Shield 3.0: Further developments in court proceedings
A government project of changes in the so-called anti-crisis shield was submitted to the Sejm. The proposed solutions for court proceedings are intended to mitigate the effect of the current paralysis of cases caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. On the basis of the existing solutions aimed at improving the safety of participants in the proceedings, most court deadlines have been suspended and hearings in cases not considered urgent have been abolished.
Shield 3.0 introduces the possibility to exchange correspondence on a case in electronic form and to hold hearings and meetings remotely, to help resolve the problem of case processing downtime.
Application of letters to court by EPUAP
The project provides for the possibility to send and receive court letters via the ePUAP platform – for the duration of an epidemic emergency or an epidemic due to COVID-19.
A party to proceedings may send a letter and its annexes. It shall be deemed to have been served on the date indicated in the official certificate of receipt. The certificate is automatically generated on the ePUAP website.
The letter sent in this way will not be accompanied by copies for participants. If a participant has agreed to receive correspondence from the court by electronic means, the court will provide a copy of the letter in this way. If, however, the participant did not give such consent, the court will print out the sent letter with attachments and forward them to the participants of the court proceedings.
In this case, the person submitting the letter will have to reckon with additional costs for printing the letter and its attachments in the amount of PLN 10 for every 10 pages of the printout.
Receiving court letters in electronic form
The court will also be able to deliver the letter in electronic form, but only if the addressee gives his prior consent.
The court may issue a surety:
- through the ePUAP platform, provided that:
- the participant in the proceedings has himself previously filed a letter with the court through the ePUAP
- the participant has agreed that correspondence from the court should be delivered to him in the same form,
- through the Court Information Portal – provided that:
- the participant has agreed that the correspondence from the court is delivered to him in this way,
- to an e-mail address, provided that:
- the participant has agreed that correspondence from the court will be served on him in this way,
- the participant has provided the court with an e-mail address to which correspondence is to be delivered.
Confirmation of receipt
A person who receives a letter in one of the above ways will have to acknowledge receipt within 14 days of attempting delivery. The date of delivery of the letter will be the date indicated in the confirmation received by the court.
If the addressee does not confirm receipt of the correspondence, the letter shall be deemed to have been delivered within 14 days of its sending or placement on the information portal of common courts.
Remote holding of hearings and meetings
The court will be able to hold a hearing or a public hearing using technical devices enabling it to be conducted at a distance with simultaneous direct transmission of video and sound, provided that the persons taking part in the hearing or public hearing do not have to be present in the court building, unless holding the hearing or public hearing without the use of these devices will not cause an undue health risk to the persons taking part in it.
Judgment in closed session
If in a civil case the taking of evidence has been carried out in its entirety, the court will be able to close the hearing and issue a judgment in closed session, after the parties have been deprived of their positions in writing.