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Pre-trial in civil cases vs. pre-trial in criminal cases


Compare pre-trial in civil cases to pre-trial in criminal cases (Bar 1997)

1. The pre-trial in a civil case is set when the plaintiff moves ex parte to set the case for pre-trial (Sec. 1, Rule 18, Rules of Court). The pre-trial in a criminal case is ordered by the court and no motion to set the case for pre-trial is required from either the prosecution or the defense (Sec 1, Rule 118, Rules of Court).

2. The motion to set the case for pre-trial in a civil case is made after the last pleading has been served and filed (Sec. 1, Rule 18, Rules of Court). In a criminal case, the pre-trial is ordered by the court after arraignment and within thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused (Sec. 1, Rule 118, Rules of Court).

3. The pre-trial in a civil case considers the possibility of an amicable settlement as an important objective (Sec. 2[a], Rule 118, Rules of Court). The pre-trial in a criminal case does not include the considering of the possibility of amicable settlement of criminal liability as one of its purposes (Sec. 1, Rule 118, Rules of Court).

4. In a civil case, the agreements and admissions made in the pre-trial are not required to be signed by the parties and their counsels. They are to be contained in the record of pre-trial and the pre-trial order (Sec. 7, Rule 18, Rules of Court). In a criminal case, all agreements or admissions made or entered during the pretrial conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel, otherwise, they cannot be used against the accused (Sec. 2, Rule 118, Rules of Court).

5. The sanctions for non-appearance in a pre-trial are imposed upon the plaintiff or the defendant in a civil case (Sec. 4, Rule 18, Rules of Court). The sanctions in a criminal case are imposed upon the counsel for the accused or the prosecutor (Sec. 3, Rule 118, Rules of Court).

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