|Code of Canon Law|
IntraText - Text
INCIDENTAL CASES (Cann. 1587 - 1597)
Can. 1587 An incidental case arises whenever, after the trial has begun through the citation, a question is proposed which nevertheless pertains to the case in such a way that it frequently must be resolved before the principal question, even if it was not expressly contained in the libellus which introduced the litigation.
Can. 1588 An incidental case is proposed in writing or orally before the judge competent to decide the principal case, indicating the connection between this and the principal case.
Can. 1589 §1. After having received the petition and heard the parties, the judge is to decide as promptly as possible (expeditissime) whether the proposed incidental question seems to have a foundation and a connection with the principal trial or rather must be rejected at the outset. If the judge admits the incidental question, the judge is to decide whether it is of such gravity that it must be resolved by an interlocutory sentence or by a decree.
§2. If the judge decides not to resolve the incidental question before the definitive sentence, however, the judge is to decree that the question will be considered when the principal case is decided.
Can. 1590 §1. If the incidental question must be resolved by sentence, the norms for the oral contentious process are to be observed unless the judge decides otherwise due to the gravity of the matter.
§2. If the matter must be resolved by decree, however, the tribunal can entrust the matter to an auditor or the presiding judge.
Can. 1591 Before the principal case is completed, the judge or the tribunal can revoke or reform the decree or interlocutory sentence for a just reason either at the request of a party or ex officio after the parties have been heard.