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Toffoli denies follow-up to Sao Paulo road block action against new coronavirus

03/31/2020

The Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Dias Toffoli, denied the action at the request of the municipality of Caraguatatuba and upheld a decision of the São Paulo Court of Justice (TJ-SP) that suspended action to block roads in the region in order to contain the pandemic of the new coronavirus.

The São Paulo Public Prosecutor's Office (MP-SP) sued the judiciary in three municipalities in the state, including the 1st Civil Court of Caraguatatuba, requesting the blockade of stretches of highways to prevent the agglomeration of people who flock to the region's resorts. The motivation, admitted in the first instance, would be to reduce the intensity of the propagation of the pandemic in order not to compromise the local health system.

In turn, the State of São Paulo appealed to the TJ (Court of Justice) to suspend the effects of the actions. It pointed to serious harm to public order, since it would make it difficult for the legally constituted authorities to carry out administrative functions, jeopardizing the coordinated conduct of the actions necessary to mitigate the damage caused by Covid-19.

For the president of the TJ, the ruling of his court sought "to suspend the effectiveness of judicial decisions that were understood to be hindering the regular execution of technically adequate public services, in order to solve the seriousness of the situation faced". The state court stressed that several measures are being adopted by the government of São Paulo to confront the pandemic, such as the creation of an extraordinary committee and a contingency center.

"Although it is not directly related to the merits of the controversy, it is curious to note that the plaintiff comes to the STF to defend, not the respect for administrative measures taken by himself, but rather for judicial orders imposed on him by the local Justice, in actions in which he appears as a defendant," pondered Toffoli.

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