Claim of an employee of a state institution regarding the abolition of a disciplinary sanction shall be examined in accordance with civil procedure
25 October, 2021
When deciding on the issue of whether to consider a dispute between an employee of a state institution and an employer under administrative or civil procedure, the decisive factor is the legal relationship (employment or service relationship) established between the employee and the employer, as noted by the chairs of Senate’s departments when deciding on dispute’s jurisdiction.
If an employment relationship is established between the employee and the employer, the claim for annulment of an order which leaves unchanged the disciplinary sanction imposed shall not be subject to the administrative court.
The judge of the Administrative District Court had requested the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to resolve the issue of jurisdiction of the case upon receipt of an application regarding the revocation of the orders of the State Audit Office, by which the order regarding the reprimand to the employee has not been amended, compensation for non-material damage and imposition of the obligation to publicly apologize to the applicant.
The applicant had brought an action before Riga City Vidzeme District Court. The judge refused to accept the application because, in the judge's view, the disputed orders were administrative acts and the applicant had to apply to an administrative court.
Whereas, the judge of the Administrative District Court, upon receipt of the applicant's application, established that the dispute arises from an employment relationship, therefore the Administrative District Court is not the competent court to resolve such a dispute.
The decision of the meeting of the chairs of the departments indicates that an administrative act is also a decision on disciplinary punishment of an official, while the definition of an official does not apply to an employee of an institution with whom an employment relationship is to be established. In the present case, there exists an employment relationship between the State Audit Office and the applicant on the basis of an employment agreement. Thus, the disputed orders are not administrative acts and the claim for annulment of the orders is not subject to the administrative court. The chairs of the departments acknowledged that the judge of Riga City Vidzeme District Court had erroneously refused to accept the claim.
As the claim is subject to review under civil procedure, the applicant should apply to Vidzeme District Court. However, given that it was no longer possible for the applicant to bring an action before the competent court to ensure the applicant's right of access to court and effective legal protection, the chairs of Senate’s departments recognized that the specific case of a labour dispute regarding the disciplinary sanctions imposed on the applicant is to be considered by the administrative court.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211