It appears that the court system in Almería have collapsed, with the courts giving out trial dates for late 2013.
So, if you lodge your case today – Sept 2010 – you’ll have to wait over three years before it even gets to a judge, according to the judicial head of Almeria, Luis Miguel Columna.
The Judicial Association say that it’s not their fault, but rather that they are overloaded and understaffed. D. Columna points out that every case has a certain minimum time, as laid out in guidelines from the CPJG, and Judges cannot speed cases up.
From personal experience I can agree to this. A 2008 request of mine to review an administrative order relating to an expropriation order was supposed to have come before the Contencioso Administrativo in Almería earlier this year – again, a two year lead time. It’s been delayed by over 8 months so far, with still no firm date for the hearing.
Judges continue to demand more resources to deal with the backlog, which is a national problem, and even went so far as to strike, back in Feb, to no avail. Their unions continue to point out, with a certain amount of irritation, that the purchasing power of a Judge’s salary has dropped by 40% over the last 20 years, and are demanding more money.
In my cynical little mind, I do relate the rampant corruption of politicians with the institutional starving of resources from the Judicial system. How are they going to be caught / prosecuted if nobody’s around to catch them? Come on – even Spain’s most famous corruption case, Caso Malaya, relating to the Marbella townhall corruption scandal of the last decade, is only coming to court now, almost five years after everybody was arrested in early 2006. 94 people – including Roca, the supposed head of the corruption ring, ex-mayor Muñoz, his girlfriend the flamenco singer Isabel Pantoja, and just about anyone who ever walked through the door of the townhall that year- are going on trial for pinching some 50 million euros.
When are they going to get around to El Ejido’s 150 million euros?