European Commission > EJN > Procedural time limits > Estonia

Last update: 16-04-2007
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Procedural time limits - Estonia

 

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1. Give a definition of the various deadlines applicable in your Member State in civil matters; for example, procedural time limits, periods of prescription or limitation, prefixed periods, etc? 1.
2. Give the list of the various days envisaged as non-working days by your legislation pursuant to the Regulation (EEC, Euratom) no 1182/71 of 3 June 1971. 2.
3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the civil proceedings in your State? Quote the references of applicable legislation in civil matters. 3.
4. When an act or a formality has to be carried out before the expiry of a period, what is starting time – i.e. the initial moment from which the period runs (“dies a quo”) – of this act or of this formality? (ex: the date of the act, of the event, of the decision or of the notification from which it runs). 4.
5. From when does this period begin to run: 5.
6. When do such deadlines expire? 6.
7. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday or non-working day, is it extended until the first following working day? Is this extension applicable even when the period in question has as a starting point a future event? 7.
8. When the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in the metropolitan territory of the Member State (for those which comprise entities apart from the metropolis or have the geographically separate entities 1), are deadlines increased for persons who live/reside in one of these entities or for those which live/reside abroad? If in the affirmative for how long? 8.
9. Conversely, when the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in one of these entities distinct geographically from the metropolis, are deadlines increased for persons who do not live/reside in these entities or for persons who live/reside abroad? 9.
10. Are there time limits for appeals specific to certain civil matters? 10.
11. Can courts, in an emergency or any other cause, shorten the appearance time limits or fix a special date for appearance? Conversely can such periods be extended? 11.
12. When an act intended for a party resident in a place where he/she would benefit from an extension of a time limit is notified in a place where those who reside there do not benefit from such an extension, does this person lose the benefit of such a time limit? 12.

 

1. Give a definition of the various deadlines applicable in your Member State in civil matters; for example, procedural time limits, periods of prescription or limitation, prefixed periods, etc?

Under Estonian civil law, the following concepts of ‘deadlines’ are applicable:

  • Term – a specified (by law or agreement) period of time to which legal consequences are bound. A term can be specified in years, months, weeks, days, hours or shorter units of time or by an event which will definitely occur. A term begins to run on the day following the calendar day or the occurrence of the event by which the beginning of the term is specified unless otherwise provided by law or a contract. A term ends on the due date.
    The exercise of a right (claim) may be limited by a (prefixed) term; meaning that a right will expire (become non-existent) after the passing of that tern (date).
  • Procedural time limit: a sub-category of the general notion of terms in civil law. A procedural term is a specified period of time to which the consequences of civil procedure are bound. Procedural terms are specified in years or days or by events which will definitely occur. Procedural acts are to be carried out within the fixed terms. The right to perform a procedural act extinguishes upon the expiry of the term. Appeals and other documents submitted after the expiry of the term shall be disregarded and returned. A term may be restored or extended by a court.
  • Period of limitation – the right to pose a claim against another person becomes time-barred within the term provided by law (limitation period a.k.a prescription period; can be modified by agreement). The passing of the limitation period does not terminate the claim as such, but the obligated person may refuse to perform the obligation following the prescription of the claim. A court shall take prescription into consideration only at the request of the obligated person.

2. Give the list of the various days envisaged as non-working days by your legislation pursuant to the Regulation (EEC, Euratom) no 1182/71 of 3 June 1971.

  1. 1 January – New Year’s Day;
  2. – Good Friday;
  3. – Easter Sunday;
  4. 1 May – May Day;
  5. Pentecost;
  6. 23 June – Victory Day;
  7. 24 June – Midsummer Day;
  8. 20 August – Day of Restoration of Independence;
  9. 25 December – Christmas Day;
  10. 26 December – Boxing Day;
  11. 25 February – Independence Day, Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the civil proceedings in your State? Quote the references of applicable legislation in civil matters.

Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, “a procedural term (time-limit) is a specified period of time to which the consequences of the proceeding are bound” (§ 40 of the Code). Procedural terms are specified in years or days or by events which will definitely occur.

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A procedural act must be performed within a term specified by law. If a term in a proceeding is not specified by law, the court will set a reasonable term. The due date for performance of a procedural act shall be specified by a date, an event which will definitely occur or a period of time. In the latter case, a procedural act may be performed throughout the period of time.

A term specified in years, months or days begins to run on the day following the calendar day or the occurrence of the event by which the beginning of the term is specified. A term specified in days lapses on the last day of the term. A term specified in years lapses on the corresponding day of the last year of the term. If a due date does not fall on a working day, the term lapses on the following working day.

