On 6 October was published Law 42/2015 of 5 October of Reform the Civil Proceedings Law that came into force on 7 October 2015. Some modifications will take effect on 15 October.
The main changes relate to the information and communications technology, communications with the Administration of Justice to be conducted electronically. From 1st January 2016 all legal practitioners and judicial organs, are enforced to use telematics systems for submitting written and acts of communication. Among other issues, the email data and telephone number may be used to locate the defendant, even by SMS.
In relation to procuradores, they will be allowed to issue certifications and to perform acts of communication, which would mean that they may have the same capacities of Court officials without being necessary, from now on, to be assisted by witnesses.
Regarding the Verbal Proceeding, it is accepted the written plea (until now the defendant plea in the act of trial). Whereby the claimant will know before the hearing the answer of the defendant. It is included the possibility of a procedure of conclusions in the hearing, like in Ordinary Proceedings, as well as a new system of appeals against the rejection of evidence. It is contemplated that the parties may request that the lawsuit is resolved without the need to celebrate the hearing. The processes that were pending at the time of the entry into force of the Law continue according to the previous legislation.
In the Monitory Proceeding, in order to guarantee the consumer rights, the judge will be able to verify the existence of abusive clauses in consumer´s contracts and may declare ex officio the unfairness of a term, which cannot be invoked in any other trial later. This way the proceeding will be in accordance with the provisions of the European Court ruling of 14th June 2012.
The Law amends 79 articles of Civil Proceedings Law, as well as provisions of the Civil Code (in relation to the statutes of limitation that goes from fifteen to five years) of the Horizontal Property Law (relating to the election of president of the Community of Owners), Legal Aid, Contentious Administrative Jurisdiction and others.