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Code of Civil Procedure

Content

Code of Civil Procedure - content
Issuer:Riigikogu
Type:act
In force from:15.03.2019
In force until:28.03.2019
Translation published:11.04.2019

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 in Article 140 (2) 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 Decision of the Supreme Court en banc declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals the first sentence of subsection 183 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance in a civil proceeding to Estonian legal persons in private law not satisfying the criteria specified in this provision for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on the appeal.
14.04.2011RT I, 21.04.2011, 1714.04.2011 Decision of the Supreme Court en banc declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals clause 182 (2) 3) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance to natural persons for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on the appeal if the proceeding concerns the economic or professional activity of the person requesting procedural assistance and is not related to his or her rights which are not connected to his or her economic or professional activity.
01.11.2011RT I, 10.11.2011, 501.11.2011 Decision of the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals clause 182 (2) 3) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance to natural persons for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on recourse to the court if the proceeding concerns the economic or professional activity of the person requesting procedural assistance and is not related to his or her rights which are not connected to his or her economic or professional activity.
07.12.2011RT I, 28.12.2011, 101.01.2012
06.06.2012RT I, 29.06.2012, 301.01.2013, partially 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, partially 01.01.2013
13.03.2013RT I, 22.03.2013, 901.04.2013, partially 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, partially 01.01.2020
21.01.2014RT I, 31.01.2014, 601.02.2014, partially 01.04.2014 and 01.07.2014
04.02.2014RT I, 06.02.2014, 1304.02.2014 - The decision of the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 125¹ (2) of the Courts Act and subsection 174 (8) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part pursuant to which the procedure expenses in a civil proceeding may be determined by a judicial clerk to be in conflict with the Constitution and repealed.
19.02.2014RT I, 13.03.2014, 301.01.2018, partially 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, partially 31.05.2014
11.06.2014RT I, 21.06.2014, 801.01.2015, partially 01.07.2014
12.06.2014RT I, 21.06.2014, 1101.07.2014
26.06.2014RT I, 03.07.2014, 3926.06.2014 - The ruling of the Supreme Court en banc declares: /1./ to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals subsection 174 (8) of the Code of Civil Procedure pursuant to which the assistant judge may determine the procedural expenses in civil proceedings; /2./ that the wording of subsection 175(3) 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 175 (4) of the Civil Procedure Code.
19.06.2014RT I, 29.06.2014, 10901.07.2014, the titles of ministers substituted on the basis of subsection 107³ (4) 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 - a judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 178 (3) of the Code of Civil Procedure to be in conflict with the Constitution and repealed
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 in conflict with the Constitution and repealed in the part in which it does not allow the covering of extra-judicial costs by the state if a prohibition on business is not applied to the person to whom no procedural assistance was granted.
10.05.2017RT I, 26.05.2017, 105.06.2017
07.06.2017RT I, 26.06.2017, 1706.07.2017, partially 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, partially 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

Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

Chapter 1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PROCEDURE  

§ 1.  Administration of justice in civil matters

  Unless otherwise provided by law, civil matters are dealt with by civil procedure. A civil matter is a case arising from a private law relationship.

§ 2.  Purpose of civil procedure

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

§ 3.  Right of recourse to courts

 (1) The court conducts proceedings in a civil matter if a person files a claim with the court in accordance with the rules provided by law for the protection of 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 matter 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 shall be conducted in the matter before a person may have recourse to the court.

§ 4.  Disposal of procedural rights

 (1) The court conducts proceedings in a civil matter only if an action or other petition has been filed in accordance with the rules provided by law. In the cases provided by law, the court conducts proceedings in a civil matter at its own initiative.

 (2) In an action, the parties determine the object of the dispute and the course of the proceedings, and decide on the submission of petitions and filing of appeals.

 (3) Parties may terminate an action by judicial compromise. The plaintiff may withdraw the filed claim and the defendant may admit the claim filed against the defendant.

 (4) During the course of proceedings, the court shall take all possible measures to resolve a matter 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 matter, 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 in 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 an action 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 non-contentious matters, the court itself ascertains the facts and takes the necessary evidence unless otherwise prescribed by law. In contentious matters, 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 act in a civil matter 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 matters, the parties and other persons are equal before the law and the court.

§ 8.  Law applicable to conduct of proceedings in matter

 (1) The conduct of proceedings in a matter 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 MATTERS  

§ 9.  Competent courts

 (1) County courts, circuit courts and the Supreme Court are competent to deal with civil matters.

 (2) By agreement of the parties, a civil matter 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 matter before the matter 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 specified 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 county court

 (1) County courts deal with all civil matters as courts of first instance.

 (11) A county court shall not deal with civil matters related to European patents and European patents with unitary effect, except for such civil matters 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 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 matters or otherwise renders it more effective, the law may provide that certain types of matter be dealt with exclusively by a certain county court.

§ 12.  Jurisdiction of circuit court

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

§ 13.  Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

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

§ 14.  Validity of procedural acts

 (1) A court may perform procedural acts and, among other things, hold a court session outside of its territorial jurisdiction.

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

 (3) In the cases prescribed by law, a procedural act 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 act. The panel may amend the order made by the judge acting on the basis of an order.

§ 15.  Procedural assistance between courts in performance of procedural acts

 (1) When dealing with civil matters, courts provide each other assistance in the performance of procedural acts. A court requests assistance from another court above all in the cases where the performance of a procedural act in the other court would facilitate the conduct of proceedings in the matter, save the time of the participants in proceedings and of the court or reduce procedural expenses.

 (2) A court requesting procedural assistance submits a request to the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the procedural act is to be performed.

 (3) The court which receives a request for assistance (court acting based on a letter of request) shall not refuse to provide assistance unless the performance of the act would be illegal. If a letter of request has been submitted to a court of incorrect jurisdiction, such court forwards the letter to the appropriate court.

 (4) The court who submits a letter of request does not cover the costs of the procedural act. The court which performs a procedural act presents information concerning the expenses to the court who submitted the letter of request, and such expenses are deemed to be expenses of the matter being dealt with.

 (5) Unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement, an Estonian court provides procedural assistance in performance of a procedural act at the request of a foreign court if, pursuant to Estonian law, the requested procedural act belongs to the jurisdiction of the Estonian court and is not prohibited by law. A procedural act may also be performed or a document may be issued pursuant to the law of a foreign state if this is necessary for the conduct of proceedings in the foreign state and if the interests of the participants in proceedings are not damaged thereby.

 (6) The provisions of this Code apply to the assistance for taking of evidence in Estonia on the basis of requests by courts of Member States of the European Union and to the assistance for taking of evidence in Member States of the European Union on the basis of requests by Estonian courts in so far as not otherwise provided by the provisions of 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 matters (OJ L 174, 27.06.2001, pp. 1–24).

 (7) The rights and obligations in the regulation of cross-border judicial cooperation in civil matters imposed upon Member States by regulations adopted on the basis of Article 61(c) of the Treaty establishing the European Community shall be performed by the Ministry of Justice.

Chapter 3 COURT PANEL  

§ 16.  Panel dealing with civil matters in county court

 (1) In the county court, civil matters 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 matters in circuit court

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

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

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

 (1) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, civil matters 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 matter has fundamentally differing opinions concerning the interpretation and application of the law, the matter is referred to the full panel of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court. The panel may also refer a civil matter 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 session 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 his or her 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 session 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 matter 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 matter 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 matter 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 matter by the Supreme Court en banc to be essential for the uniform application of law;
 3) resolution of the matter requires resolution of an issue to be considered under the Constitutional Review Court Procedure Act.

 (5) A matter 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 matter, the matter 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 act 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 matter 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 matter and replaces the judge that conducts proceedings in the matter if he or she is prevented from attending.

 (3) Petitions filed with the same court after the making of a decision on a matter, 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, need not 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 matter, 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 specified 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 unspecified term.
[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 matter 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 court decision is published together with the court decision.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 221.  Competence of assistant judges and other court officials in dealing with civil matters

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

 (2) The provisions of subsections 595 (2)–(4) of this Code apply to the competence of assistant judges and removal thereof.

 (21) The provisions concerning the removal of judges in this Code apply to the removal of judicial clerks.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) An assistant judge or another competent court official according to the internal rules of the court may also make an order in preparation of adjudicating a matter or other orders of organisational nature which are not subject to appeal, including an order on refusal to proceed to a consideration of an application, petition or appeal and an order on setting or extension of a term.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 4 CIRCUMSTANCES PRECLUDING PARTICIPATION IN PROCEEDINGS  

§ 23.  Obligation of judge to remove himself or herself

  A judge shall not conduct proceedings a civil matter and shall remove himself or herself in the following cases:
 1) in a matter in which he or she is a participant in proceedings or a person against whom a claim arising from the proceedings may be filed;
 2) in a matter of his or her spouse or cohabitee, and in a matter of a sister, brother or direct blood relative of his or her spouse or cohabitee even if the marriage or permanent cohabition has ended;
 3) in a matter of a person who is his or her direct blood relative or other person close to him or her as defined in subsection 257 (1) of this Code;
 4) in a matter in which he or she is or has been a representative or adviser of a participant in proceedings or in which he or she participated or had the right to participate as the legal representative of a participant in proceedings;
 5) in a matter in which he or she has been heard as a witness or expert providing an opinion;
 6) in a matter in which he or she participated in the making of the decision in pre-court proceedings, in the preceding court instance or in arbitration proceedings;
 7) if any other circumstances exist which give reason to doubt the impartiality of the judge.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 24.  Removal of judge based on petition of challenge by participant in proceedings

 (1) The removal of a judge may be requested by a participant in proceedings in the cases prescribed in § 23 of this Code.

 (2) A petition of challenge is submitted to the court to a panel of which the judge whose removal is requested belongs.

 (3) The basis for removal shall be substantiated in the petition of challenge.

§ 25.  Loss of right to remove judge

 (1) In the case prescribed in clause 23 7) of this Code, a participant in proceedings has no right to submit a petition of challenge if he or she has participated in a court session or, after becoming aware of the name of the judge, has submitted a petition the matter on its merits without having submitted a petition of challenge.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, a participant in proceedings has the right to submit a petition of challenge later, provided that the basis for removal was created only after the performance of the procedural act or the participant in proceedings became aware of such basis only after the procedural act had been performed. Such circumstances shall be substantiated in the petition.

 (3) A petition of challenge which has been submitted under the same circumstances and which has already been resolved shall be dismissed.

§ 26.  Resolution of petition of challenge

 (1) If the judge or court panel concerning whom a petition of challenge has been submitted considers the petition to be justified, it makes an order on removing themselves.

 (2) If the judge does not remove himself or herself and does not form a position concerning the petition of challenge, the petition is resolved by an order of the court panel to which the judge whose removal is requested belongs. The judge whose removal has been requested does not participate in deciding such matter. Upon an equal division of votes, the judge whose removal was requested is deemed to be removed.

 (3) If a petition of challenge was submitted for removal of the entire panel dealing with a matter or a judge sitting alone and the panel or judge fail to remove themselves, the matter of removal is resolved by the chairman of the court. If a petition of challenge is submitted against all the judges of the court, the removal is decided by the chairman of the court of the following instance.

 (4) If a petition of challenge is submitted against the entire panel of the Supreme Court dealing with a matter, the petition of challenge is resolved by such panel.

 (5) If a judge does not remove himself or herself on the basis of a petition of challenge, he or she shall immediately inform the court or judge competent to adjudicate the removal about his or her position concerning the basis for removal.

§ 27.  Removal without petition of challenge

 (1) If a judge himself or herself finds that a circumstance specified in clauses 23 1)–6) of this Code which provide basis for his or her removal exists, the judge makes an order on his or her removal.

 (2) If a judge himself or herself finds that a circumstance specified in clause 23 7) of this Code which provides basis for his or her removal exists, the judge requests his or her removal in accordance with the rules provided in subsections 26 (2)–(5) of this Code, from the court panel or chairman of the court.

 (3) An unjustified refusal to administer justice is prohibited.

§ 28.  Acts of judge whose removal is requested

 (1) After the submission and before the resolution of a petition of challenge against a judge, the judge may only perform procedural acts in the matter which cannot be postponed and which are of no determinative importance with regard to the decision on the matter.

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

§ 29.  Substitution of judge

 (1) A removed judge is replaced at the earliest opportunity.

 (2) In the case of removal of a judge or the entire court panel, the matter is considered by another judge or panel of the same court. If a judge cannot be replaced in the court that is considering the matter, the matter is referred to another court of the same level through the directly higher court.

§ 30.  Relying on basis of removal in appeal

  The annulment of a decision due to failure to remove a judge may be applied for in an appeal filed with a higher court only if the petition of challenge was submitted to the lower court on time or if the basis for removal was created or became evident after the adjudication of the matter in such court.

§ 31.  Removal of expert, interpreter or translator

 (1) Upon existence of the basis specified in § 23 of this Code, an expert, interpreter or translator shall remove themselves and a participant in proceedings may remove an expert, interpreter or translator participating in the proceedings. Earlier participation of a person in the matter as an expert or witness is not a basis for removal.

 (2) A petition of challenge is submitted to the court which appointed the expert or involved the interpreter or translator before the questioning of the expert or the procedural act which requires the presence of the interpreter or translator begins.

 (3) A petition of challenge submitted after the questioning of the expert or after the commencement of the procedural act requiring the presence of the interpreter or translator, or more than 15 days after the date on which the name of the expert, interpreter or translator became known, is considered only if the petitioner is able to provide the court with good reason for failing to inform the court of the existence of a basis for removal at an earlier time.

 (4) The basis for removal shall be substantiated in the petition of challenge.

 (5) The court considering the matter resolves the removal of an expert, interpreter or translator by an order. If a petition of challenge is submitted in a court session, the court hears the opinions of the person whose removal is requested and of the participants in proceedings.

 (6) The annulment of a decision due to failure to remove an expert, interpreter or translator may be applied for in an appeal filed with a higher court only if the petition of challenge was submitted to the lower court on time or if the basis for removal became evident after the adjudication of the matter in such court.

Chapter 5 WORKING LANGUAGE OF COURTS  

§ 32.  Working language of courts

 (1) Proceedings before the courts and clerical business in the courts are conducted in the Estonian language.

 (2) Minutes of court sessions and of other procedural acts are prepared in Estonian. A court may also record any testimony or statement given in a court session in a foreign language in the minutes in the language in which it is given in addition to the translation thereof into Estonian if it is necessary for an accurate presentation of the testimony or statement.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The Republic of Estonia accepts translations of forms into English on the basis of Article 57(2) 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).
[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 participant in 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 a documentary evidence submitted to the court by a participant in 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 unless translation of the evidence is unreasonable considering its contents or volume and other participants in proceedings do not object to accepting the evidence in another language.

 (2) The court may require a translation made by a sworn translator or certified by a notary or caution the translator that he or she bears liability for a knowingly false translation.
[RT I, 23.12.2013, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2014]

 (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 court decision into a foreign language for a participant in proceedings only if the participant in proceedings so requests and provided that in the proceedings the participant in proceedings is not represented by a representative and he or she has been granted procedural assistance for bearing translation costs. If the person so requests, a court organises translation of a court decision for the person specified 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 procedural assistance.
[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 participant in proceedings is not proficient in Estonian and he or she 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 participant in proceedings or at the initiative of the court. An interpreter or translator need not be involved if the statements of the participant in proceedings can be understood by the court and the other participants in 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 participant in 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 matter. If a plaintiff fails to comply with the demand of the court, the court may dismiss the action.

 (3) Before commencing interpretation or translation in the proceedings, an interpreter or translator is cautioned that he or she bears 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 participant in proceedings or for an adviser.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 35.  Involvement of interpreter or translator in case of deaf, mute or deaf-mute participant in proceedings

  If a participant in proceedings is a deaf, mute or deaf-mute person, the course of the proceedings are communicated to him or her in writing, or an interpreter or translator is involved in the proceedings.

§ 36.  Oath and signature of person not proficient in Estonian

 (1) A person who is not proficient in Estonian gives an oath or signature on being cautioned of his or her liability in a language in which he or she is proficient.

 (2) A signature is given on the text of the oath or caution prepared in Estonian which is translated to the person directly before he or she signs it.

Chapter 6 PUBLIC PROCEEDINGS  

§ 37.  Public court hearings

 (1) Court hearing of a matter 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 matter.

§ 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 participant in 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 participant in proceedings, witness or other person;
 3) for the protection of the private life of a participant in 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 at its own initiative or based on a petition of a participant in proceedings in a case not specified 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 session

  The court may permit a person who has justified interest in participating in a court session or whose presence at the session is clearly in the interests of administration of justice to be present at a closed court session. The consent of the participants in 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 session if this is requested by a participant in 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 session if there is reason to believe that public pronouncement could significantly disturb order in the court session.

§ 41.  Obligation of participants in proceedings and persons present in court session to maintain confidentiality

 (1) In a closed court session, the court cautions the participants in proceedings and other persons present in the courtroom that the contents of the hearing held and the documents examined in a closed session must not be disclosed to the extent necessary for the protection of a right or interest specified 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 court session to maintain the confidentiality of a fact which has become known to him or her in the session or from a document relevant to the matter if this is necessary to protect a right or interest specified in § 38 of this Code.

 (3) The court may require the participants in 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 specified in § 38 of this Code.

 (4) A person required to maintain confidentiality may file an appeal against the order made in respect of the obligation specified 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 court session

 (1) Notes may be taken at a public court session if this does not interfere with the court session. A court session may be photographed or filmed, and audio recordings, radio, television or other broadcasts may be made in a court session only with the prior consent of the court.

 (2) In a closed court session, the court may decide that written notes only may be taken.

 (3) The court may remove a person violating the provisions of subsection (1) or (2) of this section from the courtroom and impose a fine on him or her.

Chapter 7 SECURING OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS  

§ 43.  Order in court session

 (1) The court ensures order in a court session and organises the enforcement of orders made to maintain order in a court session, including orders of fines or detention. The participants in the proceedings and other persons present in a courtroom shall comply with the orders of the court without argument.

 (2) Judges acting on the basis of a letter of request or order, or performing a procedural act outside a court session also have the obligation to ensure order provided for in this Chapter and the rights arising therefrom.

§ 44.  Limitation of number of persons present in court session

  The court has the right to limit the number of persons present in a court session if the courtroom is overcrowded and this interferes with hearing the matter.

§ 45.  Removing of persons from court session and application of other measures to persons

 (1) The court may remove a participant in proceedings or his or her representative or adviser, or a witness, expert, interpreter, translator or another person present in the session who fails to comply with an order given to ensure order in the court session, acts in an improper manner in the court session or expresses contempt for the court or for other participants in proceedings.

 (2) The court may remove from the proceedings a representative or adviser of a participant in 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 proceedings before the court, 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 matter 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 participant in proceedings or his or her representative is removed from a court session, the hearing of the matter may be continued in a manner equal to a situation where a participant in proceedings or his or her representative leaves the session voluntarily. A representative of a participant in proceedings is considered to have left the session also if he or she is removed from the proceedings or he or she is 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 detention of up to seven twenty-four hour periods on a person who conducts himself or herself in the manner specified in subsection (1) of this section or on a participant in proceedings or a representative or adviser thereof who has, in bad faith, obstructed the just and expeditious hearing of the matter 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 participant in proceedings is not present in the court session or performance of a procedural act, the court immediately informs him or her of application of the provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section to his or her representative and proposes that he or she 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 advocate belongs of application of the provisions of subsections (1)–(4) of this section to an advocate.
[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 participant in 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 his or her parents or guardians. Instead of an adult with restricted active legal capacity, a fine may be imposed on his or her guardians. No fine is imposed on minors under 14 years of age and persons with restricted active 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 him or her, 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 transcript of an order whereby a fine is imposed is immediately served on the person fined or the representative thereof.

§ 47.  Detention and compelled attendance

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

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

 (3) Detention is served at a house of detention of the location of the court that made the order or of the residence of the detained person under the conditions provided for in the Imprisonment Act.

 (4) The court may, by an order, impose compelled attendance by police escort on a person in the cases prescribed by law if the court has warned the person that compelled attendance may be imposed.

 (5) In order to enforce an order on compelled attendance, a person may be detained for up to 48 hours before the beginning of a court session. Unless otherwise provided by this Code, the provisions of subsections 139 (3)–(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure apply to compelled attendance.

§ 48.  Appeal against order on fine or detention

  A person on whom a fine or detention is imposed may file an appeal against the order on fine or detention specified in this Chapter.

Chapter 8 MINUTES  

§ 49.  Taking minutes of procedural acts

 (1) Minutes are taken of court sessions and, in the cases provided by law, also of other procedural acts. The same applies to procedural acts performed by the court based on an order or letter of request.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

 (2) The minutes are taken by the clerk of the court session or another competent court official in conformity with the internal rules of the court or the judge during the court session or the performance of another procedural act. If the minutes are taken by the clerk of the court session or another competent court official in conformity with the internal rules of the court, it enters the information specified in clauses 50 (1) 6)–9) and subsection 50 (2) of this Code in the minutes only in accordance with the summary made by the judge.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Minutes are taken of sessions of the Supreme Court to the extent the court considers necessary.

§ 50.  Content of minutes

 (1) Minutes of a procedural act shall reflect the essential course of the procedural act and other circumstances relevant to the adjudication or possible appeal in the matter. The minutes set out:
 1) the time and location of performance of the procedural act, and a short description and number of the matter;
 2) the name of the court considering the matter and the names of the judges, court reporters, interpreters and translators;
 3) the type of the matter;
 4) information on attendance of the participants in proceedings and their representatives, and witnesses and experts;
 5) information on whether or not the procedural act is open to the public;
 51) agreement on law applicable to dealing with the matter;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2016]
 6) the petitions and requests of the participants in proceedings;
 7) the admission of claim, discontinuance of action or compromise;
 8) the essential content of the claims and objections of the parties and other participants in proceedings to the extent this is not reflected in the written documents submitted to the court;
 9) the essential content of the statements of the participants in proceedings given under oath, testimonies of witnesses, oral replies of experts and inspection results;
 10) the directions of the court and decisions made in the session;
 11) the time of making the decision public;
 12) discontinuance of appeal against decision;
 13) the date the minutes are signed.

 (2) At the request of a participant in proceedings, a fact or position presented in the matter is included in the minutes. The court may, by order, deny the request if the fact or position clearly has no relevance to the matter.

 (3) A procedural document is deemed to be equal to the taking of minutes if such document is appended to the minutes and a reference thereto is made in the minutes.

§ 51.  Preparation of minutes

 (1) Minutes are prepared in typewritten form or are recorded on a digital data medium in a court session in a format which allows the reproduction of the minutes in writing. Initially, the minutes may also be prepared otherwise in a session, including by taking notes or dictating, but the minutes shall be brought into the format specified in the first sentence of this subsection by the time of signing the minutes.

 (2) The technical requirements for digital minutes, for the format of objections submitted regarding such minutes and for signing the minutes shall be established by an order of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 52.  Recording of procedural act

 (1) Court sessions are audio recorded.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (11) Court sessions need not be recorded if:
 1) it becomes evident before the session or in the course of the session that recording is technically impossible;
 2) the session is held outside the court premises;
 3) the session is held in the absence of a party and the court dismisses the action, postpones the hearing of the matter or deals with the matter by written procedure or by a default judgement;
 4) the session is held for pronouncement of the decision;
 5) in the event of a session of the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (12) A court session or other procedural act may be initially recorded, in full or in part, on audio, video or other data media. In such case, the minutes shall be prepared immediately after the court session or performance of other procedural act.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (2) The minutes contain only an indication concerning the recorded statements of witnesses, experts and participants in proceedings and recorded inspection results unless, in the course of the proceedings, taking of minutes of the essential contents of the recordings is demanded by a party or the court deems it necessary.

 (3) The recording is included in the file.

§ 53.  Submission of objections to minutes and correction of minutes

 (1) The content of the statements of the participants in proceedings given under oath, statements of witnesses and replies and responses of experts which are entered in the minutes are immediately made public in a court session, unless such person and the participants in proceedings who have participated in the session agree that the content entered in the minutes is not made public in the court session and the court does not consider it necessary either. Corrections are made to the minutes on the basis of objections by the relevant person if the court consents thereto. Any objections to which the court does not consent are entered in the minutes or appended thereto.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Participants in proceedings have the right to examine the minutes and submit requests for correction of the minutes within three working days after signing the minutes. The court notifies the participants in proceedings of the time of signing the minutes and forwards the minutes to them electronically immediately after signing thereof if the participant in proceedings has provided his or her e-mail address to the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If, in the case specified in subsection (2) of this section, a participant in proceedings submits a request for correction of the content of the minutes, the court seeks the position of the other participants in proceedings on the issue. If necessary, the court holds a court session for resolving the request. Absence of a participant in proceedings from the session does not preclude resolution of the request.

 (4) In the case the court consents to a request for correction of the minutes specified in subsection (2) of this section, the court makes the corrections to the minutes. Any objections to which the court does not consent are entered in the minutes or appended thereto.

 (5) If the content of the minutes is recorded, the person whose statements were recorded may immediately examine the recording and submit any objections thereto. If the court consents to the objection, the statement, testimony or answer is recorded in a new wording. If the court does not consent to the objection, the content of the objection is recorded.

 (6) Upon taking minutes of a procedural act, the court explains the rights specified in subsections (1)–(5) of this section to the persons who have the right to submit objections to the minutes.

 (7) Indication is made in the minutes concerning examination of the minutes or the recordings, or on waiving such right, and on approving the content of the minutes or filing objections thereto.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 54.  Signing of minutes

 (1) The minutes are signed by the judge. If a collegial court panel participates in the performance of a procedural act, the minutes are signed by the presiding judge. If the minutes are prepared by the clerk of the court session or another competent person, such person also signs the minutes.

 (2) If the presiding judge is unable to sign the minutes, another member of the court panel signs the minutes instead of him or her. If a judge sitting alone in performing a procedural act is unable to sign the minutes and the minutes were prepared by the clerk of the court session or another competent person, signature of the minutes by the person who prepared the minutes is sufficient. The reason for failure to sign the minutes is indicated in the minutes.

 (3) The provisions of § 441 of this Code otherwise apply to the signing of the minutes.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 55.  Probative value of minutes

  Violation of the procedural rules in a court session or during the conducting of other procedural acts of which minutes have been taken can be proven only on the basis of the minutes. The only objection that can be filed to the minutes is the objection of falsification.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 9 FILE  

§ 56.  File in civil matter

 (1) The court keeps a file on each civil matter which includes, in chronological order, all procedural documents and other documents relevant to the matter at all tiers of the proceedings, including minutes and court decisions. In the cases 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section.

§ 58.  Archiving of files

 (1) The county court that conducted proceedings in the matter archives the file when the decision which terminated the proceedings has entered into force.

 (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 participants in proceedings or other persons, or in the public interest.

§ 59.  Examination of file

 (1) The participants in proceedings have the right to examine the file and obtain transcripts of procedural documents contained therein.

 (11) The court may restrict the right of a participant in proceedings to examine the file and obtain transcripts thereof if this would be clearly contrary to a significant interest of another participant in proceedings or any other person. The right of the parties to an action to examine the file and obtain transcripts thereof shall not be restricted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

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

 (2) Other persons have the right to examine the file during actions and obtain transcripts of procedural documents contained in the file only with the consent of the parties. A representative of a competent state agency may examine a file and obtain transcripts of procedural documents with the permission of the chairman of the court conducting proceedings in the matter, even without the consent of the parties, if the state agency substantiates its legal interest in examining the file and obtaining the transcripts.

 (3) If proceedings in a matter have ended with a decision which has entered into force, other persons may examine the file even without the consent of the parties and obtain transcripts of procedural documents with the permission of the county court which conducted the proceedings, if they substantiate their legitimate interest in examining the file and obtaining the transcripts. Files of matters heard in closed proceedings shall not be examined in such manner.

 (4) Unless otherwise prescribed by law, in non-contentious matters other persons may examine the file and obtain transcripts 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 transcripts. Procedural documents pertaining to adoption may be examined only with the permission of the adoptive parent and the adult 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 transcript, 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 participant in proceedings or his or her representative.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (52) At the request of a participant in proceedings or his or her representative, a data medium used in the matter as evidence and containing state secrets or classified information of foreign states, which is not annexed to the file, is presented to him or her 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 concerning an appeal against such orders is not subject to appeal 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 matter is destroyed or otherwise lost, the court may restore the file based on a petition of a participant in proceedings or at its own initiative.

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

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

 (4) Persons who were present at the procedural acts, persons who were members of the court panel hearing the matter 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 by non-contentious 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 court decision by which the proceedings were terminated or the order on termination of proceedings or on dismissal of the matter shall be restored if such a decision or order was made in the matter.

 (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 matter 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 matters 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 matters 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 in this Code;
 4) information concerning the body conducting the proceedings, participants in proceedings and parties involved in the proceedings;
 5) court decisions.

 (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 responsible for the area.

 (5) The minister responsible for the area 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 responsible for the area. The specific requirements for archiving files, including the terms 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 responsible for the area.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

Chapter 10 TERMS IN PROCEEDINGS  

§ 62.  Calculation of terms in proceedings

 (1) The provisions of the General Principles of the Civil Code Act applicable to calculation of time limits and due dates apply to calculation of terms in proceedings, unless otherwise provided by law.

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

§ 63.  Beginning of term set by court

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

§ 64.  Alteration of term

 (1) The court may extend a term set thereby on the basis of a reasoned petition or at its own initiative if good reason exists therefor. A term may be extended on more than one occasion only with the consent of the opposing party.

 (2) The terms in proceedings, whether provided by law or set by the court, may be shortened by agreement of the parties. The agreement concerning shortening of a term is submitted to the court in writing or it is recorded in the minutes.

§ 65.  Calculation of terms 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 participant in 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 term for performance of the procedural act 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 act on time

  If a procedural act is not performed on time, the participant in proceedings has no right to perform the procedural act at a later time, unless the court restores the term provided by law or extends the term set by the same court or accepts the petition, application, evidence or objection filed by the participant in proceedings for consideration in the event provided for in subsection 331 (1) of this Code. The above applies regardless of whether or not the participant in proceedings has been warned of such consequences.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 67.  Restoration of procedural term provided by law

 (1) If a participant in proceedings has allowed a procedural term provided by law to expire, the court restores the term on the basis of a petition of the participant in proceedings if the participant in proceedings had good reason for allowing the term to expire and the expiry of the term does not allow the performance of the procedural act or has other negative effects on the participant in proceedings.

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

§ 68.  Deciding on restoration of term

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

 (2) A procedural act for which restoration of the term is applied shall be performed simultaneously with the submission of the petition to restore the term.

 (3) The court resolves the restoration of a term by an order.

 (4) An appeal may be filed against an order on refusal to restore a term made by a county court or circuit court. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If a term is restored, proceedings are restored to the stage they had reached before the term was allowed to expire.

 (6) Before deciding on restoration of a term, the court may, by order, suspend enforcement proceedings or permit them to be continued only on provision of a security, or revoke the enforcement action.

Part 2 JURISDICTION  

Chapter 11 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 69.  Definition of jurisdiction

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

 (2) General jurisdiction establishes the court with which an action can be filed against a person and other procedural acts can be performed with respect to a person unless it is provided by law that the action must be filed or the act be performed by another court.

 (3) Optional jurisdiction establishes the court with which actions can be filed against a person and other procedural acts can be performed with respect to a person in addition to general jurisdiction.

 (4) Exclusive jurisdiction establishes the sole court which can be addressed for adjudication of a civil matter. Jurisdiction in non-contentious matters is exclusive unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 70.  International jurisdiction

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

 (2) A matter falls under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court if an Estonian court can deal with the matter 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 matters and the matters 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 matters 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 matters 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 matters (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 County Court

 (1) If, pursuant to general provisions, a matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court or such jurisdiction cannot be determined and an international agreement or law does not provide otherwise, the matter is dealt with by Harju County Court if:
 1) the case must be dealt with in the Republic of Estonia pursuant to an international agreement;
 2) the petitioner is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or has a residence in Estonia, and the petitioner has no possibility to defend his or her rights in a foreign state or the petitioner cannot be expected to do so;
 3) the matter concerns Estonia to a significant extent due to another reason and the petitioner has no possibility to defend his or her rights in a foreign state or the petitioner cannot be expected to do so.

 (2) Harju County Court also deals with the matter if the matter falls under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court but it is not possible to determine which court has jurisdiction in the matter. The above also applies if Estonian jurisdiction has been agreed upon without specifying which court has jurisdiction.

§ 73.  Jurisdiction determined by court

  Jurisdiction is determined by the chairman of the court of a higher instance based on a petition of a participant in 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 matter;
 2) it is not clear, considering the boundaries of the territorial jurisdiction of courts, which court has jurisdiction in the matter;
 3) several courts have decided regarding a matter that the matter does not fall under their jurisdiction but one of those courts could consider the matter.

§ 74.  Matters which fall under jurisdiction of several courts and division of matters among courthouses

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

 (1) If a matter falls under the jurisdiction of several Estonian courts concurrently, the petitioner has the right to choose the court with which to file the petition. In such case, the matter is dealt with by the court which was the first to receive the petition.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) If an action is filed with the court of the residence or seat of the defendant or with the court of exclusive jurisdiction, the matter is heard in the courthouse in the territorial jurisdiction of which is the defendant's residence or seat or the place according to which the exclusive jurisdiction is determined. If different places determining jurisdiction otherwise remain within the territorial jurisdiction of one county court, but within the service areas of different courthouses, the plaintiff indicates the courthouse wherein the matter is heard. If the plaintiff fails to indicate it, the place of hearing the matter is determined by the court.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (3) Non-contentious matters are heard in the courthouse in the territorial jurisdiction of which is the place according to which jurisdiction is determined. If different places determining jurisdiction remain within the territorial jurisdiction of one county court, but within the service areas of different courthouses, the place of hearing the matter 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 matter falls under the jurisdiction of the court with which the petition was filed.

 (2) If the matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of such court, the court forwards the petition to the court which has jurisdiction in the matter, unless the court finds that according to international jurisdiction, the matter 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 matter 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 participants in proceedings on resolving the request and hear them.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (31) The order specified in subsection (3) of this section whereby the court finds that the matter does not fall under its jurisdiction is subject to appeal by the person who filed the request. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 matter according to international jurisdiction if that jurisdiction was challenged in the county court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 76.  Referral of matter according to jurisdiction

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

 (2) The order specified in subsection (1) of this section is subject to appeal. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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

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

§ 77.  Changing of jurisdiction of matter

  If a matter was accepted correctly by a court, the court adjudicates the matter 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 action with courts of different states

 (1) If an action of identical content between the same parties has been accepted by a competent court of a foreign state before the action was filed with an Estonian court, the Estonian court accepts the action provided that the other conditions for acceptance of the matter are fulfilled and the jurisdiction of Estonian court does not arise from an international agreement or a European Union regulation specified in subsection 70 (4) of this Act 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 an action with an Estonian court is deemed to be the time when the action, or the request specified in subsection 75 (3) of this Code reaches the court as well as the time when the petition specified 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 action was served on the opposing party at a later time.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) A matter 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 act with respect to the action.

 (3) The court resumes the proceedings suspended on the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section in accordance with the rules provided in § 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 non-contentious procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 12 GENERAL JURISDICTION  

§ 79.  Jurisdiction over person

 (1) An action against a natural person can be filed with the court of his or her residence and an action against a legal person can be filed with the court of its seat.

 (2) If the residence of a natural person is not known, an action against the person can be filed with the court of his or her last known residence.

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

 (1) An action 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section has not had a residence in Estonia, an action can be filed against him or her with Harju County Court.

§ 81.  Jurisdiction over Republic of Estonia and local governments

 (1) An action 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 action against the state or local government agency.

 (2) If the state agency specified in subsection (1) of this section cannot be determined, the action is filed with Harju County Court. If the local government agency specified in subsection (1) of this section cannot be determined, the action is filed with the court of the seat of the rural municipality or city government.

 (3) A plaintiff can also file an action specified in subsection (1) or (2) of this section with the court of his or her 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

  An action involving a proprietary claim can be filed against a natural person also with the court of his or her 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

  An action 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 legal person based on membership, including a company, or a member, partner or shareholder thereof can file an action arising from membership or holding against a member, partner or shareholder of the legal person also with the court of the seat of the legal person.

§ 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, an action involving a proprietary 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 action specified 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 action specified 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 a thing, the action can be filed with the court of the location of the thing.

§ 87.  Jurisdiction of action involving claim secured by mortgage or encumbered with real encumbrance

  An action for the collection of a claim secured by a mortgage or encumbered with a real encumbrance or another action 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 of action arising from apartment ownership

  An action 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) An action arising from a contract or an action for ascertainment of the invalidity of a contract can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the contested contractual obligation.

 (2) In the case of a contract for the sale of a movable, the place where the movable was delivered or had to be delivered to the buyer and, in the case of a contract for provision of a service, the place where the service was provided or had to be provided is deemed to be the place of performance of the obligation within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section. In other cases, the place of business or in the absence thereof, the residence or seat of the debtor is deemed to be the place of performance of the obligation within the meaning 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 by residence of consumer

  An action arising from a contract or relationship specified in §§ 35, 46 or 52, subsection 208 (4), §§ 379 or 402, subsection 635 (4) or §§ 709, 734 or 866 of the Law of Obligations Act or an action arising from another contract concluded with an undertaking having a seat or place of business in Estonia can also be filed by a consumer with the court of the residence of the consumer. The above does not apply to actions arising from contracts of carriage.

§ 91.  Jurisdiction of action arising from insurance contract

 (1) A policyholder, beneficiary or other person entitled to demand performance from the insurer on the basis of an insurance contract can also file an action arising from the insurance contract against the insurer with the court of the residence or seat of the person.

 (2) In the case of liability insurance, or insurance of a construction works, immovable or movables together with a construction works or immovable, an action can also be filed against the insurer with the court of the place of performance of the act or occurrence of the event which caused the damage or the place where the damage was caused.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 92.  Jurisdiction by residence or place of work of employee

  An employee can also file an action arising from his or her employment contract with the court of his or her residence or place of work.

§ 93.  Jurisdiction of action arising from bill of exchange or cheque

  An action arising from a bill of exchange or cheque can also be filed with the court of the place of payment for the bill of exchange or cheque.

§ 94.  Jurisdiction of action arising from illegal causing of damage

  An action for compensation for illegally caused damage can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the act or occurrence of the event which caused the damage or the place where the damage was caused.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 95.  Jurisdiction of action arising from maritime claim, rescue work or rescue contract

 (1) An action arising from one or several maritime claims specified in the Law of Maritime Property Act can also be filed with the court of the location of the ship of the defendant or of the home port of the ship.

 (2) An action arising from rescue works or a rescue contract can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the rescue works.

§ 96.  Jurisdiction over action for division of estate

 (1) An action the object of which is the establishment of the right of succession, a successor's claim against the possessor of the estate, a claim arising from a legacy or succession contract or a claim for a compulsory portion or for division of an estate can also be filed with the court of the residence at the time of the death of the bequeather.
[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 action specified 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 action can be filed with Harju County Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 97.  Action against co-defendants and several actions against same defendant

 (1) An action against several defendants can be filed with the court of the residence or seat of one co-defendant at the plaintiff's choice.

 (2) If several actions can be filed against one defendant on the basis of the same fact, the actions can also be filed with the court with which an action with one claim or some of the claims arising from the same fact could be filed.

§ 98.  Jurisdiction of counterclaim and action by third person with independent claim

 (1) A counterclaim can be filed with the court with which the action was filed provided that the conditions for filing a counterclaim are complied with and the counterclaim does not fall under exclusive jurisdiction. The above also applies in the cases where pursuant to general provisions, the counterclaim should be filed with a court of a foreign state.

