Judgments on appeal may in certain circumstance be the subjet of an extraordinary appeal. Thus, the party whose initial appeal has been dismissed may submit an extraordinary appeal for procedural infringement, where the party considers that there has been such an error, namely: a breach of a rule of jurisdiction or authority, or of a basic rule of procedure, or a defect as to the judgment, or violation of a fundamental right in accordance with Article 24 of the Spanish Constitution (SC).
The option also exists of an appeal to the Supreme Court, when it is alleged that the rule impugned is of a substantive nature. These avenues of appeal may be brought alternatively or simultaneously, before the Supreme Court. If both appeal are brought together, the issue of procedural breach will first be decided and, only if this ground is dismissed, will the appeal to the Supreme Court be pursued.
In order to challenge a judgment by way of either extraordinary appeal mechanism, not only must there be sufficient grounds, but the judgment has to meet a number of requirements, proper to second instance appeals to the Supreme Court, and which are also a prerequisite for appeal by way of procedural infringement. Specifically, the judgment under appeal must have been given in the second instance by the Provincial Court and concern a matter whose value exceeds 600,000€; or that concerns a fundamental right other than those set forth in Article 24 SC; or that comes under the concept of “a point of law of public importance”, namely, the need to unify and establish case law based criteria due to the lack of appropriate or conflicting case law on the subject.
Moreover, the Supreme Court itself has further limited access to avenues of extraordinary appeal, following a (non-judicial) Plenary Agreement of the First Chamber in 2011; this determined that, to support an appeal the quantative substance of which exceeds 600,000€, the appeal must be based on procedure invoked by reason of the amount, and not by reason of the subject matter; on the contrary, appeals that come under the critieria of Supreme Court interest are admissible regardless of the process by which the appealed decision was based. As a result, the judgments of the second instance given under established procedure are only appropriate for an extraordinary appeal if they come under the critieria of a point of law of public importance (regardless of whether the value of the case exceeds 600,000 €).