Reminder for persons initiating legal proceedings

Which data do the documents submitted to a court have to include?
The documents submitted to a court must include the following data in different proceedings:

  • the names, addresses (incl. email address) and personal ID codes or dates of birth of the parties, the content and facts of the claim, and the signature of the submitter of the petition must be included in the case of civil court procedure;
  • the applicant’s name, address (incl. the email address) and personal ID code or date of birth, details of the respondent, the content of the action and the applicant’s signature must be included in the case of administrative court procedure;
  • the appellant’s name, address (incl. the email address) and personal ID code or date of birth, details of the body to conduct the out-of-court proceedings, the request of the appellant, the evidence that confirms the motives of the action or reference to the evidence, and the signature of the appellant in the case of misdemeanour procedure.

In which language can documents be submitted?
All documents must be submitted to the court either in Estonian or as translations into Estonian.

Do I need a lawyer when I initiate legal proceedings?
A professional legal adviser is not mandatory in courts of the first and second instances, but a representative can help people without a legal education in the case of more complicated procedures. If you use a legal adviser when you initiate legal proceedings, the representative has the right to perform all procedural acts on your behalf. You may be represented by a lawyer, a person with a law degree or another person specified in procedural law. You must have a representative with a law degree when you turn to the Supreme Court.

How quickly will the court resolve the matter?
The court must resolve matters in reasonable time. The speed of resolution of specific matters depends on their content, the parties to the proceedings, the requests made during the proceedings, any situations that may emerge, the number of court instances passed and other factors. The court may resolve a case in a session or in a written procedure. The law also establishes some specific deadlines. For example, the shortest deadline that may be given to the defendant for responding to an action in civil proceedings is 14 days (the deadline may be shorter in simplified proceedings) and there must be at least 10 days before the delivery of summons and the date of the session.

Make sure you pay the state fee correctly.
When you pay the state fee, always double check the reference number concerning the court and the act. The details of payment of the state fee should also be submitted to the court. Contact the court immediately if you discover that you’ve paid the state fee incorrectly. Read more about state fees HERE.

Stick to deadlines.
Submit all of the documents required during the proceedings to the court by the agreed time or by the deadline given by the court.

Inform the court immediately if you cannot attend a sessioon.
If a party to the proceedings cannot attend a court session, they must inform the court thereof in a timely manner and explain why they cannot attend. A doctor’s certificate must be submitted in the case of illness.

The court does not give legal advice.
You can request information about your case from the court officials, but they will not give you legal advice.