Lawyer specialising in asset liability
Concept of financial liability
Any Public Administration, whether state, regional or local, has the obligation to pay for damages and/or losses caused to a third party due to the normal or abnormal functioning of the public services under its jurisdiction. All of this, by means of the institute of patrimonial liability.
This type of liability has its constitutional basis in Article 106.2 of the Magna Carta, which recognises the right of individuals to be compensated under the terms established by law.
Our lawyers in the area of administrative liability have the maximum experience and knowledge in the field, being able to deal with such proceedings with maximum solvency.
Importance of asset liability
The liability for financial loss is one of the institutions that arise most frequently between individuals and public administrations, which is why in-depth knowledge of this type of procedure is required, as well as a solid legal technique in order to be able to achieve the validity of the liability action that may be brought in its case.
In line with the above, aspects of the latter are regulated both in Law 39/2015, of 1 October, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations and in Law 40/2015, of 1 October, on the Legal Regime of the Public Sector.
Requirements for pecuniary liability
In order for such a figure to operate and deploy its effects, certain requirements must be met, such as:
- Individualise the injury to a person or group of persons.
- Proof of a cause and effect relationship between the (normal or abnormal) operation of a public service and the damage/damage caused by it.
- The damage or harm must be economically quantifiable.
- The action must not be time-barred, i.e. no more than one year must have elapsed since the event giving rise to the harmful effect occurred.
Characteristics of the procedure
In order to determine the existence of the Public Administration’s financial liability and the extent to which it should be held liable, the procedure established by the LPAC should be mentioned. This procedure can be initiated either ex officio or by complaint from the interested parties in accordance with the following particularities:
- The data subject’s right of complaint must not be time-barred.
- The initiation agreement shall be notified to the individuals who are allegedly injured, granting them a period of ten days to provide as many allegations, documents or information as they deem appropriate to their rights and to propose as much evidence as may be relevant for the recognition of their rights.
- In the event that the procedure is initiated on the basis of a reasoned request from other bodies, the request must identify the injury caused to a person or group of persons, its causal link with the operation of the public service, its economic evaluation if possible, and the time at which the injury actually occurred.
- By complaint from the interested parties
- Interested parties may only request the initiation of a liability procedure if their right to claim is not time-barred.
- This right, as already mentioned, will expire one year after the occurrence of the event or act that gives rise to the compensation or the manifestation of its harmful effect (in the case of physical or psychological damage to persons, the period will begin to run from the moment of recovery or the determination of the extent of the after-effects).
- When the right to compensation for the annulment in administrative or contentious-administrative proceedings of an act or provision of a general nature is applicable, the right to claim shall lapse one year after the administrative decision or final judgment has been notified.
- When the injury is the consequence of the application of a rule with the status of law declared unconstitutional, or is the consequence of the application of a rule declared contrary to European Union law, the right to claim shall lapse one year after the publication in the Official State Gazette or in the Official Journal of the European Union of the judgment declaring the unconstitutionality of the rule or its contrary nature to European Union law.
- The request made by the interested parties must specify the injuries caused, the alleged causal relationship between these and the operation of the public service, the economic assessment of the pecuniary liability and the time when the injury actually occurred (accompanied by as many allegations, documents and information as deemed appropriate).
Lastly, the proceedings of patrimonial liability, many of which are defended by our lawyers in patrimonial liability of the Administration, will be resolved:
- Within the scope of the General State Administration, they shall be resolved by the respective Minister or by the Council of Ministers in cases where individuals suffer damage to their property and rights as a result of the application of legislative acts of a non-expropriatory nature of rights that they have no legal duty to bear; when the damage derives from the application of a regulation with the status of a law declared unconstitutional; and when the damage derives from the application of a regulation contrary to European Union law.
- In the autonomous community and local sphere, the procedures for patrimonial liability shall be resolved by the corresponding bodies of the Autonomous Communities or of the Entities that make up the Local Administration.
- In the case of Public Law Entities, the rules that determine their legal regime may establish the bodies responsible for the resolution of the proceedings for pecuniary liability.
What do we do as liability lawyers?
Our lawyers, who are experts in patrimonial liability, intervene in the following matters:
- Analysis of the situation that has arisen in each specific case, specifying whether or not, from a legal point of view, there is any concurrence of liability.
- Determine the Administration responsible for the normal-abnormal operation of the service that has been provided.
- Guidance on the determination, means of proof and assessment of the damage or harm actually caused.
- Initiation of the procedure by virtue of which the opportune patrimonial responsibility is demanded, formalisation of allegations and lodging of the corresponding administrative and/or Administrative Litigation (Contencioso-Administrativo) appeal, as the case may be.
Lawyers who specialise in administrative law and in liability law must have the necessary experience and expertise to be able to deal with this type of procedure, carrying out a detailed study of the specific case and explaining to the client the real possibilities of success at the time of filing the action.