 (2) An action by a third party with an independent claim can be filed with the court which is considering the main action.

§ 981.  Jurisdiction in bankruptcy proceedings

 (1) An action concerning bankruptcy proceedings or bankruptcy estate against a bankrupt, trustee in bankruptcy or a member of the bankruptcy committee, including an action for exclusion of property from a bankruptcy estate, can also be filed with the court which declared the bankruptcy. An action for acceptance of a claim can also be filed with the court which declared the bankruptcy.

 (2) A bankrupt can also file an action concerning the bankruptcy estate, including an action for recovery, with the court which declared the bankruptcy.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 14 EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION  

§ 99.  Jurisdiction by location of immovable

 (1) An action 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 from 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) An action 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 for termination of application of standard terms

 (1) An action for termination of application of an unfair standard term or for termination and withdrawal of recommendation of the term by the person recommending application of the term (§ 45 of the Law of Obligations Act) is filed with the court of the place of business of the defendant or, in the absence thereof, with the court of the residence or seat of the defendant. If the defendant has no place of business, residence or seat in Estonia, the action is filed with the court under whose territorial jurisdiction the standard term was applied.
[RT I, 05.04.2013, 1 - entry into force 15.04.2013]

 (2) The provisions of this Code concerning the claim for termination of application of a standard term also apply in the case provided in subsection 45 (21) of the Law of Obligations Act.
[RT I, 05.04.2013, 1 - entry into force 15.04.2013]

§ 101.  Jurisdiction of matter of revocation of decision of body of legal person or establishment of invalidity thereof

  An action for revocation of 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 matters

 (1) Matrimonial matters are civil matters that seek resolution of actions 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 proprietary 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 matter 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 matter to be dealt with by an Estonian court, an action is filed 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 action is filed 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 plaintiff.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If custody has been established over the property of an absent person due to the person going missing or a guardian has been appointed to a person due to his or her restricted active legal capacity or if imprisonment has been imposed on a person as punishment, a divorce action against such person can also be filed with the court of the residence of the plaintiff.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 103.  Jurisdiction of filiation matter and maintenance matter

 (1) A filiation matter is a civil matter that seeks resolution of an action with the object of establishment of filiation or contestation of an entry concerning a parent in the birth registration of a child or in the population register.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) An Estonian court can deal with a filiation matter 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 matter to be dealt with by an Estonian court, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the child. If the residence of the child is not in Estonia, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the defendant. If the residence of the defendant is not in Estonia, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the plaintiff.
[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 matters. A maintenance matter is a civil matter that seeks resolutio of an action the object of which is a claim for:
 1) performance of maintenance obligation of a parent arising from law with respect to a minor child;
 2) performance of a maintenance obligation between parents;
 3) performance of a maintenance obligation between spouses;
 4) performance of other maintenance obligation arising from law.

Chapter 15 AGREEMENT ON JURISDICTION  

§ 104.  Agreement on jurisdiction

 (1) A court may also consider a matter 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 action.

 (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, county courts may, according to jurisdiction, deal with the case if the defendant responds to the action without contesting jurisdiction and also if the defendant does not respond to the action but participates in a court session 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 104 (1) of this Code;
 2) it does not concern a specific legal relationship or a dispute arising from such relationship;
 3) it has been entered into in a format which cannot be reproduced in writing;
 4) exclusive jurisdiction is prescribed by law for filing the action;
 5) one of the parties has been deprived of Estonian jurisdiction contrary to the principles of good faith.

 (2) In the case specified in clause (1) 4) of this section, the court shall not deal with the matter 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 matter to another court of first instance if the parties submit a joint petition to such effect before the first court session or, in written procedure, before the expiry of the term for submission of positions.

Chapter 16 JURISDICTION IN NON-CONTENTIOUS MATTERS  

§ 108.  Expedited procedure for orders for payment

  Matters subject to expedited procedure for orders for payment are dealt with by Haapsalu courthouse of Pärnu County Court.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

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

 (1) An Estonian court may declare a person dead and establish his or her time of death if:
 1) at the time the missing person was last heard of, he or she 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 his or her time of death.

 (2) A petition for declaring a person dead and establishing his or her 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section, a petition for declaring a person dead or establishing his or her 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 County Court.

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

§ 110.  Guardianship matters

 (1) A guardianship matter is a matter for appointment of a guardian for a person, or other matter related to guardianship. An Estonian court is competent to deal with a guardianship matter if:
 1) the person in need of guardianship or the person under guardianship is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia, or his or her residence is in Estonia;
 2) the person in need of guardianship or the person under guardianship 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 need not 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 matter 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 matter 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 matter can be dealt with by the court in whose territorial jurisdiction the person or his or her property is in need of protection, or by Harju County Court.

 (7) A matter relating to a person under guardianship or his or her property is dealt with by the court which appointed the guardian. Such matter can also be dealt with, with good reason, by the court of the residence of the person under guardianship or the court of the location of the property of such person.

§ 111.  Placing of person in closed institution

 (1) The matter 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 matter of guardianship. In other cases such matters are dealt with by the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the closed institution is located. The matter can also be dealt with by the court that applied provisional legal protection.
[RT I, 23.02.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.09.2011]

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

 (3) Provisional legal protection in the case may be ordered by any court within whose territorial jurisdiction the relevant measure must be applied.

 (4) Other matters related to placement of a person in a closed institution, including matters of suspension or termination of placement of a person in a closed institution and matters of change of the term 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.  Establishment of custody over property of absent person

 (1) The matter of establishment of custody over the property of an absent person is dealt with by the court of the residence of the absent person.

 (2) If an absent person has no residence in Estonia, the matter of establishment of custody over the property of the absent person is dealt with by the court of the location of the property for which custody is sought.

 (3) Other matters related to establishment of custody over the property of an absent person, including matters of termination of custody and change of the administrator and duties thereof, are dealt with by the court that appointed the administrator.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 113.  Adoption

 (1) A matter of adoption 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, one of the spouses wishing to adopt or the child is in Estonia.

 (2) A petition for adoption is filed with the court of the residence of the adoptive child. If the adoptive child has no residence in the Republic of Estonia, the petition is filed with Harju County Court.

 (3) A matter of declaring an adoption invalid is dealt with by the court which decided on the adoption.

§ 114.  Extension of active legal capacity of minor

 (1) The matter 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 his or her residence is in Estonia.

 (2) A petition for extension of the active legal capacity of a minor or a petition for annulment of 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 County Court.

§ 115.  Establishment of filiation and contestation of entry concerning parent after death of person

  If a person seeks establishment of his or her filiation to a person who is dead or a person contests an entry concerning a parent in the birth registration of a child or in the population register after the death of the person entered in the birth registration or in the population register as a parent, a petition to such effect is filed with the court of the last residence of the person the establishment of filiation to whom is sought or concerning whom the entry in the birth registration or in the population register is contested. If the last known residence of the person was not in Estonia or if the residence is unknown, the petition is filed with Harju County Court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 116.  Other non-contentious family matters

 (1) The provisions of § 110 of this Code apply to non-contentious family matters not specified in this Division, unless otherwise provided by law or dictated by the nature of the matter.

 (2) A non-contentious matter 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 specified 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 matter 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 matter 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 matter is adjudicated by Harju County Court.

 (5) Provisional legal protection in a non-contentious family matter may be applied by each court within whose territorial jurisdiction a measure must be applied.

§ 117.  Application of estate management measures

 (1) An Estonian court may apply management measures to an estate located in Estonia regardless of the state whose law is applicable to succession or of the state whose authority or official is competent by general jurisdiction to conduct proceedings concerning the estate.

 (2) Estate management measures are applied by the court of the location of the opening of the succession. If a succession opens in a foreign state and the estate is located in Estonia, estate management measures can be applied by the court of the location of the estate.

§ 118.  Jurisdiction of calling matters

 (1) A petition for declaration of a security invalid is filed with the court of the place of redemption of the security and, in the absence of the place of redemption, in accordance with general jurisdiction as applicable to the issuer of the security.

 (2) A petition for initiation of calling 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 calling proceedings for the preclusion of the rights of the owner of a ship with Harju County Court.

 (4) A petition for initiation of calling 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. A petition for preclusion of the rights of an unknown maritime mortgagee or pledgee is filed by the owner of the encumbered ship or the owner of the pledged object encumbered with a registered security over movables pursuant to § 59 of the Law of Maritime Property Act with Harju County Court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 178 - entry into force 01.10.2009]

§ 119.  Jurisdiction in non-contentious matters relating to legal persons in private law

  [RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
Non-contentious matters, other than registry matters, which are related to the activities of a company, non-profit association or foundation, including matters related to the appointment of a substitute member of the management board or supervisory board, auditor, auditor for a special audit or liquidator, or matters related to the 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 matters

  A non-contentious matter related to apartment ownership or common ownership is dealt with by the court of the location of the immovable.

§ 1201.  Matters of access to public road and of tolerating artificial recipients of land improvement systems, and of utility works

  [RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]
Matters of access to a public road and of tolerating artificial recipients of land improvement systems, and of utility works, are dealt with by the court of the immovable from which access to a public road is sought or for which the building of an artificial recipient of a land improvement system is sought or on which the utility works is located.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

§ 121.  Matters of recognition, declaration of enforceability or enforcement of decisions of courts and arbitral tribunals of foreign states

  [RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 10.01.2015]
A petition for recognition and declaration of enforceability of a decision of a court or arbitral tribunal of a foreign country, 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 are sought, unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 10.01.2015]

§ 1211.  Matters 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]

Part 3 VALUE OF CIVIL MATTER, PROCEDURAL EXPENSES AND SECURITIES  

Chapter 17 VALUE OF CIVIL MATTER  

§ 122.  Value of civil matter

 (1) The value of a civil matter means the value of an action or the value of a non-contentious matter.

 (2) The value of an action is the usual value of that which is sought by the action.

 (3) The value of a non-contentious matter is the usual value of that which is petitioned in the non-contentious matter, or the usual value of the act made at the initiative of the court.

 (4) Procedural expenses are not taken into account upon determination of the value of a civil matter.

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

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

§ 124.  Value of action in case of financial claim

 (1) In the case of an action for payment of money, the value of the action 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 an action as at the time of filing of the action 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 plaintiff 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 damage payable upon failure to perform the obligation, the value of the action 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 procedure for orders for payment are filed under non-contentious procedure.

§ 125.  Value of establishment action

  The value of an establishment action is determined by the value of the benefit to which the plaintiff can be presumed to be entitled in the case the action is granted. If the value of the benefit cannot be determined, the claim of the action is deemed to be non-proprietary.

§ 126.  Value of action in case of claims involving things or rights

 (1) The value of an action in the case of reclamation of a thing from the possession of a person or other dispute relating to transfer of ownership of a thing or ownership or possession of a thing, including in the case of a dispute on amendment of an incorrect entry made in the land register concerning the owner, is determined based on the value of the thing. This applies regardless of whether the matter is resolved on the basis of a contract or a non-contractual legal relationship unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The value of an action 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) The value of an action in a dispute relating to the securing of a claim and to the corresponding right of security is determined by the value of the claim. If the value of the pledged object is lower than the value of the claim, the value of the thing is taken as the basis.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 127.  Value of action in dispute relating to real servitude

  The value of an action 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 action.

§ 128.  Value of action in case of contract for use

  The value of an action 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 action is the sum total of the user fees payable for one year.

§ 129.  Value of action upon recurring obligations

 (1) The value of an action 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 an action in a dispute concerning the performance of a maintenance obligation arising from law, or a dispute involving a claim for regular monetary payments arising from the causing of death, bodily injury or damage to 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 action.

§ 130.  Value of action upon dispute for termination of application of standard terms

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

§ 131.  Value of action upon repeal or establishment of nullity of resolution of legal person

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

§ 132.  Value of action in case of non-proprietary claim

 (1) The value of an action in the case of a non-proprietary 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 an action in the case of a non-proprietary claim provided for in subsection (4) of this section is deemed to be 3500 euros.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (2) In the case of a non-proprietary claim, the court may determine the value of an action which is different from the value provided in subsection (1) of this section, taking account of all circumstances, including the extent and importance of the matter as well as the financial situation and income of the parties.

 (3) For the purposes of the value of an action, a claim for compensation for non-proprietary damage caused by causing of death, bodily injury, damage to health or defamation is also deemed to be a non-proprietary claim, provided that the requested amount of compensation is not set out in the action and fair compensation at the discretion of the court is requested.

 (4) For the purposes of the value of an action, the following claims are also deemed to be non-proprietary claims:
 1) the claim for protection of possession (§§ 44 and 45 of the Law of Property Act);
 2) the claim for protection of ownership in the case of a violation unrelated to loss of possession (§ 89 of the Law of Property Act);
 3) the claim of the owner of an immovable entered in the land register for reclamation of the immovable from illegal possession into the owner's possession, except in the case provided for in the second sentence of § 128 of this Code;
 4) the claim for termination of common ownership;
 5) the claim for division of joint property;
 6) the claim for set-off of acquired assets;
 7) the claim for termination of application of unfair standard terms or termination and withdrawal by the person recommending application of the term of recommendation of the term;
 8) the claim for repeal or establishment of nullity of a resolution of a legal person;
 9) the claim for recognition of a claim in bankruptcy proceedings.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (5) For the purposes of the value of an action, the claim for the declaration of compulsory enforcement to be inadmissible is also deemed to be a non-proprietary claim. The court shall not determine the value of an action with such claim to be more than 6000 euros.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 133.  Determination of value of action by principal and collateral claims

 (1) The value of an action is calculated by the principal and collateral claims.

 (2) For the purpose of calculating the value of an action for the collateral claim specified 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 action.
[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 an action are joined for the purpose of calculating the value of the action. If the claims are alternative, the value of the action is determined by the higher claim.

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

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

§ 135.  Specification of value of civil matter by petitioner

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

§ 136.  Determination of value of civil matter by court

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

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

 (3) The bearing of the expenses of expert evaluation is prescribed by the order on determination of the value of the civil matter. 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 matter before the adjudication of the matter in that court instance. The court may also change the value by the court decision whereby the matter 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 matter upon filing of appeal

 (1) The value of a civil matter in filing an appeal against a court decision, appeal in cassation or appeal against an order is equivalent to the value of the matter in the court of first instance, taking account of the extent of the appeal.

 (11) A higher court may change the value of the matter 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 action and the counterclaim, the values of the action and counterclaim adjudicated by the appealed judgment are joined, provided that the claims of action do not preclude each other. If the claims of action preclude each other, the action with the higher value is taken as the basis.

 (3) The value of a joint appeal by several participants in 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 in cassation 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 matter is presumed to be 1/4 of the value of the matter in the court of first instance.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 18 PROCEDURAL EXPENSES  

Division 1 General Provisions  

§ 138.  Composition and calculation of procedural expenses

 (1) Procedural expenses are the court costs and extra-judicial costs incurred by a participant in proceedings.

 (2) Court costs are the state fee, security and the costs essential to proceedings.

 (3) In each court instance, the court keeps record of the procedural expenses incurred in the matter, including of the costs essential to proceedings.

§ 139.  State fee

 (1) A state fee is a sum of money which, pursuant to law, is payable to the Republic of Estonia for the performance of a procedural act.

 (2) A state fee shall be paid on a procedural act for the performance of which a state fee is provided for in the State Fees Act.
[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) A state fee is not paid for a petition for initiation of proceedings in a non-contentious matter which the court is entitled to deal with at its own initiative. This does not preclude payment of a state fee on the basis of a court decision.

 (6) A state fee is not paid for a request for procedural assistance.

§ 140.  Security on cassation

 (1) Instead of a state fee, security on cassation is paid for appeals in cassation, appeals against orders and petitions for review filed with the Supreme Court.

 (2) For an appeal in cassation and petition for review, a security of one percent of the value of the civil matter, which shall not be lower than 100 euros and not higher than 3000 euros, is paid, taking account of the extent of the appeal. A security of 50 euros is paid on non-contentious matters, non-proprietary claims and appeals against orders.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 141.  [Repealed - RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 142.  Security for petition to set aside default judgment, for reopening of proceedings or for restoration of term

 (1) Instead of a state fee, a security is paid for petitions to set aside a default judgment, for petitions for restoring a term and for petitions for reopening of proceedings.

 (2) For a petition to set aside a default judgment or a petition for reopening of proceedings, a security is paid in an amount equal to the state fee payable for one-half of the value of the action, which shall however not be lower than 100 euros and not higher than 1500 euros.

 (3) For a petition for restoration of a term, a security is paid which:
 1) in an action is equal to the state fee payable for one-quarter of the value of the action, which shall however not be lower than 50 euros and not higher than 1500 euros;
 2) in non-contentious proceedings, is equal to one-quarter of the state fee payable in the non-contentious case, which shall however not be lower than 25 euros.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

§ 143.  Costs essential to proceedings

  Costs essential to proceedings are:
 1) the costs related to witnesses, experts, interpreters and translators as well as the costs of persons not participating in proceedings incurred in connection with examinations to be compensated for pursuant to the Forensic Examination Act;
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 - entry into force 01.03.2010]
 2) the costs related to obtaining documentary evidence and physical evidence;
 3) the costs related to inspection, including necessary travel expenses incurred by the court;
 4) the costs of service and sending of procedural documents through a bailiff or in a foreign state or on or to extra-territorial citizens of the Republic of Estonia;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 41) the costs of issuing 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 related to the determination of the value of the civil matter.

§ 144.  Extra-judicial costs

  Extra-judicial costs are:
 1) the costs related to the representatives and advisers of the participants in proceedings;
 2) travel, postal, communications, accommodation and other similar costs of the participants in proceedings which are incurred in connection with the proceedings;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) unreceived wages or salaries or other unreceived permanent income of the participants in proceedings;
 4) the costs of pre-court proceedings provided by law unless the action was filed later than six months after the end of the pre-court proceedings;
 5) the bailiff's fee for securing an action and the costs related to the enforcement of an order on the securing of an action;
 51) the bailiff's fee for the service of procedural documents;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]
 52) the bailiff's fee for enforcement of a European preservation order made on the basis of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the costs related to the enforcement of a European preservation order as well as the fee of the Chamber of Bailiffs and Trustees in Bankruptcy for considering the request for obtaining information submitted on the basis of the same order;
[RT I, 26.06.2017, 17 - entry into force 06.07.2017]
 6) the costs related to the processing of an application for procedural assistance towards payment of procedural expenses.
 7) the costs of expedited proceedings in matters of the order for payment;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]
 8) the costs of participation in a conciliation proceedings if the court imposed an obligation on the parties to participate in such proceedings pursuant to subsection 4 (4) of this Act or in the case of mandatory pre-court conciliation proceedings pursuant to subsection 1 (4) of the Conciliation Act.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 145.  Release from payment of state fee and security

 (1) The Republic of Estonia as a participant in proceedings is released from payment of the state fee and of security.

 (2) A minor or his or her advocate appointed in accordance with the rules for state legal aid, upon filing of an appeal against an order in a matter in which the minor has been granted state legal aid, is released from payment of the state fee and of security.
[RT I, 28.12.2016, 14 - entry into force 07.01.2017]

Division 2 Bearing of Procedural Expenses  

§ 146.  Persons to bear procedural expenses

 (1) The following persons bear procedural expenses:
 1) a person requesting initiation of proceedings or performance of another procedural act;
 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 court decision, is required to bear the procedural expenses.

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

 (3) In the relationship among the persons obligated to bear procedural expenses, the person obligated to bear the procedural expenses based on the court decision is responsible for payment of the procedural expenses.

§ 147.  Payment of state fee

 (1) A petitioner pays the state fee for performance of an act for which a state fee is charged in advance. An action is not served on the defendant and other procedural acts arising from an act for which a state fee is charged are not performed before payment of the state fee. A term for payment of the state fee is set for a petitioner and if the petitioner fails to pay the state fee by the due date, the petition is rejected unless otherwise prescribed by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If several claims or requests are filed by a petition, and the state fee has been paid for at least one of them, acceptance of such claim or request shall not be rejected due to failure to pay the state fee.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If the state fee paid for a claim which has been accepted by the court is less than the amount provided by law, the court demands payment of the state fee in the amount provided by law. If the plaintiff fails to pay the state fee by the due date set by the court, the court dismisses the action in the part of the claim.

 (4) Upon an increase in the amount of a claim, a supplementary state fee is paid according to the increase in the value of the action. If the plaintiff fails to pay a supplementary state fee, the action is deemed to be filed for the initial value.
[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 state fee for a petition or appeal in non-contentious procedure.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Upon change of expedited proceedings in a matter of the order for payment into an action, a supplementary state fee is paid on the action to the extent that is not covered by the state fee paid on the filing of a petition for application of expedited procedure for orders for payment. In the case of filing a petition for transforming expedited proceedings for an order for payment into an action, the matter is not accepted for an action before the state fee for the action has been paid.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 148.  Payment of costs essential to proceedings

 (1) Unless the court rules otherwise, the costs essential to proceedings are paid in advance, to the extent ordered by the court, by the participant in 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 specified 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 state fees.

 (4) If the party who is required to pay for the costs specified 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 action of the court is made dependent on the advance payment of the costs essential to proceedings if the object of the appeal exceeds 640 euros. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 refunding of security

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

 (2) Security is paid in advance to the bank account prescribed for such purposes of the court from which performance of the procedural act is requested.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (3) Before a security is paid no procedural acts related to the security are performed. The petitioner is set a term for payment of the security and if the security is not paid within such term, the petition is rejected.

 (4) In the case of a partial or full grant of an appeal in cassation, appeal against an order or petition for review, the security is refunded based on the decision of the Supreme Court. In the case of rejection or denial of the appeal or petition for review, the security is transferred into the public revenue. The security is refunded if an appeal or petition for review is rejected because it does not comply with the format requirements or because it contains other omissions and the omissions are not rectified by the due date set by the court, likewise if an appeal, petition for review, action or non-contentious petition is dismissed or proceedings in the matter are terminated.

 (5) In the case of a partial or full grant of a petition for setting aside a default judgment, for reopening of proceedings or for restoration of a term, the security is refunded on the basis of the corresponding court order. If the petition is denied, the security is transferred into the public revenues. The security is also refunded if a petition is rejected, likewise if a petition or action is dismissed or if proceedings in the matter are terminated.

 (51) The security is not refunded if a petition to set aside a default judgment is granted in part or in full and it is transferred into the public revenues if an action or summons was served in conformity with the requirements provided for in this Code, including if it was served by public announcement, and the granting of the action by default judgment was allowed. The court may refund the security in the case specified above if the defendant could not respond to the action or appear in the court session due to an accident or illness, of which the defendant could not inform the court.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (6) In addition to payment to the bank account of the court, the security may also be paid in cash at the premises of the court, or by means of an electronic payment instrument. The court accepts cash to the same extent as it accepts state fees.

 (7) The security is refunded if the paid amount exceeds the prescribed amount, to the extent of any overpaid amount.

 (8) The security is refunded on the basis of an order of the court that resolved the petition to the participant in proceedings who has paid it or for whom it has been paid or at the request thereof to another person. The costs essential to proceedings are not deducted from the refundable amount. Upon filing a petition or appeal on which security is payable, it shall be indicated in the petition or appeal to whom and to which bank account the security is to be refunded.

 (9) A claim for refunding security expires two years after the end of the year during which such security was paid, however not before the decision terminating the proceedings has entered into force.

 (10) An appeal may be filed against an order to refuse to refund security made by a county court or circuit court if the security which refund is requested exceeds 64 euros. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (11) Compensation of security may not be demanded from the opposing party or another participant in proceedings regardless of the content of the court decision terminating the proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 150.  Refunding of state fees and other court costs

 (1) The state 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 action is dismissed due to it being withdrawn by the plaintiff, due to failure by both parties or the plaintiff to appear at a court session, due to failure of the plaintiff 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 plaintiff to provide a security for covering the presumed procedural expenses of the defendant;
 4) if the petition for expedited proceedings in a matter of the order for payment is denied in the cases provided in subsections 483 (2) 1) and 2) of this Code;
 5) to the person who filed the corresponding appeal against an order, or to the person who filed, with the county court, the appeal against a decision of the Industrial Property Committee, if their appeal is granted, provided there are no other participants in the proceedings, or if the court does not impose the obligation to pay the state fee on another participant in proceedings;
 6) to the person who filed the corresponding appeal against an order refusing to restore a term, if their appeal is granted.

 (2) One half of the state fee paid in the proceedings are refunded if:
 1) the parties or, in a non-contentious case, participants in proceedings conclude a compromise;
 2) the plaintiff discontinues the action;
 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 action, the state fee paid in the previous court instance is not refunded.

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

 (5) Discontinuance of an action by the plaintiff does not restrict the defendant's right to request that the court order payment by the plaintiff, in full, of the procedural expenses, including the paid state fees, in accordance with the rules provided in subsection 168 (4) of this Code.

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

 (7) The costs essential to proceedings paid by or for a participant in proceedings at the direction of the court are refunded to the extent of any overpaid amount, and also if the act which 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 to refuse to refund state fees or costs essential to proceedings made by a county court or circuit court if the amount which refund is requested exceeds 64 euros. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

Division 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 Division, compensation is paid to witnesses and fees are paid to experts, interpreters and translators who participated in proceedings.

 (2) The provisions of this Division, 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 his or her duty, the court pays compensation or fees to them regardless of whether advance payment of the costs has been made by the participants in proceedings or whether the court has collected the costs from the participants in 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 him or her 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 his or her 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 specified 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 proceedings before the courts, 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 he or she cannot be reasonably expected to cover such costs, the witness, expert, interpreter or translator is paid, at his or her request, such costs in advance.

 (2) If an expert, interpreter or translator is fully or mainly absent from his or her 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 his or her request. An expert may also request advance payment if preparation of an expert opinion requires high expenses which the expert cannot be reasonably expected to be 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 transcript of the order to the agency designated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area.
[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 participant in proceedings or the Republic of Estonia through the Ministry of Justice may file an appeal against the order of a county court or circuit court specified in subsection (1) of this section or the order to refuse to determine costs if the amount requested or determined by the court exceeds 64 euros. The order of a circuit court concerning the appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal 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 based on their 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 his or her costs terminates three months after the date on which the witness last participated in the proceedings. The court informs a witness of such term and the legal consequences of expiry of the term.

 (3) The court may set an expert, interpreter or translator a term of at least 30 days for submission of the sum total of the claim. Upon setting the term, the court also informs an expert, interpreter or translator of the consequences of expiry of the term.

 (4) The claim of an expert, interpreter or translator terminates unless he or she files the claim within the term set by the court. An expert, interpreter or translator may request restoration of the term if he or she had good reason for failing to respect the term. A petition for restoration of a term may be filed within 14 days after removal of the obstacle and substantiation of the conditions of restoration of the term. No fees or security is payable on the petition for restoration of the term.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section, a claim of an expert, interpreter or translator terminates within one year after the arising thereof.

 (6) Any overpaid compensation for a witness, or expert's, interpreter's or translator's fees, or reimbursed costs may be reclaimed on the basis of a court order if such order is delivered to the obligated person within one year after the date of overpayment. An appeal may be filed against an order of a county court or circuit court if the object of the appeal exceeds the amount of 64 euros. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

§ 161.  Reimbursement of other costs related to submitting of evidence

 (1) A person who submits a document or physical evidence to a court, enables inspection thereof, issues a thing for expert assessment or enables the conduct of expert assessment but who is not a participant in proceedings has the right to claim reimbursement of necessary costs incurred by him or her in connection with the procedural act from the state. The costs incurred by a person in connection with an expert assessment are reimbursed on the conditions and in accordance with the rules for reimbursement of the costs incurred in connection with expert assessment by persons not participating in proceedings as provided in the Forensic Examination Act.
[RT I 2010, 8, 35 - entry into force 01.03.2010]

 (2) The costs specified in subsection (1) of this section are determined, based on a petition, by the court which conducted the procedural act. The court also sends a transcript of the order to the agency designated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (3) A claim for reimbursement of costs terminates three months after the date on which the procedural act was conducted unless the person entitled to be reimbursed files a petition for reimbursement of the costs with the court. The court informs a person entitled to be reimbursed of such term and the legal consequences of expiry of the term.

 (4) A person who has filed a petition, witness, expert, interpreter, translator, a participant in proceedings or the Republic of Estonia through the Ministry of Justice may file an appeal against the order specified in subsection (2) of this section or the order to refuse to determine costs if the amount requested or determined by the court exceeds 64 euros. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

Division 4 Division of Procedural Expenses  

§ 162.  Division of procedural expenses in actions

 (1) The costs of an action 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 extra-judicial costs which arose as a result of the proceedings before the court. A party is reimbursed for any extra-judicial 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 procedural expenses of a legal representative of a party are reimbursed according to the rules that apply to reimbursement of the procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses in the event of partial grant of action

 (1) In the event that an action is granted partially, the parties cover the procedural expenses in equal parts unless the court divides the procedural expenses in proportion to the extent to which the action was granted or decides that the procedural expenses 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 action is granted partially, and to an extent similar to the compromise offered by one of the parties, the court may decide that all or most of the procedural expenses must be borne by the party who did not accept the compromise offer.

§ 164.  Division of procedural expenses in contentious matters of family law

 (1) Both parties bear their own procedural expenses in contentious matrimonial and filiation matters.

 (11) If an action for establishment of filiation is granted, the procedural expenses are borne by the defendant. If an action for establishment of filiation is granted, the court may decide that the costs be borne, in part or in full, by the party who incurred the costs, in the cases where imposing the obligation to pay the opposing party's costs on the defendant would be extremely unfair or unreasonable.
[RT I, 30.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (2) The court may divide the procedural expenses differently from the provisions of subsection (1) of this section if the dispute arises from the division of marital property or if such division of the expenses would be unfair and, among other things, if such division would excessively damage the essential needs of one of the spouses.

 (3) In the case where the defendant in a maintenance matter has caused the proceedings to be brought by failing to provide complete information concerning his or her income or property, the court may decide, regardless of the outcome of proceedings, that all or part of the procedural expenses must be borne by the defendant.

§ 165.  Division of procedural expenses between co-plaintiffs and co-defendants

 (1) If a decision is made against co-plaintiffs or co-defendants, the co-plaintiffs or co-defendants are liable for the procedural expenses 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 expenses on the extent of their participation.

 (2) The co-plaintiff or co-defendant in proceedings are not required to bear additional procedural expenses on account of a petition, statement, evidence, appeal or contestation filed by another co-plaintiff or co-defendant. The above also applies if pursuant to subsection 207 (3) of this Code, a procedural act of a co-plaintiff or co-defendant is applicable to other co-plaintiffs or co-defendants.

 (3) If the court decides against defendants who are solidary debtors, the defendants are also jointly and severally liable for covering the procedural expenses. 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 procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses 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.  Procedural expenses of third party without independent claim

 (1) The procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses to such party in so far as the opposing party is liable for covering the procedural expenses pursuant to the provisions of this Division.

 (2) If the opposing party is not required to compensate for the expenses, the expenses 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 expenses on the grounds arising from private law.

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

§ 168.  Division of procedural expenses in the event of rejection of the matter, dismissal of the action, termination of proceedings in the matter and admission of the action

 (1) The plaintiff bears the procedural expenses if the court rejects the petition and returns it.

 (2) The plaintiff bears the procedural expenses if the action 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 procedural expenses unless they agree otherwise.

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

 (5) If the plaintiff discontinues or withdraws the action because the defendant has provided satisfaction in respect of the plaintiff's claim after the action was filed, the defendant bears the plaintiff's procedural expenses.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If the defendant admits the action immediately, the plaintiff bears the procedural expenses unless the defendant has given reason for filing the action by his or her behaviour.

§ 169.  Procedural expenses arising from delays in proceedings

 (1) A participant in proceedings who allows the term for performance of a procedural act to expire or causes the changing of the time of performance of a procedural act, postponement of hearing the matter or extension of a term by his or her belated submission of objections or evidence, or in any other manner, bears the additional procedural expenses arising therefrom. Regardless of the outcome of proceedings, the expenses caused by service of procedural documents may be imposed on a participant in 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) The procedural expenses related to the restoration of a term, filing of a petition to set aside a default judgment or reopening of proceedings are borne by the person who files the petition for restoration of a term, for setting aside a default judgment or for reopening of proceedings regardless of whether or not the action is granted.

 (3) The procedural expenses related to the filing and contestation of a petition which was denied or a statement or evidence which was disregarded may be imposed, regardless of the outcome of proceedings, on the participant in proceedings who submitted the petition, statement or evidence.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 170.  Expenses 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 expenses of the main proceedings.

§ 171.  Specifications of covering procedural expenses in higher court

 (1) The procedural expenses 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 court decision or an appeal against an order wins the case based on a new fact presented thereby although such fact could have been relied on already in the county 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 court decision or appeal against an order.

 (3) If the defendant against whom a judgment of a county court is made applies for the application of a limitation period in a circuit court and the defendant failed to apply for application of the limitation period in the county court and the circuit court 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 procedural expenses related to the review are deemed to be part of the procedural expenses of the matter reviewed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 172.  Procedural expenses in non-contentious procedure

 (1) In non-contentious procedure, the procedural expenses are covered by the person in whose interests the decision is made. If several persons participate in non-contentious proceedings, the court may decide that all or a part of the procedural expenses must be covered by a certain participant in proceedings if this is fair considering the circumstances, including if the participant in 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 procedural expenses on other participants in proceedings, the procedural expenses are borne by the petitioner, including the costs of the petitioner's representative, even if the petition is granted. If an appeal against an order is granted, the state fee for the 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 his or her 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 expenses of proceedings for the appointment of a guardian for a person or annulment thereof, or of proceedings for the application of measures related to guardianship, as well as of proceedings in a non-contentious family matter and proceedings concerning imposition of a restraining order or other similar measure to protect personality rights must be borne by the state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) In non-contentious procedure, the costs arising from application of estate management measures are covered by the successors pursuant 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 expenses 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 expenses must be paid by the petitioner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) The expenses 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 expenses must be paid by the petitioner or another person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (7) If the court initiates non-contentious proceedings as a result of the acts or petition of a person, the court may decide that all or a part of the procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses on the petitioner, unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) In non-contentious procedure, necessary extra-judicial costs are compensated to the participants in proceedings on the same basis as compensation payable to witnesses. Compensation for extra-judicial costs can be requested only if the court decides that these must be covered by a participant in proceedings. Covering of extra-judicial costs by the state may be decided only if procedural assistance was granted to a person for covering extra-judicial costs. The above also applies in the case specified 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 in conflict with the Constitution and repealed in the part in which it does not allow the covering of extra-judicial costs by the state if a prohibition on business is not applied to the person to whom no procedural assistance was granted.]

 (9) The expenses of expedited proceedings in a matter of the order for payment are borne by the debtor in the case of making an order for payment and in the case provided in § 4881 of this Code; in other cases, such expenses are borne by the petitioner unless otherwise provided by law. In all other respects, the provisions concerning procedural expenses in actions apply. If a matter of the order for payment is further dealt with in actions, the expenses of expedited proceedings in the matter of the order for payment are included in the procedural expenses for actions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (10) The state fee payable upon filing a complaint against a decision of a bailiff and filing an application with the court for performance of a notarial act is covered by the participant in proceedings against whom the decision is made.
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 - entry into force 14.06.2010]

Division 5 Determination of Procedural Expenses  

§ 173.  Determination of division of procedural expenses in court decision

 (1) The court which dealt with the matter sets out the division of the procedural expenses between the participants in proceedings in the court judgement or in the order terminating proceedings, including in the order by which the court resolves a non-contentious petition or a petition for review, or rejects, or dismisses, the action or non-contentious petition, or petition for review, or terminates proceedings in the matter. The next court to deal with the matter sets out in its decision the division of all procedural expenses which have already been borne. If necessary, the special arrangements concerning the bearing of procedural expenses in different court instances, including in pre-court proceedings, are set out.

 (2) The division of procedural expenses shall be set out in the court decision even if the participants in 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 matter to be considered anew, the court amends, where necessary, the division of procedural expenses accordingly. If a higher court annuls a decision of a lower court and refers the matter to be considered anew, including if the Supreme Court grants a petition for review, the higher court leaves the division of procedural expenses to be decided by the lower court.

 (4) In the division of procedural expenses, the court specifies which procedural expenses are to be covered by each participant in proceedings, except for the amount of the expenses in money. If necessary, the court determines a proportional division of the procedural expenses between the participants in proceedings. If several participants in proceedings, primarily co-plaintiffs or co-defendants, are ordered to cover procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses 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 matters in these cases. In such case the division of procedural expenses is prescribed in the final judgement.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 174.  Competence of court upon determination of procedural expenses

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

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

 (2) A county court determines the amount of procedural expenses in money in a court judgment or order which terminates proceedings unless determination of the procedural expenses hinders the making of the judgment or the order which terminates proceedings.

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

 (4) If the county court does not determine procedural expenses in the court judgment or order which terminates proceedings, the county court which resolved the civil matter determines the amount of procedural expenses in money after entry into force of the court 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 county court's judgment or order terminating proceedings, in which the county court did not determine procedural expenses, the higher court does not determine the amount of procedural expenses in money.

 (5) If a lower court determined the amount of procedural expenses in money in a court 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 matter to be considered anew, the higher court amends, where necessary, the amount of procedural expenses in money as determined by the lower court.

 (6) If a higher court annuls a decision of a lower court in full or in part and refers the matter in the annulled part to be considered anew, including if the Supreme Court grants a petition for review, the amount of procedural expenses in money in the annulled part are determined by the lower court that deals with the matter.

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

 (8) A court determines the amount of procedural expenses in money pursuant to the provisions governing non-contentious procedure, taking account of the specifications provided for in this Division.

 (9) Compensation of procedural expenses to a participant in proceedings is not precluded by the fact that these have been covered for the participant in proceedings by another person.

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

 (11) A participant in proceedings shall not file a claim against the participant in proceedings required to cover the procedural expenses for compensation of costs, such as a claim for compensation for damage or similar, otherwise than in accordance with the rules provided for determination of procedural expenses 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 specified 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 procedural expenses.
[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 court decision determining the division of procedural expenses, a participant in proceedings is required to cover the costs related to a contractual representative who has represented another participant in proceedings, the court orders payment of the costs to a reasoned and necessary extent. A contractual representative is an advocate or another representative who represents a participant in the 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 participant in proceedings obligated to cover the costs related to the contractual representative who has represented another participant in proceedings in accordance with the division of procedural expenses 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 participant in proceedings. The costs of advisers are not subject to compensation.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Expenses made on 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) The costs of legal assistance incurred by a bailiff in proceedings for resolving a complaint filed against a decision of the bailiff and the costs of legal assistance incurred by a notary in proceedings for resolving an application for the performance of a notarial act are not subject to compensation.
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 - entry into force 14.06.2010]

 (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 procedural expenses

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

 (1) If a matter is considered at a court session, a list of procedural expenses, 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 procedural expenses in money. The court sets a term for submission of a list of procedural expenses concerning the costs related to participation in the court session where the hearing of the matter was terminated. The term specified in the previous sentence shall not exceed three working days after the court session.

 (2) Where a matter is dealt with by written procedure, the court sets a participant in proceedings a term for submission of a list of procedural expenses before making the court judgment or the order which terminates the proceeding.

 (3) For the purpose of determining procedural expenses in a judgment by default to be made on the basis of § 413 of this Code, the term set by the court for the submission of a list of procedural expenses by the plaintiff to the court shall not exceed three working days after the court session.

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

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

 (6) The court may set a participant in proceedings a term for specification of the procedural expenses to be compensated for or require a participant in proceedings to submit documents in proof of the procedural expenses. Documents in proof of the procedural expenses need not be submitted without a demand of the court.

