Changes to the small claims procedure in Spain
On the 4th of May 2010, the reform of the Procedural Law under Law 13/2009 actively came into being. While there are many new areas to be discussed under this law we wish first and foremost to address the issue of the proceso monitorio or small claims procedure. At the root of this reform one has seen the considerable extension of the ambit of the application of the law, debts of up to €250,000 can now be recovered under the reformed legislation whereas up until this date the maximum recoverable under law was €30,000.
The proceso monitorio is a very straightforward legal process which deals with the recovery of debts not exceeding €250,000. The debts must always relate to monetary debts, must be proven and must be clearly vouched. There is no necessity to engage a lawyer or a procurador in this type of legal action.
The principal changes brought in under the aforementioned law can by synopsized in the following manner:
- The maximum amount which can be recovered under the process has been increased to €250,000
- The Secretario Judicial has the requisite power to admit the initial pleading/claim; however the matter can be passed to a Judge where the Secreatrio does not believe the necessary proofs are in place
- The intentions of the parties as set out in the contract can be submitted to hearing, the domicile of the debtor dictating jurisdiction
- The parties cannot agree to pursue the via edictal save in cases where the debt relates to the collection of Communidad costs
- Where the debtor opposes the claim the Secretario Judicial will set a date for a verbal decision in cases where the debt does not exceed 6000, if the debt exceeds the said amount then the normal judicial process will apply with the necessary pleadings to be lodged
- In cases where the debtor opposes the action and where the amount claimed exceeds €6000 and where the creditor does not submit a demand within one month the Secretario Judicial will direct un derecto de archivo
This article is not considered as legal advice