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Code of Civil Procedure

Content

Code of Civil Procedure - content
Issuer:Riigikogu
Type:act
In force from:01.09.2022
In force until:31.10.2022
Translation published:09.09.2022

Code of Civil Procedure1

Passed 20.04.2005
RT I 2005, 26, 197
Entry into force 01.01.2006

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
15.06.2005RT I 2005, 39, 30801.01.2006
consolidated text on paper RTRT I 2005, 49, 395
15.12.2005RT I 2005, 71, 54901.01.2006
26.01.2006RT I 2006, 7, 4204.02.2006
14.06.2006RT I 2006, 31, 23501.09.2006
11.10.2006RT I 2006, 48, 36018.11.2006
15.11.2006RT I 2006, 55, 40501.01.2007
23.11.2006RT I 2006, 55, 41201.01.2007
06.12.2006RT I 2006, 61, 45701.01.2007
24.01.2007RT I 2007, 12, 6625.02.2007
25.01.2007RT I 2007, 16, 7701.01.2008
17.01.2008RT I 2008, 7, 5201.01.2009
09.04.2008RT III 2008, 16, 10509.04.2008
11.06.2008RT I 2008, 28, 18015.07.2008
19.06.2008RT I 2008, 29, 18901.07.2008
10.12.2008RT I 2008, 59, 33001.01.2009
20.05.2009RT I 2009, 30, 17701.07.2010
21.05.2009RT I 2009, 30, 17801.10.2009
18.11.2009RT I 2009, 59, 38501.01.2010
18.11.2009RT I 2009, 60, 39501.07.2010
15.12.2009RT III 2009, 60, 44015.12.2009
16.12.2009RT I 2009, 67, 46001.01.2010
09.12.2009RT I 2009, 68, 46310.01.2010
20.01.2010RT I 2010, 8, 3501.03.2010
22.04.2010RT I 2010, 19, 10101.06.2010
22.04.2010RT I 2010, 20, 10301.07.2010
22.04.2010RT I 2010, 22, 10801.01.2011, enters into force on the date which has been determined in the Decision of the Council of the European Union regarding the abrogation of the derogation established in respect of the Republic of Estonia on the basis provided for by paragraph 2 of Article 140 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Council Decision 2010/416/EU of 13 July 2010 (OJ L 196, 28.07.2010, pp. 24–26).
12.05.2010RT I 2010, 26, 12814.06.2010
17.06.2010RT I 2010, 38, 23101.07.2010
17.11.2010RT I, 06.12.2010, 105.04.2011
25.11.2010RT I, 21.12.2010, 131.12.2010
16.12.2010RT I, 30.12.2010, 201.01.2011
27.01.2011RT I, 23.02.2011, 101.09.2011
17.02.2011RT I, 14.03.2011, 218.06.2011
12.04.2011RT I, 21.04.2011, 1612.04.2011 By its judgment, the Supreme Court en banc declares the first sentence of subsection 1 of § 183 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it excludes the provision, to Estonian legal persons in private law who do not meet the criteria stated in this provision, of financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required to pay the statutory fee on filing an appeal in a civil case.
14.04.2011RT I, 21.04.2011, 1714.04.2011 By its judgment, the Supreme Court en banc declares clause 3 of subsection 2 of § 182 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it excludes the provision, to natural persons, in proceedings which concern their economic or professional activity and are not related to their rights that are not connected to such activity, financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required the statutory fee on filing an appeal.
01.11.2011RT I, 10.11.2011, 501.11.2011 By its judgment, the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court declares clause 3 of subsection 2 of § 182 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it excludes the provision, to natural persons, in proceedings which concern their economic or professional activity and are not related to their rights that are not connected to such activity, financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required to pay the statutory fee on applying to the court for relief.
07.12.2011RT I, 28.12.2011, 101.01.2012
06.06.2012RT I, 29.06.2012, 301.01.2013, in part 01.07.2012
14.06.2012RT I, 04.07.2012, 101.08.2012
14.11.2012RT I, 06.12.2012, 101.01.2013
05.12.2012RT I, 21.12.2012, 101.03.2013, in part 01.01.2013
13.03.2013RT I, 22.03.2013, 901.04.2013, in part 01.01.2014
20.03.2013RT I, 05.04.2013, 115.04.2013
26.09.2013RT I, 09.10.2013, 128.10.2013
11.12.2013RT I, 23.12.2013, 101.01.2014, in part 01.01.2020
21.01.2014RT I, 31.01.2014, 601.02.2014, in part 01.04.2014 and 01.07.2014
04.02.2014RT I, 06.02.2014, 1304.02.2014 - By its judgment, the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 2 of § 125¹ of the Courts Act and subsection 8 of § 174 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it allows the costs of a civil case to be determined by a law clerk.
19.02.2014RT I, 13.03.2014, 301.01.2018, in part 23.03.2014 and 01.01.2016
26.03.2014RT I, 11.04.2014, 101.10.2014
07.05.2014RT I, 21.05.2014, 101.01.2015, in part 31.05.2014
11.06.2014RT I, 21.06.2014, 801.01.2015, in part 01.07.2014
12.06.2014RT I, 21.06.2014, 1101.07.2014
26.06.2014RT I, 03.07.2014, 3926.06.2014 - the order of the Supreme Court en banc declares: /1./ to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals subsection 8 of § 174 of the Code of Civil Procedure under which the assistant judge may determine the case costs in civil proceedings; /2./ that the wording of subsection 3 of § 175 of the Code of Civil Procedure in force from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2008 was in conflict with the Constitution; /4./ to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals subsection 4 of § 175 of the Civil Procedure Code.
19.06.2014RT I, 29.06.2014, 10901.07.2014, the titles of ministers replaced by virtue of subsection 4 of § 107³ of the Government of the Republic Act
19.11.2014RT I, 06.12.2014, 101.01.2016
10.12.2014RT I, 30.12.2014, 101.01.2015
10.12.2014RT I, 31.12.2014, 110.01.2015
18.02.2015RT I, 12.03.2015, 501.07.2015
18.02.2015RT I, 19.03.2015, 129.03.2015
18.02.2015RT I, 19.03.2015, 329.03.2015
14.01.2016RT I, 22.01.2016, 701.02.2016
01.02.2016RT I, 02.02.2016, 701.02.2016 - the judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 3 of § 178 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and invalid
16.02.2016RT I, 10.03.2016, 101.07.2016
16.02.2016RT I, 10.03.2016, 220.03.2016
07.06.2016RT I, 22.06.2016, 2101.08.2016
07.12.2016RT I, 21.12.2016, 201.01.2017
07.12.2016RT I, 21.12.2016, 101.03.2018
15.12.2016RT I, 28.12.2016, 1407.01.2017
05.04.2017RT I, 20.04.2017, 115.01.2018
02.05.2017RT I, 03.05.2017, 2202.05.2017 - Judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares the third sentence of subsection 172 (8) of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and invalid insofar as it does not allow the covering of out-of-court costs by the state if a prohibition on business is not applied to the person to whom no financial aid was granted.
10.05.2017RT I, 26.05.2017, 105.06.2017
07.06.2017RT I, 26.06.2017, 1706.07.2017, in part 01.01.2018
14.06.2017RT I, 04.07.2017, 101.01.2018
14.06.2017RT I, 04.07.2017, 4 enters into force simultaneously with entry into force of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and the Agreement on the establishment of a Nordic-Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court with regard to Estonia
09.05.2018RT I, 31.05.2018, 210.06.2018, in part 01.01.2019
16.05.2018RT I, 31.05.2018, 301.01.2019
21.11.2018RT I, 07.12.2018, 217.12.2018
20.02.2019RT I, 13.03.2019, 215.03.2019
20.02.2019RT I, 19.03.2019, 229.03.2019
20.02.2019RT I, 19.03.2019, 429.03.2019, in part 01.04.2019
21.02.2019RT I, 19.03.2019, 801.04.2019; the words "arbitral agreement" are replaced throughout the Act by the words "agreement in the arbitration proceeding" in the appropriate case form
10.06.2020RT I, 20.06.2020, 130.06.2020
16.12.2020RT I, 31.12.2020, 210.01.2021
16.12.2020RT I, 04.01.2021, 401.02.2021
17.02.2021RT I, 03.03.2021, 104.03.2021
10.03.2021RT I, 22.03.2021, 101.04.2021
24.03.2021RT I, 09.04.2021, 119.04.2021
22.11.2021RT I, 08.12.2021, 101.01.2022
22.11.2021RT I, 10.12.2021, 101.09.2022, in part 01.07.2023
08.12.2021RT I, 22.12.2021, 201.01.2022
01.06.2022RT I, 20.06.2022, 101.07.2022

Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

Chapter 1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PROCEDURE  

§ 1.  Administration of justice in civil cases

  Unless otherwise provided by law, civil cases are dealt with under civil procedure. A civil case is a case that stems from a private-law relationship.

§ 2.  Purpose of civil procedure

  The purpose of civil procedure is to guarantee that the courts deal with civil cases justly, within a reasonable period of time and at the minimum possible cost.

§ 3.  Right of recourse to courts

 (1) The court conducts proceedings on a civil case if a person applies to the court for relief in accordance with the rules provided by law in relation the person's alleged right or interest protected by law.

 (2) In the cases prescribed by law, the court also conducts proceedings in a civil case if a person files a claim with the court for the protection of a presumed right or interest protected by law of another person or the public.

 (3) In the cases prescribed by law, pre-court proceedings must be conducted in the case before a person may apply for relief to the court.

§ 4.  Disposal of procedural rights

 (1) The court conducts proceedings in a civil case only if a court claim or a petition to issue proceedings has been filed in accordance with the rules provided by law. In situations provided for by law, the court conducts proceedings in a civil case of its own motion.

 (2) In a court claim dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure, the parties determine the object of the dispute and the course of proceedings, and decide on the filing of motions and appeals.

 (3) Parties may terminate a court claim by judicial compromise. The claimant may withdraw the claim they have made and the defendant may admit the claim filed against them.

 (4) During the course of proceedings, the court shall take all possible measures to resolve a case or a part thereof by a compromise or in another manner by agreement of the parties if this is reasonable in the opinion of the court. For such purpose, the court may, among other things, present a draft of a compromise contract to the parties or request that the parties appear before the court in person, or propose that the parties resolve the dispute out of court or call upon the assistance of a conciliator. If, in the opinion of the court, it is necessary in the interests of resolution of the case, considering the circumstances of the case and the course of the proceedings, it may order the parties to participate in the conciliation proceedings provided for by the Conciliation Act.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 5.  Conduct of proceedings based on submissions by parties

 (1) Proceedings are conducted in a court claim on the basis of the facts and petitions submitted by the parties, based on the claim.

 (2) The parties have equal rights and opportunities in substantiating their claims, and to refute or contest the submissions of the opposing party. A party may choose the facts submitted in order to substantiate the claim thereof as well as the evidence intended for proof of such facts.

 (3) In cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure, the court itself ascertains the facts and takes the necessary evidence unless otherwise prescribed by law. In contentious cases, the court itself ascertains the facts and takes the necessary evidence only in the cases prescribed by law.

§ 6.  Law applicable at time of proceedings

  A procedural operation in a civil case is performed pursuant to the law in force at the time of performance of the act.

§ 7.  Administration of justice on basis of equality

  In the administration of justice in civil cases, the parties and other persons are equal before the law and the court.

§ 8.  Law applicable to conduct of proceedings in case

 (1) The conduct of proceedings in a case by the court is based on the Estonian civil procedure law.

 (2) In the absence of a provision of law regulating a procedural relationship, the court applies a provision which regulates a relationship similar to the relationship under dispute.

 (3) In the absence of a provision of law regulating a relationship similar to the relationship under dispute, the court is guided by the general purpose of the law. The fundamental rights and freedoms of a person may be restricted only if the possibility therefor is prescribed by law.

Chapter 2 COURTS COMPETENT TO DEAL WITH CIVIL CASES  

§ 9.  Competent courts

 (1) District courts, circuit courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are competent to deal with civil cases.

 (2) By agreement of the parties, a civil case may be referred for resolution to an arbitral tribunal unless otherwise provided by law.

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the higher court does not deal with a civil case before the case has been dealt with by a court of the preceding instance of judicial hierarchy.

§ 10.  Restricted competence of court in respect of extra-territorial persons

  The jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of Estonia does not extend to:
 1) the members of foreign diplomatic representations established in the Republic of Estonia, their family members and private servants, to the extent prescribed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (RT II 2006, 16);
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the members of consular posts, to the extent prescribed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (RT II 2006, 16);
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the persons not mentioned in clauses 1) or 2) of this section if this arises from international agreements, generally recognised principles of international law or an Act.

§ 11.  Jurisdiction of district court

 (1) District courts deal with all civil cases as courts of first instance.

 (11) A district court shall not deal with civil cases related to European patents and European patents with unitary effect, except for such civil cases related to European patents or European patents with unitary effect which are not in the competence of the Unified Patent Court in accordance with the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (OJ C 175, 20.6.2013, p. 1–40).
[RT I, 04.07.2017, 4 – enters into force simultaneously with the entry into force of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and the Agreement on the establishment of a Nordic-Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court with regard to Estonia]

 (2) Where this expedites dealing with cases or otherwise renders it more effective, the law may provide that certain types of case be dealt with exclusively by a certain district court.

§ 12.  Jurisdiction of circuit court of appeal

  A circuit court of appeal deals with the decisions made in civil cases by the district courts within its territorial jurisdiction on the basis of appeals and interim appeals filed against those decisions. A circuit court of appeal also deals with other cases placed within its jurisdiction by law.

§ 13.  Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

  The Supreme Court deals with the decisions made in civil cases by the circuit courts of appeal on the basis of appeals in circuit courts of appeal. The Supreme Court also deals with petitions for the review of judicial dispositions in force and, in situations provided for by law, appoints a court with the appropriate competence to deal with a case, and deals with other cases placed within its jurisdiction by law.

§ 14.  Validity of procedural operations

 (1) A court may perform procedural operations and, among other things, hold a trial or hearing outside of its territorial jurisdiction.

 (2) The validity of a procedural operation is not influenced by the fact that, based on the division of tasks, such an operation should have been performed by another judge or panel.

 (3) In the cases prescribed by law, a procedural operation of a collegial court panel may also be performed by one judge acting on the basis of an order. A judge acting on the basis of an order shall be a member of the panel entitled to perform that procedural operation. The panel may amend the order made by the judge acting on the basis of an order.

§ 15.  Procedural assistance between courts in performing a procedural operation

 (1) When dealing with civil cases, courts provide assistance to each other in performing procedural operations. A court requests assistance from another court above all in a situation where the performing of a procedural operation in the other court would facilitate proceedings, save time for the parties to proceedings and to the court, or reduce case costs.

 (2) The court that requests procedural assistance addresses its request to the court within whose service area the procedural operation is to be performed.

 (3) The court that receives a request for assistance (court acting under a letter of request) may not refuse its assistance unless it would be illegal to perform the operation. Where a letter of request has been presented to a court that does not have jurisdiction in the matter, such a court transmits the letter to the appropriate court.

 (4) The court that presented the letter of request does not cover the costs of the procedural operation. The court that performs tha procedural operation presents information concerning the costs to the court that presented the letter of request, and such costs are deemed to be costs of the case that is being dealt with.

 (5) Unless otherwise provided by law or an international treaty, an Estonian court provides procedural assistance in performing a procedural operation at the request of a foreign court if, under Estonian law, the requested procedural operation is within the jurisdiction of the Estonian court and is not prohibited by law. A procedural operation may also be performed or a document issued according to the law of a foreign state if this is needed for proceedings in the foreign state and does not harm the interests of the parties to proceedings.

 (6) The provisions of this Code apply to the provision of assistance for the taking of evidence in Estonia under request from a court of a Member State of the European Union and to the provision of such assistance in a Member State of the European Union under request from an Estonian court insofar as this has not been otherwise provided for by Council Regulation 1206/2001/EC relating to co-operation between the judicial authorities of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil and commercial cases (OJ L 174, 27.06.2001, pp. 1–24).

 (7) The rights and obligations – imposed on the Member States by regulations adopted on the basis of point c of Article 61 of the Treaty establishing the European Community – for the purpose of regulating cross-border judicial cooperation in civil cases are performed by the Ministry of Justice.

Chapter 3 COURT PANEL  

§ 16.  Panel dealing with civil cases in district court

 (1) In the district court, civil cases are dealt with by a single judge.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 17.  Panel dealing with civil cases in circuit court of appeal

 (1) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, civil cases are dealt with in the circuit court of appeal by a panel of three judges on a collegial basis.

 (2) Upon hearing a case by way of appeal procedure, the chairman of a circuit court of appeal has the right to include a county judge of the same circuit in the panel of the circuit court of appeal with their consent. The included judge shall not act as the presiding judge in the case or report on the case.

§ 18.  Panel dealing with civil cases in the Supreme Court

 (1) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, civil cases are dealt with in the Supreme Court by a panel of at least three judges on a collegial basis.

 (2) If a panel of the Supreme Court dealing with a case has fundamentally differing opinions concerning the interpretation and application of the law, the case is referred to the full panel of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court. The panel may also refer a civil case to the full panel of the Civil Chamber if, in the opinion of the panel, this is necessary in the interests of harmonisation and development of judicial practice or the majority of the panel wants to change the current position of the Civil Chamber upon application of law.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 1 – entry into force 29.03.2015]

 (3) A trial or hearing of the full panel of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court is summoned and presided over by the chairman of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court or, in their absence, by the member of the Civil Chamber who is senior in office or, in the case of equal seniority in office, by the member who is senior in age.

 (4) A trial or hearing of the full panel of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court has a quorum if more than two-thirds of the members of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court participate.

§ 19.  Special Panel of Supreme Court and Supreme Court en banc

 (1) If a panel of the Supreme Court dealing with a civil case deems it necessary to derogate, in the interpretation of law, from the most recent position of another Chamber or the Special Panel of the Supreme Court or if this is necessary for ensuring uniform application of law, the case is referred by an order to the Special Panel of the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 1 – entry into force 29.03.2015]

 (2) The Special Panel of the Supreme Court is formed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

 (3) The members of the Special Panel of the Supreme Court are:
 1) the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the presiding judge;
 2) two justices from the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court;
 3) two justices from such chamber of the Supreme Court whose position concerning the application of the law is contested by the Civil Chamber.

 (4) A civil case is referred to the Supreme Court en banc if:
 1) the majority of the full panel of the Civil Chamber reach a different opinion than the legal principle or position hitherto held by the Supreme Court en banc on the application of law;
 2) the majority of the full panel of the Civil Chamber consider resolution of the case by the Supreme Court en banc to be essential for the uniform application of law;
 3) resolution of the case requires resolution of an issue to be considered under the Constitutional Review Court Procedure Act.

 (5) A case referred to the Special Panel of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Court en banc is reported on to the Special Panel of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Court en banc by a member of the Civil Chamber on the order of the chairman of the Chamber.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 1 – entry into force 29.03.2015]

 (6) Compliance with a decision of the Special Panel is mandatory for the Chambers of the Supreme Court which participated in the Special Panel in the application of law until the Special Panel or the Supreme Court en banc makes a different decision. A position of the Supreme Court en banc is mandatory for the Chambers and Special Panels of the Supreme Court in the application of law unless the Supreme Court en banc itself changes the position.

§ 20.  Members of panel participating in making of decision

 (1) If the composition of a panel of the court changes during the conduct of proceedings in the case, the case is heard anew from the beginning. If the previous panel of the court has taken and examined evidence, the new panel is not required to repeat this operation unless the parties apply therefor.

 (2) If proceedings are likely to extend over a lengthy period of time, the chairman of the court hearing the case may involve a judge of the same court as a reserve judge in those proceedings. A reserve judge is present at the hearing of the case and replaces the judge that conducts proceedings in the case if they are prevented from attending.

 (3) Petitions filed with the same court after the making of a decision on a case, primarily petitions for the rectification of mistakes in the decision, for the making of an additional decision, for limiting the publication of the decision, for enforcement of the decision without delay, for dismissing an application or for termination of the proceedings, do not need to be resolved by the judge that has made the decision.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 21.  Confidentiality of deliberations

 (1) Besides the judges adjudicating a case, persons who are present in the court due to a reason related to their acquisition of higher education in law or persons employed by that court in the capacity of an adviser and judicial candidates undergoing in-service training with that court may be present at the deliberations and voting of the court with the court's permission unless there is reason to doubt their impartiality.

 (2) A judge or another person mentioned in subsection 1 of this section shall not disclose the contents of the discussions which take place during the deliberations. The duty to maintain the confidentiality of deliberations applies for an unmentioned time limit.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 22.  Voting in collegial court panel and dissenting opinion of judge

 (1) A collegial court panel resolves any differences of opinion relating to a civil case by voting.

 (2) A judge does not have the right to abstain from voting or to remain undecided. In the event of voting on a series of issues, a member of the court panel who has maintained a minority position does not have the right to abstain from voting on a subsequent issue.

 (3) Upon an equal division of votes, the vote of the chair governs.

 (4) A judge who maintains a minority position may present a dissenting opinion. A dissenting opinion which is appended to a judicial disposition is published together with the judicial disposition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 221.  Powers of assistant judges and other court officials when dealing with civil cases

 (1) In situations provided for by law, a civil case may also be dealt with by an assistant judge in the stead of a judge.

 (2) The provisions of subsections 2–4 of § 595 of this Code apply to the powers of assistant judges and to their recusal.

 (21) Recusal of judicial hearing clerks is governed by provisions of this Code concerning the recusal of judges.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) An assistant judge or another court official vested with the relevant authority by the rules of the court may also make an order preparing disposition of the case or any other case management order which is not subject to appeal, including an order by which consideration of a court claim, motion, application, representation or appeal is provisionally refused and an order by which a time limit is set or extended.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 4 CIRCUMSTANCES PRECLUDING PARTICIPATION IN PROCEEDINGS  

§ 23.  Judge’s obligation to recuse themselves

  A judge may not conduct proceedings in a civil case and must recuse themselves in the following situations:
 1) in a case in which they are a party to proceedings or a person against whom a claim may be filed as a result of the proceedings;
 2) in a case of their spouse or cohabitee, or in a case of a sister, brother or direct blood relative of such a spouse or cohabitee even if the marriage or permanent cohabition has ended;
 3) in a case of a person who is their direct blood relative or other close person as defined in subsection 1 of § 257 of this Code;
 4) in a case in which they are or have been a representative or adviser of a party to proceedings or in which they participated or had a right to participate as a statutory representative of a party to proceedings;
 5) in a case in which they have been examined as a witness or as an expert providing an opinion;
 6) in a case in which they participated in the making of a disposition in pre-action proceedings, in the preceding judicial instance or in arbitration proceedings;
 7) where any other circumstances are present which cast a doubt on their impartiality.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 24.  Recusal of judge based on a motion for recusal by a party to proceedings

 (1) Recusal of a judge may be moved for by a party to proceedings in a situation provided for by § 23 of this Code.

 (2) A motion for recusal of a judge is filed with the court panel to which the judge to be recused belongs.

 (3) A motion for recusal must substantiate its grounds.

§ 25.  Loss of right to recuse the judge

 (1) In a situation provided for by clause 7 of § 23 of this Code, a party to proceedings has no right to make a motion for recusal if they have taken part in the trial or hearing in the case or, after having learned the name of the judge, have filed a substantive motion or application without having filed a motion for recusal.

 (2) In a situation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, a party to proceedings has a right to make a motion for recusal also at a later stage of proceedings, provided that the ground for recusal arose after performance of the procedural operation or the party learned of such a ground after the procedural operation had been performed. The motion must substantiate the relevant circumstances.

 (3) A motion for recusal is dismissed if it is based on the same circumstances as a previous motion that has already been disposed of.

§ 26.  Resolution of a motion for recusal

 (1) If the judge or court panel against whom a motion for recusal has been made considers the motion to be justified, they enter an order by which they recuse themselves.

 (2) Where the judge does not recuse themselves and does not express an opinion concerning the motion for recusal, such a motion is disposed of by an order of the court panel to which the judge belongs. The judge to be recused does not participate in the disposition of the case. In a situation where the votes are tied, the judge is deemed to have been recused.

 (3) Where a motion for recusal has been made to recuse a judge sitting alone or the entire panel dealing with the case and such a judge or panel does not to recuse themselves, the case of recusal is disposed of by the chairman of the court. Where a motion for recusal has been made against all judges of the court, the case is disposed of by the chairman of the court of the following judicial instance.

 (4) Where a motion for recusal is made against the entire panel of the Supreme Court dealing with the case, the motion is disposed of by that panel.

 (5) If a judge does not recuse themselves following a motion for their recusal, they must without delay notify their opinion concerning the ground for recusal to the court or judge vested with authority to decide on the recusal.

§ 27.  Recusal without a corresponding motion

 (1) Where a judge finds, of their own motion, that a circumstance mentioned in clauses 1–6 of § 23 of this Code is present which constitutes grounds for their recusal, the judge makes an order by which they recuse themselves.

 (2) Where a judge finds, of their own motion, that a circumstance mentioned in clause 7 of § 23 of this Code is present which constitutes grounds for their recusal, the judge makes a motion to be recused to the court panel or chairman of the court in accordance with the rules provided by subsections 2–5 of § 26 of this Code.

 (3) Unjustified refusal to administer justice is not permitted.

§ 28.  Operations of a judge to be recused

 (1) After the submission and before the resolution of a motion for recusal against a judge, the judge may only perform procedural operations in the case which cannot be postponed and which are of no determinative importance with regard to the decision on the case.

 (2) If a motion for recusal is clearly unfounded, the judge may continue the proceedings regardless of the submission of the petition but is prohibited, before the motion for recusal has been resolved, from making a decision which terminates proceedings before that court instance. If proceedings were continued after submission of a motion for recusal and the petition is granted, the procedural operations performed after submission of the petition are deemed to be void.

§ 29.  Replacement of a judge

 (1) A judge who has been recused is replaced at the earliest opportunity.

 (2) Where a judge or the entire court panel is recused, the case is considered by another judge or panel of the same court. If a judge cannot be replaced in the court that deals with the case, the case is referred to another court of the same judicial level through the court that is above them in the judicial hierarchy.

§ 30.  Relying on grounds for recusal in an appeal

  An appeal filed with a higher court may seek the setting aside of a disposition on the grounds that a judge should have been recused only if the motion for recusal was made to the lower court at a proper time or if the ground for recusal arose or came to light after the case had been disposed of in that court.

§ 31.  Recusal of an expert, interpreter or translator

 (1) An expert, interpreter or translator must recuse themselves – and a party to proceedings may recuse any expert, interpreter or translator whose assistance has been enlisted in the proceedings – where any grounds mentioned in § 23 of this Code are present. Previous participation in the case as an expert or a witness does not constitute a ground for recusal.

 (2) A motion for recusal is made to the court that appointed the expert or enlisted the assistance of the interpreter or translator before the questioning of the expert commences or the procedural operation which requires the presence of the interpreter or translator begins.

 (3) A motion for recusal that is made after commencement of the questioning of the expert or of the procedural operation requiring the presence of the interpreter or translator, or that is made more than 15 days following learning the name of the expert, interpreter or translator is considered only if the party making the motion substantiates to the court a valid reason that prevented them from informing the court of the existence of a ground for recusal at an earlier time.

 (4) A motion for recusal must substantiate its grounds.

 (5) The court considering the case disposes of an expert’s, interpreter’s or translator’s recusal by an order. If a motion for recusal is made at a trial or hearing, the court hears the opinion of the person to be recused and of the parties to proceedings.

 (6) An appeal filed with a higher court may seek the setting aside of a disposition on the grounds that an expert, interpreter or translator should have been recused only if the motion for recusal was made to the lower court at a proper time or if the ground for recusal arose or came to light after the case had been disposed of in that court.

Chapter 5 WORKING LANGUAGE OF THE COURT  

§ 32.  Working language of the court

 (1) Judicial proceedings and clerical business at the court are conducted in the Estonian language.

 (2) The record of proceedings at the trial or hearing and at any other procedural operation is created in the Estonian language. The court may, where this is needed for accurate rendition of a testimony or statement that was given at the trial or hearing in a foreign language, in addition to its translation into the Estonian language also enter such testimony or explanation in the record in the language in which it was given.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Under paragraph 2 of Article 57 of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ L 351, 20.12.2012, p. 1–32), the Republic of Estonia accepts translations of forms into English.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

§ 33.  Documents in foreign language in judicial proceedings

 (1) If a petition, request, appeal or objection submitted to the court by a party to proceedings is not in Estonian, the court requires that the person submitting such documents provide a translation thereof into Estonian by the set due date. If an item of documentary evidence that has been offered to the court by a party to proceedings is not in Estonian, the court requires that the person offering it provide a translation of the item into Estonian by the set due date unless translation of the item is unreasonable considering its content or volume and other parties to proceedings do not object to accepting the evidence in a language other than Estonian.

 (2) The court may require production of a translation made by a sworn translator or caution the translator of the liability that attaches to knowingly false translation.
[RT I, 23.12.2013, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2020]

 (3) If the translation is not submitted by the due date, the court may disregard the petition, request, appeal, objection or documentary evidence.

 (4) The court organises translation of a judicial disposition into a foreign language for a party to proceedings only if the party to proceedings so requests and provided that in the proceedings the party to proceedings is not represented by a representative and they has been granted financial aid for bearing translation costs. If the person so requests, a court organises translation of a judicial disposition for the person mentioned in subsection 34 (4) of this Code on account of the Republic of Estonia regardless of the existence of a representative or the grant of financial aid.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The translation of the request to be submitted on the basis of § 6811 of this Code into English or French and the translation of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights received for the submitted request into Estonian shall be organised by the Supreme Court at the expense of the state.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017, subsection 5 is implemented as of the day of entry into force of Protocol 16 to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of Estonia.]

§ 34.  Participation of interpreter or translator in proceedings

 (1) If a party to proceedings is not proficient in Estonian and they does not have a representative in the proceedings, the court involves, if possible, an interpreter or translator in the proceedings at the request of such party to proceedings or at the initiative of the court. An interpreter or translator do not need to be involved if the statements of the party to proceedings can be understood by the court and the other parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the court is unable to involve an interpreter or translator without delay, the court makes an order whereby the party to proceedings needing the assistance of an interpreter or translator is required to find an interpreter, translator or a representative proficient in Estonian for himself or herself. Failure to comply with the demand of the court does not prevent the court from adjudicating the case. If a claimant fails to comply with the demand of the court, the court may dismiss the court claim.

 (3) Before commencing interpretation or translation in the proceedings, an interpreter or translator is cautioned that they bear liability for false interpretation or translation, and the interpreter or translator signs the relevant acknowledgment.
[RT I, 23.12.2013, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2014]

 (4) Provision of an interpreter or translator shall be ensured to a person in proceedings for placement of the person in a closed institution and in proceedings for establishment of guardianship for the person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) An interpreter or translator is not involved in proceedings for a contractual representative of a party to proceedings or for an adviser.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 35.  Enlisting the assistance of an interpreter or translator for a deaf, mute or deaf-mute party to proceedings

  If a party to proceedings is a deaf, mute or deaf-mute person, the course of the proceedings is communicated to them in writing, or the assistance of an interpreter or translator is enlisted in such proceedings.

§ 36.  Oath and signed acknowledgement of a person not proficient in the Estonian language

 (1) A person who is not proficient in the Estonian language pronounces the oath or provides signed acknowledgement of having been cautioned of their liability in a language in which they are proficient.

 (2) Signed acknowledgement is provided on the Estonian-language text of the oath or caution which has been translated to the person directly before they sign the acknowledgement.

Chapter 6 PUBLIC PROCEEDINGS  

§ 37.  Public court hearings

 (1) Court hearing of a case is public unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The court has the right to prohibit a person who has expressed contempt for the court and, in order to protect the interests of a minor, to prohibit the minor from attending a public hearing of a case.

§ 38.  Declaring the proceedings closed

 (1) The court declares the proceedings or a part thereof closed at the initiative of the court or based on a petition of a party to proceedings if this is clearly necessary:
 1) for the protection of national security or public order and above all, for the protection of a state secret or classified information of a foreign state or information intended for internal use;
[RT I 2007, 16, 77 – entry into force 01.01.2008]
 2) for the protection of the life, health or freedom of a party to proceedings, witness or other person;
 3) for the protection of the private life of a party to proceedings, witness or other person unless the interest of public proceeding exceeds the interest of protection of private life;
 4) to maintain the confidentiality of adoption;
 5) in the interests of a minor or a mentally handicapped person and above all, for hearing such persons;
 6) to protect a business secret or other similar secret unless the interest of public proceeding exceeds the interest of protection of the secret;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 7) for hearing a person obligated by law to protect the secrecy of private life of persons or business secrets if the person is entitled by law to disclose such secrets in the course of the proceedings;
 8) for the protection of the confidentiality of messages transmitted by post, telegraph, telephone or other commonly used means.

 (2) The court may declare the proceedings or a part thereof closed of its own motion or based on a petition of a party to proceedings in a case not mentioned in subsection 1 of this section if objective administration of justice would otherwise be clearly compromised or if closed proceedings offer a significantly higher possibility of convincing the parties to terminate the proceedings by a compromise or to reconcile the parties in another manner.

 (3) In the cases listed in clauses (1) 2), 3) and 6)–8) of this section, the court does not declare the proceedings or a part thereof closed if the person for the protection of whose interests the proceedings or a part thereof would be declared closed objects thereto.

§ 39.  Admitting persons to closed trial or hearing

  The court may permit a person who has justified interest in participating in a trial or hearing or whose presence at the trial or hearing is clearly in the interests of administration of justice to be present at a closed trial or hearing. The consent of the parties to proceedings are not required in that case.

§ 40.  Rules for declaring the proceedings closed

 (1) The declaring of the proceedings or a part thereof closed is heard in a closed trial or hearing if this is requested by a party to proceedings or if the court deems it necessary.

 (2) The order declaring the proceedings or a part thereof closed is made public. The order may be pronounced in a closed trial or hearing if there is reason to believe that public pronouncement could significantly disturb order in the trial or hearing.

§ 41.  Obligation of parties to proceedings and persons present in trial or hearing to maintain confidentiality

 (1) In a closed trial or hearing, the court cautions the parties to proceedings and other persons present in the courtroom that the contents of the hearing held and the documents examined in a closed trial or hearing must not be disclosed to the extent necessary for the protection of a right or interest mentioned in § 38 of this Code.

 (2) In addition to the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, the court may caution, by an order, a person who is present in a closed trial or hearing to maintain the confidentiality of a fact which has become known to them in the trial or hearing or from a document relevant to the case if this is necessary to protect a right or interest mentioned in § 38 of this Code.

 (3) The court may require the parties to proceedings and other persons present in the courtroom to maintain the confidentiality of a fact which has become known to them in the course of the proceedings even if the proceedings have not been declared closed but maintaining confidentiality is clearly necessary for the protection of a right or interest mentioned in § 38 of this Code.

 (4) A person required to maintain confidentiality may file an interim appeal against the order made in respect of the obligation mentioned in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

 (5) [Repealed – RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 – entry into force 17.12.2018]

§ 42.  Transmission and recording of a trial or hearing

 (1) Notes may be taken at a public trial or hearing if this does not interfere with the proceedings. A trial or hearing may be photographed or filmed and an audio recording or radio, television or other broadcast of it made only with prior permission of the court.

 (2) In a closed trial or hearing, the court may only permit the taking of written notes.

 (3) The court may remove from the courtroom, and impose a fine on, any person who violates the provisions of subsection 1 or 2 of this section.

Chapter 7 MEASURES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS  

§ 43.  Order at a trial or hearing

 (1) The court maintains order at a trial or hearing and arranges for enforcement of any orders made for this purpose, including orders imposing a fine or a short-term custodial sentence. Parties to proceedings and any other persons present in the courtroom must unconditionally comply with the court’s directions.

 (2) The obligation to maintain order that is provided for by this Chapter, together with the rights arising from this obligation, also applies to a judge who acts under a letter of request or judicial direction, or performs a procedural operation outside a trial or hearing.

§ 44.  Limitation of the number of persons present at a trial or hearing

  The court has a right to limit the number of persons present at a trial or hearing if the courtroom has become overcrowded and such overcrowding interferes with the proceedings.

§ 45.  Removing of persons from trial or hearing and application of other measures to persons

 (1) The court may remove a party to proceedings or their representative or adviser, or a witness, expert, interpreter, translator or another person present in the trial or hearing who fails to comply with an order given to ensure order in the trial or hearing, acts in an improper manner in the trial or hearing or expresses contempt for the court or for other parties to proceedings.

 (2) The court may remove from the proceedings a representative or adviser of a party to proceedings or to prohibit the person from making statements if the representative or adviser is not able to act in the court in accordance with the requirements, including due to inadequate language proficiency, or, in the course of judicial proceedings, has shown himself or herself as dishonest, incompetent or irresponsible, or if the person has, in bad faith, obstructed the just and expeditious hearing of the case at the minimum possible cost or has repeatedly failed to comply with the orders of the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a party to proceedings or their representative is removed from a trial or hearing, the hearing of the case may be continued in a manner equal to a situation where a party to proceedings or their representative leaves the trial or hearing voluntarily. A representative of a party to proceedings is considered to have left the trial or hearing also if they are removed from the proceedings or they are prohibited from making statements in the proceedings in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The court has the right to impose a fine or short-term custodial sentence of up to seven twenty-four hour periods on a person who conducts himself or herself in the manner mentioned in subsection 1 of this section or on a party to proceedings or a representative or adviser thereof who has, in bad faith, obstructed the just and expeditious hearing of the case at the minimum possible cost or who has repeatedly failed to comply with the orders of the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If a party to proceedings is not present in the trial or hearing or performance of a procedural operation, the court immediately informs them of application of the provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section to their representative and proposes that they select a new representative by the date set by the court. The court also informs the Estonian Bar Association or another professional association to which the attorney belongs of application of the provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section to an attorney.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If elements of a criminal offence become evident in court in the conduct of a party to proceedings or another person, the court files a report on the criminal offence with the Prosecutor's Office or the police. If necessary, the court detains such person based on an order.

§ 46.  Imposition of fines

 (1) In the cases provided by this Code where the court has the right to impose a fine, such fine may be imposed to the extent of up to 3,200 euros unless otherwise prescribed by this Code. In determining the amount of a fine, the court takes the financial situation of the person and other circumstances into consideration.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (11) Instead of or in addition to a minor, a fine may be imposed on their parents or guardians. Instead of an adult of limited ative legal capacity, a fine may be imposed on their guardians. No fine is imposed on minors under 14 years of age and persons of limited ative legal capacity.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A fine may be imposed on a person only after a warning of a fine has been given to them, unless the giving of a prior warning is not possible or reasonable.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A fine imposed on a person for non-performance of an obligation does not release the person from performing the obligation. If an obligation is not performed after the imposition of a fine, a new fine may be imposed.

 (4) A copy of an order by which a fine has been imposed is served without delay on the person fined or on their representative.

§ 47.  Short-term custodial sentence and forcible bringing-in

 (1) The court may, by order, impose short-term custodial sentence in civil proceedings in the cases prescribed by law if the court has warned the person that short-term custodial sentence may be imposed.

 (2) In the cases where collection of a fine is impossible, the fine may be substituted by short-term custodial sentence of up to three months. Substitution of a fine by short-term custodial sentence may already be prescribed by the order which imposes a fine. Upon substitution of a fine by short-term custodial sentence the provisions of § 72 of the Penal Code and § 201 of the Code of Enforcement Procedure apply. If the person fined pays the fine, they are released from short-term custodial sentence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A short-term custodial sentence is served under the conditions provided for by the Imprisonment Act at the jail or prison that serves the service area of the court that made the order or the locality in which the sentenced person has their residence.
[RT I, 03.03.2021, 1 – entry into force 04.03.2021]

 (4) In situations where this is prescribed by law, the court may make an order by which it directs the police to forcibly bring the person in, provided the court has warned the person that such a measure may be imposed.

 (5) In order to enforce an order to forcibly bring a person in, the person may be arrested for up to 48 hours before the beginning of the trial or hearing. Unless otherwise provided by this Code, forcible bringin-in is governed by the provisions of subsections 3–5 of § 139 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

§ 48.  Appeal against order on fine or short-term custodial sentence

  A person on whom a fine or short-term custodial sentence is imposed may file an interim appeal against the order on fine or short-term custodial sentence mentioned in this Chapter. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal of a district court on fine cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

Chapter 8 RECORDS OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 49.  Creating a record of proceedings during a procedural operation

 (1) A record of proceedings is created at any trial or hearing and, in situations provided for by law, also at other procedural operations. The same applies to procedural operations performed by the court under a judicial direction or letter of request.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

 (2) A record of proceedings is created during a trial or hearing, or during performance of other procedural operations, by the judicial hearing clerk or other court official authorised to do so by the rules of the court, or by the judge. Where such a record is created by the judicial hearing clerk or other court official, the clerk or official enters the particulars mentioned in clauses 6–9 of subsection 1 and in subsection 2 of § 50 of this Code in the record strictly according to a summary given by the judge.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A record of proceedings at a hearing before the Supreme Court is created to the extent the Court considers this necessary.

§ 50.  Content of the record of proceedings

 (1) A record of proceedings during a procedural operation must reflect the material stages of the operation and any other circumstances material to disposing of, or to or a potential appeal in, the case. The record states:
 1) the time and location of performance of the procedural operation, and a brief description and number of the case;
 2) the name of the court considering the case and the names of the judges, of the official creating a record of the proceedings, and of any interpreters or translators;
 3) the type of the case;
 4) information on appearance of the parties to proceedings and their representatives, and of any witnesses and experts;
 5) information on whether or not the procedural operation is open to the public;
 51) agreement on the law applicable to dealing with the case;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 1 – entry into force 01.07.2016]
 6) any representations, motions or application made by the parties to proceedings;
 7) an admission or abandonment of the court claim, or a compromise;
 8) the substance of the relief requested and objections made by the principal parties and by other parties to proceedings – to the extent this is not reflected in written documents filed with the court;
 9) the substance of any explanations provided by the parties to proceedings under oath, of the testimony of any witnesses, the oral replies of experts and the particulars of any inspections;
 10) any directions or dispositions given by the court during the trial or hearing;
 11) the time the judicial disposition will be made public;
 12) any waivers of appeal against the disposition;
 13) the date of signing the record.

 (2) On a motion of a party to proceedings, a circumstance or submission offered in the case is entered in the record of proceedings. The court may, by order, deny the motion if the circumstance or submission is likely to be of no relevance to the case.

 (3) A procedural document which is annexed to the record of proceedings and to which a reference is included in the record is deemed to be equivalent to creating a record of proceeedings.

§ 51.  Creating a record of proceedings

 (1) A record of proceedings at the trial or hearing is created in typewritten form or recorded on a digital data medium such that its reproducibility in writing is ensured. Initially, such a record may also be created by another method such as by the taking of notes or by dictation, yet the record must be brought into the form mentioned in the first sentence of this subsection by the time it is signed.

 (2) Technical requirements for digital records of proceedings, for the filing of objections to such records and for the signing of the same are enacted by an order of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 52.  Recording a procedural operation

 (1) A trial or hearing is audio recorded.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (11) A trial or hearing does not need to be recorded if:
 1) it comes to light before the trial or hearing or in the course of its progress that recording is technically impossible;
 2) the trial or hearing is held outside the court premises;
 3) the trial or hearing is held in the absence of a party and the court dismisses the court claim, postpones the hearing of the case or deals with the case by written procedure or by a default judgement;
 4) the trial or hearing is held to pronounce a judicial disposition;
 5) it is a trial or hearing before the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (12) A trial or hearing or other procedural operation may be initially recorded, in full or in part, on audio, video or other data media. In such a situation, the record of proceedings is created without delay after the trial or hearing or performance of other procedural operation.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (2) With respect to the recorded testimony of witnesses, experts and parties to proceedings as well as of recorded results of inspections, the record of proceedings only includes a note referring to these unless, in the course of the proceedings, a principal party requests the entry in the record of the substance of such recordings, or the court deems it necessary.

 (3) The recording is included in the file.

§ 53.  Filing objections against the record of proceedings and rectification of the record

 (1) Formulations entered in the record of proceedings to reflect the explanations given by the parties to proceedings under oath, the testimony of witnesses and the opinion and responses of the expert are immediately stated at the trial or hearing, unless the person in question and the parties who participated in the trial or hearing agree to waive the stating of such formulations at that time and the court does not consider it necessary either. Rectifications are made to the record based on objections by the person in question, provided the court sustains these. Any objections which the court overrules are entered in the record or annexed to it.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Parties to proceedings have a right to acquaint themselves with the record of proceedings and make motions to rectify the same within three working days following the signing of the record. The court, having signed the record, notifies the parties of the time of signing it and transmits it to them electronically without delay, provided the parties have provided their e-mail addresses to the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Where, in a situation mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, a party to proceedings makes a motion to substantively rectify the record of proceedings, the court invites the other parties to proceedings to make their submissions on the issue. Where this is needed, the court holds a hearing to dispose of the motion. The absence of a party to proceedings from the hearing does not preclude disposition.

 (4) Where the court accedes to the motion to rectify the record of proceedings mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the court rectifies the record. Any objections which the court overrules are entered in the record or annexed to it.

 (5) Where the substance of a record of proceedings consists of a recording, the person whose testimony was recorded may, without delay, acquaint themselves with the recording and make objections to it. If the court sustains the objection, the statement, testimony or response is recorded in its new wording. If the court overrules the objection, the substance of the objection is recorded.

 (6) When creating a record of proceedings at a procedural operation, the court explains the rights provided for by subsections 1–5 of this section to the persons entitled to file objections to the record.

 (7) The record of proceedings states the particulars concerning presentation of the record or recording, or concerning the waiving of the corresponding right, as well as concerning approval of the content of the record or of the filing of objections to the record.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 54.  Signing the record of proceedings

 (1) The record of proceedings is signed by the judge. Where a procedural operation involves a collegial judicial panel, the record of proceedings is signed by the presiding judge. Where the record was created by the judicial hearing clerk or another authorised official, the record is also signed by that person.

 (2) Where the presiding judge is unable to sign the record of proceedings, another member of the judicial panel signs the record in their stead. Where the judge who was sitting alone when the procedural operation was performed is unable to sign a record which was created by the judicial hearing clerk or another authorised official, the signature of the official who created the record is sufficient. The reason for not signing is stated in the record.

 (3) In any other respects, the signing of the record of proceedings is governed by the provisions of § 441 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 55.  Probative value of the record of proceedings

  Violation of procedural rules applicable during the trial or hearing or during any other procedural operation at which a record of proceedings was created can be proved only by referring to the record. The sole objection that can be filed against the record is that of falsification.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 9 FILE  

§ 56.  File in civil case

 (1) The court keeps a file on each civil case which includes, in chronological order, all procedural documents and other documents relevant to the case at all tiers of the proceedings, including records of proceedings and judicial dispositions. In situations prescribed by law, other objects relevant to proceedings are included in the file.

 (2) A file is kept in the form of a collection of written documents.

 (3) An electronic document sent to or prepared by the court is stored in the file in the form of a printout together with information concerning the person who prepared the document and made the printout as well as the time of preparation of the document and sending of the document to the court and of making the printout. An electronic document may also be included in the file in the form of a recording in the information system of the court or on a digital data medium if preservation of such copy of the document in the information system of the court is guaranteed.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 57.  Digital file

 (1) A file may be maintained, in whole or in part, in digital form.

 (2) Paper documents are scanned and saved under the appropriate proceedings in the courts information system. The courts information system records automatically the time of saving the document in the system and the details of the person saving the document. Documents saved in the courts information system substitute for paper documents.
[RT I, 22.03.2013, 9 – entry into force 01.04.2013]

 (3) If necessary, the documents submitted on paper are preserved until the end of the proceedings in the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section.

§ 58.  Archiving of files

 (1) The district court that conducted proceedings in the case archives the file when the disposition which terminated the proceedings has entered into effect.

 (2) The file and the procedural documents contained therein are preserved after the conclusion of proceedings only as long as this is necessary in the interests of the parties to proceedings or other persons, or in the public interest.

§ 59.  Acquainting oneself with the file

 (1) The parties to proceedings have the right to acquaint themselves with the file and obtain copies of procedural documents in the file.

 (11) The court may restrict the right of a party to proceedings to acquaint themselves with the file and to obtain copies of the file if this would be clearly contrary to a significant interest of another party to proceedings or any other person. The right of a principal party to action-by-claim proceedings to acquaint itself with the file and obtain copies of the same may not be restricted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (12) The court may restrict the right of a party to proceedings to examine the audio recording of the trial or hearing if the trial or hearing or a part thereof was declared to be held in camera or if negotiations were held at the trial or hearing concerning compromise.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (2) Any other persons have a right to acquaint themselves with the file during action-by-claim proceedings and to obtain copies of procedural documents contained in the file only with the consent of the principal parties. A representative of a competent authority of the State or of local authority may acquaint themselves with the file and obtain copies of procedural documents with the permission of the chairman of the court conducting proceedings in the case, even without the consent of the parties, if the state agency substantiates its legal interest in examining the file and obtaining the copies.

 (3) Where proceedings in a case have ended with a disposition which has entered into effect, other persons may acquaint themselves with the file even without the consent of the parties and obtain copies of procedural documents with the permission of the district court which conducted the proceedings, if they substantiate their legitimate interest to do so. Other persons are not allowed to acquaint themselves with the files of cases heard by way of closed proceedings.

 (4) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, in cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure other persons may examine the file and obtain copies of procedural documents only with the permission of the court which has conducted or is conducting proceedings in the case provided they substantiate their legitimate interest in examining the file and obtaining the copies. Procedural documents pertaining to adoption may be examined only with the permission of the adoptive parent and the full-age child.

 (5) Electronic procedural documents and documents recorded on digital or other data media may be examined on the basis provided in subsections (1)–(4) of this section only in a manner which guarantees intactness of the data media. An electronic copy, printout or extract may also be obtained from a procedural document.

 (51) A notation is made in the file concerning the examination of a file by a party to proceedings or their representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (52) At the request of a party to proceedings or their representative, a data medium used in the case as evidence and containing state secrets or classified information of foreign states, which is not annexed to the file, is presented to them for examination in accordance with the rules provided by the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act. A notation is made in the file concerning the examination of a data medium containing a state secret or classified information of a foreign state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) Orders of denial permission to examine a file are made by the judge or assistant judge. An appeal may be filed against such an order. The order entered by the circuit court of appeal concerning an appeal against such orders cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 60.  Restoration of file

 (1) If the file of a civil case is destroyed or otherwise lost, the court may restore the file based on a petition of a party to proceedings or of its own motion.

 (2) In the proceedings for the restoration of a file, the court requires the parties to the original proceedings to submit detailed information and documents or copies of documents concerning the case.

 (3) In the restoration of a file, the court uses the preserved parts of the file, documents issued in the case prior to the loss of the file or copies thereof and other evidence relevant to the case.

 (4) Persons who were present at the procedural operations, persons who were members of the court panel hearing the case or persons who enforced the judgment may be heard as witnesses by the court.

 (5) The court decides the restoration of a lost file by an order made under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (6) A lost file is restored in full or in the part which is deemed necessary by the court. If a lost file is being restored, the judicial disposition by which the proceedings were terminated or the order on termination of proceedings or on dismissal of the case shall be restored if such a decision or order was made in the case.

 (7) If the gathered information and documents are not sufficient for the restoration of a lost file, the court terminates the proceedings for the restoration of the file by order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) In a case concerning the restoration of a lost file, the petitioner is released from the payment of court costs.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 601.  E-file proceedings information system

 (1) E-file proceedings information system (hereinafter e-file system) is a database belonging to the state information system which is maintained for processing proceedings information and personal data in civil proceedings and the purpose of which is:
 1) to provide an overview of civil cases in which proceedings are conducted by the courts;
 2) to reflect information concerning the acts made in the course of civil proceedings;
 3) to enable the organisation of work of the courts;
 4) to ensure the collection of court statistics necessary for making legal policy decisions;
 5) to enable the electronic sending of information and documents.

 (2) The following are entered in the database:
 1) information concerning civil cases in which proceedings are conducted or have been terminated;
 2) information concerning the acts made in the course of civil proceedings;
 3) digital documents in the cases provided for by this Code;
 4) information concerning the body conducting the proceedings, parties to proceedings and parties involved in the proceedings;
 5) judicial dispositions.

 (3) The e-file system shall be established and the statutes thereof shall be approved by the Government of the Republic. The Government of the Republic may establish the time and conditions of and the procedure for transition to the e-file system by an order.

 (4) The chief processor of the e-file system is the Ministry of Justice. The authorised processor of the e-file system is a person appointed by the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (5) The Minister in charge of the policy sector may issue regulations in order to organise the operation of the e-file system.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 61.  Competence of minister responsible for area concerning files

  The time of and procedure for transition to mandatory maintenance of digital files, the technical requirements for the maintenance and examination of digital files and the requirements for the preservation of electronic documents shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector. The specific requirements for archiving files, including the time limits of preservation of files and procedural documents, and for the examination of archived files and procedural documents as well as for the destruction of files shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

Chapter 10 PROCEDURAL TIME LIMITS  

§ 62.  Calculation of procedural time limits

 (1) The calculation of procedural time limits is governed by the provisions of the General Principles of the Civil Code Act applicable to calculation of time limits and due dates, unless otherwise provided by law.

 (2) A procedural operation for the performance of which a time limit has been set may be performed until 24:00 on the last day of the time limit. If a procedural operation must be performed on the premises of the court, the end of the working day of the court is deemed to be the end of the time limit.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 63.  Beginning of time limit set by court

  The running of a time limit set by the court begins on the day following the day of service of the document in which the time limit is set, unless otherwise prescribed upon setting the time limit. If the document do not need to be served, the time limit begins to run as of receipt of a notice on setting the time limit.

§ 64.  Alteration of time limit

 (1) The court may extend a time limit set thereby on the basis of a reasoned petition or of its own motion if a valid reason is present. A time limit may be extended on more than one occasion only with the consent of the opposing party.

 (2) Procedural time limits, whether provided by law or set by the court, may be reduced by mutual agreement of the parties. The agreement concerning reduction of a time limit is offered to the court in writing or it entered in the record of proceedings.

§ 65.  Calculation of time limits in case of sending document to incorrect court

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
If a document sent by a party to proceedings is received by an incorrect court according to jurisdiction or court instance, such document is forwarded to the correct court. If the procedural document reaches an incorrect court according to jurisdiction or court instance on time, the time limit for performance of the procedural operation is deemed to have been complied with.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 66.  Consequences of failure to perform procedural operation at the proper time

  Where a procedural operation has not been performed at the proper time, the party to proceedings does not have a right to perform the operation at a later time, unless the court reinstates the time limit that was provided by law or extends one that was set by the court or accepts the court claim, petition, application, item of evidence or objection offered by the party to proceedings for consideration in a situation provided for by subsection 1 of § 331 of this Code. This applies regardless of whether or not the party to proceedings has been warned of such consequences.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 67.  Reinstatement of procedural time limit provided by law

 (1) If a party to proceedings has allowed a procedural time limit provided by law to expire, the court reinstates the time limit on the basis of a petition of the party to proceedings if the party to proceedings had a valid reason for allowing the time limit to expire and the expiry of the time limit does not allow the performance of the procedural operation or has other negative effects on the party to proceedings.

 (2) A petition for reinstatement of a time limit may be filed within 14 days after the date on which the impediment mentioned in subsection 1 of this section ceases to exist but not later than within six months after the end of the time limit which was allowed to expire.

§ 68.  Deciding on reinstatement of time limit

 (1) A petition for reinstatement of a time limit is submitted in the same form which applies to the procedural operation which had to be performed. The petition sets out the circumstances which constitute the basis for reinstatement of the time limit and provides justification for such circumstances. The petition is filed with the court in which the procedural operation should have been performed.

 (2) A procedural operation for which reinstatement of the time limit is applied shall be performed simultaneously with the submission of the petition to reinstate the time limit.

 (3) The court resolves the reinstatement of a time limit by an order.

 (4) An appeal may be filed against an order on refusal to reinstate a time limit made by a district court or circuit court of appeal. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal of a district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If a time limit is reinstated, proceedings return to the stage they had reached before the time limit was allowed to expire.

 (6) Before deciding on reinstatement of a time limit, the court may, by order, suspend enforcement proceedings or permit them to be continued only against the provision of a security, or revoke the enforcement operation.

Part 2 JURISDICTION  

Chapter 11 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 69.  Definition of jurisdiction

 (1) ‘Jurisdiction’ means the right and obligation of a person to exercise their procedural rights at a specific court. Jurisdiction is general, optional or exclusive.

 (2) General jurisdiction determines the court with which a court claim can be filed against a person and at which other procedural operations can be performed in respect of the person – unless the law provides that such a claim may be filed with or such an operation performed at another court.

 (3) Optional jurisdiction determines the court with which a court claim can be filed against a person and at which other procedural operations can be performed in respect of the person in addition to general jurisdiction.

 (4) Exclusive jurisdiction determines the sole court to which a person can bring their civil case for adjudication. Jurisdiction in action-by-petition cases is exclusive unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 70.  International jurisdiction

 (1) The provisions concerning international jurisdiction determine the circumstances under which a case can be dealt with by an Estonian court.

 (2) A case falls under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court if an Estonian court can deal with the case according to competence and pursuant to the provisions concerning jurisdiction or based on an agreement on jurisdiction, unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement.

 (3) International jurisdiction is not exclusive unless otherwise prescribed by law or an international agreement.

 (4) The provisions of this Code concerning international jurisdiction apply only to the extent in which this is not regulated otherwise by an international agreement or the following European Union regulations:
 1) Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
 2) Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial cases and the cases of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 (OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, p. 1–29);
 3) Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in cases relating to maintenance obligations (OJ L 7, 10.1.2009, p. 1–79);
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]
 4) Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in cases of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession (OJ L 201, 27.7.2012, p. 107–134);
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 2 – entry into force 20.03.2016]
 5) Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial cases (OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, p. 59–92).
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017]

§ 71.  Agreement on jurisdiction

  In the cases and in accordance with the rules prescribed by law, the parties may enter into an agreement concerning jurisdiction. An agreement concerning jurisdiction is an agreement to resolve a dispute in a specific court.

§ 72.  Special jurisdiction of Harju District Court

 (1) Where, under regular provisions, a case does not fall under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court or where such jurisdiction cannot be determined and an international treaty or the law does not provide otherwise, the case is dealt with by Harju District Court if:
 1) the case must be dealt with in the Republic of Estonia under an international treaty;
 2) the claimant, petitioner or applicant is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or has residence in Estonia, and it is not possible for them to use a legal remedy in a foreign state or they cannot be expected to do so;
 3) the case is closely connected to Estonia for any other reason and it is not possible for the person to use a legal remedy in a foreign state or they cannot be expected to do so.

 (2) Harju District Court also deals with a case if the case falls under the jurisdiction of a court in Estonia but it is not possible to determine the specific court. This applies also if Estonian jurisdiction has been agreed upon without specifying the court that is to dispose of the case.

§ 73.  Jurisdiction determined by the court

  Jurisdiction is determined by the chairman of the court of a higher instance based on a petition of a party to proceedings or at the request of the court which received such petition, if:
 1) the correct court by jurisdiction cannot exercise judicial power in the case;
 2) it is not clear, considering the boundaries of the courts’ service areas, which court has jurisdiction in the case;
 3) several courts have decided regarding a case that the case does not fall under their jurisdiction but one of those courts could consider the case.

§ 74.  Cases which fall under jurisdiction of several courts and division of cases among courthouses

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (1) Where the case falls under the jurisdiction of several Estonian courts at the same time, the initiating party has a right to choose the court with which to file the court claim, application or petition. In such a situation, the case is dealt with by the court with which the document was filed first.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) Where a court claim has been filed with the court serving the locality in which the defendant has their residence or seat, or according to exclusive jurisdiction, the case is heard in the courthouse in whose service area the defendant has their residence or seat or in whose service area the place according to which exclusive jurisdiction was determined lies. Where, in other situations, several different places that determine jurisdiction are within the service area of the same district court, but of different courthouses, the claimant states the courthouse to hear the case. If the claimant does not do this, the place at which the case will be heard is determined by the court.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (3) Cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure are heard in the courthouse in whose service area the place according to which jurisdiction is determined lies. Where several places determining jurisdiction lie within the service area of the same district court, but within the service areas of different courthouses, the place at which the case will be heard is determined by the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 75.  Verification of jurisdiction

 (1) The court which receives a petition verifies whether, pursuant to the provisions concerning international jurisdiction, the petition can be filed with an Estonian court. After this, the court verifies whether the case falls under the jurisdiction of the court with which the petition was filed.

 (2) If the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of such court, the court forwards the petition to the court which has jurisdiction in the case, unless the court finds that according to international jurisdiction, the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court.

 (3) A person may request, even before filing a petition, that the court make an order on whether or not the case falls within the jurisdiction of that court. In such case, the draft of the intended statement or petition and other documents necessary for determining jurisdiction shall be added to the request. If necessary, the court may ask for the positions of the presumed defendant or other parties to proceedings on resolving the request and hear them.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (31) The order mentioned in subsection 3 of this section whereby the court finds that the case does not fall under its jurisdiction is subject to appeal by the person who filed the request. An order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) A higher court does not verify or change jurisdiction on grounds other than resolution of appeals filed against court orders concerning jurisdiction, against orders rejecting a petition, against orders by which a petition is dismissed and against orders of termination of proceedings. A higher court may also verify on the basis of another appeal whether an Estonian court may deal with a case according to international jurisdiction if that jurisdiction was challenged in the district court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 76.  Referral of case according to jurisdiction

 (1) If, after accepting a petition, the court ascertains that the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the court, the court makes an order on referring the case according to jurisdiction. If the case falls under the jurisdiction of several courts, the court refers the case to the court of the petitioner's choice.

 (2) The order mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is subject to appeal. An order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (3) The court refers a case to the correct court by jurisdiction after expiry of the time limit for filing of appeals against the court order. If an appeal is filed against the court order, the court refers the case if it denies the appeal.

 (4) The court which receives the case referred must consider that case. Jurisdictional disputes between courts are prohibited.

§ 77.  Changing of jurisdiction of case

  If a case was accepted correctly by a court, the court adjudicates the case on its merits even if the circumstances which constituted the basis for determination of jurisdiction have changed after acceptance of the petition.

§ 78.  Filing of court claims with courts of different states

 (1) If a court claim of identical content between the same parties has been accepted by a competent court of a foreign state before the court claim was filed with an Estonian court, the Estonian court accepts the court claim provided that the other conditions for acceptance of the case are fulfilled and the jurisdiction of Estonian court does not arise from an international agreement or a European Union regulation mentioned in subsection 70 (4) of this Code but suspends proceedings if it may be presumed that the court of the foreign state makes a decision within a reasonable amount of time and such decision will be recognised in the Republic of Estonia.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (11) For the purposes of subsection 1 of this section, the time of filing a court claim with an Estonian court is deemed to be the time when the court claim, or the request mentioned in subsection 75 (3) of this Code reaches the court as well as the time when the petition mentioned in subsection 160 (2) of the General Part of the Civil Code Act reaches the court or the time of performance of some other act. This applies only if the court claim was served on the opposing party at a later time.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A case is deemed to have been accepted by a court of a foreign state after the court of the foreign state has performed the first procedural operation with respect to the court claim.

 (3) The court resumes the proceedings suspended on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section in accordance with the rules provided by § 361 of this Code if the court of the foreign state has failed to make a decision within a reasonable amount of time or it becomes evident that the decision which has been made or will be made will evidently not be recognised in the Republic of Estonia.

 (4) The court makes an order on termination of proceedings after the decision of a court of a foreign state subject to recognition in the Republic of Estonia is submitted to the court. An appeal may be filed against the order.

 (5) The provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section apply correspondingly upon filing of petitions with courts of different states under the action-by-petition procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 12 GENERAL JURISDICTION  

§ 79.  Jurisdiction over person

 (1) A court claim against a natural person can be filed with the court of their residence and a court claim against a legal person can be filed with the court of its seat.

 (2) If the residence of a natural person is not known, a court claim against the person can be filed with the court of their last known residence.

