This page is now obsolete. The original language version has been updated and moved to the European e-Justice Portal.
It might be better to use Alternative dispute resolution procedures. See this subject.
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.
See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts.
See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts – Latvia.
See the subject Jurisdiction of the courts – Latvia.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
An application must also be accompanied by documents confirming:
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.
See the subject Legal aid.
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.
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.Top
Last update: 17-08-2007