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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 01.07.2014.–02.12.2015.
Amendments not included: 29.10.2015., 15.06.2017., 22.11.2017., 01.11.2018.

Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

21 December 2006 [shall come into force from 1 January 2007];
12 December 2008 [shall come into force from 1 January 2009];
21 May 2009 [shall come into force from 1 July 2009];
12 June 2009 [shall come into force from 1 July 2009];
3 December 2009 [shall come into force from 1 January 2010];
10 December 2009 [shall come into force from 1 January 2010];
1 July 2011 [shall come into force from 1 January 2012];
4 August 2011 [shall come into force from 1 October 2011];
29 November 2012 [shall come into force from 1 January 2013];
23 May 2013 [shall come into force from 1 January 2013];
12 September 2013 [shall come into force from 1 January 2014];
13 February 2014 [shall come into force from 31 March 2014];
8 May 2014 [shall come into force from 1 July 2014].

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.

The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following Law:

Law On Orphan's and Custody Courts

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is to prescribe the principles and procedures for establishing an Orphan's and Custody Court, the competence and principles of the operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court, as well as the procedures for taking and appeal of decisions of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

Section 2. Establishment and Operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court is a guardianship and trusteeship institution established by a municipality or city local government.

(2) In municipalities where there are no territorial units, an Orphan's and Custody Court, in cases provided for in the Civil Law, shall provide assistance in the settlement of inheritance issues, provide the protection of inheritance, as well as make certifications and perform other tasks laid down in Section 61 of this Law, if there is no notary in such municipalities. In municipalities where there are territorial units, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall perform the abovementioned tasks in such territorial units of the municipality in which there is no notary.

(3) The territory of the operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be the administrative territory of the relevant municipality or city.

(4) In determining the number of Orphan's and Custody Courts, as well as the composition of each relevant Orphan's and Custody Court, the local government council shall ensure that the Orphan's and Custody Court is as easily accessible as possible to all inhabitants of an administrative territory of the relevant local government. The operation of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be ensured in all rural territories (or pagasti) and towns of the municipality.

(5) Several Orphan's and Custody Courts may be established in one municipality or city or several local governments may establish a joint Orphan's and Custody Court. In such cases the territory of the operation of each Orphan's and Custody Court shall be determined.

(6) A local government shall publish information on establishment of an Orphan's and Custody Court and the territory of the operation thereof, as well as regarding changes in the territory of the operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court, in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis [the official Gazette of the Government of Latvia].

(7) The name of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be created adding the words "Orphan's and Custody Court" to the name of the administrative territory of the operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court.

(8) If there are several Orphan's and Custody Courts in the administrative territory of a local government, the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall include also the name of the populated area where the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court is located.

[21 May 2009; 29 November 2012; 23 May 2013]

Section 3. Financing and Employment Legal Relationships of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) The relevant local government council shall assign financial resources for the operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) The norms of the laws and regulations governing employment legal relationships shall not be applicable to the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, as well as to the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court who receive a monthly salary of the local government council, except such norms, which determine a prohibition of different attitude, a prohibition to cause negative consequences, the work and rest hours, work remuneration, civil legal liability of an employee and the periods of time thereof insofar as it has not been laid down otherwise in the law. The remuneration for the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be determined in accordance with the Law On Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Local Government Authorities.

(3) The Cabinet shall determine the regulations for the operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

[21 May 2009; 3 December 2009]

Section 4. Principles of the Operation of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall repose on laws and regulations and the principles of the public law in the operation thereof.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall ensure by priority the protection of the rights and legal interests of a child or a person under trusteeship.

[29 November 2012]

Section 5. Supervision of the Operation and Methodological Assistance of an Orphan's and Custody Court

[10 December 2009]

(1) The State Inspectorate for Protection of Children's Rights shall supervise the operation of Orphan's and Custody Courts in the protection of rights and interests of a child and a person under trusteeship and provide them with methodological assistance.

(2) The Ministry of Justice shall provide Orphan's and Custody Courts with methodological assistance in the fulfilment of the tasks determined in Chapters VII and VIII of this Law.

(3) [10 December 2009]

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall provide a report on the operation thereof to the council of the relevant local government at least once a year.

(5) A local government council has the right to request a report from an Orphan's and Custody Court regarding the operation thereof at any time.

[21 May 2009; 12 June 2009; 10 December 2009; 29 November 2012]

Section 6. Seals of an Orphan's and Custody Court and the Usage Thereof

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall have the following seals:

1) with the picture of the lesser State coat of arms and the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court conforming to the territory of the operation of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

2) with the picture of the supplemented lesser State coat of arms and the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court conforming to the territory of the operation of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(11) The Orphan's and Custody Court may have several seals referred to in Paragraph one of this Section.

(2) The seal with the picture of the supplemented lesser State coat of arms and the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court conforming to the territory of the operation of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be used in making certifications.

(3) If an Orphan's and Custody Court does not make a certification, it shall use the seal with the lesser State coat of arms and the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court conforming to the territory of the operation of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

[21 May 2009]

Chapter II
Composition of an Orphan's and Custody Court

Section 7. Composition of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) The composition of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall include the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court and at least three Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) The number of the Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court to be elected shall be determined by the relevant local government council in conformity with the number of the inhabitants declared in the administrative territory of the local government, in order to ensure complete protection of the rights and interests of children and other persons incapable to act.

(3) The composition of an Orphan's and Custody Court may include the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

[21 May 2009]

Section 8. Employees of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) A secretary or an employee appointed by the local government council shall manage the record-keeping of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) Pursuant to the amount of work the Orphan's and Custody Court is entitled to hire other employees for ensuring the work of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

Chapter III
Election, Removal, Suspension and Dismissal of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and Members of an Orphan's and Custody Court from the Office

Section 9. Election Term and Competition of Applicants

(1) The relevant local government council shall elect the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and not less than 3 Members of an Orphan's and Custody Court for 5 years.

(2) The relevant local government may announce an open competition of applicants for the position of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

[21 May 2009]

Section 10. Requirements for the Applicants

(1) The following persons may be elected as the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court:

1) who are citizens or non-citizens of the Republic of Latvia;

2) who have reached the age of 25 years;

3) who have the second level higher academic education in the field of pedagogics, psychology, medical treatment or legal science or vocational education conforming to the field of science (a teacher, a psychologist, a lawyer, a social worker, and a doctor);

4) who are fluent in the official language.

(2) The following person may be elected as a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court:

1) who is a citizen or a non-citizen of the Republic of Latvia;

2) who has reached the age of 25 years;

3) who has the first level (college) or the second level higher academic education in the field of pedagogics, psychology, medical treatment or legal science, or the second level vocational higher education conforming to the field of science (a teacher, a psychologist, a lawyer, a social worker, and a doctor);

4) who is fluent in the official language.

(3) If a person is elected as the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court for the first time, he or she shall acquire the relevant study programme within one year after election. If the council has completely or partially covered the expenditure related to the study programme acquired by the relevant official, the official, who is dismissed from the office in accordance with Section 12, Paragraph one of this Law or removed from the office in accordance with Section 14 of this Law earlier than within four years after completion of the study programme, shall repay to the council the expenditure related to the acquisition of the study programme covered thereby in proportion to the time of employment.

(4) The Cabinet shall determine the content of the study programme and the training procedures of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

[21 May 2009]

Section 11. Persons Who May Not Be Elected to the Composition of an Orphan's and Custody Court

The following person may not be elected as the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court:

1) whose child custody have been discontinued or removed;

2) who has been sentenced for committing an intentional crime (regardless of whether or not the conviction is extinguished or set aside);

3) who has been released from criminal liability, sentence or serving the sentence for committing an intentional crime;

4) who has been held criminally liable for committing an intentional crime, but the criminal proceedings have been terminated due to the limitation period, settlement, clemency or amnesty;

5) who is the convicted, the accused or a suspect in criminal proceedings for committing an intentional crime;

6) who has violated the laws and regulations governing protection of child's rights;

7) who is under trusteeship;

8) who is addicted to alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances.

[8 May 2014]

Section 12. Removal from the Office

(1) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be removed from office:

1) at his or her will;

2) due to the expiry of the time period determined in Section 9, Paragraph one of this Law, if he or she is not elected repeatedly;

3) if a local government takes a decision to liquidate the Orphan's and Custody Court;

4) due to liquidation of the position.

(2) A Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be removed from office due to reduction in the number of the Members of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

(3) If the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court is removed from office in accordance with Paragraph one, Clauses 3 and 4 of this Section or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court is removed from office in accordance with Paragraph one, Clauses 3 and 4 or Paragraph two of this Section, the relevant person shall be warned regarding removal in writing at least one month beforehand.

[21 May 2009]

Section 13. Suspension from Office

(1) If the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court has committed illegal or negligent acts, the council of the relevant local government may suspend him or her from office until the determination of the facts in a matter.

(2) If the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court has the status of the suspect or the accused person, the performer of procedures may prohibit him or her to fulfil the duties of office.

(3) The council of the relevant local government has a duty to suspend the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or the Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court from office if the relevant official, in fulfilling duties thereof, harms the security and health of third persons, as well as the substantiated interests of the employer or third persons, or if it is requested by the State Inspectorate for Protection of Children's Rights.

(4) The council of the relevant local government has a duty to suspend the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or the Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court from office if the relevant official does not acquire the study programme referred to in Section 10, Paragraph three of this Law or has received an unsatisfactory evaluation for the acquisition of such programme. The relevant official shall be suspended for a time period until he or she acquires the referred to study programme, but the period of suspension shall not be longer than 6 months.

(5) The Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall fulfil the duties of the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court for the time period of suspension of the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or the council of the relevant local government shall appoint another person as the performer of the duties of the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court from the Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(6) Work remuneration shall not be paid to the official for the time period of suspension.

