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New changes in the Immigration Law of Latvia
On March 2, 2017 the new amendments to the Immigration Law of Latvia (hereinafter referred to as  - the Law) came into effect, according to which several new grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Latvia (hereinafter referred to  as –TRP), as well as the conditions for obtaining a TRP on the basis of registration of a representative of a foreign merchant.
Registration of refugee or alternative status obtaining, determination of protection from deportation (extradition)
Law office INLAT PLUS offers the following services in the field of obtaining a refugee or alternative status:
Член Торгово-промышленной палаты Латвии Latvijas Tirdzniecības un Rūpniecības Kameras biedrs Member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Since its foundation in 1996 the law office “INLAT PLUS” has been one of the most active and leading companies providing legal service in Latvia. The variety of the qualified legal services provided by the company will meet the most demanding requirements of its clients (legal and physical persons).

Contact information

Address of the office:
E-mail:
Brivibas 40-15, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia ip@inlatplus.lv
Phone:
Fax:
(+371) 67505970
(+371) 26403577
(+371) 67505978

Some Aspects Of Latvia’s Legal System

6.12.2004
According to the Law “On Judicial Power” of the Republic of Latvia adopted on 15 December 1992 the judicial power in the Republic of Latvia is vested in:
  • district (city) courts,
  • regional courts,
  • the Supreme Court,
  • the Constitutional Court.

Pursuant to the Article 1 of “Civil Procedure Law” adopted in Latvia on 14 October 1998 every natural or legal person has a right to protection of their infringed or disputed civil rights, or interests protected by law, in court. Thus, every person has the right to bring an action in a court in order to protect his/her rights and interests. The matters, subjected to the court are examined by a district (city) court, except for matters which are examined, in accordance with law, by a regional court.

A regional court examines the following matters:
  • matters in which there is a dispute regarding property rights in regard to immovable property;
  • matters arising from rights in regard to obligations, if the amount of the claim exceeds 30 000 lats;
  • matters regarding patent rights and protection of trademarks;
  • matters regarding insolvency of undertakings and companies;
  • matters regarding insolvency and liquidation of credit institutions.

In general, action against natural person is brought in a court in accordance with his/her place of residence, but action against legal person is brought in a court in accordance with its location (legal address). But there are exceptions. For instance, action against defendant whose place of residence is unknown, or who has no permanent place of residence in Latvia, should be brought in a court in accordance with the location of his immovable property or his last known place of residence. But, an action arising out of private delicts (Articles 2347-2353 of the Civil Law) which have resulted in mutilation or other damage to health, or the death of a person, the applicant may also claim according to the place of residence of the plaintiff or the location where the delicts were inflicted.

For each statement of claim the state fee and the office fee should be paid. The amount of the fees to be paid is set in Article 34 and Article 38 of Civil Procedure Law of Latvia.

Bringing of an Action

An action is brought by submitting a written statement of claim to the court.

In the statement of claim there should be set out:
  • the name of the court to which the statement of claim is submitted;
  • the given name, surname, personal identity number and place of residence of plaintiff, and of the plaintiff's representative where the action is brought by the representative, the defendant and third party, but for legal persons – their name, registration number and location (legal address). The personal identity number or registration number of the defendant should be included, if such is known;
  • the subject-matter of the claim;
  • the amount of the claim, if the claim can be assessed in terms of money, as well as a calculation of the amount being recovered or disputed;
  • the facts on which the plaintiff bases his/her claim, and evidence which corroborates such facts;
  • the law on which the claim is based;
  • the claims of the plaintiff;
  • a list of documents appended to the statement of claim;
  • the date of preparing the statement of claim and other information, if such information is necessary for the adjudicating of the matter.

The statement of claim is signed by the plaintiff or his/her representative. If an action is brought on behalf of the plaintiff by his/her representative, the statement of claim should be accompanied by a power of attorney or other document confirming the authorisation of the representative to bring the action.

Statement of claim should be submitted to the court, appending to it as many copies as there are defendants and third parties in the matter.

There should be appended to a statement of claim, documents which confirm:
  • payment of State fees and other court costs;
  • compliance with procedures regarding preliminary extrajudicial examination of the matter, where such examination is prescribed by law;
  • facts on which the claim is based.

A judge may, depending on the circumstances and nature of the matter, impose a duty upon a plaintiff to submit copies of the documents appended to the statement of claim in order to send it to the defendant and third parties.

