The ordinary procedure commences with a written claim, which has to be signed by a lawyer and filed through a solicitor. The claim must contain: identification data and the address of the party seeking the relief – the plaintiff or claimant – and the defendant against whom the action is brought; together with the facts and legal basis for the claim; as well as the specific relief that is being claimed drafted in clear and precise terms.
It is important to include from the outset all the facts and legal grounds on which the claim is based, since, once the case has been filed, additional factual or legal grounds will not be admitted that were not included in the initial pleadings. Exceptions are only made for events that occurred, or came to the knowledge of the claimant, after the claim was filed.
The claim must also include all the supporting documents and expert reports or private investigations supporting the claimant’s case. As is the case with allegations of fact and legal argument, additional documentation will not be admitted that was not submitted with the initial claim; unless such documents are signed and dated after their presentation, or, they date from before the claim was set down but were not known to the claimant or which could not have been previously obtained for some justified reason.
The lawsuit will be admitted by the court registrar, unless it appears that the judge lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, or in the event that the application contains formal defects that have not been remedied within the stipulated time period granted for that purpose. Among the requirements which must be carefully checked is the written proof that the judicial tax has been paid on filing the case, because since the disputed 2012 Act filing a claim (or counterclaim, or the filing of an appeal) is taxed based on the associated natural or legal persons involved in the claim; there are very few exceptions to this requirement which only arises where the parties have a right to free legal aid or the matter involves the Public Prosecutor’s Office or the public administration. The court charge is a combination of a fixed amount, depending on the matter under dispute, and a variable, based on a percentage of the amount in dispute, which acts as the basis for the charge levied.