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Processes » Certain Special Processes » Matrimonial Processes » Cases to declare the nullity of marriage » The duty of the judges
Canon 1676. §1. After receiving the libellus, the judicial vicar, if he considers that it has some basis, admits it and, by a decree appended to the bottom of the libellus itself, is to order that a copy be communicated to the defender of the bond and, unless the libellus was signed by both parties, to the respondent, giving them a period of fifteen days to express their views on the petition.

§2. After the above-mentioned deadline has passed, and after the other party has been admonished to express his or her views if and insofar as necessary, and after the defender of the bond has been heard, the judicial vicar is to determine by his decree the formula of the doubt and is to decide whether the case is to be treated with the ordinary process or with the briefer process according to can. 1683-1687. This decree is to be communicated immediately to the parties and the defender of the bond.

§3. If the case is to be handled through the ordinary process, the judicial vicar, by the same decree, is to arrange the constitution of a college of judges or of a single judge with two assessors according to can. 1673, §4.

§4. However, if the briefer process is decided upon, the judicial vicar proceeds according to the norm of can. 1685.

§5. The formula of doubt must determine by which ground or grounds the validity of the marriage is challenged.
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