In view of the coronavirus epidemic, the presidents of common courts and the First President of the Supreme Court issued orders to cancel scheduled court hearings and open hearings in the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 March 2020, subject to certain criminal or family law cases.
In courts, penitentiary institutions and prosecutor’s offices have been introduced prevention procedures, including increased hygiene measures and limiting contacts with interested parties. Additionally, disinfectants are available in the court buildings, and it is recommended to check the temperature of the interested parties.
Due to restrictions on the functioning of courts caused by the coronavirus epidemic, compliance with material and procedural deadlines by the interested parties remains very difficult. In order to address that difficulties, the Polish authorities work on an amendment to the Act of 2 March 2020 on special arrangements for the prevention, counteraction and control of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 374) („the Act”). According to the contemplated amendment from the date of declaration of the epidemic emergency, i.e. 14 March 2020, the limitation period for procedural and material time limits would be suspended by operation of law in all types of proceedings, including civil and administrative proceedings.
Nonetheless, both civil and administrative proceedings provide for the possibility of applying for the reinstatement of a time-limit in the event of failure to comply with it by the party. The application shall be submitted within seven days from the date on which the cause of the infringement ceases to exist. In view of the current epidemic situation, the application for reinstatement of the time-limit should be submitted within seven days of the end of the epidemic situation. However, it should be noted that the final decision to reinstate the deadline is subject to discretion of the court (organ of public administration).