Establishing a Business
5.4. Justices of the Peace Courts
The Justices of the Peace Courts were established by Law Nº 78/2001 of July 13th. These are courts endowed with their own organizational and operational characteristics. The Justice of Peace Courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide civil declaratory actions, with the exception of matters involving family law, inheritance law and labor law, when the value does not exceed EUR 5,000.
The final judgment stated by the Justice of the Peace Court, or as a result of the approval of the Mediation Agreement has binding force. An appeal can be made to the competent judicial courts.
If mediation does not result in an agreement, the process continues and the judge attempts reconciliation. If there is no way to reach a reconciliation, a court audience is scheduled, chaired by the judge, where the parties are heard, the evidence is produced, and the judge finally hands down the sentence.
Twenty-five Justice of the Peace Courts are currently in operation in Portugal, covering more than 3.4 million people spread over 61 municipalities.