Statute of limitations in Lithuanian Civil and Commercial Law: Last moment to submit a claim against Lithuanian company
According to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, the prescription period is a time period established by laws during which a person can defend his violated rights by bringing an action. The Lithuanian Civil Code foresees different kind of time limits which will depend on the case and which might allowed abridged prescription.
Usually, in the most common cases the time limit is 10 years and starts the day when a person become aware, or should have become aware, of the violation of his right. It means that someone who is entitled to use some obligation rights and who does not use them during this 10 years period will definitely lose them. But this delimited time is not fixed and can be affected by different suspension or interruption periods.
Indeed, the prescription shall be suspended in different cases but especially if an extraordinary event that cannot be prevented in certain circumstances (force majeure) hinders to bring an action, if the Government of Lithuania decides through a moratorium to postpose the performance of the obligations and if the parties to an obligation are a
guardian and the person under guardianship, or a curator and the person under curatorship.
In those cases, the prescription is going to be suspended if the events happened, or keep going to happen, during the last 6 months of the predefined period. The run is going to starts again from the day when the elements which caused this break cease to exist. If the time-limit was equal or longer than 6 months, than the remaining part shall be prolonged by six months, but in the other hand if the time-limit of prescription is shorter than six months, then it shall be prolonged by whole duration of the time-limit.
But in some other cases, the prescription period is going to be shorter than the 10 years foresee in the general rule. Indeed, several situations require an abridged period and the most common abridged prescriptions can be listed as follows:
- Regarding the claims related to a tender the allowed time to introduce them is 1 month.
- Claims arising from the shortage in the goods sold is 6 months, such as for the dispatches sent on the territory of Lithuania.
- To declare a decision which has been taken by a body of a legal person as voidable 3 months are needed.
- Abridged 1 year prescription shall be applied with respect to claims arising from the legal relationships of insurance.
- Concerning the claims for the compensation of damage, including claims for the compensation of damage caused by defective production the time limit is 3 years.
- And finally, a period of prescription of 5 years shall be applied with respect to claims for the recovery of interest and any other periodical payments.
Specifics and more particular rules are existing as well and they have their own prescription regulations.
Claims related to unfair practices
According to article 16 of the Lithuanian Law on Prohibition of unfair business to consumer commercial practices, since the moment a consumer becomes aware of an infringement to this law, or at least was able to become aware, he has a period of 6 months to introduce a claim if the infringement did not happen more than 3 years earlier.
Prohibition of Competition of members
According to article 13 of the Lithuanian Law on the Partnerships, a general partner should not be able to own a personal company which is involved in the same area of business or being general partner in another partnership with the same related area of expertise without any consent of all the general partners of the company which he is working for.
If the member concealed one of those facts, the partnership has the rights, within 3 months after found out such infringements, to request a compensation for the different damages or request that all the transactions concluded by the partner in the other partnerships are recognized as transactions of this partnership and therefore receive the income from it.
Claims against a Member of a Partnership
A second example might be find in the Lithuanian Law on Partnerships and especially in article 14, §5 which says that claims against a withdrawing partner, in respect of his obligations when he was still collaborating, may be made within 3 years from his withdrawal or removal from the partnership.
Liability of Founders
Lithuanian legislation does not set a specific prescription period concerning the claims towards the liability of company’s founders. Thought in Lithuanian case law general tort doctrine is applicable for malicious or negligent actions of the company founders, which can be found in the civil code under article 6.263. As already mentioned Lithuanian legislation does not provide specific prescription period, so general prescription period of 3 (three) years should be followed for the damages as defined in Lithuanian Civil Code art. 1.125.
Article about statue of limitations in Latvian Civil and Commercial Law - see here.