The Spanish courts are to resume their activities
The Spanish Parliament, in its Resolution published in the Official State Gazette on 23 May, has finally agreed to the resumption of judicial and administrative proceedings from 4 June, suspended in Spain since 14 March due to the lockdown. The situation would be as follows:
1. Court proceedings with suspended deadlines
Any deadline in any court proceedings suspended as a result of the state of alarm, will be calculated again from the beginning, as of 4 June.
2. Appeals against judgments notified during the suspension period or immediately the end of said period
Deadlines to appeal judgments notified during the state of alarm suspension period will also be calculated again from the beginning as of 4 June, although with one difference: the deadlines will be extended for a period equal to the established time period. This same extension or “doubling” of the time limit will be applied to judgments notified in the twenty day-period following 4 June.
3. Scheduling of suspended hearings
From 4 June, the trial or preliminary hearings that could not be held during this suspension period of almost three months, will be re-scheduled by each court. Although the courts may grant preferential treatment up to 31 December to matters relating to the effects of the Coronavirus crisis, there is growing support for the need to give industrial and intellectual property rights the importance they deserve. Furthermore, two measures have been agreed which may contribute towards speeding up new scheduling: providing for hearings to be conducted in the afternoons and for conducting court proceedings in August.
4. Conducting hearings scheduled for the next 3 months
The hearings that are already scheduled for the next three months from 4 June, will remain in place based on the following basic criteria: (i) hearings will be conducted in person where permitted under the lockdown exit measures for the population to return to work in each area; (ii) the possibility of substituting the hearing with written proceedings with the consent of the parties; (iii) the possibility of conducting hearings on-line where the court has the necessary technical resources; (iv) suspension of the hearing if none of the aforementioned formulas are feasible.
5. Time bar for actions
The prescription periods that were suspended from 14 March will continue from 4 June. In this case, the time period will not be calculated from the beginning, with the suspension simply being lifted and the calculation continuing for the time remaining.
6. Suspended administrative proceedings
The deadlines for administrative proceedings that have been suspended, such as cases before the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, will be resumed from 1 June and for the time remaining. Time limits will only start again from the beginning in the case of appeals.
7. Continuity in the provision of services
Since the first day of the lockdown, all the staff of ELZABURU SLP has continued working remotely from home with the focus on serving our clients. The suspension of procedural deadlines has not prevented the Legal Department from continuing its work in many areas: claims against on-line infringements, customs actions, criminal actions, urgent interim relief measures, appeals to the CJEU, extrajudicial claims, investigations, Legal & Business, Media & Entertainment. We have referred to these services and to the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on them in our previous Statements.
It is now the time to assist our clients in the fight to return to normal.
Links of interest:
- Nine. Taking effect on 4 June 2020, this will repeal Additional Provision Two of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, on the suspension of procedural time limits. The suspension will be lifted on this date.
- Ten. Taking effect on 1 June 2020, this will repeal Additional Provision Three of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, on the suspension of administrative time limits. On this date, the calculation of the deadlines which were suspended will be resumed or restarted, where provided for in a regulation having the status of a law approved while the state of alarm and its extensions are in force.
- Eleven. Taking effect on 4 June 2020, this will repeal Additional Provision Four of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, on the suspension of the periods for prescription and expiry of rights and actions. The suspension will be lifted on this date.