PART IV : THE PENAL PROCESS
CHAPTER I : THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
Can. 1717 §1 Whenever the Ordinary receives information, which has at least the semblance of truth, about an offence, he is to enquire carefully, either personally or through some suitable person, about the facts and circumstances, and about the imputability of the offence, unless this enquiry would appear to be entirely superfluous.
§4 Before making a decision in accordance with §1, the Ordinary is to consider whether, to avoid useless trials, it would be expedient, with the parties' consent, for himself or the investigator to make a decision, according to what is good and equitable, about the question of harm.
Can. 1719 The acts of the investigation, the decrees of the Ordinary by which the investigation was opened and closed, and all those matters which preceded the investigation, are to be kept in the secret curial archive, unless they are necessary for the penal process.
CHAPTER II : THE COURSE OF THE PROCESS
3° if the offence is certainly proven and the time for criminal action has not elapsed, he is to issue a decree in accordance with canon 13421350, outlining at least in summary form the reasons in law and in fact.
Can. 1721 §1 If the Ordinary decrees that a judicial penal process is to be initiated, he is to pass the acts of the investigation to the promoter of justice, who is to present to the judge a petition of accusation in accordance with canon 1502 and 1504.
Can. 1722 At any stage of the process, in order to prevent scandal, protect the freedom of the witnesses and safeguard the course of justice, the Ordinary can, after consulting the promoter of justice and summoning the accused person to appear, prohibit the accused from the exercise of the sacred ministry or of some ecclesiastical office and position, or impose or forbid residence in a certain place or territory, or even prohibit public participation in the blessed Eucharist. If, however, the reason ceases, all these restrictions are to be revoked; they cease by virtue of the law itself as soon as the penal process ceases.
§2 If the accused does not do this, the judge himself is to appoint an advocate before the joinder of the issue, and this advocate will remain in office for as long as the accused has not engaged an advocate.
Can. 1726 If in any grade or at any stage of a penal trial, it becomes quite evident that the offence has not been committed by the accused, the judge must declare this in a judgment and acquit the accused, even if it is at the same time clear that the period for criminal proceedings has elapsed.
Can. 1728 §1 Without prejudice to the canons of this title, and unless the nature of the case requires otherwise, in a penal trial the judge is to observe the canons concerning judicial procedures in general, those concerning the ordinary contentious process, and the special norms about cases which concern the public good.
CHAPTER III : THE ACTION TO COMPENSATE FOR HARM
§3 An appeal in a case concerning harm is made in accordance with canon 16281640, even if an appeal cannot be made in the penal case itself. If, however, there is an appeal on both headings, there is to be only one trial, even though the appeals are made by different persons, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 1734  .
§2 When the judge does this he must, after giving judgment in the penal trial, hear the case concerning harm, even though the penal trial is still pending because of a proposed challenge to it, or even though the accused has been acquitted, when the reason for the acquittal does not take away the obligation to make good the harm.
Can. 1731 A judgment given in a penal trial, even though it has become an adjudged matter, in no way creates a right for a party who has suffered harm, unless this party has intervened in accordance with can. 1733