(7) A decision to suspend the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or the Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court from office may be appealed to the court in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Procedure Law. The appeal of the decision shall not suspend the operation thereof.

[21 May 2009; 10 December 2009]

Section 14. Dismissal from Office

(1) The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be dismissed from office if:

1) he or she does not fulfil the duties thereof or, in fulfilling the duties, has committed illegal or negligent acts;

2) any of the conditions referred to in Section 11 of this Law has been detected;

3) if the relevant official has not acquired the study programme determined in Section 10, Paragraph three of this Law within 6 months after suspension in accordance with Section 13, Paragraph four of this Law.

(2) A decision to dismiss the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or the Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court from office may be appealed to the court in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Procedure Law. The appeal of the decision shall not suspend the operation thereof.

[10 December 2009]

Section 15. Multiple Office Holding Restrictions

The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, in addition to restrictions on combining offices laid down in the Law On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials, also shall not concurrently fulfil the duties of the Chairperson of the Council, his or her Vice-Chairperson or deputy, the head of a social service office or a specialist of social work of such local government, in the administrative territory of which the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court is situated.

[21 May 2009]

Chapter IV
Competence of an Orphan's and Custody Court

Section 16. Rights of an Orphan's and Custody Court

An Orphan's and Custody Court has the following rights:

1) to request and receive free of charge the information, which is necessary in order to evaluate the lawfulness of the compliance with the rights of a child or a person under trusteeship or to take decisions on the issues that are within the competence of the Orphan's and Custody Court, from the State and local government institutions, commercial companies and organisations;

2) to request and receive free of charge the information from credit institutions regarding the balance on the accounts of a natural person - an estate-leaver - in order to draw up a list of properties (a list of estate inventory), as well as the information on the entirety of property of an estate, transactions performed on behalf of a child or a person under trusteeship and the balance of accounts, if a parent, guardian or trustee does not provide the Orphan's and Custody Court with the information requested regarding the administration of the property of the child or a person under trusteeship or if there are justified suspicions that false information has been provided;

3) to conduct a survey of officials and residents in order to obtain the information, which is necessary for taking decisions on the issues related to guardianship, trusteeship, adoption or custody;

4) to invite persons to an interview and to request explanations from such persons regarding protection of personal and property rights of a child or a person under trusteeship;

5) to bring a statement of claim to a court and applications within the interests of a child or a person under trusteeship, except applications on restricting and reviewing the capacity to act and establishing a temporary trusteeship, as well as statements of claim on contesting the assumption of paternity;

6) to conduct an interview with a child and a person under trusteeship without the presence of other persons;

7) to request a psychologist to conduct a psychological research of a person or a family and to receive an opinion of the psychologist regarding the results of the research;

8) to inspect the living conditions of a child or a person under trusteeship.

[29 November 2012; 8 May 2014]

Section 17. General Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) defend the personal and property interests and rights of a child or a person under trusteeship;

2) examine submissions and complaints, including the submissions and complaints regarding the actions of a parent, guardian, trustee or foster family;

3) participate in a court hearing and provide a finding if the Law determines or a court acknowledges that the participation of an Orphan's and Custody Court in the hearing is necessary;

31) provide information to a court, which is of significance in a case regarding restricting the capacity to act of a person, establishing a temporary trusteeship and reviewing the restriction of capacity to act (for example, documents regarding an opinion of a person in relation to restriction of the capacity to act, regarding inspection of the living conditions, regarding an opinion of other persons, regarding information from the social service office, attending physician, medical, social care and rehabilitation institution, regarding transactions performed in a credit institution and balances of accounts;

4) co-operate with other Orphan's and Custody Courts, long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions and health care and educational institutions, social service offices, police institutions, the State Probation Service and bailiffs in order to ensure the protection of rights and interests of a child or a person under trusteeship;

5) inform a social service office of the local government or other responsible institutions regarding the families, in which the development and upbringing of a child is not ensured sufficiently and which need assistance;

6) not disclose information, which might be against the interests of a child or a person under trusteeship in any way;

7) provide assistance to a child or a person under trusteeship, which has requested assistance from an Orphan's and Custody Court;

71) hear the person under trusteeship on any issue which concerns the interests of such person;

8) act on behalf of a child or a person under trusteeship in criminal procedure in the cases determined in the Criminal Procedure Law;

9) inform a parent, guardian, foster family or host family regarding the possible threat to a child and regarding the fact of the criminal record of a person in the cases laid down in Section 44.1 of this Law, as well as inform the social service office of a local government regarding the parents, guardians, foster families or host families who are informed in accordance with the procedures laid down by Section 44.1 of this Law;

10) represent the personal and property interests and rights of a child placed in a foster family.

[21 May 2009; 1 July 2011; 4 August 2011; 29 November 2012; 8 May 2014]

Section 18. Defence of the Personal Interests of a Child

An Orphan's and Custody Court, in defending the personal interests of a child in relationship with the parents, guardians and other persons, shall:

1) take a decision to give a permission for entering into marriage before reaching 18 years of age, if such permission has not been granted by any of the parents or the guardian;

2) take a decision to grant legal age before reaching 18 years of age;

3) refer a child to the receipt of a consultation by a family doctor, psychologist or another specialist, if it is necessary for the defence of the interests of the child and the parents or guardian of the child do not consent to the receipt of a consultation;

31) take a decision to transfer a child into care of another person in the cases determined in laws and regulations;

4) take a decision to discontinue disbursement of the State social benefits, survivor's pension and support to children having celiac disease, to whom disability has not been diagnosed, to a person who does not bring up the child, and to disburse them to a person who actually brings up the child;

5) take a decision to discontinue disbursement of the State social benefits, survivor's pension and support to children having celiac disease, to whom disability has not been diagnosed, to a person who does not actually bring up the child, and to disburse them to the child, if he or she has reached 15 years of age;

6) perform other measures for the protection of the personal rights of a child determined in laws and regulations.

[8 May 2014]

Section 19. Settlement of Disagreements

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to enter the surname, given name or nationality of a child, if parents cannot agree about it.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall settle disagreements of parents in the issues related to the custody of a child (except disagreements regarding the determination of the place of residence of a child) and, where necessary, shall take a decision.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall settle disagreements between a child and parents.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall settle disagreements between a child and the guardian, as well as between the guardian and the parents of a child.

[8 May 2014]

Section 19.1 Claim Regarding Temporary Protection against Violence

(1) If a parent or guardian of a child, due to objective reasons, has not submitted a claim to the court regarding temporary protection against violence in the interests of the child, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall submit such a claim to the court in the interests of the child if:

1) any physical, sexual or psychological violence or violent control is directed against the child;

2) information on potential physical, sexual or psychological violence or violent control directed against the child has been received;

3) any physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence is directed against the person who is permanently residing with the child;

4) information on potential physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence is directed against the person who is permanently residing with the child has been received.

(2) The claim referred to in Paragraph one of this Section shall be submitted by such Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which any of the circumstances referred to in Paragraph one of this Section have been established or in the territory of operation of which the child is living.

(3) If a claim has not been brought within the time period determined in the court decision on temporary protection against violence or the direct or indirect violence referred to in Section has not been eliminated using other means, an Orphan's and Custody Court may evaluate the conformity of action of the parent or guardian of the child with the interests of the child.

[13 February 2014; 8 May 2014]

Section 20. Consent to the Recognition of Paternity

If a child is of minor age and guardianship has not been established for him or her, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision on the consent to the recognition of paternity if:

1) the mother of the child is deceased;

2) [29 November 2012];

3) the location of the mother of the child is not known.

[29 November 2012]

Section 21. Protection of the Property Interests of a Child

In protecting the property interests of a child in the cases provided for in the Civil Law an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) take a decision to permit to accept or reject the inheritance accruing to a child on his or her behalf;

2) take a decision to sell the property belonging to a child for the market value or at auction;

3) take a decision to divide the inheritance, alienating, pledging or encumbrance of the property of a child (if the value thereof does not exceed EUR 14 000) with other property rights;

4) take a decision on usefulness of the alienating, pledging or encumbrance of the immovable property belonging to a child (if the value thereof exceeds EUR 14 000) with other property rights;

5) take a decision to acquire property for a child;

6) appoint a guardian for entering into legal transactions between a child and parents;

7) take a decision to remove the rights of administration and use of an inheritance if the survived spouse administers or uses the inheritance accruing to the child negligently;

8) take a decision to deprive a parent of the administration of the child's property if the parent's administration of the property of the child does not correspond to the interests of the child;

9) perform other measures for the protection of the property rights of a child.

[21 December 2006; 12 September 2013]

Section 22. Discontinuation, Removal and Renewal of Child Custody

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to discontinue the child custody of a parent if:

1) there are factual impediments, which deny the possibility for a parent to take care of a child;

2) a child lives in conditions, which are dangerous to health or life due to the fault of the parent (due to intentional action or negligence of the parent);

3) the parent misuses his or her rights or does not ensure care and supervision of the child;

4) the parent has agreed to the adoption of the child, except the case when he or she as a spouse has agreed that the child is adopted by the other spouse;

5) child abuse on the part of the parent has been detected or there are justified suspicions regarding child abuse on the part of the parent.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court, upon taking a decision to discontinue the child custody of a parent, shall inform him or her in writing:

1) on the duty to co-operate with the social service office of his or her place of residence and other institutions and persons in order to facilitate the return of the child to the family;

2) on the duty to pay for the out-of-family care service provided to the child;

3) on the rights to receive State ensured legal aid, if the parent complies with the conditions for receipt of such aid laid down in laws and regulations.

