On June 16, 2022, the Supreme Court of Justice, through the Civil Cassation Chamber, issued Resolution Nº 001-2022, by means of which it resolved to reestablish in the national territory the on-site civil court activities. Below are the most relevant aspects of this Resolution:
1. Office hours. Article 1 establishes the reestablishment in the national territory of the on-site civil court activities. The days of office are from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Likewise, it establishes an administrative hour from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The above except for the provisions of Article 195 of the Code of Civil Procedure (i.e., cases in which the courts decide, for justified cause, not to have activities) and in matters of constitutional protection, in which all days will be considered working days in accordance with Article 13 of the Organic Law of Protection on Constitutional Rights and Guarantees.
2. Processing and receipt. Article 2 provides that the courts must comply with the procedural formalities provided for in the rules applicable to civil proceedings and other legal instruments, with respect to the processing of new and ongoing cases, notifications, summons, consignment, reception and admission of documents and proceedings, attention to the public, drawing and distribution of cases, oppositions, objections, counterclaims, intervention of third parties, promotion and evacuation of evidence, decisions, appeals and their distribution to higher courts and processing, all in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure and applicable laws. In this way, the work system implemented in the Judicial Circumscriptions and Civil Circuits at the national level prior to the exceptional circumstances taken during the COVID-19 pandemic is reinstated.
3. Forms of the acts and terms. Article 3 provides that the forms of the acts and the judicial terms for processing the ordinary civil procedures and special procedures shall be governed by the legal consecutive order and preclusion of stages, according to the Code of Civil Procedure and the special laws.
4. Drawing and distribution of cases. According to Article 4, the drawing and distribution of cases shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure prior to the exceptional circumstances taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Recording in the court’s journal. According to Article 5, the court’s clerk shall keep the court’s journal, in accordance with Article 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
6. Summons and notifications. According to Article 6, the proceedings on summons and notifications shall be carried out in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.
However, exceptionally and for the sake of procedural celerity, the courts may use the available telematic, computer and communication means (IT) provided by the parties when the circumstances of time and place so warrant and and provided that the summon or notification made by the authorized official can be corroborated, under article 257 of the Venezuelan Constitution.
7. Hearings in telematic rooms. According to Article 7, hearings will continue to be held in telematic rooms through the use of the available telematic, computer and communication means (IT). The above without detriment to those hearings in which the parties do not possess, do not have or cannot access the technological means, for which the legal procedure established before the use of these electronic mechanisms and in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure must be provided.
8. Sanitary and biosecurity measures. According to Article 8, judges, officials, lawyers and citizens in general are urged to abide by the sanitary measures of biosecurity in the execution of their activities.
9. Publication of decisions. According to article 9, the judges of the civil jurisdiction are urged to publish the interlocutory and final sentences in the web site of the Supreme Court of Justice (www.tsj.gob.ve).
10. Repeal. According to Article 10, Resolution No. 05-2020 dated October 5, 2020 is repealed.
11. Publication of the Resolution. Article 11 orders the publication of the Resolution in the Judicial Gazette and on the website of the Supreme Court of Justice (www.tsj.gob.ve).