In the legal world, it is important for citizens to understand the legal proceedings they may face. One of the most common procedures is the civil verbal procedure, which is regulated in the Spanish Civil Procedure Act (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil). In this article, I will try to provide an easy-to-understand explanation of this procedure, so that you are better informed about your legal rights and obligations.
What is the Civil Verbal Procedure?
The civil verbal procedure is a legal route used to resolve small claims disputes in a quicker and less formal way than other court procedures. It applies to cases in which the amount claimed does not exceed 6,000 euros.
Within this amount, it must be taken into account that under 2,000 euros you do not need to go to court with a lawyer and solicitor, and if it exceeds 6,000 euros the law requires you to go to court with a lawyer and solicitor. The aim of this procedure is to speed up the resolution of conflicts in an effective way.
The phases of the procedure are: lawsuit, answer to the lawsuit, oral hearing before the judge and sentence.
The phases of the Verbal Procedure
- Complaint. The process begins with the filing of a lawsuit by the plaintiff (who initiates the legal action). The complaint should include the identification of the parties, a clear description of the facts and the amount claimed;
- Summons of the Defendant. Once the complaint is filed, the defendant is summoned to file a written answer within 10 days;
- Oral Hearing. If the defendant answers the claim and no agreement is reached, an oral hearing is held before the judge. Here, both parties present their arguments and evidence. The judge looks for a fair and quick solution;
- Judgment. After the oral hearing, the judge issues a judgment that sets out the final decision in the case. This judgment is binding and must be complied with by both parties. Judgments in cases that do not exceed 3000 euros are not subject to appeal.
Advantages of the Civil Verbal Procedure
- Faster compared to other legal procedures;
- Fewer formalities, which facilitates access to justice;
- Lower court costs;
- Possibility of effective resolution of small claims.
The civil oral procedure is an important tool in the legal system that allows individuals to resolve small claims disputes effectively and without excessive costs. It is essential to understand its basic steps and advantages. Remember that the maximum amount for civil oral proceedings varies, being up to 2,000 euros in cases without a lawyer and solicitor and up to 6,000 euros in cases with a lawyer and solicitor.
If you decide to go to court with a lawyer and solicitor for amounts less than 2,000 euros, it is important to bear in mind that, since the law does not oblige you to go to court with these professionals, you will not be able to claim the costs incurred if you obtain a favourable judgement.
If you are faced with a legal situation that fits this procedure, our recommendation is that you at least go to an expert litigation lawyer to at least make sure that your rights are protected throughout the process and that the claim is well targeted in accordance with the law.
Mª Dolores García Santos