The right to perform a procedural act extinguishes upon the expiry of the term. The running of a term in a proceeding specified by law is suspended as of the day on which the circumstances which are the basis for the suspension of the proceeding become evident. The running of a term in a proceeding continues as of the day of resumption of the proceeding. A court may restore a term in a proceeding specified by law if it has not been complied with for good reason. A petition to restore a term which has not been complied with shall be submitted to the court in which the procedural act was to be performed. The petition shall be heard by the same court unless otherwise provided by law.

4. When an act or a formality has to be carried out before the expiry of a period, what is starting time – i.e. the initial moment from which the period runs (“dies a quo”) – of this act or of this formality? (ex: the date of the act, of the event, of the decision or of the notification from which it runs).

A term (period) specified in years, months or days begins to run on the day following the calendar day or the occurrence of the event by which the beginning of the term is specified. If a procedural time-limit (for execution of an act or a formality) has been set by fixing a period of time (time segment from one occurrence/event until another; example: 10 days from receipt of a document), the procedural act may be executed throughout the set period. The initial moment of the period is then fixed by the occurrence of the event to which the beginning of the period is tied.

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5. From when does this period begin to run:

  1. When such a period is expressed in days? Does the actual date of the act, of the event, of the decision or of the notification which begins it count?
  2. When such a period is expressed in months or in years?

If a period is expressed in days, the period begins to run on the day following the calendar day by which the beginning of the period was fixed. The same holds for the cases where the period is expressed in months or years: the period begins to run on the day following the calendar day by which the beginning of the period was fixed.

If a procedural time-limit (for execution of an act or a formality) has been set by fixing a period of time (time segment from one occurrence/event until another; example: 10 days from receipt of a document), the initial moment of the period is fixed by the occurrence of the event to which the beginning of the period is tied (e.g.: receipt of the relevant document).

6. When do such deadlines expire?

The deadlines expire upon arrival of the due date. A term specified in days expires on the last day of the term. A term specified in years ends on the corresponding day of the last year of the term. If a due date does not fall on a working day, the term expires on the following working day.

Procedural acts for the performance of which a term has been specified may be performed until 24.00 on the last day of the term. If a procedural act must be performed in court, the end of the working day of the court is deemed to be the end of the term.

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A document is deemed to be submitted within a term if it is submitted to a post office for delivery before 24.00 on the last day of the term. The delivery of a text of a document by facsimile or by other means of communication is equivalent to submission of the document to a post office.

7. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday or non-working day, is it extended until the first following working day? Is this extension applicable even when the period in question has as a starting point a future event?

If a due date does not fall on a working day, the term always ends on the following working day.

8. When the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in the metropolitan territory of the Member State (for those which comprise entities apart from the metropolis or have the geographically separate entities 1), are deadlines increased for persons who live/reside in one of these entities or for those which live/reside abroad? If in the affirmative for how long?

In the Republic of Estonia, the same terms in proceeding apply to all participants in proceedings irrespective of residence, however a court may extend a term in a proceeding specified by the court and a court may restore a term in a proceeding specified by law if it has not been complied with for good reason.

9. Conversely, when the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in one of these entities distinct geographically from the metropolis, are deadlines increased for persons who do not live/reside in these entities or for persons who live/reside abroad?

In the Republic of Estonia, the same terms in proceeding apply to all participants in proceedings irrespective of residence, however a court may extend a term in a proceeding specified by the court and a court may restore a term in a proceeding specified by law if it has not been complied with for good reason.

10. Are there time limits for appeals specific to certain civil matters?

The same appeal terms apply to all civil matters.

11. Can courts, in an emergency or any other cause, shorten the appearance time limits or fix a special date for appearance? Conversely can such periods be extended?

A court may extend a term in a proceeding specified by the court and a court may restore a term in a proceeding specified by law if it has not been complied with for good reason. A petition to restore a term which has not been complied with shall be submitted to the court in which the procedural act was to be performed. A procedural act for which the restoration of a term is applied shall be performed simultaneously with the submission of a petition to restore the term.

12. When an act intended for a party resident in a place where he/she would benefit from an extension of a time limit is notified in a place where those who reside there do not benefit from such an extension, does this person lose the benefit of such a time limit?

In this case, the extension of the time limit shall be decided by the court.

Further information

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1 For example: The Azores or Madeira for Portugal, the Departments and territories overseas fro France, the Canary Islands for Spain etc…)

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Last update: 16-04-2007

 
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