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Recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgement in Estonia

1. What information do I need for the establishment of maintenance in Estonia?

a. according to the Convention on the recovery abroad of maintenance, New York 20.06.56:

The Convention can be applied in Estonia to court decisions made in member states starting from 07.02.1997.

The materials should include:

  • an application for recognition of a foreign court decision;
  • a complete and true copy of the decision;
  • a photograph of the claimant and, where available, a photograph of the respondent;
  • a document which confirms that an action, summons or other document initiating the proceeding has been served in time on at least one occasion pursuant to the law of the State of origin on the defendant or based on the decision, on another debtor who did not participate in the proceeding;
  • a document which certifies that the decision has entered into force pursuant to the law of the State of origin and has been communicated to the defendant or based on the decision, another debtor;
  • a document concerning the execution of the decision if execution has already been attempted;
  • a document concerning the execution of the decision if the decision has been executed;
  • where necessary, a power of attorney authorizing the Receiving Agency to act, or to appoint some other person to act, on behalf of the claimant;
  • a translation, certified as true, of the above-mentioned documents into Estonian or English.

The application should include:

  • the full name, address, date of birth, nationality, and occupation of the claimant, and the name and address of any legal representative of the claimant;
  • the full name of the respondent, and, so far as known to the claimant, his addresses during the preceding five years, date of birth, nationality, and occupation;
  • particulars of the grounds upon which the claim is based and of the relief sought, and any other relevant information such as the financial and family circumstances of the claimant and the respondent.

The materials should be sent by the competent authority of the member state to the Estonian central authority – The Ministry of Justice of Estonia. The documents will be forwarded to the competent court.

 

b. according to the Convention concerning recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations, the Hague 02.10.73:

The Convention can be applied in Estonia to court decisions made in member states starting from 01.04.1998.

The materials should include:

  • an application for recognition of a foreign court decision;
  • a complete and true copy of the decision;
  • any document necessary to prove that the decision is no longer subject to the ordinary forms of review in the State of origin and, where necessary, that it is enforceable;
  • if the decision was rendered by default, the original or a certified true copy of any document required to prove that the notice of the institution of proceedings, including notice of the substance of claim, has been properly served on the defaulting party according to the law of the State of origin;
  • a document which certifies that the decision has entered into force pursuant to the law of the State of origin and has been communicated to the defendant or based on the decision, another debtor;
  • a document concerning the execution of the decision if execution has already been attempted;
  • a document concerning the execution of the decision if the decision has been executed;
  • where appropriate, any document necessary to prove that he obtained legal aid or exemption from costs or expenses in the State of origin;
  • a translation, certified as true, of the above-mentioned documents into Estonian or English.

The application should include:

  • the full name, address, date of birth, nationality, and occupation of the claimant, and the name and address of any legal representative of the claimant;
  • the full name of the respondent, and, so far as known to the claimant, his addresses during the preceding five years, date of birth, nationality, and occupation;
  • particulars of the grounds upon which the claim is based and of the relief sought, and any other relevant information such as the financial and family circumstances of the claimant and the respondent.

The materials should be sent by the competent authority of the member state to the Estonian central authority – The Ministry of Justice of Estonia. The documents will be forwarded to the competent court.

 

c. according to Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters, Brussels 22.12.00:

The Regulation can be applied in Estonia to court decisions made in the European Union starting from 01.05.2004.

The materials should include:

  • an application for recognition of a foreign court decision in Estonian or English;
  • a complete and true copy of the decision;
  • certificate (using the standard form in Annex V of this Regulation) in Estonian or English;
  • If the court or competent authority so requires, a translation, certified as true, of the decision into Estonian or English.

The application should include:

  • the full name, address, date of birth, nationality, and occupation of the claimant, and the name and address of any legal representative of the claimant;
  • the full name of the respondent, and, so far as known to the claimant, his addresses during the preceding five years, date of birth, nationality, and occupation;
  • particulars of the grounds upon which the claim is based and of the relief sought, and any other relevant information such as the financial and family circumstances of the claimant and the respondent.

The materials should be sent by the claimant straight to the Estonian competent court. The competent court can be found according to the municipality of the debtor on the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/judicialatlascivil/html/rc_comapplication_en.jsp#statePage0.

 

2. What information do I need in order to help collecting maintenance?

The enforcement of a recognized maintenance claim is dealt with by Bailiffs in Estonia. The claimant should choose a Bailiff according to the known address of the debtor. A list of Bailiffs in Estonia. Bailiff’s are listed according to capitals of counties (i.e. Tallinn – Harju county, Kuressaare – Saare county, Paide – Järva county etc, list of counties and their capitals can be found on the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_of_Estonia).

To start proceedings with a Bailiff an application of execution must be filled out. The application must include data needed for an international bank transfer (SWIFT codes etc).

The application of execution, the foreign court decision and the recognition order should be sent to the Bailiff by post.

a. according to Council Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims, Strasbourg 21.04.04:

The Regulation can be applied to judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments made in the European Union starting from 21.10.2005.

The purpose of this Regulation is to create a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims to permit, by laying down minimum standards, the free circulation of judgments etc. throughout all Member States without any intermediate proceedings needing to be brought in the Member State of enforcement prior to recognition and enforcement. This means that in maintenance cases, where the debtor has not contested, therefore has recognized the claim, there is no need to send the claim to the court to be recognized. The claim can be sent straight to the Bailiff.

To start proceedings according to the Regulation the claimant should send the Bailiff the following documents:

  • an application for the execution of an European Enforcement Order in Estonian or English (see above);
  • a complete and true copy of the decision;
  • the European Enforcement Order certificate (using the standard form in Annex I of this Regulation) in Estonian or English.
 

3. Are there any special forms, that I am supposed to send together with the applications?

A special form is needed for starting proceedings with a Bailiff, no special forms are needed for the recognition of a maintenance claim.

 

4. Is there a contact that I can use if we have further questions in the future?

If You have further questions, please contact Ms. Haldi Mäesalu, central.authority@just.ee, +372 6 208 183. Preferably the contact should be made in Estonian, English or Russian.

Last updated: 27 February 2015