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Last update: 08-05-2009
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Procedural time limits - Latvia

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Various types of deadlines applicable under the various procedural rules in civil matters 1.
2. National celebrations in Latvia and days laid down as non-working days pursuant to Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1182/71 of 3 June 1971. 2.
3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the various civil procedures? 3.
4. When does the time period commence? 4.
5. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday or non-working day, is it extended until the first subsequent working day? Is this extension applicable even when the period in question has a future event as a starting point? 5.
6. What is the procedure for the extension and renewal of procedural time limits? 6.
7. Are there time limits for appeals specific to certain civil matters? 7.
8. What are the sanctions in case of non-observance of the periods? 8.

 

1. Various types of deadlines applicable under the various procedural rules in civil matters

Procedural time limits are periods of time given for a procedure to be performed.

The time limits can be classified as follows, depending on the entities bound by them:

  1. time limits with which a court, judge or bailiff must comply - these limits are prescribed by law and are usually short. In civil proceedings these time limits range from one to fourteen days - a judge must rule on whether to accept a statement of claim within three days of receiving it, whereas an adjudication on securing a claim must be made no later than the day after proceedings have been initiated. In some categories of proceedings a time limit is prescribed within which examination of a case must begin, be concluded and a ruling made. A true copy of the judgment and decision is to be sent out no later than three days after it has been handed down. The law also makes provision for other time limits. Sometimes a court or bailiff must perform procedures without delay. In certain cases prescribed by law courts (judges) can render relative time limits specific and in so doing can themselves stipulate the time in which a procedural action is to be performed: in complex matters a court may prepare a judgment set out in summary form consisting of an introductory part and an operative part. In such a case the court prepares a full judgment within fourteen days, giving notice of the date when the full judgment will be ready. The Act on Civil Procedures does not, however, specify time limits in which a court has to prepare a civil case and adjudicate upon it. Nevertheless, Section 28 of the Act on Judicial Power states that, in order to ensure defence of a person's infringed rights, a court must examine the relevant matter in a timely fashion, i.e. the matter must be adjudicated upon as soon as possible.
  2. time limits relating to procedural actions that have to be performed by participants in proceedings - certain time limits are laid down in the Act on Civil Procedures: seven days prior to a case being examined (for the submission of evidence), ten days (for submission of an ancillary complaint), twenty days (for submission of an appeal) etc. In most cases, however, time limits applicable to parties to or other participants in a proceedings are laid down by the court, judge or bailiff by rendering relative time limits specific or by setting them independently, taking due account of the type of procedural action, distance from a person's place of residence or location, and other circumstances.
  3. time limits applicable to persons that are not participants in proceedings - these time limits are set only by a court or judge.

The main types of time limit are as follows:

