STATE OF EMERGENCY: RECOMMENDATIONS ON WORKING ACTIONS OF THE PUBLIC BAILIFFS
The Government of Serbia issued the Decree on emergency measures effective March 15th, declaring a state of emergency and undertaken measures due to the Covid-19 crisis. During this state, a number of human and minority rights are suspended in an effort to protect public health of the country and its citizens, implementing measures such as widespread travel, ban on entry to Serbia, school closures, movement restrictions, especially for all people ages 65 and older to stay indoors anytime, and for the rest of population, a movement ban from 5 pm until 5 am.
The Ministry of Justice issued non-binding Recommendations on working actions of the Public bailiffs during this state, recommending The Chamber of Public bailiffs to postpone all enforcement procedures for as long as the emergency state is in effect, which postponement includes but is not limited to the following:
– collection of monetary and non-monetary claims, especially those regarding selling of the immovable property, selling of the movable property, as well as joint selling of movable and immovable property;
– seizure of pensions and salaries i.e. other permanent earnings.
The Chamber of Public bailiffs issued also non-binding Instructions for the Public bailiffs’ actions during a state of emergency, practically imposing its members thereby, to fully implement as a binding the abovementioned recommendations of the Ministry of Justice, as long as the emergency state is in effect. In practice, this means that almost all enforcement procedures, with exception to those which are excluded due to their urgent nature (payment of alimony, compensation for health damages etc.) are in delay for an unknown period of time.
Having in mind that creditors’ legal rights regarding their due claims should “suffer” minimal damage, our Law firm has already delivered a letter to all Public bailiffs, kindly asking for the extension of the Public bailiffs’ deadlines regarding advance payments. Our proposal for Public bailiffs, includes the following suggestions regarding their actions:
• not to carry out actions such as forced moving out of from real estate, or conducting listing, valuation or sale of the movable property;
• to undertake all other enforcement actions so that creditors do not suffer any damage, especially material, in other words, not to carry out actions which may have a negative material impact on creditors, without explicit prior consent of the creditor.