(3) If the reasons for discontinuation of the child custody no longer apply, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to renew the discontinued child custody, taking into account the interests of the child.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to bring an action regarding the removal of custody rights for a parent in a court if:

1) the health or life of the child is endangered due to the fault of the parent (due to intentional action or negligence of the parent);

2) the parent misuses his or her rights or does not ensure the care and supervision of the child and it may endanger the physical, mental or moral development of the child.

(5) In preparing a case regarding renewal of discontinued child custody or regarding bringing of an action regarding removal of custody of a parent in a court, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) ascertain whether the reasons, due to which the child care were discontinued for the parents, no longer apply;

2) request an opinion from the social service office of the place of residence of the parent regarding the possibilities for the child to return in custody of the parent;

3) request information from the foster family, the guardian or the institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation regarding the communication between the child and the parent, mental and material support in upbringing of the child during out-of-family care;

4) request other information, which is necessary in order to take a justified decision.

[8 May 2014]

Section 23. Taking of a Unilateral Decision

(1) If during an inspection of the living conditions of a child or otherwise it is detected that the child lives in conditions that are dangerous to health or life, as well as if further living of the child in the family may endanger his or her health or life, the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a unilateral decision to:

1) discontinue the child custody rights of the parents;

2) take off the child from the family of the guardian and suspend the guardian from fulfilment of duties;

3) take off the child from the foster family.

(11) If during the forced execution procedure of an adjudication regarding the returning of a child to the country of his or her place of residence (Chapter 74.3 of the Civil Procedure Law) the child is transferred to a representative of an Orphan's and Custody Court for the performance of subsequent activities and if it is not possible to deliver the child without delay to the country of his or her place of residence, the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take an individual decision to:

1) separate the child from the family and deliver to a crisis centre or other safe conditions and prohibit the parent of the child or other person who has illegally transferred or held the child, or to the close relatives of the child to remove the child from the crisis centre or other safe conditions;

2) to refuse to notify the parent of a child or other person who has illegally transferred or held the child, or to the close relatives of the child regarding the location of the child or a prohibition to these persons to meet with the child while he or she remains in the crisis centre or other safe conditions, if these persons may threaten the subsequent forced execution of the adjudication and the preparation of the child for his or her return back to the country of his or her place of residence.

(12) If a child or his or her legal representative does not agree to mandatory medical treatment or social rehabilitation of the child who is suffering from mental or behavioural disorders due to abuse of alcoholic beverages, narcotic, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances or who has suffered from violence, or wishes to discontinue it without justification, the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court, if it is necessary for the protection of the interests of the child, shall take a unilateral decision on mandatory medical treatment of the child or receipt of social rehabilitation.

(2) In the cases referred to in Paragraph one of this Section the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take the child to a foster family, an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation, a hospital or other safe conditions. In the case referred to in Paragraph 1.1, Clause 1 of this Section the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall deliver the child to the crisis centre or other safe conditions and only the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court as well as a person requesting the returning of the child or the representative thereof has the right to remove the child from the places referred to, in the presence of a representative of an Orphan's and Custody Court or bailiff.

(3) A unilateral decision shall be taken in oral form and shall be drawn up in writing within 24 hours, and the parents, guardian or foster family of a child shall be notified of such decision as well.

(4) A unilateral decision shall be taken by such Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the conditions referred to in Paragraph one of this Section have been detected or in the territory of operation of which the child is located, if a unilateral decision is taken in accordance with Paragraph 1.1 of this Section. The Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of a child's parents, as well as the Orphan's and Custody Court, which has taken the decision on the relevant case of guardianship or foster family or which supervises such case, shall be informed regarding such decision without delay, except for the cases referred to in Paragraph 1.1 of this Section

(5) A unilateral decision shall be executed without delay. Submission of an application to a court regarding the cancellation, declaration of repeal or invalidity of such decision shall not suspend the operation of the decision.

(6) If the conditions referred to in Paragraph one of this Section are detected and at the relevant moment there is no information on the parents, guardian or foster family of a child, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall act in accordance with Paragraph two of this Section.

[4 August 2011; 8 May 2014]

Section 24. Duration of the Operation of a Unilateral Decision

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall convene a meeting within not more than 15 days after taking of a unilateral decision in order to take a decision:

1) to renew the discontinued child custody rights for parents;

2) to return a child to the family of the guardian or revoke the guardian, or dismiss the guardian from the fulfilment of duties;

3) to return a child to the foster family or termination of the residence in such family;

4) on mandatory medical treatment of the child or receipt of social rehabilitation service.

(2) If it is not possible to renew the discontinued child custody rights of parents, and the return of the child to the family of the guardian or foster family is not possible as well, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to provide out-of-family care to the child in another family or at an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation.

(3) If a unilateral decision is taken in accordance with Section 23, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law, it shall be in effect until the moment that the child is taken back to the country of his or her place of residence, but not longer than 15 days. If during this time the child is not taken back to the country of his or her place of residence, the child shall be returned to the parent of the child or another person who has illegally transferred or held the child and the bailiff shall be notified thereof. If in the interests of the child it is necessary to continue preparing him or her for being taken back to the country of his or her place of residence, or if due to the health or psychological state of the child or for another reason connected to the child he or she is not taken back to the country of his or her place of residence, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall convene a meeting in order to decide on the need to extend the duration of the operation of the decision referred to in Section 23, Paragraph 1.1, Clauses 1 or 2 of this Law, but not more than 15 days.

[4 August 2011; 8 May 2014]

Section 25. Foster Family

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision:

1) on the suitability of a family or a person for the performance of the duties of a foster family;

2) to grant the status of a foster family;

3) to place a child into a foster family or terminate the residence in such family.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to remove the status of a foster family if the Orphan's and Custody Court detects that the foster family does not fulfil the duties of a foster family in accordance with the best interests of the child.

(21) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall decide to terminate the status of a foster family, if the foster family itself has expressed such a wish or if legal circumstances have changed, which were the basis for granting the status of a foster family and affect the ability of the foster family to continue the performance of the duties of a foster family.

(3) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for granting and removal of the status of a foster family, the personal and property mutual relations of a child and a foster family, the procedures for the financing of a foster family, as well as the procedures, by which a child is resigned to a foster family or his or her residence in such family is discontinued.

(4) A foster family has the right to appeal the decisions of an Orphan's and Custody Court in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law, which concern the interests and rights of the child placed in a foster family. In case a decision of an Orphan's and Custody Court is appealed, the interested person may exercise the temporary legal protection means laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law.

[8 May 2014]

Section 26. Establishment of Guardianship and Appointment of a Guardian

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to establish guardianship and appoint a guardian to a child if:

1) the parents of the child have deceased or declared to be deceased;

2) the custody rights have been discontinued or removed from the child's parents;

3) [29 November 2012];

4) the parents of the child are missing and declared in search;

5) the parents of the child are not able to provide sufficient care and supervision of the child due to illness;

6) both parents of the child are of minor age;

7) there are substantial disagreements in the relationship between the child and parents;

8) other emergency cases have occurred (ensuring the compliance with the requirements laid down in laws and regulations).

(2) In particularly difficult and complicated cases of guardianship an Orphan's and Custody Court may appoint several guardians, but not more than three.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint an interim guardian if:

1) a guardian is being hindered to undertake guardianship;

2) a guardian has been suspended from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to appoint another guardian if:

1) violations are detected, which a guardian has allowed in the administration of the guardianship;

2) the previous guardian has been dismissed or released from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian;

3) a guardian is deceased;

4) a guardian has decided to adopt his or her ward.

(5) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint a specific guardian to a ward if there is a conflict between the interests of the child and the guardian.

(6) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall arrange a guardianship file of the child to a guardian appointed by a will.

[29 November 2012; 8 May 2014]

Section 27. Establishment of Guardianship or Trusteeship to a Foreigner

(1) If an Orphan's and Custody Court detects that an orphan or a child who is left without parental care, or a person under trusteeship who is not a citizen of Latvia or a non-citizen of Latvia, lives or resides in the territory of the operation thereof, such Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform a competent guardianship or trusteeship authority of the State, in which the child or a person under trusteeship is a citizen, or a guardianship or trusteeship authority of the previous country of domicile without delay and shall request to evaluate the necessity to establish guardianship or trusteeship and to appoint a guardian or a trustee.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to take over a foreign guardianship or trusteeship case, if a competent foreign guardianship or trusteeship authority has appointed a guardian or a trustee and has requested to take over the guardianship or trusteeship case.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform the guardianship or trusteeship authority of the citizenship state or the previous country of domicile of a child or a person under trusteeship regarding the taking over of a guardianship or trusteeship case.

(4) If an Orphan's and Custody Court detects faults, deficiencies, abuse in the behaviour of a guardian or threats to life or health of a child, it shall take a decision to suspend the guardian from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian and to appoint an interim guardian or place the child into a foster family or an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation and inform the foreign guardianship authority thereof without delay.

(5) If an Orphan's and Custody Court detects faults, deficiencies, abuse or actions that harm the interests of a person under trusteeship, it shall take a decision to suspend the trustee from the fulfilment of the duties of a trustee and to appoint an interim trustee and inform the foreign trusteeship authority thereof without delay.

[29 November 2012]

Section 28. Remuneration for the Fulfilment of a Guardian's Duties

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to disburse a remuneration to a particular person for the fulfilment of a guardian's duties and to disburse the allowance for a dependent child if the child has been appointed joint guardians.

(2) When an Orphan's and Custody Court has evaluated the duties of guardians, it shall determine a definite remuneration for the fulfilment of a guardian's duties to each joint guardian, ensuring that the total amount received by the joint guardians does not exceed the remuneration, which is provided for in laws and regulations regarding the State social benefits to one guardian for the fulfilment of a guardian's duties.

