If you have been placed in a mental health care institution involuntarily through an unlawful decision by an investigative judge or a court, you have the right to compensation. In Latvia, this right is included under the national Constitution (Satversme).

You can ask for compensation in the following situations:

Acquittal or termination

If you were placed in a mental health care institution involuntarily in relation to your criminal case, but you were later acquitted or the criminal case was terminated against you because of exonerating circumstances. In such a case you can seek compensation for damages according to a special law.

Cancellation by a higher court

If after you had appealed the decision about the involuntary placement, the appeals instance quashed the decision of the investigative judge or the lower court. The appeals instance cannot, however, decide on the compensation for unlawful placement.

Therefore, in this case, the compensation claim should be submitted to the court of general jurisdiction (civil court) against the State. The claim has to be based directly on Article 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. The procedure in this case is explained in the Civil Procedure Law.

When filing this claim, you should explain all the relevant facts and what rights were violated in your opinion and how. The compensation claim can include both:

  • material damages (for example, loss of profit because you could not go to work) and
  • moral compensation (for example, the humiliation you suffered from being detained)

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