National ordinary courts


This section provides information on the organisation of ordinary courts in Estonia.

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Ordinary courts – introduction

County Courts are ordinary courts of first instance and hear all civil, criminal and misdemeanour cases and conduct other proceedings which are placed under their jurisdiction by law. Legal proceedings in the county courts are regulated by the following Codes: the Code of Civil Procedure in civil cases, the Code of Criminal Procedure in criminal cases and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure in misdemeanour cases.

Judgments and rulings of county courts are reviewed by district courts, as courts of second instance, on the basis of appeals against those judgments and rulings. Proceedings in the administrative courts are regulated by the same Acts as proceedings in the courts of first instance.

Courts of first instance

There are four county courts in Estonia. The county courts are divided into courthouses.

County courts:

Harju County Court (Harju Maakohus):

  1. Tallinn courthouse

Viru County Court (Viru Maakohus):

  1. Jõhvi Courthouse
  2. Narva Courthouse
  3. Rakvere Courthouse

Pärnu County Court (Pärnu Maakohus):

  1. Pärnu Courthouse
  2. Haapsalu Courthouse
  3. Kuressaare Courthouse
  4. Rapla Courthouse
  5. Paide Courthouse

Pärnu County Court also has a department for payment orders, which handles applications for the accelerated procedure for payment orders.

Tartu County Court (Tartu Maakohus):

  1. Tartu Courthouse
  2. Jõgeva Courthouse
  3. Viljandi Courthouse
  4. Valga Courthouse
  5. Võru Courthouse

Tartu County Court also has registry and land registry departments. The land register and the register of ships are maintained in the land registry department. The commercial register, the register of non-profit associations and foundations and the commercial pledges register are maintained in the registry department.

Courts of second instance

There are two district courts in Estonia.

District Courts:

  • Tallinn District Court
  • Tartu District Court

Legal databases

The contact information for Estonian courts is available on the courts’ website. Access to the contact details is free of charge.

Last update: 01/10/2020

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