Section 29. Compliance of a Person with the Fulfilment of a Guardian's Duties

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall ensure that a person to be appointed as a guardian has the abilities and qualities, which are necessary for the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian, and shall evaluate the person's:

1) motivation to become a guardian;

2) mutual relations with the members of the family;

3) employment;

4) living conditions;

5) ability to act on behalf of a child in personal and property relations.

(2) In evaluating the compliance of a person with the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall take into account the opinions regarding the person's health condition, which are provided by a family doctor in whose care the person has been for at least six months, as well as by a psychiatrist and narcologist.

(3) If a person wants to take a child under guardianship and an Orphan's and Custody Court does not know any child who is left without parental care, to whom it would be necessary to establish guardianship and to appoint a guardian, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision only regarding the compliance of the person with the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian.

(4) If a person who wants to become a guardian does not live in the administrative territory of such local government, which takes a decision to establish guardianship, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall request a finding by the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of the relevant person regarding whether the relevant person possesses the abilities and qualities that are necessary for the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian.

Section 30. Certificate of a Guardian

[10 December 2009]

Section 31. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court in the Supervision of Guardianship

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall permanently supervise the actions of a guardian in ensuring of the personal and property rights and interests of a child:

1) by requesting that a guardian accepts the property of the child according to the inventory and submits one copy of the inventory to the Orphan's and Custody Court;

2) by supervising whether a guardian provides for the upbringing of his or her ward with the same care as conscientious parents would provide for the upbringing of their child;

3) by supervising that a guardian does not dispose of the property belonging to the child without the permission of an Orphan's and Custody Court, if such permission is necessary in accordance with the Law;

4) by inspecting whether a guardian administers the property of the ward in accordance with the interests of the child and the requirements of laws and regulations;

5) by ascertaining whether a guardian, in accordance with the procedures laid down in laws and regulations regarding assistance in solving apartment matters, has informed the local government regarding the necessity to ensure the child with residential space after such child's reaching the legal age;

6) by inspecting the living conditions of a ward in the family of the guardian each year.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall request that a guardian who has been released or dismissed from guardianship provides the final accounting.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall receive and verify the accounting submitted by a guardian each year by 1 February, as well as upon the termination of guardianship. The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall approve the accounting.

[29 November 2012]

Section 32. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court if Violations in the Actions of a Guardian Have Been Detected

(1) If mistakes in the accounting submitted by a guardian or actions unfavourable to the interests of a child have been detected, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) provide the guardian with the relevant directions;

2) take a decision to suspend the guardian;

3) take a decision to dismiss the guardian.

(2) If the actions of a guardian have caused losses to the ward, for which the guardian is responsible, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall bring the relevant action in a court.

(3) If an Orphan's and Custody Court detects administratively or criminally punishable misuse of the rights of a ward, which has harmed the interests of the ward, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall notify the law enforcement authorities regarding it.

Section 33. Release of a Guardian from the Fulfilment of a Guardian's Duties

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to release a guardian from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian in the cases provided for in the Civil Law, as well as if the reasons for the establishment of guardianship referred to in Section 26, Paragraph one, Clauses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 of this Law no longer apply.

(2) In releasing a guardian from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian if a ward has reached legal age, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall request that the guardian:

1) submits to the Orphan's and Custody Court the accounting provided to the ward;

2) provides the final accounting regarding the administration of the property of the ward;

3) hands over to the ward the property of the child administered by guardian according to the inventory.

(3) When an Orphan's and Custody Court has received a request of a guardian regarding the release thereof, as well as a signature of the former ward has been received that he or she has received all the property, which is due to him or her, and that the former ward does not have any claims towards the guardian, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall release the guardian.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform a ward and the social service office of the local government regarding the receipt of social guarantees 6 months prior to the child's reaching the legal age.

(5) In other cases, in releasing a guardian from the fulfilment of the duties of a guardian, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall request that the guardian:

1) submits to the Orphan's and Custody Court the accounting provided to the parents, adopter or newly-appointed guardian of the ward;

2) provide the final accounting regarding the administration of the property of the ward;

3) hands over the property of the child administered by the guardian to the parents, adopter or newly-appointed guardian according to the inventory.

(6) A guardian shall be released and, where necessary, another guardian shall be appointed by such Orphan's and Custody Court, which has appointed the guardian.

[29 November 2012]

Section 34. Adoption

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision:

1) to recognise a person as an adopter;

11) to consent to adoption of the child in the cases laid down in the Civil Law;

2) to separate brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters in the cases laid down in the Civil Law;

3) whether it is possible to ensure the upbringing of a child in a family or appropriate care for the child in Latvia;

4) to resign a child to the care and supervision of an adopter until the approval of adoption;

5) to terminate pre-adoption care for a child;

6) on the compliance of adoption with the best interests of a child.

(2) The personal presence of an adopter in the meeting of the Orphan's and Custody Court is obligatory. Other participants of adoption shall express the consent to the adoption of the child in person in the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of such participants or submit the consent publicly certified by a notary or the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(21) Prior to taking a decision to consent to adoption of a child, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall ascertain the opinion of the person to be adopted, other parent, guardian, minor parent and his or her legal representative.

(22) Prior to taking a decision to separate brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall ascertain the opinion of the person to be adopted and of brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters. The opinion shall be ascertained, if persons have close relationship between them or such persons have lived in an undivided household.

(3) The Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of an adopter shall supervise the care for the child in the family during two years after the approval of adoption.

[8 May 2014]

Section 35. Placement of a Child in an Institution of Long-Term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to place an orphan or a child left without parental care in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation if it is not possible to ensure the child with out-of-family care by a guardian or in a foster family or if care by a guardian or in a foster family is not suitable for the child. The child shall stay in a child care institution until he or she is ensured appropriate care by a guardian or in a foster family.

(2) The duties of the guardian of a child placed in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation shall be performed by the head of such institution.

[8 May 2014]

Section 36. Supervision of Compliance with the Rights and Interests of a Child Placed in an Institution of Long-Term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation

(1) Each year an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) verify the care for a child placed in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation;

2) if a specific guardian has not been appointed for the administration of the property of a child, the accountings regarding the administration of the property of the child shall be requested from the head of the institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to terminate care for an orphan or a child left without parental care in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation if:

1) the custody rights have been renewed to the parents of the child;

2) guardianship has been established for the child;

3) the child is resigned to a foster family;

4) a judgement of a court regarding the approval of adoption of the child has entered into legal force.

(3) In taking a decision to terminate care for a child in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall request an accounting regarding the administration of the property of the child from the head of the institution.

(4) If care for a child in an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation terminates because the child has reached the legal age, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall not take a decision to terminate care for the orphan and the child left without parental care in the institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation, but it shall request the final accounting regarding the administration of the property of the child from the head of such institution.

(5) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall ascertain whether the head of an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation, in accordance with the procedures laid down in the laws and regulations regarding assistance in solving apartment matters, has informed the local government regarding the necessity to ensure the child with residential space after such child's reaching the legal age.

[10 December 2009; 29 November 2012; 8 May 2014]

Section 37. Out-of-family Care of a Child at the Instance of the Parents

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision on out-of-family care of a child at the instance of the parents if they are not able to take care of the child due to illness.

Section 38. Certificate for the Receipt of Social Guarantees

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall issue the certificate for the receipt of social guarantees to an orphan or a child left without parental care.

(2) The sample of the certificate and the procedures for the issuance thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet.

Section 39. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court during Out-of-family Care for a Child

(1) When a decision on out-of-family care for a child has been taken, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform the social service office of the place of residence of the parents of the child without delay and shall request such social service to provide the necessary assistance to the parents of the child.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall follow that a guardian, a foster family or an institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation promotes the communication of the child and the parents.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to prohibit a child, who is under out-of-family care, to meet parents or close relatives if such meetings harm the health and development of the child or cause threats to the guardian, foster family, employees or other children of the institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation.

(4) When an orphan or a child left without parental care has acquired the general secondary education, the Orphan's and Custody Court in co-operation with the guardian, the foster family or the head of the institution of long-term social care and social rehabilitation shall evaluate the possibilities of the further education of the orphan or the child left without parental care.

Section 40. Appointment of a Trustee

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court, in accordance with a decision of the court on establishment of trusteeship, shall appoint a trustee:

1) to a person with mental or other health disorders, whose capacity to act has been restricted by the court;

11) to a person upon whom the court has established temporary trusteeship;

2) to a person whose capacity to act has been restricted by the court due to dissolute or spendthrift lifestyle, as well as due to the excessive use of alcohol or other intoxicating substances;

3) to the property of an absent or missing person;

4) [8 May 2014];

5) for the execution of a will.

(11) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint a trustee for an inheritance according to a notarial deed prepared by a notary on establishment of trusteeship for an inheritance.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall select trustees in accordance with Sections 355 and 661 of the Civil Law and ascertain whether the selected person has the necessary abilities and qualities. An Orphan's and Custody Court shall enquire the opinion of the person under trusteeship on the trustee to be appointed.

(21) Upon appointing a trustee for a person, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall indicate in its decision according to a court adjudication, to what extent the trustee acts together with the person under trusteeship and to what extent independently instead of such person, as well as the term of operation of the decision, if such has been determined in the court adjudication.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall send a true copy of a decision to appoint a trustee to the court, which has established the trusteeship.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint an interim trustee if the trustee is:

1) hindered to undertake the trusteeship;

2) suspended;

3) personally interested in acting instead of the person under trusteeship or together with such person.

(41) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint a temporary trustee, if it is determined by a court decision on establishment of temporary trusteeship. In such cases the court shall appoint a trustee without delay.

(5) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to appoint another trustee if:

1) violations have been detected in the actions of the trustee;

2) the trustee is dismissed from the fulfilment of the duties of a trustee;

3) the trustee is deceased.

