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Polish Legislature Introduces New Changes to Civil Code Proceedings Among Entrepreneurs

Published: Friday, September 27, 2019

By Dr Robert Lewandowski, lawyer (radca prawny) at DLP Dr Lewandowski & Partners in Warsaw

The Polish legislator has decided to reinstate so–called “business proceedings” within the Polish Civil Code Proceedings among entrepreneurs.

Business proceedings were removed from the Code in 2012 because of their restrictive and rather expensive nature. Due to current delays in handling court cases involving entrepreneurs of between 14 and 15 months and the increased pressure on the legislature to speed up the handling of court cases among entrepreneurs, a new law has been enacted to tackle effectively this problem.

According to this new law, the courts now have only one month to decide about their jurisdiction over cases to which parties are entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the plaintiff and defendant will be obliged to provide all evidence within the lawsuit and respectively the statement of defense at an early stage of the trial. Additional (later) evidence will be permitted if a party concerned shows that he/she was not able to present this evidence earlier.

The authors of the new law have removed an old rule of the procedural law according to which new evidence can also be allowed to be introduced if it can be proven the this new evidence will not cause any further delays in deciding a matter before a district and regional courts. Moreover, the new law focuses on the primacy of the evidence in the form of a document which will be of special significance within evidence proceedings and the term “document” means alongside written form, sms and emails as well. Such facts as defective sold goods, completion and acceptance of work or notification of defects will require the proof of documentary evidence and the party who fails to provide such evidence may lose the litigation. The evidence in the form of witnesses will only be allowed to be taken in circumstances in which the judge will have doubts as to the merit (outcome) of the matter.

In the past the parties (entrepreneurs) often called witnesses to drag and stretch throughout unnecessarily proceedings which resulted in undue delays and dissatisfaction of the parties involved. This will not occur anymore. Last but not least, the party who obtains a verdict subject to appeal which awaits becoming final, will have the right to proceed with its enforcement through a bailiff to secure its interests. It remains to be seen how this change will affect proceedings involving entrepreneurs.

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