1 December, the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court (SC) annulled the judgement of the Chamber of Civil Cases that dismissed the Belarusian Company - Open Joint Stock Company "Polotsktransneft Druzhba" - action against "LatRosTrans" Ltd on recognition of ownership, granting possession of oil and compensation for damage. The Department of Civil Cases referred the case to Latgale Regional Court for retrial. SC acknowledged that the Court of Appeal failed to clarify the circumstances of the case and had not provided a legal assessment; namely, the Court had not assessed all the documents signed by the parties on the division of property and the agreements in conjunction to other evidence in the case. In SC’s opinion, the Court had not assessed the applicants' arguments concerning oil inventory, namely, if technological oil would be invested as share capital of "LatRosTrans" Ltd as oil pipeline accessory thus becoming a property of "LatRosTrans" Ltd then it would be reflected in "LatRosTrans" Ltd Annual Reports in the same way as technological stocks of oil products.

The SC heard the case in cassation in connection with cassation appeal of "Polocktransneft Druzhba"against the appellate court decision. SC judgment cannot be appealed.

"Polotsktransneft Druzhba" filed a lawsuit, considering that technological oil located in pipelines and owned by "LatRosTrans" Ltd was applicant's property. Initially, the applicant requested the Court to declare the applicant’s ownership rights and possession of property, as well prohibit "LatRosTrans" Ltd without the applicant's consent to use 109,996.08 tons of the technological oil that was located in the linear part of main pipelines "Polotsk-Ventspils" and "Polotsk-Birzai-Mazeikiai" owned by "LatRosTrans" Ltd, as well as in internal pipelines of pumping stations "Skrudaliena 1", " Skrudaliena 2", "Dzukste" and in internal pipelines of oil delivery and acceptance point "Ventspils". Having specified the claim, the applicant requested the Court of Appeal to recover from the "LatRosTrans" Ltd sum of LVL 46,300.567 per 109 996.08 tons of oil and recover from "LatRosTrans" Ltd losses of LVL13,039,626.96 due to extracted oil.

On 9 December 2011 Latgale Regional Court dismissed the claim and partially upheld "LatRosTrans" application to ancillary judgement and obliged "Polotsktransneft Druzhba" to indemnify "LatRosTrans" Ltd for trial costs, LVL 73,000 in total.

Having heard the case on appeal, the Chamber of Civil Cases of the SC dismissed the claim on 23 October 2013.

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court
Telephone: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv