What is the ultimate goal of the exequatur procedure?
The ultimate goal of the procedure is to ensure that compliance is not given to a sentence Spanish law would consider "unfair". Spanish courts do not analize the essence of sentences. They rather stick to checking whether it fulfills the requirements that law establishes for them to be considered valid -and therefore recognizable and enforceable- in Spain.
How long does it take and how much does it cost?
The duration varies depending on the type of exequatur, the courts before which the procedure is conducted, and over all, the need to notify it to people living abroad. It can range from a few weeks to several months.
As for the price, Varés & Asociados charges a unique fee of 495 euros for processing an exequatur when you already have all the required documents. That includes our expenses as well as our attoney´s ones.
If the procedure has any extra complication, or if you do not have some of the required documents, please contact us for a quote.
What are, in practice, the most frequent cases in which the exequatur is required?
There are three:
What laws do regulate the exequatur in Spain?
Who can initiate the exequatur procedure?
The procedure can be initiated by:
What documents are required?
An application for enforcement (exequatur) must include the following documents:
What court should an exequatur application be filed to?
The exequatur application should be adressed to the Court of First Instance of the domicile of the party against whom recognition or execution is being sought, or that of the person concerned by the effects of the sentence. Alternatively, the jurisdiction shall be determined by the place of performance, or where that sentence should produce its effects. However, in the case of an application for recognition and enforcement of a sentence concerning commercial issues, the Commercial Courts will be the ones to recur to.
What happens then?
After the application is filed -it must be signed by both an attorney and a barrister- the procedure starts:
Firstly, the judge will ensure all the parties affected by the sentence are aware of its existence. To do so, and unless that awareness is proved beforehand, the judge will call the party against whom the sentence is being executed, as well as the public prosecutor. A certified communication will be addresed to that person, who is now obliged to stand before the court within a thirty days period. Should that person not stand before the court within that period, the procedure will continue in his absence.
If the person lives abroad, the judge will require legal assistance from the country that person lives in, either through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, either -most commonly- through that country´s courts.
If that is the case, much more time will be needed to obtain the exequatur. Therefore a key objective of the attorney leading the procedure will be to prevent the judge from deeming it necessary.
Once the judge determines the sentence fulfills the legal requirements, he will declare its enforceability.
Should the judge deny the exequatur, his decission can be appealed before the Provincial Court.