In connection with the announcement of the state of the epidemic in Poland, the Polish government has prepared a package of solutions that are aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus. The Act of March 31, 2020 amending the Act on specific solutions related to the prevention and eradication of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (link to the legal act) introduces crucial regulations from the litigation point of view, namely regulations aiming to suspend for the time of the coronavirus epidemy in Poland the deadlines resulting from the administrative law, for example the period of prescription as well as the procedural and court deadlines. During the coronavirus epidemy in Poland the time periods that already started to run, are suspended for the time of epidemy, and the time periods which have not yet begun – will start running when the epidemy is officially cancelled in Poland.
For example, if the party to the proceedings which are pending in the Polish courts was currently obliged to file an appeal against the judgment issued by the court, the appeal can be filed already after the cancellation of the state of epidemy in Poland. The provision that is of utmost importance in this respect is the art. 15zzs paragraph 1 of the abovementioned Act which precisely sets forth the types of the proceedings in which the civil and procedural timeliness do not run during the state of epidemy in Poland. The said proceedings are, among other, as follows:
1) court proceedings, including administrative court proceedings,
2) enforcement proceedings,
3) criminal proceedings,
4) active legal proceedings in relation to tax offences,
5) proceedings regarding misdemeanors,
6) administrative proceedings,
7) proceedings and controls resulting from the provisions of the Polish Tax Ordinance Act;
8) customs and tax inspections
As regards court proceedings aimed at debt recovery, it should be noted that during the epidemic, in fact no action will be taken by the Polish courts or Polish enforcement authorities / agencies. This is due to the fact that the service of claims or payment orders cannot be carried out in order to issue a default judgment, since the deadline reserved for the other party to the proceedings is suspended.