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Key facts of the case: 

The applicant served as the director and board member in three companies (respondents) until he was released from the office in all three companies and the employment relationship between the applicant and defendants was terminated. The applicant claims to have continued to work as the advisor to the new board members for several months after that. The respondents claimed that the employment relationship was terminated completely and the applicant did not continue to work in either of the companies afterwards. This was also evident from the documents submitted to the Register of Enterprises where the changes in the said employment relationship were noted. The applicant sued the companies on the grounds of not having received salary for the months after his release from office when he continued to work. His claim was rejected, to which he appealed. In his notice of appeal he asked to be exempt from the payment of court expenses, including the reimbursement for the respondents’ legal aid, based on the Civil Procedure Laws of Latvia (Section 43), whereby plaintiffs are exempt from the said expenses in claims regarding the recovery of work remuneration and other claims of employees arising from legal employment relations and asked for the expenses to be covered by the respondents. He substantiated his claim by stating that according to the Civil Procedure Laws of Latvia legal persons can be represented by their officials and that for the respondents as legal persons the use of legal aid is a right and not an obligation.

Outcome of the case: 

The Court clarified that there is a difference between court expenses and expenses necessarily incurred for the purposes of conducting a case as formulated by the Civil Procedure Laws of Latvia (Section 33). While the applicant is right to claim that he can be exempt from the court expenses, he cannot be exempt from the expenses necessarily incurred for the purposes of conducting the case, which includes expenses for the assistance of advocates. Furthermore, the Court stated that it is erroneous to claim that the use of legal aid or advocate is not an obligation and therefore can be done without as it is a constitutional right to use the said services if the respondent wishes so. Consequently, the applicant shall bear the costs of the respondents’ expenses for use of advocate since the Court ruled in the respondents’ favour.