As from today, April 1, amendments to the Civil Procedure Law become effective, which stipulate new procedure, how appealed claims, which not exceed EUR 2100, shall be examined in the court. The court judgement in so called small claims shall be appealed under appellate, not cassation procedure in future.

Such appeals shall be further examined in a regional court under appellate procedure, applying procedure that will allow to accelerate adjudication of cases and to deselect ill-founded complaints. The judgement of the appellate instance court shall not be reversible and it shall come into effect in the moment of its proclamation.  

At present, 253 cases on small claims remain in proceedings in the Supreme Court Department of Civil Cases, which shall be examined in accordance with procedure, which existed before April, 1.

New procedure of examination of small cases will significantly relieve work of the Supreme Court Department of Civil Cases. As Zigmants Gencs, the Chair of the department, indicated at the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on February, 28: “In future, it will unburden the department of Civil Cases from examination of more than 200 cases per year, as just small claims increased number of cases pending.  In the long term, it could significantly decrease spate of cases in the cassation instance. It could even be recognised as the most positive event of recent time”.

New procedure of appeal of cases on small claims will also be more effective proceedings for parties to cases. Having indicated disadvantages of previous procedure, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases had pointed out before that adjudication of cases, avoiding appellate instance was unsuccessful solution. Cases, in which it was possible to eliminate disadvantages and imperfections in the appellate instance court and to terminate proceedings, have been received in the cassation instance. The cassation instance may not do that, as, having established significant violations, the judgement shall be revoked and the case shall be transferred for new examination. “The cassation instance should decide only on important and fundamental issues to develop uniform case-law”, Zigmants Gencs noticed.  

Amendments to the Civil Procedure Law, which envisage new procedure of examination of cases, were made on 19 December 2013. To get prepared for implementation of new regulation, transitional provisions provided that amendments in respect of Section 250.27 on appealing against court judgements, which are rendered in cases on small claims, shall become effective on 1 April 2014. Transitional period was established to develop procedure, how the appellate instance court would examine cases on small claims, preserving peculiarities of examination characteristic for this category of cases and not overloading the appellate instance courts. As the result, the Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Law is supplemented with the chapter “Peculiarities of examination of cases on small claims at the appellate instance”.  

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211