Can you present WhatsApp messages as evidence to a Spanish judge?

The digital environment is developing drastically: information is sent through digital channels in the wink of an eye. One of those well-known channels, WhatsApp, has over one billion users globally. Over 42 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp on a daily basis. The developments of modern communication channels pose challenges to lawmakers in Spain. Besides personal conversations, business partners communicate with each other on WhatsApp. The question, therefore, arises: can you present WhatsApp messages as evidence to a Spanish judge?

Agreements via WhatsApp

When parts of your business deal are not adhered to, you might find yourself starting a judicial procedure against your debtor. You will have to start a judicial procedure when your Spanish debtor does not want to pay your invoices and is not open to mediation. Is it possible to use the Whatsapp conversations with your Spanish debtor as evidence in the Spanish court?

Chat messages as evidence

Spanish civil code writes that electronic chat messages can be used as evidence in court. This means you can use sent messages through channels such as WhatsApp, Messenger, e-mail or SMS as evidence in Spanish courts. How do you present this evidence to a Spanish judge? Is a screenshot of the conversation sufficient?

Manipulation

This last question is a topic of discussion among Spanish judges. Verdicts of Spanish judges have differed on this point. A screenshot is sensitive to manipulation: with the use of Photoshop techniques, a text can easily be modified. Moreover, it is difficult to determine the identity of the sender and receiver of a message. As a result, the Spanish Supreme Court has clarified guidelines for the use of electronic chat messages as evidence in Spanish courts.

Additional evidence

According to the Spanish Supreme Court, electronic evidence should be assessed carefully. Using a screenshot as evidence in a court is not sufficient. Additional evidence should always be presented. This is paramount in the situation of a disputed claim in which both parties do not agree with one another. This is most important in the case of a disputed claim in which both parties do not agree with one another. In such situations, it is important to present more evidence than just a screenshot of the conversation.

Report

In order to make WhatsApp messages stronger as evidence, it is wise to ask a solicitor to make an official report of the WhatsApp conversations. Another possibility is to hand over your smart phone to the Spanish court. They will make an official report and will likely need an expert to confirm the identities of the involved parties and the content of the WhatsApp conversation.

Using WhatsApp messages as evidence in Spanish courts are not easy. You should be aware of the fact that Spanish legislation on privacy and secrecy should not be violated when handing over WhatsApp conversations in court.

When you make agreements with your business partners through WhatsApp, we advise you to confirm these agreements using different channels. In this manner, you protect yourself and the agreements when things become complicated.

Contact

Do you have any questions about debt collection in Spain, or using WhatsApp messages as evidence? Please feel free to contact me.