Online processing of cases and e-communication with courts

Hispaania
Sisu koostaja:
European Judicial Network
Euroopa õigusalase koostöö võrgustik (tsiviil- ja kaubandusasjades)

1 Is it possible to initiate court proceedings via the internet?

Yes, in part.

It is mandatory for court procedural representatives (procuradores) and other legal representatives, with the exception of those territorial jurisdictions in which this is not yet possible for legal representatives.

In some territorial jurisdictions, it is also mandatory for private individuals and legal entities. In others, meanwhile, where the system is still under development, it is not yet possible to initiate all proceedings online, though it may be possible and/or mandatory to initiate certain proceedings in this way.

Although it has been optional for private individuals since 1 January 2017, it is not yet possible in territorial jurisdictions where the system is still under development.

The Ministry of Justice keeps the ‘ELECTRONIC COURTHOUSE’ (Sede Judicial Electrónica)(Link to Electronic Courthouse) with a register, available electronically, containing details of the relevant resources and addresses.

A registered electronic signature is required in order to guarantee the authenticity of the contents and provide proof of sending and receipt.

A new feature is that in Galicia, professionals and individuals can now initiate order for payment procedures in civil and labour proceedings; this will soon also be possible in oral procedures.

In Andalucía, the submission of claims and documents by natural and legal persons is limited to oral and civil order for payment procedures and to order for payment procedures before the labour courts.

In the Basque Country it is not possible to initiate procedures online.

2 If so, for what types of cases is it available? Are any proceedings available exclusively via the internet?

It is available for all civil proceedings, although there are limits in some territorial jurisdictions and proceedings, and it is fairly widely used for order for payment and oral proceedings.

The document that triggers the European Order for Payment procedure and Small Claims procedure can be submitted via the Internet in some territorial jurisdictions; in others, the system is still being updated.

Access for private individuals is still under implementation and in some territorial jurisdictions may provisionally be limited to procedures at national level, such as orders for payment, oral procedures or claims for action brought under labour law. It does not extend to the submission of procedural documents.

It is mandatory for court procedural representatives and other legal representatives to initiate all proceedings online and, in general, this system is being implemented nationwide, with a few exceptions, such as the Basque Country.

3 Is the facility available at all times (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or just during specific hours? If so, what are those hours?

It is generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, as some days are non-working days, if a procedure is initiated on a non-working day, it will only be finalised on the next working day.

Furthermore, the system may occasionally be taken out of service on non-working days for technical or maintenance purposes, especially during the month of August.

4 Should the details of the claim be provided in any particular format?

The following formats are recommended: .pdf, .rtf, .jpeg, .jpg, .tiff, .odt, .zip.

Compressed .zip files may only contain the following document formats: .pdf, .rtf, .jpeg, .jpg, .tiff, .odt.

In no case will it be possible to submit via LexNET audio, video or compressed zip files containing documents in formats other than those indicated above.

If the electronic document is too big for the system to handle, it will need to be filed in hard copy. Artificially combining several documents in one single digital document is not permitted.

5 How is transmission and storage of data secured?

The competent public authorities are responsible for setting up the appropriate electronic systems. Security is ensured through a system of prior authentication of electronic signatures for legal representatives and private individuals, while access for authorised officials is through cryptographic cards and digital certificates. The system must guarantee the authenticity of the content and provide proof of sending and receipt.

6 Is it necessary to use any kind of electronic signature and/or time record?

Yes, through a system of prior authentication.

7 Are court fees payable? If so, how can they be paid and are they different to those for non-electronic procedures?

Court fees are payable for claims from legal entities but not from private individuals.

Payment must be made electronically online and the claim must be accompanied by proof of payment (failure to comply with this requirement can be rectified at a later date).

8 Is it possible to withdraw a claim that has been initiated via the internet?

Once submitted, a claim cannot be cancelled.

It may, however, be withdrawn by submitting notice of official withdrawal in electronic format.

9 If the claimant initiates proceedings via the internet is it possible and/or compulsory for the defendant to respond using the internet as well?

