Amendments coming into force on 8th September 2016 introduce revolutionary changes aimed at the modernization and simplification of Polish lawd civil procedure.
A major change is a new form of legal communication covering documents where a personal signature is not essential. To comply with the new form it has to be possible to determine the person who has made the statement, e.g. on the basis of e-mails or short text messages. The prototype of the document form is a text form known in German law.
The amendment also provides the possibility to choose to file and deliver pleadings in so-called ordinary civil proceedings via an electronic data filing. So far, this was only possible in electronic proceedings for writ of payment. The choice of the method of filing pleadings shall be made by submitting an appropriate statement through the electronic data filing system. For the first three years following the amendment coming into force, the possibility of using electronic data filing will depend on the technical capabilities of the respective court. After that time this possibility has to be ensured by all courts.
Other interesting amendments to the civil procedure are, among others, the ability to hold court sessions simultaneously in several courts and to communicate with the participants by means of teleconferencing, as well as the ability to summon the parties, the witnesses and the experts or other involved persons not only using the traditional methods of delivery but also by phone or a text message, if in such a case it is deemed necessary to accelerate the examination of the case.
Computerization will also influence enforcement proceedings, among others by extending the use of electronic filing of pleadings and of electronic delivery methods (the above rules will be applied accordingly), as well as by the introduction of the so-called electronic auction of movables as well as the electronic seizure of receivables from bank accounts.
Since these changes are revolutionary, it is hoped that they will significantly improve the efficiency of the Polish courts and shorten the duration of civil proceedings. In particular the new regulations concerning the format of documents should streamline the performance of legal actions noticeably.