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Types of court proceedings

Knowledge of how civil lawsuits are handled can be useful to you in the event of disputes with a contracting party.

Proceedings are divided into:

  • investigative - as part of this procedure, the case is investigated and then resolved.
  • securing - proceedings securing the execution of a decision
  • enforcement - forced execution of rights and obligations
  • international - proceedings regulating international civil proceedings.

Prescriptive proceedings

As part of the investigation procedure, a prescriptive procedure may be distinguished - it falls within the competence of regional and district courts. The court examines the case in prescriptive proceedings on a written motion submitted in the statement of claim, in a closed session.

In this type of proceedings, the court issues an order for payment if the circumstances justifying the order are proven by evidence attached to the statement of claim:

  • an official document
  • an account accepted by the debtor
  • a summoning of the debtor to pay and a written declaration by the debtor on recognition of the debt
  • a demand for payment accepted by the debtor, returned by the bank and not paid due to lack of funds in the bank account.

The court also issues a payment order against the debtor under a bill of exchange, cheque, warrant or reverse duly filled in, the truth and content of which raise doubts.

You can assert claims under the Act on payment deadlines in commercial transactions in the prescriptive proceedings.

When issuing the payment order, the court decides that the defendant is to satisfy the claim (i.e. repay the debt) in full together with the costs within two weeks from the date of service of the order, or to file charges within this period (i.e. challenge the validity of the statement of claim).

The payment order, once issued, is the title of the security, enforceable without being declared enforceable.

A payment order issued on the basis of a bill of exchange, warrant, reverse or cheque becomes immediately enforceable after the lapse of the time limit for settling the claim.

Writ-of-payment proceedings

This type of procedure falls within the competence of district and regional courts. The court examines the cases in a closed session.

A payment order cannot be issued if:

  • the claim is obviously unfounded
  • the circumstances invoked give rise to doubt
  • the settlement of the claim depends on the counterclaim
  • the defendant's whereabouts are unknown or if service could not be effected on him in the country.

The order for payment shall either order the defendant to pay the claim in full together with the costs within two weeks of service of the order or to lodge a statement of opposition before the court within that period.

Simplified proceedings

This type of proceedings fall within the jurisdiction of district courts. It applies to claims resulting from agreements, if the value of the subject matter of dispute does not exceed PLN 20,000. It also applies to claims resulting from warranty, quality guarantee or from the lack of conformity of consumer goods with the contract, if the value of the subject matter of the contract does not exceed this amount.

Remember! A statement of claim, statement of defence against a default judgment and a letter of evidence filed in simplified proceedings should be drawn up on official forms.

Enforcement proceedings

Enforcement cases fall within the competence of the district courts and the bailiffs operating within those courts.

Electronic writ-of-payment proceedings

Another possibility of recovery is to obtain a payment order in an electronic writ of payment procedure (e-court). It is a request for payment in cases where the facts are not complicated and do not require the taking of evidence.


In an electronic writ-of-payment procedure (EPU), known as an E-court, you can make the procedure for issuing a payment order quicker, simpler and cheaper. In this type of proceedings it is possible to assert claims which have become due within three years before the date of filing the claim. 

It is particularly useful in cases where the facts of the case are not complicated and there is no need to conduct evidence proceedings.

The e-court, i.e. the District Court Lublin-Zachód in Lublin, VI Civil Division, has material jurisdiction regardless of the value of the subject matter of the dispute.

Electronic writ-of-payment proceedings may be initiated when pecuniary claims are being asserted. Currently, it allows to assert a pecuniary claim in the amount of up to PLN 100 million.

In the E-court, the statement of claim is filed electronically. The defendant has a choice; he/she can file a letter in electronic form or in traditional, i.e. paper form.

Using an EPU offers many benefits. These are, among others:

  • lower costs of proceedings - in ordinary proceedings the fee on the statement of claim amounts to 5% of the value of the dispute, while in EPU - 1.25% (however, not less than PLN 30).
  • the claimant does not have to send the claim and its annexes in paper form to the competent court, but only describe the evidence in the online form
  • EPU proceedings are much faster than proceedings before an ordinary court and the order for payment can already be obtained within a few days.
  • The EPU makes it easier for people with disabilities to pursue their claims, as you can file a lawsuit without leaving home.

In order to use the EPU, it is sufficient to have access to a computer and the Internet and to set up a user account in the eCourt's IT system.

The payment order and the enforcement clause issued by the e-court are only in electronic form and are available in the ICT system of the court.


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