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Last update: 22-08-2007
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Enforcement of judgements - Latvia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What does enforcement mean in civil and commercial matters? 1.
2. What are the conditions under which an enforceable title or decision may be issued? 2.
2.1. The procedure 2.1.
2.2. Substantive conditions 2.2.
3. Object and nature of enforcement measures 3.
3.1. What types of assets can be subject to enforcement? 3.1.
3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures? 3.2.
3.3. What is the validity of such measures? 3.3.
4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting such a measure? 4.

 

1. What does enforcement mean in civil and commercial matters?

Enforcement is a stage in civil proceedings whereby court bailiffs enforce a ruling made by the courts, other institutions or officials if a debtor (defendant) fails to comply voluntarily with such a ruling within the period of time laid down in legislation or by the court.

See Legal professions - Latvia on the enforcement measures a court bailiff is entitled to apply.

2. What are the conditions under which an enforceable title or decision may be issued?

2.1. The procedure

Judicial and extrajudicial decisions are enforceable following their entry into force, except where legislation or court rulings provide for their immediate enforcement. Court bailiffs are entitled to instigate enforcement procedures on the basis of any of the following enforcement documents:

  1. an enforcement order issued in civil or administrative cases on the basis of a court ruling or a decision by the court or judge, or in criminal cases on the basis of a court ruling approving a settlement, a ruling by a permanent court of arbitration, an industrial dispute commission decision, or a decision by a foreign court or a foreign court of arbitration;
  2. a decision by an institution or official in administrative infringement cases;
  3. an execution order issued on the basis of an administrative act (Section 539(2)(2) of the Act on Civil Procedures;
  4. a decision by a judge on the undisputed enforcement of liabilities, the enforcement of liabilities under cautionary procedures, or the voluntary sale of immovable property under auction by judicial process;
  5. a court decision on the imposition of procedural sanctions – fines;
  6. a bill issued by a notary, lawyer or bailiff;
  7. a European Enforcement Order issued by a foreign court or competent authority under Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims;
  8. a certificate issued by a foreign court or competent authority under Articles 41(1) and 42(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003;
  9. a decision by a competent authority on the enforcement of sanctions imposed by an international organisation.

An enforcement order is issued on request to the enforcement officer by the court adjudicating the case at the time. To initiate enforcement of a ruling the enforcement order granted to the enforcement officer or a proxy must be submitted to a court bailiff together with a letter of application.

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2.2. Substantive conditions

Pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Civil Procedures court bailiffs are responsible for enforcing the following court rulings:

  1. court rulings and court or judges' decisions in civil cases and administrative cases;
  2. court rulings and decisions in criminal cases relating to the recovery of property;
  3. judges' or court decisions in administrative infringement cases relating to the recovery of property;
  4. court decisions on approval of settlements;
  5. rulings by courts of arbitration;
  6. decisions by foreign courts and foreign courts of arbitration in cases specified under legislation;
  7. court decisions on the imposition of procedural sanctions – fines;
  8. industrial dispute commission decisions.

Except where specified otherwise under legislation the following are also subject to procedures for the enforcement of court rulings:

  1. decisions by institutions and officials in administrative infringement cases where specified under legislation;
  2. administrative acts relating to payments issued by authorities and officials empowered by the State;
  3. rulings by persons linked to the legal structure (notaries, lawyers, bailiffs) on professional remuneration, remuneration for legal aid provided and reimbursement of expenses related to services provided, and State fees.

3. Object and nature of enforcement measures

3.1. What types of assets can be subject to enforcement?

Court bailiffs are entitled to take enforcement action against a debtor's movable property – including any property deposited with other persons – and incorporeal assets, against money owed to the debtor by other persons (remuneration for work, equivalent payments, the debtor's other income, investments in credit institutions) and against immovable property. Certain assets specified in legislation and objects belonging wholly or partially to the debtor are not subject to enforcement action under enforcement orders (for instance household fittings and equipment, clothing, food, books, instruments and tools required by the debtor for their day-to-day work for the purposes of earning a living etc.).

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3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures?

When enforcement action is taken against a debtor's movable assets, immovable property or income the debtor is no longer entitled to exploit these at will.

Where a bailiff's requirements or orders are observed the bailiff draws up a deed and submits this to the court for a decision on liability. The court can impose a fine on the guilty parties - up to LVL 250 in the case of a natural person, or up to LVL 500 in the case of an official.

If the bailiff encounters any resistance when taking enforcement action the police may be called to assist.

If a debtor fails to appear before a bailiff in compliance with a summons, or refuses to offer explanations or legally required information, the bailiff is entitled to take the matter to court for a decision on this person's liability. The court may adopt a decision to force the debtor to appear, and to impose a fine of up to LVL 100. If it emerges that a debtor has intentionally provided false information the bailiff may take the matter to court for a decision on bringing administrative infringement or criminal proceedings.

3.3. What is the validity of such measures?

An enforcement document can be submitted for enforcement within 10 years of the entry into force of a court or judge's ruling unless other periods are specified in regulatory acts. If a court ruling imposes payment by instalments the enforcement document remains in force for the whole period during which payments are due and the 10 year period begins from final date of each payment.

4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting such a measure?

Upon application by a party to the case and in view of the proprietorial status or other circumstances of the parties involved, the court responsible for adjudicating a given case is entitled to adopt a decision to postpone enforcement of the ruling, to divide enforcement into instalments, or to amend the form or procedure by which the ruling is enforced. An ancillary complaint relating to a court decision to postpone enforcement of a ruling, to divide enforcement of the ruling into instalments or to amend the form or procedure by which it is enforced may be brought before a higher court within 10 days. Where circumstances hinder or prevent the enforcement of a court ruling the bailiff is also entitled to submit to the court responsible for the ruling a proposal to postpone enforcement of a ruling, to divide enforcement of the ruling into instalments or to amend the form or procedure by which it is enforced.

A bailiff can postpone enforcement on the basis of an application by an enforcement officer or a decision by the court or a judge to postpone enforcement action or suspend sale of property, or a court decision to postpone enforcement or divide enforcement of the ruling into instalments.

Further information

« Enforcement of judgements - General information | Latvia - General information »

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Last update: 22-08-2007

 
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