An Introduction to Litigation in Spain

24 May 2018

. This article will introduce you to the basic workings of litigation in Spain and what happens when you file a lawsuit in Spain.

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Depending on the details of the lawsuit you wish to file, there may be several options available to resolve a legal dispute, such as judicial tribunals, arbitration or mediation. However, currently, most legal disputes in Spain are resolved in court through litigation. This article will introduce you to the basic workings of litigation in Spain and what happens when you file a lawsuit in Spain. For more detailed information or specific advice regarding a particular conflict of yours, we recommend that you contact a provider of professional litigation services in Spain.

Court litigation in Spain

There are a couple different types of courts, and the court with which you file a lawsuit in Spain will depend on the nature of the dispute. Most litigation in Spain is handled in a court of first instance, although expat business owners may find that a commercial court is more appropriate for their case. Litigation in Spain officially begins when the claimant files a statement of claim with the appropriate court, which will then determine matters such as jurisdiction, fulfillment of all legal requirements on your part, etc. Once the court decides that everything is in order, they will serve a notice of claim to the defendant, who, in turn, has twenty business days to file a statement of defense and counterclaim, if applicable.

Lawsuits in Spain

Once this initial paperwork is handled, lawsuits in Spain proceed with a preliminary hearing attended by both the claimant and the defendant. The purposes of this hearing are to determine whether it will be possible to reach a settlement agreement rather than going to trial, to allow each party’s lawyers to enter oral arguments on procedural matters, and to propose the evidence that will be used at trial if the case cannot be settled.

The preliminary hearing will conclude with the setting of a court date for trial, if applicable.

Litigation services in Spain for settlement and mediation

Settlement is often preferable to a trial, and having good litigation services in Spain can increase your chances of reaching an agreement that both parties find satisfactory. As of 2012, when the claimant and defendant are informed that they must attend the preliminary hearing, the notice must let them know that mediation is an option to resolve the dispute.

File a lawsuit in Spain

To file a lawsuit in Spain, you generally have no more than five years after the date when the cause of the dispute arose, although the time limitations vary depending on the type of conflict. The first step to file a lawsuit in Spain is to submit a statement of claim with the competent court, but even before this, it is wise to seek out the assistance of litigation services in Spain. Litigation in Spain, like in every other country, can be cutthroat, combative and complicated, and with such high stakes involved, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. A lawyer will help you prepare your statement of claim so that it meets all the necessary legal requirements for the court to serve the defendant with a notice of claim. Only then can lawsuits in Spain continue.