The diocesan bishop himself is competent to judge cases of the nullity of marriage with the briefer process whenever:
1. the petition is proposed by both spouses or by one of them, with the consent of the other;
2. circumstance of things and persons recur, with substantiating testimonies and records, which do not demand a more accurate inquiry or investigation, and which render the nullity manifest.
The libellus introducing the briefer process, in addition to those things enumerated in can. 1504,
1. set forth briefly, fully, and clearly the facts on which the petition is based;
2. indicate the proofs, which can be immediately collected by the judge;
3. exhibit the documents, in an attachment, upon which the petition is based.
The judicial vicar, by the same decree which determines the formula of the doubt, having named an instructor and an assessor, cites all who must take part to a session, which in turn must be held within thirty days according to can. 1686
The instructor, insofar as possible, collects the proofs in a single session and establishes a time limit of fifteen days to present the observations in favor of the bond and the defense briefs of the parties, if there are any.
§1. After he has received the acts, the diocesan bishop, having consulted with the instructor and the assessor, and having considered the observations of the defender of the bond and, if there are any, the defense briefs of the parties, is to issue the sentence if moral certitude about the nullity of marriage is reached. Otherwise, he refers the case to the ordinary method.
§2. The full text of the sentence, with the reasons expressed, is to be communicated to the parties as swiftly as possible.
§3. An appeal against the sentence of the bishop is made to the metropolitan or to the Roman Rota; if, however, the sentence was rendered by the metropolitan, the appeal is made to the senior suffragan; if against the sentence of another bishop who does not have a superior authority below the Roman Pontiff, appeal is made to the bishop selected by him in a stable manner.
§4. If the appeal clearly appears merely dilatory, the metropolitan or the bishop mentioned in § 3, or the dean of the Roman Rota, is to reject it by his decree at the outset; if the appeal is admitted, however, the case is remitted to the ordinary method at the second level.
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