 (7) A list of procedural expenses and proof thereof are promptly served on the opposing party.

 (8) A court sets a participant in proceedings a term for submitting a position on the procedural expenses of the opposing party. The term may not exceed seven days after service of the list of procedural expenses and proof thereof.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 177.  Court decision on determination of procedural expenses

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

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

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

 (3) A court decision on determination of the amount of procedural expenses in money is served on the participants in proceedings.

 (4) Based on a request of a participant in proceedings, the court sets out in the court decision on determination of procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses to be compensated beginning from entry into force of the decision whereby the amount of procedural expenses is determined until the date of compliance with such decision.

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

 (6) If procedural expenses are determined in the manner provided for in clause (1) 2) of this section, a court may determine the amount of procedural expenses in money by an order without the descriptive part and the statement of reasons if no objections are filed to the court within the term specified in subsection 176 (8) of this Code and the court determines the amount of procedural expenses in money to the extent indicated in the list of procedural expenses. Subsection 448 (41) of this Act 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.  Contestation of determination of procedural expenses

 (1) The division of procedural expenses can be contested only by filing an appeal against the court decision whereby the division of procedural expenses was determined. The amount of procedural expenses subject to compensation can be contested by filing an appeal against the court decision whereby the amount of procedural expenses in money was determined.

 (2) An appeal against the determination of procedural expenses may be filed by the person entitled to be compensated for the procedural expenses or the person obligated to cover the procedural expenses if the amount of the contested procedural expenses exceeds 200 euros.

 (3) [Repealed - RT I, 02.02.2016, 7 - entry into force 01.02.2016 - a judgment of the Supreme Court en banc declares subsection 178 (3) of the Code of Civil Procedure to be in conflict with the Constitution and repealed]

 (4) The costs incurred upon contesting the determination of procedural expenses are not subject to compensation.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 179.  Awarding and collection of procedural expenses in favour of Republic of Estonia

 (1) Procedural expenses which must be paid to the state and which do not arise from the state's participation in a proceeding as a participant in proceedings, including state fees which have not been paid or have been paid in an amount less than required or expenses for procedural assistance ordered to be paid in favour of the state, are ordered by the court that deals with the matter to be paid by the obligated person in a decision made on the matter 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 matter, payment of the expenses specified in subsection (1) of this section may be awarded by order of the court in proceedings before which the expenses arose or of the county court which dealt with the matter. An order shall not be made if more than two years have passed from entry into force of the court decision made on the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (21) The court may add to the decision specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, whereby procedural expenses or expenses for procedural assistance 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 specified in subsection (21) of this section and the technical requirements for formalising these shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) A person required to pay procedural expenses or the Republic of Estonia through the agency designated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area may file an appeal against an order of a county court or circuit court specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section if the value of the appeal exceeds 64 euros. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (4) After entry into force of a decision for ordering, in favour of the state, payment of procedural expenses which do not arise from the state's participation in proceedings as a participant in proceedings or an order which imposes a fine or another such decision on collection of money, the court sends immediately a transcript thereof to the agency designated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (5) A person obligated, based on a court decision, to pay money into public revenues must comply with the decision within 15 days after entry into force of the decision unless the decision is subject to immediate enforcement or another term is prescribed by the decision.

 (51) The procedural expenses referred to in this section are paid and set off in accordance with the rules provided in 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 court decision specified in subsection (4) of this section, the agency designated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area may refer the decision to compulsory enforcement.
[RT I, 28.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (7) The claim for payment of procedural expenses which do not arise from the state's participation in proceedings as a participant in proceedings ordered to be paid in favour of the state by a court decision 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 specified 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 specified 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 procedural expenses was ordered until the date of compliance with such decision. The court also set this out in the decision whereby payment of procedural expenses is ordered.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Division 6 Grant by State of Procedural Assistance for Covering Procedural Expenses  

§ 180.  Grant by state of procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses

 (1) Procedural assistance means assistance by the state for covering procedural expenses. At the request of a person (hereinafter recipient of procedural assistance), the court may order that, as procedural assistance, a recipient of procedural assistance:
 1) is released, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee or security, or from covering other court costs or the costs of translating procedural documents or the court decision,
 2) may pay the state fee or security, or other court costs or the costs of translating procedural documents or the court decision in instalments within the term prescribed by the court;
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 - entry into force 14.06.2010]
 3) is not required to pay for the legal aid provided by an advocate appointed by way of procedural assistance or is not required to pay it immediately or in full;
 4) is released, if the recipient of procedural assistance is a claimant, from all or a part of the expenses related to enforcement proceedings on account of the Republic of Estonia or the costs of service of procedural documents through a bailiff in proceedings before the court, or payment of such expenses in instalments is prescribed within a term provided by the court;
 5) is released 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 released, in part or in full, from payment of expenses related to mandatory pre-court proceedings, or payment thereof in instalments is prescribed within a term provided by the court;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 7) is released from all or part of the costs of conciliation proceedings on account of the Republic of Estonia in the case provided in subsection 4 (4) of this Code.
[RT I 2009, 59, 385 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) Upon grant of procedural assistance in Estonia, a participant in 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, 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 procedural assistance, or he or she may be ordered to pay such costs in instalments within a term set by the court, provided that such document is necessary for adjudicating the matter.

 (3) Upon grant of procedural assistance in Estonia, a participant in 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 his or her travel expenses related to the proceedings, or he or she may be ordered to pay such costs in instalments, provided that the need for the participant in proceedings to be present in person is provided by law or the court deems it necessary.

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

§ 181.  Conditions for grant of procedural assistance

 (1) Procedural assistance is granted to the person requesting procedural assistance if:
 1) the person requesting procedural assistance is unable to pay the procedural expenses due to his or her financial situation or is able to pay such expenses 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 procedural assistance is requested sets out, to a legally satisfactory extent, the grounds therefor and the facts in proof thereof. The importance of the matter to the person requesting procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance if the person's participation in proceedings are unreasonable and, above all, if that which is petitioned by him or her 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 procedural assistance, it appears that there are no grounds for granting procedural assistance due to the financial situation of the applicant, but the court finds that payment of the entire payable state fee at once hinders unreasonably, considering the circumstances of the specific case, the person's right of recourse to the court to protect his or her right or interest which is presumed and protected by law, the court may determine by way of procedural assistance that the state fee payable on the statement of claim or appeal is paid in instalments within the term provided by the court.
[RT I 2010, 26, 128 - entry into force 14.06.2010]

 (4) Procedural assistance is not granted to a petitioner in expedited proceedings for an order for payment or for payment of a state fee payable on an entry application in a registry matter.
[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 procedural assistance for translation of a procedural document or court decision. Procedural assistance is not granted for the translation of procedural documents other than a court decision 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 procedural assistance to natural persons

 (1) Procedural assistance is granted to a participant in proceedings who is a natural person and who, at the time of filing the petition for grant of procedural assistance, 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 Division, residence is determined on the basis of Article 62 of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Other participants in proceedings who are natural persons are granted procedural assistance only if this arises from an international agreement.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (2) Procedural assistance is not granted to a natural person if:
 1) the procedural expenses are not presumed to exceed twice the average monthly income of the person requesting procedural assistance 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 maintenance obligation arising from law, 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 procedural assistance is able to cover the procedural expenses 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 procedural assistance and do not concern his or her rights which are not connected to his or her economic or professional activity.
[RT I, 10.11.2011, 5 - entry into force 01.11.2011 Decision of the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals clause 182 (2) 3) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance to natural persons for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on recourse to the court if proceedings concerns the economic or professional activity of the person requesting procedural assistance and is not related to his or her rights which are not connected to his or her economic or professional activity.]
[RT I, 21.04.2011, 17 - entry into force 14.04.2011 - entry into force 14.04.2011 Decision of the Supreme Court en banc declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals clause 182 (2) 3) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance to natural persons for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on the appeal if proceedings concerns the economic or professional activity of the person requesting procedural assistance and is not related to his or her rights which are not connected to his or her economic or professional activity.]

 (21) In the case of clauses (2) 1) and 2) of this section, the procedural expenses which may arise upon appealing against a decision made in the proceedings are not accounted for. The assets specified 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 procedural expenses.
[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 procedural assistance if the person requesting procedural assistance has residence in another Member State of the European Union and proves that he or she is unable to cover the procedural expenses immediately or in full due to subsistence expenses in the state of residence which are higher than in Estonia.

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

§ 183.  Restrictions upon grant of procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance in order to achieve their objectives, provided that the applicants substantiate that they are applying for procedural assistance in the field of environmental or consumer protection or taking account of another predominant public interest in order to prevent possible damage 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 procedural assistance only on the basis of an international agreement.
[RT I, 21.04.2011, 16 - entry into force 12.04.2011 Decision of the Supreme Court en banc declares to be in conflict with the Constitution and repeals the first sentence of subsection 183 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure in the part that it excludes the provision of procedural assistance in a civil proceeding to Estonian legal persons in private law not satisfying the criteria specified in this provision for the release, in part or in full, from payment of the state fee on the appeal.]

 (2) An Estonian bankrupt may apply for grant of procedural assistance in covering the procedural expenses if no possibility or good reason exists to cover such costs out of the assets managed by the trustee in bankruptcy and the costs cannot be presumed to be covered by the persons who have proprietary interest in the matter and, among other things, by the successors, members, partners or shareholders, or members of a directing body of the bankruptcy debtor, or by the creditors in the bankruptcy. Procedural assistance designated to cover the remuneration and expenses of a trustee in bankruptcy which are not ordered to be paid into the public revenues shall not exceed 397 euros, including any taxes prescribed by law, except for value added tax.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (3) A bankrupt may also request the grant of state legal aid in the case specified 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 act himself or herself or he or she cannot be presumed to do it considering his or her qualifications and tasks.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 184.  Submission of application for procedural assistance and continued provision of procedural assistance

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

 (2) An application for procedural assistance for covering the expenses arising in enforcement proceedings is filed with the court which would deal with a complaint against the action of a bailiff organising the enforcement proceeding, and an application for procedural assistance for covering the expenses 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 specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section is also the authority receiving applications for procedural assistance 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 participant in proceedings has been granted procedural assistance and the person files an appeal against a court decision, the provision of procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance have been complied with. The success or reasonableness of participation in proceedings are not verified if the court decision has already been appealed by another participant in proceedings and the appeal has been accepted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) In the case specified in subsection (4) of this section, if the court so requests, the recipient of procedural assistance shall provide explanations on whether or not his or her 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 procedural assistance or of his or her family members from the Tax and Customs Board, credit institutions and other persons or agencies.

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

§ 185.  Content of application for procedural assistance

 (1) An application for procedural assistance sets out:
 1) proceedings for which procedural assistance is requested;
 2) the status or desired status of the applicant in proceedings and the petitions and requests which the applicant wishes 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 his or her personal status and financial situation (relationship under family law, profession, assets, income and obligations) and provides the same information concerning his or her family members, and if possible, also submits other documents in proof of such situation.

 (3) If a person's residence is not in Estonia, he or she appends to the application a statement concerning the income of the person and members of his or her 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 with good reason, provision of procedural assistance may be decided without the statement.

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

 (5) Sample forms for the application for procedural assistance and the statement specified in subsection (2) of this section, and a list of data to be contained therein shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area, and the forms for the application for procedural assistance and statement shall be freely accessible to everybody on the website of the Ministry of Justice as well as in each court and advocate's law office. The minister responsible for the area may also establish requirements for the documents which provide the grounds for the application to be submitted by an applicant.

 (6) An application for procedural assistance is submitted in Estonian. An application may also be submitted in English if procedural assistance 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, his or her 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 procedural assistance which is used daily by him or her 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 procedural assistance applies for procedural assistance in order to file a claim against a family member who lives together with him or her, neither the income of the said family member nor assets belonging to him or her 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 procedural assistance, or request information on the financial situation or solvency of the applicant and family members living together with him or her from other persons or agencies, among others, from credit institutions. An inquiry must be responded to within the term set by the court.

 (6) If an applicant fails to submit certified data concerning his or her personal status or financial situation, fails to reply to posed questions or gives incomplete replies, the court refuses to grant the person procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance and members of his or her 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 his or her family. A form for the statement shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[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 specified in subsection (5) of this section.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 187.  Resolution of application for procedural assistance

 (1) An application for procedural assistance is resolved by an order. Where necessary, the court may seek the position of other participants in proceedings before resolving the application.

 (2) The court sends a transcript of an order on grant of procedural assistance immediately to the Ministry of Finance or to an agency in the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance designated by the minister responsible for the area.

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

 (4) An application for procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance does not suspend the running of the procedural term provided by law or set by the court. However, the court extends reasonably the term set by the court, in particular the term set for responding to an action, appeal or petition after resolving the application for the grant of procedural assistance if the application for the grant of procedural assistance was not submitted without good reason or for the purpose of extending the term.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) For compliance with the term provided by law, the applicant for procedural assistance shall, within the term, also perform the procedural act for which procedural assistance is requested, above all, file an appeal. A reasonable term for substantiation of the appeal or payment of the state fee or correction of such a omission in the appeal which is related to the request for procedural assistance is set by the court after resolving the application for procedural assistance if the specified application was not submitted without good reason or for the purpose of extending the term. This does not preclude the restoration of the procedural term.
[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 procedural assistance, the court has ordered payment of procedural expenses 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 procedural assistance cover the procedural expenses;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 2) a decision on the basis of which the procedural expenses must be paid by another participant in proceedings enters in force.

 (2) The court does not suspend payment of the instalments pursuant to clause (1) 2) of this section if the participant in proceedings who is obligated to cover the procedural expenses based on a court decision has also been granted procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses, or if it is evident, due to another reason, that such participant in proceedings is not able to cover the expenses.

 (3) The court may amend the size and term for payment of the instalments of procedural expenses by an order if the financial situation of the recipient of procedural assistance has changed significantly. If the court so requests, the recipient of procedural assistance shall explain whether or not his or her 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 procedural assistance or of his or her 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 procedural assistance, changes due to legal succession, including if the plaintiff who has received procedural assistance assigns the claim for the filing of which he or she has received procedural assistance and the legal successor is not entitled to procedural assistance to the same extent.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 189.  Revocation of grant of procedural assistance

 (1) The court may revoke the grant of procedural assistance if:
 1) the recipient of procedural assistance has provided incorrect information in the application for procedural assistance;
 2) the conditions for receipt of procedural assistance did not exist or have ceased to exist, including if the person, who is the recipient of procedural assistance, changes due to legal succession and the legal successor is not entitled to receive procedural assistance;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 3) the recipient of procedural assistance has not paid the instalments ordered by the court for a period of more than three months;
 4) the recipient of procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance, the participant in proceedings who received procedural assistance covers the procedural expenses thereof to the full extent.

§ 190.  Grant of procedural assistance and division of procedural expenses

 (1) Grant of procedural assistance does not preclude or restrict the obligation of the recipient of procedural assistance to compensate, based on a court decision, the costs incurred by the opposing party.

 (2) The participant in proceedings against whom a decision is made covers the procedural expenses thereof to the full extent also if the participant in proceedings is released from payment of procedural expenses or the participant in proceedings has been granted procedural assistance for covering the procedural expenses.

 (3) If an action is granted, the court orders payment into the public revenues by the defendant, in proportion to the part of the action which is granted, of the procedural expenses from the covering of which the plaintiff was released or which the plaintiff was allowed to pay in instalments, regardless of whether the defendant received procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses. The same applies to the grant of procedural assistance to a third person participating in proceedings in support of the plaintiff if the action is granted.

 (4) If the plaintiff, or a third party participating in proceedings in support thereof, or the petitioner in non-contentious proceedings received procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses and the action or petition is denied or dismissed or proceedings in the matter are terminated, such person is ordered to pay procedural expenses into the state revenues to the full extent. If the plaintiff discontinues or withdraws an action because the defendant provided satisfaction in respect of the claim after the action 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 procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses and the action is granted, such person is ordered to pay procedural expenses into the state revenues to the full extent. If the action is denied or dismissed or proceedings in the matter are terminated, the court orders payment into the public revenues by the plaintiff, in proportion to the part of the action which was denied, of the procedural expenses, 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 plaintiff received procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses.

 (6) If a participant in proceedings was granted procedural assistance for covering procedural expenses in non-contentious proceedings, the court may order payment of the procedural expenses into the state revenues by another participant in proceedings on the conditions provided for in subsection 172 (1) of this Code.

 (7) The court may prescribe in the court decision specified in subsections (3)–(6) of this section, with good reason, inter alia due to settlement of a matter by compromise, a later due date for payment of expenses into the state revenues or payment in instalments within the term set by the court, and it may also release a person from the obligation to pay procedural expenses into the state 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 participant in proceedings was granted procedural assistance, 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 matters relating to maintenance obligations, the provisions of this Code concerning the division of procedural expenses apply only to the extent that the specified regulation does not provide otherwise.
[RT I, 14.03.2011, 2 - entry into force 18.06.2011]

§ 191.  Filing of appeal against order on procedural assistance

 (1) An applicant for or recipient of procedural assistance 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 responsible for the area may file an appeal against an order of a county court or circuit court on grant of or denial procedural assistance, or an order on amendment or revocation of either of the above orders. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) An order on procedural assistance is not subject to appeal if the court decision made in the civil matter has entered into force.

 (3) The costs related to proceedings on 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 participant in proceedings is directed to pay procedural expenses 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 procedural assistance for proceedings conducted in other Member States of European Union

  Procedural assistance for ensuring legal aid by an advocate 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 County Court in the case of proceedings conducted in another Member State of the European Union.

§ 193.  Intermediation of applications for grant of procedural assistance to other Member States of European Union

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

 (2) For the purpose of forwarding an application for procedural assistance, 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 procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance upon applying for procedural assistance 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 need not be legalised or officially certified in another manner.

 (4) The court resolves an application for forwarding an application for procedural assistance under non-contentious procedure. The court may make a reasoned order on refusal to forward an application for procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance is not subject to a state fee. If an application for procedural assistance is denied, the court may order, by an order, payment of other procedural expenses 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 appeal against an order on refusal to forward the application. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (8) The minister responsible for the area shall establish, by a regulation, standard forms for the applications for receipt of procedural assistance 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 procedural assistance 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 him or her if he or she would be entitled to procedural assistance due to his or her 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.  Manner of provision of security and amount of security

 (1) If law prescribes the obligation of a party to provide a security, the court determines the manner of providing the security and the amount thereof. If the court has failed to do so and the parties have not agreed otherwise, a 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 unspecified term by a credit institution of Estonia or another Member State of the European Union for the benefit of the other party.

 (2) Securities having a market price may be used as a security. Securities are accepted as a security to an extent not higher 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 provision of security ceases to exist, the court which required the security or enabled the provision thereof returns the security based on a petition by the person who provided the security. If the security was provided in the form of a guarantee, the court orders termination of the guarantee.

 (2) Before making an order, the court sends the petition for the return of security to the party for whose benefit the security was provided for obtaining the position thereof.

 (3) The petitioner may file an appeal against an order on refusal to return the security. The party for whose benefit a security was provided has the right to file an appeal against an order on return of the security.

§ 196.  Provision of security for covering procedural expenses

 (1) In an action, the court may require at the request of the defendant that the plaintiff provide a security to cover the expected procedural expenses of the defendant if:
 1) the plaintiff is not a citizen of the Republic of Estonia, another Member State of the European Union or a state which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement and he or she has no residence 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]
 2) the plaintiff 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 plaintiff's economic situation or for another reason, collection of the expected procedural expenses of the defendant is clearly impracticable and, above all, in the cases where the plaintiff has been declared bankrupt, bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated against the plaintiff or if, within the year prior to the filing of the action, enforcement proceedings have been conducted in respect of the plaintiff's property without satisfaction being provided to the claim filed in the enforcement proceedings.

 (2) The court has no right to require the provision of a security from the plaintiff if the plaintiff has sufficient assets in Estonia to cover the procedural expenses or has claims in Estonia which are sufficiently secured by real rights. In the cases specified in clauses (1) 1) and 2) of this section, the court has no right to require the provision of a security by the plaintiff if:
 1) based on an international agreement, a security cannot be demanded;
 2) the decision on compensation of the procedural expenses to the defendant is subject to enforcement in the country of residence or seat of the plaintiff.
[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 not require the security in full or in part or order its payment in instalments if the plaintiff due to economic or other reasons cannot be reasonably expected to provide a security and dismissing the action may result in grave consequences for the plaintiff or if requiring a security would be unfair in respect of the plaintiff due to another reason.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) The defendant may also require a security from the plaintiff specified in subsection (1) of this section if the prerequisites for the provision of a security arise only in the course of proceedings unless the defendant admits the action. If it becomes evident in the course of proceedings that the provided security is not sufficient, the defendant may require an additional security.

 (4) The plaintiff may file an appeal against the order of the county court or circuit court which ordered the provision of a security. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 197.  Setting of term for provision of security

  In the case specified in § 196 of this Code, the court sets the plaintiff a term for the provision of a security to cover the expected procedural expenses of the defendant. If the plaintiff fails to provide a security within such term, the court dismisses the action at the request of the defendant.

Part 4 PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDINGS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES  

Chapter 20 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 198.  Participants in proceedings

 (1) The following are participants in proceedings:
 1) in actions – the parties and third parties;
 2) in non-contentious procedure – the petitioner and other persons to whom the matter pertains.

 (2) In the cases prescribed by law, a person or agency entitled to protect public interest is also a participant in proceedings.

 (3) In non-contentious procedure, the court involves the participants at its own initiative. It is presumed that participants in proceedings are the persons who are entitled by law to appeal the order made in non-contentious proceedings. A person is not a participant in proceedings solely for the reason that he or she must be heard pursuant to law or that the court considers it necessary. The court may also involve other persons or agencies to provide a position in the proceedings if this is necessary in the opinion of the court for a just resolution of the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 199.  Rights of participants in proceedings

 (1) The participants in proceedings have the right to:
 1) examine the file and obtain transcripts thereof;
 2) know the composition of the court adjudicating the matter;
 3) file petitions of challenge and submit requests;
 4) submit statements and reasoning to the court concerning all questions which arise in the course of hearing the matter in court;
 5) submit evidence and participate in the inspection and examination of evidence;
 6) contest petitions and reasoning submitted by other participants in proceedings;
 7) submit questions to other participants in proceedings, witnesses and experts;
 8) receive authenticated transcripts of court judgments prepared as documents.

 (2) The participants in proceedings also have other procedural rights provided for in this Code.

§ 200.  Obligations of participants in proceedings

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

 (2) A court does not allow the participants in 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 proceedings before the court, a participant in proceedings and a representative thereof shall immediately inform the court and other participants in proceedings of any changes, including temporary ones, to the address or telecommunications numbers thereof.
[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 with restricted active 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 his or her legal 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 his or her guardian, the represented person is deemed to have no active civil procedural legal capacity.

 (4) In proceedings for establishment of guardianship for an adult with restricted active 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 he or she has active legal capacity, provided he or she is at least fourteen years of age.

§ 203.  Active civil procedural legal capacity of aliens

  An alien who, according to the law of his or her state, has no active civil procedural legal capacity, is deemed to have active civil procedural legal capacity if he or she 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 participants in 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 participant in 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 participant in proceedings. If initiation of proceedings for appointment of a guardian for a plaintiff, petitioner or appellant is impossible, the court dismisses the petition or appeal.

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

 (4) If the court has doubts regarding the active legal capacity of a participant in proceedings, the court informs immediately the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the participant in proceedings thereof.

Chapter 21 PARTIES  

§ 205.  Parties

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

 (2) The plaintiff is a person who has filed an action. The defendant is a person against whom an action is filed.

§ 206.  Rights of parties

 (1) In addition to the rights of a participant in proceedings, a plaintiff has the right to amend the cause or object of an action, increase or decrease a claim or discontinue an action, and a defendant has the right to admit a claim. A party has the right to appeal against a court decision and other procedural rights prescribed by this Code.

 (2) Parties have the right to discontinue a matter by compromise.

 (3) A party has the right to request compulsory enforcement of a court decision. In non-contentious procedure, this right is vested in participants in proceedings.

§ 207.  Participation of several plaintiffs or defendants in matter

 (1) Several persons may file a joint action and an action may be filed jointly against several defendants if:
 1) the object of proceedings are 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 plaintiff or defendant participates in proceedings independently with regard to the opposite party. Unless otherwise prescribed by law, an act of a plaintiff or defendant does not bear legal consequences for a co-plaintiff or co-defendant.

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

§ 208.  Substitution and involvement of defendant

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

 (2) If a plaintiff finds that the action 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 matter in a court of first instance, involve such persons as defendants at the request of the plaintiff.

 (3) Following the substitution or involvement of a defendant, the plaintiff shall submit a transcript of the statement of claim together with annexes to the court for the substituted or involved defendant. Following the substitution or involvement of a defendant, consideration of the matter 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 acts 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 an action and the conduct of proceedings in an action 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 matter.

 (3) In the case specified 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 plaintiff and the judgment to be made in the matter would not apply to the legal successor pursuant to § 460 of this Code, the defendant may submit an objection to the plaintiff that the plaintiff 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 person 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 from 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 matter would not apply to the legal successor pursuant to § 460 of this Code. If the transferor in such case is the plaintiff, the defendant may submit an objection against the plaintiff that the plaintiff 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 ship register 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 plaintiff and defendant, the third party may file an action in the same proceeding against both parties before the hearing of the matter on the merits at a county court ends.

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

§ 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 plaintiff or the defendant. On the grounds and in accordance with the rules provided in § 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 involved in proceedings at all stages of proceedings in every court instance until the time the court judgment enters into force. A third party without an independent claim may also enter proceedings by filing an appeal against a court decision. In such case, the involvement 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 involvement in proceeding of third party without independent claim

 (1) Procedural acts performed before the entry or involvement in a proceeding 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 acts except the acts which can be performed only by the plaintiff or the defendant, among other things, a third party without an independent claim may file an appeal against a decision made in the matter. A petition, appeal or another procedural act made by a third party without an independent claim has legal effect only if it is not contrary to a petition, appeal or act of the plaintiff or the defendant in whose support the third party is participating in proceedings. The same term for filing an appeal or making another procedural act applies to a third party as applies to the plaintiff 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 plaintiff 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 plaintiff or defendant in whose support the third party participated in the proceeding. The third party may also submit an objection that the plaintiff 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 matter.

 (2) In addition to other information which a procedural document must contain (§ 338), a petition specified 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 matter;
 3) a request for joining proceedings.

 (3) The court serves the petition specified in subsection (1) of this section on both parties and sets them a term 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) If it becomes evident that the third party has entered proceedings without good reason, the court may remove the third party from proceedings by order.

 (6) An order whereby the court permits a third party to enter proceedings, refuses to give such permission or removes a third party from proceedings is subject to appeal by the parties or the third party. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 216.  Involvement of third party

 (1) A party who, upon adjudication of a court action against such party, has the right to file a claim against a third party arising from the circumstances which the party considers to be a breach of contract, or a claim for compensation of damage or for release from the obligation to pay damages, or who has reason to presume that such claim may be filed against the party by a third party, may file, until the end of pre-trial proceedings or during the term prescribed for submission of documents in written proceedings, a petition with the court conducting proceedings in the matter in order to involve the third party in the proceeding.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (11) After the end of pre-trial proceedings, a petition for involvement of a third party in proceedings may be filed only with the consent of other participants in proceedings or the court. After the end of pre-trial proceedings, the court consents to involvement of a third party only if there was good reason for the failure to file the petition in time and in the opinion of the court involvement of the third party is in the interests of adjudication of the matter.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) A petition for involving a third party in support of the plaintiff or the defendant sets out:
 1) the name of the third party;
 2) the content and stage of proceedings;
 3) the reason and grounds for involving the third party in proceedings.

 (3) The court serves the petition on the third party, informs the other party of the petition and sets them a term for forming a position.

 (4) If the petition conforms to the requirements provided by law and the party provides reasons for the need to involve the third party, the court involves the third party by an order. A third party is deemed to be involved in proceedings in support of the party who involved the third party as of the date on which the order to involve the third party was served on the third party.

 (5) If it becomes evident that the third party has been involved in proceedings without good reason, the court may remove the third party from proceedings by an order.

 (6) An order whereby the court involves or refuses to involve a third party in proceedings, or removes such party from proceedings are subject to appeal by the parties or the third party. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 23 REPRESENTATION  

§ 217.  Representation in court

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

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

 (3) A participant in proceedings without active civil procedural legal capacity is represented in court by his or her legal 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 participant in proceedings whom he or she represents. A procedural act performed by a representative is deemed to have been performed by the participant in proceedings who is represented. This applies to admitting a fact or another statement in so far as the participant in 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 participant in 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 participant in proceedings is unable to personally protect his or her rights or that his or her essential interests may be insufficiently protected without the assistance of an advocate, 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 advocate;
 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 participant in proceedings;
 4) one plaintiff based on the authorisation of the co-plaintiffs or one defendant based on the authorisation of the co-defendants;
 5) an ascendant, descendant or spouse of a participant in proceedings;
 6) another person whose right to act as a contractual representative is provided by law.

 (2) A public servant or employee of a participant in proceedings may act as a contractual representative of the participant in proceedings if the court considers him or her to have sufficient expertise and experience to represent the participant in proceedings.

 (3) In an action in the Supreme Court, a participant in proceedings may perform procedural acts and file petitions and applications only through a sworn advocate. In non-contentious procedure in the Supreme Court, a participant in proceedings may perform procedural acts and file petitions and applications personally or through an advocate.

 (4) In an action in the Supreme Court a participant in proceedings may personally file an application for being granted procedural assistance and likewise present positions on and objections to appeals or other petitions of another participant in proceedings. A participant in proceedings may present positions in a session of the Supreme Court together with a sworn advocate.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) The minister responsible for the area or a representative appointed thereby may represent the Republic of Estonia in the Supreme Court even if he or she is not a sworn advocate. A bankrupt may also be represented in an action in the Supreme Court by the trustee in bankruptcy. A participant in proceedings may be represented in non-contentious procedure in the Supreme Court by a notary in accordance with the rules provided in § 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 responsible for the area’ 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 an action is filed against a person without active civil procedural legal capacity who has no legal representative, the court appoints a temporary representative to him or her until the legal representative enters proceedings if prevention of the participation of the party in proceedings endangers an essential interest of a party.

 (2) In a family matter, the court may appoint a representative to a person without active civil procedural legal capacity in a proceeding which concerns him or her 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 his or her legal representative;
 2) the court conducts proceedings in a matter of placement of a person without active civil procedural legal capacity under guardianship;
 3) the court conducts proceedings in a matter of applying measures in order to ensure the well-being of a child which involve separating the child from his or her family or deprivation of the right of custody over the person in full;
[RT I 2009, 60, 395 - entry into force 01.07.2010]
 4) the court conducts proceedings in a matter of removal of a child from a foster family, a spouse or another person entitled to access the child.

 (3) A representative need not 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 annulled if the person is represented by an advocate 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 at the time of the entry into force of a decision whereby proceedings are terminated, or at the time of discharge of proceedings in another manner, 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 such court instance also extends to the filing of appeals against the decisions made in such court instance.

 (5) In the cases specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section and also in other cases provided by this Code, the court appoint, in accordance with the rules provided by the State Legal Aid Act, an advocate to represent the person in order to protect his or her interests. The name of the advocate is specified to the court by the Estonian Bar Association which also guarantees his or her attendance at proceedings. Upon appointment of an advocate, the court does not additionally check the existence of the prerequisites for the receipt of state legal aid.

 (6) An advocate 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 advocate was appointed may be required to return to the state any payment already made to the advocate if the person fails to protect his or her interests in court in a reasonable manner other than through a court-appointed representative, or for another good reason. The above does not release a participant in proceedings from the payment of procedural expenses if the participant in proceedings is required to pay such expenses based on the court decision.

 (7) In order to protect a person's interests in proceedings, the court may appoint a person other than an advocate to act as his or her 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 his or her costs from the participant in proceedings required to pay procedural expenses based on the court decision.

§ 220.  Representation of Republic of Estonia as participant in proceeding

 (1) In an action filed against the Republic of Estonia arising from the activity of an executive authority, or upon involvement of the Republic of Estonia in proceedings as a third party, or upon participation of the Republic of Estonia in non-contentious proceedings, 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 matter, or within whose area of administration the civil matter 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 an action filed against the Republic of Estonia which arises from the activity of another administrator of state assets or in a civil matter 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 involvement of the Republic of Estonia to the authorities specified 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 right of representation of representative

 (1) The right of representation of a legal representative is certified by a document which provides for the capacity of the legal representative.

 (2) The authorisation of a contractual representative is certified by an authorisation document which is submitted to the court. The court may demand submission of a notarially certified or authenticated authorisation document from the party, as necessary.

 (3) A person may also grant an oral authorisation in a court session. The grant of an authorisation is entered in the minutes.

§ 222.  Scope of right of representation arising from law

 (1) The right of representation gives a representative the right to perform all procedural acts in the name of the person represented, including the right to:
 1) file actions and other petitions;
 2) refer the matter to arbitration;
 3) discontinue the action;
 4) admit the claim;
 5) amend the cause or object of the action;
 6) file a counterclaim;
 7) participate in proceedings conducted on the action brought by a third party with an independent claim;
 8) settle the matter by compromise;
 9) delegate the authorisation to other persons (delegation of authorisation);
 10) file an appeal against a decision;
 11) represent upon securing an action and in enforcement proceedings;
 12) receive procedural expenses to be compensated.

 (2) The representative of a spouse who has no active civil procedural legal capacity has the right to submit a petition for divorce or annulment of marriage only with the consent of the guardianship authority.

 (3) Authorisation granted in a family matter must be given expressly for acting in such family matter.

§ 223.  Restrictions on right of representation

  A participant in proceedings may restrict the scope of the representative's right of representation arising from law. Restrictions on the scope of the right of representation arising from law of the representative of a participant in proceedings apply with regard to the court and other participants in proceedings only to the extent to which they concern the right to terminate the court action by judicial compromise, discontinue the action or admit the claim, provided that the court and participants in proceedings have been informed of the restrictions.

§ 224.  Right of representation of several contractual representatives

  If a participant in proceedings has several contractual representatives, every representative has the right to separately represent the participant in 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 participants in proceedings.

§ 225.  Termination of authority

 (1) If the person represented withdraws the authorisation, the authorisation terminates with respect to the opposing party and the court as of the time the opposing party and the court are notified of the withdrawal of the authorisation. It is presumed that the authorisation of an advocate also terminates as of the time the opposing party and the court are notified of the appointment of a new advocate.

 (2) If a representative terminates the contract which constitutes the basis for authorisation, the representative may continue to act in the interests of the principal until the time the principal arranges for the protection of the interests thereof in another manner.

 (3) An authorisation does not terminate upon the death of the principal, upon the principal becoming devoid of active civil procedural legal capacity or upon the change of the principal's legal representative.

 (4) In proceedings, the represented party may rely on termination of the representative's authority due to expiry thereof only if the represented party or representative has informed the court and the opposing party separately of the termination of the authority.

§ 226.  Verification of right or 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 participant in 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 participants in proceedings. Advocates 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 action if the person who submitted the statement of claim on behalf of the plaintiff had no right of representation upon filing the action;
 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 participant in proceedings has several representatives;
 4) permit the representative to participate in proceedings pursuant to § 227 of this Code;
 5) postpone the hearing of the matter.

 (3) If, during proceedings, a representative is found to have no right of representation but the action was filed correctly, the participant in 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 participant in proceedings subsequently ratifies the procedural acts 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 an action on behalf of the plaintiff is filed by a person who does not prove his or her right of representation, the court does not serve the action on the defendant before the right of representation has been certified.

 (2) If a representative of a participant in proceedings is unable to prove his or her 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 matter or permit the person to temporarily participate in proceedings as a representative.

 (3) If the hearing of the matter 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 term for certification of his or her right of representation and may require a security from such person in order to cover for the procedural expenses and any expenses or damage which may arise to other participants in 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 term set by the court for the provision or submission.

 (5) If a person who appears on behalf of the plaintiff has not proved his or her right of representation or submitted a ratification within the term set by the court, the court dismisses the action if the other prerequisites for dismissal are fulfilled. If a person who appears on behalf of the defendant has not proved his or her right of representation or submitted a ratification within the term 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 participant in proceedings has not proved his or her right of representation or submitted a ratification within the term 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 expenses which the other participants incurred as a result of permitting the person without the right of representation to enter proceedings, to the other participants in proceedings. This does not preclude or restrict the right of the participants in proceedings to demand compensation for damage to the extent by which such damage exceeds the costs.

 (7) Procedural acts performed on behalf of a participant in proceedings are also deemed to be valid if the participant in proceedings granted the right of representation to the representative by means other than a written, notarially certified or authenticated document, or if the participant in proceedings ratifies, expressly or tacitly, the participation of the representative in the proceedings. It is presumed that a participant in proceedings has ratified the authority of a person who represented him or her in proceedings if the participant in proceedings subsequently grants the authority to the representative.

§ 228.  Adviser

 (1) A participant in proceedings may use a person with active civil procedural legal capacity as an adviser in proceedings.

 (2) An adviser may appear in the court session together with the participant in proceedings and provide explanations. An adviser cannot perform procedural acts or file petitions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Anything presented by an adviser in a court session is deemed to have been presented by the participant in proceedings unless the participant in proceedings immediately withdraws or corrects it.

Part 5 EVIDENCE  

Chapter 24 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 229.  Definition of evidence

 (1) Evidence in a civil matter 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 adjudication of the matter.

 (2) Evidence may be the testimony of a witness, statements of participants in proceedings given under oath, documentary evidence, physical evidence, inspection or an expert opinion. In non-contentious procedure the court may also deem other means of proof, including a statement of a participant in 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) In actions, 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 participants in proceedings. The court may propose to the participants in proceedings that they submit additional evidence.

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the court may take evidence at its own initiative in a matrimonial matter, filiation matter, a dispute related to the interests of a child or in non-contentious proceedings.

 (4) In a maintenance matter, the court may require that a party provide data and documents on his or her income and financial status and caution the party that the inquiry specified 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 specified in subsection (5) of this section have the obligation to provide the court with information within the term 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.  Bases for relief from burden of proof

 (1) A fact which the court deems to be a matter of common knowledge need not be proved. A fact concerning which reliable information is available from sources outside the proceedings may be declared a matter of common knowledge by the court.

 (2) An argument made by a party concerning on a fact need not be proven if the opposing party admits the fact. Admission means unconditional and express agreement to a factual allegation by means of a written statement addressed to the court, or made in a court session where such agreement is entered in the minutes. In matrimonial and filiation matters, the court evaluates admission together with other evidence.

 (3) Admission may be withdrawn only with the consent of the opposing party if the party withdrawing the admission proves that the allegation concerning the existence or absence of a fact which was admitted is incorrect, and that admission was caused by an incorrect understanding of the fact. In such case the fact is not deemed to be admitted.

 (4) Admission is presumed until the opposing party expressly contests the allegation made concerning the fact or the party's intent to contest becomes evident from any other statements made thereby.

§ 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 participant in 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) Upon establishment of a disputed fact, the court is bound by the opinion provided by a qualified person appointed by agreement of the parties, if:
 1) the dispute is related to an agreement entered into in the course of the economic or professional activities of both parties, and
 2) no circumstances exist for removing the qualified person acting as an expert from proceedings, and
 3) the qualified person was appointed according to an agreement without giving any preference to either of the parties, and
 4) the opinion of the qualified person is obviously not incorrect.

§ 233.  Evaluation of amount of claim

 (1) The court decides on the amount of damage according to the conscience of the court and taking account of all facts if causing of damage has been established in proceedings but the exact amount of the damage cannot be established or establishment thereof would involve major difficulties or unreasonably high costs, including if the damage is non-patrimonial.

 (2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section also apply to other proprietary 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 participant in proceedings requesting the court to evaluate an allegation of the participant in proceedings based on the receipt and examination of the evidence indicated in the request.

 (2) If a participant in proceedings wishing to provide evidence is unable to do so, the participant in 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 participant in proceedings who provides evidence or requests the taking of evidence must substantiate which facts relevant to the matter the participant in proceedings wishes 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 participants in proceedings a term 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 term, such evidence may be relied upon later only in adherence to the provisions of § 331 of this Code.

 (2) If the request of a participant in proceedings for taking of evidence is denied due to the failure of the participant to pay the costs related to the taking of evidence in advance notwithstanding the demand of the court, the participant 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 matter.

§ 238.  Relevance and admissibility of evidence

 (1) The court accepts, organises the taking of and considers, when dealing with a matter, only evidence which has relevance to the matter. Evidence has no relevance to a matter, above all, if:
 1) the fact proven need not 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 participant in 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 matter 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 participants in 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 matter, the court considering the matter may make an order for performance, by letter of request, of a procedural act 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 matter, 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 matter based on a letter of request, may, if necessary, amend the order on the taking of evidence. The participants in proceedings are given an opportunity to provide their opinion before amendment of the order, if this is possible. The participants in 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 act applied for in the letter of request. The participants in proceedings are notified of the time and place of the procedural act; however, the absence of a participant in proceedings does not prevent compliance with the letter of request.

 (2) Minutes of procedural acts and evidence taken upon compliance with a letter of request are sent promptly to the court considering the matter.

 (3) If, in the course of the taking of evidence by the court conducting proceedings in the matter 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 matter, 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 participants in proceedings thereof.

§ 241.  Taking of evidence outside Estonia

 (1) Evidence taken in a foreign state pursuant to the legislation of such state may be used in proceedings before the civil courts of Estonia unless the procedural acts 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 matters, 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section or a judge acting on the basis of an order may, in accordance with such regulation, be present at and participate in the taking of evidence by a court of a foreign state. The participants in 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 matter, 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 Matters.

 (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 court session after hearing the opinions of the participants in proceedings.

 (3) The participants in proceedings have the right to attend the examination of evidence in court sessions. Absence of a participant in proceedings summoned to court from a court session 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 participant in proceedings who was absent from a court session in which the evidence was examined if the participant in proceedings substantiates to the court that he or she was absent from the court session with good reason and that due to his or her absence the evidence taken or examined is materially incomplete.

 (5) The minutes 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 session of the court considering the matter. The participants in proceedings may provide an opinion concerning the taking of evidence.

 (6) Evidence taken and the minutes of procedural acts performed outside of a court session are made public in a court session and communicated to the experts and witnesses as necessary. Thereafter the participants in proceedings may give statements 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 valid reasons are 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 acts 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 seize 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 securing actions.

 (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 damage or for the defect of an object;
 3) the costs or measures for elimination of damage or correction of defects of an object.

 (4) Legal interest exists in the case specified 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 matter, the application for initiation of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence is filed with the court which deals with the matter.

 (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 matter does not actually belong within the jurisdiction of that court.

 (3) The application may also be filed, with good reason, with the county court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the person, the hearing of whom or conduct of expert assessment in respect of whom is requested, stays, or within the territorial jurisdiction of which the thing that is the object of inspection or expert assessment, 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 participants in proceedings or the persons presumed to be the participants in 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 matter.

 (2) If the person who requests the taking of evidence fails to specify the opposing party, the person shall provide the court with good 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 action due to an infringement or risk of infringement of copyright and related rights or of industrial property rights, the court, by order, sets a term within which the person must file the action. The term shall not be longer than one month. If the action is not filed within the set term, 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 action 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 on refusal to initiate preliminary collection of evidence is subject to appeal. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 advocate 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 advocate's fee and expenses, 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 an action 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 damage 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 immediately after application of the necessary measures.

 (5) In the case specified in subsection (4) of this section, the opposing party may request from the court the substitution or cancellation of a measure for safeguarding evidence provided that the evidence was safeguarded without good reason. The court informs the applicant of such request and the applicant has the right to file objections against the request with the court. An order made concerning such request is subject to appeal by the parties. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (6) Filing of the appeal specified in subsection (5) of this section does not suspend the enforcement of an order on securing of evidence. The filing of an appeal against an order on the cancellation of the application of a measure for securing evidence or the substitution of one measure for securing evidence with another suspends the 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 court session of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence or in the performance of other procedural acts, relying on the outcome of those proceedings is not permitted if the opposing party had not been summoned, in a timely manner, to the court session or the performance of the procedural act 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 damage 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 damage caused to the other party if:
 1) a court decision denying the action or dismissing the action enters into force, or if proceedings in the matter 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 action are revoked on the grounds that the action was not filed on time.

 (2) A security collected in order to compensate for damage 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 action for compensation for damage within two months as of the time specified in subsection (1) of this section.

Chapter 27 TESTIMONY OF WITNESS  

§ 251.  Testimony of witness

 (1) Every person who may be aware of the facts relevant to a matter may be heard as a witness unless the person is a participant in proceedings or a representative of a participant in proceedings in the matter.

 (2) Instead of hearing a witness, the court may use the minutes of hearing the same witness in other court proceedings, if this clearly facilitates proceedings and it may be presumed that the court is able to evaluate the minutes to a necessary extent without directly interrogating the witness.

§ 252.  Summoning of witness to court session

  The court summons a witness to a court session and serves a summons on him or her. A summons shall contain at least the following information:
 1) the participants in proceedings and the object of the dispute;
 2) the matter 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 him or her within the term prescribed by the court, if appearing before the court is unreasonably cumbersome 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section, the witness shall be informed that regardless of giving written testimony, he or she may also be summoned to a court session 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 good reason and against giving knowingly false testimony, and shall be required to sign the text of the testimony and the caution.

 (3) A participant in 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 immediately to the participants in proceedings together with a signed text of the caution.

 (5) If necessary, the court may summon a witness to a court session 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 him or her.

§ 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 other good 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 matter 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 other good 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 matter is not acceptable to the witness due to the disproportionate length of the journey and the witness cannot be heard by way of procedural conference.
[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 the right to give and annul orders arising from the law, to decide on the permissibility of the questions posed to the witness and to decide on repeated hearing 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 matters, counsels in criminal or misdemeanour matters 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 specified 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 matter 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 plaintiff or defendant;
 2) a sister, stepsister, brother or stepbrother of the plaintiff or defendant, or a person who is or has been married to a sister, stepsister, brother or stepbrother of the plaintiff or defendant;
 3) a step parent or foster parent or a step child or foster child of the plaintiff or defendant;
 4) an adoptive parent or an adopted child of the plaintiff or defendant;
 5) the spouse of or a person permanently living together with the plaintiff 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 him or her or a person specified 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 he or she was invited to witness;
 2) the birth or death of a family member;
 3) a fact related to a proprietary relationship which arises from a relationship under family law;
 4) an act 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 court session prescribed for his or her 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 his or her refusal to testify need not appear in the court session prescribed for giving the testimony. The court informs the participants in 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 participants in 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 appeal against such order. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 matter. A witness who has been heard stays in the courtroom until the end of the hearing of the matter 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 participant in proceedings or if a participant in proceedings leads the testimony of a witness by interference or in any other manner, the court may remove such participant in proceedings from the courtroom for the time the witness is heard.

 (3) After the return of such participant in proceedings, the testimony of the witness is read to the participant in proceedings and the participant in 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 he or she has been heard.

§ 262.  Rules for hearing of witnesses

 (1) The court ascertains the identity of a witness and his or her area of activity, education, residence, connection to the matter and relationships with the participants in 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 court minutes 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 matter, the witness need not 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 he or she knows concerning the object of the hearing.

 (5) The participants in proceedings have the right to pose questions to a witness which are necessary in their opinion in order to adjudicate the matter or establish the witness's connection to the matter. A participant in proceedings poses questions through the court. With the permission of the court, a participant in proceedings may pose questions directly.

 (6) A participant in proceedings who applies for the summoning of a witness is the first to question the witness; thereafter, the witness is questioned by the other participants in proceedings. A witness summoned at the initiative of the court is questioned first by the plaintiff.

 (7) The court excludes leading questions and the questions which are not relevant to the matter 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 court session to which he or she is summoned unless there is good reason not to hear the witness in this court session. Absence of a participant in proceedings is not, as a rule, deemed to be good reason. The repeated summoning of a witness who has been heard to the next court session in a court of the same instance shall be reasoned.

 (2) If necessary, a court may hear a witness repeatedly in the same court session 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 court session.

 (2) If the court so requires, notes are presented to the court and the participants in 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 matter, in a previous court session, is disclosed at the court session. The testimony of a witness is deemed to be disclosed if the court and the participants in proceedings do not consider the reading out of the testimony necessary.

 (2) If witnesses who have been heard in previous court sessions appear in a court session, the court may hear the witnesses again.

§ 266.  Liability of witness

 (1) If a witness fails to appear in court upon a summons without good reason, the court may impose a fine or compelled attendance on the witness.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a witness refuses to give testimony or sign a caution without good reason, the court may impose a fine or detention of up to 14 days on the witness. The witness is released immediately if the witness gives the testimony or the signature on being cautioned, or if the hearing of the matter has ended or the need for the witness to be heard has ceased to exist.

 (3) A witness bears the procedural expenses caused by his or her refusal to give a signature on being cautioned, refusal to give testimony or failure to attend a court session without good reason.

 (4) An order of a county court or circuit court made under the circumstances specified in subsections (1)–(3) of this section is subject to appeal by a witness. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 28 STATEMENTS OF PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDING GIVEN UNDER OATH  

§ 267.  Hearing under oath of participants in 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 him or her or who has not provided any other evidence, has the right to request the hearing of the opposing party or a third person 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 person may also be heard under oath at his or her 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 at its own initiative 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 at its own initiative 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 participants in proceedings

 (1) The provisions concerning hearing of witnesses correspondingly apply to hearing of participants in proceeding under oath unless the provisions of this Chapter provide otherwise.

 (2) A participant in 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 matter without concealing, adding or changing anything". A participant in proceedings takes the oath orally and signs the text of the oath.

§ 270.  Refusal by participant in proceeding to take oath or give statements 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 court session set for his or her hearing under oath without good reason, the court may deem, taking account of the reasons for his or her failure to appear, that he or she 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 participant in proceeding without active civil procedural legal capacity

 (1) The legal representative or representatives of a participant in proceedings who has no active civil procedural legal capacity are examined under oath in the stead of that participant.

 (2) A minor or an adult with restricted active legal capacity may be heard by the court without taking the oath concerning a fact directly related to his or her action or which was the object of his or her direct 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 matter and can be submitted in a court session 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 participants in 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 transcript.

 (2) If a participant in proceedings submits an original document together with a transcript, the court may return the original document and include in the file the transcript 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 force of the court decision terminating proceedings. The transcript, 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 term for examination of a submitted document after the expiry of which the court returns the document. In such case the transcript of the document is kept in the file.

 (5) If a document has been submitted in the form of a transcript, 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 transcript 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 format which 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 participants in 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 specified 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 participant in proceedings is able to prove that a submitted document has been falsified, the participant in 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 person, 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. The above 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 he or she 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 term set by the court.

 (2) If a person is in the possession of information relevant for resolving the matter, 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 he or she 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 good reason.

§ 280.  Obligation to provide information in action related to intellectual property

 (1) If an action is filed 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 plaintiff 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 specified in clauses 1)–3) of this subsection, in the production or distribution of such goods, or provision of such services.

 (3) The information specified 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 specified 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section in proceedings in the capacity of witnesses. The persons may refuse to submit information in the manner specified 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 shall not be required to submit a document concerning the content of which the public servant cannot be heard as a witness.

 (2) Regardless of the demand of the court, a document need not be submitted:
 1) by an advocate 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 heard as a witness or with regard to which the possessor of the document has the right to refuse to give testimony as a witness;
 3) by a person who has the right to refuse to submit the document due to another reason arising from law.

 (3) A person other than a party may file objections arising from law to a requirement to submit documents, including objections based on substantive law. Objections shall be substantiated.

 (4) If the person from whom submission of a document is required informs the court that the document is not in the possession thereof, the court may hear the person as a witness at the request of a participant in proceedings in order to establish the whereabouts of the document. The above does not apply in case submission of the document is requested from a party.

 (5) The court makes an order on the legality of the refusal to submit a document after having heard the participants in proceedings. The order is subject to appeal by the participants in proceedings and the person who was required to submit the document. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 282.  Filing of action for requiring submission of document

 (1) If a person files a substantiated and lawful objection to a requirement to submit a document, the person who requested the submission of the document may file an action against the person in possession of the document in order to require submission of the document on the basis of the provisions of the Law of Obligations Act, another Act or a contract, and to request suspension of the proceedings in the main case until such action has been adjudicated. In such event the court sets the person requesting the document a term for requiring submission thereof.

 (2) The opposing party may request continuation of the proceedings before the expiry of the term for submission of the document in the possession of another person if the action filed against the possessor of the document has been adjudicated or the person requesting the document delays proceedings in the filed action or complying with the decision whereby the action was granted.

§ 283.  Failure by opposing party to submit document

 (1) If the opposing party denies possession of a document, such party is heard under oath concerning the failure to submit the document. If the court is convinced that the opposing party is in possession of a document, the court makes an order whereby the opposing party is required to submit the document to the court.

 (2) If the opposing party fails to perform the obligation to submit a document to the court or the court is convinced after hearing the opposing party that the party has not looked for the document carefully, the court may approve the transcript of the document submitted to the court by the person providing the evidence. If no transcript of the document has been presented, the court may deem the statements concerning the nature and content of the unsubmitted document made by the person who requested the evidence to be proven.

§ 284.  Consequences of removal of document

  If a party, in order to prevent the opposing party from relying on a document, removes a document or renders it unusable, the court may deem the statements of the opposing party concerning the nature, preparation and content of the document to be proven.

Chapter 30 PHYSICAL EVIDENCE  

§ 285.  Definition of physical evidence

  Physical evidence means a thing whose existence or properties may facilitate ascertainment of the facts relevant for resolving a civil matter. A document that corresponds to the above indications is also deemed to be 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 matter 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 participant in 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 physical evidence

 (1) The court inspects physical evidence in a court session and submits the physical evidence to the participants in proceedings and, if necessary, to experts and witnesses.

 (2) Physical evidence stored at its location is inspected at its location. An expert or other qualified person may be asked to be present at the examination. The examination of physical evidence is recorded in the minutes of the court session.

 (3) Highly perishable physical evidence or physical evidence the return of which the person submitting the physical evidence requests with good reason is inspected by the court promptly and returned to the person from whom it is obtained or to whom it belongs.

 (4) Upon the inspection of the physical evidence specified in subsections (1)–(3) of this section, the physical evidence is described in detail. If necessary and possible, physical evidence is photographed or its relevant characteristics are recorded in some other manner. Minutes are taken of an inspection.

 (5) The minutes concerning the inspection of physical evidence are made public in a court session. Thereafter the participants in proceedings may give statements with regard to the physical evidence.

§ 289.  Return of physical evidence

 (1) After the entry into force of the court decision 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) A thing which, pursuant to law, shall not be in the possession of a person, is delivered to a competent state agency.

 (3) At the request of a person, physical evidence obtained from the person may also be returned to the person before the entry into force of the court decision after the evidence is inspected and examined.

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 at its own initiative.

 (2) The court which conducts proceedings in a matter 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 participants in proceedings are informed of the inspection being arranged but their absence does not prevent the conduct of the inspection.

 (4) The participants in 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 matter 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. Minutes are taken of the course of an inspection and the notices made by the participants in proceedings are entered in the minutes.

§ 292.  Obligation to enable inspection

 (1) The court may impose an obligation to enable inspection to a participant in proceedings or another person and set the person a term for such purpose. Other persons may refuse to enable inspection in accordance with the rules that apply concerning refusal by the possessor of a document to submit the document at the demand of the court.

 (2) The court has the right to impose a fine on a person who refuses to enable inspection without good reason.

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 matter which require specific expertise, the court has the right to obtain the opinion of experts at the request of a participant in 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 matters at the request of a participant in 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 participant in 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 qualified person employed by a state forensic institution, an officially certified expert or another person with specific expertise 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 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 good 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 he or she 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 he or she is a forensic expert, is officially certified for the conduct of the required expert assessments or if he or she 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 his or her services in the conduct of an expert assessment in a matter is also required to conduct the expert assessment.

 (3) The consent of an expert need not 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 matter, 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 good reason.

§ 297.  Conduct of expert assessment

 (1) If the presence of the participants in 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 participants in proceedings does not prevent the conduct of the expert assessment if the expert finds that he or she is able to provide an opinion without the presence of the participants in proceedings.

 (2) The court may give orders concerning an expert assessment.

 (3) If the circumstances which constitute the cause of an action 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 participants in proceedings and whether and at what time the expert must allow the participants in proceedings to participate in the expert assessment.

 (5) The participants in proceedings shall be informed of the orders given to an expert.

§ 298.  Questions to expert and requests and objections of participants in proceeding related to expert assessment

 (1) A participant in 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 participant in 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 him or her and, if the expert so desires, explains the circumstances related to his or her duties to him or her.

 (3) The participants in 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 term for such purpose. The court shall take account of any objections, requests or questions submitted after the expiry of such term only if this does not delay resolution of the matter in the opinion of the court or if the participant in proceedings had good reason for the delay and he or she has substantiated it adequately.

§ 299.  Requiring delivery of thing for expert assessment

 (1) The court may impose an obligation on a participant in proceedings or another person to deliver a thing for an expert assessment or to allow the conduct of an expert assessment, and to set the person a term for such purpose. A person other than a participant in proceedings has the right to refuse to deliver a thing on the same grounds as he or she may refuse to submit a document, and may refuse to tolerate expert assessment on the same grounds as a witness may refuse to give testimony.

 (2) The court may fine a person who, without good reason, refuses to deliver a thing or organise an expert assessment.

§ 300.  Expert assessment for establishment of 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 damage to the person examined and his or her 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 good 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section is subject to appeal. Filing of an appeal against the order suspends the enforcement of the order.

§ 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 him or her but which are relevant to the matter, he or she 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 him or her.

 (2) In order to provide an expert opinion, an expert may examine the records of the matter 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, he or she 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 him or her is incomplete or if the expert assignments set out in the order on the expert assessment are outside his or her 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 his or her speciality or specific expertise and whether fulfilling the assignment is possible without involving additional experts, and shall inform the court immediately of his or her refusal or any doubts.

 (5) If an expert has doubts concerning the content or extent of the assignment given to him or her, the expert addresses the court immediately for clarification. 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 matter 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 him or her 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 court session.

 (2) Unless an expert opinion is submitted in writing or in a format which can be reproduced in writing, the expert provides the expert opinion in a court session. The court may summon an expert who submitted an expert opinion in writing or in a format which can be reproduced in writing to a court session for questioning. The court summons an expert who provided an expert opinion to a court session if so requested by a party.

 (3) After examining an expert opinion, the participants in proceedings may pose questions to the expert in a court session 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 him or her.

 (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 he or she submits the expert opinion, against knowingly providing an incorrect expert opinion, and the expert confirms this by signing the court minutes 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 opinion is ambiguous, contradictory or insufficient and cannot be corrected by additional questions, the court has the right to order a reassessment. A reassessment is assigned to the same expert or another expert.

 (2) In the case of removal of an expert, the court assigns the reassessment to another expert.

 (3) If an expert fails to provide an answer to a question relevant to the matter and the expert is unable to answer such question in a court session, 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 procedural expenses by the expert if the expert, without good reason:
 1) fails to appear in a court session when summoned by the court;
 2) refuses to give a signature about being cautioned of his or her liability;
 3) refuses to provide an opinion;
 4) fails to submit an opinion by the due date set by the court;
 5) refuses, without good reason, to answer the questions posed to him or her;
 6) refuses to submit materials related to the expert assessment.

 (2) An appeal may be filed by an expert against an order specified 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 participant in proceedings or another person to whom the procedural document is addressed.

 (2) Upon service of a procedural document, the act of delivery must conform to the formal requirements provided by law and be documented in the format prescribed for such purpose.

 (3) The court arranges for the service of procedural documents through a person providing postal services as its economic activity, a bailiff, a court security guard or, in conformity with the internal rules of the court, another competent court official or in another manner specified 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 participant in proceedings or a legal representative of a participant in 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 claim, appeal and supplements thereto, summonses as well as the court judgment and an order on termination of proceedings in a matter and any other procedural documents specified by law on the participants in 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 transcript or printout thereof is delivered to the recipient, unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) Transcripts of procedural documents specified in subsection (1) of this section may be certified by competent court officials in conformity with the internal rules of the court or advocates. Transcripts of appendices to procedural documents and transcripts of procedural documents submitted or delivered to the court by the participants in proceedings need not be certified.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a document reached a participant in 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 participant in 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 participants in proceeding

 (1) A procedural document which is not required to be served on a participant in proceedings in accordance with the rules provided for in this Part but which concerns the rights of the participant in proceedings is transmitted to the participant in proceedings in a manner chosen by the court.

 (2) If a procedural document specified 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 participant in proceedings substantiates to the court that he or she received the document later or did not receive the document. The court may set a longer term 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 specified in the file and the recipient gives a signature about receipt of the document. Service of a document in a court session is indicated in the minutes of the session.

§ 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 his or her legal representative entered in the population register;
 4) to the e-mail address and phone number of the addressee and his or her legal 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 personal-identification-code@eesti.ee.

 (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 be served on the recipient in accordance with the rule provided in subsection (4) of this section when the recipient confirms the receipt of the procedural document in writing, by fax or electronically. The confirmation shall set out the date of receipt of the document and bear the signature of the recipient or representative thereof. A confirmation prepared in electronic form shall bear the digital signature of the sender or be transmitted in another secure manner which enables identification of the sender and establishment of the time of sending, unless the court has no reason to doubt that the confirmation without a digital signature has been sent by the recipient or representative thereof. A confirmation prepared in 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 have no access to it and also if the court has already transmitted documents to this e-mail address in the course of the same case or if the participant in proceedings has provided his or her e-mail address to the court independently. The recipient shall send the confirmation specified in this subsection to the court without delay. The court may fine a participant in proceedings or representative thereof who has violated this obligation.

 (6) Procedural documents may be served on advocates, notaries, bailiffs, trustees in bankruptcy and state or local government agencies in any other manner than electronically through the designated information system only with good reason.

 (7) The court makes all procedural documents, including court decisions, immediately available to the participants in proceedings in the designated information system, regardless of the manner of service thereof on the participants in 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 responsible for the area.
[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 he or she substantiates that he or she is 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 specified by law, the document was actually not delivered.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) The minister responsible for the area may establish the format for a delivery notice.

 (5) A delivery notice which does not meet the format requirements provided in 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 in this Act 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 specified in subsection (3) of this section to the court without delay. The court may fine a participant in 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 participant in 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 participant in proceedings which are known to the court in the expedited procedure for orders for payment which preceded the action.

 (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 bailiff, court official, another person or institution

 (1) A procedural document may also be served through a bailiff, court security guard 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 participant in 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 a bailiff.

 (11) Under expedited procedure for orders for payment and in actions, a procedural document may be served through a bailiff only in accordance with the rules provided in § 3151 of this Code. In actions 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 a bailiff 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 matter 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 specified 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 specified 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 prepared concerning service which shall set out the data specified in subsection 313 (3) of this Code. After service, the delivery notice is returned to the court without delay. The minister responsible for the area may establish the format for a delivery notice.

 (6) A delivery notice which does not meet the format requirements provided in 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 he or she substantiates that he or she is 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 specified 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 in this Act, 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section a term 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 participant in proceeding

 (1) A participant in 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 participant in proceedings may serve procedural documents only through a bailiff.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section the court sets a term for service of the procedural document during which the participant in proceedings arranging the service shall notify the court about the results of the service.

 (3) In order to serve a procedural document, the court delivers the procedural document subject to service to the participant in proceedings arranging the service in an envelope sealed by the court and likewise a delivery notice form subject to be returned to the court and explains to him or her the consequences of knowingly submitting incorrect information to the court.
[RT I, 22.03.2013, 9 - entry into force 01.04.2013]

 (4) The rules provided in subsections 315 (4)–(7) of this Code apply to the service of procedural documents through a bailiff and documentation thereof.

 (5) If, under expedited procedure for orders for payment, the plaintiff or the petitioner fails to notify the court of the results of the service within the term 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 Matters 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 format requirements provided for in 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 in § 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 specified in subsection (4) or (5) of this section is submitted by the court hearing the matter. 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 participant in 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 participant in 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 matters (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 specified in subsection (1) of this section, the agencies transmitting judicial documents are county courts of Estonia which conduct proceedings in the matter 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section, the agency receiving judicial and extrajudicial documents is the county court in the territorial jurisdiction of which the document is to be served.

 (3) On the basis of Article 3 of the regulation specified 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 specified 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 specified 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 specified 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 specified in Article 15 of the Regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section is not permitted in Estonia.

 (8) An Estonian court may adjudicate a matter under the conditions provided in Article 19(2) of the Regulation specified 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section, an application for relief may be filed with the court within one year after making a court decision whereby proceedings in the matter 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 participant in proceedings may be served a procedural document by public announcement if:
 1) the address of the participant in proceedings is not entered in the register or the person does not live at the address entered in the register and the court has otherwise no knowledge of the address or place of stay of the person, and the document cannot be delivered to a representative of the person or a person authorised to receive the document or in any other manner provided for in 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 participant in 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 in § 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 proceedings in a matter of the order for payment are transformed into an action, a statement of claim may be served by public announcement on the basis of a court order in conformity with the provisions of clause 486 (1) 2) of this Code if the court which has prepared the proposal for payment has fulfilled the prerequisites for public service provided for in clause (1) 1) of this section upon service of 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 participant in proceedings who requests the public service of a procedural document submit a confirmation by a police authority, rural municipality or city government that such authority has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the recipient, or other proof on the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section. A police authority, rural municipality or city government shall provide the participant in proceedings with such confirmation at his or her 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 publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court hearing the matter 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 specified in subsection (3) of this section shall set out:
 1) the court hearing the matter, 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 an action is served, a proposal to respond to the action, 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 publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court hearing the matter may set a longer term for deeming a document to be served. In such case the term is published together with the public service of the document.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (6) A court may refuse to serve a procedural document by public announcement if 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. (4) An order on refusal to refuse public service is subject to appeal. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 legal representative of recipient

 (1) A procedural document is deemed to be served on a recipient with restricted active legal capacity if the document is served on the legal representative of the recipient.

 (2) In the case of a legal person or administrative agency, a procedural document is served on the legal 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section has several legal 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 participant in proceeding 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 participant in 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 participant in proceedings who is required to appoint a person authorised to receive procedural documents fails to do so, procedural documents are served on the participant in proceedings by unregistered letter at the address thereof until the time the participant in proceedings appoints such person.

 (4) In the case specified 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 term for deeming a document to be served.

 (5) In the case of serving a document by post as specified 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 proceedings before the court

 (1) If a participant in proceedings is represented by a representative in proceedings before the court, the documents in the matter 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 participant in 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 court decision is served on the representative who represented the participant in 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 advocate representing a participant in proceedings by placing the procedural document in a post box assigned to the advocate in the court premises and agreed upon with the advocate 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 his or her 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 specified 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 bailiffs, 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 specified 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 good 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 dwelling or business premises of the recipient or representative thereof is deemed to be served by placing the document in the post box which belongs to the dwelling or business premises or in another such place which the recipient or representative thereof uses to receive mail and which usually ensures the preservation of the parcel. A procedural document may be served on a person specified in subsection 322 (2) of this Code only if service on the recipient or representative thereof in person is impossible.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Service in the manner described in subsection (1) of this section is permitted only in case an effort to deliver the procedural document personally to the person has been made at least on two occasions at least three days apart at significantly different hours and service of the procedural document on another person staying in the dwelling or business premises in conformity with subsection 322 (1) or § 323 of this Act is impossible.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the date of service is entered on the envelope of the served parcel.

§ 327.  Service of procedural document by depositing

 (1) On the conditions provided in § 326 of this Code, a document may also be deposited with the post office, rural municipality or city government of the location of the place of service of the document or with the office of the county 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 terms 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 specified 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 term for this purpose.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Part 7 PETITIONS AND APPLICATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDINGs  

Chapter 37 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 328.  Truthfulness of petitions and guarantee of response to petitions

 (1) Petitions by the participants in proceedings concerning the factual circumstances related to a matter 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 participants in 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 matter 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 good reason.

 (2) If a court organises a hearing which is organised in pre-trial proceedings, a participant in proceedings shall file their petitions, applications, evidence and objections such that these could be forwarded to other participants in proceedings at least seven days before the preliminary hearing unless otherwise determined by the court. A cross-petition of the other participant in proceedings and related applications, evidence and objections shall be filed to the court such that these could be forwarded to other participants in 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 matter. 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 matter being dealt with in the minimum possible time and at the minimum possible cost.

 (4) In pre-trial proceedings, the court may give the participants in 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 term set by the court. Participants in proceedings shall be informed of all the directions of the court.

§ 330.  Terms 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 term 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 matter 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 term for submission of applications are considered in accordance with the rules provided in § 331 of this Code.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 331.  Belated filing of petitions

 (1) If a participant in proceedings files a petition, application, evidence or objection after the expiry of the term 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 adjudication of the matter or the participant in proceedings provides good reason for the delay.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If a participant in proceedings was not notified of a petition, application, evidence or objection of the opposing party in time before the court session 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 term 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 participants in 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 acts. The court resolves the objection by an order.

 (2) If a participant in proceedings does not file an objection at the latest at the end of a court session where the violation took place, or in the first procedural document submitted to the court after the violation took place, and the participant in 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section, the participant in proceedings also has no right to rely on the error in the activity of the court upon filing an appeal against the court decision.
[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 matter for at least nine months and the court fails to perform a necessary procedural act without good reason, including fails to schedule a court session 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 term 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 need not be reasoned.

 (4) An appeal may be filed against the order made on considering the application for expedition of the court proceeding. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (5) When dealing with an appeal against an order, the court may direct 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 limits of the appeal in the choice of the measure.

 (6) A new application may be filed when six months have passed from the entry into force of the court order made concerning the previous application, except if the application is filed due to the reason that the court dealing with the matter has failed to implement the measure prescribed by the order in time.
[RT I, 23.02.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.09.2011]

Chapter 38 FORMAT OF PROCEDURAL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED BY PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDINGS  

§ 334.  Submission of written documents

 (1) All petitions, applications, objections and appeals are submitted to the court in legible typewritten form in A4 format. Petitions, applications, positions and objections presented in a court session are entered in the minutes.

 (2) Where possible, the participants in proceedings provide the court with electronic copies of the procedural documents submitted in writing.

§ 335.  Submission of documents in format reproducible in writing

 (1) For compliance with the term 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 format which can be reproduced 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 matter in a court session or, under written procedure, during the term 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 court decision, 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 immediately 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 responsible for the area.

 (4) The court may deem a petition or another procedural document submitted by e-mail by a participant in 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 matter by the same participant in 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) Contractual representatives, notaries, bailiffs, trustees in bankruptcy, state and local government agencies and other legal persons provided in clauses 218 (1) (1)–(3) and in subsection 218 (2) of this Code submit documents to the court electronically unless there is good reason to submit the document in another form.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (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 good reason therefor. The minister responsible for the area 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 advocates

  If several participants in proceedings are represented in the proceedings by advocates, the documents and appendixes thereto to be sent to the court shall be sent by an advocate to the advocates of the other participants in proceedings independently and the advocate shall inform the court thereof. In such case the documents are deemed to be served on the other participants in proceedings at the time indicated to the court. The court may fine an advocate 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 an action, objection and appeal, submitted to the court by a participant in proceedings sets out:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) the names, addresses and telecommunications numbers of the participants in proceedings and their potential representatives;
 2) the name of the court;
 3) the merits of the case;
 4) for the matter being dealt with, the number of the civil case;
 5) the petition filed by the participant in proceedings;
 6) circumstances on which the petition is based;
 7) a list of appendices to the procedural document;
 8) the signature of the participant in 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 participant in proceedings does not know the address or other data of another participant in proceedings, the procedural document shall set out the measures taken by the participant in 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 matter 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 participant in 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) If the procedural documents are signed by a representative of a participant in proceedings, an authorisation document or another document certifying his or her right of representation is annexed to the first procedural document which the representative submits in the matter. An authorisation document need not be submitted if the procedural documents are signed by an advocate acting as a representative but the court is entitled to demand the submission of the authorisation document.

 (2) The originals or transcripts of the documents referred to in a petition and of the documents in the possession of the participant in proceedings is annexed to the petition unless they have already been submitted to the court.

 (3) If performance of a procedural act requested in a procedural document is subject to state fee or security, information which enables verification of the payment thereof shall be specified in the procedural document, or certification on the grant of procedural assistance or an application for grant of procedural assistance upon payment of the state fee or security shall be annexed to the document.

§ 340.  Transcripts to other participants in proceeding

 (1) A participant in proceedings must, upon submission of written documents and appendices thereto to the court, provide a requisite number of transcripts of such documents to be served on the other participants in proceedings.

 (2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to the documents or appendices thereto which the other participants in proceedings possess in the form of original documents or transcripts. In such case, the documents which transcripts are not provided shall be specified to the court and the participant in proceedings shall substantiate why he or she believes that the other participant in proceedings is in possession of such documents or transcripts.

 (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 advocate sends transcripts of procedural documents to the advocate representing the other participant in proceedings and confirms this to the court.

 (4) The court organises the making of transcripts 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 participant in proceedings or he or she is presumed to be unable to examine the content of the document or to be unable to print it out. In the case specified in the first sentence of this subsection no state fee is charged for the making of transcripts 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.  Correction of omissions in procedural document

 (1) If a petition, application, objection or appeal does not comply with the formal requirements or contains other omissions which can be corrected, including upon failure to pay the state fee or security, the court sets a term for correction of the omissions and, in the meantime, refuses to proceed to a consideration of the procedural document.

 (2) If the omissions are not corrected by the due date set by the court, the court rejects and returns the petition, application or appeal, or dismisses the petition, application or appeal which has already been accepted. An appeal may be filed against an order of a county court or circuit court made thereon unless otherwise provided by law. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court unless otherwise provided by law.

 (3) If the omissions in objections are not corrected 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 COURT SESSION  

§ 341.  Adjudication of matter in court session

 (1) A civil matter is considered and adjudicated at a court session unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The rights and obligations prescribed to the court by this Chapter also apply to courts acting on the basis of a letter of request and judges acting on the basis of an order.

§ 342.  Scheduling of court session

 (1) The court schedules a court session in order to deal with a petition or application, unless the petition or application can be dealt with without holding a court session.

 (2) A court session is scheduled immediately after receipt of a petition or application and the response thereto or upon expiry of the term set for responding. The court may also schedule a court session before receiving a response or before expiry of the term set for responding if it may be presumed that a court session is required for dealing with the matter regardless of the response or if immediate scheduling of the session is reasonable under the circumstances due to other reasons. If the court does not require a response, it schedules the court session 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 participants in proceedings upon scheduling a court session.

§ 343.  Sending of summonses and publication of time of court session on website of court

 (1) In order to notify the time and place of a court session, the court serves summonses on the participants in proceedings and other persons to be invited to the court session.

 (2) The interval between the date of service of summonses and the date of the court session shall be at least ten days. Such interval may also be shorter if the participants in proceedings agree thereto.

 (3) The time of holding the court session is also published on the website of the court, setting out the number of the civil matter, the names of the participants in proceedings and the general description of the civil matter. If a court session is closed, only the time of holding the court session, the number of the civil matter and a notation that the court session is closed are published. The time of holding the court session is removed from the website when seven days have passed from the holding of the court session.
[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 court session;
 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 in actions, a participant in proceedings is summoned to a session of the Supreme Court and the summons is not sent to a sworn advocate, it is also indicated in the summons that the participant in proceedings is permitted to perform procedural acts, and file petitions and applications in the Supreme Court only through a sworn advocate.

 (3) The first summons served on a person in a civil matter sets out the obligation to bring to the court session an identity document. The first summons sent in a matter to a representative sets out the representative's obligation to bring to the court session a document certifying his or her right of representation unless the representative is an advocate.

 (4) A summons sent to a witness also refers to the right of a witness to receive compensation for a witness and compensation for expenses.

 (5) A summons need not be signed.

 (6) A single form for summonses shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.

 (7) A summons need not be in the form prescribed in subsections (1)–(6) of this section if the summons is delivered in a court session or if a person signs in a court session the minutes concerning the time of holding a court session. 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 court session

  A participant in proceedings, witness, expert, interpreter or translator summoned to a court session who is unable to appear in court shall give the court timely notice thereof and provide the court with reasons for his or her impediment to appear in court.

§ 346.  Personal presence of participants in proceeding in court session

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

 (1) The court may require, by an order, the personal appearance of a participant in proceedings or representative thereof in a court session if, in the opinion of the court, this is necessary for the clarification of circumstances relevant to the adjudication of the matter or for ending the dispute by compromise. The court does not require the personal appearance of a participant in proceedings in a court session if personal appearance of the party cannot be demanded due to the disproportionate length of the journey or another good reason.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) In marital and filiation matters, a county court requires the personal appearance of the parties and shall hear the parties unless the parties have a good 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 his or her statements may be obtained by a court conducting proceedings in the matter on the basis of a letter of request.

 (3) A participant in proceedings is personally notified by a summons of the obligation to appear in court in person even if he or she has appointed a representative for the proceeding.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If a participant in proceedings fails to appear in a court session regardless of the corresponding direction of the court, the court may fine him or her on the same basis as it may fine a witness who fails to appear in a court session for hearing, or apply compelled attendance on him or her.
[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 participant in proceedings sends to the court session 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 case the court has the right to fine the party or apply compelled attendance on the party in matrimonial and filiation matters.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 347.  Commencement of court session

 (1) When the court enters or leaves the courtroom, the persons present in the room stand up.

 (2) Upon commencement of a court session, the court announces the matter to be heard. At the beginning of a court session, the court ascertains:
 1) who of the summoned persons have appeared in the court session, and their identity;
 2) whether the persons absent from the court session have been notified of the holding of the court session pursuant to law or whether they have been summoned to court pursuant to law;
 3) whether the representatives of the participants in proceedings hold the right of representation.

 (3) In a court session in which the matter is heard, the court introduces the content of proceedings and the procedural situation.

 (4) In a session organised solely for the purpose of announcing a decision, the persons who are present need not be established and their identity need not be checked.

 (5) In the cases where a participant in proceedings is not represented by an advocate, the court explains the consequences of performance of or failure to perform a procedural act to the participant in proceedings or his or her representative. If the consequences of performance of or failure to perform a procedural act have been explained once, repetition thereof at a later time is not required.

§ 348.  Course of court session

 (1) The court presides over the court session and ascertains the opinion of the participants in proceedings on the circumstances relevant to the matter and excludes from the hearing of the matter anything that is irrelevant to adjudication of the matter.

 (2) The court undertakes to ensure that a matter 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 participants in proceedings on such issue. The court provides the participants in proceedings with an opportunity to provide their opinion on any circumstance relevant to adjudication of the matter.

 (4) If a participant in proceedings is represented by another person, the court also hears the participant in proceedings in person if the participant in proceedings so desires.

 (5) If a matter is heard by a collegial court panel, the presiding judge has the rights of the court upon organising the court session. 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 matter

 (1) Court hearing of a matter is oral unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The petitions, applications and other documents submitted to the court and forwarded to the participants in proceedings are read out aloud in a court session only if the wording of the statement to be read out is relevant to the matter or if the court deems it necessary due to another reason. Otherwise, only a reference is made to the documents.

§ 350.  Court session held in form of procedural conference

 (1) The court may organise a session in the form of a procedural conference such that a participant in proceedings or his or her representative or adviser has the opportunity to stay at another place at the time of the court session and perform the procedural acts in real time at such place.

 (2) A witness or expert who stays in another place may also be heard, and a participant in proceedings who stays in another place may pose questions to them, in the manner specified in subsection (1) of this section.

 (3) In a court session organised in the form of a procedural conference, the right of every participant in proceedings to file petitions and applications and to formulate positions on the petitions and applications of other participants in proceedings shall be guaranteed in a technically secure manner and the conditions of the court session in respect of the real time transmission of image and sound from the participant in 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, in non-contentious procedure, with the consent of the witness alone, the witness may be heard by telephone in a procedural conference.

 (4) The minister responsible for the area may establish specific technical requirements for conducting a court session in the form of a procedural conference.

§ 351.  Ascertaining of facts in court session

 (1) The court discusses the disputed facts and relationships with the participants in 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 matter 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 term for providing the opinion.

§ 352.  Altering time of court session and adjournment of hearing of matter

 (1) With good reason, the court may cancel a court session or alter the time thereof, or adjourn a session. Failure to complete the adjudication of a matter in a court session is permitted only for a reason which prevents the completion of the adjudication of the matter in the court session.

 (2) The court does not adjourn the hearing of a matter on the grounds that a party is unable to personally attend the court session if the representative of the party is present in the court session and the court has not required personal appearance of the party. The hearing of a matter 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 court session in the case provided in subsection (1) of this section in order to continue proceedings. A new session is organised as soon as possible in order to continue the hearing of the matter, taking account, within good reason, of the opinion of the participants in proceedings.

 (4) If consideration of the matter is adjourned, the court may hear the statements of the participants in proceedings who have appeared in the court session and the court hears the testimony of the witnesses and opinions of the experts, especially if their appearance at a later court session would be excessively expensive for such persons or it would be otherwise inconvenient for them. If the hearing of the persons specified above necessarily involves the examination of other evidence or the performance of another act, such act is also performed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If a county court adjourns the hearing of a matter for a period longer than three months without the consent of the parties, a party may file an appeal against the order if the party finds that the hearing of the matter is adjourned for an unreasonably long period of time. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against such order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (6) The court resolves a petition for adjournment of a court session or another procedural act immediately and, if necessary, before the court session or performance of such other procedural act and notifies the participants in proceedings thereof immediately.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Part 9 SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 353.  Suspension of proceedings in case of death of party who is natural person or dissolution of party who is legal person

 (1) In the case of the death of a party who is a natural person or the dissolution of a party who is a legal person, and universal succession exists, proceedings are suspended until the time it is continued by the universal successor of the party or another person entitled to do so. A successor is not required to continue proceedings before acceptance of the succession or the expiry of the term for refusing to accept the succession.

 (2) In the case specified 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 upon suspension of proceedings, the universal successor delays the continuation of proceedings, the court invites, based on a petition of the opposing party, the universal successor to continue the proceedings within the term set by the court and to participate in the hearing of the matter. The invitation and the petition are served on the universal successor. In the case specified in subsection (2) of this section, the invitation is served on both the universal successor and representative thereof.

 (4) If, in the case specified in subsection (3) of this section, the universal successor fails to appear in the court session, the alleged legal succession is deemed to have been accepted by the universal successor based on the petition of the opposing party and the hearing of the matter 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 legal representative of a party dies or the right of representation of the legal representative expires before the party has regained active civil procedural legal capacity, proceedings are suspended until the legal representative or the new legal representative informs the court of his or her appointment.

 (2) In the case specified 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 specified in subsection (1) or (2) of this section, a legal representative has been appointed but fails to inform the court of his or her appointment and the opposing party informs the court of a wish to continue proceedings, proceedings are continued after the court has served the notice on the representative.

§ 355.  Suspension of proceedings with good reason

  The court may suspend proceedings due to a good reason arising from a party until the time such reason ceases to exist. In the case of a serious illness of a party, proceedings may be suspended until the party regains his or her health unless the disease is chronic.

§ 356.  Suspension of proceedings due to other proceedings

 (1) If the judgment fully or partially depends on the existence or absence of a legal relationship which is the subject matter 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 matter is dealt with by the Supreme Court, until the entry into force of the judgment of the Supreme Court, if that judgment may affect the validity of the legislative or regulatory act of general application that falls to be applied in the civil matter.

 (3) If a court refers a question arisen in a matter to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, the court suspends proceedings until the entry into force 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 specified 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 specified 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 terms is suspended and, upon the expiry of the suspension of proceedings, such terms start to run again from the beginning.

 (2) Any procedural acts performed during the period when proceedings are suspended are null and void. This does not preclude the securing of an action or the conduct of proceedings for preliminary collection of evidence in order to preserve evidence.

 (3) Suspension of proceedings when the hearing of the matter 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 court session

 (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 other good reasons, as well as due to the absence of both parties from the court session.

 (2) Suspension of proceedings on the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section does not affect the running of procedural terms.

§ 360.  Order on suspension of proceedings and appeal against such order

 (1) The court suspends proceedings by an order.

 (2) An order by a county court or circuit court for suspension of proceedings are subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 361.  Resumption of proceedings

 (1) The court resumes a suspended proceeding based on the request of a party or at the initiative of the court after the circumstances which constituted the grounds for suspension of proceedings have ceased to exist. If proceedings were suspended due to the absence of both parties from a court session, proceedings are resumed only at the request of a party.

 (2) In the case provided 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 adjudication of the suspended matter is possible.

 (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 ACTIONS  

Chapter 39 COMMENCEMENT OF MATTERS  

§ 362.  Filing of actions

 (1) The time of filing an action means the time when the action arrives at the court. This applies only if the action was served on the defendant at a later time.

 (2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section also apply to the filing of another petition or application to the court unless otherwise provided by law. A claim or petition filed in a court session is deemed to be filed at the time of its disclosure in the court session.

 (3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section apply to the evaluation of the consequences related to the filing of an action under both procedural and substantive law, and also to the evaluation of compliance with and suspension of running of a term.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 363.  Content of statement of claim

 (1) In addition to other requisite information to be included in procedural documents, a statement of claim sets out:
 1) the clearly expressed claim of the plaintiff (object of action);
 2) the factual circumstances which constitute the basis of the action (cause of action);
 3) the evidence in proof of the circumstances which constitute the cause of the action, and a specific reference to the facts which the plaintiff wants to prove with each piece of evidence;
 4) whether the plaintiff agrees to the matter being dealt with by written procedure or wishes the matter to be considered at a court session;
 5) the value of the action unless the action seeks to obtain payment of a certain sum of money.

 (2) If the plaintiff wishes the action to be dealt with by documentary procedure (§ 406), the plaintiff shall so indicate in the action.

 (21) If the plaintiff does not agree to the making of a default judgment in accordance with § 407 of this Code in the event of receiving no response to the action, the plaintiff shall so indicate in the action.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) If the plaintiff is represented in proceedings by a representative, the action shall also set out the data of the representative. If the plaintiff wishes to be assisted in proceedings by an interpreter or translator, the plaintiff shall so indicate in the statement of claim and set out, if possible, the data of the interpreter or translator.

 (4) Filing of an action with a different court than the court of the defendant's general jurisdiction must be justified to such court.

 (5) In addition to the data specified in subsection (1) of this section, a statement of claim in a divorce case also sets out the names and dates of birth of the common minor children of the spouses, the person who maintains and raises the children, the person with whom the children reside, the arrangement requested concerning the parental rights and a proposal on how the upbringing of the children would be arranged after the divorce.

 (6) If the plaintiff or defendant is a legal person entered in a public register, a transcript of the registry card, excerpt from the register or registration certificate is annexed to the action, unless the court is able to check such data from the register independently. Concerning other legal persons, other evidence on the existence and legal capacity of such person is provided.

§ 364.  Action for submission of inventory of assets, report or confirmation

 (1) The plaintiff may request, by the statement of claim, the submission of an inventory of assets from the defendant who is obligated to deliver a pool of assets or to provide information on the status of assets.

 (2) The plaintiff may request that the defendant obligated to report on the income and expenditure related to the administration of assets provide a structured calculation of such income and expenditure together with the documents and other evidence related thereto.

 (3) If the plaintiff has reasoned doubts that the data set out in the inventory specified in subsection (1) of this section or the calculation specified in subsection (2) of this section may be incorrect or could have been compiled with insufficient diligence, the plaintiff may also demand that the defendant take an oath that, based on the information at the defendant's disposal, the calculation or inventory is correct. Such oath is taken in accordance with the rules prescribed for giving statements under oath.

 (4) If the plaintiff files an action for the receipt of money or for the performance of another act as well as for the receipt of an inventory of assets or a calculation of income or expenditure related thereto or for an oath to be taken, the plaintiff has the right not to expressly specify the claim directed at the receipt of money or performance of another act before the inventory or list is received, confirmation is obtained or a partial judgment is made concerning that claim.

§ 365.  Additional claims concerning setting of term and compensation for damage

 (1) The plaintiff may request in the statement of claim that together with obligating the defendant to perform the duty or act requested by the action, the court set the defendant a term for compliance therewith in the judgment.

 (2) If, upon expiry of the term specified in subsection (1) of this section, the plaintiff has the right to demand compensation for the damage caused by the violation of an obligation or the right to terminate a contract, the plaintiff may also request, in the statement of claim, the determination of the amount of compensation or deeming the contract terminated in the same judgment.

§ 366.  Action for compensation for non-proprietary damage

  In an action for compensation for non-property damage, the plaintiff has the 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 penalty for late payment as collateral claim

  Together with the principal claim of an action, the plaintiff has the right to file a claim for a penalty for late payment which has not yet fallen due by the time of filing the action such that the plaintiff does not specify the amount of the penalty for late payment but requests the court to impose such penalty for late payment partly or fully in the form of a percentage of the value of the principal claim until the principal claim is fulfilled. Above all, a penalty for late payment may be claimed such that the court would order payment thereof in a fixed amount until the making of a judgment and thereafter as a percentage of the principal claim.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 - entry into force 15.07.2008]

§ 368.  Establishment action

 (1) If the plaintiff has a legal interest in the establishment of the existence or absence of a legal relationship, the plaintiff may file an action for establishment thereof.

 (2) If in enforcement proceedings a dispute concerning the interpretation of an enforcement instrument arises, the claimant or debtor has the right to file an action against the other party with the claim to establish whether a certain right or obligation arises to the plaintiff from the enforcement instrument. An establishment action with such claim may also be filed in order to clarify the meaning of an enforcement instrument in other cases when a dispute has arisen between the participants in proceedings concerning the enforcement or effect of the enforcement document.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 369.  Filing of action before claim falls due

  An action for a future claim may be filed in the case there is reason to believe that the debtor will not perform the obligation on time. On the same grounds, among other things, an action for the future vacation of an immovable or space may be filed if the fulfilment of the claim involves a certain due date and likewise the future performance of recurring obligations falling due after the filing of the action may be claimed.

§ 370.  Several claims in action

 (1) The plaintiff may make several different claims against the defendant in one action, and such claims may be dealt with together provided all of them are within the jurisdiction of the court dealing with the matter 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 filed in an action, or several claims may be filed such that the plaintiff requests the granting of one of the claims only if the first claim is denied.

§ 371.  Grounds for rejecting the action

 (1) The court rejects a statement of claim if:
 1) the court is not competent to deal with the matter;
 2) the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of that court;
 3) an interested party who has taken recourse to the court has failed to comply with the mandatory procedure provided by law for prior extra-judicial resolution of such matters;
 4) there is a judgment of an Estonian court which has entered into force or an order on termination of proceedings, or a decision of a court of a foreign state subject to recognition in Estonia, or a decision in pre-court proceedings which has entered into force, including an agreement approved by the Chancellor of Justice, which has been made in a dispute between the same parties concerning the same object of the action on the same grounds and which precludes recourse to the court in the same matter;
 5) a matter between the same parties concerning the same object of the action on the same grounds is pending before a court;
 6) a matter between the same parties concerning the same claim on the same grounds is being heard by a lease committee or labour dispute committee or in another pre-trial proceeding provided by law where a decision can be made in the form of an enforcement instrument;
 7) a valid decision has been made in arbitration proceedings in a matter between the same parties concerning the same object of action on the same grounds, or arbitration proceedings are pending in such a matter;
 8) the parties have entered into an agreement for referral of the dispute to arbitration except in the case where the action contests the validity of the arbitral agreement;
 9) the statement of claim lacks the signature of a competent person or other essential formal requirements for statements of claim have been violated;
 10) a state fee has not been paid on the claim filed in the statement of claim;
 11) the data concerning the plaintiff or defendant presented in the statement of claim do not enable their identification;
 12) the person who submits the statement of claim in the name of the entitled person has not proven his or her right of representation.

 (2) The court may reject a statement of claim if:
 1) based on the factual circumstances presented as the cause of the action, violation of the plaintiff's rights is impossible, presuming that the factual allegations of the plaintiff are correct;
 2) the action has not been filed for protecting the plaintiff'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 plaintiff cannot be achieved by the action.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 372.  Deciding on acceptance of action

 (1) Within a reasonable period of time, the court, by order, decides to accept or refuses to accept the statement of claim, or sets a term for the curing of defects.

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

 (3) If necessary, the court may request the defendant's position in order to decide on acceptance of the action, and to hear the parties. In such a case the court decides on acceptance of the action without delay after receiving the position or hearing the parties.

 (4) An order on rejection of a statement of claim shall set out the reason for rejecting the statement of claim. If the court rejects a statement of claim, the court does not serve the statement of claim on the defendant but returns it to the plaintiff together with any appendixes thereto and with the order on rejection of the statement of claim.

 (5) The plaintiff may file an appeal against an order rejecting the statement of claim. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court if acceptance of the action was refused on the grounds specified in clause 371 (1) 9), 11) or 12) of this Code.

 (6) If the court rejects a statement of claim and returns it by an order, the statement of claim is deemed to be not submitted and the action is deemed not to have been dealt with by the court.

 (7) If a matter is not within the jurisdiction of the court at which the action was filed, the provisions of § 75 of this Code apply to its rejection.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) If the court finds that dealing with the statement of claim falls within the competence of an administrative court and the administrative court has previously found in the same matter that the matter does not fall within the competence of the administrative court, the court promptly submits a request to a Special Panel formed by the Civil Chamber and the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court in order to determine the court which is competent to deal with the matter and notifies the participants in proceedings thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 373.  Filing of counterclaim

 (1) Until the end of pre-trial proceedings or, under written procedure, until the expiry of the term prescribed for submission of petitions, a defendant has the right to file a procedural claim (counterclaim) against the plaintiff to be considered together with the main action if:
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]
 1) the counterclaim is aimed at setting off against the main action;
 2) the granting of the counterclaim wholly or partially precludes granting the main action;
 3) the counterclaim and the main action are otherwise mutually connected and their joint consideration would allow the matter to be dealtwith just and more expeditious consideration of.

 (2) If a counterclaim is filed later than within the period indicated in subsection (1) of this section, the counterclaim is dealt with together with the main action only if there was good reason for the failure to file the counterclaim on time and if, in the court's opinion, acceptance of the counterclaim for joint proceedings is conducive to adjudication of the matter.

 (3) The provisions concerning a statement of claim apply to a counterclaim. If an action filed in the form of a counterclaim is not accepted as a counterclaim, it is accepted as a separate action unless the person filing the counterclaim has requested that the action be dealt with exclusively in the form of a counterclaim.

§ 374.  Joinder of claims

  If several claims of the same type which involve the same parties, or which are filed by one plaintiff against different defendants or by several plaintiffs against the same defendant are subject to concurrent court proceedings, the court may join such claims into single proceedings if the claims are legally related or the claims could have been filed by a single action and this allows those claims to be dealt with more expeditiously or facilitates the conduct of proceedings.

§ 375.  Severance of claims of action

 (1) If the court finds that the separate hearing of claims filed in one statement of claim, or of an action and a counterclaim would allow the matter to be dealt with more expeditiously or would considerably facilitate proceedings, or if actions have been joined unfoundedly, the court may sever the claims by an order and conduct independent proceedings.

 (2) The court may cancel the severance of actions if it becomes clear that severance was not justified.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 376.  Amendment of action

 (1) After acceptance of an action and its service on the defendant, the plaintiff may amend the object or cause of the action only with the consent of the defendant or the court. The defendant's consent is presumed if the defendant does not immediately file an objection to the amendment of the action.

 (2) The court agrees to amendment of the action only with good reason, above all if the factual allegations and evidence already submitted in proceedings are likely to make it possible to deal with the amended action more expeditiously and economically.

 (3) The provisions concerning a statement of claim apply to a petition for amendment of action. If in pre-trial proceedings the plaintiff presents new facts related to the action, it is presumed that the plaintiff thereby supplements the cause of action.

 (4) The following is not deemed to be amendment of action:
 1) amendment or correction of presented factual or legal allegations without amending the main circumstances which constitute the cause of the action;
 2) increase, reduction, extension or limitation of the principal claim or collateral claim of the plaintiff;
 3) demanding another object or another benefit instead of the object which was originally demanded due to a change in the circumstances.

 (5) The court may demand the submission of the entire text of the statement of claim if, due to making repeated amendments thereto or for another reason, the action lacks clarity and submission of the entire text of the statement of claim facilitates the hearing of the matter.

 (6) The plaintiff may also submit a petition or amendment specified in subsection (4) of this section without submission of a petition in a format corresponding to the statement of claim and, among other things, orally in a court session.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 40 SECURING OF ACTION  

§ 377.  Basis for securing action

 (1) The court may secure an action at the request of the plaintiff if there is reason to believe that failure to secure the action may render enforcement of a court judgment difficult or impossible. If enforcement of a court judgment will evidently take place outside of the European Union and the enforcement of court judgments is not guaranteed on the basis of an international agreement, it is presumed that failure to secure the action may render enforcement of the court judgment difficult or impossible.

 (2) In order to secure an action which object is not a monetary claim against the defendant, the court may provisionally regulate a disputed legal relationship and, above all, the manner of use of a thing, if this is necessary for the prevention of significant damage or arbitrary action or for another reason. This may be done regardless of whether there is reason to believe that failure to secure the action may render enforcement of the court judgment difficult or impossible. The measures specified in subsection 378 (3) of this Code may also be applied at the initiative of the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An action which includes a future or contingent claim, or an establishment action, may also be secured. A contingent claim is not secured if the condition is presumed not to occur during the time of proceedings.

 (4) A circuit court or the Supreme Court resolve the petition for securing an action or petition for amendment or annulment of the order on securing an action if they are conducting proceedings in the matter in relation to which the securing of the action, or cancellation or amendment of the securing of the action, 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 for securing an action may also be applied for securing several claims by the same plaintiff against the same defendant.

 (6) A court may also apply a measure for securing an action 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 securing action

 (1) The measures for securing an action are:
 1) establishment of a judicial mortgage on an immovable, ship or aircraft belonging to the defendant;
 2) seizure 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 a bailiff or to pay money into a bank account prescribed by the court;
 5) imposition of an obligation on the defendant to deposit a thing with the bailiff;
 6) suspension of enforcement proceedings, permitting the continuation of enforcement proceedings only against a security, or revocation of the enforcement action if the enforcement instrument has been contested by filing of an action, or if a third party has filed an action for the release of property from seizure or for declaration of inadmissibility of compulsory enforcement due to another reason;
 7) prohibition on the defendant to depart from his or her residence, taking the defendant into custody and imposition of detention 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 matter of illegal causing of damage or in a matter of an insurance contract;
 9) imposition of an obligation on the defendant to terminate the application of an unfair standard term or that the person recommending application of the term terminate or withdraw the recommendation of the term in an action for termination of application of an unfair standard term or for termination and withdrawal by the person recommending application of the term of recommendation of the term;
 10) another measure considered necessary by the court.

 (2) In order to secure an action based on infringement of copyright or related rights or industrial property rights, the court may, among other things, seize the goods concerning which there is doubt of infringement of intellectual property rights or impose an obligation to hand over such goods to prevent the putting on the market or distribution of such goods. If seizure of the defendant's bank account or other assets is sought to secure an action based on infringement of copyright or related rights or industrial property rights for commercial purposes, the court may impose an obligation to hand over banking, financial or commercial documents or to enable to inspect these.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (21) In order to secure an action based on the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of business secrets, the court may, among other things, seize 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]

 (3) In a matrimonial matter, maintenance matter or other family matter, 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 maintenance obligation arising from law and among other things, imposition of an obligation on the defendant to pay support during the time of proceedings or to provide 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 matters related to marriage and family which need to be dealt with expeditiously due to the circumstances.

 (4) A measure for securing an action 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 plaintiff and the circumstances. The value of the action shall be taken into account upon securing an action involving a monetary claim.

 (5) A court may apply several measures concurrently to secure an action.

 (6) The plaintiff may exercise the rights arising to the plaintiff from the securing of the action and above all, the plaintiff 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.  Application of detention or prohibition to depart from residence

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

 (1) Detention or prohibition on a person to depart from his or her residence may be applied in accordance with the rules for securing actions only if this is necessary for ensuring compliance with a court judgment and other measures for securing an action 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 his or her assets to a foreign state.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The measure specified in subsection (1) of this section may be used for securing a proprietary claim only if the value of the action 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section may be applied to a member of a managing body of the legal person.

 (4) Detention 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 his or her 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 his or her signature to such effect.

§ 380.  Securing of action in case of object prescribed for performance of public duties

  A measure for securing an action shall not be imposed with respect to an object belonging to a legal person in public law which is needed for the performance of public duties or the disposal of which is contrary to public interest.

§ 381.  Petition for securing action

 (1) A petition for securing an action shall set out at least the following information:
 1) the object of the action and value of action;
 2) the circumstances which constitute the basis for securing;
 3) the requested measure for securing the action;
 4) the data of the party against whom the petition is filed;
 5) if establishment of judicial mortgage on several things at one time is requested, the division of the claim between the different things encumbered with the mortgage.

 (2) The claim, which securing is requested, and the circumstances which constitute the basis for securing shall be substantiated in the petition for securing an action.

§ 382.  Securing of action without filing action

 (1) The court may also secure an action based on a petition before the action is filed. The petition shall set out the reasons for not filing the action immediately. The petition is filed with the court with which the action should be filed pursuant to the provisions concerning jurisdiction.

 (2) If the court secures an action in the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court shall set a term during which the petitioner must file the action. The term shall not be longer than one month. If the action is not filed on time, the court cancels the securing of the action.

 (3) If it is necessary for securing an action, a measure for securing an action may also be imposed by the court within the territorial jurisdiction of which the property, with respect to which application of a measure for securing an action is requested, is located, even if the action 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 securing an action 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 specified in subsection (3) of this section may also substitute or cancel the securing of an action, or to demand a security for securing an action or for continuation of securing an action.

 (5) In the cases provided by law, the court may also secure petitions submitted to an authority engaging in pre-trial resolution of disputes.

§ 383.  Securing of action against security

 (1) The court may make the securing of an action or continuation of securing an action dependant on the provision of security in order to compensate for possible damage caused to the opposing party or a third party.
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 - entry into force 17.12.2018]

 (11) The court secures an action involving a monetary claim only in case a security is provided in the amount of at least 5 percent of the amount of claim, but not less than 32 euros and not more than 32,000 euros. If detention of a defendant or prohibition on a defendant to depart from his or her residence is sought in accordance with the rules for securing actions, 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 plaintiff due to economic or other reasons cannot be reasonably expected to provide a security, and failure to secure the action may result in grave consequences for the plaintiff or if requiring the security would be unfair to the plaintiff 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 action or cancels the securing of the action.

§ 384.  Resolving the petition for securing an action

 (1) The court, by reasoned order, resolves the petition for securing an action not later than on the working day following the date of submission of the petition. The court may resolve the petition for securing an action at a later time if it wishes to hear the defendant beforehand.

 (2) If a petition for securing an action does not conform to the requirements of law but the omission can clearly be corrected, the court sets the petitioner a term for correcting the omission. The court denies the petition for securing an action if the omission is not corrected on time.

 (3) The defendant and other participants in proceedings are not notified of consideration of a petition for securing an action. 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 securing an action, 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 rural municipality or city government. If the urgency of the matter 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 rural municipality or city government or at its own initiative regardless of whether or not a petition for securing an action has been filed.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 385.  Substitution of securing of action with payment of money

  If the court imposes detention or prohibition to depart from his or her residence on a person by an order on securing an action involving a monetary claim or an order on securing an action, 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 on securing the action is terminated. In such case, the court cancels, based on the defendant's application, the measure for securing the action 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 specified in this section.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 386.  Substitution or cancellation of securing of action

 (1) At the request of a party, a court may, by an order, substitute one measure for securing an action with another.

 (2) If the circumstances change and, above all, the cause for securing an action ceases to exist or a security is offered, or due to another reason provided by law, the court may cancel the securing of an action based on the request of a party. Non-monetary securing of an action may be cancelled or amended by substitution with a monetary payment only with the consent of the plaintiff or for a good reason.

 (3) The court notifies the other party of an application for substitution of a measure for the securing of an action or cancellation of the securing of an action. The other party has the right to submit objections to the court with regard to the application.

 (4) The court cancels the securing of an action by a court judgment if the action is denied, or by an order if the action is dismissed or proceedings in the matter are terminated. The court also cancels the securing of an action if the securing of the action was decided by another court unless otherwise provided by the law.

 (5) An order on securing an action made under the circumstances specified in subsection 378 (3) of this Code may also be amended or annulled at the initiative of the court.

§ 387.  Communication of order on securing the action

 (1) The court sends the order on securing an action immediately to the plaintiff, and serves it on the defendant. At the request of the plaintiff, the court may postpone the serving of the order on securing the action on the defendant.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the plaintiff has to contact a bailiff, registrar or another person or agency for the enforcement of the order on securing an action, this shall be set out in the order on securing the action. The court sends the order on securing an action to a registrar or another agency or person for enforcement only at the request of the plaintiff. 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 bailiff independently.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An order on refusal to secure an action or for demanding a security from the plaintiff is sent only to the petitioner.

§ 388.  Establishment of judicial mortgage

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a judicial mortgage established on an immovable, a ship entered in the ship register or an aircraft entered in the civil aircraft register gives the person who requested the securing of the action the same rights with regard to the other rights encumbering the thing as the rights of a mortgagee arising from a mortgage or maritime mortgage or the rights of a pledgee arising from a registered security.

 (2) The sum of mortgage is the amount of the secured claim which is entered in the land register, ship register or civil aircraft register. If the principal claim remains under 640 euros, a judicial mortgage is not established if other measures for securing the action can be applied which are less cumbersome to the defendant.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (3) A judicial mortgage is entered in the land register, ship register or civil aircraft register to the benefit of the plaintiff on the basis of the plaintiff's petition and the order on the securing of the action. At the request of the plaintiff, 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 bailiff takes the ship or aircraft under his or her supervision based on an application of the person who requested the securing of the action. In such case, the bailiff 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 securing the action a sum of money for each encumbered thing 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 the securing of the action is cancelled.

 (6) If the securing of an action is cancelled or a measure for securing the action 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, ship register or civil aircraft register on the basis of an order on cancellation of securing the action.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 389.  Seizure of property

 (1) In the case of seizure of property, the defendant shall not dispose of the property. In addition to the seizure of other movable property except a ship entered in the ship register or an aircraft entered in the civil aircraft register, the right of security upon seizure is created.

 (2) If the value of the principal claim is under 640 euros, the court does not seize an immovable, a ship entered in the ship register or an aircraft entered in the civil aircraft register if other measures for securing the action can be applied which are less cumbersome to the defendant.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (3) If several things are seized, the court sets out, in the order on securing the action, a sum of money for each encumbered thing 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 the securing of the action is cancelled.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Upon seizure of an immovable or a registered movable or another object, a notation concerning a prohibition on disposal of property is entered in the land register or another register to the benefit of the plaintiff on the basis of the plaintiff's petition and the order on securing the action. At the request of the plaintiff, 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 plaintiff or defendant, the court may order the sale of a seized 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) Seizure of property is arranged by a bailiff. The bailiff takes the seized object under his or her supervision based on an application of the person who petitioned for securing of the action. In such case, the bailiff 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 of appeal against order

 (1) A party may file an appeal against an order by which a county court or circuit court secures an action, substitutes one measure for securing an action with another or cancels the securing of an action. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court only if the value of the secured action exceeds 63,900 euros or if detention or prohibition on a person to depart from his or her residence was applied as a securing measure.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (2) The filing of an appeal against an order does not suspend the enforcement of the order on securing the action. The filing of an appeal against an order on cancelling the securing of an action or the substitution of one measure for securing an action with another suspends the enforcement of the order.

§ 391.  Compensation for damage caused by securing of action

 (1) The party who applied for securing an action shall compensate for the damage caused to the other party and a third party by the securing of the action, if:
[RT I, 07.12.2018, 2 - entry into force 17.12.2018]
 1) a court decision on denial or dismissal of the secured action enters into force, or if proceedings in the matter are terminated on any other grounds except due to the approval of a compromise of the parties;
 2) it becomes evident that no claim for securing the action or no cause for securing the action existed at the time of securing the action;
 3) an order on securing the action which was made before the action was filed is annulled due to the reason that the action was not filed on time.

 (2) A security for compensation for damage likely to be caused by securing an action which is imposed on the person who requested the securing of the action is returned to such party if the other party or a third party has not filed an action for compensation for damage within two months as of the time specified 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 the securing of actions 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 specified regulation.

 (2) In conformity with Article 4(14) of the Regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section, the county 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 specified in subsection (1) of this section, the European preservation order shall be revoked by the county court that has made the preservation order.

 (4) The county court that has made the European preservation order is competent to grant a remedy in conformity with Article 33 of the Regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section.

 (5) A county court is competent to grant a remedy in conformity with Article 34(2) of the Regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section. The court resolves the request under non-contentious procedure.

 (6) The documents submitted to a court or bailiff in conformity with Article 49(2) of the Regulation specified 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 plaintiff and the positions of the participants in proceedings in respect of the claims;
 2) the requests of the participants in proceedings and where necessary, the positions of the other participants in 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 participants in 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 participants in proceedings in proof of their factual allegations and concerning the permissibility of the provided evidence;
 41) law applicable to adjudication of the matter;
[RT I, 10.03.2016, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2016]
 5) possibility to resolve the matter by a compromise or in another manner by an order or by written procedure;
 6) the participants in proceedings and whether and how to summon them to a court session.

 (2) If a matter is to be considered at a court session, the court prepares the hearing of the matter with sufficient attention to detail so that it can be dealt with without interruptions in a single court session.

 (3) In order to achieve the aims of pre-trial procedure, the court may demand statements from the participants in 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 matter and the prerequisites for permissibility of proceedings.

 (5) A matter can be adjudicated in pre-trial procedure in the cases prescribed by law.

§ 393.  Notification of the action to participants in proceedings

 (1) If the court accepts a statement of claim, the court notifies the participants in proceedings thereof immediately and serves a transcript of the statement of claim together with any appendixes thereto and the order on acceptance of the matter on the defendant and third parties.

 (2) Upon notification of the defendant of acceptance of an action, the court informs the defendant of the following:
 1) the obligation of the defendant to provide a written response to the action by the due date set by the court;
 2) the mandatory contents of the response to the action;
 3) the consequences of failure to respond to the action, admittance of the claim or acceptance of the plaintiff's allegations, including the possibility of making a default judgment against the defendant and the defendant's obligation to cover the procedural expenses;
 4) the consequences of absence from court session if the matter is to be considered at a court session;
 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 action within the term set by the court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) In the case of an action for termination of application of a standard term or for termination and withdrawal by the person recommending application of the term of recommendation of the term against a defendant whose activity is subject to supervision by a designated state agency, the court also forwards the action to such agency and requests that the agency provide the court with a written position on such matter. Where necessary, the court also hears the position of the agency orally.

 (4) If adjudication of the matter may concern several persons or if, when dealing with the matter, this appears reasonable on other grounds, the court may also transmit the action 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 adjudication of the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 394.  Defendant's response to action

 (1) The defendant shall provide the court with a written response to an action.

 (2) Among other things, the defendant shall set out the following in the response to an action:
 1) whether the defendant has any objections to the court's acceptance of the matter or there is reason to dismiss the action or to terminate proceedings in the matter, unless the defendant has already provided a position thereon;
 2) whether the defendant admits the action by approving the correctness of the claims filed against the defendant in the statement of claim;
 3) all the defendant's requests and allegations, and evidence in proof of each factual allegation;
 4) whether the defendant wishes to file a counterclaim;
 5) the opinion of the defendant on how to divide the procedural expenses;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) whether the defendant agrees to written procedure or wishes the matter to be considered at a court session;
 7) whether the defendant considers it possible to resolve the matter 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 claim is inaccurate, the defendant shall communicate the accurate information to the court.

 (5) The term for submitting a response to an action shall be at least 14 days as of the service of the action, and upon service of an action in a foreign state, at least 28 days as of the service of the action.

 (6) The court forwards the defendant's response to the action together with transcripts of the documents annexed to the response to other participants in 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 an action orally in a court session if, in the court's opinion, this is likely to contribute to the expeditious adjudication of the matter. In such case, the court obligates the defendant to prepare the presentation of the response to the action in the court session with sufficient attention to detail, schedules the session and explains the possible consequences of failure to respond and failure to use other legal remedies in the session to the defendant.

§ 396.  Plaintiff's position on response to action

  If this is necessary for dealing with the matter expeditiously and justly, the court demands a written position concerning the response to the action from the plaintiff and sets the plaintiff a reasonable term for compliance with the demand.

Chapter 42 COURT SESSION IN ACTIONS  

§ 397.  Scheduling of court session

  If a matter is considered at a court session, the period between the service of the action on the defendant and the date of the court session 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 term for responding to the action in writing, the court session must not be scheduled before the response of the defendant has been received and forwarded to the plaintiff, or before the term for responding expires.

§ 398.  Preliminary hearing

 (1) The court may direct that a case management session 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 matter in the main session 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 court session for hearing the matter as a continuation of the preliminary hearing to adjudicate the matter on its merits unless the court finds that the facts relevant to the matter have not been ascertained to a sufficient extent.

 (3) Unless the hearing of a matter is terminated in the preliminary hearing, the court makes further arrangements to prepare for the main session and schedules the main session.

§ 399.  Rules governing consideration of matters at court session

  Matters are considered in court sessions directed to be held for the hearing of the matters 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 plaintiff submits the claims;
 3) the defendant makes known whether the defendant admits or contests the claim;
 4) the participants in 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 participants in proceedings are given the floor for summations.

§ 400.  Statements of participants in proceedings

 (1) The court hears the plaintiff and any third parties participating in support of the plaintiff 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 participants in proceedings have the right to put questions to one another.

 (2) A participant in 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 participants submitted in writing. The court announces the positions and petitions which the participants in proceedings have presented in pre-trial procedure only if they differ from the submissions made in a court session.

 (4) If only one of the parties participates in a court session, 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 participants in proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 401.  Termination of hearing on merits of matter

 (1) After examining the evidence, the court considering the matter discusses the status of proceedings and prospects of terminating proceedings with the participants in proceedings.

 (2) After examining all evidence in a matter, the court asks the participants in proceedings whether they want a further hearing of the matter.

 (3) If upon examining the evidence, a fact becomes evident 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 participants in proceedings do not apply for a further hearing of the matter on the merits or if the court denies the corresponding application, the court terminates the hearing of the matter on the merits.

§ 402.  Summations

 (1) After concluding the hearing of the matter on the merits, the court hears the summations if a participant in proceedings so requests.

 (2) A participant in proceedings has the right, in summations, to make closing arguments which contain a short summary of the circumstances of importance for adjudication of the matter. Closing arguments may only refer to the circumstances which have been presented in the hearing the matter on its merits and to the evidence which has been examined in a court session.

 (3) A court may limit the duration of closing arguments, ensuring that all participants in proceedings have equal time to speak. The time granted to a participant in proceedings for closing arguments shall not be less than ten minutes.

 (4) The plaintiff 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 plaintiff or the defendant in support of whom the third party is participating in the matter.

 (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 participant in proceedings may rebut the closing arguments of other participants in proceedings. The duration of a rebuttal shall not exceed three minutes. The defendant has the right of last rebuttal.

 (7) During the summations, a participant in 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 minutes of the court session.

 (8) After the summations, the court retires to make a judgment, and gives notice of the time and manner the judgment is to 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 matter without hearing it in a court session. In such case the court sets, as soon as possible, a term during which petitions and documents may be submitted and the time for making public of the judgment, and notifies the participants in proceedings thereof. The order shall also indicate the judge to deal with the matter.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) The parties have the right to withdraw the consent specified 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 matter considered at a court session.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 404.  Written procedure by direction of court

 (1) The court may direct that a matter in which the action can be appraised in monetary terms be dealt with by written procedure if the value of the action does not exceed an amount which corresponds to 3,200 euros when calculated concerning the main claim and to 6,400 euros when calculated including collateral claims.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court sets a due date for submission of petitions and documents, and determines the time for announcing the judgment, and notifies the participants in proceedings thereof. The court may change the due date if this is necessary because changes have occurred in the procedural situation.

 (3) The court revokes the arrangement of written procedure if, in the opinion of the court, the personal appearance of a party is unavoidable for ascertaining the circumstances which constitute the cause of the action. At the request of a party, the party shall be heard regardless of whether or not the matter has been directed to be dealt with by written procedure.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 405.  Simplified procedure

 (1) At its fair discretion, the court deals with the action following simplified rules and having regard only to the general procedural principles provided in this Code if the action concerns a proprietary claim and the value of the action does not exceed an amount which corresponds to 2,000 euros on the main claim and to 4,000 euros together with collateral claims. Among other things, when dealing with such an action, it is permitted:
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.07.2012]
 1) to minute procedural acts only to the extent the court deems it necessary, and preclude the right to file any objections to the minutes;
 2) to set a term which differs from the term provided by law;
 3) [repealed - RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
 4) to recognise persons not specified by law as contractual representatives of participants in proceedings;
 5) to deviate from the provisions of law concerning the formal requirements for provision and taking of evidence and to recognise as evidence also the means of proof not provided by law, including a statement of a participant in proceedings which is not given under oath;
 6) to deviate from the provisions of law concerning the formal requirements for serving procedural documents and for documents to be presented to the participants in proceedings, except for serving an action on the defendant;
 7) to waive written pre-trial procedure or the court session;
 8) to take evidence at its own initiative;
 9) to make a judgment in a matter without the descriptive part and statement of reasons;
 10) to declare a decision made in a matter to be immediately enforceable also in other cases than those specified by law or without a security prescribed by law.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court guarantees that the fundamental rights and freedoms and the essential procedural rights of the participants in proceedings are observed and that a participant in proceedings is heard if he or she so requests. A court session need not be held for this purpose.

 (3) The court may deal with the matter in the manner specified in subsection (1) of this section without the need to make a separate order concerning this. The participants in 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.  Implementation 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 matters 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. Matters may be dealt with under the Regulation by the competent county court according to jurisdiction.

