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About the suspension of hearings and trials in Spain

Suspensions of hearings and trials (defined as continuances in USA law but with different shades to the Spanish literal term "suspension") are regulated in article 188 of the Spanish Procedural Law.

According to this article the holding of the hearings on the appointed day may only be suspended in the following cases:

1st. For preventing the continuation of another pending hearing from the previous day.

2nd. Due to the lack of the number of Magistrates necessary to issue a resolution or due to unforeseen indisposition of the Judge or the Justice Administration Lawyer (formerly called in Spain: Judicial Secretary), if she/he cannot be replaced.

3rd. By requesting it by agreement of the parties, alleging just cause in the opinion of the Justice Administration Lawyer.

4th. Due to the absolute impossibility of any of the parties summoned to be questioned in the trial or hearing, provided that such impossibility, sufficiently justified in the opinion of the Justice Administration Lawyer, had occurred when it was no longer possible to request a new appointment in accordance with the provisions of article 183.

5th. Due to death, illness or absolute impossibility or maternity or paternity leave of the lawyer of the party requesting the suspension, sufficiently justified, in the opinion of the Justice Administration Lawyer, provided that such events had occurred when it was no longer possible to request a new appointment in accordance with the provisions of article 183, provided that the right to effective judicial protection is guaranteed and defenselessness is not caused.

Likewise, other similar situations provided for in other social prevention systems will be comparable to the previous cases and with the same requirements and for the same time for which the leave is granted and the provision of the permits provided for in the Social Security legislation.

6th. Because the defense lawyer has two hearing appointments for the same day in different Courts, making it impossible, due to the fixed schedule, for him to attend both, provided that she/he sufficiently proves that, under article 183, she/he tried, without result, to a new appointment that will avoid coincidence.

In this case, the hearing related to a criminal case with a prisoner will have preference and, in the absence of this action situation, that of the oldest appointment, and if the two summonings were of the same date, the hearing corresponding to the most modern procedure will be suspended.

The suspension of the hearing will not be agreed if the communication of the request for it to be agreed occurs with more than three days of delay from the notification of the signaling that is received in second place.

For these purposes, a copy of the notification of the aforementioned indication must be attached to the request. The provisions of the previous paragraph shall not apply to hearings related to criminal proceedings with prisoners, without prejudice to the liability that may have been incurred.

7th. Because the suspension of the course of the proceedings has been agreed or such suspension is appropriate in accordance with the provisions of this law.

Any suspension that the Lawyer of the Administration of Justice agrees will be made known on the same day or on the next business day to the Court and will be communicated by the to the parties in person and to those who have been subpoenaed as witnesses, experts or in other condition.

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