Our Litigation team in El Salvador has analyzed the legislation of this practice area in the country. Read our latest article written by the head of the Corporate Department or read the full chapter in Chambers and Partners: https://practiceguides.chambers.com/practice-guides/litigation-2019/el-salvador 

Is it possible to make an interim application/motion, before trial or substantive hearing of a claim?

The truth is any person may request, before placing the claim, a conciliation before the judge. If they reach an agreement, each part signs and authorizes their obligations, in not, the agreement doesn’t have an effect on a future dispute. This conciliation is only legitimate in civil, commerce, labor and private order crime matters.

The claims may be applied in one suit (claims accumulations) or in various suits for each claim, in this case, the claims may be assembled into one by a court order if they are referring to the same parts, the same object and the same nature. In the case of claims accumulations, the timing is applied until every process has the same status, this means, before the sentence.

The most common motion made before a trial in El Salvador is the document exhibition that allows each part to prepare for the suit.

Additional parts may be involved in the judicial process, besides the plaintiff and the defendant, these are called the third parties. These may either be interveners, who have interests in the process for the outcome may affect them; or exclusive third parties, which have their own claim that differs from the plaintiff and the defendant.

When a third party is acknowledged of a judicial process that may affect their interests, they may be involved but most continue according to the status in which they found it. The process may not return to the initial notification of the suit.

Can a defendant apply for an order that the plaintiff/claimant must pay a sum of money as security for the defendant’s costs? No, the defendant may not request a guarantee. Guarantees are determined by the law only in civil or family matters preliminary diligences. Without these, the suit may not move forward.

The law establishes that, in certain civil order preliminary diligences, the plaintiff must offer they judge a guarantee for any liquidated damages they may cause the defendant if the suit is not placed within a month. In this case, the guarantee would be granted to the defendant.

The timeframe for a court to deal with a lawsuit/application/motion varies depending on the matter, the type of procedure, the stage of the process or the judicial instance.

Civil litigation matters don’t have an specific timeframe to deal with a lawsuit or legal process, but there is a 5 day deadline for the court to rule on the admission of preliminary proceedings, and is also a deadline to issue a judgment or to define next steps after the last court hearing. Other legal processes can take one or two years until the first resolution.

In family, labour and environmental matters, there is no timeframe for a court after filing the claim; while the courts for consumer protection and contentious-administrative cases have five days to define the admission of the lawsuit.

On the other hand, in criminal matters, the period established for the court to start a legal process depends on whether the accused person is arrested, in which case the period is seventy-two hours after his arrest, or if the person is not arrested, in five business days after the filing of the District Attorney requirement.

Finally, there is no possibility of requesting to the court to process a matter with urgency, however, in criminal matters, here is the possibility of requesting that urgent acts of verification be carried out or that a summary process be carried out.

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