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Procedural Law. Courts Interpretation of Agreement No. 38/2013 of the Supreme Court

Failure to establish electronic domicile will result in automatic constructive notification of court orders. Courts interpretation of Agreement No. 38/2013 of the Supreme Court.

By Matías H. Foiguel Borci

Pursuant to Agreement No. 38/2013, issued by the Argentine Supreme Court, on April 1, 2014, electronic notifications became mandatory for all proceedings conducted in any trial courts, courts of appeals for the city of Buenos Aires, and federal courts of appeals all over the country.

As a result, attorneys must have an electronic domicile on top of their physical address. This electronic domicile must be established in the first filing made in any court proceedings or at the first hearing attended (this is consistent with Section 40 of the Argentine Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure).

Section 41 of the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure expressly establishes that, if no special domicile is established, any subsequent court orders will be deemed notified as and when provided for in Section 133 of the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure, that is, on Tuesdays and Fridays or on the following relevant notification day if the pertinent Tuesday or Friday is a legal holiday. This will not apply if the case file is not in the court or if it is in the court but not shown to the person that requests it, as long as he or she makes a note in that regard in the court attendance book. If no electronic domicile is established, the consequences are the same.

This was expressly held by Division J of the Civil Court of Appeals for the City of Buenos Aires in the case entitled “Vega Valera Fidelina Marina c/ Cristado La Cruz de Jesús s/ daños y perjuicios”.

In that case, the Court of Appeals ruled that an answer to a summons sent to an insurance company in its capacity as a third-party guarantor was given in an untimely fashion.

The Court of Appeals expressly ruled that court orders must be considered duly notified as set forth in Section 133 of the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure if the attorney failed to establish electronic domicile, in accordance with Agreement No. 38/13, issued by the Argentine Supreme Court.

Through the implementation of electronic notifications and the need for an electronic domicile, which must be established at the first appearance in the proceedings, although the Supreme Court did not eliminate the physical address, the electronic domicile took priority, since it is mandatory. Therefore, failure to establish electronic domicile will produce the same effects as failure to establish special domicile: considering court orders to have been notified as prescribed in Section 133 of the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure.