Competence of the Department
The Department of Civil Cases in accordance with provisions of the Civil Procedure Law reviews:
Cassation complaints, counter-complaints and cassation protests against judgments and supplementary judgments of appellate instance courts;
Cassation complaints and ancillary complaints referred to in Section 25039 (1) of the Civil Procedure Law against decisions adopted by Jelgava court in cases about invalidation of decisions of the meeting of members (shareholders) of capital companies;
Under procedure stipulated in Chapter 55 of the Civil Procedure Law – ancillary complaints and ancillary protests on decisions adopted by appellate courts;
Protests of the Prosecutor General or the Chief Prosecutor of the Department of Protection of Rights of Individuals and State filed under the Section 483 of the Civil Procedure Law, against the first instance court rulings if they have come into effect and have not been appealed due to reasons beyond the control of participants of the case, or the rights of the state or municipal institutions, or of the persons who had not been participants of the case, have been infringed;
Under procedure stipulated in Chapter 59 of the Civil Procedure Law - applications on new initiation of case due to newly discovered circumstances if the case on the merits has been completed by the decision of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court;
Under procedure stipulated in Chapter 601 of the Civil Procedure Law – applications on new examination of case due to review of decisions provided in legal provisions of the European Union.
A judgment of an appellate instance court and of Jelgava court in cases about invalidation of decisions of the meeting of members (shareholders) of capital companies may be appealed in cassation if the court has applied incorrectly the norm of substantive law, has violated the norm of procedural law or, in examining a case, has acted outside its competence. Incorrect application of norm of substantive law and breach of a norm of procedural law may be the grounds for appellation of judgment in cassation only if it has led or may have led to an erroneous adjudication of a case.
The following shall in any event be regarded as a breach of a norm of procedural law as may have led to an erroneous adjudication of a case:
The court that examined the case was unlawfully constituted;
The court has examined the case in breach of norms of procedural law which stipulate an obligation to notify participants in the case regarding the time and place of the court hearing;
Norms of procedural law regarding the language of the court proceedings have been violated;
A court judgment confers rights or imposes obligations upon a person who has not been summoned to the case as a participant in the procedure;
There are not minutes of the court hearing or there is not a full judgment in the case.
If a submitter of the cassation complaint is of the opinion that the examination of cassation complaint is of essential importance to the unification of the case law or the development of the law, this must be motivated by arguments in the cassation complaint.
The cassation complaint is signed by a submitter – natural person, official of the legal person who acts within the scope of powers conferred upon him by thelaw, articles of association or by-law, or an advocate. If the cassation complaint has been signed by the official of the legal person, the document, which certifies his rights to represent the legal person, shall be attached to the complaint. If the cassation complaint is signed by an advocate, an authorization and an advocate`s order shall be attached to the cassation complaint. If these documents are not attached to the cassation complaint and have not been submitted to the court in advance, the complaint shall not be accepted.
Upon a cassation complaint being submitted, a security deposit shall be paid in the amount of EUR 300. If the Department of Civil Cases, in full or in part, revokes or amends an appealed court judgement or a cassation complaint is withdrawn prior to the Department assignments hearing, the security deposit shall be refunded to the submitter. A security deposit is not required to be paid by persons who pursuant to law are exempted from state fees. A court or a judge, by taking into account the material status of a person, may completely or partly release the person from payment of the security deposit.
The assignments sitting
The question on initiation of cassation proceedings is decided by the Panel of three judges of the Department in the assignments sitting (Section 464 of the Civil Procedure Law).
If the Panel of judges considers unanimously initiation of cassation proceedings to be rejected, it rejects to initiate the cassation proceedings by decision of its assignment sitting.
According to Section 4641 of the Civil Procedure Law the following may serve as grounds to decline initiation of cassation proceedings:
The cassation complaint does not comply with the requirements of Sections 450 – 454 of the Civil Procedure Law;
The judgements of the Supreme Court in similar cases have established case law, and the appealed judgement complies with it;
After assessing the arguments of the cassation complaint there are no obvious grounds to consider that the outcome of the case established by the appealed judgment is incorrect and that the particular case is of essential importance to the unification of the case law or the development of the law;
In regard to disputes of a financial nature where the share of judgment subject to appellation in cassation is less than EUR 2000 and the particular case is of no essential importance to the unification of the case law or the development of the law.
If any of judges thinks that case must be reviewed in cassation instance, the Panel of judges decides to initiate cassation proceedings.
With unanimous decision of judges’ collegium a case may be passed over to be reviewed in an expanded composition of the Department of Civil Cases.
Review of case in written proceedings or in court hearing has to be established by the decision adopted in assignments sitting. The case has been established for review in written proceedings if it is possible to make decision on the basis of materials of the case. The case has to be established for review in court hearing if additional explanations of parties are necessary or if such case, in opinion of the Department, may have special importance in interpretation of legal provisions.
Decision of assignments sitting of the Department may be composed in a form of resolution, and it may not be appealed.
If cassation proceedings are initiated, the Panel of judges may decide to suspend the execution of judgement, if any party has pled about it until review of the case in cassation proceedings.
In the assignments sitting, the Panel of judges may also adopt decisions on rejection to accept the filed ancillary complaint and other procedural issues, as well as pass a decision to submit the issue on adoption of a prejudicial ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union, or to file an application to the Satversmes (Constitutional) Court regarding the compliance of legal provisions with the Satversme (the Constitution) or an international legal provisions.
Examination of a cassation complaint
The case has been reviewed in cassation instance by three judges.
If a three-judge court reviewing a case fails to reach a unanimous opinion, or if all the judges consider that the case should be reviewed in full court, the court refers the case to the Department of Civil Cases for hearing in full court.
The Court, while reviewing the case in cassation proceedings, verifies legitimacy of judgement made in the case in its appealed part in relation to persons, who appealed against it or joined the cassation complaint and in relation to arguments provided in the cassation complaint. The Court may reverse the entire judgement, even though it is appealed only in part, if such violations of law have been found that caused wrong litigation of the whole case.
If the case is being reviewed in written proceedings, persons who submitted complaint or protest and persons, whose interests are affected by the complaint or protest, have to be informed that case will be reviewed in written proceedings; their procedural rights are explained to them; moreover, persons have to be informed about composition of court, rights to give refusal to judge shall be explained to them and they have to be informed about date, when judgment will be available at court chancery. This date is considered to be the date of composition of full text of judgment.
If the court finds that due to complexity of the case more time is necessary to elaborate the judgement, it may extend the term stated, but not longer than for two months.
The case is reviewed in written proceedings on the basis of materials of the case, observing competence of cassation court.
Decision about passing the case over for review in court hearing may also be made in written proceedings.
If the case is heard in court hearing, following theexplanation of participants and the opinion of the public prosecutor, the court shall retire to the deliberation room to give judgement. After the judges’ deliberation, the court announces the judgment, reading its operative part and states the time when the participants of the case may read the full text of the judgment.
If the judges acknowledge that it is not possible to adopt a judgement in this court hearing, the next court session is announced within 14 days during which the Department of Civil Cases will announce the judgment.
Judgement of the Department of Civil Cases
According to Section 474 of the Civil Procedure Law, the Department of Civil Cases having reviewed a case, may adopt one of the following judgements:
To leave the judgement unamended, and to decline the complaint;
To revoke the judgement in full or in a part and to transfer the case for new review in the appellate instance or the first instance court;
To revoke the judgment in full or in a part and to leave the application without review, or to terminate proceedings in case where the second instance court had not followed the regulations of Sections 219 or 223 of the Civil Procedure Law;
To amend the judgement in the part regarding the amount of the claim if it has not been determined correctly by erroneous application of a provision of substantial law.
The judgment of the Department of Civil Cases may not be appealed, and it becomes effective from the moment of its announcement.
The judge of the department, who, while reviewing case in full court, had different opinion on interpretation or application of the law, has rights within 15 days, after full text of judgment has been composed, to express his/her single opinion in written form, and it has been annexed to the case.
Examination of ancillary complaints
The Department of Civil Cases also hears ancillary complaints on decisions adopted by the appellate instance. As well as ancillary complaints on decisions adopted by Jelgava court in cases about invalidation of decisions of the meeting of members (shareholders) of capital companies referred to in Section 25039 (1) of the Civil Procedure Law.
When submitting an ancillary complaint, a security deposit in amount of EUR 70 shall be paid.
The Panel of judges of the Department of Civil Cases in the assignment sitting by unanimous decision may refuse to accept an application of ancillary complaint, if the Panel of judges has no obvious grounds to consider thatthe appealed decision will be in full or in part revoked or amended while examining an ancillary complaint. In this case, the state fee for ancillary complaintshall not be repaid.
When reviewing an ancillary complaint, the Department of Civil Cases verifies the lawfulness and validity of the appealed decision, and adopts one of the following rulings:
To leave the decision unamended, and to decline the complaint;
To revoke the decision in full or in a part and to refer the case for re-examination to the court which had passed the decision;
To revoke the decision in full or in a part, and by its decision to decide the matter on the merits;
To amend the decision.
Decision of the Department of Civil Cases adopted regarding ancillary complaint may not be appealed.
Ancillary complaints shall be reviewed in written proceedings.
Re-examining of cases due to newly-discovered circumstances
The Department of Civil Cases under procedure stipulated in Chapter 59 of the Civil Procedure Law examines an application on new initiation of case due to newly discovered circumstances if the case has been completed on the merits by the decision of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court.
Taking into account that usually the examination of the case on the merits is completed in a first instance court or appellate instance court, a participant of the case must submit an application on new initiation of case due to newly discovered circumstances to the first instance court or appellate instance court.
Independently of the court instance, when submitting an application on newly discovered circumstances a security deposit in amount of EUR 300 shall be paid. If the court, in full or in part, revokes or amends an appealed court judgement the security deposit shall be refunded to the submitter. If the court rejects to accept an application due to the fact that the relevant authorization, which certifies the rights of the representative, is not attached to the application, or a security deposit is not paid in amount or in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Law.
Applications on newly discovered circumstances are reviewed in written proceedings.