It takes the Court of Appeal to rule that court bailiffs may not send instructions to foreign defendants directly and in Latvian

December | 2012

Has anyone ever come across with a court bailiff from Latvia sending direct enforcement orders in Latvian to defendants domiciled abroad and disregarding the principles of international legal assistance? We have.

We are convinced that decisions of Latvian courts can only be enforced abroad by local court bailiffs and only after they have been recognised by local courts. We have never seen an English bailiff send direct enforcement orders to persons in Latvia. Instead, decisions made by English courts have been brought to Latvia for recognition and then enforced here by a local bailiff. Why would Latvian court bailiffs be allowed to disregard these principles.

While the Court of Appeal has not pronounced itself on our position explained above, the court none the less indicated that court bailiffs should communicate with foreign defendants by way of international legal assistance and the recipients may refuse documents in Latvian if they do not understand this language. A good start.