§ 80.  Jurisdiction over citizens of Republic of Estonia residing in foreign state

 (1) A court claim against a citizen of the Republic of Estonia living in a foreign state who is an extra-territorial person or against a citizen of the Republic of Estonia working in a foreign state who is a civil servant can be filed with the court of the person's last residence in Estonia.

 (2) If a person mentioned in subsection 1 of this section has not had a residence in Estonia, a court claim can be filed against them with Harju District Court.

§ 81.  Jurisdiction over Republic of Estonia and local governments

 (1) A court claim can be filed against the Republic of Estonia or a local government with the court of the seat of the state agency or local government agency whose activity is the basis for the intended court claim against the state or local government agency.

 (2) If the state agency mentioned in subsection 1 of this section cannot be determined, the court claim is made with Harju District Court. If the local government agency mentioned in subsection 1 of this section cannot be determined, the court claim is made with the court of the seat of the executive of the rural or urban municipality.

 (3) A claimant can also file a court claim mentioned in subsection 1 or 2 of this section with the court of their residence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 82.  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 13 OPTIONAL JURISDICTION  

§ 83.  Jurisdiction by place of stay

  A court claim involving a pecuniary claim can be filed against a natural person also with the court of their place of stay if the person has stayed in such place for a longer period of time due to an employment or service relationship, studies or for other such reason.

§ 84.  Jurisdiction by place of business

  A court claim related to the economic or professional activities of the defendant can also be filed with the court of the place of business thereof.

§ 85.  Jurisdiction by seat of legal person

  A membership-based legal person – including a company – or a member, partner or shareholder of such a person may file a court claim arising from the membership of or a holding in the person against the person’s member, partner or shareholder also with the court that serves the locality in which the person has its seat.

§ 86.  Jurisdiction by location of property

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (1) If a person has residence or seat in a foreign state, a court claim involving a pecuniary claim can be filed against such person with the court of the location of the property with respect to which the claim is filed or with the court of the location of other property of the person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If property has been entered in a public register, the court claim mentioned in subsection 1 of this section can be filed with the court of the location of the register in which the property is registered.

 (3) If the property is a claim under the law of obligations, the court claim mentioned in subsection 1 of this section can be filed with the court of the residence or seat of the debtor. If the claim is secured by an item of property, the court claim can be filed with the court of the location of the item.

§ 87.  Jurisdiction over court claims involving claim secured by mortgage or encumbered with real encumbrance

  A court claim for the collection of a claim secured by a mortgage or encumbered with a real encumbrance or another court claim involving a similar claim can also be filed with the court of the location of the immovable provided that the debtor is the owner of the registered immovable which is secured by the mortgage or encumbered with the real encumbrance.

§ 88.  Jurisdiction over court claims arising from apartment ownership

  A court claim against an apartment owner which arises from a legal relationship related to apartment ownership can also be filed with the court of the location of the immovable which is the object of the apartment ownership.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 – entry into force 23.03.2014]

§ 89.  Jurisdiction by place of performance of contract

 (1) A court claim arising under a contract or a court claim to declare a contract void may also be filed with the court that serves the locality where the place of performance of the contested contractual obligation is situated.

 (2) Where a contract concerns the sale of an item of movable property, the place of performance, for the purposes of subsection 1 of this section, is deemed to be the place where the property was or had to be delivered to the buyer or, in the case of a contract for a service, the place where the service was provided or had to be provided. In any other situation, the debtor’s place of business or, where the debtor does not have one, the place where the debtor’s has their residence or seat is deemed to be the place of performance of the obligation for the purposes of subsection 1 of this section.

 (3) The provisions of subsection 2 of this section apply in so far as the parties have not agreed otherwise.

§ 90.  Jurisdiction according to the residence of the consumer

  A consumer may file a court claim arising under a contract or from a relationship mentioned in §§ 35, 46 or 52, in subsection 4 of § 208, in §§ 379 or 402, in subsection 4 of § 635 or in §§ 709, 734 or 866 of the Law of Obligations Act as well as a court claim arising under any other contract concluded with an undertaking that has its seat or a place of business in Estonia with the court that serves the locality in which the consumer has their residence. This does not apply to court claims arising under haulage contracts.

§ 91.  Jurisdiction over court claims arising under an insurance contract

 (1) A policyholder, beneficiary or any other person entitled to claim performance from the insurer under an insurance contract may also file a court claim arising under the insurance contract against the insurer with the court that serves the locality in which the person has their residence or seat.

 (2) In the case of liability insurance, or of insurance of a construction work or of an item of immovable property or of movable property together with the construction work or with the immovable property, the court claim against the insurer may also be filed with the court that serves the locality in which the act that caused the harm was performed or the event that caused the harm occurred, or in which the harm was caused.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 911.  Jurisdiction over court claims arising under an agreement on intellectual property rights

  A court claim arising under an agreement on the transfer of any material subject to copyright, related rights or industrial property rights or under a licence agreement, or a court claim for a declaration of invalidity of such an agreement may also be filed with Harju District Court.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 4 – entry into force 01.04.2019]

§ 92.  Jurisdiction by residence or workplace of the employee

  An employee may file a court claim arising under their employment contract also with the court that serves the locality in which they have their residence or workplace.

§ 93.  Jurisdiction over court claims arising in relation to a bill of exchange or a cheque

  A court claim arising in relation to a bill of exchange or a cheque may also be filed with the court of the place of payment for the bill of exchange or cheque.

§ 94.  Jurisdiction over court claims arising from unlawfully caused harm

  A court claim for compensation for unlawfully caused harm may also be filed at the court that serves the locality in which the act was performed or the event occurred that caused the harm, or in which the harm was caused.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 95.  Jurisdiction over court claims based on a maritime claim, rescue work or rescue contract

 (1) A court claim based on one or several maritime claims mentioned in the Law of Maritime Property Act can also be filed with the court that serves the locality where the defendant’s ship is located or where the ship has its home port.

 (2) A court claim based on rescue work or a rescue contract can also be filed with the court that serves the locality where rescue work was carried out.

§ 96.  Jurisdiction over court claims for division of estate

 (1) A court claim seeking a declaration concerning the right of succession, the successor's claim against possessor of the estate, a claim arising from a legacy or under a succession contract or a claim for a compulsory portion or for division of the estate can also be filed with the court that serves the locality in which the decedent had their residence at the time of their death.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the bequeather was a citizen of the Republic of Estonia but at the time of death had no residence in Estonia, the court claim mentioned in subsection 1 of this section can also be filed with the court of the bequeather's last residence in Estonia. If the bequeather had no residence in Estonia, the court claim can be filed with Harju District Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 97.  Court claim against co-defendants and several court claims against same defendant

 (1) A court claim against several defendants may be filed by the claimant with the court that serves the locality in which a co-defendant of the claimant's choice has their residence or seat.

 (2) Where several court claims can be filed against a single defendant by virtue of the same fact, such court claims may also be filed with the court with which a court claim asserting any one, or several, of the heads of claim arising from that fact could be filed.

§ 98.  Jurisdiction over counterclaims and court claims by a third party with an independent claim

 (1) A counterclaim can be filed with the court with which the court claim was filed provided that the conditions for filing a counterclaim are complied with and the counterclaim does not fall under exclusive jurisdiction and it is not established that cases of this type are reviewed by a certain district court only. This also applies in cases in which, under regular provisions, the counterclaim should be filed with a court of a foreign state.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 4 – entry into force 01.04.2019]

 (2) A court claim by a third party with an independent claim may be filed with the court which is considering the original court claim.

§ 981.  Jurisdiction in bankruptcy proceedings

  [Repealed – RT I, 04.01.2021, 4 – entry into force 01.02.2021]

Chapter 14 EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION  

§ 99.  Jurisdiction by location of immovable

 (1) A court claim with the following objects is filed with the court of the location of the immovable:
 1) a claim related to the recognition of the existence of the right of ownership, limited real right or other real right encumbrance concerning an immovable, or recognition of absence of such rights or encumbrances, or a claim related to other rights in immovables;
 2) determination of boundaries or division of an immovable;
 3) protection of the possession of an immovable;
 4) a claim with respect to a real right arising from apartment ownership;
 5) a claim related to compulsory enforcement of an immovable;
 6) a claim arising under a lease contract or commercial lease contract concerning an immovable or other contract for the use of an immovable under the law of obligations, or from the validity of such contracts.

 (2) A court claim related to real servitude, real encumbrance or right of pre-emption is filed with the court of the location of the servient or encumbered immovable.

§ 100.  Claim to cease using a standard term

 (1) A court claim to cease using an unfair standard term or, for the person recommending its use, to cease recommending such use and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation (§ 45 of the Law of Obligations Act) is filed with the court that serves the locality in which the defendant has their place of business or, where the defendant does not have one, with the court that serves the locality in which the defendant has their residence or seat. If the defendant has no place of business, residence or seat in Estonia, the court claim is filed with the court in whose service area the standard term was used.
[RT I, 05.04.2013, 1 – entry into force 15.04.2013]

 (2) The provisions of this Code concerning a court claim to cease using a standard term also apply in a situation provided for by subsection 21 of § 45 of the Law of Obligations Act.
[RT I, 05.04.2013, 1 – entry into force 15.04.2013]

§ 101.  Jurisdiction in cases for setting aside a decision of a body of a legal person or declaring such a decision to be void

  A court claim to set aside a decision of a body of a legal person or for establishment of invalidity thereof is filed with the court of the seat of the legal person.

§ 102.  Jurisdiction of matrimonial cases

 (1) Matrimonial cases are civil cases that seek resolution of court claims the object of which is:
 1) divorce;
 2) annulment of marriage;
 3) establishment of existence or absence of marriage;
 4) division of joint property or other claims arising from the pecuniary relationship between the spouses;
 5) other claims arising from the marital relationship of a spouse filed against the other spouse.

 (2) An Estonian court is competent to deal with a matrimonial case if:
 1) at least one of the spouses is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or was a citizen at the time of contracting the marriage;
 2) the residences of both spouses are in Estonia;
 3) the residence of one spouse is in Estonia, except where the judgment to be made would clearly not be recognised in the country of nationality of either spouse.

 (3) In a matrimonial case to be dealt with by an Estonian court, a court claim is made with the court of the joint residence of the spouses and in the absence thereof, with the court of the residence of the defendant. If the residence of the defendant is not in Estonia, the court claim is made with the court of the residence of a common child of the parties who is a minor and, in the absence of a common child who is a minor, with the court of the residence of the claimant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Where the property of an absentee has been placed under guardianship due to the person going missing or a guardian has been appointed to a person due to their restricted active legal capacity or if imprisonment has been imposed on a person as punishment, a court claim for divorce against such person may also be filed with the court that serves the locality in which the claimant has their residence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 103.  Jurisdiction in filiation and maintenance cases

 (1) A filiation case is a civil case that seeks resolution of a court claim whose head of claim is the ascertainment of filiation or contestation of an entry by which a parent in the record of the birth of the child or in the Population Register.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) An Estonian court may deal with a filiation case if at least one of the parties is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or at least one of the parties has a residence in Estonia.

 (3) In a filiation case to be dealt with by an Estonian court, the court claim is made with the court of the residence of the child. If the residence of the child is not in Estonia, the court claim is made with the court of the residence of the defendant. If the residence of the defendant is not in Estonia, the court claim is made with the court of the residence of the claimant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The provisions of subsections 2 and 3 of this section also apply to maintenance cases. A maintenance case is a civil case that seeks resolution of a court claim the object of which is a claim for:
 1) performance of a parent’s statutory maintenance obligation in respect of an underage child;
 2) performance of a maintenance obligation between parents;
 3) performance of a maintenance obligation between spouses;
 4) performance of any other statutory maintenance obligation.

§ 1031.  Jurisdiction in bankruptcy proceedings

  A court claim related to bankruptcy proceedings or to a bankruptcy estate is filed with the court that declared the bankruptcy.
[RT I, 04.01.2021, 4 – entry into force 01.02.2021]

Chapter 15 AGREEMENT ON JURISDICTION  

§ 104.  Agreement on jurisdiction

 (1) A court may also consider a case according to jurisdiction in the case where the jurisdiction of such court is prescribed by an agreement between the parties and the dispute relates to the economic or professional activities of both parties, or the dispute relates to the economic or professional activities of one party and the other party is the state, a local government or another legal person in public law, or if both the parties are legal persons in public law.

 (2) An agreement on jurisdiction may also be entered into if the residence or seat of one or both of the parties is not in Estonia.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, an agreement on jurisdiction applies also if:
 1) such agreement was reached after the arising of the dispute;
 2) jurisdiction was agreed upon for the event where the defendant settles in, or transfers the place of business or seat thereof to a foreign state after entry into the agreement, or if the residence, place of business or seat of the defendant is not known at the time of filing the court claim.

 (4) Jurisdiction determined by agreement is exclusive jurisdiction, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

§ 105.  Jurisdiction in cases where defendant participates in proceedings without submitting objections

  Internationally as well as among Estonian courts, district courts may, according to jurisdiction, deal with the case if the defendant responds to the court claim without contesting jurisdiction and also if the defendant does not respond to the court claim but participates in a trial or hearing without contesting jurisdiction.

§ 106.  Invalidity of agreement on jurisdiction

 (1) An agreement on jurisdiction is invalid if:
 1) it is contrary to the provisions of subsection 1 of § 104 of this Code;
 2) it does not concern a specific legal relationship or a dispute arising from such a relationship;
 3) it has been entered into in a form that is not reproducible in writing;
 4) exclusive jurisdiction is prescribed by law for filing the court claim;
 5) one of the parties has been deprived of Estonian jurisdiction contrary to the principles of good faith.

 (2) In the case mentioned in clause 4 of subsection 1 of this section, the court shall not deal with the case in accordance with normal jurisdiction even when the circumstances described in § 105 of this Code arise in the proceedings.

§ 107.  Change of jurisdiction during proceedings

  The court of first instance may, by order, refer the case to another court of first instance if the parties submit a joint petition to such effect before the first hearing or, in written procedure, before expiry of the time limit for submission of positions.

Chapter 16 JURISDICTION IN CASES DEALT WITH UNDER THE ACTION-BY-PETITION PROCEDURE  

§ 108.  Expedited order-for-payment procedure

  Cases dealt with under the expedited order-for-payment procedure – except for cases of European orders for payment filed under Regulation no. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European order for payment procedure (OJ L 399, 30.12.2006, pp. 1–32) are disposed of by the Haapsalu Courthouse of Pärnu District Court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 109.  Declaration of person dead and establishment of time of death of person

 (1) An Estonian court may declare a person dead and establish their time of death if:
 1) at the time the missing person was last heard of, they was a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or had residence in Estonia at such time;
 2) another legal interest exists for an Estonian court to declare the person dead and establish their time of death.

 (2) A petition for declaring a person dead and establishing their time of death is filed with the court of the last residence of the missing person. If a person has gone missing in connection with a shipwreck registered in Estonia, the petition is filed with the court of the home port of the ship.

 (3) In the cases not mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, a petition for declaring a person dead or establishing their time of death is filed with the court of the residence or seat of the petitioner. If the residence or seat of the petitioner is not in Estonia, the petition is filed with Harju District Court.

 (4) A petition for amendment of the time of death or for withdrawal of the declaration of death is filed with the court which established the time of death or declared the person dead.

§ 110.  Guardianship cases

 (1) A guardianship case is a case for appointment of a guardian for a person, or other case related to guardianship. An Estonian court is competent to deal with a guardianship case if:
 1) the person in need of guardianship or the ward is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia, or their residence is in Estonia;
 2) the person in need of guardianship or the ward needs the protection of an Estonian court due to another reason, including the case where the property of the person is located in Estonia.

 (2) A guardian do not need to be appointed in Estonia if an Estonian court and a court of a foreign state are equally competent to establish guardianship and a guardian has already been appointed in a foreign state or a foreign court is conducting proceedings for appointment of guardianship, provided that the decision of the foreign court can be presumed to be recognised in Estonia and not appointing a guardian in Estonia is in the interests of the person in need of guardianship.

 (3) A guardianship case is dealt with by the court of the residence of the person in need of guardianship.

 (4) Appointment of a guardian for a child before the birth of the child is dealt with by the court of the residence of the mother.

 (5) If establishment of guardianship is sought for brothers or sisters who are residing or staying within the territorial jurisdiction of several courts, the guardian is appointed by the court of the residence of the youngest child. If, in such a case, guardianship proceedings are already pending before a court, the guardianship case is dealt with by that court.

 (6) If a person in need of guardianship has no residence in Estonia or if the residence cannot be established, the case can be dealt with by the court in whose territorial jurisdiction the person or their property is in need of protection, or by Harju District Court.

 (7) A case relating to a ward or their property is dealt with by the court which appointed the guardian. Such case can also be dealt with, where a valid reason is present, by the court of the residence of the ward or the court of the location of the property of such person.

§ 111.  Placing of person in closed institution

 (1) The case of placing a person in a closed institution is dealt with by the court which appointed the guardian for the person or the court conducting proceedings in the case of guardianship. In other cases such cases are dealt with by the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the closed institution is located. The case can also be dealt with by the court that applied interim protection of a right.
[RT I, 23.02.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2011]

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the provisions of subsections 110 (1) and (2) of this Code apply.

 (3) Interim protection of a right in the case may be ordered by any court within whose territorial jurisdiction the relevant measure must be applied.

 (4) Other cases related to placement of a person in a closed institution, including cases of suspension or termination of placement of a person in a closed institution and cases of change of the time limit of placement, are dealt with by the court that decided the placement of the person in a closed institution.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 112.  Placing an absentee’s property under guardianship

 (1) Cases of placing the property of an absentee under guardianship are dealt with by the court that serves the locality where the absentee has their residence.

 (2) Where the absentee has no residence in Estonia, the case is dealt with by the court that serves the locality where the property whose placement under guardianship is sought is situated.

 (3) Other cases related to placement of an absentee’s property under guardianship, including cases of discharging the guardianship and changing the guardian or varying the guardian’s duties, are dealt with by the court that appointed the guardian.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 113.  Adoption

 (1) An adoption case can be dealt with by an Estonian court if the adoptive parent, one of the spouses wishing to adopt or the child is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or the residence of the adoptive parent, of one of the spouses wishing to adopt or of the child is in Estonia.

 (2) A petition to adopt is filed with the court that serves the locality in which the adoptive child has their residence. If the adoptive child has no residence in the Republic of Estonia, the petition is filed with Harju District Court.

 (3) A case in which a declaration of invalidity is sought regarding an adoption is disposed of by the court which decided on the adoption.

§ 114.  Extension of active legal capacity of minor

 (1) The case of extension of the active legal capacity of a minor can be dealt with by an Estonian court if the minor is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or their residence is in Estonia.

 (2) A petition for extension of the active legal capacity of a minor or a petition to set aside a decision to extend the active legal capacity of a minor is filed with the court of the residence of the minor. If the minor has no residence in the Republic of Estonia, the petition is filed with Harju District Court.

§ 115.  Ascertainment of filiation and contestation of entry identifying a parent after the person in question has passed away

  Where a person seeks to ascertain filiation from a person who has passed away or where a person contests an entry identifying a parent in the record of the birth of the child or in the Population Register after the person identified as the parent has passed away, the corresponding petition is filed with the court that serves the locality in which the person from whom filiation is to be ascertained or who is identified in the contested entry had their last residence. Where the last residence of the person was outside Estonia or is unknown, the petition is filed with Harju District Court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 116.  Other family cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) The provisions of § 110 of this Code apply to family cases which are to be dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure and which are not mentioned in this Subchapter, unless otherwise provided by law or dictated by the nature of the case.

 (2) A case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure relating to the legal relationship between spouses or divorced spouses is dealt with by the court of the territorial jurisdiction of the common residence of the spouses or of the last common residence of the spouses.

 (3) If, in the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the spouses had no common residence in Estonia or if neither of the spouses currently have a residence within the jurisdiction of the court of their last common residence, the case is dealt with by the court of the residence of the spouse whose rights would be restricted by the requested order. If the residence of that spouse is not in Estonia or the residence cannot be established, the case is dealt with by the court of the residence of the petitioner.

 (4) If jurisdiction cannot be determined on the basis of subsection 2 or 3 of this section, the case is disposed of by Harju District Court.

 (5) Interim protection of a right in a family case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure may be applied by each court within whose territorial jurisdiction a measure must be applied.

§ 117.  Imposition of conservation measures on a decedent’s estate

 (1) An Estonian court may impose conservation measures on a decedent’s estate located in Estonia regardless of the state whose law is applicable to the succession or of the state whose authority or official is competent by general jurisdiction to conduct proceedings concerning the estate.

 (2) Conservation measures are imposed by the court that serves the locality in which the succession opened. Where the succession opens in a foreign state and the decedent’s estate is located in Estonia, conservation measures may be applied by the court of that serves the locality in which the estate is situated.

§ 118.  Unknown rightholder proceedings – jurisdiction

 (1) A petition to declare a security invalid is filed with the court of the place of redemption of the the security or, where no place of redemption has been provided for, in accordance with general jurisdiction as applicable to the issuer of the security.

 (2) A petition for initiation of unknown rightholder proceedings for preclusion of the rights of the owner of an immovable is filed by the possessor of the immovable pursuant to the provisions of § 124 of the Law of Property Act with the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the immovable is located.

 (3) In the case provided by § 13 of the Law of Maritime Property Act, the entitled person files a petition for initiation of unknown rightholder proceedings for the preclusion of the rights of the owner of a ship with Harju District Court.

 (4) A petition for initiation of unknown rightholder proceedings for preclusion of the rights of an unknown mortgagee (§ 331 of the Law of Property Act) is filed by the owner of the encumbered immovable with the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the encumbered immovable is located. Under § 59 of the Law of Maritime Property Act A petition for preclusion of the rights of an unknown maritime mortgagee or pledgee is filed by the owner of the encumbered ship or of pledged property that has been encumbered with a registered movable-property security interest with Harju District Court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 178 – entry into force 01.10.2009]

§ 119.  Jurisdiction in cases relating to legal persons in private law dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure

  [RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.01.2015]
Cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure – with the exception of registrations cases – which are related to the activities of a company, non-profit association or foundation, including cases related to the appointment of a substitute member of the management board or supervisory board, an auditor, an auditor for a special audit or a liquidator, or cases related to determination of the amount of compensation to the partners or shareholders in a company are dealt with by the court of the seat of the legal person or the branch of a foreign company.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 120.  Apartment ownership and common ownership cases

  A case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure related to apartment ownership or common ownership is dealt with by the court that serves the locality in which the immovable is situated.

§ 1201.  Cases concerning access to a public road, an artificial recipient of a land improvement system and leave to keep a utility work on land

  [RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2019]
Cases concerning access to a public road, an artificial recipient of a land improvement system and leave to keep a utility work on land, are dealt with by the court that serves the locality in which the immovable from which access to a public road is sought is situated or for which the building of an artificial recipient of a land improvement system is sought or on which the utility work is located.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2019]

§ 121.  Cases of recognition, declaration of enforceability or enforcement of decisions of courts of foreign states

  [RT I, 19.03.2019, 8 – entry into force 01.04.2019]
A petition for recognition and declaration of enforceability of a decision of a court of a foreign state, a petition for refusal to recognise or enforce or for suspension of enforcement or another petition in enforcement proceedings shall be filed according to the residence or seat of the debtor, or with the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the conduct of enforcement proceedings is sought, unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 8 – entry into force 01.04.2019]

§ 1211.  Cases of declaring settlement agreement reached as result of conciliation proceedings enforceable

  A settlement agreement reached as a result of conciliation proceedings referred to in subsection 14 (1) of the Conciliation Act is declared enforceable by the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the conciliation proceedings were conducted.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 1212.  Cases of recognition and declaration of enforceability of decisions of arbitral tribunals

 (1) Petitions for recognition and declaration of enforceability of decisions of arbitral tribunals made in Estonia or decisions of arbitral tribunals of foreign states and petitions for refusal to recognise or enforce these are filed with Pärnu District Court.

 (2) Petitions for suspension of enforcement of decisions of arbitral tribunals of foreign states and other petitions in enforcement proceedings are filed according to the residence or seat of the debtor, or with the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the conduct of enforcement proceedings is sought, unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement.

 (3) If one of the parties to an agreement in an arbitration proceeding is a consumer, a petition for recognition and declaration of enforceability of the arbitral decision or a petition for refusal to recognise or enforce the arbitral decision is filed with the court of the territorial jurisdiction of the place of the arbitration proceeding.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 8 – entry into force 01.04.2019]

Part 3 VALUE OF CIVIL CASE, CASE COSTS AND SECURITY  

Chapter 17 VALUE OF CIVIL CASE  

§ 122.  Value of civil case

 (1) The value of a civil case means the value of a court claim or the value of a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (2) The value of a court claim is the usual value of that which is sought by the court claim.

 (3) The value of a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure is the usual value of that which is petitioned in the case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure, or the usual value of the operation performed at the initiative of the court.

 (4) Case costs are not taken into account upon determination of the value of a civil case.

§ 123.  Time which constitutes basis for calculation of value of civil case

  The calculation of the value of a civil case is based on the time of filing of the court claim or other petition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 124.  Value of court claim in case of financial claim

 (1) In the case of a court claim for payment of money, the value of the court claim is determined by the amount of money claimed. A claim in a foreign currency is translated into euros for the purpose of determining the value of a court claim as at the time of filing of the court claim on the basis of the daily exchange rate of the European Central Bank.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (2) If the claimant requires the performance of an obligation other than a financial obligation from the defendant and also requests the determination of the amount of compensation for harm payable upon failure to perform the obligation, the value of the court claim is determined on the basis of the claimed amount of compensation for damage.

 (3) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section also apply when petitions for expedited order-for-payment procedure are filed under the action-by-petition procedure.

§ 125.  Value of court claim seeking declaratory relief

  The value of a court claim seeking declaratory relief is determined by the value of the benefit to which the claimant can be presumed to be entitled in the case the court claim is granted. If the value of the benefit cannot be determined, the claim filed in the court claim is deemed to be non-pecuniary.

§ 126.  Value of court claim where the claim relates to an item of property or a right

 (1) In a dispute concerning recovery of an item of property from the possession of a person or transfer of ownership of such an item or any other dispute concerning ownership or possession of such an item, including where the dispute concerns rectification of an incorrect owner entry in the Land Register, the value of the court claim is determined based on the value of the item. Unless otherwise provided by law, this applies regardless of whether the case is disposed of on the basis of a contract or of a non-contractual legal relationship,.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The value of a court claim in a dispute relating to a right is determined based on the value of the right.

 (21) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (3) In a dispute concerning interim protection of the claim or a security right that secures the claim, the value of the court claim is determined by the amount of the claim. If the value of the pledged item is lower than the value of the claim, the value of the item is taken as the basis.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 127.  Value of the court claim in a dispute relating to real servitude

  The value of a court claim in a dispute related to or arising from a real servitude is determined based on the value of the servitude for the dominant immovable. If the amount by which the value of the servient immovable is reduced by the real servitude is higher than such value, the amount by which the value of the servient immovable is reduced by the real servitude is deemed to be the value of the court claim.

§ 128.  Value of court claim in case of contract for use

  The value of a court claim in the case of a dispute relating to the validity or duration of a lease contract, commercial lease contract or other similar contract for use is the sum total of the user fees payable for the time under dispute which shall however not be longer than one year. In the case of a dispute relating to delivery of the possession of an immovable, construction works or part thereof due to the expiry of a contract, the value of the court claim is the sum total of the user fees payable for one year.

§ 129.  Value of court claim upon recurring obligations

 (1) The value of a court claim in a dispute concerning a claim directed at the performance of recurring obligations is the total value of the obligations which shall however not be higher than three times the total yearly value of such obligations.

 (2) The value of a court claim in a dispute concerning the performance of a statutory maintenance obligation, or a dispute involving a claim for regular monetary payments arising from the causing of a person’s death, bodily injury or harm to a person’s health is the sum total of the claimed payments which shall however not be higher than the amount which would be received for the nine months following the filing of the court claim.

§ 130.  Value of the court claim in a dispute concerning ceasing the use of a standard term

  [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 131.  Value of the court claim to invalidate a resolution of a legal person or declare such a resolution void

  [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 132.  Value of a court claim based on a non-pecuniary claim

 (1) The value of a court claim based on a non-pecuniary claim is presumed to be 3500 euros unless otherwise prescribed by subsection 11 of this section.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (11) The value of a court claim based on a non-pecuniary claim provided for by subsection 4 of this section is deemed to be 3500 euros.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (2) Where the claim is a non-pecuniary one, the court may set a value for the court claim which is different from the value provided by subsection 1 of this section, taking account of all circumstances, including the extent and importance of the case as well as the financial situation and income of the parties.

 (3) For court claim value purposes, a claim for compensation for non-pecuniary harm that results from causing a person’s death, from bodily injury, from harm to a person’s health or from defamation is also deemed a non-pecuniary claim, provided that the amount of compensation claimed is not stated in the court claim and fair compensation at the discretion of the court is requested.

 (4) For court claim value purposes, the following claims are also deemed non-pecuniary claims:
 1) a claim for protection of possession (§§ 44 and 45 of the Law of Property Act);
 2) a claim for protection of ownership in a situation where the violation does not relate to loss of possession (§ 89 of the Law of Property Act);
 3) a claim of the owner of an item of immovable property recorded in the Land Register for illegal possession of the property to cease and for the owner's possession to be restored, except in a situation provided for by the second sentence of § 128 of this Code;
 4) a claim for termination of common ownership;
 5) the claim for division of joint property;
 6) the claim for set-off of acquired assets;
 7) a claim to cease using an unfair standard term or, for the person recommending its use, to cease recommending such use and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation;
 8) a claim for invalidation of a resolution of a legal person or for declaring such a resolution to be void;
 9) [Repealed – RT I, 04.01.2021, 4 – entry into force 01.02.2021]

 (5) For court claim value purposes, a claim to declare compulsory enforcement to be inadmissible is also deemed a non-pecuniary claim. The court may not fix the value of the court claim based on such a claim at more than 6000 euros.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 133.  Determination of value of court claim by principal and collateral claims

 (1) The value of a court claim is calculated by the principal and collateral claims.

 (2) For the purpose of calculating the value of a court claim for the collateral claim mentioned in § 367 of this Code, the amount corresponding to the sum of penalties for late payment accounted for one year is added to the sum of penalties for late payment accounted as at the filing of the court claim.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 134.  Joinder of claims upon calculation of value of action

 (1) Claims contained in a court claim are joined for the purpose of calculating the value of the court claim. If the claims are alternative, the value of the court claim is determined by the higher claim.

 (2) If a court claim is made against several jointly and severally liable defendants or if several claimants file a joint claim against the same defendant in a joint statement of court claim, the value of the court claim is determined by the value of the claim.

 (3) If a pecuniary claim is filed together with a related establishment claim, only the value of the pecuniary claim is deemed to be the value of the court claim.

§ 135.  Specification of value of civil case by petitioner

  The claimant or other petitioner specifies the value of the court claim in the statement of court claim, other petition or appeal unless such value clearly arises from the object of the petition or an earlier petition or is exactly mentioned by law.

§ 136.  Determination of value of civil case by court

 (1) The court determines the value of a civil case if such value is not prescribed by law and is not indicated in the petition. The court may determine the value of a civil case also if the court finds the value of the court claim mentioned by the claimant or other petitioner to be incorrect.

 (2) For determination of the value of a civil case, the court may request evidence from the parties to proceedings, organise inspection or order evaluation by an expert.

 (3) The bearing of the costs of expert evaluation is prescribed by the order on determination of the value of the civil case. The court may decide that such costs must be borne, in part or in full, by the party who caused the need for evaluation by failing to specify the value, presenting an incorrect value or contesting the value without basis.

 (4) The court has the right amend an order on the value of a civil case before the disposition of the case in that court instance. The court may also change the value by the judicial disposition whereby the case is adjudicated.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 137.  Value of civil case when filing of appeal

 (1) The value of a civil case when filing an appeal against a judicial disposition, appeal to the Supreme Court or interim appeal is equivalent to the value of the case in the court of first instance, taking account of the extent of the appeal.

 (11) A higher court may change the value of the case if it was determined incorrectly by a lower court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a party has filed an appeal against a judgment in the part of both the court claim and the counterclaim, the values of the court claim and counterclaim adjudicated by the appealed judgment are joined, provided that the claims filed by the court claim do not preclude each other. If the claims of a court claim preclude each other, the court claim with the higher value is taken as the basis.

 (3) The value of a joint appeal by several parties to proceedings are determined based on the value of that which is requested by the appeal.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (5) In filing an appeal or appeal to the Supreme Court against a judgment made in documentary proceedings, an interim judgement or a partial judgment made with a reservation concerning set-off, the value of the case is presumed to be 1/4 of the value of the case in the court of first instance.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 18 CASE COSTS  

Subchapter 1 General Provisions  

§ 138.  Composition and calculation of case costs

 (1) Case costs are court costs and out-of-court costs incurred by the parties to proceedings.

 (2) Court costs are the statutory fee and specific costs related to the case.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (3) In each court instance, the court keeps a record of the case costs incurred, including of specific costs related to the case.

§ 139.  Statutory fee

 (1) ‘Statutory fee’ means a sum of money which, by law, is payable to the Republic of Estonia for performance of a procedural operation.

 (2) A statutory fee must be paid on any procedural operation for whose performance the Statutory Fees Act lays down a statutory fee.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (21) [Repealed – RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (4) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (5) No statutory fee is paid on a petition for initiation of proceedings under the action-by-petition procedure that the court may deal with of its own motion. This does not rule out payment of a statutory fee under a judicial disposition.

 (6) No statutory fee is paid on an application for financial aid.

§ 140.  Deposit fee on appeals to the Supreme Court

  [Repealed – RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 141.  Deposit fee on interim protection of the claim

  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 142.  Deposit fee on motions to set aside a default judgment, to reinstate proceedings or to reinstate a time limit

  [Repealed – RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 143.  Specific costs related to the case

  Specific costs related to the case are:
 1) the costs of any witnesses, experts, interpreters and translators as well as the costs of any non-parties that have been incurred in connection with the conduct of an expert assessment and that are compensated for under the Forensic Examination Act;
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 – entry into force 01.03.2010]
 2) costs related to obtaining any items of documentary or of physical evidence;
 3) costs related to conducting an inspection, including necessary travel expenses incurred by the court;
 4) the costs of service and of the forwarding of procedural documents through an enforcement agent or in a foreign state or to a citizen who resides abroad but remains under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Estonia;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 41) the costs of issue of procedural documents;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 5) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]
 6) the costs of determining the value of the civil case.

§ 144.  Out-of-court costs

  Out-of-court costs are:
 1) the costs of any representatives and advisers of the parties to proceedings;
 2) travel, postal, communications, accommodation and other similar costs of the parties to proceedings which are incurred in connection with the proceedings;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) lost wages or salary of, or any other loss of permanent earnings by, the parties to proceedings;
 4) the costs of pre-action proceedings provided for by law – unless the court claim was filed later than six months after the end of such proceedings;
 5) an enforcement agent's fee for interim protection of the claim and the costs of enforcement of an interim protection order;
 51) an enforcement agent's fee for the service of procedural documents;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]
 52) an enforcement agent's fee for enforcement of a European preservation order made under Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the costs of enforcement of a European preservation order as well as the fee of the Chamber of Enforcement Agents and Trustees in Bankruptcy for considering a request for obtaining information that is filed under that Regulation;
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017]
 6) the costs of processing an application for financial aid towards payment of case costs.
 7) the costs of expedited proceedings on an order for payment;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]
 8) the costs of participation in conciliation proceedings if the court has directed the parties to undertake such proceedings under subsection 4 of § 4 of this Code or in the case of mandatory pre-action conciliation proceedings under subsection 4 of § 1 of the Conciliation Act.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 145.  Exemption from payment of the statutory fee

  [RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (1) The Republic of Estonia as a party to proceedings is released from payment of the statutory fee.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) When filing an interim appeal in a case in which state-funded legal aid has been granted to a minor, the minor – or their attorney who has been appointed in accordance with the rules for such aid – is exempted from payment of the statutory fee.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

Subchapter 2 Bearing of Case Costs  

§ 146.  Persons to bear case costs

 (1) The following persons bear case costs:
 1) a person requesting initiation of proceedings or performance of another procedural operation;
 2) a person who, by way of a petition filed with the court or an agreement, has assumed the obligation to bear the costs;
 3) a person who, based on the judicial disposition, is required to bear the case costs.

 (2) The persons required to pay the case costs in advance who fail to make such advance payment bear, to the extent of the unpaid costs, joint and several liability among themselves and the persons who are required by a judicial disposition to pay such costs for the benefit of the state as well as any other persons obligated to bear the case costs.

 (3) In the relationship among the persons obligated to bear case costs, the person obligated to bear the case costs based on the judicial disposition is responsible for payment of the case costs.

§ 147.  Payment of statutory fee

 (1) To obtain performance of an operation for which a statutory fee is charged, the claimant, petitioner or applicant pays the fee in advance. A court claim will not be served on the defendant and any procedural operations entailed by the operation for which the fee is charged will not be performed before payment of the fee. The claimant, petitioner or applicant is given a time limit for payment of the fee and, if they fail to make the payment by the due date, their court claim, petition or application is rejected unless otherwise prescribed by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Where a court claim, petition or application includes several heads of claim or relief, and the statutory fee has been paid on at least one of these, such a head may not be rejected on account of non-payment of the statutory fee.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Where the statutory fee that has been paid on a head of claim which has been accepted by the court is less than the amount provided by law, the court requires payment of the amount provided by law. If the claimant fails to make the payment by the due date set by the court, the court dismisses the court claim insofar as the head of claim in question is concerned.

 (4) Where the amount of a head of claim is increased, a supplementary statutory fee is paid according to the increase in the value of the court claim. If the claimant fails to pay the supplementary fee, the court claim is deemed to have been filed for the initial amount.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (41) The provisions of subsections 3 and 4 of this section apply respectively to payment of the statutory fee on a petition or appeal under the action-by-petition procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Where expedited order-for-payment proceedings are transformed into action-by-claim proceedings, a supplementary statutory fee is paid on the court claim to the extent that remains outstanding after payment of the fee for the petition for expedited order-for-payment proceedings. Where an application to transform expedited order-for-payment proceedings into action-by-claim proceedings is filed, the case is not accepted for action-by-claim proceedings before the statutory fee has been paid on the court claim.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 148.  Payment of specific costs related to the case

 (1) Unless the court rules otherwise, specific costs related to the case are paid in advance, to the extent ordered by the court, by the party to proceedings who filed the petition to which the costs are related. If a petition is filed by both parties or if a witness or expert is summoned or an inspection is conducted at the initiative of the court, the costs are paid by the parties in equal amounts.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (3) Money to cover the costs mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section is paid to the court's bank account prescribed for such purpose or at the court in cash or by means of an electronic payment instrument. The court accepts cash to the same extent as it accepts statutory fees.

 (4) If the party who is required to pay for the costs mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section in advance fails to do so by the due date set by the court, the court may refuse to perform the requested act.

 (5) An appeal may be filed against a court order by which the court claim of the court is made dependent on the advance payment of the specific costs related to the case if the object of the appeal exceeds 640 euros. An order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (6) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 149.  Payment and refund of deposit fees

  [Repealed – RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 150.  Refunding of statutory fees and of other court costs

 (1) The statutory fee already paid is refunded:
 1) in the amount by which the fee paid exceeds the prescribed sum;
 2) if the corresponding petition is not accepted;
 3) if the corresponding petition is dismissed, except in the cases where the court claim is dismissed due to it being withdrawn by the claimant, due to failure by both parties or the claimant to appear at a trial or hearing, due to failure of the claimant to comply with the court's request to find himself or herself an interpreter, translator or representative proficient in Estonian, or due to failure of the claimant to provide a security for covering the presumed case costs of the defendant;
 4) if the motion for expedited proceedings on an order for payment is denied in situations provided for by clauses 1, 2 and 4 of subsection 2 of § 483 of this Code;
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]
 5) to the person who filed the corresponding interim appeal, or to the person who filed, with the district court, the appeal against a decision of the Industrial Property Committee, if their appeal is granted, provided there are no other parties to proceedings, or if the court does not impose the obligation to pay the statutory fee on another party to proceedings;
 6) to the person who filed the corresponding interim appeal refusing to reinstate a time limit, if their appeal is granted;
 7) if the motion to set aside a default judgment, a motion to reinstate proceedings or a motion to reinstate a time limit is granted in part or in full.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) One half of the statutory fee paid in the proceedings is refunded if:
 1) the principal parties or, in a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure, the parties to proceedings conclude a compromise;
 2) the claimant discontinues the court claim;
 3) prior to the making public of a judgment of a court of first instance in full, the parties waive the right to file an appeal.

 (3) In the event that the petition is dismissed or that proceedings are terminated on account of a compromise being approved or of discontinuance of the court claim, the statutory fee paid in the previous court instance is not refunded.

 (31) Where a motion to set aside a default judgment is granted in part or in full, the statutory fee is not refunded, and is charged to State revenue, if the court claim or summons was served in accordance with the requirements provided by this Code, including where the claim or summons was served by public notice and if it was permissible to grant the claim by a default judgment. In the aforementioned situation, the court may refund the fee if the defendant was unable to respond to the claim or appear at the trial because of an accident or an illness of which it was not possible for the defendant to notify the court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (32) Where an appeal to the Supreme Court or a petition for review is rejected or denied, the statutory fee is charged to State revenue.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (4) The statutory fee is refunded by the last court to deal with the case, only on the basis of a petition of the party to proceedings who paid the statutory fee or for whom the statutory fee was paid. In the cases mentioned in clauses (1) 2) and 3) of this section, the specific costs related to the case are deducted from the refunded amount. The statutory fee is refunded to the party to proceedings who was required to pay it or upon the request thereof to another person.

 (5) Discontinuance of a court claim by the claimant does not restrict the defendant's right to request that the court order payment by the claimant, in full, of the case costs, including the paid statutory fees, in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 168 (4) of this Code.

 (6) A claim for refunding statutory fees expires two years after the end of the year during which such statutory fees were paid, but not before the disposition terminating the proceedings has entered into effect.

 (7) The specific costs related to the case paid by or for a party to proceedings at the direction of the court are refunded to the extent of any overpaid amount, and also if the operation whose costs were paid in advance is not performed or if the state does not incur any costs in connection with the act. The amount is refunded in accordance with the rules provided in subsections (4)–(6) of this section.

 (8) An appeal may be filed against an order by which the district court or circuit court of appeal refused to refund the statutory fee or specific costs related to the case provided the amount whose refund is applied for exceeds 100 euros. An order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning such an appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

Subchapter 3 Costs Related to Witnesses, Experts, Interpreters and Translators and Other Costs Related to Giving Evidence  

§ 151.  Compensation for witnesses, fees for experts, interpreters and translators

 (1) Pursuant to the provisions of this Subchapter, compensation is paid to witnesses and fees are paid to experts, interpreters and translators who participated in proceedings.

 (2) The provisions of this Subchapter, except for § 159, do not extend to the employees of a court or another state agency involved in the capacity of interpreters, translators or experts who, by interpreting, translating or acting as experts, are performing their duties of employment. The extent of and procedure for compensation for the costs of a staff interpreter or translator shall be established by the Government of the Republic. The costs of making an expert assessment by a state forensic institution are compensated to the extent and in accordance with the rules provided in the Forensic Examination Act.
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 – entry into force 01.03.2010]

 (3) If a witness, expert, interpreter or translator has performed their duty, the court pays compensation or fees to them regardless of whether advance payment of the costs has been made by the parties to proceedings or whether the court has collected the costs from the parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 152.  Payment of compensation for witnesses

 (1) A witness is paid compensation for a witness. Compensation for a witness is compensation for any unreceived salaries or wages or other unreceived permanent income. Compensation for a witness is also paid if a question about evidence is responded to in written form.

 (2) The amount of compensation for a witness is calculated based on the hourly fee rate related to the gross average wages earned by the witness multiplied by the number of hours the witness was absent from work.

 (3) The court determines the hourly rate of compensation for a witness within the limits of minimum and maximum hourly wages established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic.

 (4) If giving testimony did not cause a loss of income to a witness or the witness has no source of income, compensation for a witness is paid to them according to the lowest rate.

§ 153.  Payment of fees to experts, interpreters and translators

 (1) Experts, interpreters and translators are paid fees for the performance of their duties in the form of hourly fees within the limits of minimum and maximum hourly wages established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic. Hourly fee payable to experts, interpreters and translators shall not be lower than the minimum permitted hourly wages payable to an employed person and shall not exceed such rate more than 50 times.
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 – entry into force 01.03.2010]

 (2) Upon determination of the hourly fees, the court considers the qualifications of the expert, interpreter or translator, the complexity of the work, any unavoidable costs incurred upon use of necessary means and any special circumstances under which the expert assessment, interpretation or translation was made.

 (3) A person who translated a document is paid for each translated page to the extent established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic. The Government of the Republic may also establish a fixed fee for certain types of expert assessment, interpretation or translation by a regulation.

 (4) If an expert, interpreter or translator so desires, the fee may be paid to the employer of the expert, interpreter or translator or to another person with whom the expert, interpreter or translator has contractual relations based on an invoice presented thereby.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 154.  Witnesses, experts, interpreters and translators from foreign states

  A witness, expert, interpreter or translator residing in a foreign state may be paid compensation or fees according to a higher rate than the rates established by the Government of the Republic if such compensation or fee is usual in their state of residence and the person's participation in proceedings are absolutely necessary. The Government of the Republic may establish the specific procedure for payment of compensation or fees at a higher rate by a regulation.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 155.  Reimbursement of costs to experts

 (1) The costs related to the preparation and compilation of an expert opinion, including necessary expenses for support staff, and for materials and means used upon expert assessment are also reimbursed to the expert.

 (2) The costs mentioned in subsection 1 of this section are not reimbursed to a higher extent than 20% of the expert's fee.

§ 156.  Reimbursement of travel expenses

 (1) Travel expenses related to proceedings are reimbursed to witnesses, experts, interpreters and translators to a reasonable extent.

 (2) The Government of the Republic may establish limits on the travel expenses to be reimbursed and specify the composition of the costs subject to reimbursement by a regulation.

§ 157.  Reimbursement of other costs

  Other necessary costs arising from judicial proceedings, above all the costs of accommodation and meals are reimbursed to witnesses, experts, interpreters and translators to the extent established by the Government of the Republic.

§ 158.  Advance payment of costs

 (1) If a witness, expert, interpreter or translator summoned to court lacks sufficient funds to travel to the court or they cannot be reasonably expected to cover such costs, the witness, expert, interpreter or translator is paid, at their request, such costs in advance.

 (2) If an expert, interpreter or translator is fully or mainly absent from their professional activities at the request of the court for a period of at least 30 consecutive days, a reasonable advance payment is made to the expert, interpreter or translator at their request. An expert may also request advance payment if preparation of an expert opinion requires considerable expenditure which the expert cannot be reasonably expected to cover.

§ 159.  Determination of costs

 (1) The amount of compensation payable to a witness, the size of an expert's, interpreter's or translator's fee and the costs to be reimbursed to such persons are determined by the court which involved the witness, expert, interpreter or translator. The court sends a copy of the order to the agency designated by an administrative decree of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (11) The compensation payable to a witness, as well as experts’, interpreters’ or translators’ fees and compensations for costs include the applicable taxes provided by tax laws; such taxes are withheld or, if necessary, paid off by the agency making payment to the person participating in proceedings. Unless otherwise provided by tax laws, if an amount payable to a natural person, according to the recipient of the amount, constitutes business income of the person or if payment is made to the employer of the person entitled to receive payment, the agency executing the court order transfers the entire amount prescribed by the order.
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 – entry into force 01.03.2010]

 (2) A witness, expert, interpreter, translator, a party to proceedings or the Republic of Estonia (through the Ministry of Justice) may file an appeal against an order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal mentioned in subsection 1 of this section – or against an order by which the court refuses to determine the costs – provided the amount determined by the court or applied for exceeds 100 euros. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an appeal against an order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

§ 160.  Rules for payment of compensation and fees

 (1) Compensation for witnesses and experts', interpreters' and translators' fees are paid only on a corresponding request.

 (2) Unless a witness files a request for payment of compensation and reimbursement of costs with the court, the claim for payment of compensation to a witness and reimbursement of their costs terminates three months after the date on which the witness last participated in the proceedings. The court informs a witness of such time limit and the legal consequences of expiry of the time limit.

 (3) The court may set a time limit of at least 30 days for an expert, interpreter or translator to file the total sum of their claim. When such a time limit is set, the expert, interpreter or translator is informed of the consequences of its expiry.

 (4) The claim of an expert, interpreter or translator terminates unless they file it within the time limit set by the court. An expert, interpreter or translator may request reinstatement of the time limit if they were prevented from respecting it by a valid reason. A motion for reinstatement may be filed within 14 days following elimination of the circumstance that prevented the filing, and of substantiation of the conditions for reinstatement. No statutory fee is paid on such a motion.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections 3 and 4 of this section, the claim of an expert, interpreter or translator terminates within one year following its accrual.

 (6) Any excess compensation or costs paid to a witness or excess fees or costs paid to an expert, interpreter or translator may be reclaimed by a court order provided such an order is served on the person obligated to make the payment within one year following the date on which the excessive payment was made. An appeal may be filed against an order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal provided the amount concerned by the appeal exceeds 100 euros. An order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an appeal against an order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 161.  Reimbursement of other costs related to the offering of evidence

 (1) A person who offers a document or an item of physical evidence to the court or who makes it possible to inspect such a document or item, or who hands over an item of property for expert assessment or makes it possible to conduct such an assessment but who is not a party to proceedings in the case has a right to claim, from the State, reimbursement of any necessary costs that they incurred in connection with the corresponding procedural operations. The costs incurred by a person in connection with the conduct of an expert assessment are reimbursed on the conditions and in accordance with the rules provided by the Forensic Examination Act concerning reimbursement of costs incurred by non-parties in connection with the conduct of expert assessment.
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 – entry into force 01.03.2010]

 (2) The costs mentioned in subsection 1 of this section are determined on a corresponding motion by the court that arranged for the procedural operation. The court also sends a copy of the order to the agency designated by an administrative decree of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (3) A claim for reimbursement of costs terminates three months following the date on which the procedural operation was performed unless the person entitled to the reimbursement files an application for reimbursement of the costs with the court. The court informs a person entitled to the reimbursement of the time limit in question and of the legal consequences of its expiry.

 (4) The applicant, a party to proceedings or the Republic of Estonia (through the Ministry of Justice) may file an appeal against an order mentioned in subsection 2 of this section – or the order refusing to determine the costs – provided the amount determined by the court or applied for exceeds 100 euros. An order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an appeal against an order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

Subchapter 4 Division of Case costs  

§ 162.  Division of case costs under the action-by-claim procedure

 (1) The costs of a court claim are covered by the party against whom the court decides.

 (2) Among other things, the party against whom the court decides is required to compensate the other party for any necessary out-of-court costs which arose as a result of the judicial proceedings. A party is reimbursed for any out-of-court costs, including compensation for unreceived wages or other unreceived permanent income on equal grounds and to the same extent as witnesses are compensated for their costs.

 (3) The case costs of a statutory representative of a party are reimbursed according to the rules that apply to reimbursement of the case costs of a party.

 (4) In the cases where imposing the obligation to pay the opposing party's costs on the party against whom the court decides would be extremely unfair or unreasonable, the court may decide that the costs be covered, in part or in full, by the party who incurred them.

 (5) [Repealed – RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 163.  Division of case costs in the event of partial grant of action

 (1) In the event that a court claim is granted in part, the parties cover the case costs in equal parts unless the court divides the case costs in proportion to the extent to which the court claim was granted or decides that the case costs must be borne, in part or in full, by the parties themselves.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the court claim is granted in part, and to an extent similar to the compromise offered by one of the parties, the court may decide that all or most of the case costs must be borne by the party who did not accept the compromise offer.

§ 164.  Division of case costs in family law cases dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure

 (1) In a matrimonial or filiation case or a case concerning maintenance of an underage child dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure – either party bears their own case costs.
[RT I, 22.12.2021, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (11) Where a court claim to ascertain filiation is granted, the case costs are borne by the defendant. When granting such a claim, the court may decide that the costs are to be borne, in part or in full, by the party who incurred the costs, provided that imposing, on the defendant, an obligation to pay the opposing party's costs would be extremely unfair or unreasonable.
[RT I, 30.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (12) When an underage child’s claim for maintenance is denied, the case costs may be imposed in part or in full on the statutory representative who filed the court claim in the child’s name – where such a representative did not exercise their procedural rights in good faith when filing the claim or during proceedings on the claim.
[RT I, 22.12.2021, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) The court may divide the case costs differently from what has been provided for by subsection 1 of this section if the dispute arises from matrimonial property relations or if such a division of the costs would be unfair and, among other things, if such a division would excessively harm the material needs of one of the spouses.

 (3) In a maintenance case which the defendant has caused to be brought by not providing complete information concerning their earnings or property, the court may decide – regardless of the outcome of the proceedings – to impose the case costs in full or in part on the defendant.

§ 165.  Division of case costs between co-claimants and co-defendants

 (1) If a decision is made against co-claimants or co-defendants, the co-claimants or co-defendants are liable for the case costs in equal parts unless the court rules otherwise. If persons are participating in proceedings to a different extent, the court may base the division of costs on the extent of their participation.

 (2) The co-claimant or co-defendant in proceedings are not required to bear additional case costs on account of a petition, statement, evidence, appeal or contestation filed by another co-claimant or co-defendant. This also applies where, under subsection 3 of § 207 of this Code, a procedural operation of the co-claimant or co-defendant is applicable to other co-claimants or co-defendants.

 (3) If the court decides against defendants who are joint and several debtors, the defendants are also jointly and severally liable for case costs. This does not preclude or restrict the application of the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 166.  Division of case costs in the event of substitution of a party in cases of transfers of disputed object

  Upon substitution of a party in the case of transfer of the disputed object or assignment of claim, the substituted party and the substituting party are jointly and severally liable for the case costs of the opposing party if the court decides in favour of the opposing party. The court determines a different division of costs if dividing the costs in the manner indicated above would clearly be unfair.

§ 167.  Case costs of third party without independent claim

 (1) The case costs of a third party without an independent claim or a representative thereof are compensated for by the opposing party of the party thereof according to the same rules applicable for compensation of the case costs to such party in so far as the opposing party is liable for covering the case costs pursuant to the provisions of this Subchapter.

 (2) If the opposing party is not required to compensate for the costs, the costs are covered by the third party without an independent claim. This does not preclude or restrict the right of a third party to claim compensation for the costs on the grounds arising from private law.

 (3) A third party without an independent claim bears the case costs caused to other parties to proceedings by a petition, request or appeal thereof unless such costs are covered by the opposing party thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 168.  Division of case costs in the event of rejection of the case, dismissal of the court claim, termination of proceedings in the case and admission of the court claim

 (1) The claimant bears the case costs if the court rejects the petition and returns it.

 (2) The claimant bears the case costs if the court claim is dismissed or proceedings are terminated by an order, unless otherwise provided by the provisions of subsections (3)–(5) of this section.

 (3) In the case of a compromise, the parties bear their own case costs unless they agree otherwise.

 (4) If the claimant discontinues or withdraws the court claim, they bear the defendant's case costs, unless the claimant has discontinued or withdrawn the court claim because the defendant has provided satisfaction in respect of the claim after the court claim was filed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If the claimant discontinues or withdraws the court claim because the defendant has provided satisfaction in respect of the claimant's claim after the court claim was filed, the defendant bears the claimant's case costs.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) Where the defendant admits the court claim forthwith, case costs are borne by the claimant – unless the filing of the claim was caused by the defendant’s conduct.

§ 169.  Case costs arising from delays in proceedings

 (1) A party to proceedings who allows the time limit for performance of a procedural operation to expire or causes the changing of the time of performance of a procedural operation, postponement of hearing the case or extension of a time limit by their belated submission of objections or evidence, or in any other manner, bears the additional case costs arising therefrom. Regardless of the outcome of proceedings, the costs caused by service of procedural documents may be imposed on a party to proceedings, if the delay in service was caused by incorrect information entered in the Population Register, commercial register or non-profit associations and foundations register concerning that person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Case costs related to the reinstatement of a time limit, to the filing of a motion to set aside a default judgment or to the reinstatement of proceedings are borne by the person who files the corresponding motion – regardless of the success of the court claim.

 (3) Case costs related to the filing and contestation of a motion or application that was denied or to the filing of a submission or to the offering of an item of evidence which was disregarded may be imposed – regardless of the outcome of the proceedings – on the party who filed the motion, application or submission or offered the item.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 170.  Costs related to preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) The court costs of preliminary collection of evidence organised for preliminary safeguarding of evidence or preliminary establishment of facts are borne by the person at whose request the proceedings were initiated.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The costs of preliminary collection of evidence are taken into consideration upon division of the costs of the main proceedings.

§ 171.  Specifications of covering case costs in higher court

 (1) The case costs caused by the filing of an appeal against a judgment or order, or of a petition for review, are borne by the person filing the appeal or petition if the appeal or petition is denied.

 (2) If the person who filed an appeal against a judicial disposition or an interim appeal wins the case based on a new fact presented thereby although such fact could have been relied on already in the district court, the court may decide that the party in whose favour the court decided must cover all or a part of the costs related to the appeal against a judicial disposition or interim appeal.

 (3) If the defendant against whom a judgment of a district court is made applies for the application of a limitation period in a circuit court of appeal and the defendant failed to apply for application of the limitation period in the district court and the circuit court of appeal applies the limitation period, the court may decide that the costs of appeal proceedings must be covered by the defendant.

 (4) In the case a petition for review is granted, the case costs related to the review are deemed to be part of the case costs of the case reviewed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 172.  Case costs under the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) Under the action-by-petition procedure, the case costs are covered by the person in whose interests the decision is made. If several persons participate in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure, the court may decide that all or a part of the case costs must be covered by a certain party to proceedings if this is fair considering the circumstances, including if the party to proceedings has submitted an unfounded petition, statement or evidence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If only a petitioner participates in proceedings or if the court does not impose the case costs on other parties to proceedings, the case costs are borne by the petitioner, including the costs of the petitioner's representative, even if the petition is granted. If an interim appeal is granted, the statutory fee for the interim appeal against the order is refunded pursuant to the provisions of § 150 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The costs of placing a person in a closed institution and of related proceedings are covered by the state unless the court decides that all or a part of such costs must be covered by the person himself or herself or their guardian, because the court considers this to be fair and the person can be presumed to cover the costs. The court may decide that all or a part of the costs of proceedings for the appointment of a guardian for a person or for revocation of such an appointment, or of proceedings for the application of measures related to guardianship, as well as of proceedings in a family case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure and proceedings concerning imposition of a restraining order or other similar measure to protect personal rights must be borne by the state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Under the action-by-petition procedure, the costs arising from imposition of conservation measures on a decedent’s estate are covered by the successors according to the provisions concerning obligations of the estate provided by the Law of Succession Act.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The costs of proceedings for determination of the amount of compensation payable to the partners or shareholders of a company are covered by the person required to pay the compensation. If this is fair considering the circumstances, the court may decide that all or a part of the costs must be paid by the petitioner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) The costs of proceedings for compulsory dissolution of a legal person and of appointing a substitute member of the management board or supervisory board, the auditor, the auditor for a special audit or the liquidator of a legal person and of related proceedings are borne by the legal person. If this is fair considering the circumstances, the court may decide that all or a part of the costs must be paid by the petitioner or another person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (7) If the court issues proceedings under the action-by-petition procedure as a result of the operations or petition of a person, the court may decide that all or a part of the case costs must be paid by the person if proceedings are unfounded or were caused intentionally by the person or were due to the person's gross negligence. If initiation of proceedings are possible only based on a petition and the petition is denied, the court imposes the case costs on the petitioner, unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) Under the action-by-petition procedure, necessary out-of-court costs are compensated to the parties to proceedings on the same basis as compensation payable to witnesses. Compensation for out-of-court costs can be requested only if the court decides that these must be covered by a party to proceedings. Covering of out-of-court costs by the state may be decided only if financial aid was granted to a person for covering out-of-court costs. This also applies in the case mentioned in subsection 3 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
[RT I, 03.05.2017, 22 – entry into force 02.05.2017 - Judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares the third sentence of subsection 172 (8) of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and invalid insofar as it does not allow the covering of out-of-court costs by the state if a prohibition on business is not applied to the person to whom no financial aid was granted.]

 (9) The costs of expedited proceedings on an order for payment are borne by the debtor if the order for payment is issued as well as in a situation provided for by § 4881 of this Code; in other situations, such costs are borne by the petitioner unless otherwise provided by law. In all other respects, the provisions concerning case costs under the action-by-claim procedure apply. Where an order for payment case is further dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure, the costs of expedited proceedings on the order for payment are included in the case costs of the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (10) The statutory fee payable on filing a complaint against a decision of an enforcement agent and on filing an application with the court for performance an official notarial operation is borne by the party to proceedings against whom the decision is made.
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 – entry into force 14.06.2010]

Subchapter 5 Determination of Case costs  

§ 173.  Determination of division of case costs in judicial disposition

 (1) The court which dealt with the case sets out the division of the case costs between the parties to proceedings in the court judgement or in the order terminating proceedings, including in the order by which the court disposes of a petition to issue proceedings under the action-by-petition procedure or a petition for review, or rejects, or dismisses, the court claim or a petition to issue proceedings, or petition for review, or terminates proceedings in the case. The next court to deal with the case sets out in its decision the division of all case costs which have already been borne. If necessary, the special arrangements concerning the bearing of case costs in different court instances, including in pre-court proceedings, are set out.

 (2) The division of case costs shall be set out in the judicial disposition even if the parties to proceedings do not request it.

 (3) If a higher court amends a decision which has been made or makes a new decision without referring the case to be considered anew, the court amends, where necessary, the division of case costs accordingly. If a higher court sets aside a decision of a lower court and refers the case to be considered anew, including if the Supreme Court grants a petition for review, the higher court leaves the division of case costs to be decided by the lower court.

 (4) In the division of case costs, the court specifies which case costs are to be covered by each party to proceedings, except for the amount of the costs in money. If necessary, the court determines a proportional division of the case costs between the parties to proceedings. If several parties to proceedings, primarily co-claimants or co-defendants, are ordered to cover case costs jointly, the decision shall set out whether they are liable as joint obligors or solidary obligors.

 (5) The court does not set out the division of case costs in an interim judgement, in a partial judgement with a reservation concerning set-off and in a judgement with a reservation concerning contestation in documentary proceedings if the court continues to deal with these cases in these cases. In such case the division of case costs is prescribed in the final judgement.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 174.  Competence of court upon determination of case costs

  [RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (1) The amount of case costs in money is determined on the basis of the division of case costs to the extent necessary and reasonable by the court which dealt with the civil case in connection with which they arose. The court determines the amount of case costs in money even if the parties to proceedings do not submit a request for determining case costs proceeding from the list of case costs or the materials of the civil case.

 (2) A district court determines the amount of case costs in money in a judgment or order which terminates proceedings unless determination of the case costs hinders the making of the judgment or the order which terminates proceedings.

 (3) If a district court determines the amount of case costs in a judgment or an order which terminates the proceedings and the judgment or the order which terminates the proceedings are appealed, the higher court which deals with the appeal determines the amount of case costs in that instance of court in money.

 (4) If the district court does not determine case costs in the judgment or order which terminates proceedings, the district court which resolved the civil case determines the amount of case costs in money after entry into force of the judgment or order which terminates proceedings in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 177 (2) of this Code. When dealing with an appeal against a district court's judgment or order terminating proceedings, in which the district court did not determine case costs, the higher court does not determine the amount of case costs in money.

 (5) If a lower court determined the amount of case costs in money in a judgment or order which terminates proceedings and a higher court amends the decision which has been made or makes a new decision without referring the case to be considered anew, the higher court amends, where necessary, the amount of case costs in money as determined by the lower court.

 (6) If a higher court sets aside a decision of a lower court in full or in part and refers the case in the part set aside to be considered anew, including if the Supreme Court grants a petition for review, the amount of case costs in money in the part set aside are determined by the lower court that deals with the case.