A statement of claim should be submitted to a court of first instance in accordance with the provisions regarding jurisdiction.

After a matter is initiated, the statement of claim and copies of documents attached to it without delay are sent to the defendant by registered mail, setting the time period for submitting a written explanation — 15-30 days from the day the statement of claim was sent.

In the explanation the defendant have to state:
  • whether he/she admits the claim fully or in a part thereof;
  • his/her objections against the claim and substantiation thereof;
  • evidence corroborating his/her objections against the claim and their substantiation, as well as the law on which they are based;
  • petitions regarding acceptance of evidence or requiring thereof;
  • other facts which he/she considers significant in adjudicating of the matter.

The defendant attaches to the explanation its copies in conformity with the number of participants in the matter and written evidence corroborating the facts on which the objections are based.

A court adjudication, by which a matter is adjudged on the merits, is made by the court in the form of a judgment.

A court judgment comes into lawful effect when the time period for its appeal in accordance with appellate procedures has expired and no appeal has been submitted. If an appellate instance court has left an appellate complaint unadjudicated or closed appellate proceedings, the judgment comes into effect from the time the respective decision is pronounced.

Submission of Appellate Complaint

Participants in a matter may submit an appellate complaint regarding a judgment of a court of first instance.

A district (city) court judgment, which has not come into lawful effect, may be appealed, in accordance with appellate procedure, to the applicable regional court.

Judgment of a regional court as a court of first instance, which has not come into lawful effect, may be appealed, in accordance with appellate procedure, to the Civil Matters Court Panel of the Supreme Court.

An appellate complaint addressed to an appellate instance court shall be submitted to the court, which rendered the judgment.

An appellate complaint regarding a judgment of a court of first instance may be submitted within 20 days from the day of pronouncement of the judgment.

In an appellate complaint there should be set out:
  • the name of the court to which the complaint is addressed;
  • the given name, surname, personal identity number and place of residence of the submitter of the complaint, but for a legal person, its name, registration number and location (legal address);
  • the judgment regarding which the complaint has been submitted and the court which rendered the judgment;
  • the extent to which the judgment is being appealed;
  • how the error in judgment is manifested;
  • whether the allowing of new evidence is being applied for, what evidence, regarding what circumstances and why this evidence had not been submitted to the court of first instance;
  • the request of the submitter;
  • a list of documents accompanying the complaint.

An appellate complaint is signed by the submitter or his authorised representative.

An appellate complaint should be accompanied by its’ copies and copies of the documents accompanying the complaint, in such number as corresponds to the number of participants in the matter.

An ancillary complaint may be submitted regarding a decision of a judge to refuse to accept an appellate complaint.

An adjudication of an appellate instance court by which a matter is adjudged on the merits is rendered by the court in the form of a judgment.

An appellate instance court judgment comes into lawful effect at the time it is pronounced.

Submission of Cassation Complaint

A judgment of an appellate instance court may be appealed by participants in the matter in accordance with cassation procedures.

A judgment of an appellate instance court may be appealed pursuant to cassation procedures if the court has breached norms of substantive or procedural law or, in adjudicating a matter, has acted outside its competence.

Norm of substantive law is deemed violated if the court:
  • has not applied such norm of substantive law as should have been applied;
  • has applied a norm of substantive law which should not have been applied; or
  • has wrongly construed a norm of substantive law
  • Norm of procedural law is deemed violated if the court:
  • has not applied such norm of procedural law as should have been applied;
  • has applied a norm of procedural law which should not have been applied; or
  • has wrongly construed a norm of procedural law.

Breach of a norm of procedural law may serve as the basis for an appeal pursuant to cassation procedures if such breach has led or may have led to an erroneous adjudication of the matter. A breach of a norm of procedural law as may have led to an erroneous adjudication of a matter in any event is, when:

  • the court that adjudicated the matter was unlawfully constituted;
  • the court has adjudicated the matter in breach of norms of procedural law which stipulate a duty to notify participants in the matter regarding the time and place of the court sitting;
  • norms of procedural law regarding the language of the court proceedings have been breached;
  • a court judgment confers rights or imposes duties upon a person who has not been summoned to the matter as a participant in the procedure;
  • there are not minutes of the court sitting or there is not a full judgment in the matter.
In a cassation complaint there should be set out:
  • the name of the court to which the complaint is addressed (the Civil Matters Department of the Senate of the Supreme Court);
  • the given name, surname, personal identity code and place of residence of the submitter of the complaint, but for a legal person – name, registration number and location (legal address);
  • the judgment regarding which the complaint has been submitted and the court which has made the judgment;
  • the extent to which the judgment is appealed;
  • what norm of substantive or of procedural law has been breached by the court and how such breach is manifested, or in what way the court has exceeded the scope of its competence;
  • a petition for the Senate assignments sitting to refer the matter for adjudication in accordance with cassation procedures;
  • the request made to the Senate.