[29 November 2012; 8 May 2014]

Section 41. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court in the Supervision of Trusteeship

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall supervise the actions of a trustee in the fulfilment of the duties of a trustee and shall allow the trustee to perform transactions in the cases provided for in the Civil Law, according to that determined in a court judgment.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court, in protecting the property interests of a person under trusteeship, in the cases provided for in the Civil Law, according to that determined in a court judgment, shall:

1) take a decision to permit to accept or reject the inheritance accruing to a person under trusteeship;

2) take a decision to sell the property belonging to a person under trusteeship for the market value or at auction;

3) take a decision to alienate, pledge or encumber the immovable property (if the value thereof does not exceed EUR 14 000) of a person under trusteeship with other property rights;

4) take a decision on usefulness of alienating, pledging or encumbrance of the immovable property belonging to a person under trusteeship (if the value thereof exceeds EUR 14 000) with other property rights;

5) take a decision to acquire property for a person lacking the capacity to act;

6) follow that the trustee does not dispose the property belonging to a person under trusteeship without the permission of the Orphan's and Custody Court, if such permission is necessary in accordance with the Law;

7) examine whether the trustee enquires the opinion and will of the person under trusteeship and administers the property according to the interests of such person and the requirements of laws and regulations.

(3) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall request that a trustee who has been suspended, released or removed from the trusteeship prior to the termination thereof provides an accounting.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall receive and verify the accounting submitted by a trustee each year by 1 February, as well as upon releasing or suspending a trustee. The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall approve the accounting.

(5) An Orphan's and Custody Court may impose a trustee with a duty to provide an accounting regarding the administration of the trusteeship at any time.

(6) Upon defending the interests of a person under trusteeship, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) decide on entering into a marriage contract in accordance with Section 114 of the Civil Law;

2) supervise that the trustee submits an application to the court within the time period laid down in Section 270.2, Paragraph two of the Civil Procedure Law regarding mandatory reviewing of the restriction of the capacity to act for a person, as well as submits information to the court which is of significance in a case regarding reviewing the restriction of the capacity to act;

3) inform the Prosecutor's Office, if due to delay caused by the trustee reviewing of the restriction of the capacity to act is necessary in the interests of the person under trusteeship;

4) settle disputes between a person under trusteeship and his or her trustee and, if necessary, take a decision. If a person under trusteeship or his or her trustee recognises the decision taken as wrong, a claim may be brought to the court in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Civil Procedure Law.

[29 November 2012; 12 September 2013]

Section 42. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court if Violations in the Actions of a Trustee Have Been Detected

(1) If mistakes in the accounting submitted by a trustee or the actions of a trustee, which are unfavourable to the interests of the trusteeship administration, have been detected, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) provide the trustee with the relevant directions;

2) take a decision to suspend the trustee;

3) take a decision to dismiss the trustee.

(2) If a trustee has been suspended or dismissed from the trusteeship, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint another trustee.

(3) If the actions of a trustee have caused losses, for which the trustee is responsible, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall bring a relevant action in a court.

(4) If an Orphan's and Custody Court detects administratively or criminally punishable misuse of the rights of a trustee, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall notify the law enforcement authorities regarding it.

Section 43. Removal of a Trustee from the Fulfilment of Duties

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to remove a trustee from the fulfilment of duties if:

1) the court has removed the restriction of the capacity to act for a person under trusteeship and has terminated the trusteeship due to mental or other health disorders, the trustee has submitted the final accounting to the Orphan's and Custody Court and has handed over the property, which had been in the administration thereof, to the relevant person;

11) the court has terminated temporary trusteeship to a person under trusteeship due to mental or other health disorders or the term of validity of a court adjudication regarding establishment of temporary trusteeship has expired, the trustee has submitted the final accounting to the Orphan's and Custody Court and has handed over the property, which had been in the administration thereof, to the relevant person;

2) the circumstances, which were the basis for the restriction of the capacity to act and the establishment of trusteeship to a person due to dissolute or spendthrift lifestyle, no longer exist, the court has removed the restriction of the capacity to act and terminated the trusteeship;

3) the court has terminated the trusteeship over the property of an absent or missing person;

4) the court adjudication has entered into legal force or a notary has issued the certificate regarding the rights of the requester of the inheritance and the trustee has handed over the inheritance together with the final accounting to the heirs approved by the court or notary and has submitted the final accounting to the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) If heirs do not sign regarding the receipt of the property without an important reason, but the Orphan's and Custody Court has not detected malicious action of the trustee, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to remove the trustee from the fulfilment of duties.

[29 November 2012]

Section 44. Application for the Recognition of a Person as Capable to Act

[29 November 2012]

Section 44.1 Informing a Parent, Guardian, Foster Family or Host Family Regarding the Possible Threat to a Child and the Fact of the Criminal Record of a Person

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall immediately inform the parent, guardian, foster family or host family of a child regarding the criminal record of a person with whom he or she is in a single household, if the person returns from a deprivation of liberty institution after serving a punishment for a criminal offence referred to in Sections 159, 160, 161, 162, 162.1, 164, 165 and 166 of the Criminal Law, in which the victim has been a minor.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court, based on the information acquired regarding the possible threat to the health, life or wholesome development of a child shall immediately invite the parent, guardian, foster family or host family of the child to attend the Orphan's and Custody Court or visit them in person and inform the parent, guardian, foster family or host family of the child about the possible threat to the child and regarding the criminal record of the person who is posing this threat, as well as provide information on the recommended action and the opportunities for receiving support services.

(3) A communication protocol shall be drawn up regarding the informing of the parent, guardian, foster family or host family. A parent, guardian, foster family or host family shall be warned of the liability in connection with the disclosure of the information referred to in this Section to third persons.

(4) The person regarding whose fact of criminal record a parent, guardian, foster family or host family is informed shall not be notified thereof.

[1 July 2011]

Section 44.2 Activities of an Orphan's and Custody Court for Ensuring the Interests of a Child During the Execution Procedure of an Adjudication Regarding the Return of a Child to the Country of His or Her Place of Residence

(1) During the voluntary execution procedure of an adjudication regarding the returning of a child to the country of his or her place of residence or during the period indicated by the bailiff in accordance with Section 620.11 of the Civil Procedure Law, persons to whom the adjudication applies, have the right to request the help of the Orphan's and Custody Court in order to prepare the returning of a child to the country of his or her place of residence.

(2) During the forced execution procedure of an adjudication regarding the returning of a child to the country of his or her origin, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall perform the duties determined in Chapter 74.3 of the Civil Procedure Law and according to its preference invite a psychologist to the forced execution of the adjudication. During the forced execution procedure of an adjudication regarding the returning of a child to the country of his or her place of residence, the person who is requesting the returning of the child has the right to request the help of the Orphan's and Custody Court in order to prepare the child for being taken back to the country of his or her place of residence.

(3) If the person who is requesting the returning of the child is not participating in the forced execution of the adjudication, the child shall be transferred to a representative of the Orphan's and Custody Court for the performance of subsequent activities.

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court, following the transfer of a child to a representative thereof for the performance of subsequent activities, in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice and the person requesting the returning of the child, shall without delay ensure the transfer of the child back to the country of his or her place of residence. If it is not possible to perform this without delay, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall take the decisions referred to in Section 23, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law, during the period of operation of which the activities referred to in Section 23 of this Law are performed and in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice and the person requesting the returning of the child, shall ensure the transfer of the child back to the country of his or her place of residence as soon as possible, while the maximum duration of the operation of the decisions referred to in Section 23, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law has not terminated.

(5) If, since the decision to return a child back to the country of his or her place of residence (Section 644.20 of the Civil Procedure Law) more than a year has passed, upon request of the parent of the child or other person who has illegally transferred or held the child an Orphan's and Custody Court shall appoint a psychologist to provide an opinion, in order to determine the viewpoint of the child regarding his or her taking back to the country of his or her place of residence.

[4 August 2011]

Section 44.3 Informing of the Prosecutor's Office Regarding Establishment of Trusteeship

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform the Prosecutor's Office regarding establishment of trusteeship for a person with mental or other health disorders, if it is necessary for the protection of the interests of such person. An Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform the Prosecutor's Office regarding establishment of trusteeship for persons who due to dissolute or spendthrift lifestyle, as well as abuse of alcohol or other intoxicating substances may lead themselves or their family into privation or poverty.

[29 November 2012]

Chapter V
Organisation of Work of an Orphan's and Custody Court

Section 45. Management of Work of an Orphan's and Custody Court

The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall manage the work of the Orphan's and Custody Court. During the absence of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court appointed by the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall perform the duties of the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

Section 46. Duties of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court

The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) manage, organise and control the work of the Orphan's and Custody Court and represent the Orphan's and Custody Court;

2) determine the duties of the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Members and employees of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

3) appoint the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court and Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court as the Chairpersons of the meetings of the Orphan's and Custody Court, as well as delegate other responsibilities to the employees of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

4) organise the improvement of the professional skills of the employees of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

5) organise the work of the Orphan's and Custody Court in the reception of visitors and examination of submissions;

6) ensure the provision of data for the preparation of the State statistical report on the work of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

7) in the cases determined in Section 12, Paragraph one, Sections 13 and 14 of this Law the cases of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be transferred to the newly appointed Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or authorised official of the council.

[21 May 2009]

Section 47. Tasks of the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court

The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall:

1) manage the financial, personnel and other resources of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

2) hire and release from office the employees referred to in Section 8 of this Law;

3) authorise the Members and other employees of the Orphan's and Custody Court for the representation in the administrative authorities and court;

4) participate in a case hearing in the meetings of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

5) implement other authorities determined in laws and regulations

Section 48. Case Hearing

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall hear cases and take decisions collegially in a meeting of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) A meeting of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court appointed by the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court. The Chairperson of the meeting and at least two Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall participate in the meeting of an Orphan's and Custody Court.