 (2) In conformity with Article 4(1) of the Regulation referred to in subsection (1) of this section, a petition for initiation of proceedings may be filed in the form provided in §§ 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 court decision 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) At the request of the plaintiff, an action for payment of money arising from a bill of exchange or cheque, or an action for compulsory enforcement arising from a mortgage or maritime mortgage or registered security over movables is dealt with by documentary procedure if all the facts in proof of the claim can be proved by documents and all necessary documents are annexed to the action or the plaintiff submits them to the court within the term set by the court.
[RT I 2009, 30, 178 - entry into force 01.10.2009]

 (2) Apart from the submissions provided in subsection (1) of this section, no other claims or counterclaims shall be filed under documentary procedure.

 (3) Under documentary procedure, only documents submitted by the parties and statements given under oath by the parties are accepted as evidence. Only the facts specified in subsection (1) of this section and the authenticity or falsification of documents may be proven. Other documents and objections are not accepted.

 (4) In order to prove a collateral claim arising from a bill of exchange or cheque, it is sufficient to substantiate the claim.

 (5) At the request of the plaintiff, the court makes an order on transforming documentary proceedings into an ordinary action. The plaintiff may submit such a request until summations are held in the matter in the county court or, under written procedure, until the term for filing of petitions expires. Based on the order of the court, proceedings continue without the limitations imposed by the special rules applicable under documentary procedure.

Chapter 44 CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO RESPOND TO COURT OR ABSENCE OF PARTICIPANT OF PROCEEDINGS FROM COURT SESSION  

§ 407.  Judgment by default in case of failure to respond to action

 (1) With the consent of the plaintiff, the court may grant an action by making a judgement by default to the extent specified by the statement of claim and legally justified by facts if the defendant who has been set a term for responding by the court has failed to do so on time even if the action 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 plaintiff.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The consent of the plaintiff provided in subsection (1) of this section is presumed unless the plaintiff has informed the court that he or she does not wish a judgment by default to be made.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the judgment by default may be made without holding a court session.

 (4) The court does not make a judgment by default on the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section in a matrimonial matter or a filiation matter. However, a judgment by default may be made in a matter of dividing joint property or an action related to another type of proprietary relationship between the spouses if that matter can be dealt with separately from the rest of the matrimonial matter.

 (5) A default judgment shall not be made if:
 1) the term for responding to the action given to the defendant was clearly too short;
 2) the defendant was not informed of the consequences of failure to respond to the action;
 21) the defendant has requested the grant of state legal aid during the term for submitting a response in order to respond through an advocate;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 22) the action has been accepted incorrectly and, among other things, if the matter 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 good reason for failure to respond to the action and substantiated it to the court.

 (51) A court may also refuse to make a judgment by default if the action 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 action.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) If the plaintiff has consented to the making of a judgment by default but the action is not legally justified to the extent specified by the statement of claim and by facts, the court makes a judgment whereby the court denies the action.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 408.  Absence of both parties from court session

  If neither party appears in the court session, including a preliminary hearing, the court may:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) adjudicate the matter on its merits;
 2) dismiss the action;
 3) suspend proceedings;
 4) postpone the hearing of the matter.

§ 409.  Absence of plaintiff from court session

 (1) If the plaintiff fails to appear in the court session, including a preliminary hearing, the court, at the request of the defendant who has appeared in the court session:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) dismisses the action;
 2) adjudicates the matter based on admittance of the claim if the defendant admits the claim;
 3) adjudicates the matter on its merits;
 4) postpones the hearing of the matter.

 (2) If the defendant does not submit the request specified in subsection (1) of this section or the court denies the request, the court postpones the hearing of the matter.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 410.  Absence of defendant from court session

  If the defendant fails to appear in the court session, including a preliminary hearing, the court, at the request of the plaintiff who has appeared in the court session, makes a judgment by default, adjudicates the matter on its merits or postpones the hearing of the matter. If the plaintiff does not submit such request or the court denies the request, the court postpones the hearing of the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 411.  Absence of other participants in proceedings from court session

  If a participant in proceedings who is not a party fails to appear in a court session although he or she was served the summons, the matter is considered without him or her.

§ 412.  Restrictions on dismissal of the action and reopening of proceedings

 (1) Regardless of the plaintiff's failure to appear at a court session, the court does not dismiss the action if:
 1) the plaintiff had consented to written procedure or to consideration of the action without his or her presence;
 2) the plaintiff who failed to appear in the court session was not summoned to the session in time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from a session or other requirements for summoning persons to court sessions were violated;
 3) the plaintiff had informed the court beforehand of the existence of a good reason for his or her failure to appear in the court session and substantiated it to the court;
 4) the defendant requests adjudication of the matter on its merits, and adjudication of the matter on its merits is possible;
 5) the defendant has admitted the claim.

 (2) Among other things, the court may dismiss the action if the plaintiff fails to appear before the court in person although the court had obligated him or her to appear in person, and the plaintiff or his or her representative has not informed the court of the existence of a good reason therefor and has not substantiated it to the court. The court has the right to do so even if the representative of the plaintiff participates in the session.

 (3) When the action is dismissed, the plaintiff may request, within 14 days after the order dismissing the action was served on him or her, the reopening of proceedings in part or in full by the same court, provided that the plaintiff is able to substantiate to the court that he or she had good reason for failure to appear in the session and he or she was unable to notify the court thereof in time. If the order on dismissal of the action is to be served outside of the Republic of Estonia or by making it public, reopening of proceedings may be requested within 28 days after the service of the order.

 (4) If the summons was served on the plaintiff or representative thereof in any other manner except by personal delivery against a signature, by electronic means or delivery in a court session or if dismissal of the action was not allowed for a reason specified in subsection (1) of this section, provision of a good reason for reopening of proceedings and substantiation thereof to the court is not necessary.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (5) An appeal may be filed against an order on refusal to reopen proceedings. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court only if the circuit court denied the appeal against the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) An appeal filed against a decision made at a later stage in proceedings may not invoke incorrect reopening of the proceedings.

 (7) Proceedings which are reopened continue, in the part in which they are reopened, from the point that they had reached by the time that the action was dismissed.

§ 413.  Judgment by default in case of failure of defendant to appear in court session

 (1) If the plaintiff requests judgment by default against the defendant who fails to appear in the court session, the court makes a judgment by default in favour of the plaintiff provided that the action is legally justified to the extent specified by the statement of claim and by facts. In such case the defendant is deemed to have accepted the factual allegations made by the plaintiff. If the action is not legally justified, the court makes a judgment by which it denies the action.

 (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 him or her to appear in person, and the defendant or his or her representative has not informed the court of the existence of a good 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 session.

 (3) The court does not make a judgment by default if:
 1) the defendant who failed to appear in the court session was not summoned to the session in time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from a session or other requirements for summoning persons to court sessions were violated;
 2) the defendant has provided good reason for failure to appear in the court session and substantiated it to the court;
 3) the defendant had consented to written procedure in the matter or to the court’s dealing with the matter without his or her 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 matters. However, a judgment by default may be made in a matter of dividing joint property or an action related to another type of proprietary relationship between the spouses if the matter can be dealt with separately from the rest of the matrimonial matter.

§ 414.  Adjudication of the matter on its merits in the absence of a party

 (1) In the case of absence of one party or both parties from the court session, the court may adjudicate the matter on its merits if the circumstances which constitute the cause of the action 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 matters in such manner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court shall not adjudicate the matter on its merits without the participation of a party if:
 1) the party who failed to appear in the court session was not summoned to the session in time, the summons did not set out the consequences of absence from a session or other essential requirements for summoning persons to court sessions were violated;
 2) the party has provided good reason for failure to appear in the court session, substantiated it to the court and has not requested consideration of the matter without his or her presence.

 (3) The court may adjudicate the matter on its merits in the absence of a party even if the party has provided a good reason for his or her failure to appear in the court session provided that the party has consented to written procedure or the hearing of the matter has already been postponed once due to the absence of the party from the court session with a good reason and the party has been given the opportunity to file petitions, submit allegations and evidence on all facts relevant to the matter.
[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 good reason. A petition to set aside a default judgment may be filed regardless of whether a good reason existed if:
 1) in the case of failure to respond to an action, the action was served on the defendant or representative thereof in any other manner except by personal delivery against a signature or electronically;
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]
 2) in the case of failure to appear in a court session, the summons was served on the defendant or representative thereof in any other manner except by personal delivery against a signature in a court session 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 action or appearing in the court session and notifying the court thereof, together with the reasons therefor, except in the case where good reason need not be provided 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 matter 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 participants in 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 term 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.  Resolution of petition to set aside default judgment

 (1) The court resolves the petition to set aside a default judgment by an order. Where necessary, a petition to set aside a default judgment is resolved at a court session.

 (2) If a petition to set aside a default judgment has been submitted in the correct form and at the correct time, and the petitioner has substantiated the good reason that prevented them from performing the procedural act whose non-performance constituted the basis for the default judgment, and from informing the court of being prevented from performing that act, or if there are other grounds that should have ruled out the entry of the default judgement, the court grants the petition to set aside the default judgment and reopens proceedings, to the extent of the petition to set aside the default judgment, at the point which proceedings had reached by the time the petitioner omitted to perform the act whose non-performance constituted the basis for making the default judgment. A good reason is not required for reopening proceedings if a good reason is not required for filing a petition to set aside a default judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) If a court session has been scheduled for considering a petition to set aside a default judgment and the petitioner does not participate in the session or in the hearing of the matter, the court denies the petition and refuses to reopen proceedings.

 (4) An order on refusal to reopen proceedings is subject to appeal. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court only if the circuit court denies the appeal against the order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) An appeal filed against a decision made at a later stage in proceedings may not invoke the incorrect reopening of the proceedings.

 (6) Before resolving a petition 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 the enforcement measure.

§ 418.  Continuation of reopened proceedings

 (1) If proceedings are reopened, the default judgment does not enter into force and cannot be enforced. Reopened proceedings continue, according to the scope of the petition to set aside the default judgment, from the point that they had reached by the time of omission to perform the act whose non-performance constituted the basis for entering default judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If the court decides to reopen proceedings in a court session, the hearing of the matter continues in the same court session.

§ 419.  Second judgment by default

  If a party fails to appear at the court session in reopened proceedings and a new default judgment is made against the party, the party does not have the right to submit a new petition to set aside the default judgment.

§ 420.  Appeal against 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 plaintiff if default judgment was entered on the basis of the plaintiff's petition or if the plaintiff's petition for entering a default judgment against the defendant is denied or the plaintiff's action is denied.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If after reopening of proceedings, another default judgment is made against the defendant, the defendant may file an appeal against such judgment only if the defendant relies on failure to verify the prerequisites for making a default judgment.

 (3) If the defendant submits a petition to set aside a default judgment and the plaintiff files an appeal, the matter is considered by way of the reopening of proceedings in the court which made the default judgment. If the petition to set aside the default judgment is denied, proceedings on the appeal are continued.

§ 421.  Failure to participate in proceedings and leaving court session without permission

 (1) A participant in proceedings is deemed to be absent from a court session also if the participant in proceedings appears in the court session but does not participate in the conduct of proceedings in the matter.

 (2) If a participant in proceedings leaves a court session, this does not preclude consideration of the matter. The court may fine a participant in proceedings who leaves the court session without permission or impose compelled attendance on him or her if the court finds that personal attendance of the participant in proceedings is necessary for hearing the matter.

§ 422.  Good reason for absence from court session or for failure to perform other procedural acts

 (1) A good reason for failure to respond to an action or to appear in a court session and for failure to notify the court thereof is above all, a breakdown of transportation, unexpected illness of a party or unexpected serious illness of a person close to a party due to which the party failed to respond to the action or to appear in court and to send a representative to the court.

 (2) In order to prove the illness due to which a participant in proceedings was prevented from responding to an action or appearing in a court session, the participant in proceedings or his or her representative submits a certificate to the court which indicates that the illness can be deemed to be an impediment to responding to an action or appearing in a court session. A form for the certificate and the conditions and procedure for the issue thereof shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.

 (3) Absence of or omissions in the certificate specified in subsection (2) of this section do not preclude substantiation of the illness by other evidence.

Chapter 45 DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS  

§ 423.  Grounds for dismissing the action

 (1) The court dismisses the action if:
 1) the person who seeks the court’s assistance has not complied with the mandatory procedure established by law for prior extra-judicial resolution of matters of this type and it is still possible to apply that procedure;
 2) the plaintiff withdraws the action;
 3) a matter 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 matter before the end of that procedure;
 4) proceedings are pending before the court in a matter between the same parties concerning the same object of action on the same grounds;
 5) arbitration proceedings have been initiated concerning the same object 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 action;
 7) the data concerning the plaintiff or defendant presented by the plaintiff do not enable the identification of the plaintiff or defendant and the court cannot identify such person within a reasonable period of time;
 8) despite the demand of the court, the plaintiff 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 plaintiff fails to pay the expenses necessary for serving the action or other procedural documents on the defendant, including the bailiff's fee, by the time prescribed by the court, except if the plaintiff is granted state procedural assistance for covering the expenses;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 81) the plaintiff fails to inform the court of the results of the service within the term set to him or her 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 an action in the name of the entitled person fails to prove his or her right of representation;
 10) the plaintiff fails to comply with the court's demand to find an interpreter, translator or representative proficient in Estonian to himself or herself;
 11) a state fee has not been paid on the filed claim by the due date set by the court;
 12) the plaintiff fails to provide, within the term set by the court, a security for covering the defendant's presumed procedural expenses;
 13) the court is not competent to deal with the matter.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (2) The court may also dismiss the action if it becomes evident that:
 1) based on the factual circumstances presented as the cause of the action, violation of the plaintiff's rights is impossible, presuming that the factual allegations of the plaintiff are correct;
 2) the action has not been filed for protecting the plaintiff'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 plaintiff cannot be achieved by the action.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A court may also dismiss the action in other cases specified by law.

§ 424.  Withdrawal of action

 (1) Until the end of pre-trial procedure, the plaintiff may withdraw an action without the defendant's consent. With the defendant's consent, an action may be withdrawn until the time the court decision made concerning the action enters into force.

 (2) The court is informed of withdrawal of an action and the defendant's consent to the withdrawal of the action in writing, or such fact is entered in the minutes.

 (3) A petition to withdraw an action 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 him or her, the defendant is deemed to have given his or her consent.

§ 425.  Rules for dismissing the action

 (1) The court dismisses the action by an order. The order sets out how to eliminate the circumstances which prevent consideration of the matter, provided consideration of the matter is refused due to those circumstances.

 (2) If necessary, the court holds a court session to decide on dismissal of the action.

 (3) If a higher court dismisses the action, the court also annuls the decision or decisions of the lower court in the same order. If the court that dealt with the matter dismisses the action on the basis of a petition filed within the term for appealing the decision entered, the court annuls the decision or decisions made in the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If a court finds that the action 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 matter that the matter 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 matter and notifies the participants in proceedings thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 426.  Consequences of dismissing the action

 (1) If the court dismisses the action, the action is deemed not to have been dealt with by the court and the plaintiff has the right of recourse to the court with an action against the same defendant in a dispute concerning the same object of action on the same grounds.

 (2) If the court dismissed the action due to reasons relating to the plaintiff and the action is filed again, the defendant has the right not to respond to the action and not to participate in proceedings until the defendant's previously incurred procedural expenses for which the defendant has demanded compensation and which have been awarded to them from the plaintiff have been paid. The defendant shall notify the court immediately of failure to pay the procedural expenses.
[RT I, 31.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 10.01.2015]

 (3) In the case specified in subsection (2) of this section, proceedings are suspended by operation of law. The court may set the plaintiff a term for compensation of the defendant's procedural expenses. If the plaintiff fails to compensate for the costs within such term, the court dismisses the action.

§ 427.  Appeal against order dismissing the action

  An order by a county court or circuit court dismissing the action is subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court if the action was dismissed on the grounds specified in clauses 423 (1) 2), 7)–10) or 12) of this Code.

Chapter 46 TERMINATION OF PROCEEDINGS  

§ 428.  Grounds for termination of proceedings

 (1) The court terminates proceedings without entering a judgment if:
 1) the person who seeks the court’s assistance has not complied with the mandatory procedure established by law for prior extra-judicial resolution of matters of this type, and it is no longer possible to apply such procedure;
 2) in a dispute between the same parties in the same cause concerning the same object of action, a decision which has terminated proceedings has been entered by an Estonian court or a decision has been entered by a court of a foreign state which must be recognized in Estonia or a decision has been entered by an arbitral tribunal, or a decision, including an agreement approved by the Chancellor of Justice, has been made in pre-court proceedings, and that decision has entered into force and precludes a new recourse to the court in the same matter;
 3) the plaintiff has discontinued the action;
 4) the parties have settled the dispute by compromise and the court approves the compromise;
 5) the legal relationship under dispute does not enable legal succession in the case of the death of a natural person who is a party in the matter, or a legal person is dissolved without legal succession.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) The court terminates the proceedings also on other grounds provided by law.

§ 429.  Discontinuance of action

 (1) The plaintiff may discontinue an action until the decision made concerning the action enters into force by filing a petition for such purpose. The court accepts discontinuance of an action by an order which also terminates proceedings in the matter.

 (2) If the plaintiff discontinues the action in a court session, such fact is entered in the minutes. If the wish to discontinue an action is submitted to the court in a written petition, such document is included in the file.

 (3) If a petition to discontinue an action is submitted to the court outside of a court session, 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 term for responding. If the defendant wants the court to order that the plaintiff pay the procedural expenses, the defendant shall so indicate in the response.

 (4) The court does not accept discontinuance of an action by the legal representative of a plaintiff who has no active civil procedural legal capacity if the discontinuance of the action is clearly contrary to the interests of the person without active civil procedural legal capacity, and also refuses to accept discontinuance of an action in any other case where discontinuance of the action would result in the violation of a significant public interest.

 (5) If the court refuses to accept discontinuance of the action, it makes a reasoned order to such effect. In such a case, proceedings in the matter continue.

 (6) If the court refuses to accept discontinuance of an action by the legal representative of a plaintiff 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 plaintiff in accordance with the rules provided in § 219 of this Code.

§ 430.  Compromise

 (1) Until the time the court decision concerning the action enters into force, the parties are allowed to terminate proceedings by a compromise. The court approves the compromise by an order which also terminates proceedings in the matter. 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 enable entry thereof in the minutes.

 (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 matter.

 (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 matter continue.

 (5) The compromise applies as an enforcement instrument 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 specified in the General Principles of the Civil Code Act, and a party may withdraw from or cancel a compromise on the grounds specified 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 an action for a declaration of inadmissibility concerning enforcement proceedings carried out on the basis of the compromise as an enforcement instrument. If the court grants such an action, the compromise is deemed, in its entirety or in part, not to have any legal consequences, and proceedings in the matter 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 court session to decide on the termination of proceedings. In the cases where a participant in proceedings is not represented by an advocate, 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 annuls the decision or decisions of the lower court by the order. If the court that dealt with the matter terminates proceedings on the basis of a petition filed within the term for appealing the decision entered, the court annuls the decision or decisions made in the matter.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 432.  Consequences of termination of proceedings

  After termination of proceedings, the plaintiff may not file, with the court, an action against the same defendant in a dispute concerning the same object of action in the same cause. If proceedings are terminated due to discontinuance of the action or by way of a compromise, such termination entails the same consequences under substantive law and procedure as in the case of termination of proceedings by court judgment, unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 433.  Appeal against order on termination of proceedings

 (1) An appeal may be filed against an order terminating proceedings.

 (2) An appeal may be filed against an order of a county court or circuit court on refusal to terminate proceedings for the reason that the court does not accept the discontinuance of the action or does not approve the compromise of the parties. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Chapter 47 COURT DECISION  

Division 1 Court Judgment  

§ 434.  Court judgment as decision on merits of matter

  A court judgment is a decision on the merits of a matter made in the name of the Republic of Estonia resulting from a court proceeding.

§ 435.  Making of judgment

 (1) The court makes a judgment if, in the opinion of the court, the matter has been heard to a sufficient extent and the case is ready for making a final decision.

 (2) By a court judgment, proceedings in that instance of court is terminated.

 (3) The date of a court judgment is the date on which the judgment is made public.

§ 436.  Lawful and reasoned judgment

 (1) A court judgment shall be lawful and reasoned.

 (2) The court bases its judgment only on the evidence provided and taken in the case. If the court deals with the matter at a court session, the court bases the judgment only on the evidence which was examined at the session.

 (3) In making a judgment, the court may only rely on the evidence which the parties could examine and on the circumstances concerning which the parties could present their positions.

 (4) In making a judgment, the court shall not rely on the circumstances which have not been discussed in the proceeding. The court shall also not evaluate, in a judgment, a presented circumstance differently from its presentation by both parties, unless the court has brought such possibility to the attention of the parties beforehand and given the parties an opportunity to present their positions.

 (5) The provisions of subsection (4) of this section do not apply in the case of a collateral claim.

 (6) In a family matter, the court is not bound by the presented circumstances and positions.

 (7) In making a judgment, the court is not bound by the legal allegations made by the parties.

§ 437.  Rehearing of matter

  The court may make an order on rehearing a matter if, before the conclusion of the hearing of the matter and before making a decision:
 1) the court establishes an error in proceedings which is relevant to the making of the judgment and the error can be corrected;
 2) a fact which could cause the filing of a petition to set aside the default judgment becomes known upon making a default judgment;
 3) a fact which could cause proceedings to be reopened becomes known upon dismissing the action.

§ 438.  Issues resolved when giving judgment

 (1) Upon making a judgment, the court evaluates the evidence, decides which facts are established, which legislation applies in the matter and whether the action should be granted. If several claims are filed in a matter, the court makes a judgment concerning all of the claims.

 (2) The court decides on the division of procedural expenses and the amount of procedural expenses in money in accordance with Division 5 of Chapter 18 of this Code.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 439.  Limits of adjudication of action

  A court shall not exceed the limits of the claim in its judgment or give judgment concerning a claim which has not been filed.

§ 440.  Admittance of claim

 (1) The court grants an action if the defendant admits the plaintiff's claim in a court session or in a petition filed with the court.

 (2) Admittance of a claim in a court session is entered in the minutes.

 (3) If admittance of a claim is submitted to the court by way of a petition, such document is included in the file. If the defendant informs the court of admittance of the claim in the course of pre-trial proceedings, the court resolves the matter without holding a court session.

 (4) In matrimonial matters and filiation matters, the court is not bound by admittance of the claim. The court is also not bound by admittance of the claim in matters in which several defendants participate and in which the disputed legal relationship can be established only with regard to all defendants but all defendants do not accept the claim. If the court refuses to accept the admittance of a claim, the court makes a reasoned order to such effect. In such case, the hearing of the matter is continued.

§ 441.  Preparation of judgment

 (1) The court prepares a judgment electronically in the Estonian language and signs it with the digital signature of the judge who has made the judgment. The court registers the judgment promptly in the information system of the courts.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (2) The court may prepare and sign a judgment on paper if, due to reasons not depending on the court or judge, the requirements provided in 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 an introduction, conclusion, descriptive part and statement of reasons.

 (2) The introduction of a judgment sets out:
 1) the name of the court which made the judgment;
 2) the name of the judge who made the judgment;
 3) the time and place of making the judgment public;
 4) the number of the civil matter;
 5) the object of the action;
 51) the value of the civil matter;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) the names and personal identification codes or registry codes of the participants in proceedings;
 7) the addresses of the participants in proceedings if this is clearly necessary for enforcement or recognition of the judgment;
 8) the names of the representatives of the participants in proceedings and in the case of substitution of the representatives, the names of the latest representatives;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 9) the time of the last court session or a reference to the matter being dealt with in written procedure.

 (3) If a natural person has no personal identification code, his or her date of birth is indicated in the judgment. If a legal person has no registry code, a reference to the legal grounds of the legal person is made in the judgment as necessary.

 (4) If a judgment is made by default or is based on admittance of the claim, such fact shall be indicated in the introduction of the judgment.

 (5) In the conclusion of a judgment, the court clearly and unambiguously adjudicates the claims of the parties and any requests of the parties which have not yet been resolved as well as any issues related to the measures for securing the action which have been applied. The conclusion shall be clearly understandable and enforceable even without the text of the rest of the judgment.

 (6) The conclusion also sets out the procedure and term for appealing against the judgment and, among other things, specifies the court with which an appeal should be filed, and makes a reference to the fact that unless resolution at a court session is requested in the appeal, the appeal may be dealt with by written procedure. A judgment by default sets out the right to file a petition to set aside the default judgment. The conclusion also explains the contents of subsection 187 (6) of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (61) If a court determines the amount of procedural expenses in money in accordance with clause 177 (1) 1) of this Code, the court indicates the amount of procedural expenses in money in the conclusion.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (62) If a court does not determine the amount of procedural expenses in money in accordance with clause 177 (1) 1) of this Code, the court explains in the conclusion that the county court that dealt with the matter shall determine the amount of procedural expenses in money in accordance with subsection 177 (2) of this Act.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (7) The descriptive part of a judgment indicates, concisely and in a logical order, the relevant content of the filed claims and the allegations, counterclaims and provided evidence concerning such claims. If, in addition to the participants in proceedings, a competent state or local government agency has also provided its position on the matter at the request of the court, such position shall also be indicated in the descriptive part.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (8) The statement of reasons of a judgment sets out the facts established by the court, the conclusions reached on the basis thereof, the evidence on which the conclusions of the court are based and the Acts which were applied by the court. In a judgment, the court shall substantiate its reasons for not agreeing with the factual allegations of the plaintiff or the defendant. The court shall analyse all evidence in a judgment. If the court disregards any evidence, it shall justify this in the judgment. If one of the alternative claims is granted, denial of another alternative claim need not be substantiated.

 (9) A judgment shall also set out the replacement of participants in proceedings and the information concerning the previous participants in proceedings as necessary.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (10) A county court may set out in a judgment made in the matter specified in subsection 405 (1) of this Code that it grants permission to appeal the judgment. The court grants such permission above all if, in the opinion of the county court, the decision of the court of appeal is necessary for the purpose of obtaining the position of the circuit court concerning a legal provision. The grant of a permission to appeal need not be reasoned in the judgment.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (11) The court may add to a judgment, whereby a participant in proceedings is ordered to pay an amount of money to the Republic of Estonia that arises from a claim which has not arisen from participation of the state or administrative body of the state in a proceeding as a participant in proceedings, the data required for payment of the claim in a separate document.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

 (12) A list of the data required for the fulfilment of the claim specified in subsection (11) of this section and the technical requirements for formalising these shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 11 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 443.  Conclusion of court judgment for termination of application of standard terms

 (1) In addition to the mandatory content of a court judgment, the conclusion of a court judgment for termination of application of an unfair standard term or for termination and withdrawal by the person recommending application of the term of recommendation of the term shall set out:
 1) the wording of the standard term which is being prohibited;
 2) types of transactions to which the standard term must not be applied;
 3) a clearly expressed requirement to refrain from further application or recommendation of similar standard terms.

 (2) The conclusion of a court judgment whereby the person recommending application of a standard term is obliged to terminate recommending and to withdraw the recommendation of the term shall, in addition, set out the requirement to communicate the court judgment in the same manner as the recommendation was communicated. The court may require that the user of the standard terms communicate the court judgment specified in subsection (1) of this section in the manner determined by the court or may determine an additional manner for communication of the judgment.

§ 444.  Simplification and omission of descriptive part and statement of reasons of judgment

 (1) In the descriptive part of a judgment the court may omit the allegations made about claims, the objections and provided evidence, likewise the position of a state or local government agency.

 (2) If the court conducts simplified proceedings in an action, it may confine itself in the statement of reasons of a judgment to setting out only the legal reasoning and the evidence on which the conclusions of the court are based.

 (3) The court may make a judgment by default or a judgment based on admittance of the claim without the descriptive part and statement of reasons.

 (4) The court may omit the descriptive part and statement of reasons from a judgment not specified in subsection (3) of this section if the participants in proceedings have consented thereto or if the court conducts simplified proceedings in the action. In such case the judgment shall set out that the court supplements the judgment in accordance with the provisions of subsection 448 (41) of this Code if a participant in proceedings notifies the court, within ten days after service of the judgment, of his or her wish to file an appeal against the judgment. The court explains in the judgment the consequences of failure to provide a notice of the wish to file an appeal.

 (5) In order to ascertain the position of a participant in proceedings concerning the omission of the descriptive part and statement of reasons, the court may announce the conclusion of the judgment orally in the court session and explain the reasons of the judgment orally. The consent of a participant in proceedings to omit the descriptive part and statement of reasons from the judgment is indicated in the minutes of the court session.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 445.  Determination of procedure for and term of compliance with judgment

 (1) In the judgment, the court may determine, at the request of a party, the manner of and procedure for compliance with the judgment, set out the term or due date therefor, and indicate the fact that the judgment is subject to immediate enforcement or that compliance with the judgment is secured by a measure for securing an action. 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 conclusion to the extent that those claims were granted.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) If an action is granted by the judgment or the court terminates proceedings by a compromise, the court leaves the applied measure for securing the action in force as a measure to secure compliance with the court decision, provided that this is clearly necessary for securing compliance with the decision and the party in favour of whom the court decided or the parties to the compromise agreement does not request revocation of the measure.

 (3) If a judgment or a part thereof is subject to immediate enforcement, the conclusion of the judgment shall indicate such fact.

 (4) At the request 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, at the request of the plaintiff, prescribe by the judgment that the information contained therein must be made public at the expense of the defendant in the manner 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 plaintiffs or against several defendants

 (1) In a judgment in favour of several plaintiffs, the court indicates the extent to which a claim is granted in favour of each plaintiff. If a claim is granted jointly and severally in favour of several plaintiffs, 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 annul 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 participants in 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 transcripts thereof issued after the order is made. The court serves the order on the correction of mistakes in the judgment on all persons on whom the judgment was served.

 (4) An appeal may be filed against an order on the correction of mistakes in a judgment.

§ 448.  Supplemental judgment

 (1) A court which adjudicates a matter may, at the request of a participant in proceedings or at its own initiative, 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 plaintiff has failed to indicate the amount of money which is to be paid by the defendant, the thing which is to be delivered by the defendant or the act which the defendant is obligated to perform;
 3) the court has not resolved the division of procedural expenses;
[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 at its own initiative 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 term specified in subsection (2) of this section.

 (4) The court holds a session for making a supplemental judgment unless the matter has been dealt with without holding a court session. The participants in proceedings are notified of the time and place of the session at least three days in advance; however, their absence from the court session 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 participant in proceedings notifies the court within ten days after service of the judgment of his or her wish to file an appeal against the judgment. The wish to file an appeal need not be reasoned. The supplementation of a judgment is resolved by written procedure. The other participant in proceedings is not notified about the supplementation of the judgment. The court may also prepare the court judgment in accordance with the provisions of subsections 444 (1) and (2) of this Code. In the case of supplementation of a judgment with the omitted part, the term 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 participant in proceedings fails to notify the court of his or her wish to file an appeal against a judgment without the descriptive part and statement of reasons within the term provided in subsection (41) of this section, it is deemed that he or she has 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) If a petition for making a supplemental judgment is denied, the court makes an order to such effect. An order by a county court or circuit court on refusal to make a supplemental judgment is subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 449.  Interim judgment

 (1) When dealing with an action for receiving money and above all, an action 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 matter.

 (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 matter.

§ 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 in one action 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 matter. The court continues proceedings with regard to the claims which have not been adjudicated.

 (2) If the court grants, by a partial judgment, an action against which a counterclaim or objection for setting off the claim of the action has been filed, the court indicates in the conclusion of the judgment that the judgment may be annulled 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 action is denied in part or in full, the court also annuls 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 plaintiff shall compensate the defendant for the damage 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, an action is also denied if the plaintiff fails to prove their claim by the evidence permitted in documentary procedure. In that case the action 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 by way of regular actions. If it turns out that the plaintiff'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 annulled or amended.

§ 4511.  Resolution of petitions during term 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 matter, a petition for dismissing the action or for termination of proceedings in the matter, among other things for reasons of discontinuance of the action or conclusion of a compromise, is filed, or a petition related to securing the action 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 action or to terminate proceedings, the court may, by order, annul the decision made and dismiss the action or terminate proceedings in the matter.

 (2) After the filing of an appeal, the acts specified in subsection (1) of this section may be performed by the circuit court 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 court judgment is made public by pronouncement or through the court office.

 (2) A judgment is pronounced in a session which concludes the hearing of the matter or is made public immediately after the court session through the court office.

 (3) If a judgment is not made in the court session in which the matter is heard, the court announces the time and manner of the making public of the court judgment in the session in which the hearing of the matter is concluded. If a matter is dealt with without holding a court session or if a participant in proceedings did not participate in the court session, the court communicates the time of the making public of the judgment to the participant in proceedings. The court also informs the participants in 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 session for hearing the matter or, in the case of written procedure, after the expiry of the due date for the submission of petitions and documents only with good reason, 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 session in which the matter 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 matter, the names of the participants in proceedings and the general description of the civil matter. 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 matter 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 specified 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 term 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 need not 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 court session 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 transcripts of judgment

 (1) A judgment is made public through the court office where, during the term for the filing of appeals, the participants in proceedings have the right to examine the judgment and obtain a transcript thereof. If a judgment is prepared electronically, the participants in proceedings are issued a printout. A transcript 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 participants in proceedings unless the judgment is delivered to the participants in proceedings in the manner specified 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 need not be duly prepared and signed by the time of pronouncing the judgment, but the pronouncement shall be entered in the minutes. 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 term for filing appeals against the judgment to the participants in proceedings who are present.

 (4) The validity of pronouncement of a judgment does not depend on the presence of the participants in proceedings. A judgment is also deemed to have been pronounced with regard to the participant in proceedings who was absent from the session in which the judgment was pronounced.

 (5) A judgment by a collegial court panel is pronounced by the presiding judge.

§ 455.  Service of court judgments

 (1) The court serves a judgment on the participants in proceedings.

 (2) If personal data subject to entry in a register are altered by a court judgment, the court sends a transcript of the court judgment to the registrar.

§ 456.  Entry into force of court judgment

 (1) A court judgment enters into force when it can no longer be contested in any other manner except by review procedure.

 (2) A judgment of a county court enters into force above all, if:
 1) the term for filing appeals has expired and no appeal has been filed during the term;
 2) the circuit court does not accept the appeal, or dismisses or denies the appeal, or terminates appeal proceedings and, within the term for the filing of appeals in cassation, no appeal in cassation is filed against the decision of the circuit court;
 3) the circuit court rejects the appeal, or dismisses or denies the appeal, or terminates appeal proceedings, and the appeal in cassation filed against the decision of the circuit court is not accepted, is dismissed or denied, or cassation proceedings are terminated.

 (3) A judgment by default enters into force 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 concerning the appeal enters into force.

 (4) Lawful contestation of a court judgment suspends the entry into force of the court judgment. If a part of a court judgement is contested, the uncontested part of the court judgment enters into force. If a court judgment is contested in a part other than the determination of the amount of procedural expenses in money, the court judgment does not enter into force in the part of determination of the amount of procedural expenses in money.
[RT I, 21.05.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 457.  Consequences of entry into force of judgment

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a court judgment which has entered into force is binding on the participants in proceedings insofar as it adjudicates, on the basis of circumstances which constitute the cause of the action, the claim filed by the action or 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 set-off against the claim, the judgment is binding on the participants in proceedings also to the extent to which it does not recognise the existence of the adverse claim and the right to set-off.

 (3) The descriptive part of a court judgment is presumed to serve as proof of the petitions made by the participants in proceedings in the course of proceedings.

 (4) A judgment made in a family matter or a filiation matter which entered into force during the lifetime of the parties concerning the existence, termination or absence of a legal relationship applies to all persons. A court 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 participant in proceedings.

 (5) A court 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 court judgment which has entered into force 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) If a person applying a standard term violates a court judgment whereby termination of the application of the standard term is required, the standard term is deemed to be invalid if the other contracting party relies on the court judgment. The above does not apply if the person applying the term has the right to file an action for declaration of inadmissibility of compulsory enforcement of the court judgment.

§ 458.  Notation on entry into force of judgment

 (1) A notation certifying the entry into force of a judgment is issued, based on the application of a participant in proceedings and the court file, by the court office of the county court which dealt with the matter. The notation is affixed to a transcript or printout of the court 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 force of court 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 responsible for the area may, by regulation, establish specific requirements for the format for electronic notations on entry into force, for the issuing of such notations and for keeping accounts of notations on entry into force.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 459.  Amendment of judgment which has entered into force concerning recurring obligations

 (1) After the entry into force 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 terms of payment in the judgment by a new action, 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 action arose after the hearing of the matter, during which the claim of action could have increased or objections could have been filed, ended.

 (2) The judgment may be amended as of the time of filing a new action 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 force also applies to the persons who became the legal successors of the participants in proceedings after the action was filed. A judgment also applies to the direct possessor of a contested thing if the person acquired possession of the thing because one of the parties or a legal successor thereof acquired indirect possession of the thing.

 (2) A judgment does not apply to a legal successor of a participant in proceedings if the person acquired a contested thing and was not aware of the court judgment or the filing of the action 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 action. 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 action was announced not later than the call for submission of tenders.

 (4) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section also apply to a court judgment concerning a claim arising from a maritime mortgage entered in the ship register or a right of security entered in the register of civil aircraft.

§ 461.  Enforcement of judgment

 (1) A judgment is enforced after entry into force thereof unless the judgment is subject to immediate enforcement.

 (2) If, according to a judgment, the Republic of Estonia or a local government is the debtor, the court judgment shall be complied with within 30 days after entry into force thereof unless the judgment is subject to immediate enforcement or a different term 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 of court judgment entered into force in computer network

 (1) A court judgment which has entered into force is published in the computer network at a place prescribed for such purpose. This does not affect the entry into force 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 court judgment which has entered into force 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 court decision.
[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 a 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 force 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 appeal against an order of a county court or circuit court on the denial a request specified in subsections (2)–(4) of this section. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 25.02.2007]

Division 2 Court Order  

§ 463.  Court order

 (1) The court resolves the procedural petitions of the participants in proceedings and directs and organises proceedings by means of orders. In the cases provided by law, a court may resolve the matter 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 of order

 (1) An order may be made without holding a court session and without hearing the participants in proceedings unless otherwise prescribed by law.

 (2) The court may make oral and written orders in a court session. Oral orders are pronounced promptly and recorded in the minutes. If a court order is subject to appeal pursuant to law, the order shall be made in writing in the Estonian language and shall be signed.

 (3) An order which the court makes outside of a court session is made in writing. If formalising the entire order pronounced in a court session requires more time, the court may postpone the formalising 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 judicial 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 matter;
 4) the names of the participants in proceedings and their representatives if the participants in 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 term 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 participant in 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 participant in 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 specified in subsection (21) of this section and the technical requirements for formalising these shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[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 participants in proceedings are specified in an order only if this is presumed to be necessary for enforcing the order. If a natural person has no personal identification code, his or her 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 enforcement instruments and orders subject to appeal are served on the participants in proceedings. Other written orders which concern a participant in proceedings are communicated to the participant in proceedings in the manner chosen by the court.

 (2) An order whereby the court dismisses an action or terminates proceedings is also made public in accordance with the rules for making public of court judgments.

 (3) An order which is subject to appeal enters into force after the order is no longer subject to appeal pursuant to law or after the entry into force of a court decision, whereby the court denies or dismisses the 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 action are disseminated by means of computer networks.

Division 3 Immediate Enforcement of Decision  

§ 467.  Immediate enforcement

 (1) A court judgment declared to be subject to immediate enforcement is enforced prior to the entry into force of the judgment. The court declares a judgment to be subject to immediate enforcement in the judgment itself or by an order.

 (2) A judgment made in a matrimonial or filiation matter, except in a proprietary dispute related to marriage, shall not be declared to be subject to immediate enforcement.

