Litigation & arbitration /

Amendments to the Civil Procedure Code – what’s new in the litigation

The Polish parliament has passed an amendment to the Civil Procedure Code. It introduces quite a few changes, which are primarily intended to speed up proceedings.

Wider scope of power of attorney

As a result of the amendment, the basic scope of the power of attorney, determined by Article 91 of the Civil Procedure Code, will change. It will include the filing of a cassation complaint and representation in the proceedings triggered by its filing. Until now, these activities required a separate power of attorney.

New cases for district courts

As a result of regulatory changes, district courts will hear cases with a value of up to 100 thousand PLN. Up to now, proceedings in which the value of the subject of the dispute did not exceed 75 thousand PLN went there. The regulation is likely to reduce the load on regional courts, where cases sometimes wait for years to be resolved.

Change in legal pleadings – easier omission of evidence

A major change for attorneys will be the introduction of a provision according to which a letter filed by a professional attorney should contain clearly separated statements, claims and motions, including requests for evidence. If the letter contains a justification, evidentiary motions submitted only in this justification do not have the effects that the law attaches to their submission by a party. The submission of evidence only in the justification of the letter will result in the omission of evidence. Thus, this regulation will significantly lengthen pleadings and require attorneys to work harder in drafting them.

One settlement for multiple proceedings

With the amendment, the legislator introduced the possibility of concluding one settlement involving several different court proceedings and simplified the procedure in such cases (Article 18314 § 21 of Civil Procedure Code). In such a situation, actions related to the approval of the settlement and the granting of an enforceability clause to the settlement are handled by a single court (if the provisions on subject and exclusive jurisdiction do not prevent this).

Closing the trial in closed hearing

The amendment also introduces the possibility of concluding a hearing in closed session and issuing a judgment there. If this will help to hear the case more efficiently, and it is unnecessary to schedule further hearings, the court may close the hearing in closed session. In such a situation, the parties must be warned of the possibility of closing the hearing and given an opportunity to make their pleadings, within a period of not less than 7 days. The court shall then close the hearing within a month from the date on which the deadline for the parties to be heard has expired. Such a solution can significantly speed up the conclusion of the case, since the waiting time for a hearing is currently very long.

Proceedings involving consumers

The new regulations also introduced a separate procedure for cases involving consumers. In these proceedings, stricter preclusion is imposed on the trader when it comes to pleading facts and evidence. In addition, the consumer may bring proceedings before the court of their domicile, with the exception of exclusive jurisdiction. The trader may also be ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings, and this regardless of the outcome of the case. This is the case if, before bringing the action, he abandoned the attempt to resolve the dispute voluntarily, evaded participation in it or participated in it in bad faith and thus contributed to the unnecessary filing of the lawsuit or defective determination of the subject matter of the case.

Any information regarding the issues described above can be explained by our litigation lawyers.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marta Oleśkowska
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