When Will Your Legal Case Expire?


Posted and filed under Legal Issues in Spain, No Win No Fee, Off-Plan Deposit Legal cases, Property in Spain.

In Spain, there are different regional laws concerning the Civil Law. Therefore there is general Spanish law, and the law in our Region (Valencia).

Here I explain the time limitation periods that generally apply under the Civil Code or Prescription (which means that the time limit can be stopped by a burofax or acknowledgement by the accused and then start again from that date).

Contracts and debts

A party loses its right to enforce payment of a debt or completion of a contract unless a court action or proceedings are commenced in Court within 5 years now, which was previously 15 years (it changed in 2015). This means that the deadline for all Actions for breaches of contract before 2015 expire October 2020, as the law changed October 2015.

Do you have a case against a solicitor as you never received your deeds? Do you have a case against a Bank as you lost your deposit on a property? As long as you have paperwork and copies of payments, please contact us now, so that we can review the paperwork (no cost) and try to help you. We also take some cases on a No Win No Fee Basis.


An employee must lodge an application with the relevant Tribunal or Court within 20 working days (art. 59.3 Statue of Workers Rights) otherwise they lose a right to be able to claim for dismissal or redundancy. For salary, they have one year.

Personal Injury and death claims

The Civil Code in Spain dictates that claims have to be within the relevant period. Each crime has different prescription periods.

If you would like to check whether your case is still valid, please let us know and we would be happy to help.


  • Suzanne Steadman

    We paid 60,000 euros for off plan golf properties (Trampoline Hills) back in 2007-2008 we have had 3 lawyers tell us they can get our money back etc.. They reach a certain point and then tell us they can’t get it something about the receipts are not valid. We feel they have wasted our time and built our hopes up for nothing. We understand we only have until October 2020 to stand a chance in getting our money back. Can you help with this please,

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Suzanne, I have also sent this by email: I am sorry to hear that. It may be possible for you to now sue the bank as the property was not finished for the return of your un-refunded deposit, because they were found at fault for not having provided guarantees. We would really like to help and maybe even can do so on a No Win NO Fee basis.

      But we need copies of your documents to see if you have a case to sue the bank; that is:

      – purchase contract
      – confirmations of amounts paid by credit card or bank transfers
      – the initial total price of the property
      – the correspondence (if applicable) between you and the property developers (and any other written communications that may be of use for the case)
      – any copies of any Court documents

      There is no charge for us assessing if you have a good case. The most important thing is that we need copies of the transfers directly to Trampolin Hills, do you have these?

  • Ian

    I am a british citizen and was divorced from my british wife in Spain during 2018. There is a divorce agreement for the separation of assets (property) and my ex-wife has since moved back to the UK while I have remained in Spain. During this time the ex-wife has not taken 100% ownership of a flat in London and my name is still on the mortgage and land registry. Will I have to take legal action against her within 5 years of the divorce agreement otherwise my name could potentially be legally tied to the property until the mortgage expires in 2027. Does that also mean that if she does not remove my name from the property within 5 years then the divorce agreement for separation of assets can no longer be enforced legally.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Ian, Thank you for the enquiry. I remember our exchange of emails in January earlier this year and our advice at the time. Please have a look back at these several detailed emails. Thank you so much. But with regard to the UK property really you do need advice of a UK solicitor because of jurisdiction on this point, Kind regards. Amanda

  • Patricia

    I walked away from an underwater mortgage in Madrid in 2013. There was also some fraud involved, the apartments were basically errected illegally and should never have been built or sold in the first place. In consequence, even electricity was cut to the entire complex. I sat in the dark. That was the point I stopped all payments, moved out and handed my keys back to the inmobiliaria and they said they would cancel the mortgage and take care of it. I forgot the money I already invested and just wanted the whole thing to be over with. I never heard about it ever since.
    Can I now safely assume that any claim regarding this property/mortgage is now expired by law in general?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Patricia, No, to be sure, you need evidence from the Bank or Estate Agent. But handing the keys back and doing an agreement means someone signing and if you did not sign I am not sure they could. You should follow this up and check with the Agent and Bank for proof. If you need to engage a lawyer to assist you will need one locally in Madrid. Kind regards Amanda

  • Charlie Bulbrook

    I had a minor car accident from a random tyre blow out in menorca in 2006 and it turned out I was a fraction over the alcohol limit from the night before. They took my details and copy of my driving licence and said I could return to the uk and they would contact me at some point in order to go to court. They never did and I completely forgot about it but when I went back to Spain in 2012 I was arrested at the airport when they scanned my passport and held for 8 hours in various cells. They said I had to pay 14,000€ for the car I damaged (which was strange as the tour operator I was working for at the time had to absorb this cost) but didn’t take my passport. We consulted a lawyer the next day who said I should return to the uk and deal with it from there if I ever wanted to return to Spain. Well I know would quite like to get it sorted but I’ve no idea how or even if a statute of limitations will have expired by now. Any advice?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Charlie, The only thing we could do really is check your criminal record in Spain. The Usual Procedure for Cancellation is we request a Criminal Record Certificate if we do not have much information regarding the criminal procedure in the Court.

      Step 2: This step is to request the elimination of the criminal records (not a certificate, but a request). If we do not have much information, we must first do step 1.

      Step 3: Once we have confirmation from the Ministry of Justice that the criminal record can be removed, we again request the Criminal Record Certificate
      (as in step 1), but this time no record will appear.

      So we would need any of the following that you have please:-

      – court documentation and copy of police report (denuncía)
      – full name, address, where they were born and full parents names
      – usually we require 3 notarised copies of passport (with a Hague Apostille affixed for international use)
      – we will advise the provision of funds when we have the information).

      With kind regards, Amanda

  • Chris

    Dear Sirs, could you please tell me if the Spanish statute of limitations applies to criminal cases?
    If I have heard nothing from the court for the last five years can I apply to have the case closed ?
    If so, can I apply to the court to have my personal property returned?
    Many thanks
    Best regards

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Chris, Every criminal case has a different time limitation, depending on what it was in the particular case, so we would need to get a criminal records certificate to check the current record and if it can be erased and go from there. Please contact me if we can help, it costs a few hundred euros, With kind regards Amanda

  • Lee mackay

    Hello , I’ve been searching for advice for way to long and been through many solicitors and embassy officials and still have no answer .
    Me and my son are wrongly accused of 268/21 and have had our passports with held for the last 5 years , we’ve had family deaths and obviously the covid pandemic and feel we are being held in a country as illegal immigrants, with no Id we can’t legally work , and at some points been homeless , we’ve been to Murcia court 31/11/21 and still have no answers , we are at our wits end , what can we do ? Please

    • Amanda Thomas

      Good morning Lee, If you have been Murcia Courts last month, I imagine maybe you have a legal aid solicitor. But please can you send me a copy of the court papers so we can check the accusation, the process and advise. With kind regards, Amanda

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