I. RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF A FOREIGN COURT DECISION (CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS)
Is it possible to apply for enforcement of a foreign court judgment in Latvia?
Civil Procedure Law Chapter 77 establishes that Recognition of adjudications of foreign courts shall take place in accordance with the general provisions of this Chapter.
Which laws are generally applicable to the enforcement of a foreign court judgment in Latvia?
Civil Procedure Law Chapter 77 (Articles 636-6445) and general provisions of Civil Procedure law.
Does the European Union have a special procedure to enforce court judgments coming its member states?
Council regulation (EC) No.44/2001; Council regulation (EC) No.2201/2003; Council regulation (EC) No.805/2004; Council regulation (EC) No.861/2007; Council regulation (EC) No.1896/2006.
What is the average length of time for this kind of procedure?
A decision regarding the recognition and execution of an adjudication of a foreign court or a decision regarding the refusal of the application shall be taken by a judge sitting alone on the basis of the submitted application and the documents appended thereto within a period of 10 days from the day of submission of the application without inviting the parties.
II. Denial of Recognition and Enforcement of a Foreign Court Judgment: Reasons
Can a Court in your country deny recognition and enforcement of a foreign court judgment? What kind of reasons may justify denial?
Yes. An adjudication of a foreign court shall not be recognised only if one of the following bases for non-recognition exists:
1) the foreign court, which made the adjudication, was not competent in accordance with Latvian law to adjudicate the dispute or such dispute is an exception jurisdiction of the Latvian courts;
2) the adjudication of the foreign court has not come into legal effect;
3) the defendant was denied a possibility of defending his or her rights, especially if the defendant who has not participated in the adjudication of the matter was not in a timely and proper manner notified regarding appearing in court, except if the defendant has not appealed such adjudication even though he or she had the possibility to do so;
4) the adjudication of the foreign court is not compatible with a court adjudication already made earlier and entered into legal effect in Latvia in the same dispute between the same parties or with already earlier commenced court proceedings between the same parties in a Latvian court;
5) the adjudication of the foreign court is not compatible with such already earlier made and entered into legal effect adjudication of another foreign court in the same dispute between the same parties, which may be recognised or is already recognised in Latvia;
6) the recognition of the adjudication of the foreign court is in conflict with the public structure of Latvia; or
7) in the making the adjudication of the foreign court, the law of such state was not applied as should have been applied in conformity with Latvian international private law conflict of law norms.
What kind of cost and expenses can a claimant expect in this enforcement procedure?
The fees of lawyers, state fee LVL 20, translation of the documents.
III. FORMAL REQUIREMENTS
Is there a time limit to apply for enforcement of a foreign court judgment?
Civil Procedure Law does not establish the time limit for enforcement of a foreign judgment.
Is it mandatory for the judgment to be a final and definitive court judgment? If NO: Are there any special requirements to provisionally enforce a court judgment which is not final and definitive?
Under the Civil Procedure Law there is no requirement that judgment has to be final. Law establishes that Judgment has to be in legal force, that means that no appeal can be submitted
What necessary requirements must the foreign court Judgment fulfill to be recognized and enforced?
An adjudication of a foreign court within the meaning of Civil Procedure Law is a judgment made by a foreign court, in which the issue of dispute between the parties has been adjudicated according to substance, as well as an approved amicable settlement of a foreign court.
An adjudication of a foreign court within the meaning of Civil procedure Law is also an adjudication of a foreign competent institution, which is to be executed in the state that made it if the recognition of the adjudication and execution arises from directly applicable European Union legal norms or international agreements binding upon the Republic of Latvia.
Is it mandatory to pay Court Fees for this kind of application?
Yes. Court fee is LVL 20.
Which Court or courts are competent to decide an enforcement application?
An application for the recognition or recognition and execution of an adjudication of a foreign court shall be submitted for adjudication to a district (city) court on the basis of the place of execution of the adjudication or also on the basis of the place of residence of the defendant or location (legal address).
