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Last update: 27-09-2006
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Service of documents - Lithuania

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What does the legal term "service of documents" mean in practical terms? Why are there specific rules on the "service of documents"? 1.
2. Which documents need to be served formally? 2.
3. Who is responsible for serving a document? 3.
4. How is the document served? 4.
5. What happens when service to the addressee himself is not possible (e.g. because he is not at home) ? 5.
6. Is there a proof that the document has been served? 6.
7. What happens if something goes wrong and the service is effected in violation of the law (e.g. the document is served to a third person) ? 7.
8. Do l have to pay for the service of a document, and if so, how much? 8.

 

1. What does the legal term "service of documents" mean in practical terms? Why are there specific rules on the "service of documents"?

The service of documents is a procedural action executed and confirmed in the way and form established by law, whereby the court offers an addressee to get acquainted with content of the served document.

Specific rules on the service of documents exist to ensure that a person will certainly receive a document and information, and guarantee a person’s right to defend his interest in the process.

2. Which documents need to be served formally?

According to Article 117 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania (approved by Law No. IX-743, 28 February 2002 (Off. Gazette, No. 36-1340, 2002,) the court documents need to be served. There are two categories of the court documents:

a) court documents of the parties to the proceeding- these persons’ statements of claim, counterclaims, answers to statements of claim, replies to counterclaims, duplicatio (plaintiff’s reply to a response submitted by defendant) , triplicatio (defendant’s answer to a duplicatio) , separate appeals, appeals to judgments, cassation appeals and responses to these and other documents, in which their petitions, claims, replications and explanations are submitted during the written procedure (Article 110 of the Code of Civil Procedure) ;

b) court documents of the court (judgments, orders, rulings, decisions, resolutions, minutes of court sessions, summons, and notices) - any documents issued by the court during the procedure (Article 116 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

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3. Who is responsible for serving a document?

Generally, the court is responsible for serving of documents. But when documents are served by registered mail, through bailiffs, couriers, a party to the proceeding, lawyer and etc.- a person, who is executing the service is responsible too.

4. How is the document served?

The Code of Civil Procedure establishes the following methods for the service of court documents:

- directly to an addressee in court with signature of confirmation of receipt (Article 127) ;

- by registered mail, through bailiffs, couriers, and in certain cases– by telecommunication terminal equipment (Article 117 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania) ;

- if a party to the proceeding consents, the court may issue a court document for him to deliver to the addressee (Article 117(2) ) ;

- In cases when a party or a third person conducts the proceedings through a representative, procedural documents relevant to the case are served only to the representative (Article 118) ;

- Where both parties to the proceedings are represented by an attorney of one party forwards the procedural document relevant to the case directly to the attorney of the other party (Article 119) ;

- In the case of procedural complicity, when there is no single representative appointed by the accomplices, the court has the right to propose to the accomplices that they should appoint one of the accomplices or any other entity as an authorized person for receiving procedural documents relevant to the case (Article 120).

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If a party to the proceeding is a natural person, court documents shall be delivered to him in person or to his representative if he does not have civil procedural competency in accordance with law, whereas, court documents addressed to a legal person shall be delivered to the head of this legal person, its management bodies, or an employee of its secretarial office (Article 123 of the Code of Civil Procedure). Court documents shall be delivered to paramilitary organisations to the commander or officer on duty of the appropriate organisation or its unit (Article 125 of the Code of Civil Procedure) , and to incarcerated persons- through administration of the appropriate custodial institution (Article 126 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

5. What happens when service to the addressee himself is not possible (e.g. because he is not at home) ?

If the person delivering the court document fails to find the addressee at his place of residence or work place, the document shall be delivered to some adult family member residing together with him except cases where the family members have an opposing legal interest in the end of the case and if there are none, to the house administration (homeowner’s association) , flat maintenance organisation, neighbourhood elder, or the administration of his workplace ( Article 123 (3) of the Code of Civil Procedure).

If the person delivering the court document fails to find the addressee at the location of the legal person’s registered office or another location indicated by the legal person, the court document shall be delivered to any employee of the legal person who is at the place of delivery, or if there is no such possibility, then the court documents shall be served to the head of the administration shown in the register of legal persons or to the management body members, as natural persons, or to the adult members of their families (Article 126 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure).

