LIFTING OF LIMITATIONS ON THE FILING OF COMPLAINTS AND WRITINGS BEFORE THE COURTS
As we reported at the beginning of the current crisis, on 14 March the Spanish Government approved Royal Decree 463/2020, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.
On Monday, April 13, 2020, the Permanent Commission of the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) agreed to lift the limitations imposed since March 18 regarding the submission of writings by telematic means. In their statement, they point out that “The evolution of the circumstances of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 makes it possible to contemplate a new scenario of greater activity in all sectors, and in particular in the functioning of the administration of justice, which permits the establishment of the bases for the full restoration of the provision of the public service that the exercise of the judicial function is intended to serve, thus avoiding its paralysis and collapse with the subsequent injury to the rights and interests of individuals“.
Thus, it is provided that as of Wednesday 15 April, with regard to actions affecting non-essential services:
- “it is possible to file writings initiating proceedings, register them and allocate them, to process them in accordance with the applicable procedural rules until the moment they give rise to a procedural action that opens a period of time that must be suspended by virtue of the additional provision two of Royal Decree 463/2020” and
- “the same shall apply to procedural writings, not linked to any interrupted or suspended terms or deadlines, and until they give rise to judicial actions that give rise to procedural deadlines that must be suspended” in accordance with the same additional provision two of Royal Decree 463/2020.
This implies the possibility of filing complaints for the initiation of proceedings as well as writings in all court orders, something that may help to avoid the collapse of the judicial system the day the state of alarm declared across Spain comes to an end.
It is added that this rule will apply in all instances. It is provided as well that the actions and services will be carried out in accordance with the available personal means. The highest body of the judiciary also requests the competent administrations to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the judicial bodies that they will have the personal and material means required to carry out the above actions.
A shame that the mechanisms necessary to guarantee teleworking for non-essential actions of the public administrations, especially for the judicial order, have not been enabled in Spain.