Response to the summons
First of all it is important to remember that the court correspondence is always mailed by a registered letter (very often against a confirmation of receipt). Therefore, should we not collect this kind of correspondence directly from the postal operator, we will most likely find a so called "awizo" (a letter of notice) in our mailbox. If the correspondence is not retrieved after a second notice, the court shall assume the so-called fictitious delivery. In this case the court considers the service to have been effected and the correspondence acquainted with. Therefore it is not recommended to use the strategy of not collecting the letters to avoid negative consequences.
Below I will present the examples of correspondence and their potential consequences.
Summons, requests and orders for payment in Poland
If we receive a summons, a requests or an order for payment in an envelope, we should read the entire correspondence. As a rule, in such case we will receive:
- an appropriate court decision or ruling '
- a summons, a requests or an order for payment
- instructions concerning the procedures in the case
Through a decision or ruling, the court may impose a certain obligation, nonperformance of which shall result in - usually negative - consequences. For example, by receiving a copy of summons, the court may obligate us to prepare a response to the summons responding to the summons' claims. If we receive an order for payment and the response is not submitted within the time limit (in a form of objection or allegation), it will result in the order coming into force. In this situation, regardless if the summons was substantiated or not, we are obliged to pay the obligation amount indicated in the summons. Instructions concerning the procedures are never too broad, and in most cases it consists merely of a stamp indicating the term and the means to respond to the court. Let's remember that missing the term, deliberate or coincidental (including not collecting twice the noted correspondence) will result in irreversible consequences.The procedure and compliance with the procedure is important to the court, therefore if we are summoned unjustly - we must actively participate in the case. At this moment the saying comes to mind that if we were to remain silent, we'd be guilty of complicity. Unfortunately the procedure remains and it is necessary to comply with it.
Calling a witness in Polish Court
We may also receive the summons obligating us to appear in court at a certain date as a witness. In this situation we will not learn much from the summons except for who is the claimant and who is the defendant. If we fail to appear in court without justification, the court may impose a fine. The subsequent failure to appear may result in a subsequent fine and even a ruling requiring the compulsory appearance in court enforced by the police.
The abovementioned examples indicate that it is not worth to undermine the court correspondence. On the other hand, practically at all times, the court provides us with a time period during which we are allowed to address the issue. By missing the deadline, we are left to face specific consequences.
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Attorney-at-law, Senior Counsel