Section 49. Coming into Effect of Decisions and Appeal Thereof

(1) Decisions of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall come into effect and shall be executed without delay. Decisions of an Orphan's and Custody Court are obligatory to all natural persons and legal persons, except the decisions referred to in Section 51 of this Law.

(2) The interested party may appeal a decision of an Orphan's and Custody Court to a court in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law. Submission of an application to a court shall not suspend the operation of the decision.

(3) The decisions, which have been taken in accordance with Section 22, Paragraph three, Section 29, Paragraph four, Sections 50, 51 and 52 of this Law, as well as decisions by which disputes of a person under trusteeship and the trustee are resolved shall not be regarded administrative acts and shall not be appealed to a court.

[8 May 2014]

Section 50. Decisions Taken upon Request of a Court

Upon request of a court an Orphan's and Custody Court shall provide findings, which are necessary in the following cases:

1) for the determination of the procedures for the exercise of access rights and the rights to maintain personal relationship and direct contact with a child;

2) for the determination of the separate custody of one parent;

3) for the removal and renewal of custody rights;

4) for the recognition or contest of paternity;

5) in other cases provided for in the Civil Procedure Law.

[8 May 2014]

Section 51. Decisions to be Approved in a Court

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall submit to a court for approval the decisions on:

1) the granting of legal age prior to the reaching 18 years of age;

2) the remuneration to a guardian (trustee) if it exceeds EUR 426;

3) the informal division of inheritance if a share of the person under trusteeship or trusteeship exceeds EUR 14 000.

[12 September 2013]

Section 52. Cases to be Settled in a Court

An Orphan's and Custody Court, upon taking a decision to alienate, pledge or encumber the immovable property (if the value thereof exceeds EUR 14 000) belonging to a child or a person under trusteeship with other property rights, shall submit the case to a court for the settlement.

[29 November 2012; 12 September 2013]

Section 53. Co-operation of Orphan's and Custody Courts

(1) Orphan's and Custody Courts shall co-operate in order to perform the tasks thereof.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court may request another Orphan's and Custody Court to provide a finding regarding an issue that is in the competence of the Orphan's and Custody Court, which is the provider of the finding.

(3) If a person whose child custody rights have been discontinued or renewed changes the place of residence within one year after taking of the decision, the Orphan's and Custody Court, which took the decision to discontinue or renew the child custody rights, shall send without delay the copies of the materials of the case regarding discontinuation or renewal of the child custody rights to the Orphan's and Custody Court, to the territory of operation of which the relevant person has moved.

(4) If the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared in the administrative territories of different local governments, an Orphan's and Custody Court, after taking of the decision to bring an action in a court as regards the removal of custody rights, shall inform the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of the second parent regarding the bringing of an action in a court.

(5) If a family, in which the conditions for the wholesome growing and development of a child are not ensured, changes the place of residence, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall inform the Orphan's and Custody Court of the relevant administrative territory regarding such family.

(6) If a guardian or a trustee lives in the administrative territory of another local government, the Orphan's and Custody Court, which has established the guardianship or has appointed a trustee, shall send to the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of the guardian or the trustee the copies of the materials of the case regarding guardianship or trusteeship for the supervision of guardianship or trusteeship.

[8 May 2014]

Chapter VI
Jurisdiction over Cases

Section 53.1 Transfer of a Child into Care of Another Person

(1) A decision to transfer a child being in parental care into care of another person in Latvia for a time period exceeding three months shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court of the declared place of residence of the parents.

(2) The Orphan's and Custody Court of the declared place of residence of the children transferred into care of another person shall inform the Orphan's and Custody Court of the declared place of residence of such person who ensures regular supervision of care for the child transferred into care of the relevant person and inspection of compliance with his or her rights and interests.

(3) A decision to transfer a child being in the family of a trustee or a foster family into care of another person in Latvia for a time period from one month up to three months shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court which took the decision on out-of-family care of the child.

(4) The Orphan's and Custody Court of the declared place of residence of the parents shall take a decision to give the parents an opportunity to transfer the child into care of another person in a foreign state for a time period exceeding three months.

(5) The Orphan's and Custody Court of the declared place of residence of the parents of the children transferred into care of another person in a foreign state shall inform the competent authority of the relevant state, which ensures regular supervision of care for the child transferred into care of the relevant person and inspection of compliance with his or her rights and interests, as well as provision of information to the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(6) The Orphan's and Custody Court which took the decision on out-of-family care of the child shall take a decision to temporarily transfer the child being in out-of-family care into care of another person in a foreign state.

[8 May 2014]

Section 54. Out-of-family Care

(1) The Orphan's and Custody Court of such local government, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared, shall take a decision on out-of-family care.

(2) If the separate custody of one parent has been established to a child, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of such parent, under whose separate custody the child is, is declared, shall take a decision on out-of-family care of the child.

(3) If the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared in the administrative territories of different local governments, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of such parent, with whom the child lives, is declared, shall take a decision on out-of-family care of the child.

(4) If the parents of a child do not have a declared place of residence, the Orphan's and Custody Court of such local government, in the territory of operation of which the parents of the child actually live, shall take a decision on out-of-family care of the child.

(5) If the parents of a child are not known or a child is a foundling, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the child has been found, shall take a decision on out-of-family care of the child.

(6) The Orphan's and Custody Court, which has taken the decision on out-of-family care of a child, shall take a decision:

1) to prohibit the child to meet parents or close relatives;

2) on the stay of the child with the parents or in another family;

3) on the stay of the child in another family abroad;

4) on the permission to dispose the property of the child;

5) [21 December 2006]

6) [21 December 2006]

7) to separate brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters in case of adoption;

8) to adopt a child to foreign countries;

9) [21 December 2006]

[21 December 2006]

Section 55. Jurisdiction in Issues Related to Discontinuation and Renewal of Child Custody Rights

(1) The Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared, shall take a decision to discontinue or renew child custody rights to the parents.

(2) If the parents of a child do not have a declared place of residence, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the parents of the child actually live, shall take a decision to discontinue or renew the child custody rights to the parents.

(3) If the declared place of residence of the person changes during reviewing a case regarding discontinuation of the custody rights, the Orphan's and Custody Court which initiated the case shall take a decision to discontinue the custody rights.

[8 May 2014]

Section 56. Bringing of an action in a Court Regarding the Removal of Custody Rights

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall take a decision to bring an action in a court regarding the removal of custody rights from the parents of a child in accordance with the jurisdiction over cases determined in Section 55 of this Law.

Section 57. Adoption

(1) If a child is adopted by a Latvian citizen, non-citizen or a third-country national who has a permanent residence permit in Latvia, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of an adopter is declared, shall take a decision:

1) to recognise a person as an adopter;

2) to transfer the child to the care and supervision of the adopter up to the approval of the adoption;

3) to terminate pre-adoption care of the child;

4) the conformity of adoption with the interests of the child.

(2) If a child is adopted by a third-country national who does not have a permanent residence permit in Latvia, or a person who resides abroad, the Orphan's and Custody Court, which has taken a decision on out-of-family care of the child shall decide on:

1) the transfer of the child to the care and supervision of the adopter up to the approval of the adoption;

2) the termination of pre-adoption care of the child;

3) the conformity of the adoption to the interests of the child.

(3) If a child of the spouse is being adopted, a decision on conformity of adoption with the interests of the child shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of such parent with whom the child lives.

[21 December 2006]

Section 58. Provision of a Finding to a Court

(1) The Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared, shall provide a finding to a court in the cases upon request of the court.

(2) Such Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parent with whom the child is living is declared, shall provide a finding to a court regarding the procedures for the exercise of the rights to maintain personal relationship and direct contact for the brothers, sisters, grand-parents, as well as other persons, with whom the child had been living in the single household for a long period of time. The abovementioned Orphan's and Custody Court shall request the information necessary for examination of the case from the Orphan's and Custody Court of the place of residence of such person who has brought an action in a court regarding the procedures for the exercise of the rights to maintain personal relationship and direct contact.

[8 May 2014]

Section 59. Protection of the Property Interests

(1) The Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parents of a child or a person under trusteeship is declared, shall take a decision to permit to dispose the property of the child or the person with restricted capacity to act.

(2) If separate custody of one parent has been established for a child, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence for such parent, under whose separate custody the child is, is declared, shall take a decision to permit to dispose the property of the child.

(3) If the place of residence of the parents of a child is declared in the administrative territories of different local governments, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of such parent, with whom the child lives, is declared, shall take a decision to permit to dispose the property of the child.

[29 November 2012]

Section 59.1 Execution of the Adjudication Regarding the Returning of a Child to the Country of His or Her Place of Residence

The duties referred to in Section 44.2 of this Law shall be performed by the Orphan's and Custody Court in whose territory of operation the child is located.

[4 August 2011]

Section 59.2 Appointing of a Trustee of Inheritance

A decision to appoint a trustee of inheritance in accordance with Section 40, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which was the last declared place of residence of the estate-leaver, but, if it is not known - by the Orphan's and Custody Court in the territory of operation of which the property to be inherited or its main part is located.

[8 May 2014]

Section 59.3 Support for Raising a Child

(1) A decision to discontinue the payments referred to in Section 18, Clause 4 of this Law to a person who does not raise the child, and to disburse them to a person who is actually raising the child shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of such person who is actually raising the child is declared.

(2) A decision to discontinue the payments referred to in Section 18, Clause 5 of this Law to a person who does not raise the child, and to disburse them to the child himself or herself if he or she has reached the age of 15, shall be taken by the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the territory of operation of which the place of residence of the parent with the child is living is declared or which took the decision on out-of-family care.

