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Last update: 17-08-2007
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Bringing a case to court - Latvia

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This page is now obsolete. The original language version has been updated and moved to the European e-Justice Portal.


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Do I have to go to Court? 1.
2. Am I still in time to bring a court action? 2.
3. Am I sure that I should go to a court in Latvia? 3.
4. If yes, to which particular court in Latvia should I go, given where I live or where the other party lives, or other aspects of my case? 4.
5. To which particular court should I go in this Member State, given the nature of my case and the amount at stake? 5.
6. Can I bring a court action myself or should I ask an intermediary, such as a solicitor, for assistance? 6.
7. Where exactly do I apply: the reception office, the office of the clerk of court or elsewhere? 7.
8. In which language can I make my application? Can I do it orally or does it have to be in writing? Can I send my application by fax or by e-mail? 8.
9. Are there special forms for bringing actions, or, if not, how must I present my case? Are there particular elements that have to be included in the file? 9.
10. Will I have to pay court charges? If so, when? Will I have to pay a lawyer right from the introduction of my application? 10.
11. Can I claim legal aid? 11.
12. From which moment is my action officially considered to have been brought? Will the authorities give me confirmation that my case has been properly presented? 12.
13. Will I receive detailed information about the timing of subsequent events (such as the time allowed for me to enter an appearance)? 13.

 

1. Do I have to go to Court?

It might be better to use Alternative dispute resolution procedures. See this subject.

2. Am I still in time to bring a court action?

Time limits for bringing court actions vary according to the case. To clarify the question of time limits consult a lawyer, solicitor or a public information agency.

3. Am I sure that I should go to a court in Latvia?

See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts.

4. If yes, to which particular court in Latvia should I go, given where I live or where the other party lives, or other aspects of my case?

See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts – Latvia.

5. To which particular court should I go in this Member State, given the nature of my case and the amount at stake?

See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts – Latvia.

PROCEDURE FOR BRINGING A CASE TO COURT

6. Can I bring a court action myself or should I ask an intermediary, such as a solicitor, for assistance?

A court action may be brought by a plaintiff/claimant in person or through an authorised intermediary. An application requesting the authorisation of an intermediary can be included in the claim itself.

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7. Where exactly do I apply: the reception office, the office of the clerk of court or elsewhere?

Claims should be submitted to the office of the clerk of court in person or through an authorised intermediary. Claims are received during court office opening hours by members of staff working under the Chief Judge. These are usually assistants to the Chief Judge or clerks. Claims may also be sent by post to the office of the clerk of court.

8. In which language can I make my application? Can I do it orally or does it have to be in writing? Can I send my application by fax or by e-mail?

The Act on Civil Procedures lays down that any foreign-language documents being submitted by the parties to a case must be accompanied by officially approved translations in the national language – Latvian. Therefore a claim can be submitted in a foreign language with an officially approved Latvian language translation attached. Applications must be made in writing to the court. Applications may be sent by post, but not by fax or e-mail.

9. Are there special forms for bringing actions, or, if not, how must I present my case? Are there particular elements that have to be included in the file?

There are no special forms for submitting applications, but they must be made in writing. The Act on Civil Procedures sets out a number of minimum requirements for applications, but the form in which the information should appear is not laid down. Pursuant to the Act on Civil Procedures an application must include:

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  1. the name of the court to which the application is being submitted;
  2. the full name, personal identification number and place of residence of the plaintiff, the plaintiff's representative if the claim is being brought by a representative, the defendant and any third parties, or in the case of a legal person, its name, registration number and address (legal address). The defendant's personal identification number or registration number should be provided where available;
  3. the subject of the application;
  4. the amount of the claim if the case concerns a monetary claim, and a calculation of the amount to be recovered or under dispute;
  5. the circumstances upon which the plaintiff is basing the claim and evidence attesting to these circumstances;
  6. the legal act on which the claim is based;
  7. the plaintiff's claims;
  8. a list of the documents attached to the claim;
  9. the date on which the claim was presented and other information required for examination of the case.

The Act on Civil Procedures lays down separate requirements with regard to applications concerning particular types of cases (for instance, divorce cases) or subject to special procedures (for instance adoption approval or annulment, protection of an estate, or guardianship).

An application must be signed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's representative. If an action is being brought by a representative acting on behalf of the plaintiff the application must be accompanied by a power of attorney or other document confirming that the representative is authorised to bring the action.

The application is submitted to the court with a number of copies corresponding to the number of defendants and third parties.

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An application must also be accompanied by documents confirming:

  1. payment of State dues and other court charges according to the amounts and procedures laid down in legislation;
  2. compliance with pre-trial extrajudicial investigation procedures, where required under legislation;
  3. the circumstances on which the case is based.

10. Will I have to pay court charges? If so, when? Will I have to pay a lawyer right from the introduction of my application?

Court charges (State dues, processing fees, costs associated with the investigation) must be paid before submitting an application. This can be done at a bank. Where a claim is fully or partially successful or if the plaintiff retracts a claim because the defendant has settled the claim voluntarily after its submission, the court orders the defendant to pay the running costs of the case (the costs of legal assistance, expenses relating to court appearances and gathering of evidence) in favour of the plaintiff. Where a claim is unsuccessful the plaintiff is liable for the running costs of the case in favour of the defendant.

Procedures for paying lawyer's or solicitor's fees are agreed between the client and the lawyer or solicitor concerned.

11. Can I claim legal aid?

See the subject Legal aid.

12. From which moment is my action officially considered to have been brought? Will the authorities give me confirmation that my case has been properly presented?

Applications and other correspondence received by post and documents delivered in person during court office hours are registered by the court in the incoming correspondence logbook on the day of receipt. An action is therefore officially considered to have been brought on the day the application is received by the court. Where an application has not been presented correctly or if not all the required documents have been attached, the judge makes a reasoned decision to take no action on the claim. A copy of this decision is sent to the plaintiff and a deadline is set by which the discrepancies must be resolved. The period allowed must be no less than 20 days from the date on which the decision is sent. If the plaintiff resolves the discrepancies within the period of time allowed the application is considered to have been submitted on the date it was first submitted to the court. If the plaintiff fails to resolve the discrepancies within the period of time allowed the application is not considered to have been submitted and is returned to the plaintiff. Where an application has been returned to the plaintiff this does not prevent its repeat submission to the court, but in such a case the date of submission is different.

No special notification is sent by the authorities confirming that an application has been properly presented, but certain procedures are followed which indicate that an application is correct. When an application has been presented correctly and all the required documents have been attached to the application, within three days of the application being received by the court the judge adopts a decision to accept the claim and bring the action. After the action has been brought the application and copies of the attached documents are sent to the defendant giving the date by which a written statement must be submitted. Upon receipt of this statement the judge forwards a copy to the plaintiff and third parties. The judge may also request the plaintiff's comments on the statement. Following receipt of the statement or when the deadline for submission of a statement has passed the judge adopts a decision on preparatory work for the case leading to a court hearing, whereby a date for the hearing is set by the judge. The registrar forwards a summons to the parties involved.

13. Will I receive detailed information about the timing of subsequent events (such as the time allowed for me to enter an appearance)?

The parties are summoned to court and are notified in advance of the date and location of the hearing or specific procedural events by means of a summons sent to the address provided in the application. If the defendant's address is not known a court summons is published in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis.

« Bringing a case to court - General information | Latvia - General information »

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Last update: 17-08-2007

 
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