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COURT HISTORY

Last updated 2019-04-03 16:34:07

HISTORY OF ŠIAULIAI DISTRICT COURT

 

On 16 February 1918, Lithuania became an independent state.  After the re-establishment of the State of Lithuania, history of the first instance jurisdiction started. The legislative framework was prepared, and courts of first instance began operating as Courts of Peace.

On 28 November 1918, the system of Lithuanian General Jurisdiction Courts was legalized by the enactment of the Provisional Law on the Arrangement and Functioning of Lithuanian Courts. Under the above mentioned Law, Courts of Peace became the lower level of courts where Judges of Peace worked. The Judges of Peace replaced the judges of the Russian rural courts, the landowner chiefs, the judges of towns, and members of the County Courts. Judges of Peace were appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Justice.

In Lithuania, the establishment of courts started under the auspices of the Order of 14 December 1918, issued by Petras Leonas, the first Lithuanian Minister of Justice. On 15 December 1918 which counts as the Day of Restoration of Lithuanian Courts, the lawyer Peliksas Bugailiškis, a resident of Šiauliai, was appointed Judge of Peace of the Šiauliai Region, and he was among the first Judges of Peace in independent Lithuania. He worked at the first Headquarters of the Judges of Peace that was established on 10 December 1918; the Headquarters managed such territories as Šiauliai City, Šiauliai District and Meškuičiai Parish. Mr. P. Bugailiškis held this position until 1 July 1922.

The second Headquarters of the Judges of Peace was founded in Šiauliai in August, 1919. Mr. Adolfas Butkys worked for it as a Judge. The Headquarters investigated cases related to the Districts of Joniškis and Žagarė.  At that time there were two Courts of Peace in Šiauliai. Kuršėnai managed its own region, therefore, a separate Headquarters of the Judges of Peace was established there in 1918.

After the Courts Reform of 1933, Courts of Peace were reorganized into District Courts. The Courts of Peace of the first and second Headquarters were cancelled, and one court under the name Šiauliai District Court was established, which operated not only in the territory of Šiauliai City, but also in Šiauliai, Kuršėnai, Meškuičiai, Padubysis, Gruzdžiai and Šaukėnai Parishes.

Town and regional People’s Courts functioned throughout the Soviet period.

After Lithuania’s independence was restored on 11 March 1990, the Šiauliai City People's Court was renamed Šiauliai City Court.

On 12 March 1992, the Law on the Establishment of District Courts was passed, therefore, district courts were established in place of city and region courts. In 1993 Šiauliai City Court was reorganized into Šiauliai City District Court.

By 1995 Šiauliai City District Court had been located at 83 Dvaro Street, in the building where the current Šiauliai Regional Court is. In 1995 Šiauliai City District Court moved to the building No 247 on Vilnius Street. During the Soviet years that building used to serve as the House of Army Officers. Two years later (1997), an annexe was built, thereby Šiauliai City District Court became more spacious.

On 1 January 2013 Šiauliai City District Court and Šiauliai Region District Court were reorganized into one court under the name Šiauliai District Court. The domain of Šiauliai District Court became the territories of Šiauliai City and Šiauliai District Municipalities.

The Chairperson of Šiauliai District Court was Ms. Gema Janušienė, and there were two Deputy Chairpersons – Ms. Rasa Milvydaitė and Mr. Arūnas Bartkus. There were 27 judges in the Court. In total, there were nearly 130 employees: judges, assistants to the judiciary, court hearing secretaries, office staff and other employees.

The Court operated in three buildings. Criminal cases and cases of administrative offence were handled at 247 Vilniaus Street (in the building of the former Šiauliai City District Court), and civil cases were handled at 81 Dvaro Street (in the building of the former Šiauliai Region District Court). The Court Archive was located at 149 Vytauto Street.   

On 23 October 2017, Šiauliai District Court moved to the new premises on P. Cvirkos Street No 77. Moving from the three buildings situated in different parts of the city to one building was taking place from October 2 until October 27, 2017. The clients did not experience any inconvenience during the process of moving because the Court did not interrupt its work even for a day.

In 2018 a judicial reform was implemented in Lithuania.  Since 1 January 2018 there have been 12  District Courts in the Republic of Lithuania instead of 49, namely, the District Courts of Alytus, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Marijampolė, Panevėžys, Plungė, Šiauliai, Tauragė, Telšiai, Utena and Vilnius Region Court (with 4-5 Chambers each) and Vilnius City District Court. Apart from the aforementioned courts, the Supreme Court of Lithuania, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and 5 Regional Courts continue their performance.   

As a part of the judicial reform, on 1 January 2018, the District Courts of Raseiniai, Radviliškis, Pakruojis, Kelmė and Joniškis ceased to operate as independent courts. All the aforementioned district courts together with Šiauliai District Court became parts of the new court, namely, Šiauliai District Court. Since the implementation of the great judicial reform on 1 January 2018, Šiauliai District Court has consisted of six Court Chambers:  Joniškis Chamber, Kelmė Chamber, Pakruojis Chamber, Radviliškis Chamber, Raseiniai Chamber and Šiauliai Chamber.

The Chambers of Šiauliai District Court and the areas of their activity:

  • Joniškis Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Joniškis District Municipality;
  • Kelmė Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Kelmė District Municipality;
  • Pakruojis Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Pakruojis District Municipality;
  • Radviliškis Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Radviliškis District Municipality;
  • Raseiniai Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Raseiniai District Municipality;
  • Šiauliai Chamber of Šiauliai District Court. Its activity domain is the territory of Šiauliai City Municipality and Šiauliai District Municipality.

Šiauliai District Court has almost doubled according to the number of employees: 235 employees in total, including 47 Judges, work here.

On 31 December 2017, the term of office of Ms. G. Janušienė, the Chairperson of Šiauliai District Court and two Deputy Chairpersons of the Court – Ms. R. Milvydaitė and Mr. A. Bartkus - ended. On December 18, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė signed a decree on the appointment of the Judge Audrius Sadauskas as Deputy Chairperson of Šiauliai District Court. Neither a new Court Chairperson, nor the second Deputy Chairperson of the Court were appointed; therefore, starting in January 2018, Šiauliai District Court was headed by the Deputy Chairperson A. Sadauskas for the period of four months.  

On 27 April 2018, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė signed a decree on the appointment of Ms. R. Milvydaitė, a Judge of the Šiauliai Chamber, as the Chairperson of  Šiauliai District Court, and a decree on the appointment of the Judge Ernestas Šukys as the Deputy Chairperson of Šiauliai District Court. The new CEOs started performing their duties on May 2.