 (3) After the expiry of a term for appeal, the declaration of a judgment of a court of first instance against which an appeal has been filed to be subject to immediate enforcement is decided by the circuit court.

 (4) After the expiry of a term for cassation, the declaration of a decision of a circuit court against which an appeal has been filed to be subject to immediate enforcement is decided by the Supreme Court.

 (5) A court order is subject to immediate enforcement unless otherwise provided by law.

§ 468.  Immediate enforcement without security

 (1) The following is declared to be subject to be immediate enforcement on the initiative of the court without ordering a security:
 1) a judgment based on admittance of claim;
 2) a judgment by default;
 3) a judgment entered in documentary procedure;
 4) a judgment for elimination of the violation of possession or prevention of further violation of possession, or for restoration of possession made in accordance with § 44 or § 45 of the Law of Property Act.

 (2) In the case of the declaration of a judgment to be subject to immediate enforcement in the case specified in clause (1) 3) or 4) of this section, the court also prescribes a security the provision of which prevents immediate enforcement of the judgment.

 (3) A judgment for ordering support or for compensation for damage caused by an injury or other damage to a person's health is declared to be subject to immediate enforcement by the court at the request of the plaintiff to the extent considered to be of urgent necessity for the plaintiff.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 469.  Immediate enforcement against security

 (1) The court declares a judgment not specified in § 468 of this Code to be subject to immediate enforcement at the request of a party on the condition that such party provides a security for enforcement. Such request may be filed before or after the judgment is made.

 (2) A security for immediate enforcement shall cover the damage which may be caused to the debtor by the immediate enforcement of the judgment or as a result of measures taken in order to prevent immediate enforcement.

 (3) If a party is unable to provide a security to the extent specified in subsection (2) of this section, the court may, at the request of the party, release the party from the obligation to provide a security, reduce the amount of security, order its payment in instalments or declare the judgment to be subject to immediate enforcement in part if the postponement of the 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 damage.
[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.  Resolution, by order, of enforcement without delay

 (1) If enforcement without delay was not dealt with in the judgment or the corresponding request was submitted after the judgment was made, the court considers the request of the party for enforcement of the judgment without delay in a court session, unless the matter was dealt with without holding a court session. The request is resolved 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 court session, the participants in proceedings are immediately notified of the time and place of the court session in which the petition will be dealt with, but their absence does not preclude resolving the issue of enforcement without delay.

 (4) An order of a county court or circuit court on immediate enforcement is subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order of a county court is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (5) Appeal against an order on the declaration of a judgment to be subject to immediate enforcement 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 on the return of the security on the basis of a petition of the party who requested immediate enforcement of a judgment upon the submission of proof concerning the entry into force of the judgment declared to be subject to immediate enforcement. If the security was a surety or guarantee, the court orders termination thereof.

§ 472.  Contestation of decision subject to immediate enforcement

 (1) In the case where an appeal or an appeal against an order is filed against a decision subject to immediate enforcement, the circuit court, and also the county court in the case of an appeal against an order, may order, based on a reasoned appeal, that:
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 1) enforcement of the decision is suspended without a security or against a security;
 2) enforcement of the decision may be continued only against a security;
 3) the enforcement action is revoked against a security.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court may suspend, without ordering the provision of security, the enforcement proceeding in accordance with the rules prescribed for the grant of procedural assistance only if the debtor substantiates that he or she is unable to provide the security and enforcement of the decision would result in damage which clearly cannot be compensated for.

 (3) If a petition to set aside a default judgment is filed against a default judgment which has been declared to be enforceable without delay, the petition specified in subsection (1) of this section is dealt with by the court which is considering the petition to set aside the default judgment. Enforcement proceedings which are based on a default judgment are suspended only against a security.

 (4) If an appeal in cassation or an appeal against an order is filed with the Supreme Court against a decision subject to immediate enforcement, the Supreme Court suspends enforcement proceedings based on a reasoned petition of the debtor if enforcement would result in significant damage to the debtor and the interests of the claimant do not justify enforcement without delay.

§ 473.  Prevention of enforcement without delay by debtor

 (1) The court may, on the basis of a petition 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 restitution claim, by depositing the claimed object in an account of the court or with the bailiff unless the claimant provides a security prior to enforcement.

 (2) A security provided in order to prevent enforcement without delay of a decision must cover any possible damage likely to be caused to the claimant as a result of failure to comply with the decision without delay.

§ 474.  Annulment and amendment of decision subject to enforcement without delay

 (1) If a decision to annul or amend a previous decision has been made public, the previous decision shall not be subject to enforcement without delay. In the case of amendment of the previous decision, the unamended part of that decision may be enforced without delay.

 (2) If a decision subject to enforcement without delay is amended or annulled, the claimant is required to return to the debtor that which the claimant received by way of compulsory enforcement or to compensate the debtor for the costs incurred thereby in order to prevent compulsory enforcement. The debtor also has the right to demand compensation for damage to an extent exceeding such amount.

 (3) If in a proprietary dispute, a decision of a circuit court subject to enforcement without delay is amended or annulled, the debtor may, instead of following the course of action provided for in subsection (2) of this section, demand, pursuant to the provisions on unjust enrichment, that the claimant return that which was paid or handed over based on the decision. It is presumed when dealing with an action for delivery of the object of unjust enrichment that the recipient was aware of the circumstances which provide the basis for claiming the return of that which was received.

 (4) The security provided by the claimant for compensation for damage likely to be caused to the debtor is returned to the claimant if, within two months after the entry into force of the annulment or amendment of the decision subject to enforcement without delay, the debtor has not filed an action for compensation for damage or for claiming the object of unjust enrichment.

Part 11 NON-CONTENTIOUS PROCEDURE 

Chapter 48 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 475.  Non-contentious matters

 (1) Non-contentious matters are:
 1) expedited proceedings for orders for payment;
 2) calling proceedings;
 3) declaration of a person dead and establishment of time of death of a person;
 4) establishment of custody over property of an absent person;
 5) appointment of a guardian for an adult with restricted active 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 personality rights;
 8) non-contentious family matters;
 9) application of estate management measures;
 10) registry matters;
 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 a bankruptcy proceedings, declaration of bankruptcy and matters related to bankruptcy proceedings which cannot be dealt with in actions;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 13) apartment ownership and common ownership matters;
 131) matters 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 matters to be resolved by the court;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 15) complaints against decisions of bailiffs;
 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]
 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 matters provided by law as non-contentious matters.

 (2) Under non-contentious procedure, the court also deals with other matters which are placed within its jurisdiction by law and which cannot be dealt with in actions.

§ 476.  Initiation of non-contentious proceedings

 (1) Non-contentious proceedings are initiated by the court of its own motion, or based on a petition of an interested party or agency.

 (2) In the cases prescribed by the law, the court initiates non-contentious proceedings only on the basis of the corresponding petition of an entitled person or agency.

§ 477.  Dealing with non-contentious matters

 (1) The court deals with the non-contentious case in accordance with the provisions concerning actions, taking into account the specifications provided in non-contentious procedure.

 (2) The court may consider and resolve a non-contentious case without holding a court session unless the obligation to hold a court session is prescribed by law.

 (3) Absence of the persons summoned to the court session does not preclude consideration and resolution of the matter unless otherwise directed by the court. A non-contentious matter may not be resolved by an default order.

 (4) A participant in proceedings shall be heard at the request thereof unless otherwise provided by law. A person is heard personally and orally. A court session need not be organised for this purpose and the hearing need not be conducted in the presence of other participants in 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 participants in proceedings or by any circumstances, and the evaluation by the participants in 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 an action in actions. In non-contentious procedure, the participants in proceedings may agree on a compromise if they are able to dispose of the right which is the object of the action.

 (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 at its own initiative.

 (8) In non-contentious matters, a procedural act is minuted only if the court considers it necessary and to the extent the court considers it necessary. The participants in proceedings have no right to apply for correction of the minutes in accordance with the provisions of § 53 of this Code. Objections to the minutes can be filed by filing an appeal against the decision made on the matter. If no minutes are prepared, the significant circumstances related to the procedural acts shall be set out in the court decision.

 (9) An application filed by an applicant, petitions filed by the petitioners and other procedural documents as well as summonses are communicated in non-contentious procedure to the participants in 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 non-contentious procedure on the participants in proceedings only if this is prescribed by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 4771.  Provisional legal protection

 (1) Provisional legal protection can be applied in non-contentious procedure only in the cases provided by law.

 (2) Provided that provisional legal protection can be applied pursuant to law, this can be done if it is necessary for the preservation or temporary regulation of an existing situation or status unless otherwise provided by law. Unless otherwise provided by law, the provisions concerning securing an action apply to provisional legal protection.

 (3) If proceedings can be initiated only on the basis of a petition, the court may apply provisional legal protection and annul or amend the order on provisional legal protection only on the basis of a petition unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 4772.  Supervision over persons appointed by court

 (1) If the court has appointed a guardian, administrator, liquidator or such other person in non-contentious proceedings, 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 his or her 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 office. The person may file an appeal against such order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 478.  Orders entered in non-contentious procedureand entry into force of those orders

 (1) A court order is the decision in non-contentious procedure. Unless otherwise provided by law, provisions concerning court orders made in actions apply to the orders entered in non-contentious procedure.

 (2) An order need not be reasoned if the petition is granted and no rights of any participant in proceedings is restricted by that order. This is not applied in the matters of placement of a person in a closed institution, adoption and guardianship as well as if there is reason to presume that the order is subject to recognition and enforcement outside of the Republic of Estonia.

 (3) An order enters into force according to the provisions of subsection 466 (3) of this Code.

 (4) Unless otherwise provided by law, an order takes effect and is subject to enforcement, regardless of its entry into force, immediately on the day of its communication to the persons concerning whom, according to the content of the order, the order was made. Unless otherwise provided by law, the court may determine that an order is subject to enforcement in part or in full from a later time, but not later than upon entry into force thereof. An order, whereby consent or approval was granted for making a transaction or a declaration of intention of a person was replaced, is subject to enforcement upon entry into force thereof.

 (41) If an order is made public, it takes effect and is subject to enforcement from the making of the order public unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I, 06.12.2010, 1 - entry into force 05.04.2011]

 (5) Orders made in non-contentious procedure which grant a right to a person or amend or terminate such right, including orders on appointment of a person in office and orders granting consent for making a transaction, apply with regard to all persons.

 (6) At the request of a participant in proceedings, the court may provide explanations on an order on termination of proceedings made in non-contentious procedure, without amending the content thereof, if this is necessary for enforcement, whereas the action specified in subsection 368 (2) of this Code cannot be submitted for explanations.

 (7) A court order providing, or refusing to provide, explanations concerning the order by which proceedings were terminated is subject to appeal. The order made by the circuit court concerning an appeal against the order providing or refusing to provide explanations is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 479.  Communication of orders

 (1) An order in a non-contentious case 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 and the Supreme Court which terminate non-contentious proceedings 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 non-contentious procedure which is subject to appeal is served by the court on the participants in proceedings whose rights are restricted by the order. If, in matters 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section is communicated to the participants in proceedings not specified 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 specified in subsection (2) of this section to the participants in proceedings. The manner of communicating an order shall be set out in the file. An order shall also be communicated to a participant in proceedings in writing at the request thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 480.  Amendment and annulment 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 annul such an order. The court may also annul 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 annulled only based on a petition.

 (3) Annulment 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 annulment 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 annulment 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 PROCEDURE FOR ORDERS FOR PAYMENT  

Division 1 General Provisions  

§ 481.  Prerequisites for expedited procedure for orders for payment

 (1) A claim against another person arising from a private law relationship seeking to obtain payment of a certain sum of money is dealt with by the court based on the corresponding petition by expedited procedure for orders for payment. This does not restrict the petitioner's right to file a claim in actions; however, such claim shall not be filed at the same time that the matter is being dealt with under expedited procedure for orders for payment.

 (11) Expedited procedure for orders for payment is not applied to non-contractual claims, except for:
 1) the 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) the 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 procedure for orders for payment 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 specified 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-proprietary 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 procedure for orders for payment is not applied to the collateral claims insofar as the amount of those claims exceeds that of the main claim.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 - entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (22) Expedited procedure for orders for payment is not applied to claims whose amount exceeds 6400 euros. This amount includes both the main and collateral claims.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (23) Expedited procedure for orders for payment is not applied to claims arising from 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 in 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) Claims for support may be filed under expedited procedure for orders for payment only having regard to the special rules provided in Division 2 of this Chapter.

§ 482.  Petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment

 (1) A petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 sum of money claimed, whereas the main claim and any collateral claims shall be set out separately, and in case a penalty for late payment is calculated, the rate of the penalty for late payment and the period for which it is calculated shall be indicated;
 4) a short description of the circumstances which constitute the basis for the claim;
 5) a short description of the evidence which the petitioner would be able to use in actions in proof of the claim;
 6) a confirmation that the claim is collectible and does not depend on the performance of a mutual obligation, or that such obligation has been performed;
 61) a confirmation that the petitioner has presented the information honestly and according to his or her best knowledge, and that he or she is aware of the fact that presentation, knowingly, of 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 is authorised to deal in actions with the claim which is the object of the order for payment or, if the claim results from a matter arising from apartment ownership or common ownership. under non-contentious procedure.

 (2) If the petitioner wishes proceedings to be terminated if an objection is filed to the proposal for payment, the petitioner shall so indicate in the petition.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

 (3) If the petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment is filed by a representative, he or she shall confirm in the petition that he or she holds the right of representation and shall make a reference to the basis of such right.

 (4) A petition for application of expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 responsible for the area may establish, by a regulation, additional formal and technical requirements for a petition for application of a procedure in matters 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 procedure for orders for payment 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 procedure for orders for payment.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (2) The court, by order, denies a petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment if:
 1) expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 in § 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 term set to him or her 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 in 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 term 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 in actions or under expedited procedure for orders for payment.
[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 term would have been complied with, or a limitation period would have been suspended then, upon denial of the petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment, such term 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 procedure for orders for payment, provided that dealing with the matter is continued in actions, or the petitioner files an action concerning the same claim within 30 days after denial of the petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment, and the action is served on the defendant.

§ 484.  Proposal for payment in expedited procedure

 (1) If the court grants the petition for expedited procedure for orders 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 shall contain at least the following information:
 1) the data contained in the petition specified in subsection 482 (1) of this Code;
 2) an explanation that the court has not conducted an in-depth examination of whether or not the petitioner is entitled to file the claim;
 3) a proposal to pay the alleged debt together with a penalty for late payment and the procedural expenses indicated in the proposal for payment within 15 days or, in the case of service of the proposal for payment abroad, within 30 days after the service of the proposal for payment if the debtor considers the filed claim to be justified, or a proposal to inform the court, within the same term, of whether and to which extent the debtor intends to submit objections to the claim;
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 - entry into force 15.07.2008]
 4) an explanation that if the debtor fails to submit an objection to the proposal for payment, the court may prepare a payment order in the form of an enforcement instrument based on the proposal for payment;
 5) an explanation to the effect that the filing of a petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment suspends the limitation period of the claim similarly to the filing of the corresponding action;
 6) for the purpose of filing an objection, information concerning the court to deal with the matter together with a notice that such court has the right to verify whether or not the action falls under its jurisdiction.

 (3) The court delivers the proposal for payment and a form for an objection to the debtor, and also informs the petitioner of the forwarding of the proposal for payment. A standard form for an objection shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area. A proposal for payment shall not be served by public announcement on a debtor who is a natural person.
[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 term 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 term 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 procedural expenses under expedited procedure for orders for payment

  Under expedited procedure for orders for payment the court also determines the amount of the state fee in money to be compensated for in addition to the division of procedural expenses 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 procedural expenses. Other procedural expenses incurred by the petitioner are not subject to compensation under expedited procedure for orders for payment.
[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 need not 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 procedure into action

 (1) The court which drew up the proposal for payment continues proceedings in the matter in actions or transfers the matter to the court specified in the petition for application of expedited procedure for orders for payment or to the court specified in a joint application of the parties, if:
 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 actions, an action is deemed to be filed as of the filing of a petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment.

 (3) In matters of apartment ownership or common ownership, non-contentious proceedings are continued unless the petitioner has requested conduct of actions or termination of proceedings.

 (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 matter in actions. If the court refuses to approve the compromise, it continues to conduct the proceedings in actions 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 matter 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 specified in clause (1) 2) of this section, what the court or a bailiff has done in order to serve the proposal for payment. A notation is made in the order for payment information system concerning the reassignment of the matter to actions or to non-contentious procedure.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 487.  Commencement of actions

 (1) If a petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment does not conform to the requirements set for a statement of claim, the court hearing the matter in actions requires that the petitioner submit the claim and substantiate it within 14 days in the form prescribed for statements of claim. In a matter of apartment ownership or common ownership, substantiation of the claim is also required if proceedings in the matter are continued under non-contentious 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 matter in actions, 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 in actions or under non-contentious 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 an action. Upon service of the reasoning of the claim on the defendant, the defendant is also set a term for responding to the action.

 (3) If the petitioner does not submit the reasons for the claim on time, the court, by order, rejects the action.

§ 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 action is responded to or another procedural act 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 specified 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 matter 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 enforcement instrument. 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 his or her financial situation and the parties fail to reach agreement on concluding a payment schedule, the court which prepared the proposal for payment transfers the matter to the court specified in the petition filed under expedited procedure for orders for payment for continuation of hearing the matter in actions.
[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 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 appeal against the order may be filed only in the cases specified 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 immediate enforcement 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 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 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 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 against a signature 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 good reason not depending on the debtor;
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]
 3) the prerequisites for expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 legal 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 court decision was made but which the court did not or could not know. The person filing an appeal against the order shall rely on one of the circumstances specified 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 acts in accordance with the rules provided in § 472 of this Code.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (4) If the court grants the appeal against an order for payment, the court, by order, annuls the order for payment. In the case of annulment of the order for payment the court terminates the expedited proceedings for an order for payment or initiates actions. Annulment of the order for payment does not restrict the petitioner's right to file the claim in actions.
[RT I 2009, 67, 460 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

 (5) The order made by the circuit court concerning an appeal against the order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 4892.  Competence of assistant judge under expedited procedure for orders for payment and making of orders in automated manner

 (1) A proposal for payment, order for payment or another order under expedited procedure for orders for payment, including an order specified 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 need not 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 participants in 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 responsible for the area.

 (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 responsible for the area 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.  Implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council

 (1) The provisions of this Act concerning expedited procedure for orders for payment also apply to the conduct of expedited proceedings in matters of the order 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 this is not regulated by that Regulation.

 (2) The authority competent to declare an European order for payment subject to enforcement is the county court which has made the payment order in accordance with the rules prescribed in this Division 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 appeal against the order in accordance with the rules provided in § 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]

Division 2 Expedited Procedure for Orders for Payment in Claims of Support for Child  

§ 491.  Expedited procedure in claims of support for child

 (1) Petitions claiming support for a minor child from the parent living separately from the child are also dealt with by the court by expedited procedure for orders for payment. Payment of support shall not be claimed retroactively under expedited procedure for orders for payment. This does not preclude the claiming of support retroactively to the extent provided by law in actions.
[RT I 2008, 28, 180 - entry into force 15.07.2008]

 (11) Expedited procedure for orders for payment on the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section is not applied if the debtor is not entered in the birth registration of a child as a parent of the child.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (2) Expedited procedure for orders for payment on the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section is not applied if the monthly support claimed exceeds the rate specified in subsection 101 (1) of the Family Law Act more than 1.5 times.
[RT I, 22.06.2016, 21 - entry into force 01.08.2016]

 (3) Unless otherwise provided by this Division, general provisions concerning expedited procedure for orders for payment apply to expedited procedure for orders for payment in claims of support for a child.

§ 492.  Petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment

  A petition in expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 data of the birth registration or birth certificate of the child and a confirmation that the debtor is entered in the birth registration of the child 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 procedure for orders for payment.

§ 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 specified 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 enforcement instrument 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 he or she is not the child's parent;
 2) that he or she lives together with the child and participates in the child's maintenance;
 3) that he or she has performed his or her maintenance obligation;
 4) that expedited procedure for orders for payment 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 responsible for the area 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 procedure for orders for payment, resolution of the matter continues in actions unless the petitioner has asked for termination of proceedings in such case.

§ 495.  Objections of debtor in actions

  If a claim for support is dealt with in actions, the debtor's objections to the claim for support are deemed to be the defendant's response to the action. The court sets the defendant an additional term for responding to the action if necessary, including in the event the plaintiff 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 term, or has filed an objection which may not be filed in expedited procedure for orders for payment, 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 by way of actions.
[RT I 2006, 61, 457 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (4) The debtor may file an 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 appeals against orders for payment on claims for support 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 by way of actions.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 50 CALLING PROCEEDINGS  

§ 498.  Calling proceedings

  In the cases provided by law, the court may make a public call by way of calling 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 calling proceedings

 (1) The court initiates calling proceedings only based on a substantiated petition. If filing of a petition is permissible, the court initiates calling proceedings by an order on calling.

 (2) An order on calling sets out at least the following:
 1) the name of the court;
 2) the data of the petitioner;
 3) a call on 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 calling proceedings of the same type.

 (4) The petitioner may file an appeal against the order on refusal to initiate proceedings. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against such order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 (5) An assistant judge is also competent to conduct calling proceedings.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 500.  Publication of call and term for calling

 (1) A call containing the data specified in the order on calling is published in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. The court may make an order on the repeated publication of the call or additional publication of the call in another publication or for broadcasting the call.

 (2) Unless otherwise provided by law, the term for calling 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 term 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 session 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 appeal against the order.

 (4) The court publishes the conclusion of an order on preclusion in the publication 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 term of calling, the court suspends calling 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 appeal against an order on preclusion within three months after publication of the order on preclusion in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded.

 (2) In an appeal against an order, the appellant may only rely on one of the following facts:
 1) the order on preclusion was made in a case where calling proceedings were not allowed,
 2) the call was not made public or it was made public in a manner not prescribed by law;
 3) the term for making public of the call was not adhered to;
 4) the judge or assistant judge who made the order on preclusion should have removed himself or herself 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 object encumbered with a registered security over movables has the 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 specified 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 court decision.

 (3) In order to provide satisfaction in respect of the claim secured by a mortgage or registered security over movables, 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 call 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 security over movables 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 calling 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 ship register.

 (2) The petition specified 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 enforcement instrument, 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 for declaration of security invalid

 (1) In the case of the loss or destruction of or damage to a security, the current owner of a bearer security or a security transferred by an endorsement in blank or, in the case of other types of security, a person wishing to exercise a right arising from the security has the right to file a petition for declaration of the security invalid by way of calling proceedings.

 (2) A person who has lost a security may also request, in the petition specified in subsection (1) of this section, that the issuer of the security issue another security with the same content to the person.

 (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 belonged to the petitioner before it was lost or destroyed. The petitioner must also substantiate the loss or destruction of the security.

 (5) If the instrument has been damaged, the damaged instrument must be presented. Where possible, a transcript 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 security. After termination of proceedings, the court annuls the order.

§ 507.  Specifications of proceedings for declaration of security invalid

 (1) In a call concerning an intention to declare a security invalid, the court indicates, among other things, the name and other specific characteristics of the security and the name of the issuer thereof, and proposes that the possessor of the security inform the court of the possession of the security and the rights of the possessor thereto. The call contains a caution that in the case of failure to notify of such rights, the security will be declared invalid and a prohibition may be made on making payments based on the security.

 (2) A person who is in possession of the security must immediately inform the court thereof and present the security to the court.

 (3) If a lost security is presented to the court within four months after publication of the last call, the court denies the petition for declaration of the security invalid, and annuls the prohibition on making payments on the basis of the security. In the order, the court explains to the petitioner the potential rights thereof against the possessor of the instrument. The court gives the petitioner an opportunity to examine the security beforehand.

 (4) If within four months after the last publication of a notice on the loss of a security, the court is not informed of the existence of the security or if the court establishes that the security has been destroyed or damaged to the extent that it can be no longer used, the court declares the security invalid by an order on preclusion.

§ 508.  Consequences of declaration of security invalid

 (1) If a security is declared invalid by an order on preclusion, the petitioner has the right to use the rights arising therefrom with regard to the party who, according to the security, is the obligated person. If the issue of a new security is requested in a petition, the court requires the issuer to issue a new security with the same content.

 (2) Upon annulment of an order to declare a security invalid, the payments made or other obligations performed on the basis of the order by the party who is the obligated person shall also remain valid with respect to third parties, including to the recipient of the payment and the petitioner, unless the obligated person was aware of the annulment of the order at the time of performance of the obligation.

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 legal representative of a missing person or a rural municipality or city government;
 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 responsible for the area.
[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 responsible for the area 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 specified 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 publication Ametlikud Teadaanded whereby the missing person is invited to provide the court, within the term set by the court, with information that he or she is 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 publication Ametlikud Teadaanded, publish the notice in another publication, or broadcast the notice.

 (3) The term set by the court for submission of information shall not be shorter than six weeks after publication of the last notice in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded.

 (4) Unless proceedings are initiated based on the petition of the minister responsible for the area, the court informs the minister responsible for the area of the initiation of proceedings and requests that the minister responsible for the area 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 publication 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 responsible for the area 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 responsible for the area. For entry of the information concerning death in the population register, the court sends an order on declaration of death to the vital statistics office within ten days after the entry into force of the order.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) An order on declaration of a person as dead enters into force and is subject to enforcement after the expiry of the term for filing appeals against such order. In the case an appeal is filed against the order, the order enters into force and is subject to enforcement if an order to deny or dismiss the appeal against the order has been made and that order has entered into force.

 (5) An order on annulment or amendment of an order on declaration of death is made public in the manner prescribed in subsection (2) of this section and is communicated to the persons and agencies specified 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 publication 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 annulment of the declaration of death or amendment of the time of death. Only the petitioner may file an 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 annulment 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 responsible for the area 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 his or her whereabouts. If possible, the court hears, before annulling the declaration of death, the person based on whose petition the person was declared as dead.

 (3) The court sends a transcript of an order on the annulment of declaration of death of a person to the vital statistics office within ten days after the entry into force of such order. An order on annulment of 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 on annulment of an order on declaration of a person as dead is not subject to appeal. The petitioner may file an appeal against an order denying the petition for annulment of an order on declaration of death.

§ 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 him or her, due to reasons beyond his or her control, at a time when he or she was no longer able to present such facts in proceedings conducted in the matter of declaration of death.

 (2) The petition specified in subsection (1) of this section may be submitted within 30 days after the time the petitioner became aware of the fact, but not before the entry into force of the order on declaration of death and not later than within five years after the entry into force of the order on declaration of death.

 (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 call to all persons who have information as to the time of death of the person to inform the court thereof within the term set by the court. The court need not publish such call if this obviously does not facilitate the clarification of circumstances.

Chapter 52 ESTABLISHMENT OF CUSTODY OVER PROPERTY OF ABSENT PERSON  

§ 516.  Establishment of custody

 (1) The court appoints an administrator to the property which needs to be maintained and belongs to:
 1) a missing person;
 2) a person whose whereabouts are known but who cannot return and manage his or her affairs due to another reason.

 (2) The court also appoints an administrator to the property of an absent person if the person has issued a mandate or authorisation document for management of his or her affairs but circumstances which give good reason to withdraw such mandate or authorisation have become evident.

 (3) An order on establishment of custody sets out the person over whose property the custody is established as well as the person appointed as administrator.

 (4) An order on establishment of custody gives the person appointed as administrator the right to dispose of the property within the extent provided by law.

 (5) The provisions concerning compensation of the costs of a guardian of an adult with restricted active legal capacity apply to compensation of the costs of an administrator.

§ 517.  Appointment of temporary administrator

 (1) The court may ensure or apply provisional legal protection by an order on establishment of custody on its own initiative and among other things, appoint a temporary administrator to the property if there is reason to believe that the conditions for establishment of custody are complied with and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the person in whose interest the court is conducting proceedings for appointment of an administrator.

 (2) Upon selection of a temporary administrator, the wishes of the petitioner and the requirements for administrators prescribed by law need not be considered.

 (3) A temporary administrator shall not be appointed for a period longer than six months.

 (4) The court may release a temporary administrator from his or her duties by an order if the prerequisites for release are clearly fulfilled and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the person in whose interests the court appointed the temporary administrator. An order on appointment or release of a temporary administrator 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]

§ 518.  Termination of custody, change of administrator and duties thereof

 (1) The court terminates the custody over the property of an absent person if the absent person is no longer prevented from managing his or her affairs.

 (2) Custody is terminated by annulment by the court regardless of whether or not the absent person is dead. The court annuls custody if the court becomes aware of the death of the absent person.

 (3) If an absent person is declared as dead or his or her time of death is established by the court, the custody is terminated at the time of the entry into force of the order on declaration of death or establishment of the time of death.

 (4) The provisions concerning the appointment of an administrator apply to termination of custody, release of an administrator, appointment of a new administrator, alteration of the scope of duties of an administrator and extension of the appointment of an administrator.

§ 519.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) A court order on the establishment of custody, refusal to establish custody, termination of custody or change of administrator is subject to appeal by everyone with legal interest in the amendment of such order, including the spouse, or the relatives or relatives by marriage of the person whose property was placed under custody.

 (2) An appeal against an order cannot be filed after five months have passed from communicating the order to the administrator.

Chapter 53 APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN FOR ADULT WITH RESTRICTED ACTIVE LEGAL CAPACITY  

§ 520.  Appointment of representative to adult with restricted active 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 with restricted active 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 matter of whose placement under guardianship the court is considering and hear him or her without the presence of the judge.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 521.  Application of provisional legal protection

 (1) The court may make an order on application of provisional legal protection 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 specified 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 need not be heard if this would clearly cause significant damage to his or her health or if the person is clearly not able to express his or her will.

 (3) If a delay could result in endangerment of the interests of the person in need of guardianship, the court may apply provisional legal protection even before hearing the person himself or herself and appointing a representative to him or her. In such case the specified acts must be performed retroactively at the earliest opportunity.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) Upon selection of a temporary guardian, the wishes of the petitioner and the requirements for guardians prescribed by law need not be considered.

 (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 term may be extended to up to one year.

 (6) The court may release a temporary guardian from his or her duties by an order if the prerequisites for release are clearly fulfilled and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the person under guardianship.

 (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.  Ordering expert assessment

 (1) If the court has information or doubt that a person has a mental illness or mental disability, the court orders 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 him or her 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 matters 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 an expert, apply compelled attendance to bring the person before an 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 apply compelled attendance with respect to the person.
[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 need not be ordered if:
 1) the petition for appointment of a guardian was submitted by the person in need of guardianship and the documents reflecting his or her 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 matter of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings are personally heard by the court. The court hears the person in his or her usual environment if the person so requests or if, in the opinion of the court, this is necessary in the interests of the matter 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 apply compulsory attendance on the person in need of guardianship in order to hear the 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 his or her 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 his or her will.

§ 525.  Hearing of matter

 (1) The court discusses with the person in the matter of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings the results of his or her hearing, the content of the expert opinion or documents reflecting his or her 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 matter of whose placement under guardianship the court is conducting proceedings, his or her 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 him or her 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 with restricted active 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 with restricted active 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 specified 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 person under guardianship.

 (5) If a court establishes guardianship for managing all the affairs of a person under guardianship or if the scope of duties of a guardian is extended in such manner, the person under guardianship is also deemed to be without active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote, and he or she loses his or her 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 person under guardianship 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 person under guardianship 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 term for payment and the size of payments which the person under guardianship must pay to the state in order to cover for the amounts payable to the guardian by the state.

 (2) The person under guardianship may apply for the grant of procedural assistance for covering the costs.

 (3) Before making an order on costs, the court shall hear the person under guardianship.

 (4) [Repealed - RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 528.  Extension of scope of duties and term 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 term of office of a guardian.

 (2) Upon the change of duties of a guardian, appointment of a new guardian or extension of the term of office of a guardian, a new expert assessment need not be conducted and a representative for the purpose of proceedings need not be appointed to the person under guardianship 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 term of office of a guardian, the person under guardianship need not undergo an expert assessment if, based on the hearing of the person under guardianship and the documents reflecting the state of his or her 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 person under guardianship to perform transactions independently if the bases for appointing a guardian cease to exist in whole or in part.

 (2) The court may order an expert assessment in order to ascertain that such bases have ceased to exist.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 530.  Release of guardian from office and appointment of new guardian

 (1) The court may release a guardian from office with good reason.

 (2) If the person under guardianship objects to the release of the guardian, the court shall hear the person under guardianship in person unless this may significantly endanger the health of the person under guardianship or the person under guardianship is clearly unable to express his or her will.

 (3) Upon the appointment of a new guardian due to the death or release from office of the previous guardian, the person under guardianship shall be heard in person, unless the person under guardianship agrees to the new guardian, the hearing may significantly endanger the health of the person under guardianship or the person under guardianship is clearly unable to express his or her will.

§ 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 matter of establishment of guardianship are terminated, including an order on appointment of a guardian, extension of his or her term 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 matter of establishment of guardianship are terminated to the person under guardianship and his or her representative. The court need not communicate the reasoning of the order to the person under guardianship in person if, based on the documents reflecting the state of health of the person under guardianship or an expert opinion, this may cause significant damage to the health of the person under guardianship. The court also communicates the order to the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the person as well as to other persons specified 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 person under guardianship, the court may declare the order to be valid and subject to enforcement as of communication thereof to the person under guardianship or his or her 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 person under guardianship, third parties or the public. Where necessary, the court publishes a notice in the publication 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 person under guardianship or the scope of the guardian's duties is expanded in such manner and the person loses his or her right to vote in elections, or if such guardianship is terminated due to any other reason except the death of the person under guardianship, or if such guardianship is restricted, the court also informs the agency maintaining a polling list thereof.

 (7) If the person under guardianship 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 specified by such person himself or herself (trustee) or rural municipality or city government 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 person under guardianship. If several guardians were appointed to perform jointly, each one of them may file a separate appeal.

 (3) An 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 concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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 matters based on a petition by the rural municipality or city government of the residence of a person in accordance with the rules provided in this Division:
[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 his or her 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 his or her 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 matters of placement of a person in a closed institution provided by law.

 (2) Proceedings are also conducted by the court in the matter of placement of a mentally ill person in a psychiatric hospital or a social welfare institution without or against his or her 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 matter of hospitalisation of a person suffering from a communicable disease without his or her 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 provisional legal protection

 (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 provisional legal protection 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 persons; and
 2) adequate documents exist concerning the state of health of the person.

 (2) A request for applying provisional legal protection to place a person who suffers from a mental disorder in a psychiatric hospital without or against his or her will may also be submitted by a person specified in subsection 13 (1) of the Mental Health Act.

 (21) A request for applying provisional legal protection to hospitalise a person suffering from a communicable disease without his or her consent and to apply inpatient treatment to the person may also be submitted by the person specified 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 provisional legal protection 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 damage to the health of the person whose placement in a closed institution is requested, or if the person is unable to express his or her 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 provisional legal protection.

 (5) Provisional legal protection 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 term may be extended for up to 40 days if this is clearly necessary also in the opinion of the psychiatrist or another competent doctor. Provisional legal protection may also be applied for the purpose and term specified in subsection 537 (4) of this Code.
[RT I, 04.07.2012, 1 - entry into force 01.08.2012]

 (6) In the cases 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 himself or herself or the public, and a court order cannot be obtained promptly enough. In such case a request shall be submitted for obtaining a court order such that the court would be able to resolve the request not later than within 48 hours after placement of the person in a 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 need not be appointed to a person upon application of provisional legal protection, unless the person wants a representative for filing an appeal against an order on provisional legal protection or if the extension of the term for provisional legal protection is being decided. A person's right to a representative for filing an appeal against an order shall be explained to the person in the order on the application of provisional legal protection 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 him or her 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 him or her. If necessary, the court hears the person in his or her usual environment. The provisions concerning the procedure for hearing persons in a proceeding conducted in the matter of establishment of guardianship over an adult with restricted active 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 rural municipality or city government, 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 specified in subsection 2 (1) of this section need not 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 matter;
 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 rural municipality or city government 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 specified in this section. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to the application of provisional legal protection.
[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 provisional legal protection has been applied in conformity with subsection 534 (5) of this Code is not ordered to undergo an expert assessment before the petition specified 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, apply compelled attendance to bring the person before an 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 apply compelled attendance with respect to the person.

§ 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 term for placement in a closed institution;
 4) an explanation of the possibility to file an 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 provisional legal protection, 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 rural municipality or city government 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 rural municipality or city government, 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 matter. A representative need not be appointed to a person in a matter 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 term 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 provisional legal protection, 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 term 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 term 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 his or her 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 term 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, his or her 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 specified 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 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 rural municipality or city government 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 annul the suspension if the person fails to comply with the conditions or perform the obligations assigned to him or her, or if annulment of the suspension is necessary due to his or her condition.

 (3) Before annulling a suspension, the court shall hear the person himself or herself, the persons specified in subsection 536 (2) of this Code and the rural municipality or city government.

§ 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 provisional legal protection, 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 need not be communicated to the person himself or herself if the person is clearly unable to understand it or if it may cause significant damage to his or her health.

 (2) The court also sends the order specified in subsection (1) of this section to the trustee appointed by the person and the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the person. The court also communicates the order to the persons specified 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 force 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 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 rural municipality or city government 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

  An order on placement of a person in a closed institution or an order on refusal to do so, an order on termination of placement in a closed institution or an order on refusal to do so, or an order on application of provisional legal protection is subject to appeal by the person to whom such measure was applied, by the persons specified in subsection 536 (2) of this Code or by the rural municipality or city government or the head of the closed institution. The person to whom a measure was applied may file an appeal against the order regardless of termination of application of the measures, among other things, to establish unlawfulness of placement in a closed institution.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 55 IMPOSITION OF RESTRAINING ORDER AND OTHER SIMILAR MEASURES FOR PROTECTION OF PERSONALITY RIGHTS  

§ 544.  Application of restraining order and other measures for protection of personality rights

 (1) In order to protect the private life of a person or other personality 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 term of up to three years.

 (2) If the court conducts proceedings in the matter of application of measures in order to protect a personality right in connection with a family relationship, the provisions of law concerning non-contentious family matters additionally apply, unless otherwise provided by this Chapter.

 (3) The court may also deal with the matter specified in subsection (1) of this section in actions if it is to be adjudicated together with another action or if this is requested by the plaintiff.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 545.  Hearing and conciliation of participants

  Before applying a restraining order or another measure for protection of personality 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 specified above, or the rural municipality or city government or police authority of the residence of the persons.

§ 546.  Application of provisional legal protection

  Where necessary, the court may secure a petition for application of a restraining order or another measure for protection of personality rights or apply provisional legal protection by an order at its own initiative. Measures for securing the action may be applied by way of provisional legal protection in accordance with the rules for securing an action.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 547.  Service and entry into force of order

  An order on application of a restraining order or another measure for protection of personality rights is served on the persons with regard to and in the interests of whom such measures are applied. The order is subject to enforcement from the service thereof on the obligated person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 548.  Cancellation and alteration of measures for protection of personality rights

  If circumstances change, the court may cancel or alter a restraining order or another measure for protection of personality rights. Before cancelling or altering a measure, the court hears the participants.

§ 549.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order on application of a restraining order or another measure for protection of personality 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 personality 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 NON-CONTENTIOUS FAMILY MATTERS  

Division 1 General Provisions  

§ 550.  Non-contentious family matters

 (1) The following family matters are dealt with by non-contentious procedure:
 1) appointment of a guardian for a minor;
 11) divestment of a minor of active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote;
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 - entry into force 01.02.2016]
 2) determination of a parent's rights to a child, including deprivation of parental rights from a parent, and regulation of access to a child (matters of right of 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) establishment of filiation from a person and contestation of an entry concerning a parent after the death of a person;
 6) grant of consent for performance of a transaction on behalf of a child or person under guardianship;
 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 placed within the jurisdiction of the court which cannot be dealt with in actions.

