Alarm State in Spain

Three days after the World Health Organization determined that the situation of COVID-19 was an international pandemic, THE STATE OF ALARM IS DECREED IN SPAIN for the management of the health crisis situation caused by the coronavirus.

This situation, in accordance with Royal Decree 463/2020, by which the aforementioned state of alarm is declared in Spain, will last for 15 calendar days, that is, FROM MARCH 14, 2020, TO DAY 29 OF MARCH 2020.

In addition to the information that citizens are receiving thanks to the different media, different situations have been regulated in this Royal Decree that we should all be aware of, especially, THE SUSPENSION OF PROCEDURAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, PRESCRIPTION AND EXPIRY DEADLINES.

1. SUSPENSION OF PROCEDURAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE DEADLINES

In accordance with the Second Additional Provision of Royal Decree 463/2020, with the alarm state, ALL THE PERIODS PROVIDED IN THE PROCEDURAL LAWS FOR ALL JURISDICTIONAL ORDERS ARE SUSPENDED AND INTERRUPTED.

The calculation of the terms will resume on March 30, 2020, or it will be extended if the state of alarm did so.

However, EXCEPTIONS to the previous rule are established, specifically for the following procedures or actions:

• Habeas Corpus

• Guard services for the detainee

• Protection orders and any precautionary measures regarding violence against women or minors

• Protection measures for minors of 158 CC

• Urgent actions in prison surveillance

• Judicial authorization of the 763 LEC

• Protection and protection of fundamental rights and public liberties

In addition, in accordance with Royal Decree 465/2020, which modifies, among others, the Third Additional Provision of Royal Decree 463/2020, EXCEPTIONS are also established for certain ADMINISTRATIVE DEADLINES:

• Administrative procedures that refer to situations related to the protection of the general interest or for the basic operation of the services.

• Administrative procedures related to the affiliation, settlement and Social Security contribution

• PRESENTATION OF TAX DECLARATIONS AND SELF-SETTLEMENTS

2. SUSPENSION OF THE LIMITATION AND EXPIRY DEADLINES

In this health emergency situation, Royal Decree 463/2020 establishes in its Fourth Additional Provision the suspension of the limitation and expiration periods of any actions and rights until March 30, 2020, or until the definitive extinction of the alarm status.

Therefore, the following deadlines are interrupted, among others:

• Those relating to property and real rights over real estate

• Real shares on personal property

• Mortgage and personal actions

• Actions to recover, demand compliance with the payment of alimony, leases and any other payments that must be made for years or in shorter periods.

• Actions to demand civil liability for libel or slander

• Non-contractual liability actions derived from fault or negligence

3. OTHER LIMITATIONS

In addition to the above, during the validity of the state of alarm, the agents of the authority may CHECK CITIZENS, PROPERTY, VEHICLES, PREMISES AND ESTABLISHMENTS in order to prevent activities that are suspended during this period of 15 days.

For its part, the Ministry of the Interior reserves the RIGHT TO AGREE TO THE CLOSURE OF CIRCULATION ON ROADS or to the restriction of certain vehicles, and the Ministry of Health to INTERVENE AND TRANSITIONALLY OCCUPY industries, premises, centers, pharmacies and sanitary establishments of private ownership.

However, by resolution of the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the SUPPLY and DELIVERY of PRODUCTS acquired in commerce by internet, telephone or correspondence will be guaranteed.

The competent authorities and the Ministry of Health may also agree to TEMPORARY REQUIREMENTS OF ALL KINDS OF GOODS and the IMPOSITION OF MANDATORY PERSONAL BENEFITS that are necessary for compliance with the orders and measures adopted as a consequence of the decreed state of alarm.

Examples of these mandatory personal benefits, today in our legal system, would be: work for the benefit of the community or social collaboration. Later, and depending on the evolution of the health emergency situation, the mandatory personal benefits that, where appropriate, dictated by the competent authorities may be analyzed.

4. WHAT ARE THE SANCTIONS EXPECTED FOR BREACH OF ROYAL DECREE 463/2020?

The norm refers us to Organic Law 4/1981 regulating the states of alarm, siege and exception. Article 10 establishes that “non-compliance or resistance to the orders of the competent Authority in the state of alarm shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the laws.”

In accordance with the above, it will be necessary to resort to the Citizen Security Law, or to the Penal Code, according to the entity of resistance to compliance carried out:

If it is a resistance not constituting a crime, the Citizen Security Law 4/2015 provides for fines of between € 601.- € 600,000.-, depending on the severity of the same.

If it constitutes a crime, it will be necessary to distinguish between the crime of resistance in article 556 of the Penal Code and the crime of attack regulated in article 550 of the same legal text.

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