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Estonia: Restrictions on Transit Fine Imposition

(June 2, 2008) On May 12, 2008, the Supreme Court of Estonia decided that the company that runs public transportation in the capital city of Tallinn and inspects whether passengers have paid for their rides has no right to impose fines on passengers for unpaid rides and other violations of the Public Transportation Act. The Court ruled that the penalty authority cannot be delegated to a legal entity governed by private law and decided that the issuance of fines will remain an exclusive public function. The Court emphasized that individuals who cannot produce a valid ticket or otherwise prove their right to use public transportation can be fined only by police, other law enforcement agencies, and authorities of local or municipal governments. (Supreme Court: Uhisteenused Cannot Impose Fines, BALTIC BUSINESS NEWS, May 16, 2008, available at; “Uhisteenused” is the name of the Tallinn public transport company.)