After the restoration of Lithuania's independence on 16 February 1918, the history of the Courts of Primary Jurisdiction began with the Courts of Peace. Over the past 100 years, the judiciary has gone through a complex process of reforms, changes and development.
The provisional law on courts of Lithuania and their work order approved on 28 November 1918 the system of Lithuanian courts with general competence. According to the law, the lower courts were the Courts of Peace, where Justices of the Peace worked. Justices of the Peace changed the existing courts of the Russian district, the leaders of the region, the city judges and the district members of the county court. Each Justice of the Peace had his own territory of duty. Justices of the Peace solved minor civil and criminal cases. Justices of the Peace were appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Justice.
Independent Lithuanian courts are celebrating their birthday since 15 December 1918, when the courts of the independent Lithuania were established after Petras Leonas, the first Minister of Justice of the independent Lithuania, signed the decree. With the consent of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (the Lithuanian parliament), 15 December was announced as Memorial Day of the Lithuanian courts.
The first article of the Law on Courts adopted by the Supreme Council of Lithuania on 6 February 1992 states that in the Republic of Lithuania justice is exercised by District Courts, County Courts, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania and the Supreme Court of Lithuania.
On 29 October 1992, the law on the establishment of the County Courts was adopted. The Šiauliai County Court was founded, whose territory consists of the following areas: the city of Šiauliai and the districts of Akmenė, Joniškis, Kelmė, Mažeikiai, Pakruojis, Radviliškis, Raseiniai, Šiauliai and Telšiai.
On 12 March 1992, the Law on the Establishment of District Courts of the Republic of Lithuania replaced the City Courts and Region Courts in place and established the District Courts including the determation of their number of judges – 2 judges at the Akmenė Regional Court, 3 judges at the Mažeikiai Regional Court, and 3 judges at the Telšiai Regional Court.
Since 2016, a judicial reform is taking place in the Republic of Lithuania. During the first stage of the reform, all the District Courts of Vilnius City were merged into one District Court of Vilnius City, the District Courts of Kaunas City and Kaunas Region into one Kaunas District Court, and the District Courts of Šiauliai City and Šiauliai Region into one Šiauliai District Court. The second stage of the reform has now been completed – since 2018, 12 of the 49 District Courts have remained. Following the implementation of the judicial reform, the District Courts of Alytus, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Marijampole, Panevėžys, Plungė, Šiauliai, Tauragė, Utena, Vilnius City, Vilnius Region and Telšiai are operating.
Since 1 January 2018, the Akmenė Regional Court, the Mažeikiai Regional Court and the Telšiai Regional Court have been merged to form the Telšiai District Court as part of the implementation of the courts’ reorganization. After the reform, 18 judges are employed at the Telšiai District Court (6 in the Telšiai Court Chamber, 8 in the Mažeikiai Court Chamber, 4 in the Akmenė Court Chamber).
On 1 February 2018, the judge Daiva Maneikienė has been appointed as Chairwoman of the Telšiai District Court.