 (7) If a petition for review is denied, rejected or dismissed, or if proceedings are terminated, the amount of case costs in money is determined by the Supreme Court.

 (8) A court determines the amount of case costs in money pursuant to the provisions governing the action-by-petition procedure, taking account of the specifications provided for by this Subchapter.

 (9) Compensation of case costs to a party to proceedings is not precluded by the fact that these have been covered for the party to proceedings by another person.

 (10) In order to be compensated for the value added tax on case costs, a party to proceedings must confirm that the party to proceedings is not a person liable to value added tax or cannot recover the value added tax on the incurred costs due to other reasons.

 (11) A party to proceedings shall not file a claim against the party to proceedings required to cover the case costs for compensation of costs, such as a claim for compensation for harm or similar, otherwise than in accordance with the rules provided for determination of case costs in accordance with this Code or to an extent which exceeds the amount determined in the proceedings.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (12) If a European preservation order is applied for on the basis of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council in the case mentioned in Article 5(b), the costs of conducting proceedings on the application for a European preservation order may be determined separately from determination of other case costs.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017]

§ 1741.  [Repealed – RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 175.  Compensation of costs of contractual representatives

 (1) If, by a judicial disposition determining the division of case costs, a party to proceedings is required to cover the costs related to a contractual representative who has represented another party to proceedings, the court orders payment of the costs to a reasoned and necessary extent. A contractual representative is an attorney or another representative who represents a party to proceedings pursuant to the provisions of § 218 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (11) If a party to proceedings obligated to cover the costs related to the contractual representative who has represented another party to proceedings in accordance with the division of case costs does not object to such costs, the court may confine itself to verification that the costs of the contractual representative do not exceed the maximum amount established by the regulation of the Government of the Republic on the basis of subsection 4 of this section.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (2) Only travel expenses are compensated among the costs related to an employee representing a party to proceedings. The costs of advisers are not subject to compensation.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The costs incurred by retaining several contractual representatives are compensated if the costs arose due to the complexity of the case or were caused by the need to change representatives.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (31) [Repealed – RT I, 09.04.2021, 1 – entry into force 19.04.2021]

 (4) [Void – RT I, 03.07.2014 – entry into force 26.06.2014 – subsection 4 of section 175 of the Code of Civil Procedure declared unconstitutional and void by order of the Supreme Court en banc ]

§ 176.  Submission and service of documents related to case costs

  [RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (1) If a case is considered at a trial or hearing, a list of case costs, which sets out the composition of costs in detail, is submitted to the court before the summations for the purpose of determining the amount of case costs in money. The court sets a time limit for submission of a list of case costs concerning the costs related to participation in the trial or hearing where the hearing of the case was terminated. The time limit mentioned in the previous sentence shall not exceed three working days after the trial or hearing.

 (2) Where a case is dealt with by written procedure, the court sets a party to proceedings a time limit for submission of a list of case costs before making the judgment or the order which terminates the proceeding.

 (3) For the purpose of determining case costs in a judgment by default to be made on the basis of § 413 of this Code, the time limit set by the court for the submission of a list of case costs by the claimant to the court shall not exceed three working days after the trial or hearing.

 (4) A list of case costs is submitted in each court instance that deals with the case in respect of the costs related to proceedings before that court instance.

 (5) A party to proceedings shall confirm that all costs submitted to the court for the purpose of determining the money amount of case costs have been incurred in connection with proceedings before that court.

 (6) The court may set a party to proceedings a time limit for specification of the case costs to be compensated for or require a party to proceedings to submit documents in proof of the case costs. Documents in proof of the case costs do not need to be submitted without a demand of the court.

 (7) The list of case costs and the corresponding evidence is served on the opposing party without delay.

 (8) The court sets a party to proceedings a time limit for filing submissions concerning the opposing party’s case costs. The time limit may not exceed seven days following service of the list of case costs and of the corresponding evidence.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 177.  Judicial disposition to determine case costs

  [RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (1) A court determines the amount of case costs in money:
 1) in the judgment or order which terminates proceedings; or
 2) by an order made after the judgment adjudicating the civil case on its merits or the order which terminates proceedings has entered into effect.

 (2) If a court did not determine the amount of case costs in money in accordance with clause (1) 1) of this section, the district court which adjudicated the merits of the civil case determines the amount of case costs in money by an order within a reasonable period of time after entry into force of the judgment or the order which terminates proceedings.

 (3) A judicial disposition on determination of the amount of case costs in money is served on the parties to proceedings.

 (4) Based on a request of a party to proceedings, the court sets out in the judicial disposition on determination of case costs that a penalty for late payment to the extent prescribed in the second sentence of subsection 113 (1) of the Law of Obligations Act shall be paid on case costs to be compensated beginning from entry into force of the decision whereby the amount of case costs is determined until the date of compliance with such decision.

 (5) If a court has not taken a position on all the case costs that have been submitted or that are apparent from the materials of the case, a party to proceedings may request that the court supplement the judgment or order on case costs. Supplementing may be requested within ten days after the service of the judgment or order on determination of case costs.

 (6) If case costs are determined in the manner provided for by clause (1) 2) of this section, a court may determine the amount of case costs in money by an order without the descriptive part and the statement of reasons if no objections are filed to the court within the time limit mentioned in subsection 176 (8) of this Code and the court determines the amount of case costs in money to the extent indicated in the list of case costs. Subsection 448 (41) of this Code correspondingly applies to the supplementing of the order with the omitted part.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 178.  Contesting a determination of the case costs

 (1) Division of the case costs can be contested only by filing an appeal against the judicial disposition by which the division was determined. The amount of case costs subject to compensation can be contested by filing an appeal against the judicial disposition whereby the amount of case costs in money was determined.

 (2) An appeal against a determination of case costs may be filed by the person entitled to compensation for such costs or the person obligated to bear those costs, provided the contested amount of the costs exceeds 280 euros.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I, 02.02.2016, 7 – entry into force 01.02.2016 – by its judgment, the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 3 of § 178 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void]

 (4) The costs incurred when contesting the determination of case costs are not subject to compensation.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 179.  Awarding case costs in favour of the Republic of Estonia and the collection of such costs

 (1) Case costs which must be paid to the state and which do not arise from the state's participation in a proceeding as a party to proceedings, including statutory fees which have not been paid or have been paid in an amount less than required or costs for financial aid ordered to be paid in favour of the state, are ordered by the court that deals with the case to be paid by the obligated person in a decision made on the case or by a separate order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) After entry into force of the decision entered in the case, payment of the costs mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be awarded by order of the court in proceedings before which the costs arose or of the district court which dealt with the case. An order shall not be made if more than two years have passed from entry into force of the judicial disposition made on the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (21) The court may add to the decision mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, whereby the case costs or the costs of financial aid are ordered to be paid in favour of the Republic of Estonia, the data required for payment of the claim in a separate document.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (22) A list of the data required for the fulfilment of the claim mentioned in subsection (21) of this section and the technical requirements for formalising these shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) A person obligated to pay case costs or the Republic of Estonia (through an authority designated by an administrative decree of the Minister in charge of the policy sector) may file an appeal against an order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal mentioned in subsections 1 and 2 of this section, provided the value of such an appeal exceeds 100 euros. An order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal against an order of a district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (4) Following the entry into effect of a disposition by which case costs – which were not caused by participation of the State as a party in judicial proceedings – are awarded in favour of the State, or of an order imposing a fine or of any other similar disposition by which a person is ordered to pay a sum of money, the court, without delay, sends a copy of the disposition to the authority designated by an administrative decree of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (5) A person who has been obligated by a judicial disposition to pay money into State revenue must comply with the disposition within 15 days following its entry into effect unless the disposition is subject to enforcement without delay or sets a different time limit.

 (51) The case costs mentioned in this section are paid and set off in accordance with the rules provided by the Taxation Act.
[RT I, 31.01.2014, 6 – entry into force 01.04.2014]

 (6) If the obligated person fails to comply with the judicial disposition mentioned in subsection 4 of this section, the agency designated by an administrative decree of the Minister in charge of the policy sector may refer the disposition to compulsory enforcement.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (7) The claim for payment of case costs which do not arise from the state's participation in proceedings as a party to proceedings ordered to be paid in favour of the state by a judicial disposition and the claim to comply with an order which imposes a fine or another such decision on collection of money expire three years after entry into force of the decision on ordering payment of money. The provisions of the General Part of the Civil Code Act concerning expiry of claims apply to the expiry of a claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) The provisions of § 209 of the Code of Enforcement Procedure concerning the enforcement of public claims for payment apply to the collection of claims mentioned in subsection 7 of this section unless otherwise provided by this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (9) Upon delaying with payment of the claim mentioned in subsection 7 of this section, a penalty for late payment to the extent prescribed in the second sentence of subsection 113 (1) of the Law of Obligations Act shall be paid beginning from the date of entry into force of the decision whereby payment of the case costs was ordered until the date of compliance with such decision. The court also set this out in the decision whereby payment of case costs is ordered.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Subchapter 6 Granting State Financial Aid Towards Case Costs  

§ 180.  Granting State financial aid towards case costs

 (1) ‘Financial aid’ means aid provided by the State towards payment of case costs. On an application of a person (hereinafter recipient of financial aid), the court may order that, as financial aid, the recipient of financial aid:
 1) is released, in part or in full, from payment of the statutory fee, or from paying other court costs or the costs of translation of procedural documents or of the judicial disposition;
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]
 2) may pay the statutory fee or other court costs or the costs of translation of procedural documents or of the judicial disposition in instalments within the period of time set by the court;
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]
 3) is not required to pay for the legal aid provided by an attorney appointed by way of financial aid or is not required to pay it forthwith or in full;
 4) is exempted, if the recipient of financial aid is a claimant, from all or a part of the costs related to enforcement proceedings on account of the Republic of Estonia or the costs of service of procedural documents through an enforcement agent in judicial proceedings, or payment of such costs in instalments is prescribed within a time limit provided by the court;
 5) is exempted from covering the costs related to the exercising of guardianship and from payment of remuneration to a guardian in full or in part on account of the Republic of Estonia;
 6) is exempted, in part or in full, from payment of expenses related to mandatory pre-court proceedings, or payment thereof in instalments is prescribed within a time limit provided by the court;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 7) is exempted from all or part of the costs of conciliation proceedings on account of the Republic of Estonia in a situation provided for by subsection 4 of § 4 of this Code.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) Upon grant of financial aid in Estonia, a party to proceedings who is a citizen of another Member State of the European Union or who has residence in another Member State of the European Union may be exempted, on account of the Republic of Estonia, from covering the cost of translation of a document requested by the court and submitted by the person applying for financial aid, or they may be ordered to pay such costs in instalments within a time limit set by the court, provided that such document is necessary for adjudicating the case.

 (3) Upon grant of financial aid in Estonia, a party to proceedings who is a citizen of another Member State of the European Union or who has residence in another Member State of the European Union may be released from covering their travel expenses related to the proceedings, or they may be ordered to pay such costs in instalments, provided that the need for the party to proceedings to be present in person is provided by law or the court deems it necessary.

 (4) The provisions of this Subchapter apply to the grant of financial aid for payment for legal aid provided by attorneys (state legal aid) only insofar as the State Legal Aid Act does not provide otherwise.

§ 181.  Conditions for grant of financial aid

 (1) Financial aid is granted to the person requesting financial aid if:
 1) the person requesting financial aid is unable to pay the case costs due to their financial situation or is able to pay such costs only in part or in instalments; and
 2) there is sufficient reason to believe that the intended participation in proceedings will be successful.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Participation in a proceeding is presumed to be successful if the petition for the filing of which financial aid is requested sets out, to a legally satisfactory extent, the grounds therefor and the facts in proof thereof. The importance of the case to the person requesting financial aid is also taken into consideration upon evaluating the success of the person's participation in the proceeding.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A person is not granted financial aid if the person's participation in proceedings is unreasonable and, above all, if that which is petitioned by them can be achieved in an easier, more expeditious or less costly manner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (31) If, when considering an application for financial aid, it appears that there are no grounds for granting financial aid due to the financial situation of the applicant, but the court finds that payment of the entire payable statutory fee at once hinders unreasonably, considering the circumstances of the specific case, the person's right of recourse to the court to protect their right or interest which is presumed and protected by law, the court may determine by way of financial aid that the statutory fee payable on the statement of court claim or appeal is paid in instalments within the time limit provided by the court.
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 – entry into force 14.06.2010]

 (4) Financial aid is not granted to a petitioner in expedited proceedings for an order for payment or for payment of a statutory fee payable on an entry application in a registry case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The success or reasonableness of participation in proceedings are not evaluated upon requesting financial aid for translation of a procedural document or judicial disposition. Financial aid is not granted for the translation of procedural documents other than a judicial disposition if a person is represented in proceedings by a representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 182.  Restrictions upon grant of financial aid to natural persons

 (1) Financial aid is granted to a party to proceedings who is a natural person and who, at the time of filing the petition for grant of financial aid, has residence in the Republic of Estonia or another Member State of the European Union or is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or another Member State of the European Union. For the purposes of this Subchapter, residence is determined on the basis of Article 62 of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Other parties to proceedings who are natural persons are granted financial aid only if this arises from an international agreement.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (2) Financial aid is not granted to a natural person if:
 1) the case costs are not presumed to exceed twice the average monthly income of the person requesting financial aid calculated on the basis of the average monthly income of the last four months before the submission of the petition, from which taxes and compulsory insurance payments and amounts prescribed to fulfil a statutory maintenance obligation, likewise reasonable expenses on housing and transport have been deducted;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the person requesting financial aid is able to cover the case costs out of the existing assets which can be sold without any major difficulties and against which a claim for payment can be made pursuant to law;
 3) proceedings relate to the economic or professional activity of the person requesting financial aid and do not concern their rights which are not connected to their economic or professional activity.
[RT I, 10.11.2011, 5 – entry into force 01.11.2011 – by its judgment, the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court declares clause 3 of subsection 2 of § 182 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it excludes the provision, to natural persons, in proceedings which concern their economic or professional activity and are not related to their rights that are not connected to such activity, financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required to pay the statutory fee on applying to the court for relief.]
[RT I, 21.04.2011, 17 – entry into force 14.04.2011 - by its judgment, the Supreme Court en banc declares clause 3 of subsection 2 of § 182 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and void insofar as it excludes the provision, to natural persons, in proceedings which concern their economic or professional activity and are not related to their rights that are not connected to such activity, financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required to pay the statutory fee on filing an appeal.]

 (21) In the case of clauses (2) 1) and 2) of this section, the case costs which may arise upon appealing against a decision made in the proceedings are not accounted for. The assets mentioned in clause (2) 2) of this section also include joint property to the extent that it may be presumed that the joint owners might reasonably use it to cover case costs.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The provisions of subsection 2 of this section do not preclude the granting of financial aid if the person requesting financial aid has residence in another Member State of the European Union and proves that they are unable to cover the case costs forthwith or in full due to the cost of subsistence in the state of residence which is higher than in Estonia.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

§ 183.  Restrictions upon grant of financial aid to legal persons and bankrupts

 (1) Of legal persons, only non-profit associations or foundations entered in the list of non-profit associations or foundations benefiting from income tax incentives or non-profit associations or foundations equal thereto which have a seat in Estonia or another Member State of the European Union have the right to apply for financial aid in order to achieve their objectives, provided that the applicants substantiate that they are applying for financial aid in the field of environmental or consumer protection or taking account of another predominant public interest in order to prevent possible harm to the rights protected by law of a large number of persons, provided that they cannot be presumed to cover the costs out of their assets or are able to pay for them only in part or in instalments. Other foreign legal persons are granted financial aid only on the basis of an international agreement.
[RT I, 21.04.2011, 16 – entry into force 12.04.2011 Judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares the first sentence of subsection 1 of § 183 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be unconstitutional and invalid insofar as it excludes the provision, to Estonian legal persons in private law who do not meet the criteria stated in this provision, of financial aid in the form of a partial or full exemption from being required to pay the statutory fee on the filing of an appeal in a civil case.]

 (2) An Estonian bankruptcy debtor may apply for the grant of financial aid towards bearing the case costs if such costs cannot be borne, or if it would not be justified to cover them, out of the estate administrated by the trustee in bankruptcy, and if any persons who have a pecuniary interest in the case – including, among others, any heirs or beneficiaries, members, shareholders, members of a directing body, of the bankruptcy debtor, or bankruptcy creditors – cannot be presumed to bear the costs. The amount of financial aid which is granted for covering the fee and the costs of an interim trustee or of the trustee in bankruptcy and which the bankruptcy debtor will not be ordered to repay into the revenue of the State, may not exceed, for a bankruptcy case, three times the minimum monthly salary enacted under subsection 5 of § 29 of the Employment Contracts Act, including any taxes prescribed by law, with the exception of the value-added tax. In connection with the foregoing, one minimum monthly salary is allocated to cover the operations performed by the interim trustee or trustee until completion of consideration of the bankruptcy or insolvency petition, one minimum monthly salary to cover the operations performed by the trustee in bankruptcy from the declaration of bankruptcy until completion of bankruptcy proceedings and one minimum monthly salary to cover the operations performed by the interim trustee or trustee until completion of proceedings for discharging the petitioner’s obligations.
[RT I, 20.06.2022, 1 – entry into force 01.07.2022]

 (3) A bankrupt may also request the grant of state legal aid in the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section. An additional prerequisite for the grant of state legal aid is that the trustee in bankruptcy cannot perform the requested procedural operation himself or herself or they cannot be presumed to do it considering their qualifications and tasks.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 184.  Submission of application for financial aid and continued provision of financial aid

 (1) An application for financial aid is filed with the court which conducts or should conduct the proceedings for covering the costs for which the financial aid is requested.

 (2) An application for financial aid for covering the costs arising in enforcement proceedings is filed with the court which would deal with a complaint against the court claim of an enforcement agent organising the enforcement proceeding, and an application for financial aid for covering the costs arising from pre-court proceedings are filed with the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the pre-court proceedings takes place.

 (3) The court mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section is also the authority receiving applications for financial aid for the purposes of Article 14 of EU Council Directive 2003/8/EC to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes (OJ L 026, 31.01.2003, pp. 41–47). The court shall not demand legalisation of the application or official certification thereof in another manner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If a party to proceedings has been granted financial aid and the person files an appeal against a judicial disposition, the provision of financial aid is presumed to continue in every following court instance. However, when accepting an appeal, the court verifies whether there is sufficient reason to presume that the intended participation in proceedings will be successful and that the participation in proceedings are clearly not unreasonable and the court has the right to verify in every court instance whether the economic prerequisites for the grant of financial aid have been complied with. The success or reasonableness of participation in proceedings are not verified if the judicial disposition has already been appealed by another party to proceedings and the appeal has been accepted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) In the case mentioned in subsection 4 of this section, if the court so requests, the recipient of financial aid shall provide explanations on whether or not their financial situation has changed and shall submit corresponding proof. Where necessary, the court has the right, among other things, to request information on the financial situation or solvency of the recipient of financial aid or of their family members from the Tax and Customs Board, credit institutions and other persons or agencies.

 (6) If a claimant who has been granted financial aid in proceedings of the case also requests financial aid for covering the costs of enforcement proceedings, the court need not verify additionally whether the economic prerequisites for the grant of financial aid have been complied with. The court shall verify the existence of all the prerequisites for the grant of financial aid if financial aid is requested later than within one year after entry into force of the decision made in the proceedings.

§ 185.  Content of application for financial aid

 (1) An application for financial aid sets out:
 1) proceedings for which financial aid is requested;
 2) the status or desired status of the applicant in proceedings and the petitions and requests which the applicant intends to file;
 3) the grounds on which the claim or objection of the applicant is based.

 (2) An applicant appends to the application a signed statement which sets out their personal status and financial situation (relationship under family law, profession, assets, income and obligations) and provides the same information concerning their family members, and if possible, also submits other documents in proof of such situation.

 (3) If a person's residence is not in Estonia, they appends to the application a statement concerning the income of the person and members of their family during the last three years from the competent authorities of the person's state of residence. If the applicant is unable to submit the statement due to a valid reason, provision of financial aid may be decided without the statement.

 (4) An applicant who is a legal person appends to the application for financial aid, if possible, a copy of the articles of association or statutes, and a certified copy of the approved annual report for the preceding financial year.

 (5) Sample forms for the application for financial aid and the statement mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, and a list of data to be contained therein shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector, and the forms for the application for financial aid and statement shall be freely accessible to everybody on the website of the Ministry of Justice as well as in each court and attorney's law office. The Minister in charge of the policy sector may also establish requirements for the documents which provide the grounds for the application to be submitted by an applicant.

 (6) An application for financial aid is submitted in Estonian. An application may also be submitted in English if financial aid is requested by a natural person who has residence in another Member State of the European Union, is a citizen of another Member State of the European Union, or is a legal person whose seat is in another Member State of the European Union.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 186.  Assessment of financial situation of applicant

 (1) Upon assessing the financial situation of an applicant, their assets and income and the assets and income of family members who live together with the applicant, the number of persons maintained by the applicant, reasonable housing expenses and other relevant circumstances are taken into consideration.

 (2) Upon assessing the financial situation of an applicant, the assets belonging to the applicant which, pursuant to law, cannot be subject to a claim for payment are not taken into consideration. Housing or a necessary vehicle belonging to an applicant for financial aid which is used daily by them and family members who live together with the applicant are not taken into consideration if the number and value of the housing and vehicles equitably correlate to the size, driving needs and income of the family.

 (3) If an applicant for financial aid applies for financial aid in order to file a claim against a family member who lives together with them, neither the income of the said family member nor assets belonging to them are taken into consideration upon assessing the financial situation of the applicant.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

 (5) The court may request certification of submitted data or provision of additional documents or data from an applicant for financial aid, or request information on the financial situation or solvency of the applicant and family members living together with them from other persons or agencies, among others, from credit institutions. An inquiry must be responded to within the time limit set by the court.

 (6) If an applicant fails to submit certified data concerning their personal status or financial situation, fails to reply to posed questions or gives incomplete replies, the court refuses to grant the person financial aid to the extent which is not substantiated.

 (7) The Tax and Customs Board submits, at the request of a court, a statement concerning the income of an applicant for financial aid and members of their family during the last year or a statement concerning the lack of information on the income of an applicant for state legal aid and members of their family. A form for the statement shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) Upon the existence of technical means, the court must be provided with an opportunity to independently check the data necessary for evaluating applicants' financial situation from the databases of the Tax and Customs Board or a person or agency mentioned in subsection 5 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 187.  Resolution of application for financial aid

 (1) An application for financial aid is resolved by an order. Where necessary, the court may seek the position of other parties to proceedings before resolving the application.

 (2) The court sends a copy of an order on grant of financial aid without delay to the Ministry of Finance or to an agency in the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance designated by the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (3) If an application for financial aid was forwarded to the court by an agency of another Member State of the European Union which is competent to forward applications for financial aid, the court sends a copy of the order made concerning the grant of financial aid also to such agency.

 (4) An application for financial aid may also be resolved by an assistant judge.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (5) An application for the grant of financial aid does not suspend the running of the procedural time limit provided by law or set by the court. However, the court extends reasonably the time limit set by the court, in particular the time limit set for responding to a court claim, appeal or petition after resolving the application for the grant of financial aid if the application for the grant of financial aid was not submitted unfoundedly or for the purpose of extending the time limit.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) For compliance with the time limit provided by law, the applicant for financial aid shall, within the time limit, also perform the procedural operation for which financial aid is requested, above all, file an appeal. A reasonable time limit for substantiation of the appeal or payment of the statutory fee or correction of such a omission in the appeal which is related to the request for financial aid is set by the court after resolving the application for financial aid if the mentioned application was not submitted unfoundedly or for the purpose of extending the time limit. This does not preclude the reinstatement of the procedural time limit.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 188.  Suspension of payment of instalments and amendment of size of instalments

 (1) If by way of financial aid, the court has ordered payment of case costs in instalments, the court suspends payment of the instalments by an order, if:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) it is evident that the payments hitherto made by the recipient of financial aid cover the case costs;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) a decision on the basis of which the case costs must be paid by another party to proceedings enters in force.

 (2) The court does not suspend payment of the instalments pursuant to clause (1) 2) of this section if the party to proceedings who is obligated to cover the case costs based on a judicial disposition has also been granted financial aid for covering case costs, or if it is evident, due to another reason, that such party to proceedings is not able to cover the costs.

 (3) The court may amend the size and time limit for payment of the instalments of case costs by an order if the financial situation of the recipient of financial aid has changed significantly. If the court so requests, the recipient of financial aid shall explain whether or not their financial situation has changed and shall submit corresponding proof. Where necessary, the court has the right, among other things, to request information on the financial situation or solvency of the recipient of financial aid or of their family members from the Tax and Customs Board, credit institutions and other persons or agencies.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The provisions of subsection 3 of this section apply if the person, who is the recipient of financial aid, changes due to legal succession, including if the claimant who has received financial aid assigns the claim for the filing of which they has received financial aid and the legal successor is not entitled to financial aid to the same extent.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 189.  Revocation of grant of financial aid

 (1) The court may revoke the grant of financial aid if:
 1) the recipient of financial aid has provided incorrect information in the application for financial aid;
 2) the conditions for receipt of financial aid did not exist or have ceased to exist, including if the person, who is the recipient of financial aid, changes due to legal succession and the legal successor is not entitled to receive financial aid;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the recipient of financial aid has not paid the instalments ordered by the court for a period of more than three months;
 4) the recipient of financial aid fails to provide explanations concerning a change in the financial situation thereof as requested by the court, or fails to submit the required proof.

 (2) In the case of revocation of financial aid, the party to proceedings who received financial aid covers the case costs thereof to the full extent.

§ 190.  Grant of financial aid and division of case costs

 (1) Grant of financial aid does not preclude or restrict the obligation of the recipient of financial aid to compensate, based on a judicial disposition, the costs incurred by the opposing party.

 (2) The party to proceedings against whom a decision is made covers the case costs thereof to the full extent also if the party to proceedings is released from payment of case costs or the party to proceedings has been granted financial aid for covering the case costs.

 (3) If a court claim is granted, the court orders payment into the public revenues by the defendant, in proportion to the part of the court claim which is granted, of the case costs from the covering of which the claimant was released or which the claimant was allowed to pay in instalments, regardless of whether the defendant received financial aid for covering case costs. The same applies to the grant of financial aid to a third party participating in proceedings in support of the claimant if the court claim is granted.

 (4) If the claimant, or a third party participating in proceedings in support thereof, or the petitioner in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure received financial aid for covering case costs and the court claim or petition is denied or dismissed or proceedings in the case are terminated, such person is ordered to pay case costs into the state revenues to the full extent. If the claimant discontinues or withdraws a court claim because the defendant provided satisfaction in respect of the claim after the court claim was filed, the provisions of subsection 3 of this section apply.

 (5) If the defendant or a third party participating in proceedings in support thereof received financial aid for covering case costs and the court claim is granted, such person is ordered to pay case costs into the state revenues to the full extent. If the court claim is denied or dismissed or proceedings in the case are terminated, the court orders payment into the public revenues by the claimant, in proportion to the part of the court claim which was denied, of the case costs, from the payment of which the defendant or a third party participating in proceedings in support thereof has been released or which the defendant or a third party participating in proceedings in support thereof was allowed to pay in instalments, regardless of whether the claimant received financial aid for covering case costs.

 (6) If a party to proceedings was granted financial aid for covering case costs in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure, the court may order payment of the case costs into the state revenues by another party to proceedings on the conditions provided for by subsection 172 (1) of this Code.

 (7) The court may prescribe in the judicial disposition mentioned in subsections 3–6 of this section, with a valid reason, inter alia due to settlement of a case by compromise, a later due date for payment of the costs into the public revenues or payment in instalments within the time limit set by the court, and it may also release a person from the obligation to pay case costs into public revenues.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (71) [Repealed – RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (8) If a party to proceedings was granted financial aid, including state legal aid, in proceedings conducted on the basis of Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in cases relating to maintenance obligations, the provisions of this Code concerning the division of case costs apply only to the extent that the mentioned regulation does not provide otherwise.
[RT I, 14.03.2011, 2 – entry into force 18.06.2011]

§ 191.  Filing of appeal against order on financial aid

 (1) An applicant for or recipient of financial aid or the Republic of Estonia through the Ministry of Finance or an agency within the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance designated by the Minister in charge of the policy sector may file an interim appeal of a district court or circuit court of appeal on grant of or denial financial aid, or an order on amendment or revocation of either of the above orders. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal of a district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) An order on financial aid is not subject to appeal if the judicial disposition made in the civil case has entered into effect.

 (3) The costs related to proceedings on interim appeal against the order are not subject to compensation.

 (4) The provisions of § 179 of this Code apply to the orders which are referred to in subsections 190 (3)–(6) of this Code and by which a party to proceedings is directed to pay case costs into state revenues, and to the filing of appeals against such orders.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 192.  Grant of financial aid for proceedings conducted in other Member States of European Union

  Financial aid for ensuring legal aid by an attorney or for the translation of an application and appendixes thereof may be applied for, pursuant to §§ 33 and 34 of the State Legal Aid Act, from Harju District Court in the case of proceedings conducted in another Member State of the European Union.

§ 193.  Intermediation of applications for grant of financial aid to other Member States of European Union

 (1) A person entitled to receive financial aid pursuant to the provisions of this Subchapter may apply, by the intermediation of Harju District Court, for the grant of financial aid in other proceedings conducted in another Member State of the European Union.

 (2) For the purpose of forwarding an application for financial aid, the application together with the documents appended thereto are submitted to the court in a language of the Member State in which the grant of financial aid is applied for, provided that the language is an official language of the European Union or that the Member State agrees to the use of such language pursuant to Article 14(3) of Directive 2003/8/EC.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The court assists an applicant for financial aid upon applying for financial aid in another Member State of the European Union by verifying that all the documents which, according to the information at the disposal of the court, are necessary for dealing with the application have been appended to the application and arranging, where necessary, for the translation of the application and documents. The documents do not need to be legalised or officially certified in another manner.

 (4) The court resolves an application for forwarding an application for financial aid under the action-by-petition procedure. The court may make a reasoned order on refusal to forward an application for financial aid if the application is clearly unfounded or evidently does not fall within the area of application of Directive 2003/8/EC.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The court forwards an application for financial aid together with additional documents to the agency of the corresponding Member State of the European Union competent to receive such application within 15 days after the receipt or formalisation of the application and the additional documents in a language conforming to the requirements.

 (6) Forwarding of applications for financial aid is not subject to a statutory fee. If an application for financial aid is denied, the court may order, by an order, payment of other case costs and, above all, of translation and interpretation fees by the person who submitted the application.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (7) An applicant may file an interim appeal on refusal to forward the application. An order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (8) The Minister in charge of the policy sector shall establish, by a regulation, standard forms for the applications for receipt of financial aid in other Member States of the European Union and for the forwarding thereof prescribed by Article 16(1) of Directive 2003/8/EC. If the standard forms exist, the applicant and the forwarder of the application shall use these.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (9) If an agency of another Member State of the European Union competent to receive an application rejects an application for the grant of financial aid due to the financial situation of the applicant or notifies of its intention to reject the application, the court issues, at the request of the applicant, a statement on the financial situation to them if they would be entitled to financial aid due to their financial situation in Estonia and forwards the statement as a supplement to the application and in the same language as the application to the agency competent to receive the application.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 19 SECURITY  

§ 194.  Method of provision of security and amount of security

 (1) If the law prescribes an obligation for a party to provide a security, the court determines the method of provision and the amount of the security. If the court has not done so and the parties have not agreed otherwise, the security is provided by depositing money or securities in the deposit account of the court, or as an irrevocable and unconditional guarantee issued for an unmentioned period by a credit institution of Estonia or another Member State of the European Union for the benefit of the other party.

 (2) Securities that have a market price may be used as security. Securities are accepted as security for not more than 3/4 of their market price.

 (3) The provisions of the Law of Obligations Act concerning deposits apply to the making of deposits in the deposit account of the court.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (4) Information concerning the deposit account of the court and reference numbers required for making a deposit are published on the website of the court.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 195.  Return of security

 (1) If the reason for which the security was provided ceases to apply, the court that set the security or enabled its provision returns the security on an application of the person who provided it. Where security was provided in the form of a guarantee, the court orders revocation of the guarantee.

 (2) Before making an order, the court sends the application for return of security to the party for whose benefit the security was provided for the party to formulate its opinion.

 (3) The applicant may file an interim appeal against an order by which return of the security is refused. The party for whose benefit a security was provided has a right to file an interim appeal against an order by which the security is returned.

§ 196.  Provision of security for covering case costs

 (1) In action-by-claim proceedings, the court may, on a motion of the defendant, require the claimant to provide security for covering the defendants’ expected case costs if:
 1) the claimant is not a citizen of the Republic of Estonia, of another Member State of the European Union or of a state which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement and has no residence in any of these states;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the claimant is a legal person whose seat is not in Estonia, another Member State of the European Union or a state which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) due to the claimant's economic situation or for another reason, collection of the defendant’s expected case costs is likely to be difficult – above all, where the claimant has been declared bankrupt, bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated against the claimant or, within the year prior to the filing of the court claim, enforcement proceedings have been conducted in respect of the claimant's property without satisfaction being provided to the claim filed in those proceedings.

 (2) The court may not require the claimant to provide a security if the claimant has sufficient assets in Estonia to cover the case costs or has claims in Estonia which are sufficiently secured by real rights. In situations mentioned in clauses 1 and 2 of subsection 1 of this section, the court may not require the claimant to provide a security if:
 1) under an international agreement, a security may not be required;
 2) a disposition regarding compensation of case costs to the defendant is enforceable in the country in which the claimant has their residence or seat.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (21) If the prerequisites for requiring a security are fulfilled, the court may still decide not to require the security in full or in part, or may order it to be paid in instalments, if the claimant due to economic or other reasons cannot be reasonably expected to provide the security and dismissing the court claim may result in grave consequences for the claimant or if requiring a security would be unfair to the claimant for other reasons.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The defendant may also require a security from a claimant mentioned in subsection 1 of this section if the prerequisites for the provision of the security arise only in the course of proceedings unless the defendant has admitted the court claim. If it becomes evident in the course of proceedings that the security that has been provided is not sufficient, the defendant may require an additional security.

 (4) The claimant may file an interim appeal against the order of the district court or circuit court of appeal by which they were ordered to provide a security. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 197.  Setting of time limit for provision of security

  In the case mentioned in § 196 of this Code, the court sets the claimant a time limit for the provision of a security to cover the expected case costs of the defendant. If the claimant fails to provide a security within such a time limit, the court dismisses the court claim at the request of the defendant.

Part 4 PARTIES TO PROCEEDINGS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES  

Chapter 20 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 198.  Parties to proceedings

 (1) The parties to proceedings are:
 1) under the action-by-claim procedure – the principal parties and any third parties;
 2) under the action-by-petition procedure – the petitioner and any other persons affected by the case.

 (2) In situations prescribed by law, a person or authority entitled to protect public interest also appears as a party to proceedings.

 (3) Under the action-by-petition procedure, the court joins the parties to proceedings of its own motion. Under the action-by-petition procedure, the presumption is that the parties to proceedings are any persons who, under the law, hold the right to appeal the order rendered in the proceedings. A person is not a party to proceedings solely for the reason that they must be heard under the law or that the court considers it necessary. The court may also invite other persons or authorities to make submissions in the proceedings if it finds that this is needed to achieve a just disposition in the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 199.  Rights of parties to proceedings

 (1) The parties to proceedings have a right to:
 1) acquaint themselves with the file and obtain copies of the file;
 2) know the composition of the court dealing with the case;
 3) file motions for recusal as well as other motions and applications;
 4) offer explanations to the court and state their reasoning concerning any issues which arise in the course of hearing the case;
 5) offer items of evidence and participate in the inspection and examination of the evidence;
 6) contest any motions or applications made or reasoning stated by other parties to proceedings;
 7) put questions to other parties to proceedings, as well as to witnesses and experts;
 8) receive certified copies of the judicial disposition issued as an authentic document.

 (2) The parties to proceedings also have other procedural rights provided for by this Code.

§ 200.  Obligations of parties to proceedings

 (1) A party to proceedings is required to exercise the procedural rights in good faith.

 (2) A court does not allow the parties to proceedings, their representatives or advisers to abuse their rights, delay proceedings or mislead the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) During judicial proceedings, a party to proceedings and their representative must inform the court and other parties to proceedings without delay of any changes, including temporary ones, in the party’s or the representative’s address or telecommunications numbers.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 201.  Passive civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) Passive civil procedural legal capacity is the capacity of a person to have civil procedural rights and discharge civil procedural obligations.

 (2) Every person who has passive legal capacity under civil law has passive civil procedural legal capacity. Foreign associations of persons, foreign agencies and international organisations whose passive legal capacity is recognised in Estonia based on the provisions of private international law also have passive civil procedural legal capacity.

§ 202.  Active civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) Active civil procedural legal capacity is the capacity of a person to exercise civil procedural rights and perform civil procedural obligations in court by the person's acts.

 (2) Persons of limited ative legal capacity do not have active civil procedural legal capacity, except if the restriction of active legal capacity of an adult does not relate to the exercise of civil procedural rights and performance of civil procedural obligations. A minor of at least 15 years of age has the right to participate in proceedings beside their statutory representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If an adult with active civil procedural legal capacity is represented in proceedings by their guardian, the represented person is deemed to have no active civil procedural legal capacity.

 (4) In proceedings for establishment of guardianship for an adult of limited ative legal capacity, the person with respect to whom establishment of guardianship is requested has active civil procedural legal capacity. In proceedings for placing a person in a closed institution, the person has active civil procedural legal capacity regardless of whether they has active legal capacity, provided they are at least fourteen years of age.

§ 203.  Active civil procedural legal capacity of aliens

  An alien who, according to the law of their state, has no active civil procedural legal capacity, is deemed to have active civil procedural legal capacity if they has such capacity under Estonian law.

§ 204.  Verification of passive civil procedural legal capacity and active civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) The court verifies the existence of the passive civil procedural legal capacity and active civil procedural legal capacity of the parties to proceedings and in the case of absence thereof does not permit the person to participate in the proceedings.

 (2) If the court has doubts regarding the active civil procedural legal capacity of a party to proceedings who is a natural person, the court may demand that the person provide a doctor's opinion or to order an expert assessment. If the person refuses to comply with the directions of the court or the documents submitted fail to remove the doubts of the court, the court initiates proceedings for appointing a guardian for the party to proceedings. If initiation of proceedings for appointment of a guardian for a claimant, petitioner or appellant is impossible, the court dismisses the petition or appeal.

 (3) The court may also permit a party to proceedings with no active civil procedural legal capacity to participate in proceedings if prevention of participation in proceedings endangers an essential interest of a party to proceedings. In such event, the court sets the person a time limit for appointment of a representative. A judicial disposition on termination of proceedings shall not be made in proceedings before the expiry of such time limit.

 (4) If the court has doubts regarding the active legal capacity of a party to proceedings, the court, without delay, notifies this to the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the party’s residence.

Chapter 21 PRINCIPAL PARTIES  

§ 205.  Principal parties

 (1) The principal parties to proceedings before the civil courts are the claimant and the defendant.

 (2) The claimant is the person who makes the court claim. The defendant is the person against whom the court claim is made.

§ 206.  Rights of principal parties

 (1) In addition to the rights of a party to proceedings, the claimant has a right to amend the cause or head of their claim, increase or decrease the claim or abandon it, and the defendant has a right to admit the court claim. A principal party has a right to appeal the judicial disposition rendered in the case as well as other procedural rights prescribed by this Code.

 (2) Principal parties have a right to settle the case by a compromise.

 (3) A principal party has a right to seek compulsory enforcement of the judicial disposition rendered in the case. Under the action-by-petition procedure, this right is vested in any party to proceedings.

§ 207.  Participation of several claimants or defendants in the proceedings

 (1) Several persons may file a joint court claim and a court claim may be filed jointly against several defendants if:
 1) the subject case of proceedings is a joint right of several persons;
 2) several persons have rights or obligations arising from the same grounds;
 3) similar claims or obligations which arise from the grounds which are essentially similar are the object of proceedings.

 (2) Each claimant or defendant participates in proceedings independently with regard to the opposite party. Unless otherwise prescribed by law, an operation performed by a claimant or defendant does not bear legal consequences for a co-claimant or co-defendant.

 (3) If a disputed legal relationship can be established only with regard to all co-claimants or co-defendants jointly, and even one of the co-claimants or co-defendants adheres to a procedural time limit, participates in proceedings, files an appeal or participates in the performance of any other procedural operation, the acts of such party to proceedings are deemed to be valid with respect to all the other co-claimants or co-defendants.

§ 208.  Substitution and joinder of defendant

 (1) If a claimant finds that the court claim was erroneously filed against a person who should not be the defendant, the court may, at the request of the claimant, substitute the existing defendant with another defendant at the request of the claimant before the end of the court hearing of the case in a court of first instance without terminating the proceedings. In such case the court claim against the initial defendant is deemed to be withdrawn.

 (2) If a claimant finds that the court claim was not filed against all persons who are parties to the disputed legal relationship, the court may, before the end of the court hearing of the case in a court of first instance, join such persons to the proceedings as defendants at the request of the claimant.

 (3) Following the substitution or joinder of a defendant, the claimant shall submit a copy of the statement of court claim together with annexes to the court for the substituted or involved defendant. Following the substitution or joinder of a defendant, consideration of the case commences from the beginning.

§ 209.  Legal succession in proceedings

 (1) In the case of the death of a party who is a natural person or dissolution of a party who is a legal person or in any other case where universal succession is created, the court permits the universal successor of such party to enter the proceedings unless otherwise prescribed by law. Universal succession is possible at every stage of proceedings.

 (2) Any procedural operations performed prior to the entry of a universal successor in proceedings are binding on the universal successor to the same extent to which such acts would have been binding on the legal predecessor of the universal successor.

§ 210.  Transfer of disputed object

 (1) The filing of a court claim and the conduct of proceedings in a court claim do not interfere with a party's right to transfer a disputed object or to assign a disputed claim.

 (2) Transfer of ownership of a disputed object or other such right related thereto, or assignment of a disputed claim to a third party (singular succession) does not affect, in itself, the conduct of proceedings in a case.

 (3) In the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the legal successor may enter proceedings to replace the legal predecessor thereof if the opposing party and the legal predecessor agree thereto. A legal successor may enter or be involved in a proceeding without the consent of the opposing party or the legal predecessor as a third party in support of the legal predecessor thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If an object is transferred by the claimant and the judgment to be made in the case would not apply to the legal successor pursuant to § 460 of this Code, the defendant may submit an objection to the claimant that the claimant has lost the right of claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 211.  Transfer of immovables, ships and aircraft

 (1) In the case of transfer of an immovable in the course of a dispute between the owner of the immovable and a third party over the existence or absence of a real right to the immovable or existence or absence of a notation guaranteeing such right, or over an obligation related to the immovable, the legal successor has the right and, if the opposing party requests it, the obligation to enter proceedings as a party substituting for the current party at the time of transfer of the ownership of the immovable. The same applies to a dispute arising under a lease contract or commercial lease contract of an immovable or the absence of such contract if a notation concerning the contract has been made in the Land Register.

 (2) If the opposing party requests that the legal successor of the other party enter proceedings but, regardless of being served the request by the court, the legal successor fails to enter proceedings, the legal succession is deemed to be admitted and the party is deemed to be substituted by serving the request.

 (3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply if the judgment to be made in the case would not apply to the legal successor pursuant to § 460 of this Code. If the transferor in such case is the claimant, the defendant may submit an objection against the claimant that the claimant has lost the right of claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The provisions of subsections (1)–(3) of this section also apply to disputes related to a right to a ship entered in the Register of Ships or an aircraft entered in the register of civil aircraft.

Chapter 22 THIRD PARTIES  

§ 212.  Third party with independent claim

 (1) If a third party files an independent claim concerning the object of the dispute between the claimant and defendant, the third party may file a court claim in the same proceeding against both parties before the hearing of the case on the merits at a district court ends.

 (2) A third party with an independent claim has the rights and obligations of the claimant.

§ 213.  Third party without independent claim

 (1) A third party who does not have an independent claim concerning the object of proceedings but has legal interest in having the dispute resolved in favour of one of the parties may enter proceedings in support of either the claimant or the defendant. On the grounds and in accordance with the rules provided by § 216 of this Code, a third party without an independent claim may be involved in proceedings also at the request of a party.

 (2) A third party without an independent claim may enter or be joined to the proceedings at all stages of such proceedings in every court instance until the time the judgment enters into effect. A third party without an independent claim may also enter proceedings by filing an appeal against a judicial disposition. In such case, the joinder of the person is resolved simultaneously with resolving the acceptance of the appeal.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 214.  Consequences of entry or joinder to the proceedings of a third party without an independent claim

 (1) Procedural operations performed before the entry or joinder to the proceedings of a third party without an independent claim are also valid with respect to the third party.

 (2) A third party without an independent claim may perform all procedural operations except the acts which can be performed only by the claimant or the defendant, among other things, a third party without an independent claim may file an appeal against a decision made in the case. A petition, appeal or another procedural operation made by a third party without an independent claim has legal effect only if it is not contrary to a petition, appeal or operation of the claimant or the defendant in whose support the third party is participating in proceedings. The same time limit for filing an appeal or making another procedural operation applies to a third party as applies to the claimant or the defendant in whose support the third party is participating in proceedings, unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In proceedings to follow, a third party without an independent claim has no right to rely, in respect of the claimant or defendant in whose support the third party entered or was involved in proceedings, on an allegation that the conclusion of the decision made in proceedings are incorrect or that the facts were incorrectly established.

 (4) If a party initiates a proceeding against a third party without an independent claim on the basis of proceedings conducted before, the third party also has the right to submit objections submitted thereby in proceedings as a third party and which are contrary to the petitions of a party. A third party may also submit an objection that the third party could not submit a petition, allegation, evidence or appeal due to the fact that the third party entered or was involved in proceedings too late, or that the third party could not submit them due to the petitions or acts of the claimant or defendant in whose support the third party participated in the proceeding. The third party may also submit an objection that the claimant or defendant failed, knowingly or due to gross negligence, to submit a petition, allegation, evidence or appeal, and the third party was not aware of such fact.

§ 215.  Entry in proceedings of third party without independent claim

 (1) In order to enter proceedings, a third party without an independent claim submits a petition to this effect to the court conducting proceedings in the case.

 (2) In addition to other information which a procedural document must contain (§ 338), a petition mentioned in subsection 1 of this section sets out the following:
 1) information on the parties and the court action;
 2) the reasons of the legal interest that the third party without an independent claim has in the case;
 3) a request for joining proceedings.

 (3) The court serves the petition mentioned in subsection 1 of this section on both parties and sets them a time limit for forming a position.

 (4) The court grants the petition of a third party without an independent claim and allows the third party to enter proceedings if the petition conforms to the requirements provided by law and the third party provides reasons for the legal interest thereof.

 (5) Where it comes to light that the third party has entered the proceedings unfoundedly, the court may remove the party from proceedings by an order.

 (6) An order by which the court permits a third party to enter proceedings, refuses to give such permission or removes a third party from proceedings is subject to interim appeal by the parties or by the third party. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 216.  Joinder of a third party

 (1) A party who, in the event of adverse disposition of the case, may make a claim, against a third party, by virtue of what the party considers to be a breach of contract or make a claim for compensation for harm or for being released from the obligation to compensate, or who has reason to presume that such a claim may be filed against them by a third party, may file, until completion of pre-trial proceedings, or during the time limit prescribed for the filing of documents in written proceedings, a motion with the court dealing with the case to join such a third party to the proceedings.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (11) After completion of pre-trial proceedings, a motion to join a third party to the proceedings may be filed only with the consent of the other parties to proceedings or of the court. After completion of pre-trial proceedings, the court consents to join a third party only if there was a valid reason for the failure to file the petition at the proper time and in the opinion of the court the joinder facilitates disposing of the case.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) A motion to join a third party in support of the claimant or the defendant states:
 1) the name of the third party;
 2) the substance and stage of proceedings;
 3) the reason and grounds for joining the third party to the proceedings.

 (3) The court serves the motion on the third party, notifies it to the other principal party and sets a time limit for those parties to make their submissions concerning the motion.

 (4) If the motion complies with the requirements provided by law and the principal party substantiates the need to join the third party, the court makes an order by which it joins the third party. The third party is deemed to be joined to proceedings in support of the principal party who filed the motion to join that third party as of the date on which the order to join the third party was served on that party.

 (5) Where it comes to light that the third party has been joined to proceedings unfoundedly, the court may remove that party from proceedings by an order.

 (6) An interim appeal may be filed against the order by which the court joined or refused to join a third party to proceedings, or removes such a party from proceedings is subject to interim appeal by the principal parties or by the third party. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 23 REPRESENTATION  

§ 217.  Representation in court

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a party to proceedings may participate in proceedings in person or through a representative with active civil procedural legal capacity.

 (2) Personal participation in a case does not deprive a party to proceedings of the right to have a representative or adviser in the case. Participation of a representative in a case does not restrict the personal participation in the case of a party to proceedings with active civil procedural legal capacity.

 (3) A party to proceedings without active civil procedural legal capacity is represented in court by their statutory representative.

 (4) Unless otherwise provided by this Code, the provisions of the General Part of the Civil Code Act concerning representation apply to representation in court.

 (5) A representative has the rights and obligations of the party to proceedings whom they represents. A procedural operation performed by a representative is deemed to have been performed by the party to proceedings who is represented. This applies to admitting a fact or another statement in so far as the party to proceedings who is present does not immediately withdraw or amend the admission or statement.

 (6) The behaviour and knowledge of a representative is deemed to be equivalent to the behaviour and knowledge of a party to proceedings.

 (7) If a representative appointed for such purpose represents a child in proceedings, the parents have no right to represent the child in the proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) If the court finds that a natural person who is a party to proceedings is unable to personally protect their rights or that their essential interests may be insufficiently protected without the assistance of an attorney, the court explains the possibility to receive state legal aid to such person.

§ 218.  Contractual representative

 (1) The following may act as contractual representatives in court:
 1) an attorney;
 2) another person who has acquired at least a state-recognised Master's Degree in the field of study of law, a corresponding qualification within the meaning of subsection 28 (22) of the Republic of Estonia Education Act or a corresponding foreign qualification;
[RT I 2008, 29, 189 – entry into force 01.07.2008]
 21) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 29, 189 – entry into force 01.07.2008]
 3) a procurator in all court proceedings related to the economic activities of a party to proceedings;
 4) one claimant based on the authorisation of the co-claimants or one defendant based on the authorisation of the co-defendants;
 5) an ascendant, descendant or spouse of a party to proceedings;
 6) another person whose right to act as a contractual representative is provided by law.

 (2) A public servant or employee of a party to proceedings may act as a contractual representative of the party to proceedings if the court considers them to have sufficient expertise and experience to represent the party to proceedings.

 (3) In a court claim in the Supreme Court, a party to proceedings may perform procedural operations and file petitions and applications only through an attorney-at-law. Under the action-by-petition procedure in the Supreme Court, a party to proceedings may perform procedural operations and file petitions and applications personally or through an attorney.

 (4) In a court claim in the Supreme Court a party to proceedings may personally file an application for being granted financial aid and likewise present positions on and objections to appeals or other petitions of another party to proceedings. A party to proceedings may present positions in a trial or hearing of the Supreme Court together with an attorney-at-law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The Minister in charge of the policy sector or a representative appointed thereby may represent the Republic of Estonia in the Supreme Court even if they are not an attorney-at-law. A bankrupt may also be represented in a court claim in the Supreme Court by the trustee in bankruptcy. A party to proceedings may be represented under the action-by-petition procedure before the Supreme Court by a notary in accordance with the rules provided by § 30 of the Notaries Act.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
[RT I, 29.06.2014, 109 – entry into force 01.07.2014, the phrase ‘Minister in charge of the policy sector’ substituted for the phrase ‘the Minister of Justice’ on the basis of subsection 4 of section 1073 of the Government of the Republic Act]

§ 219.  Representative appointed by court

 (1) If a petition is filed by a person without active civil procedural legal capacity or a court claim is made against a person without active civil procedural legal capacity who has no statutory representative, the court appoints a temporary representative to them until the statutory representative enters proceedings if prevention of the participation of the party in proceedings endangers an essential interest of a party.

 (2) In a family case, the court may appoint a representative to a person without active civil procedural legal capacity in a proceeding which concerns them if this is necessary for protection of the interests of the person without active civil procedural legal capacity. A representative must be appointed if:
 1) the interests of the person without active civil procedural legal capacity are contrary, to a significant extent, to the interests of their statutory representative;
 2) the court is dealing with a case of placing a person without active civil procedural legal capacity under guardianship;
 3) the court is dealing with a case for the application of measures to ensure the well-being of a child which include separating the child from their family or a full termination of physical custody;
[RT I 2009, 60, 395 – entry into force 01.07.2010]
 4) the court is dealing with a case of removing a child from a foster family, a spouse or another person entitled to access to the child.

 (3) A representative do not need to be appointed to a person without active civil procedural legal capacity and an order made for appointment of a representative to such person may be set aside if the person is represented by an attorney or another appropriate representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The right of representation of a representative appointed by court ends when the disposition that terminates the proceedings enters into effect, or when proceedings are concluded by another method, provided that the court has not terminated the right of representation already earlier or has not appointed the representative for only one court instance. If a representative has been appointed only for one court instance, the representative's right of representation in that instance also extends to the filing of appeals against the disposition rendered in the instance.

 (5) In situations mentioned in subsections 1 and 2 of this section and also in other situations provided for by this Code, the court appoints, in accordance with the rules provided by the State-funded Legal Aid Act, an attorney to represent the person in order to protect the person’s interests. The name of the attorney is mentioned to the court by the Estonian Bar Association which also guarantees their attendance at proceedings. Upon appointment of an attorney, the court does not additionally check the existence of the prerequisites for the receipt of state legal aid.

 (6) An attorney appointed by the court is remunerated by the state to the extent and in accordance with the rules provided by the State Legal Aid Act. A person for the protection of whose interests an attorney was appointed may be required to return to the state any payment already made to the attorney if the person fails to protect their interests in court in a reasonable manner other than through a court-appointed representative, or for another valid reason. This does not exempt a party to proceedings from payment of case costs if the party is required to pay such costs under the judicial disposition.

 (7) In order to protect a person's interests in proceedings, the court may appoint a person other than an attorney to act as their representative, if the court finds the person to have sufficient competence for such duty and the person agrees to it. Such person is not paid any remuneration but may request reimbursement of their costs from the party to proceedings required to pay case costs based on the judicial disposition.

§ 220.  Representation of Republic of Estonia as a party to proceedings

 (1) In a court claim made against the Republic of Estonia arising from the activity of an executive authority, or when the Republic of Estonia is joined to proceedings as a third party, or upon participation of the Republic of Estonia in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure, the Republic of Estonia is represented by the ministry whose activity, or the activity of an agency within the area of administration of which, or the activity of an official of which relates to the civil case, or within whose area of administration the civil case which is the object of proceedings belongs. If the petition pertains to the performance of the duties by the Government Office, the Republic of Estonia is represented by the Government Office.
[RT I, 04.07.2017, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2018]

 (2) In a court claim made against the Republic of Estonia which arises from the activity of another administrator of State assets or in a civil case related to the activities of such administrator, the administrator of the State assets represents the Republic of Estonia.

 (3) The Ministry of Justice has the right to represent the Republic of Estonia in proceedings before any court.

 (4) The court sends a statement of claim filed against the Republic of Estonia or a petition for joinder of the Republic of Estonia to the authorities mentioned in subsections 1 and 2 of this section. If the court cannot establish the Ministry or another administrator of State assets within whose area of administration the petition belongs, the court sends the statement or petition to the Ministry of Justice.

 (5) In a dispute arising from the performance of financial supervision and resolution functions, the Republic of Estonia is represented by the Financial Supervision Authority.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 3 – entry into force 29.03.2015]

§ 221.  Certification of the representative’s authority of representation

 (1) The authority of representation of a statutory representative is certified by a document which identifies the person as the statutory representative.

 (2) The authorisation given to a contractual representative is certified by the power of attorney which is filed with the court. Where this is needed, the court may require a principal party to file a notarially certified or authenticated power of attorney.

 (3) A person may, at a trial or hearing, also grant an oral authorisation to be represented. The grant of such an authorisation is entered in the record of proceedings.

§ 222.  Statutory scope of the authority of representation

 (1) The authority to represent a person in court gives the representative a right to perform all procedural operations in the name of the person represented, including the right to:
 1) file a court claim or petition, or make any other application or motion or representation;
 2) refer the case to arbitration;
 3) abandon the court claim;
 4) admit the court claim;
 5) amend the cause or head of the claim;
 6) file a counterclaim;
 7) participate in proceedings conducted on the court claim brought by a third party with an independent claim;
 8) settle the case by compromise;
 9) delegate the power of representation to other persons (delegation of representation);
 10) file an appeal against a judicial disposition;
 11) represent them at the interim protection of the claim and in enforcement proceedings;
 12) receive any case costs that are compensated.

 (2) The representative of a spouse who has no active civil procedural legal capacity has a right to file a petition for divorce or annulment of marriage only with the consent of the guardianship authority.

 (3) An authorisation to be represented that is granted in a family case must be given expressly for acting in that family case.

§ 223.  Restrictions on right of representation

  A party to proceedings may restrict the scope of the representative's statutory right of representation. Such restriction applies with regard to the court and to the other parties to proceedings only insofar as it concerns the right to settle the case by judicial compromise, to abandon the court claim or to admit it – provided the court and the other parties have been informed of the restriction.

§ 224.  Right of representation of several contractual representatives

  If a party to proceedings has several contractual representatives, every representative has the right to separately represent the party to proceedings. If the scope of the right of representation has been determined differently, this does not apply with regard to the court or the other parties to proceedings.

§ 225.  End of authority of representation

 (1) Where the person represented revokes the authority of representation, the authority ends with respect to the opposing party and the court as of the time the opposing party and the court are notified of its revocation. It is presumed that the authority of representation also ends at the time the opposing party and the court are notified of the appointment of a new attorney.

 (2) Where a representative terminates the contract which constitutes the basis for the authority of representation, the representative may continue to act in the interests of the principal until the principal has arranged for the protection of their interests by other means.

 (3) The authority of representation does not end with the death of the principal, with the principal’s losing their active legal capacity for purposes of civil procedure or with a change of the principal's statutory representative.

 (4) In proceedings, the principal may only rely on the lapsing – due to expiry of its period of validity – of the representative's authority of representation if the principal or representative has notified this to the court and to the opposing party separately.

§ 226.  Verification of right of representation

 (1) The court verifies the existence of a representative's right of representation and upon the absence of such right refuses to permit the person to participate in proceedings in the capacity of a representative. A party to proceedings has the right to demand, in every court instance and at any stage of the proceedings, verification of the right of representation of the representatives of the other parties to proceedings. Attorneys are presumed to have the right of representation.

 (2) If the absence of the right of representation is established, the court may:
 1) dismiss the court claim if the person who submitted the statement of court claim on behalf of the claimant had no right of representation upon filing the court claim;
 2) make a judgment if this is possible pursuant to law;
 3) remove, by an order, the person without the right of representation from proceedings, provided that the party to proceedings has several representatives;
 4) permit the representative to participate in proceedings pursuant to § 227 of this Code;
 5) postpone the hearing of the case.

 (3) If, during proceedings, a representative is found to have no right of representation but the court claim was filed correctly, the party to proceedings represented is deemed not to have participated in proceedings to the extent to which such person was represented without the right of representation, unless the party to proceedings subsequently ratifies the procedural operations performed by the person who appeared as the representative.

§ 227.  Permission to temporarily enter proceedings for and approval of representation of persons with ambiguous right of representation

 (1) If a court claim on behalf of the claimant is filed by a person who does not prove their right of representation, the court does not serve the court claim on the defendant before the right of representation has been certified.

 (2) If a representative of a party to proceedings is unable to prove their right of representation in court but claims that provision of the relevant proof will be possible at a later time, the court may postpone the hearing of the case or permit the person to temporarily participate in proceedings as a representative.

 (3) If the hearing of the case is postponed or the person with an ambiguous right of representation is permitted to enter proceedings as a representative, the court sets such person a time limit for certification of their right of representation and may require a security from such person in order to cover for the case costs and any costs or harm which may arise to other parties to proceedings.

 (4) If a person without a right of representation is permitted to enter proceedings, the court may make a judgment or an order on termination of proceedings only after provision of proof of the right of representation, submission of ratification of unauthorised representation or expiry of the time limit set by the court for the provision or submission.

 (5) If a person who appears on behalf of the claimant has not proved their right of representation or submitted a ratification within the time limit set by the court, the court dismisses the court claim if the other prerequisites for dismissal are fulfilled. If a person who appears on behalf of the defendant has not proved their right of representation or submitted a ratification within the time limit set by the court, the court makes a default judgment if the other prerequisites for making a default judgment are fulfilled. If a person who filed an appeal on behalf of a party to proceedings has not proved their right of representation or submitted a ratification within the time limit set by the court, the court dismisses the appeal if the other prerequisites for dismissal are fulfilled.

 (6) By the decision referred to in subsection 5 of this section, the court awards, from the person without the right of representation, the costs which the other parties incurred as a result of permitting the person without the right of representation to enter proceedings, to the other parties to proceedings. This does not preclude or restrict the right of the parties to proceedings to demand compensation for harm to the extent by which such harm exceeds the costs.

 (7) Procedural operations performed on behalf of a party to proceedings are also deemed to be valid if the party to proceedings granted the right of representation to the representative by means other than a written, notarially certified or authenticated document, or if the party to proceedings ratifies, expressly or tacitly, the participation of the representative in the proceedings. It is presumed that a party to proceedings has ratified the authority of a person who represented them in proceedings if the party to proceedings subsequently grants the authority to the representative.

§ 228.  Adviser

 (1) A party to proceedings may use a person with active civil procedural legal capacity as an adviser in proceedings.

 (2) An adviser may appear in the trial or hearing together with the party to proceedings and provide explanations. An adviser cannot perform procedural operations or file petitions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Anything presented by an adviser in a trial or hearing is deemed to have been presented by the party to proceedings unless the party to proceedings immediately withdraws or corrects it.

Part 5 EVIDENCE  

Chapter 24 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 229.  Definition of evidence

 (1) Evidence in a civil case is any information which is in a procedural form provided by law and on the basis of which the court, in accordance with the rules provided by law, ascertains the presence or absence of circumstances on which the claims and objections of the parties are based, as well as other facts relevant to the just disposition of the case.

 (2) Evidence may be the testimony of a witness, statements of parties to proceedings given under oath, documentary evidence, physical evidence, inspection or an expert opinion. Under the action-by-petition procedure the court may also deem other means of proof, including a statement of a party to proceedings which is not given under oath, to be sufficient in order to prove the facts.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 230.  Burden of proof and submission of evidence

 (1) Under the action-by-claim procedure, unless otherwise provided by law, each party shall prove the facts on which their claims and objections are based. Unless otherwise prescribed by law, the parties may agree on a division of the burden of proof different from that which is provided by law and agree on the nature of the evidence whereby a certain fact may be proved.

 (2) Evidence is submitted by the parties to proceedings. The court may propose to the parties to proceedings that they submit additional evidence.

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the court may take evidence of its own motion in a matrimonial case, filiation case, a dispute related to the interests of a child or in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (4) In a maintenance case, the court may require that a party provide data and documents on their income and financial status and caution the party that the inquiry mentioned in subsection 5 of this section may be conducted.

 (5) In the case provided in subsection 4 of this section, the court may demand relevant information from:
 1) the employer, including former employers, of a party;
 2) the Social Insurance Board or another agency or person making payments related to old age or loss of capacity for work;
[RT I, 06.12.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 3) insurance companies;
 4) the Tax and Customs Board;
 5) credit institutions.

 (6) The persons and agencies mentioned in subsection 5 of this section have the obligation to provide the court with information within the time limit set by the court. In the case of failure to perform such obligation, the court may impose a fine on the obligated person or agency.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 231.  Grounds for relief from burden of proof

 (1) A fact which the court deems to be a case of common knowledge do not need to be proved. A fact concerning which reliable information is available from sources outside the proceedings may be declared a case of common knowledge by the court.

 (2) An assertion made by a principal party concerning a fact does not need to be proven if the opposing party admits the fact. Admission means unconditional and express acceptance of an asserted fact by means of a written representation addressed to the court, or by a representation made at the trial or hearing, where such acceptance is entered in the record of proceedings. In matrimonial and filiation cases, the court evaluates an admission together with the rest of the evidence.

 (3) An admission may be withdrawn only with the consent of the opposing party provided the party withdrawing the admission proves that the assertion concerning the presence or absence of a fact which was accepted is incorrect, and that admission was caused by an incorrect understanding of the fact. In such a situation the fact is not deemed to have been admitted.

 (4) Admission is presumed until the opposing party expressly contests the assertion made concerning the fact or the party's volition to contest it emerges from other representations made by that party.

§ 232.  Evaluation of evidence

 (1) The court evaluates all evidence pursuant to law from all perspectives, thoroughly and objectively and decides, according to the conscience of the court, whether or not an argument presented by a party to proceedings is proven considering, among other things, any agreements between the parties concerning the provision of evidence.

 (2) No evidence has predetermined weight for a court, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

 (3) When ascertaining a disputed circumstance, the court is bound by the opinion given by a specialist witness appointed by mutual agreement of the parties, provided:
 1) the dispute is related to a contract that the principal parties concluded in the course of their economic or professional activities, and
 2) no circumstances are present that would constitute grounds for recusing the witness if they had acted as an expert in the proceedings, and
 3) the witness was appointed according to the agreement without giving preference to either of the parties, and
 4) the opinion of the witness is not evidently wrong.

§ 233.  Evaluation of amount of claim

 (1) The court decides on the amount of harm according to the conscience of the court and taking account of all facts if causing of harm has been established in proceedings but the exact amount of the harm cannot be established or establishment thereof would involve major difficulties or unreasonably high costs, including if the harm is non-patrimonial.

 (2) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section also apply to other pecuniary disputes if the parties disagree over the amount of the claim and full verification of all the facts necessary for the establishment thereof involves unreasonable difficulties.

§ 234.  Proof of law of foreign states, international law and customary law

  Proof of law in force outside of the Republic of Estonia, international law or customary law must be given only in so far as the court is not acquainted with such law. The court may also use other sources of information and perform other acts to ascertain the law. Upon ascertaining foreign law, the court is also guided by § 4 of the Private International Law Act.

§ 235.  Substantiation

  Substantiation of an allegation means giving the court the reasons for an allegation such that, presuming that the reasoning is correct, the court can deem such allegation to be plausible. Unless otherwise provided by law, a person required to substantiate may use all the evidence permitted by law for such purpose, including means of proof not deemed to be evidence by law or not in the procedural form prescribed for evidence, including signed confirmations.

Chapter 25 PROVISION, TAKING AND EXAMINATION OF EVIDENCE  

§ 236.  Provision and taking of evidence

 (1) Provision of evidence means a request made by a party to proceedings requesting the court to evaluate an allegation of the party to proceedings based on the receipt and examination of the evidence indicated in the request.

 (2) If a party to proceedings wishing to provide evidence is unable to do so, the party to proceedings may request the taking of the evidence by the court. Taking of evidence means an activity of the court performed with the aim to render evidence available and enable the examination thereof in the proceedings.

 (3) A party to proceedings who provides evidence or requests the taking of evidence must substantiate which facts relevant to the case the party to proceedings intends to prove by providing the evidence or requesting the taking of evidence. A request for taking of evidence shall also set out any information which enables the taking of evidence.

 (4) With the consent of both parties, evidence may be provided to the court and the court may take evidence in a manner or form different from that provided in this Code. A party may withdraw such consent only if significant changes in the procedural situation occur.

§ 237.  Obligation of timely provision of evidence

 (1) In the course of pre-trial proceedings, the court sets the parties to proceedings a time limit for providing evidence and requesting the taking of evidence. If evidence is not provided or taking thereof is not requested before the expiry of the time limit, such evidence may be relied upon later only in adherence to the provisions of § 331 of this Code.

 (2) If the request of a party to proceedings for taking of evidence is denied due to the failure of the party to pay the costs related to the taking of evidence in advance notwithstanding the demand of the court, the party does not have the right to request the taking of evidence later if granting the request would result in adjournment of the hearing of the case.

§ 238.  Relevance and admissibility of evidence

 (1) The court accepts, organises the taking of and considers, when dealing with a case, only evidence which has relevance to the case. Evidence has no relevance to a case, above all, if:
 1) the fact proven do not need to be proved, among other things, if the fact is not disputed;
 2) enough evidence has already been provided, in the opinion of the court, in proof of the fact.

 (2) If pursuant to law or based on an agreement between the parties, a fact must be proven by evidence of a certain type or form, the fact shall not be proved by evidence of another type or form.

 (3) In addition to the cases provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the court may refuse to accept evidence and return the evidence, or refuse to take evidence, if:
 1) the evidence has been obtained by a criminal offence or unlawful violation of a fundamental right;
 2) the evidence is not accessible and, above all, if the witness's data or location of a document is unknown, or if the relevance of the evidence is disproportionate to the time necessary for taking the evidence or other difficulties related thereto;
 3) the evidence is not provided or the request for taking the evidence is not made in a timely manner;
 4) the need for providing or taking evidence is not substantiated;
 5) the party to proceedings requesting the taking of evidence fails to make an advance payment demanded by the court in order to cover the costs incurred upon the taking of evidence.

 (4) The court makes a reasoned order on refusal to accept evidence or refusal to take evidence.

 (5) If the court has already accepted or taken evidence, the court may refuse to take account of such evidence when adjudicating the case in the cases provided in subsections (1)–(3) of this section. Evidence may be disregarded after its evaluation if the evidence is clearly not reliable.

§ 239.  Organisation of taking evidence

 (1) Where, in order to examine certain evidence, the evidence needs to be taken, the taking of evidence is arranged by a court order which is communicated to the parties to proceedings. Before the order is made, the court hears the person from whom the court is requested to take evidence, if that person requests this. If evidence has to be taken outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the court conducting proceedings in a case, the court considering the case may make an order for performance, by letter of request, of a procedural operation by the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the evidence can be taken. An order on a letter of request sets out a brief description of the merits of the case, the facts to be ascertained and the evidence to be taken.
[RT I, 26.05.2017, 1 – entry into force 05.06.2017]

 (2) The court, including the court conducting proceedings in a case based on a letter of request, may, if necessary, amend the order on the taking of evidence. The parties to proceedings are given an opportunity to provide their opinion before amendment of the order, if this is possible. The parties to proceedings are informed, without delay, of amendment of the order on the taking of evidence.

§ 240.  Rules for compliance with letter of request

 (1) A letter of request is complied with in accordance with the rules established for performance of the procedural operation applied for in the letter of request. The parties to proceedings are notified of the time and place of the procedural operation; however, the absence of a party to proceedings does not prevent compliance with the letter of request.

 (2) The record of proceedings at the procedural operation as well as any evidence taken under the letter of request are sent, without delay, to the court considering the case.

 (3) If, in the course of the taking of evidence by the court conducting proceedings in the case on the basis of a letter of request, a dispute arises which may not be resolved by that court but continuation of the taking of evidence depends on the resolution of the dispute, the court conducting proceedings in the main case resolves the dispute.

 (4) If the court complying with a letter of request finds that in order to better adjudicate the case, it would be reasonable to transfer the duty of taking evidence to another court, the court submits a request to this effect to the other court and informs the parties to proceedings thereof.

§ 241.  Taking evidence outside Estonia

 (1) Evidence taken in a foreign state under the legislation of that state may be used in proceedings before the civil courts of Estonia unless the procedural operations performed in order to obtain the evidence are in conflict with the principles of Estonian civil procedure.

 (2) Evidence is taken in another Member State of the European Union in accordance with the rules provided by Council Regulation 1206/2001/EC relating to co-operation between the judicial authorities of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil and commercial cases, with the assistance of a court of the other state or directly.

 (3) The panel of the court which requested the taking of evidence pursuant to the Regulation mentioned in subsection 2 of this section or a judge acting on the basis of an order may, in accordance with the Regulation, be present at and participate in the taking of evidence by a court of a foreign state. The parties to proceedings, their representatives and experts may participate in the taking of evidence to the same extent as they may participate in the taking of evidence in Estonia. The court panel dealing with the case, a judge acting on the basis of an order or an expert appointed by the court may participate in such direct taking of evidence by an Estonian court in another Member State of the European Union, which is permitted by Article 17.3 of the regulation mentioned above.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) For taking of evidence elsewhere than in a Member State of the European Union, the court requests the taking of evidence through a competent authority pursuant to the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Cases.

 (5) The court may also take evidence in a foreign state by intermediation of the ambassador representing the Republic of Estonia in such state or a competent consular official unless it is prohibited pursuant to law of the foreign state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 242.  Withdrawal of evidence

  The party who has provided evidence or requested the taking thereof may waive and withdraw evidence only with the consent of the opposing party, unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 243.  Examination of evidence

 (1) The court examines the evidence at first hand and evaluates it when making the decision.

 (2) The court determines the sequence of examination of evidence in a trial or hearing after hearing the opinions of the parties to proceedings.

 (3) The parties to proceedings have the right to attend the examination of evidence in trial or hearings. Absence of a party to proceedings summoned to court from a trial or hearing in which evidence is examined does not prevent the examination of the evidence unless the court rules otherwise.

 (4) The court may order new or additional examination of evidence at the request of a party to proceedings who was absent from a trial or hearing in which the evidence was examined if the party to proceedings substantiates to the court that they was absent from the trial or hearing with a valid reason and that due to their absence the evidence taken or examined is materially incomplete.

 (5) The record of proceedings concerning the taking of evidence compiled upon compliance with a letter of request or by a judge acting based on an order are made public at a trial or hearing of the court considering the case. The parties to proceedings may provide an opinion concerning the taking of evidence.

 (6) Evidence taken and records of proceedings at procedural operations performed outside of the trial or hearing are presented at the trial or hearing and communicated to the experts and witnesses as necessary. Thereafter the parties to proceedings may offer explanations with regard to such evidence.

Chapter 26 PROCEDURE FOR PRELIMINARY COLLECTION OF EVIDENCE TO PRESERVE THE EVIDENCE AND TO ESTABLISH FACTS BEFORE INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 244.  Preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) Proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence may, at the request of a party, be arranged by the court by order during court proceedings or, where a valid reason is present, also before proceedings are initiated, provided the opposing party agrees to this or provided it may be presumed that evidence could go missing or that later use of the evidence would involve difficulties. The court also initiates proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence in order to preserve the evidence if a person substantiates that their copyright and related rights, or industrial property rights have been infringed, or that a risk of infringement exists.

 (2) Under the procedure for preliminary collection of evidence, inspections may be arranged, witnesses may be heard, and expert assessments and other procedural operations may be conducted. If preliminary collection of evidence is initiated in order to safeguard evidence due to an infringement or risk of infringement of copyright and related rights or of industrial property rights, the court may, among other things, arrange the inspection and recording of a detailed description of samples with or without storing the samples, or attach the infringing goods, or the raw materials, equipment and related documents necessary for the production or marketing of the goods in accordance with the rules for interim protection of the claim.

 (3) Before the beginning of proceedings, a person may request that the court order expert assessment in proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence if the person has a legal interest in the establishment of:
 1) the state of a person, or the condition or value of an object;
 2) the reason for harm or for the defect of an object;
 3) the costs or measures for elimination of harm or correction of defects of an object.

 (4) Legal interest exists in the case mentioned in subsection 3 of this section if establishment would clearly help to prevent a judicial dispute.

 (5) The provisions concerning submission and taking of evidence also apply to the procedure for preliminary collection of evidence unless this Chapter provides otherwise.

§ 245.  Application for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) If court proceedings have been instituted in a civil case, the application for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence is filed with the court which deals with the case.

 (2) If proceedings have not been instituted, the application is filed with the court which, according to the applicant’s submissions, is competent to hear the main case. If proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence are followed by court proceedings, the applicant may not rely on the fact that the case does not actually belong within the jurisdiction of that court.

 (3) Where a valid reason is present, the application may also be filed with the district court that serves the area in which the person is present whose examination or in whose respect the conduct of an expert assessment is applied for, or the area where the item of property to be inspected or assessed by an expert is located.

§ 246.  Content of application for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) An application for initiation of preliminary collection of evidence shall set out the following information:
 1) the names, addresses and telecommunications numbers of the parties to proceedings or the persons presumed to be the parties to proceedings;
 2) a description of the facts concerning which the applicant wishes evidence to be taken;
 3) the names of witnesses or designation of other evidence;
 4) the facts which substantiate the permissibility of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence and which substantiate jurisdiction in the case.

 (2) If the person who requests the taking of evidence fails to specify the opposing party, the person shall provide the court with a valid reason for failure to do so.

§ 247.  Initiation of preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) The court resolves an application for initiation of preliminary collection of evidence by an order. The order sets out the facts concerning which evidence must be taken and specifies the evidence which must be taken.

 (2) Where, in order to preserve the evidence, proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence are initiated before the filing of the court claim due to an infringement or risk of infringement of copyright and related rights or of industrial property rights, the court, by order, sets a time limit within which the person must file the court claim. The time limit shall not be longer than one month. If the court claim is not filed within the set time limit, the court revokes the acts performed in the course of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence.

 (3) If due to an infringement or risk of infringement of copyright and related rights or of industrial property rights, proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence are requested or initiated before the court claim has been filed, the court may make the initiation or continuation of those proceedings dependent on the provision of a security for compensation of the harm which may arise to the opposing party. The security must be provided by the due date set by the court. If the security is not provided by the set due date, the court refuses to initiate preliminary collection of evidence or cancels the acts performed in the course of the preliminary collection of evidence.

 (4) An order by which initiation of preliminary collection of evidence is refused is subject to interim appeal. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 248.  Protection of opposing party in proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) The court does not initiate proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence if the applicant does not provide the court with a valid reason why they cannot name the opposing party in the proceedings.

 (2) If proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence are initiated on the basis of an application which does not indicate the opposing party, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the future opposing party and to protect the interests of that party in proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence. The court, by order, directs the applicant to pay, to the extent prescribed by the State Legal Aid Act, the attorney's fee and costs, and may require that the applicant make, prior to the commencement of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence, a reasonable advance payment to the account prescribed for this purpose. If the advance payment is not made, the court may refuse to initiate the proceedings.

 (3) The court serves the application for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence and the court order on initiation of the proceedings on the opposing party or on that party’s representative in a manner which makes it possible for the opposing party to protect their interests in those proceedings.

 (4) If due to an infringement or risk of infringement of copyright and related rights or of industrial property rights of a person, preliminary collection of evidence is requested in order to preserve evidence before a court claim has been filed, the court initiates and completes the preliminary collection of evidence without informing the opposing party thereof if a delay could result in irreparable harm to the applicant or if the evidence could otherwise be destroyed or lost. In such case, the application and order referred to in subsection 3 of this section, and an order on application of a measure are served on the opposing party without delay following the application of the necessary measures.

 (5) In a situation mentioned in subsection 4 of this section, the opposing party may make a motion to the court to vary or revoke the measure for safeguarding the evidence provided that the evidence was safeguarded unfoundedly. The court informs the applicant of such a motion and the applicant has a right to file objections against the motion with the court. An order made concerning the motion is subject to appeal by the parties. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (6) Filing of the appeal mentioned in subsection 5 of this section does not suspend enforcement of the order by which the safeguarding was imposed. The filing of an interim appeal against revocation of a measure for safeguarding the evidence or the substitution of one such measure for by another suspends enforcement of the order.

§ 249.  Relying on evidence obtained in proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) Evidence taken in proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence may be relied on in the proceedings on the same bases as evidence obtained in the main proceedings.

 (2) If the opposing party did not participate in the trial or hearing of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence or in the performance of other procedural operations, relying on the outcome of those proceedings is not permitted if the opposing party had not been summoned, in a timely manner, to the trial or hearing or the performance of the procedural operation or the rights of the opposing party were materially violated in those proceedings due to other reasons and the opposing party contests the evidence on such grounds.

 (3) Reliance on the outcome of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence is permitted if the opposing party was not informed of those proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection 248 (4) of this Code.

§ 250.  Compensation for harm caused by proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence

 (1) The party who applied for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence shall compensate for the harm caused to the other party if:
 1) a judicial disposition denying the court claim or dismissing the court claim enters into effect, or if proceedings in the case are terminated on any grounds other than approval of the compromise of the parties;
 2) it becomes evident that the grounds for proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence were absent at the time of initiating those proceedings;
 3) the acts performed in the course of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence which were conducted prior to filing the court claim are revoked on the grounds that the court claim was not filed on time.

 (2) A security required in order to compensate for harm likely to be caused by proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence is returned to the party who applied for the conduct of those proceedings if the other party has not filed the court claim for compensation for harm within two months as of the time mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.

Chapter 27 TESTIMONY OF WITNESS  

§ 251.  Witness testimony

 (1) Every person who may be aware of facts relevant to the case may be examined as a witness unless the person is a party to proceedings or a representative of such a party in the case.

 (2) Instead of examining a witness, the court may use the record of proceedings reflecting examination of the same witness in other judicial proceedings, if this clearly facilitates proceedings and it may be presumed that the court is able to assess the record to a necessary extent without first-hand examination of the witness.

§ 252.  Summoning of witness to trial or hearing

  The court summons a witness to a trial or hearing and serves a summons on them. A summons shall contain at least the following information:
 1) the parties to proceedings and the object of the dispute;
 2) the case in which the person is to be heard;
 3) an order to appear at the time and place indicated in the summons in order to give testimony;
 4) a warning that coercive measures provided by law will be applied if the witness fails to appear for the hearing.

§ 253.  Written testimony

 (1) The court may make an order whereby a witness is required to provide written answers to the questions posed to them within the time limit prescribed by the court, if appearing before the court is unreasonably onerous to the witness and, taking account of the contents of the questions and the personal characteristics of the witness, giving written testimony is, in the court's opinion, sufficient for providing proof.

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the witness shall be informed that regardless of giving written testimony, they may also be summoned to a trial or hearing to provide oral testimony. A witness shall be explained the contents of §§ 256–259 of this Code and the obligation of a witness to tell the truth. A witness shall also be cautioned against refusal to give testimony without a valid reason and against giving knowingly false testimony, and shall be required to sign the text of the testimony and the caution.

 (3) A party to proceedings has the right to submit written questions to a witness through the court. The court determines the questions for which an answer by a witness is requested.

 (4) After receiving the answers of a witness, the court forwards them without delay to the parties to proceedings together with a signed text of the caution.

 (5) If necessary, the court may summon a witness to a trial or hearing in order to give oral testimony.

§ 254.  Obligation of witness to appear before court and provide truthful testimony

  A person summoned as a witness is required to appear in court and give truthful testimony before the court with regard to the facts known to them.

§ 255.  Hearing of witness outside of court

 (1) If a person is unable to appear in court due to an illness, old age, a disability or another valid reason, or if it is necessary due to another reason, the court may go to the witness to hear the witness.

 (2) A court acting based on a letter of request or a judge acting on the basis of an order shall be assigned the task of hearing a witness only if there is reason to believe that the court conducting proceedings in the case will be able to evaluate the outcome of the hearing appropriately without directly participating in the hearing, and if:
 1) on-the-site hearing of the witness is presumed to be necessary for ascertaining the truth or if, pursuant to law, the witness must be heard elsewhere than the place where the trial is held;
 2) the witness is unable to appear in court due to an illness, old age, a disability or another valid reason;
 3) in proportion to the importance of the testimony to be given by the witness, appearing before the court which conducts proceedings in the case is not acceptable to the witness due to the disproportionate length of the journey and the witness cannot be heard under the rules for trials or hearings with distance participation.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a witness fails to appear or refuses to give testimony, the judge who received an order or a letter of request for taking evidence has a right to issue and revoke any directions provided for by law, to decide on the permissibility of the questions posed to the witness and to decide on repeat examination of the witness.

§ 256.  Prohibition on giving testimony

 (1) A minister of a religious association registered in Estonia or support staff thereof shall not be heard or questioned with regard to circumstances confided to them in the context of spiritual care.

 (2) The following shall not be heard as witnesses without the permission of the person in whose interests the duty to maintain confidentiality is imposed:
 1) representatives in civil or administrative cases, counsels in criminal or misdemeanour cases and notaries with regard to facts which have become known to them in the performance of their professional duties;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) doctors, pharmacists or other health care providers, with regard to facts which a patient has confided to them, including facts related to the descent, artificial insemination, family or health of a person;
 3) other persons who, due to their occupation or professional or economic activities, have been confided information which the persons are obliged to keep confidential pursuant to law.

 (3) Professional support staff of the persons mentioned in subsection 2 of this section shall also not be heard as witnesses without the permission of the person in whose interests the duty to maintain confidentiality is imposed.

 (4) A court may refuse to hear as a witness a person of less than fourteen years of age or a person who due to a physical or mental disability is unable to comprehend the facts relevant to the case properly or to give truthful testimony with regard thereto.

§ 257.  Right of witness to refuse to give testimony

 (1) The following persons have the right to refuse to give testimony as witnesses:
 1) the descendants and ascendants of the claimant or defendant;
 2) a sister, stepsister, brother or stepbrother of the claimant or defendant, or a person who is or has been married to a sister, stepsister, brother or stepbrother of the claimant or defendant;
 3) a step parent or foster parent or a step child or foster child of the claimant or defendant;
 4) an adoptive parent or an adopted child of the claimant or defendant;
 5) the spouse of or a person permanently living together with the claimant or defendant, and the parents of the spouse or person, even if the marriage or permanent cohabitation has ended.

 (2) A witness may refuse to give testimony also if the testimony may lay blame on them or a person mentioned in subsection 1 of this section for the commission of a criminal offence or a misdemeanour.

 (3) A witness has the right to refuse to give testimony concerning the fact to which the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act applies.
[RT I 2007, 16, 77 – entry into force 01.01.2008]

 (4) A person processing information for journalistic purposes has the right to refuse to give testimony concerning the fact which enables to identify the person who has provided the information.
[RT I, 21.12.2010, 1 – entry into force 31.12.2010]

 (5) A person who comes professionally into contact with the facts that may identify the person who has provided information to the person processing information for journalistic purposes has the right to refuse to give testimony in the case provided in subsection 4 of this section.
[RT I, 21.12.2010, 1 – entry into force 31.12.2010]

§ 258.  Obligation to testify in exceptional cases

  Regardless of the provisions of § 257 of this Code, a witness shall not refuse to give testimony concerning:
 1) the performance and content of a transaction which they was invited to witness;
 2) the birth or death of a family member;
 3) a fact related to a pecuniary relationship which arises from a relationship under family law;
 4) an operation related to the disputed legal relationship which the witness himself or herself performed as the legal predecessor or representative of a party.

§ 259.  Rules concerning refusal to give testimony

 (1) A witness who refuses to give testimony shall present, not later than in the trial or hearing prescribed for their questioning, the facts on the basis of which the witness refuses to testify, and shall substantiate such facts to the court.

 (2) A witness who gives advance notice of their refusal to testify need not appear in the trial or hearing prescribed for giving the testimony. The court informs the parties to proceedings of the receipt of a petition on refusal to give testimony.

 (3) The court makes an order concerning the legality of the refusal of a witness to give testimony after hearing the parties to proceedings. If the court does not consider the refusal to give testimony to be legal, the court requires the witness to give testimony by an order. The witness has the right to file an interim appeal against such order. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (4) If a witness refuses to give testimony in order to protect a state secret or classified information of foreign states, the court requests the agency in possession of the state secret or classified information of foreign states to confirm classification of the facts as state secret or classified information of foreign states. If the agency in possession of a state secret or classified information of foreign states does not confirm classification of the facts as state secret or classified information of foreign states or does not respond to the request within 20 days, the witness is required to give testimony.
[RT I 2007, 16, 77 – entry into force 01.01.2008]

§ 260.  Safeguarding of hearing witness

 (1) Every witness is heard individually. Witnesses who have not been heard shall not be present in the courtroom during the hearing of the case. A witness who has been heard stays in the courtroom until the end of the hearing of the case unless the court gives the witness permission to leave earlier.

 (2) If a court has reason to believe that a witness is afraid or has other reason not to speak the truth before the court in the presence of a party to proceedings or if a party to proceedings leads the testimony of a witness by interference or in any other manner, the court may remove such party to proceedings from the courtroom for the time the witness is heard.

 (3) After the return of such party to proceedings, the testimony of the witness is read to the party to proceedings and the party to proceedings has the right to question the witness.

§ 261.  Hearing of witness who is minor

 (1) If necessary, a witness of less than fourteen years of age is heard in the presence of a child protection official, social worker, psychologist, parent or guardian who, with the permission of the court, may also question the witness. The court may involve a child protection official, social worker or psychologist in the hearing of a minor over fourteen years of age.

 (2) If necessary, a court may remove a witness of less than fourteen years of age from the courtroom after they has been heard.

§ 262.  Rules for hearing of witnesses

 (1) The court ascertains the identity of a witness and their area of activity, education, residence, connection to the case and relationships with the parties to proceedings. Before giving testimony, the court explains the obligation of a witness to tell the truth and the contents of §§ 256–259 of this Code to the witness.

 (2) A witness of at least fourteen years of age is cautioned against refusal to give testimony without a legal basis and giving knowingly false testimony, and the witness confirms this by signing the record of proceedings at the trial or hearing or the text of the caution. A witness is not cautioned if the witness does not understand the meaning of the caution due to mental illness, mental disability or other mental disorder.

 (3) If a witness is heard repeatedly in the same case, the witness do not need to be cautioned repeatedly. The court reminds the witness of the force of the caution.

 (4) The court explains the object of the hearing to the witness and urges the witness to disclose everything that they knows concerning the object of the hearing.

 (5) The parties to proceedings have the right to pose questions to a witness which are necessary in their opinion in order to adjudicate the case or establish the witness's connection to the case. A party to proceedings poses questions through the court. With the permission of the court, a party to proceedings may pose questions directly.

 (6) A party to proceedings who applies for the summoning of a witness is the first to question the witness; thereafter, the witness is questioned by the other parties to proceedings. A witness summoned at the initiative of the court is questioned first by the claimant.

 (7) The court excludes leading questions and the questions which are not relevant to the case as well as the questions which are posed in order to reveal new facts which have not yet been presented before and repeated questions.

 (8) If necessary, the court has the right to pose additional questions during the entire questioning in order to clarify or supplement the testimony, or to establish the basis for the witness's knowledge.

§ 263.  Repeated hearing of witness and confrontation thereof

 (1) A witness is heard in the trial or hearing to which they are summoned unless there is a valid reason not to hear the witness in this trial or hearing. Absence of a party to proceedings is not, as a rule, deemed to be a valid reason. The repeated summoning of a witness who has been heard to the next trial or hearing in a court of the same instance shall be reasoned.

 (2) If necessary, a court may hear a witness repeatedly in the same trial or hearing and confront witnesses if their testimony is contradictory.

§ 264.  Notes of witness

 (1) While giving testimony, a witness may use notes and other documents concerning numerical data, names and other information which is difficult to memorise. The court may prohibit a witness from using notes in a trial or hearing.

 (2) If the court so requires, notes are presented to the court and the parties to proceedings and the court may annex the notes to the file with the witness's consent.

§ 265.  Disclosure of testimony of witness

 (1) The testimony of a witness who has been heard on the basis of a letter of request or of an order, in the course of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence or, in the case of the adjournment of the case, in a previous trial or hearing, is disclosed at the trial or hearing. The testimony of a witness is deemed to be disclosed if the court and the parties to proceedings do not consider the reading out of the testimony necessary.

 (2) If witnesses who have been heard in previous trial or hearings appear in a trial or hearing, the court may hear the witnesses again.

§ 266.  Liability of witness

 (1) Where a witness who has been summoned fails to appear in court without a valid reason, the court may impose a fine or order the witness to be brought in forcibly.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a witness refuses to give testimony or sign an acknowledgement of having been cautioned or warned without a valid reason, the court may impose a fine or a short-term custodial sentence of up to 14 days on the witness. The witness is released without delay when they have testified or signed the acknowledgement, or if the trial has ended or the need to examine the witness is no longer present.

 (3) A witness bears any case costs caused by their refusal, without a valid reason, to provide signed acknowledgement of having been cautioned, to give testimony or by their failure to appear for the trial or hearing.

 (4) An order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal made under the circumstances mentioned in subsections 1–3 of this section is subject to interim appeal by the witness. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal filed against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 28 STATEMENTS OF PARTIES TO PROCEEDINGS GIVEN UNDER OATH 

§ 267.  Hearing under oath of parties to proceedings at request of party required to provide evidence

 (1) A party who has not been able to prove, by any other evidence, a fact which needs to be proven by them or who has not provided any other evidence, has the right to request the hearing of the opposing party or a third party under oath in order to prove the fact. In the case of a legal person, a representative thereof may be heard under oath.

 (2) A third party may also be heard under oath at their own request.

§ 268.  Hearing under oath of party required to provide evidence

  The court may also hear under oath a party required to provide evidence concerning a disputed fact if one party requests this and the other party agrees.

§ 2681.  Hearing of party at initiative of court

  Regardless of the parties' requests and the division of the burden of proof, the court may of its own motion hear under oath either or both parties if on the basis of earlier proceedings and the evidence provided and taken it is impossible for the court to develop a position on the truth of an alleged circumstance that has to be proved. The court may also hear a party under oath of its own motion if the party required to provide evidence wishes to give statements under oath, but the opposing party does not agree with it.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 269.  Rules for hearing parties to proceedings

 (1) The provisions concerning hearing of witnesses correspondingly apply to hearing of the parties to proceedings under oath unless the provisions of this Chapter provide otherwise.

 (2) A party to proceedings takes the following oath before giving testimony:
"I, (name), swear by my honour and conscience that I shall disclose the whole truth about the case without concealing, adding or changing anything". A party to proceedings takes the oath orally and signs the text of the oath.

§ 270.  Refusal of a party to proceedings to take oath or give a statement under oath

 (1) If a party refuses to take the oath or to give statements under oath or, regardless of the court's demand, refuses to make a statement concerning such refusal, the court may deem, taking account of, among other things, the reasoning for the refusal to take the oath or to give statements, the fact stated by the opposing party to be proven.

 (2) If a party fails to appear in the trial or hearing set for their hearing under oath without a valid reason, the court may deem, taking account of the reasons for their failure to appear, that they has refused to give statements.

 (3) The provisions concerning the refusal of a witness to give testimony and the liability prescribed therefor apply to the refusal of a third party without an independent claim to give statements or take the oath.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 271.  Examination of a party to proceedings without active civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) The statutory representative or representatives of a party to proceedings who has no active civil procedural legal capacity are examined under oath in the stead of that party.

 (2) A minor or an adult of limited ative legal capacity may be heard by the court – without requiring the person to take an oath – concerning a circumstance which is directly related to an act carried out by the person or of which they had first-hand experience if the court deems it reasonable under the circumstances.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 29 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE  

§ 272.  Definition of documentary evidence

 (1) Documentary evidence is a written document or other document or similar data medium which is recorded by way of photography, video, audio, electronic or other data recording, contains information on facts relevant to the adjudication of a case and can be submitted in a trial or hearing in a perceptible form.

 (2) Official and personal correspondence, decisions in other cases and opinions of persons with specific expertise submitted to the court by parties to proceedings are also deemed to be documents.

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 273.  Submission of written documents

 (1) A written document is submitted as an original document or a copy.

 (2) If a party to proceedings submits an original document together with a copy, the court may return the original document and include in the file the copy certified by the judge.

 (3) At the request of a person who submits a written document, the original document included in the file may be returned after the entry into effect of the judicial disposition terminating proceedings. The copy, certified by the judge, of the original document submitted by the person to whom the original document is returned is kept in the file.

 (4) The court may set a time limit for examination of a submitted document after the expiry of which the court returns the document. In such case the copy of the document is kept in the file.

 (5) If a document has been submitted in the form of a copy, the court has the right to request the submission of the original document or substantiation of the circumstances which prevent the submission of the original document. If the demand of the court is not complied with, the court decides on the probative value of the copy of the document.

§ 274.  Submission of electronic documents

  Electronic documents are submitted to the court in the form of printouts or are transmitted electronically in a form that permits examination and safe storage thereof in the information system of the court.

§ 275.  Submission of excerpts of documents and examination of documents at their place of storage

 (1) If a document is highly voluminous and mainly includes facts not relevant to proceedings or if a document contains information deemed to be state or business secret or classified information of foreign states, and the court finds that for such reason or other similar reason, submission of the document in its entirety is not reasonable considering the danger of the document being lost or damaged, a certified excerpt of a part of a document may be submitted or the place where the court and the parties to proceedings may examine the document may be indicated. The court may demand the submission of the document in its entirety.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court may inspect and examine a document at the place of its storage or assign such duty to a court acting on the basis of a letter of request or a judge acting on the basis of an order.

§ 276.  Documents prepared by administrative agencies and persons entitled to perform public duties

 (1) If the court doubts the authenticity of a document prepared by an administrative agency or a person entitled to perform public duties, the court may request certification of its authenticity by the agency or person who pursuant to the document has prepared the document.

 (2) For authentication of a foreign public document, it suffices to have an apostille on the document pursuant to the provisions of the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents or have the document legalised by a competent consular official or envoy of the Republic of Estonia. A foreign public document which does not bear an apostille and has not been legalised is evaluated by the court according to its conscience.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 277.  Contestation of authenticity of documents

 (1) If a party to proceedings is able to substantiate that a submitted document has been falsified, the party to proceedings may contest the authenticity of the document and request that the court refuse to consider the document as evidence.

 (2) The authenticity or falsification of a document may, among other things, be proven by comparison of documents. If a document needed for comparison is in the possession of the opposing party or a third party, submission of such document may be required on the same bases as submission of documentary evidence.

 (3) Authenticity of an electronic document bearing a digital signature may be contested only by substantiating the circumstances which give reason to presume that the document has not been prepared by the holder of the digital signature. This also applies to electronic documents prepared in any other secure manner enabling establishment of the person who prepared the document and the time it was prepared.

 (4) The court may disregard, upon making the judgment, a document the authenticity of which is contested or exclude such document from among the evidence by an order. The court may order expert assessment or require submission of other evidence in order to clarify whether a document has been falsified.

 (5) A document whose authenticity has been contested or whose contents may have been changed is kept in the file until the end of proceedings unless, in the interest of public order or in order to prevent the loss of the document, such document needs to be transferred to another administrative agency. The court informs the Prosecutor's Office of any doubts regarding falsification of a document.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 278.  Requiring submission of documents

  If a person requests that the court require submission of a document by another person, the person shall describe such document and its content in the request and set out the reason why they believes the document to be in the possession of such person.

§ 279.  Obligation to submit documents

 (1) A person in possession of a document has the obligation to submit the document to the court at the court's request within the time limit set by the court.

 (2) If a person is in the possession of information relevant for resolving the case, the person shall, at the demand of the court, prepare a document on the basis of the information and submit it to the court. A person may refuse to prepare a document for the same reason as they may refuse to submit a document.

 (3) Upon requiring the submission of a document, the court also specifies the time, place and manner of submission of the document or requires the reasons for not submitting the document. The court may fine a person who fails to submit a document without a valid reason.

§ 280.  Obligation to provide information in a court claim related to intellectual property

 (1) If a court claim is made due to an infringement or danger of infringement of copyright and related rights or industrial property rights, the court may require at the reasoned request of the claimant that the defendant or another person provide written information concerning the origin and distribution channels of the goods or services infringing a right arising from intellectual property.

 (2) The court may request, pursuant to the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, information from a person infringing the rights or from another person who:
 1) is or has been in possession of the goods infringing the rights;
 2) has used the services which infringe the rights;
 3) has provided services used for any activities infringing the rights;
 4) has participated, based on the information provided by the persons mentioned in clauses 1)–3) of this subsection, in the production or distribution of such goods, or provision of such services.

 (3) The information mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may include, among other things, the following data:
 1) the names and addresses of the producers, manufacturers or distributors of the goods or services, the names and addresses of the suppliers of the goods or services or the previous possessors of the goods or services, and the names and addresses of the persons who ordered the goods or services or the points of sale thereof;
 2) the quantities of the goods which were manufactured, produced, distributed, received and the prices paid for the goods or services.

 (4) The information mentioned in subsection 3 of this section shall not be used outside of court proceedings in the course of which such information was requested.

 (5) The provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section do not restrict the right of the court to hear the persons mentioned in subsection 2 of this section in proceedings in the capacity of witnesses. The persons may refuse to submit information in the manner mentioned in subsection 1 of this section on the same grounds as they may refuse to give testimony as a witness. The court shall explain such right to the persons at the time of requesting the information.

§ 281.  Refusal to submit document

 (1) A state or local government agency or a public servant employed thereby may not be required to submit a document concerning the content of which the public servant cannot be examined as a witness.

 (2) Regardless of the requirement of the court, a document does not need to handed over:
 1) by an attorney who has received the document in connection with the provision of a legal service;
 2) if the document contains information concerning which the possessor of the document cannot be examined as a witness or with regard to which the possessor has a right to refuse to give testimony as a witness;
 3) by a person who has a right to refuse to hand over the document due to another reason provided for by law.

 (3) A person who is not a principal party may file objections provided for by law to the requirement to hand over a document, including objections based on substantive law. The objection must be substantiated.

 (4) Where the person who was requested to hand over the document informs the court that the document is not in their possession, the court may on a motion of a party to proceedings examine the person as a witness in order to establish the document’s location. This does not apply where the request was addressed a principal party.

 (5) The court, having heard the parties to proceedings, makes an order on the lawfulness of the refusal to hand over the document. The order is subject to interim appeal by the parties to proceedings and by the person who was required to hand the document over. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 282.  Making a court claim to obtain the handing over of a document

 (1) Where a person makes a substantiated and lawful objection to a claim for the handing over of a document, the person who claims the document may, in order to obtain the handing over of the document, file a court claim under the rules prescribed by the Law of Obligations Act, by any other Act or by contract against the person in whose possession the document is, and to move for suspension of proceedings in the main case until the court claim for the handing over of the document has been disposed of. In such a situation, the court sets a time limit during which the person claiming the document must obtain it.

 (2) When the court claim filed against the possessor of the document has been disposed of or where the person claiming the document delays proceedings on that court claim or delays complying with the disposition by which the court claim was granted, the opposing party may move for continuation of proceedings before expiry of the time limit set for producing the document.

§ 283.  Failure by the opposing party to produce a document

 (1) If the opposing party denies possession of a document, such a party is heard under oath concerning non-production of the document. If the court becomes convinced that the opposing party is in possession of the document, it makes an order by which it requires the opposing party to produce the document before the court.

 (2) If the opposing party fails to perform the obligation to produce the document before the court or where the court, having examined that party, becomes convinced that the party has not looked for the document diligently, the court may deem a copy of the document that was offered to the court by the person who cited the document as an item of evidence to be a true copy. Where no copy of the document has been offered, the court may deem the submissions which were made by the person who moved for the document to be adduced as an item of evidence and which concern the nature and substance of that document to have been proven.

§ 284.  Consequences of elimination of a document

  Where a principal party, in order to prevent the opposing party from relying on a document, eliminates it or renders it unusable, the court may deem the submissions made by the opposing party concerning the nature, creation and substance of that document to have been proven.

Chapter 30 PHYSICAL EVIDENCE  

§ 285.  Definition of physical evidence

  An item of physical evidence means an item of property whose existence or properties may facilitate ascertainment of the facts relevant to disposing of the civil case. A document that possesses such characteristics is also deemed an item of physical evidence.

§ 286.  Obligation to submit physical evidence

  The provisions concerning submission of documents also apply to submission and requiring the submission of physical evidence unless otherwise provided by this Chapter.

§ 287.  Storage of physical evidence

 (1) Physical evidence is admitted into a case by an order.

 (2) Physical evidence is stored in the file or given to the physical evidence storage facility of the court. A notation thereof is made in the file.

 (3) Physical evidence which cannot be delivered to the court is stored at its location or is deposited with a party to proceedings or third party who shall guarantee the preservation thereof.

 (4) A court stores physical evidence such that the physical evidence and its evidential characteristics are preserved. If necessary, physical evidence is sealed.

 (5) The procedure for registration, storage, transfer and destruction of physical evidence and for evaluation, transfer and destruction of highly perishable physical evidence by the court shall be established by the Government of the Republic.

§ 288.  Inspection of an item of physical evidence

 (1) The court inspects an item of physical evidence at the trial or hearing, and presents the item to the parties to proceedings and, where this is needed, to any experts or witnesses.

 (2) An item of physical evidence that is kept at its location is inspected at that location. An expert or another specialist witness may be invited to be present at its examination. The examination of the item is noted in the record of the trial or hearing.

 (3) Highly perishable items of physical evidence or physical evidence whose return the person who offered the evidence applies for with a valid reason are inspected by the court without delay and returned to the person from whom they were received or to whom they belong.

 (4) When an inspection mentioned in subsections 1–3 of this section is conducted regarding an item of physical evidence, the item is described in detail. Where this is needed and where the possibility exists, the item is photographed or its material characteristics are recorded by another method. A report is created concerning the inspection.

 (5) The inspection report regarding the item of physical evidence is presented at the trial or hearing. Following its presentation, the parties to proceedings may offer explanations concerning the item.

§ 289.  Return of physical evidence

 (1) After the entry into effect of the judicial disposition terminating proceedings, physical evidence is returned to the person from whom it was obtained or to whom it belongs, or is given to the person whose right thereto has been recognised by the court, unless the court orders earlier return.

 (2) An item of property which, by law, may not be in a person’s possession is handed over to a competent authority of the State.

 (3) On the person’s application, an item of physical evidence that has been obtained from them and that has been inspected and examined may also be returned before the entry into effect of the judicial disposition.

Chapter 31 INSPECTION  

§ 290.  Definition of inspection

  Inspection means any direct collection by the court of data concerning the existence or nature of a circumstance, including the inspection of an area or the scene of an event.

§ 291.  Arranging an inspection

 (1) In order to arrange an inspection, the court makes an order which sets out the object of the inspection and the time and place of arranging the inspection. One or several experts may be invited to be present at an inspection by an order. The court may also arrange the inspection of its own motion.

 (2) The court which conducts proceedings in a case may assign the right to perform an inspection, including the right to appoint the experts to be invited to be present at the inspection, to a judge acting on the basis of an order or a court acting based on a letter of request.

 (3) The parties to proceedings are informed of the inspection being arranged but their absence does not prevent the conduct of the inspection.

 (4) The parties to proceedings taking part in an inspection may draw the court's attention to circumstances that are relevant to the completeness of the inspection and to the case that the court is dealing with.

 (5) In the course of an inspection, an object, area or the scene of an event is described in detail and, if necessary and possible, its relevant characteristics are photographed or recorded in some other manner. MinutA record of proceedings is created during the inspection and the notices made by the parties to proceedings are entered in the record.

§ 292.  Ordering a person to permit inspection

 (1) The court may order a party to proceedings or any other person to allow an inspection to be arranged and to set them a time limit for this. A person other than a party to proceedings may refuse to permit the inspection for the same reasons and under the rules that apply where the possessor of a document refuses to hand over the document after having been required to do so by the court.

 (2) The court has a right to impose a fine on a person who unfoundedly refuses to permit an inspection.

Chapter 32 EXPERT OPINION  

§ 293.  The arranging of an expert assessment and the opinion of person with specific expertise

 (1) In order to clarify circumstances relevant to a case which require specific expertise, the court has the right to obtain the opinion of experts at the request of a party to proceedings. In order to ascertain the law in force outside the Republic of Estonia, international law or common law, the court may ask the opinion of an expert in legal cases at the request of a party to proceedings or at the initiative of the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The provisions concerning hearing of witnesses apply to hearing persons with specific expertise with the aim to prove a circumstance or event which requires specific expertise in order to be correctly interpreted. If a party to proceedings has submitted the written opinion of a person with specific expertise to the court and the person is not heard as a witness, such opinion is evaluated as documentary evidence.

 (3) Instead of directing that an expert assessment be performed, the court may use an expert opinion submitted at the direction of the court in other court proceedings or an expert opinion commissioned by the body conducting proceedings in a criminal or misdemeanour case if this facilitates proceedings and if it may be presumed that the court is able to evaluate the expert opinion to a necessary extent without arranging a new expert assessment. In such a case, additional questions may also be put to the expert or the expert may be summoned to court to answer questions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 294.  Appointment of expert

 (1) An expert assessment is conducted by a forensic expert or another specialist employed by a public forensic institution, by an officially certified expert or by another person with specific expertise who has been appointed by the court. The court may appoint a person as an expert if the person has the knowledge and experience necessary to provide an expert opinion. The court considers the opinions of the parties in the appointment of an expert.

 (2) If an officially certified expert is available for conducting an expert assessment, other persons are appointed as experts only with a valid reason.

 (3) The court may demand that the parties name the persons suitable to conduct an expert assessment.

 (4) If the parties agree on an expert, the court appoints such person as expert if they may act in the capacity of an expert pursuant to law.

 (5) The court may appoint additional experts or substitute appointed experts.

 (6) The court may also appoint a forensic institution or another person conducting expert assessments as expert and leave the decision on appointment of a specific expert to the institution or person.

§ 295.  Obligation to conduct expert assessment

 (1) A person appointed as expert is required to conduct an expert assessment if they are a forensic expert, is officially certified for the conduct of the required expert assessments or if they conducts professional or economic activities in the field, the knowledge in which is a prerequisite for conducting the expert assessment.

 (2) A person who has offered the court their services in the conduct of an expert assessment in a case is also required to conduct the expert assessment.

 (3) The consent of an expert do not need to be obtained for the conduct of an expert assessment.

§ 296.  Right to refuse to conduct expert assessment

 (1) An expert may refuse to conduct an expert assessment due to the same reasons as a witness is entitled to refuse to give testimony. The court may also release an expert from the obligation to conduct an expert assessment due to other reasons.

 (2) A person who participated in the making of a previous decision in the case, including in an arbitral tribunal or pre-trial proceedings, shall not be appointed as expert unless such person participated in proceedings as an expert or witness.

 (3) A person appointed as expert may also refuse to conduct an expert assessment in other cases provided by law or for a valid reason.

§ 297.  Conduct of expert assessment

 (1) If the presence of the parties to proceedings upon the conduct of an expert assessment is necessary and possible, the court indicates so in the order on the expert assessment. In such case, absence of the parties to proceedings does not prevent the conduct of the expert assessment if the expert finds that they are able to provide an opinion without the presence of the parties to proceedings.

 (2) The court may give orders concerning an expert assessment.

 (3) If the circumstances which constitute the cause of a court claim are disputable, the court determines the circumstances which the expert takes a basis in providing an opinion.

 (4) If necessary, the court determines to which extent an expert has the right to examine a circumstance which needs to be proven, whether the expert is permitted to contact the parties to proceedings and whether and at what time the expert must allow the parties to proceedings to participate in the expert assessment.

 (5) The parties to proceedings shall be informed of the orders given to an expert.

§ 298.  Questions to expert and requests and objections of parties to proceedings related to expert assessment

 (1) A party to proceedings has the right to pose questions to an expert through the court. The court determines the questions for which an expert opinion is requested. The court reasons the rejection of a question of a party to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If necessary, the court hears the opinion of an expert concerning the expert assessment before posing questions to them and, if the expert so desires, explains the circumstances related to their duties to them.

 (3) The parties to proceedings shall submit any objections concerning the conduct of an expert assessment, any requests concerning the conduct of an expert assessment and any additional questions related to an expert assessment to the court within a reasonable time. The court may set them a time limit for such purpose. The court shall take account of any objections, requests or questions submitted after the expiry of such time limit only if this does not delay resolution of the case in the opinion of the court or if the party to proceedings had a valid reason for the delay and they has substantiated it adequately.

§ 299.  Requiring the handing over of an item of property for expert assessment

 (1) The court may impose an obligation on a party to proceedings or another person to hand over an item of property for assessment by an expert or to permit an expert assessment to be carried out, and to set a time limit to the person for that purpose. A person other than a party to proceedings has a right to refuse to hand over an item of property on the same grounds as apply to refusal to hand over a document, and may refuse to permit the carrying out of an expert assessment on the same grounds as a witness may refuse to give testimony.

 (2) The court may fine a person who unfoundedly refuses to hand over an item of property or make arrangements for an expert assessment.

§ 300.  Expert assessment for ascertaining filiation

 (1) A person shall tolerate expert assessment conducted for the establishment of filiation and, above all, the taking of blood samples for blood-grouping and genetic analysis if establishment of filiation is possible based on recognised principles and methods of science and the examination is not likely to cause health harm to the person examined and their close relatives.

 (2) If a person refuses to undergo expert assessment for establishment of filiation, the court has the right to order compulsory performance of the expert assessment. If a person repeatedly and without a valid reason refuses examination, the expert assessment may be performed in coercive manner based on a court order, involving the police as necessary.

 (3) The order mentioned in subsection 2 of this section is subject to interim appeal. The filing of an interim appeal against the order suspends its enforcement. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 301.  Expert opinion

 (1) An expert submits an expert opinion to the court in writing unless the court orders oral provision of opinion or with the expert's consent, in another form. An expert opinion shall contain a detailed description of examinations, conclusions reached as a result of examinations and reasoned answers to the questions of the court.

 (2) If a court appoints several experts and the experts reach a common opinion, they may prepare a joint opinion. If the experts fail to reach a common opinion, they submit separate expert opinions.

 (3) If, during an expert assessment, an expert ascertains facts concerning which no questions have been posed to them but which are relevant to the case, they may also provide an opinion on such facts.

§ 302.  Obligations and rights of expert

 (1) An expert shall provide a correct and reasoned opinion on the questions posed to them.

 (2) In order to provide an expert opinion, an expert may examine the records of the case to the extent necessary, participate in the examination of evidence in court and request reference materials and additional information from the court.

 (3) An expert has no right to assign the conduct of an expert assessment to another person. If an expert uses the assistance of another person, they shall disclose the name of such person and the extent of the assistance to the court unless the assistance is of minor importance.

 (4) An expert refuses to provide an expert opinion if the information submitted to them is incomplete or if the expert assignments set out in the order on the expert assessment are outside their specific expertise or if answering to the questions does not require expert examinations or conclusions based on specific expertise. An expert verifies without delay whether the expert assignment is related to their speciality or specific expertise and whether fulfilling the assignment is possible without involving additional experts, and shall inform the court without delay of their refusal or any doubts.

 (5) If an expert has doubts concerning the substance or scope of what they have been assigned to do, they request a clarification from the court without delay. An expert informs the court without delay if it becomes evident that the costs of expert assessment are likely to exceed the value of the civil case or are significantly higher than the advance payment made for covering the costs of expert assessment.

 (6) An expert has the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the facts which have become known to them in the course of the expert assessment. Such facts may be disclosed only with the permission of the court unless otherwise prescribed by law.

§ 303.  Hearing and cautioning of experts

 (1) An expert opinion is disclosed in a trial or hearing.

 (2) Unless an expert opinion is submitted in writing or in a form reproducible in writing, the expert provides the expert opinion in a trial or hearing. The court may summon an expert who submitted an expert opinion in writing or in a form reproducible in writing to a trial or hearing for questioning. The court summons an expert who provided an expert opinion to a trial or hearing if so requested by a party.

 (3) After examining an expert opinion, the parties to proceedings may pose questions to the expert in a trial or hearing in order to clarify the opinion provided that the expert has been summoned to court. The questions may also be submitted to the court beforehand and the court forwards them to the expert. The court excludes the questions which are irrelevant and beyond the competence of the expert.

 (4) An expert shall appear in court when summoned and shall provide a correct and reasoned opinion on the questions posed to them.

 (5) The provisions concerning the hearing of witnesses also apply to the hearing of experts unless otherwise prescribed by this Chapter. An expert who is not a forensic expert or an officially certified expert is cautioned, before they submit the expert opinion, against knowingly providing an incorrect expert opinion, and the expert confirms this by signing the record of proceedings or the text of the caution. The signed caution is sent to the court together with the expert opinion.

§ 304.  Reassessment and further expert assessment

 (1) If an expert assessment is ambiguous, contradictory or insufficient and cannot be rectified by additional questions, the court has a right to commission a reassessment. A reassessment is assigned to the same expert or to another expert.

 (2) On an expert’s recusal, the court assigns the reassessment to another expert.

 (3) If an expert fails to provide an answer to a question relevant to the case and the expert is unable to answer such question in a trial or hearing, the court has the right to order further expert assessment. Further expert assessment may be assigned to the same expert or another expert.

§ 305.  Liability of expert

 (1) The court may, by an order, fine an expert and demand compensation of the case costs by the expert if the expert, without a valid reason:
 1) fails to appear in a trial or hearing when summoned by the court;
 2) refuses to provide signed acknowledgement of having been cautioned of their liability;
 3) refuses to provide an opinion;
 4) fails to submit an opinion by the due date set by the court;
 5) unfoundedly refuses to answer the questions put to them;
 6) refuses to submit materials related to the expert assessment.

 (2) An appeal may be filed by an expert against an order mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.

Part 6 SERVICE OF PROCEDURAL DOCUMENTS  

Chapter 33 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 306.  Definition of service of procedural documents

 (1) Service of a procedural document means delivery of a document to its recipient in a manner which enables the recipient to examine the document in time in order to exercise and protect the rights thereof. The recipient is a party to proceedings or another person to whom the procedural document is addressed.

 (2) Upon service of a procedural document, the handing over of such a document must conform to the formal requirements provided by law and be documented in the form prescribed for such purpose.

 (3) The court arranges for the service of procedural documents through a person providing postal services as its economic activity, an enforcement agent, a bailiff or, in conformity with the internal rules of the court, another competent court official or in another manner mentioned by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) In order to serve a procedural document, the court has the right to demand that the chief processor or an authorised processor of a state or local government database, a previous or current employer of the person, a credit institution, an insurance company or another person or institution provide information concerning the residence of a party to proceedings or a statutory representative of a party to proceedings who is a legal person or a witness and other contact information. The chief processor or authorised processor of a database or such other person or institution is required to provide the information without delay and free of charge on paper or electronically. Upon existence of technical means, the court must be provided with an opportunity to check the necessary information from the database of the person or institution independently.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The court shall serve the statement of court claim, appeal and supplements thereto, summonses as well as the judgment and an order on termination of proceedings in a case and any other procedural documents mentioned by law on the parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 307.  Deeming of procedural documents to be served

 (1) A procedural document is deemed to be served as of the time the document or a certified copy or printout thereof is delivered to the recipient, unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) Copies of procedural documents mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be certified by competent court officials in conformity with the internal rules of the court or attorneys. Copies of appendices to procedural documents and copies of procedural documents submitted or delivered to the court by the parties to proceedings do not need to be certified.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a document reached a party to proceedings on whom the document had to be served or on whom the document could be delivered pursuant to law but there was no possibility to certify the delivery, or if the procedure for service provided by law was violated, the document is deemed to be served on the party to proceedings as of the time the document actually reached the recipient.

 (4) The dispatch of a procedural document for service shall be entered in the court file.

§ 308.  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 309.  Time and place of service of procedural document

  A procedural document may be served on a person on any day of the week, at any time and in any place where the person stays.

§ 310.  Transmission of procedural documents without service on parties to proceedings

 (1) A procedural document which is not required to be served on a party to proceedings in accordance with the rules provided for by this Part but which concerns the rights of the party to proceedings is transmitted to the party to proceedings in a manner chosen by the court.

 (2) If a procedural document mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is sent by post, the document is deemed to have been received three days after the posting, and in the case of sending a document to a foreign state, the document is deemed to have been received fourteen days after the posting, unless the party to proceedings substantiates to the court that they received the document later or did not receive the document. The court may set a longer time limit for deeming a document to be received.

Chapter 34 MANNERS OF SERVICE OF PROCEDURAL DOCUMENTS  

§ 311.  Service of procedural documents in court premises

  A procedural document may be served on the recipient in the court premises provided that the time of issue is mentioned in the file and the recipient gives a signature about receipt of the document. Service of a document in a trial or hearing is indicated in the record of proceedings at the trial or hearing.

§ 3111.  Electronic service of procedural documents

 (1) A court may serve procedural documents electronically through the designated information system by transmitting a notice on making the document available in the system:
 1) to the e-mail address and phone number notified to the court;
 2) to the e-mail address and phone number registered in the information system of a register maintained in Estonia concerning sole proprietors or legal persons;
 3) to the e-mail address and phone number of the addressee and their statutory representative entered in the Population Register;
 4) to the e-mail address and phone number of the addressee and their statutory representative in the database of another state register where the court can check information independently by making an electronic query;
 5) upon the existence of Estonian personal identification code, to the e-mail address [email protected]

 (2) The court may also send a notice on making the document available to the phone number or e-mail address found in the public computer network, on the presumed user account page of a virtual social network or on a page of another virtual communication environment which the addressee may be presumed to use according to the information made available in the public computer network or where, upon sending, such information may be presumed to reach the addressee. If possible, the court makes the notice available on the presumed user account page of a virtual social network or on a page of another virtual communication environment in such a manner that the notice cannot be seen by any other persons than the addressee.

 (3) A procedural document is deemed to be served when the recipient opens it in the information system or confirms the receipt thereof in the information system without opening the document and also if the same is done by another person, whom the recipient has granted access to see the documents in the information system. The information system registers the service of the document automatically.

 (4) If a recipient cannot be expected to be able to use the information system used for the service of procedural documents or if service through the information system is technically impossible, the court may also service procedural documents on the recipient electronically in another manner, complying with the requirements for notification provided in clauses 1–5 of subsection 1 of this section and the requirement for search of information.

 (5) A procedural document is deemed to have been served on the recipient in accordance with the rule provided in subsection 4 of this section when the recipient acknowledges receipt of the document in writing, by fax or electronically. An acknowledgement must state the date of receipt of the document and bear the signature of the recipient or their representative. An acknowledgement made in an electronic form must bear a digital signature of the sender or be transmitted by another secure method that makes it possible to identify the sender and ascertain the time of sending, unless the court has no reason to doubt that an acknowledgement without a digital signature has been sent by the recipient or their representative. An acknowledgement made in an electronic form may be sent to the court by e-mail if the e-mail address of the recipient is known to the court and it can be presumed that unauthorised persons do not have access to it and also if the court has already transmitted documents to the address in the case or if the party to proceedings has provided their e-mail address to the court independently. The recipient must send an acknowledgement mentioned in this subsection to the court without delay. The court may fine a party to proceedings or their representative who has violated this obligation.

 (51) Where it is not possible to serve a procedural document on a company through an information system, the court sends such a document to an e-mail address shown in the company’s entry in the Commercial Register. A procedural document sent to a company is deemed to have been served when five days have elapsed following the sending of the document to the e-mail address appearing in the register entry. An acknowledgement provided for by subsection 5 of this section is not required when making service to the e-mail address appearing in the company’s register entry.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (6) Procedural documents may be served on an attorney, a notary, an enforcement agent, a trustee in bankruptcy, a reorganisation adviser, a trustee within the meaning of the Natural Persons Insolvency Act as well as an agency of the State or of a local authority by a method other than electronically through the designated information system strictly where a valid reason is present.
[RT I, 20.06.2022, 1 – entry into force 01.07.2022]

 (7) The court makes all procedural documents, including judicial dispositions, available to the parties to proceedings in the designated information system without delay, regardless of the method of service thereof on the parties to proceedings.

 (8) More detailed requirements on the electronic service of documents and making them available through the information system may be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 312.  Service of procedural documents through postal service provider

 (1) A procedural document may be served on the recipient through a person providing postal services as an economic activity by sending a registered letter with a delivery notice or an unregistered letter.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 313.  Service of procedural documents by registered letter

 (1) Service of a document sent by registered letter is certified by the delivery notice which must be returned to the court without delay.

 (2) A procedural document which is served may be handed over to a person who is not the recipient only in the cases provided by this Part. Such person shall hand over the document to the recipient at the earliest opportunity. He or she may refuse to accept the document for delivery thereof to the recipient only if they substantiates that they are unable to deliver the document to the recipient. The obligation to deliver the document shall be explained to the person. The document is deemed to be served regardless of whether or not such explanation is given.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A delivery notice shall set out the following information:
 1) the time and place of service of document;
 2) the name of the person on whom the document had to be served;
 3) if the document was served on a person who is not the recipient, the name of the person to whom the document was handed over and the reason why the document was handed over to such person;
 4) the manner of service;
 5) in the case of refusal to receive the document, a notice to such effect and information on where the document was left;
 6) the name, position and signature of the person who served the document;
 7) the name and signature of the person who received the document and information concerning identification of the person and, above all, identity document number, and the date of receipt of the document unless, due to a reason mentioned by law, the document was actually not delivered.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The Minister in charge of the policy sector may establish the form for a delivery notice.

 (5) A delivery notice which does not meet the requirements of form provided for by subsections 3 and 4 of this section may be deemed adequate for the purpose of service if service is still reliably documented in the delivery notice.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If a court cannot deem a procedural document served due to the fact that the provider of postal services failed to use all the options provided for by this Code upon service of the procedural document by registered letter, delivered the procedural document to the person to whom its delivery was not permitted pursuant to the provisions of this Part, failed to comply with the provisions of §§ 326 and 327 of this Code or failed to document the service in such manner that service could be deemed effected, the court may give the procedural document to the provider of postal services for a new service, without paying any additional fee therefor.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 314.  Service of procedural documents by unregistered letter or fax

 (1) A procedural document may be served by sending an unregistered letter or fax provided that a notice concerning the obligation of immediate return of the confirmation of receipt is annexed to the letter or fax, and the names and addresses of the sender and the recipient, and the name of the court official who sent the document are indicated in the letter or fax.

 (2) The official who sends a document by unregistered letter or fax indicates in the file where and when the document was sent for the purpose of its service.

 (3) A document sent by unregistered letter or fax is deemed to have been served if the recipient sends the court a confirmation on the receipt of the document by letter or fax or electronically, as chosen by the recipient. The confirmation shall set out the date of receipt of the document and bear the signature of the recipient of the document or representative thereof.

 (4) If a procedural document is delivered by unregistered letter or fax, the recipient must send the confirmation mentioned in subsection 3 of this section to the court without delay. The court may fine a party to proceedings or representative thereof who has violated this obligation.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 3141.  Service of procedural document by sending

 (1) If a procedural document has been served on the recipient in the same court proceeding, a procedural document or information about making it available may be sent using the same address or telecommunications numbers and the procedural document is deemed to be served on the recipient when three days have passed from sending.

 (2) If the recipient of a procedural document has provided the address or telecommunications numbers of the recipient or representative thereof to the court in the same court proceeding, a procedural document or information about making it available may be sent using the same address or telecommunications numbers and the procedural document is deemed to be served on the recipient when three days have passed from sending.

 (3) A court may serve procedural documents in accordance with the rules provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section also by sending procedural documents:
 1) using the address or telecommunications numbers of the party to proceedings which are known to the court in another court proceeding which is currently being conducted;
 2) using the address or telecommunications numbers of the party to proceedings which are known to the court in the expedited order-for-payment procedure which preceded the court claim.

 (4) If a procedural document is served in a foreign country by sending through a provider of postal services, the procedural document is deemed to be served when 30 days have passed from sending.

 (5) Unless sending is registered automatically in the information system created for the purpose, a notation is made in the file about the service of a procedural document in accordance with the rules provided in this section, setting out where and when the document or information about making it available was sent.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 315.  Service of procedural documents through enforcement agent, court official, another person or institution

 (1) A procedural document may also be served through an enforcement agent, bailiff or, in conformity with the internal rules of the court, another competent court official or police authority or another state agency or local government or its agency, likewise through another person to whom the court assigns the duty of service upon agreement. A party to proceedings who has submitted a document which is subject to service or in whose interests another procedural document is subject to service may apply to the court for service of the document through an enforcement agent.

 (11) Under expedited order-for-payment procedure and under the action-by-claim procedure, a procedural document may be served through an enforcement agent only in accordance with the rules provided by § 3151 of this Code. Under the action-by-claim procedure pertaining to the interests of a child or another natural person requiring special protection in the proceedings, likewise in expedited proceedings for an order for payment in a claim for support for a child, a procedural document may also be served through an enforcement agent according to the rules provided in this section.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The court hands over a procedural document to a police authority or another state agency or local government or its agency for service only if other options for service, except public service, have not yielded any results or are not likely to yield a result and, above all, if service in the same or another case through a provider of postal services has lately failed. Violation of this requirement does not affect the validity of the service.

 (3) In order to serve a procedural document, the court transmits the document subject to service to the person or institution mentioned in subsection 1 of this section and provides it with information at its disposal concerning earlier attempts of service and any known contact information concerning the person. A notation is made in the file concerning when and to whom the document was handed over for service.

 (4) The manner of service is chosen independently by the person or institution mentioned in subsection 1 of this section from among the manners provided in this Part unless such instructions are given by the court. They shall not organise public service.

 (5) A delivery notice is issued concerning the service which states the particulars mentioned in subsection 3 of § 313 of this Code. After service, the delivery notice is returned to the court without delay. The Minister in charge of the policy sector may establish a form for the delivery notice.

 (6) A delivery notice which does not meet the requirements of form provided for by subsection 5 of this section may be deemed adequate for the purpose of service if service is still reliably documented.

 (7) A procedural document which is served may be handed over to a person who is not the recipient only in the cases provided by this Part. Such person shall hand over the document to the recipient at the earliest opportunity. He or she may refuse to accept the document for delivery thereof to the recipient only if they substantiates that they are unable to deliver the document to the recipient. The obligation to deliver the document shall be explained to the person. The document is deemed to be served regardless of whether or not such explanation is given.

 (8) If a court cannot deem a procedural document served due to the fact that the person or institution mentioned in subsection 1 of this section failed to comply with the instructions of the court upon service of the procedural document or failed to use for this purpose all the options provided for by this Code, delivered the procedural document to the person to whom its delivery was not permitted pursuant to the provisions of this Part, failed to comply with the provisions of §§ 326 and 327 of this Code or failed to document the service in such manner that service could be deemed effected, the court may hand over the procedural document for a new service.

 (9) A court may grant the person or institution mentioned in subsection 1 of this section a time limit of up to 60 days, during which the procedural document must be served or, upon failure to serve, a report on the causes of the failure of service must be submitted to the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 3151.  Service of procedural documents arranged by parties to proceedings

 (1) A party to proceedings who has submitted a document which is subject to service or in whose interests another procedural document is subject to service may apply to the court for arranging the service of the document independently. A party to proceedings may serve procedural documents only through an enforcement agent.

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section the court sets a time limit for service of the procedural document during which the party to proceedings arranging the service shall notify the court about the results of the service.

 (3) In order to serve a procedural document, the court transmits the document – in an envelope sealed by the court – together with a service acknowledgement form to be returned to the court to the party to proceedings who is to arrange the service and explains to such a party the consequences of knowingly presenting false particulars to the court. When dealing with a case of expedited proceedings on an order for payment, the court may, on a motion of the petitioner, transmit a digitally signed procedural document directly to an enforcement agent named by the petitioner.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (4) The rules provided in subsections 4–7 § 315 of this Code apply to the service of procedural documents through an enforcement agent and documentation thereof.

 (5) If, under expedited order-for-payment procedure, the claimant or the petitioner fails to notify the court of the results of the service within the time limit set on the basis of subsection 2 of this section, the petition is dismissed.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 316.  Service of procedural documents in foreign states and on extra-territorial citizens of Republic of Estonia

 (1) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A procedural document may also be served in a foreign state pursuant to the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Cases or another international agreement.

 (3) A procedural document may also be served in a foreign state by sending a registered letter with a delivery notice which need not comply with the requirements of form provided for by this Code. Return of the delivery notice is sufficient to certify service. A procedural document may also be served in a foreign state in accordance with the rules provided by § 314 of this Code.

 (4) The court may also serve a procedural document in a foreign state through a competent administrative agency of the foreign state or through a competent consular official or envoy representing the Republic of Estonia in such state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Service of procedural documents on citizens of the Republic of Estonia living in a foreign state who are extra-territorial persons and belong to the staff of a foreign mission of the Republic of Estonia may also be organised through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia.

 (6) A request for service of a procedural document on a person mentioned in subsection 4 or (5) of this section is submitted by the court hearing the case. Service of the document is certified by a written confirmation to such effect issued by the administrative agency or official who acted as intermediary upon service of the document.

 (7) If a procedural document needs to be translated in order to serve it in a foreign state, the court may demand that the party to proceedings, due to whom or in whose interests the procedural document needs to be served, submit such translation or cover the translation costs. If the party to proceedings fails to do it, the court may refuse to serve the procedural document.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 3161.  Implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council

 (1) The provisions of this Code apply to the service of procedural documents in another Member State of the European Union unless otherwise provided by Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial cases (service of documents), and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000 (OJ L 324, 10.12.2007, pp. 79–120).

 (2) On the basis of Article 2(1) of the regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the agencies transmitting judicial documents are district courts of Estonia which conduct proceedings in the case in which the document is to be served and the agency transmitting extrajudicial documents is the Ministry of Justice. On the basis of Article 2(2) of the regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the agency receiving judicial and extrajudicial documents is the district court in the territorial jurisdiction of which the document is to be served.

 (3) On the basis of Article 3 of the regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the Ministry of Justice has the responsibilities of the central body.

 (4) On the basis of Articles 4(3) and 10(2) of the regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the standard forms completed either in Estonian or English are accepted in Estonia.

 (5) On the basis of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, documents are served in Estonia in accordance with the rules provided with respect to the service of procedural documents in the Code of Civil Procedure. Documents shall not be served by public announcement.

 (6) In conformity with Article 13(2) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, documents may be served in Estonia through diplomatic or consular agents of another Member State in Estonia only if documents are to be served on a national of the Member State in which the documents originate.

 (7) The service of documents in the manner mentioned in Article 15 of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is not permitted in Estonia.

 (8) An Estonian court may adjudicate a case under the conditions provided in Article 19(2) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section even if there is no certificate concerning the service of the procedural document on the defendant. In conformity with the third sentence of Article 19(4) of the regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, an application for relief may be filed with the court within one year after making a judicial disposition whereby proceedings in the case are terminated.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 317.  Public service of procedural documents

 (1) Based on a court order, a party to proceedings may be served a procedural document by public announcement if:
 1) the address of the party to proceedings does not appear in the register or the person does not live at the address shown in the register and the court has otherwise no knowledge of the address or whereabouts of the person, and the document cannot be served on any representative of the person or any person authorised to accept the document or in any other manner provided for by this Part;
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]
 2) service of the document in a foreign state in conformity with the requirements is presumed to be impossible;
 3) the document cannot be served because the place of service is the dwelling of an extra-territorial person.

 (11) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, a procedural document may be served by public announcement on a party to proceedings which is a legal person based on a court order if electronic service and service by a registered letter to the postal address entered in the register maintained about legal persons have yielded no results. If a legal person has submitted the Estonian address of the person provided for by § 631 of the Commercial Code to the registrar, an attempt shall also be made to service the document to such address before public service of the procedural document.
[RT I, 20.04.2017, 1 – entry into force 15.01.2018]

 (12) Regardless of the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, when expedited order-for-payment proceedings are transformed into action-by-claim proceedings, a statement of claim may be served by public announcement under a court order in conformity with the provisions of clause 2 of subsection 1 of § 486 of this Code provided that the court that issued the proposal for payment has fulfilled the prerequisites for public service provided by clause 1 of subsection 1 of this section when serving the proposal for payment on the debtor.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The court may demand that a party to proceedings who requests the public service of a procedural document submit a confirmation by a police authority or the executive of the rural or urban municipality that the authority in question has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the recipient, or any other proof on the circumstances mentioned in subsection 1 of this section. The police authority the executive of the rural or urban municipality provides the party to proceedings with such confirmation at their request. If necessary, the court also makes inquiries independently for establishment of the address of the recipient.

 (3) An excerpt from a document subject to public service is published in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court hearing the case may make an order on allowing publication of the excerpt also in other publications.
[RT I 2006, 55, 412 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (4) The excerpt mentioned in subsection 3 of this section shall set out:
 1) the court hearing the case, the party to proceedings and the object of proceedings;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the petition contained in the document to be served;
 3) in the case of service of a decision, the conclusion thereof;
 4) in the case of service of a summons, the purpose of summoning to court and the time for appearance;
 5) in the case a court claim is served, a proposal to respond to the court claim, the contents of the proposal and the requisite explanation.

 (5) A document is deemed to be served by public announcement when 15 days have passed from the date of publishing the excerpt in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court hearing the case may set a longer time limit for deeming a document to be served. In such case the time limit is published together with the public service of the document.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (6) The court may refuse to serve a procedural document by public announcement if it can be presumed that the intention is to have the disposition that will be rendered in the proceedings recognised or enforced in a foreign state and it is likely that the disposition would not be recognised or enforced due to such service. An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which service by public announcement is refused. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 35 SERVICE OF PROCEDURAL DOCUMENT ON REPRESENTATIVE OF RECIPIENT  

§ 318.  Service of procedural document on statutory representative of recipient

 (1) A procedural document is deemed to be served on a recipient of limited ative legal capacity if the document is served on the statutory representative of the recipient.

 (2) In the case of a legal person or administrative agency, a procedural document is served on the statutory representative of the legal person or administrative agency unless otherwise provided in this Code.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) If a person mentioned in subsection 2 of this section has several statutory representatives, the document need to be served on only one of them.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 319.  Service of procedural document on authorised person

 (1) A procedural document is deemed to be served on the recipient if the document is served on a person duly authorised by the recipient. A procurator of the recipient of a document, a person who holds general authorisation by the recipient and a person who usually receives documents on behalf of the recipient are presumed to have the right to receive procedural documents.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A procedural document is also deemed to be served on a sole proprietor, a legal person in private law and a branch of a foreign company if the document is served on the person authorised to receive procedural documents entered in the commercial register or the non-profit associations and foundations register.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 320.  Obligation of a party to proceedings to appoint representative for receipt of procedural documents

 (1) If a procedural document is served through a competent authority of a foreign state, a competent consular official or envoy representing the Republic of Estonia in a foreign state or the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the court may demand that the recipient of the document appoint a person residing or staying in Estonia who is authorised to receive procedural documents unless the recipient has appointed a representative for the proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court may require a party to proceedings by an order to appoint a person authorised to receive procedural documents also in other cases where service of documents is likely to be unreasonably inconvenient.

 (3) If a party to proceedings who is required to appoint a person authorised to receive procedural documents fails to do so, procedural documents are served on the party to proceedings by unregistered letter at the address thereof until the time the party to proceedings appoints such person.

 (4) In the case mentioned in subsection 3 of this section, the document is deemed to have been served after 15 days have passed from posting even if the parcel is returned. The court may set a longer time limit for deeming a document to be served.

 (5) In the case of serving a document by post as mentioned in subsection 3 of this section, the time of posting and the address at which the document was posted shall be indicated in the file.

§ 321.  Service of procedural document on representative for judicial proceedings

 (1) If a party to proceedings is represented by a representative in judicial proceedings, the documents in the case in which the proceedings are conducted are served on and other notices are sent only to the representative unless the court deems it necessary to send them personally to the party to proceedings. If there are several representatives, the document need to be served on only one of them.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) An appeal against a judicial disposition is served on the representative who represented the party to proceedings in the court instance which made the decision against which the appeal is filed. If a party has already appointed a representative for a higher instance of court which is to resolve the appeal, the appeal may also be served on such representative.

 (3) A procedural document is also deemed to be served on an attorney representing a party to proceedings by placing the procedural document in a post box assigned to the attorney in the court premises and agreed upon with the attorney in advance.

Chapter 36 SERVICE IN SPECIAL CASES  

§ 322.  Service of procedural document in dwelling or place of stay and on recipient's employer, lessor or building manager

 (1) If the recipient of a procedural document cannot be reached at their dwelling, the document is also deemed to be served on the recipient if the document is delivered to a person of at least fourteen years of age who resides in the dwelling of the recipient or serves the family thereof.

 (2) Instead of serving a procedural document on the recipient, it may be served on the apartment association managing the apartment building, where the recipient's dwelling or business premises are located, the administrator of the object of common ownership or the lessor of the recipient, likewise on the recipient's employer or another person to whom the recipient provides services under a contract.

 (3) A procedural document is deemed to be served on the recipient even if it is served on the representative of the recipient in the manner mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.

 (4) A document is also deemed to be served on a person serving in the defence forces, serving a sentence in prison or staying in a health care institution or other such place for a longer period of time upon delivery of the document to the head of such institution or a person appointed thereby, unless otherwise prescribed by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 323.  Service of procedural document in business premises

 (1) A document is also deemed to be served on a natural person engaging in economic or professional activity if the document is delivered to a person usually staying in the business premises of the recipient or to a person usually providing services to the recipient on similar contractual basis if the natural person does not stay in the business premises during regular working hours or is unable to receive the document.

 (2) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section also apply to service of documents on legal persons, administrative agencies, notaries and enforcement agents, likewise in the case of service of a document on a representative of the recipient or another person on whom the document can be served instead of the recipient.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 324.  Restrictions on service of procedural document

  In the cases mentioned in §§ 322 and 323 of this Code, a document is not deemed to be served if, instead of the recipient, the document is served on a person who participates in proceedings as the recipient's opposing party.

§ 325.  Refusal to accept procedural document

  If a person refuses to accept a document without a valid reason, the document is deemed to be served on the person as of the refusal to accept the document. In such case the document is left in the dwelling or business premises of the recipient or placed in the post box of the recipient. In the absence of such premises or post box, the document is returned to the court.

§ 326.  Service of procedural document by placement in post box

 (1) A procedural document which cannot be served because it cannot be delivered in the residential or business premises of the recipient or their representative is deemed to have been served when it is placed in the post box that belongs to the residential or business premises or in another similar location which the recipient or their representative uses to receive post and which usually ensures preservation of the delivery. A procedural document may be served on a person mentioned in subsection 2 of § 322 of this Code only if it is not possible to serve it on the recipient or their representative in person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Service by the method described in subsection 1 of this section is permitted only where an attempt to deliver the procedural document to the person themselves has been made at least on one occasion and it is not possible to serve the document under subsection 1 of § 322 or under § 323 of this Code on another person present in the residential or business premises.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (3) In a situation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the date of service is noted on the envelope containing the delivery.

§ 327.  Service of procedural document by depositing

 (1) On the conditions provided by § 326 of this Code, a document may also be deposited with the post office, executive of the rural or urban municipality of the location of the place of service of the document or with the office of the district court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the place of service of the document is located.

 (2) A written notice concerning depositing is left or sent at the address of the recipient and if this is impossible, the notice is attached to the door of the dwelling, business premises or place of stay of the recipient or issued to a person residing in the neighbourhood for forwarding it to the recipient. The notice shall clearly state that the document deposited has been sent by the court and that as of the time of depositing, the document is deemed to be served and time limits in proceedings may begin to run as of such time.

 (3) A document is deemed to be served when three days have passed from the forwarding or leaving of the written notice mentioned in subsection 2 of this section. The date of service is entered on the envelope of the document.

 (4) A document delivered for service is returned to the sender within 15 days after the date on which the document is deemed to be delivered unless the court has set a longer time limit for this purpose.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Part 7 PETITIONS AND APPLICATIONS OF Parties to proceedings  

Chapter 37 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 328.  Truthfulness of petitions and guarantee of response to petitions

 (1) Petitions by the parties to proceedings concerning the factual circumstances related to a case shall be truthful.

 (2) The court grants a party an opportunity to respond to the applications and factual allegations of the opposing party unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 329.  Timely filing of petitions

 (1) The parties to proceedings shall file their petitions, applications, evidence and objections in proceedings as early as possible, depending on the stage of proceedings, and on the extent to which this is necessary for dealing with the case expeditiously and justly. New petitions, applications, evidence and objections may be filed after the end of pre-trial proceedings only if earlier filing thereof was impossible for a valid reason.

 (2) If a court organises a hearing which is organised in pre-trial proceedings, a party to proceedings shall file their petitions, applications, evidence and objections such that these could be forwarded to other parties to proceedings at least seven days before the preliminary hearing unless otherwise determined by the court. A cross-petition of the other party to proceedings and related applications, evidence and objections shall be filed to the court such that these could be forwarded to other parties to proceedings within a reasonable period of time before the preliminary hearing unless otherwise determined by the court.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (3) The court shall make, in a timely manner, all the necessary preparations for adjudicating a case. At each stage of proceedings, the court endeavours to facilitate the timely and comprehensive filing, by the parties, of their petitions, and to facilitate contribution, by the parties, to the case being dealt with in the minimum possible time and at the minimum possible cost.

 (4) In pre-trial proceedings, the court may give the parties to proceedings directions for the submission, amendment or clarification of documents, for providing opinions on the documents submitted by the opposing party, and for submission of evidence within the time limit set by the court. Parties to proceedings shall be informed of all the directions of the court.

§ 330.  time limits for filing of petitions

 (1) Any petitions, applications, evidence and objections shall be filed before the end of pre-trial proceedings or, in written proceedings, before the expiry of the time limit for filing applications.

 (2) All objections to the legality of filing of a petition or appeal shall be submitted to the court together in the response to the petition or appeal or, if a response is not given, in the first hearing or upon the filing of the first petition the case on its merits.

 (3) Petitions containing new circumstances or requests, likewise evidence submitted after the end of pre-trial proceedings or, under written procedure, after the expiry of the time limit for submission of applications are considered in accordance with the rules provided by § 331 of this Code.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 331.  Belated filing of petitions

 (1) If a party to proceedings files a petition, application, evidence or objection after the expiry of the time limit set for such purpose by the court or in violation of the provisions of § 329 or § 330 of this Code, the court considers it only if, in the court's opinion, accepting it will not cause a delay in the disposition of the case or the party to proceedings provides a valid reason for the delay.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a party to proceedings was not notified of a petition, application, evidence or objection of the opposing party in time before the trial or hearing and, due to such fact, the opposing party is unable to form a sufficiently clear position concerning such submissions, the court may set the opposing party a time limit during which the opposing party may provide a position.

§ 332.  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 333.  Filing of objections to activity of court

 (1) The parties to proceedings may file objections to the activity of the court in conducting the proceedings and also objections to the violation of procedural provisions and above all, to the violation of the formal requirements on performance of procedural operations. The court resolves the objection by an order.

 (2) If a party to proceedings does not file an objection at the latest at the end of a trial or hearing where the violation took place, or in the first procedural document submitted to the court after the violation took place, and the party to proceedings was aware or should have been aware of the error, the party has no right to file the objection at a later time.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the party to proceedings also has no right to rely on the error in the activity of the court upon filing an appeal against the judicial disposition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section do not apply if the court has violated an essential principle of civil procedure.

§ 3331.  Application for expediting court proceedings

 (1) If a court has been conducting proceedings in a civil case for at least nine months and the court fails to perform a necessary procedural operation without a valid reason, including fails to schedule a trial or hearing in a timely manner in order to ensure the carrying out of the court proceedings within a reasonable period of time, a party to the court proceedings may request the court to take a suitable measure for expediting the completion of the court proceedings.

 (2) If the court finds the application well founded, it directs, within 30 days from receipt of the application, the implementation of such a measure which is presumed to make it possible to complete the court proceedings within a reasonable period of time. The court is not bound by the application in its choice of the measure.

 (3) Denial of the application or implementation of a measure other than that stated in the application for expediting court proceedings is formalised by a reasoned order within the time limit provided in subsection 2 of this section. An order whereby implementation of the measure for expediting the court proceeding indicated in the application is decided do not need to be reasoned.

 (4) An interim appeal may be filed against the order made when considering an application to expedite judicial proceedings. The order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (5) When dealing with an interim appeal, the court may order a measure which is presumed to make it possible to complete judicial proceedings within a reasonable period of time. The court is not bound by the scope of the appeal in the choice of the measure.

 (6) A new application may be filed when six months have elapsed from the entry into effect of the court order made concerning the previous application, except where the application was filed for the reason that the court dealing with the case has not applied the measure prescribed by the order at the proper time.
[RT I, 23.02.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2011]

Chapter 38 FORM OF PROCEDURAL DOCUMENTS FILED BY PARTIES TO PROCEEDINGS  

§ 334.  Filing of written documents

 (1) A court claim, petition, motion, application, objection or appeal is filed with the court in legible typewritten form in the A4 format. Any representation, motion, application, submission or objection made during a trial or hearing is reflected in the record of proceedings.

 (2) Where possible, the parties to proceedings provide the court with electronic copies of any procedural documents filed in writing.

§ 335.  Submission of documents in a form reproducible in writing

 (1) For compliance with the time limit for filing a written petition or appeal, it is sufficient to send the court the petition or appeal by fax or e-mail at the address prescribed for such purpose or in another form reproducible in writing, provided that thereafter, the original of the written document is delivered to the court without delay, however, not later than at the time of the hearing of the case in a trial or hearing or, under written procedure, during the time limit for the submission of documents.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) In the case of filing an appeal against a judicial disposition, the original of the appeal shall be submitted within ten days.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section do not apply in the case of sending a document electronically provided that the document is submitted in conformity with the requirements of § 336 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 336.  Electronic submission of documents

 (1) Petitions and other documents which must be in written form may also be submitted to the court electronically if the court is able to make printouts and copies of the submitted document. A document shall bear the digital signature of the sender or be transmitted in another similar secure manner which enables the sender to be identified. The sender is deemed to be clearly identifiable if a certificate of authenticity created with the aid of the private key of the sender is added to the e-mail.

 (2) An electronic document is deemed to be submitted to the court when it is saved in the database prescribed for the receipt of court documents. The sender of the document is sent an electronic confirmation thereof. If the court is unable to make printouts or copies of the document, the sender of the document is without delay informed thereof.

 (3) The specific procedure for the submission of electronic documents to the court and the requirements for the document formats shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (4) The court may deem a petition or another procedural document submitted by e-mail by a party to proceedings to be sufficient even if it fails to comply with the requirements provided in subsections (1)–(3) of this section and, above all, the requirement of bearing a digital signature, unless the court has doubts about the identity of the sender and the sending of the document, especially if documents with a digital signature have been sent earlier from the same e-mail address to the court in proceedings concerning the same case by the same party to proceedings, or if the court has agreed that petitions or other documents may also be submitted thereto in such manner.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (5) A contractual representative provided for by clauses 1–3 of subsection 1 and by subsection 2 of § 218 of this Code, a notary, an enforcement agent, a trustee in bankruptcy, a reorganisation adviser, a trustee within the meaning of the Natural Persons Insolvency Act, as well as an agency of the State or of a local authority or any other legal person file documents with the court electronically unless there is a valid reason for filing the document in another form.
[RT I, 20.06.2022, 1 – entry into force 01.07.2022]

 (6) If petitions and other documents can be submitted to the proceedings information system maintained on a computer through the portal created for the purpose, these shall not be submitted by e-mail, unless there is a valid reason therefor. The Minister in charge of the policy sector shall establish the list of documents to be submitted through the portal by a regulation.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 337.  Documents sent by attorneys

  If several parties to proceedings are represented in the proceedings by attorneys, the documents and appendixes thereto to be sent to the court shall be sent by an attorney to the attorneys of the other parties to proceedings independently and the attorney shall inform the court thereof. In such case the documents are deemed to be served on the other parties to proceedings at the time indicated to the court. The court may fine an attorney who has violated the obligation to send documents or to inform the court thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 338.  Content of procedural document submitted to court

 (1) A procedural document, including a court claim, objection and appeal, submitted to the court by a party to proceedings sets out:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) the names, addresses and telecommunications numbers of the parties to proceedings and their potential representatives;
 2) the name of the court;
 3) the merits of the case;
 4) for the case being dealt with, the number of the civil case;
 5) the petition filed by the party to proceedings;
 6) circumstances on which the petition is based;
 7) a list of appendices to the procedural document;
 8) the signature of the party to proceedings or representative thereof or, for a document transmitted electronically, a digital signature or other means of identification in conformity with the provisions of § 336 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A procedural document shall set out the personal identification codes and in the absence thereof, dates of birth of natural persons. For legal persons entered in a public register, the document shall set out the registry code and, in the absence thereof, the legal grounds for operation.

 (3) If a party to proceedings does not know the address or other data of another party to proceedings, the procedural document shall set out the measures taken by the party to proceedings in order to obtain such information.

 (4) In addition to the data listed in subsection 1 of this section, a petition for the merits of the case and a response to a petition or argument of the opposing party set out:
 1) the position on the factual allegations of the opposing party;
 2) the evidence which the party to proceedings intends to use in order to substantiate the arguments thereof or to refute the allegations of the opposing party;
 3) the position on the evidence submitted by the opposing party.

§ 339.  Appendices to procedural documents

 (1) Where a procedural document is signed by a representative of a party to proceedings, an authorisation document or another document certifying the representative’s right of representation is annexed to the first procedural document that the representative files in the case. Where a procedural document is signed by an attorney acting as a representative, the filing of an authorisation document is not mandatory but the court has a right to require it to be filed.

 (2) The originals or copies of any documents that are mentioned in a motion or application and tha are in the possession of the party to proceedings are annexed to the motion or application unless they have already been filed with the court.

 (3) Where the performance of a procedural operation requested in a procedural document requires payment of a statutory fee, the particulars that are needed to verify payment of the fee must be stated in, or a certificate concerning the grant of financial aid or an application for the grant of financial aid towards payment of the statutory fee annexed to, the document.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

§ 340.  Copies to other parties to proceedings

 (1) A party to proceedings must, upon submission of written documents and appendices thereto to the court, provide a requisite number of copies of such documents to be served on the other parties to proceedings.

 (2) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section do not apply to the documents or appendices thereto which the other parties to proceedings possess in the form of original documents or copies. In such case, the documents whose copies are not provided shall be mentioned to the court and the party to proceedings shall substantiate why they believes that the other party to proceedings is in possession of such documents or copies.

 (21) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section do not apply to the electronic submission of documents.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section do not apply if an attorney sends copies of procedural documents to the attorney representing the other party to proceedings and confirms this to the court.

 (4) The court organises the making of copies or printouts of a document submitted to the court electronically if it can be presumed that an electronic document cannot be forwarded to the other party to proceedings or they are presumed to be unable to examine the content of the document or to be unable to print it out. In the case mentioned in the first sentence of this subsection no statutory fee is charged for the making of copies or printouts.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (5) [Repealed – RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 3401.  Curing of defects in a procedural document

 (1) Where a court claim, representation, motion, application, objection or appeal that has been filed by a party to proceedings does not comply with the requirements for its form or contains other defects which can be cured – including, among other things, non-payment of the statutory fee – the court sets a time limit for such defects to be cured and, until this is done, provisionally refuses to consider the procedural document.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) If the defects are not cured by the due date set by the court, the court rejects and returns the court claim, representation, motion, application or appeal, or dismisses it if such a document has already been accepted. Unless otherwise provided by law, an interim appeal may be filed against an order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal by which the document is rejected or dismissed. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court unless otherwise provided by law.

 (3) If the defects of any objections are not cured by the due date set by the court, the court disregards the objections.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Part 8 TRIAL AND HEARING  

§ 341.  Disposing of the case at trial

 (1) A civil case is considered and disposed of at trial unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The rights and obligations vested in the court by this Chapter also apply to courts acting under a letter of request and judges acting under a judicial direction.

§ 342.  Scheduling a trial

 (1) To deal with a court claim, motion or application, the court schedules a trial or hearing – unless the claim, motion or application can be dealt with without holding one.

 (2) A trial or hearing is scheduled without delay after receipt of the court claim, motion or application and of a response, or expiry of the time limit set for responding, to the claim, motion or application. The court may also schedule a trial or hearing before receiving a response or before expiry of the time limit set for responding if it may be presumed that a trial or hearing is required for dealing with the case regardless of the response or if immediate scheduling of the trial or hearing is reasonable under the circumstances due to other reasons. If the court does not require a response, it schedules the trial or hearing immediately after receipt of a petition or application.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If possible, the court obtains and considers the opinion of the parties to proceedings when scheduling the trial or a hearing.

§ 343.  Sending of summonses and publication of time of trial or hearing on website of court

 (1) In order to notify the time and place of the trial or hearing, the court serves summonses on the parties to proceedings and other persons to be summoned to the trial or hearing.

 (2) The interval between the date of service of summonses and the date of the trial or hearing shall be at least ten days. Such interval may also be shorter if the parties to proceedings agree thereto.

 (3) The time of holding the trial or hearing is also published on the website of the court, setting out the number of the civil case, the names of the parties to proceedings and the general description of the civil case. If a trial or hearing is closed, only the time of holding the trial or hearing, the number of the civil case and a notation that the trial or hearing is closed are published. The time of holding the trial or hearing is removed from the website when seven days have passed from the holding of the trial or hearing.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 344.  Content of summonses

 (1) A summons sets out at least:
 1) the name of the person summoned to court;
 2) the name and address of the court;
 3) the time and place of the trial or hearing;
 4) the merits of the case;
 5) the capacity in which the person is being summoned;
 6) the duty to give notice of reasons for failure to appear in court;
 7) the consequences of failure to appear in court.

 (2) If under the action-by-claim procedure, a party to proceedings is summoned to a hearing of the Supreme Court and the summons is not sent to an attorney-at-law, it is also indicated in the summons that the party to proceedings is permitted to perform procedural operations, and file petitions and applications in the Supreme Court only through an attorney-at-law.

 (3) The first summons served on a person in a civil case sets out the obligation to bring to the trial or hearing an identity document. The first summons sent in a case to a representative sets out the representative's obligation to bring to the trial or hearing a document certifying their right of representation unless the representative is an attorney.

 (4) A summons sent to a witness also refers to the right of a witness to receive compensation for a witness and compensation for costs.

 (5) A summons do not need to be signed.

 (6) A single form for summonses shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (7) A summons does not need to be in the form prescribed by subsections 1–6 of this section if the summons is handed to the person at the trial or hearing or if the person, at the trial or hearing, signs an acknowledgement in the record of proceedings concerning the time of the trial or hearing. If necessary, the court explains the circumstances related to the summons.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 345.  Notification of failure to appear in trial or hearing

  A party to proceedings, witness, expert, interpreter or translator summoned to a trial or hearing who is unable to appear in court shall give the court timely notice thereof and provide the court with reasons for their impediment to appear in court.

§ 346.  Personal presence of parties to proceedings in trial or hearing

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (1) The court may require, by an order, the personal appearance of a party to proceedings or representative thereof in a trial or hearing if, in the opinion of the court, this is necessary for the clarification of circumstances relevant to the disposition of the case or for ending the dispute by compromise. The court does not require the personal appearance of a party to proceedings in a trial or hearing if personal appearance of the party cannot be demanded due to the disproportionate length of the journey or another valid reason.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) In marital and filiation cases, a district court requires the personal appearance of the parties and shall hear the parties unless the parties have a valid reason not to appear in court. If a party is unable or cannot be expected to appear in court, the party may be heard and their statements may be obtained by a court conducting proceedings in the case on the basis of a letter of request.

 (3) A party to proceedings is personally notified by a summons of the obligation to appear in court in person even if they has appointed a representative for the proceeding.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If a party to proceedings fails to appear at the trial or hearing regardless of the corresponding direction of the court, the court may fine them on the same basis as it may fine a witness who fails to appear in a trial or hearing to be examined, or order that they be brought in forcibly.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The provisions of subsection 4 of this section do not apply if the party to proceedings sends to the trial or hearing a representative who is able to explain the factual circumstances and is authorised to make the required statements and, above all, to agree on a compromise. Even in such a situation the court has a right to fine the party or order the party to be forcibly brought in in matrimonial and filiation cases.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 347.  Commencement of trial or hearing

 (1) When the court enters or leaves the courtroom, the persons present in the room stand up.

 (2) Upon commencement of a trial or hearing, the court announces the case to be heard. At the beginning of a trial or hearing, the court ascertains:
 1) who of the summoned persons have appeared in the trial or hearing, and their identity;
 2) whether the persons absent from the trial or hearing have been notified of the holding of the trial or hearing pursuant to law or whether they have been summoned to court pursuant to law;
 3) whether the representatives of the parties to proceedings hold the right of representation.

 (3) In a trial or hearing in which the case is heard, the court introduces the content of proceedings and the procedural situation.

 (4) In a hearing convened solely for the purpose of announcing a decision, the persons who are present do not need to be established and their identity do not need to be checked.

 (5) In the cases where a party to proceedings is not represented by an attorney, the court explains the consequences of performance of or failure to perform a procedural operation to the party to proceedings or their representative. If the consequences of performance of or failure to perform a procedural operation have been explained once, repetition thereof at a later time is not required.

§ 348.  Course of trial or hearing

 (1) The court presides over the trial or hearing and ascertains the opinion of the parties to proceedings on the circumstances relevant to the case and excludes from the hearing of the case anything that is irrelevant to disposition of the case.

 (2) The court undertakes to ensure that a case is heard to a sufficient extent and without deferral.

 (3) Prior to resolving a petition of a party, the court hears the opinion of the other parties to proceedings on such issue. The court provides the parties to proceedings with an opportunity to provide their opinion on any circumstance relevant to disposition of the case.

 (4) If a party to proceedings is represented by another person, the court also hears the party to proceedings in person if the party to proceedings so desires.

 (5) If a case is heard by a collegial court panel, the presiding judge has the rights of the court upon organising the trial or hearing. At the request of the other members of the court panel, the presiding judge provides them with an opportunity to pose questions.

§ 349.  Oral hearing of case

 (1) Court hearing of a case is oral unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The petitions, applications and other documents submitted to the court and forwarded to the parties to proceedings are read out aloud in a trial or hearing only if the wording of the statement to be read out is relevant to the case or if the court deems it necessary due to another reason. Otherwise, only a reference is made to the documents.

§ 350.  Trial or hearing with distance participation

 (1) The court may hold a trial or hearing with distance participation such that a party to proceedings or their representative or adviser has the opportunity to remain at another location during the time of the trial or hearing and perform procedural operations in real time at that location.

 (2) A witness or expert may also be heard from another location, and a party to proceedings who remains at another location may pose questions to the witness or expert by the method mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.

 (3) In a trial or hearing held with distance participation, the right of every party to proceedings to file petitions and applications and to formulate positions on the petitions and applications of other parties to proceedings shall be guaranteed in a technically secure manner and the conditions of the trial or hearing in respect of the real time transmission of image and sound from the party to proceedings not present in court premises to the court and vice versa must be technically secure. With the consent of the parties and the witness and, under the action-by-petition procedure, with the consent of the witness alone, the witness may be heard by telephone under the rules for trials or hearings with distance participation.

 (4) The Minister in charge of the policy sector may establish specific technical requirements for conducting a trial or hearing with distance participation.

§ 351.  Ascertaining of facts in trial or hearing

 (1) The court discusses the disputed facts and relationships with the parties to proceedings to the necessary extent from both the factual and legal point of view.

 (2) The court enables the parties to provide their position on the circumstances relevant to the case in a timely manner and to the full extent.

 (3) If a party is unable to provide an opinion concerning a position or doubt which the court has pointed out to the party, the court may set the party a time limit for providing the opinion.

§ 352.  Altering time of trial or hearing and adjournment of hearing of case

 (1) With a valid reason, the court may cancel a trial or hearing or alter the time thereof, or adjourn it. Failure to complete the adjudication of a case in a trial or hearing is permitted only for a reason which prevents the completion of the disposition of the case in the trial or hearing.

 (2) The court does not adjourn the hearing of a case on the grounds that a party is unable to personally attend the trial or hearing if the representative of the party is present in the trial or hearing and the court has not required personal appearance of the party. The hearing of a case is not adjourned due to the circumstance that a third party without an independent claim is not attending the hearing.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If possible, the court schedules immediately a new trial or hearing in the case provided in subsection 1 of this section in order to continue proceedings. A new trial or hearing is organised as soon as possible in order to continue the hearing of the case, having reasonable regard to the views of the parties to proceedings.

 (4) If consideration of the case is adjourned, the court may hear the statements of the parties to proceedings who have appeared in the trial or hearing and the court hears the testimony of the witnesses and opinions of the experts, especially if their appearance at a later trial or hearing would be excessively expensive for such persons or it would be otherwise inconvenient for them. If the hearing of the persons mentioned above necessarily involves the examination of other evidence or the performance of another operation, such other operation is also performed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Where the district court adjourns the hearing of the case for a period longer than three months without the consent of the parties, a party may file an interim appeal against the order if the party finds that the hearing of the case has been adjourned for an unfoundedly long period of time. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (6) The court resolves a motion for adjournment of the trial or hearing or for any other procedural operation without delay and, where this is possible, before the trial or hearing or performance of the operation, and notifies this to the parties to proceedings without delay.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Part 9 SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 353.  Suspension of proceedings on the death of an individual party or dissolution of a corporate party

 (1) On the death of an individual party or dissolution of a corporate party, where universal succession occurs, proceedings are suspended until the time they are continued by the universal successor of the party or another person entitled to do so. A successor is not required to continue proceedings before accepting the estate or expiry of the time limit for refusing to accept it.

 (2) In a situation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, proceedings are not suspended if the party is represented in proceedings by a contractual representative. In such a situation the court suspends proceedings on a motion of the representative or of the opposing party.

 (3) Where, on suspension of proceedings, the universal successor delays their continuation, the court, based on a motion of the opposing party, invites the universal successor to continue the proceedings within the time limit set by the court and to participate in the trial or hearing held in the case. The invitation and the motion are served on the universal successor. In a situation provided for by subsection 2 of this section, the invitation is served both on the universal successor and their representative.

 (4) If, in situation mentioned in subsection 3 of this section, the universal successor does not appear at the trial or hearing, the alleged legal succession is deemed to have been accepted by the universal successor on a motion of the opposing party and the trial or hearing of the case is continued.

§ 354.  Suspension of proceeding due to loss of active civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) If a party loses active civil procedural legal capacity or the statutory representative of a party dies or the right of representation of the statutory representative expires before the party has regained active civil procedural legal capacity, proceedings are suspended until the statutory representative or the new statutory representative informs the court of their appointment.

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, proceedings are not suspended if the party is represented in proceedings by a contractual representative. In such case the court suspends proceedings at the request of the representative or the opposing party.

 (3) If, in the case mentioned in subsection 1 or 2 of this section, a statutory representative has been appointed but fails to inform the court of their appointment and the opposing party informs the court of its intention to continue proceedings, proceedings are continued after the court has served the notice on the representative.

§ 355.  Suspension of proceedings for a valid reason

  The court may suspend proceedings due to a valid reason stemming from a principal party until the time such a reason is no longer present. Where such a party becomes seriously ill, proceedings may be suspended until the party regains their health unless the disease is chronic.

§ 356.  Suspension of proceedings due to other proceedings

 (1) If the judgment fully or in part depends on the existence or absence of a legal relationship which is the subject case of other proceedings pending before a court or whose existence must be established in administrative proceedings or in other court proceedings, the court may suspend proceedings until the end of the other proceedings.

 (2) The court may suspend proceedings for the time that a relevant constitutional review case is dealt with by the Supreme Court, until the entry into effect of the judgment of the Supreme Court, if that judgment may affect the validity of the legislative or regulatory instrument of general application that falls to be applied in the civil case.

 (3) If a court refers a question arisen in a case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, the court suspends proceedings until the entry into effect of the decision of the European Court of Justice.
[RT I 2006, 31, 235 – entry into force 01.09.2006]

 (4) A court suspends proceedings for the required time if this is requested by the Financial Supervision Authority on the basis of the Financial Crisis Prevention and Resolution Act.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 3 – entry into force 29.03.2015]

 (5) If the Supreme Court requests the European Court of Human Rights to give an advisory opinion on the basis of § 6811 of this Code, the Supreme Court may suspend its proceedings for the time that proceedings are conducted on the request or until withdrawal of the request.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017, subsection 5 is implemented as of the day of entry into force of Protocol 16 to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of Estonia.]

§ 357.  Suspension of divorce proceedings

 (1) The court suspends divorce proceedings if there is reason to believe that the marriage can be preserved. The court does not suspend proceedings if the spouses have lived separately for a lengthy period of time and neither of them agrees to the suspension of proceedings.

 (2) If proceedings are suspended on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court draws the parties' attention to the possibility of reconciliation and the possibility to receive guidance from a family counsellor.

 (3) On the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, proceedings may be suspended on one occasion for the period of up to six months.

§ 358.  Consequences of suspension of proceedings

 (1) In the case of suspension of proceedings, the running of all procedural time limits is suspended and, upon the expiry of the suspension of proceedings, such time limits start to run again from the beginning.

 (2) Any procedural operations performed during the period when proceedings are suspended are null and void. This does not preclude interim protection of the claim or the conduct of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence in order to preserve evidence.

 (3) Suspension of proceedings when the hearing of the case has been concluded does not prevent public announcement of the judgment entered in those proceedings.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (4) If proceedings are suspended on the basis of subsection 356 (5) of this Code, the suspension of proceedings does not prevent the submission of a petition for withdrawal of the request for an advisory opinion to the European Court of Human Rights.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017, subsection 4 is implemented as of the day of entry into force of Protocol 16 to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of Estonia.]

§ 359.  Suspension of proceedings on joint request of parties or due to absence of both parties from trial or hearing

 (1) The court may suspend proceedings based on a joint request of the parties if this is presumed to be necessary due to unfinished negotiations concerning compromise or for another valid reason, as well as due to the absence of both parties from the trial or hearing.

 (2) Suspension of proceedings on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section does not affect the running of procedural time limits.

§ 360.  Order on suspension of proceedings and appeal against such order

 (1) The court suspends proceedings by an order.

 (2) An interim appeal may be filed against the order by the district court or circuit court of appeal by which the court suspends the proceedings. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 361.  Resumption of proceedings

 (1) The court resumes suspended proceedings on a motion of the party or of its own motion after the circumstances which constituted grounds for suspension of proceedings have ceased to apply. If proceedings were suspended due to the absence of both parties from the trial or hearing, proceedings are resumed only on a motion of a party.

 (2) In a situation provided for by § 356 of this Code, proceedings may also be resumed if the other proceedings that were the reason for the suspension are disproportionately delayed and it is possible to dispose of the suspended case.

 (3) Proceedings are deemed to be resumed as of the time the order on resumption of proceedings is served on the parties.

 (4) Resumed proceedings are continued from the point at which they were suspended.

Part 10 ACTION-BY-CLAIM PROCEDURE  

Chapter 39 COMMENCEMENT OF CASES  

§ 362.  Making a court claim

 (1) The time of making a court claim is the time when the court claim arrives at the court. This applies only where the court claim is subsequently served on the defendant.

 (2) Unless otherwise provided by law, the provisions of subsection 1 of this section also apply to the making of any other motions or applications to the court. A claim for relief or motion made during the trial or hearing is deemed to have been made at the time it is made known during the trial or hearing.

 (3) The provisions of subsections 1 and 2 of this section apply to assessment of the consequences related to the making of a court claim under procedural as well as substantive law, and also to assessment of compliance with and suspension of a time limit.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 363.  Content of the statement of claim

 (1) In addition to other information to be included in procedural documents, the statement of claim states:
 1) the relief sought by the claimant, clearly expressed (head of claim);
 2) the factual circumstances which constitute the basis for the court claim (cause of claim);
 3) the evidence to prove the circumstances which constitute the cause of claim, and a specific reference to which fact the claimant seeks to prove with each item of evidence;
 4) whether the claimant agrees to the case being dealt with by the written procedure or wishes that the case be considered at trial;
 5) the value of the court claim – unless the court claim seeks to obtain payment of a fixed sum of money.

 (2) If the claimant wishes the court claim to be dealt with by the documentary procedure (§ 406), they must state this in the court claim.

 (21) If the claimant does not agree to a default judgment being entered in accordance with § 407 of this Code in the event that no response is made to the court claim, they must state this in the court claim.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) If the claimant is represented in proceedings by a representative, the court claim must also state the particulars of the representative. If the claimant wishes to be assisted in proceedings by an interpreter or translator, the claimant must state this in the statement of their court claim and state, if possible, the particulars of the interpreter or translator.

 (4) Where the court claim is made to a court other than the court of the defendant's general jurisdiction, the reasons for this must be stated to the other court.

 (5) In addition to the information mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, a statement of claim in a divorce case also states the names and dates of birth of any underage children born from the marriage, the person who maintains and raises the children, the person with whom the children reside, the arrangement requested concerning parental rights and a proposal on how the upbringing of the children is to be arranged after the divorce.

 (6) If the claimant or defendant is a legal person entered in a public register, a copy of the registry card, an excerpt from the register or a registration certificate is annexed to the court claim, unless the court itself is able to verify the corresponding particulars in the register. Concerning any other legal persons, other evidence on the person’s existence and legal capacity is provided.

§ 364.  Court claim for submission of inventory of assets, report or confirmation

 (1) In the statement of claim, the claimant may require that a defendant who is obligated to hand over a pool of property items or to provide information on the state of such items produce an inventory of the items.

 (2) The claimant may require that a defendant who is obligated to report on earnings and expenditure related to the administration of property provide ordered accounts of such earnings and expenditure together with the documents and other evidence related such accounts.

 (3) If the claimant has substantiated doubts that the information set out in the inventory mentioned in subsection 1 of this section or the accounts mentioned in subsection 2 of this section may not have been compiled correctly or with sufficient diligence, the claimant may also require that the defendant take an oath certifying that, based on the information at the defendant's disposal, the accounts or the inventory are truthful. The oath is taken in accordance with the rules that govern the making of statements under oath.

 (4) Where the claimant makes a court claim to be awarded money or other specific performance as well as, at the same time, to receive an inventory of property items or an account of earnings and expenditures concerning the money or other performance, or for an oath to be taken, the claimant may omit, until the inventory or accounts have been produced or confirmation has been provided, or a partial judgment has been rendered concerning the claim in question, to specify the details of the claim seeking the award of money or other specific performance.

§ 365.  Additional claims to set a time limit and fix compensation for harm

 (1) The claimant may request in the statement of claim that the court should, in its judgment, when ordering the defendant to perform the obligation or operation sought by the court claim, also set the defendant a time limit for such performance.

 (2) If the claimant has a right, on expiry of the time limit mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, to claim compensation for the harm caused by violation of the obligation, or to terminate the contract, the claimant may also request, in the statement of claim, that the court, in the same judgment, should fix the amount of the compensation or grant a declaration by which the contract is deemed terminated.

§ 366.  Court claim for compensation for non-pecuniary harm

  In a court claim for compensation for non-pecuniary harm, the claimant has a right not to specify the amount of the compensation claimed and to request fair compensation at the discretion of the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 367.  Claim for late interest as an ancillary claim

  Together with the principal claim of the court claim, the claimant has a right to file a claim for late interest which has not yet fallen due at the time the court claim is made such that the claimant does not specify the amount of the interest but requests the court to impose such interests in part or fully as a percentage of the value of the principal claim until satisfaction of the same. Primarily, late interest may be claimed such that the court should order its payment as a fixed amount until the entry of the judgment and from there on as a percentage of the principal claim.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 368.  Court claim seeking declaratory relief

 (1) If the claimant has a legal interest in obtaining a declaration concerning the existence or absence of a legal relationship, they may make a court claim seeking such a declaration.

 (2) Where, in enforcement proceedings, a dispute concerning the interpretation of an enforceable title arises, the party seeking enforcing or the debtor has a right to file a court claim against the other party seeking a declaration as to whether a specific right or obligation accrues from the enforceable title to the party seeking enforcement. A court claim for similar declaratory relief may also be filed in order to clarify the meaning of the enforceable title in other cases where a dispute has arisen between the parties to proceedings concerning the enforcement or effect of an enforceable title.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 369.  Filing a court claim before the claim becomes due

  A court claim for a future claim may be filed in a situation where there is reason to presume that the debtor will not perform the obligation at the proper time. On the same ground, among other things, a court claim may be filed to vacate, on a future date, an item of immovable property or a room – provided satisfaction of the claim relates to a fixed due date; likewise, a court claim may be made to obtain future performance of recurring obligations that become due after the filing of the claim.

§ 370.  Several claims in the same court claim

 (1) The claimant may make several different claims against the defendant by a single court claim, and such claims may be dealt with together provided all of them are within the jurisdiction of the court dealing with the case and the same type of procedure is permitted. The same applies to claims which are based on different circumstances.

 (2) Several alternative claims may be made by a single court claim, or several claims may be filed such that the claimant requests the granting of one of the claims only if the first claim is denied.

§ 371.  Grounds for rejecting the court claim

 (1) The court rejects a statement of court claim if:
 1) the court does not have the power to dispose of the case;
 2) the case does not fall within the jurisdiction of that court;
 3) the interested party who has sought the court’s assistance has not complied with the mandatory rules provided by law for prior out-of-court resolution of such cases;
 4) in a dispute between the same parties concerning the same head of claim on the same grounds an Estonian court has rendered a judgment or has made an order by which it terminated proceedings, and the judgment or order has entered into effect and precludes a new recourse to the court in that case, or a disposition of a foreign court capable of being recognised in Estonia has been rendered or a disposition has been made in out-of-court proceedings – including an agreement approved by the Chancellor of Justice – which has entered into effect and which precludes a new recourse to the court in that case;
 5) a case between the same parties concerning the same head of claim and the same cause of claim is pending before the court;
 6) a case between the same parties concerning the same claim and the same cause of claim is being heard by a rent tribunal or employment tribunal or in other out-of-court proceedings provided for by law in which a decision can be rendered as an enforceable title;
 7) a valid disposition has been entered in arbitration proceedings in a case between the same parties concerning the same head of claim and the same cause of claim, or arbitration proceedings are pending in the case;
 8) the parties have entered into an agreement to refer the dispute to an arbitral tribunal, except in the case where the court claim contests the validity of the arbitration provisions;
 9) the statement of court claim lacks the signature of the duly empowered person or other material requirements concerning the form of statements of claim have been violated;
 10) the statutory fee has not been paid on the claim for relief stated in the statement of court claim;
 11) the particulars concerning the claimant or the defendant, as stated in the statement of claim, are insufficient to identify the person;
 12) the person who filed the statement of claim in the name of an entitled party has not proved their right of representation.

 (2) The court may reject a statement of claim if:
 1) based on the factual circumstances offered as the cause of the claim, violation of the claimant's rights is impossible, on presumption that the facts as asserted by the claimant are correct;
 2) the court claim has not been filed for protecting a right or interest of the claimant that is protected by law, or for a purpose to which the State should afford legal protection, or if the purpose sought by the claimant cannot be achieved by the claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 372.  Deciding on acceptance of the court claim

 (1) Within a reasonable period of time, the court, by order, decides to accept or rejects the statement of court claim, or sets a time limit for its defects to be cured.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Where this is needed, the court may require the defendant to formulate an opinion concerning potential acceptance of the court claim, and to hear the parties. In such a situation, the court decides on acceptance of the court claim without delay on receiving the opinion or on having heard the parties.

 (4) An order by which a statement of court claim is rejected must state the reason for the rejection. Where the court rejects a statement of court claim, it does not serve the statement on the defendant and, instead, returns it to the claimant together with any annexes and with the order by which the statement was rejected.

 (5) The claimant may file an interim appeal against rejection of the statement of court claim. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court if the court claim was rejected on the grounds mentioned in clauses 9,11 or 12 of subsection 1 of § 371 of this Code.

 (6) If the court rejects a statement of court claim and returns it by an order, the statement is deemed not to have been filed and the court claim is deemed not to have been dealt with by the court.

 (7) Where the case is not within the jurisdiction of the court with which the court claim was filed, the provisions of § 75 of this Code apply when rejecting such a court claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) If the court finds that dealing with the statement of court claim falls within the jurisdiction of an administrative court and the administrative court has previously found in the same case that the case does not fall within the jurisdiction of the administrative court, the court without delay makes a request to the Special Panel of the Civil Chamber and of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court in order to determine the court that has jurisdiction to deal with the case and notifies this to the parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 373.  Filing a counterclaim

 (1) Until completion of pre-trial proceedings or, under the written procedure, until expiry of the time limit set for for the filing of motions or applications, the defendant has a right to file a procedural claim (counterclaim) against the claimant, to be considered together with the original court claim, provided:
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 1) the counterclaim is intended to set off the principal court claim;
 2) the granting of the counterclaim wholly or in part precludes granting the principal court claim;
 3) the counterclaim and the principal court claim are otherwise mutually connected and considering them together allows the case to be dealt with justly and more expeditiously.

 (2) Where a counterclaim is filed after the period stated in subsection 1 of this section, the counterclaim is dealt with together with the principal court claim only if there was a valid reason for not filing the counterclaim at the proper time and if, in the court's opinion, acceptance of the counterclaim in the same proceedings facilitates disposing of the case.

 (3) The provisions concerning the statement of a court claim apply to a counterclaim. Where a court claim that was made in by way of counterclaim is not accepted as such, it is accepted as a separate court claim unless the person filing the counterclaim has made a motion that the court claim be dealt with strictly as a counterclaim.

§ 374.  Joinder of court claims

  If several court claims of the same type and between the same parties, or court claims that have been filed by one claimant against different defendants or by several claimants against the same defendant are to be dealt with by the court at the same time, the court may join such claims into single proceedings if the claims are legally related or the claims could have been filed as a single court claim and this allows those claims to be dealt with more expeditiously or facilitates the conduct of proceedings.

§ 375.  Separation of heads of claim

 (1) Where the court finds that more expeditious conduct of proceedings would be permitted, or proceedings would be simplified, if several heads of claim included in the statement of claim, or the court claim and the counterclaim, were to be tried separately, or where court claims have been joined unfoundedly, the court may make an order by which its separates the claims to be considered separately.

 (2) The court may revoke a separation of court claims if it turns out that the separation was not justified.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 376.  Amending the court claim

 (1) After acceptance of the court claim and its service on the defendant, the claimant may amend the head or cause of the claim only with the consent of the defendant or of the court. The defendant's consent is presumed if they do not, without delay, file an objection to the amendment.

 (2) The court accepts an amendment of the court claim only where a valid reason is present, primarily where the facts asserted and evidence offered in the proceedings so far may be presumed to allow to dispose of the amended claim more expeditiously and at a lower cost.

 (3) The provisions concerning the statement of court claim apply to a motion to amend the court claim. Where, in pre-trial proceedings, the claimant offers new facts related to the claim, it is presumed that the claimant offers them as a supplement the cause of their claim.

 (4) The following are not deemed to amount to amendment of the court claim:
 1) amendment or rectification of factual or legal assertions that have been offered, provided no amendment is made to principal circumstances that constitute the cause of the claim;
 2) an increase or extension, or a reduction or limitation, of the claimant’s principal or ancillary claims for relief;
 3) due to a change in the circumstances, substitution of another head of claim or another interest for the head of claim originally requested.

 (5) The court may demand the submission of the entire text of the statement of court claim if, due to making repeated amendments thereto or for another reason, the court claim lacks clarity and submission of the entire text of the statement of court claim facilitates the hearing of the case.

 (6) The claimant may also submit a petition or amendment mentioned in subsection 4 of this section without submission of a petition in a form corresponding to the statement of court claim and, among other things, orally in a trial or hearing.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 40 INTERIM PROTECTION OF THE CLAIM  

§ 377.  Grounds for interim protection of the claim

 (1) The court may order interim protection of the claim at the request of the claimant if there is reason to believe that failure to secure the court claim may render enforcement of a judgment difficult or impossible. Where it is likely that the judgment will be enforced outside the European Union and the enforcement of judgments is not guaranteed by an international agreement, it is presumed that failure to protect the court claim may render enforcement of the judgment difficult or impossible.

 (2) To order interim protection of a court claim whose subject case is other than a monetary claim against the defendant, the court may provisionally regulate a disputed legal relationship and, above all, the manner of use of an item of property, if this is necessary for the prevention of significant harm or arbitrary action or for another reason. This may be done regardless of whether there is reason to believe that failure to secure the court claim may render enforcement of the judgment difficult or impossible. The measures mentioned in subsection 3 of § 378 of this Code may also be applied of the court’s own motion.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A court claim which includes a future or contingent claim, or a court claim for declaratory relief, may also be granted interim protection. A contingent claim is not to be protected if the condition is presumed not to occur during the time of proceedings.

 (4) The circuit court of appeal or the Supreme Court disposes of the petition for interim protection of the claim or petition for amendment or setting aside of the order on interim protection of the claim if they are conducting proceedings in the case in relation to which interim protection of the claim, or cancellation or amendment of interim protection of the claim, is requested, or if they have received an appeal against the decision of a lower court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) A measure of interim protection of the claim may also be applied to protect several claims filed by the same claimant against the same defendant.

 (6) A court may also apply a measure for interim protection of the claim in connection with court proceedings or arbitration proceedings conducted abroad.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

§ 378.  Measures for interim protection of the claim

 (1) The measures for interim protection of the claim are:
 1) establishment of a judicial mortgage on an immovable, ship or aircraft belonging to the defendant;
 2) attachment of the defendant's property which is in the possession of the defendant or another person and, on the basis thereof, making of such notation concerning prohibition in the Land Register, by which the prohibition on disposal is made visible, or making of such other entry in another property register, by which the prohibition on disposal is made visible;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) prohibition on the defendant to perform certain transactions or perform certain acts, including imposition of a restraining order;
 4) prohibition on other persons to transfer property to the defendant or to perform other obligations with regard to the defendant, which may also include an obligation to transfer property to an enforcement agent or to pay money into a bank account prescribed by the court;
 5) imposition of an obligation on the defendant to deposit an item of property with the enforcement agent;
 6) suspension of enforcement proceedings, permitting the continuation of enforcement proceedings only against a security, or revocation of the enforcement operation if the enforceable title has been contested by filing of a court claim, or if a third party has made a court claim for the release of property from attachment or for declaration of inadmissibility of compulsory enforcement due to another reason;
 7) prohibition on the defendant to depart from their residence, arresting the defendant and imposition of short-term custodial sentence on the defendant;
 8) imposition of an obligation on the defendant, first and foremost an insurer, to make payments to the extent of the minimum amounts likely to become payable in the course of proceedings conducted in a case of illegal causing of harm or in a case of an insurance contract;
 9) in relation to a court claim to cease using an unfair standard term or, for the person recommending the use of the term, to cease recommending it and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation, imposition of an obligation on the defendant to cease such use or, for the person recommending such use, to cease recommending it and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation;
 10) any other measure considered necessary by the court.

 (2) To order interim protection of the claim based on infringement of copyright or related rights or industrial property rights on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 or 2 of this section, the court may, among other things:
 1) attach any goods concerning which there is suspicion of infringement of intellectual property rights or order the handing over of such goods in order to prevent the placing on the market or distribution of such goods;
 2) order an intermediary whose services are being used to infringe intellectual property rights to take steps to stop the infringement or to prevent it.
[RT I, 31.12.2020, 2 – entry into force 10.01.2021]

 (21) To order interim protection of the claim based on the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of business secrets, the court may, among other things, attach the goods concerning which there is doubt that the design, characteristics, functioning, production or marketing of them significantly benefits from the unlawfully acquired, used or disclosed business secrets, or impose an obligation to hand over such goods to prevent the putting on the market or distribution of such goods.
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 – entry into force 17.12.2018]

 (22) When imposing a measure mentioned in clause 2 of subsection 2 of this section, the provisions of this Chapter and those that, in subsections 2 and 3 of § 195 of this Code, concern the party against whom the relevant order is made, apply to the intermediary.
[RT I, 31.12.2020, 2 – entry into force 10.01.2021]

 (23) Where attachment of the defendant's bank account or other assets is sought to order interim protection of the claim based on a commercial scale infringement of copyright or related rights or industrial property rights, the court may order the handing over of banking, financial or commercial documents, or allow a party to acquaint itself with such documents.
[RT I, 31.12.2020, 2 – entry into force 10.01.2021]

 (3) In a matrimonial case, maintenance case or other family case, the court may also regulate the following for the duration of proceedings:
 1) parental rights in respect of a common child;
 2) communication of a parent with a child;
 3) surrender of a child to the other parent;
 4) compliance with a statutory maintenance obligation and among other things, imposition of an obligation on the defendant to pay support during the time of proceedings or to provide a security therefor;
 5) use of objects of the shared household and of the common housing of the spouses;
 6) surrender or use of objects, which are intended for personal use by a spouse or child;
 7) other cases related to marriage and family which need to be dealt with expeditiously due to the circumstances.

 (4) A measure for interim protection of the claim shall be chosen such that the measure, when applied, would burden the defendant only in so far as this can be considered reasonable taking account of the legitimate interests of the claimant and the circumstances. The value of the court claim shall be taken into account upon interim protection of the claim involving a monetary claim.

 (5) A court may concurrently apply several measures of interim protection of the claim.

 (6) The claimant may exercise the rights arising to the claimant from interim protection of the claim and above all, the claimant may waive a right or grant consent to the conducting of a transaction which would be prohibited due to the restraint on disposition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 379.  Imposition of short-term custodial sentence or prohibition to depart from residence

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (1) Short-term custodial sentence or prohibition on a person to depart from their residence may be imposed in accordance with the rules for interim protection of the claim only if this is necessary for ensuring compliance with a judgment and other measures for interim protection of the claim would clearly be insufficient to secure the claim and above all, if there is reason to believe that the person is likely to depart to a foreign state or take their assets to a foreign state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The measure mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be used for interim protection of a pecuniary claim only if the value of the court claim exceeds 32,000 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (3) In the case of a legal person, the measure mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be applied to a member of a managing body of the legal person.

 (4) Short-term custodial sentence of a person is arranged by the police based on a court order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Prohibition to depart from residence means the obligation of a person not to leave their residence for a longer period than twenty-four hours without the permission of the court. In order to apply a prohibition to depart from the residence, the court summons the defendant who is a natural person, or a member of the managing body of a defendant who is a legal person and obtains their signature to such effect.

§ 380.  Interim protection of claim in relation to an object allocated for the performance of public duties

  A measure interim protection of the claim shall not be imposed with respect to an object belonging to a legal person in public law which is required for the performance of public duties or the disposal of which is contrary to public interest.

§ 381.  Application for interim protection of the claim

 (1) An application for interim protection of the claim must state at least the following information:
 1) the head and value of the claim;
 2) the circumstances which constitute grounds for interim protection;
 3) the requested measure of interim protection;
 4) the particulars of the party against whom the application is filed;
 5) where the creation of a judicial mortgage on several items of property simultaneously has been applied for, apportionment of the claim between the different items to be encumbered with the mortgage.

 (2) The claim whose interim protection is requested, and the circumstances which constitute grounds for such protection must be substantiated in the application for interim protection.

§ 382.  Interim protection of the claim without a court claim having been made

 (1) The court may also order interim protection of the claim based on a petition before the court claim is made. The petition shall set out the reasons for not filing the court claim immediately. The petition is filed with the court with which the court claim should be filed pursuant to the provisions concerning jurisdiction.

 (2) If the court orders interim protection of the claim in the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court shall set a time limit during which the petitioner must file the court claim. The time limit shall not be longer than one month. If the court claim is not filed on time, the court cancels interim protection of the claim.

 (3) If it is necessary for interim protection of the claim, a measure for interim protection of the claim may also be imposed by the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the property, with respect to which application of a measure for interim protection of the claim is requested, is located, even if the court claim has been filed or should be filed with another Estonian court, a court of a foreign state or arbitral tribunal. With respect to property which has been entered in a public register, a measure for interim protection of the claim may also be applied by the court of the location of the register and, in case of a ship, by the court of the location of the home port of the ship.

 (4) The court mentioned in subsection 3 of this section may also substitute or cancel interim protection of the claim, or to demand a security for interim protection of the claim or for continuation of interim protection of the claim.

 (5) In situations provided for by law, the court may also secure petitions submitted to an authority engaging in pre-trial resolution of disputes.

