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Recognition of a European Union Court Decision in Estonia

Recognition of a European Union Court Decision in Estonia

Because Estonia is part of the European Union, EU regulations and judgments can apply directly without a special need for implementing legislation. There are several legislative pieces for the recognition of a European Court Decision in Estonia, namely the Brussels I Regulation (Recast), along with several others.
Our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in Estonia can assist individuals who are interested in enforcing a decision issued by a European Union Court for their case in Estonia.

Important materials for the recognition of an EU court decision in Estonia

The list below includes the general materials that are required when making an application for the recognition and enforcement of a decision as per the EU legislation:

  1. Application: this is the formal application for the recognition of an EU court decision;
  2. Copy: a complete and true copy of the said decision; the accepted language is, in nearly all cases, English.
  3. Proof of enforceability: in most cases, EU court decisions are enforced without special implementation; if needed, a document can be provided showing that special forms of review are not needed.
  4. Identification details: these are for both the claimant and the respondent and include complete name, address, nationality, date of birth, etc.
  5. Particulars: information that may be relevant or particular to the relief sought by the claimant.

Please keep in mind that this information is intended for consultative purposes only and the list of documents, as well as how an EU court decision will be implemented will depend on the particular case. The competent authority should issue these materials and others to the Ministry of Justice of Estonia. When the claimant is the one sending the materials, he should send them directly to the competent Estonian court. The documents are then forwarded to the competent court that will hear the case in Estonia. 
As a general rule, a judgment issued in a Member State, that is enforceable in that state, can be enforced once it has been declared enforceable in that state following the application of the interested party.
Special forms may be required in order to start the enforcement proceedings with a bailiff. One of our debt collection lawyers in Estonia can give you complete information on the process.

Enforcement in Estonia 

The laws applicable in the Member State where it will take place govern the actual enforcement procedure. When a judgment is a European Enforcement Order, it will be enforced in the Member State the same way as a judgment that would have been handed down in that state.
A situation in which Estonia, as a Member State, can refuse the implementation of a European Enforcement Order is when this order is incompatible with an earlier judgment issued in Estonia or in another third country. The earlier judgment must refer to the same cause of action and must have been between the same parties. Court decisions issued by another EU state may be denied their recognition when they are contrary to the Estonian public law order or the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. 
The effects of enforcement in Estonia can include the following:

  • Seizure of movable property: the claimant can satisfy his claim using the money received after the sale of property belonging to the debtor.
  • Claim for payment: the debtor’s account can be subject to a payment claim and the said account can be seized.
  • Seizure of immovable property: the compulsory administration of immovable property can be ordered by the claimant.
  • Claim for shares and securities: the creditor can make a claim for payment on securities or for the payment on a share in a private limited company, belonging to the debtor.

In general, claims that recognized by a court order that has entered into force for which an enforcement instrument exists is ten years. The debtor can file a complaint with the bailiff in some situations. 
A claim for the payment of joint property of spouses can be made in those situations in which one of the spouses is not a debtor but only under certain conditions and when the enforcement instrument requires that both spouses perform the obligation. 
The time required to grant enforcement depends on the particular case and it can last for several months in some situations. We recommend getting in touch with one of our agents who specialize in debt collection in Estonia for complete information about the implementation of an EU Court decision in the Estonian courts.
Contact us for assistance in debt recovery, whether by means of an Estonian enforcement instrument or through an EU Court decision.