and therefore considers the judge suspect, the party can demand that another judge be substituted according to the norm of ⇒ can. 1450.
Can. 1625 A complaint of nullity can be proposed together with an appeal within the time established for an appeal.
Can. 1626 §1. Not only the parties who consider themselves aggrieved can introduce a complaint of nullity but also the promoter of justice and the defender of the bond whenever they have the right to intervene.
§2. The judge can retract or emend ex officio a null sentence, which that judge has rendered, within the time limit for acting established by ⇒ can. 1623 unless an appeal together with a complaint of nullity has been introduced in the meantime or the nullity has been sanated through the expiration of the time limit mentioned in ⇒ can. 1623.
Can. 1627 Cases concerning a complaint of nullity can be treated according to the norms for the oral contentious process.