 (2) The court may also deal with a matter of determination of a parent's rights to a child and regulation of access to a child in actions if resolution of the matter is demanded in a divorce case or in an action for an award of support.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) Orders made in non-contentious family matters are subject to enforcement as of entry into force thereof unless otherwise provided by law.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 551.  Application of provisional legal protection

 (1) When conducting proceedings in a non-contentious family matter, the court may apply, based on a request or at the initiative of the court, measures for securing an action as a measure of provisional legal protection.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) Before applying provisional legal protection to a minor, the court shall obtain the opinion of the rural municipality or city government of the minor's residence, unless the resulting delay would clearly damage the interests of the minor. If a measure was applied without obtaining the opinion of the rural municipality or city government, such opinion must be obtained at the earliest opportunity.

§ 552.  Cooperation with rural municipality and city governments

 (1) Where, pursuant to law, participation of a rural municipality or city government is necessary, the court informs such authority of the proceedings. Unless otherwise provided by law, the court informs a rural municipality or city government of the proceedings and circumstances related thereto also in other cases where knowledge of such circumstances is clearly necessary to the rural municipality or city government for the performance of its duties.

 (2) In proceedings pertaining to minors or guardianship, the court obtains the position of a rural municipality or city government and sends the rural municipality or city government transcripts of the orders whereby the proceedings are terminated.

§ 5521.  Hearing of child

 (1) In matters pertaining to 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. The court hears a child in his or her usual environment if, in the opinion of the court, this is necessary in the interests of the matter. If necessary, a 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 a child unless the child or representative thereof objects to it.

 (2) Upon hearing a child, he or she shall be informed of the object and potential outcome of proceedings to the extent the child is presumed to be able to understand it unless this can be presumed to result in harmful consequences to the development or upbringing of the child. A child shall be given an opportunity to present his or her position.

 (3) Hearing of a child shall be denied only with good reason. If a child is not heard due to the reason that the delay would damage the child's interests, the child shall be heard afterwards at the earliest opportunity.

 (4) The court may transfer the task of hearing a child to a court acting based on a letter of request only if it is evident that the court will be able to evaluate the outcome of the hearing even without having directly communicated with the child.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 553.  Right of child to independently file appeals

 (1) A child of at least 14 years of age with sufficient capacity to exercise discretion and will has the right, in a non-contentious family matter pertaining to his or her person, to file an appeal against an order without the assistance of his or her legal representative. The same also applies to other matters where a child must be heard before resolving the matter.

 (2) A child shall be personally informed of the orders against which he or she may file an appeal. The reasoning of an order need not be communicated to a child if this could result in harmful consequences to the development, upbringing or health of the child.

Division 2 Appointment of Guardian for Minor and Divestment of Minor of Active Legal Capacity with regard to Right to Vote  
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 - entry into force 01.02.2016]

§ 554.  Appointment of guardian for minor

  Unless otherwise provided by this Division, the provisions concerning appointment of a guardian to a person with restricted active legal capacity apply to appointment of a guardian for a minor with the exception of the provisions concerning expert assessment.

§ 555.  Application of provisional legal protection

 (1) If it can be presumed that the prerequisites for appointing a guardian are clearly fulfilled and a delay is likely to endanger the interests of the minor and the child who is at least seven years of age and has sufficient capacity to exercise discretion and will has been heard, the court may apply provisional legal protection by an order and, among other things, appoint a temporary guardian to the child.

 (2) For the purpose specified in subsection (1) of this section, a child may also be heard by a judge acting on the basis of a letter of request.

 (3) Where a delay is likely to result in danger, the court may apply provisional legal protection even before a child is heard. In such case the child shall be heard afterwards at the earliest opportunity. A child need not be heard if this would clearly cause significant damage to his or her health or if the person is clearly not able to express his or her will.

 (4) Upon selection of a temporary guardian, the wishes of the petitioner and the requirements for guardians prescribed by law need not be considered.

 (5) A temporary guardian shall not be appointed for a period longer than six months.

 (6) The court may release a temporary guardian from his or her duties if the prerequisites for the release are clearly fulfilled and a delay would result in endangerment of the interests of the person under guardianship.

 (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]

§ 556.  [Repealed - RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 557.  Court order

 (1) The court appoints a guardian to a minor 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 minor is permitted to perform transactions without the consent of the guardian and what transactions are permitted.

 (21) The order sets out that guardianship is established until the minor attains the age of majority unless the court appoints a guardian for a shorter period.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An order on establishment of guardianship gives the guardian the right to represent the person under guardianship.

§ 5571.  Divestment of minor of active legal capacity with regard to right to vote

 (1) The provisions of appointment of a guardian to an adult with restricted active legal capacity apply to divestment of a person who is 16–17 years of age of active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote. No guardian is appointed upon divestment of active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote.

 (2) A court decides on divestment of a minor of active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote at its own initiative or based on the petition of a rural municipality or city government, the guardian or an interested party.
[RT I, 22.01.2016, 7 - entry into force 01.02.2016]

Division 3 Determination of Parent's Rights to Child and Regulation of Access to Child  

§ 558.  Hearing of parents

 (1) In proceedings pertaining to the rights of a parent to a child, the court hears the parents. As regards the personality rights of the parents, the court hears the parents in person. If proceedings are conducted in the matter of endangerment of the welfare of a child, the court hears the parents in person and discusses the protection of the child's interests with them.

 (2) The court need not hear a parent who has no parental rights or whose children have been placed under guardianship if hearing the parent clearly does not contribute to resolving the matter or clarification of the circumstances.

 (3) The court need not hear the parents if the resulting delay would clearly present a danger to the interests of the child.

§ 559.  [Repealed - RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 560.  Hearing of foster parents and other persons who contribute to raising of child

  If a child has lived, for a longer period of time, with one parent or a person entitled to access the child or with a foster family, the court also hears such persons in a matter pertaining to the child unless this clearly does not contribute to resolving the matter or clarification of the circumstances.

§ 561.  Resolution of matter by settlement

 (1) In proceedings pertaining to a child, the court shall try, as early as possible and at each stage of proceedings, to steer the participants towards settling the matter. The court shall hear the participants as early as possible and draw their attention to the possibility to seek the assistance of a family counsellor and above all, for forming a common position on taking care of and assuming responsibility for the child.

 (2) The court may suspend proceedings pertaining to a child if this does not result in a delay which might endanger the interests of the child and the participants agree to participate in extra-judicial counselling or if, in the court's opinion, there are prospects to resolve the matter by settlement between the persons concerned due to another reason.

§ 562.  Surrender of things prescribed for personal use of child

  If the court orders surrender of a child, the court may make, by way of provisional legal protection, an order on surrender of the things prescribed for the personal use of the child.

§ 563.  Conciliation procedure in case of violation of order regulating access to child or agreement

 (1) If a parent informs the court that the other parent violates a court order regulating access to the child or an agreement entered into in a notarially authenticated format or hinders compliance therewith, the court summons, based on a petition by a parent, the parents to appear before the court in order to resolve the conflict pertaining to the child by mutual agreement. The court is not required to summon the parents if the conciliation procedure or subsequent extra-judicial counselling have already been tried but have been unsuccessful.

 (2) The court also conducts proceedings provided in this section on the basis of a petition by a parent if the parents have agreed on an arrangement on access to the child otherwise than in a notarially authenticated format and earlier this arrangement has been operative for a longer period of time and such arrangement of access to the child generally complies with the usual reasonable arrangement.

 (3) The court summons the parents in person and explains the potential legal consequences of failure to appear. Where necessary, the court also summons a representative of a rural municipality or city government to be present at the conference held to resolve the conflict.

 (4) The court discusses with the parents the consequences of the inability to access the child on the welfare of the child and draws their attention to potential coercive measures for compliance with the order or agreement. The court also draws their attention to the potential restriction or deprivation of the right of access and to the fact that they have an opportunity to seek the guidance of a family counsellor.

 (5) The court shall try to reach an agreement between the parents concerning access to the child.

 (6) If the parents agree on an arrangement concerning access to the child which differs from the arrangement provided by the court order or an earlier agreement and this is not contrary to the interests of the child, the agreement is recorded as a judicial compromise and the court approves it by an order substituting for the former order or agreement.

 (7) If an agreement on regulating access is not reached in court or subsequently in family counselling, or if one of the parents fails to appear before the court or refuses to use the opportunity of seeking the guidance of a family counsellor, the court makes an order whereby it declares the failure of the conciliation proceedings and determines:
 1) the coercive measures which are to be applied;
 2) the extent to which the order or agreement on access must be amended;
 3) the changes which need to be made in the parents' rights to the child.

 (8) In order to ensure compliance with and eliminate the violation of a court order or agreement regulating access to a child, enforcement proceedings may be conducted only based on the order containing the provisions of clause (7) 1) of this section unless otherwise provided by law.

 (9) The court conducts the proceedings specified in this section within 60 days following the filing of the corresponding petition.
[RT I, 29.06.2012, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2013]

§ 5631.  Communication of order

  An order on a matter of right of custody of a parent serves as a basis for amending the vital statistics information of a person. The court sends the order to a vital statistics office within ten days after the entry into force of the order for entry of the information concerning the right of custody in the population register.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 5632.  Separation of child from family

  In the cases and in accordance with the rules provided by law, a child may also be separated from his or her family without a court order if leaving the child in the family endangers the health or life of the child and a court order cannot be obtained promptly enough. In such case a request shall be submitted such that the court would be able to resolve the request within 72 hours after separation of the child from the family on the bases provided in § 33 of the Child Protection Act.
[RT I, 06.12.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2016]

Division 4 Adoption  

§ 564.  Petition for adoption

 (1) The court decides on an adoption only on the basis of the application of a person wishing to adopt.

 (2) The name of the person whom the petitioner wants to adopt, the year, month and day of such person's birth, and any known data concerning such person's parents are set out in the petition. If the petitioner wants to change the name of the child, the person shall indicate so in the petition.

 (3) In a petition, the petitioner indicates the year, month and day of the petitioner's birth, and the facts which prove that he or she is capable of raising the child, caring for the child and maintaining the child.

 (4) If the petitioner is married, he or she annexes the written consent of his or her spouse to adoption to the petition unless pursuant to law, the spouse's consent is not needed for adoption.

§ 565.  Hearing of petitioner

  The court hears the petitioner in person in a matter of adoption unless the petitioner has good reason for not appearing before the court.

§ 566.  [Repealed - RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 567.  Opinion of Social Insurance Board

  [RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (1) The court orders the Social Insurance Board to gather information necessary for the adjudication of the adoption of the child and to submit such information to the court.
[RT I, 21.12.2016, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2017]

 (2) The Social Insurance Board submits to the court information on the health, financial situation and housing of the petitioner, and provides an opinion on whether the petitioner is capable of raising the child, caring for the child and maintaining 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.  Order on adoption

 (1) An order on adoption sets out the name of the adopted child and his or her other personal data to be entered in the register and, upon the change of his or her given name or surname, his or her new given name or surname, and the name of the adoptive parent and his or her other personal data to be entered in the register as well as the legal basis for adoption. If a parent's consent to adoption is not required, it is so indicated in the order.

 (2) An order on adoption enters into force as of its service on the adoptive parent. An order on adoption is not subject to appeal or amendment.

 (3) The court sends an order on adoption to the vital statistics office after the order has entered into force. 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 denying the petition.

§ 569.  Invalidation of adoption

 (1) In proceedings for invalidation of adoption, the court hears the Social Insurance Board. If 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 for the adopted child.

 (3) An order on invalidation of adoption enters into force and is subject to enforcement after it is no longer subject to appeal.

Division 5 Extension of Active Legal Capacity of Minor  

§ 570.  Initiation of proceedings

  The court decides the extension of the active legal capacity of a minor based on the petition of the minor himself or herself, or the minor's parent or guardian, or a rural municipality or city government of the residence of the minor.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 571.  Content of petition

 (1) A petition sets out:
 1) the basis for requesting extension of the active legal capacity of the minor;
 2) the data constituting the basis for extension of the active legal capacity.

 (2) The consent of the legal representative of the minor to extension of the active legal capacity of the minor is annexed to the petition. Denial consent shall be set out in the petition.

§ 572.  Direction on performance of expert assessment

 (1) Where necessary, the court directs that an expert assessment be performed to ascertain the level of development of the minor. Before giving an expert opinion, the expert shall question the minor in person.

 (2) If the minor with regard to whom expert assessment has been ordered fails to appear before the expert without good reason, the court dismisses the petition.

§ 573.  Rural municipality or city government in proceedings

  In the proceedings, at the direction of the court, the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the minor gathers and submits to the court information needed for extension of the active legal capacity of the minor, and provides its opinion on the extension of the active legal capacity.

§ 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 fails to appear at the hearing of him or her without good reason, the court dismisses the petition.

 (5) In the proceedings, the court asks for the position of the legal representatives of the minor. At the request of the minor, other persons close to him or her shall be granted an opportunity to provide an opinion unless this significantly delays proceedings.

 (6) If extension of active legal capacity is requested for the purpose of contracting marriage, the person wishing to marry the minor is also heard in person by the court.

§ 575.  Court order

 (1) The court resolves the extension of a minor's active legal capacity by an order.

 (2) An order sets out:
 1) the person whose active legal capacity is extended;
 2) the transactions or legal acts which the minor is permitted to perform without the consent of his or her legal representative.

§ 576.  Amendment and annulment of order

  The provisions concerning an order on the extension of active legal capacity correspondingly apply to the amendment and annulment of an order on extension of the active legal capacity of a minor.

§ 577.  Communication and entry into force of order

 (1) An order enters into force and is subject to enforcement as of its service on the minor.

 (2) The court informs other courts and agencies of the order if this is clearly in the interests of the minor, third parties or the public. At the request of the minor, the court publishes a notice in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded.

§ 578.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) An order on extension of the active legal capacity of a minor, an order on amendment or annulment of such order and an order denying the petition for making the order is subject to appeal by the appellant, the minor and the rural municipality or city government of the residence thereof.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) An appeal against an order shall be filed not later than five months after the date on which the order was served on the minor.

Division 6 Establishment of Filiation to Person and Contestation of Entry Concerning Parent after Death of Person  

§ 579.  Petition for establishment of filiation and contestation of entry

 (1) The establishment of filiation to a deceased person and the contestation of an entry made in a birth registration or the population register in respect of such person indicating him or her as a parent shall be dealt with by the court exclusively on petition.

 (2) A petition for establishment of filiation of a person to a deceased person or for contestation of an entry made in a birth registration or the population register in respect of a deceased person indicating him or her as a parent may be filed by the person whose filiation is sought to be established or whose filiation is contested, by the guardian of such person or by a rural municipality or city government.

 (3) The petition shall set out the circumstances based on which the person filiation to whom is to be established can be considered to be a parent or based on which the person entered in the birth registration or the population register as a parent cannot be considered as such.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 580.  Hearing of persons

 (1) The court hears the other parent of the child, and the parents, spouse and adult children of the deceased person, and any other persons whose hearing the court deems necessary.

 (2) The court may refuse to hear a person specified in subsection (1) of this section only if the person is incapable of providing statements for an extended period of time or his or her whereabouts are unknown.

 (3) If a petition is filed by the mother or guardian of a minor child, the court also asks for the opinion of the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the child.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 581.  Direction on performance of expert assessment

  If necessary, the court directs that an expert assessment be performed to establish filiation if this is possible without exhuming the body from its place of burial.

§ 582.  Court order on petition for establishment of filiation or contestation of entry concerning parent

 (1) An order on establishment of filiation sets out the name of the person whose filiation has been established and his or her other personal data subject to entry in the register, and the name of the person from whom filiation has been established and his or her other personal data subject to entry in the register.

 (2) An order on establishment of the fact that an entry in a birth registration or the population register concerning a parent is incorrect and the child does not descend from a deceased person sets out the same data concerning the persons who are deemed not to be parent and child.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (3) An order whereby the court resolves a petition for establishment of filiation or a petition for contestation of entry in a birth registration or the population register concerning a parent enters into force and is subject to enforcement after the expiry of the term for filing appeals against the order.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (4) The court sends an order on establishment of filiation or on incorrectness of an entry concerning a parent to the vital statistics office after entry into force thereof. The order serves as a basis for amending the vital statistics information of child.
[RT I 2009, 30, 177 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

§ 583.  Filing of appeal against order

  An order on establishment of filiation or on incorrectness of an entry concerning a parent, or an order denying the petition is subject to appeal by the petitioner, or the parents, spouse or adult children of the deceased person, or the rural municipality or city government of the residence of the petitioner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 57 APPLICATION OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT MEASURES  

§ 584.  Security for costs of application of management measures

 (1) The court may obligate the person who files a petition for application of estate management measures or the person in whose interests estate management measures are applied to pay an amount of money prescribed by the court to the court's bank account in order to cover for the costs of applying estate management measures if there is reason to believe that the estate is not sufficient for payment.

 (2) The order specified in subsection (1) of this section is subject to appeal. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against such order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 585.  Hearing of persons

  In proceedings conducted in a matter of application of estate management measures, the court hears the petitioner or the person in whose interests the estate management measures are to be applied, and the person whose appointment as administrator of estate is requested. Where necessary, the court also hears other persons whose rights and interests are affected by the petition.

§ 586.  Order on application of management measures

 (1) Unless otherwise provided by this Chapter, the court decides on application of management measures and appointment of administrator of estate pursuant to the provisions concerning establishment of custody over the property of an absent person.

 (2) An order on application of management measures and appointment of administrator of estate enters into force as of its service on the administrator. The order is also communicated to the petitioner, successors, legatees, and to the creditors of the bequeather and executor of the will.

 (3) The court may alter or cancel management measures or release an administrator from his or her duties based on a petition by a successor, legatee, administrator of estate, a creditor of the bequeather or executor of the will, or at the initiative of the court.

 (4) An order is subject to appeal by the petitioner or another person specified in subsection (3) of this section.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

 (5) Application of management measures and appointment of administrator of estate may also be decided by an assistant judge.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (6) The court makes an entry on application, alteration or termination of estate management measures in the succession register.
[RT I, 09.10.2013, 1 - entry into force 28.10.2013]

§ 587.  Costs of management measures

 (1) The costs necessary for application of management measures are covered out of assets of the estate. On the directions of the court, assets of an estate may be sold to cover the costs of applying management measures. If the assets of the estate are not sufficient for covering the costs, such costs are covered out of the money specified in subsection 584 (1) of this Code. Money remaining from money paid into the bank account of the court is returned.

 (2) An appeal against an order on covering the costs of applying management measures may be filed by a successor, legatee, the administrator of estate, a creditor of the bequeather or executor of the will. An order made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order is not subject to appeal 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.  Grant of permission for transfer of immovable

 (1) A petition for grant of permission for the transfer of an immovable belonging to an estate may be filed by the administrator of estate with the court which applied the estate management measures.

 (2) The court decides on the grant of permission by an order. An appeal against the order may be filed by a successor, legatee, the administrator of estate, executor of the will, a creditor of the bequeather, or a co-owner or joint owner of the immovable. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against such order is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

§ 590.  Report of administrator of estate

 (1) The administrator of estate submits a report to the court upon the termination of administration. The court may also demand a report from the administrator of estate prior to the termination of administration. Successors and legatees have the right to examine the submitted report.

 (2) A report sets out the initial composition of the estate, payments made from the estate and income from income producing assets of the estate.

 (3) The court terminates the administration of an estate by an order and releases the administrator of estate from his or her duties if the bases for administration of the estate cease to exist.

 (4) An appeal against an order on the termination of administration or on refusal to terminate administration may be filed by a successor, legatee, executor of the will, a creditor of the bequeather, or joint owner or co-owner of the property belonging to the estate.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 58 REGISTRY MATTERS  

§ 591.  Registers maintained by court

  Tartu County Court maintains the following registered provided by law:
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
 1) commercial register;
 2) non-profit associations and foundations register;
 3) land register;
 4) ship register;
 5) [repealed - RT I, 21.12.2016, 1 - entry into force 01.03.2018]
 6) commercial pledge register.

§ 592.  Procedure for maintaining register

 (1) The procedure for maintaining a register is provided by law. The minister responsible for the area may establish, by a regulation, technical and operational requirements for the maintaining of registers and making of entries.

 (2) The provisions of the Public Information Act concerning databases apply to the registers maintained by the court and the maintenance of registers with the specifications provided by this Act.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 25.02.2007]

§ 593.  Petition for entry

 (1) The court makes entries in a register only based on a petition or court decision unless otherwise provided by law.

 (2) A petition for entry is filed with the court in the format provided by law by a person authorised by law to submit a petition.

 (3) A person who is authorised to submit a petition may withdraw the petition until an order on entry is made. In order to withdraw a petition, a petition in the same format as the original petition shall be submitted to the registrar, which shall also set out the reason for the withdrawal of the petition.

 (4) The notary who authenticated or certified a petition may represent the petitioner at the resolution of the registry matter in court. Among other things, the notary may submit a petition for withdrawal or amendment of the petition, or an appeal against an order on behalf of the petitioner. The petitioner may terminate the notary's right of representation.

§ 594.  Court decision replacing petition or consent

  If a petition or consent of a person is needed for making an entry, such petition or consent may be replaced by a court decision which has entered into force and is subject to immediate enforcement and which establishes the obligation of the person to contribute to the making of the entry, or establishes a legal relationship based on which the entry must be made.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 595.  Competence of judges and assistant judges

 (1) Judges and assistant judges are competent to make entries in a register and enter orders concerning the maintenance of a register therein, including orders which impose a fine.

 (2) An assistant judge shall refer the making of an order or entry to a judge:
 1) if the law of another state is to be applied;
 11) if a right in rem of a foreign country has to be adapted on the basis 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]
 2) if he or she wishes to derogate from the position of the judge, which is known to him or her;
 3) if legal complications become evident when considering the petition;
 4) if, in his or her opinion, the provision subject to application is contrary to the Constitution or European Union law;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 5) if compulsory dissolution of a legal person, liquidation or appointment of liquidators is being decided;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 6) in other cases provided by law.

 (3) A judge may refer the making of an order or entry back to an assistant judge. In such case the assistant judge is bound by the position of the judge.

 (4) The provisions concerning the removal of judges in this Code apply to the removal of assistant judges.

§ 596.  Order on entry

 (1) In a registry matter, a petition is resolved by an order on entry and the entry is made based on such order.

 (2) If a petition has a defect preventing the making of an entry or if a necessary document is missing, and the defect can clearly be cured, the court sets a term for curing the defect. If the defect is not corrected by the end of the term, the court denies the petition by an order on entry.

 (3) If the court grants a petition for entry in full, the court makes an entry in the register without formulating an order on entry separately. In such case, the content of the entry is deemed to be the order on entry.

 (4) If the court grants a petition in part, the court makes an entry concerning the part granted and an order on entry denying the petition concerning the other part.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 597.  Making of entry

 (1) An order on entry is carried out and the entry made immediately unless otherwise provided by law.

 (2) An order on entry denying the petition is served on the petitioner.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An order on entry, whereby a petition is granted, is communicated to the petitioner in the manner prescribed by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If an entry is made on the basis of an order on entry without a petition, the order is served on the persons concerning whom or whose assets the entry is made.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 598.  Suspension of proceedings in matter of petition for entry in connection with legal dispute

  If, in order to resolve a petition for entry, the court conducting proceedings in a commercial registry matter or a matter concerning the registry of non-profit associations and foundations would have to provide an opinion on the disputed legal relationship, the court may suspend proceedings in the matter of the petition until the time the dispute has been adjudicated by the procedure for actions. If an action has not yet been filed in such case, the court may set the persons concerned a term for filing an action. Proceedings in a commercial registry matter or non-profit associations and foundations registry matter may also be suspended in the case provided in § 356 of this Code.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 599.  Filing of appeal against order on entry

  An order on entry by which the petition was denied or by which a petition for entry was granted in part or an order by which a term is set for correction of omissions for a term longer than six months is subject to appeal by the petitioner. An order which is the basis for an entry made at the initiative of the court is subject to appeal by the person to whom the entry pertains.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 600.  Correction of incorrect entry

 (1) An entry is not subject to appeal but the court maintaining the register may be requested to correct an incorrect entry in accordance with the rules provided by law.

 (2) In the cases provided by law, the court maintaining a register amends data at its own initiative. The court maintaining a register corrects an entry if the order on which the entry is based has been annulled or amended.

§ 601.  Imposition of fines

 (1) If the court has certified information on the entry of incorrect data in a register, or on failure to submit data subject to entry in the register pursuant to law, the court makes an order whereby the persons obligated to submit the data are ordered to submit the correct data or file an objection against the order, and are cautioned that failure to comply may result in the imposition of a fine. The court may also impose a fine in other cases provided by law.

 (2) If a person fails to perform such obligation or fails to file an objection within the term set by the court, the court makes an order on imposition of a fine on the person, and repeats the order concerning submission of the data made earlier together with a caution that a new fine may be imposed. The court continues such action until the time the obligation is performed or an objection is filed against the order.

 (3) If an objection is filed against an order within the term set by the court and the circumstances set forth in the objection require further clarification, the court summons the persons concerned for clarification of the circumstances.

 (4) If the court considers a submitted objection to be justified, the court annuls the order made earlier or reduces the fine.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) If an objection is not justified, the court makes an order on imposing a fine on the person and a new order whereby the person is required to perform the obligation. The term prescribed by the new order shall not commence before the term for filing appeals against the order has expired.

 (6) In the case a justified objection is filed against a repeated order, the court may also annul the order on imposition of fine made earlier or reduce the amount of fine if there is good reason to do so.

 (7) When imposing a fine, the court, in the corresponding order, also directs that the procedural expenses be borne by the parties involved.

 (8) A person who is fined may file an appeal against the order on imposition of the fine. An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against such order is not subject to appeal 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 at its own initiative 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 specified in § 602 of this Code every person who conforms to the requirements specified by law and who, in the opinion of the court, is able to perform his or her 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 his or her appointment.

§ 604.  Rules for appointment of persons

 (1) Where possible, a petition for appointment of a person specified in § 602 of this Code shall set out the name of the candidate whose appointment is requested. Upon appointment of a person, the court is not bound by the petition.

 (2) If the court is unable to find, within a reasonable period of time, a person conforming to the requirements provided by law who consents to accepting the position, and the petitioner is unable present the court with a suitable candidate within the term set by the court, the petition is denied or proceedings are terminated. If it is not possible to appoint a liquidator to a legal person in private law which has undergone compulsory dissolution within a reasonable period of time and bankruptcy proceedings have not been initiated against the legal person in private law within a reasonable period of time, the court also directs that no liquidation proceedings are to be conducted with respect to the person and that the legal person be removed from the register.

 (3) Where possible, the court hears the interested persons before appointing a person. Before appointing an auditor for special audit, the court shall hear the position of the management board and supervisory board and the auditor of the company.

 (4) The duties of a member of the management board or supervisory board, an auditor or a liquidator may be specified upon their appointment.

 (5) The court may release, at the initiative of the court, a person appointed thereby and appoint a new person.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 605.  Remuneration of and compensation of costs to person appointed by court

 (1) A person specified in § 602 of this Code may demand that the legal person compensate the costs incurred by the person and pay remuneration for the activities of the person. If the person fails to come to an agreement with the legal person in such matter, the court determines the amount of remuneration payable and the costs subject to compensation by an order.

 (2) The court may demand that the petitioner or legal person in whose interests a person is appointed pay the amount needed for compensation of costs and payment of remuneration to the bank account of the court in advance. If the amount determined by the court is not paid by the due date specified by the court, the petition is denied or proceedings are terminated. If an advance payment is not made in order to cover for the costs of liquidation of a legal person in private law undergoing compulsory dissolution within a reasonable period of time and a bankruptcy proceeding pertaining to the legal person in private law is not initiated within a reasonable period of time, the court may also direct that no liquidation proceedings are to be conducted with respect to the person or such proceedings are terminated and that the legal person be removed from the register.

§ 606.  Validity and filing of appeals against orders

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

 (1) The orders specified in this Chapter are valid and subject to enforcement as of their sending to the legal person.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (2) An order whereby a petition for appointment of a person is granted or denied or whereby proceedings are terminated is subject to appeal by the petitioner and the legal person.

 (3) An order on the amount of remuneration and costs which payment is ordered to a person on the account of a legal person is subject to appeal by the appointed person and the legal person. An order prescribing advance payment to the bank account of the court is subject to appeal by the person obligated to pay if the amount requested is higher than 300 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (4) An order of a circuit court concerning an appeal against an order specified in subsection (3) of this section is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 60 DETERMINATION OF AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO PARTNERS AND SHAREHOLDERS OF COMPANIES  

§ 607.  Determination of amount of compensation payable to partners and shareholders of companies

 (1) The provisions of this Chapter apply to the determination of the amount of compensation payable to partners and shareholders of companies specified in subsections 3638 (3), 398 (3), 404 (1), 441 (3), 448 (1), 481 (3) and 488 (1) of the Commercial Code.

 (2) The provisions of this Chapter apply to the shareholders or creditors of a credit institution or investment firm upon determination of the compensation provided for in the Financial Crisis Prevention and Resolution Act or the Credit Institutions Act.
[RT I, 19.03.2015, 3 - entry into force 29.03.2015]

§ 608.  Petition for determining amount of compensation

 (1) The court determines the amount of compensation payable to partners and shareholders of companies in accordance with the rules provided in this Chapter only based on a petition of a partner or shareholder entitled to determine the amount of compensation.

 (2) Unless otherwise provided by law, a petition may be submitted within three months after the date on which the takeover resolution was forwarded to the registrar of the commercial register pursuant to § 36310 of the Commercial Code or after the date of the entry of the merger of companies on the registry card of the company being acquired, or after the date of the entry of the division of companies on the registry card of the company being divided, or after the date of the entry of the transformation in the commercial register.
[RT I, 21.06.2014, 8 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

 (3) A petition for determination of the amount of compensation shall set out, among other:
 1) the person obligated to pay compensation, the number of shares or stocks held by the person and the nominal value of the shares or stocks with a nominal value;
[RT I 2010, 20, 103 - entry into force 01.07.2010]
 2) the circumstances which constitute the basis for payment of compensation;
 3) the requested amount of compensation and the reasoning for requesting such amount, including any objections to the calculations made by the person who is obligated to pay compensation, provided that the report substantiating the amount of compensation includes such calculation.

 (4) The court may set the petitioner an additional term for providing the reasons specified in clause (3) 3) of this section if the petitioner substantiates that the report was not available to the petitioner at the time of submitting the petition for a good reason, and that the petitioner requires the submission of the report during such term from the person obligated to pay compensation.

§ 609.  Joint proceedings concerning petitions and appointment of representative to partners and shareholders

 (1) After the expiry of the term for payment of compensation provided by law, different petitions for receipt of compensation under the same circumstances are joined in single proceedings.

 (2) The court also appoints a common representative or several representatives for the protection, in the proceedings, of the interests of the partners or shareholders who did not but were entitled to submit a petition for the determination of the amount of compensation, unless the rights of the partners or shareholders clearly are sufficiently protected in another manner.

 (3) The court publishes a notice concerning proceedings and the appointment of a representative for the partners and shareholders in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. Such notice is also published in at least one national newspaper if proceedings concern a public limited company with more than 100 shareholders.

 (4) The representative appointed by the court may continue proceedings even after the withdrawal or renunciation of the petition for initiation of the proceedings. In such case, the partners or shareholders represented by the representative are deemed to be the petitioners.

 (5) A partner or shareholder to whom a representative was appointed according to the rule provided in subsection (2) of this section may participate in proceedings in person or through a representative appointed by themselves instead of the representative appointed by the court.

§ 610.  Preparation for resolution of petition for determination of compensation

 (1) The court serves a petition for determination of the amount of compensation immediately on the person obligated to pay compensation and to the representatives of the other partners or shareholders.

 (2) The court obligates the person obligated to pay compensation to give a written response to the petition. The response shall, among other things, set out the person's position on the amount of the compensation to be paid and the size of possible additional payments.

 (3) The person obligated to pay compensation shall annex the report which constituted the basis for the calculation and, if possible, an auditor's report to the response. Based on a request of the petitioner or another partner or shareholder or a representative thereof, the court requires that the person obligated to pay compensation forward transcripts of such documents to them free of charge.

 (4) The court forwards the response of the person obligated to pay compensation to the petitioner and other partners and shareholders or representatives thereof and sets a term for submission of a written position concerning the response.

 (5) When preparing the matter for resolution, the court may order an expert assessment, or require that the person obligated to pay compensation submit the documents constituting the basis for the calculation of the compensation or other documents relevant to the resolution of the matter to the court or the expert, and require that the person obligated to pay compensation or the petitioner make an advance payment of an amount sufficient to cover the procedural expenses. At the request of the person obligated to pay compensation, the court may, after weighing the interests of both parties, prohibit the petitioner from examining the documents which constitute the basis for determining the compensation if a good reason exists to do so including, above all, a need to protect a business secret.

§ 611.  Resolution of matter in court session

 (1) The court resolves a matter in a court session. With good reason, the court may resolve a matter without holding a session.

 (2) Regardless of whether or not an expert has earlier provided a written opinion on a matter, the court may summon the expert to a session at the initiative of the court, and hear his or her opinion.

§ 612.  Entry into force of order on amount of compensation and appeal against that order

 (1) An order on a petition for determination of the amount of compensation enters into force and is subject to enforcement after the order is no longer subject to appeal pursuant to law, or after the entry into force of a court decision denying the appeal against the order or dismissing that appeal. Based on an order on the amount of compensation payable, the partners and shareholders have the right to file claims for payment of compensation.

 (2) The order specified in subsection (1) of this section applies to all partners and shareholders.

 (3) The court also publishes the conclusion of the order in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. If proceedings concern a public limited company with more than 100 shareholders, the conclusion of the order is also published in at least one national newspaper.

 (4) The order specified in subsection (1) of this section is subject to appeal by the petitioner, the person obligated to pay or receive compensation or the representative appointed by the court for the partners or shareholders.
[RT I 2005, 39, 308 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

Chapter 61 MATTERS OF APARTMENT OWNERSHIP AND COMMON OWNERSHIP  

§ 613.  Non-contentious procedure in matters of apartment ownership and common ownership

 (1) The court resolves the following under non-contentious procedure:
 1) on the basis of a petition of an apartment owner or apartment association, matters which arise from an apartment ownership or administration of the object of an apartment ownership and concern the mutual rights and obligations of the apartment owners or the mutual rights and obligations of the apartment owners and the apartment association, except for claims filed pursuant to § 33 of the Apartment Ownership and Apartment Association Act requiring transfer of apartment ownership;
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2018]
 2) [repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2018]
 3) [repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2018]
 4) on the basis of a petition by an interested person, matters concerning validity of a decision of a body of apartment association.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2018]

 (2) The court also resolves under non-contentious procedure any dispute between co-owners of an immovable whose essential part is a residential building, in the issues specified in subsection (1) of this section concerning the use or administration of the dwellings which are the object of common ownership, or the premises or land in joint use, or the decisions of the co-owners.

 (3) In issues not regulated by law or an agreement or decision of apartment owners, the court exercises its discretionary powers.

 (4) A matter specified in subsection (1) of this section may be considered in actions if it is filed as a counterclaim or together with a claim that must be dealt with by way of actions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (5) A claim for payment arising from a matter specified in subsection (1) of this section may be filed by way of expedited procedure for orders for payment.

§ 614.  Participants in proceedings

 (1) In the case of immovable property ownership divided into apartment ownerships, the participants in proceedings include apartment owners and the apartment association.

 (2) In the case specified in clause 613 (1) 4) of this Code, the participants in proceedings include the petitioner and the apartment association.

 (3) In the case specified in subsection 613 (2) of this Code, the participants in proceedings include the co-owners.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2018]

§ 615.  Conduct of proceedings in the matter

 (1) As a general rule, the court discusses the matter with the participants in proceedings orally and endeavours to steer them towards reaching an agreement.

 (2) If an agreement is reached, it is formalised in writing or recorded in the minutes are prepared thereof, after which such agreement is deemed to be a judicial compromise, which the court approves by order.

 (3) The court shall set out in the order the measures necessary for compliance with the order.

§ 616.  Provisional legal protection

  When conducting the proceedings under non-contentious procedure, the court may, by order, based on a petition or of its own motion, apply the provisional legal protection necessary for securing the petition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 617.  Filing of appeal against order

 (1) A court order on granting or denying a petition enters into force and is subject to enforcement after the order is no longer subject to appeal pursuant to law or after the entry into force of a court decision on denial or dismissal or rejection of the appeal against that order.

 (2) The court order granting or denying the petition is subject to appeal.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 618.  Amendment of order

  Upon a material change in the circumstances, the court may amend an order or compromise based on a petition of an involved party in order to prevent serious consequences.

Chapter 611 MATTERS OF ACCESS TO PUBLIC ROAD, TOLERATING ARTIFICIAL RECIPIENTS OF LAND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEMS AND UTILITY WORKS  
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

§ 6181.  Proceedings in matters of access to public road, tolerating artificial recipients of land improvement systems and utility works

  [RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (1) Petitions for access to a public road (subsection 156 (1) of the Law of Property Act) and concerning the toleration of an artificial recipient of a land improvement system (subsection 20 (1) of the Land Improvement Act) and utility works (subsection 158 (1) of the Law of Property Act and § 152 of the Law of Property Act Implementation Act) are dealt with in accordance with the rules provided in this Chapter.
[RT I, 31.05.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (2) A petition specified in subsection (1) of this section may be dealt with in actions if it is filed as a counterclaim or together with a claim that must be dealt with by way of actions.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 6182.  Participants in proceedings

 (1) The participants in proceedings are the petitioner and the owners of immovables whom resolution of the matter concerns as well as the rural municipality or city government of the location of the immovables concerned. The court need not involve a rural municipality or city government in the proceedings if it does not concern the interests thereof or it does not contribute to resolution of the matter.

 (2) At the request of the court, a rural municipality or city government collects and presents data necessary to the court for resolution of the matter regardless of whether it is involved in the corresponding proceedings as a participant in proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 6183.  Provisional legal protection

  When conducting the proceedings, the court may, by order, based on a petition or of its own motion, apply the provisional legal protection necessary for securing the petition.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 6184.  Conducting proceedings in the matter

 (1) As a general rule, the court discusses the matter with the participants in proceedings orally and endeavours to steer them towards reaching an agreement.

 (2) If an agreement is reached, it is formalised in writing or recorded in the minutes are prepared thereof, after which such agreement is deemed to be a judicial compromise, which the court approves by order.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 6185.  Amendment of order

  Upon a material change in the circumstances, the court may amend an order or compromise based on a petition of an involved party in order to prevent serious consequences.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 6186.  Entry into force of and filing of appeal against order

 (1) A court order granting or denying the petition enters into force and is subject to enforcement after the order is no longer subject to appeal pursuant to law or after the entry into force of the court decision denying or dismissing or rejecting the appeal against that order.

 (2) The court order granting or denying the petition is subject to appeal.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 62 RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF COURT DECISIONS IN CIVIL MATTERS AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT INSTRUMENTS OF FOREIGN STATES  

§ 619.  Recognition of court decisions and other enforcement instruments of Member States of European Union

 (1) The provisions of this Code apply to the recognition and enforcement in Estonia of court decisions in civil matters and other enforcement instruments of Member States of the European Union to the extent not otherwise provided in international agreement or the following European Union regulations:
 1) Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
 2) Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of the Council;
 3) Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council cre