Judicial Courts Suspend Non-essential Services
The magistrates adopted the measure of suspending all non-essential services of the Court System, due to the health risk to which workers and users are exposed by the COVID-19 epidemic. This measure starts today, March 23rd and will last until April 13th. This means that complaints filed and unanswered prior to the closing date last week will not be addressed until further notice.
The senior judges also ordered that the provision of basic services be kept to a minimum and that the necessary administrative, police, and support activities be maintained. The agreement stipulates that:
“The provision of the minimum services necessary for those who are in preventive detention or require precautionary justice in any of the administrative or jurisdictional matters, the attention of ongoing hearings that are necessary for the protection of their life, health, security or freedom, and a jurisdictional decision is required for its maintenance, extension and/or removal, in accordance with the law.”
Therefore, the following offices will carry out said basic services: the offices that process Criminal, Juvenile Criminal, Domestic Violence, Alimony, as well as the offices of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Defense, the Judicial Investigation Agency and the Forensic Medical Complex. They will operate at their minimum expression, as occurs in a weekend, a holiday or new year’s.
Moreover, this agreement also establishes that this measure also suspends the procedural terms of prescription and expiration, as applicable in each case.
According to this resolution, the magistrates, the members of the Superior Courts, and staff at managerial level of the Court System will have to continue working and “if it was necessary for their personal condition, with full availability in their services during the development of the emergency.”
Also in those cases in which, to guarantee the minimum services, the workers of the Court System must continue in their work, the staff must adopt the measures that are necessary to comply with all the provisions established for this purpose by the Department of Health.
Furthermore, the Dactyloscopy section of the Police Department, responsible for completing, amongst other duties, the fingerprinting of expats who wish to apply or have applied for Residency, has closed their doors until after April 27th, 2020. These appointments can be rescheduled and will not significantly delay any Residency process.
Nonetheless, claims and lawsuits may still be filed or started through the Court System’s virtual portal.
We will provide further information as it becomes available.