La notificación electrónica judicial a las empresas

Reform of the Civil Proceedings Law

Royal Decree-Law 6/2023 of 19 December, approving urgent measures for the implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan in the areas of public service of justice, civil service, local government and patronage, has thoroughly reformed the Civil Procedure Act.

How to notify a civil judicial procedure to a company?

One of the most important aspects of the reform for companies is the new wording of Article 155. Article 155 of the Civil Procedure Act regulates the way in which a company must be notified of the existence of civil judicial proceedings, specifically, how the first notification or summons must be made when the legal entity has not yet appeared in the proceedings, and is not yet represented by a solicitor and assisted by a lawyer.

Traditionally, the first notification was regulated as follows: “… When the parties are not represented by a procurator or it is a question of the first summons to the defendant, the acts of communication shall be made by sending them to the domicile of the litigants“.

From then on, once the first notification had been received personally at the domicile, with the guarantee of the delivery and signature of the writ of summons to the official, the notification or summons was considered to have been carried out. From that moment on, if the procedural law required (as in the majority of cases), appearing in the proceedings with the representation of a procurator and the assistance of a lawyer, the rest of the notifications were already made through the procurator by electronic means.

What happens after several failed notification attempts?

Only after several unsuccessful attempts at notification and house searches could the party be deemed to have been notified and the proceedings continued against it, as a guarantee of the right to defence, hearing and contradiction derived from the constitutional right to effective judicial protection in Article 24 of the Constitution, in order to prevent proceedings from being carried out against persons who were unable to defend their interests because they were unaware of them.

Changes in electronic judicial notification:  Article 155 of the Civil Procedure Act consist of?

The reform radically changes this system for legal persons, as the new Article 155 of the LEC distinguishes between the first notification to natural persons and to legal persons. Specifically, it now provides as follows: “…When the party not represented by a procurator or solicitor is legally or contractually obliged to interact electronically with the Administration of Justice, the act of communication shall be carried out by electronic means in accordance with Article 162.

However, if the purpose of the act of communication is the first summons or citation, or the performance or personal intervention of the parties in certain procedural actions and three days have elapsed without the addressee accessing its content, it shall be published by means of the Single Judicial Notice Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 164.

Furthermore, in any case, it may also be done by delivery of the copy of the decision if the obligor appears at the seat of the judicial body, leaving a record of this in the diligence to be extended…””.

Who are obliged to interact with the Public Administrations by electronic means in order to carry out any administrative procedure?

In this regard, Article 14 of Law 39/2015, of 1 October, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations, establishes the following: “… In any case, at least the following parties shall be obliged to interact with the Public Administrations by electronic means for the performance of any administrative procedure:

  1. Legal persons.
  2. Entities without legal personality.
  3. Those who carry out a professional activity for which membership of a professional association is required, for the procedures and actions they carry out with the Public Administrations in the exercise of said professional activity. In any case, this group shall be understood to include notaries and property and commercial registrars.
  4. Those who represent an interested party who is obliged to interact electronically with the Administration.
  5. Employees of the Public Administrations for the procedures and actions they carry out with them by virtue of their status as public employees, in the manner determined by regulation by each Administration.

What is the main change for businesses in terms of electronic notifications?

That is to say, while companies until now were obliged to relate through electronic means with the Public Administration, now they will also have to do so with the Courts and Tribunals, which makes it necessary to be extremely diligent when managing these notifications, given the risk that they will be considered as notified resolutions due to lack of access to the electronic content, with the corresponding loss of opportunity to exercise the defence of the Company’s rights and interests in the judicial process.

Do you need advice? Access our area related with the electronic judicial notice to businesses:

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