Poznań Appellate Court judgment
dated 16 November 2005
Case No. I ACa 912/05
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
Under a 1993 agreement, the Agricultural Property Agency as landlord provided over 800 hectares of land to Wojciech G. and his brothers, in partnership, as tenants. The tenancy agreement was signed for the agency by the director of the local field office and included an arbitration clause. In 2002 G. obtained an arbitration award against the agency, with interest from 1995. G. apparently claimed that the agency prevented him from tenanting the land and obtaining the expected profit from the tenancy.
The agency moved before the Poznań Regional Court to set aside the award as contrary to public policy and because the director of the field office was not authorized to sign the tenancy agreement. The court set aside the award, finding that the director of the field office was not authorized under the statute of the agency to enter into the tenancy agreement for the agency because it was for greater than 500 hectares. The appellate court denied the appeal.
In a cassation appeal, the Polish Supreme Court vacated the order and remanded the case, finding that at the time the tenancy agreement was signed, the field director’s authority was limited to 1,500 hectares, and the limit was only reduced to 500 hectares in a government regulation issued in 1998.
On remand, the agency moved to set aside the award as contrary to public policy because G.’s claim was not due and payable at the date in 1995 from which the arbitration court awarded interest. The appellate court held that although the regional court had not clearly stated why the award was contrary to public policy, the ruling was correct because there was no evidence that G. had a contractual claim against the agency or that the claim was due at the time from which the arbitration court had assessed interest.
Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:
The task of the court in a proceeding upon a petition to set aside an arbitration award is not to decide the merits of the case already decided by the arbitration court, applying provisions of substantive and procedural law, but only to conduct a review of the grounds for the petition under Civil Procedure Code Art. 712 §§ 1 and 2. The court where a petition to set aside an arbitration award is filed does not act as a court of second instance, authorized to review the case on the merits applying provisions of substantive law, but assesses the challenged award only in terms of the violations indicated in Civil Procedure Code Art. 712 §§ 1 and 2, and in the case considered here, Art. 712 §1(4).