Five days after the introduction of the state of emergency in Serbia, the Government decided to implement certain measures related to performing certain legal actions in litigations and other court proceedings that are currently being disrupted due to several previous recommendations of the Ministry of Justice on limiting interactions with the courts.
On 20 March 2020, the Government rendered a Decree on deadlines in court proceedings during the state of emergency declared on 15 March 2020.
The Decree stipulates that deadlines for filing claims in court proceedings stop running during the state of emergency. Precisely, this provision applies to the filing of claims in litigation proceedings, filing a private lawsuit in criminal proceedings, filing a motion to initiate non-contentious proceedings or enforcement and security procedure, filing a claim in administrative proceedings and filing a constitutional appeal.
The Decree stipulates the same applies to deadlines for submitting legal remedies and performing other legal actions in the aforementioned proceedings. However, in criminal proceedings, misdemeanour proceedings and proceedings for corporate offence, deadlines stop running only for filing the appeals against decisions by which such proceedings are terminated.
However, it seems that the legislator had only considered procedural deadlines to filing a claim, which in its nature differ to material deadlines, such as the statute of limitations period. Given that courts are still open to some extent and that the post offices are still operational, it seems there is still no impediment to suspend the statute of limitation deadlines by filing relevant claims to courts. It remains to be seen whether there will be measures affecting these issues as well.