A cassation complaint is signed by the submitter or his/her authorised representative.

A cassation complaint may be submitted within 30 days from the day a judgment is pronounced.

An ancillary complaint may be submitted regarding a decision of a judge to refuse to accept a cassation complaint.

A cassation complaint should be submitted to the court, which rendered the judgment.

A cassation complaint should be submitted together with its’ copies, corresponding in number to the number of participants in the matter.

A judge of an appellate instance court sends copies of a cassation complaint to other participants in the matter and notifies them that they have the right to submit explanations to the Senate in relation to the cassation complaint within 30 days from the day the copies are sent.

Upon expiration of the time period for appeal of a judgment, an appellate instance court without delay forwards the civil matter file together with the cassation complaint to the Senate.

A cassation court judgment may not be appealed and comes into effect at the time it is pronounced.

Administrative procedure in court

Since 1 February 2004 “Administrative Procedure Law” has entered into force in Latvia. It provides the possibility for the natural and legal persons to bring an application to the court in order to file a administrative matter against the action of public authority

The substance of administrative procedure in court is court’s control of the legality and validity of administrative acts issued by institutions or actual actions of institutions, as well as the determination of public legal duties or rights of private persons.

The court initiates the administrative matter on the basis of the person’s submitted application.

A district administrative court adjudicates an administrative matter in the first instance.

Natural or legal persons submit applications regarding administrative matters to the court according to the address of the institution whose action is being appealed.

A State fee in the amount of ten lats should be paid in regard to the submission of an application regarding initiation of a matter in court. In regard to an appellate complaint a State fee in the amount of five lats should be paid. No payment of State fees is required in regard to cassation complaints or ancillary complaints.

If an application is fully or partly allowed, the court adjudges as against the defendant, in favour of the applicant, the State fee paid by the applicant.

After an application is accepted for adjudication, copies of the application and documents appended are sent without delay to the defendant and he/she is invited to provide the court with an explanation in writing. The judge sets a time period for providing explanations, which may not exceed fourteen days from the day the copy of the application was sent.

In the explanation the defendant sets out objections against the application and attaches the evidence by which they are confirmed. The defendant may also admit the claim of the applicant in full or in part.

An explanation is submitted to the court with as many copies as there are applicants and third parties in the matter.

After an explanation is received from a defendant, the court without delay sends copies of it to an applicant and third parties.

After explanation is received, or after expiration of the time period set for its submission, a judge takes a decision in which the date and time of the court sitting is set and the persons to be summoned or summonsed to the court are determined.

Court adjudication pursuant to which matter is adjudged on the merits is made in the form of a court judgment.

If a court finds an application for setting aside an administrative act or declaring it invalid as well-founded, it sets aside the relevant administrative act in full or in part or declares it invalid. In a case where an administrative act is set aside, the court stipulates the day from which the administrative act is to be considered as set aside.

If a court finds an application regarding the issue of an administrative act to be well-founded, it instructs the institution to issue an appropriate administrative act.

If a court finds an application requesting an actual action from an institution to be well-founded, it renders a judgment regarding the duty of the institution to carry out specific actions and specifies the time period for the carrying out of it.

If a court finds an application, which requests that an institution be prohibited from carrying out a specific actual action, to be well-founded, the court renders a judgment in which the institution is prohibited from carrying out the specific actual action.

Court judgments comes into effect after the time period for its appeal in accordance with appellate procedure has expired and a complaint has not been submitted.

As in the civil procedure in the administrative procedure:
  • regarding the judgment of the court of the first instance an appellate complaint may be submitted within twenty days from the day the judgment is pronounced;
  • regarding the judgment of the appellate instance a cassation complaint may be submitted within thirty days from the day when judgment is pronounced.
/ Alexander Koposov /