“Costas procesales” in Spain.

If you are immersing in a judicial procedure in Spain, or you are going to start a legal process in Spain, this is the blog you should read.

“Costas procesales” in Spain.

When you find yourself immersed in a judicial procedure, it could happen, as a result, that a sentence is handed down in favour of our claims, or, on the contrary, they are totally denied.

In both cases, the Court could establish that each party faces “sus costas procesales” (their procedural costs) or even order you to pay them.

Therefore, when we say that there is a «condena en costas» («judgement on costs») in a trial, it means that the judge forces the party that has lost (and that has been sentenced) to pay the party in whose favour the sentence has been issued, the costs of the judicial procedure.

What does “condena en costas” means in Spain?

“Costas judiciales” or “costas procesales” (Judicial (or procedural) costs) are the expenses that arise in a judicial process for the parties involved. In general, they include the fees of the opposing party’s solicitor and procurator.

The amount corresponding to solicitor and procurator is not fixed, as they are based on the fees set by Bar Associations in each region of Spain (Autonomous communities). These fees are guide prices.

What does “condena en costas” means?

By “condena en costas» we mean that the judge forces the party that has lost to pay the party that has won the different costs that may arise in a judicial procedure.

What does “costas judiciales” include?

“Costas Judiciales” may include:

  • Fees of the opposing party’s solicitor and procurator. If these professionals are needed to carry out the judicial procedure, they always have to be paid.

IMPORTANT: In civil trials in which the amount of the procedure is less than 2,000 euros, the intervention of a lawyer and solicitor is not mandatory, so it may be that a sentence includes the «judgement on costs» but they do not have to be paid for this reason.

  • Fees for an expert and other payments. If in the trial the opposing party had to present expert evidence or the judge requests it, these fees will have to be paid by the party that is ordered to pay costs.

  • Expenses on copies, judicial notifications, faxes, burofaxes, as well as the insertion of announcements or edicts if they are mandatory and necessary.

How are “costas judiciales” calculated?

It is important to highlight that each party involved in the judicial process bears its own judicial costs (‘expenses’).

At the end of the trial, if the judge establishes the order of costs, the winner party holds a right of credit, by which it can claim the economic amounts that have been generated on the occasion of the trial.

The process by which “costas” amount is calculated is known as ‘PROCEDIMIENTO DE TASACIÓN DE COSTAS’ (‘COST APPRAISAL PROCEDURE’).

It consists in the submission of a request where you ask the Court for the calculation and agreement of the «costas” by proving the expenses carried out at the process.

Once the appraisal has been carried out, the court will give 10 working days to the other party for contesting the budget.

Once “costas” has been approved by Court, party will have 20 business days to voluntary paid.

In case the party does not voluntary paid, winner party can start a new process to claim the amount, plus interest and new “costas”.

How can I avoid “costas judiciales”?

You will not pay “costas” in these 2 scenarios:

  • Dismissal of the procedure: It occurs when we decide to withdraw the lawsuit before there is a resolution. In these cases, if the opposing party accepts it, there is no “condena en costas” (Judicial (or procedural) costs). However, if the opposing party wants to continue with the procedure, it may be “costas” (if the Judge sentences them).
  • Allanamiento” of the procedure: It occurs when the opposing party accepts what we ask for in the lawsuit.

NOTE: However, not always “allanamiento” avoids “costas”.

  • If “allanamiento” occurs after contesting the lawsuit, it will be “costas”.
  • If previous to the lawsuit, party sent a Burofax or any kind of out of court complaint, they will be “costas”.

The amount of cases about “costas” is very varied and it depends on different factors, jurisdictions and jurisprudence.

Do not hesitate to contact REUTERS SOLICITORS for more information.


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