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  1. time limit for the submission of evidence - unless the judge specifies otherwise, evidence shall be submitted no later than seven days before a court sitting. While a case is being adjudicated upon, evidence may be submitted at the reasoned request of a party to or participant in a proceedings, if this does not delay adjudication of the matter, the court has recognised that the reasons for not submitting evidence on time are justified, or the evidence concerns facts that have come to light in the course of adjudication. A decision by the court to refuse to accept evidence may not be appealed, but objections regarding such a decision may be expressed in an appellate or cassation complaint;
  2. time limit for a defendant to submit explanations - once proceedings have been initiated, a statement of claim and true copies of accompanying documents must be immediately sent to the defendant by registered mail, specifying a time limit for submission of written explanations of fifteen to thirty days from the date the statement of claim is sent out;
  3. time limit for an application for renewal of proceedings and adjudication of the matter de novo to rectify deficiencies - within twenty days of a default judgment being sent out, the defendant may submit to the court that delivered the judgment an application for renewal of proceedings and the adjudication of the matter de novo;
  4. time limit for a stay of proceedings:
    1. where a natural person has died or a legal person has ceased to exist that is a party to proceedings or a third party with an independent claim, and where the legal relationship in dispute permits the transfer of rights, the relevant time period shall run until a successor in interest has been determined or a legal representative appointed;
    2. where a party to the proceedings or a third party has lost their capacity to act, the relevant time period shall run until the appointment of a legal representative;
    3. where a party to the proceedings or a third party cannot participate in the adjudication of a matter because of illness, age or disability, the relevant time period shall run until the deadline set by the court for establishing representation;
    4. Where the court takes a decision on the submission of an application to the Constitutional Court or the Constitutional Court has brought an action in relation to a plaintiff's (appellant's) constitutional claim; where the court takes a decision to refer a matter to the Court of Justice of the European Communities for adoption of a preliminary ruling; or where adjudication of a matter is not possible until another matter that must be adjudicated upon in accordance with civil, criminal or administrative procedures has been settled, the relevant time period shall run until the decision of the Constitutional Court or the Court of Justice of the European Communities or the decision of a court in the relevant civil, criminal or administrative proceedings comes into legal effect;
    5. where a party to the proceedings or a third party with an independent claim is outside the borders of Latvia in connection with a long-term mission or official business, a warrant requesting the presence of the defendant is issued; where a party to the proceedings or a third party with an independent claim cannot participate in the adjudication of a matter because of illness; or where a court orders an expert examination, the relevant time period shall run until the circumstances referred to in the above points have ceased to apply;
    6. where parties to a proceedings have agreed on a stay of proceedings and no third party with an independent claim raises an objection, the relevant time period shall run until the deadline laid down in the court decision;
  5. time limit for submission of an appeal - an appeal against a decision taken by a court of first instance may be submitted within twenty days of the decision being announced. Where a shortened judgment has been handed down, the time period for an appeal shall run from the date set by the court for delivery of the full judgment. An appeal submitted after a deadline has passed shall not be admissible and shall be returned to the submitter;
  6. time limit for submission of an ancillary complaint - an ancillary complaint may be submitted within ten days of the day on which the court takes its decision, unless the Act on Civil Procedures provides otherwise. An ancillary complaint submitted after a deadline has passed shall not be admissible and shall be returned to the submitter;
  7. time limit for submission of an application in connection with newly-discovered facts - the time period for submission of an application shall run:

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    1. in respect of essential case evidence that existed at the time of adjudication, but were not and could not be known by the applicant - from the day that these facts are brought to light;
    2. in respect of intentionally false witness statements, experts' opinions or translations, or forged written or material evidence brought to light in relation to a court judgment that is legally in force in a criminal matter, on the basis of which a judgment has been handed down; or in respect of criminal activities brought to light in relation to a court judgment that has come into legal effect in a criminal matter, on the basis of which an unlawful or unfounded judgment has been handed down or decision taken - from the day on which the judgment in the criminal matter comes into legal effect;
    3. where the court judgment or decision by another institution, that formed the basis for handing down the judgment or taking the decision in this matter, has been set aside - from the day of entry into force of the court decision setting aside the judgment in the civil or criminal matter, or from the day of setting aside the decision taken by another institution that formed the basis for the judgment or decision that it has been requested to set aside in the light of newly-discovered facts;
    4. where it is recognised that a legal norm applied in adjudicating the matter is not consistent with a legal norm of greater legal force - from the day of entry into force of a judgment or other decision whereby the effective legal norm becomes null and void because it fails to conform with a legal norm of greater legal force;
  8. time limits for submission of execution documents - an execution document may be submitted for compulsory execution within ten years of a court or a judge's decision entering into force, unless other limitation periods are laid down by law.

Where a court judgment lays down recovery through periodic payments the execution document shall remain in effect throughout the period of time within which the payments are to be made; however, the time period running within the ten years referred to above shall begin on the final day for each payment.

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2. National celebrations in Latvia and days laid down as non-working days pursuant to Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1182/71 of 3 June 1971.