§ 383.  Interim protection of the claim against a security

 (1) The court may make interim protection of the claim or the continuation of such protection dependant on the payment of a security in order to compensate for possible harm caused to the opposing party or a third party.
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 – entry into force 17.12.2018]

 (11) The court orders interim protection of the claim involving a monetary claim only in case a security is provided in the amount of at least 5 per cent of the amount of claim, but not less than 32 euros and not more than 32,000 euros. If a short-term custodial sentence of a defendant or prohibition on a defendant to depart from their residence is sought in accordance with the rules for interim protection of the claim, the security is provided in the amount not less than 3200 euros and not more than 32,000 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (12) If the prerequisites for requesting a security have been fulfilled, the court may still refuse to require the security in full or in part or order its payment in instalments if the claimant due to economic or other reasons cannot be reasonably expected to provide a security, and failure to protect the court claim may result in grave consequences for the claimant or if requiring the security would be unfair to the claimant due to another reason.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A security shall be provided by the due date set by the court. If a security is not provided by the set due date, the court refuses to secure the court claim or cancels interim protection of the claim.

§ 384.  Resolving the petition for interim protection of the claim

 (1) The court, by reasoned order, resolves the petition for interim protection of the claim not later than on the working day following the date of submission of the petition. The court may resolve the petition for interim protection of the claim at a later time if it wishes to hear the defendant beforehand.

 (2) If a petition for interim protection of the claim does not conform to the requirements of law but the omission can clearly be corrected, the court sets the petitioner a time limit for correcting the omission. The court denies the petition for interim protection of the claim if the omission is not corrected on time.

 (3) The defendant and other parties to proceedings are not notified of consideration of a petition for interim protection of the claim. If this is clearly reasonable and, above all, if provisional regulation of the disputed legal relationship is requested by the petition, the court may first hear the defendant.

 (4) Before the court regulates, by way of interim protection of the claim, parental rights in respect of a child, communication between a parent and child, or obligates the defendant to surrender a child, the court shall hear a child of at least ten years of age and the competent executive of the rural or urban municipality. If the urgency of the case prevents such hearing, they shall be heard at the first opportunity thereafter.

 (5) If circumstances endangering the well-being of a child become evident, the court may provisionally regulate the disputed legal relationship based on an application of the competent executive of the rural or urban municipality or of its own motion regardless of whether or not a petition for interim protection of the claim has been filed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 385.  Substitution of interim protection of the claim with payment of money

  If the court imposes a short-term custodial sentence or prohibition to depart from their residence on a person by an order on interim protection of a claim involving a monetary claim or an order on interim protection of the claim, the court determines the sum of money, upon payment of which to the court's bank account prescribed for such purposes or upon the provision of a bank guarantee to the extent of which the enforcement of the order of interim protection is terminated. In such case, the court cancels, based on the defendant's application, the measure fof interim protection of the claim and substitutes it with a sum of money or a bank guarantee. The provisions of subsection 386 (3) of this Code do not apply in the case mentioned in this section.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 386.  Substitution or cancellation of interim protection of the claim

 (1) At the request of a party, a court may, by an order, substitute one measure for interim protection of the claim with another.

 (2) If the circumstances change and, above all, the cause for interim protection of the claim ceases to exist or a security is offered, or due to another reason provided by law, the court may cancel interim protection of the claim based on the request of a party. Non-monetary interim protection of the claim may be cancelled or amended by substitution with a monetary payment only with the consent of the claimant or for a valid reason.

 (3) The court notifies the other party of an application for substitution of a measure for interim protection of the claim or cancellation of interim protection of the claim. The other party has the right to submit objections to the court with regard to the application.

 (4) The court cancels interim protection of the claim by a judgment if the court claim is denied, or by an order if the court claim is dismissed or proceedings in the case are terminated. The court also cancels interim protection of the claim if interim protection of the claim was decided by another court unless otherwise provided by the law.

 (5) An order on interim protection of the claim made under the circumstances mentioned in subsection 378 (3) of this Code may also be amended or set aside at the initiative of the court.

§ 387.  Communication of order on interim protection of the claim

 (1) The court sends the order on interim protection of the claim immediately to the claimant, and serves it on the defendant. At the request of the claimant, the court may postpone the serving of the order on interim protection of the claim on the defendant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the claimant has to contact an enforcement agent, registrar or another person or agency for the enforcement of the order on interim protection of the claim, this shall be set out in the order on interim protection of the claim. The court sends the order on interim protection of the claim to a registrar or another agency or person for enforcement only at the request of the claimant. In such case no additional application need to be submitted to the registrar or another agency or person. The court does not send an order to the enforcement agent independently.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An order on refusal to order interim protection of the claim or for demanding a security from the claimant is sent only to the petitioner.

§ 388.  Creation of judicial mortgage

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a judicial mortgage established on an immovable, a ship entered in the Register of Ships or an aircraft entered in the Register of Civil Aircraft gives the person who applied for interim protection of the claim the same rights with regard to the other interests encumbering the item of property as do the rights of the mortgagee under a mortgage or maritime mortgage or the rights of the pledgee under a registered movable-property security interest.

 (2) The sum of mortgage is the amount of the secured claim which is entered in the Land Register, Register of Ships or Register of Civil Aircraft. If the principal claim remains under 640 euros, a judicial mortgage is not established if other measures for interim protection of the claim can be applied which are less onerous to the defendant.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (3) A judicial mortgage is entered in the Land Register, Register of Ships or Register of Civil Aircraft to the benefit of the claimant on the basis of the claimant's petition and the order on interim protection of the claim. At the request of the claimant, the court forwards the order for the purpose of entry of the judicial mortgage in the register independently in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 387 (2) of this Code. The mortgage is created upon entry thereof in the register.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Upon establishment of a judicial mortgage on a ship or aircraft, the enforcement agent takes the ship or aircraft under their supervision based on an application of the person who requested interim protection of the claim. In such case, the enforcement agent prohibits the use of the ship in part or in full and may give orders in respect of the ship.

 (5) If a judicial mortgage is established on several immovables, ships or aircraft, the court indicates in the order on interim protection of the claim a sum of money for each encumbered item of property upon the payment of which to the court's bank account prescribed for such purpose or upon the provision of a bank guarantee to the extent of which interim protection of the claim is revoked.

 (6) If interim protection of the claim is revoked or a measure for interim protection of the claim is substituted, the owner of the immovable, ship or aircraft becomes the owner of the mortgage. At the request of the owner, the judicial mortgage is deleted from the Land Register, Register of Ships or Register of Civil Aircraft on the basis of an order on revocation of interim protection of the claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 389.  Attachment of property

 (1) In the case of attachment of property, the defendant shall not dispose of the property. In addition to the attachment of other movable property except a ship entered in the Register of Ships or an aircraft entered in the Register of Civil Aircraft, the right of security arises by virtue of attachment.

 (2) If the value of the principal claim is under 640 euros, the court does not attach an immovable, a ship entered in the Register of Ships or an aircraft entered in the Register of Civil Aircraft if other measures for interim protection of the claim can be applied which are less onerous to the defendant.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (3) If several items of property are attached, the court sets out, in the order on interim protection of the claim, a sum of money for each encumbered item upon the payment of which to the court's bank account prescribed for such purpose or upon the provision of a bank guarantee to the extent of which interim protection of the claim is cancelled.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Upon attachment of an item of immovable property or a registered item of movable property or any other object, a notation concerning a prohibition on disposal of property is entered in the Land Register or another register to the benefit of the claimant on the basis of the claimant's petition and the order on interim protection of the claim. At the request of the claimant, the court forwards the order for the purpose of entry of the notation concerning the prohibition in the register independently in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 387 (2) of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Based on an application by the claimant or defendant, the court may order the sale of an attached object and deposition of the money received from the sale on the bank account of the court if the value of the object may decrease significantly or storage of the object would involve unreasonable costs.

 (6) Attachment of property is arranged by an enforcement agent. The enforcement agent takes the attached object under their supervision based on an application of the person who petitioned for interim protection of the claim. In such case, the enforcement agent prohibits the use of the object in part or in full and may give orders in respect of the object and, among other things, organise the storage of the object.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 390.  Filing an interim appeal

 (1) A party may file an interim appeal against an order by which the district court or the circuit court of appeal ordered interim protection of the claim, substituted one measure of interim protection with another or revoked such protection on the grounds provided by subsections 2, 4 or 5 of § 386 of this Code. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the value of the court claim whose interim protection was ordered exceeds 100,000 euros or if a short-term custodial sentence or prohibition to depart from their residence was imposed on a person as an interim protection measure.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

 (2) The filing of an interim appeal does not suspend enforcement of the order on interim protection of the claim. The filing of an interim appeal on revoking interim protection of the claim or the substitution of one measure for interim protection of the claim with another suspends the enforcement of the order.

§ 391.  Compensation for harm caused by interim protection of the claim

 (1) The party who applied for interim protection of the claim shall compensate for the harm caused to the other party and a third party by such protection, if:
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 – entry into force 17.12.2018]
 1) a judicial disposition on denial or dismissal of the claim whose interim protection was ordered enters into effect, or if proceedings in the case are terminated on any other grounds except due to the approval of a compromise of the parties;
 2) it comes to light that no claim for interim protection or no cause for such protection existed at the time of the interim protection was ordered;
 3) an order on interim protection which was made before the court claim was filed is set aside due to the reason that the court claim was not filed on time.

 (2) A security for compensation for harm likely to be caused by interim protection of the claim which is imposed on the person who requested the protection is returned to such party if the other party or a third party has not made a court claim for compensation for harm within two months as of the time mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 – entry into force 17.12.2018]

§ 3911.  Implementation of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of European Parliament and of Council

 (1) The provisions of this Code concerning interim protection of the claim also apply to the conduct of proceedings on applications for a European preservation order on the basis of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council to the extent that it is not regulated by the mentioned regulation.

 (2) In conformity with Article 4(14) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the district court that has made the European preservation order is competent for receipt, transmission or service of documents in conformity with that Regulation in the case provided in Article 10(2) of the same Regulation.

 (3) In the case provided in the first subparagraph of Article 10(2) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the European preservation order shall be revoked by the district court that has made the preservation order.

 (4) The district court that has made the European preservation order is competent to grant a remedy in conformity with Article 33 of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.

 (5) A district court is competent to grant a remedy in conformity with Article 34(2) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section. The court resolves the request under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (6) The documents submitted to a court or enforcement agent in conformity with Article 49(2) of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be in Estonian or English.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 06.07.2017]

Chapter 41 PRE-TRIAL PROCEDURE  

§ 392.  Aims of pre-trial procedure

 (1) Above all, the court ascertains the following in pre-trial procedure:
 1) the claims of the claimant and the positions of the parties to proceedings in respect of the claims;
 2) the requests of the parties to proceedings and where necessary, the positions of the other parties to proceedings in respect of the requests;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the factual and legal allegations of the parties to proceedings concerning the claims which have been filed and allegations which have been made;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 4) evidence to be provided by the parties to proceedings in proof of their factual allegations and concerning the permissibility of the provided evidence;
 41) law applicable to disposition of the case;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 1 – entry into force 01.07.2016]
 5) possibility to resolve the case by a compromise or in another manner by an order or by written procedure;
 6) the parties to proceedings and whether and how to summon them to a trial or hearing.

 (2) If a case is to be considered at a trial or hearing, the court prepares the hearing of the case with sufficient attention to detail so that it can be dealt with without interruptions in a single trial or hearing.

 (3) In order to achieve the aims of pre-trial procedure, the court may demand statements from the parties to proceedings and question them.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) In pre-trial procedure, the court also verifies the correctness of acceptance of the case and the prerequisites for permissibility of proceedings.

 (5) A case can be adjudicated in pre-trial procedure in the cases prescribed by law.

§ 393.  Notification of the court claim to parties to proceedings

 (1) If the court accepts a statement of court claim, the court notifies the parties to proceedings thereof immediately and serves a copy of the statement of court claim together with any appendixes thereto and the order on acceptance of the case on the defendant and third parties.

 (2) Upon notification of the defendant of acceptance of a court claim, the court informs the defendant of the following:
 1) the obligation of the defendant to provide a written response to the court claim by the due date set by the court;
 2) the mandatory contents of the response to the court claim;
 3) the consequences of failure to respond to the court claim, admittance of the claim or acceptance of the claimant's allegations, including the possibility of making a default judgment against the defendant and the defendant's obligation to cover the case costs;
 4) the consequences of absence from trial or hearing if the case is to be considered at a trial or hearing;
 5) the consequences of failure to submit evidence by the due date set by the court.

 (21) The court explains to a third party without an independent claim the right of the party to submit a position on the court claim within the time limit set by the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In a situation where a court claim to cease using a standard term or, for the person recommending its use, to cease recommending such use and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation has been filed against a defendant whose activity is subject to regulatory enforcement by a designated authority of the State, the court also transmits the court claim to the authority for written submissions on the issue. Where necessary, the court also hears the authority’s submissions orally.

 (4) Where adjudication of the case may concern several persons or where, when dealing with the case, this appears reasonable on other grounds, the court may also transmit the court claim to a competent state or local government agency for obtaining their position in cases other than those provided in subsection 3 of this section or invite such an agency to submit its views on an issue of importance for disposition of the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 394.  Defendant's response to the court claim

 (1) The defendant must provide, to the court, a written response to the court claim.

 (2) Among other things, the defendant shall set out the following in the response to a court claim:
 1) whether the defendant has any objections to the court's acceptance of the case or there is reason to dismiss the court claim or to terminate proceedings in the case, unless the defendant has already provided a position thereon;
 2) whether the defendant admits the court claim by approving the correctness of the claims filed against the defendant in the statement of court claim;
 3) all the defendant's requests and allegations, and evidence in proof of each factual allegation;
 4) whether the defendant intends to file a counterclaim;
 5) the opinion of the defendant on how to divide the case costs;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) whether the defendant agrees to written procedure or wishes the case to be considered at a trial or hearing;
 7) whether the defendant considers it possible to resolve the case by a compromise or in any other manner by an agreement.

 (3) If, in the proceedings, the defendant is to be represented by a representative, the response shall also set out the data of the representative. If the defendant wishes to be assisted in the proceedings by an interpreter or translator, this shall be indicated in the response, and if possible, the data of the interpreter or translator shall be provided.

 (4) If the information on the defendant as set out in the statement of court claim is inaccurate, the defendant shall communicate the accurate information to the court.

 (5) The time limit for submitting a response to a court claim shall be at least 14 days as of the service of the court claim, and upon service of a court claim in a foreign state, at least 28 days as of the service of the court claim.

 (6) The court forwards the defendant's response to the court claim together with copies of the documents annexed to the response to other parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 395.  Oral response of defendant

  The court may permit the defendant to respond to a court claim orally in a trial or hearing if, in the court's opinion, this is likely to contribute to the expeditious disposition of the case. In such case, the court obligates the defendant to prepare the presentation of the response to the court claim in the trial or hearing with sufficient attention to detail, schedules the trial or hearing and explains the possible consequences of failure to respond and failure to use other legal remedies in the trial or hearing to the defendant.

§ 396.  Claimant's submissions on response to the court claim

  Where this is necessary for dealing with the case expeditiously and justly, the court requires the claimant to file written submissions concerning the response to the court claim and sets a reasonable time limit for such submissions to be filed.

Chapter 42 TRIAL OR HEARING UNDER THE ACTION-BY-CLAIM PROCEDURE  

§ 397.  Scheduling of trial or hearing

  If a case is considered at a trial or hearing, the period between the service of the court claim on the defendant and the date of the trial or hearing shall be at least 30 days and, under documentary procedure, such period shall be at least 14 days. If the defendant has been set a time limit for responding to the court claim in writing, the trial or hearing must not be scheduled before the response of the defendant has been received and forwarded to the claimant, or before the time limit for responding expires.

§ 398.  Preliminary hearing

 (1) The court may direct that a case management trial or hearing be arranged in the form of a preliminary hearing under pre-trial procedure if, in the opinion of the court, this is in the interests of the preparation of hearing the case in the main trial or hearing or if the possibility to conclude proceedings by a compromise or in another manner by agreement is higher in the preliminary hearing.

 (2) The court holds a trial or hearing for hearing the case as a continuation of the preliminary hearing to adjudicate the case on its merits unless the court finds that the facts relevant to the case have not been ascertained to a sufficient extent.

 (3) Unless the hearing of a case is terminated in the preliminary hearing, the court makes further arrangements to prepare for the main trial or hearing and schedules the main trial or hearing.

§ 399.  Rules governing consideration of cases at trial or hearing

  Cases are considered in trial or hearings directed to be held for the hearing of the cases in the following order:
 1) the parties submit the evidence which was not submitted under pre-trial procedure if permitted by the court;
 2) the claimant submits the claims;
 3) the defendant makes known whether the defendant admits or contests the claim;
 4) the parties to proceedings give statements to justify their positions and submit their objections to the positions of the opposing party;
 5) the court examines all accepted evidence;
 6) the parties to proceedings are given the floor for summations.

§ 400.  Statements of parties to proceedings

 (1) The court hears the claimant and any third parties participating in support of the claimant and the defendant and any third parties participating in support of the defendant to the extent that they wish to add to the submissions made in the course of pre-trial procedure. The parties to proceedings have a right to put questions to one another.

 (2) A party to proceedings who is unable to give statements orally due to reasons of health may give statements in writing or in another comprehensible manner.

 (3) Where necessary, the court announces the positions of the parties submitted in writing. The court announces the positions and petitions which the parties to proceedings have presented in pre-trial procedure only if they differ from the submissions made in a trial or hearing.

 (4) If only one of the parties participates in a trial or hearing, the court announces the position of the other party on the basis of previous submissions, if necessary.

 (5) After hearing the statements, the court makes a short summary of the statements and discusses the possible rendering of a legal opinion on the facts presented in the statements with the parties to proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 401.  termination of hearing on merits of case

 (1) After examining the evidence, the court considering the case discusses the status of proceedings and prospects of terminating proceedings with the parties to proceedings.

 (2) After examining all evidence in a case, the court asks the parties to proceedings whether they want a further hearing of the case.

 (3) If upon examining the evidence, a fact comes to light which a party could not have taken into consideration earlier, the party may request and the court may grant the parties additional time to prepare for summations.

 (4) If the parties to proceedings do not apply for a further hearing of the case on the merits or if the court denies the corresponding application, the court terminates the hearing of the case on the merits.

§ 402.  Summations

 (1) After concluding the hearing of the case on the merits, the court hears the summations if a party to proceedings so requests.

 (2) A party to proceedings has the right, in summations, to make closing arguments which contain a short summary of the circumstances of importance for disposition of the case. Closing arguments may only refer to the circumstances which have been presented in the hearing the case on its merits and to the evidence which has been examined in a trial or hearing.

 (3) A court may limit the duration of closing arguments, ensuring that all parties to proceedings have equal time to speak. The time granted to a party to proceedings for closing arguments shall not be less than ten minutes.

 (4) The claimant is the first to speak in the summations and thereafter the defendant speaks. A third party with an independent claim speaks after the parties. A third party without an independent claim speaks after the claimant or the defendant in support of whom the third party is participating in the case.

 (5) The court may also specify a different order of appearance than the order provided in subsection 4 of this section.

 (6) After the closing arguments, a party to proceedings may rebut the closing arguments of other parties to proceedings. The duration of a rebuttal shall not exceed three minutes. The defendant has the right of last rebuttal.

 (7) During the summations, a party to proceedings may submit the positions set out in the closing arguments to the court in written form or on another durable medium for inclusion in the record of proceedings at the trial or hearing.

 (8) After the summations, the court retires to consider its judgment, and gives notice of the time and method by which the judgment will be made public.

Chapter 43 TYPES OF SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE  

§ 403.  Written procedure by consent of parties

 (1) With the consent of the parties, the court may deal with the case without hearing it in a trial or hearing. In such case the court sets, as soon as possible, a time limit during which petitions and documents may be submitted and the time for making public of the judgment, and notifies the parties to proceedings thereof. The order shall also indicate the judge to deal with the case.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) The parties have the right to withdraw the consent mentioned in subsection 1 of this section only if significant changes in the procedural situation occur.

 (3) If a party fails to inform the court of consenting to written procedure, it is presumed that the party wishes to have the case considered at a trial or hearing.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 404.  Written procedure by direction of the court

 (1) The court may direct that a case in which the court claim can be appraised in monetary terms be dealt with by written procedure provided the value of such a court claim does not exceed an amount which corresponds to 4500 euros when calculated with respect to the principal claim and to 8500 euros when calculated including any ancillary claims.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) In a situation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court sets a due date for the filing of representations and documents as well as the time of public pronouncement of the judgment and notifies these to the parties to proceedings. The court may change such a due date if this is necessitated by changes in the procedural situation.

 (3) The court revokes the direction to deal with the case by written procedure if, in the view of the court, the personal appearance of a party to judicial proceedings is unavoidable for clarifying the circumstances that constitute the cause of the court claim. On a motion of a principal party, such a party must be heard regardless of whether or not a direction has been made for the case to be dealt with by written procedure.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 405.  Simplified procedure

 (1) Where a court claim seeks a pecuniary relief and the value of the claim does not exceed an amount which corresponds to 3500 euros when calculated with respect to the principal claim and to 7000 euros together with any ancillary claims, the court deals with such a claim by following simplified rules and exercising its just discretion, having regard only to general procedural principles provided by this Code. Among other things, when dealing with such a claim, it is permitted:
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]
 1) to make a record of procedural operations only to the extent the court deems it necessary, and to exclude the right to file any objections to such a record;
 2) to set a time limit which differs from the time limit provided by law;
 3) [Repealed – RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]
 4) to recognise persons not of a category not recognised by law as contractual representatives of parties to proceedings;
 5) to derogate from the provisions of law concerning the formal requirements for the offering and collection of evidence and to recognise as evidence also such means of proving a fact as have not been provided for by law, including testimony of a party to proceedings which is not given under oath;
 6) to derogate from the provisions of law concerning the formal requirements for serving procedural documents and for documents to be presented to the parties to proceedings, except for serving the court claim on the defendant;
 7) to waive written pre-trial procedure or the trial or hearing;
 8) to take evidence of its own motion;
 9) to make a judgment in a case without the descriptive part and statement of reasons;
 10) to declare a decision made in the case to be enforceable without delay also in cases other than those provided by law or without a security prescribed by law.

 (2) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court guarantees that the fundamental rights and freedoms and the essential procedural rights of the parties to proceedings are observed and that a party to proceedings is heard if they so requests. A trial or hearing do not need to be held for this purpose.

 (3) The court may deal with the case in the manner mentioned in subsection 1 of this section without the need to make a separate order concerning this. The parties to proceedings shall still be notified of their right to be heard by the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 4051.  Application of Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council

 (1) The provisions of this Code concerning simplified procedure, including the provisions concerning appeals against decisions made under such procedure, also apply to dealing with civil cases under Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Small Claims Procedure (OJ L 199, 31.07.2007, pp. 1–22) to the extent that this is not regulated by that Regulation. Cases may be dealt with under the Regulation by the competent district court according to jurisdiction.

 (2) In conformity with papragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Regulation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, a petition for initiation of proceedings may be filed in the form provided for by §§ 334–336 of this Code.

 (3) In conformity with Article 21(2)(b) of the Regulation referred to in subsection 1 of this section, a decision made in court proceedings conducted under the regulation is accepted for enforcement in Estonia only if it is drawn up in Estonian or English or if Estonian or English translation is annexed to the certificate.

 (4) The provisions concerning enforcement procedure in Estonia apply to the enforcement, by means of enforcement proceedings, in Estonia of a judicial disposition of a foreign state made under the Regulation referred to in subsection 1 of this section, and to the legal remedies available to the debtor, in so far as not prescribed otherwise by that Regulation.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 406.  Documentary procedure

 (1) On a motion of the claimant, a court claim for payment of money under a bill of exchange or a cheque, or a court claim for compulsory enforcement arising from a mortgage or maritime mortgage or registered movable-property security interest is dealt with under the documentary procedure if all facts in support of the claim can be proved by documents and all necessary documents have been annexed to the court claim or the claimant files them with the court within the time limit set by the court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 178 – entry into force 01.10.2009]

 (2) Apart from the what has been provided for by subsection 1 of this section, no other claims or counterclaims may be filed under the documentary procedure.

 (3) Under the documentary procedure, only documents offered and statements given under oath by the parties are accepted as evidence. Evidence may be offered strictly concerning the facts mentioned in subsection 1 of this section and concerning whether a document is authentic or a forgery. No other documents or objections are accepted.

 (4) In order to prove an ancillary claim under a bill of exchange or a cheque, it is sufficient to substantiate the claim.

 (5) On a motion of the claimant, the court makes an order by which it transforms documentary proceedings into regular action-by-claim proceedings. The claimant may make such a motion until closing arguments before the district court or, under the written procedure, until expiry of the time limit for the filing of motions or applications. Under the order of the court, proceedings continue without the limitations imposed by the special rules applicable under the documentary procedure.

Chapter 44 CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO RESPOND TO COURT OR ABSENCE OF A PARTY TO PROCEEDINGS FROM TRIAL OR HEARING  

§ 407.  Judgment by default in case of failure to respond to action

 (1) With the consent of the claimant, the court may grant a court claim by making a judgement by default to the extent mentioned by the statement of court claim and legally justified by facts if the defendant who has been set a time limit for responding by the court has failed to do so on time even if the court claim was served on the defendant in a foreign state or by public announcement. In such case the defendant is deemed to have accepted the factual allegations made by the claimant.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The consent of the claimant provided in subsection 1 of this section is presumed unless the claimant has informed the court that they do not wish a judgment by default to be entered.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) In the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the judgment by default may be made without holding a trial or hearing.

 (4) The court does not make a judgment by default on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section in a matrimonial case or a filiation case. However, a judgment by default may be made in a case of dividing joint property or a court claim related to another type of pecuniary relationship between the spouses if that case can be dealt with separately from the rest of the matrimonial case.

 (5) A default judgment shall not be made if:
 1) the time limit for responding to the court claim given to the defendant was clearly too short;
 2) the defendant was not informed of the consequences of failure to respond to the court claim;
 21) the defendant has requested the grant of state legal aid during the time limit for submitting a response in order to respond through an attorney;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 22) the court claim has been accepted incorrectly and, among other things, if the case does not fall within the jurisdiction of this court;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the defendant has provided a valid reason for not having responded to the court claim and substantiated it to the court.

 (51) A court may also refuse to make a judgment by default if the court claim was served on the defendant by public announcement and there are probably intentions to have the decision to be made in proceedings recognised or enforced in a foreign state and it is probable that the decision would not be recognised or enforced due to the public service of the court claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If the claimant has consented to the making of a judgment by default but the court claim is not legally justified to the extent mentioned by the statement of court claim and by facts, the court makes a judgment whereby the court denies the court claim.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 408.  Absence of both parties from trial or hearing

  If neither party appears in the trial or hearing, including a preliminary hearing, the court may:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) adjudicate the case on its merits;
 2) dismiss the court claim;
 3) suspend proceedings;
 4) postpone the hearing of the case.

§ 409.  Absence of claimant from trial or hearing

 (1) If the claimant fails to appear in the trial or hearing, including a preliminary hearing, the court, at the request of the defendant who has appeared in the trial or hearing:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) dismisses the court claim;
 2) adjudicates the case based on admittance of the claim if the defendant admits the claim;
 3) adjudicates the case on its merits;
 4) postpones the hearing of the case.

 (2) If the defendant does not submit the request mentioned in subsection 1 of this section or the court denies the request, the court postpones the hearing of the case.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 410.  Absence of defendant from trial or hearing

  If the defendant fails to appear in the trial or hearing, including a preliminary hearing, the court, at the request of the claimant who has appeared in the trial or hearing, makes a judgment by default, adjudicates the case on its merits or postpones the hearing of the case. If the claimant does not submit such request or the court denies the request, the court postpones the hearing of the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 411.  Absence of other parties to proceedings from trial or hearing

  If a party to proceedings who is not a principal party fails to appear in a trial or hearing although they was served the summons, the case is considered without them.

§ 412.  Restrictions on dismissal of the court claim; reinstatement of proceedings

 (1) Regardless of the claimant's non-appearance at the trial or hearing, the court does not dismiss the court claim if:
 1) the claimant had consented to written procedure or to consideration of the court claim without their presence;
 2) the claimant who did not appear for the trial or hearing was not summoned to the trial or hearing at the proper time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from the trial or hearing or other requirements for summoning a person to a trial or hearing were violated;
 3) the claimant had informed the court beforehand of the presence of a valid reason for their failure to appear at the trial or hearing and substantiated the reason to the court;
 4) the defendant moves for the case to be disposed of on its merits, and disposition of the case on its merits is possible;
 5) the defendant has admitted the court claim.

 (2) Among other things, the court may dismiss the court claim if the claimant has not appeared before the court in person although the court had ordered them so to appear, and the claimant or their representative has not informed the court of the presence of a valid reason for non-appearance and has not substantiated such a reason to the court. The court has a right to do so regardless of the participation of the claimant’s representative in the trial or hearing.

 (3) When the court claim is dismissed, the claimant may, within 14 days following service on them of the order dismissing the claim, move for proceedings to be reopened in part or in full by the same court, provided that the claimant is able to substantiate to the court that they had a valid reason for not appearing for the trial or hearing and were unable to notify this to the court in time. Where the order by which the court claim was dismissed is to be served outside of the Republic of Estonia or by public announcement, a motion for resumption of proceedings may be filed within 28 days following service.

 (4) If the summons was served on the claimant or claimant’s representative by a method other than personal delivery against signed acknowledgement, by electronic means or by handing the summons over at a trial or hearing or if dismissal was not allowed by virtue of a reason mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the showing of a valid reason for resumption of proceedings and substantiation of that reason to the court are not required.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (5) An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which resumption of proceedings was refused. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the circuit court of appeal denied that appeal.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) An appeal filed against the disposition made at a subsequent stage in proceedings may not rely on their having been resumed improperly.

 (7) Where proceedings are resumed they continue, insofar as resumed, from the point that had been reached by the time the court claim was dismissed.

§ 413.  Judgment by default in case of failure of defendant to appear in trial or hearing

 (1) If the claimant requests judgment by default against the defendant who fails to appear in the trial or hearing, the court makes a judgment by default in favour of the claimant provided that the court claim is legally justified to the extent mentioned by the statement of court claim and by facts. In such case the defendant is deemed to have accepted the factual allegations made by the claimant. If the court claim is not legally justified, the court makes a judgment by which it denies the court claim.

 (2) Among other things, the court may make a judgment by default if the defendant fails appear before the court in person although the court had obligated them to appear in person, and the defendant or their representative has not informed the court of the existence of a valid reason therefor and has not substantiated it to the court. The court has the right to do so even if the representative of the defendant participates in the trial or hearing.

 (3) The court does not make a judgment by default if:
 1) the defendant who failed to appear in the trial or hearing was not summoned to the trial or hearing in time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from a trial or hearing or other requirements for summoning persons to trial or hearings were violated;
 2) the defendant has provided a valid reason for failure to appear in the trial or hearing and substantiated it to the court;
 3) the defendant had consented to written procedure in the case or to the court’s dealing with the case without their presence.

 (31) A court may also refuse to make a judgment by default if the summons was served on the defendant by public announcement and there are probably intentions to have the decision to be made in proceedings recognised or enforced in a foreign state and it is probable that the decision would not be recognised or enforced due to the public service of the summons.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The court does not make a judgment by default in matrimonial or filiation cases. However, a judgment by default may be made in a case of dividing joint property or a court claim related to another type of pecuniary relationship between the spouses if the case can be dealt with separately from the rest of the matrimonial case.

§ 414.  Disposition of the case on its merits in the absence of a party

 (1) In the case of absence of one party or both parties from the trial or hearing, the court may adjudicate the case on its merits if the circumstances which constitute the cause of the court claim have been, in the opinion of the court, ascertained to a sufficient extent in order to give the envisaged judgement. The court may also adjudicate matrimonial and filiation cases in such manner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court shall not adjudicate the case on its merits without the participation of a party if:
 1) the party who failed to appear in the trial or hearing was not summoned to the trial or hearing in time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from a trial or hearing or other essential requirements for summoning persons to trial or hearings were violated;
 2) the party has provided a valid reason for failure to appear in the trial or hearing, substantiated it to the court and has not requested consideration of the case without their presence.

 (3) The court may adjudicate the case on its merits in the absence of a party even if the party has provided a valid reason for their failure to appear in the trial or hearing provided that the party has consented to written procedure or the hearing of the case has already been postponed once due to the absence of the party from the trial or hearing due to a valid reason and the party has been given the opportunity to file petitions, submit allegations and evidence on all facts relevant to the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 415.  Filing of petition to set aside default judgment

 (1) The defendant may file a petition to set aside a default judgment if the defendant's failure to act which constituted the basis for making the judgment by default was due to a valid reason. A petition to set aside a default judgment may be filed regardless of whether a valid reason was present if:
 1) in the case of failure to respond to a court claim, the court claim was served on the defendant or representative thereof in any other manner except by personal delivery against signed acknowledgement or electronically;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 2) in the case of failure to appear in a trial or hearing, the summons was served on the defendant or representative thereof in any other manner except by personal delivery signed acknowledgement in a trial or hearing or electronically;
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]
 3) pursuant to law, the default judgment could not have been made.

 (2) A petition to set aside a default judgment may be filed within 30 days after the service of the default judgment. If a default judgment is served by public announcement, a petition to set aside a default judgment may be filed within 30 days after the date on which the defendant became aware of the default judgment or of the enforcement proceedings commenced to enforce the default judgment.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 416.  Requirements for petition to set aside default judgment

 (1) A petition to set aside a default judgment is filed with the court which made the default judgment. The petition to set aside default judgment shall set out:
 1) a reference to the default judgment against which the petition is filed;
 2) a declaration that the petition is filed against that default judgment;
 3) the circumstances which prevented the petitioner from responding to the court claim or appearing in the trial or hearing and notifying the court thereof, together with the reasons therefor, except in the case where a valid reason do not need to be shown in order to file a petition to set aside a default judgment.

 (2) If a default judgment was entered in pre-trial procedure due to the failure of the defendant to respond to the court by the due date or to appear at the preliminary hearing, all materials necessary for completing the preparation of the case shall be annexed to the petition to set aside the default judgment.

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The court serves a petition to set aside a default judgment on the other parties to proceedings, providing information on the dates of serving the default judgment and filing of the petition to set aside the default judgment, and sets them a time limit for presenting a position on the petition to set aside a default judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 417.  Disposing of a motion to set aside a default judgment

 (1) The court disposes of a motion to set aside a default judgment by an order. Where necessary, a motion to set aside a default judgment is disposed of at a hearing.

 (2) Where a motion to set aside a default judgment has been filed in the proper form and at the proper time, and the party has substantiated a valid reason that prevented them from performing the procedural operation whose non-performance constituted grounds for entry of the default judgment and from notifying the court of being prevented from performing that operation – or if there are other grounds that should have ruled out the entry of a default judgement – the court grants the motion and reinstates the proceedings, according to the scope of the motion, to the point that had been reached by the time the party omitted to perform the operation whose non-performance triggered the default judgment. Where no valid reason is required for the filing of a motion to set aside a default judgment, no such reason is required for reinstating the proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Where a hearing has been scheduled for considering a motion to set aside a default judgment and the party who filed the motion does not take part in the hearing or trial of the case, the court denies the motion and does not reinstate the proceedings.

 (4) An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which resumption of proceedings is refused. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the circuit court denied that appeal.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) An appeal filed against a disposition made at a subsequent stage in proceedings may not rely on their having been resumed improperly.

 (6) Before disposing of a motion to set aside a default judgment, the court may, by an order, suspend the corresponding enforcement proceedings or permit them to be continued only against a security, or revoke an enforcement operation.

§ 418.  Continuation of reinstated proceedings

 (1) When proceedings are reinstated, the default judgment does not enter into effect and cannot be enforced. Reinstated proceedings continue – within the scope of the motion to reinstate them, -- from the point that had been reached by the time of omission to perform the operation whose non-performance constituted grounds for entry of the default judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Where, at a hearing, the court rules to reinstate proceedings, the trial of the case is resumed at the same hearing.

§ 419.  Second judgment by default

  If, in a case in which proceedings have been reinstated, a party does not appear at trial and a new default judgment is entered against them, the party does not have a right to file a new motion to set aside such a judgment.

§ 420.  Appeal against a default judgment

 (1) The defendant may not file an appeal against a default judgment but may file a petition to set aside the default judgment. The judgment is subject to appeal by the claimant if default judgment was entered on the basis of the claimant's petition or if the claimant's petition for entering a default judgment against the defendant is denied or the claimant's court claim is denied.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Where, after reinstatement of proceedings, another default judgment is entered against the defendant, they may file an appeal against such a judgment only if the appeal relies on a failure to verify whether the prerequisites for entering a default judgment were present.

 (3) Where the defendant files a motion to set aside a default judgment and the claimant files an appeal, the case is considered under the rules for the reinstatement of proceedings in the court which entered the default judgment. If the motion is denied, proceedings on the appeal continue.

§ 421.  Failure to participate in proceedings; leaving the trial or hearing without permission

 (1) A party to proceedings is deemed to be absent from the trial or hearing also if the party appears at the trial or hearing but does not participate in the proceedings.

 (2) If a party to proceedings leaves the trial or hearing, this does not preclude consideration of the case. The court may fine a party to proceedings who leaves the trial or hearing without permission – or order such a party to be brought in forcibly – if the court finds that personal attendance of the party to proceedings is necessary for dealing with the case.

§ 422.  Valid reason for absence from trial or hearing or for non-performance of other procedural operations

 (1) A valid reason for failure to respond to a court claim or to appear at a trial or hearing and for not notifying this to the court is, above all, a breakdown of transportation, an unexpected illness of the principal party or unexpected serious illness of a person close to such a party due to which the party was unable to respond to the court claim or to appear in court or to send a representative.

 (2) To substantiate the illness due to which the party to proceedings was prevented from responding to the court claim or appearing for the trial or hearing, the party or their representative files a certificate with the court which shows that the illness can be deemed to be an impediment to responding to a court claim or appearing at a trial or hearing. The form of the certificate and the conditions and rules for the its issue are enacted by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (3) Absence of or defects in a certificate mentioned in subsection 2 of this section do not rule out substantiation of the illness by other items of evidence.

Chapter 45 DISMISSAL OF COURT CLAIMS  

§ 423.  Grounds for dismissing a court claim

 (1) The court dismisses a court claim if:
 1) the person who has applied to the court for relief has not complied with the mandatory procedure established by law for prior extra-judicial resolution of cases of this type and it is still possible to apply that procedure;
 2) the claimant withdraws the court claim;
 3) a case between the same parties concerning the same claim on the same grounds is being dealt with by a pre-court procedure and, pursuant to law, recourse to the court is not permitted in the case before the end of that procedure;
 4) proceedings are pending before the court in a case between the same parties concerning the same subject case and the same cause of action;
 5) arbitration proceedings have been initiated concerning the same subject case of dispute on the same grounds;
 6) the parties have entered into an agreement for referral of the dispute to arbitration unless the validity of the arbitral agreement is contested by the court claim;
 7) the data concerning the claimant or defendant presented by the claimant do not enable the identification of the claimant or defendant and the court cannot identify such person within a reasonable period of time;
 8) despite the demand of the court, the claimant fails to submit, by the due date set by the court, information which is necessary for serving procedural documents on the defendant and, despite reasonable efforts, the court is unable to find the information independently, and also if the claimant fails to pay the costs necessary for serving the court claim or other procedural documents on the defendant, including the enforcement agent's fee, by the time prescribed by the court, except if the claimant is granted state financial aid for covering the costs;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 81) the claimant fails to inform the court of the results of the service within the time limit set to them on the basis of subsection 3151 (2) of this Code;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 9) the person who files a court claim in the name of the entitled person fails to prove their right of representation;
 10) the claimant fails to comply with the court's demand to find an interpreter, translator or representative proficient in Estonian to himself or herself;
 11) a statutory fee has not been paid on the filed claim by the due date set by the court;
 12) the claimant fails to provide, within the time limit set by the court, a security for covering the defendant's presumed case costs;
 13) the court is not competent to deal with the case.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) The court may also dismiss the court claim if it comes to light that:
 1) based on the factual circumstances presented as the cause of the court claim, violation of the claimant's rights is impossible, presuming that the factual allegations of the claimant are correct;
 2) the court claim has not been filed for protecting the claimant's right or interest protected by law, or with an aim subject to legal protection by the state, or if the objective sought by the claimant cannot be achieved by the court claim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A court may also dismiss the court claim in other cases mentioned by law.

§ 424.  Withdrawal of action

 (1) Until the end of pre-trial procedure, the claimant may withdraw a court claim without the defendant's consent. With the defendant's consent, a court claim may be withdrawn until the time the judicial disposition made concerning the court claim enters into effect.

 (2) The court is informed of withdrawal of a court claim and the defendant's consent to the withdrawal of the court claim in writing, or such fact is entered in the record of proceedings.

 (3) A petition to withdraw a court claim which is filed with the court is served on the defendant if the defendant's consent is needed for the withdrawal. If the defendant fails to file an objection within ten days after the petition is served on them, the defendant is deemed to have given their consent.

§ 425.  Rules for dismissing the court claim

 (1) The court dismisses the court claim by an order. The order sets out how to eliminate the circumstances which prevent consideration of the case, provided consideration of the case is refused due to those circumstances.

 (2) If necessary, the court holds a trial or hearing to decide on dismissal of the court claim.

 (3) If a higher court dismisses the court claim, the court also sets aside the decision or decisions of the lower court in the same order. If the court that dealt with the case dismisses the court claim on the basis of a petition filed within the time limit for appealing the decision entered, the court sets aside the decision or decisions made in the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If a court finds that the court claim must be dismissed due to the fact that the corresponding application falls within the competence of an administrative court and the administrative court has previously found in the same case that the case does not fall within the competence of the administrative court, the court without delay submits a request to the Special Panel of the Civil Chamber and the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court for determining the court which is competent to deal with the case and notifies the parties to proceedings thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 426.  Consequences of dismissing the court claim

 (1) If the court dismisses the court claim, the court claim is deemed not to have been dealt with by the court and the claimant has a right of recourse to the court with a court claim against the same defendant in a dispute concerning the same head of claim in the same cause.

 (2) If the court dismissed the court claim due to reasons relating to the claimant and the court claim is made again, the defendant has the right not to respond to the court claim and not to participate in proceedings until the defendant's previously incurred case costs for which the defendant has demanded compensation and which have been awarded to them from the claimant have been paid. The defendant shall notify the court immediately of failure to pay the case costs.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (3) In the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, proceedings are suspended by operation of law. The court may set the claimant a time limit for compensation of the defendant's case costs. If the claimant fails to compensate for the costs within such time limit, the court dismisses the court claim.

§ 427.  Appealing against an order by which the court claim was dismissed

  An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which the district court or the circuit court of appeal dismissed the court claim. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court if the court claim was dismissed on the grounds mentioned in clauses 2, 7–10 or 12 of subsection 1 of § 423 423 of this Code.

Chapter 46 TERMINATION OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 428.  Grounds for termination of proceedings

 (1) The court terminates proceedings without giving judgment if:
 1) the person who has applied to the court for relief has not complied with the mandatory rules established by law for prior out-of-court resolution of cases of this type, and it is no longer possible to apply those rules;
 2) in a dispute between the same parties in the same cause concerning the same head of claim, a disposition by which an Estonian court terminated the proceedings or a disposition by a court of a foreign state which must be recognised in Estonia or a decision of an arbitral tribunal, or a disposition entered in pre-action proceedings – including an agreement approved by the Chancellor of Justice – has entered into effect and precludes fresh recourse to the court in the case;
 3) the claimant has abandoned the court claim;
 4) the parties have reached a compromise and the court approves the compromise;
 41) in the matter under dispute, a parenting plan provided for by § 12 of the Act on State-Funded Family Mediation Services has been approved;
[RT I, 10.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2022]
 5) the legal relationship under dispute does not allow for legal succession – in the event of the death of a natural person who is a principal party in the case – or the legal person has been dissolved without legal succession.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court terminates proceedings also on other grounds provided by law.

§ 429.  Discontinuance of court claim

 (1) The claimant may discontinue a court claim until the decision made concerning the court claim enters into effect by filing a petition for such purpose. The court accepts discontinuance of a court claim by an order which also terminates proceedings in the case.

 (2) If the claimant abandons the court claim at the trial or hearing, such fact is entered in the record of proceedings. If the intention to discontinue a court claim is submitted to the court in a written petition, such document is included in the file.

 (3) If a petition to discontinue a court claim is submitted to the court outside of a trial or hearing, the court, prior to making a decision on termination of proceedings, informs the defendant of the filing of the petition and sets the defendant a time limit for responding. If the defendant wants the court to order that the claimant pay the case costs, the defendant shall so indicate in the response.

 (4) The court does not accept discontinuance of a court claim by the statutory representative of a claimant who has no active civil procedural legal capacity if the discontinuance of the court claim is clearly contrary to the interests of the person without active civil procedural legal capacity, and also refuses to accept discontinuance of a court claim in any other case where discontinuance of the court claim would result in the violation of a significant public interest.

 (5) If the court refuses to accept discontinuance of the court claim, it makes a reasoned order to such effect. In such a case, proceedings in the case continue.

 (6) If the court refuses to accept discontinuance of a court claim by the statutory representative of a claimant who has no active civil procedural legal capacity as this would clearly be contrary to the interests of the person without active civil procedural legal capacity, the court appoints a new representative to the claimant in accordance with the rules provided by § 219 of this Code.

§ 430.  Compromise

 (1) Until the time the judicial disposition concerning the court claim enters into effect, the parties are allowed to terminate proceedings by a compromise. The court approves the compromise by an order which also terminates proceedings in the case. The order on approval of a compromise sets out the conditions of the compromise.

 (2) The parties submit a signed compromise agreement to the court or communicate it to the court in order to allow it to be entered in the record of proceedings.

 (3) The court refuses to approve a compromise if this is contrary to good morals or the law, if this violates a significant public interest or if the conditions of the compromise cannot be enforced. The court is not bound by and need not approve a compromise in a family case.

 (4) If the court refuses to approve a compromise, the court makes a reasoned order to that effect. In such a case, proceedings in the case continue.

 (5) The compromise applies as an enforceable title also with regard to a person who is not participating in court proceedings but who has assumed an obligation based on the compromise.

 (6) Entry into an agreement in the form of a compromise approved by the court substitutes for notarial authentication of the agreement.

 (7) A compromise may be conditional.

 (8) A compromise can be declared null, and its nullity may be relied upon on the grounds mentioned in the General Principles of the Civil Code Act, and a party may withdraw from or cancel a compromise on the grounds mentioned in the Law of Obligations Act. A compromise can be declared null, and its nullity may be relied upon, or a party may withdraw from or cancel a compromise only in the course of proceedings on a court claim for a declaration of inadmissibility concerning enforcement proceedings carried out on the basis of the compromise as an enforceable title. If the court grants such a court claim, the compromise is deemed, in its entirety or in part, not to have any legal consequences, and proceedings in the case in which the compromise was reached continue.

 (9) A compromise can be declared invalid by way of recovery procedure in bankruptcy proceedings or in enforcement proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 431.  Rules for termination of proceedings

 (1) The court terminates proceedings by an order. If necessary, the court holds a trial or hearing to decide on the termination of proceedings. In the cases where a party to proceedings is not represented by an attorney, the court explains the consequences of termination of proceedings beforehand to the party or representative thereof.

 (2) If proceedings are terminated by a higher court, that court also sets aside the decision or decisions of the lower court by the order. If the court that dealt with the case terminates proceedings on the basis of a petition filed within the time limit for appealing the decision entered, the court sets aside the decision or decisions made in the case.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 432.  Consequences of termination of proceedings

  After termination of proceedings, the claimant may not file, with the court, a court claim against the same defendant in a dispute concerning the same head of claim in the same cause. Unless otherwise provided by law, where proceedings have been terminated due to abandonment of the court claim or by a compromise, such termination entails the same consequences under substantive and procedural law as when proceedings are terminated by the giving of judgment.

§ 433.  Appeal against order on termination of proceedings

 (1) An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which proceedings were terminated.

 (2) An interim appeal may be filed against an order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal by which the court refuses to terminate proceedings for the reason that it does not accept abandonment of the court claim or does not approve the compromise of the parties. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning interim appeal against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 47 JUDICIAL DISPOSITION  

Subchapter 1 Judgment  

§ 434.  Judgment as a disposition rendered on the merits of the case

  A judgment is a disposition rendered on the merits of the case in the name of the Republic of Estonia as a result of judicial proceedings.

§ 435.  Rendering the judgment

 (1) The court renders its judgment when it is of the view that the case has been heard exhaustively and is ready to be disposed of conclusively.

 (2) A judgment terminates proceedings in that judicial instance.

 (3) The date of the judgment is the date on which the judgment was made public.

§ 436.  Lawful and reasoned judgment

 (1) A judgment must be lawful and state its reasons.

 (2) The court founds its judgment strictly on the evidence that was offered or gathered in the case. If the court disposes of the case by holding a trial or hearing, the court founds its judgment strictly on the evidence that was examined at the trial or hearing.

 (3) When rendering its judgment, the court may only rely on evidence that the parties had an opportunity to examine and on circumstances concerning which the parties had an opportunity to present their submissions.

 (4) When rendering its judgment, the court may not rely on circumstances that were not examined during proceedings. Likewise, the court may not in its judgment assess a circumstance that has been raised as important otherwise than it had been assessed by either of the principal parties, unless the court has brought such a possibility to the attention of the principal parties beforehand and given them an opportunity to make their submissions concerning it.

 (5) The provisions of subsection 4 of this section do not apply in relation to an ancillary claim.

 (6) In a family case, the court is not bound by the circumstances and submissions that have been offered.

 (7) When rendering its judgment, the court is not bound by the principal parties’ submissions of legal nature.

§ 437.  Resumption of trial

  The court may make an order by which it resumes the trial if, after having concluded the trial and before rendering its disposition:
 1) it ascertains an error in the proceedings which is material to the rendering of the judgment and can be rectified;
 2) a circumstance which may constitute grounds for the filing of a motion to set aside the default judgment comes to light when entering the judgment;
 3) a circumstance which may constitute grounds for resumption of proceedings comes to light when dismissing the court claim.

§ 438.  Issues resolved when rendering judgment

 (1) When rendering a judgment, the court assesses the evidence, determines the facts that have been established, the legislation to be applied in the case and whether the court claim should be granted. If several claims have been filed in the case, the court makes a judgment concerning all of the claims.

 (2) The court decides on the division of case costs and the monetary amount of those costs in accordance with Subchapter 5 of Chapter 18 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 439.  Court claim: scope of disposition

  The court may not, in its judgment, go beyond the scope of the claim or give judgment concerning a claim that has not been filed.

§ 440.  Admitting the court claim

 (1) Where the defendant has admitted the claimant's claim at the trial or hearing or in a representation filed with the court, the court grants the court claim.

 (2) Admission of the court claim at the trial or hearing is entered in the record of proceedings.

 (3) Where admission of the court claim has been filed with the court as a representation, the corresponding document is included in the file. If the defendant notifies the court of admission of the court claim in the course of pre-trial proceedings, the court disposes of the case without holding the trial or hearing.

 (4) In a matrimonial case or a filiation case, the court is not bound by admission of the court claim. Similarly, the court is not bound by such admission in cases which involve several defendants and in which the disputed legal relationship can be established only with regard to all of them, and not all of the defendants admit the court claim. If the court refuses to accept the admission, it makes a reasoned order to that effect. In such a situation, the proceedings continue.

§ 441.  Form of judgment

 (1) The court issues a judgment electronically in the Estonian language, affixing the digital signature of the judge who entered the judgment. The court registers the judgment without delay in the courts’ information system.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The court may issue and sign a judgment as a paper instrument if, due to reasons beyond the control of the court or the judge, the requirements provided by subsection 1 of this section cannot be complied with.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 442.  Content of judgment

 (1) A judgment consists of the introductory, operative and descriptive parts and the statement of reasons.

 (2) The introductory part of the judgment sets out:
 1) the name of the court that rendered the judgment;
 2) the name of the judge who rendered the judgment;
 3) the time and place of making the judgment public;
 4) the number of the civil case;
 5) the head or heads of claim;
 51) the value of the civil case;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) the names and personal identification codes or registry codes of the parties to proceedings;
 7) the addresses of the parties to proceedings if this is clearly necessary for enforcement or recognition of the judgment;
 8) the names of the representatives of the parties to proceedings and, where there has been a change of representatives, the names of the latest representatives;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 9) the time of the last hearing or a note to the effect that the case was disposed of by written procedure.

 (3) Where a natural person does not possess a personal identification number, their date of birth is stated in the judgment. Where a legal person does not possess a registration number, a note concerning the legal basis of the person is included in the judgment, if this is needed.

 (4) Where a judgment is rendered as a default judgment or is based on admission of the court claim, this must be stated in the introductory part of the judgment.

 (5) In the operative part of the judgment, the court clearly and unambiguously disposes of the claims of the principal parties and of any motions or applications of those parties that have not yet been disposed of as well as any issues related to the measures for interim protection of the court claim that have been imposed. The operative part must be clearly understandable and enforceable also without the text of the rest of the judgment.

 (6) The operative part also includes the rules and time limit for appealing the judgment and, among other things, identifies the court with which an appeal should be filed, and notes that unless a motion is made in the appeal to dispose of the same at the hearing, the appeal may be disposed of by written procedure. A judgment by default states the right to file a motion to set aside such a judgment. The operative part also explains the substance of subsection 6 of § 187 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (61) Where the court determines the monetary amount of case costs in accordance with clause 1 of subsection 1 of § 177 of this Code, it states that amount in the operative part.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (62) Where the court does not determine the monetary amount of case costs in accordance with clause 1 of subsection 1 of § 177 of this Code, it explains in the operative part that the district court that dealt with the case determines that amount in accordance with subsection 2 of § 177 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (7) The descriptive part of the judgment states, concisely and in logical order, with a focus on their material content, the claims that were filed and the assertions that were made concerning these, as well as the objections made and the evidence offered. Where, in addition to the parties to proceedings, a competent authority of the State or of a local authority also made its submissions on the case at the request of the court, such submissions muste also be stated in the descriptive part.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) The judgment’s statement of reasons states the facts established by the court, the conclusions that the court reached based on these facts, the evidence on which the conclusions of the court are founded and the Acts of Parliament which were applied by the court. In its judgment, the court must state itst reasons for not agreeing with the facts as asserted by the claimant or the defendant. The court must analyse all items of evidence in its judgment. If the court disregards an item of evidence, it must justify this in the judgment. Where one of the alternative claims is granted, the reasons for denying another alternative claim do not do not need to be stated.

 (9) The judgment must also reflect any replacement of the parties to proceedings and, where this is needed, the particulars of the previous parties.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (10) The district court may state, in a judgment rendered in a case mentioned in subsection 1 of § 405 of this Code that it grants permission to appeal the judgment. The court grants such permission above all if, in the opinion of the district court, a disposition of the court of appeal is required for the purpose of obtaining the opinion of the circuit court concerning a legal rule. Reasons for granting the permission to appeal do not need to be stated in the judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (11) To a judgment by which a party to proceedings is ordered to pay an amount of money to the Republic of Estonia that arises from a claim which has not accrued from participation of the State or an administrative authority of the State in the proceedings as a party to the same, the court may add, as a separate document, the particulars required for payment of the claim.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (12) A list of the particulars required for the fulfilment of the requirement mentioned in subsection 11 of this section and the technical requirements for issuing these is enacted by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 443.  Operative part of judgment to cease using a standard term

 (1) In addition to the mandatory content of a judgment, the operative part of a judgment to cease using an unfair standard term or, for the person recommending its use, to cease recommending such use and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation, states:
 1) the wording of the prohibited standard term;
 2) types of transactions to which the standard term must not be applied;
 3) a clearly expressed requirement to refrain from further use or recommendation of similar standard terms.

 (2) The operative part of a judgment by which the person recommending the use of a standard term is ordered to cease recommending such use and to withdraw the corresponding recommendation must additionally state the requirement to communicate the judgment using the same method that was used to communicate the recommendation. The court may also, in the operative part of the judgment mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, require that the user of the standard terms publish the judgment by a method determined by the court, or may itself determine an additional method of publication of the judgment.

§ 444.  Simplification and omission from the judgment of its descriptive part and of the statement of reasons

 (1) In the descriptive part of a judgment the court may omit any assertions made concerning the claims as well as any objections and any evidence that was offered, and may also omit the submissions of an authority of the State or of a local authority.

 (2) If the court deals with the court claim under the simplified procedure, it may confine itself in the statement of reasons part of its judgment to stating only the legal reasoning and items of evidence on which the court’s conclusions are founded.

 (3) A judgment by default or a judgment based on admission of the court claim may be given without the descriptive part and the statement of reasons.

 (4) The court may omit the descriptive part and the statement of reasons from a judgment that does not fall under subsection 3 of this section if the parties to proceedings have consented to this or if the court claim is dealt with under the simplified procedure. In such a situation, the judgment must state that the court will supplement the judgment in accordance with the provisions of subsection 41 of § 448 of this Code if a party to proceedings notifies the court, within ten days following service of the judgment, of their intention to file an appeal against the judgment. The court explains, in the judgment, the consequences of non-notification of the intention to appeal.

 (5) In order to ascertain the views of a party to proceedings concerning omission of the descriptive part and of the statement of reasons, the court may orally announce the operative part of the judgment at the trial or hearing and provide an oral explanation of its reasons. The consent of a party to proceedings to omit the descriptive part and the statement of reasons from the judgment is entered in the record of the trial or hearing.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 445.  Determination of the rules for and time limit of compliance with judgment

 (1) In the judgment, the court may determine, at the request of a party, the method of and rules for compliance with the judgment, set out the time limit or due date for this, and state the fact that the judgment is subject to enforcement without delay or that compliance with the judgment is secured by a measure for interim protection of the claim. If, in the proceedings, the parties have filed claims against each other which may be set off against one another and the court grants the claims of both parties in full or in part, the claims of the parties are set off in the operative part to the extent that those claims were granted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a court claim is granted by the judgment or the court terminates proceedings by a compromise, the court leaves the applied measure for interim protection of the claim in force as a measure to secure compliance with the judicial disposition, provided that this is clearly necessary for ensuring compliance with the decision and the party in favour of whom the court decided does not or the parties to the compromise agreement do not move for revocation of the measure.

 (3) Where the judgment or a part of the judgment is subject to enforcement without delay, the operative part of the judgment must state this.

 (4) On an application of the defendant who is a successor, the court may make a judgment with a reservation with regard to limited liability of the successor.

 (5) If the court has established infringement of copyright or related rights or industrial property rights or disclosure of incorrect information regarding a person in a judgment, the court may, on an application of the claimant, include an order in the judgment that the particulars contained in the judgment must be made public at the expense of the defendant by the method determined by the court, or that the judgment must be published in part or in full.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 446.  Judgment in favour of several claimants or against several defendants

 (1) In a judgment in favour of several claimants, the court indicates the extent to which a claim is granted in favour of each claimant. If a claim is granted jointly and severally in favour of several claimants, this shall be indicated in the judgment.

 (2) In a judgment against several defendants, the court indicates the extent to which each defendant shall comply with the judgment. If the liability is joint and several, this shall be indicated in the judgment.

§ 447.  Correction of mistakes in judgment

 (1) A court which makes a judgment cannot set aside or amend the judgment after it is made public unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court corrects at all times any spelling or calculation mistakes or obvious inaccuracies in a judgment if such corrections do not affect the content of the judgment. The court corrects mistakes by an order. The court may hear the parties to proceedings prior to making the order.

 (3) A notation concerning an order on the correction of mistakes in a judgment is made on the judgment and on any copies thereof issued after the order is made. The court serves the order by which it rectifies an error in the judgment on all persons on whom the judgment was served.

 (4) An interim appeal may be filed against an order by which errors in the judgment were rectified. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court. Where the court rectifies an error under this section in an order which cannot be appealed, the rectification order cannot be appealed either.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 448.  Supplemental judgment

 (1) A court which adjudicates a case may, at the request of a party to proceedings or of its own motion, make a supplemental judgment if:
 1) some of the filed claims or petitions have not been dealt with,
 2) the court which decided to recognise the right of the claimant has failed to indicate the amount of money which is to be paid by the defendant, the item of property which is to be handed over by the defendant or the operation which the defendant is obligated to perform;
 3) the court has not resolved the division of case costs;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 4) the court has failed to indicate a reservation on setting off claims in a partial judgment;
 5) the court has failed to indicate a reservation on further protection of the defendant's rights in a judgment made by documentary procedure.

 (2) A petition for making a supplemental judgment may be filed within ten days after a judgment is served. A court may make a supplemental judgment of its own motion within 20 days after the judgment is made public.

 (3) If there is desire to enforce a judgment lacking a descriptive part or statement of reasons outside of the Republic of Estonia, a party may request that the court supplement the judgment with the descriptive part or statement of reasons even after the expiry of the time limit mentioned in subsection 2 of this section.

 (4) The court holds a trial or hearing for making a supplemental judgment unless the case has been dealt with without holding a trial or hearing. The parties to proceedings are notified of the time and place of the trial or hearing at least three days in advance; however, their absence from the trial or hearing does not prevent the making of the supplemental judgment. A petition for making a supplemental judgment is served on the opposing party in advance.

 (41) The court supplements a judgment made without the descriptive part or statement of reasons on the basis of subsection 444 (4) of this Code with the omitted part if a party to proceedings notifies the court within ten days after service of the judgment of their intention to file an appeal against the judgment. The intention to file an appeal do not need to be reasoned. The supplementation of a judgment is resolved by the written procedure. The other party to proceedings is not notified about the supplementation of the judgment. The court may also prepare the judgment in accordance with the provisions of subsections 1 and 2 of § 444 of this Code. In the case of supplementation of a judgment with the omitted part, the time limit for filing an appeal commences again from the service of the supplemental judgment.
[RT I, 21.12.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (42) If a party to proceedings fails to notify the court of their wish to file an appeal against a judgment without the descriptive part and statement of reasons within the time limit provided in subsection (41) of this section, it is deemed that they have waived the right to file an appeal.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (5) A supplemental judgment constitutes a part of the judgment which is supplemented. A supplemental judgment may be appealed like any other judgment. In the case of filing an appeal against a judgment which is supplemented it is presumed that the supplemental judgment is also appealed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) Where a motion for making a supplemental judgment is denied, the court makes an order to such effect. An order by a district court or circuit court of appeal on refusal to make a supplemental judgment is subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal of a district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 449.  Interim judgment

 (1) When dealing with a court claim for receiving money and above all, a court claim for compensation for damage, in which proving the amount of the claimed sum is extremely costly or difficult but the court is able to decide on whether the claim is found to be reasoned or unreasoned then, at the request of a party, the court may make an interim judgment on whether the claim is found to be reasoned or unreasoned.

 (2) For the purposes of filing appeals, an interim judgment on whether a claim is found to be well-founded or unfounded is deemed to be equivalent to a final judgment. If a claim is found to be well-founded by an interim judgment, the court continues proceedings to determine the amount of the claim and makes a corresponding judgment. If the court finds the claim to be unfounded, the court enters final judgment and discontinues proceedings in the case.

 (3) The court may also make an interim judgment concerning a petition for application of a limitation period regarding a petition which, for the purposes of filing appeals, is equal to a final judgment. If the court refuses to apply a limitation period, the court makes an interim judgment to that effect and continues proceedings. If the court finds the limitation period to have expired, it enters final judgment and discontinues proceedings in the case.

§ 450.  Partial judgment

 (1) If several separate, related claims are combined in single proceedings or if one claim, or a part of a claim filed by one court claim or in the case of filing of a counterclaim, only the claim or counterclaim is ready for a final decision, then the court may make a separate judgment on each claim if this expedites consideration of the case. The court continues proceedings with regard to the claims which have not been adjudicated.

 (2) If the court grants, by a partial judgment, a court claim against which a counterclaim or objection for setting off the claim of the court claim has been filed, the court indicates in the conclusion of the judgment that the judgment may be set aside or amended upon adjudication of the counterclaim or objection for set-off (reservation).

 (3) A partial judgment made with a reservation concerning set-off is a final judgment for the purposes of the filing of appeals and compulsory enforcement.

