The preliminary proceedings ("diligencias preliminares de juicio") in Spanish Civil Law
The preliminary proceedings are actions that are requested by the future plaintiff of a procedure to the spanish jurisdictional bodies in order to prepare a trial before the filing of the claim.
These proceedings are normally carried out in order to obtain information, specify, clarify essential data or issues for that future trial, or well delimit what may constitute the disputed issue. This is so because usually whoever requests these proceedings cannot obtain that info/data/clarifications/... by themselves.
These proceedings are also done to fundamentally guarantee effectiveness, as this info/data/clarifications/... to be obtained it is necessary for the success of the future legal action and to decide on the origin of its filing or the scope of the claims to be exercised.
This information can be very varied and of different types, which is reflected in the casuistry collected in art. 256 LEC (Spanish Procedural Law).