27 April, 2007
In 2006, the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court Senate received 116 ancillary complaints, the Chamber of Civil Cases – 1138. Compared with the previous year, the number of ancillary complaints has considerably increased, regarding the Senate – even doubled. The significant growth of the number of ancillary complaints on the decisions of the first instance court and the appellate instance court has a considerable impact on the work load of the court, besides, the court decisions rather frequently contain different interpretation of the civil procedural law standards.
To facilitate the work of the courts and to develop a uniform court practice in all the country, the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, the Chamber of Civil Cases and the Division of Case-law of the Supreme Court have summarized the appealed decisions of the first instance court and the appellate instance court which have been adopted on the filed ancillary complaints.
Having analyzed the decisions of the appellate instance court, the Senate has come to a conclusion that one of the most essential problems is the refusal of the court to accept appeals or cassation complaints due to expiry of the procedural term. The term is often delayed because the participants of the case do not understand the procedure for appealing the rulings stated in the Civil Procedure Law, erroneously linking the commencement of the term of appeal with the moment when a copy of the ruling is available to them. However, according to Article 415, part 1, of the Civil Procedure Law, an appeal on the adjudication of the first instance court may be filed within 20 days after the day of announcement of the adjudication. If a shortened adjudication is announced, the term for appeal is calculated from the date which is set by the court to compile full adjudication. It means that the term is not connected with preparation and availability of copies for the participants of the case, which may not coincide with the day which is set by the court for compiling a full adjudication.
Having delayed the terms for appeal, the participants of the case exercise their right to apply to the first instance court with an application on restoration of the delayed procedural term for filing an appeal. The Senate has concluded that in such cases the principle of economy of proceedings is not observed at all because the defendant, when filing an application on restoration of the procedural term which is prepared in accordance with the law, is repeatedly given an opportunity and rights to proceedings in two instances (on the condition that the first instance declines the application) involving even a bigger number of judges in the proceedings and prolonging completion of review of the case. The same problem relates to acceptance of cassation complaints due to delayed procedural term.
The Department of Civil Cases of the Senate considers that the problems which are related to the drawbacks of the Civil Procedure Law regarding the procedure of calculation of the term for appealing the rulings should be solved by respective amendments to the Civil Procedure Law providing that the judge of the court instance which the respective complaint has to be filed with has the right to restore the delayed term.
The summary of the court practice analyzes also the practice of reviewing ancillary complaints in the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, reviewing ancillary complaints on refusal of the Land Register judges to enter a confirmation and lien record, complaints on refusal to cancel an effective adjudication due to newly discovered circumstances, ancillary complaints related to securing of a claim, on refusal to accept applications to be reviewed in the court, ancillary complaints on confirmation of the results of auctions and other issues, as well, among them, on execution of adjudications of the courts of foreign countries in Latvia.
The summary of the court practice and conclusions have been approved by the decision of the joint session of the senators of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court, and are recommended to be used in court practice when settling disputes in the courts on validity or invalidity of ancillary complaints. The summary of the court practice of the appellate instance and cassation instances courts in reviewing ancillary complaints is accessible on the website of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lv, Section Summaries of Court Practice.
Information prepared by Division of Communications of the Supreme Court
Author: Rasma Zvejniece, Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court
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