Oral proceedings are commenced by way of a specific claim, which should outline the facts and circumstances of the claimant and identify the defendant, the address or addresses at which they may be served, and what is claimed; in this kind of claim it is not necessary to state the grounds for what is claimed (at least as regards the legal basis of the claim, though the factual basis is usually required to identify the claim). If the claim is for a sum of money not exceeding 2000 euros, it is not mandatory that the statement of claim be signed by a lawyer nor that it be presented through a solicitor, and in such cases it may consist in a simple formulae.
Regardless of whether it be in specific or simple form, oral proceedings must be accompanied by the requisite documents, opinions and instruments in which the claimant establishes his claim, as in an ordinary trial; the receipt proving payment of the court charge must also be lodged.
Once the claim has been filed, the court shall consider whether to admit the case, consider whether the judge has jurisdiction and if the parties meet the requirements and that the procedure is appropriate in terms of the subject matter or the amount involved. Upon acceptance of the application, it shall be served on the defendant, with a copy of the other documents that accompany it, and the parties shall be summoned to attend a hearing before the court. The hearing will be held, pursuant to the law, between ten to twenty days following the summons. And the defendant may file an objection to the proceedings – in order to challenge the said action by way of ordinary procedure – within the first five days from service of the summons to attend the hearing.
The summons should include the caveat that the hearing will be held even if the defendant fails to appear; and in addition the parties must attend the hearing in possession of the evidence they intend to rely on. If a party fails to attend and the other side seeks their direct examination, this may be granted but only as to the prejudicial facts in which the party intervened personally. Within three days from receiving the summons, the parties must indicate those persons who are unwilling to present themselves, so that they be summoned by the court to testify at the hearing, or to seek judicial appointment of an expert, if needed.
In the oral proceedings it is also possible for the defendant to file a counter claim, against the claimant. But this possibility is excluded from summary trials (those in which the judgment lack res judicata status, as will become clear below). If a counterclaim is entered it must connected with the allegations made in the initial claim, and put the claimant on notice at least five days before the hearing and it can also be processed through the appropriate channels of the oral proceedings.