[8 May 2014]

Chapter VII
Making of Certification and Performance of Other Tasks

Section 60. Officials Responsible for Making of Certification

(1) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall make certifications and perform other tasks referred to in this Chapter.

(2) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court may assign by an order the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or Members of the Orphan's and Custody Court to make certifications and perform other tasks referred to in Section 61 of this Law.

[21 May 2009]

Section 61. Duties of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall perform the following duties in the territory of operation thereof in the cases referred to in Section 2, Paragraph two of this Law:

1) certify a transaction if it is entered into by and between the residents who have declared their place of residence in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court and other persons and the amount of a transaction does not exceed EUR 8537;

2) certify an agreement between the co-heirs and joint owners regarding the division of the inheritance or joint property (regardless of the value of the property), if the property to be divided or a part thereof is located in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court;

3) enter the wills of such residents whose declared place of residence is in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court into the register of wills, accept for storage the private wills of such residents (regardless of the value of the property bequeathed), as well as accept revocations of the wills deposited in the Orphan's and Custody Court (regardless of the place of residence of a testator);

4) certify powers of attorney (except universal powers of attorney) of such residents whose declared place of residence is in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court and accept revocations of the powers of attorney;

5) certify the authenticity of a signature of such residents whose declared place of residence is in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court on documents;

6) certify the authenticity of a true copy, a copy or an extract of such document, which applies to the definite person;

7) after receipt of a submission of contracting parties issue a notification regarding the amendments to the contract or giving a notice to opposing parties of the contracting parties, if their declared place of residence is in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court;

8) certify a signature on a request for the corroboration in the Land Register (Section 60 of the Land Register Law) if one of the contracting parties has declared his or her place of residence in the territory of operation of the relevant Orphan's and Custody Court;

9) prepare drafts of documents.

(2) The certification of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be equal to the notarial certification within the meaning of the legal force.

(3) All certifications and other activities shall be entered into the relevant register of the Orphan's and Custody Court. The Orphan's and Custody Court shall establish separate certification registers and registers of other activities in rural territories of municipalities and towns indicating the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court and the name of rural territory of the relevant municipality or the name of the relevant town in the name thereof. Information to be entered into the register and the procedures for the maintenance of the register shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[21 May 2009; 23 May 2013; 12 September 2013]

Section 62. Persons Whose Transactions are Certified by an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall certify a transaction if it definitely knows that the participants of the transaction are of legal age and capable to act.

(2) If an Orphan's and Custody Court does not know the person to whom the certification is to be made or who is to be identified due to another reason, the Orphan's and Custody Court shall ascertain the identity of such person according to the passport of such person. It shall be indicated in the certification in what way the identity of the person has been ascertained.

Section 63. Preparation of the Draft of a Transaction Deed

The participants of a transaction shall submit to an Orphan's and Custody Court a prepared draft of the transaction deed or address the Orphan's and Custody Court with a request to prepare the draft of the transaction deed according to their words.

Section 64. Certification of a Transaction

(1) Prior to the certification of a transaction the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall read the draft of the transaction deed to the participants of the transaction and ask whether the participants of the transaction agree with the provisions thereof and whether they know and comprehend the content thereof. If the answer is affirmative, the participants of the transaction shall sign the draft of the transaction deed or recognise it as signed with their own signature.

(2) A certification inscription shall be made on a draft of a transaction deed, in which the following shall be indicated:

1) the year, month and day of the certification;

2) the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court;

3) the number, according to which the transaction deed has been entered into the register;

4) the given name, surname, personal identity number, declared place of residence of each participant of the transaction, as well as the time and place of birth of such persons or a note shall be made that the participants of the transaction know each other;

5) that the participants of the transaction are capable to act.

(3) The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall sign the certification inscription. The seal of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall be applied below the inscription.

(4) One copy of the certified transaction deed shall be stored in the folder of the Orphan's and Custody Court. The transaction deed shall be entered into the register.

(5) The Orphan's and Custody Court which has a transaction deed at the disposal thereof containing an order in case of death, shall issue a copy thereof upon request to such sworn notary who is conducting the relevant inheritance matter.

[23 May 2013]

Section 65. Certification of a Will

In preparing a will, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall read the draft of the drawn-up document to the testator and ask whether he or she agrees with all provisions of the deed and whether such actually is his or her last will. If the answer is affirmative, the testator shall sign the will and the certification shall be made.

[8 May 2014]

Section 66. Issuance of an Extract from a Document Entered into the Register of Wills

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall issue to a testator an extract of the document entered into the register of wills.

(2) After the decease of a testator the Orphan's and Custody Court shall issue an extract of the document entered into the register of wills together with the will to the heir appointed according to the will, executor of the will, sworn notary or court upon the request thereof.

(3) The name of the Orphan's and Custody Court and the number according to which the will has been entered into the register, shall be indicated in the certification of the extract of the document entered into the register of wills. The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall sign the certification and apply the seal.

(4) A note shall be made in the register of wills regarding the issuance of the extract of a will.

(5) The register of wills shall consist of the originals of the wills, which are compiled in a volume according to the sequence of the numbers of the register. The Orphan's and Custody Court shall keep separate registers of wills in rural territories of municipalities and towns indicating the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court and the name of rural territory of the relevant municipality or the name of the relevant town in the name thereof.

[21 May 2009]

Section 67. Acceptance of a Will for Storage

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall accept private wills for storage and enter a document into the register of wills regarding the acceptance of a will for storage.

(2) In accepting a will for storage, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall ascertain the identity and capacity to act of the testator.

(3) A private will deposited in an Orphan's and Custody Court shall have the force of a public will, if the provisions of Section 439 of the Civil Law are conformed to.

Section 68. Revocation of a Document Entered into the Register of Wills

(1) A testator in person may revoke a document entered into the register of wills.

(2) If a request regarding the revocation of a document entered into the register of wills has been received, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall prepare a document of the revocation of the will after verification of the identity and capacity to act of the testator. The testator shall sign a document of the revocation of the will.

(3) After the certification of a document of the revocation of a will a note shall be made on the original of the will regarding the revocation thereof.

[8 May 2014]

Section 69. Revocation of a Deposited Will

(1) A testator in person or his or her authorised representative authorised by specific authorisation may revoke a will deposited in the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) If a request has been received regarding revocation of a deposited will, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall prepare a document of the revocation of the will.

(3) After the certification of a document regarding the revocation of a will the certified copy thereof shall be placed instead of the deposited will.

Section 69.1 Submitting of Information to the Register of Public Wills

An Orphan's and Custody Court, in accordance with the laws and regulations governing operation of the Register of Public Wills, shall submit information to the Register of Public Wills on certification of wills and acceptance for storage, revocation, amending and supplementation of such wills, as well as certification, amending and revocation of such transactions that contain orders in case of death.

[23 May 2013 / Section shall come into force on 1 May 2014. See Paragraphs 8 and 9 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 70. Certification and Revocation of a Power of Attorney

(1) Prior to the certification of a power of attorney the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall verify the identity and capacity to act of an authorising person.

(2) The certification on a power of attorney shall be made in accordance with the procedures laid down in Section 64 of this Law and shall be entered into the register.

(3) One copy of the certified power of attorney shall be stored in the folder of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(4) If a submission regarding the revocation of a power of attorney has been received, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall verify the identity, capacity to act of the submitter, make an entry in the register and publish the relevant notification in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis.

(5) An authorised person shall be notified regarding the revocation of the power of attorney if his or her declared place of residence is known.

(6) Expenditure for the publication of a notification regarding the revocation of a power of attorney in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis shall be covered by the authorising person.

[29 November 2012; 23 May 2013]

Section 71. Certification of the Authenticity of a Signature

Prior to the certification of the authenticity of a signature the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall verify the identity of the signatory, as well as make an entry in the register. In confirming the authenticity of a signature on a request for corroboration, the Orphan's and Custody Court, in the cases determined in the Land Register Law, shall also verify the capacity to act of the signatory and make a note on the inscription of the certification regarding it.

Section 72. Certification of a True Copy or a Copy of a Document

(1) In order to certify a true copy or a copy of a document, the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall compare it with the presented document.

(2) The bearer of the document, year, month, day of the certification thereof, the name of the Orphan's and Custody Court and the number according to which the certification has been entered into the register, shall be indicated in the inscription of the certification, as well as it shall be indicated what corrections, deletions and other special features are present in the presented document.

(3) The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall not verify the lawfulness of the issuance of the presented document, but shall only verify the compliance of the true copy or copy to be certified with the presented document and it shall be noted in the certification.

(4) It is prohibited to the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court to confirm a true copy or a copy of such document, the content of which is in obvious contradiction to the legislation that protects the management procedures, public morality or personal dignity.

(5) An entry regarding the certification shall be made in the register.

Section 73. Issuance of Notifications

(1) A request regarding the issuance of a notification shall be submitted in writing and it shall be entered into the register. The true copy of a notification shall be stored in the folder of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) The Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court shall verify the identity of a submitter and write the certification on the request submitted.

(3) A certified true copy or a certified copy of a submitted notification shall be issued to the addressee. A notification shall be issued to the addressee in person or it shall be sent by post as a registered letter (the certification of the post office regarding the issuance of letter must be received).

(4) An Orphan's and Custody Court shall issue a certificate regarding the issuance of a notification. The given name, surname, personal identity number and declared place of residence of the submitter and the addressee, the content of a notification and the time when the notification was issued shall be indicated in the certificate.

(5) An entry regarding the issuance of a certificate shall be made in the register.

[23 May 2013]

Section 74. Certification of a Transaction if a Person is Illiterate or Is Not Able to Write

If a person is illiterate or is not able to write, another person shall sign in the presence of two witnesses, to whom such person consigns it, and a note shall be made in the inscription of the certification regarding it.

