Civil actions exercised after the 01.01.2016, are subject to the new Code of Civil Procedure rules, as amended under law no. 4337/2015.
Pursuant to the new provisions, the filing date of the action is taken into consideration as a reference – commencement point for all deadlines governing the further procedural steps by the Parties.
Specifically, we mention the following steps:
1. Deposit – submission of the parties arguments (motions) before the competent Court
• The motions and the corresponding evidence must be submitted within one hundred (100) days from the filing date of the lawsuit, before the Court of First Instance of Athens. The period from 01.08.2016 to 31.08.2016 is excluded from that period of 100 days (Article 147 para. 2 CCP § 237).
• Up to the submission of motions, the parties must specify their witnesses, which the affidavits must take place before the competent magistrate or notary of the seat of the court or the witness residence. Our new Code of Civil Procedure grants the right to produce up to five (5) affidavits to prove our claims.
• The affidavit’s call shall be served at least two (2) business days prior to its taking place to the other party, mentioning the action covered by the affidavit, place, date and time, name, occupation and address of the deposed witness.
2. Submission of additions & counterarguments (rebuttal)
• An addition – rebuttal of the counterparty’s claims must be submitted within one hundred and fifteen (115) days from the action’s filing date, that is fifteen (15) days after submission of the motions of the parties.
• With reference to our rebuttal, the new CCP grants the right for each party to produce up to three (3) affidavits to add or refute the claims of the plaintiff.
• The affidavit’s call shall be served at least two (2) business days prior to its taking place to the other party, mentioning the action covered by the affidavit, place, date and time, name, occupation and address of the deposed witness
3. Case folder filed and judge and trial date are set
• Within fifteen (15) days from the closing of the file file, the judge is set by an act of the President of the three-member board or competent judge and the composition of court to hear the case. In the latter case, the president of First Instance shall designate a “proposing judge” (“rapporteur”).
At the same time, the hearing date is set to take place in no more than thirty (30) days from the end of the aforementioned two-week period.
4. Hearing – Trial
• Upon hearing’s commencement, witnesses are not examined and the case is conducted without the presence of the parties or their attorneys. The hearing is hence a formality and not substantial, in the sense that the parties are not pleading orally nor witnesses are examined orally.
The Court issues a final decision based on the documents and the evidence submitted by both Parties.
5. The Court orders for witnesses/ lack of evidence
• Should the Court consider that there is a lack of evidence, based on the submitted documents, he reserves the right to call for witnesses, one of each side of those who gave an affidavit or if such absence of the proposed by each side. The President of First Instance orders for the resumption of the hearing at a time not shorter than fifteen (15) days for examination/deposing of witnesses before the already set Judge, the place and the date and time specified in that provision in the same judicial year, unless that is impossible.
• Upon completion of the witnesses’ examination procedure the hearing’s resumption is considered fulfilled.
6. Rate evidence and review witnesses’ depositions
• The Parties reserve the right to add and submit motions, so as to carry out an assessment of the evidence produced by the called witnesses. New claims and new evidence are not considered and are not filed at this stage of the procedure.