COVID-19: Update From Our Offices, PTOs, Courts

Mar 20 2020 - 09:00

Our offices as well as the PTOs, courts and related authorities around the region are taking measures to adapt to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a brief overview of important developments in jurisdictions where we are active (our own and affiliated offices). We will continue to follow the situation and keep you informed of any major changes. The information below will be regularly updated.

PETOSEVIC GROUP OFFICES

Albania

Our staff – working from home without interruption
PTO – open but shorter working hours — until noon; all applications and requests should be filed electronically; applications in physical form are not accepted
Courts – limited access and actions possible until April 7 or until further notice; lawsuits can/should be filed in person or by mail, in order to meet deadlines; all rulings postponed unless urgent
Note: Ordinary / registered mail cannot be sent outside the country; DHL/other couriers can be used, but delays are possible

Belarus

Our staff – working from home without interruption, one person in the office
PTO – no changes for now, but restrictions on office visits
Customs — no changes for now, business as usual
Courts – no changes for now, business as usual

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our staff – most staff working from home; a few staff members still in the office
PTO – open with shorter hours; communication and filing by e-mail; a drop-off point available outside the PTO premises
Courts — working only on urgent matters (detention cases); other sessions postponed

Bulgaria

Our staff – most staff working from home; a few staff members still in the office to receive mail and courier deliveries
PTO – electronic filings are preferred
Courts – all hearings postponed until after April 13, 2020

Croatia

Our staff – working from home and going to the office as needed
PTO – restrictions on office visits; communication by telephone and electronically; delays in processing the applications, requests and motions are expected
Courts – delays in processing the applications, requests and motions are expected

Hungary

Our staff — working from home without interruption; one person working in the office
PTO — e-filing and by mail; personal visits only in exceptional situations
Courts – e-filing is preferred; most hearings postponed

Montenegro

Our staff – most staff working from home, one person in the office
PTO – electronic filings or by mail
Courts – open, receiving filings; all hearings postponed until further notice
Customs — open, receiving filings but issuing notifications electronically
Note: Most local courier services are not operating, because there are no flights in and out of the country. DHL should be used, but delays are possible.

North Macedonia

Our staff – most staff working from home without interruption
PTO — communication only by mail (we file and receive documents from the PTO by registered mail); deadlines have not been extended
Customs – operating as usual; deadlines not extended
Courts — most hearings postponed until further notice; deadlines and procedural time limits have not been extended; new filings accepted

Romania

Our staff – working from home without interruption, one person working in the office
PTO – open but no public access, filings must be done via online platforms (available for limited actions only) or by registered mail; email correspondence accepted also, for certain types of submissions; all deadlines are suspended during the state of emergency (until April 14, 2020 or until further notice); however, we are working to current deadlines
Courts – closed until May 1, 2020; deadlines postponed until after May 1; however, we are working to current deadlines, through electronic correspondence.

Russia

Our staff – working from home without interruption
PTO – closed; electronic filing and by mail; cases considered remotely and through video conferencing
Courts – electronic filing only; only urgent cases (criminal mainly) are considered via video conferencing, if possible; other hearings postponed until further notice; the IP Court will give access to case materials online.
Note: Due to a complete lockdown of Moscow and Moscow region and the announced non-working week from March 28 to April 5, or until further notice, we cannot collect correspondence and file documents that cannot be filed online.

Serbia

Our staff – most staff working from home without interruption
PTO — open but accepting only electronic filings or filings by mail; all deadlines suspended during the state of emergency, however, we are working to current deadlines
Courts – dealing with urgent matters (urgent proceedings, expedited proceedings); most hearings postponed until further notice; all deadlines suspended during the state of emergency but briefs can be sent by mail
Note: Delays with mail delivery are possible due to the state of emergency and movement restrictions

Slovenia

Our staff — working from home without interruption
PTO – applications should be filed electronically (if applicable), by registered mail or by fax; e-filing may be enabled soon; no decision regarding deadline extensions
Courts — considering only urgent matters, otherwise procedural time limits are not running and the court documents will not be served; in case court documents are served while special measures are in place, the procedural time limits will begin to run on the first day after the special measures expire

Ukraine

Our staff – working from home without interruption, a few members of staff still working in the office
PTO – meetings with applicants/representatives cancelled until further notice; documents (including applications) to be filed either electronically or by mail; no decision regarding deadline extensions
Courts — most scheduled hearings postponed; communication by electronic means or by mail

Uzbekistan

Our staff – working from home without interruption
PTO — applications and correspondence can be filed electronically; deadlines have not been postponed; Board of Appeal hearings postponed until further notice
Courts — hearings postponed until further notice, with the exception of urgent criminal and administrative cases; deadlines not postponed; all correspondence to be sent by mail.
Courier services – only DHL is fully operational

