April 2020

Covid-19 – Claim Recovery in Poland

In the face of the epidemic, is judicial pursuit of a claim still an easily accessible option?

On 31 March 2020, the Polish Lower House passed a law on special Covid-19 measures. Under the new Act, some issues may be of particular relevance to creditors seeking the enforcement of their claims in commercial matters:

  • any time limits in court, enforcement or administrative proceedings will not run pending the state of the pandemic except for a narrow catalogue of urgent matters such as hearing witnesses within evidence preservation or where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the taking of such evidence will be prevented or significantly obstructed in the future, as well as non-commercial matters;
  • no hearings will be held during the epidemic expect for urgent matters; the hearings scheduled for the coming weeks have been cancelled;
  • since the courts are open, new actions may be filed and any legal action taken during the epidemic will be possible and effective; the court may request that a party takes legal action within a set time limit given the threat of irrecoverable danger to property rights;
  • if a new claim is filed it will be duly registered; as some courts introduced rotating schedules, proceeding with commercial matters will effectively be slowed down, or even stopped whenever hearings are required, for the time of the pandemic;
  • temporary injunction relief may still be sought, as in Poland such relief may be granted based on the documents filed along with a motion, and no hearing is necessary;
  • enforcement proceedings may be commenced and continued with the exception of residential evictions which are temporarily disallowed;
  • suspension of applicable time limits will effectively prevent new court rulings from becoming final and enforceable unless the court declares that a given ruling is immediately enforceable or issues an order based on a bill of exchange or cheque. In most cases, therefore, new enforcement proceedings will be commenced based on previously obtained enforcement titles including notarial deeds on voluntary submission to enforcement.

For assistance and support, please contact Daniel Klementewicz and Małgorzata Tuleja.

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