Effective service in civil proceedings


One of the most important elements of the proper conduct of the proceedings before the court is the service of letters (e.g. copies of claims, responses to claims). It aims to efficiently proceed and preserve the rights of the parties. How should service be performed in civil proceedings?

Under the applicable provisions of civil law, and more specifically the Code of Civil Procedure, the court is the entity obliged to perform the service.

It is the court that, in carrying out its duty, follows the general principle of the formality of service. The Minister of Justice, in consultation with the minister competent for communications, specifies by regulation the detailed procedure and manner of service of court documents by specific entities. For a correct understanding of the court's obligation to deliver correspondence, it is important to know that the court may effect such service through:

  • post office (postal operator),
  • court employee,
  • court bailiff,
  • special delivery service

and in addition

  • professional entities,
  • via the ICT system.

What is effective service in civil proceedings?

Effective service of a court document means that the addressee has the opportunity to read its content, reply to it and take any other legal action. When collecting the letter, the addressee signs the date himself.

Service of letters may be effected in:

  • apartment / company headquarters,
  • the place of work or where the addressee can be found,
  • to a post office box - at the request of the party.


Service may be effected by handing over a letter to the court registry.

If the person's place of stay is unknown, a court-appointed service guardian is appointed for him.

Service for legal persons, incl. entrepreneurs entered in the register are made by sending correspondence to their registered offices indicated in the National Court Register. Pleadings for entrepreneurs and partners of commercial companies are delivered to the address from the CEIDG register, unless the party has indicated a different address for service. Letters are delivered to the body authorized to represent before the court or to an authorized employee. If it is impossible to deliver the documents to the seat, the correspondence is left in the case files with a note that they have been successfully delivered to the addressee.

In the case of deliveries to natural persons, the rule is to make deliveries personally to the addressee or his legal representative (if the person does not have procedural capacity). If the addressee is not at home, the letters can also be delivered:

  • home administration,
  • house caretaker,
  • the mayor

- if they are not opposed to the case and undertake to forward the letter to the addressee.

Persons located outside the territory of the country should have an appointed representative to receive correspondence. It is extremely important, because in the absence of a representative, the letter addressed to the addressee is included in the case file and it is assumed that it was successfully delivered.


The court should be notified of any change of place of residence / seat.

Electronic delivery

Letters are delivered via the ICT system when the addressee has brought the letter through it or has chosen to submit letters in this way. Letters are delivered in this way with prior consent. The moment of delivery of the letter is considered to be the moment when the addressee acquaints himself with the letter. If the letter is not read by the addressee, it is considered delivered after 14 days from the date of delivery in a way that allows the addressee to read its content (the date the letter was placed in the ICT system). The time of delivery is also the one indicated in the electronic confirmation of receipt of correspondence.

The addressee of the letter who has chosen to submit the letters via the ICT system may resign from this form of service.

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Service by professional operators

In the course of the case, professional entities deliver copies of letters with attachments to each other and belong to them:

  • lawyers,
  • legal advisers,
  • patent attorneys,
  • Counselor of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Poland


This does not apply to a counterclaim, an appeal, a cassation appeal, a complaint, an objection to a default judgment, an objection to an order for payment, charges against an order for payment, an application for securing an action, a complaint to reopen the proceedings, a complaint to declare a final judgment unlawful and to judgments of the court clerk. Such letters should be submitted to the court with copies for the opposing party.

Delivery and advice note

The advice note (e.g. information about the parcel left at the addressee's door) is nothing more than information for the addressee that the correspondence addressed to him has been left at the post office and is waiting for its collection. The addressee should collect the parcel within 14 days, and the first notice left provides for a 7-day period for collecting the parcel, and if the addressee does not do so, he will receive another notice with another 7-day period for collection. After the fourteen-day period has expired, the shipment is deemed to have been successfully delivered.

Delivery and refusal to accept the shipment

In the event that the addressee refuses to accept the letter, the delivering party returns the letter to the court with a note on the refusal to accept it, and the service is deemed to have been completed.