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Equivalent to the Regional Trial Courts in rank are the Shari'a District Courts which were established in
certain specified provinces in Mindanao where the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines is
being enforced.

There are five Shari'a District Courts and fifty one Shari'a Circuit Courts in existence.

A Shari'a District Court is of limited jurisdiction. It was created under Presidential Decree No. 1083.
Cases falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Shari'a District Courts primarily pertain to family
rights and duties as well as contractual relations of Filipino Muslims in the Mindanao.
It has exclusive original jurisdiction over the following:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1. All cases involving custody, guardianship, legitimacy, paternity and filiation arising under Presidential
Decree No. 1083;

2. All cases involving disposition, distribution and settlement of the estate of a deceased Muslim,
probate of wills, issuance of letters of administration or appointment of administrators or executors
regardless of the nature or the aggregate value of the property;

3. Petitions for declaration of absence and death and for cancellation and correction of entries in the
Muslim Registries mentioned in Title VI, Book Two of Presidential Decree No. 1083;

4. All actions arising from customary contracts in which the parties are Muslims, if they have not
specified which law shall govern their relations;

5. All petitions for mandamus, prohibition, injunction, certiorari, habeas corpus, and all auxiliary writs
and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction;

It has concurrent original jurisdiction over the following:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1. Petitions by Muslims for the constitution of the family home, change of name and commitment of
insane person to any asylum;

2. All other personal and real actions not mentioned in paragraph 1(d) wherein the parties involved are
Muslims except those for forcible entry and unlawful detainer which shall fall under the exclusive
original jurisdiction of the Municipal Circuit Courts; and

3. All special civil actions for interpleader or declaratory relief where the parties are Muslims or the
property involved belongs exclusively to a Muslim.

The Shari'a District Court has appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the Shari'a Circuit Courts within
their territorial jurisdiction.

It shall decide every case on the basis of the evidence and the records transmitted as well as such
memoranda, briefs or oral arguments as the parties may submit.

The decisions of the Shari'a District Courts, whether on appeal from the Shari'a Circuit Courts or not,
shall be final. The Supreme Court shall, however, continue to exercise original and appellate jurisdiction
over certain issues as provided by the Constitution.