Some procedures allow the parties to apply for a full ruling over the matter in dispute; that allow as many allegations to be raised as are deemed necessary to substantiate the claim and requesting the court to examine all the relevant evidence germane to proving the facts on which a successful outcome to the case will depend. This is known as plenary procedure, wherein the court has the opportunity to consider the matter as thoroughly as the parties wish. Logically, the judgment of the court in these circumstances allows for a ruling on all the issues raised and amounts to a definitive decision on the issue, to the extent that the same matter cannot constitute a subject for subsequent litigation procedure.
On other occasions, however, the parties may not wish to seek a definitive ruling on all aspects of a dispute but prefer to obtain a swift decision with respect to a particular issue, although it may well be later necessary to raise other issues on the matter in subsequent proceedings. For this purpose the Spanish legal system offers, what is known as summary procedure which limit the redress the parties are entitled to obtain. It follows that the scope for pleading and proof are more limited in this procedure – being confined to the specific order sought by the parties, and without addressing all legal aspects of the case – the effectiveness of the judgment so obtained is also more limited; since the court has not considered and resolved the matter entirely and the case may subsequently give rise to plenary proceedings on the same matter that was the subject of the initial summary process.