Ecuador: Citación Mediante Carteles En El Exterior

Last Updated: 20 July 2018
Article by Diego Aristizábal Mosquera

El día 9 de julio de 2018 se publicó en el Registro Oficial No. 279, la normativa expedida por la Corte Nacional de Justicia sobre la procedencia de la citación mediante carteles en el exterior; sustentada en la facultad atribuida por el Código Orgánico de la Función Judicial, al máximo órgano de justicia, para expedir resoluciones en caso de duda u oscuridad de las leyes. Estas resoluciones serán de aplicación general y obligatoria, a partir de su publicación en el Registro Oficial y constituirán para los jueces, tribunales provinciales, profesionales del derecho y la ciudadanía en general, criterios unificados sobre la forma de aplicación de normas cuando éstas generen confusión o presenten vacíos. A continuación, un breve resumen de la normativa expedida por la CNJ:

Sobre la citación: Conforme el artículo 53 del Código Orgánico General de Procesos, la citación es el acto por el cual se hace conocer al demandado sobre el contenido de la demanda, o sobre la petición de una diligencia preparatoria. Por regla general, la citación se la realiza en el domicilio del demandado si se trata de persona natural; o, en el respectivo establecimiento u oficinas, cuando se trata de personas jurídicas. No obstante, la ley también prevé formas de citación especiales para herederos, comunidades indígenas, agentes diplomáticos, instituciones estatales; y, ecuatorianos que se encuentren residiendo en el exterior. Precisamente sobre este último punto, existen dos posibilidades, que se cite al ecuatoriano mediante: a) exhorto, solicitado a un juez en el exterior, cuando se conoce el domicilio; b) la fijación de carteles en las oficinas consulares, cuando no se conoce el domicilio del demandado.

El artículo 56 del COGEP señala que cuando ha sido imposible identificar la individualidad, domicilio o residencia del demandado, se le podrá citar mediante publicaciones en la prensa; mensajes a través de una radiodifusora, para lo cual deberán cumplirse con dos requisitos indispensables previos:

  • Declaración de que es imposible determinar la individualidad, el domicilio o residencia de la o el demandado y que se han efectuado todas las diligencias necesarias, para tratar de ubicar a quien se pide citar de esta forma.
  • Certificación del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores que indique que la persona salió del país o consta en el registro consular. Si se verifica que es así, se citará mediante carteles fijados en el consulado en el que se encuentra registrado.

En la práctica, los jueces de primera instancia y, los tribunales de alzada, han manifestado sus dudas en cuanto a, cómo proceder si el demandado registra salida del país comprobada, con el certificado del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, pero no consta en un registro consular o se desconoce el lugar exacto de su destino final; o, cómo se ha de proceder cuando existiendo registro de salida del Ecuador, en el país de destino existen varios consulados.

Análisis de la CNJ: La Corte Nacional de Justicia recalca la importancia de la citación como un acto procesal fundamental para hacer efectivo el derecho a la defensa, así como garantizar las normas del debido proceso contenidas en el artículo 76 de la Constitución del Ecuador. Asimismo, la Corte Nacional considera que la duda radica en la correcta aplicación del artículo 56 del COGEP, en cuanto a si se ha verificado que la persona que debe ser citada registra salida del país; sin embargo, no consta en el registro consular. Al respecto la Corte ha hecho una precisión importante para ayudar a interpretar el artículo antes citado; y es que no es lo mismo “registro consular” que "registro migratorio", pues éste último es la obligación que tiene toda persona de registrar su ingreso o salida del país ante la autoridad de control migratorio competente; mientras que el registro consular consiste en la inscripción en el Registro Único de Ecuatorianos en el Exterior, el cual es voluntario, pues no es condición para que los ecuatorianos residentes en el exterior, gocen de la protección y asistencia de las misiones diplomáticas u oficinas consulares del Ecuador.

En este sentido la Corte Nacional de Justicia ha hecho la siguiente precisión: “La salida del país no necesariamente significa que la persona haya cambiado su residencia, pues puede tratarse de una salida temporal; en tanto que la inscripción en el registro consultar si denota un ánimo de la persona de permanecer por mayor tiempo en el país extranjero; esta distinción permite establecer precisamente en qué casos procede efectuar la citación mediante la publicación de carteles en las oficinas consulares del Estado Ecuatoriano en el exterior.”

Según el instructivo expedido por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores para la citación en el exterior: “Las Oficinas Consulares deben publicar la citación en sus carteleras o paneles de difusión ubicados en un lugar visible de sus instalaciones. En caso de que la Oficina Consular cuente con información de contacto como correo electrónico o número de teléfono del ciudadano demandado, se procederá a informarle sobre la existencia de esta citación. El Jefe de la Oficina Consular o Cónsul dejarán constancia de lo actuado con un registro fotográfico y remitirá en el término de 3 días una certificación de la diligencia a la Coordinación Zonal respectiva, para que la misma sea entregada a la autoridad competente”.

Sobre este punto la CNJ aclara que el acto procesal de la citación se lleva a cabo cuando en efecto se ha procedido con la publicación en los respectivos carteles de las oficinas consulares correspondientes, mientras que el acto por el cual se informa al demandado, si se cuenta con datos de contacto, es un servicio adicional, no fundamental que realizan las Oficinas Consulares, y que de no contar con estos datos, por la sola publicación en los carteles, se ha practicado satisfactoriamente la citación al demandado. Asimismo, la notificación a través de correo electrónico o cualquier otro medio con la demanda, no reemplaza la citación, pues se reitera que se realizará exclusivamente con la publicación en los carteles ubicados en las instalaciones de las oficinas consulares. En cuanto a la referida publicación en los carteles, estos serán fijados en la Oficina Consular donde la persona que deba ser citada conste efectivamente inscrita en el Registro Único de Ecuatorianos en el Exterior. Por tanto, exclusivamente en el caso de que el demandado se encuentre registrado en algún consulado del Ecuador en país extranjero, se procedería a la citación por carteles; no así, en el evento de que la persona registre salida del país, pero no esté inscrito en el registro consular.

Es importante tomar en cuenta que este tipo de citación no procede para ciudadanos de nacionalidad extranjera, ni para personas jurídicas. La publicación de la citación se hará mediante tres carteles que se fijarán en los lugares más concurridos del consulado donde esté registrada la persona que se va a citar y se mantendrán por ocho días.

Fuentes:

1) R.O. No 279 del 9 de julio de 2018. "Normativa en cuanto a la citación mediante carteles en el exterior". Resolución de la Corte Nacional de Justicia No. 7.

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