The recognition of a EU court decision can be done in Latvia under several rules of law. As a general rule, the enforcement of a foreign court decision is done in Latvia through the provisions of the established under the Civil Procedure Law, Chapter 77.
With regards to the recognition of a EU court decision in Latvia, the laws of the European Union (EU) will apply, which are given by the following: Council Regulation EC No. 44/2001, the Council Regulation EC No. 2201/2003, the Council Regulation EC No. 805/2004, the Council Regulation EC No. 861/2007 and the Council Regulation EC No. 1896/2006; our team of debt collection lawyers in Latvia can provide an in-depth presentation on the rights claimants have when recovering a debt in this country.
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What is the legal background for the recognition of a EU court decision in Latvia?
As a member state of the EU, Latvia amended its Civil Procedure Law in order to harmonized it with the European legislation. Under the regulations of the Council Regulation No. 44/2001, the court decisions that were established in a EU country have legal validity in other European countries, Latvia included.
In 2004, Latvia modified its national legislation on the matter and excluded the substantial examination carried out by a Latvian court on the decision taken by the EU court. The purpose of the law was to reduce the legal procedures involved in debt collection in Latvia, requested by another party residing in a EU member state.
When the EU court issued a ruling on a procedure of debt collection in Latvia, although the decision is generally recognized in this country, the Latvian courts are the ones that will adjudicate the case, as the foreign court does not have a legal competence over the legislation applicable in this country.
What types of documents are required for the recognition of a EU decision in Latvia?
Foreigners who want to recover a debt in Latvia are required to prepare a set of documents in order for the EU court decision to be recognized in this country. Thus, it is legally required to present the judgment of the EU court (a certified copy can also be used), a document which stipulates that the defendant did not participate in the trial held in the EU court (in this case, it is necessary to show evidence that the Latvian debtor was informed on this matter) and other papers, which can be presented by our team of debt collection lawyers in Latvia.
How can a small commercial claim be recognized in Latvia?
Most of the cases related to debt collection in Latvia and in other European countries are subjected to civil and commercial legislation. Provided that a person, legal entity or organization located in a EU country needs to recover a commercial debt from another party (that can be represented by a natural person, a corporate body or an organization) that has a small value, the European Small Claims Procedure can be used; our team of debt collection lawyers in Latvia can provide an extensive presentation on this procedure, which has the following characteristics:
- the Small Claims Procedure represents a written document that has to be completed by the creditor;
- the claimant needs to file a form, together with the documents that can state the nature and the value of the claim;
- the file is then addressed to a competent court (usually, in the country where the person resides, but it may also be addressed to a court where the debtor is registered);
- the Small Claims Procedures can be employed only when we refer to claims that have a value of maximum EUR 5,000;
- the maximum value of the claim does not take into consideration interest and other types of expenses.
Once the document is sent to the court, the judges will analyze the case and verify its validity. After a decision was issued in the benefit of the claimant, the court will contact the debtor in Latvia, who can provide an answer on the case in a period of maximum 30 days. Once the judges in the country where the claimant lives issued the decision, the respective decision will be automatically recognized at the level of the EU countries.
Thus, the Latvian debtor should comply with the decision established by the EU court. In the case in which the debtor does not obey the court’s decision, the Latvian enforcement authorities have to be notified and start the enforcement procedure in this country; our team of debt collection lawyers in Latvia can present the stages of the enforcement procedure, as well as the rights and obligations of creditor and the debtor. We invite you to contact our team of debt collection lawyers in Latvia for further information concerning this topic.