Within the scope of the measures taken during the COVID-19 epidemic period, the suspension of certain limitation and prescription periods and the postponement of hearings and negotiations had been decided as per the Provisional Article 1 of the Law no. 7226 on the Amendment of Certain Laws (the “Omnibus Bill”) published on the Official Gazette no. 31080, dated 26/03/2020. Within the scope of the Omnibus Bill, the judicial periods were suspended until 30.04.2020. Through the Presidential Decree No. 2480 (“Decree”) published on the Official Gazette no 31114 dated 30.04.2020, the expiry date of the suspension period, i.e. 30.04.2020 has been extended to 15.06.2020.
Suspensions: We provide below detailed information on the time periods and proceedings affected by the Omnibus Bill, which are suspended until 15.06.2020:
- General judicial periods: All periods related to the arising, exercise or expiry of a right, including those periods to initiate a lawsuit, an enforcement proceeding, to make an application, to submit a complaint, objection, notice, notification, submission and periods of limitations, periods of prescription and compulsory administrative application periods.
- Enforcement and bankruptcy periods: The periods set forth under the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law as well as the periods set forth under other laws related to the enforcement law and those periods ruled by the relevant authorities,
- Enforcement and bankruptcy procedures: All enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, except the enforcement proceedings related to alimony receivables-, the procedures related to parties and proceedings, the admission of new claims for enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, and the procedures related to enforcement and execution of precautionary attachment decisions,
- Lawsuits: As no prohibition similar to those prohibitions in the enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings has been foreseen for filing a lawsuit, there is no restriction. However, in case a lawsuit is filed, the response period of the opponent party shall not run due to the suspension of periods.
- Hearings: Based on the authority granted by the Omnibus Bill, hearings at the first-degree judicial and administrative justice bodies and the regional courts of justice and regional administrative courts, have been suspended by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors until the end of the suspension period. The authorisation regarding the postponement of hearings and negotiations in the Supreme Court and the Council of State belongs to the relevant Board of Presidents of these courts.
- Procedural periods: All the periods set forth under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Civil Procedure as well as other laws containing procedural provisions, and the periods ruled by the judge.
- Alternative dispute resolution periods: The periods in the institutions of mediation and conciliation.
Exceptions: Those periods that shall keep running since they are left out of the scope of the regulation are stated hereinbelow:
- The prescription periods stipulated under the laws on crime and punishment, misdemeanour and administrative sanction and disciplinary detention and preventive detention, and the periods related to the protection measures as stipulated under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- The periods related to complementary procedures for precautionary injunctions as stipulated under the Code of Civil Procedure.
- The compulsory administrative applications stipulated in the Public Procurement Law has been excluded from the scope of the Decree. Therefore, the suspension period for those applications have expired on 30.04.2020.
Calculation of dates: Since a dual distinction has been made in terms of the effective dates of the Omnibus Bill, as a result of the extension of the periods by the Decree, the periods related to the enforcement law such as the cancellation and annulment of the objections will be estopped between 22.03.2020 – 15.06.2020 (including these dates), and those other periods regarding the procedural law, except the related to the enforcement and bankruptcy law, will be estopped between 22.03.2020 – 15.06.2020 (including these dates ).
In case no amendment is made regarding the extension periods, the periods shall start to run as from the date of 16.06.2020 and the periods, which have fifteen or less days to expire with regards to the starting date of the suspension, shall be deemed to have extended for fifteen days starting as from 16.06.2020.
Please note the statement in the Decree that, the suspension of the periods is subject to re-evaluation in case the danger of the epidemic contagion disappears before the expiration date.
This note is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a source of legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought before taking any action based on information contained within this note for each particular case.