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“Farewell” to court fees for natural persons

Last Saturday, 28th February 2015, the Official State Gazette published Royal Decree-Law (Royal Decree-Law 1/2015, of February 27, second chance mechanism, reduction of financial burden and other measures of social order), where among its most notable developments is the elimination of payment of court fees for individuals.

Without needing to remember the reasons that once were collected in the Law 10/2012´S preliminary explanation, to agree on the imposition of court fees, the explanation of this decree-law merely states that the objective or purpose of this amendment is to “bring the regime of court fees to the specific situation of the subjects required to pay the same amount“, limiting its provisions to be included in the assessed subjective list of exemptions from the fees (Article 4.2) for natural persons, but maintaining court fees for legal entities.

As for the objective exemptions, these are undergoing a slight modification (highlighted in italics). The list of exemptions is as follows:

  1. The filing of demand and presentation of further resources in the case of the procedures specially established for the protection of fundamental rights and civil liberties, as well as against the performance of the electoral administration.
  2. The request for voluntary bankruptcy by the debtor.
  3. The submission of an initial request payment procedure and the demand of verbal judgment for claiming the amount when the amount thereof does not exceed two thousand euros. This exemption does not apply where the procedures that brought claim are put together in one document, having the character of enforceable extrajudicial document in accordance with Article 517 of Law 1/2000 of January 7, on Civil Procedure.
  4. The filing of administrative lawsuits, when the appeal as against negative administrative silence or inactivity of the Administration.
  5. The filing of the application for enforcement of awards made by the Consumer Arbitration Boards.
  6. The lawsuits that, in the interest of the bankruptcy mass and prior authorisation of the Bankruptcy judge, are made by the bankruptcy administrator.
  7. The procedures for judicial division of assets, except for the cases where opposition is formed or controversy over the inclusion or exclusion of goods arises, earning the fee for oral proceedings and the amount to be discussed or the derivative of the partitional document belonging to the opposition, and if both oppose the charge of each for their respective claims.

Therefore, the most notable new feature is the newly introduced exemption for individuals, which has been introduced through a royal decree-law, being its entry into force the day after its publication in the Official State Gazette, which means that, as of March 1st, individuals are exempt from paying court fees.




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