The Juzgado de Cobros is in charge of dealing with cases where private creditors request debtors to pay off what they owe.
Five years ago, this same court experienced serious delays in its cases and some of its staff was investigated for sexual and labor harassment. Some cases took up to 16 months to be solved.
As of 2013, judiciary authorities started an internal investigation of the problems the court faced. They quickly recognized that employees could not deal with the high volume of complaints, and one year later a restructuring started.
During the second semester of 2014, the Corte Suprema de Justicia ordered the creation of two more Juzgados de Cobros to reduce the high delay rate.
These new courts started their full operation in 2015, and employees from other administrative units were transferred to
staff them. Today, each of them has eight judges and 24 technicians.
“Juzgados I and II dealt with accrued cases until March this year. That allowed them to catch up. Juzgado III has dealt only new cases and because of the reform, cases are processed and involved parties notified within 24 hours after a complaint is filed.” said María Mora, coordinator judge of Juzgado I.
According to Judge Mora, users can now expect to get prompt justice and praises the support offered by the high authorities of Poder Judicial.
A new collections law went into effect in 2008, that was the measure that created the specialized court in the first place.
Only a fax number or an e-mail address will be valid for notifications, according to the law. Still some lawyers complain that a major delay is the difficulty in notifying individuals that they have been called in to court.