The structure of courts and civil proceedings

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In the Polish legal system, the catalog of court types is closed. Article 175 of the Polish Constitution states that the administration of justice in the Republic of Poland is exercised by the Supreme Court, common courts, administrative courts and military courts. The constitution also provides that everyone has the right to appeal, which is why the system is a two-instance system. See how the court structure looks like.

The Supreme Court is a supervisory body for common and military courts. Common courts are district and district courts.

Examination of cases and the structure of courts

Consideration of cases is dealt with by common courts, special courts or the Supreme Court, unless a specific legal regulation provides otherwise.

Pursuant to Art. 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, special courts are military and administrative courts which hear cases excluded from examination by common courts.

Art. 2. § 1. Common courts are appointed to hear civil cases, unless such cases fall within the competence of special courts, and the Supreme Court.

§ 3. Civil cases are not heard in court proceedings, if special provisions pass them to the competence of other authorities.

We can divide civil cases into matters in a material and formal sense.

  1. Civil matters in the material sense are matters arising from relations regulated by civil, family and guardianship law, and labor law.

  2. Civil cases in the formal sense are other cases referred to common courts for examination on the basis of the Code of Civil Procedure and special acts.

In the Polish legal system, we distinguish between courts

  • district,

  • district,

  • appeals.

District courts are usually established for a commune, and in justified cases, several district courts may be established within one commune or even a city. Most often, additional courts are created for large cities, where the territorial jurisdiction depends on a given district or even street. An example of such a solution may be the commune of Wrocław, in which there are 3 district courts - the District Court for Wrocław Krzyków, the District Court for Wrocław Fabryczna and the District Court for Wrocław Śródmieście.

A district court is created for at least two district courts. They are the second instance in relation to district courts or are the first instance in cases for which their jurisdiction has been provided for by statute. An example is the District Court in Wrocław, which covers the area of ​​jurisdiction of the District Courts in Oleśnica, Strzelin, Trzebnica, Wołów, Wrocław - Fabryczna, Wrocław - Krzyków and Wrocław Śródmieście.

Courts of appeal constitute the court of second instance in relation to courts which, by virtue of the regulations, were the court competent to hear cases in the first instance. It also considers specific matters referred to it directly by law. The area of ​​jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Wrocław is the District Court in Jelenia Góra, the District Court in Legnica, the District Court in Opole, the District Court in Świdnica, and the District Court in Wrocław.

Important!

As regards the jurisdiction of the courts, there is a general rule that all civil cases are to be heard in the first instance by district courts, with the exception of those cases for which regional courts have jurisdiction.

Where to file a claim? The structure of the courts

Jurisdiction of district courts in civil matters

The jurisdiction of regional courts in civil matters includes:

1) for non-pecuniary rights and property claims pursued together with them, in addition to cases for establishing or denying the child's origin, for establishing the ineffectiveness of paternity and for dissolving adoption,

2) for the protection of copyrights (property and non-property), for claims arising from industrial property rights,

3) claims arising from the Press Law (property and non-property), e.g. correction of a press release,

4) for property rights where the value of the subject of the dispute exceeds PLN 75,000,

5) for preventing and combating unfair competition,

6) for a judgment replacing the resolution on the division of the cooperative,

7) for revocation / declaration of invalidity / determination of resolutions of bodies of legal persons, organizational units that are not legal persons but with legal capacity,

8) for compensation for legally binding and unlawful judgments,

9) for incapacitation,

10) for separation upon the consent of the parties,

11) within the scope of regulations on state-owned enterprises.

Attention!

The District Court in Warsaw - the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection is competent in matters related to competition protection, energy, telecommunications, postal and rail transport.

Jurisdiction of district courts in civil matters

The jurisdiction of district courts in civil matters includes all cases that are not reserved to the district courts. Despite the reservation that district courts deal with non-pecuniary matters, sometimes the district court will be competent, and more specifically in cases:

1) to establish the child's origin,

2) to establish the ineffectiveness of paternity recognition.

Moreover, district courts are always competent in the following cases:

1) for alimony,

2) for infringement of possession,

3) to establish the property separation of the spouses,

4) to agree on the content of the land register,

5) recognized in the EPU.

Important!

Under no circumstances may the district court hear a case that is subject to the provisions on the substantive jurisdiction of the regional court.

The district court may, however, refer its case to the district court for examination, if it encounters a legal issue which raises serious doubts during the examination of this case. The district court is not bound by this transfer, it may refuse to accept the case for examination and return it to the district court.

Structure of courts - divisions

Each court, regardless of whether it is a district, provincial or appeal court, is divided into divisions.

There is always a criminal and civil division in the district court. Optional may be the family and juvenile department (the so-called family court), the land and mortgage register department, the labor and social insurance department, as well as the economic department.

If there is no appropriate department in the court competent to hear the case, the case is transferred to the district in which the relevant department is located and, as a rule, is the closest. Additionally, the Minister of Justice may establish other departments as needed.

Thanks to this procedure, individual departments are better organized and deal with cases faster, because they are specialists in their field. In Wrocław, due to the very large number of commercial cases in the district court for Wrocław Fabryczna, the economic department was divided into the Commercial Division of the National Court Register and the Pledge Register.

In a regional court, there are obligatory criminal and civil departments. However, they are always subdivided into the civil and criminal divisions as well as the civil and criminal appeal divisions. It is also possible to establish a department in the field of labor law and social security and an economic department.

Additionally, the District Court in Warsaw has a Division of Competition and Consumer Protection and a Community Trademarks and Industrial Designs Court.

At the court of appeal, we have a mandatory civil and criminal department, it is also possible to establish a department in the field of labor law and social insurance.

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Competence of individual departments

  1. Civil Division - deals with cases in the field of civil law,

  2. Criminal Division - deals with cases in the field of criminal law,

  3. Family and Juvenile Department - deals with cases related to:

    1. family and custody law

    2. concerning demoralization and criminal acts of minors

    3. concerning the treatment of people addicted to alcohol as well as intoxicants and psychotropic substances

    4. belonging to the guardianship court on the basis of other acts

  4. Labor Department - deals with labor law matters, in particular:
    1. establishes the existence of an employment relationship,
    2. legitimacy of the exemptions,

    3. the ineffectiveness of the termination,

    4. grounds for resuming work,

    5. restoring previous working and pay conditions,

    6. resolves claims related to damages,

    7. violations of labor regulations,

    8. breaking labor law,

    9. imposes sanctions of order,

  5. Commercial Division - deals with economic matters,
  6. Land and Mortgage Register Department - deals with matters related to land and mortgage register law.
    1. establishes the existence of an employment relationship,

    2. legitimacy of the exemptions,

    3. the ineffectiveness of the termination,

    4. grounds for resuming work,

    5. restoring previous working and pay conditions,

    6. resolves claims related to damages,

    7. violations of labor regulations,

    8. breaking labor law,

    9. imposes sanctions of order,

The Faculty of Labor Law may be combined with the Faculty of Social Security.