On June 26, 2019 the Organic Law amending the Organic General Procedural Code was published. The main amendments include the following:


Jurisdiction:

  • In contractual matters, if there are clauses that identify the domicile address, the other party shall be notified if the address has been modified. If the change of address has not been notified, the judge at the domicile originally fixed in the contract shall be competent.
  • In the event of lawsuits against the State, jurisdiction will fall under the domicile of the plaintiff, but the service of process to the accused public entity shall be made where it has its head office.


Joinder:

  • Joinders shall be resolved immediately upon filing by either party. If it takes place before the preliminary hearing or first stage of the single hearing, the other party shall be notified so that it can respond to the joinder request. If the request is made after the preliminary hearing or first stage of the single hearing, the judge shall dispose of the appeal at that time.


Recusal:

  • The bond to be deposited by the person filing the recusal is eliminated.
  • At the end of the hearing, the judge shall dispose of the recusal. If the aim of the lawsuit to recuse a judge was to unduly delay the progress of the dispute, a fine of one consolidated basic salary for general workers shall also be imposed on the defense attorney.


Substituted service:

  • If the defendant is not personally available, they shall be notified through three notices which shall be served at their registered address, place of residence, office, or principal place of business on different days to any family member or employee.
  • The aim of the notice is to interrupt the statute of limitations. If the claim is served within six months after it was filed, the interruption of the statute of limitations shall go back to the date when the claim was filed.


Hearings:

  • If the plaintiff appears without their defense attorney, the judge shall adjourn the hearing and reconvene it, only once, at the request of one of the parties.


Claims and answers to claims:

  • If the claim does not meet the formal requirements, the judge shall order that it be completed or clarified within five days. If not, dismissal shall be ordered and the documents shall be returned. This ruling shall be appealable.
  • The judge shall consider any failure to expressly and concretely respond to the facts and pretentions of the claim, or any false assertions or denials made, as denial of the alleged facts in the complaint, unless another effect is given by the law.
  • Failure to answer to a claim shall be considered rejection of the basis of the claim.
  • The plaintiff may withdraw their claim before being summoned. The claim shall be returned even without characterization of the action filed, thus, the petition for withdrawal shall be first dispatched. The same claim may be withdrawn up to two times.


Abandonment:

  • Abandonment shall be declared when all parties in a process have ceased their prosecution during six months, as of the day after the notice of the last ruling to continue the order was received, or from the day following the procedural action in such order.
  • Abandonment may not be declared when briefs by the judge are still pending.
  • Abandonment does not apply, among others, in the following cases:
    • In cases involving rights of workers.
    • In voluntary proceedings.
  • Abandonment may not be declared neither sua sponte nor at the request of a party after any action has been carried out or petition has been filed by either party to the legal action. The judge is prohibited to rule retroactive abandonment.
  • If abandonment is declared for the first time in first instance, the plaintiff may present a new claim on the same matter six months after the order declaring abandonment. If abandonment is declared a second time on the same claim, the right shall be extinguished and a new claim may not be pursued.
  • If abandonment is declared on second instance or in an extraordinary petition for cassation, the appeal or petition shall be understood to be dropped and the judgement final and unappealable and all court records shall be given back to the court or judiciary where they came from.


Appeal:

  • An appeal can be filed orally in the corresponding hearing.
  • A duly substantiated appeal or legal argument given, if filed orally, shall be filed in writing within ten as of the judgment notice or written order.
  • The other party shall be notified and shall reply to the notification within ten days. In that term, the other party will be able to join in the appeal through reasoned argument.


Cassation:

  • It shall be filed in writing within thirty days after the final judgment of the order or ruling was issued or after the order that denies or accepts its expansion or clarification was issued.
  • Compliance with the legal term and with the structure of the explanatory brief described in article 267 shall be exclusively reviewed. If the requirements are met, the petition shall be granted. If they are not met, the appellant party shall be ordered to complete or clarify the petition within five days.
  • In the order granting leave to proceed, the other party shall be served the filed petition and will be granted thirty days to respond through reasoned argument.
  • For filed petitions for cassation which have not been disposed of as admissible or inadmissible, the dispositions in the current law will be applied and petitions shall not be processed under applicable regulations at the time of filing.


Coercive enforcement:

  • In order for the exception proceedings to interrupt coercive enforcement, submission of 10% of the amount due, its interest and costs shall be necessary.


Summary proceedings:

  • In disputes arising from unfair dismissal of pregnant or breastfeeding women and union leaders, reduced terms shall be applied.
  • To answer claims and counterclaims, a term of fifteen days shall be granted except in matters regarding children and adolescents, and unfair dismissal of pregnant and breastfeeding women and union leaders, where the term shall be of ten days.



The second stage of the single hearing shall be carried out in the following order: evidentiary debate, opening argument, examination of evidence, closing argument.



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