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Last update: 16-06-2006
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Simplified and accelerated procedures - Spain

 

Order for payment procedures

In the Spanish legal system, there are several simple procedures which reduce the length of proceedings and are intended to ensure a more rapid response from a court to the existence of the dispute. In some cases, they make it possible to ensure immediate enforcement if the debtor does not contest the claim, for instance in the case of orders for payment procedures. Other procedures reduce to a minimum the number of procedural steps and involve the immediate convening of the hearing, for instance in the case of oral proceedings. For these types of proceedings, however, only small claims (up to €3 000) can be introduced, as well as other types of claims which, by their nature, require a prompt judicial response.

1. Is a rapid procedure available for obtaining orders for payment ?

Yes, it is called the order for payment procedure.

Is a simplified procedure specifically aimed at dealing with claims that are likely to remain uncontested by the defendant available?

Yes, the order for payment procedure.

1.1. Scope of procedure

Creditors wishing to obtain payment of a claim may have recourse to the procedure.

a) What types of claims are eligible?

Recovery of pecuniary claims, due and payable and for a specific amount that does not exceed €30 000.

b) Is there an upper limit regarding the value of the claim?

Yes, €30 000.

c) Is the use of that procedure optional or obligatory?

It is optional. The applicant may have recourse to this procedure or to the relevant ordinary procedure for the amount in question.

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d) Is the procedure available if the defendant lives in another Member State or in a third country?

No.

1.2. Competent court

To which court (or authority) should one apply for an order for payment?

To the Judge of the Court of First Instance in the place where the defendant has his address or residence.

Is this procedure governed by the generic rules on the jurisdiction of courts?

No, because it cannot, either tacitly or expressly, be initiated before a court other than the one laid down by law.

1.3. Formal requirements

The procedure starts with a written document in which the plaintiff must state the identity of the defendant, the addresses or place of residence of the plaintiff and defendant, and the cause and amount of the claim.

a) Is the use of a standardised form obligatory?

No, provided that the application complies with the above requirements. The application may be lodged using standard forms. The forms español may be downloaded from the website of the General Council for the Judiciary (CGPJ español).

b) Do I have to be represented by a lawyer?

No, not for the application. For the other stages of the proceedings, however, representation by a lawyer or solicitor is compulsory if the amount in question exceeds €900.

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c) In how much detail do I have to describe the reason for the claim?

Documents testifying to the existence of the claim must be enclosed with the application. They must be the usual documents used in business affairs.

d) Do I have to present written evidence of the claim at issue? If so, which documents are admissible as proof?

Yes, the documents to be enclosed with the application must be either documents signed by the defendant or bearing his stamp, or printed documents from the defendant which demonstrate the existence of the claim, or invoices, delivery notes, certificates, telegrams, faxes or any other document which, even if not signed by the defendant, are normally used to record claims in relations between a creditor and debtor. If the document providing evidence of the claim does not fulfil these conditions, it must be accompanied by commercial documents providing proof of a lasting commercial relationship.

e) If my application is admitted, how do I obtain an order for payment?

If the application is admitted, the court will require the defendant to pay the plaintiff within a period of twenty days or to put forward reasons why, in his view, he does not owe the amount claimed.

1.4. Rejection of application

Under what circumstances is the application for an order for payment rejected? Does the court examine the justification of the claim before issuing an order for payment?

Yes. The court may reject the application if, in its view, the documents provided do not constitute evidence of the plaintiff’s claim.

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1.5. Appeal

An appeal may be made within five days of the serving of the document in which the application is admitted.

1.6. Statement of opposition

If the application is admitted, the court (a Court of First Instance) will require the defendant to pay the plaintiff within a period of twenty days or to put forward reasons why, in his view, he does not owe the amount claimed.

The defendant must state his opposition in writing, giving the reasons why he believes that he does not owe the amount. The written document must be submitted by a lawyer or solicitor if the claim exceeds €900 .

1.7. Effect of statement of opposition

The affair will be settled in the relevant oral proceedings if the claim does not exceed €3 000, and in ordinary proceedings if it does exceed this amount.

If the claim does not exceed €3 000, it is directly heard in oral proceedings. If it does exceed this amount, the plaintiff must submit an application within one month of having been served the statement of opposition.

1.8. Effect of lack of statement of opposition

If the defendant does not pay and does not put forward arguments to oppose payment, a writ is issued which can be enforced against the defendant, in the same way as a judgment, for the amount of the claim.

a) What needs to be done in order to obtain an enforceable decision?

The plaintiff must ask for the enforcement of the writ even though this is automatic if the defendant does not oppose the summons to pay or deal with it duly.

b) Is this decision final or is there still a possibility for the defendant to appeal against that decision?

If the enforcement decision is not granted, the plaintiff may appeal to a higher court within five days of the notification, although an appeal for reconsideration can be made to the judge who refused the application. This appeal must be heard by this same judge, with the possibility of the other party being heard if he appears within five days of a decision being handed down.

If the enforcement decision is granted, the defendant may oppose the enforcement measures granted if he deems them to be disproportionate, or oppose the enforcement decision itself if it contains procedural shortcomings, or oppose the merits, but in this case for a limited number of reasons, such as the fact that the claim has been paid or is time barred.

Further information

  • Oral proceedings (legal representation is not necessary when the amount of the litigation does not exceed €900): website of the Ministry of Justice español and of the General Council of the Judiciary español.  
  • Order to pay procedure: website of the Ministry of Justice español and of the General Council of the Judiciary español.

« Simplified and accelerated procedures - General information | Spain - General information »

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Last update: 16-06-2006

 
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