Does COVID-19 have any impact on my relationship with the Public Administration (namely as pertains to meeting deadlines or observing any formalities)? To what extent?

Broadly speaking, the consequences of COVID-19 on relations between private individuals may also, with certain adaptations, be extrapolated to the relationship between individuals and the Public Administration, notably and always subject to a case-by-case analysis:

  • Qualification as a "force majeure" event, as grounds for not complying, in whole or in part, with obligations provided for in an administrative contract, in particular with regard to deadlines (depending on what the contract specifically provides for and provided that a causal link between the illness and the impossibility of meeting deadlines is evidenced, as well as the impossibility or unenforceability of taking alternative measures, or their insufficiency, and always without prejudice to the counterparty's duty to inform).
  • Claiming the occurrence of an abnormal and unforeseeable change in circumstances as grounds for amending the contract and/or restoring the financial balance
  • Claiming a "justifiable reason" as a ground for excusable non-compliance with deadlines before the Public Administration (or, at least, as a ground for requesting an extension of the deadline). 
  • With the transition to a state of public calamity, there is no longer any provision for the suspension of legal deadlines and statutory periods of limitation like the one which was in force during the state of emergency. However, articles 34 and 35 of Presidential Decree 142/20 provide that official documents which have expired, notably ID Cards, Driving Licenses, Motor Vehicles Booklets, Motor Vehicle titles, Passport and Residency Permits, shall remain valid and that licenses, permits or other administrative acts shall remain valid until 30 August, regardless of its expiry date. The validity period was extended, pursuant to Presidential Decree 229/20, and these documents shall remain valid until 31 December 2020.

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

The information provided and the opinions expressed herein have been prepared with the help of VdA Legal Partners and are of a general nature. They are not in lieu of appropriate legal advice in connection with specific cases.