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If a copy of a statement of a claim or other court documents, which raise the necessity to defend the rights of a party, must be delivered to the party whose place of residence and work place are unknown or who does not have a body representing him, the aforementioned documents may be served, until the discovery of his place of residence or work place or the entry of his representative in the procedure, to a curator, who shall be appointed by the court hearing the case at the request of an interested party (Article 129 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

If the place of residence and work place of the addressee are unknown and if it is impossible to appoint a curator or when there are more than 10 co-parties to the proceeding and there is no possibility of serving the court documents by the procedure mentioned above in the case of procedural complicity, or if there is no possibility to serve court documents to a legal person by the procedure mentioned above, the court may deliver court documents by means of a public announcement in the press. In this way, a copy of a statement of claim may be served to the defendant and summons and notices or other court documents served to the parties to the proceeding (Article 130 (1,2) of the Code of Civil Procedure).

In exceptional cases, taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, if the location of the defendant is unknown, a court may publish a search for the defendant through the police if the plaintiff proves that he has undertaken every measure to establish the place of residence of the defendant (Article 132 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

6. Is there a proof that the document has been served?

A summons and copy of a statement of claim (application, appeal, answer to a submitted statement of claim, or duplicatio) shall be served to the addressee with a signature of confirmation of the receipt. When the post, court courier, bailiff, or a party to the proceeding serves a summons or a copy of a statement of claim, the addressee shall sign a receipt of the form established by the Minister of Justice, one part of which the addressee shall retain and the other half with the signature and service date indicated shall be returned to the court. When a summons or a copy of the statement of claim is not served to the addressee himself, the person accepting it must enter his full name on the receipt as well as his relationship with the addressee or current job position. If the summons or copy of the statement of claim is served via a telecommunications terminal, service shall be confirmed by the procedure established by the laws or other legal acts. It Is possible to deliver court documents via a telecommunications terminal at the consent of a party to the proceedings.

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A refusal to accept court documents or to sign the receipt for its receipt shall be equated with its service except in cases when it is served by the party to the proceeding. The person serving it shall make a notation about the refusal to accept the summons or copy of the statement of claim and the reason for the refusal. When court documents are served via a telecommunications terminal, it shall be considered that the person refused to accept the court documents if within three days of the day of service he fails to sign the receipt of the established form by electronic signature or fails to confirm in another form that the documents had been served to him.

Notices and other court documents shall be delivered to the addressee by the means and procedure established by the Code of Civil Procedure without a return receipt to be returned to the court. Postal workers, bailiffs, or couriers shall record the delivery of a notice or other court document to the addressee in appropriate books, indicating the addressee, the delivery date of the court document, the person accepting the court document and his relationship to the addressee or current job position, if it is not delivered to the addressee himself.

7. What happens if something goes wrong and the service is effected in violation of the law (e.g. the document is served to a third person) ?

When the service of documents is effected in violation of the law, it isn’t correct and it is considered that the documents haven’t been served. The party to the proceeding, who was not notified about the time and place of the hearing, can found his appeal for the reversal of a judgment on these circumstances and such case shall be recognised as absolute ground for the invalidity of the judgment (Article 329(3) the Code of Civil Procedure ).

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8. Do l have to pay for the service of a document, and if so, how much?

According to the provisions of the Procedure for the Payment and Amounts of the Costs related to the Service of Court Documents in Civil Case (approved by Order No. 343/388 of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania of 06/12/2002) , serving the court documents by registered mail, through a bailiff or a courier the costs are covered from the funds of the court, except cases when a party of the proceedings is requesting a particular method for serving the documents, when these costs have to be covered by this party of the proceedings. The party of the proceeding covers the cost and if the court documents have been served by it or by means of a public announcement in the press. Then the court documents were served trough the attorney the costs are covered by agreement of the attorney and his client.

Tariffs of the costs are laid down by the persons providing postal, courier and press services. The costs of a court errant to serve documents through a bailiff are laid down in Para No. 2 14 of the table in the Instruction for the Execution of Judgements (approved by Order No. 432 of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania of 31/12/2002) and amount to 30 Lt.

Costs related to the Service of Documents are included into expenses connected with the hearing of the case. These expenses, incurred by the party, in whose favour the judgment was made, shall be awarded by the court to this party from the second party even though the latter is released from the payment of litigation expenses into the state budget.

Further information

- Website of the Seimas - Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania

  • Where legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania can be found.

    « Service of documents - General information | Lithuania - General information »

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    Last update: 27-09-2006

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