 (4) If, in the case of a partial judgment with a reservation concerning set-off, the counterclaim for set-off is granted or, based on the objection for set-off, the court claim is denied in part or in full, the court also sets aside the judgment with the reservation to the extent of the set-off or amends it.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) In the case described in subsection 4 of this section, the claimant shall compensate the defendant for the harm caused by the compulsory enforcement of the judgment or the measures applied for prevention of compulsory enforcement thereof.

§ 451.  Judgment in documentary procedure

 (1) In the case of documentary procedure, a court claim is also denied if the claimant fails to prove their claim by the evidence permitted in documentary procedure. In that case the court claim may be filed again by means of regular procedure.

 (2) If, regardless of the defendant's objections, the court grants the claim in documentary procedure, the court makes a judgment with a reservation whereby the defendant is granted the right to protect their interests in the future.

 (3) For the purposes of filing of appeals and compulsory enforcement, a judgment with a reservation is deemed to be a final judgment.

 (4) If a judgment with a reservation is made concerning the rights of the defendant by documentary procedure, the dispute is continued under the regular action-by-claim procedure. If it turns out that the claimant's claim is unfounded, the provisions of subsections 450 (4) and (5) of this Code apply. If an objection whose submission was permitted under documentary procedure is resolved in the judgment containing a reservation, the defendant may resubmit the objection at a later time only if the judgment containing the reservation is set aside or amended.

§ 4511.  Resolution of petitions during time limit for filing of appeals

 (1) If, after the making of a decision but before the entry of that decision into force and before the filing of an appeal in the case, a petition for dismissing the court claim or for termination of proceedings in the case, among other things for reasons of discontinuance of the court claim or conclusion of a compromise, is filed, or a petition related to interim protection of the claim or another similar petition is filed, the petition is resolved by the court that made the decision. In the case of granting the petition to dismiss the court claim or to terminate proceedings, the court may, by order, set aside the decision made and dismiss the court claim or terminate proceedings in the case.

 (2) After the filing of an appeal, the acts mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be performed by the circuit court of appeal even if the appeal has not yet been accepted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 452.  Making public of judgment

 (1) A judgment is made public by pronouncement or through the court office.

 (2) A judgment is pronounced in a trial or hearing which concludes the hearing of the case or is made public immediately after the trial or hearing through the court office.

 (3) If a judgment is not made in the trial or hearing in which the case is heard, the court announces the time and manner of the making public of the judgment in the trial or hearing in which the hearing of the case is concluded. If a case is dealt with without holding a trial or hearing or if a party to proceedings did not participate in the trial or hearing, the court communicates the time of the making public of the judgment to the party to proceedings. The court also informs the parties to proceedings of any changes to the time of the making public of the judgment.

 (4) A judgment may be made public later than 20 days after the last trial or hearing for hearing the case or, in the case of written procedure, after the expiry of the due date for the submission of petitions and documents only where a valid reason is present, above all, due to the particularly voluminous nature or particular complexity of the case. The date for the making public of a judgment shall not be set for a later time than 40 days after the last trial or hearing in which the case is heard or, in the case of written procedure, after the expiry of the due date for the submission of petitions and documents.

 (5) The date for the making public of a judgment and any changes therein are also published on the website of the court immediately after determining such date, setting out the number of the civil case, the names of the parties to proceedings and the general description of the civil case. If a judgment is made in a closed proceedings, only the date for the making public of the judgment and any changes therein, the number of the civil case and a notation that proceedings are closed are published. The date for the making public of a judgment is removed from the website when 30 days have passed from the date of making the judgment public.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) For the reason mentioned in subsection 38 (1) or (2) of this Code, the court has the right to make public, based on a reasoned order, only the conclusion of a judgment.

 (7) Within the time limit for the making public of a judgment, the court may at first communicate the judgment without the descriptive part and statement of reasons and, among other things, it may pronounce orally the conclusion of the judgment only. A judgment do not need to be made public in its entirety if, prior to the making public of the entire judgment, the parties inform the court in writing or in a trial or hearing that they waive the right to file an appeal against the judgment or if the parties are deemed to have waived the right to file an appeal pursuant to this Code. The court explains such right during the making public of the judgment in part.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 453.  Rules concerning the making public of judgments through court office and issue of copies of judgment

 (1) A judgment is made public through the court office where, during the time limit for the filing of appeals, the parties to proceedings have the right to examine the judgment and obtain a copy thereof. If a judgment is prepared electronically, the parties to proceedings are issued a printout. A copy or printout is signed and certified by the seal of the court by an authorised employee of the court office. A judgment which is certified in the information system of the court and made available to a person through the e-file system is not signed and certified with the seal.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section do not preclude or restrict the obligation of the court to serve a judgment on the parties to proceedings unless the judgment is delivered to the parties to proceedings in the manner mentioned in subsection 1 of this section.

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 454.  Rules governing the pronouncement of judgments

 (1) The judgment is pronounced by the reading out of its conclusion.

 (2) Where necessary, the court also pronounces a judgment by reading out the statement of reasons or making a summary of the essential contents thereof.

 (21) The text of the judgment do not need to be duly prepared and signed by the time of pronouncing the judgment, but the pronouncement shall be entered in the record of proceedings. In such case the judgment shall be prepared in writing within ten days after the pronouncement thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Upon pronouncing a judgment, the court explains the procedure and time limit for filing appeals against the judgment to the parties to proceedings who are present.

 (4) The validity of pronouncement of a judgment does not depend on the presence of the parties to proceedings. A judgment is also deemed to have been pronounced with regard to the party to proceedings who was absent from the trial or hearing in which the judgment was pronounced.

 (5) A judgment by a collegial court panel is pronounced by the presiding judge.

§ 455.  Service of judgments

 (1) The court serves a judgment on the parties to proceedings.

 (2) If personal data subject to entry in a register are altered by a judgment, the court sends a copy of the judgment to the registrar.

§ 456.  Entry into effect of the judgment

 (1) A judgment enters into effect when it can no longer be contested by any other method except the procedure for review of judicial dispositions that have entered into effect.

 (2) A judgment of a district court enters into effect above all, if:
 1) the time limit for the filing of appeals has expired and no appeal has been filed during that time limit;
 2) the circuit court of appeal does not accept the appeal, or dismisses or denies the appeal, or terminates appeal proceedings and, within the time limit for the filing of appeals to the Supreme Court, no appeal to the Supreme Court is filed against the disposition of the circuit court of appeal;
 3) the circuit court of appeal rejects the appeal, or dismisses or denies the appeal, or terminates appeal proceedings, and the appeal to the Supreme Court filed against the disposition of the circuit court of appeal is not accepted, is dismissed or denied, or proceedings on such an appeal are terminated.

 (3) A judgment by default enters into effect if against such judgment, no petition to set it aside or no appeal is filed, or if the petition to set aside the default judgment is dismissed or denied, or if a decision of a circuit court of appeal concerning the appeal enters into effect.

 (4) Lawful contestation of a judgment suspends its entry into effect. If a part of a judgement is contested, the uncontested part of the judgment enters into effect. If a judgment is contested in a part other than the determination of the amount of case costs in money, the judgment does not enter into force in the part of determination of the amount of case costs in money.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 457.  Consequences of entry into effect of a judgment

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a judgment which has entered into effect is binding on the parties to proceedings insofar as it – based on circumstances which constitute the cause of the court claim – disposes of the relief sought by the claim or by the claim filed as a counterclaim.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If, in the course of proceedings, the defendant has filed an objection requesting a set-off against the claim, the judgment is binding on the parties to proceedings also to the extent to which it does not recognise the existence of the adverse claim and the right to a set-off.

 (3) The descriptive part of a judgment is presumed to serve as proof of the representations made by the parties to proceedings in the course of proceedings.

 (4) A judgment that was rendered in a family case or a filiation case and that entered into effect during the lifetime of the parties concerning the existence, termination or absence of a legal relationship applies to all persons. A judgment establishing filiation or curatorship of a parent does not apply to a person who considers himself or herself to have such right but who was not a party to proceedings.

 (5) A judgment concerning revocation or establishment of invalidity of a decision of a body of a legal person applies to all the partners, shareholders and members of such legal person and to all of its bodies and members thereof even if they did not participate in the proceedings.

 (6) If in the case of obligatory liability insurance, a judgment which has entered into effect has established with respect to the insurer or the policyholder that the injured party has no claim for compensation for damage, the judgment applies to both the insurer and the policyholder irrespective of whether or not they both participated in the proceedings.

 (7) Where a person using a standard term does so in violation of a judgment which requires such use to cease, the term is deemed void if the other contracting party relies on the judgment. This does not apply if the person using the term may file a court claim for a declaration of inadmissibility of compulsory enforcement of the judgment.

§ 458.  Note concerning the judgment’s entry into effect

 (1) A note certifying the entry into effect of a judgment is issued, based on the application of a party to proceedings and the court file, by the court office of the district court which dealt with the case. The notation is affixed to a copy or printout of the judgment. The notation is signed and stamped with the seal of the court.

 (2) A notation on entry into force may be issued electronically by the person authorised to do this by the internal rules of the court, who affixes to it their digital signature. An electronic notation on entry into force is not stamped with the seal of the court.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (3) A court which issues notations on entry into force keeps accounts of the entry into effect of judgments and of the notations on entry into force which have been issued.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (4) The Minister in charge of the policy sector may, by regulation, establish specific requirements for the form for electronic notes concerning entry into effect, for the issuing of such notes and for keeping account of notes on entry into effect.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 459.  Varying a judgment which deals with recurring obligations and which has entered into effect

 (1) After the entry into effect of a judgment whereby the defendant is ordered to make payments by instalment or to perform other recurring obligations, a party has the right to require the alteration of the amounts or time limits of payment in the judgment by making a new court claim, if:
 1) the circumstances based on which the judgment to grant the claim was made and which affect the amount or duration of payments have changed significantly; and
 2) the circumstances which caused the filing of the court claim arose after the hearing of the case, during which the claim filed by the court claim could have increased or objections could have been filed, ended.

 (2) The judgment may be amended as of the time of filing a new court claim unless, according to law, amendment of the judgment may also be demanded retroactively.

§ 460.  Validity of judgment in respect of legal successors

 (1) A judgment which has entered into effect also applies to the persons who became legal successors of the parties to proceedings after the court claim was filed. The judgment also applies to the direct possessor of a contested item of property if the person acquired possession of the item because one of the parties or the party’s legal successor acquired indirect possession of the item.

 (2) A judgment does not apply to a legal successor of a party to proceedings if the person acquired a contested item of property and was not aware of the judgment or the filing of the court claim at the time of the acquisition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In the case of transfer of an encumbered immovable, a judgment concerning a claim arising from a real encumbrance or mortgage applies to a legal successor even if the legal successor was not aware of the filing of the court claim. If an auction is held in the course of compulsory enforcement, the judgment applies to the person who acquires the immovable only if the filing of the court claim was announced not later than the call for submission of tenders.

 (4) The provisions of subsection 3 of this section also apply to a judgment concerning a claim based on a maritime mortgage entered in the Register of Ships or a movable-property security interest registered in the Register of Civil Aircraft.

§ 461.  Enforcement of judgment

 (1) A judgment is enforced after its entry into effect unless the judgment is subject to enforcement without delay.

 (2) If, according to a judgment, the debtor is the Republic of Estonia or a local authority, the judgment must be complied with within 30 days following its entry into effect unless the judgment is subject to enforcement or a different time limit is prescribed by the judgment.
[RT I 2009, 68, 463 – entry into force 10.01.2010]

 (3) A judgment is enforced on the basis of a petition of a claimant.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 462.  Publication in a computer network of a judgment that has entered into effect

 (1) A judgment which has entered into effect is published in the computer network at a place prescribed for this purpose. This does not affect the entry into effect of the judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) At the request of a data subject or on the initiative of the court the name of the data subject is replaced in a judgment which has entered into effect with initials or a character and the personal identification code, date of birth, registry code and address of the data subject are not published. The data of the state or local government agency, a legal person in public law or other public authority are not concealed in a judicial disposition.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 – entry into force 25.02.2007]

 (3) The court publishes on its own initiative or at the request of the data subject only the conclusion of the judgment or does not publish the judgment if the judgment contains special categories of personal data and publication of the judgment together with the personal data may materially breach the inviolability of private life of the person even if the provisions of subsection 2 of this section are applied. The court adjudicates the request by an order.
[RT I, 13.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 15.03.2019]

 (4) A court publishes on its own initiative or at the request of an interested party only the conclusion of a judgment which has entered into effect if the judgment contains information regarding which another restriction on access is prescribed by law.

 (5) A person who submitted a request may file an interim appeal of a district court or circuit court of appeal on the denial a request mentioned in subsections (2)–(4) of this section. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal of a district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 – entry into force 25.02.2007]

Subchapter 2 Court Order  

§ 463.  Court order

 (1) The court disposes of procedural motions or applications of the parties to proceedings, and directs and organises proceedings, by means of orders. In situations provided for by law, the court may dispose of the case by an order.

 (2) The provisions concerning judgments apply correspondingly to orders unless otherwise provided by law or determined by the nature of the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 464.  Making the order

 (1) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, an order may be made without holding the trial or hearing and without hearing the parties to proceedings.

 (2) The court may make oral and written orders in a trial or hearing. Oral orders are pronounced immediately and entered in the the record of proceedings. Where the law allows an appeal against the order, the order must be made in writing in the Estonian language and signed.

 (3) An order which the court makes outside of the trial or hearing is made in writing. Where an order has been pronounced at the trial or hearing and the issuing of that order as a complete instrument requires additional time, the court may postpone the issuing of the order for up to ten days.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 465.  Content of order

 (1) An order shall set out the person concerning whom the order was made as well as the content of the order.

 (2) A written order which is subject to appeal sets out:
 1) the name of the court which made the order and the names of the judge and of the judicial hearing clerk;
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.07.2014]
 2) the time and place of making the order;
 3) the number of the civil case;
 4) the names of the parties to proceedings and their representatives if the parties to proceedings can be determined at the time the order is made;
 5) the object of proceedings in which the order is made;
 6) the object of the order;
 7) the conclusion, and the procedure and time limit for appeal;
 8) the reasons on the basis of which the court reached its conclusions and the legislation pursuant to which the court acted.

 (21) The court may, in a separate document, add, to the order that obligates a party to proceedings to pay an amount of money to the Republic of Estonia that arises from a claim which has not resulted from participation of the state or administrative body of the state in proceedings as a party to those proceedings, the particulars required to pay the claim.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (22) A list of the particulars required for the fulfilment of the claim mentioned in subsection (21) of this section and the technical requirements for formalising these shall be established by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 – entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) If an order is to be made public, the order also sets out the time and place of making the order public.

 (4) The personal identification codes or registry codes and addresses of the parties to proceedings are mentioned in an order only if this is presumed to be necessary for enforcing the order. If a natural person has no personal identification code, their date of birth is indicated in an order where necessary. If a legal person has no registry code, a reference to the legal grounds of the legal person is made in an order where necessary.

§ 466.  Communication and entry into force of the order

 (1) Orders which constitute enforceable titles and orders subject to appeal are served on the parties to proceedings. Other written orders which concern a party to proceedings are communicated to the party to proceedings in the manner chosen by the court.

 (2) An order whereby the court dismisses a court claim or terminates proceedings is also made public in accordance with the rules for making public of judgments.

 (3) An order which is subject to appeal enters into effect after the order is no longer subject to appeal pursuant to law or after the entry into effect of a judicial disposition, whereby the court denies or dismisses the interim appeal against the order. Other orders enter into force as of their service or communication unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (4) Only orders which have entered into force and which terminate proceedings or dismiss the court claim are disseminated by means of computer networks.

Subchapter 3 Judicial Dispositions – Enforcement Without Delay  

§ 467.  Enforcement without delay

 (1) A judgment declared to be subject to enforcement without delay is enforced before its entry into effect. The court declares a judgment to be subject to enforcement without delay in the judgment itself or by an order.

 (2) A judgment rendered in a matrimonial or filiation case, with the exception of pecuniary disputes related to marriage, may not be declared subject to enforcement without delay.

 (3) When the time limit for appeal has expired, it is the circuit court of appeal that issues the declaration of enforceability without delay regarding the judgment of the court of first instance against which an appeal has been filed.

 (4) When the time limit for appeal to the Supreme Court has expired, it is the Supreme Court that issues the declaration of enforceability with delay regarding the judgment of the circuit court of appeal against which an appeal has been filed.

 (5) A court order is subject to enforcement without delay unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 468.  Enforcement without delay and without requiring a security

 (1) The court, of its own motion and without requiring a security, declares the following to be subject to enforcement without delay:
 1) a judgment based on admission of the court claim;
 2) a judgment by default;
 3) a judgment rendered under the documentary procedure;
 4) a judgment rendered under § 44 or § 45 of the Law of Property Act to eliminate a violation of possessory rights or to prevent any further violation of such rights, or to restore such rights.

 (2) When it declares a judgment to be subject to enforcement without delay in a situation mentioned in clause 3 or 4 of subsection 1 of this section, the court also determines the security whose provision stays such enforcement.

 (3) A judgment awarding maintenance or awarding compensation for harm caused by a bodily injury or for any other harm to a person's health is declared to be subject to enforcement without delay by the court on a motion of the claimant to the extent considered to be of urgent necessity for the claimant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 469.  Enforcement without delay against provision of security

 (1) The court declares a judgment that is not mentioned in § 468 of this Code to be subject to enforcement without delay on a motion of a principal party on the condition that such a party provides a security for the enforcement. The motion may be filed before or after the judgment is rendered.

 (2) A security for enforcement without delay must cover any harm which may be caused to the debtor by enforcement of the judgment without delay or as a result of measures taken in order to prevent such enforcement.

 (3) Where a principal party is unable to provide a security to the extent mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the court may, on a motion of the party, release them from the obligation to provide the security, reduce the amount of the security, order its payment in instalments or declare the judgment to be subject to enforcement without delay in part if the postponement of enforcement would be unfair to the claimant and above all if this would significantly interfere with providing for vital needs or with performance of the economic or professional activities of the claimant, or would otherwise clearly result in considerable harm.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 470.  Order disposing of enforcement without delay

 (1) Where the issue of enforcement without delay was not disposed of in the judgment or the corresponding motion was filed after the judgment had been rendered, the court considers the motion at a hearing, unless the case was disposed of without holding the trial or hearing. The motion is disposed of by an order.

 (2) Upon the filing of a request for enforcement without delay, the court serves such request on the opposing party and gives such party an opportunity to formulate a position on the request.

 (3) If the petition must be dealt with in a trial or hearing, the parties to proceedings are immediately notified of the time and place of the trial or hearing in which the petition will be dealt with, but their absence does not preclude resolving the issue of enforcement without delay.

 (4) An interim appeal may be filed against the order of the district court or of the circuit court of appeal authorising enforcement without delay. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal against the order of the district court cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (5) Interim appeal on the declaration of a judgment to be subject to enforcement without delay does not suspend the immediate enforcement of the judgment.

§ 471.  Return of security

  The court which decided on the provision of a security makes an order by which it returns the security on an application of the party who moved for enforcement of the judgment without delay when proof is filed with the court to show that the judgment declared to be subject to enforcement without delay has entered into effect. Where the security was a surety or guarantee, the court orders it to be revoked.

§ 472.  Contestation of a disposition that is subject to enforcement without delay

 (1) Where an appeal or interim appeal has been filed against a disposition that is subject to enforcement without delay, the circuit court of appeal, and – in the case of an interim appeal – also the district court may, on a substantiated application, order that:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) enforcement of the disposition is suspended without a security or against a security;
 2) enforcement of the disposition may be continued only against a security;
 3) the enforcement operation is revoked against a security.

 (2) In a situation mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the court may – in accordance with the rules governing the granting of financial aid – suspend enforcement proceedings without ordering the provision of a security only if the debtor substantiates that they are unable to provide the security and enforcement of the disposition would result in harm which is likely to be incapable of being compensated.

 (3) Where a motion to set aside a default judgment has been filed against a default judgment which has been declared to be enforceable without delay, the application mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is disposed of by the court that considers the motion. Enforcement proceedings under a default judgment are suspended only against a security.

 (4) Where an appeal to the Supreme Court or an interim appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court against a disposition subject to enforcement without delay, the Supreme Court suspends enforcement proceedings on a substantiated motion of the debtor if enforcement would result in significant harm to the debtor and the interests of the claimant do not justify enforcement without delay.

§ 473.  Prevention by the debtor of enforcement without delay

 (1) The court may, on a motion of the debtor, direct that the debtor be allowed to prevent enforcement without delay either by providing a security or, in the case of compulsory enforcement of a claim to hand over an item of property, by depositing the item in an account prescribed for this purpose or with the enforcement agent – unless the party seeking enforcement provides a security prior to enforcement.

 (2) The security provided in order to prevent a disposition from being enforced without delay must cover any possible harm likely to be caused to the party seeking enforcement as a result of the disposition not being so enforced.

§ 474.  Setting aside and varying the disposition declared subject to enforcement without delay

 (1) Where a disposition is made public by which the previous disposition has been set aside or varied, enforcement without delay of the previous disposition is not allowed. Where the previous disposition has been varied, the part of that disposition that was not varied may be enforced without delay.

 (2) Where a disposition subject to enforcement without delay is varied or set aside, the party seeking enforcement must return to the debtor that which was received by way of compulsory enforcement, or compensate the debtor for the costs they incurred in order to prevent such enforcement. The debtor also has a right to claim compensation for any harm that goes beyond that.

 (3) Where, in a pecuniary dispute, the disposition that was rendered by the circuit court of appeal and declared subject to enforcement without delay is varied or set aside, the debtor may, when making a claim against the party seeking enforcement to return that which they have received or been paid under the disposition, instead of relying on the provision of subsection 2 of this section rely on the provisions governing unjust enrichment. When the court claim for handing over that by which the recipient has unjustly enriched themselves is disposed of, the recipient is presumed to have been aware of the circumstances that constitute grounds for claiming back that which they received.

 (4) The security provided by the party seeking enforcement to compensate for harm likely to be caused to the debtor is returned to that party if, within two months following the time of the entry into effect of the setting aside or varying of the disposition that is subject to enforcement without delay, the debtor has not made a court claim for compensation for harm or for claiming the object of unjust enrichment.

Part 11 ACTION-BY-PETITION PROCEDURE  

Chapter 48 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 475.  Cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) Cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure are:
 1) expedited proceedings for orders for payment;
 2) unknown rightholder proceedings;
 3) declaration of a person dead and establishment of time of death of a person;
 4) placing the property of an absentee under guardianship;
 5) appointment of a guardian for an adult of limited ative legal capacity;
 6) placing of a person in a closed institution;
 7) imposition of a restraining order and other similar measures for the protection of personal rights;
 8) family cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure;
 9) imposition of conservation measures on a decedent’s estate;
 10) registration cases;
 101) adaptation of rights in rem in accordance with Article 31 of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 2 – entry into force 20.03.2016]
 11) appointment of a substitute member of a management board or supervisory board, auditor, auditor for special audit or liquidator of a legal person;
 12) determination of the amount of compensation payable to the partners or shareholders of a company;
 121) compulsory dissolution of a legal person;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 122) initiation of bankruptcy proceedings, declaration of bankruptcy, approval of the list of creditors and any cases related to bankruptcy proceedings which cannot be dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure;
[RT I, 04.01.2021, 4 – entry into force 01.02.2021]
 13) apartment ownership and common ownership cases;
 131) cases of access to a public road and tolerating artificial recipients of land improvement systems and utility works;
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2019]
 14) recognition and enforcement of decisions of foreign courts;
 141) in arbitration proceedings, any cases to be resolved by the court;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 15) complaints against decisions of enforcement agents;
 151) appeals against decisions of the Industrial Property Committee;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 152) resolution of an application for performance of a notarial act;
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 – entry into force 14.06.2010]
 153) disposing of a petition for termination of enforcement proceedings due to expiry of the limitation period for enforcing the claim;
[RT I, 22.03.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.04.2021]
 16) deciding on the grant of state legal aid on the basis of an application submitted in extrajudicial proceedings and determination of the state legal aid fee and state legal aid costs in extrajudicial proceedings pursuant to the State Legal Aid Act;
 17) other civil cases provided by law as cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (2) Under the action-by-petition procedure, the court also deals with other cases which are placed within its jurisdiction by law and which cannot be dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure.

§ 476.  Initiation of proceedings under the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) Under the action-by-petition procedure, proceedings are initiated by the court of its own motion or on a petition of an interested party or agency.

 (2) In the cases prescribed by law, the court initiates proceedings under the action-by-petition procedure only on the basis of a corresponding petition of an entitled person or agency.

§ 477.  Consideration of a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) Under the action-by-petition procedure, the court deals with a case in accordance with the action-by-claim procedure, having regard to special rules provided for the action-by-petition procedure.

 (2) The court may consider and resolve a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure without holding the trial or hearing unless the obligation to hold the trial or hearing is prescribed by law.

 (3) Absence of the persons summoned to the trial or hearing does not preclude consideration and resolution of the case unless otherwise directed by the court. A case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure may not be resolved by a default order.

 (4) A party to proceedings shall be heard at the request thereof unless otherwise provided by law. A person is heard personally and orally. A trial or hearing do not need to be organised for this purpose and the hearing do not need to be conducted in the presence of other parties to proceedings unless otherwise provided by law. The court may also hear a person by phone or deem a written or electronically presented position of a person to be sufficient for the purpose of hearing the person if the information and position obtained from the person in such manner can be sufficiently evaluated in the opinion of the court. The hearing of a person and any significant circumstances related thereto shall be indicated in the order which terminates proceedings.

 (5) Unless otherwise provided by law, the court is not bound by the petitions submitted by the parties to proceedings or by any circumstances, and the evaluation by the parties to proceedings of the circumstances.

 (6) If proceedings may be initiated only on the basis of a petition, the petitioner may withdraw the petition similarly to a court claim under the action-by-claim procedure. In the action-by-petition procedure, the parties to proceedings may agree on a compromise if they are able to dispose of the right which is the object of the court claim.

 (7) The court shall verify the conformity of a petition to law and whether the petition is proven even if no objection is submitted to the petition. If necessary, the court orders the petitioner to submit evidence or takes evidence of its own motion.

 (8) In action-by-petition cases, a record of proceedings is created at a procedural operation only if the court considers it necessary and to the extent the court considers it necessary. The parties to proceedings have no right to apply for rectification of the record in accordance with the provisions of § 53 of this Code. Objections to the record can be filed by filing an appeal against the disposition made on the case. Where the decision is made not to create a record of proceedings, is created, the significant circumstances related to the procedural operations shall be set out in the judicial disposition.

 (9) An application filed by an applicant, petitions filed by the petitioners and other procedural documents as well as summonses are communicated in the action-by-petition procedure to the parties to proceedings in the manner selected by the court. The manner of communication shall be set out in the file. Procedural documents shall be served in the action-by-petition procedure on the parties to proceedings only if this is prescribed by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 4771.  Interim protection of rights

 (1) Interim protection of rights can be granted in action-by-petition proceedings only in situations provided for by law.

 (2) Where interim protection of rights is allowed by law, such protection may be granted if it is necessary for the preservation or temporary regulation of an existing situation or status, unless otherwise provided by law. The interim protection of rights is governed by provisions on interim protection of the claim, unless otherwise provided by law.

 (3) Where proceedings can only be initiated on a corresponding petition, the court may apply interim protection of rights and set aside or vary the order on such protection only based on the corresponding application, unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) An interim appeal may be filed against an order granting interim protection of rights. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 4772.  Supervision over persons appointed by court

 (1) If the court has appointed a guardian, administrator, liquidator or such other person in proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure, the court also conducts supervision over these persons unless otherwise provided by law. For this purpose, the court may also give directions to the person for the performance of assignments and demand from such person the submission of reports on the performance of the assignments. A person may ask the court for explanations concerning the performance of the assignments. After performance of the assignments, a respective report shall be submitted to the court unless the court directs otherwise.

 (2) If a person appointed by the court fails to perform their assignments duly or fails to comply with the orders given by the court, the court may impose a fine on the person and release the person from their duties. The person may file an appeal against such an order. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 478.  Order rendered under the action-by-petition procedure and its entry into effect

 (1) The disposition rendered under the action-by-petition procedure is styled a court order. Unless otherwise provided by law, such an order is subject to the provisions governing court orders made under the action-by-claim procedure.

 (2) Where an order grants the petition and does not restrict the rights of any parties to proceedings, the order does not need to include a statement of reasons. This does not apply to cases dealing with the placement of a person in a closed institution, cases of adoption and guardianship as well as cases dealing with determination of a parent's rights in respect of a child and arrangements of access to the child in a situation where the parent has been violent to the child or the other parent as well as where there is reason to presume that the order will be subject to recognition and enforcement outside the Republic of Estonia.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

 (3) The order enters into effect according to the provisions of subsection 3 of § 466 of this Code.

 (4) Unless otherwise provided by law, an order takes effect and is subject to enforcement, regardless of its entry into effect, without delay on the day of its communication to the persons whom, according to its substance, the order concerns. Unless otherwise provided by law, the court may determine that an order is to be enforcement in part or in full from a subsequent time, but not later than from its entry into effect. An order by which consent or approval was granted for carrying out a transaction or which replaces a person’s manifestation of volition is subject to enforcement as of its entry into effect.

 (41) Where an order is made public, it becomes applicable and is subject to enforcement as of the time it was made public, unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I, 06.12.2010, 1 – entry into force 05.04.2011]

 (5) Orders that are rendered under the action-by-petition procedure and that grant a right to a person or vary or terminate such a right, including orders by which a person is appointed to an office and by which consent is granted for carrying out a transaction, apply with regard to all persons.

 (6) Where this is needed for purposes of enforcement and where clarification cannot be sought by filing the court claim mentioned in subsection 2 of § 368 of this Code, the court may, on a motion of a party to proceedings – without varying its substance – clarify an order which, under the action-by-petition procedure, concluded the proceedings.

 (7) An appeal may be filed against a court order by which clarification was provided, or refused, concerning the order that concluded proceedings. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 479.  Communication of orders

 (1) An order in a case dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure is made public only in the cases prescribed by law. Orders which are to be disseminated to the public are published in accordance with the rules for publication of judgments prescribed by this Code also on the website of the court and in the computer network at the place prescribed for such purpose according to the provisions of § 462 of this Code. Orders of the circuit court of appeal and of the Supreme Court which terminate proceedings conducted under the action-by-petition procedure and which have entered into force are published in the computer network even if they are not disseminated to the public.

 (2) An order made in the action-by-petition procedure which is subject to appeal is served by the court on the parties to proceedings whose rights are restricted by the order. If, in cases in which resolution on the basis of petition is allowed, the petition is denied, the order denying the petition is served on the petitioner.

 (3) The order mentioned in subsection 2 of this section is communicated to the parties to proceedings not mentioned in this provision in the manner selected by the court, including orally, by reading it out. The same applies to the communication of orders not mentioned in subsection 2 of this section to the parties to proceedings. The manner of communicating an order shall be set out in the file. An order shall also be communicated to a party to proceedings in writing at the request thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 480.  Amendment and setting aside of orders

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, the court may amend an order whereby the court has granted or refused to grant consent for making a transaction or accepting a declaration of intention, or set aside such an order. The court may also set aside an order or amend it if the order has a continual and not single effect and the circumstances serving as its basis or the legal situation have significantly changed.

 (2) If an order may be made only based on a petition and the petition was denied, such order may be amended or set aside only based on a petition.

 (3) Setting aside or amendment of an order whereby a person is granted the right to make a transaction or to accept a declaration of intention, including an order whereby the court grants consent for making a transaction does not affect the validity of any transactions made by or with regard to the person before the setting aside or amendment.

 (4) Unless otherwise provided by law, the provisions concerning orders apply respectively to the validity and enforcement of an order on amendment or setting aside of an order and to the filing of an appeal against such order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 49 EXPEDITED ORDER-FOR-PAYMENT PROCEDURE  

Subchapter 1 General Provisions  

§ 481.  Prerequisites for expedited order-for-payment procedure

 (1) A claim that is based on a private law relationship and that is filed against another person in order to obtain payment of a fixed sum of money is dealt with by the court on the filing of the corresponding petition under the expedited order-for-payment procedure. This does not restrict the petitioner's right to file the claim under the action-by-claim procedure – but not in parallel with expedited order-for-payment proceedings.

 (11) Expedited order-for-payment procedure is not applied to non-contractual claims, except for:
 1) claims arising from §§ 53–57 of the Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Act;
[RT I, 11.04.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.10.2014]
 2) claims concerning which the debtor has issued an acknowledgement of obligation or concerning which another agreement obligating performance has been entered into.
 3) [Repealed – RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 – entry into force 23.03.2014]

 (2) Expedited order-for-payment procedure is not applied if:
 1) the claim has not yet fallen due at the time the petition is filed, except for the claims for penalties for late payment mentioned in § 367 of this Code, or the filing of the claim depends on the performance of a mutual obligation and such obligation has not yet been performed;
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]
 2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]
 3) the object of the claim is compensation of non-pecuniary damage;
 4) the claim is filed against a bankrupt;
 5) the claim which is filed against several debtors does not arise from the same basis or obligation.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (21) Expedited order-for-payment procedure is not applied to the collateral claims insofar as the amount of those claims exceeds that of the principal claim.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (22) Expedited order-for-payment procedure is not followed in respect of claims whose amount exceeds 8000 euros. This amount includes both the principal and ancillary claims.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (23) Expedited order-for-payment procedure is not applied to claims based on consumer contracts if:
 1) the rate of the annual percentage payable by the consumer exceeds the maximum annual percentage rate provided by subsection 4062 (1) of the Law of Obligations Act;
 2) the rate of the penalty for late payment agreed on with the consumer exceeds triple rate of the penalty for late payment provided for by the second sentence of subsection 113 (1) of the Law of Obligations Act.
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 – entry into force 01.01.2018]

 (3) Maintenance claims may be filed under expedited order-for-payment procedure only having regard to the special rules provided in Subchapter 2 of this Chapter.

§ 482.  Petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure

 (1) A petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure must state at least the following particulars:
 1) the particulars of the principal parties and their representatives;
 2) the particulars of the court with which the petition is filed;
 3) the sum of money claimed, separately stating the principal claim and any ancillary claims, and – where late interest is taken into account, the rate of such interest and the period for which it has been calculated;
 4) a brief description of the circumstances which constitute the basis for the claim;
 5) a brief description of the evidence which the petitioner would be able to use under the action-by-claim procedure to prove their claim;
 6) a confirmation that the claim has become due and does not depend on the performance of a mutual obligation, or that the obligation in question has been performed;
 61) a confirmation that the petitioner has presented the information honestly and according to their best knowledge, and that they are aware of the fact that deliberately offering false information to the court may result in criminal liability;
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]
 7) the particulars of the court which according to jurisdiction rules may dispose of the claim that constitutes the substance of the order for payment – under the action-by-claim procedure – or, where the claim results from apartment ownership or common ownership, under the action-by-petition procedure.

 (2) Where the petitioner wishes proceedings to be terminated if an objection is filed to the proposal for payment, the petitioner must state this in the petition.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) If the petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure is filed by a representative, they shall confirm in the petition that they hold the right of representation and shall make a reference to the basis of such right.

 (4) A petition for application of expedited order-for-payment procedure shall be filed with the court electronically such that processing thereof by the court would be possible, and the petition shall bear the digital signature of the petitioner, or be submitted in another similar secure manner which enables establishment of the person who sent the petition as well as the time the petition was sent. The Minister in charge of the policy sector may establish, by a regulation, additional formal and technical requirements for a petition for application of a procedure in cases of the order for payment, as well as for the filing thereof and conducting proceedings thereon.

§ 483.  Resolution of petitions

 (1) The court resolves a petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure within ten working days after the receipt thereof.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (11) The provisions of this Code concerning the suspension of proceedings do not apply to expedited order-for-payment procedure.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) The court, by order, denies a petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure if:
 1) expedited order-for-payment procedure is not permitted pursuant to § 481 of this Code;
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]
 2) the petition does not comply with the requirements provided by § 482 of this Code;
 3) attempts to serve the proposal for payment on the debtor within a reasonable time have been unsuccessful, the proposal cannot be served by public announcement and the petitioner has explicitly asked for termination of proceedings in the case an objection is filed;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 31) the petitioner fails to inform the court of the results of the service within the time limit set to them on the basis of subsection 3151 (2) of this Code;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 4) any of the bases for the suspension of proceedings provided for by this Code become evident.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (4) If the petition contains a defect which can clearly be cured, the court sets the petitioner a time limit for curing the defect.

 (5) An order denying the petition for the order for payment is not subject to appeal. Denial of the petition does not restrict the right of the petitioner to file the claim under the action-by-claim procedure or under expedited order-for-payment procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If, by service on the debtor of a proposal for payment petitioned under expedited procedure, a time limit would have been complied with, or a limitation period would have been suspended then, upon denial of the petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure, such time limit is deemed to be complied with or the running of the limitation period is deemed to be suspended or to have ended as of the time of receipt of the petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure, provided that dealing with the case is continued under the action-by-claim procedure, or the petitioner files a court claim concerning the same claim within 30 days after denial of the petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure, and the court claim is served on the defendant.

§ 484.  Proposal for payment under the expedited procedure

 (1) When granting a petition for expedited procedure for an order for payment, the court, by order, makes a proposal for payment.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (2) A proposal for payment must contain at least the following particulars:
 1) the particulars of the petition mentioned in subsection 1 of § 482 of this Code;
 2) an explanation that the court has not conducted an in-depth scrutiny of whether or not the petitioner is entitled to file the claim;
 3) a proposal to pay the alleged debt together with a late interest and the case costs mentioned in the proposal for payment within 15 days or, where the proposal for payment is served abroad, within 30 days following service if the debtor considers the filed claim to be justified, or an invitation to inform the court, within the same time limit, of whether and to what extent the debtor intends to file objections to the claim;
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]
 4) an explanation that if the debtor does not file an objection to the proposal for payment within the time limit that has been set, the court may make a payment order in the form of an enforceable title based on the proposal for payment;
 5) an explanation to the effect that the filing of a petition under the expedited order-for-payment procedure suspends the limitation period of the claim similarly to the filing of the corresponding court claim;
 6) in the case that an objection is filed, information concerning the fact that the proceedings will continue under the action-by-claim procedure and that the court may verify whether or not it has jurisdiction over the court claim.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (3) The court serves the proposal for payment and a form for an objection on the debtor, and also informs the petitioner of having transmitted the proposal. A template for objections is enacted by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector. A proposal for payment may not be served by public announcement on an individual debtor.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 4841.  Making of proposal for payment concerning part of claims or part of claim

 (1) If the prerequisites for preparing a payment order are fulfilled only for a part of claims or a part of a claim, the court informs the petitioner thereof and sets the petitioner a time limit for taking a position on whether to make a proposal for payment to the extent indicated. In doing so, the court refers to the consequences of responding or failing to respond.

 (2) If a petitioner agrees with the proposal of the court, the proposal for payment is made concerning the claim or a part thereof to which the petitioner agrees. The court denies the remaining part of the petition for application of a procedure for orders for payment.

 (3) If a petitioner does not agree to the making of a proposal for payment concerning a part of the claims or a part of a claim or fails to respond to the petition within the time limit set by the court, the court denies the petition for application of a procedure for orders for payment in its entirety.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 4842.  Determination of case costs under expedited order-for-payment procedure

  Under expedited order-for-payment procedure the court also determines the amount of the statutory fee in money to be compensated for in addition to the division of case costs in the payment order or in the order on termination of proceedings due to payment of the debt in the case prescribed in § 4881 of this Code and orders payment of 20 euros to cover the petitioner's case costs. Other case costs incurred by the petitioner are not subject to compensation under expedited order-for-payment procedure.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 485.  Filing of objection

 (1) The debtor has the right to file an objection to a claim or a part thereof with the court which made the proposal for payment within 15 days or, in the case of service of the proposal for payment abroad, within 30 days after service thereof.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (2) An objection may be submitted on the form annexed to the proposal for payment, or in another form. An objection do not need to be substantiated.

 (3) The court informs the petitioner of an objection and of the time of filing thereof.

 (4) If the petitioner has explicitly asked for termination of proceedings in the case an objection is filed, proceedings are terminated.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 486.  Transformation of expedited proceedings into action-by-claim proceedings

 (1) The court that drew up the proposal for payment transfers the case for proceedings under the action-by-claim procedure to the court mentioned in the petition for expedited proceedings on an order for payment having regard to the provisions governing jurisdiction, if:
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]
 1) the debtor files an objection to the proposal for payment on time and the petitioner has not explicitly asked for termination of proceedings in the case an objection is filed;
 2) the service of the proposal for payment on the debtor within a reasonable time has failed and it cannot be served by public announcement and the petitioner has not explicitly asked for termination of proceedings in the case an objection is filed;
 3) the petitioner and the debtor have submitted a written compromise agreement to the court before the making of the order for payment.

 (2) For the purposes of the action-by-claim procedure, a court claim is deemed to have been filed with the filing of a petition for expedited proceedings on an order for payment.

 (3) In a case concerning apartment ownership or common ownership, proceedings are continued under the action-by-petition procedure unless the petitioner has made a motion for their being continued under the action-by-claim procedure, or their termination.

 (4) The court scrutinises the compromise agreement in accordance with the provisions of §§ 430 and 431 of this Code before commencement of the hearing of the case under the action-by-claim procedure. If the court refuses to approve the compromise, it continues to conduct the proceedings under the action-by-claim procedure in accordance with the provisions of § 487 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 31.05.2014]

 (5) The court which has made the proposal for payment also transfers to the judge who is to continue proceedings in the case information concerning the address or the data of the means of communications used for service of the proposal for payment on the debtor or, in the case mentioned in clause 2 of subsection 1 of this section, what the court or an enforcement agent has done in order to serve the proposal for payment. A note is made in the order for payment information system concerning referral of the case for the action-by-claim or action-by-petition procedure.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 487.  Commencement of action-by-claim proceedings

 (1) If a petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure does not conform to the requirements set for a statement of court claim, the court hearing the case under the action-by-claim procedure requires that the petitioner submit the claim and substantiate it within 14 days in the form prescribed for statements of claim. In a case of apartment ownership or common ownership, substantiation of the claim is also required if proceedings in the case are continued under the action-by-petition procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (11) If the debtor has admitted the petitioner's claim in part in the objection filed to the proposal for payment, the court dealing with the case under the action-by-claim procedure, by order, makes an order for payment to collect the amount admitted by the debtor and, with respect to the remaining part of the claim, continues proceedings under the action-by-claim procedure or under the action-by-petition procedure in accordance with the provisions of subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) After substantiation of a claim, proceedings are continued in the same manner as after filing a court claim. Upon service of the reasoning of the claim on the defendant, the defendant is also set a time limit for responding to the court claim.

 (3) If the petitioner does not submit the reasons for the claim on time, the court, by order, rejects the court claim.

§ 488.  Withdrawal of objection

  The debtor may withdraw, based on a petition filed with the court, an objection to the payment order until the time the court claim is responded to or another procedural operation which is the first in the proceedings is performed. If the objection is withdrawn, expedited proceedings for an order for payment continue.

§ 4881.  Termination of proceedings on payment of debt

  [RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (1) If the petitioner confirms in a written petition filed with the court that the debtor has paid the debt, the court, by order, terminates expedited proceedings for an order for payment. The petitioner may file the petition with the court until the order for payment is made.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (11) The order mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is not subject to appeal.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 489.  Making of order for payment

 (1) If the debtor has failed to pay the amount indicated in the proposal for payment and has not filed an objection to the proposal for payment on time, the court makes an order for payment for such amount by way of an order. If the case has been transferred to another court, such court makes the payment order.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (21) If the petitioner and debtor have filed a written petition with the court for payment of the debt in instalments and annexed to the petition a payment schedule for paying the debt indicated in the proposal for payment, the court may approve the payment schedule together with making the payment order. The payment schedule shall include the due dates for payment of debt, the amounts of instalments and the procedure for payment of instalments, but it shall not contain any other conditions for the payment of debt. The amount of instalments is indicated as a sum of money. A payment schedule which is approved together with making a payment order is valid as an enforceable title. The provisions of this Code concerning compromise do not apply to the payment schedule and the approval thereof by the court.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (22) If the debtor has admitted the proposal for payment in the objection, but is unable to pay the debt due to their financial situation and the parties fail to reach agreement on concluding a payment schedule, the court which prepared the proposal for payment transfers the case to the court mentioned in the petition filed under expedited order-for-payment procedure for continuation of hearing the case under the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (3) The court may make a payment order in a simplified form, as an inscription for enforcement made on the proposal for payment.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (5) A payment order shall include an explanation for the debtor concerning the debtor's right to file an interim appeal against the order within 15 days or, in the case of service of the proposal for payment abroad, within 30 days after service thereof. An explanation is provided to the debtor that an interim appeal against the order may be filed only in the cases mentioned in subsection 4891 (2) of this Code.
[RT I 2009, 68, 463 – entry into force 10.01.2010]

 (6) A payment order is served on the debtor and the petitioner is also informed thereof.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (7) A payment order is subject to enforcement without delay regardless of the service of the payment order on the debtor.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (8) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 4891.  Filing of appeal against order for payment

 (1) The debtor may file an interim appeal against the order for payment within 15 days or, in the case of service of the order abroad, within 30 days after service thereof. If the order for payment is served by public announcement, the interim appeal against the order may be filed within 30 days after the day when the debtor learnt of the order or of enforcement proceedings initiated for its enforcement.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) In an interim appeal against the order for payment, the debtor may rely on one of the following circumstances:
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]
 1) the proposal for payment was served on the debtor in any other manner except by personal delivery signed acknowledgement or electronically and, by no fault of the debtor, it was not served in time and therefore the debtor was unable to file an objection in time;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]
 2) the debtor was unable to file an objection to the proposal for payment due to a valid reason not depending on the debtor;
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]
 3) the prerequisites for expedited order-for-payment procedure were not fulfilled or were otherwise materially violated or the claim for whose collection the corresponding proceedings were conducted, is clearly unfounded.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (21) A statutory representative of the debtor or the universal successor of the debtor may file an appeal against the payment order within two months after learning about the payment order if grounds for suspension have become evident which existed at the time the judicial disposition was made but which the court did not or could not know. The person filing an interim appeal against the order shall rely on one of the circumstances mentioned in subsection 2 of this section.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (3) In the case an appeal is filed against the order for payment, the court may suspend enforcement proceedings or perform other procedural operations in accordance with the rules provided by § 472 of this Code.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (4) If the court grants the interim appeal for payment, the court, by order, sets aside the order for payment. In the case the order for payment is set aside the court terminates the expedited proceedings for an order for payment or initiates proceedings under the action-by-claim procedure. Setting aside of the order for payment does not restrict the petitioner's right to file the claim under the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 – entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (5) The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal against the order cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 4892.  Competence of assistant judge under expedited order-for-payment procedure and making of orders in automated manner

 (1) A proposal for payment, order for payment or another order under expedited order-for-payment procedure, including an order mentioned in § 179 of this Code, may also be made by an assistant judge.

 (2) The order referred to in subsection 1 of this section may also be made in an automated manner through the information system of expedited proceedings for orders for payment if the fulfilment of the prerequisites for making the order can be verified in an automated manner. In such a case, the order do not need to be signed.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 31.05.2014]

§ 4893.  Information system of expedited proceedings for orders for payment

 (1) The information system of expedited proceedings for orders for payment is a database which is part of the State Information Systems, which is kept for processing procedural information and personal data in expedited proceedings for orders for payment and whose objective is:
 1) to provide an overview of the expedited proceedings for orders for payment which the courts are dealing with;
 2) to reflect information concerning the acts made in the course of expedited proceedings for orders for payment;
 3) to enable the organisation of work of the orders for payment department;
 4) to ensure the collection of court statistics necessary for making legal policy decisions;
 5) to enable the electronic receiving and forwarding of information and documents.

 (2) The following are entered in the database:
 1) information concerning expedited proceedings for orders for payment that are pending or that have been concluded;
 2) information concerning the acts made in the course of proceedings;
 3) all procedural documents;
 4) information concerning the body conducting proceedings and the parties to proceedings.

 (3) The information system of expedited proceedings for orders for payment shall be established and the statutes thereof shall be approved by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.

 (4) The controller of the information system of expedited proceedings for orders for payment is the Ministry of Justice and the processors are the courts conducting the corresponding proceedings.

 (5) The Minister in charge of the policy sector may issue regulations to organise the operation of the information system of the expedited proceedings for orders for payment.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 – entry into force 31.05.2014]

§ 490.  [Repealed – RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 4901.  Application of Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council

 (1) The provisions of this Code concerning expedited order-for-payment procedure also apply to the conduct of expedited proceedings on orders for payment under Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European order for payment procedure (OJ L 399, 30.12.2006, pp. 1–32) to the extent that such conduct is not provided for by that Regulation.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (2) The authority competent to declare a European order for payment subject to enforcement is the district court which has made the payment order in accordance with the rules prescribed in this Subchapter for the making of orders for payment unless otherwise provided in the Regulation referred to in subsection 1 of this section. A European order for payment which has been declared to be subject to enforcement may be contested by filing an interim appeal against the order in accordance with the rules provided by § 4891 of this Code.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) In conformity with Article 21(2)(b) of the Regulation referred to in subsection 1 of this section, a European order for payment is accepted for enforcement in Estonia only if it is drawn up in Estonian or English or if Estonian or English translation is annexed to the order.

 (4) A European order for payment is subject to enforcement in enforcement proceedings in Estonia and the provisions concerning enforcement proceedings in Estonia apply to the debtor's legal remedies in so far as not prescribed otherwise by the Regulation referred to in subsection 1 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Subchapter 2 Expedited order-for-payment procedure in Claims of Support for Child  

§ 491.  Expedited procedure in claims of support for child

 (1) Petitions claiming support for a underage child from the parent living separately from the child are also dealt with by the court by expedited order-for-payment procedure. Payment of support shall not be claimed retroactively under expedited order-for-payment procedure. This does not preclude the claiming of support retroactively to the extent provided by law under the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (11) Expedited order-for-payment procedure on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section is not applied if the debtor is not entered in the record of the birth of the child as a parent of the child.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (2) Expedited proceedings on an order for payment on the grounds mentioned in subsection 1 of this section are not conducted if the monthly maintenance that is claimed exceeds the base amount provided for by subsection 3 of § 101 of the Family Law Act by more than 1.5 times.
[RT I, 08.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2022]

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by this Subchapter, general provisions concerning expedited order-for-payment procedure apply to expedited order-for-payment procedure in claims of support for a child.

§ 492.  Petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure

  A petition in expedited order-for-payment procedure in claims of support for a child shall set out at least the following data:
 1) the data of the parties and their representatives;
 2) the data of the court with which the petition is filed;
 3) the date of birth of the child;
 4) the date as of which payment of support is claimed;
 5) [Repealed – RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]
 6) the amount of the support which is claimed;
 7) the particulars of the record of the birth or of the birth certificate of the child and a confirmation that the debtor is identified in the child’s record of birth as a parent of the child;
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]
 8) a confirmation that the debtor does not participate in the maintenance of the child;
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]
 9) a confirmation that no legal impediment exists to applying expedited order-for-payment procedure.

§ 493.  Proposal for payment in expedited procedure in claims of support for child

  A proposal for payment made in expedited proceedings in a claim of support for a child shall set out at least the following data:
 1) the data contained in the petition mentioned in § 492 of this Code;
 2) an explanation that the court has not verified whether or not the petitioner is entitled to file the claim;
 3) the date as of which payment of support may be ordered and the amount of support which payment may be ordered;
 4) an explanation that the court has the right to make a payment order in the form of an enforceable title if the debtor fails to submit a substantiated objection to the proposal for payment within 15 days or, in the case of service of the proposal for payment abroad, within 30 days after service thereof;
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]
 5) the objections to the proposal for payment which the debtor may file pursuant to law;
 6) an explanation that the debtor may file an objection which relies on the impossibility or a restricted possibility to pay support only if a confirmation of the status of the debtor's assets, income and financial situation in the form prescribed therefor together with appropriate proof has been annexed to the objection.

§ 494.  Filing of objection

 (1) The debtor may file a substantiated objection to a claim of support or a part thereof with the court which made the proposal for payment within 15 days or, in the case of service of the proposal for payment abroad, within 30 days after service thereof.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (2) The debtor may submit only the following objections to a claim for support:
 1) that they are not the child's parent;
 2) that they lives together with the child and participates in the child's maintenance;
 3) that they has performed their maintenance obligation;
 4) that expedited order-for-payment procedure is not permitted by law;
 5) that the date as of which payment of support is claimed for has been determined incorrectly;
 6) that the amount of the support has been determined incorrectly.

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (5) The debtor has the right to file an objection which relies on the impossibility or a restricted possibility to pay support only if information concerning the debtor's assets, income and financial situation in the form established therefor by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector together with appropriate proof is annexed to the objection.

 (6) The court informs the petitioner of an objection and of the time of filing thereof. If an objection, in full or in part, precludes granting the claim for support by way of expedited order-for-payment procedure, resolution of the case continues under the action-by-claim procedure unless the petitioner has asked for termination of proceedings in such case.

§ 495.  Objections of debtor under the action-by-claim procedure

  If a claim for support is dealt with under the action-by-claim procedure, the debtor's objections to the claim for support are deemed to be the defendant's response to the court claim. The court sets the defendant an additional time limit for responding to the court claim if necessary, including in the event the claimant alters the claim or provides additional substantiation thereto.

§ 496.  Payment order

 (1) The court, by order, makes an order for payment whereby the debtor is required to pay support in the prescribed amount if the debtor has not filed an objection to the support claim within the prescribed time limit, or has filed an objection which may not be filed in expedited order-for-payment procedure, or if the objection is not substantiated.

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (3) The order shall also set out the petitioner's right to demand, in the future, alteration of the amount of support under the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 – entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (4) The debtor may file an interim appeal against the order for payment on a claim for support within 15 days or, in the case of service of the order for payment abroad, within 30 days after service of the order. The general provisions concerning orders for payment apply to the filing of interim appeals against orders for payment on maintenance claims and to resolution of those appeals.
[RT I 2009, 68, 463 – entry into force 10.01.2010]

 (5) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 28, 180 – entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 497.  Alteration of amount of support

  If the circumstances which constitute the basis for a claim for support change, either party may demand alteration of the amount of support under the action-by-claim procedure.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 50 UNKNOWN RIGHTHOLDER PROCEEDINGS  

§ 498.  Unknown rightholder proceedings

  In situations provided for by law, the court may publish a notice of unknown rightholder proceedings for filing claims or presentation of other rights which, upon failure to notify of a claim or a right, will result in extinguishment of a right or another legally negative result.

§ 499.  Initiation of unknown rightholder proceedings

 (1) The court initiates unknown rightholder proceedings only based on a substantiated petition. If filing of a petition is permissible, the court initiates unknown rightholder proceedings by a corresponding order.

 (2) An order initiating unknown rightholder proceedings sets out at least the following:
 1) the name of the court;
 2) the data of the petitioner;
 3) a call for persons concerned to inform the court of claims or other rights by the due date set by the court;
 4) consequences of failure to notify of a claim or right.

 (3) The court may join several unknown rightholder proceedings of the same type.

 (4) The petitioner may file an interim appeal against the order on refusal to initiate proceedings. An order of a circuit court of appeal concerning an appeal against such order cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (5) An assistant judge is also competent to conduct unknown rightholder proceedings.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 500.  Publication of notice of unknown rightholder proceedings and time limit for responding

 (1) A notice containing the data mentioned in the order initiating unknown rightholder proceedings is published in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court may make an order on the repeated publication of the notice or on tis additional publication in another edition or for broadcasting the notice.

 (2) Unless otherwise provided by law, the time limit for responding to the notice is at least six weeks before the due date for notification of a claim or other rights.

§ 501.  Making of order on preclusion

 (1) If no third parties have informed the court of their claims or other rights within the time limit set by the court, the court makes an order on preclusion based on the request of the petitioner whereby the claims and rights of third parties are precluded.

 (2) The court may organise a trial or hearing before making an order on preclusion in order to clarify the circumstances and, among other things, to obtain a statement under oath from the petitioner in order to substantiate the submitted allegations.

 (3) If a petition for making an order on preclusion is denied, the petitioner may file an interim appeal against the order.

 (4) The court publishes the conclusion of an order on preclusion in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court may prescribe the repeated publication of the conclusion of the order or additional publication thereof in another publication or the broadcasting of the conclusion of the order.

§ 502.  Procedure in case of filing of objection

  If a notice contesting the right presented by the petitioner as the reasoning for the petition or informing the court of a claim or another right preventing the making of an order on preclusion is submitted to the court within the time limit for responding, the court suspends unknown rightholder proceedings until a final decision is made concerning such submission, or makes an order on preclusion with a reservation with regard to the notified right.

§ 503.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An interested party may file an interim appeal on preclusion within three months after publication of the order on preclusion in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded.

 (2) In an interim appeal, the appellant may only rely on one of the following facts:
 1) the order on preclusion was made in a case where unknown rightholder proceedings were not allowed,
 2) the notice was not made public or it was made public by a method not provided for by law;
 3) the time limit for making the notice public was not adhered to;
 4) the judge or assistant judge who made the order on preclusion should have recused themselves from the case;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 5) a submitted claim or another right was not taken into account in making the order on preclusion.

§ 504.  Preclusion of rights of mortgagee

 (1) The owner of an immovable or ship encumbered with a mortgage or the owner of a pledged item of property encumbered with a registered movable-property security interest has a right to file a petition for preclusion of the rights of an unknown mortgagee in accordance with § 331 of the Law of Property Act or § 59 of the Law of Maritime Property Act.

 (2) Before proceedings are initiated, the petitioner mentioned in subsection 1 of this section must substantiate that despite the best efforts of the petitioner, the petitioner has not been able to verify the identity of the mortgagee or pledgee or legal successor thereof and whether or not the rights of the mortgagee or pledgee have already been recognised by a judicial disposition.

 (3) In order to provide satisfaction in respect of the claim secured by a mortgage or registered movable-property security interest, the petitioner must deposit the sum of the mortgage to the bank account of the court prescribed for such purposes before the initiation of proceedings.

 (4) A notice shall contain a caution to the mortgagee or pledgee that after the sum of the mortgage or pledge has been deposited, the claim of the mortgagee or pledgee will not be satisfied out of the immovable, the ship or the object encumbered with registered movable-property security interest but out of the deposited amount, and that the right of the mortgagee or pledgee thereto will terminate unless the mortgagee or pledgee addresses the authority holding the deposit within five years after the date of making the order on preclusion.
[RT I 2009, 30, 178 – entry into force 01.10.2009]

§ 505.  Preclusion of persons entitled by notation

 (1) The provisions of § 504 also apply to unknown rightholder proceedings the purpose of which is the preclusion of the rights of persons entitled by a preliminary notation, notation concerning a prohibition, right of pre-emption or real encumbrance entered in the Land Register or Register of Ships.

 (2) The petition mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may also be submitted by a person who, based on a right of the same or lower ranking, has the right to demand, based on an enforceable title, the satisfaction of a claim out of an immovable or ship. The court also informs the owner of the immovable or ship of the publication of the call.

§ 506.  Petition to declare a security instrument invalid

 (1) Where a security instrument has been lost or destroyed or damaged, the current owner of the bearer security instrument or of the security instrument transferred by blank endorsement or, in the case of other types of security, the person who intends to exercise a right arising from the instrument may, under the unknown rightholder procedure, file a petition for a declaration of invalidity concerning the instrument.

 (2) A person who has lost a security instrument may also seek, in the petition mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, that the issuer of the instrument be ordered to issue them with another instrument to the same effect.

 (3) A petition sets out special characteristics of a lost instrument, the name of the person who issued the instrument and the circumstances pertaining to the loss thereof.

 (4) The petitioner must substantiate that the security instrument belonged to the petitioner before it was lost or destroyed. The petitioner must also substantiate the loss or destruction of the instrument.

 (5) If the instrument has been damaged, the damaged instrument must be presented. Where possible, a copy of the instrument shall be annexed to the petition also in other cases.

 (6) The court which receives the petition makes, at the request of the petitioner, an order on prohibiting the issuer of the instrument and the payers indicated therein from making payments based on the instrument. After termination of proceedings, the court discharges the order.

§ 507.  Special rules for proceedings to declare a security instrument invalid

 (1) In the notice concerning an intention to declare a security intstrument invalid, the court indicates, among other things, the name and other specific characteristics of the instrument and the name of its issuer, and invites the possessor of the instrument to inform the court of being in possession of the same, and of their rights. The notice contains a warning that failure to notify such rights will lead to the instrument being declared invalid and that there is a possibility that payments under the instrument may be prohibited.

 (2) A person who is in possession of the security instrument must without delay notify this, and present the instrument, to the court.

 (3) Where a security instrument that was lost is presented to the court within four months after publication of the last notice, the court denies the petition for a declaration of invalidity, and revokes the prohibition on making payments under the instrument. In the order, the court explains to the petitioner the rights that the petitioner may have against the possessor. Before making the order, the court gives the petitioner an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the instrument presented.

 (4) Where, within four months following the last publication of the notice concerning a lost security instrument, the court has not been notified of the existence of the instrument or if the court establishes that the instrument has been destroyed or damaged to the extent that it can no longer be used, the court enters a preclusion order by which it declares the instrument invalid.

§ 508.  Consequences of declaration of invalidity of a security instrument

 (1) Where a security instrument has been declared invalid by a preclusion order, the petitioner has a right to exercise, in respect of the person who, under that instrument, is the obligated party, the rights provided by that instrument. Where the petition sought the issue of a new instrument, the court requires the issuer to issue a new instrument to the same effect.

 (2) When an order by which a security instrument was declared invalid is set aside, any payments made or other obligations performed under the order by the person who is the obligated party remain valid also with respect to any third parties, including to the recipient of the payment and the petitioner – unless the obligated party, when they performed the obligation, was aware of the fact that the order had been set aside.

Chapter 51 DECLARATION OF PERSON AS DEAD AND ESTABLISHMENT OF TIME OF DEATH  

§ 509.  Petition for declaration of death

 (1) The court initiates proceedings for declaration of a person as dead only based on a petition. A petition may be filed by a person or agency with legitimate interest in the declaration of the person as dead, above all by the following:
 1) the statutory representative of a missing person or the municipal executive;
 2) the spouse or a relative in the ascending or descending line of a missing person;
 3) the Ministry of the Interior or an agency within the area of administration of the Ministry of the Interior authorised by the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) A petition for declaration of a person as dead sets out the reason why the petitioner is interested in the declaration of the person as dead and specifies the facts which substantiate the declaration of the person as dead.

 (3) In addition to the petitioner, a person entitled to file a petition for declaration of a person as dead may enter proceedings based on a petition. By filing the petition, such person acquires the legal status of a petitioner.

 (4) The Ministry of the Interior or an agency within the area of administration of the Ministry of the Interior authorised by the Minister in charge of the policy sector is obliged to file a petition for declaration of a person as dead if the prerequisites for declaring a missing person as dead are clearly fulfilled and another person mentioned in subsection 1 of this section has not filed a petition for declaring the person as dead.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 510.  Acts in pre-trial proceedings

 (1) After accepting a petition for declaration of a person as dead, the court publishes a notice in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded whereby the missing person is invited to provide the court, within the time limit set by the court, with information that they are alive. The notice includes a caution of possible declaration of the person as dead and an invitation to the public to provide the court with information concerning the person whose declaration as dead is petitioned.

 (2) The court may also publish the notice repeatedly or, in addition to publishing it in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded, publish the notice in another publication, or broadcast the notice.

 (3) The time limit set by the court for submission of information shall not be shorter than six weeks after publication of the last notice in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded.

 (4) Unless proceedings are initiated based on the petition of the Minister in charge of the policy sector, the court informs the Minister in charge of the policy sector of the initiation of proceedings and requests that the Minister in charge of the policy sector provide information known to the state about the missing person and a position on the possibility to declare the person as dead. The court may also collect information about the missing person on its own initiative, regardless of who filed the petition for declaring the person as dead.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 511.  Order on declaration of death

 (1) An order on declaration of a person as dead sets out the presumed time of death of the person.