What information must be contained in the enforcement application of a foreign court judgment?
An application shall indicate:
1) the name of the court to which an application is submitted;
2) the given name, surname, personal identity number (if there is none such, then other identification data) and place of residence of the applicant and defendant, but for a legal person – its name, registration number and location (legal address);
3) the object of the application and the circumstances upon which the application is based;
4) the petition of the applicant to recognise or recognise and execute the adjudication of a foreign court in full or any of its parts;
5) the authorised representative and his or her address if for the conduct of the matter in Latvia a representative has been appointed;
6) a list of the documents appended; and
7) the time of completing the application.
The applicant or his or her representative shall sign the application. If the application has been signed by the representative, to the application shall be appended the authorisation or another document, which certifies the authorisation of the representative to apply to the court with an application.
What documents must be included with/attached to the application to enforce a foreign court judgment?
An application shall have appended:
1) an adjudication of a foreign court with a statement certifying that the adjudication has come into legal effect, or a properly certified true copy of the adjudication;
2) a document issued by a foreign court which certifies that the defendant, who has not participated in the adjudication of the matter, was notified of the time and place of the adjudication of the matter in a timely and proper manner;
3) a document issued by a foreign court or a competent authority regarding the execution of the adjudication if the adjudication of the foreign court is already partially executed;
4) a document issued by a foreign court, which certifies that the foreign court adjudication is to be executed in the state wherein it was made if the applicant requests the recognition and execution of the foreign court adjudication;
5) the application and a certified translation into the official language according to specified procedures of the documents referred to 1-3 of this Paragraph; and
6) a document, which certifies the payment of the State fee according to the procedures and in the amount specified by law.
What are the phases of the procedure to enforce a foreign court judgment?
1. Recognition and enforcement application;
4. Securing of the claim;
Are there a limited number of reasons for the defendant to oppose to the enforcement of the court judgment? What are those reasons?
By submitting the appeal claim regarding the Court decision.
Is it possible to appeal a court decision to recognize and enforce a foreign court decision?
In respect of a decision by a first instance court in an adjudication of a foreign court recognition matter, an ancillary complaint to the regional court may be submitted, and a decision by the regional court in respect of an ancillary complaint may be appealed to the Senate by submitting an ancillary complaint.
A participant in the matter whose place of residence or location is in Latvia, may submit the complaints within a period of 30 days from the day of receipt of the true copy of the decision, but a participant in the matter whose place of residence or location is not in Latvia – within a period of 60 days from the day of receipt of the true copy of the decision.
A regional court and the Senate in adjudicating an ancillary complaint have the right to:
1) leave the decision unamended, and reject the complaint;
2) set aside the decision fully or a part thereof and decide the issue of the recognition of the adjudication of the foreign court; or
3) amend the decision.
A court may request from the parties, explanations or also additional information from the foreign court that had made the adjudication.
A court on the basis of a petition from the defendant may suspend the court proceedings if the adjudication of the foreign court has been appealed according to general procedures or also the time period for such appeal has not ended. In the second case, the court may specify a time period within which a complaint to appeal the adjudication of the foreign court shall be submitted in the relevant foreign state.
Are there any rules concerning recovery of the judicial costs incurred as a result of the enforcement application?
There are no special rules concerning recovery of the judicial costs.
V. RECOVERY OF THE DEBT
What types of assets are subject to enforcement of the court's judgment?
1) recovery directed against the movable property of a debtor, including the property in the possession of other persons and intangible property, by sale thereof;
2) recovery directed against money due to the debtor from other persons (remuneration for work, payments equivalent thereto, other income of the debtor, deposits in credit institutions);
3) recovery directed against the immovable property of the debtor, by sale thereof;
4) transfer of the property adjudged by the court to the judgment creditor and performance of activities imposed by a court judgment;
5) eviction of persons and removing of property specified in the judgment from premises;
6) placing in possession; and
7) other measures as set out in a judgment.