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News of the Judicial System

5 changes since 2018: what court visitors need to know

5 changes since 2018: what court visitors need to know
09.01.2018

January 1, 2018 marks the start of judicial reform in Lithuania. What are the most noteworthy changes that will affect litigation in Lithuania?

1. Based on the territorial principle, 49 district courts, which have been operating until now, are merged into 12 district courts’ centres with 4-5 divisions (court chambers), namely:  District court of Alytus, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Marijampolė, Panevėžys, Plungė, Šiauliai, Tauragė, Telšiai, Utena, Vilnius region and District court of Vilnius City. 5 regional administrative courts are also merged into 2 regional administrative courts: Vilnius Regional Administrative Court and the Regional Administrative Court.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court of Lithuania, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, and 5 regional courts will continue to perform their functions assigned to its competence by law.

The name of the Court after reorganization (2018-01-01) Chambers Email address

District Court of Vilnius Region

vilniausregiono.teismai.lt

District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Vilnius Region vilniaus.regiono@teismas.lt
District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Švenčionys svencioniu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Šalčininkai salcininku.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Trakai traku.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Ukmergė ukmerges.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Vilnius Region, Chamber of Širvintos sirvintu.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Kaunas

kauno.teismai.lt

District Court of Kaunas, Chamber of Kaunas kauno.apylinkes@teismas.lt 
District Court of Kaunas, Chamber of Kaišiadorys kaisiadoriu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Kaunas, Chamber of Jonava jonavos.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Kaunas, Chamber of Kėdainiai kedainiu.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Alytus

alytaus.teismai.lt

District Court of Alytus, Chamber of Alytus alytaus.apylinkes@teismas.lt 
District Court of Alytus, Chamber of Varėna varenos.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Alytus, Chamber of Prienai prienu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Alytus, Chamber of Lazdijai lazdiju.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Alytus, Chamber of Druskininkai druskininku.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Marijampolė

marijampoles.teismai.lt

District Court of Marijampolė, Chamber of Marijampolė marijampoles.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Marijampolė, Chamber of Vilkaviškis vilkaviskio.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Marijampolė, Chamber of Šakiai sakiu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Marijampolė, Chamber of Jurbarkas jurbarko.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Šiauliai

siauliu.teismai.lt

District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Šiauliai siauliu.apylinkes@teismas.lt 
District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Kelmė kelmes.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Joniškis joniskio.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Raseiniai raseiniu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Pakruojis pakruojo.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Šiauliai, Chamber of Radviliškis radviliskio.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Telšiai

telsiu.teismai.lt

District Court of Telšiai, Chamber of Telšiai telsiu.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Telšiai, Chamber of Mažeikiai mazeikiu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Telšiai, Chamber of Akmenė akmenes.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Panevėžys

panevezio.teismai.lt

District Court of Panevėžys, Chamber of Panevėžys panevezio.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Panevėžys, Chamber of Kupiškis kupiskio.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Panevėžys, Chamber of Rokiškis rokiskio.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Panevėžys, Chamber of Biržai birzu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Panevėžys, Chamber of Pasvalys pasvalio.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Utena

utenos.teismai.lt

District Court of Utena, Chamber of Utena utenos.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Utena, Chamber of Anykščiai anyksciu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Utena, Chamber of Molėtai moletu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Utena, Chamber of Ignalina ignalinos.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Utena, Chamber of Zarasai zarasu.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Utena, Chamber of Visaginas visagino.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Klaipėda

klaipedos.teismai.lt

District Court of Klaipėda, Chamber of Klaipėda City klaipedos.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Klaipėda, Chamber of Klaipėda Region klaipedos.rumai@teismas.lt 

District Court of Plungė

plunges.teismai.lt

District Court of Plungė, Chamber of Plungė plunges.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Plungė, Chamber of Palanga palangos.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Plungė, Chamber of Kretinga kretingos.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Plungė, Chamber of Skuodas skuodo.rumai@teismas.lt

District Court of Tauragė

taurages.teismai.lt

District Court of Tauragė, Chamber of Tauragė taurages.apylinkes@teismas.lt
District Court of Tauragė, Chamber of Šilalė silales.rumai@teismas.lt
District Court of Tauragė, Chamber of Šilutė silutes.rumai@teismas.lt

Regional Administrative Court

regionu.teismai.lt

Regional Administrative Court, Chamber of Kaunas regionu.administracinis@teismas.lt
Regional Administrative Court, Chamber of Klaipėda klaipedos.administracinis@teismas.lt
Regional Administrative Court, Chamber of Šiauliai siauliu.administracinis@teismas.lt
Regional Administrative Court, Chamber of Panevėžys panevezio.administracinis@teismas.lt

2. Despite the reorganization, the number of court chambers remains the same. In other words, from now on, only the administration of the reorganized courts is carried out from the main 12 courts‘ centres. Therefore, all judicial services continue to be available in the same court areas and premises.

3. Starting from 2018, people can choose where to initiate court proceedings. For example, if a person lives in Palanga, but his case has to be considered in the Chamber of Kretinga, then he no longer has to go to Kretinga and bring the necessary procedural documents there – every person can do this in the nearest chamber – in this case, in the Chamber of Palanga. Moreover, the submitted documents will be delivered to the court building which will deal with the case. Delivery expenses will be covered by the resources of the judicial system.

However, other procedural documents will be routinely filed into courts where each case will be assigned.

4. All users of e.teismas.lt (e-Service Portal of Lithuanian courts) are also granted the possibility to choose specific district court to file their procedural documents.

5. Since January 1, 2018, new websites and e-mail addresses of reorganized district and administrative courts are available to the public. 

Further information about the new courts‘ websites and e-mail addresses can be found here.

***

Main objectives of the judicial reform

1. To improve the speed of the court proceedings and, likewise, to balance the workload of judges and court staff.

2. To enhance the access to justice by creating an opportunity for litigants to submit their documents to court in more flexible way.

3. To use human and material resources of the courts more efficiently.

4. To expand the self-government of judges and to develop a new element of judicial self-government – a meeting of court judges; 

5. To eliminate existing organizational obstacles to the handling of cases – to harmonize the areas of activity of courts and other law enforcement institutions.

Benefits to the court visitors

Easier way to initiate procedural documents.
Since January 1, 2018 litigants and other persons have an opportunity to deliver documents according to the place of their residence, thus shortening the way to court premises.

Less distance between courts and the participants of courts hearings
From now on, the place of a hearing is established in more flexible way, taking into account the place of residence of litigants and communication possibilities among other participants of the court hearings. In this way the access to justice is improved, since litigation costs of the litigants are considerably reduced.

High quality services
Introducing the principles of good governance, court system aims to establish common standards for court customer service and case management.

Benefits to the courts            

Fluent court proceedings
The model of reform is determined to balance the workload between judges. Therefore more complicated cases are no longer concentrated in one court, but are spread among their divisions (court chambers). As a result, the workload of judges and court staff is more or less reduced.

Effective management of financial resources
Administrative regulation of the courts is optimized in a way that courts may distribute financial resources more effectively: purchase IT equipment, fund the renovation of court premises, ensure the proper provision of court services, etc.

Interinstitutional cooperation
After the implementation of the reform, the judicial territory will coincide with the territorial layout of the central units of the police and the prosecutor's office. Consequently, organizational obstacles to the handling of cases are eliminated.