Status of Digitalisation of ESCP Enforcemnt Procedures
There are no special rules applicable to the ESCP procedure, general rules are to be applied. Electronic enforcement instruments in the ADOC format recognised by the Information System of Judicial Officers of Lithuania for the recovery of pecuniary amounts shall be submitted through the Information System of Judicial Officers. In other cases when enforcement instruments do not comply with the format recognised by the Information System of Judicial Officers and are in writing or in another digital format not recognised by the system, such instruments for the recovery of pecuniary amounts shall be submitted to the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania. Such enforcement instruments shall be digitised at the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania, signed with an electronic signature by an employee of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania, uploaded to the Information System of Judicial Officers and further enforced as electronic enforcement instruments. Enforcement instruments for the recovery of pecuniary amounts are distributed to judicial officers by the Information System of Judicial Officers.
ESCP Procedural Aspects
1. Competent Enforcement Authority
The Lithuanian courts and the officials appointed by the Republic of Lithuania – judicial officers – have jurisdiction to carry out enforcement actions in the Republic of Lithuania. The territorial jurisdiction within the State is determined according to the activity territories of specific courts. Activity territories of bailiffs (judicial officers in charge of enforcement) is defined in the following link https://www.antstoliurumai.lt/en/bailiff-search, and activity territories of courts is defined in the following link: https://www.teismai.lt/lt/visuomenei-ir-ziniasklaidai/teismai-ir-teisejai/teismu-veiklos-teritoriju-sarasas/1866; https://www.teismai.lt/lt/visuomenei-ir-ziniasklaidai/teismai-ir-teisejai/teismu-kontaktai/1700.
2. Rules on Service
Procedural documents shall be sent by post or via the e-system of courts. The court shall serve procedural documents to lawyers, assistant lawyers, judicial officers, assistant judicial officers, notaries, state and municipal enterprises, institutions and organisations, financial institutions, insurance and audit companies, forensic experts, insolvency administrators by means of electronic communications (via the e-system). If a person does not have access to the electronic system of courts and is not obliged to receive documents through the system, the court shall send the documents by post. When service is effected on a person abroad, the service shall be carried out either through the e-service system or in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. During the stage of enforcement, the documents are to be served by post. The enforcement case can also be managed via bailiffs’ e-system.
3. Language of the Certificate and Documents to be Appended
Documents shall be submitted in the official language – Lithuanian. Documents in languages other than Lithuanian shall be translated and certified by a qualified translator.
4. Enforcement Fees
There are no special rules applicable to the ESCP procedure, general rules are to be applied.
Enforcement costs include the following:
• administrative fees of enforcement proceedings (hereinafter – administrative fees);
• costs incurred by third parties for the services rendered by such parties in particular enforcement proceedings (hereinafter – third party costs);
• remuneration to the judicial officer for the enforcement of enforceable documents set out by laws, statement of factual circumstances under a court order, transfer and service of documents under a court order (hereinafter – remuneration for the judicial officer).
The amounts of enforcement costs set out in the Instruction on the Enforcement of Judgments shall be inclusive of all mandatory taxes.
All the enforcement costs shall be indicated by the judicial officer in the calculation of enforcement costs. Where a judicial officer carries out the recovery of pecuniary amounts under several enforcement instruments, a single calculation of enforcement costs shall be prepared for all enforcement proceedings of a pecuniary nature in relation to the same debtor, except in the cases when the calculation of enforcement costs is sent to the debtor together with the warning to comply with the judgment.
All enforcement costs, apart from the exceptions set out in the Instruction, shall be recovered from the debtor in the amounts set out in the Instruction, irrespective of whether the creditor has been exempt from enforcement costs or whether they have been reduced or deferred.
The creditor or his/her authorised representative shall be obliged to make an upfront payment of the administrative fees for a judicial officer when submitting an enforcement instrument for enforcement, except for the exceptions set out in the Instruction.
5. Refusal, Stay, or Limitation of Enforcement Procedures
The applications referred to in Article 23 of Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 to stay or limit the enforcement of judgments given under the European small claims procedure shall be heard by the district court of the place of enforcement.
ESCP Regulation are rarely used in Lithuanian courts because there are alternative national instruments that are easy to use and efficient, e.g. court order proceedings which are semi-automated and user-friendly. Due to this reason, there are not many enforcement cases enforcing ESCP judgments. However, ESCP judgement is to be enforced using the same procedure as any other domestic enforceable document.
Lithuania has made steps introducing IT measures into enforcement proceedings: the enforceable documents are to be submitted electronically; if needed, assistance is to be provided by the Chamber of Auditors regarding digitalising judgments and submitting. The enforcement case can be managed by the external users in the electronic system of bailiffs. However, there is still room for development in digitalising the enforcement proceedings, e.g. some of the bailiffs are voluntarily using e-bailiffs tools, allowing automatization of some actions resulting in reducing of costs.
Enforcement of ESCP judgments are not usually discussed neither in the practical, nor academic levels. The information regarding enforcement could be provided more widely. Websites that provide consultations regarding ESCP proceedings (e.g. e-justice portal) could also provide information regarding enforcement. Needless to say, such information provided online for foreign subjects is to be renewed constantly, the links provided for further reading are to be constantly checked in order to reflect the newest developments, the links should direct to websites in foreign languages, e.g. English.