With regard to the changes verified in procedural terms, mainly with regard to the activity of the Courts, and in the course of civil, criminal and administrative proceedings, it should be noted that Decree-Law no. 10-A/2020, of March 13, authorizes the limitation of access to services and public buildings by order of the Government member responsible for the Public Administration area and the area to which the service or building relates.

The declaration issued by the health authority in favor of a procedural subject, part, their representatives or agents, attesting to the need for a period of isolation from these due to the possible risk of contagion by COVID-19 is considered, for all purposes, a basis for the allegation of just impediment to the practice of procedural and procedural acts that must be performed in person within the scope of processes, procedures, acts and diligences that run their terms in:

  • Judicial courts;
  • Administrative and tax courts;
  • Arbitration courts;
  • Public Prosecutors Offices;
  • Justice of the Peace / Small Claims court;
  • Alternative dispute resolution entities;
  • Notary offices;
  • Registry Office;
  • Services and administrative entities;
  • Within the scope of misdemeanor or minor offenses procedures, the respective acts and diligences;
  • Within the scope of administrative proceedings, any acts and diligences regulated by the Administrative Procedure Code.

The same declaration also constitutes a basis for justification for not appearing in any appointments, as well as for its postponement.

In the case of closure of facilities where appointments are to be performed, or suspension of face-to-face service at these facilities, by decision of a public authority based on the risk of contagion of COVID-19, the term for the practice of the act in question as of the day of the closure or suspension of service, which is resumed with the declaration of the public authority to reopen the facilities.

The suspension of the term is applicable to citizens, procedural subjects, parties, their representatives or agents who reside or work in the municipalities where the closure of facilities or the suspension of face-to-face service is verified, even if the acts and diligences must be practiced in a different municipality.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.