The amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure was published on 6 August 2019. Amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure generally come into force within 3 months of publication. However, there is a number of exceptions provided for by the legislator whereunder major changes are introduced within 14 days of publication. In accordance with intertemporal provisions, the newly adopted regulations will apply to already pending cases. Therefore, it is significant to learn about the changes both for the parties and representatives in the already pending proceedings and for those entities which are only planning to institute proceedings.
Below we are mentioning the major changes which will come into force as of 21 August 2019.
- Regional court’s refusal to accept a case for a trial before the first hearing – the regional court, having concluded that no serious doubts arise in the case, will refer the case to the district court.
- Verification of the value of the subject of dispute – the court may verify the value of the subject of dispute as established by the plaintiff and will launch an investigation to this end.
- Exclusion of a judge – if a judge fails to provide clarification within 2 weeks of receipt of a motion for exclusion, the motion shall be examined without clarifications of the judge concerned.
- Service of process – if pleadings cannot be served on a party which is subject to entry in a register due to such party’s failure to communicate change of address, the pleadings will remain on the file and be considered served.
- Decisions to be taken in closed sessions – the amendments introduce the principle that decisions will be taken in closed sessions, which will lead to changing or repealing a number of regulations, such as a motion for reestablishment of a time limit, the opening, suspension or discontinuation of proceedings, the court not being bound by decision as to evidence, immunity from fines for a witness, etc.
- Suspension of proceedings – the court will discontinue proceedings suspended upon request of parties to the proceedings or upon request of the heir within 6 months of the suspension date.
- Refusal to declare enforceability – the court shall refuse to declare enforceability if the application contravenes the law or if it follows from the facts of the case and from the text of the instrument that the claim covered by the instrument permitting enforcement became time-barred. The court shall also refuse declaration of enforceability when rights have been transferred after the instrument permitting enforcement was established and the acquirer will be able to initiate enforcement pursuant to the instrument issued to the seller of the claim.
- Enforcement request – if it follows from the instrument permitting enforcement that the claim became time-barred, the new regulations will make it obligatory to attach to the enforcement request a document confirming that the limitation period has been interrupted. The enforcement authority shall refuse to initiate proceedings if the creditor fails to submit such document.
- Enforcement proceedings – if the claims covered by the instrument permitting enforcement are transferred, the amendments shall make it possible for the acquirer and at times shall obligate the acquirer, to initiate enforcement against the debtor on the basis of the instrument permitting enforcement issued to the seller of the claim.
- Discontinuation of enforcement proceedings – the debtor will be allowed to request discontinuation of enforcement proceedings if before submission of the enforcement request the claim covered by the instrument permitting enforcement becomes time-barred and the creditor will not provide a document to prove that the limitation period has been interrupted.
- Anti-enforcement proceedings (powództwo opozycyjne) – new regulations provide for bringing anti-enforcement proceedings on the basis of a set-off claim.
- Court fees and registry charges – fees in civil proceedings will be increased and certain new fees will be introduced, such as a fee on call for a pre-trial settlement, amounting to ¼ of the fee on bringing an action, a fee on request for substantiation, of PLN 100, a fee on a motion for a precautionary measure submitted before action is brought – of ¼ of the fee on bringing an action; proportional charges will be increased, the maximum fee on a claim will be increased to PLN 200,000.00; to be exempt from costs a commercial company will have to have the property of its shareholders examined.