The decision of the Constitutional Court (TC) to overturn, at the request of Vox, the royal decree by which the Government declared the first state of alarm regarding confinement opens the door to the annulment of the fines imposed for bypassing the restrictions of circulation via filing of appeal. Specifically, the magistrates have declared null the limitation of the circulation of people and vehicles in public spaces and roads established by the norm, as well as the capacity of the Ministry of Health to modify and expand the containment measures in commercial activity and the authority of the Ministry of the Interior to agree on the closure of roads or sections for public health reasons.
Vox claimed the state of alarm that it now presumes to have annulled in the Constitutional
Legal sources indicate to Europa Press that the Constitutional ruling will allow, in principle, that the fines – firm and not firm – relating to the sections of the decree-law that the court of guarantees have declared unconstitutional can be annulled. This scenario will be possible before the filing of an appeal, since the ruling by itself will not automatically translate into the annulment of the sanctions.
In fact, the sentence incorporates a section in which it is specified that the ruling of the TC would not be enough for citizens to claim the money from the sanctions and that, in any case, an administrative procedure with the usual allegations would be necessary. The text of the TC reads as follows: “The unconstitutionality appreciated in this sentence will not in itself be a title to found claims of patrimonial responsibility of public administrations, without prejudice to the provisions of article 3.2 of the Organic Law of the states of alarm, exception and site “.
However, court sources consulted by elDiario.es qualify this addition as “wet paper” against future claims to the State, informs Gonzalo Cortizo. “Any Spanish citizen could now complain about having been locked up in his home and, therefore, claim compensation,” they assure this writing. For months now, many law firms have been working on the possibility of joint lawsuits to request compensation derived from the citizen stoppage motivated by the confinement.
One of the most active has been the former counselor of Esperanza Aguirre and currently a practicing lawyer, Manuel Lamela, who already in 2020 announced complaints on behalf of the private health sector to claim compensation for the lack of business that they supposed to have their clients locked up in home. Private hospitals reported that specialties such as traumatology were left without an audience in the consultations. Some of them, as elDiario.es reported in March of last year, even asked their workers to take vacations due to the lack of business.
Apart from the above, there will be no consequences on shops and hotels, since the sentence is specific by not discussing the limits that were imposed on these sectors in the heat of the state of alarm. The censorship that Vox proposed on the limits that were then imposed on wakes and funeral services at the crudest moment of the counting of victims has also been specifically rejected.