A way to cheaply break the limitation period

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Interruption of the limitation period - the easiest way

People running a business often decide to negotiate with their contractor regarding the amicable settlement of a dispute. This procedure is extremely beneficial as it allows avoiding a long and often complicated court procedure. In addition, the creditor, having regard to future transactions with the contractor, often does not want to take legal action, as this could result in breaking cooperation in subsequent joint commercial transactions. Unfortunately, such negotiations usually take a very long time, which is not beneficial, as over time the receivables may be time-barred. It is necessary to effectively protect against this, and the best solution is to use the provisions of the code of interruption of the limitation period.

What action before the court will interrupt the limitation period?

The Civil Code formulates cases in which the interruption of the limitation period may and should take place:

  • The limitation period is interrupted by any action before a court or other body appointed to hear cases or enforce claims of a given type or before an arbitration court, undertaken directly in order to pursue or establish or satisfy or secure a claim (Civil Code Art.123 § 1 point 1). The phrase "any action" should be understood in particular as: bringing a statement of claim, filing a petition to initiate enforcement proceedings or filing a motion to initiate conciliation proceedings, otherwise known as "summoning to a conciliation attempt". In the case of this method of interruption of the limitation period, it should be remembered that the period will start running again only after the end of the proceedings before a court or other body.

The above-mentioned procedure is very simplified in relation to the creditor, as he does not have to file or formulate claims, but in fact it is enough to submit a simple application for a summons to a settlement. Going further in this direction, in order to simplify and significantly shorten the time of pursuing their claims, each of the creditors may use ready-made and system-generated settlements available, for example, on our website.

  • The limitation period also interrupts the recognition of the claim by the debtor. The essence of the institution of debt recognition is the confirmation by the debtor that he actually has such a debt towards the creditor. The Civil Code does not clearly define the form in which this recognition is to take place, however, for evidence purposes it is most reasonable to include it in writing. In this context, we are talking about the so-called appropriate recognition, an ideal example of which is the previously discussed settlement. The second form of recognition is the so-called improper recognition, i.e. in the simplest way, a situation in which the creditor proves the truth of the existence of the debtor's claim on the basis of other documents or circumstances proving the existence of the debt. For example, you can cite a situation in which the creditor presents the debtor's request to divide the liability into installments. From the procedural point of view, improper recognition is an institution weaker than proper recognition because the court considering the case may not accept such circumstances as the basis for repayment by the debtor.
  • The limitation period is also interrupted by the initiation of mediation, which is to result in a settlement. It is worth remembering at this point that the limitation period is interrupted when the mediator's request for mediation is delivered.

What is a call for amicable settlement?

A summons to a conciliatory attempt is a pleading in which you should specify your claims in detail due to the effect of interrupting the limitation period against them. In such a letter, we do not have to present any evidence, which is a great advantage for the creditor, who at the moment does not have all the necessary evidence needed to file a claim. A fixed fee of PLN 40 is charged on an application for conciliation.

Settlement in court

Conciliation proceedings take place before a district court, but the substantive jurisdiction of a given court in the case is irrelevant. If it is possible to reach an agreement and conclude a settlement before the court, such a settlement already eliminates the need to conduct a dispute before the court regarding the same claim between the parties, and moreover, after issuing an enforcement clause, this settlement may constitute the basis for initiating enforcement proceedings. Unfortunately, in practice, a summons to a conciliation attempt ends only sporadically with a settlement. This is most often caused by the party's failure to appear at the meeting (there is only one meeting) or the party's refusal to consent to reconciliation and the conclusion of a settlement during the proceedings. However, in the discussed topic, the most important thing is the summons to a conciliation trial itself and the limitation period. It does not matter whether the opposing party responds in any way to the received summons.