RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PUERTO RICO 1996
(a) This rule is applicable to habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, writs of prohibition, and other proceedings in which this court has original jurisdiction. It does not apply to proceedings in aid of jurisdiction, which are governed by Rule 28.
(b) Original jurisdiction proceedings are governed by the pertinent provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and these rules. The Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence apply only as long as they are not in conflict with these rules, and as long as they further the efficient prosecution of the case and serve the ends of justice.
(c) A petition for one of the mentioned writs must contain the following numbered parts in the same order here indicated: (1) the citations of the legal provisions on which the Court’s original jurisdiction is invoked; (2) a brief summary of the facts relevant to the petition; (3) a brief and concise statement of the questions of law raised in the petition; and (4) an argument of the questions raised. The cover of the petition shall contain only the caption (which shall identify the petitioner as such and the adverse parties as defendants), and the name, address, and telephone number of petitioner’s counsel. The page immediately following shall contain an index to the petition, which must conform to the provisions of Rule 38. Any document that should be brought to the attention of the Court at this stage of the proceedings must be attached at the end of the petition as an appendix. The petition must not exceed twenty (20) pages, exclusive of the appendix.
(d) The filing of a separate memorandum of authorities shall not be permitted. The argument and legal grounds must be set forth in the body of the petition.
(e) The petitions shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Court, and they will be distributed by the Clerk to the Court divisions, to the Court en banc, or to one of the Justices, according to the guidelines from time to time established by the Court. It shall be deemed improper to address a petition directly to a Justice of the Court, except in cases of extreme urgency, when neither the Court nor the Clerk is available. In such cases, the justice may individually exercise the powers invested in him or her by the Constitution and the law, but, where appropriate, at the first opportunity he or she shall refer the case to the Court, through the Clerk. In the event that one of the justices of the Supreme Court issues a ruling on a petition for habeas corpus or mandamus, said ruling will be subject to review by the Supreme Court. The party seeking review must do so within ten (10) days after entry in the record of the case of a copy of the notice of the judgment or ruling.
(f) In cases in which the Court of First Instance or the Circuit Court of Appeals has concurrent jurisdiction over the subject matter and can adequately address the petition, the Supreme Court may order the case removed to the corresponding part of the Court of First Instance or to the appropriate Regional Division of the Circuit Court of Appeals. Such order may not be considered an adjudication on the merits, rather it will be considered a determination by the Court to the effect that the case does not justify exercise of its original jurisdiction. Where appropriate, the Court en banc, one of its divisions, or one of its justices, as the case may be, may deny the petition if from the face of the petition it arises that it is untenable; such action shall constitute an adjudication on the merits.
(g) In these extraordinary remedies, the petitioner must serve summons on all affected parties in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The court may, motu proprio or on motion of a party, provide for another form of summons, provided, however, that if the mandamus is addressed to a judge to compel him or her to perform a ministerial duty with regard to a case pending before his or her consideration, the petitioner need not summon the judge as prescribed by the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure. In such cases, it shall suffice that the petitioner serve the judge with a copy of the petition for mandamus pursuant to Rule 39 of these Rules. The petitioner must also notify on the other parties to the action that gave rise to the petition for mandamus and the court where the case is pending.
(h) Unless the writ itself provides otherwise, the petitioner will have ten (10) days, from the date notice of issuance was given, to file its brief, and the other parties will have ten (10) days, from the date notice is given of petitioner’s brief, to file theirs. The briefs must conform to the provisions of Rule 33. The Court en banc, one of its divisions, or one of its justices, as the case may be, may order the adverse parties to answer the facts alleged in the petition within a certain term. In such case, the term to present petitioner’s brief will start to run from the moment the answer is received.
(i) Upon issuing the preliminary writ or at any time thereafter, the Court en banc, one of its divisions, or one of its justices, as the case may be, may order, motu proprio or on motion of a party, a hearing to receive evidence, or a Special Master may be appointed for that purpose. If a Special Master is appointed, the proceedings will be conducted as prescribed in Rule 14, sections (i) to (n), but the Court may order the Special Master to submit his or her report within a shorter term than that prescribed in said Rule. In no case may the discovery of evidence be excluded. The pertinent rules of Civil Procedure and of Evidence will apply to these cases as if it were a proceeding before the Court of First Instance, as long as they are not in conflict with these rules, and as long as they further the efficient prosecution of the case and serve the ends of justice.
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