A case initiated with respect to a claim regarding a negative declaration
On 3 February 2020, the 3rd Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated the case “On Compliance of Section 1 (1) of the Civil Procedure Law with the First Sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.
The Contested Norm
Section 1 (1) of the Civil Procedure Law:
“Every natural or legal person (hereinafter – the person) has the right to protection of their infringed or disputed civil rights or interests protected by law in court.”
The Norm of Higher Legal Force
The first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia (hereafter – the Satversme): “Everyone has the right to defend his or her rights and lawful interests in a fair court.”
The case was initiated on the basis of Irina Kovalenko’s application. The applicant submitted a claim to a court requesting declaring as ungrounded payments demanded from her, the collection of which the creditor had not initiated yet, and to impose an obligation upon the creditor to annul these.
The court decided to terminate legal proceedings in the civil case upon establishing that the applicant had, on its merits, brought a claim regarding a negative declaration. The court noted that, pursuant to the contested norm, all claims should aim to eliminate a particular infringement upon rights or interests or a non-contentious appeal and also found that the legal regulation did not envisage the possibility of bringing a claim regarding a negative declaration.
The applicant holds that the contested norm is incompatible with the first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme, insofar it does not allow a claim regarding a negative declaration since the impending payments, allegedly, infringe upon her rights and lawful interests and also cause uncertainty regarding the possible consequences of the collection.
The Legal Proceedings
The Constitutional Court has requested the Saeima to submit a written reply on the facts of the case and the legal reasoning by 3 April 2020.
The term for preparing the case is 3 July 2020. The Court will decide on the type of procedure and the date for hearing the case after it has been prepared.
Linked case: 2020-08-01