The Minister of Justice in his speech regarding the “great reform of civil proceedings” announced among other things, a reduction or even liquidation of court fees in certain types of civil proceedings. However, the draft amending the Code of Civil Procedure and several other acts indicates that at the same time in many other civil proceedings related court fees will significantly increase.
The most important change concerns Article 13 of the Act of 28 July 2005 regarding court fees in civil proceedings. This provision regulates the amount of the court fee for lawsuits for property rights. Until now, such fee was calculated in the same way for all cases and it was 5% of the value of the subject of the dispute or the amount of the subject of the appeal (in Polish: wartość przedmiotu sporu, further: “WPS”), however not less than PLN 30 and not exceeding PLN 100,000.
In accordance with the draft amendment, the method of calculating court fees under this provision will change significantly. For WPS up to PLN 20,000, fixed fees in the range from PLN 30 to PLN 1,000 will apply. If, on the other hand, the WPS falls within the range from PLN 20,000 to PLN 4,000,000, the court fee will be 5% of the WPS. In the case of WPS of more than PLN 4,000,000, the court fee is to be the sum of PLN 200,000 and 0.5% of the amount constituting a surplus over PLN 4,000,000, but not more than PLN 500,000.
As a result, the amount of court fees, especially in large commercial disputes, may increase up to five times. Until now, the maximum fee was PLN 100,000. Under the new regulations, the court fee is to increase proportionally with the value of claims up to the WPS ceiling of PLN 64,000,000. Therefore, for WPS in the amount of PLN 64,000,000 the court fee will reach PLN 500,000 and will remain at that level (as the maximum court fee) even if the value of claims included in the lawsuit (respectively in the amount of the appeal) is higher.
Another significant change concerns the court fee regarding a motion for an injunction for a pecuniary claim filed prior to filing the writ initiating the proceedings. Until now, such motion was subject to a fixed court fee of PLN 100. However, the draft amendment provides that it will be subject to a fee of ¼ of the court fee which should be paid for the lawsuit in such case. This means that motions for an injunction for high value pecuniary claims will be subject to court fees several times (even several hundred times) higher than before.
Finally, the minimum fee for many “minor” court civil proceedings will also be raised from PLN 30 to PLN 100.
The Ministry of Justice has not announced when the planned increases will come into force. The project was submitted to the Sejm on January 8, 2019.