 (2) An order on declaration of death is published in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court may order that the order be published repeatedly or in another publication, or that the order be broadcast.

 (3) The court serves the order denying the petition on the petitioner and sends it to the Minister in charge of the policy sector if the latter is not the petitioner and the court sends an order on declaration of a person as dead to the petitioner and the Minister in charge of the policy sector. For entry of the information concerning death in the Population Register, the court sends an order on declaration of death to the vital statistics authority within ten days after the entry into effect of the order.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) An order by which a person is declared dead enters into effect and is subject to enforcement after expiry of the time limit for appealing the order. Where an interim appeal is filed against the order, the order enters into effect and becomes enforceable when an order by which the interim appeal is denied or dismissed has been made and that order has entered into effect.

 (5) An order to set aside or vary an order by which a person was declared dead is made public by the method provided for by subsection 2 of this section and is communicated to the persons and authorities mentioned in subsection 3 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 512.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order on declaration of death is subject to appeal within 30 days after publication thereof in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded. An order denying the petition for a declaration of death is subject to appeal within 30 days after service thereof.

 (2) An order on declaration of a person as dead is subject to appeal by the petitioner or another person with legitimate interest in such a declaration’s withdrawal or in time of the death being amended. Only the petitioner may file an interim appeal against the order denying the petition for a declaration of death.

§ 513.  Consequences of reappearance of person or becoming aware of person's whereabouts

 (1) A petition for setting aside of declaration of a person as dead may be filed by the reappeared person or the Ministry of the Interior or an agency within the area of administration of the Ministry of the Interior authorised by the Minister in charge of the policy sector with the court which declared the person as dead.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 – entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) A petition sets out the facts which prove the reappearance of the person as well as information that the person is alive or information concerning their whereabouts. If possible, the court hears, before setting aside the declaration of death, the person based on whose petition the person was declared as dead.

 (3) The court sends a copy of an order setting aside a declaration of death in respect of a person to the vital statistics authority within ten days after the entry into effect of such order. An order setting aside an order on declaration of a person as dead serves as a basis for amending the vital statistics information of the person.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) An order setting aside an order on declaration of a person as dead is not subject to appeal. The petitioner may file an interim appeal against a decision by which their motion to set aside the order declaring a death was denied.

§ 514.  Amendment of time of death of person declared as dead

 (1) If a person declared as dead did not die at the time established by the order on declaration of death, then each person with a legitimate interest in establishment of a different time of death may demand the amendment of the order on declaration of death provided that the facts which constitute the basis for the incorrectness of the order became known to them, due to reasons beyond their control, at a time when they was no longer able to present such facts in proceedings conducted in the case of declaration of death.

 (2) The petition mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may be filed within 30 days following the point in time when the petitioner became aware of the fact, but not before the entry into effect of the order by which the person was declared legally dead and not later than within five years following the order’s entry into effect.

 (3) The provisions concerning the procedure for declaration of death correspondingly apply to other aspects of proceedings for amendment of the time of death of a person declared as dead. An order on amendment of the time of death is also sent to the person on the basis of whose petition the person was declared as dead.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 515.  Establishment of time of death

 (1) The provisions concerning declaration of death apply to proceedings for establishment of time of death of a person, unless the provisions of subsections (2) or (3) of this section provide otherwise.

 (2) Before initiation of proceedings, the petitioner shall provide the court with information in proof of the person's death and information which allows the court to establish the person's time of death. Other information must be substantiated by the petitioner.

 (3) When initiating proceedings, the court publishes a notice to all persons who have information as to the time of death of the person to inform the court thereof within the time limit set by the court. The court need not publish such a notice if this obviously does not facilitate the clarification of circumstances.

Chapter 52 PLACING THE PROPERTY OF AN ABSENTEE UNDER GUARDIANSHIP  

§ 516.  Placing property under guardianship

 (1) The court appoints a guardian to property which needs to be managed and belongs to:
 1) a missing person;
 2) a person whose whereabouts are known but who cannot return or cannot manage their affairs due to another reason.

 (2) The court also appoints a guardian to the property of an absentee where the person has issued a mandate or power of attorney for managing their affairs but circumstances have come to light which constitute a reason to revoke the mandate or power.

 (3) An order by which property is placed under guardianship states the person whose property is placed under guardianship as well as the person appointed as the guardian.

 (4) An order by which property is placed under guardianship gives the person appointed as the guardian a right to dispose of the property within the scope provided by law.

 (5) Compensation for the costs of a property guardian is subject to provisions governing compensation of the costs of a guardian appointed to an adult of limited ative legal capacity.

§ 517.  Appointing a temporary guardian to property

 (1) To give interim protection to a petition to place property under guardianship, the court may, of its own motion, under the rules of interim protection of court claims or of rights, make an order by which it among other things appoints a temporary guardian to property, provided there is reason to presume that the conditions for placing property under guardianship are met and that a delay would jeopardise the interests of the person in whose interest the court is conducting the proceedings for appointment of the guardian.

 (2) When selecting a temporary guardian, the petitioner’s volition and the requirements prescribed by law for property guardians do not need to be followed.

 (3) A temporary guardian is not appointed for a period longer than six months.

 (4) The court may release a temporary guardian from their duties by an order if the prerequisites for such release are likely to be fulfilled and a delay would jeopardise the interests of the person in whose interests the court appointed the temporary guardian. An order by which a temporary guardian was appointed or released is valid and enforceable as of the time it was made public.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 518.  Discharging a property guardianship, changing the guardian or varying the guardian’s duties

 (1) The court discharges a property guardianship imposed on a missing person’s property when the person is no longer prevented from managing their affairs.

 (2) A property guardianship ends when it is terminated by the court regardless of whether or not the missing person is dead. The court terminates the guardianship when it learns of the person’s death.

 (3) Where a missing person is declared legally dead or their time of death is determined by the court, property guardianship is terminated at the time of the entry into effect of the order by which the person was declared legally dead or by which the court determined their time of death.

 (4) Terminating a property guardianship, releasing the guardian, appointing a new guardian, varying the scope of the guardian’s duties and extending the guardian’s appointment are subject to the provisions concerning appointment of property guardians.

§ 519.  Filing of appeal against the order

 (1) A court order by which property was placed under guardianship or by which such placement was refused, or by which the guardianship was discharged or the guardian changed may be appealed by anyone who has a legal interest in having the order varied, including the spouse or relatives, by blood or marriage, of the person whose property was placed under guardianship.

 (2) The appeal cannot be filed after five months have elapsed from communication of the order to the guardian.

Chapter 53 APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN FOR ADULT OF LIMITED ATIVE LEGAL CAPACITY  

§ 520.  Appointment of representative to adult of limited ative legal capacity in proceeding for appointment of guardian

 (1) For the purposes of proceedings for appointment of a guardian, the court appoints a representative to an adult of limited ative legal capacity if this is necessary in the interests of the person.

 (2) The court appoints a representative to a person above all in the case where the person is not represented by a person with active civil procedural legal capacity in proceedings and:
 1) the court is not required to hear the person himself or herself in the proceedings;
 2) there is intention to establish guardianship for managing all or most of the affairs of the person;
 3) the guardian's competence is to be extended;
 4) the object of proceedings are obtaining the guardian's consent for sterilisation of the person.

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The representative must, among other things, personally meet the person in the case of whose placement under guardianship the court is considering and hear them without the presence of the judge.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 521.  Application of interim protection of a right

 (1) The court may make an order on application of interim protection of a right and among other things, appoint a temporary guardian if:
 1) it may be clearly presumed that the conditions for appointment of a guardian are complied with and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the person in need of guardianship; and
 2) a representative has been appointed to the person in proceedings; and
 3) the person has been personally heard.

 (2) For the purpose mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, a person may also be heard by a judge acting on the basis of a letter of request. A person do not need to be heard if this would clearly cause significant harm to their health or if the person is clearly not able to express their will.

 (3) If a delay could result in endangerment of the interests of the person in need of guardianship, the court may apply interim protection of a right even before hearing the person himself or herself and appointing a representative to them. In such case the mentioned acts must be performed retroactively at the earliest opportunity.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The preferences of the petitioner and the requirements that the law prescribes for guardians do not need to be considered when selecting a temporary guardian.

 (5) A temporary guardian shall not be appointed for a period longer than six months. After obtaining an expert opinion concerning the mental state of an adult, such time limit may be extended to up to one year.

 (6) The court may release a temporary guardian from their duties by an order if the prerequisites for release are clearly fulfilled and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the ward.

 (7) An order on appointment or release of a temporary guardian is valid and subject to enforcement as of the time it is made public.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 522.  Commissioning an expert assessment

 (1) If the court has information or doubt that a person has a mental illness or mental disability, the court commissions an expert assessment in order to determine the need for appointment of a guardian for such person. The expert shall personally examine the person or question them before preparing an expert opinion.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (11) The court assigns the task of conducting an expert assessment to one expert, except in the case of an expert assessment conducted by an expert committee or a complex expert assessment. Only a psychiatrist may be used as an expert. Another person with specific expertise may also participate as an expert in the case of an expert assessment conducted by an expert committee or a complex expert assessment.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (12) If the court conducts proceedings in the cases of placement of a person in a closed institution on the basis of clause 533 (1) 1) of this Code and appointment of a guardian for the same person on the basis of subsection 520 (1) of this Code, the court may order a joint expert assessment about the necessity of establishing guardianship and the prerequisites for placement of the person in a closed institution.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (2) A person with regard to whom an expert assessment is ordered is obliged to appear before an expert. If a person with regard to whom an expert assessment is ordered fails to appear before an expert, the court may, after hearing the opinion of the expert, order the person forcibly brought before the expert.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) After hearing an expert, the court may order placement of the person in a closed institution for observation for up to one month if this is necessary for conduct of an expert assessment. The person himself or herself shall also be heard before or after the making of the order. Where necessary, the court may extend, by an order, the time for placement of a person in a closed institution for up to three months and order the person to be forcibly brought in.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If, in the opinion of an expert, appointment of a guardian is to be considered, the expert shall indicate in the expert opinion the estimated scope of duties of the guardian and the estimated period for which the person needs guardianship.

 (5) An expert assessment do not need to be ordered if:
 1) the petition for appointment of a guardian was submitted by the person in need of guardianship and the documents reflecting their state of health are appended to the petition; and
 2) the person waives the right to undergo expert assessment; and
 3) conduct of the expert assessment is, considering the volume of the guardian's duties, unreasonably costly or labour intensive.

§ 523.  Rural municipality governments and city governments in proceedings

  At the direction of the court, the rural municipality government or city government of the residence of the person in need of guardianship collects and presents to the court information needed for the establishment of guardianship. The rural municipality government or city government provides, in proceedings, its opinion, among other things, on who to appoint as guardian, on changing the scope of duties of the guardian or on changing the guardian.

§ 524.  Hearing of person

 (1) The person in the case of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings are personally heard by the court. The court hears the person in their usual environment if the person so requests or if, in the opinion of the court, this is necessary in the interests of the case and the person does not object to it. The course of proceedings shall be explained to the person.

 (2) The court may involve a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker in the hearing. If the person so requests, the trustee of the person shall be allowed to be present. The court may permit other persons to be present at the hearing of the person in need of guardianship unless the latter objects to it.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The court may transfer the task of hearing a person to a court acting based on a letter of request only if it is evident that the court will be able to evaluate the information obtained from the hearing even without having directly experienced the hearing.

 (4) Where necessary, the court may order the person in need of guardianship to be forcibly brought in so that it may hear that person.

 (5) The court need not hear a person in need of guardianship in person, if:
 1) this could result in harmful consequences to the health of the person according to the documents reflecting their state of health or in the opinion of a competent doctor;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the court is convinced, based on a direct impression, that the person is clearly unable to express their will.

§ 525.  Hearing of case

 (1) The court discusses with the person in the case of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings the results of their hearing, the content of the expert opinion or documents reflecting their state of health, the possible choices of guardian and the scope of duties of the guardian to the extent necessary for ensuring the legal hearing of the person or clarification of facts.

 (2) As a rule, the court also requests, in the course of proceedings, the opinion of the person in the case of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings, their spouse, parents, foster parents, children and members of the rehabilitation team, unless the person objects to it and the court does not deem it necessary to request an opinion. At the request of the person in need of guardianship, the opinion of other persons close to them may be requested, unless this significantly delays proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Before appointing a guardian, the court also hears the person whose appointment as guardian is requested or whom the court intends to appoint as guardian, and the potential petitioner.

§ 526.  Appointment of guardian

 (1) A court appoints a guardian for an adult of limited ative legal capacity by an order.

 (2) An order sets out:
 1) the person for whom a guardian is appointed;
 2) the person or agency appointed as a guardian;
 3) the duties of the guardian;
 4) whether the person of limited ative legal capacity is permitted to perform transactions without the consent of the guardian and what transactions are permitted;
 5) the period at the end of which at the latest the court decides on the termination or extension of the guardianship.

 (3) The period mentioned in clause (2) 5) of this section shall not be longer than five years from the date of making the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) An order on establishment of guardianship gives the guardian the right to represent the ward.

 (5) If a court establishes guardianship for managing all the affairs of a ward or if the scope of duties of a guardian is extended in such manner, the ward is also deemed to be without active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote, and they loses their right to vote.
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 – entry into force 01.02.2016]

§ 527.  Compensation of costs to guardian

 (1) If a guardian or a ward so requests or the court deems it necessary, the court also determines the following at the time of establishment of guardianship or thereafter:
 1) the size of remuneration payable and the costs to be compensated to the guardian at the expense of the ward and the extent of possible advance payment thereof;
 2) the costs to be compensated and the size of the remuneration payable to the guardian at the expense of the state and the extent of possible advance payment thereof if, pursuant to law, payment thereof by the state may be demanded;
 3) the time limit for payment and the size of payments which the ward must pay to the state in order to cover for the amounts payable to the guardian by the state.

 (2) The ward may apply for the grant of financial aid for covering the costs.

 (3) Before making an order on costs, the court shall hear the ward.

 (4) [Repealed – RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 528.  Extension of scope of duties and time limit of office of guardian

 (1) The provisions concerning appointment of a guardian apply to the change of the scope of duties of a guardian, appointment of a new guardian and to extension of the time limit of office of a guardian.

 (2) Upon the change of duties of a guardian, appointment of a new guardian or extension of the time limit of office of a guardian, a new expert assessment do not need to be conducted and a representative for the purpose of proceedings do not need to be appointed to the ward if:
 1) the duties of the guardian are not materially extended; or
 2) less than five years have passed from the conduct of the expert assessment serving as a basis for the establishment of guardianship.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I, 23.02.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2011]

 (4) Upon the extension of the time limit of office of a guardian, the ward need not undergo an expert assessment if, based on the hearing of the ward and the documents reflecting the state of their health, it is clear that the need for guardianship has not ceased to exist.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

§ 529.  Termination of guardianship and restriction of scope of duties of guardian

 (1) The court terminates the guardianship, restricts the scope of duties of a guardian or extends the rights of the ward to carry out transactions independently if the grounds for appointing a guardian are no longer present, in full or in part.

 (2) The court may order an expert assessment to ascertain that the grounds are no longer present.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 530.  Release of guardian from their duties and appointment of new guardian

 (1) The court may release a guardian from their duties where a valid reason for this is present.

 (2) If the ward objects to the release of the guardian, the court hears the ward in person unless this may significantly endanger the ward’s health or the ward is likely to be unable to give expression to their volition.

 (3) Where a new guardian is to be appointed due to the death or release from duties of the previous one, the ward must be heard in person – unless they accept the new guardian, the hearing may significantly endanger their health or they are likely to be unable to give expression to their volition.

§ 531.  Communication and validity of order

  [RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (1) A court order whereby proceedings conducted in a case of establishment of guardianship are terminated, including an order on appointment of a guardian, extension of their time limit of office, termination of guardianship or change of the scope of duties of a guardian, is valid and subject to enforcement as of its communication to the guardian.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court also communicates an order whereby proceedings conducted in a case of establishment of guardianship are terminated to the ward and their representative. The court need not communicate the reasoning of the order to the ward in person if, based on the documents reflecting the state of health of the ward or an expert opinion, this may cause significant harm to the health of the ward. The court also communicates the order to the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence of the person as well as to other persons mentioned in subsection 532 (1) of this Code who have been heard during proceedings by the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If an order cannot be sent to the guardian or if a delay in doing so would result in endangerment of the interests of the ward, the court may declare the order to be valid and subject to enforcement as of communication thereof to the ward or their representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The court informs other courts and administrative agencies of the order if this is clearly in the interests of the ward, third parties or the public. Where necessary, the court publishes a notice in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded.

 (5) Any relevant facts which become evident in the course of proceedings may be made public by the court in the manner provided in subsection 4 of this section already before the end of proceedings.

 (6) If guardianship is established for the management of all of the affairs of the ward or the scope of the guardian's duties is expanded in such manner and the person loses their right to vote in elections, or if such guardianship is terminated due to any other reason except the death of the ward, or if such guardianship is restricted, the court also informs the agency maintaining a polling list thereof.

 (7) If the ward is being detained in a custodial institution, medical institution, social welfare institution or such other institution, the court also informs such institution of the order.

§ 532.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order on appointment of a guardian, on denial of a petition, on termination of guardianship, on changing the scope of duties of a guardian, on refusal to terminate guardianship, on release of a guardian, on appointment of a new guardian or on determination of costs of guardianship is subject to appeal by the person whose guardian was to be appointed in the proceedings, the person who was appointed as a guardian, the spouse or direct blood relative of the person whose guardian was to be appointed in the proceedings, a close person mentioned by such person himself or herself (trustee) or executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence of such person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) As regards the scope of duties of a guardian, an order is also subject to appeal by the guardian on behalf of the ward. If several guardians were appointed to perform jointly, each one of them may file a separate appeal.

 (3) An interim appeal against the order may not be filed after five months have passed from communicating the order to the guardian.

 (4) An appeal may be filed against an order on costs if the object of the appeal exceeds the amount of 200 euros. An order made by a circuit court of appeal concerning an interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 – entry into force 01.01.2011]

Chapter 54 PLACEMENT OF PERSONS IN CLOSED INSTITUTION  

§ 533.  Placement of person in closed institution

 (1) The court conducts proceedings in the following cases based on a petition by the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence of a person in accordance with the rules provided in this Subchapter:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) placement of a mentally ill person in a psychiatric hospital or a social welfare institution without or against their will together with deprivation of the liberty and application of inpatient treatment to the person;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) hospitalisation of a person suffering from a communicable disease without their consent and application of inpatient treatment to the person if this is necessary for the prevention of the spread of an especially dangerous communicable disease;
 3) other cases of placement of a person in a closed institution provided by law.

 (2) Proceedings are also conducted by the court in the case of placement of a mentally ill person in a psychiatric hospital or a social welfare institution without or against their will based on an application of the guardian.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Proceedings are also conducted by the court in the case of hospitalisation of a person suffering from a communicable disease without their consent and application of inpatient treatment to the person based on an application of the person's doctor.
[RT I, 13.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 15.03.2019]

§ 534.  Application of interim protection of a right

 (1) Based on the request of the petitioner, the court may place a person in a closed institution in accordance with the rules for application of interim protection of a right if:
 1) the conditions of placement in a closed institution are clearly met and a delay is likely to endanger the person himself or herself or third parties; and
 2) adequate documents exist concerning the state of health of the person.

 (2) A request for applying interim protection of a right to place a person who suffers from a mental disorder in a psychiatric hospital without or against their will may also be submitted by a person mentioned in subsection 13 (1) of the Mental Health Act.

 (21) A request for applying interim protection of a right to hospitalise a person suffering from a communicable disease without their consent and to apply inpatient treatment to the person may also be submitted by the person mentioned in subsection 5 (2) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act.
[RT I, 13.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 15.03.2019]

 (3) The hearing of a person whose placement in a closed institution is requested or the hearing of other persons is not necessary in order to apply interim protection of a right if the court is also able to adequately assess the necessity of application thereof on the basis of documents, or if the hearing may cause harm to the health of the person whose placement in a closed institution is requested, or if the person is unable to express their will. The person himself or herself or other persons may also be heard by a judge acting on the basis of a letter of request.

 (4) The court may also hear a person whose placement in a closed institution is requested or other persons after applying interim protection of a right.

 (5) Interim protection of a right may be applied for up to four days as of the placement of a person in a closed institution. After the person himself or herself is heard, the time limit may be extended for up to 40 days if this is clearly necessary also in the opinion of the psychiatrist or another competent doctor. Interim protection of a right may also be applied for the purpose and time limit mentioned in subsection 537 (4) of this Code.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (6) In situations and in accordance with the rules provided by law, a person may also be placed in a closed institution without a court order if this is strictly necessary for the protection of the person themselves or of the public, and a court order cannot be obtained with sufficient speed enough. In such a situation the petition must be filed for obtaining the court order such that it would be possible for the court to dispose of the petition not later than within 48 hours following placement of the person in the closed institution.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 535.  Appointment of representative to person

 (1) If this is necessary in the interests of the person and the person is not represented by another person with active civil procedural legal capacity, who need not meet the requirements of § 218 of this Code, the court appoints a representative to the person in proceedings for placement of the person in a closed institution. The existence of a representative appointed by the person himself or herself does not prevent the court from appointment of a representative to the person if, in the opinion of the court, the representative appointed by the person himself or herself is unable to sufficiently protect the interests of the represented person.

 (2) If the court fails to appoint a representative, the court must set out the reasons therefor in the order on placement of the person in a closed institution. A representative do not need to be appointed to a person upon application of interim protection of a right, unless the person wants a representative for filing an interim appeal on interim protection of a right or if the extension of the time limit for interim protection of a right is being decided. A person's right to a representative for filing an interim appeal shall be explained to the person in the order on the application of interim protection of a right unless a representative has been appointed to the person earlier.

 (3) The representative shall, among other things, personally meet the person for the placement of whom in a closed institution the court is considering and hear them without the presence of the judge.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 536.  Hearing of person himself or herself and other persons

 (1) Before a person is placed in a closed institution, the person shall be heard in person by the court and the court shall explain the course of proceedings to them. If necessary, the court hears the person in their usual environment. The provisions concerning the procedure for hearing persons in a proceeding conducted in the case of establishment of guardianship over an adult of limited ative legal capacity correspondingly apply to other aspects of the proceedings.

 (2) Before a person is placed in a closed institution, the court shall also hear the opinion of the executive of the rural or urban municipality, and the following persons:
 1) the spouse of the person, and other family members who live together with the person;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) the guardian of the person;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the trustee appointed by the person;
 31) the members of the rehabilitation team;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 4) the head of the closed institution in which the person stays, or an official appointed thereby.

 (21) The persons mentioned in subsection 2 (1) of this section do not need to be heard if:
 1) the person whose placement in a closed institution the court is considering objects to hearing them;
 2) these persons themselves waive the hearing;
 3) the hearing of these persons clearly does not contribute to the resolution of the case;
 4) the court fails to find or contact these persons regardless of reasonable efforts.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (22) The order shall set out the reasons for failure to hear the person himself or herself or other persons.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Based on the directions of the court, the executive of the rural or urban municipality collects and submits the data necessary for placing a person in a closed institution to the court.

§ 537.  Conduct of expert assessment

 (1) The court may place a person in a closed institution only if there is an expert opinion on the prerequisites for placement of the person in a closed institution, including a prediction on how dangerous the person is, prepared by an expert who has personally examined or questioned the person. The court assigns the task of conducting an expert assessment to one expert, except in the case of an expert assessment conducted by an expert committee or a complex expert assessment. Only a psychiatrist or, in the case of a person suffering from a communicable disease, a doctor competent in the field, may be used as an expert. Another person with specific expertise may also participate as an expert in the case of an expert assessment conducted by an expert committee or a complex expert assessment. The opinion of a psychiatrist who has examined the person can be considered by the court as the expert opinion mentioned in this section. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to the application of interim protection of a right.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (11) If the court is conducting proceedings, with respect to the same person, concerning placement of the person in a closed institution on the basis of clause 533 (1) 1) of this Code and concerning appointment of a guardian to the person on the basis of subsection 520 (1) of this Code, the court may direct that a joint expert assessment be performed on the necessity of establishing guardianship and on the prerequisites for placement of the person in a closed institution.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (12) A person to whom interim protection of a right has been applied in conformity with subsection 534 (5) of this Code is not ordered to undergo an expert assessment before the petition mentioned in subsection 533 (1) or (2) of this Code has been submitted to the court.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 – entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a person is ordered to undergo an expert assessment, such person is required to appear before an expert. If the person fails to appear before an expert, the court may, after hearing the opinion of the expert, order the person forcibly brought before the expert.

 (4) After hearing the expert, the court may order placement of the person in a medical institution for observation for up to one month if this is necessary for conduct of an expert assessment. Before an order is made, the person shall be heard. Where necessary, the court may extend, by an order, the time for placement of a person in a medical institution for up to three months and order the person forcibly brought in.

§ 538.  Court order

 (1) An order on placement of a person in a closed institution sets out:
 1) the person who is to be placed in a closed institution;
 2) a description of the measure of placement in a closed institution;
 3) the time limit for placement in a closed institution;
 4) an explanation of the possibility to file an interim appeal against the order.

 (2) A person shall not be placed in a closed institution for a period longer than one year as of the date the order was made unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 539.  Termination of placement in closed institution

 (1) The court terminates the placement of a person in a closed institution by an order, also upon the application of interim protection of a right, after the prerequisites therefor have ceased to exist or if it appears that the prerequisites were not fulfilled. The court may terminate the placement in a closed institution based on an application by the person himself or herself, the person's guardian or the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence of the person or at the initiative of the court.

 (2) Before termination of placement of a person in a closed institution the court asks the opinion of the executive of the rural or urban municipality, unless the latter filed a petition for termination of placement of the person in a closed institution, if asking of an opinion does not cause a significant delay in resolving the case. A representative do not need to be appointed to a person in a case of termination of placement of a person in a closed institution unless the person wants a representative for filing a petition.

 (3) A closed institution shall immediately inform the court if in the opinion thereof there is no need to keep the person in the closed institution until the end of the time limit set by the court. If a person is released from a closed institution before the time set by the court, including the time set by way of interim protection of a right, the court shall also be informed thereof immediately. Even in this case the court shall decide on termination of placement of the person in a closed institution in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 1 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 5391.  Extension of time limit for placement in closed institution and repeated placement of person in closed institution

 (1) The provisions concerning placement in a closed institution apply to the extension of the time limit of placement in a closed institution. If a person has spent more than four years in a closed institution, the court shall not, as a general rule, assign the task of conducting an expert assessment to a person who has, until such time, treated the person placed in the institution, performed an expert assessment on their state of health, or who is employed by the institution in which the person has been placed.

 (2) A new expert assessment is not required for the extension of the time limit for placement of a person in a closed institution or repeated placement of a person in a closed institution if not more than one year has passed from the conduct of the previous expert assessment and the state of health of the person has not changed according to the documents reflecting it. Under the same conditions the hearing of the person himself or herself, their spouse and family members is not required if not more than one year has passed from the previous hearing of the persons.

 (3) In the case mentioned in subsection 2 of this section a representative shall be appointed to the person in the proceedings only if the person wants a representative for filing an interim appeal against the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 540.  Suspension of placement in closed institution

 (1) The court may suspend, by an order, the placement of a person in a closed institution for up to one year based on an application by the person himself or herself, the guardian thereof or the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence thereof or at the initiative of the court. Compliance with conditions and performance of obligations may be attached to such suspension.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court may revoke the suspension if the person fails to comply with the conditions or perform the obligations assigned to them, or if revocation of the suspension is necessary due to their condition.

 (3) Before revoking a suspension, the court shall hear the person himself or herself, the persons mentioned in subsection 536 (2) of this Code and the executive of the rural or urban municipality.

§ 541.  Communication and entry into force of order

 (1) The court serves the order on placement of a person in a closed institution or suspension or termination thereof, including an order on application of interim protection of a right, as well as the order on refusal to place a person in a closed institution on the person himself or herself, the representative thereof in the proceedings and the guardian. The reasoning of the order do not need to be communicated to the person himself or herself if the person is clearly unable to understand it or if it may cause significant harm to their health.

 (2) The court also sends the order mentioned in subsection 1 of this section to the trustee appointed by the person and the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence of the person. The court also communicates the order to the persons mentioned in clause 536 (2) 1) of this Code whom the court heard in proceedings unless the person whose placement in a closed institution was requested objects to it or the court does not consider the communication of the order or its reasons to them necessary. Such persons may still demand the communication of the order in full.

 (3) An order on placement in a closed institution enters into effect and is subject to enforcement if such order is not subject to further appeal, or if a decision has been made to deny or dismiss the interim appeal against the order.

 (4) The court may declare an order to be subject to enforcement upon service of the order on the person himself or herself or the representative thereof or guardian thereof or upon sending it to the executive of the rural or urban municipality of the residence thereof.

 (5) The court informs other courts and agencies of the order if this is in the interests of the person to whom the measure was applied, or in the interests of a third party or the public. The court may notify of any relevant facts which become evident in the course of proceedings already before the end of the proceedings.

 (6) If the person is detained in a custodial institution, medical institution, social welfare institution or any other institution, the court also informs such institution of the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 542.  Enforcement of order

 (1) An order on placement of a person in a closed institution is enforced by the institution in which the person is to be placed. If the parents or the guardian of the person so request, the institution assists them in taking the person to the institution.

 (2) Upon enforcement of an order on placement of a person in a closed institution force may be used and if necessary the assistance of the police may be used for enforcement unless otherwise prescribed by the court order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 543.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order by which a person was placed in a closed institution or by which such placement was refused or terminated or by which termination of the placement was refused is subject to appeal by the person to whom the measures were applied, by the persons mentioned in subsection 2 of § 536 of this Code or by the executive of the rural or urban municipality or the Head of the closed institution.

 (2) The persons mentioned in subsection 1 of this section may file an interim appeal against an order by which measures for interim protection of a right were imposed. The order made by the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 (3) The person to whom the measures were applied may file an appeal against the order regardless of termination of application of the measures – among other things, to obtain a declaration of unlawfulness of their placement in the closed institution.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

Chapter 55 IMPOSITION OF RESTRAINING ORDER AND OTHER SIMILAR MEASURES FOR PROTECTION OF PERSONAL RIGHTS  

§ 544.  Application of restraining order and other measures for protection of personal rights

 (1) In order to protect the private life of a person or other personal rights, the court may apply a restraining order or other measures based on § 1055 of the Law of Obligations Act. Such measures may be applied with a time limit of up to three years.

 (2) If the court conducts proceedings in the case of application of measures in order to protect a personal right in connection with a family relationship, the provisions of law concerning family cases dealt with under the action-by-petition procedure additionally apply, unless otherwise provided by this Chapter.

 (3) The court may also deal with the case mentioned in subsection 1 of this section under the action-by-claim procedure if it is to be adjudicated together with another court claim or if this is requested by the claimant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 545.  Hearing and conciliation of the parties

  Before applying a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights, the court hears the person with respect to whom application of such measure is requested and the person in the interests of whom proceedings are conducted for application of such measure. Where necessary, the court also hears the persons close to the persons mentioned above, or the executive of the rural or urban municipality or police authority of the residence of the persons.

§ 546.  Application of interim protection of a right

  Where necessary, the court may protect a petition for application of a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights or apply interim protection of a right by an order of its own motion. Measures for interim protection of a court claim may be applied for interim protection of a right following the rules for interim protection of court claims.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 547.  Service and entry into effect of an order

  An order by which the court imposes a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights is served on the persons with regard to and in the interests of whom the measures have been imposed. The order is subject to enforcement as of its service on the obligated person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 548.  Cancellation and alteration of measures for protection of personal rights

  If circumstances change, the court may cancel or alter a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights. Before cancelling or altering a measure, the court hears the parties.

§ 549.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order on application of a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights is subject to appeal by the persons obligated to comply therewith.

 (2) An order whereby the court denies a petition for applying a restraining order or another measure for protection of personal rights, or cancels or alters such measure is subject to appeal by the person who requested application of the measure or in whose interests the measure was applied.

Chapter 56 PROCEDURE IN FAMILY MATTERS SUBJECT TO THE ACTION-BY-PETITION PROCEDURE  

Subchapter 1 General Provisions  

§ 550.  Family matters subject to the action-by-petition procedure

 (1) The following family matters are disposed of under the action-by-petition procedure:
 1) appointing a guardian to a minor;
 11) declaring a minor not to have active legal capacity for the purposes of the right to vote;
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 – entry into force 01.02.2016]
 2) determining a parent's rights regarding the child, including depriving the parent of parental rights, and regulating access to the child (cases concerning legal custody);
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) adoption;
 4) extension of the active legal capacity of a minor;
 5) establishing a person’s filiation and contesting the entry concerning the parent after the parent’s death;
 6) granting consent for carrying out a transaction on behalf of the child or ward;
 61) deciding on the return of a child on the basis of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (RT II 2001, 6, 33);
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 7) other family matters which the law has placed within the jurisdiction of the court and which cannot be disposed of by the action-by-claim procedure.

 (2) The court may also make dispositions concerning determination of a parent's rights in respect of the child, as well as regulate access to the child, in action-by-claim proceedings provided the corresponding claim is made together with a claim for divorce or in action-by-claim proceedings concerning the awarding of maintenance.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the order made in a family matter subject to the action-by-petition procedure becomes enforceable when it enters into effect.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 551.  Granting interim protection of rights

 (1) When the court conducts proceedings in a family matter subject to the action-by-petition procedure, it may, based on the petition or of its own motion, apply measures of interim protection of the claim under the rules of interim protection of rights.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Before granting interim protection to a right in relation to a minor, the court must – unless it is evident that the resulting delay would harm the interests of the minor – ask the executive of the rural or urban municipality in which the minor has their residence to provide its opinion in the matter. If the measure is applied without such an opinion having been provided, the opinion must be requested at the earliest opportunity.

 (3) When the court applies a measure of interim protection of the claim under the rules of interim protection of rights, it takes into consideration whether one parent has used violence in respect of the child or the other parent.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 552.  Cooperation with the municipal executive

 (1) Where, by law, proceedings require participation of the municipal executive, the court notifies the executive of the proceedings. Unless otherwise provided by law, the court also informs the executive of the proceedings and of the circumstances connected to the same in other situations where it is evident that the executive needs to be aware of those circumstances in order to perform its duties.

 (2) In proceedings concerning a minor or guardianship, the court asks the municipal executive to state its view and sends the executive copies of the orders by which it concludes such proceedings.

§ 5521.  Hearing a child

 (1) In a case concerning a child, the court hears a child of at least 10 years of age in person unless otherwise provided by law. The court may also hear a younger child. Where the court takes the view that this is required in the interests of the case, it hears the child in their usual environment. Where this is needed, the child is heard in the presence of a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. The court may also permit other persons to be present at the hearing of the child, unless the child or their representative objects. When making arrangements for hearing the child, the court takes into consideration whether one parent has used violence in respect of the child or the other parent.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

 (2) When hearing a child, the child must be informed – to the extent they are presumably able to understand this – of the matters dealt with in and potential outcome of proceedings, provided this does not to entail any presumably harmful consequences to their development or upbringing. The child must be given an opportunity to express their view.

 (3) The hearing of the child may be dispensed with only where a valid reason is present. Where the child is not heard for the reason that the ensuing delay would harm their interests, the child must be heard afterwards without delay.

 (4) The court may delegate the hearing of the child to a court acting under a letter of request only if it is evident that the court will be able to evaluate the outcome of such hearing even without having personally communicated with the child.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 553.  Child’s independent right of appeal

 (1) A child of at least 14 years of age with sufficient discretionary and decision-making ability has a right, in a family matter that is subject to the action-by-petition procedure and that concerns them personally, to file an appeal against the order concluding the proceedings without the assistance of their statutory representative. The same applies to other cases in which the child must be heard before disposing of the case.

 (2) An order which the child may appeal must be personally notified to them. The reasons of the order are not required to be communicated to the child if this may lead to harmful consequences to the child’s development, upbringing or health.

Subchapter 2 Appointing a Guardian to a Minor and Declaring a Minor not to Have Active Legal Capacity for the Purposes of the Right to Vote  
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 - entry into force 01.02.2016]

§ 554.  Appointing a guardian to a minor

  Unless otherwise provided by this Subchapter, provisions concerning appointment of a guardian to a person of limited active legal capacity – with the exception of provisions governing expert assessment – apply when appointing a guardian to a minor.

§ 555.  Granting interim protection of rights

 (1) If it can be presumed that it is evident that the prerequisites for appointing a guardian have been fulfilled and a delay is likely to risk harm to the interests of the minor and the child – who is at least seven years of age and possesses sufficient discretionary and decision-making ability – has been heard, the court may make an order by which it grants interim protection of rights and, among other things, appoints a temporary guardian to the child.

 (2) For the purpose mentioned in subsection 1 of this section, the child may also be heard by a judge acting under a letter of request.

 (3) Where a delay is likely to lead to a dangerous situation, the court may apply interim protection of rights even before the child is heard. In such a case the child must be heard without delay after the granting of protection. The child is not required to be heard if it is evident that this would cause significant harm to their health or if it is evident that they are unable to manifest their volition.

 (4) The petitioner’s volition and the requirements that the law prescribes for guardians do not need to be considered when selecting a temporary guardian.

 (5) A temporary guardian may not be appointed for a period that is longer than six months.

 (6) The court may, by order, release a temporary guardian from their duties if it is evident that the prerequisites for releasing the guardian have been fulfilled and a delay would risk harm to the interests of the ward.

 (7) The order by which a temporary guardian is appointed or released becomes valid and is subject to enforcement from the time it is made public.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 556.  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 557.  Court order

 (1) The court appoints a legal guardian to a minor by an order.

 (2) The order states:
 1) the person to whom the guardian is appointed;
 2) the person or agency appointed as the guardian;
 3) the guardian’s duties;
 4) whether the minor is permitted to carry out transactions without the guardian’s consent and the transactions that are permitted.

 (21) The order states that a legal guardianship is established until the minor attains full age – unless the court appoints the guardian for a shorter period.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The order that establishes a legal guardianship vests the guardian with the right to represent the ward.

 (4) Orders by which a legal guardian is appointed to a minor, by which a petition for appointing such a guardian is denied, by which the guardianship is terminated, by which the scope of the guardian’s duties is varied, by which termination of the guardianship is refused or the guardian is released or a new guardian is appointed, or which deal with the costs of guardianship, are subject to appeal by the minor whose guardian’s appointment was considered in the proceedings, by a person who is the minor’s direct blood relative or who is close to them and with whom they have a sufficient emotional connection, by the person who was appointed their guardian or by the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the minor has their residence.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

§ 5571.  Declaring a minor of not to have active legal capacity for the purposes of the right to vote

 (1) Declaring a person of 16–17 years of age not to have active legal capacity for the purposes of the right to vote is governed by the provisions that regulate appointment of legal guardian to a person of full age who has limited active legal capacity. When a person is declared not to have active legal capacity for the purposes of the right to vote, they are not appointed a guardian.

 (2) The court decides on declaring a minor not to have active legal capacity for the purposes of the right to vote of its own motion or on a petition of the municipal executive, the guardian or an interested party.
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 – entry into force 01.02.2016]

Subchapter 3 Determining a Parent's Rights in respect of the Child and Regulating Access to the Child  

§ 558.  Hearing the parents

 (1) In proceedings pertaining to the rights of a parent in respect of the child, the court hears the parents’ views. With respect to the parents’ personal rights, the court hears the parents in person. Where the proceedings concern endangerment of the child’s well-being, the court hears the parents in person and discusses the protection of the child's interests with them. When arranging the hearing of the parents, the court takes into consideration whether one parent has used violence in respect of the child or the other parent.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

 (2) The court is not required to hear a parent who has no parental rights or whose children have been placed under guardianship – unless it is evident that hearing the parent contributes to disposing of the case or to clarification of the circumstances.

 (3) The court is not required to hear the parents if it is evident that the resulting delay would risk harm to the child’s interests.

§ 559.  Hearing the child

  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 560.  Hearing the foster parents and any other persons who are raising the child

  Where, for an extended period of time, the child has lived with one parent or a person entitled to access the child or with a foster family, the court – in a case concerning the child – also hears the person or persons in question unless it is evident that this not contribute to disposing of the case or to clarification of the circumstances.

§ 5601.  Mediation or conciliation proceedings in matters of access to the child

 (1) The petition that is filed with the court must be accompanied by a certificate of unsuccessful mediation mentioned in § 13 of the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services or by a certificate of unsuccessful conciliation mentioned in § 12 of the Conciliation Act.

 (2) Mediation or conciliation proceedings are not required to be undertaken as a prerequisite for taking the case to court where one parent has used violence in respect of the child or the other parent, or where another valid reason is present. Where violence has been used, it must be referred to in the petition. The presence of another valid reason must be substantiated.

 (3) Where the petition was not accompanied by a certificate of unsuccessful mediation or conciliation and no reference was made to the circumstances mentioned in subsection 2 of this section, the court asks the Social Insurance Board for information on whether mediation or conciliation proceedings have taken place in the case.

 (4) Where, according to information received from the Social Insurance Board, the parents have not undertaken mediation or conciliation proceedings before taking the case to court and where the circumstances mentioned in subsection 2 of this section are not present, the court accepts the petition and directs the parents to undertake the mediation procedure provided for by the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services. The court explains to the parents the rules that govern recourse to the Social Insurance Board and sets a time limit for such recourse. The court transmits the order of reference for family mediation to the Board and serves it on the parties.

 (5) Where, based on the petition, one parent has used violence in respect of the child or of the other parent, the court explains to the parents the possibility of recourse to the Social Insurance Board in order to undertake the mediation procedure provided for by the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services.

 (6) The court suspends proceedings on the petition until the end of the mediation procedure.

 (7) The court has a right, at any time, to receive information from the Social Insurance Board concerning the conduct of the mediation procedure.

 (8) Where the Social Insurance Board transmits to the court, under § 14 of the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services, an approved parenting plan provided for by § 12 of that Act, or information concerning approval of such a plan, the court terminates proceedings by an order under clause 6 of subsection 1 of § 428 of this Code and, where this is needed, decides, under § 480 of this Code, on whether to set aside or vary any earlier judicial disposition. Where a certificate of unsuccessful mediation provided for by § 13 of the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services is produced, the court continues proceedings in the case.

 (9) Where a claim for maintenance has been filed with the court that is connected to the case concerning access to the child, the court may direct the parents to undertake mediation regarding all of the claims according to the rules provided by subsections 1–8 of this section.

 (10) Recourse to the court in a situation where the agreement concerning access to the child is amended or order concerning such access is varied is governed by the provisions that regulate the making of arrangements concerning access to the child. The court may also refer, to the mediation provided for by the Act on State-funded Family Mediation Services, the matter of varying a judicial disposition.

 (11) A subsequent parenting plan that has been approved by the Social Insurance Board regarding an underage child replaces an earlier judicial disposition or plan. A subsequent judicial disposition regarding a maintenance claim by an underage child replaces an earlier approved arrangement concerning that claim.
[RT I, 10.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2022]

§ 561.  Disposing of the case by settlement

 (1) In proceedings concerning a child, the court must, as early as possible and at each stage of the proceedings, try to steer the persons concerned to settle the case by mutual agreement. The court must hear such persons as early as possible and draw their attention to the possibility of recourse to the assistance of a family counsellor – above all, for working out a shared view on caring for the child and on assuming responsibility for them. When the court steers the persons to settle the case or draws their attention to the possibility of recourse to the assistance of a family counsellor, the court takes into consideration whether one parent has used violence in respect of the child or the other parent.
[RT I, 19.03.2019, 2 – entry into force 29.03.2019]

 (2) The court may suspend proceedings concerning a child if this does not result in a delay which risks harm to the child’s interests and the persons concerned agree to undertake out-of-court counselling or if, in the court's view, there are other reasons that suggest prospects to settle the case by mutual agreement between the persons concerned.

§ 562.  Handing over items of property designated for personal use of the child

  Where the court orders the child to be returned, it may make, under the rules of interim protection of rights, an order on the handing over of items of property designated for the child’s personal use.

§ 5621.  Enforceability of the order regulating access to the child and the fixing of compulsory measures

 (1) In an order by which it regulates access to the child, the court fixes compulsory measures that can be applied in the event the order is violated and explains the rules governing application of the measures that are provided by subsections 2 and 22 of § 179 of the Code of Enforcement Procedure.

 (2) The court only allows force to be used in respect of the party obligated to observe the rules fixed for access to the child if recourse to other means has been of no avail or where there is reason to presume that it will be of no avail, or where speedy enforcement of the disposition is required and the use of force is justified by the need to ensure the child’s well-being, which it is not possible to achieve by another method.

 (3) The order fixing the arrangements concerning access to the child is valid and enforceable without delay – regardless of whether it has entered into effect – as of the day on which it has been notified to the persons concerning whom it was made. The court may make the order enforceable in part or in full starting from a later date but not later than from the date of entry into effect.
[RT I, 10.12.2021, 1 – entry into effect 01.09.2022]

§ 563.  Conciliation procedure in a situation where the order or agreement regulating access to the child has been violated

  [Repealed – RT I, 10.12.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2022]

§ 5631.  Communication of order

  An order rendered in a case concerning the parent’s legal custody serves as the basis for amending the person’s vital statistics information. The court sends the order to the vital statistics authority within ten days following its entry into effect for particulars concerning legal custody to be recorded in the Population Register.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 5632.  Separation of child from the family

  In situations provided for and in accordance with the rules provided by law, a child may also be separated from the family without a court order, provided that leaving the child in the family would risk harm to the child’s health or life and such an order cannot be obtained with sufficient speed. In such a situation, the corresponding petition must be filed such that it would be possible for the court to dispose of the petition within 72 hours following the carrying out of such separation on the grounds provided by § 33 of the Child Protection Act.
[RT I, 06.12.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2016]

Subchapter 4 Adoption  

§ 564.  Petition for adoption

 (1) The court decides on adoption strictly on a petition of the person requesting it.

 (2) The petition states the name of the person whom the petitioner wants to adopt, the year, month and day of the person's birth, as well as any known particulars concerning such a person's parents are set out in the petition. If the petitioner wishes to change the child’s name, they must state this in the petition.

 (3) In the petition, the petitioner indicates the year, month and day of their birth, as well as circumstances which show that they are able to raise, care for and maintain the child.

 (4) If the petitioner is married, they annex their spouse’s written consent to adopt to the petition – unless, under the law, the spouse's consent is not needed for the adoption.

§ 565.  Hearing the petitioner

  In a case of adoption, the court hears the petitioner in person unless the petitioner cannot appear in court due to a valid reason.

§ 566.  Hearing the child

  [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 567.  Opinion of the Social Insurance Board

  [RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (1) The court instructs the Social Insurance Board to gather the information needed for deciding on the adoption and to present that information to the court.
[RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (2) The Social Insurance Board presents to the court the information concerning the health, financial situation and residence of the petitioner, and provides an opinion on whether the petitioner is able to raise, care for and maintain the child.
[RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2017]

§ 568.  Adoption order

 (1) An adoption order states the name of the adopted child and the childs other personal particulars to be recorded in the register and, in the case of changing the child’s given name or surname, their new given name or surname, the name of the adoptive parent and the parent’s other personal particulars to be recorded in the register, as well as the legal basis for the adoption. If the parent's consent to adoption is not required, this is mentioned in the order.

 (2) An adoption order enters into effect when it is served on the adoptive parent. The order cannot be appealed or varied.

 (3) The court sends an adoption order to the vital statistics authority after the order has entered into effect. The order serves as a basis for amending the vital statistics information of the adopted child.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) The petitioner may file an appeal against an order by which their petition was denied.

§ 569.  Invalidating the adoption

 (1) In proceedings for invalidation of adoption, the court hears the Social Insurance Board. Where this is possible, the adoptive parent is also heard.
[RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 – entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (2) In proceedings for invalidation of adoption, the court appoints a representative to the adopted child.

 (3) An order by which the adoption is invalidated enters into effect and is subject to enforcement when it can no longer be appealed.

Subchapter 5 Extending the Active Legal Capacity of a Minor  

§ 570.  Initiation of proceedings

  The court decides on extending the active legal capacity of a minor on a petition of the minor themselves, of the minor's parent or guardian, or of the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the minor has their residence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 571.  Content of the petition

 (1) The petition states:
 1) the reason for petitioning the court to extend the minor’s active legal capacity;
 2) the particulars that constitute the grounds for such extension.

 (2) The petition is accompanied by the consent of the minor’s statutory representative to extending the minor’s active legal capacity. Where such consent has been denied, this must be stated in the petition.

§ 572.  Commissioning an expert assessment

 (1) Where necessary, the court commissions an expert assessment to ascertain the minor’s level of development. Before giving their expert opinion, the expert must question the minor in person.

 (2) If the minor whose expert assessment has been commissioned fails to appear before the expert without a valid reason, the court dismisses the petition.

§ 573.  Municipal executive in the proceedings

  Where so instructed by the court, the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the minor has their residence collects and presents to the court the information needed for extending the minor’s active legal capacity, and, in the proceedings, provides its opinion concerning such extension.

§ 574.  Hearing of persons

 (1) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) [Repealed – RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If the minor does not appear for their hearing without a valid reason, the court dismisses the petition.

 (5) The court asks the statutory representatives of the minor to state their position in the proceedings. On a motion of the minor and unless this significantly delays proceedings, other persons close to the minor must be granted an opportunity to state their position.

 (6) Where extension of the minor’s active legal capacity is petitioned for the purpose of contracting marriage, the court also hears, at first hand, the person who wishes to marry the minor.

§ 575.  Court order

 (1) The court disposes of extending a minor's active legal capacity by an order.

 (2) The order states:
 1) the person whose active legal capacity is extended;
 2) the transactions or acts-at-law which the minor is permitted to carry out without the consent of their statutory representative.

§ 576.  Amending and setting aside the order

  The provisions concerning the order on extending the minor’s active legal capacity apply, accordingly, to varying or setting aside such an order.

§ 577.  Communication and entry into effect of the order

 (1) The order enters into effect and becomes enforceable as of its service on the minor.

 (2) The court notifies the order to other courts and authorities where it is evident that such notification is in the interests of the minor, of third parties or of the public. At the request of the minor, the court publishes a notice in the edition Ametlikud Teadaanded.

§ 578.  Filing an appeal against the order

 (1) The order by which the minor’s active legal capacity is extended – or an order by which such an order is varied or set aside – as well as an order by which the corresponding petition is denied may be appealed by the petitioner, the minor and the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the minor has their residence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The appeal cannot be filed later than five months following the date on which the order was served on the minor.

Subchapter 6 Ascertaining Filiation from a Parent and Contesting the Entry Identifying the Parent after the Death of the Person in Question  

§ 579.  Petition to ascertain filiation and to contest the corresponding entry

 (1) The court disposes of ascertaining a person’s filiation from another person who has passed away and of contesting the entry by which the latter person has been identified as the former person’s parent in the record of their birth or in the Population Register strictly on a corresponding petition.

 (2) A petition to ascertain a person’s filiation from another person who has passed away or to contest the entry by which the latter person has been identified as the parent in the record of the former person’s birth or in the Population Register may be filed by the person whose filiation the petition seeks to ascertain or whose filiation it contests, by the guardian of such a person or by the municipal executive.

 (3) The petition states the circumstances based on which the person’s from another person is sought to be ascertained may be considered to be the parent or based on which the person identified as a parent in the record of the birth or in the Population Register cannot be considered as such.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 580.  Hearing the persons

 (1) The court hears the child’s other parent, the parents, spouse and full-age children of the person who has passed away, as well as any other persons whose hearing the court deems necessary.

 (2) The court may decide not to hear a person mentioned in subsection 1 of this section only if the person is permanently incapable of providing an explanation or if their whereabouts are unknown.

 (3) Where the petition was filed by the mother or legal guardian of an underage child, the court also asks the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the child has their residence to state its opinion.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 581.  Commissioning an expert assessment

  Where this is needed, the court commissions an expert assessment to ascertain a person’s filiation, provided this is possible without exhuming the person who has passed away from the place where they are buried.

§ 582.  Court order concerning a petition to ascertain a person’s filiation or to contest an entry concerning a parent

 (1) An order by which a person’s filiation is ascertained states the name of the person whose filiation has been ascertained and any other of their personal particulars to be recorded in the register, as well as the name of the person from whom filiation has been established and their other personal particulars to be recorded in the register.

 (2) An order by which it is ascertained that an entry in the record of a birth or in the Population Register concerning a parent is incorrect and the child does not descend from the deceased person states the same particulars concerning the persons who are deemed not to be related by filiation.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (3) An order by which the court disposes of a petition to ascertain a person’s filiation or a petition contesting the entry in the record of a birth or in the Population Register concerning a parent enters into effect and is subject to enforcement on expiry of the time limit for appeal against the order.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) The court sends the order by which it ascertained the person’s filiation or the incorrectness of the entry concerning the parent to the vital statistics authority when that order has entered into effect. The order serves as a basis for amending the vital statistics information of the child.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 583.  Filing an appeal against the order

  An order by which filiation, or the incorrectness of the entry concerning the parent, was ascertained, or by which the corresponding petition was denied may be appealed by the petitioner, by the parents, spouse or full-age children of the deceased, or by the executive of the municipality in whose administrative territory the petitioner has their residence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 57 IMPOSITION OF CONSERVATION MEASURES ON A DECEDENT’S ESTATE  

§ 584.  Security for costs of imposition of conservation measures

 (1) The court may obligate the person who files a petition for imposition of conservation measures on a decedent’s estate – or the person in whose interests such measures are to be imposed – to pay an amount of money determined by the court into the account prescribed for this purpose in order to cover the costs of imposition of the measures, should there be reason to believe that the estate is not sufficient to cover such costs.

 (2) An interim appeal may be filed against the order mentioned in subsection 1 of this section. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 585.  Hearing of persons

  In proceedings concerning imposition of conservation measures on a decedent’s estate, the court hears the petitioner or the person in whose interests the measures are to be imposed, as well as the person whose appointment as conservator of the estate has been requested. Where this is needed, the court also hears any other persons whose rights and interests are affected by the petition.

§ 586.  Order imposing conservation measures

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by this Chapter, the court decides on imposition of conservation measures and appointment of conservator of the estate in accordance with the provisions concerning the placing of an absentee’s property under guardianship.

 (2) The order by which conservation measures are imposed and a conservator is appointed to the estate enters into effect as of its service on the conservator. The order is also communicated to the petitioner, successors, legatees, as well as to the decedent’s creditors and to the executor of the decedent’s will.

 (3) On a motion of the successor, legatee, conservator of the estate, creditor of the decedent or executor of the decedent’s will, or of the court’s own motion, the court may vary or discharge conservation measures or release the conservator from their duties.

 (4) The order is may be appealed by the petitioner or any other person mentioned in subsection 3 of this section.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (5) The decision to impose conservation measures and to appoint a conservator to the estate may also be made by an assistant judge.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (6) The court makes records the imposition, variation or discharge of conservation measures in the Succession Register.
[RT I, 09.10.2013, 1 – entry into force 28.10.2013]

§ 587.  Costs of conservation measures

 (1) The costs required for imposition of conservation measures are covered out of the decedent’s estate. Where the court so directs, property items may be sold from the estate to cover such costs. If the estate is not sufficient to cover the costs, these are covered out of the money mentioned in subsection 1 of § 584 of this Code. The remainder of the money paid into the bank account mentioned by the court is returned.

 (2) An interim appeal may be filed by the successor, legatee, conservator of the estate, creditor of the decedent or executor of the decedent’s will against the order to compensate the costs of imposition of conservation measures. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 588.  [Repealed – RT I 2010, 38, 231 – entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 589.  Authorisation to transfer an item of immovable property

 (1) The conservator of the estate may file, with the court that imposed the conservation measures, an application for authorisation to transfer an item of immovable property that is part of the estate.

 (2) The court decides on the grant of the authorisation by an order. An interim appeal may be filed against the order by the successor, legatee, conservator of the estate, executor of the decedent’s will, creditor of the decedent or any joint or common owner of the property. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning the interim appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.

§ 590.  Report by conservator of the estate

 (1) The conservator of the estate files a report with the court when the conservatorship is concluded. The court may also require a report from the conservator prior to such conclusion. Successors and legatees have a right to acquaint themselves with the report.

 (2) The report states the initial composition of the estate, any payments made from it as well as any earnings received from revenue-producing items in the estate.

 (3) Where the grounds for conservation of the estate are no longer present, the court makes an order by which it terminates the conservatorship and releases the conservator from their duties.

 (4) The successor, legatee, conservator of the estate, executor of the decedent’s will, creditor of the decedent or any joint or common owner of the property that is part of the estate may file an appeal against the order by which the conservatorship was terminated, or its termination refused.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 58 REGISTRATION CASES  

§ 591.  Registers kept by the court

  Tartu District Court keeps the following registers provided for by law:
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 – entry into force 01.01.2015]
 1) Commercial Register;
 2) Register of Non-profit Associations and Foundations;
 3) Land Register;
 4) Ship Register;
 5) [Repealed – RT I, 21.12.2016, 1 – entry into force 01.03.2018]
 6) Register of Commercial Pledges.

§ 592.  Rules for keeping a register

 (1) The rules for keeping a register are provided by law. The Minister in charge of the policy sector may enact, by a regulation, technical and operational requirements for the keeping of registers and the making of entries.

 (2) The provisions of the Public Information Act concerning databases apply to the registers kept by the court, and to the keeping of such registers, without prejudice to special rules provided by this Code.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 – entry into force 25.02.2007]

§ 593.  Registration application

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, the court makes entries in a register strictly based on a registration application or a judicial disposition.

 (2) A registration application is filed with the court in the form provided by law by the person entitled by law to file it.

 (3) A person entitled to file an application may withdraw the application until the making of the registration order. In order to withdraw an application, an application is filed with the court in the same form as the original application, which sets out the reason for the withdrawal.

 (4) The notary who authenticated or certified an application may represent the applicant at the disposition of the registration case in court. Among other things, the notary may file an application for withdrawal or amendment of the original application, or an interim appeal on behalf of the applicant. The applicant may terminate the notary's right of representation.

§ 594.  Judicial disposition replacing an application or consent

  Where a person’s application or consent is required in order to make an entry, the application or consent may be replaced by a judicial disposition which has entered into effect and is subject to enforcement without delay and which establishes the person’s obligation to contribute to the making of the entry or the legal relationship based on which the entry must be made.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 595.  Powers of judges and assistant judges

 (1) Entries are made in the register and orders are rendered concerning the keeping of the register – including orders which impose a fine – by judges and assistant judges.

 (2) An assistant judge must refer the making of an order or entry to a judge:
 1) where the law of another state is to be applied;
 11) where a right in rem of a foreign country has to be adapted under Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 2 – entry into force 20.03.2016]
 2) if they wish to derogate from the opinion of the judge, which is known to them;
 3) if legal complications come to light when considering the application;
 4) if, in their opinion, the provision subject to application is contrary to the Constitution or to the law of the European Union;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 5) where a decision is to be made on compulsory dissolution of a legal person, on liquidation or on the appointment of liquidators;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) in other cases provided by law.

 (3) The judge may refer the making of an order or entry back to the assistant judge. In such a situation, the assistant judge is bound by the opinion of the judge.

 (4) The provisions of this Code concerning recusal of judges apply to recusal of assistant judges.

§ 596.  Registration order

 (1) In a registration case, the application is disposed of by a registration order and an entry is made on the basis of the order.

 (2) Where an application has a defect that prevents the making of the entry or where a document that is required is missing, and it is clear that the defect can be cured, the court sets a time limit for curing it. If the defect has not been cured by the end of the time limit, the court enters a registration order by which it denies the application.

 (3) If the court grants a registration application in full, it makes the entry in the register without issuing a separate registration order. In such a situation, the content of the entry is deemed to constitute the registration order.

 (4) If the court grants an application in part, it makes the entry concerning the part of the application that was granted and issues a registration order by which it denies the remaining part of the application.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 – entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 597.  Making the entry

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a registration order is carried out, and the entry made, without delay.

 (2) A registration order that denies the application is served on the applicant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An registration order that grants the application is transmitted to the applicant by the method prescribed by a regulation of the Minister in charge of the policy sector.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Where an entry is made on the basis of a registrion order without a corresponding application, the order is served on the persons whom or whose assets the entry concerns.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 598.  Suspension of proceedings on a registration application in connection with a legal dispute

  Where, in order to dispose of a registration application, the court dealing with the registration case concerning the Commercial Register or the Register of Non-profit Associations and Foundations would have to assess a disputed legal relationship, the court may suspend proceedings on the application until the time the dispute has been disposed of under the action-by-claim procedure. Where, in such a situation, a court claim has not yet been filed, the court may set the person concerned a time limit for filing such a claim. Proceedings in a case concerning the Commercial Register or the Register of Non-profit Associations and Foundations may also be suspended in a situation provided for by § 356 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 599.  Filing an appeal against a registration order

  The applicant may file an appeal against a registration order by which their application was denied or by which the application was granted in part, or against an order by which a time limit that is longer than six months was set for the curing of defects. An order which is the basis for an entry made of the court’s own motion may be appealed by the person affected by the entry.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 600.  Correction of incorrect entry

 (1) A register entry cannot be appealed; instead, an application may be filed with the court that keeps the register to rectify an incorrect entry in accordance with the rules provided by law.

 (2) In situations provided for by law, the court that keeps the register amends the information of its own motion. The court rectifies an entry if the registration order on which the entry is based has been set aside or varied.

§ 601.  Imposition of fines

 (1) If the court possesses substantiated information concerning the entry of false information in the register or concerning a situation in which information that, under the law, must be entered in the register has not been filed, the court makes an order by which, under penalty of a fine, it imposes an obligation on the persons whose duty it is to file the information to file truthful information or to file an objection against the order. The court may also impose a fine in other situations provided for by law.

 (2) Where, during the time limit set by the court, the obligation is not complied with, and no objection has been filed, the court makes an order by which it imposes a fine, and restates the previous order concerning the filing of the information together with a warning that a new fine may be imposed. The court proceeds in this manner until the obligation is complied with or an objection is filed against the order.

 (3) Where an objection has been filed against the order within the time limit set by the court and the circumstances set out in the objection require specific clarification, the court summons the persons concerned for clarification of the circumstances.

 (4) If the court considers the objection that has been filed to be well-founded, it sets aside its previous order or reduces the fine.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Where the objection is unfounded, the court makes an order by which it imposes a fine and issues a new order requiring compliance with the obligation. The time limit set by the new order does not commence to run before the time limit for appealing the order has expired.

 (6) Where a well-founded objection is filed against a restated order, the court may also set aside the previous order by which it imposed a fine or reduce the amount of the fine if this is justified.

 (7) Where the court imposes a fine, it also orders the parties concerned to pay case costs.

 (8) A person who has been fined may file an appeal against the order by which the fine was imposed. The order of the circuit court of appeal concerning such an appeal cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 – entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 59 APPOINTMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT BOARD OR SUPERVISORY BOARD OF LEGAL PERSON AND APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR, AUDITOR FOR SPECIAL AUDIT AND LIQUIDATOR FOR LEGAL PERSON  

§ 602.  Appointment of members of managing bodies of legal person and other persons

  Based on the petition of an interested party, the court appoints a substitute member to the management board or supervisory board of a legal person, an auditor, auditor for special audit or liquidator for a legal person in the case provided by law. The court may also appoint a liquidator at the initiative of the court and among other things, in the case of compulsory dissolution of a legal person. The court may appoint a substitute member to a managing body of a legal person of its own motion regardless of any possible restrictions in the articles of association of the legal person if the service of procedural documents to the legal person by the court has failed due to the reason that the members of the managing body are not available due to their stay abroad or due to another reason or their place of stay is not known.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 603.  Requirements for appointed persons

 (1) The court may appoint to the positions mentioned in § 602 of this Code every person who conforms to the requirements mentioned by law and who, in the opinion of the court, is able to perform their duties to the extent required.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 – entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Among other things, the court may appoint a trustee in bankruptcy to the position of liquidator.

 (3) The consent of the person is required for their appointment.

§ 604.  Rules for appointment of persons

 (1) Where possible, a petit