Section 75. Making of Certification in the Place of Residence of a Resident or in Another Place

An Orphan's and Custody Court may draw up a will, as well as make certification in the place of residence of a resident of the relevant local government or in another place if the resident cannot arrive at the Orphan's and Custody Court due to illness or other reasons.

Section 76. Refusal to Fulfil the Duties of Office

(1) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court is not allowed to refuse to perform the activities provided for in this Chapter, except the cases determined in the Law.

(2) In respect of a refusal to fulfil the duties of office the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall within three days issue the refusal in writing. The basis for the refusal and appeal procedures shall be indicated in the refusal.

(3) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall refuse to make certifications if he or she is asked to take part in activities, which obviously serve illegal or immoral purposes.

Section 77. Restriction to Make a Certification

The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court is prohibited from making certifications in his or her own matters, the matters of his or her spouse (also a former spouse), his or her or his or her spouse's kin in a direct line to all degrees, the collateral line - to the fourth degree and affines - to the third level, as well as in the matters of the persons under the guardianship or trusteeship the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court or his or her spouse or of his or her or his or her spouse's adopter or adoptee.

Section 78. Non-disclosure of Entrusted Information

(1) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, a Member or a secretary of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall not disclose the information entrusted to them, which have become known to them when fulfilling the duties of office, to the third persons.

(2) The provision of Paragraph one of this Section shall also be in force after the referred to persons have left their office.

(3) The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, a Member or the secretary of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall keep secret all the entrusted matters, deeds and documents.

(4) Exceptions of the provisions of Paragraph one of this Section are allowed in relation to:

1) officials of courts, Prosecutor's Office and pre-trial investigation institutions during the fulfilment of the duties of office thereof; or

2) other persons if the consent of a participant of the certification has been received.

Section 79. State Fees

(1) The State fees for the services of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be transferred into the budget of a local government. An Orphan's and Custody Court shall collect the following State fees:

1) for the preparation of a draft transaction deed - EUR 11.38;

2) for the certification of a transaction - EUR 7.11;

3) for the drawing up or revocation of a will - EUR 18.50;

4) for the acceptance of a will for storage - EUR 34.15;

5) for the preparation of a power of attorney - EUR 4.27;

6) for the certification of a power of attorney - EUR 2.85;

7) for the certification of a signature - EUR 2.85;

8) for the drawing up and issuance of certifications and an extract from the register of other activities - EUR 1.42 (per each page);

9) for the drawing up of a true copy or an extract - EUR 1.42 (per each page);

10) for the certification of a true copy, extract or copy - EUR 0.43 (per each page);

11) for the issuance of a notification - EUR 4.27;

12) for the issuance of a certificate regarding the issued notification - EUR 4.27;

13) for the drawing up of the request for corroboration - EUR 7.11;

14) for the certification of a signature on the request for corroboration - EUR 4.27;

15) for the drawing up of a list of inheritance - EUR 48.38;

16) for the drawing up of other types of documents - EUR 4.27 (per each page).

(2) The council of a local government has the rights to apply the relief from the State fees.

(3) A relief from the State fee in the amount of not less than 50 per cent from the amount of the fee shall be applicable for the drawing-up of the list of inheritance provided for in Paragraph one, Clause 15 of this Section, if inheritance is being accepted on behalf of a minor.

[12 September 2013; 8 May 2014]

Section 80. Appeal of Actual Actions and Decisions of an Orphan's and Custody Court

(1) If an interested person regards an action of an Orphan's and Custody Court in making of certifications and performance of other activities referred to in this Chapter unjustified, such person may submit a relevant application to a court in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law within one month.

(2) An interested person may appeal to a court a refusal of an Orphan's and Custody Court to make a certification or to perform other activities referred to in this Chapter in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law within one month.

Chapter VIII
Assistance in the Settlement of Inheritance Matters and Protection of Inheritance

Section 81. Inventory of Inheritance

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall provide assistance to a heir, if the heir intends to make use of the inventory right (to draw up an inventory of inheritance) and a court or a notary has assigned the Orphan's and Custody Court the drawing up of the inventory of inheritance (Section 709 of the Civil Law).

Section 82. Persons to be Invited for the Drawing up of an Inventory of Inheritance

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall invite a heir, who has requested to draw up an inventory of inheritance, and other heirs, if such are known, as well as two witnesses for the drawing up of the inventory.

Section 83. Drawing-up of an Inventory of Inheritance

(1) In drawing up an inventory of inheritance, a document shall be written in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law. Time and place of the drawing-up of a document, the persons who participate in the drawing-up of the inventory of inheritance, the name and features of each property item, as well as the value thereof shall be indicated in the document.

(2) If heirs do not agree with the appraisal of the property, an Orphan's and Custody Court is entitled to invite an expert. Expenditure related to the services of an expert shall be covered by heirs.

(3) Notifications of such persons who participate in the drawing up of an inventory shall be entered into the document if such notifications have been expressed.

(4) A document shall be signed by the Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of the Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of the Orphan's and Custody Court and the persons who have participated in the drawing-up of the inventory. The document shall be stamped with the seal of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

Section 84. Charge for Travel Expenditure and Other Actual Expenditure

(1) An Orphan's and Custody Court is entitled to collect a charge for travel expenditure that is related to the drawing up of an inventory of inheritance, the drawing up of a will or making of a certification outside the premises of the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(2) An Orphan's and Custody Court is entitled to collect a charge for postal and other actual expenditure that is related to the making of certifications and performance of other functions.

Section 85. Protection of Inheritance

If an estate-leaver dies and the heirs of the deceased person are not present, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall ensure the protection of the inheritance, not waiting for the decision of the notary (notarial deed) regarding the establishment of trusteeship for the entirety of property of the estate.

[8 May 2014]

Section 86. Means for Protection of Inheritance

The means for protection of inheritance shall be:

1) the sealing thereof;

2) the inventorying and valuation thereof; or

3) the depositing thereof.

Section 87. Inventorying of Property

An Orphan's and Custody Court shall perform the inventorying of property in accordance with the procedures laid down in Section 83 of this Law.

Section 88. Sealing

(1) If immediately after the receipt of the relevant information it is not possible to inventory the property, an Orphan's and Custody Court shall seal the room, in which the property is located, or seal the property itself in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Civil Procedure Law in the presence of witnesses.

(2) Sealing shall be also performed if it is not possible to end the inventory on the first day.

Section 89. Trustee of Inheritance

(1) After the inventorying of property an Orphan's and Custody Court shall transfer the property for safekeeping to a trustee for a signature.

(2) A trustee shall receive a reimbursement from the heirs or from the property in the amount stipulated by the Orphan's and Custody Court.

Section 90. Document Regarding the Inventorying of Property

A document regarding the inventorying of property shall be stored in an Orphan's and Custody Court. A true copy of the document shall be issued to the trustee, as well as shall be sent to the notary, in whose jurisdiction the inheritance matter, is in order to announce the opening of a succession.

Chapter IX
Remuneration for Work and Benefits

[3 December 2009]

Transitional Provisions

1. With the coming into force of this Law, the Law On Orphan's and Custody Courts and Parish Courts (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1996, No. 1; 1997, 3, No. 23; 2001, No. 13; 2002, No. 22; 2003, No. 17; 2004, No. 12; 2005, No. 9; 2006, No. 1), is repealed.

2. The Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court or a Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court who does not have the education determined in Section 10, Paragraphs one and two on the day when this Law comes into force has the right to continue the fulfilment of duties until the end of the time period of election.

3. The restrictions on combining offices referred to in Section 15 of this Law shall not apply to such Chairpersons of an Orphan's and Custody Court, Vice-Chairpersons of an Orphan's and Custody Court or Members of an Orphan's and Custody Court who have been elected until coming into force of this Law.

4. Orphan's and Custody Courts may use the present seals until 31 January 2007.

5. Until 31 January 2007 parish courts shall be renamed Orphan's and Custody Courts. Until 31 January 2007 the provisions of this Law and other laws and regulations that are applicable to Orphan's and Custody Courts shall be binding to parish courts, which have not been renamed Orphan's and Custody Courts.

6. Remuneration (salary, allowances, etc.) provided for in accordance with this Law for the Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court, the Vice-Chairperson of an Orphan's and Custody Court and Member of an Orphan's and Custody Court shall be determined in conformity with the Law On Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Local Government Authorities in 2009.

[12 December 2008]

7. Until the establishment of one or several Orphan's and Custody Courts in a municipality, but not longer than until 30 September 2009, the Orphan's and Custody Courts of rural territories and towns shall continue the operation in conformity with the competence and territory of operation thereof.

[21 May 2009]

8. Section 69.1 of this Law shall apply to such acts of last will instruction, which were drawn up after 30 April 2014.

[23 May 2013]

9. Section 64, Paragraph five and Section 69.1 of this Law shall come into force on 1 May 2014.

[23 May 2013]

10. In cases in which an Orphan's and Custody Court until 31 December 2012 has taken a decision to remove the child custody rights from the parent, from 1 January 2013 until the time when an Orphan's and Custody Court decides on renewal of the custody rights or bringing a claim to a court on removal of the custody rights, it shall be deemed that the custody rights of the parent are discontinued.

[8 May 2014]

This Law shall come into force on 1 January 2007.

This Law was adopted by the Saeima on 22 June 2006.

Acting for the President,
Chairperson of the Saeima I. Ūdre

Rīga, 7 July 2006

 


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2015 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Saeima Type: law Adoption: 22.06.2006.Entry into force: 01.01.2007.Theme:  Inheritance rights; Children and family rightsPublication: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 107 (3475), 07.07.2006.; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 15, 10.08.2006.
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