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Home > Legal Practise, Litigation > Coronavirus Crisis: How are legal deadlines affected?

Coronavirus Crisis: How are legal deadlines affected?

March 17th, 2020

Coronavirus Crisis: Deadlines on Ongoing Legal and Administrative Procedures further to Spain’s State of Alarm (Royal Decree 463/2020) BelegalBLogCoronaVirus

The decree approved by the government on Saturday has immediately locked down the country, limiting the movement of citizens across the entire territory. Besides the mandatory measures implemented by the Government, the standstill the country has come to will impact contracts, Court deadlines, tax applications, administrative matters, residency applications etc.

Let us see what the most important legal implications:

  1. Courts: Court deadlines are delayed, and specific terms provided for in the procedural laws for all jurisdictional orders are suspended and interrupted. Time periods will resume as and when the royal decree ceases to be in effect or, as the case may be, any extension thereto.
  2. Statute of Limitations: any time limitations to bring a case against within the criminal or civil courts will be stayed, as above.
  3. Government Taxes or any Administrative Matter of any nature: If you have a tax deadline or need to submit a writ or allegation in any administrative procedure, do not worry: all deadlines or terms are interrupted until this royal decree ceases to be in effect. Notwithstanding the immediate suspension, it will be possible to submit applications on any aspect of administrative law provided the procedures can be done online even if all deadlines are, by operation of law, are extended.
  4. Immigration Matters: As above (C), all deadlines will be interrupted. This includes applying for residency renewals, fingerprint appointments, collection of residency cards, tourist visa deadlines (if someone is in Spain and needs to leave within a specific period, they will not be in violation of Spanish immigration laws) etc.
  5. Private Contracts: Ongoing private contracts or agreements are not dealt with by the Royal Decree; however, the principle of “force majeure” or superior force can and must be applied by parties to a private contract when, in the event of an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties (plague), it prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely, but only suspend it for the duration of the force majeur. Our advice here is for parties to renegotiate terms and conditions of the agreement, adapting to the exceptional Coronavirus situation where they are working together and not against each other with a view to find constructive solutions that suit both parties.

 

About Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores is the head lawyer at Lawbird, a Spanish law firm specialised in property and litigation. More on .

Legal Practise, Litigation

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