National holidays (celebrations)

May 1 - commemoration of the Convocation of the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Latvia. Labour Day;

May 4 - commemoration of the day on which the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia was passed.

23 June - Līgo Day (Midsummer Eve);

24 June - Jāņi (St John's Day, Midsummer);

18 November - commemoration of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia.

Public holidays

1 January - New Year's Day

Good Friday - the Friday before Easter;

Easter Sunday;

Easter Monday;

25 and 26 December - Christmas;

31 December - New Year's Eve.

3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the various civil procedures?

Procedural actions shall be carried out within the time periods prescribed by law. Where the law does not prescribe procedural time periods, these shall be determined by a court or judge. The time period laid down by a court or a judge must be long enough for the procedural action to be carried out.

A precise date, time period ending on a set date, or time period expressed in years, months, days or hours shall be determined for carrying out a procedural action. Where the procedural action does not have to be carried out on a specific date, it may be carried out at any time during the specified time period. The time period may also be determined by indicating the occurrence of a mandatory event.

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4. When does the time period commence?

A procedural time period counted in years, months or days commences on the day following the date or event indicating its commencement.

A procedural time period counted in hours commences from the next hour following the event indicating its commencement.

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

  • A time period counted in years shall expire in the respective month and on the respective date of the time period's final year.
  • A time period counted in months shall expire on the respective date of the time period's final month. Where a time period counted in months ends in a month that does not have the respective date, it shall expire on the last day of that month.
  • A set time period that extends until a particular date shall expire on that date.
  • Where the final day of a time period is Saturday, Sunday or a holiday prescribed by law, the next working day shall be counted as the time period's final day.
  • A procedural action whose time period is expiring may be carried out until 12 o'clock midnight on the time period's final day.
  • Where a procedural action is to be carried out in court, the time period shall expire at the time when the court ceases work. Where a statement of claim, appeal or other document is delivered to an intermediary authority by 12 o'clock midnight on the final date of the time period, it is considered to have been submitted within the time period.

6. What is the procedure for the extension and renewal of procedural time limits?

Where an application is made by a participant in the proceedings, the court shall renew procedural time periods regarding which there has been default, if the reasons for default are found justified.

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A court may renew:

  1. time limits that have been exceeded;
  2. time limits prescribed by law;
  3. time limits laid down for participants to proceedings to exercise their procedural rights.

Procedural time periods associated with a limitation period are not renewable; for example, a time period relating to submission of an execution document to be used for compulsory execution following a 10-year limitation period that started on the day that the relevant decision of a court or judge took effect shall not be renewable.

When renewing a time period which has been exceeded, the court shall at the same time allow the delayed procedural action to be carried out.

Where an application is made by a participant in the proceedings, procedural time limits laid down by a court, judge or bailiff may be extended prior to expiry. Time limits laid down by law may not be extended. Where there has been a default in respect of a time period laid down by a court, judge or bailiff, the person upon whom the time period was binding may request that a new time period be laid down in which to carry out the procedural action.

An application regarding extension of a time period or renewal of a time period regarding which there has been a default shall be submitted to the court where the delayed action was to have been carried out This application shall be decided in a court sitting, and the participants in the matter shall be notified in advance about the time and place of the sitting. The failure of these persons to attend is not an impediment to adjudication of the application.

An application regarding renewal of a procedural time period shall be accompanied by documents required for execution of the procedural action, and the grounds for renewal of the time period.

A time period determined by a judge may be extended by a judge sitting alone.

An ancillary complaint may be submitted regarding a refusal by a court or a judge to extend or renew a time period.

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

(See Q1e).

8. What are the sanctions in case of non-observance of the periods? 

The right to perform procedural actions lapses upon expiry of the time period determined by law or by a court. Appeals and documents submitted after the expiry of a procedural time period are not accepted.

« Procedural time limits - General information | Latvia - General information »

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Last update: 08-05-2009

 
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