Changes in civil procedure – return of economical proceedings
The Sejm is working on the amendment to the Civil Procedure Code, which has been the largest amendment within past couple of years. According to the authors of the draft prepared by the Ministry of Justice, the changes are intended primarily to improve and speed up proceedings, to close the so-called frivolous litigation and provide an unbais process. Critics of changes emphasize that they will increase procedural formalism, which will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to participate in proceedings without a professional representative, and their impact on the efficiency of proceedings may in fact be illusory.
Entrepreneurs should pay special attention to changes regarding the reintroduction of separate economic proceedings. By assumption, this mode will be more formalized, which is supposed to accelerate the recognition of cases. According to the current draft of the amendment, the economic procedure will be based on the following principles:
• the economic procedure will be applied ex officio, unless the party of the proceedings who is not an entrepreneur or is a natural person engaged in sole proprietorship, will ask for the case to be examined in ordinary procedure. The justification of the project shows that this construction is intended to enable small entrepreneurs who do not have strong legal background to avoid being subjected to increased formalism.
• the plaintiff in the lawsuit (and the defendant in the first procedural letter) should include his e-mail address or a statement about not having an e-mail address.
• parties of the proceedings will have to submit claims and evidence efficiently. The plaintiff should do so in the lawsuit, and the defendant – in response to the lawsuit. The possibility of submitting further pleadings will be limited.
• the court and the chairman of the Court will be obliged to undertake actions in a case in such a way that this case will be resolved within no more than 6 months from the day of filing a response to the statement of claim (or supplementing its shortcomings).
• in order to speed up proceedings, the use of some procedural institutions, e.g. the possibility of filing a counter-claim, will be excluded. The possibility of subjective and substantive changes to the claim will be significantly limited, e.g. by submitting a new claim instead of or in addition to the previous one.
• parties will be able to conclude the so-called agreement of evidence on the basis of which they exclude the possibility of referring to the evidence specified in the agreement during the proceedings. The evidence excluded by the contract will not be admitted by the court ex officio.
• a party who avoids attempting to reach an amicable settlement or takes part in it in bad faith may be charged with all or part of the costs of the process regardless of the outcome of the case.