2008 March

The regulation of the Code of Civil Procedure stipulating the duty to give in the claim all necessary pleas and proves to support the claim does not limit the possibility to search the truth or the side’s right to defence. Thus the regulation is in accordance with the Constitution – claimed the Constitutional Tribunal in the verdict dated on 26 th February 2008 (reference symbol of files SK 89/06)

The verdict was passed as the result of the recognition of joint constitutional complaints of X Ltd. and Mr. Paweł M. The Tribunal was passing the judgment in the matter of accordance of the art. 47912§1 – regulation dated on the 17 th November 1964 – Code of Civil Procedure with art. 45, regulation 1 and art. 32 of the regulation 1 in connection with art. 64 of the regulation 2, art. 31 of the regulation 3, art. 2 and art. 175 of the regulation 1 of the Constitution.

The company has laid claims against the authorized dealer under a warranty for the faults. The company filed for compensation and the repayment of the amount paid for the wheel rims that defectiveness was revealed during use. The authorized dealer negated these allegations claiming that the items sold were not faulty nor inappropriately installed. The dealer sustained that the defect was a direct result of the usage of inappropriately adjusted tires by the purchaser. In order to confirm that the change of the tires for the appropriate ones removed the fault, the dealer used the evidence – producer’s expertise concerning the range of the usage of the wheels in producer’s vehicles and the evidence from the witnesses’ testimonies who took part in the test drive after the tires had been changed. In the course of the events after the producer’s expertise had been made, the company filed for the expert opinion. The District Court however considered the motion as delayed and dismissed the claim. According to the article of the Code of Civil Procedure mentioned above, the company should have filed for the expert opinion already in the summons.

The company appealed from the court’s decision. Regional Court dealing with the appeal stated that the fact of arising the dispute between sides about the existence of the default is enough and unambiguous reason to use the expert opinion and the appeal was dismissed.

In the case of fragmentary exemption from court costs, which means that a party is exempted from paying for a document which should be paid, a court collects a basic charge for this document (art 14 p 2 of the law of court costs in civil cases – Journal of Laws 2005, no 167, point 1398 with subsequent modifications).

According to the company which has turned to the Constitutional Tribunal to state whether the above regulation is in accordance with constitution or not, the regulation itself limits the right to factual and just solution and only in the case against another company. This limitation does not exist in the dispute between company and the natural person who does not conduct a business or organizational entity that is not a company. Imposing on the business entities the excessive legal discipline as far as proves admissibility is concerned limits in fact effective exercise of their rights. Such a structure of procedure in the economic matters also violates the constitutional right to the equal treatment and identical for all the entities security of the property rights –claimants argued.

After the trial being terminated the Constitutional Tribunal stated the above.

The claimant’s plea was based on the statement that the evidence limitations stipulated in the art. 47912 is not in accordance with the constitutional requirements of the right to the court. During the Supreme Court proceedings it is possible to depart from a rule of evidence limitation if it is essential to the case and does not cause the proceeding to be ineffective.

According to the Constitutional Tribunal art. 47912 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not limit the possibility to seek the truth nor infringe the rights to defence, the article provides only the time limits within which all the means of defence need to be presented. The challenged regulation allows however the late pleas and charges to be recognized. This situation is possible only when the side could not present those earlier or the situation requires additional proves. As the result of the analyzing the judicial decisions it can be concluded that the breach of the regulation to which the claimants referred to can arise during its practical application not from the mere essence of the regulation. The Tribunal asserted that the above regulation uses unspecified terms however this does not breach the constitution. The regulation does not define the legal situation of the sides in the particular economic affair. The principle of right to hear the sides and the principle of the equality were observed. This means that sides with equal rights conduct the dispute before the impartial court which verdict is binding – that is the summary of the court. The verdict is final.

Kancelaria Prawna 90-060 Łódź, ul. Nawrot 4/1, tel./fax +48 /42/ 630 58 41, tel. +48 /42/ 632 51 44, kancelaria@b2blegal.pl
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