AFFILIATED OFFICES

Armenia

PTO – closed to visitors; electronic filing possible; deadlines not postponed; receipt of all official documents (e.g. registration certificates and original extracts) postponed at least until April 14, 2020
Courts — not officially closed, but hearings are being postponed

Azerbaijan

PTO – no changes for now, business as usual
Courts – no changes for now, business as usual

Czech Republic

PTO – visitor access granted in special cases only; electronic filing and filing by mail recommended; deadlines not extended yet
Courts — non-urgent oral hearings postponed

Estonia

PTO – closed to visitors; electronic filing and filing by mail; no announcements yet on deadline extensions
Courts – deadlines still observed; electronic means of communication recommended; if possible, all litigation matters to be handled in writing; non-urgent hearings are being postponed; urgent hearings are conducted remotely, or in the largest possible courtroom to allow for safe and sufficient distance

Georgia

PTO – electronic filing possible; most documents filed and received by e-mail and e-filing systems
Courts — hearings are being postponed

Kazakhstan

PTO – most staff working remotely, no visitors allowed; online applications accepted, searches can be conducted and ordered online and maintenance fees and renewal fees can be paid online; all communication conducted by electronic means, unless a document must bear a handwritten signature; no deadlines extended yet
Courts – no visitors allowed; most cases and hearings postponed until further notice or conducted via video conferencing; deadlines not extended; new filings and applications accepted only in urgent cases
Note: There might be delays with delivery of original documents

Kosovo (UNSCR 1244)

PTO – working with reduced staff; filing receipts usually collected only after a few days; no decision on postponement of deadlines; has not switched to electronic filing yet
Courts — all hearings cancelled, except those of urgent nature; lawsuits and other motions can still be filed, but the courts are working with reduced staff; deadlines have been cancelled — no consequences for failure to take any procedural actions
Customs — switched to electronic filing; no decision on postponement of deadlines
Note: We do not recommend sending original documents, unless particularly necessary, and in those situations with DHL only. Original PoAs are not needed; a scanned copy will suffice. We recommend checking with us if an original is necessary.

Kyrgyzstan

PTO – open but accepting applications only one hour per day; no e-filing system available; most staff working remotely; time limits to be observed
Courts – no changes for now, time limits to be observed

Latvia

PTO — no visitors allowed; communication only by e-mail, e-filing systems and regular mail
Courts — no visitors allowed; parties are asked to communicate with courts by electronic means; hearings are being postponed

Lithuania

PTO – most staff working remotely, no visitors allowed; communication only by e-mail and e-filing system; deadlines not extended
Courts –  no visitors allowed; oral hearings postponed until at least March 30, or conducted remotely; deadlines not extended — complaints can be submitted electronically; all communication via e-filing system

Moldova

PTO – closed March 30-April 5, 2020; during the state of emergency (until May 15, 2020) visitors not permitted and all procedural deadlines suspended; filing of applications, responses and appeals can be done through the electronic filing system; documents can be submitted via e-mail
Courts – closed until further notice; civil cases and procedural deadlines suspended
Note: Courier and other postal services do not send/receive letters and packages

Poland

PTO – staff working remotely; deadlines have not been extended; all applications and requests should be filed electronically, via electronic platform or by mail; all hearings before the Adjudicative Board have been cancelled from March 16 until further notice
Courts – all hearings scheduled for April have been cancelled, however there is no governmental order suspending legal and official deadlines

Slovak Republic

PTO – no visitors allowed; e-filing and filing by mail is possible; deadlines not postponed
Courts — non-essential oral hearings are being postponed

Tajikistan

PTO – no changes for now, business as usual
Courts – no changes for now, business as usual
Note: Original documents cannot be sent via courier services since flights both in and out of the country have been cancelled

Turkmenistan

PTO – no changes for now, business as usual
Courts – no changes for now, business as usual

PETOSEVIC REPRESENTATIVE

Brussels

Representative – working from home without interruption
Benelux PTO (BOIP) — closed for visitors; electronic filing possible; deadlines postponed until further notice, details below:
1. From March 16, until the end of the imposed restrictions on the public life in the Benelux countries (April 6, 2020), BOIP will not withdraw any requests or procedures because a given deadline has not been met. This also applies to opposition notices not submitted on time or payments not received on time.
2. After this period has ended, an additional period of one month will be granted for all requests and proceedings for which the time limits have expired or which are less than one month at that time. This month-long period will be counted from the moment there are no longer any restrictions on the public life in the Benelux countries. BOIP will set a date for this in due course and a new communication will come from the Director General.
Belgian PTO — closed for visitors; electronic filing possible and also by mail, deadlines postponed. The measures apply until April 6, 2020.

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