Since the controversial commencement of Law 10/2012, of 20 November 2012, regulating certain fees relating to the administration of justice and to the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science (henceforth the Law), when legal entities started legal proceedings to defend their interests in Spain, they had to pay a series of fees to the Justice Administration, which were particularly high in the field of civil law. For example, if a company lodged an appeal against a ruling by a Court of First Instance through the mandatory appellate procedure, they had to pay a fee, which could reach €800.00 (fixed fee) and increased in amount by calculating 0.5% of the main amount being claimed in the proceedings (variable fee).
The consequence of the commencement of the Law was that the Socialist Parliamentary Group, disagreeing with the Law, lodged a complaint of unconstitutionality nº 973-2013 before the Spanish Constitutional Court against a series of articles in the Law, on the principal understanding that the Law violated the right to effective judicial protection regulated in Article 24.1 of the Spanish Constitution (henceforth CE).
The result of this appeal is Ruling 140/2016, of 21 July 2016 (published in the Spanish Official Bulletin on 1 August 2016) (henceforth the Ruling), where the Plenum of the Constitutional Court, amongst other pronouncements and with regards to court fees, declared the nullity of a series of fixed fees established by civil, social and administrative order, and also the nullity of the variable fees which legal entities faced, and which were regulated in Articles 7.1 and 7.2 of the Law.
The Plenum of the Constitutional Court justify their decision that the Law is unconstitutional on the understanding that the established fees in the Law are disproportionate and as a consequence violate and infringe upon the fundamental right to access judicial and administrative protection, regulated by Article 24.1 of the CE.
Consequently, the following court fees which legal entities previously had to pay have been abolished:
|Administrative Order||Social Order||Civil Order|
|€200.00 to lodge an administrative appeal with an abbreviated procedure.||€500.00 to lodge an appeal for reversal||€800 to lodge an appeal of a civil nature to a higher court|
|€350 to lodge an administrative appeal with an abbreviated procedure.||€750.00 to lodge a cassation appeal, in any form.||€1200 to lodge a cassation appeal and an extraordinary appeal for an infringement of procedure.|
|€800 to lodge an appeal|
|€1200 to lodge a cassation appeal, in any form.|
For the sake of clarity, we break down hereafter the court fees that legal entities do have to pay if they are considering initiating legal actions in Spain:
|100,00 € *||Petition for monetary claims|
|150,00 € *||Petition for an oral trial|
|150,00 €||Petition for Special Collection procedures|
|200,00 €||Summary execution and opposition to the execution of judicial titles|
|200,00 €||Involuntary bankruptcy|
|300,00 €||Petition for ordinary proceedings|
* Provided that the quantity exceeds €2,000
Click here to access the new law, modified by the ruling given by the Plenum of the Constitutional Court, which commenced this last 15 August 2016.
This article is not considered as legal advice