Legal Questions

After the case is filed in court, to whom should a motion to dismiss be addressed?

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Once the information is filed in court, the court acquires jurisdiction.  Whatever disposition the prosecutor may feel should be proper in the case thereafter should be addressed for the consideration of the court, subject only to the limitation that the court should not impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the people to due process.

Who acts on a motion for reinvestigation of the case after the filing of the information?

A motion for reinvestigation should, after the court has acquired jurisdiction over the case, be addressed to the trial judge and to him alone. The Secretary of Justice, the State Prosecutor, or the city prosecutor may not interfere with the judge’s disposition of the case, much less impose upon the court their opinion regarding the guilt or innocence of the accused once the information is filed in court, the latter being the sole judge therof.

Once a complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition of the case as to its dismissal or the conviction or the acquittal of the accused rests upon the sound discretion of the court. It does not matter if it is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion is filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice.

Although the prosecutor retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even when the case is already in court, he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The court is the sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The manner of terminating the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the prosecutor should be addressed to the court who has the option to grant or deny the same.

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