No, each party will respond using the appropriate procedure according to their particular circumstances, as indicated above.

10 In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant responds to the claim?

Nothing. The electronic procedure only applies to the submission of documents and notices served on the parties’ legal representatives. Court proceedings are not processed automatically.

The court will provide the document in electronic format and/or hard copy depending on which rules apply and what the parties have opted for.

11 In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant does not respond to a claim?

N/A. Court proceedings are not processed automatically. The court will provide the document in electronic format and/or hard copy, and will give notice in either electronic format or hard copy, depending on which rules apply and what the parties have opted for.

12 Is it possible to submit documents to a court electronically and if so in what type of proceedings and under what conditions is it possible?

Yes, the submission of procedural documents and the provision of documents will be subject to the same terms as those set out in section (1) for initiation of the procedure. The only restrictions are those applicable to the type of document and its size.

The system can be used in all proceedings, although private individuals’ access is still under implementation and in some territorial jurisdictions it may be provisionally restricted while in others it may not yet be possible, where the system is still under development.

In the Basque Country, all documents other than the first written submissions by the parties must be submitted electronically in the case of court procedural representatives and lawyers. Private individuals are not allowed to carry out procedures electronically.

Prior authentication with the legal representative's electronic signature is required.

The original document must be supplied where requested by the court, in which case it may be sent by post.

13 Can judicial documents, and particularly judgments, be served via the internet?

Yes. For the parties’ legal representatives, it is mandatory.

In some territorial jurisdictions, it is also mandatory for both private individuals and legal entities. However, in others, where the system is still under development, it may not yet be possible.

For private individuals, and following authentication, it is optional in those territorial jurisdictions in which the system has been implemented.

If the parties have submitted their claim and documents online they will be notified of the court decisions by the same medium.

14 Can judicial decisions be given electronically?

Yes. For the parties’ legal representatives, it is mandatory.

In some territorial jurisdictions, it is also mandatory for both private individuals and legal entities. However, in others, where the system is still under development, it may not yet be possible.

For private individuals, and following authentication, it is optional in those territorial jurisdictions in which the system has been implemented.

If the parties have submitted their claim and documents online they will be notified of the court decisions by the same medium.

15 Can an appeal be made and its decision served via the internet?

Yes. For the parties’ legal representatives, it is mandatory.

In some territorial jurisdictions, it is also mandatory for both private individuals and legal entities. However, in others, where the system is still under development, it may not yet be possible.

For private individuals, and following authentication, it is optional in those territorial jurisdictions in which the system has been implemented.

16 Is it possible to initiate enforcement proceedings via the internet?

Yes, under the same terms as those set out in section (1) for initiation of the procedure.

In many territorial jurisdictions it is mandatory with the parties’ legal representatives.

In some territorial jurisdictions, it is also mandatory for both private individuals and legal entities. However, in others, where the system is still under development, it may not yet be possible.

For private individuals, following authentication, it is optional in those territorial jurisdictions in which the system has been implemented.

In the Basque Country it is not possible to initiate procedures online and the application for enforcement must be submitted in hard copy.

The Ministry of Justice keeps the ‘ELECTRONIC COURTHOUSE’ (Sede Judicial Electrónica)(Link to Electronic Courthouse) with a register, available electronically, containing information and details of the relevant resources and addresses.

17 Can the parties or their legal representatives consult on-line cases? If so, how this can be done?

Only in some territorial jurisdictions.

The parties’ legal representatives can consult online cases in Aragon, Navarre, Cantabria and Valencia.

In other territorial jurisdictions, such as the Balearic Islands or Catalonia, the system is being implemented and will be accessible to legal representatives in the near future.

In Andalusia, the parties and their legal representatives have access to some information, such as parties, status of proceedings and courts’ daily case list.

In the Basque Country, professionals have access only to videos with recordings of trials.

Conversely, in other territorial jurisdictions there are no plans to provide this access, even for legal professionals.

Private individuals cannot currently access the court file.

Last update: 26/02/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective EJN contact point. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. Neither the EJN nor the European Commission accept responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.